Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/188

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and affinity of the facts.[1] Nor is there in this necessity any violence to the spontaneity of reason: for reason also has manifold forms, and the accidents of experience are more than matched in variety by the multiplicity of categories. Here one principle of order and there another shoots into the mind, which breeds more genera and species than the most fertile terrestrial slime can breed individuals.

Language, then, with the logic imbedded in it, is a repository of terms formed by identifying successive perceptions, as the external world is a repository of objects conceived by superposing perceptions that exist together. Being formed on different principles these two orders of conception—the logical

  1. This natural order and affinity is something imputed to the ultimate object of thought—the reality—by the last act of judgment assuming its own truth. It is, of course, not observable by consciousness before the first experiment in comprehension has been made; the act of comprehension which first imposes on the sensuous material some subjective category is the first to arrive at the notion of an objective order. The historian, however, has a well-tried and mature conception of the natural order arrived at after many such experiments in comprehension. From the vantage-ground of this latest hypothesis, he surveys the attempts others have made to understand events and compares them with the objective order which he believes himself to have discovered. This observation is made here lest the reader should confuse the natural order, imagined to exist before any application of human categories, with the last conception of that order attained by the philosopher. The latter is but faith, the former is faith’s ideal object.