« VorigeDoorgaan »
with pleasure, and its absence with pain. By ings have nothing in common with an ethical past experience an association has been formed judgment such as that of an Australian, who between this feeling of pain and such move having held out his leg for the punishment of ments of the head as tend to recover some spearing, judges that he is wounded more than part of that group, its recovery being again his common law warrants. * associated with movements which, de facto, diminish the distance between the dog and And he proceeds to give instances of his mistress. The dog, therefore, pricks up errors of judgment in birds, who somehis ears, raises his head, and looks round. His times build upon houses which are being mistress is nowhere to be seen; but at the corner of the field there is visible a gate at ceded that the judgment of animals is
pulled down, etc. It may be readily conthe end of a lane which resembles a lane in often at fault, even as the same quality is which she has been used to walk. A phantasm (or image) of that other lane and of his frequently deficient in men. The clevermistress walking there, presents itself to the est architects frequently err with regard imagination of the dog; he runs to the pres to the position, strength, and convenience ent lane, but on getting into it she is not there. of the buildings they erect, and more freFrom the lane, however, he can see a tree at quently still with regard to the materials the other side of which she was wont to sit ; they employ; but birds, even if they do the same process is repeated, but she is not to occasionally err, certainly use a considerbe found. Having arrived at the tree he able amount of judgment and foresight in thence finds his way home. By the action of the erection of their nests, and frequently such feelings, imaginations, and associations
– which we know to be vera causa — I believe abandon a half-erected nest if it appears all the apparently intelligent actions of ani- to them unsuitable in position, or defimals may be explained without the need of cient in strength, whilst the material emcalling in the help of a power, the existence of ployed is certainly varied according to which is inconsistent with the mass, as a circumstances. Wood tells us of some whole, of the phenomena they exhibit.* swallows who selected a warm spot over
Surely the writer has drawn largely a baker's oven for their nest, but finding upon his own imagination in this defini- that the ordinary mud employed by them tion of a dog's imagination. If a man lost crumbled and fell from the heat, they his way in a large open plain, and there sought a more tenacious clay, which be. should be neither sún nor stars to help came hardened and half-baked by the fire, him, bis first idea would be to raise his thus forming a secure habitation. Many head and search diligently for some land- instances of this change of material might mark to guide him, and this action would be given: thus, the kapock vogel (a kind be regarded as intelligence of the first of oriole) of South Africa, which, before order; why, therefore, should that be in the introduction of sheep into the colony, telligent action in a man which is only used the silky down of a kind of wild apparently so, consisting of a group of cotton-plant to make its nest, began feelings, imaginations, and associations, afterwards to mix the down with wool, in a dog? Philosophers seem to delight and now generally uses wool only – as in hiding, beneath a mass of verbiage, more easily obtainable and felting totruths which common sense might other- gether more densely than the cotton wise discover and bring to the light of down ; sometimes it takes a little of the day: If a dog has feelings, imaginations, latter as a lining. The following incident, and associations, and a man has feelings, related, by an eye-witness, of another of imaginations and associations, and these the oriole tribe, called in South Africa the groups of sensations in both animals lead yellow finch, or golden oriole, will illus. to similar actions, who shall dare to assert trate not only the judgment exercised by that there is a radical difference between these birds in the selection of a suitable these same sensations in the higher and in position for their nest, but also the differ. the lower animals ?
ence in the judgment of two birds of the Animals [says Professor Mivart] apprehend with the nest of the oriole, and know that
same species. Most people are familiar things in different relations, but no one that I it is constructed so as to depend from a know of has brought any evidence that they apprehend them as related, or their relations branch overhanging a stream, and has a as relations. A dog may feel shame, or pos-long passage at the bottom; both the sibly (though I do not think probably) a passage and the position of the nest be. migrating bird may feel agony at the imagina- ing, as is supposed, for the purpose of tion of an abandoned brood; but these feel.
* Presidential Address, by Professor St. George * Presidential Address, by Professor St. George Mivart.
† See “Man and Beast," by Rev. J. G. Wood.
avoiding snakes, which are the natural | Watson* of an elephant in captivity i enemies of small birds. Our informant which, in order to recover a sixpence
having been attracted by the chattering of which had fallen out of his reach, blew these birds at pairing-time, watched them with his trunk against the opposite wall for some days attentively. After a con- until the current of air thus produced siderable amount of apparent consultation brought the coin near enough to be picked they seemed to have selected an appropri- up, would show an amount of intelligence ate bough, and the male commenced to certainly not inferior to that of
many build the nest; he had proceeded as far men. as the passage, when without ceremony With regard to concerted action, which the female came and deliberately pulled Professor Mivart denies to the lower anithe whole to pieces. The nest was mals, Sir John Lubbock has proved its recommenced, and the passage placed in existence in the case of ants, which ceran opposite direction; but when all but tainly combine both for attack, defence, finished, the hen again pulled the whole and the seizure and storage of their prey; edifice to pieces, not leaving a single and we should have imagined that the thread on the bough. The male at this concerted action of innumerable animals appeared angry, but after considerable had been too well known to admit of altercation selected a fresh bough and doubt or dispute. Even animals of differagain began his labor, and this time was ent species will combine for purposes of allowed to complete it without interrup- hunting or of plunder, whilst tame or tion, and in due time it was occupied and domesticated animals undoubtedly enter the young successfully hatched and into the wishes of their human masters, brought up. The reason of the hen's and act in concert with them, in order to apparent caprice being that the first bough bring them to pass - as, for example,
too stiff and unyielding, strong tame elephants, as described by Sir Emenough probably to support a snake, erson Tennant and other writers, who whilst the second, although sufficiently will carry out man's wishes in making strong for the nest, swayed readily to and captives of their wild brethren; and shepfro, and would have been unapproachable herds' dogs which seem in a marvellous by snakes.
manner to comprehend their master's inThe judgment displayed by sporting tentions, and to combine with him in
, dogs in refusing to follow a bad shot is carrying them out. * If,” says Professor well known; and as regards punishment, Mivart,“ animals were capable of delib. the sagacity of the dog is at least equal erately acting in concert, the effects would to that of the Australian referred to above, soon make themselves known to us so for although he will come unwillingly to forcibly, as to prevent the possibility of receive a well-merited blow, yet all mas- mistake.” † We suspect many travellers ters know that an unmerciful punishment have been unpleasantly convinced of the will provoke obstinacy or retaliation from possibility of the concerted action of wild the best and most obedient of dogs;* animals, both in the caution observable whilst the horse and the as's are equally in their avoidance of the snares of the discriminating, for to beat either to ex- hunter and in the boldness with which cess will generally induce sullenness or they will sometimes descend in a body on restiveness in an animal of spirit, this the unprotected. I The practice so well being their only mode of showing their known of posting sentinels to warn off knowledge that they have not deserved danger, and of choosing leaders who are the punishment inflicted. The judgment implicitly obeyed, surely denotes comof the elephant also would seem to be bined action and discipline incompatible peculiarly acute, leading often to acts of with that mere blind instinct which writvengeance for an injury received so long ers of Professor Mivart's school alone ago as to be forgotten by all but the re-allow to the lower animals. cipient; whilst the incident related by A somewhat ludicrous example of con
certed action among domesticated animals We cannot refrain from giving the following inter- came under our own immediate notice esting instance of a dog's conscience which comes to us from a trustworthy source. A pet dog given to killing * Reasoning Power in Animals, Rev. J. Selby Wat. young ducks was punished for the crime by being made son, p. 52. to stand on his hind legs in a corner of the room. † Presidential Address, by Professor St. George day he came in and placed himself unbidden in this Mivart. position, and upon search being made it was found that # The Indian papers some time since gave particulars he had been up to his old trick of duck-killing, and had of many villages having been depopulated in consethus shown his sense of deserving punishment. Could quence of monkeys having, come down in great bands, a child do more than this in confessing a fault?
driving out the hiiman inhabitants.
some years ago in Ireland, and we give it every morning wandered away from home here because
we can vouch for its ahso- and joined the stock in the farmyard, lute truth. At a house in the neighbor- returning every evening escorted by a hood of Dublin, where a good deal of drake belonging to the farmer. The three poultry was kept, a hen with a young would waddle together to the gate which brood was allowed to take possession of shut off the cottage grounds from the a quiet corner under the boiler in the road, and there, after many bowings and back kitchen, to be secure from rats, quackings, the two ducks would creep which were very abundant in the out- under the gate, the drake remaining outhouses. To this select society was also side and watching his late companions admitted a young duck, the sole remnant until they reached their resting-place; he of a brood which had been given to the would then quack loudly, as much as to nurse, and by her consigned to the care say, Are
you all right?'” and on receive of the hen. These lived happily together ing an answering quack would turn and until the duckling had attained almost to run off quickly to his own harem; and full duckhood, when one evening there this, which in human beings would be was a great outcry in the back kitchen, called a “polite act of seeing the ladies the ben, in a state of great agitation, re- safe home,” was repeated night after fusing to retire to rest as usual with her night as long as we continued to watch, progeny, whilst she, assailed vigorously and how much longer we know not, but with beak and claw her fellow-lodger the the remarkable thing was that the drake duck, who occupied apparently her accus- never attempted to go beyond the bountomed place. Many efforts were made to dary gate, and the ducks never thought of reconcile the hen, but in vain. The nurse going to rest with their day companions, was at last called, who, after looking at but voluntarily retired in an orderly manthe scene for a few moments, exclaimed, ner to their solitary quarters. Why, that is not my duck!” So the These instances we have selected from cheat was brought out and examined; it our own experience, in preference to anec. proved to be of nearly the same size and dotes already published, because we feel color, but a stranger, whilst the true duck sure that every observer of animals may was found quietly reposing with its fel- in like manner add to the authenticated lows in the outhouse, and on being instances of animal intelligence, and that brought into the back kitchen, was imme- every such incident will increase the obdiately welcomed by the hen, who re- server's appreciation of the tired quietly to rest with her as before, thought in creatures, which ignorance whilst the intruder, being ignominiously has denounced as stupid and devoid of dismissed, went off probably to its own sense. How far acts of this kind can be abode. That there must have been con- accounted for by that blind instinct which certed action here is evident, otherwise is supposed to be the sole guide of such how could the two ducks have agreed as animals, we must leave philosophers to to their respective positions ? but how, settle to their own satisfaction, if not to supposing the act to have originated from that of ordinary observers; for ourselves, a desire of casting off leading-strings and we confess that we see in them the same occupying its own position in the duck reasoning faculty possessed by the human world, the duckling could have found race, though lower in degree, as it must another so nearly like itself, and have necessarily be, when we consider not only induced it to come in and occupy its de- the difference in external circumstances, serted place in the back kitchen, is cer- arising from their being the absolute tainly incomprehensible; and but for the slaves of man, but also the shortness of conduct of the hen the cheat would not their lives, which prevents the accumulahave been discovered. It is somewhat tion of that knowledge which results from singular that another instance of mutual experience, and the differences of physiunderstanding, although perhaps not so cal structure, which render many of the decidedly illustrative of conceried action actions of man impossible to the brute. as the former, has also come under our The mental capacity of the lower animals notice with regard to tame ducks, birds can never be compared with those of civ. which are seldom much noticed. In a ILIZED man, who has accumulated the village, or rather hamlet, in Wiltshire, acquired knowledge of innumerable genwas a farmhouse where many ducks and erations, but as Dr. Lindsay has shown, fowls were kept, and at a short distance it may in many instances compare favor. a cottage, the occupier of which had a ably with that of some savages, and even little poultry and two ducks only. These with that of young children; for when
Professor Mivart says, quoting from Mr. | caught they hold them securely by what Lewes, “If we see a bud, after we have would seem to be voluntary motion, and, learned that it is a bud, there is always a moreover, have to a certain extent the glance forward at the flower and back- power of choice, since they reject unsuitward at the seed ... but what animal able objects when presented. Therefore, sees a bud at all except as a visible sign Professor Mivart says truly: of some other sensation?"*
we cannot fail to observe that the whole argument is sionability and reactions of a rhizopod, and
A science which should include the impresinvalidated by the words, after we have exclude the far more striking impressionability learned that it is a bud, for the child un- and reactions of Venus's fly-trap, and of other taught cares as little (as the lowest animal) insectivorous plants, the recognized number of for the bud" except as a visible sign of which is greatly on the increase, must be a some other sensation,” and the savage, very partial and incomplete science. If psyuntil he has attained to the agricultural chology is to be extended (as I think Mr. stage (which is one of semi-civilization), Spencer is most rational in extending it) to will certainly not look backward to the the whole animal kingdom, it must be made to seed when seeing a bud, even if experi
include the vegetable kingdom also.* ence has taught him to expect therefrom
At present naturalists would hesitate first a flower and then a fruit, and in this to allow that the apparently voluntary case the bud would in like manner be re- motions of plants were the result of ingarded as “a visible sign of some other cipient reason; nevertheless, if asked to sensation -i.l., of hunger. There can define the precise boundaries of the anibe little doubt that alike in the child, the mal and vegetable world, and where autosavage, and the lower animals, the chief matic action ends and reason begins, they and primary sensation is that of hunger, would confess their utter inability to do and the means of gratifying that natural so, for in the lowest forms the two king
craving, so necessary in order to sustain doms shade off so gradually as to become and increase the vital force, becomes in intermingled and inseparable, and if reastinctive in all animals. The simple act, son should be held to commence with therefore, of seeking for and seizing food animal life, we know not where to seek it. within easy reach can hardly be regarded Automatic action, which we take to be as an act of reason, for, says the Rev. J. synonymous with instinct, and which is G. Wood, “Reason differs from instinct common to both man and the lower aniin the widest possible manner, the former mals, is thus analyzed by Mr. Romanes: being an exercise of the will, and the latter independent of it. Instinct is im- All mental processes are accompanied by planted at birth, while reason is an after- nervous processes; or, to adopt the convenient growth of the mind.” †. When, therefore, terms of Professor Huxley, psychosis is inva
riably associated with neurosis. The nature ihe young animal, whether human or not, of this association, according to the best lights seizes the first thing which presents itself, of our present knowledge, is probably as foland devours it if eatable, whether good lows. Nerve-tissue consists of two elementary or bad, the act is one of instinct, but when parts — viz., nerve-cells and nerve-fibres. The it learns to reject some things, and to nerve-cells are usually collected into aggrechoose others, the choice denotes reason; gates, which are called nerve.centres, and to and when an animal shows a sagacity these nerve-centres bundles of nerve-fibres equal or superior to that of the savage in come and go. The incoming nerve-fibres the methods he employs for entrapping serve to conduct stimuli or impressions to the his favorite prey, we certainly cannot cells in the nerve centre ; and when the cells refuse to him in this particular instance thus receive a stimulus or impression they lib
erate a discharge of nervous energy, which reason equal to that of his human com- then courses down the outgoing nerve-fibres, petitor. But here we are met by the to be distributed either to other nerve-centres great and at present unanswerable ques. or else to muscles. It is in this way that tion, Where are we to fix the bounds of nerve-centres are able to act in harmony with this faculty of reason? what is its origin? one another, and so to co-ordinate the action and how low in the scale of animated of the muscles over which they preside. This nature can it be traced ? Darwin has fundamental principle of neurosis is what shown that some plants have movements physiologists call the principle of reflex action ; which would appear sentious. Not only its manifestation is an incoming nerve, a
and you will perceive that all it requires for do they lay snares for insects, but when
nerve-centre, and an outgoing nerve, which • Presidential Address, by Professor St. George Mivart.
* Presidential Address, by Professor St. George + Man and Beast, by Rev. J. G. Wood, p. 50.
together constitute what has been called a factory up to a certain point, but, as Mr.
Now, there can be no reason. Romanes himself has pointed out, it does able doubt that in the complex structure of not account for all the observed facts, the brain one nervous arc is connected with and he therefore goes on to show that, another nervous arc, and this with another almost ad infinitum ; and there can be equally although we may in this manner“ be able little doubt that processes
of thought are ac to explain all the more coreplicated among companied by nervous discharges taking place animal instincts as cases of " lapsed intelnow in this arc and now in that one, accord. ligence,' on the other hand, a great many ing as the nerve-centre in each arc is excited of the more simple instincts were probato discharge its influence by receiving a dis- bly evolved in a more simple way. That charge from some of the other nerve-arcs with is to say, they have probably never been which it is connected.*
of an intelligent character, but have begun After going on to show that these nerv
as merely accidental adjustments of the ous discharges tend to follow the same organism to its surroundings, and have course when
started from the same origin, then been laid hold upon by natural selecand become more easy by repetition, or tion and developed into automatic reflex that “lines of reflex discharge become es." And among these he reckons that more and more permeable by use," and shamming of death, so common among that, therefore, “ the most fundamental of insects in presence of danger, and of psychological principles — the association which Mr. Darwin says, that in no case of'ideas — is merely an obverse expres
did he find that the attitude in which the sion of the most fundamental of neuro- animal shammed dead resembled that in logical principles — reflex action,” he goes imagine can hardly be extended to those
which it really died. This, however, we on to say:
cases in which some animals, and espe. All reflex action, or neurosis, is not attended cially foxes, sham death in order to enwith ideation or psychosis. In our own or. ganization, for instance, it is only cerebral us to be a distinctively intelligent action.
snare their prey, for this would appear to reflexes which are so attended; and even among cerebral reflexes there is good reason
But in drawing attention to these difto believe that the greater number of them are
ferent kinds of instinct, the one originally not accompanied by conscious ideation ; for intelligent action, but becoming automatic analysis shows that it is only those cerebral by frequent repetition, and the other dedischarges which have taken place compara- veloped from actions never intelligent, tively seldom, and the passage of which is but surviving because of benefit to the therefore comparatively slow, that are accom- animal which first performed them, Mr. panied by any ideas or changes of conscious. Romanes points out that,“ although there
The more habitual any action becomes, is a great difference between them if the less conscious do we require to be of its regarded psychologically, there is no difperformance; it is, as we say, performed auto: ference between them if regarded physimatically, or without thought. Now, it is of great importance thus to observe that con- ologically; for, regarded physiologically, sciousness only emerges when cerebral reflexes both kinds of instincts are merely exare flowing along comparatively unaccustomed pressions of the fact that particular channels, and therefore that cerebral dis- nerve-cells and fibres have been set apart charges which at first were accompanied by to perform their reflexes automatically definite ideas may, by frequent repetition, that is, without being accompanied by cease to be accompanied by any ideas. It is intelligence.” * of importance to observe this fact, because it serves to explain the origin of a number of automatic actions or instincts which cer.
Thus far we have spoken only of those animal instincts. These instincts must originally have been of an intelligent nature ; but tainly are common alike to man and the the actions which they prompted, having lower animals, although probably more through successive generations been frequently nuinerous and highly developed in the repeated, became at last organized into a latter, not only because their genealogies purely mechanical reflex, and therefore now are longer and their generations shorter, appear as actions which we call purely auto- thus allowing for a greater accumulation matic, or blindly instinctive.t
of inherited mechanical reflexes, but also
because we believe that conscious cereThis analysis of what Mr. Romanes terms “the physiological basis of mind," bration has a tendency to check unconappears both comprehensible and satis- scious cerebration, and that, therefore,
the mental development of man has Lecture on Animal Intelligence, by George J.
• Lecture on Animal Intelligence, by George J.