Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/218

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themselves into all sorts of shapes. When this cerebral reorganisation is pertinent to the external situation and renders the man, when he resumes action, more a master of his world, the accompanying thought is said to be practical; for it brings a consciousness of power and an earnest of success.

Cerebral processes are of course largely hypothetical. Theory suggests their existence, and experience can verify that theory only in an indirect and imperfect manner. The addition of a physical substratum to all thinking is only a scientific expedient, a hypothesis expressing the faith that nature is mechanically intelligible even beyond the reaches of minute verification. The accompanying consciousness, on the other hand, is something intimately felt by each man in his own person; it is a portion of crude and immediate experience. That it accompanies changes in his body and in the world is not an inference for him but a datum. But when crude experience is somewhat refined and the soul, at first mingled with every image, finds that it inhabits only her private body, to whose fortunes hers are altogether wedded, we begin to imagine that we know the cosmos at large better than the spirit; for beyond the narrow limits of our own person only the material phase of things is open to our observation. To add a mental phase to every part and motion of the cosmos is then seen to be an audacious fancy. It violates all empirical analogy, for the phenomenon which feeling accompanies in crude