Deep thought

“Philosophers long ago observed the remarkable fact that mere familiarity with things is able to produce a feeling of their rationality.  The empiricist school has been so much struck by this circumstance as to have laid it down that the feeling of familiarity and the feeling of rationality are one and the same thing, and that no other kind of rationality than this exists.  The daily contemplation of phenomena juxtaposed in a certain order begets an acceptance of their connection, as absolute as the repose engendered by theoretic insight into their coherence.  To explain a thing is to pass easily back to its antecedents; to know it is easily to foresee its consequents.  Custom, which lets us do both, is thus the source of whatever rationality the thing may gain in our thought.”

William James, “The Sentiment of Rationality


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