Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/194

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objects can be recognised in practice before their general qualities have been distinguished in discourse. Recognition may be instinctive, that is, based on the repetition of a felt reaction or emotion, rather than on any memory of a former occasion on which the same perception occurred. Such an objection seems to be well grounded, for it is instinctive adjustments and suggested action that give cognitive value to sensation and endow it with that transitive force which makes it consciously representative of what is past, future, or absent. If practical instinct did not stretch what is given into what is meant, reason could never recognise the datum for a copy of an ideal object.

This description of the case involves an application or extension of our theory rather than an argument against it. For where recognition is instinctive and a familiar action is performed with absent-minded confidence and without attending to the indications that justify that action, there is in an eminent degree a qualitative concretion in experience. Present impressions are merged so completely in structural survivals of the past that instead of arousing any ideas distinct enough to be objectified they merely stimulate the inner sense, remain imbedded in the general feeling of motion or life, and constitute in fact a heightened sentiment of pure vitality and freedom. For the lowest and vaguest of concretions in discourse are the