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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/421

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REPLIES TO CRITICISMS.
belief that the non-ego is per se extended, solid, even colored (if not resonant and odorous). This is what common language implies; and the argument by which Mr. Spencer proves the relativity of feelings and relations, still more the subtile and complicated analysis by which he resolves our notion of extension into an aggregate of feelings and transitions of feeling, leads us away from our original simple belief—that, e. g., the green grass we see exists out of consciousness as we see it—just as much as the reasonings of Idealism, Skepticism, or Kantism."

On the face of it the anomaly seems great; but I should have thought that, after reading the chapter on "Transfigured Realism," a critic of Mr. Sidgwick's accuteness would have seen the solution of it. He has overlooked an essential distinction. All which my argument implies is that the direct intuition of Realism must be held of superior authority to the arguments of Anti-Realism, where their deliverances cannot be reconciled. The one point on which their deliverances cannot be reconciled is, the existence of an objective reality. But, while, against this intuition of Realism, I hold the arguments of Anti-Realism to be powerless, because they cannot be carried on without postulating that which they end by denying, yet, having admitted objective existence as a necessary postulate, it is possible to make valid criticisms upon all those judgments which Crude Realism joins with this primordial judgment: it is possible to show that a transfigured interpretation of properties and relations is more tenable than the original interpretation.

To elucidate the matter, let us take the most familiar case in which the indirect judgments of Reason correct the direct judgments of Common-Sense. The direct judgment of Common-Sense is that the Sun moves round the Earth. In course of time, Reason finds certain difficulties in accepting this dictum as true. Eventually, Reason hits upon an hypothesis which explains the anomalies, but which denies this apparently certain dictum of Common-Sense. What is the reconciliation? It consists in showing to Common-Sense a mode of interpretation which equally well corresponds with direct intuition, while it avoids all the difficulties. Common-Sense is reminded that the apparent motion of an object may be due either to its actual motion or to the motion of the observer; and that there are terrestrial experiences in which the observer thinks an object he looks at is moving, when the motion is in himself. Extending the conception thus given, Reason shows that, if the Earth revolves on its axis, there will result that apparent motion of the Sun which Common-Sense interpreted into an actual motion of the Sun; and the common-sense observer becomes thereupon able to think of sunrise and sunset as consequent on his position as a spectator on a vast revolving globe. Now, if the astronomer, setting out by recognizing these celestial appearances, and proceeding to evolve the various anomalies following from the common-sense interpretation of them, had drawn the conclusion that