Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/193

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evidence is offered but that they chime in with current aspirations or traditional bias. Thus the substance of things hoped for becomes, even in philosophy, the evidence of things not seen.

Such faith is indeed profoundly human and has accompanied the mind in all its gropings and discoveries; preference being the primary principle of discrimination and attention. Reason in her earliest manifestations already discovered her affinities and incapacities, and loaded the ideas she framed with friendliness or hostility. It is not strange that her latest constructions should inherit this relation to the will; and we shall see that the moral tone and affinity of metaphysical systems corresponds exactly with the primary function belonging to that type of idea on which they are based. Idealistic systems, still cultivating concretions in discourse, study the first conditions of knowledge and the last interests of life; materialistic systems, still emphasising concretions in existence, describe causal relations, and the habits of nature. Thus the spiritual value of various philosophies rests in the last instance on the kind of good which originally attached the mind to that habit and plane of ideation.

We have said that perceptions must be recognised before they can be associated by contiguity, and that consequently the fusion of temporally diffused experiences must precede their local fusion into material objects. It might be urged in opposition to this statement that concrete