(Trinity College, Cambridge.) 'I forgot altogether to write any word of comfort about your class: and now hear that the wicked have ceased from troubling you for a season.' Several new ideas have come to him: 1. Commends Lobatchevsky's Etudes géométriques sur la théorie des parallèles, translated by Hoüel. 2. 'The science of continuous quantity is founded on the fact that you may add together a finite number of quantities in any order and they will always come to the same sum.' But Lejeune Dirichlet has pointed out that this is not true of an infinite number of quantities. 'Generally the laws of thought (syllogism, induction κτλ) are very approximately true for all ideas in the immediate neighbourhood of our present set, but more than this may not be affirmed. E.g. a train of syllogisms is not necessarily valid when the number of steps is infinite.' 3. 'Everything is an average, and the entire universe depends on the chance-function e^-x²/c².' 4. 'Our prospective ideas . . . are valuable not quâ accomplished facts of the future, but quâ aspirations of the present. As possibly established they should inspire the same onward shrinking as things actually established.' 5. 'I am a dogmatic nihilist, and shall say the brain is conscious if I like. Only I do not say it in the same sense as that in wh[ich] I say that I am conscious. It seems to me that not even Vogt, however you fix it, can talk about matter for scientific purposes except as a phenomenon; that in saying the brain is conscious-or, better, that you are conscious, I only affirm a correlation of two phenomena, and am as ideal as I can be; that, consequently, a true idealism does not want to be stated, and conversely, an idealism that requires to be stated must have something wrong about it. In the same way to say that there is god apart from the universe is to say that the universe is not god, or that there is no real god at all; it may be all right, but it is atheism. And an idealism which can be denied by any significant aggregation of words is no true idealism.' He and Crotch went to see Body, and were impressed by his 'mystic earnestness and apostleship'. 'The general conclusion is Sunday evening lectures on texts out of the Ethica and social subjects.'
(Partly printed in Lectures and Essays, i. 44–5.)