Augustine rejects all three " theologies " as pagan figments, and not a few church writers follow him in this - borrowing his learning without naming him (e.g.
1873, p. 31 I) which describes" responsibility " or (sic) " moral desert in the vulgar sense" as " horrid figments of the imagination."
These show that the very few facts known with certainty were freely supplemented by a number of ill-founded conjectures, and sometimes even by " figments and falsehoods, which in the earliest times, no less than nowadays, used to be put forth by raw smatterers and copyists to be swallowed of men."
It follows that the crowning science of the hierarchy, dealing with the phenomena of human society, will remain longest under the influence of theological dogmas and abstract figments, and will be the last to pass into the positive stage.
Christendom would welcome gladly the intelligence of a counterpoise arising so unexpectedly to the Mahommedan power; while the statements of the letter itself combined a reference to and corroboration of all the romantic figments concerning Asia which already fed the curiosity of Europe, which figured in the world-maps, and filled that fabulous history of Alexander which for nearly a thousand years supplanted the real history of the Macedonian throughout Europe and western Asia.
This goodness, therefore, alone exists; matter, motion, growth and decay are figments of the senses; they have no existence for Reason.
In ordinary life we may say, " All men are mortal," " All centaurs are figments," " All square circles are impossibilities," " All candidates arriving five minutes late are fined " (the last proposition being an example of the identification of categorical with hypothetical in Keynes's Formal Logic).
Divorced from this they are fairly stigmatized as mental figments or branded as ghostly entities that can but block the path.
Of these, the most prominent are - the proneness to suppose in nature greater order and regularity than there actually is; the tendency to support a preconceived opinion by affirmative instances, neglecting all negative or opposed cases; and the tendency to generalize from few observations, or to give reality to mere abstractions, figments of the mind.
Thus the form of heat or the form of light is the same thing as the law of heat or the law of light."' " Matter rather than forms should be the object of our attention, its configurations and changes of configuration, and simple action, and law of action or motion; for forms are figments of the human mind, unless you will call those laws of action forms."