CHAPTER V
CONTINGENCY AND CORRELATION -- THE INSUFFICIENCY OF CAUSATION

§ 1. -- The Routine of Perceptions is Relative rather than Absolute

IN the previous chapter we saw the foundation of the idea of causation in the routine of perceptions. There was no inherent necessity in the nature of this routine itself, but failing it the existence of rational beings, capable of conduct became practically impossible. To think may connote existence, but to act, to conduct one's life and affairs, connote of necessity a routine of perceptions. It is this practical necessity, which we have crystallised out as a necessity existing in "things in themselves," and made fundamental in our conception of cause and effect. So all-important is this routine for the conduct of rational beings, that we fail to comprehend a world to which the conception of cause and effect would not apply. We have made it the dominating factor in phenomena, and most of us are firmly convinced not only of its absolute truth, but of its correspondence with some reality lying behind phenomena and at the basis of all existence itself. Yet as we have seen, even in the most purely physical phenomena, the routine is a matter of experience, and our belief in it a conviction based on probability; we can but describe experience, we never reach an "explanation," connoting necessity. Strange as it may seem also when we come to analyse this cause and effect category in actual practise, we find that it slips

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