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or the action of bodies at a distance,- will under altered circumstances prove themselves by experience to have only a supposititious reality.

Any knowledge that runs in such out-worn terms turns out to be futile, misleading, meaningless; and the habit of imputing qualities and behavior of this kind to everyday facts will then fall into disuse, progressively as experience continues to bring home the futility of all that kind of imputation. And presently the habit of perceiving that class of qualities and behavior in the known facts is therefore gradually lost. So also, in due time the observances and the precautions and provisions embodied in law and custom for the preservation or the control of these lost imponderables will also fall into disuse and disappear out of the scheme of institutions, by way of becoming dead letter or by abrogation. Particularly will such a loss of belief and insight, and the consequent loss of those imponderables whose ground has thereby gone out from under them, take effect with the passing of generations.

An Imponderable is an article of make-believe which has become axiomatic by force of settled habit. It can accordingly cease to be an Imponderable by a course of unsettling habit. Those elders in whom the ancient habits of faith and insight have been ingrained, and in whose knowledge and belief the imponderables in question have therefore had a vital reality, will presently fall away; and the new generation whose experience has run on other lines are in a fair way to lose these articles of faith and insight, by disuse. It is a case of obsolescence by habitual disuse. And the habitual disuse which so al

lows the ancient canons of knowledge and belief to fall away, and which thereby cuts the ground from under the traditional system of law and custom, is reenforced by the advancing discipline of a new order of experience, which exacts an habitual apprehension of workday facts in terms of a different kind and thereby brings on a revaluation and revision of the traditional rules governing human relations. The new terms of workday knowledge and belief, which do not conform to the ancient canons, go to enforce and stabilise new canons and standards, of a character alien to the traditional point of view. It is, in other words, a case of obsolescence by displacement as well as by habitual disuse.

This unsettling discipline that is brought to bear by workday experience is chiefly and most immediately the discipline exercised by the material conditions of life, the exigencies that beset men in their everyday dealings with the material means of life; inasmuch as these material facts are insistent and uncompromising. And the scope and method of knowledge and belief which is forced on men in their everyday material concerns will unavoidably, by habitual use, extend to other matters as well; so as also to affect the scope and method of knowledge and belief in all that concerns those imponderable facts which lie outside the immediate range of material experience. It results that, in the further course of changing habituation, those imponderable relations, conventions, claims and perquisites, that make up the time-worn system of law and custom will unavoidably also be brought under review and will be revised and reorganised in the light of the same

new principles of validity that are found to be sufficient in dealing with material facts.

Given time and a sufficiently exacting run of experience, and it will follow necessarily that much the same standards of truth and finality will come to govern men's knowledge and valuation of facts throughout; whether the facts in question lie in the domain of material things or in the domain of those imponderable conventions and preconceptions that decide what is right and proper in human intercourse. It follows necessarily, because the same persons, bent by the same discipline and habituation, take stock of both and are required to get along with both during the same lifetime. More or less rigorously the same scope and method of knowledge and valuation will control the thinking of the same individuals throughout; at least to the extent that any given article of faith and usage which is palpably at cross purposes with this main intellectual bent will soon begin to seem immaterial and irrelevant and will tend to become obsolete by neglect.

Such has always been the fate which overtakes any notable articles of faith and usage that belong to a bygone point of view. Any established system of law and order will remain securely stable only on condition that it be kept in line or brought into line to conform with those canons of validity that have the vogue for the time being; and the vogue is a matter of habits of thought ingrained by everyday experience. And the moral is that any established system of law and custom is due to undergo a revision of its constituent principles so soon as a new order of economic life has had time materially to

affect the community's habits of thought. But all the while the changeless native proclivities of the race will assert themselves in some measure in any eventual revision of the received institutional system; and always they will stand ready eventually to break the ordered scheme of things into a paralytic mass of confusion if it can not be bent into some passable degree of congruity with the paramount native needs of life.

What is likely to arrest the attention of any student of the modern era from the outset is the peculiar character of its industry and of its intellectual outlook; particularly the scope and method of modern science and technology. The intellectual life of modern Europe and its cultural dependencies differs notably from what has gone before. There is all about it an air of matter-of-fact both in its technology and in its science; which culminates in a "mechanistic conception" of all those things with which scientific inquiry is concerned and in the light of which many of the dread realities of the Middle Ages look like superfluous make-believe.

But it has been only during the later decades of the modern era - during that time interval that might fairly be called the post-modern era that this mechanistic conception of things has begun seriously to affect the current system of knowledge and belief; and it has not hitherto seriously taken effect except in technology and in the material sciences. So that it has not hitherto seriously invaded the established scheme of institutional arrangements, the system of law and custom, which governs the rela

tions of men to one another and defines their mutual rights, obligations, advantages and disabilities. But it should reasonably be expected that this established system of rights, duties, proprieties and disabilities will also in due time come in for something in the way of a revision, to bring it all more nearly into congruity with that matter-of-fact conception of things that lies at the root of the late-modern civilisation.

The constituent principles of the established system of law and custom are of the nature of imponderables, of course; but they are imponderables which have been conceived and formulated in terms of a different order from those that are convincing to the twentieth-century scientists and engineers. Whereas the line of advance of the scientists and engineers, dominated by their mechanistic conception of things, appears to be the main line of march for modern civilisation. It should seem reasonable to expect, therefore, that the scheme of law and custom will also fall into line with this mechanistic conception that appears to mark the apex of growth in modern intellectual life. But hitherto the "due time" needed for the adjustment has apparently not been had, or perhaps the experience which drives men in the direction of a mechanistic conception of all things has not hitherto been driving them hard enough or unremittingly enough to carry such a revision of ideas out in the system of law and custom. The modern point of view in matters of law and custom appears to be somewhat in arrears, as measured by the later advance in science and technology.

But just now the attention of thoughtful men cen

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