Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/99

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how the belief in matter, space, motion, God, or whatever else still retained their allegiance, could withstand the kind of psychology which, as they conceived, had done away with individual essences and nominal powers. Berkeley, whose interests lay in a different quarter, used the same critical method in support of a different dogmatism; armed with the traditional pietistic theory of Providence he undertook with a light heart to demolish the whole edifice which reason and science had built upon spatial perception. He wished the lay intellect to revert to a pious idiocy in the presence of Nature, lest consideration of her history and laws should breed “mathematical atheists”; and the outer world being thus reduced to a sensuous dream and to the blur of immediate feeling, intelligence and practical faith would be more unremittingly employed upon Christian mythology. Men would be bound to it by a necessary allegiance, there being no longer any rival object left for serious or intelligent consideration.

The psychological analysis on which these partial or total negations were founded was in a general way admirable; the necessary artifices to which it had recourse in distinguishing simple and complex ideas, principles of association and inference, were nothing but premonitions of what a physiological psychology would do in referring the mental process to its organic and external supports; for experience has no other divisions than those it creates in itself by distinguishing its objects