Page images

had merely been“ wired on ” from the brain of some living been especially examined by Myers, and by such psychologists member of parliament who knew the deceased.

Las Ribot, Janet, Richet, Flournoy and many otbers. Thus telepathy cuts two ways. It is, if accepted, a singular The general result is a normal explanation, not yet complete, discovery, but it throws an enormous burden of proof on a of the phenomena hitherto attributed to witchcraft, inspiration, “ ghost " who wants to establish his identity. In the same way possession, and so forth. Probably the devils, saints, angels telep

t the root of “ clairvoyance," or lucid view of and spirits who have communicated with witches, living saints, events remote in space or distant in time. The vision may demoniacs and visionaries are mere hallucinatory reflections have been “ wired on " telepathically by a living person who from the subconscious self, endowed with its store of latent knew the remote event. The “supranormal" can only be memories and strangely acute percipient faculties. Thus a proved if the information conveyed by the hallucination is curious chapter of human history is at last within possible reach verified in the future, or is proved by the finding of documents of explanation. Men regard phenomena'as“ supranormal" or not known to exist at the time of the hallucination, but after-“ supernatural," or reject them altogether, till their modus is wards discovered. A curious possible instance was the dis- explained. But it would not be candid to say that the explana. covery in 1856 of a MS. inventory of the jewels of Mary Stuart tion is complete, or nearly complete. The nature of the hyp(1566), verifying in some degree a clairvoyant vision about the notic trance itself remains a matter of dispute. The knowledge jewels published some years earlier (see " Queen Mary's Jewels" automatically revealed can by no means always be accounted in the writer's Book of Dreams and Ghosts). For the same for, either by latent memory or by the sharpening of the normal reasons the information nominally given by “spirits" of the faculties of perception, while the limits of telepathy (if it be dead through the mouth or by the automatic writing of Mrs Piper accepted) are vaguely conjectured. Even the results of simple (Boston, U.S.) and other mediums may be explained by tele- experiments in "crystal-gazing" are often very perplexing. pathy from the living who know the facts. This theory was Further experiment may reveal some normal explanation, while rejected, for example, in the case of Mrs Piper, by Myers and scepticism (which seldom takes the trouble to examine the Dr Richard Hodgson, who devoted much time to the examina- alleged facts with any care) can always repose on a theory of tion of the lady (see Proceedings, vols. vi., viž., xiii., xiv., with malobservation and imposture. These, of course, are verac criticisms by Mrs Sidgwick and the present writer in vol. xv. causoe, while in this, as in all provinces of human evidence, pt: xxxvi). In the late Dr Hodgson's opinion, the dead do bad memories and unconscious errors distort the testimony. communicate through the automatic writing or speaking of Psychical research encourages, or ought to encourage, the cool Mrs Piper. The published evidence (much is unpublished) impartiality in examining, collecting and recording facts, which does not seem to justify the conclusion, which is not accepted is usually absent, in greater or "less degree, from the work even by Mrs Piper herself! Dr J. H. Hyslop has published of eminent historians. Men of equal honesty and acuteness enormous and minute reports on Mrs Piper, convincing to may believe or disbelieve in the innocence of Mary Queen of himself but not to most readers.

Scots, or in the "spirits" which control Mrs Piper. As to This leads us to the chief field of research in " automatisms," alleged "physical phenomena ” of unknown cause, one, the or actions of the subconscious or “subliminal ” self. The proto- power of passing without lesion with naked feet over fire, has type of such things is found in the performances of natural recently been attested by numerous competent observers and somnambulists, who in all ages have seemed to exhibit faculties experimenters in the ritual of Fijians and other South Sea beyond their power when in a normal condition. The experi- Islanders, Japanese, Bulgarians, natives of southern India and ments of Mesmer, and of those who followed in his track, down other races. (The evidence has been collected by the present to the psychologists of to-day, proved (what had long been known writer in Proceedings S.P. R. vol. xv. pt. xxxvi. pp. 7-15. to savages and conjurers) that a state of somnambulism could | Compare a case examined and explained more or less by S. P. be induced from without. Moreover, it is proved that certain | Langley, Nature, August 22, 1901.) The much more famous persons can, as it were, hypnotize themselves, even unwittingly, tales of movements of objects untouched have been carefully and pass into trance. In these secondary conditions of trance, examined, and perhaps in no instance have professional persuch persons are not only amenable to “suggestion,” but formers proved innocent of fraud. Yet the best known living occasionally evolve what are called secondary personalities: medium, Eusapia Palladino, though exposed at Cambridge, they speak in voices not their own, and exhibit traits has been rehabilitated, after later experiments, in the opinion of character not theirs, but in harmony with the impersonation of many distinguished Continental observers, who entirely The popular, savage and ancient theory of these phenomena disbelieve in the old theory, the action of " spirits," and venture was that the people thus affected were inspired by a god or no other hypothesis. spirit, or “possessed " by a demon or a dead man. Science The results of psychical research, after several years of work, now regards the gods or demons or spirits as mere exhibi are not really less than could be expected from toil in a field so tions of the secondary personality, which wakens when the | difficult. The theory of alternating, or secondary, personalities normal personality slumbers. The knowledge and faculties | is the key, as we have said, to a strange chapter in “the history of the secondary personality, far exceeding those exhibited in the of human error." The provisional bypothesis of telepathy normal state, are explained to a great extent by the patient's puts a meaning into the innumerable tales of "wraiths" and command, when in the secondary state, of resources latent in of " second sight.” It is never waste of time to investigate the the memory. The same explanation is offered for other pheno- area of human faculty; and practical results, in the medical mena, like those of automatic writing, knocking out answers treatment of abnormal intellectual conditions, have already been by tilting tables, or discovering objects by aid of the “divining obtained. The conduct of our witch-burning ancestors now rod." The muscular actions that tilt the table, or wag the rod, becomes intelligible, a step on the way to being pardonable.

the pencil or planchette, are unconsciously made, and with their methods and inherited prejudices they could se reveal the latent stores of subconscious knowledge, so that a have reasoned otherwise than they did in certain cases of hysteria man writes or knocks out information which he possessed, but and autohypnotization. Many “miracles” of healing and of did not suspect himself of possessing. These processes were "stigmatization” become credible when verified in modern familiar to the Neoplatonists, and in one form or other are experience and explained by “suggestion "; though to “expractised by Chinese, Tibetans, Negroes, Malayans and Melan- plain the explanation " is a task for the future. Such as it is, esians. A similar kind of automatism is revealed in the inspira- the theory was accepted by St Francis de Sales in the case of tions of genius, which often astonish the author or artist himself. St

thor or artist himself. St Theresa. Results of wider range and of more momentous An interesting example has been studied by Myers in the feats interest may yet be obtained. The science of electrical phenoof arithmetic recorded about “calculating boys," who are mena was not developed in a quarter of a century, and it would usually unconscious of their methods. The whole of this vast be premature to ask more from psychical research than it has field of the unconscious, or subconscious, or subliminal self has achieved in a short period. The subject is not readily capable

of exact experiment, human faculty being, as it were, capricious, consciousness at the time, as true sensations are. Also if we consult when compared with ordinary physical processes. Imposture,

the physiologist we learn that there is no evidence of any organ or

"centre" that could be regarded as the “physical basis " of this conscious or unconscious, is also an element of difficulty. But

inner sense; and, if self-consciousness alone is temporarily in abeyalready phenomena which are copiously reported throughoutance and a man merely “beside himself," such state of delirium has the whole course of history have been proved to possess an actual | little analogy to the functional blindness or deafness that constitutes basis in fact, have been classified, and to some extent have been

the temporary suspension of sight or hearing.

To the concept of an internal perception or observation the explained. Even if no light is ever to be cast on spiritual

preceding objections do not necessarily apply--that is to say, this problems, at least the field of psychology has been extended concept may be so defined that they need not. But then in propor

The literature of psychical research is already considerable, tion as we escape the change of assuming a special sense which and a complete bibliography would occupy much space. Readers

furnishes the material for such perception or observation, in that who care to pursue the study will find their best guide in the

same proportion are we compelled to seek for some other mode of Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, which contains

distinguishing its subject-matter. For, so far as the mere mental a catalogue of the society's collection, including the Gurney Library

activity of perceiving or observing is concerned, it is not easy to see (hypnotism), with reviews of modern books in many languages

any essential difference in the process whether what is observed be French, German, Italian, Russian-as they appear. Among

psychical or physical. It is quite true that the so-called psychomodern English books may be recommended Phantasms of the Living,

logical observation is more difficult, because the facts observed are by Gurney, Podmore and Myers; Studies in Psychical Research, by

often less definite and less persistent, and admit less of actual Podmore, with his Apparitions and Thoughl-Transference; and

isolation than physical facts do; but the process of recognizing Principles of Psychology, by Professor William James, of Harvard.

similarities or differences, the dangers of mal-observation or nonThe historical side of the subject, especially as regards the beliefs

observation, are not materially altered on that account. It may of savages and of classical antiquity, may be studied in E. B. Tylor's

be further allowed that there is one difficulty peculiarly felt in Primitive Culture (under " Animism "), in Myers's Classical Essays

psychological observation, the one most inaccurately expressed by (under “Greek Oracles "), and A. Lang's Cock Lane and Common

saying that here the observer and the observed are one. But this Sense, and Making of Religion, Myers's work, Human Personality,

difficulty is surely in the first instance due to the very obvious fact contains vast collections of facts, with a provisional theory. Myers's

that our powers of attention are limited, so that we cannot alter regretted death prevented him from finally revising his book, which

the distribution of attention at any moment without altering the contains certain inconsistencies. It is plain that he tended more

contents of consciousness at that moment. Accordingly, where and more to the belief in the “invasion "and" possession" of living

there are no other ways of surmounting this difficulty, the psychohúman organisms by spirits of the dead. The same tendency

logical observer must either trust to representations at a later time, marks an article on “ Psychical Research," by Sir Oliver Lodge, in

or he must acquire the power of taking momentary glances at the Harper's Magazine (August 1908). Other students can find, in the

psychological aspects of the phase of consciousness in question. evidence cited, no warrant for this return to the “ palaeolithic

And this one with any aptitude for such studies can do with so slight psychology" of " invasion " and " possession." Th. Flournoy's

a diversion of attention as not to disturb very seriously either the Des Indes a la planète Mars is a penetrating study of pseudo-spiritual

given state or that which immediately succeeds it. But very "messages." "A criticism making against the notion of telepathy

similar difficulties have to be similarly met by physical observers in may be found in Herr Parish's Halldcinations and Illusions (Eng.

certain special cases, as, e.g. in observing and registering the phe. trans.). Some errors and confusions in this work (due in part to the

nomena of solar eclipse; and similar aptitudes in the distribution of expansion of the original text) are noted in A. Lang's Making of

attention have to be acquired, say, by extempore orators or skilful Religion, appendix A. Such topics as TELEPATHY, CRYSTAL

surgeons. Just as little, then, as there is anything that we can with GAZING, HYPNOTISM, SECOND SIGHT, the POLTERGEIST, &c., are

propriety call an inner sense, just so little can we find in the procese

of inner perception any satisfactory characteristic of the subject

(A. L.) dealt with under separate articles in this work.

matter of psychology. The question still is: What is it that is PSYCHOLOGY (buxh, the mind or soul, and Loyos, theory), perceived or observed ? and the readiest answer of course is: Internal the science of mind, which can only be more strictly defined by

experience as distinguished from external, what takes place in the

mind as distinct from what takes place without an analysis of what "mind” means.

This answer, it must be at once allowed, is adequate for most 1. In the several natural sciences the scope and subject-matter

purposes, and a great deal of excellent psychological work has been of each are so evident that little preliminary discussion is called done without ever calling it in question. But the distinction between

internal and external experience is not one that can be drawn from for. But with psychology, however much it is freed The Science

the standpoint of psychology, at least not at the outset. From Mladfrom metaphysics, this is different. It is indeed

this standpoint it appears to be either (1) inaccurate or (2) not ordinarily assumed that its subject-matter can be at

extra-psychological. . As to (1), the boundary between the internal once defined. “It is what you can perceive by consciousness or and the external was, no doubt, originally the surface of the body, reflection or the internal sense ” says one " just as the subiect. with which the subject or self was identified; and in this sense the matter of optics is what you can perceive by sight.” Or,

terms are of course correctly used. For a thing may, in the same

sense of the word, be in one space and therefore not in-ie. out of "psychology is the science of the phenomena of mind,” we are another; but we express no intelligible relation if we speak of two toid again," and is thus marked off from the physical sciences, things as being one in a given room and the other in last week. Any which treat only of the phenomena of matter." But, whereas one is at liberty to say if he choose that a certain thing is " in his nothing is simpler than to distinguish between seeing and hear

mind "; but if in this way he distinguishes it from something else

not in his mind, then to be intelligible this must imply one of two ing, or between the phenomena of heat and the phenomena of sta

statements either that the something else is actually or possibly gravitation, a very little reflection may convince us that we in some other mind, or, his own mind being alone considered, that cannot in the same fashion distinguish internal from external | at the time the something else does not exist at all. Yet, evident sense, or make clear to ourselves what we mean by phenomena

as it seems that the correlatives in and not-in must apply to the

same category, whether space, time, presentation (or non-presentaof mind as distinct from phenomena of matter.

tion) to a given subject, and so forth, we still find psycho logists To every sense there corresponds a sense-organ; the several more or less consciously confused between "internal," meaning senses are distinct and independent, so that no one sense can add "presented " in the psy hological sense, and "external," meaning lateraalead

to or alter the materials of another: the possession not "not-presented " but corporeal or oftener extra-corporeal.

of five senses, e.g. furnishing no data as to the character But (2), when used to distinguish between presentations (some of External

of a possible sixth. Moreover, sense-impressions are which, or some relations of which with respect to others, are called passively received and occur in the first instance without regard "internal," and others or other relations, "external "), these terms to the feeling or volition of the recipient and without any are at all events accurate; only then they cease to mark off the manner of relation to the " contents of consciousness" at the psychological from the extra-psychological, inasmuch as psychology inoment. Now such a description will apply but very partially to has to analyse this distinction and to exhibit the steps by which it the so-called "internal sense." For we do not by means of it has come about. But we have still to examine whether the distincpassively receive impressions differing from all previous presentation of phenomena of Matter and phenomena of Mind furnishes a tions, as the sensations of colour for one "couched " differ from all better dividing line than the distinction of internal and external. he has experienced before: the new facts consist rather in the | A phenomenon, as commonly understood, is what is manifest, recognition of certain relations among pre-existing presentations, sensible, evident, the implication being that there are eyes to see, j.e. are due to our mental activity and not to a special mode of what ears to hear, and so forth-in other words, that there is

15 Mental and has been called our sensitivity. For when we taste we cannot hear presentation to a subject; and wherever there is presentathat we taste, when we see we cannot smell that we see; but when tion to a subject it will be allowed that we are in the

Material. we taste we may be conscious that we taste, when we hear we may domain of psychology. But in talking of physical phenomena be conscious that we hear. Moreover, the facts so ascertained are we, in a way, abstract from this fact of presentation. Though never independent of feeling and volition and of the contents of consciousness should cease, the physicist would consider the sum

a clumsy and confusing way of facts are ascertaiucu, ...,

total of objects to remain the same: the_orange would still ceases too; had we been born blind, the world would for us have be round, yellow and fragrant as before. For the physicistwhether aware of it or not has taken up a position which for the

had no colour; if deal, it would have had no sounds; if idiotic, it present may be described by saying that phenomenon with him would have had no meaning. Psychology, then, never transcends means appearance or manifestation, or-as we had better say the limits of the individual. But now, though this Berkeleyan object, not for a concrete individual, but rather for what Kant called standpoint is the standpoint of psychology, psychology is not. Bewusstsein überhaupt, or, as some render it, the objective consciousness, i.e. for an imaginary subject freed from all the limitations of

pledged to the method employed by Berkeley and by Locke. actual subjects save that of Depending on "sensibility" for the Psychology may be individualistic without being confined exmaterial os experience. However, this is not all, for, as we shall see clusively to the introspective method. There is nothing to presently, the psychologist also occupies this position;, at least if hinder the psychologist from employing materials furnished by he does not his is not a true science. But, further, the physicist leaves out of sight altogether the facts of attention, feeling, and so

his observations of other men, of infants, of the lower animals, forth, all of which actual presentation entails. From the psycho

ycho or of the insane; nothing to hinder him taking counsel with the logical point of view, on the other hand, the removal of the subject philologist or even the physiologist, provided always he can removes not only all such facts as attention and feeling, but all show the psychological bearings of those facts which are not presentation or possibility of presentation whatever. Surely, then, to call a certain object, when we abstract from its presentation, a

directly psychological. The standpoint of psychology is indimaterial phenomenon, and to call the actual presentation of this vidualistic; by whatever methods, Irom whatever sources. Its object a mental phenomenon, is a clumsy and confusing way of facts are ascertained, they must-to have a psychological im. representing the difference between the two points of view. For port--be regarded as having place in, or as being part of, some the terms material" and "mental" seem to imply that the two so-called phenomena have nothing in common, whereas the same

one's consciousness or expericnce. In this sense, i.e. as presented object is involved in both, while the term “phenomenon" implies

to an individual, “the whole choir of heaven and furniture of that the point of view is in each case the same, when in truth what earth” may belong to psychology, but otherwise they are is emphasized by the one the other ignores.

psychological nonentities. In defining psychology, however, 2. Paradoxical though it may be, we must then conclude that

the propriety of avoiding the terms mind or soul, which it psychology cannot be defined by reference to a special subject

implies, is widely acknowledged; mind because of the disastrous

dualism of mind and matter, soul because of its metaphysical Standpolat matter as such concrete sciences, for example, as of Psycho- mineralogy and botany can be; and, since it deals in

associations. Hence F. A. Lange's famous mot : modern logy. . some sort with the whole of experience, it is obviously

psychology is Psychologie ohne Scele. But consciousness, which not an abstract science in any ordinary sense of that term. To be

is the most frequent substitute, is continually confused with selfcharacterized at all, therefore, apart from metaphysical assump

consciousness, and so is apt to involve undue stress on the subtions, it must be characterized by the standpoint from which this

jective as opposed to the objective, as well as to emphasize the experience is viewed. It is by way of expressing this that

cognitive as against the coiative factors. Experience, it is

maintained, is a more fundamental and less ambiguous term. widely different schools of psychology define it as subjective, all other positive sciences being distinguished as objective.

| Psychology then is the science of individual experience. The But this seems scarcely more than a first approximation to the

problem of psychology, in dealing with this complex subject. truth, and, as we have seen incidentally, is apt to be misleading.

matter, is in general--first, to ascertain its ultimate constituents, The distinction rather is that the standpoint of psychology is

and, secondly, to determine and explain the laws of their what is sometimes termed “individualistic,” that of the so-called

interaction. object-sciences being " universalistic," both alike being objective

General Analysis. in the sense of being truc for all, consisting of what Kant would 3. In secking to make a first general analysis of experience, call judgments of experience. For psychology is not a we must start from individual human experience, for this alone biography in any sense, still less a biography dealing with is what we immediately know. From this standpoint we must idiosyncrasies, and in an idiom having an interest and a endeavour to determine the “irreducible minimum ” involved, meaning for one subject only, and incommunicable to any so that our concept may apply to all lower forms of experia other. Locke, Berkeley and Hume have been severely handledence as well. Etymologically experience connotes practical acbecause they regarded the critical investigation of knowledge as quaintance, efficiency and skill as the result of trial--usually a psy

logical problem, and set to work to study the individual repeated trial--and effort. Many recent writers on comparative mind simply for the sake of this problem. But none the less psychology propose to make evidence of experience in this their standpoint was the proper one for the science of psychology sense the criterion of psychical life. The ox knoweth his owner itself; and, however surely their philosophy was foredoomed to a and the ass his master's crib, and so would pass muster; but the collapse. there is no denying a steady psychological advance as ant and the bee, who are said to learn nothing, would, in spite we pass from Locke to Hume and his modern representatives of their marvellous instinctive skill, be regarded as mere autoBy “idea ” Locke tells us he means “Whatsoever is the object mata in Descartes's sense. That this criterion is decisive on the of the understanding when a man thinks” (i.e. is conscious), and positive side will hardly be denied; the question how far it is having, as it were, shut himself within such a circle of ideas he available negatively we must examine later on. But it will be finds himself powerless to explain his knowledge of a world that well first briefly to note some of the implications of this positive is assumed to be independent of it; but he is able to give a very criterion: Experience is the process of becoming expert by erperigood. account of some of these ideas themselves. He cannot ment. The chief implication, no doubt, is that which in psychojustify his belief in the world of things whence certain of his | logical language we express as the duality of subject and object. simple ideas “ were conveyed ” any more than Robinson Crusoe Looking at this relation as the comparative psychologist has to could have explored the continents whose products were drifted do, we find that it tallies in the main with the biological relation to his desert island, though he might perhaps survey the island of organism and environment. The individuality of the organitself well enough. Berkeley accordingly, as Professor Fraser ism corresponds to, though it is not necessarily identical with, happily puts it, abolished Locke's hypothetical outer circle. the psychological subject, while to the environment and its Thereby he made the psychological standpoint clearer than changes corresponds the objective coninuum or lolum objectivum ever-hence the truth of Hume's remark, that Berkeley's argu- as we shall call it. This correspondence further helps as to see ments "admit of no answer"; at the same time the epistemo- still more clearly the error of regarding individual experience as logical problem was as hopeless as before hence again the truth wholly subjective, and at the same time helps us to find some of Hume's remark that those arguments "produced no con- measure of truth in the naive realism of Common Sense. As viction.” Of all the facts with which he deals, the psychologist these points have an important bearing on the connexion of may truly say that their esse is percipi, inasmuch as all his facts psychology and epistemology, we may attempt to elucidate are facts of presentation, are ideas in Locke's sense, or objects | them more fully. which imply a subject. Before we became conscious there was no Though it would be unwarrantable to resolve a thing, as some world for us; should our consciousness cease, the world for us have done, into a mere meeting-point of relations, yet it is

perhaps as great a mistake to assume that it can be anything deter-transsubjective and objective, as these occur in psychological or minate in itself apart from all relations to other things. By the epistemological discussions. For the psychologist must mainphysicist this mistake can hardly be made: for him action and tain that no experience is merely subjective: it is only epistemoreaction are strictly correlative: a material system can do no logists (notably Kant) who so describe individual experience, work on itself. For the biologist, again, organism and environ because objects experienced in their concrete particularity perment are invariably complementary. But in psychoiogy, when tain, like so many idiosyncrasies, to the individual alone. In presentations are regarded as subjective modifications, we have contrast with this, epistemologists then describe universal this mistaken isolation in a glaring form, and all the hopeless experience-the objects in which are the same for every experient difficulties of what is called “subjective idealism" are the result. -as objective experience par excellence. And so has arisen the Subjective modifications no doubt are always one constituent time-honoured opposition of Sense-knowledge and Thoughtof individual experience, but always as correlative to objective knowledge: so too has arisen the dualism of Empiricism and modifications or change in the objective continuum. If experi. Rationalism, which Kant sought to surmount by logical analysis.

| It is in the endeavour to supplement this analysis by a psychosubjective itself be meaningless, not merely would the concep-| logical genesis that the terms intersubjective and transsubjective tion of the objective never arise, but the entirely impersonal and prove useful. The problem for psychology is to ascertain the intransitive process that remained, though it might be described successive stages in the advance from the one form of experience as absolute becoming, could not be called even solipsism, least or knowledge to the other. “When ten men look at the sun or of all real experience. Common Sense, then, is right in positing, the moon," said Reid, "they all see the same individual object." wherever experience is inferred, (1) a factor answering to what | But according to Hamilton this statement is not " philosophically we know as self, and (2) another factor answering to what each correct ... the truth is that each of these persons sees of us knows as the world. It is further right in regarding the a different object.... It is not by perception but by a process world which each one immediately knows as a coloured, of reasoning that we connect the objects of sense with existences sounding, tangible world, more exactly as a world of sensible beyond the sphere of immediate knowledge."'? Now it is to qualities. The assumption of naive realism, that the world as this “beyond " that the term transsubjective is applied, and the each one knows it exists as such independently of him, is question before us is: How do individual subjects thus get questionable. But this assumption goes beyond individual beyond the immanence or immediacy with which all experience experience, and does not, indeed could not, arise at this begins? By a process of reasoning," it is said. But it is at standpoint.

least true in fact, whether necessarily true or not, that such Answering to the individuality and unity of the subjective reasoning is the result of social intercourse. Further, it will be factor, there is a corresponding unity and individuality of the generally allowed that Kant's Analytik, before referred to, has objective. Every Ego has its correlative Non-Ego, whence in made plain the insufficiency of merely formal reasoning to yield the end such familiar saying as quot homines tot sententiae and the categories of Substance, Cause and End, by which we the like. The doctrine of Leibnitz, that " each monad is a pass from mere perceptual experience to that wider experience living mirror.. i representative of the universe according to which transcends it. And psychology, again, may claim to have its point of view," will, with obvious reservations, occur to many shown that in fact these categories are the result of that as illustrative here. In particular, Leibnitz emphasized onc rcflective self-consciousness to which social intercourse first point on which psychology will do well to insist. “Since the gives rise. world is a plenum," he begins, “ all things are connected together But such intercourse, it has been urged, presupposes the common and everybody acts upon every other, more or less, according ground between subject and subject which it is meant to explain. to their distance, and is affected by their reaction; hence each

How, it is asked, if every subject is confined to his own unique monad is a living mirror,'' &c. Subject and Object, or (as it

experience, docs this intersubjective intercourse ever arise ? If no

progress towards intellective synthesis were possible before interwill be clearer in this connexion to say) Ego and Non-Ego, are subjective intercourse began, such intercourse, as presupposing then not merely logically a universe, but actually the universe, something more than immediate sense-knowledge, obviously never so that, as Leibnitz put it, “ He who sees all could read in each could begin. Let us illustrate by an analogy, which Leibnitz's

association of experience with a "point of view" at once suggests, what is happening everywhere" (Monadology, 61). Though

JE it were possible for the terrestrial astronomer to obtain observaevery individual experience is unique, yet the more Ego, is tions of the heavens from astronomers in the neighbouring stars, similar to Egoz the more their complementaries Non-Egoi, Non he would be able to map in three dimensions constellations which Egou are likewise similar; much as two perspective projections

now he can only represent in two. But unless he had ascertained

unaided the heliocentric parallax of these neighbouring stars, he are more similar the more adjacent their points of sight, and

would have no mcans of distinguishing them as near from the distant more similar as regards a given position the greater its distance myriads besides, or of understanding the data he might receive; and from both points. No doubt we must also make a very exten unless he had first of all determined the still humbler geocentric sive use of the hypothesis of subconsciousness, just as Leibnitz

parallax of our sun, those heliocentric parallaxes would have been did, before we can say that the universe is the objective factor

unattainable. So in like manner we may say "intersubjective

parallax " presupposcs what we may call “subjective parallax," in each and every individual's experience. But we shall have

and even this the psychological duality of object and subject. But in any case to allow that, besides the strictly limited "content" such subjective parallax or acquaintance with other like selves is rising above the threshold of consciousness, there is an indefinite

the direct outcome of the extended range in time which memory extension of the presentational continuum beyond it. And the

proper secures; and when in this way sell has become an object,

resembling objects become other selves or "ejects," to adopt with Leibnitzian Monadology helps us also to clear up a certain con

slight modification a term originated by the late W. K. Clifford, fusion that besets terms such as “content of conscious

We may be quite sure that his faithful dog is as little of a solipsist or “finite centre of experience" -a barbarous but intelligible as the noble savage whom he accompanies. Indeed, the rudiments phrase that has recently appeared--the confusion, that is, with

of the social factor are, if we may judge by biological evidence, to

be found very carly. Sexual union in the physiological sense occurs a mosaic of mutually exclusive areas, or with a scheme of mutu

in all but the lowest Metazoa, pairing and courtship are frequent ally exclusive logical compartments. Consciousnesses, though among insects, while ". amor in one respect mutually exclusive, do not limit each other in this

the stickleback with his rivals, his captivating manauvres to lead fashion. For there is a sense in which all individual experiences

the female to the nest which he has built, his mad dance of passion

around her, and his subsequent jealous guarding of the nest, have are absolutely the same, though relatively different as 10

often becn observed and admired." . Among birds and mammals their point of view, i.e. as to the manner in which for each the same absolute whole is sundered into subjective and objective | Lectures on Mela physics, ii. 153., factors.

3 And it is precisely for want of this mediation that Kant's “ two This way of looking at the facts of mind helne again to dispel stems of human knowledge, which perhaps may spring from a common

but to us unknown root," leave epistemology still more or less the obscurity investing such terms as subjective, intersubjective, hampered with the old dualism of sense and understanding 1 Principles of Nature and Grace, $ 3.

Evolution of Sex, by Geddes and Thomson, Ist ed. p. 265

we find not merely that these psychological aspects of sexual life, which make up its corporcal existence."And, inasmuch as its are greatly extended, but we find also prolonged education of off presentation to any one in particular is a point of no importspring by parents and imitation of the parents by offspring. Evenance, the fact of presentation at all may be very well dropped language, or, at any rate “the linguistic impulse," is not wholly out of account. Let us now turn to psychology: Why should we absent among brutes. Thus as the sensori-motor adjustments of not here follow Huxley and take " the word soul' simply as a the organism to its environment generally advance in complexity name for the series of mental phenomena which make up an indiand range, there is a concomitant advance in the variety and vidual mind "?3 Surely the moment we try distinctly to underintimacy of its relations specially with individuals of its kind. It is stand this question we realize that the cases are different. Series therefore reasonable to assume no discontinuity between phases of of mental phenomena " for whom? For any passer-by such as experience that for the individual are merely objective and phases might take stock of our biological dog ? No, obviously only for that are also ejective as well; and once the ejective level is attained, that individual mind itself; yet that is supposed to be made up of, some interchange of experience is possible. So disappears the great to be nothing different from, the series of phenomena. Are we, gulf fixed betwixt subjective or individual and intersubjective or then, (1) quoting J. S. Mill's words, “to accept the paradox that universal experience by rival systems in philosophy.

something which ex hypothesi is but a series of feelings, can be

aware of itself as a scrics"? Or (2) shall we say that the several 4. From this preliminary epistemological discussion we may

parts of the series are mutually phenomenal, much as A may look pass on to the psychological analysis of experience itself. As at B, who was just now looking at A? Or (3) finally, shall we say to this, there is in the main substantial agreement; the ele that a large part of the so-called series, in fact every term but one, mentary facts of mind cannot be expressed in less than three

is phenomenal for the rest for that one?

As to the first, paradox is too mild a word for it; even contradiction propositions—“I feel somehow," " I know something," "I do

will hardly sufhce. It is as impossible to express " being aware of " something." But here at once there arises an important ques by one term as it is to express an equation or any other relation by tion, viz. What after all are we to understand by the subject one term: what knows can no more be identical with what is known of these propositions? The proposition “I feel somehow " is

than a weight with what it weighs. If a series of feelings is what

is known or presented, then what knows, what it is presented to, not equivalent to “I know that I feel somehow." To identify

cannot be that series of feelings, and this without regard to the point the two would be to confound consciousness with self-conscious Mill mentions, viz. that the infinitely greater part of the series is ncss. We are no more confined to our own immediate observa either past or future. The question is not in the first instance one tions here than elsewhere; but the point is that, whether seeking

of time or substance at all, but simply turns upon the fact that

knowledge or consciousness is unmeaning except as it implies someto analyse one's own consciousness or to infer that of a lobster,

thing knowing or conscious of something. But it may be replied: whether discussing the association of ideas or the expression Granted that the formula for consciousness is something doing someof emotions, there is always an individual self or “subject " in thing, to put it generally; still, if the two somethings are the same question. It is not enough to talk of feelings or volitions:

when I touch myself or when I see myself, why may not agent and

patient be the same when the action is knowing or being aware of; what we mean is that some individual-man or worm-feels,

why may I not know mysell-in fact, do I not know myself? Cer. strives, acts, thus or thus. Obvious as this may seem, it has tainly not; agent and patient never are the same in the same act; been frequently either forgotten or gainsaid. It has been such terms as self-caused, sell-moved, sell-known, et id genus omne, forgotten among details or through the assumption of a medley

either connote the incomprehensible or are abbreviated expressions

-as, e.g. touching onesell when one's right hand touches one's left. of faculties, each treated as an individual in turn, and among

And so we come to the alternative: As one hand washes the which the real individual was lost. Or it has been gainsaid, other, may not different members of the series of feelings be subject because to admit that all psychological facts pertain to an and object in turn? Compare, for example, the state of mind of a experiencing subject or experient seemed to imply that they

man succumbing to temptation (as he pictures himself enjoying

the coveted good and impaticntly repudiates scruples of conscience pertained to a particular spiritual substance, which was simple,

or dictates of prudence) with his state when, filled with remorse, he indestructible, and so forth; and it was manifestly desirable sides with conscience and condemns this " former self "-the to exclude such assumptions from psychology as a science “ better self" having meanwhile become supreme. Here the cluster aiming only at a systematic exposition of what can be known of presentations and their associated sentiments and motives, which

together played the role of self in the first situation, have only and verified by observation. But, however, much assailed or

momentarily it may be true, but still have-for the time the place Subject or

w disowned, the concept of a “mind” or conscious of not-self; and under abnormal circumstances this partial alterna" subject is to be found implicitly or explicitly in all tion may become complete alienation, as in what is called “ double psychological writers whatever-not more in Berke

consciousness." Or again, the development of scil-consciousness

might be loosely described as taking the subject or self of one stage ley, who accepts it as a fact, than in Hume, who treats it as a

as an object in the next-sell being, e.g. first identified with the fiction. This being so, we are far more likely to reach the truth body and afterwards distinguished from it. But all this, however eventually if we openly acknowledge this inexpugnable assump true, is beside the mark; and it is really a very serious misnomer to tion, if such it prove, instead of resorting to all sorts of devious

speak, as' e.g. Herbert Spencer does, of the development of self

consciousness as a “ differentiation of subject and object." It is, if periphrases to hide it. Now wherever the word Subject, or

anything, a differentiation of object and object, i.e. in plainer its derivatives, occurs in psychology we might substitute the words, it is a differentiation among presentations--a difierentiation word Ego and analogous derivatives, did such exist. But every step of which implies just that relation to a subject which it is Subject is almost always the preferable term; its impersonal | supposed to supersede.

There still remains the alternative, expressed in the words of J. S. form is an advantage, and it readily recalls its modern correlative

Mill, viz. " the alternative of believing that the Mind or Egois someObject. Moreover, Ego has two senses, distinguished by Kant thing different from any series of feelings or possibilities of them." as pure and empirical, the latter of which was, of course, an object, To admit this, of course, is to admit the necessity of distinguishing the Me known, while the former was subject always, the I know

between Mind or Ego, meaning the unity or continuity of conscious

ness as a complex of presentations, and Mind or Ego as the subject ing. By pure Ego or Subject it is proposed to denote here the

to which this complex is presented. In dealing with the body from simple fact that everything experienced is referred to a Self the ordinary biological standpoint no such necessity arises. But, experiencing. This psychological concept of a self or subject, whereas there the individual organism is spoken of unequivocally, then, is after all by no means identical with the metaphysical | in psychology, on the other hand, the individual mind may mean

either (i.) the series of feelings or “ mental phenomena " above concepts of a soul or mind-atom, or of mind-stuff not atomic;

referred to; or (ii.) the subject of these feelings for whom they are it may be kept as free from metaphysical implications as the

phenomena; or (ii.) the subject of these feelings or phenomena plus concept of the biological individual or organism with which it is the series of feelings or phenomena themselves, the two being in that so intimately connected.

relation to each other in which alone the one is subject and the

other a series of feelings, phenomena or objects. It is in this last The attempt, indeed, has frequently been made to resolve the sense that Mind is used in empirical psychology. Its exclusive use former into the latter, and so to find in mind only such an indi in the first sense is favoured only by those who shrink from the viduality as has an obvious counterpart in this individu

speculative associations connected with its exclusive use in the extrude the ality of the organism, i.e. what we may call an objective

individuality. But such procedure owes all its plausi-
bility to the fact that it leaves out of sight the dif.

'T. H. Huxley, Hume, “ English Men of Letters Series," (1879), ference between the biological and the psychological standpoints.

p. 171. All that the biologist means by a dog is "the sum of the phenomena

• Huxley, op. cit. p. 172.

Examination of Sir W. Hamilton's Philosophy, ch. xii. fin. iCf. Darwin, Descent of Man, i. 56.

A meaning better expressed, as said above, by experience.




All the between the the fact te such proa

« PreviousContinue »