I do not believe, then, that pure ideas, or pure thought, ever
exercised any influence upon human action. I believe that very much
of what has been presented as philosophic reflection is in effect
simply an idealization, for the sake of emotional satisfaction, of
the brutely given state of affairs, and is not a genuine discovery
of the practical influence of ideas. In other words, I believe it
to be esthetic in type even when sadly lacking in esthetic form.
And I believe it is easy to exaggerate the practical influence of
even the more vital and genuine ideas of which I am about to speak.
But I also believe that there are no such things as pure ideas or
pure reason. Every living thought represents a gesture made toward
the world, an attitude taken to some practical situation in which
we are implicated.
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