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good result flowed from the publication of into the House of Lords, the forced resige this manifesto: it restarted the govern- nation of his secretaryship, we must needs ment well after some weakening seces. hope that the other thing does not account sions. But the presumption must be that for it. its writer knew that the lofty, defiant spirit Whether calculation (i.e., judicious calof that despatch would not or could not be culation, sound inference) or whether mere carried out; for there was never a mo- weakness and weariness of home affairs ment when the carrying of it out was at- explains Lord Salisbury's indifference to tempted. It was not that, however, which the sapping of his own party of late, is an chilled the relations of the country with open question. The probability is that he Lord Salisbury. It is a sensible country, is too much absorbed in foreign affairs to and never loses sight of the fact that the care for what happens in England; or noblest aims and endeavors of its rulers rather that, to his view, the maintenance are sometimes confronted by insuperable of a certain line of foreign policy is so difficulties. The chill came with the (sur- profoundly important, the disturbance of reptitious) publication of a surrendering it would be so fatal a misfortune for the secret agreement with Russia, which must whole empire, that he willingly assents to have been concluded immediately after any means of keeping out the dreaded disthe publication of the defiant manifesto turber which his party managers represent above mentioned ; and yet more chilling as hopeful. That, and not mere weakness was the daringly deceptive way in which before the “ bluffing" of Liberal Unionist Lord Salisbury answered an inquiry Radicals, may be the explanation, and about it in the House of Lords.
probably is. But if so, we have another It was mainly on this account, perhaps, illustration of the Elizabethan Italianism that there was no unanimity of choice of Lord Salisbury's mind. But for that, when the Conservatives had to appoint a there seems to be no reason why he should leader after Lord Beaconsfield's decease. not take his fellow.countrymen into his But other considerations were at work ; confidence, explain the present position of not the least of which was that Lord Bea- Great Britain in relation to other powers, consfield was understood to have made and say why he thinks the incoming of a known a decided preference for Sir Staf. Gladstone government would probably be ford Northcote, which we believe was the followed by untoward complications and fact. What contentions and heart-burn- threatening movements. In doing so he ings there were before the leadership would give no information to foreign gove question was settled is known to many, ernments, who of course know all that he and to dwell upon them would be neither could tell us on such points; while it is pleasant por profitable. The stronger man extremely likely that he would secure a took the succession - perhaps both the support at home which he forfeits by siwiser and the stronger, though that is lence and secrecy, and which may not be doubtful. Lord Salisbury's management made up to him by the dubious ingenui. of affairs since then, and his own part in ties of his colleagues in the House of Com. the more striking incidents of his admin- mons. But then, to abandon silence and istration, are fresh in every memory; and secrecy, to limit the field of ingenious they are seen to agree with all reasonable alternative and things of that sort, would aoticipation from his previous "record.” not accord with Lord Salisbury's idea of A strong intellect does not always imply statesmanship, and it would destroy bis strong character, but wherever weakness enjoyment of the game. Palmerston's appears the symptoms may really arise way is not his way. from nothing more than suppleness and However, it may be that Lord Salisbury subtlety. This, perhaps, is why even will bave something to say to the country those who are able to observe Lord Salis- about foreign affairs yet. It will be surbury from a comparatively narrow dis- prising, indeed, if he do not speak bis tance find it so difficult to make up their mind on that subject before the elections, minds about him. The way in which he since the country is quite prepared to hear yielded to the extravagant and humiliating that certain European powers look to the dictation of Lord Randolph Churchill at result of the approaching contest as deter. one time may be explained either by rad- mining their own course of action; which ical weakness or the other thing. And may be pleasant or otherwise. Meanwhile when we think of Sir Stafford Northcote's the general belief is that Lord Salisbury deposition, the cruel hoisting of him (a has conducted the business of the Foreign comparatively poor country gentleman) Office with singular ability; the proof of
which is that, like other European nations,
From The Fortnightly Review. we are at peace. The cession of Heligo
MENTAL IMAGERY. land remains a puzzle for Britons, and there again the question arises whether weakness under pressure or supple subtlety ac- What takes place in our mind when we counted for a very remarkable transaction. think? In other words, what is thought? The truth seems to be, however, that what The question seems at first sight very Lord Randolph Churchill was to Lord difficult to answer, for thought is an interSalisbury at home, the German emperor pal phenomenon, impossible to take hold has been to him abroad; and though the of, to touch, and to measure. Nevertheprestige of both has dwindled it is not less, contemporary psychologists have certain that both have lost the power to succeeded by different means, of which “bounce.” For the rest, all that was some are highly ingenious, to study in its troublesome in our dealings with Germany every detail the mechanism of human in Africa has lost importance, - mainly thought. I should like to offer a brief through the superior wisdom of our tradaccount of these researches, considered ers; and an impartial review of the quar. by competent persons as being the most rel with Portugal inspires belief that Lord important, the most pregnant, and most Salisbury is capable of conducting a diffi- precise in the whole domain of psychology, cult quarrel (as that was, much more than The nature and character of ideas and it appeared to the public) with skill and the manner in which they vary in different courage.
individuals; the special parts of the brain The laborious statesman is not always in which are situated the organs of idea. the most successful, but industry is a tion; the relations uniting the idea with merit, and commonly a safeguard.' Lord external perception and with hallucina. Salisbury is a hard-working man, who tion; all this has been determined with a measures work not by the hours of labor great appearance of accuracy. Much, but by the outcome thereof. He has been therefore, has been done in this connecsecretary for India twice — on one occa- tion; and although much still remains to sion in no humdrum times, for of course be done, the sum of our knowledge has inthe whole future of India had to be con- creased very remarkably since the days of sidered and reconsidered when the Russo- Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, with Turkish war was impending, and while it their speculations on the nature of ideas. went on; and the report of those who Nothing is more interesting for the know is that he served the department philosopher than to follow attentively with a wise and laborious care. No class throughout the course of history the evoof men in England produces a larger pro- lution of this great psychological inquiry. portion of first-rate men of business than It is not my intention to enter into any her greater nobles. Lord Salisbury's minute details in the matter; to point out aptitude for business has been strikingly the principal stages of the progression illustrated in the management of railway will be sufficient, dwelling more particuaffairs, and Lord Derby himself is hardly larly on the methods employed in order to more competent to become his own stew-arrive at a knowledge of the truth. These ard. At the present moment he is stew- means or methods have been very varied, ard for something more than an estate in very unforeseen, and, as was said'above, in houses and land; and we should be more many cases of the most ingenious nature ; than satisfied with him as foreign minister each one of the writers who have assoif we could be sure that he is never guilty ciated their name with the study of mental in diplomatic intercourse of the astounding imagery having only succeeded in advance errors he commits in public speech, if we ing our knowledge of the question by incould convince ourselves that his flexibility venting some personal method different is not weakness, and if he did not think it from that employed by his predecessors. bis part as a great statesman and a Cecil la devoting a few words of description to to move in a mysterious way his wonders each method in turn, it will be seen which to perform. Simple strength and a candid have been defective, and which, on the carriage, that is what we love in England. other hand, have been more especially Suppleness, subtleties, wheels within efficient. wheels, workings behind the veil — these The method made use of by the earlier are not liked so much, even though the psychologists is well known under the result is not inferior to that which open, name of " introspection." It was practised bold, straightforward
sense with considerable intelligence and pede. achieves.
tration by the thinkers of the Scotch LIVING AGE. VOL. LXXIX. 4087
school, and, prior to them, by the philoso- great number of comparisons calculated to phers whom I have named above, Hobbes, show the material nature of images. Thus Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. To this day he compares the phenomenon of the men. it is the only means of research employed tal image to the faithful reproduction of by a large number of philosophers who an object in a mirror, or to the reflection are unwilling or unable to institute regular of the sun in water. He carries these experiments. The method of introspec-similitudes to such a length as to say that tion is very simple : it consists, as the if it be desired to see a thing clearly, one name indicates, in analyzing one's own in- must have a clear mental vision of it. To terior processes of thought. In order to fail to understand some difficult thing, as, study some particular mental phenome- for example, a complicated piece of reanon, such as a wish or a recollection, for soning, is equivalent to seeing it badly. example, the thinker inquires of himself Both Locke and Berkeley, later, adopted what his own thoughts are on the subject. and extended the application of this theory As a method of mental inquiry, introspec. of Hobbes'. tion has its advantages and its drawbacks. Hume went a little further in psychoBut, however it may be judged, it is one logical observation, or, at all events, de. of the indispensable processes of psychol. duced from it certain logical consequences ogy; for without it we should never have of singular boldness. His predecessors known what an idea is, or a sentiment, or had merely concluded that thought is in. a psychological phenomenon of any kind. terior vision. Hume stated further that We must have felt and studied a sentiment whatever cannot be seen with either the in ourselves before we can expect to know interior or the exterior vision does not what it is. Thus who can tell what jeal- exist. It is for this reason that he does not ousy is, or love, if he has never been recognize the existence of any abstraceither in love or jealous ? These phe- tion, such as, for example, the relation of nomena are not open to external observa. cause to effect, or the existence of the ego tion, nor can their effects be appreciated apart from the phenomenal. One cannot in others till we have learnt to recognize see the casual relation, says Hume, nor can the same by looking carefully into our one represent it to one's mind under any owo bosoms.
visible form; consequently it is neither a Iotrospection, then, was the path fol. sensation nor an idea; consequently it lowed by the earlier English thinkers in does not exist. The non-existence of the their attempt to discover the true nature ego is demonstrated by a similar process of thought. Expressions such as the fol- of reasoning. lowing occur very frequently in their My object not being to attempt a philoworks: “If one examines the operations sophical discussion, I shall devote no part of one's own mind," or "if we look into of my space to examining these opinions ourselves,” etc. Nowhere in their writ. of Hume's. I have merely been desirous ings is any allusion made to direct experi- of showing, after Mr. Fraser, from whose mentation. This introspection of theirs pages I have borrowed many of the predid not lead them entirely astray. ceding details, that a simple psychological Through it they learned one most interest. question, like that of the nature of ideas, ing fact, since amply confirmed, but which may serve, so to speak, as the keystone of we at the present day interpret in a some. a vast philosophic structure. what different sense; for all these earlier Modern psychological inquiry has shown psychologists, in seeking to explain the that there is a large share of truth in the nature of thought, make use of the conclusions of Hobbes and his succes. same striking comparison ; they compare sors.
These conclusions, however, are thought to vision.
not entirely exact. The philosophers in What does thinking about a thing question, by employing the method of mean? inquired Hobbes ; and he replied introspection solely, fell into a singular that to think about it was to see an image delusion. They failed to perceive that of it. What, again, is an image ? It is thought may take on a number of different the representation of some visible thing. forms, and that in reality individuals differ Thought, then, would seem to consist in quite as much in their manner of thinking the mental reproduction of a visual act. as in the proportions of their frame and To think is to see, ulteriorly, ideas of the shape of their features. Studying objects in one's mind, in the same way as only their own mental processes, Hobbes, one sees exterior objects with the eye.' In Locke, and the others named came to re. order that no doubt should subsist as to gard as general certain phenomena which the truth of his opinion, Hobbes affords a in reality were peculiar to themselves.
he would see the real board with his eyes. MODERN psychology has arrived at Thus the real presence of objects is not much more ample and diversified results. essentially necessary for the mind to be Some twenty years since, an eminent able to act upon them. But phenomena French psychologist, whom many contem- of the above description occur only with porary thinkers regard as their master
a limited number of persons. M. Taine - published a masterly work on
The close connection between image the nature of ideas. First of all (refining and sensation becomes still more plainly upon the conclusions of preceding philoso- visible in cases where the person affected phers) M. Taine distinguishes between cannot distinguish one from the other, ideas and images, and shows that the idea and takes the image for reality. This is is only an abstract image. The definition what takes place in hallucinations. M, M. Taine gives of the image is as follows: Taine has studied carefully, from the psy“ An image is a spontaneously recurring chological point of view, these singular sensation, which in general is less vivid perversions of exterior perception. Per. and less precise than the sensation prop- sons suffering from hallucinations are erly so called.”
constantly known to declare that they have In order to arrive at this conclusion, seen and heard things proved to have no M. Taine did not solely employ the method existence — except in their imagination of introspection. Instead of being con
as distinctly as they see and hear things tent with the study of his own sensations, existing around them. he looked about him, and carefully in
What is the cause of such illusions ? quired into cases of remarkably developed They can only be explained by the extraormemory, among, more especially, mental dinary intensity of images previously im. calculators, chess-players, and persons pressed upon the mind. The image, in subject to hallucinations.
the ordinary mind, remains always more
or less vague and feeble, and is thus easily Children who are taught to calculate in their distinguished from the sensation itself. heads [says M. Taine) mentally write with At the present moment, for example, I chalk upon an imaginary blackboard the fig. am writing in my study; it occurs to me ures given them, then proceed in similar to think of my laboratory, now awaiting fashion with regard to the partial operations of the sum and its final result. They see my daily visit. At once a vision arises clearly and continuously with their mind's in my mind of the furniture and apparatus, eye the various rows of white figures. Math- and I see the pupils writing at their desks. ematical infant prodigies all confess to the But all these images are comparatively truth of this. Young Colburn, who never dim and feeting. I have no difficulty in went to school, and could neither read nor recognizing that they constitute only an write, said that when he did his sums he saw internal condition, or image, which I could them plainly before him. Another declared not possibly mistake for present reality. that he saw the numbers as if they had been in the case of those who suffer from written on a slate.
optical delusions the mental presentment, 'The case is the same with chess cham-though of the same nature as in a nor. pions who play long and complicated mally constituted mind, has infinitely more games when blindfolded.
intensity. It acts as a sensation, is pro
jected, as it were, and thus becomes a It is clear [M. Taine remarks) that at each reality for the patient. move the image of the chess-board, with every These facts have led M. Taine to state, piece upon it, is reflected in their mind as in in very striking terms, what was long re. a mirror. Thus they can calculate the consequences of their moves with no more difficulty garded as a paradox, namely, that "Per. than if the board itself were before them.
ception is an act of hallucinatory nature.”
By these words the famous French philosThe truth of this opinion is confirmed by opher means that whenever we imagine the players themselves.
we perceive the exterior world we are only All such examples go to show how truly feeding on an interior simulacrum. Here it may be said that the idea or image is is the table I am writing on; I see it, I the substitute of the visual sensation. touch it; at least, I believe that I see and When the images in one's mind are ex- touch it; but, in reality, it is not of the ceedingly precise and clear, one can modo table itself, as an object outside of myself, ify them exactly as real sensations are that I become aware, but of the sensations modified, like the blindfolded chess of touch and sight which this object proplayer who at each move sees the whole vokes within my organism. A modifica. board, with every change effected, just as tion of the organism, - such is the real
object of our perceptions, which conse | few lines from the letter of one of my correquently are always dealing with simulacra. spondents, who writes: Every act of perception contains an ele. “These questions presuppose assent to ment of illusion, seeing that it gives us mind's eye," and the image' which it sees.
some sort of a proposition regarding the the erroneous notion that we enter directly. This points to some initial fallacy. . , . It is into relation with the material objects that only by a figure of speech that I can describe surround us. In other words, “ Percep; my recollection of a scene as a 'mental image, tion is an act of hallucinatory nature," which I can see' with my mind's eye. I M. Taine, however, adds, and rightly, that do not see it any more than a men sees the perception, though hallucinatory, is yet thousand lines of Sophocles, which, under due in one respect real and true; it differs pressure, he is ready to repeat,” etc. from ordinary hallucination by reason of On the other hand [continues Mr. Galton] the correspondence which exists between when I spoke to persons whom I met in genthe internal simulacrum and the exterior eral society, I found an entirely different disreality. The seer of visions thinks he position to prevail. Many men, and a yet sees and touches that which has no actual larger number of women, and many boys and existence; behind his mental images there tal imagery, and that it was perfectly distinct
girls, declared that they habitually saw menis only a void; but with the sane man, to them, and full of color. who perceives normally, the mental image and the sensation which occasions it cor. From this it may be concluded that it is respond to a real exterior object. This is well for psychological inquirers not to the element of truth in his hallucination. despise the opinions of people of little or
no knowledge, which may often be found III.
to throw more light on a question than AFTER quoting M. Taine, we may now those of their intellectual betters. mention, in connection with this question, the name of Mr. Francis Galton. Mr.
IV. Galton has inaugurated a novel process of The question of mental imagery, once psychological investigation, that of sta: brought to the point attained by the retistical observation. As every one will markable researches of M. Taine and Mr. remember, he framed a series of ques. Galton, advanced but little for some years. tions on the nature of visual images, to The study of hypnotism again revived it. which he elicited replies from many and The rise of hypnotism marks a most divers quarters. He asked his corre- important epoch in psychology, which it spondents to think as distinctly as they has gifted with means of exact and searchcould of some particular object — for ing investigation unparalleled hitherto. instance, the breakfast as they had seen Introspection, as practised by the old it before them that morning - and to de- psychologists, observation, as conducted scribe the exact nature of the operations by Taine and Galton, were superseded, of their mind under these circumstances. through hypnotism, by direct experimenThe most important fact, perhaps, brought tation. It has been very truly said that out by this experiment of Mr. Galton's hypnotism is a sort of intellectual and was that persons of a scientific habit of moral dissection. mind, who are accustomed mainly to re- To enumerate all the new opinions on gard questions in the abstract, have, as a the subject of mental imagery, which are rule, much less tendency to“ visualize " the outcome of hypnotical research would than others. This would tend to prove exceed the limits of an article. It will both that a great variety exists in the suffice to mention two most important matter of mental constitution, and that facts. intellectual habits ipfluence the other op- The first of these is the possibility of erations of the mind.
occasioning in a person under the influTo my astonishment [says Mr. Galton] Ience of hypnotism all kinds of visual halfound that the great majority of the men of lucinations through the mere effect of science to whom I applied protested that suggestion. The hypnotizer, standing in mental imagery was unknown to them, and front of the patient whom he has thrown they looked on me as fanciful and fantastic in into slumber, points, for example, to the supposing that the words “mental imagery. really expressed what I believed everybody ing horror. The patient instantly rises,
ground with a look and attitude express. supposed them to mean. They had no more notion of its true nature than a color-blind looks in the direction of the pointing man who has not ciscerned his defect has of finger, and declares that he or she per. the nature of color. . . . To illustrate this ceives some noxious creeping animal, a mental attitude it will be sufficient to quote a serpent or a rat, which is rapidly drawing