« VorigeDoorgaan »
-often unhappy ones ; but these are not attitude of “ detachinent,” of a somewhat the main business on hand. That lies in warmer character ; we are sure that he is tracing through delicate and minute ob. on terins of the friendliest intimacy with servation of the surface, the hidden sources Ralph Touchett and Lord Warburton, with that determine action. His imagination, Nick Dormer, and even with poor little which may be held to be wanting in rich- Hyacinth Robinson. ness in certain directions, is of extraordi For the rest, we can feel nothing but nary strength in the conception of these gratitude for the lorg and varied successprings of motive and of conduct, of the sion of portraits that Mr. James hangs beaction and interaction of the human mind. fore our eyes ; bis portraiture is always In the same way, the brilliant procession true and brilliant ; he seizes the salient of heroines that passes through his pages, points with unerring skill, and there are seem to be there less to illustrate a charm- faces and figures in his books that live in ing side of life, than because no picture of our memory as part of the more intimate life, charming or the reverse, is complete experience of life. We can imagine cerwithout them. A good deal might be said tain of his women, in the future, forming about Mr. James's treatment of women. part of the furniture of the nineteenth One's first impression (and even one's last century, as in another at the women of impression, perhaps) is that he treats them Lely and of Reynolds furnish for us the coldly ; that in his moments of keenest court of Charles II., and the social life of insight into their motives and sentiments, George III. It is needless to say that he still views them, as it were, from out- none of these portraits are made to order ; side, and at a distance. This, of course, more than that, Mr. James, as we bare may simply be taken as part of his disin- intimated, shows no special predilection terested treatment in general ; but the for one type over another ; that is the impression of coldness remains, even with good side of the rather melancholy indifthe fresh memory of the tenderness of ference of which we were accusing him touch that goes to the delineation of Miss just now. One of his earliest successes Birdseye and Miss Pynsent, of the genial associated hiin with a certain exceptional mood in which he gives us Olive Chancel- type of the American giil; but admirably* lor and the incomparable Henrietta Stack- as he depicts her, we cannot perceive that pole, and the mingled humor and gentle- he scores successes less admirable, in his ness of his presentment of Pansy Osmond, delineation of types who bave litile in that peerless little flower among jeunes common with Daisy Miller. Nevertheless, filles. For while other authors often leave his heroines being almost exclusively of on our mind a sense of their affection, one nationality--with the exception of the their sympathy with, their admiration for charming Biddy Dormer, English, and their heroines, of their endowing them English again to her very finger-tips, he with delightful qualities for private ends has given us no heroine of importance who of friendship, Mr. James stands aloof from is not American—one or two characterall that. llis women, good and bad, pass istics appear in almost all ; though varybefore him, and he views each in turn ing so much in color and degree in one with a careful and impartial eye ; he cares, and another, that we hardly know how to he gives us to believe, no more for Isabel define them otherwise than as the breath Archer or Madame de Cintré than for of New England animating its daughters. Madame Merle, or Mademoiselle Noémie. This is vague, but i ot more vague perhaps The method has its advantages ; the read- than the impalpable spirit that Mr. James er is never torn in two by the antagonism has caught with so certain an instinct and between his own preferences and those communicated so delicately to every woinforced upon him by the author ; Le could an, young or old, who hails fruin the never hate the worst of Mr. James's wom- Transatlantic shores in his novels. It is en, and he has one or two very bad ones, companion to that hardly less vague, but as he hates the virtuous Laura Bell. And no less certain breath of what we may venyet there are moments when we feel that ture to term the American tradition that he might maintain a rather luss distant futters through Mr. James's volumes ; a attitude. We feel it, because we feel that breath too litule deliberate, too l tl: conthe author's position toward certain of his scious of itself to be ramed Pur tanism, heroes is, without any detriment to the but associated with a certain conception
of the American character that no one has
man. To quote his own words : “ There illustrated more happily than Mr. James is one point where the nioral sense and himself. It might, we say again, be hard the artistic sense lie very pear together ; to define ; it might be difficult to put one's that is, in the light of the very obvious finger on a passage and say : "It is here truth that the deepest quality of a work or there ;"' it may be sumined up finally, of art will always be the quality of the perhaps, in the impression left by the vol. mind of the producer.” It is in this sense umes, as a whole, that the good and evil that we seem to distinguish throughout of the world indifferent to the author as Mr. James's work the faint aroma of the an artist, are not indifferent to him as a Puritan tradition.-Murray's Magazine.
IS MAN THE ONLY REASONER?
BY JAMES SULLY.
THE “ whirligig of time" may be said modern biologist. There is not the least to be bringing to the much-neglected doubt that the wide and accurate observabrutes an ample revenge. The first naïve tion of animal habits by the naturalists of view of the animal mind entertained by the last century has tended to raise very the savage and the child is a respectful greatly our estimate of their mental pow. one, and may perhaps be roughly summed So that it would seem as if in the up in the formula in which a little boy estimation of animal intelligence, scientific once set forth his estimate of equine intel- knowledge is coming round to the opinion ligence : "All horses know soine things of the vulgar, and as if “the conviction that people don't know, and some horses which forces itself upon the stupid and the know inore things than a great many peo. ignorant, is fortified by the reasonings of ple.” But this pristine unsophisticated the intelligent, and has its foundation view of the animal world, though its sur- deepened by every increase of knowlvival may be traced in mythology and re- edge."'* ligious custom, has long since been scouted Definiteness has been given to the quesby philosophers. Thinkers, from Plato tion of the nature of animal intelligence downward, have, not unnaturally perhaps, by the new doctrine of Evolution. regarded the faculty of rational ihought, man is descended from some lower or . which they themselves exhibited in the ganic form, we ought to be able to make highest degree, as the distinguishing pre- out not merely a physical, but a psychical rogative of man. The Christian religion, kinship between liim and the lower cretoo, with its doctrine of immortality for ation ; and the more favorable estimate of nian and for man alone, has confirmed the the animal mind taken by the modern tendency to put the animal mind as far savant is of great assistance here. Mr. below the human as possible. And so we Darwin bas, indeed, shown in his valuable find Descartes setting forth the hypothesis contributions to the subject, that the rude that animals are unthinking automata. germ of all the more characteristic fea
Not forever, however, was the animal tures of the human mind may be discovworld to suffer this indignity at the hands ered in animals. At the same time, Mr. of inan. Thinkers themselves prepared Darwin's investigations in this direction the way for a rapprochement between the amounted only to a beginning. The crux two. More particularly the English phi. of the evolutionist, the tracing of the conlosophers from Locke onwards, together tinuity of crude, formless animal inferwith their French followers, pursuing their ence, up to the highest structural developmodest task of tracing back our most ab- ments of logical or conceptual thought, stract ideas to impressions of sense, may still remained. And so, the most powerbe said by a sort of levelling down proc- ful attack on the theory of man's descent ess, to hare favored the idea of a mental has come from the philosopher, the logikinship between man and brute. This cian, and the metaphysical philologist, work of the philosophers has been supplemented by the levelling-up work of the * Professor Huxley, Hume, p. 104.
who bave combined to urge the old argu- number of psychological distinctions of a ment that conceptual thought indissolubly somewhat technical kind. Of these the bound up with language sets an impassable most important perhaps is that between barrier between man and brute.
the time-honored concept of the logician Mr. Darwin's unfinished work has now and the recept. This last corresponds to been taken up by one who adds to the Mr. Galton's generic image or ihe combiological knowledge of the expert a con mon image (Gemeinbild) of the German siderable acquaintance with psychology. psychologists. It is an image formed out In his previous volume, "Mental Evolu- of a number of slightly dissimilar percepts tion in Animals,” Dr. Romanes took a corresponding to different members of a careful psychological survey of the animal narrow concrete class, such as dog or world for the purpose of tracing out the water. According to our author animal successive grades of its mental life. In reasoning remains on the plane of recepts. his recent volume, “ Mental Evolution in It is carried on by pictorial representaMan" (Origin of Human Faculty), he es tions. At the same time it involves a tays to trace forward this general more process of classification or generalizing. ment of mental evolution to the point A diving-bird must be supposed to have a where logical reasoning or “conceptual generalized idea (recept) of water, a duy thought” may be distinctly seen to å generalized idea of man, and so forth. emerge. That is to say, he adroitly seeks Nay more, this receptual ideation enables to leap the “impassable" barrier by the animal to reach "unperceived abstracmerely denying its existence. Human tions," as the idea of the quality of holreasoning and animal inference are not lowness in the ground, and even generic two widely dissimilar modes of intellec- ideas of principles," as when the writer's tion. The one is merely a more complex own monkey having discovered the way expansion of the other. If you start to take the handle out of the hearth-brush either at the human or the animal bank by unscrewing it, proceeded to apply the you can pass to the opposite one by a principle of the screw to the fire-irons, series of stepping-stones. In other words, bell-bandle, etc. the higher human product can be seen to The author's whole account of this rehave been evolved out of the lower by a ceptual ideation or the logic of recepts is continuous process of growth.
interesting and persuasive. He bas, it Dr. Romanes' present contribution to must be owned, clearly made out the exthe theory of evolution is thus emphati- istence of a very creditable power among cally the construction of hypothetical step- aniinals of carrying out processes analogous ping-stones for the purpose of passing to our own reasonings without any aid smoothly from the territory of animal to from language. Yet a doubt inay be enthat of human reasoning. In order to tertained whether the author has really this, he has on the one hand to follow up got at the bottom of these mental feats. animal intellection to its most noteworthy The whole account of the recept is a little achievements, and on the other hand to unsatisfactory, owing to the circumstance trace the process of human intellection that the writer does not make it quite down to its crudest forms in the individ. clear in what sense it involves generalizaual and in the race.
tion. He writes in sonje places as if the As it is obviously langnage which marks fact of the generic image having been off human thought from its analogue in formed out of a number of percepts correthe animal world, our author is naturally sponding to different members of a class, concerned to liinit the function of lan- e.g. different sheets of water seen by the guage. While allowing as a matter of diving-bird, gives it a general representacourse that the conceptual thought” of tive character. But this, as indeed Dr. the logician involves language as its proper Romanes himself appears to recognize in instrument or vehicle, he urges that there other places, is by no means a necessary is a good deal of rudimentary generalizing consequence. A generic image may form prior to, and therefore independent of, itself more readily than a particular one, language. To establish this a careful ex- just because the animal is unable to noté amination of the higher processes of ani- differences sufficiently to distinguish one mal ideation” has to be carried out. sheet of water or one man from another. In doing this Dr. Romanes introduces a A baby's application of the common epi
thet “ dada” to all bearded persons sug From the recept we pass to the concept, gests not that it is carrying out any proc which, according to our author, is in its ess of conscious generalization, but rather simplest form a named recept. The addithat it is failing to discriminate where tion of the name or sign is thus the differthere are striking and interesting features entiating character of the concept. . We of similarity. It would seem as if an idea may have generic images, but no concepts only acquires a properly general function apart from pames or other signs. after certain higher intellectual processes
In order to understand how the concept have been carried out. These inay be is marked off from the recept we must roughly described as the active manipula- accordingly inquire into the psychological tion of percepts and images, by analytical conditions and concomitants of the naming resolution of these into their constituent process. And this our author does at features, and a due relating or ordering of some length. He gives us a full and dethese elements. Only in this way does it tailed account of names and of signs in appear possible to reach a rudimentary general, distinguishing different grades of form of a properly general notion ; that is sign-making from the merely indicative to say, an idea which is consciously appre- pointing or other gesture up to the behended as representing common features stowal of a general symbol with a conamong a number of distinct objects. Mere sciousness of its significance as connoting superposition of images may result in a certain common qualities. Into much of new typical image ; but the mind in which this it is not needful for us to follow Dr. such an image forms itself cannot know Romanes, but brief reference may be this to be generic or general till these made to one or two points of special improcesses which underlie active thought portance as bearing on the evolution of the have been carried out. Now we ourselves higher conceptual thought. One of the carry out these operations of resolving most curious features of Dr. Romanes' into clements and recombining these ele- theory of concepts and naming is the ments (analysis and synthesis) largely by proposition that the name is bestowed on the help of class-symbols or general the idea, and has for its psychological names, which come to be general symbols condition an act of introspection. He just because we make use of thein for the tells us that before we can bestow a name purpose of noting down and keeping dis on a recept we must be able to set this re. iinct the results of our successive compari cept before our mind as an object of our sons and analyses. And the really press- own thought. Or, to express the truth ing question for the evolutional psycholo- in the author's own words, self-consciousgist is : How does this manipulation of ness is the necessary presupposition of the mind's imagery get carried out where naming and so of conceptual thought. the serviceable instrument of language is Before I can name an idea I inust reflect absent? That it does get carried out to on the idea as mine, and before I can some extent may be readily allowed. A judge in the logical sense, I must realize sagacious and well-bred collie, who com- the truth of the proposition as such, that bines with a judicious preference for his is presumably as truth for me, so that owner a certain mild complacency toward self-consciousness would seem to come in mankind at large (with some possible ex- necessarily at all stages of conceptual ceptions), may be rightly regarded as hav- thought. ing attained to a rudimentary conscious This doctrine seems by no means as ness of the distinction between the general clear and convincing as the author supand the particular, the “class” and its poses. lle is, as he clearly tells us, conconstituent inembers. But how this has
But how this has fining himself to the psychological treatbeen attained Dr. Romanes' account of ment of his subject. This being so, it receptual ideation hardly helps us to un may fairly be urged that in making an act derstand.
of subjective introspection an essential The recept or generic image is the first factor in the process of naming he is psyof the psychological stepping-stones lead- chologically wrong. is a child when ining across the unfordable Rubicon, and it venting a name for his toy-horse or doll is also the principal stepping stone. reflecting on his idea as his and naming Should this prove to be unstable the transit this idea ? Is he not rather thinking would certainly become
become exceedingly wholly about the object, and is not the doubtful.
name given to this external object and not
to the idea in the namer's mind at all ? * of understanding or that of using names, No doubt the completed process of logical to say that it is carrying out in a rudirnenreflection on names and propositions tary way at least these thought-processes. brings in the subjective element, that is How, it may be asked, does Dr. Romanes to say the mind's consciousness of its deal with this point ? ideas and judgments as representations of The answer to this question will be the realities thought about. But this ref- found by turning to new distinctions or erence to self, this act of introspection, so “ stepping-stones” in the movement of far from being involved in every act of thought-evolution. Our author attaches conceptual thonght, is directly excluded importance to the distinction between from it.
higher and lower forms of the concept. This brings one to the next point. In Not only is there the generic image to naming things the mind is busily occupied, carry us on smoothly from image to connot with itself and its ideas, but with the cept, but within the limits of the concept "not-self,” the qualities and relations of itself there are highor and lower forms. the things perceived or represented. And Since, according to our author, a concept this suggests first of all that naming, prop- is any named idea, a proper understanding erly so called, only begins when things of these conceptual grades can only be ohcome to be apprehended as such, that is tained by a glance at bis scheme of names. to say, as wholes or unities. And here the There are, according to Dr. Romanes, question occurs whether an animal, say a four stadia in the evolution of the comdog that is just coming on to understand plete logical sign or general name. OF a name or two, as that of the baby of the these the first is (a) the indicative sign, house, can be said to have an organized that is a significant tone or gesture intenpercept precisely analogous to our own tionally expressive of a mental state, as percepts ? Dr. Romanes does not raise the characteristic tones by which animals the question, but in view of the light express their emotions. These are not thrown by modern psychology on ihe names at all. Next to these in the order complexity of the process of perception, of evolution come (6) denotative signs. it might not have been redundant." But These, whether used by children or aniwaiving this point as possibly smacking mals, e.g. talking birds, simply mark“ parof the frivolous, we have to ask whether ticular objects, qualities, and actions." an animal at the stage of mental develop- They are learned by association, and are ment at which it appears to begin to un- not consciously employed as names. By derstand names, and even to make use of the use of such a sign the talking bird them, is capable of carrying out the proc- merely fixes a vocal mark to a particular esses that go along with, and in fact con- object, quality, or action : it does not exstitute, naming in its true and complete tend the sign to any other similar objects, sense. These processes have already been qualities, or actions of the same class ; referred to in connection with the subject and therefore by its use of that sign does of general ideas. To name an object ap- not really connote anything of the particupears to mean to apprehend that object as lar object, quality, or action which it deà complex of qualities, to make mental notes. Next in order (c) follow connotaseparation of these, and so to relate it to tive signs which involve the “ classificatory other objects both by way of sipilarity attribution of qualities to objects." This (classification) and dissimilarity (individu- attribution of qualities may be effected ation). To use a name intelligently at all either by a receptual or a properly conwould seem to imply that these processes ceptual mode of ideation. For example, have been carried out in a rough fashion a parrot had come to use a barking sound at least. This being so we must be pre- when a particnlar dog appeared on the pared when we endow an animal with the scene. This sign was afterward extended power of naming, whether under the form to other dogs, showing that there was a
certain recognition of the common quali* I believe that observers of cbildren will ties or attributes of the dog. Similarly endorse the remark that children regard names when the writer's own child, among its as objective realities mysteriously bound up first words, used the term star for all them. A nameless object is, for a child, brightly shining objects.
Here again something incomplete-almost uncanny. there was perception of likeness, but no NEW SERIES.–. LIV. No, 6.