"The general objection which is made to philosophy's introduction into the regions of taste, is, that it checks and restrains the flights of the imagination, and gives that timidity which an over carefulness not to err or act contrary to reason is likely to produce."
— Reynolds, Joshua (1723-1792)
It is not so. Fear is neither reason nor philosophy. The true spirit of philosophy, by giving knowledge, gives a manly confidence, and substitutes rational firmness in the place of vain presumption. A man of real taste is always a man of judgment in other respects; and those inventions which either disdain or shrink from reason, are generally, I fear, more like the dreams of a distempered brain than the exalted enthusiasm of a sound and true genius. In the midst of the highest flights of fancy or imagination, reason ought to preside from first to last, though I admit her more powerful operation is upon reflexion.
Text from A Discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of the Prizes, Dec. the 10, 1776. By the President. (London: Printed for Thomas Davies, 1775). <Link to ECCO>
See also Sir Joshua Reynolds, Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy by the President (London: T. Cadell, 1778). <Link to Google Books>
Also reading at PGDP.