Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/9

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


INTRODUCTION


THE SUBJECT OF THIS WORK, ITS METHOD AND ANTECEDENTS

Progress is relative to an ideal which reflection creates.–Whatever forces may govern human life, if they are to be recognised by man, must betray themselves in human experience. Progress in science or religion, no less than in morals and art, is a dramatic episode in man’s career, a welcome variation in his habit and state of mind; although this variation may often regard or propitiate things external, adjustment to which may be important for his welfare. The importance of these external things, as well as their existence, he can establish only by the function and utility which a recognition of them may have in his life. The entire history of progress is a moral drama, a tale man might unfold in a great autobiography, could his myriad heads and countless scintillas of consciousness conspire, like the seventy Alexandrian sages, in a single version of the truth committed to each for interpretation. What themes would prevail in such an examination of heart? In what order and with what emphasis would they be recounted? In which of its adventures would

Vol. I.—1
1