Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/253

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the situation in which the joy was felt; but the suggested value being once projected into the potential world, that land of inferred being, this projection may be controlled and corroborated by other suggestions and associations relevant to it, which it is the function of reason to collect and compare. A right estimate of absent values must be conventional and mediated by signs. Direct sympathies, which suffice for instinctive present co-operation, fail to transmit alien or opposite pleasures. They over-emphasise momentary relations, while they necessarily ignore permanent bonds. Therefore the same intellect that puts a mechanical reality behind perception must put a moral reality behind sympathy.

Fame, for example, is a good; its value arises from a certain movement of will and emotion which is elicited by the thought that one’s name might be associated with great deeds and with the memory of them. The glow of this thought bathes the object it describes, so that fame is felt to have a value quite distinct from that which the expectation of fame may have in the present moment. Should this expectation be foolish and destined to prove false, it would have no value, and be indeed the more ludicrous and repulsive the more pleasure its dupe took in it, and the longer his illusion lasted. The heart is resolutely set on its object and despises its own phenomena, not reflecting that its emotions have first revealed that object’s worth and alone can