Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/219

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experience is not mere material existence, but reactive organisation and docility.

The limits set to observation, however, render the mental and material spheres far from coincident, and even in a rough way mutually supplementary, so that human reflection has fallen into a habit of interlarding them. The world, instead of being a living body, a natural system with moral functions, has seemed to be a bisectible hybrid, half material and half mental, the clumsy conjunction of an automaton with a ghost. These phases, taken in their abstraction, as they first forced themselves on human attention, have been taken for independent and separable facts. Experience, remaining in both provinces quite sensuous and superficial, has accordingly been allowed to link this purely mental event with that purely mechanical one. The linkage is practically not deceptive, because mental transformations are indeed signs of changes in bodies; and so long as a cause is defined merely as a sign, mental and physical changes may truly be said to cause one another. But so soon as this form of augury tries to overcome its crude empiricism and to establish phenomenal laws, the mental factor has to fall out of the efficient process and be represented there by what, upon accurate examination, it is seen to be really the sign of—I mean by some physiological event.

If philosophers of the Cartesian school had taken to heart, as the German transcendentalists did, the