Yet, unperceived, Conservatism was advancing.
Atoms, which are never given to any consciousness, he returns the familiar Kantian answer that, though unperceived, they are perceptible.
The second and third species so closely resemble each other, except in size, that their distinctness was for many years unperceived, and in consequence their nomenclature is an almost bewildering puzzle.
Matter, as an abstract, unperceived substance or cause, is shown to be impossible, an unreal conception; true substance is affirmed to be conscious spirit, true causality the free activity of such a spirit, while physical substantiality and causality are held to be merely arbitrary, though constant, relations among phenomena connected subjectively by suggestion or association, objectively in the Universal Mind.
In the philosophies of Descartes and Locke a large share of attention had been directed to the idea of matter, which was held to be the abstract, unperceived background of real experience, and was supposed to give rise to our ideas of external things through its action on the sentient mind.
Knowledge being limited to the ideas produced could never extend to the unperceived matter, or substance, or cause which produced them, and it became a problem for speculative science to determine the grounds for the very belief in its existence.