The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Monist, Vol. 1, 1890-1891

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Title: The Monist, Vol. 1, 1890-1891

Author: Various

Editor: Paul Carus

Edward C Hegeler

Release date: February 24, 2018 [eBook #56634]

Language: English


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Anarchists, The Physiognomy of the. By Cesare Lombroso 336

Anarchist's Reply to Professor Lombroso, A Convicted. By Michael
  Schwab 520

Architecture of Theories, The. By Charles S. Peirce 161

Criminal Anthropology, Illustrative Studies in. (1) "La Bête Humaine" and Criminal Anthropology. (2) Criminal Anthropology and Psychiatry. By Cesare Lombroso 177

Ethics, The Criterion of——an Objective Reality. Editor 552

Evolution, The Factors of. By Joseph Le Conte 321

Evolution, The Right of. By Moncure D. Conway 506

Feelings and the Elements of Feelings. Editor 401

Five Souls with but a Single Thought. By Carus Sterne 245

Höffding on the Relation of the Mind to the Body. By W. M. Salter 118

Immortality. By George M. Gould 372

Infusoria, The Immortality of. By Alfred Binet 21

Innovation and Inertia in the World of Psychology. By Cesare
  Lombroso 344

Magic Mirror, The. By Max Dessoir 87

Mind, The Origin of. By Paul Carus 69

Mind, The Question of Duality of. By R. Meade Bache 362

Philosophy in American Colleges and Universities 148-156

Psycho-Physics, Some Questions of. A Discussion. (1) Sensations
   and the Elements of Reality. By Ernst Mach 393
  (2) Feelings and the Elements of Feelings. Editor 401

Psychology of Conception. By J. Sully 481

Sensations, The Analysis of the. By Ernst Mach 48

Sensations and the Elements of Reality. By Ernst Mach 393

Sex, On the Material Relations of—in Human Society. By E. D. Cope 38

Squaring of the Circle, The. By Hermann Schubert 197

Thought and Language, On. F. Max Müller 572

Truth, The Criterion of. Editor 229

Wallace on Physiological Selection, A. R. George J. Romanes 1

Welfare, The Principle of. By Harald Höffding 525


France. By Lucien Arréat 124, 278, 421, 590

German Philosophy in the XIX Century. By F. Jodl 263

The Modern Literature of Italy since 1870. By C. Lombroso 428

The Science of Pedagogy in Germany. Chr. Ufer 597


Abbott, Francis Ellingwood. The Way Out of Agnosticism 129

Bois-Reymond, Paul Du. Ueber die Grundlagen der Erkenntnis in den exacten Wissenschaften 608

Booth, General. In Darkest England and the Way Out 451

Bray, Charles. The Philosophy of Necessity 136

Brinton, Daniel G. Races and Peoples 131

Büchner, Ludwig. Fremdes und Eigenes aus dem geistigen Leben der Gegenwart 303

Carneri, B. Der Moderne Mensch 607

Carus, Paul. The Soul of Man 620

Clarke, James Freeman. Deacon Herbert's Bible Class 305

Coit, Stanton. Die ethische Bewegung in der Religion 301

Cox, Charles F. Protoplasm and Life 297

Dewey, John. Outlines of a Critical Theory of Ethics 600

Dillmann, C. Die Mathematik die Fackelträgerin einer neuen Zeit 617

  Edinger, Ludwig. Twelve Lectures on the Structure of the Central
    Nervous System

Everett, Charles Carroll. The Science of Thought 287

Forel, August. Der Hypnotismus 605

Fullerton, George Stuart. On Sameness and Identity 291

Geddes, Patrick, and J. Arthur Thomson. The Evolution of Sex 439

Haeckel, Ernst. Plankton-Studien 455

Harris, William T. Introduction to the Study of Philosophy 438

Höffding, Harald. Ethik 139

James, William. The Principles of Psychology 284

Jastrow, Joseph. The Time-Relations of Mental Phenomena 290

Jodl, Friedrich. Geschichte der Ethik in der neueren Philosophie 137

  Krause, Ernst. Tuisko-Land der arischen Stämme und

Kroman, K. Kurzgefasste Logik und Psychologie 142

  Lehmann, Alfred. Die Hypnose und die damit verwandten normalen

Loeb, Jacques. Der Heliotropismus der Thiere 300

Loeb, Jacques. Untersuchungen zur physiologischen Morphologie der Thiere 300

Lombroso, Cesare. Der geniale Mensch 146

Mackenzie, John S. An Introduction to Social Philosophy 601

Mantegazza, Paolo. Physiognomy and Expression 447

Moll, Albert. Hypnotism 604

Morgan, C. Lloyd. Animal Life and Intelligence 443

Naden, Constance C. W. Induction and Deduction 292

  Natorp, Paul. Einleitung in die Psychologie nach kritischer

Peet, Stephen D. Emblematic Mounds and Animal Effigies 295

  Post, Albert Hermann. Ueber die Aufgaben einer allgemeinen

  Royer, Madame Clémence. Nouveaux aperçus sur la Phylogenie
    de l'Homme

Savage, M. J. Life 296

  Schopenhauer, Arthur. Le Monde comme Volonté et comme

Sterrett, J. Macbride. Studies in Hegel's Philosophy of Religion 133

Sterne, Carus. Die allgemeine Weltanschauung 456

Taylor, Isaac. The Origin of the Aryans 435

Ufer, Christian. Geistesstörungen in der Schule 619

Wolff, Joh. Das Bewusstsein und sein Object 147

PERIODICALS 157-160; 307-320; 459-480; 621-640

VOL. I. OCTOBER, 1890. NO. 1.



[1] In a private letter to the editor of this magazine Professor Geo. J. Romanes writes: "The article refers to a completely new departure in the theory of evolution, striking in the principle of homogamy, the root-principle of the whole, and in physiological selection, one of the main branches. Yet neither principle has so far been perceived except by Mr. Gulick…. The theory of physiological selection has been better understood in America than in this country; and I should like the naturalists there, who have taken such a warm and appreciative interest in it, to see my reply to Mr. Wallace published in an American periodical."

In 1886 I published a paper entitled "Physiological Selection: an additional suggestion on the origin of species," (Zoölogical Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. XIX, p. 337). The view there expressed is, briefly, as follows.

Given the facts of heredity and variability, the whole theory of organic evolution becomes neither more nor less than a theory of the causes which determine the breeding of like with like, to the exclusion of unlike. For the more firmly that we believe in heredity with variability as the fundamental principle of organic evolution, the stronger must become our persuasion that segregate breeding (or exclusive mating of like with like) must lead to divergence, while indiscriminate breeding (or free intercrossing of all varieties) must lead to uniformity. So long as there is free intercrossing, heredity makes in favor of fixity of type—or, at most, can permit change only in a single line, where successive generations undergo a continuous improvement, which may give rise to a ladder-like series of species in time. But in order that there should be a tree-like multiplication of species in space, or a simultaneous divergence of type, it is essential that free intercrossing be prevented at the origin, and throughout the development, of each branch. In other words, it is only when assisted by some form of segregation—which determines exclusive breeding of like with like—that heredity can effect arborescent or polytypic, as distinguished from catenated or monotypic, evolution. For the sake of greater clearness, I will call segregation in this sense homogamy, or the exclusive mating of individuals which belong to the same variety.

Now homogamy may be secured in a very great number of different ways. Of these the most important, from every point of view, is natural selection. Here the exclusive breeding of like with like is determined by general fitness, and is effected by extermination of the unlike—i. e., the comparatively unfit. Moreover, this process leads to a continuous improvement in the way of adaptation, and in this important respect it stands alone among all the forms of homogamy. Nevertheless, we must note that, unless assisted by some other form of homogamy, natural selection can only produce monotypic evolution; never polytypic. Successive generations may thus continuously mount to higher stages of adaptation on the steps supplied by their own dead selves; but although they may thus give rise to a linear series of species in time, they can never thus give rise to a multiplication of species in space. In order to effect such multiplication, or divergence of types, natural selection must be supplemented by some other form of homogamy, which can prevent intercrossing between the equally fit at the origin, and throughout the development, of every separate branch.

Well, as I have said, these other forms of homogamy are very numerous. First we may notice geographical isolation. When a comparatively small portion of a species is thus separated from the rest of its kind, intercrossing is effectually prevented between the two sections; and inasmuch as the general average of specific characters in the isolated section will be somewhat different from that of the other section, heredity will determine that the two sections shall not run parallel in their subsequent lines of evolutionary history: there will arise an increasing divergence between them, as was first pointed out by the mathematician Delbœuf, subsequently by the naturalist Weismann, and more recently, with greater emphasis, by Mr. Gulick as well as myself.

Again, there is homogamy that arises as a result of sexual preference, or, as I have called it, "psychological selection." It is a matter of observation that the breeding of like with like is often determined among the higher vertebrata by individuals of each variety preferring to mate with other individuals of their own variety; and this is homogamy.

Not to occupy space with any attempt at enumerating all the many forms of homogamy[2] I will at once pass on to the form which constitutes the subject-matter of the present paper—and the form which, in my opinion, is probably of more importance than any other in the multiplication of species. This is the form of homogamy which I have termed Physiological Selection, or Segregation of the Fit, and Mr. Gulick—who independently perceived the principle—has called Segregate Fecundity.

[2] This has been done in a most careful and exhaustive manner by Mr. Gulick in his papers which have succeeded mine in the publications of the Linnean Society.

As my object on the present occasion is to answer criticisms which have been passed on my enunciation of this principle, I do not propose to go into further detail by way of explanation than is necessary in order to render intelligible both the criticisms and my reply thereto. Moreover, this reply is only an abstract of a fuller one which has been prepared for publication in a forthcoming book. Therefore it deals only with the main points. Lastly, I may remark that the criticisms which have hitherto appeared have all been derived from the same source, viz., from Mr. A. R. Wallace; for, although many other naturalists have expressed themselves as more or less opposed to the new theory, or "additional suggestion on the origin of species," they have all done so on the grounds, or for the reasons supplied by Mr. Wallace. Therefore, in dealing with Mr. Wallace's objections, I shall be dealing with the only objections which have thus far been advanced.

In order at once to restate the theory of physiological selection, and to do so in a form which cannot be suspected of being in any way influenced by Mr. Wallace's more recent criticisms, I will begin by reproducing the main features of the theory in the words which were employed for this purpose more than three years ago, when I supplied an article to the Nineteenth Century in answer to one by him in the Fortnightly Review. Moreover, for the most part this restatement of the theory is quoted verbatim from my original paper—the differences being due only to the conditions imposed by limits of an article.

The following, then, is quoted from the Nineteenth Century for
January, 1887:

"According to the Darwinian theory [which, as elsewhere fully explained, the present theory is in no way capable of supplanting, but only of supplementing, and this among other ways, by explaining why it is that some degree of mutual infertility is so general a phenomenon as between allied species—a phenomenon which Darwin expressly regarded as not explicable by the theory of natural selection], it is for the most part only those variations which happen to have been useful that have been preserved: yet, even as thus limited, the principle of variability is held able to furnish sufficient material out of which to construct the whole adaptive morphology of nature. How immense, therefore, must be the number of unuseful variations. Yet these are all, for the most part, still-born, or allowed to die out immediately by intercrossing. Should such intercrossing be prevented, however, there is no reason why unuseful variations should not be perpetuated by heredity quite as well as useful ones when under the nursing influence of natural selection—as, indeed, we see to be the case in our domesticated productions. Consequently, if from any reason a section of a species is prevented from intercrossing with the rest of its species, new varieties of a trivial or unuseful kind might be expected to arise within that section. And this is just what we find. Oceanic islands, for example, are well known to be extraordinarily rich in peculiar species; and this can best be explained by considering that a complete separation of the fauna and flora on such an island permits them to develop varietal histories of their own, without interference by intercrossing with their originally parent forms. We see the same principle exemplified by the influence of geographical barriers of any kind, and also by the consequences of migration. Therefore, given an absence of overwhelming intercrossing, and the principle of what I term independent variability may be trusted to evoke new species, without the aid of natural selection. [Homogamy.]

"Were it not for the very general occurrence of some degree of sterility between even closely allied species and were it not also for the fact, that closely allied species are not always—or even generally—separated from one another by geographical barriers, we might reasonably attribute all cases of species-formation by independent variability to the prevention of intercrossing by geographical barriers or by migration. But it is evident that these two facts can no more be explained by the influence of geographical barriers, or by migration, than they can be by the influence of natural selection.

"Now, of all parts of those variable objects which we call organisms, the most variable is the reproductive system; and the variations may be either in the direction of increased or diminished fertility. Consequently, variations in the way of greater or less sterility frequently take place both in plants and animals; and probably, if we had adequate means of observing this point, we should find that there is no one variation more common. But, of course, whenever it arises—whether as a result of changed conditions of life, or, as we say, spontaneously—it immediately becomes extinguished, seeing that the individuals which it affects are less able (if able at all) to propagate the variation. If, however, the variation should be such that, while showing some degree of sterility with the parent form, it continues to be as fertile as before within the limits of the varietal form, it would neither be swamped by intercrossing nor die out on account of sterility.

"For example, suppose the variation in the reproductive system is such that the season of flowering, or of pairing, becomes either advanced or retarded. Whether this variation be "spontaneous," or due to change of food, climate, habitat, etc., does not signify. The only point we need attend to is that some individuals, living on the same geographical area as the rest of their species, have demonstrably varied in their reproductive systems, so that they are perfectly fertile inter se, while absolutely sterile with the rest of their species. By inheritance there would thus arise a variety living on the same geographical area as its parent form, and yet prevented from intercrossing with that form by a barrier quite as effectual as a thousand miles of ocean; the only difference would be that the barrier, instead of being geographical, is physiological. And now, of course, the two sections of the physiologically divided species would be able to develop independent histories of their own without intercrossing; even though they are living together on the same geographical area, their physiological isolation would lead to their taking on distinct specific characters by independent variations, [or homogamy,] just as is the case with sections of a species when separated from each other by geographical isolation.

"To state this suggestion in another form, it enables us to regard many, if not most, species as the records of variations in the reproductive systems of ancestors. When variations of a non-useful kind occur in any of the other systems or parts of organisms, they are, as a rule, immediately extinguished by intercrossing. But whenever they happen to arise in the reproductive system in the way here suggested, they must tend to be preserved as new natural varieties, or incipient species. At first the difference would only be in respect of the reproductive systems; but eventually, on account of independent variation, other differences would supervene, and the new variety would take rank as a true species.

"The principle thus briefly sketched in some respects resembles, and in other respects differs from, the principle of natural selection, or survival of the fittest. For the sake of convenience, therefore, and in order to preserve analogies with already existing terms, I have called this principle Physiological Selection, or Segregation of the Fit.

"Let it be noted that we are not concerned either with the causes or the degrees of the particular kind of variation on which this principle depends. Not with the causes, because in this respect the theory of physiological selection is in just the same position as that of natural selection: it is enough for both that the needful variations are provided, without its being incumbent on either to explain the causes which in all cases underlie them. Neither are we concerned with the degrees of sterility which the variation in question may in any particular case supply. For whether the degree of sterility with the parent form be originally great or small, the result of it will be in the long run the same: the only difference will be that in the latter case a greater number of generations would be required in order to separate the varietal from the parent form. [In other words, homogamy due to such physiological isolation is cumulative.]

"The object of this paper being that of furnishing a general answer to criticisms on the hypothesis of physiological selection, I will not occupy space by detailing evidence of that hypothesis, further than is needful for the object just mentioned.[3] This evidence abundantly proves that the particular kind of variation which the theory of physiological selection requires does take place, (a) in individuals, (b) in races, and (c) in species. Next, the evidence goes on to show that the facts of organic nature are such as they ought to be, supposing it true that this variation has played any considerable part in the differentiation of specific types. In particular, it is shown that the general association between the one primary, or relatively constant, specific distinction (mutual sterility), and the innumerable secondary, or relatively variable, distinctions (slight morphological changes which may effect any parts of any organisms), of itself indicates that the former has been the original condition to the occurrence of the latter, in all cases where free intercrossing has not been otherwise prevented. For even in cases where the secondary distinctions may be supposed to have induced the primary,—or where morphological changes taking place in other parts of an organic type have exercised a reflex influence on the reproductive system, such that the changed organism is no longer fertile with its unchanged parent form,—even in such cases the theory of physiological selection is available to explain the association in question. For even in these cases, notwithstanding that the secondary changes are historically the prior changes, they still depend for their preservation on the principles of physiological selection. These principles have, in all such cases, selected the particular kinds of secondary distinction which have proved themselves capable of so reacting on the reproductive system as to bring about the primary distinction, and thus to protect themselves against the destructive power of free intercrossing."

[3] The evidence, so far as yet published, may be read by any one who cares to purchase the original paper, which can be obtained from the Linnean Society in a separate form.

Now for Mr. Wallace's criticism of this theory, as presented in his recently published work on "Darwinism."

Briefly put, he furnishes a numerical calculation, showing that when "the physiological peculiarity is not correlated with any external differences of form or color, or with inherent peculiarities of likes or dislikes leading to any choice as to pairing," even when so large a proportion as ten per cent. of the exceptional variety arises every year in the midst of the species, "it is unable to increase its numbers much above its starting-point, and remains wholly dependent on the continued renewal of the variety for its existence beyond a few years."

This, it must be observed, is a reproduction of the criticism which I answered in 1888; but, as Mr. Wallace ignores that answer, I must now repeat it.

The criticism does not dispute the fact that the required variation in the way of "selective sterility" occurs. Indeed, Mr. Wallace allows that it certainly must be of very general occurrence as between incipient species (or pronounced varieties in a state of nature), seeing that it is of such general occurrence as between allied species when fully differentiated as such. In other words, this variation in the way of selective sterility must be recognised as a very general fact, even if it be not regarded as a condition, or a cause, of specific differentiation. Which is merely another way of saying that the particular variation which is required by the theory in question is admittedly a variation which does occur; and occurs, moreover, in very frequent association with the origin of a new species. But Mr. Wallace's objection to regarding this variation as itself a cause of (or condition to) the origin of a new species is, as we have seen, that the changes must always be greatly against the similar variations of the opposite sexes meeting—i. e., of the "physiological complements" happening to pair. Now, I have already shown, in the Nineteenth Century of three years ago, that this criticism can only apply to species the sexes of which unite for every birth; but as Mr. Wallace continues to ignore this important consideration, I will now present it in somewhat more detail.

In considering any "supplementary theory" of the origin of species, it is obviously absurd to disregard the realm of organic nature as a whole, and to fasten attention exclusively upon the part of it where a particular difficulty against the theory may be supposed to lie. As will presently be shown, Mr. Wallace is entirely mistaken in supposing that his particular difficulty does lie against the theory in any part of organic nature; but, even if this could not have been shown, it would not have followed that the theory of physiological selection is inapplicable to all the classes of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, because it is taken to be inapplicable to some. One might just as well argue against Mr. Darwin's theory of sexual selection on the ground that it cannot be held to apply to the coloration and the sculpture of shells. If either sexual selection or physiological selection were put forward as an exclusive theory of the origin of all species, this kind of argument would, of course, have been valid; but as the matter actually stands, it is largely irrelevant.

I say largely irrelevant, because I do not dispute that there is this much force in it. If the theory of physiological selection can be proved inapplicable to Birds and Mammals (which are the only classes that Mr. Wallace considers in connection with it), its applicability to all other divisions, both of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, would be rendered doubtful; seeing that the process of species-formation appears to have been everywhere more or less associated with the occurrence of "selective sterility"; and hence, if in any division of organic nature it could be shown that selective sterility cannot possibly have been a cause of specific differentiation, we might well doubt whether it has been such a cause elsewhere—just as we may doubt whether sexual selection has been a cause of the brilliant colors of birds and butterflies, because we know, that it cannot have been a cause of the equally brilliant colors of corals and flowers. But, as far as physiological selection is concerned, no such question can arise, as I will presently proceed to show.

First of all, however, it is desirable briefly to indicate the strength of this theory in the parts of organic nature where Mr. Wallace's sole criticism cannot possibly be held to apply—viz., the larger part of the vegetable kingdom, where ovules are fertilised either by insects or by the wind. Here the phenomena of "prepotency" are highly suggestive—not to say, in my opinion, virtually demonstrative—of physiological selection; seeing that, as Mr. Darwin remarks in another connexion:

"There can be no doubt that if the pollen of all these species (of Compositae) could be simultaneously or successively placed on the stigma of any one species, this one would elect with unerring certainty its own pollen. This elective capacity is all the more wonderful; as it must have been acquired since the many species of this great group of plants branched off from a common progenitor."[4]

[4] Variation, etc., Vol. ii.

Darwin is here speaking of elective affinity in its more fully developed form, as this so often obtains between fully differentiated species. But we meet with all lower degrees of its development—sometimes between "incipient species," or varieties, and at other times between closely allied species. It is then known as "prepotency" of the pollen belonging to the same variety, or species, over the pollen of the other variety or species, when both sets of pollen are applied to the same stigma. This is one form of what I have called physiological selection, and in my view it serves to explain why it is that hybrids between closely allied forms growing on common areas (whether they be called "species" or "constant varieties") are so comparatively rare in nature, even in cases where there is no difficulty in producing hybrids artificially by an intentional exclusion of the pollen belonging to the same form. And I allude to these facts in the present connexion for two reasons. In the first place, they serve to show how entirely irrelevant Mr. Wallace's whole criticism is to the vegetable kingdom, as well as to the majority of aquatic animals. In the next place, they serve to show how entirely unwarranted is his statement, that "we have at present no evidence whatever" in support of my belief that a physiological incompatibility may affect a whole race or strain. Not only have we the multitudinous cases of prepotency, where the incompatibility is partial (or in course of becoming, as Mr. Darwin says in the above quotation, "acquired"); but we have also multitudinous cases where the incompatibility has become absolute, both as between closely allied species, and even as between varieties of the same species growing on common areas—as M. Jordan has experimentally proved. Therefore in the above remark we have but an additional example of Mr. Wallace's entire forgetfulness, in the present connexion, of any organisms other than those which belong to the class of Birds or of Mammals.[5]

[5] It seems scarcely worth while to add that Mr. Wallace is doubly mistaken where he says, "Mr. Romanes's theory of Physiological Selection—which assumes sterility or infertility between first crosses as the fundamental fact in the origin of species—does not accord with the general phenomena of hybridism in nature." In the first place, as shown above, "infertility between the first crosses" is by no means out of accord with "the general phenomena of hybridism in nature"—seeing that all degrees of such infertility, from the slightest perceptible amount of prepotency up to absolute sterility, are of the most general occurrence in nature. In the second place, why Mr. Wallace should suppose that in my view physiological selection can only act as regards first crosses, and not also as regards hybrid progeny, I have no means of surmising.

Turning, then, to the only parts of organic nature where his criticism can even appear to apply, I have here the sufficiently easy task of proving, that this appearance of application arises wholly and entirely out of Mr. Wallace's misapprehension of the theory against which the criticism is directed. In other words, he is not criticising the theory of physiological selection at all, but merely his own travesty of it. For, as repeatedly stated in my original paper, and again reiterated three years ago in the Nineteenth Century, it constitutes no part of my theory to deny the co-operation of other forms of segregate breeding or homogamy. On the contrary, I have always insisted—and Mr. Gulick has proved by calculation—that the more efficient the co-operation of other forms of homogamy, the greater must become the importance of the physiological form. Yet, as I trust has already been made fully apparent, the whole of Mr. Wallace's criticism (even as regards Birds and Mammals) goes upon the supposition that Mr. Gulick and I believe that, if physiological selection ever acts in any case at all, it must necessarily act alone. For reasons afterwards to be given, I do indeed believe that in some cases it may act alone (in this differing from Mr. Gulick); but, clearly, whether or not there are any such cases, is a question quite distinct from that touching the validity of a criticism which attributes to our theory the absurd dogma, that segregate breeding which arises from physiological isolation, can never be associated with segregate breeding that may arise from any other form of isolation. And that the whole of Mr. Wallace's criticism collapses when once this correction has been supplied, is proved most effectually by the curious fact that, after having himself supplied the correction, he reproduces our theory as an original one of his own. How he can have supposed that I did not entertain the possibility of physiological selection being associated with natural selection, "psychological selection," or any other known form of isolation (excepting only the geographical), I am quite at a loss to understand; seeing that from end to end of my paper I continually refer to such association—especially as regards natural selection. And, if possible, I am still less able to understand Mr. Wallace's carelessness in this connection with reference to Mr. Gulick's paper; because there the belief is repeatedly and most clearly expressed, that without such association, "segregate fecundity" can never act at all—which is precisely the theory which Mr. Wallace proceeds to elaborate on his own account.

It is now time to show, by means of quotations, how unequivocal and complete is Mr. Wallace's adoption of our theory:

"The simplest case to consider will be that in which two forms or varieties of a species, occupying an extensive area, are in process of adaptation to somewhat different modes of life within the same area. If these two forms freely intercross with each other, and produce mongrel offspring which are quite fertile inter se, then the further differentiation of the forms into two distinct species will be retarded, or perhaps entirely prevented; for the offspring of the crossed unions will be, perhaps, more vigorous on account of the cross, although less perfectly adapted to the conditions of existence than either of the pure breeds; and this would certainly establish a powerful antagonistic influence to the further differentiation of the two forms.

"Now, let us suppose that a partial sterility of the hybrids between the two forms arises, in correlation with the different modes of life and the slight external or internal peculiarities that exist between them, both of which we have seen to be real causes of infertility. The result will be that, even if the hybrids between the two forms are still freely produced, these hybrids will not themselves increase so rapidly as the two pure forms; and as these latter are, by the terms of the problem, better suited to their conditions of life than are the hybrids between them, they will not only increase more rapidly, but will also tend to supplant the hybrids altogether whenever the struggle for existence becomes exceptionally severe. Thus, the more complete the sterility of the hybrids the more rapidly will they die out and leave the two parent forms pure. Hence it will follow that, if there is greater infertility between the two forms in one part of the area than the other, these forms will be kept more pure wherever this greater infertility prevails, will therefore have an advantage at each recurring period of severe struggle for existence, and will thus ultimately supplant the less infertile or completely fertile forms that may exist in other portions of the area. It thus appears that, in such a case as here supposed, natural selection would preserve those portions of the two breeds which were most infertile with each other, or whose hybrid offspring were most infertile; and would, therefore, if variations in fertility continued to arise, tend to increase that infertility. It must particularly be noted that this effect would result, not by the preservation of the infertile variations on account of their infertility, but by the inferiority of the hybrid offspring, both as being fewer in numbers, less able to continue their race, and less adapted to the conditions of existence than either of the pure forms. It is this inferiority of the hybrid offspring that is the essential point; and as the number of these hybrids will be permanently less where the infertility is greatest, therefore those portions of the two forms in which infertility is greatest will have the advantage, and will ultimately survive in the struggle for existence."

We have here a full acceptance of the theory of physiological selection. For it is represented, as Mr. Gulick and I have represented, that, if "two forms or varieties" occupying a common area are to undergo further differentiation at the hands of natural selection, it becomes a highly favoring condition to the process that some degree of segregate fecundity should arise (if it has not already arisen) between these two forms or varieties; seeing that "if these two forms freely intercross with each other, and produce mongrel offspring which are quite fertile inter se, then the further differentiation of the forms into two distinct species will be retarded, or perhaps entirely prevented." Here the importance of segregate fecundity, or physiological selection, as a factor in the differentiation of specific types on common areas is fully recognised; and the only respect in which Mr. Wallace alleges that his view of the matter differs from the view of Mr. Gulick and myself, is in drawing special attention to the part which is played by the infertility, or other "inferiority," of the mongrels. But clearly, this infertility, or other inferiority, of the mongrels, in all cases where it occurs, is part and parcel of the segregate fecundity of the parent forms. Whether the segregate fecundity has reference to first crosses alone, or likewise to second crosses, it is segregate fecundity all the same; and the only difference is that for the same degree of segregate fecundity in first crosses, the process of physiological selection will become the more effective in proportion to the degree in which the infertility extends also to second crosses. But I think it is very doubtful whether such infertility (or inferiority) on the part of mongrels can react upon the sexual system of their parent forms, so as directly to increase whatever degree of segregate fecundity may have already arisen between these forms. Does the high sterility of mules and mutes, for instance, tend to diminish the degree of fertility that obtains between horses and asses? The only way in which even an absolute degree of sterility (or other inferiority) on the part of mongrels or hybrids may clearly be seen to operate in this direction, is as a negative condition; not as an active cause. In the proportion that mongrels are impotent with one another, they will not so much compete with their parent forms for food, etc.; and in the proportion that they are impotent with their parent forms, they will not counteract any tendency which the latter may continue to develop in the direction of a still further segregation. If the mongrels are fully vigorous and fully fertile, both inter se and with their parent forms, the effect will be to retard, if not altogether to prevent, any further progress of physiological separation between the parent forms; because the free intercrossing of the mongrels with one another, and also with their parent forms, will be continually supplying progeny in which the physiological peculiarity is either attenuated or altogether abolished. But this is quite a different thing from supposing that infertility (or inferiority) of the mongrels can react upon the generative system of the parent forms, so as to increase in them the physiological peculiarity on which their segregate breeding depends: infertility (or inferiority) of the mongrels is but a negative condition which favors the preservation of further degrees of this segregate breeding, if such further degrees should be induced by any other causes.

Now, it does not appear that Mr. Wallace has clearly perceived this important distinction, because he throughout speaks of "this inferiority of the hybrid offspring as the essential point." Obviously, however, the essential point is the physiological variation in the parent forms, i. e., the original occurrence and subsequent development of infertility between the first crosses. Granting to Mr. Wallace, for the sake of argument, that this development could not proceed at all, were it not for the inferiority of the mongrels; still the inferiority of the mongrels need not be the cause of this development. Therefore it is most incorrect to say, "it must be particularly noted that this effect (i. e., increase of infertility between the parent forms) would result, not by the preservation of the infertile variations on account of their infertility, but by the inferiority of the hybrid offspring." "This effect" must be due to causes which act upon the generative systems of the parent forms, even though such causes might be counteracted by the withdrawal of the negative condition in question.

I trust, then, it has now been rendered sufficiently clear that, no matter how infertile the hybrid progeny may become, and no matter at how great a disadvantage they may thus (or otherwise) be placed in their struggle for existence with the parent varieties, it is not apparent that their infertility (or their extinction) can ever become the cause of a further increase of infertility arising between their parent forms. Consequently, although this is the cause assigned by Mr. Wallace, when he comes to "the essential point" of showing how it is to act so as to increase cross-sterility between the parent forms, he naïvely substitutes the sentence which I have printed in italics—which assumes a "greater infertility between the two forms" as arising through any other causes that we may choose to suppose. The very thing that his entire argument professes to explain (i. e., the rise and development of cross-sterility between the parent varieties) is slipped in as granted, or given by other causes than those which are said to explain it.[6]

[6] The only conceivable way in which infertility (or other inferiority) of hybrids could react on the sexual system of their parent forms, is one which Mr. Wallace appears to have missed: at all events he has nowhere stated it. This way is as follows. Suppose A and B to be two varieties which produce comparatively infertile hybrids. In the proportion that the hybrids are infertile, or otherwise inferior, it must be a disadvantage to both varieties for individuals belonging to one to cross with individuals belonging to the other, because by so doing they are wasting their time and their energy in propagating comparatively poor offspring—thereby failing to impress their characters on the next generation as effectually as they might have done by pairing homogamously. Hence, those individuals which do pair homogamously will leave a larger number—or better quality—of offspring to the next generation, than is left by those which fail to pair homogamously. Hence, also, in the course of many generations a selective premium will be set on the homogamous pairing, A plus A, B plus B, whether such pairing be due to a sexual instinct or to a sexual incompatibility. For example, if horses and asses were to occupy the same area for a sufficient length of time, it is conceivable that the instinct which many horses now present of preferring asses to their own kind would become obsolete; because the horses or mares which have such an instinct would always fail to leave progeny that could transmit it, while such would not be the case with the horses and mares which preferred to pair homogamously, and so it might be if a physiological instead of a psychological character were concerned. But now observe, if this consideration were adduced, I should not be concerned to dispute it. For, even if such a principle of segregation does obtain, to what category does the principle belong? Clearly it does not belong to natural selection, inasmuch as a mere failure to impress individual characters on the next generation is not a matter of life and death in the struggle for existence. But, no less clearly, it does belong to physiological selection; and therefore, if it be an active principle in nature, it is an additional cause of segregate fecundity in first crosses. Moreover, such a principle, if it ever acts, presupposes some considerable degree of sexual differentiation as already given by some other cause.

Having thus endeavored to make it as clear as I can, that the causes of segregate fecundity, both in its origin and subsequent "increase," must be causes acting on the physiology of the segregating forms themselves, and not the effects of these causes in the character of their mongrel offspring; I must next comment upon the extraordinary idea which underlies the whole of Mr. Wallace's exposition, and which in one place he expressly states. This extraordinary idea is that the theory of physiological selection, as held both by Mr. Gulick and myself, takes no cognizance of the possible effects of cross-sterility in leading to infertility or inferiority on the part of mongrel progeny. I call this an extraordinary idea, because it appears to me most extraordinary that Mr. Wallace can have read our papers, and then have supposed that he was adding anything to our theory by arguing the points which he does argue in the above quotation. When once this argument is correctly stated, it amounts, as we have just seen, to nothing more than pointing out how a segregate fecundity of first crosses will have a better chance of increasing, if the mongrel progeny are infertile or inferior. But surely this goes without saying; or, if it be said, let it be added that physiological selection, when it thus extends to second crosses, is really or ultimately due to physiological selection as regards the first crosses. If the segregate fecundity of the first crosses is of such a kind, that, besides tending to a physiological isolation of the parent forms, it leads to inferiority of the mongrel progeny; this is merely a further expression of the segregate fecundity in question. Its effect is that of so far extinguishing the influence of progeny in the subsequent history of parental segregation: therefore, its effect is just the same as if, owing to a somewhat higher degree of segregate fertility in the first instance (i. e., in the first crosses), a proportionately smaller number of mongrel offspring had been produced at all. In either case the result (physiological differentiation) is equally due to causes acting on the sexual system of the parent forms; and whether this effect is brought about by a suppression of progeny as to their numbers alone, or likewise as to their efficiency, is quite immaterial to the theory of physiological selection. Which shows once more how wide of the mark is Mr. Wallace's statement, that "the inferiority of the hybrid offspring is the essential point" in any process of sexual segregation. The "essential point" must always be the original occurrence and subsequent "preservation of the infertile variations" arising between the parent forms, whether these variations are only in the direction of producing a smaller number of mongrels, or also in that of suppressing their efficiency when produced.

Upon the whole, then, it is surely the oddest of misconceptions on Mr. Wallace's part that has led him to present the above-quoted "argument" as a substitute for the theory of physiological selection. As far as it goes, and as far as it is sound, it is the theory of physiological selection pure and simple—neither adding to, nor detracting from it one iota. Nevertheless, the "argument" has not yet gone far enough to embody some of the other elements of the theory. Therefore I will now continue the quotation:

"The differentiation of the two forms into distinct species, with the increase of infertility between them, would be greatly assisted by two other important factors in the problem. It has already been shown that, with each modification of form and habits, and especially with modifications of color, there arises a disinclination of the two forms to pair together; and this would produce an amount of isolation which would greatly assist the specialisation of the forms in adaptation to their different conditions of life. Again, evidence has been adduced that change of conditions or of mode of life is a potent cause of disturbance of the reproductive system, and, consequently, of infertility. We may therefore assume that, as the two forms adopted more and more different modes of life, and perhaps acquired also decided peculiarities of form and coloration, the infertility between them would increase or become more general; and as we have seen that every such increase of infertility would give that portion of the species in which it arose an advantage over the remaining portions in which the two varieties were more fertile together, all this induced infertility would maintain itself, and still further increase the general infertility between the two forms of the species."

Here we perceive that Mr. Wallace, after having adopted the theory of physiological selection in its main elements, next proceeds to supplement that theory (as Mr. Gulick and myself had previously done), by showing how greatly the principle of physiological selection must be assisted by any association with other forms of isolation, or segregate breeding. The only difference between Mr. Wallace and ourselves here is, that while he instances but three or four forms of segregate breeding (or homogamy) with which physiological selection may be associated, I had previously considered several others in addition to these, while Mr. Gulick had gone into the matter still more exhaustively. Therefore, here as elsewhere, I can only account for the character of Mr. Wallace's criticism by supposing that he read our papers inattentively in the first instance, and was afterwards influenced by "unconscious memory" in his subsequent cogitations upon the problem of cross-sterility.

And now, finally, in order to show this still more completely, I may quote the whole paragraph which concludes his long discussion of that problem:

"The preceding argument, it will be seen, depends entirely upon the assumption that some amount of infertility characterises the distinct varieties which are in process of differentiation into species; and it may be objected that of such infertility there is no proof. This is admitted: but it is urged that facts have been adduced which render such infertility probable, at least in some cases, and this is all that is required. It is by no means necessary that all varieties should exhibit incipient infertility, but only some varieties; for we know that, of the innumerable varieties that occur, but few become developed into distinct species; and it may be that the absence of infertility, to obviate the effects of intercrossing, is one of the usual causes of their failure. All I have attempted to show is, that when incipient infertility does occur in correlation with other varietal differences, that infertility can be, and in fact must be, increased by natural selection; and this, it appears to me, is a decided step in advance in the solution of the problem."

This serves to convey a very accurate summary of the whole "preceding argument"; and it is likewise an admirably concise restatement of the theory of physiological selection. The only points in it to which I object—considered as an epitome of my own paper—are as follows. First, Mr. Wallace has not proved quite so good an advocate as he might have proved, had he looked more closely into the evidence "that some amount of infertility characterises the distinct varieties which are in process of differentiation into species." For although he says, properly enough, that his "preceding argument"—i. e., the theory of physiological selection—"depends entirely upon the assumption" that such infertility does "characterise distinct varieties which are in process of differentiation into species"; still he is wrong in saying it is "admitted" that in favor of this assumption there is "no proof" beyond what he has himself "urged" in the way of "facts which render such infertility probable": there are many other facts which not only render such infertility probable, but prove it to be actual. Secondly, although I quite agree with Mr. Wallace in holding that natural selection must often, as I said in my original paper, "co-operate" with physiological selection, still I must point out that the particular form of segregate breeding to which he here alludes is not natural selection at all; but (as explained in the foot-note to page 15) physiological selection pure and simple. My objections, however, with regard to these two points have no reference to the validity of Mr. Wallace's restatement of my views; and the fact that this restatement has been given with the most incomprehensible unconsciousness that it is a restatement, does not appear to me to detract from the significance of the argumentative suicide in which his entire criticism is thus found to terminate.[7]

[7] I am the more surprised that Mr. Wallace did not perceive his almost complete adoption of my views in this latest publication of his own, because I had previously had occasion to point out a partial adoption of them in an earlier publication of his on the same subject. The following is what I said upon that occasion—viz., in the Nineteenth Century, January, 1888:

"One very obvious and probably frequent instance of what may be termed collective variation in the reproductive system—or a variation due to a common cause acting on many individuals simultaneously—is actually quoted from my paper by Mr. Wallace himself, namely, changes in the season of flowering or of pairing, which insure that any section of a species so affected shall be fertile only within itself. Collective variation of this kind may be directly due to the incidence of some common cause, such as changed conditions of life with respect to food, climate, station, etc.; or, as in the case of bud-variation, it may be due to a single "sport" affecting all the blossoms growing upon the same branch. But besides such direct action of a common cause, it is easy to see that natural selection, use and disuse, etc., by operating in the production of organic changes elsewhere, may not unfrequently react on the sexual system indirectly, and so induce the sexual change required in a number of individuals simultaneously."

Now, in his Darwinism, Mr. Wallace again reproduces this instance of "physiological selection," without even yet appearing to perceive that both in my original paper upon the subject and in my answer to his criticism as above quoted, I adduce this particular instance of physiological selection as a typical one. Therefore, when he now says:—"Another mode of isolation is brought about by the variety—either owing to habits, climate, or constitutional change—breeding at a slightly different time from the parent species: this is known to produce complete isolation in the case of many varieties of plants": he is merely restating what I have repeatedly given as an unquestionable case of physiological selection.

With the self-destruction of this criticism I am left without any other to answer; and I should not have occupied so much space in dealing with this one, were it not that the high estimation in which Mr. Wallace is so deservedly held by all other naturalists is calculated to render almost incredible the peculiar position to which he has eventually gravitated with reference to my views—professing hostility on the one hand, while reproducing them as original on the other. The misunderstanding of my ideas which this state of matters represents, might have led me to wonder whether I could possibly have rendered my meaning more clear in the first instance, were it not that this misunderstanding extends in an even greater measure to Mr. Gulick's paper than it does to mine. For seeing that the whole criticism is founded on the erroneous idea that our theory supposes physiological selection always to act alone, the misconception becomes positively ludicrous in its relation to Mr. Gulick's views; seeing that, as previously stated, Mr. Gulick not only agrees with me in holding that physiological selection must be greatly fortified by being associated with any other form of homogamy, but even goes so far as to agree with Mr. Wallace that, unless it is so fortified, it can never act at all. So that, as far as physiological selection is concerned, Mr. Gulick's theory is precisely identical with that of Mr. Wallace, and differs from his statement of it only in recognising a number of forms of homogamy, in addition to natural selection, sexual selection, etc., with which the principle of physiological selection may be associated.



The ingenious hypothesis that Weismann, the eminent Freiburg professor, promulgated several years ago regarding the vitality of all unicellular beings, but more especially of the Protozoans, is undoubtedly widely known. Weismann maintained that the Protozoans were distinguished from the Metazoans, or organisms composed of a number of cells, by the curious property they possessed of exemption from decay and death. The Protozoans exhibited, in the very words of the German savant, an instance of potential immortality;[8] that is to say, a natural physiological death did not exist for them; if they perished, it was by accident or chance, extraneous to the laws of their organisation. A great many authors have written upon this subject since Weismann, either in support of his opinion, or in refutation of it, and of them we may mention principally Goette,[9] Minot,[10] and M. Delboeuf.[11]

[8] Ueber die Dauer des Lebens. Jena, 1882.

[9] Ueber den Ursprung des Todes, 1883.

[10] La Mort et l'Individualité. (Bulletin Scientifique du Nord, 1884-85.)

[11] La Matière Brute et la Matière Vivante. Paris 1887.

It is to be observed that this idea of potential immortality is not the exclusive property of Weismann. We find it clearly indicated by Ehrenberg. And, moreover, as Bütschli remarks, it is so natural that it ought to occur of itself to the mind of every tolerably thoughtful observer that has devoted his time to the study of the biology of these minute creatures.[12]

[12] Gedanken über Leben und Tod (Zoologische Anzeige, Vol. v, 1882), cited by M. Maupas in Multiplication des Infusoires Ciliés—Arch. de Zool. Experimen., No. 2, 1888.

Weismann founded his theory in part upon metaphysical, or at least theoretical, considerations, which we deem it useless to discuss at this point. But it is also supported by observed facts, and these facts it will be profitable to recapitulate from the very onset. The idea of the immortality of Infusoria occurs naturally to the mind when one examines with care what happens when an Infusorian reproduces. We know that the reproduction consists in a bipartition of the body of the animal, and that consequently the parent does not die but lives in the two products of its bipartition. In subsequent multiplications the same phenomenon is always observed to occur, so that the entire substance of the parent is found preserved and living in the individuals to which it gives birth. This process Weismann expressed by the emphatic statement: In multiplication by division there are no corpses. It is wholly otherwise with the metazoans, and the reason of this fundamental difference is easily explained by the comparison of the organisation of the body of a metazoan with that of a protozoan. Whereas the protozoan is represented by a single cell that comprehends all the vital functions, the functions of reproduction as well as those of nutrition and relation, the metazoan, on the other hand, is composed of an aggregation, of a colony of distinct cells, among which a division of labor has been effected varying in complexity with the height that the animal has attained in the classificatory scale. It results from this division of labor that in the metazoan certain cells only—those namely which are called the sexual cells—are entrusted with the office of the conservation of the species, while the various other cells are more especially adapted to the conservation of the individual. When a metazoan reproduces, the sexual cells alone enter into activity, and after having suffered various modifications, the principal one of which is fecundation, the sexual cells become the seat of numerous segmentations that go to constitute a new animal distinct from the one that gave it birth. The moment the parent individual ceases to be blended with the individual it produces, it can perish without imperilling the conservation of the species, and thus it is that death appears in the animal kingdom as a logical consequence of division of labor.

We also know that Weismann, in developing these interesting facts, was led with many other naturalists to establish the doctrine that every metazoan may be considered as made up of two entirely distinct groups of cells: 1) of somatic cells, which represent the individual, and which are invested with the care of its nourishment, its sense-mechanism, its movements, and all the functions that have to do with individual life; and 2) of sexual cells, charged with the office of the maintenance of the species in time. Whereas the somatic cells are destined to perish, the sexual cells on the contrary, multiplying by division after the mode of the reproduction of micro-organisms, represent the protozoan type, which is immortal; and, by the intermediary agency of the fecundated ovum, the sexual cells pass from generation to generation, thus forming a material bond between successive generations. Though we have to succumb to death, there is at least a portion of us that ought not to die, from the fact that it is transmittible to our descendants. Naegeli expressed this idea in a felicitous form, when he compared the species to a creeping branch that sent out at successive points annual buds. The buds, which die, are the individuals—that is the somatic group; while the branch that survives after the death of the buds, and which represents the species, is the system of sexual cells. Weismann, finally, has described the same phenomenon by the expression 'continuity of the germinative plasm.'

A great many discussions have arisen with regard to this germinative plasm; for everything touches upon this domain, and Weismann has conceived a theory that endeavors to explain not only the phenomenon of fecundation, but also that of heredity. I cannot mention here the numerous works upon this subject, and refer the inquisitive reader for a knowledge of the same to a series of lectures by Professor Balbiani that I have epitomized in the Revue Philosophique for December 1889.

The theory of the potential immortality of the Infusoria has recently been attacked by M. Maupas, whose observations tend to show that natural death, caused by senescence, does obtain among the Infusoria, and that it is comparable in many points of view to the natural death of the metazoans. The researches of M. Maupas upon the multiplication of ciliate Infusoria are of a relatively recent date, having appeared in 1888 in Vol. VI. of the "Archives de Zoologie Expérimentale."

It is scarcely necessary to say that the ciliate Infusoria can propagate without previous coition. The agamic mode of reproduction appears to be almost the same, save in a few details, as that which follows coition. It consists in a bipartition or division of the body of the animal along a plane usually perpendicular to the grand axis of the nucleus, and it is a matter of course that that element takes part in the division at the same time with the protoplasm. These phenomena of reproduction it is possible to study upon a grand scale by supplying Infusoria kept in captivity with abundance of nourishment. The easiest way is to produce a putrid fermentation by means of vegetable fragments crushed and macerated in water. The Infusoria contained in this water find abundant food furnished by the bacteria developed in it, and they therefore multiply in great numbers. By means of appropriate methods of treatment and isolation we are able to follow the phenomenon step by step and to examine what the animal actually becomes after each agamic bipartition.

Weismann, when he laid the foundation of his theory of the immortality of Infusoria, supposed that the development of the Infusoria by bipartition had no limits and could be prolonged indefinitely without injury to the vitality of the protoplasm. Various authors had already made observations which were directly in contradiction with this view. M. Balbiani, in 1860, in a communication entitled, "Observations and Experiments upon the Phenomena of Fissiparous Reproduction among Ciliate Infusoria,"[13] concludes thus: "one of the most important questions … has been to determine whether this mode of propagation is really unlimited, or whether, after being continued throughout a greater or lesser number of generations, it becomes by degrees enfeebled, finally to disappear completely…. We have established that this mode of propagation has its limits, and ends invariably in one of the three following ways: either by the natural and almost simultaneous death of all the individuals belonging to the same cycle, or by the recurrence of sexual generation leading to the termination of one of the cycles and the commencement of a new cycle, or finally by the phenomenon of encystment, which in fact brings about only a momentary interruption of the process of reproduction by fissiparity" M. Balbiani, apropos of this subject, has called attention to a curious observation made by the celebrated Danish micrographer O. F. Müller, who lived in the last century. Müller had observed that the individuals of any one species most ordinarily found in coition were almost all of small stature. But he took them for the young individuals of the species. Now these individuals of small size are in reality the oldest, that is to say, they are the ones that are the result of a great number of successive bipartitions; and it is to be observed, that, in a great many species, in proportion as the bipartitions increase the size of the Infusoria decreases.

[13] C. R. Acad. des Sciences. Vol. iv. p. 1191.

In fine, without further concerning ourselves with the history of this question, we see that according to M. Balbiani the agamic reproduction of Infusoria has its limits, and that, when coition, that is to say fecundation, does not intervene, it may terminate by the natural death of the individuals or in certain species by encystment.

The chief new element contained in the recent researches of M. Maupas, which were made twenty years after the date of the preceding investigations, consists in his study of the various phenomena of senescence that the Infusoria after a long series of bipartitions present. M. Maupas has established that there exists in the Infusoria no part, no element, that by itself and by its own faculties, can live and be maintained indefinitely. The first outward sign of degeneration is manifested in a reduction of size. The individuals, according as the number of generations increases, become smaller and smaller. With Stylonichia pustulata, which in the normal state measures one hundred and sixty μ, the size of the body is seen gradually to fall to one hundred and thirty-five, one hundred and ten, seventy, and even to forty μ. When the effects of senescence become marked, the animal in its external organs undergoes atrophies and new and more profound degenerations. In Stylonichia pustulata the vibratile buccal apparatus becomes gradually atrophied and partly disappears, and in all species the body is reduced and becomes more and more shrunken, assuming forms and contours very far removed from the specific type. The degeneration of the nuclear apparatus at once begins. The first modifications affect the accessory or attendant nucleus, a cut of which will be found at page 118 of my work on Micro-organisms,[14] and of which the principal function seems to be the maintenance and conservation of the species, and which, therefore, ought to be considered as the real substratum of the immortal plasma. Far from enjoying the attribute of eternal youth, the accessory nucleus seems on the contrary to be affected with a weakness greater and more premature than that of the other parts of the organism. In fact it is this organ that is first atrophied and that disappears under the influence of senile degenerescence. Then, in its turn, the principal nucleus is affected. It takes, according to the species, a different form. Now it diminishes in volume, now it divides into two minute bodies that assume irregular contours, and at other times it assumes a ribbon-like shape.

[14] English translation by The Open Court Pub. Co., Chicago. Longmans & Co., London.

It is interesting to note that even after the disappearance of the accessory nucleus, whenever the principal nucleus still subsists, the Infusoria continue to live and divide by fission. This life, says M. Maupas, has some features of abnormality about it, since it has become wholly purposeless. The animals still live an individual life, but they are dead to the life of the species.[15]

[15] Page 262.

In concluding upon this point, I must mention the reservations that may be entertained with regard to the exactitude of the preceding observations and the value of the method employed in their attainment. A competent critic has remarked that it is difficult to assume that nine hundred and thirty-five specimens of the genus Stylonichia could find the gases necessary for the support of life, seeing that M. Maupas kept them under the same stage where they only had at their disposal a mass of water equal to one hundred cubic millimetres; and it may thus be asked whether the phenomena of senescence produced under these special conditions were not pathological. This criticism seems to be especially strengthened by the fact, that according to M. Maupas, the animalcula placed beneath the shield, all finally congregate at the edge of the preparation, evidently to seek there the air of which they are in need.

If we took our stand, however, upon the facts before cited we could conclude without hesitation that the celebrated thesis of Weismann regarding the immortality of the ciliate Infusoria had been overthrown. But the phenomena are not presented with this simplicity. When the vitality of the Infusoria has become weakened by a considerable number of agamic reproductions, and the animalcule is upon the point of dying a natural death, a new biological phenomenon can intervene, rejuvenating the animal and rendering it capable of reproducing itself anew for a long series of generations. That phenomenon is fecundation.

* * * * *

In our work upon Micro-Organisms we have spoken at length of the material process of fecundation in ciliate Infusoria, and of the phenomena preliminary to it, following as our guide the observations of Balbiani, Gruber, Bütschli, and Engelmann. It will be necessary to recur here to that subject and to supplement our preceding exposition with some important details. Moreover, recent researches, added to other older ones, afford us interesting information with regard to the conditions and determining causes of conjugation and also of the significance of fecundation itself.

We have seen above that according to M. Balbiani an active period of agamic bipartition in Infusoria can terminate in a period of conjugation; a circumstance which produces in effect a cyclical alternation between agamic generations and a sex-generation. The very word cycle is used in the observations of M. Balbiani. M. Maupas elevated this observation of M. Balbiani to the rank of a method; using, in order to procure the great number of coitions necessary for his investigations, the following process. He placed the Infusoria in water in which he had produced a putrid fermentation. The Infusoria, thanks to the abundance of the nutriment developed in great numbers. While thus swarming they were lifted out with a drop of water, which was kept upon the stage in a moist chamber. The Infusoria there continued to grow larger and multiply; but by reason of their great numbers it was not long before they exhausted the food brought with them in the drop of water. When the last remains of their nutriment had disappeared they were seen in the majority of cases to seek each other and to copulate.

According to M. Maupas, it is not solely the weakness produced by a series of bipartitions, but, in addition to that and more particularly, the scarcity of food, that excites in the ciliate Infusoria the conjugal appetite. The epidemics of conjugation of which the authors speak, are not otherwise explainable. M. Maupas even says, that when a number of pairs are about to copulate, it is only necessary to give them food to put an end to their conjugation. Scarcity, that author further remarks, ought evidently not to modify in any essential the internal organic state of the Infusoria in question; no more indeed than the opposed condition, that is, an abundance of rich food (page 403 of his memoir). But in the first case they copulate without any ado; in the second, they refuse to do so entirely. Rich alimentation deadens the conjugal appetite; fasting, on the contrary awakens and excites it. There exists moreover, according to the author last mentioned, in ciliate Infusoria, a particular period beyond which fecund coitions cannot take place. It is what he calls the period of karyogamic maturity. Thus, in Leucophrys, for example, fecund coitions are observed to take place only after the three-hundredth generation. Before that time the Infusoria may be placed in all the other conditions favorable to copulation, without being seen to contract a single union. On the other hand, beyond that time, a period extends in which numerous coitions are obtained. Although, indeed, the cyclical alternation of agamic generations and copulations is indisputable, further researches are still necessary to obtain a thorough knowledge of the extent of these cycles. It is certain that their duration varies in the different species, and perhaps, in conditions as yet imperfectly known, may in any one species be considerably abridged.

We are now come to the preliminaries of copulation. We have described them in our work, making use of the observations of Balbiani, Gruber, and of Engelmann, some of which we found confirmed by Bütschli. M. Maupas, who has recently again taken up this question, believes he has discovered in his predecessors, or rather in the observations of M. Balbiani, grave errors. I shall transcribe the passage in question: "When a numerous group of Infusoria of the same species are found in the conditions that determine copulation, these animalcula abandon themselves to certain movements, and exhibit an agitation the significance of which has been much exaggerated. Balbiani, who in fact always seeks analogies with the higher animals, has given us an animated description of these movements, to which a poetical imagination has contributed at least as much as exact and scientific observation. This description has met with a most favorable reception among certain philosophers and psychologists who have taken up with it in the belief that they could thereby reveal in microzoans the rudiments of the instincts and psychic faculties of higher-organized beings. As there is very much inexactitude and exaggeration in all that, it is time to calm this enthusiasm and to refer the facts and their explanation to some more exact criterion." (Page 413.)

I believe it useless to occupy my time in dealing with the aggressive tone that this author has seen fit to assume towards me, and which seems to be habitual with him when he criticises the works of people with whom he does not agree. I shall carefully examine his observations and seek to derive from them some profit, to the improvement and correction of my work upon the Psychic Life of Micro-Organisms, if it is true that I have committed the grave errors of which he speaks. Besides, the question of the preliminaries of copulation is so interesting in itself that I have no fear of turning to it a second time.

It is necessary, here, clearly to distinguish two things: the facts and their explanations. In that which concerns observed facts, the errors that M. Maupas endeavors to point out in the descriptions of M. Balbiani appear to me to be capable of a reduction to a matter of so little significance—admitting that it comes at all from error—that if I had not been apprised of it, I should have regarded the researches of the first author as a confirmation in most details of those of the second. It is to be observed, in fact, that M. Maupas gives almost the same description that Balbiani does of the movements of Paramæcium aurelia. "I have followed animals of that species a number of times," he says, "during the preparations for copulation. They exhibit at that moment a very great agitation. They are seen to go and come, rapidly changing their direction. They approach and throw themselves against their congeners, halt in front of them, feel them an instant with their cilia, then leave them, assume the most varied positions, and, finally, when two individuals equally ready for union chance to meet each other, they face about by their anterior extremities so that the two bodies come together and join, with the exception of the posterior extremities, along their whole extent; the union is thus definitively effected."

Up to this point, let it be observed, our author's description is but a paraphrase of that of M. Balbiani, which we have given on page 69 of our work; and a simple comparison of the two suffices to prove this. The divergences of fact extend, as it seems to me, to the two following points only: The duration of the preliminaries, and the existence of an epidemic of copulation. M. Maupas thinks that the movements in question never last very long, at the most a quarter of or half an hour among individuals that have arrived at karyogamic maturity. Whereas M. Balbiani has observed these same movements last for several days. I do not know which of these two observations is the more exact; in fact, I do not think it necessary to choose between them, since both may be exact, the duration of the phenomenon generally being dependent upon conditions subject to great change, while M. Maupas himself remarks that the ciliate Infusoria in the variability of all their biological phenomena are veritable thermometers of a very great sensibility. However that may be, whether the movements that precede copulation in Paramæcium last a quarter of an hour, half an hour, or several days, that fact does not change their real character. The second divergence relates to the epidemics of copulation in the case of Paramæcium aurelia; observed by M. Balbiani and denied by M. Maupas. "All the individuals of a group," says M. Maupas, "are never found simultaneously in this condition. Hence the tentative preliminaries of copulation, that fail in their object and end in the individuals going to seek elsewhere another partner." I confess, I do not understand this statement, involving, as it does, M. Maupas in a contradiction; for two pages before this he speaks of the mode of the appearance of copulation as in the epidemic form. All observers, he says, that have occupied themselves with this phenomenon, state that it is suddenly developed in the little aquariums in which the animals are contained, and very rapidly becomes general (page 41).

To this then the divergences of fact are reduced—a matter entirely insignificant; and I believe it useless to dwell upon it longer. The question of interpretation remains. I shall also say a few words with reference to this, although the disagreement is at bottom not much more serious.

We have seen, that, according to M. Maupas, the Infusoria do not seek each other and copulate until after a fast of considerable duration caused by exhaustion of the store of food in the medium in which they live. The author concludes from this that scarcity of food is the sole and real cause of the great agitation in which they are then seen. "When an infusion thickly populated begins to get exhausted, the animalcula congregate together, always forming those whitish cloud-spots that we have described as the prelude to copulation…. Not until afterwards do the actual movements of copulation occur, which never last very long." Accordingly, there is first an agitation produced by hunger, and only in consequence of that are the preliminaries of copulation brought about. Admitting this interpretation as exact, which is indeed a question that I reserve, I conclude that M. Maupas completely accepts the facts of the preliminaries of copulation, distinguishing them from other phenomena that precede them. He says, moreover, and these are his own words, that the sexual impulse does indeed exist in these little creatures. Unquestionably he is right in adding that this sexual impulse presents in the ciliate Infusoria manifestations much simpler than in the higher animals, and that it is otherwise in accord with their simplicity of organisation. That is evident, and no one I believe has ever maintained the contrary.

Finally, the author refuses to admit that the sexual manifestations of the Infusoria can be compared with the phenomena of rut. "Rut," he says, "the external and psychic manifestations of which we know with any degree of exactitude only in mammals, is a reflex phenomenon concomitant with and consecutive to the maturation of the Graafian vesicles. It is therefore an especial phenomenon peculiar to the females of the highest group of the animal series. Males are not subject to rut, but are always ready to experience the sexual excitation whenever they find themselves in contact with females that are fallen into that condition" (page 414).

Naturalists will certainly read with great astonishment this definition of rut, which is wholly new and personal to the author. Hitherto the word rut has not been reserved for mammals; it has been applied to all classes of animals, even to the lowest, and Duvernoy, for example, has devoted an article to the rut of zoöphytes.

We now come, following the chronological order of the phenomena, to the material processes of conjugation, otherwise called fecundation, in the ciliate Infusoria. It is needless to take up in its entirety a question that we have already examined, and which will be found treated of at page 65 of our work. But it is certainly interesting to dwell upon the general significance of the question of fecundation. It is known that all ciliate Infusoria, excepting some species such as Opalina, a parasitic infusory of the frog, exhibit in their protoplasm two kinds of nuclear corpuscles. First a nucleus, a principal nucleus, which the authors designate by the names endoplast and macronucleus; this element is in some ways comparable to the nucleus of the cells of tissues. Besides this the ciliate Infusoria possess a smaller nuclear element than the former, called by the authors nucleolus, or endoplastule, or attendant nucleus, or finally micronucleus. This micronucleus comprises in its evolution the internal phenomena of the process of conjugation. The principal nucleus plays in the process but an accessory rôle, for it is a wasted element destined to be replaced by a nucleus of new formation; when it undergoes more or less complete elimination. The attendant nucleus passes through a series of complicated modifications which vary much in detail for each species. First, there are stages of division destined to prepare the way for the elimination of the used up corpuscles. But the most important fact is that at a given moment there exists in the protoplasm of each ciliate Infusory in conjugation, two corpuscles derived from the nucleus; then an exchange is effected between the two individuals in copulation; each transmits to the other one of the corpuscles, which copulates with the remaining corpuscle left in the interior of the body. These two little nuclei that play parts so different are, according to M. Maupas, completely identical with one another and do not show the least difference either in form, volume, or structure. "In the twelve species in which I have succeeded in closely studying these organs," says that author, "I have always seen them act with the most perfect similitude under the influence of coloring and fixitive re-agents." Nevertheless, in view of the future condition of these two elements, M. Maupas is led to give them the very significant names of male pronucleus and female pronucleus. The female pronucleus is the one that remains immobile in the body of the parent gamete; while the other, the male, is exchanged and passes into the body of the other gamete.

In what does the real nature of the copulation of these two pronuclei consist? Does it consist in a fusion of the elements mentioned, or, indeed, do the latter preserve their original independence and autonomy in the midst of the new mixed nucleus, standing in juxtaposition with and moving in and about one another? This is the question that M. Maupas immediately proceeded to examine. The recent researches of M. Ed. Van Beneden upon the internal mechanism of fecundation in Ascaris megalocephala are well known. We have published in the Revue Philosophique, following M. Balbiani, a résumé of these important investigations, and we may be permitted to reproduce here a few passages therefrom; for nothing is more interesting than the evolution followed by our ideas in that which concerns fecundation.

The notions that were formed of this phenomenon only took definite and precise shape from the time when the existence of the two elements of fecundation, the spermatozoön and the ovum, could be established. It was at first believed that the spermatozoön impregnated the ovum by the exercise of a purely physical action—an action of contact and influence. But observation demonstrated that something more took place, namely, an actual conjugation, a union, a blending of the spermatozoön and the ovule. A further step was made in 1875, when it was discovered, in studying the ova of Echinoderms, that but one single part of the ovule, the germinative vesicle, conjugated with but one part of the spermatozoön, namely the head, and that since these two elements have each the value of a nucleus, fecundation consisted in the conjugation of two nuclei. But there was still an element of obscurity in this idea, simple as it was. If the nuclei were vesicles like soap-bubbles they might burst, the one within the other; but the nucleus contains a great number of differentiated elements, the chromatic reticulated substance, the nuclear substance, the nucleoli, etc.: what becomes of all these elements during the conjugation of the two nuclei? In 1881, Flemming made a new advance in the question. He determined more precisely the nature of the fusion of the two pronuclei, establishing that it consisted in the blending of their chromatic substances. This he observed in the ova of the Echinoderms. According to the very recent works of M. Van Beneden upon Ascaris megalocephala, the great nematoid of the horse, there is no fusion whatever between the two pronuclei. They always remain distinct. Each passes through, separately, all the phases of karyokinesis, when the fecundated ovum divides. In this connection the recent observations of M. Balbiani confirm the opinion of Van Beneden, who had been sharply attacked by Carnoy and Zacharias. First, in each of the two pronuclei each reticulate substance is observed to present the initial phases of karyokinesis; the net-works form into a skein that contracts and thickens; the ribbon-like body thus formed divides into two segments, which bend so as to form acute-angled crooks or loops. There are thus produced two loops in the male pronucleus, and two in the female pronucleus. Then the two male loops approach the two female loops in a manner such that a sort of star is formed with eight branches turned towards the periphery of the ovum (nuclear or equatorial disk). Then the fecundated ovum begins to divide into segments. Now at every new equatorial stage of the subsequent divisions of the ovum these four loops are seen to reappear in such a manner that fusion never takes place between the male element and the female element. Each of the four primitive chromatic loops divides by longitudinal division into two secondary loops, whence result two equatorial semi-disks, each formed of four secondary loops, of which two come from the male pronucleus and two from the female pronucleus. Each of the two new nuclei contains therefore a certain number of male and female chromatic loops, and consequently presents an hermaphroditic constitution.

For Van Beneden, therefore, fecundation consists essentially in the presence in the ovum of two nuclei, one male and one female. The conjugation of the two nuclei is a phenomenon of no importance; it may take place, or it may not. The physiological signification of fecundation is a process of rejuvenation, in which the ovum replaces its old male element with a new male element, the spermatozoön.[16]

[16] Recherches sur la Maturation de l'Œuf, etc. Arch. de Biol. Vol. iv. 1883. Nouvelles Recherches sur la Fécondation. Bul. de l'Acad. Roy. des Sciences de Belgique, 3 Série, Vol. xiv. 1887.

M. Maupas remarks that the pronuclei of the Infusoria by reason of their complicated structures do not admit of these difficult investigations. Nevertheless he mentions the fact that these pronuclei are, in the elements mentioned, composed of two distinct substances, hyaloplasm and chromatin. He puts forth the opinion that the hyaloplasm constitutes an accessory portion, and that the chromatin is endowed with the fecundative properties. Which means that in certain ciliate Infusoria the male pronucleus at the moment of its migration is composed solely of chromatin. Finally, M. Maupas arrives at the conclusion that the supreme end of fecundationis the renovation, the reconstitution, of a rejuvenated nucleus formed by the copulation of two fecundative nuclei having distinct origins and of which the chromatin elements represent the essential part (page 434).

* * * * *

It is now time to return a moment to the theory of Weismann and to see if it has not been shaken by the new data that we have just placed before the reader. Accepting the results of the experiments of M. Maupas, who, as a matter of fact, has arrived at the same conclusions as M. Balbiani, we are led to the admission that when a ciliate Infusorian multiplies by agamic division a great number of times, the offspring that appear after from 50 to 100 bipartitions has not the same physiological value as its original progenitor; and that agamic multiplication ends in exhaustion and in natural death. But it must, on the other hand, be taken into account that this process of senescence is counteracted by that of conjugation, which consists in a nuclear renovation; and since the substance, the protoplasm, of the rejuvenated individual escapes death, a new argument might be found in these last mentioned facts for the theory of the immortality of Infusoria.

The question is, at bottom, whether the individual after conjugation is identically the same as before conjugation, or whether it constitutes a new animal. In that the solution rests. Now, the new element that the individual acquires by the act of conjugation is the male pronucleus of its partner. In addition it loses the greater part of its old accessory nucleus and the whole of its old principal nucleus. In return, by way of compensation, it preserves the integrity of its protoplasm and of its other organs. M. Gruber believes that physical identity persists in spite of these modifications. M. Maupas maintains the contrary.

It seems to us that a question of this character does not admit of a satisfactory solution, and this opinion will be shared by all who have considered the idea of physical identity. It is a notion obscure, uncertain, and full of contradictions. We have formed it because it answers our practical needs. But it is certainly evident that it corresponds to no well defined external phenomenon. In fact, we understand by physical identity the constant reunion of certain elements in a certain order. If the order of these elements is very slightly modified, or if a very small number of these elements is replaced by others, we do not hesitate to say that the physical identity in question has not been altered by these insignificant modifications. If, on the other hand, the order has been almost totally destroyed, if the greater portion of the elements has been renewed, we should, on the contrary, say that the identity of the thing in question had been lost in these alterations and that a new object had replaced the old. Replace a stone in a house and the latter remains the same house; rebuild the house upon a new plan and with different materials retaining very little of the first construction, and it is a different house. But between these two extreme cases there is a whole series of possible intermediate changes, and we are not able to establish clearly by any exterior mark the point where physical identity ends. This is a matter of personal estimation; I might even say of caprice; and all the discussions raised upon these questions appear to me wholly idle.

I believe, accordingly, that the thesis of Weismann regarding the immortality of Infusoria eludes a direct refutation. It is neither confirmed nor overturned by observed facts.



Much interest is displayed at present in the development of woman, both as to her personal characteristics, and in her relations to her surroundings in human society. It is justly said that the civilisation of a nation may be measured by the degree of humanity displayed by its men towards its women. This is for the reason that, since women are the weaker sex, man has only ethical reasons for self-restraint in his treatment of her. Nowhere is the sex-interest under better ethical control than in the United States; and it is in this country also that we hear the most of reforms which are necessary in order that woman may attain a further development, and assume a higher position in relation to the state. This being the case, it is extremely important that the foundation facts, or in other words the necessary natural conditions, under which the sexes co-operate in society, should be fully understood. That they are not understood, or that they are intentionally ignored in some quarters, is evident to any one who reads the current literature of the subject.

The relation of the male man to his environment involves the usual struggle for existence more or less active. His pièce de resistance is the mineral and vegetable world and its atmosphere, and his antagonist is his fellow man. The former generally yields more or less abundantly to his solicitations. What he gets from his fellow man is acquired through the necessities of the latter, and the benefit may be mutual, or it may be all on one side. His best friend may unconsciously and unintentionally, in the regular order of trade, reduce him to beggary, or compel him, as an alternative, to emigrate to a distant land. Such results are more frequent as population increases. To maintain himself against the destructive forces of nature, such as cold, heat, rains, tempests, fires, blights, etc., is his necessary occupation. If he pursue a profession, or if he be in trade, he must supply the actual needs of his fellow man, and beware that competition and monopoly do not deprive him of all return for his labor.

Woman, considered by herself, is subject to identical conditions. Her needs are the same and her environment is the same. But she is not so well endowed as man to supply the one or to meet the other. Her disabilities are of two kinds, physical and mental. The physical are: first, inferior muscular strength, and secondly, childbearing. The latter means more or less incompetence for active work at monthly periods, or several months of gestation and lactation, and some years of care of children. The mental disabilities are: first, inferior power of mental co-ordination; and secondly, greater emotional sensibility, which interferes more or less with rational action.[17]

[17] This is, of course, only true where the sexes of the same subspecies or race are compared.

From these facts it is evident that, were woman of the same sex as man, that is, were she simply another kind of man, she would soon be eliminated from the earth under the operation of the ordinary law of the survival of the fittest. This need not be through any agencies different from those now actually in operation among men under the circumstances of peaceful trade. And such is often the actual history of male men who possess marked feminine characteristics. It does not follow from this, that some women might not sustain themselves apart from men, in agriculture, trade, and the professions. This is especially possible where the struggle is not very severe; but in the cases which exist, few are really independent of male assistance, which has furnished the capital, either of cleared land, money, or as an appointing power. The general result, as above stated, is self-evident from the facts.

Remedies for this disability are frequently proposed. A higher education, while an unquestioned advantage, does not remove it. The ballot would only result in removing any disability of an artificial character which might exist, but could not effect those imposed by nature. There is no method of human contrivance by which the natural difficulty may be overcome.

But Nature has supplied a most effective remedy. Woman not being of the same sex as man, supplies a necessity which is almost universal, so that she is placed, if she exercise reasonable care, in a position better than that of man in relation to the struggle for existence. The antagonist of man, his fellow man, is eliminated from the list of the antagonists of woman, and that is an advantage which cannot be overestimated. Not only is man removed from the field as a competitor, but he becomes an active helper in resisting the forces of nature. More than this, he is willing under the circumstances, to divide with her what he extracts from both man and nature. Were these the only benefits that woman derives from man they would constitute a sufficient reason for the usual preference which she displays for his protection, rather than for a life of independence. But she is herself possessed of a sex-interest which is satisfied by such a relation. Not only this, but her love of children constitutes a further inducement, which is highly effective in bringing about her customary relation with man.

It is self-evident then that any system which looks to a career for women independent of man, such as man pursues, is abnormal, and injurious to her interests.

The support and protection given by man to woman is then clearly rendered as an equivalent for the services she renders him in the capacity of a wife. It is universally implied, if not distinctly stated in the contract between them, that she shall not be the wife of some other man, and that the children she bears shall be also those of the male party to the contract, or the husband. It is not necessary that any such obligation should be entered into by the man, for the obvious reason that he does not bear children. If the woman violates this contract, the man is under no moral or legal obligation to support her. If the man has other wives he does not thereby forfeit protection and support of the wife, since she has none to offer him. This general fact would not prevent a woman possessed of wealth who supported a husband, from withdrawing such support in case he should become polygamous. But such a situation is so exceptional as to deserve but a passing notice in a consideration of the whole question.

It is frequently insisted that responsibility of man to woman in the matter of monogamic relations, is ethically the same as that of woman to man. This has not been the view of mankind generally, and it is distinctly negatived by the facts in the case. The marriage relation is clearly a contract in which the consideration on one side is support and protection, and the consideration on the other is monogamic wifehood, or the definite paternity of children and their care and education. The immediate reason why particular men and women marry particular women and men, is, or ought to be, love and affection; but these admirable sentiments, are the offspring of natural conditions of sex, without which woman, and especially man, would not marry at all. And these natural conditions are clearly satisfied by the maintenance of the contract as above described. In order to further enforce this position I merely refer to the well-known fact that man cannot commit marital infidelity in the same sense that woman can, on account of his physical diversity. His unfaithfulness introduces no new blood into a family, and makes no defect in the inheritance, as does the same act on the part of the woman. The woman is in a position of trust, precisely like the responsible officers of a bank. It is in the power of both to defraud those who trust them. Hence it is that woman has been always held to stricter account in this matter than man, and always must be. For this reason the jealousy displayed by husbands is more justifiable than that displayed by wives; and the result of marital infidelity on the part of wives is usually more disastrous to the offending parties. It is in consequence of these facts that there exists some difference in the ethical feelings of the sexes on this question. It is undoubtedly true that there are more women willing to live in polygamy than men willing to live in polyandry, in spite of the verbal objections that women make to such a system in modern times. I do not now refer to promiscuity, in which the affections are in no wise concerned. In this everyway inferior relation, men are the most numerous offenders. It is for the reasons above stated that women are more monogamous in their tendencies than men. Not only does the question of support and protection during child-bearing and at other times make it more to their interest to be so, but they are more inclined to attach themselves to particular persons than men, on account of their superior affectional endowments. This is an inevitable result of their occupation in the family and with the family for countless ages, and is as much a product of their evolution, as is the superior rationality and self-control of the male sex.

The above picture may seem to some persons of progressive views on "the woman question" somewhat onesided. But the relation of man to the contract is not yet completely described. Meanwhile I refer to a sentiment attributed to a single woman, a teacher in a girls' school, I believe near Pittsburg, quoted by a lady writer in the Popular Science Monthly, several months ago. This lady, believing that the strength of the emotional elements of character in women constitutes a disability, and stands in the way of her so-called equality with man, had resolved to suppress that part of her nature, and to live a life free from its consequences. She hoped thus to attain a condition not only equal, but superior to that of men, and was prepared to teach the girls committed to her care that this was their duty to themselves and to the world. For this reason she would not marry. The fallacy in this reasoning consists in the omission of certain important premises. The principal one of these is, that neither she nor any other woman can exterminate in a life-time, the heritage which woman has derived from the entire history of the human species, to say nothing of the inheritance from the ancestors of mankind, where the same traits exist in the diminished ratio of a smaller mentality. In order to accomplish this change in female character, it would be necessary that the same course should be pursued by many successive generations of women; how many, it is impossible to calculate. This would require that such women should marry, which is what the lady whose views are referred to above, desired to avoid. In fact it is typical women who will marry, and typical women will be therefore produced to the end of time, unless some new system of sex relations shall be introduced.

It is sometimes suggested that a change in intersex relations is desirable in order to effect a fuller emancipation of women from present conditions. With the remark in passing, that the natural restraints imposed by the present marriage system on woman are not greater than those imposed on man, although different, we may refer to the alternative arrangement which has been sometimes adopted. This is that woman should be free from all obligation to fidelity to any particular man, and that man should be free from the obligation to support any particular woman. In other words it is sometimes proposed that we return to the primitive state of human society. Such a system has descended to us from ancient times, and it only needs to be mentioned to satisfy us that woman is the loser by it to a degree that is disastrous to the interests of society in every respect. It is only a being devoid of the developed traits of womanhood who could succeed in a polyandrous career, since she must renounce the pleasures of family life, even if she is exceptionally able to accumulate the means of support for her self and children in later years.

A second alternative, that woman may secure the support of one man, while her marital relations are polyandrous, is an impossible dream of the imagination. This could be only possible under the condition that the child-bearing sex should be the stronger sex, and fully capable of self-support and self-protection; a condition which is not found in mankind.

A third alternative is the communistic relation where the state supports women and children, without inquiry as to parentage, and without reference to the monogamic or promiscuous relation of the sexes. Such a system, could it continue long enough, would result in the breaking up of the sentiment of conjugal affection which now characterises our race, and the destruction of marital fidelity. The question is whether or not this system would be preferable to that of monogamic marriage above described. As it is a proposition for the amelioration of the present condition of women, the decision should rest with them. The women of the white race would probably declare against it by a very large majority, were a vote to be taken. This vote would be, however, largely influenced by custom, and not by a deliberate conclusion derived from experience. Since experience of such system cannot be had at present, we are compelled to rely on such knowledge as we possess in the premises.

It may be safely assumed that the monogamic tendency is constitutional with the majority of women. In spite of curiosity and other inducements, the idea of love for a single person is deeply ingrained in her nature. It is an ideal to be realised somehow and at some time, and anything short of it is a disaster only to be endured through some irresistible necessity. No normal woman would hazard the risks to person and property involved in indefinite matrimonial relations. The idea of the family becomes the more fixed in proportion as it is realised in actual experience. In spite of pessimists and unfortunates, the mutual love of man and woman is a sentiment deeply seated in the nature of both. Its strength is attested by the enormous popularity of the literature of which it forms the theme, and of the drama where its history and vicissitudes are depicted. Men and women who underrate its power, or who attempt to resist its effects, are like dead leaves before the winds. Would men and women be satisfied with a system which should place these affections in constant suspense, and which should afford no safeguard for the protection of inexperience, or defense against the temporary effects of superficial attractions and repulsions? I suspect not, for more would be lost than gained by such possibilities. Relief from unfortunate connections is certainly proper, but this can be had in such a way as to render it certain that the best interests of both parties are subserved, by a system of time contracts of marriage, such as I crudely suggested in The Open Court for November 1888. But the emotions of sex cannot be safely left without safeguards derived from the experience of mankind. This is not only on account of the force of these passions themselves, but because of the material necessities which are so intimately involved with them. The element of paternal interest will have to be eliminated from the man, and of conjugal fidelity from the woman before a communal system can be possible. And the absence of these traits is only characteristic of some of the lower races of men at the present time. Evolution has not weakened, but has greatly strengthened them, and it is not likely that our race will go backward in this respect.

Of course it may be asserted that this evolution has taken the wrong direction, and is not an improvement. I think the contrary may be shown to be true. The paternal instinct is as important to the adolescent stages of man as the maternal is for the period of infancy. Paternity stimulates the man to labor for the support and education of his children, and for their general well-being. Without such support many would die, reach an imperfect development, or become feeble members of society. The fidelity of the woman develops the same trait in man, and it stimulates him to the greatest exertions to secure her well-being also. Such forces as these cannot be withdrawn from society without infinite loss. It is the knowledge that this is my wife and that these are my children, that sustains more than half of human industry. With a communistic system these inducements would be withdrawn, and mankind would sink into comparative apathy, were it possible for the system to endure long enough.

It is evident that monogamic and polygamic systems are the only ones possible to modern society. The polygamic requires little notice because the general equality in numbers of the sexes deprives it of foundation. It is only possible where women are in excess, and where they are willing to sustain it. No man who is successfully married is likely to incur the additional obligations which it imposes. It may be therefore dismissed from notice with the further remark that it is not on the other hand deserving of the obloquy cast upon it by certain persons who are evidently "compounding for sins they have a mind to by damning those they're not inclined to."

The monogamic relation having been defined in the preceding paragraphs I recur to some of its obligations. I have spoken of the infidelity of woman as of a higher degree of criminality than that of man, and have shown the basis of justice on which this general sentiment rests. But it must not be forgotten that while he who hires a murderer, and he who receives stolen goods does not commit the actual crime, he is highly culpable, and shares in the condemnation which should follow it. In the case of the marital infidelity of the woman, he may be the greater criminal of the two, as the instigator to a deed which would not have been otherwise even suggested. In any case his folly is extraordinary, as he takes his life in his hands, and risks that of his partner; for men are wont to preserve their family rights by summary process. It would be incredible that such risks should be taken were it not that history and contemporary literature offer many examples. The few cases where palliating circumstances could be claimed would chiefly occur in countries where divorce laws do not exist.

The advantages to woman, arising from the monogamic relation, are then, support and protection, and undivided affection if she deserve it, together with the satisfaction of the conjugal and maternal instincts. In order to secure these advantages she must pursue a course towards her husband in some degree comparable to that by which her husband secures the confidence and esteem of his fellow man. Faithfulness in adhering to contracts, and personal complaisance cover much of the ground. As regards the man, he must see to it, that he does nothing that tends to the disintegration of the family relations of other men. The ill disguised laudation of the infidelity of wives which is so prominent in French literature, is a mark of a low civilisation, and it rightly excites the disgust of all men who have any respect for their own rights. It looks as though certain French literature had been written by boys. Men who are responsible for such invasion of the rights of others, cannot expect better treatment themselves, and they must not be surprised if they are repaid in their own coin. While the preservation of the rights of the marriage contract lies primarily with woman, for natural reasons; man is held by his fellow man to a strict accountability, and he attempts any invasion of them at his personal peril.

The principles above laid down are those out of which have grown our laws on the subject. Some women and men appear to think them unjust to women. It is true that in some respects, woman is at a disadvantage. This disadvantage is, however, of natural origin and cannot be overcome. On the other hand, she has a full equivalent in the advantages which she also derives from the natural order of things. The result is that there is no real cause of complaint, unless it be that sometimes the gallantry of men towards women whom they do not know, leads them to do injustice to man in cases of dispute. And here is an advantage to women which is an offset to the injustice which they sometimes experience from the same source. The correction of these faults is a part of the process of ethical development which is going on in human society. And perhaps the most effective agency in this development is the relation of the members of the family to each other, where affection takes the place of force, since it is the source of our deepest pleasures and our severest pains.





The great results that physical research in the last centuries has achieved, not only in its own domain, but also, by the assistance it has afforded, in the domain of other sciences, have brought it about that physical ways of thinking and physical methods of procedure have everywhere attained to especial prominence, and that the greatest expectations are associated with their employment. In conformity with this drift of modern research the physiology of the senses, gradually leaving the paths that had been entered upon by men like Goethe, Schopenhauer, and others, but especially with the greatest success by Johannes Müller, has also almost exclusively assumed a physical character. This tendency must appear to us as not exactly the proper and the desirable one, when we reflect that physics despite its considerable development nevertheless constitutes but a portion of a greater collective body of knowledge, and that it is incompetent with its limited intellectual methods, created for especial and limited purposes, to exhaust the entire material of the province now under consideration. However, without renouncing the support of the science of physics, it is possible for the physiology of the senses not only to continue its own special development, but also to afford physical science itself valuable assistance. The following simple considerations will serve to illustrate this relation.


Colors, sounds, temperatures, pressures, spaces, times, and the like, are united with one another in the most manifold ways; and to these are joined moods of mind, feelings, and wills. Out of this complication, that which is relatively the more fixed and the more permanent stands prominently forth, engraves itself in the memory, and expresses itself in language. As relatively more permanent appear, first, complexes of colors, sounds, pressures, and so forth, that are connected in time and space, that therefore receive special names, and are designated as bodies. Such complexes are by no means absolutely permanent.

My table is now brightly and now darkly lighted. It may be warmer or colder. It may receive an ink stain. One of its legs may get broken. It can be repaired, polished, and replaced part for part. But for me, amid all, it remains the table at which I daily write.

My friend can put on a different coat. His countenance can assume a serious or joyful expression. The complexion of his face, under the effects of light or of emotion, can change. His shape can be altered by a movement, or can be permanently transformed. But the sum total of the permanent, as compared with gradual alterations of this kind, always remains so great, that the latter vanish. It is the same friend with whom I take my daily walk.

My coat can receive a stain, a tear. The very manner of my expression indicates that the gist of the thing is a quantity of permanency, to which the new element is added and from which that which is lacking is subsequently deducted.

Our greater intimacy with this quantity of permanency, and its preponderance as contrasted with the changeable, impel us to the partly instinctive, partly voluntary and conscious economy of mental representation and designation which is expressed in ordinary thought and speech. That which has been once perceptually represented receives a single designation, a single name.

As relatively permanent, is exhibited, further, that complex of memories, moods, and feelings, joined to a particular body (the human body), which is denominated the "I" or "Ego." I can be engaged with this subject or with that subject, I can be quiet or animated, excited or ill-humoured. Yet—pathological cases not considered—enough that is permanent remains to recognise the ego as the same. Moreover, the ego also is only of relative permanency.

* * * * *

The apparent permanency of the ego consists pre-eminently in the fact of its continuity, and in its slow change. The many thoughts and plans of yesterday that are continued to-day, and of which our environment in waking hours continually reminds us (and therefore in dreams the ego can be very indistinct, doubled, or entirely wanting), and the little habits that are unconsciously and involuntarily kept up for longer periods of time, constitute the fundamental root of the ego. There can hardly be greater differences in the ego of different people, than occur in the course of years in one person. When I recall to-day my early youth, I should take the boy that I then was, with the exception of a few single features, for a different person, did not the chain of memories that make up my personality now lie before me. Many a treatise that I myself wrote twenty years ago, now makes upon me a very strange impression. The very gradual character of the changes of the body also contributes to the permanency of the ego, but in a much less degree than people imagine. Such things are much less analysed and noticed than the intellectual and the moral ego. Individually, personally, people have a very poor knowledge of themselves.

Once, when a young man, I espied in the street a face in profile that was very displeasing and repulsive to me. I was not a little taken aback when a moment afterwards I found that it was my own, which, in passing by a place where mirrors were sold, I had perceived reflected from two mirrors that stood at the proper inclination to each other.

Not long ago, after a trying railway journey by night, being much fatigued, I got into an omnibus just as another gentleman appeared at the other end. "What degenerated pedagogue is that, who has just entered," thought I. It was myself: opposite me hung a large mirror. My ordinary dress, accordingly, was more familiar to me than my travelling attire.

The ego is as little absolutely permanent as bodies. That which we so greatly fear in death, the annihilation of our permanency, actually occurs in life in abundant measure. That which is most valued by us, remains preserved in countless copies, or, in cases of exceptional excellence, as a rule preserves itself. In the best human being, however, there are individual traits the loss of which neither he himself nor others need regret. Indeed, at times, death, viewed as liberation from individuality, can even become a pleasant thought.

* * * * *

After the first survey has been obtained, by the formation of the concepts of substance, "body" "ego" (matter, soul), the will is impelled to a more exact examination of the changes that take place in this relatively permanent existence. The changeable element in bodies and in the ego, indeed, is the very thing that moves the will. Now, for the first time, do the constituent elements of the complex stand forth as properties of the same. A fruit is sweet; but it can also be bitter. So, too, other fruits can be sweet. The red color that is sought is found in many bodies. The neighborhood of some bodies is pleasant, that of others unpleasant. Thus, gradually, do different complexes appear to be composed of common constituent elements. The visible, the audible, the tangible, are separated from bodies. The visible is broken up into color and into form. Out of the manifold constitution of colors issue, again, in lesser numbers, certain other constituent elements—the primary colors, and so forth. The complexes are disintegrated into elements.


The proper and useful habit of designating that which is permanent by a single name, and of comprehending the same in a single thought, without analysing at each operation its constituent parts, is liable to come into singular conflict with the tendency to separate these constituent parts. The obscure image formed of the permanent, which does not perceptibly change when one or another constituent part is taken away, appears to be something existent by itself. Inasmuch as it is possible to take away singly every constituent part without effecting the capacity of the image formed to represent the totality involved, or effecting its subsequent recognition, it is imagined that it is possible to take away all these parts and yet have something remaining. Thus arises the monstrous idea of a thing of itself, different from, and incognisable with relation to, its "phenomenal" existence.

Thing, body, matter, are nothing apart from this complex of colors, sounds, and so forth—apart from their so-called marks, or characteristics. That Protean, illusory philosophical problem of a single independent thing with many properties, arises from the misunderstanding of the fact, that extensive comprehension and accurate separation, although both are temporarily justifiable and profitable for a number of purposes, can not and must not be employed simultaneously. A body is single and unchangeable so long as it is not required to take details into consideration. Thus both the earth and a billiard ball are spheres so long as we disregard all minor deviations from the spherical form, and greater exactitude is not necessary. But if we are compelled to carry on investigations in orography or microscopy both bodies cease to be spheres.


Man possesses in pre-eminence the power to determine arbitrarily and consciously his point of view. He can at one time disregard the most salient features, and immediately afterwards take into account the smallest trifles; now regard a current of electricity as fixed, without consideration of its contents, and now determine the width of a Frauenhofer line in the solar spectrum; he can rise, at will, to the most general abstractions, or bury himself in the minutest particulars. The animal possesses this capacity in a much less degree. It does not assume a point of view, but usually is brought to it by impressions. The baby that does not recognise its father with his hat on, the dog that is perplexed at the new coat of its master, have succumbed in the conflict of points of view. Who has not been thus worsted in similar cases? Even the man of philosophy at times succumbs, as the fantastic problem above referred to, shows.

Indeed, do not certain circumstances actually appear to furnish a justification of that problem? Colors, sounds, the odors of bodies are evanescent. But the tangible part, as a sort of constant, durable nucleus, not easily liable to annihilation, remains behind; appearing as the vehicle of the more fugitive properties annexed to it. Habit firmly affixes our thought to this central nucleus, even where the knowledge has found its way, that seeing, hearing, smelling, and touching are intimately akin in character. Added to this, also, comes the fact, that in consequence of the singularly extensive development of mechanical physics a kind of higher reality is ascribed to Space and Time than to colors, sounds, and odors. Agreeably to which, the junction in space and time of colors, sounds, and odors appears more real than colors, sounds, and odors themselves. The physiology of the senses, however, demonstrates, that spaces and times can with as much justice be termed sensations, as colors and sounds.


Also the ego, as well as the relation of bodies to the ego, occasions the rise of analogous seeming-problems, the character of which may be briefly presented in the following manner.

The complexes of colors, sounds, and so forth, that are commonly called bodies, we shall designate for the sake of simplicity by A B C …; the complex that is known as our own body, and which constitutes a part of the former, we shall call K L M …; the complex composed of volitions, memory-images, and the like, we shall represent by α β γ. Usually, now, the complex α β γ … K L M … is opposed as ego, to the complex A B C … regarded as world of substance; sometimes, too, α β γ … is comprehended as ego, and K L MA B C … comprehended as world of substance. Now A B C … first appears as independent of the ego. But this independence is only relative, and gives way before closer inspection. Much, it is true, may change in the complex α β γ … without much becoming noticeable in A B C …; and so vice versa. But many changes in α β γ … pass, by way of changes in K L M …, over to A B C …; and vice versa. (As, for example, when vivid ideas break forth into acts, or our environment brings about perceptible changes in our body.) At the same time K L M … appears to be more closely connected with α β γ … and A B C … respectively, than the latter do with one another; relations that find their commonest expression in thought and speech.

Closely examined, however, it appears that A B C … is always determined with and by K L M. A die, when seen close at hand, looks large; when seen at a distance, small; it looks different with the right eye from what it does with the left; sometimes it appears double; with closed eyes it is invisible. The properties of the same body, therefore, appear as modified by our own body; they appear as conditioned by it. But where, pray, is this same body that phenomenally appears so different? All that can be said is, that different A B C … are annexed to different K L M.[18]

[18] I expressed this thought many years ago (in the Vierteljahrsschrift für Psychiatrie, Leipsic and Neuwied, 1868: Ueber die Abhängigkeit der Netzhautstellen von einander) as follows: The expressions "sense-deception" and "illusion of the senses" prove, that we are not yet fully conscious, or at least that we have not yet found it necessary to incorporate this consciousness into our ordinary terminology, that the senses represent things neither wrongly nor correctly. All that can be truly said of the sensory organs is, that, under different circumstances they produce different sensations and perceptions. Since these "circumstances" are of so extremely manifold a character, being partly external (inherent in the objects), partly internal (inherent in the sensory organs), and partly interior (having the seat of their activity in the central organs), it would naturally seem, especially when attention is paid only to external circumstances, that an organ acts differently under like conditions. And it is customary to call the unusual effects, deceptions or illusions.

We see an object with a point S. If we touch S, that is bring it into relation with our body, we receive a prick. We can see S, without feeling the prick. But as soon as we feel the prick we find S. The visible point therefore is a permanent fact or nucleus, to which the prick is annexed, according to circumstances, as something accidental. From the frequency of occurrences analogous to this we ultimately accustom ourselves to regard all properties of bodies as "effects" proceeding from permanent persistent nuclei and conveyed to the ego through the mediation of the body; which effects we call sensations. By this very operation, however, these imagined nuclei lose their entire sensory content, and become mere mental symbols. The assertion is correct then that the world consists only of our sensations. In which case we have knowledge only of sensations, and the assumption of the nuclei mentioned, as well as of a reciprocal action between the same, from which sensations might be supposed originally to proceed, turns out to be wholly idle and superfluous. Such a view can only suit a halting realism or a half-matured philosophic criticism.


Ordinarily the complex α β γ … K L M … is opposed as ego to the complex A B C. Those elements only of A B C … that more actively alter α β γ …, as a prick, a pain, are we accustomed to comprehend in the ego. Afterwards, however, through observations of the kind above mentioned, it appears that the right to annex A B C … to the ego at no point ceases. In conformity to which the ego can be so extended as ultimately to comprehend the entire world.

* * * * *

When I say that the table, the tree, and so forth, are sensations of mine, there is contained in this, as contrasted with the method of representation of the ordinary man, an actual extension of my ego. And so, too, upon the emotional side, such extensions actually occur; as for the virtuoso, who possesses as perfect a mastery of his instrument as he does of his own body; for the skilful orator in whom the eyes of an audience converge, and who controls the thoughts of his hearers; for the energetic politician who directs with ease his party; and so on. In conditions of depression, on the other hand, such as nervous people often have to endure, the ego contracts and shrinks. A wall seems to separate it from the world.

* * * * *

The ego is not sharply defined, its limits are very indefinite, and arbitrarily displaceable. Only by mistaking this, and by unconsciously narrowing these limits, as well also as by enlarging them, do metaphysical difficulties, in the conflict of points of view, arise.

As soon as we have recognised that the supposed unities "body" and "ego" are only make-shifts for a provisional survey and for certain practical ends (that we may apprehend bodies, protect ourselves from pain, and so forth), we are obliged, in many thorough-going scientific investigations, to abandon them as insufficient and inappropriate. The opposition between ego and world, sensation (or phenomenon) and thing, then vanishes, and we are brought to deal simply with the connection and relation of the elements α β γ … A B CK L M …, for which indeed this very opposition was only a partially appropriate, imperfect expression. This connection is nothing more than the combination of those elements with other homologous elements (time and space). This connection science has simply to accept, and set itself aright with regard to it, without attempting to explain its existence.

Upon superficial examination the complex α β γ … appears to consist of much more evanescent elements than A B C … and K L M …, in which two last the elements appear to be joined with more stability and in a more permanent manner (being joined to solid nuclei as it were). Although upon closer inspection the elements of all complexes appear as homologous, yet even in spite of the recognition of this fact, the ancient notion of an opposition of body and spirit easily creeps in. The spiritualist feels, at times, the difficulty of imparting the necessary solidity to his world of substance created by mind: the materialist is at a loss what to do when called upon to animate and endow with sensation the world of matter. The monistic point of view that reflection and reason have evolved, is easily overcast by the older and more powerful instinctive notions.


The difficulty described is especially felt in the following considerations. In the complex A B C … which we have designated as the material world, we find as part, not only our own body K L M …, but also the bodies of other persons (or animals) K' L' M' …, K" L" M" …, annexed to which, after the analogy of the complex α β γ …, we conceive similar α' β' γ' …, α" β" γ". As long as we deal with K' L' M' …, we find ourselves in a thoroughly familiar province, at every point sensorially accessible to us. But when we inquire after the sensations or feelings that belong to the body K' L' M' …, we no longer find in the province of sense the elements we seek: but we add them in thought. Not only is the domain into which we now enter much less familiar to us, but also the transition to it is relatively unsafe. We are possessed of a feeling as if we were about to plunge into an abyss. They that always pursue this direction of thought and this direction only, will never get completely rid of the feeling of insecurity that is very productive as a source of apparent problems.

But we are not limited to this way of reasoning. Let us consider first the reciprocal relation of the elements of the complex A B C …, without regarding K L M … (our body). Every physical investigation is of this kind. A white bullet falls upon a bell; a sound is heard. The bullet turns yellow before a sodium lamp, red before a lithium lamp. Here the elements (A B C …) appear to be connected only among each other and to be independent of our body (K L M …). But if we take santonine the bullet turns yellow again. If we turn one eye sidewise we see two bullets. If we close our eyes entirely we see no bullet at all. If we sever our auditory nerve no sound is heard. The elements A B C …, therefore, are not only connected among each other, but also with K L M. To this extent and to this extent only do we call A B Csensations, and regard A B C … as belonging to the ego. In this way, accordingly, we do not meet with the gap between bodies and sensations before described, between that which is without and that which is within, between the material and the spiritual world.[19] All elements A B CK L M … constitute but one single coherent mass, which when any one element in it is disturbed all is put in motion; except that a disturbance has a more extensive and profound action in K L M …, than in A B C. A magnet in our neighborhood disturbs the particles of iron near it; a falling boulder shakes the earth; but the severing of a nerve sets in motion the entire system of elements. Quite involuntarily does this relation of things suggest the picture of a viscous mass, at certain places (as in the ego) more firmly coherent than at others.

[19] Compare my Grundlinien der Lehre von den Bewegungsempfindungen. Leipsic, Engelmann, 1875, p. 54.

* * * * *

When I first came to Vienna from the country, as a boy four or five years of age, and was taken by my father upon the walls of the city's fortifications, I was very much surprised to see people below in the moat and could not understand how, regarded from my point of view, they could have gotten down there; for the thought of another possible way never occurred to me. I remarked the same amazement, once afterwards in life, in the case of a three-year old boy of mine, while taking a walk with him upon the walls about Prague. I recall this feeling to mind every time I engage myself with the reflection above referred to, and I frankly confess that this accidental experience of mine greatly helped to strengthen the opinion upon this point that I adopted a long time ago. The habit of pursuing the same ways in material and psychical things operates to confuse greatly our field of survey. A child forcing its way through a wall in a house in which it has long dwelt, can experience an actual enlargement of its view of the world, and a slight scientific hint can bring much enlightenment.


Accordingly, the great chasm between physical and psychological research exists only for the common stereotyped method of observation. A color is a physical object when, for example, we regard its dependence upon its luminous source (upon other colors, upon heat, upon space, and so forth). Regarding however its dependence upon the retina (the elements K L M …), it becomes a psychological object, a sensation. Not the subject-matter, but the direction of our investigation is different in the two domains.

When, from the observation of the bodies of other men or animals, we infer their sensations, as well also as when we investigate the influence of our own body upon our own sensations, we are forced to complete observed facts by analogy. This work of completion by analogy is done with much more accuracy and facility, when it relates, let us say, to nervous processes, which cannot be fully observed in our own bodies—that is when it occurs in the more familiar physical domain—than when the completion relates to psychical processes. Otherwise there is no material difference.


The thoughts presented gain greatly in fixity and vividness if in addition to simply expressing them in abstract form we bring ourselves face to face with the facts from which they arise. For example, I lie upon my sofa. If I close my right eye the picture represented in the accompanying cut is presented to my left eye. In a frame formed by the ridge of my eyebrow, by my nose, and by my moustache, appears a part of my body, so far as it is visible, and also the things and space about it. My body differs from other human bodies—leaving out of account the fact that every vivid motory idea immediately passes into movement and that contact with it determines more perceptible changes than contact with other bodies—by the circumstance, that it is only partly seen, and, especially, is seen without a head. If I observe an element A within my field of vision, and investigate its connection with another element B within the same field, I go out of the domain of physics into that of physiology or psychology, if B, to use the apposite expression that a friend[20] of mine employed upon seeing this drawing, passes through my skin. Reflections like that for the field of vision may be made with regard to the province of touch and the perceptual domains of the other senses.

[20] J. Popper of Vienna.



Reference has already been made to the different character of the groups of elements that we have designated by A B C … and α β γ. As a matter of reality, when we see a green tree before us, or remember a green tree, that is conceive a green tree to ourselves, we know right well how to distinguish these two cases. The imaged tree has a much less determinate, a much more changeable form; its green is much paler and more evanescent; and, what is of especial note, it distinctly appears in a different sphere. A movement that we propose to execute is always only a conceived movement, and appears in a different field or sphere from that of the executed movement, which moreover always takes place where the image becomes vivid enough. The statement that the elements A or α appear in a different sphere, means, if we go to the bottom of it, nothing more than that they are united with divers other elements. To this extent, accordingly, the basal component parts in A B C …, α β γ … would be the same (colors, sounds, spaces, times, motory sensations, innervations …), and only the character of their union different.

Pain and pleasure are ordinarily regarded as different from sensory sensations. Yet not only tactile sensations, but also all other kinds of sensations, can gradually pass into pleasure and pain. Pleasure and pain can also justly be called sensations. Only they are not so well analysed and so familiar as sensory sensations. Sensations of pleasure and pain, however faint the mode of their appearance, make up indeed the real content of all so-called feelings. Thus perceptions, as well as ideas, volition, and feelings, in short the entire inner and outer world, are composed of a small number of homologous elements united in relations now more evanescent and now more lasting. These elements are commonly called sensations. But since vestiges of a one-sided theory now inhere in this term, we prefer to speak simply of elements, as we have already done. All research aims at the resolution of the union of these elements.[21]

[21] Compare the remarks appended to my treatise: Die Geschichte und die Wurzel des Satzes der Erhaltung der Arbeit. Prague. Calve. 1872.


That out of this complex of elements which at bottom is simply one, the limits of bodies and the ego do not admit of being fixed in a manner certain and sufficient for all cases, has already been said. The composition of the elements, intimately connected with pleasure and pain, into an ideal mental-economical unity, the ego, is a work of the highest significance for the intellectual functions that act in the service of the pain-avoiding, pleasure-seeking will. The formation of the ego by this process of circumscription and delimitation is therefore instinctively effected, it grows familiar and natural, and fixes itself perhaps through heredity. By their high practical value, not only for the individual, but also for the entire race, the composites "ego" and "body" instinctively assert their existence, and operate with the power of original elements. In special circumstances, however, in which practical ends are not concerned, but knowledge becomes an object in itself, this delimitation often turns out to be insufficient, obstructive, and untenable.

Professional esprit de corps, and even professional bias, the sentiment of nationality, the most narrow-minded local patriotism may also have a high value, for certain purposes. But such conceptions will not characterise the far-sighted investigator, at least not in the moment of research. All these egoistic conceptions are adequate for practical purposes only. Of course, even the investigator can succumb to custom. Trifling scholastic fiddle-faddle, the cunning appropriation of others' labor and perfidious silence with regard to it, the numerous objections and complaints when unavoidably compelled to give recognition, and the scanty illumination of others' performances on such occasions, abundantly show that the scientist and scholar have also to fight the battle of existence, that the ways of science yet lead to the mouth, and that the pure quest of knowledge amid our present social relations is still an ideal.

* * * * *

The primary fact is not the I, the ego, but the elements (sensations). The elements constitute the I. I perceive the sensation green, means, that the element green occurs in a given complex of other elements (sensations, memories). When I cease to perceive the sensation green, when I die, then the elements no longer occur in their customary, common way of association. That is all. Only an ideal mental-economical unity, not a real unity, has ceased to exist.

* * * * *

The ego is not an unchangeable, definite, sharply-defined unity. The important factor is not unchangeability, not determinate distinguishability from other things, and not accurate limitation, for all these factors even vary within the sphere of individual life itself, and their alteration is even sought by the individual. Continuity alone is important. This view admirably accords with that to which Weismann recently attained by biological investigations ("Regarding the Immortality of Unicellular Beings," Biolog. Centralbl., Vol. IV, Nos. 21, 22; compare especially pp. 654 and 655, where the division of the individual into two equal halves is spoken of). But this continuity is only a means to dispose and to assure the content of the ego. This content and not the ego is the principal thing. But this content is not confined to the individual. With the exception of insignificant, valueless, personal memories or reminiscences, it remains preserved in others even after the death of the individual. The ego is unsavable. It is partly the discernment of this fact, partly the fear of the same, that leads to the most extravagant pessimistic and optimistic, religious and philosophical absurdities. We shall not be able in the long run to close our eyes to this simple truth, the immediate result of psychological analysis. We shall then no longer place so high a value upon the ego which even during individual life greatly changes, and which, indeed, in sleep or during absorption in some conception or in some thought, just in our happiest moments, may be partially or wholly absent. We shall then gladly renounce individual immortality, and shall not place more value upon the accessory elements than upon the principal. We shall in this way arrive at a freer and a more enlightened conception of life, which will exclude the neglect of other egos and the over-estimation of our own.

* * * * *

If, now, the knowledge of the connection of the elements (sensations) does not suffice us, and we must ask Who, What, possesses this connection of sensations, Who, What, perceives sensations? we have succumbed, we may be sure, to our old habit of arranging every element (every sensation) within some unanalysed complex, and we are falling back imperceptibly to an older, lower, and more limited point of view.

* * * * *

The habit of treating the unanalysed ego-complex as an indivisible unity is often scientifically presented in peculiar ways. First, the nervous system is separated from the body as the seat of sensations. In the nervous system again the brain is selected as fitted for the performance of this function, and finally, to save the pretended psychical unity, a further point is sought in the brain as the seat of the soul. But rough conceptions like these are hardly adapted to trace out even in the crudest lines the ways that future research will follow in investigating the connection of the physical and the psychical. The fact that the different organs of sensation and memory are physically connected with one another, and can be easily excited by one another is probably the foundation of the "psychical unity."

I once heard the question seriously discussed of "How the percept of a very large tree found room in the little head of a man?" Now though this "problem" does not exist, yet we perceive by the question the absurdity that is so easily committed in conceiving sensations to exist spacially in the brain. When I speak of the sensations of another person, these sensations of course present no activity in my optical space or my physical space generally; they are mentally added, and I conceive them to be causally annexed, not spacially, to the brain observed or represented. When I speak of my sensations, these sensations do not exist spacially in my head, but rather my "head" shares with them the same spacial field, as was explained above (compare what was said regarding the cut).

* * * * *

Let there be no mention of the so-called unity of consciousness. Since the apparent opposition of the real and the perceived world exists only in the mode according to which it is viewed, and no real chasm exists, a multiplex interconnected content of consciousness is in no respect more difficult to understand than the multiplex interconnection of the world.

If we are determined to regard the ego as an actual unity, we cannot extricate ourselves from the following dilemma: either to set over against it—viz., the ego—the world of incognisable substances (which would be wholly idle and purposeless), or to regard the whole world, the egos of other people included, as only contained in our own ego (to which, seriously, we could hardly make up our minds).

But if we take the ego merely as a practical unity, composed for purposes of provisional survey; in fact, take it as a more strongly coherent group of elements, which is less strongly connected with other groups of this kind; questions like these will not arise and research will have a free outlook.

In his philosophical notes Lichtenberg says: "We become conscious of certain ideas that are not dependent upon us; and there are other ideas that, at least as we think, are dependent upon us. Where is the border-line? We know only the existence of our sensations, percepts, and thoughts. We should say, It thinks, just as we say, It lightens. It is going too far to say cogito, when we translate it by I think. Assuming the I, postulating it, is merely practical necessity." Though the method by which Lichtenberg arrives at this result is somewhat different from our own, we must nevertheless give our assent to the conclusion itself.


Bodies do not produce sensations, but complexes of sensations (complexes of elements) form bodies. If bodies appear to the physicist as that which is permanent, that which is real, and sensations as their evanescent transitory semblance, the physicist forgets that all bodies are but thought-symbols for complexes of sensation (complexes of elements). The elements designated also form here the real, immediate, and ultimate foundation which physiological research has now further to investigate. Through the discernment of this, many things in psychology and physics assume more distinct and economical forms, and many imagined problems are disposed of.

The world therefore does not consist for us of mysterious substances, which through their interaction with another equally mysterious substance, the ego, produce sensations as solely accessible. Colors, sounds, spaces, times, … are for us the ultimate elements, whose given connection it is our task to investigate. In this investigation we dare not allow ourselves to be hindered by the composites and circumscriptions (body, ego, matter, mind …) that have been formed for especial, practical, provisional, and limited purposes. On the contrary, the appropriate and best adapted forms of thought must arise within research itself, as happens in every special science. In the place of the traditional instinctive conception must come a freer, fresher view, conforming with developed experience.

* * * * *

I have always felt it as a special good fortune, that early in my life, at about the age of 15, I came across in the library of my father Kant's "Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysic." The book made at that time a powerful, ineffaceable impression upon me, that I never afterwards experienced to the same degree in any of my philosophical reading. Some two or three years later I suddenly discovered the superfluous rôle that "the thing in itself" plays. On a bright summer day under the open heavens the world together with my ego all at once appeared to me as one coherent mass of sensations, but in the ego more strongly coherent. Although the actual working out of this thought did not occur until a later time, yet this moment became decisive for my whole view.

Moreover I had still to struggle long and hard before I was able to retain, in my own special department, the conception I had acquired. With what is valuable in physical doctrines we necessarily absorb a good dose of false metaphysics, which it is very difficult to separate from that which must be preserved, especially where these doctrines have become current and familiar. So, too, the traditional, instinctive conceptions often arose with great power and placed impediments in my way. Only by alternate studies in physics and the physiology of the senses and by historico-physical investigations, since about 1863, after having endeavored in vain to settle the conflict by a physico-psychological monadology, did I acquire in my views any considerable firmness. I make no pretensions to the title of philosopher. I only wish to adopt in physics a point of view that need not be instantly changed the moment our glance is carried into the domain of another science; since indeed, ultimately, all must form one whole. The molecular physics of to-day does certainly not meet this demand. What I say I have probably not been the first to say. I also do not wish to hold forth this exposition of mine as a special performance. It is rather my belief that every one will collaterally adopt the same view, who in a reflective manner holds survey in any province of science that is not too limited.[22]

[22] I have recently (1886) propounded these views in a pamphlet Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen. Avenarius, with whom I recently became acquainted, approaches my point of view (Philosophie als Denken der Welt nach dem Princip des kleinsten Kraftmasses, 1876). Hering, too, in his treatise upon Memory (Almanach der Wiener Akademie, 1870, p. 258; also published in Nos. 6 and 7 of The Open Court), and J. Popper in his beautiful book, "The Right to Live and the Duty to Die" (Leipsic 1878, p. 62), have advanced similar thoughts. Compare also my paper Ueber die ökonomische Natur der physikalischen Forschung (Almanach der Wiener Akademie, 1882, p. 179, note). Finally let me also refer here to the introduction to W. Preyer's Reine Empfindungslehre, and to Riehl's Freiburger Antrittsrede, p. 14. I should probably have to cite much additional matter that is in some way related to my line of thought if I possessed a more extensive bibliographical knowledge.


Science always arises through a process of adaptation of thoughts to a certain department of experience. The results of this process are thought-elements, which represent the entire department. The result, of course, is different according to the character and extent of the province surveyed. If the province of experience in question is extended, or if several provinces hitherto separated become united, the traditional, familiar thought-elements no longer suffice for the province thus extended. In the struggle of acquired habit with the effort after adaptation, problems arise, which disappear when the adaptation is completed, to give way to others that have sprung up in the mean time.

To the physicist, pure and simple, the idea of a body facilitates the acquisition of a comprehensive survey in his department, and does not operate as a disturbance. So, also, the person that pursues purely practical ends, is materially assisted by the concept of the I or Ego. For, unquestionably, every form of thought that has been voluntarily or involuntarily constructed for some especial purpose, possesses for that particular purpose a permanent value. As soon, however, as physics and physiology touch, the ideas held in the one domain are discovered to be untenable in the other. From the striving after an adaptation of the one to the other arise the various atomic and monad theories—which are unsuccessful, however, in the attainment of their object. If we regard sensations, taken in the sense above defined, as world-elements or elements of the All, the problems referred to are practically removed, and the first and most important adaptation therefore effected. This basal notion (without any pretension to being a philosophy for all eternity) can at present be adhered to with respect to all provinces of experience; it is consequently the one that accommodates itself with the least expenditure, that is, more economically than any other, to the present temporary state of collective science. Moreover, in the consciousness of its purely economical office, this basal notion acts with most perfect tolerance. It does not obtrude itself into provinces in which the current conceptions are still adequate. It will ever be ready, upon subsequent extensions of the domain of experience, to give way to a better one.

The philosophical point of view of the average man—if that term may be applied to the naïve realism of the ordinary individual—has a claim to the highest consideration. It has arisen in the progress of immeasurable time without the purposed assistance of man. It is a product of nature, and is preserved and sustained by nature. Everything that philosophy has accomplished—the biological title of every advance, nay of every error, admitted—is, compared with it, but an insignificant and ephemeral product of art. And in reality, we see every thinker, every philosopher, the moment he is forced away from his one-sided intellectual occupation by some practical necessity, immediately fall back upon the universal point of view that all men hold in common.

We seek by no means to discredit this point of view. The task that we have set ourselves is simply to show why and to what purpose for the greatest part of our life we occupy this point of view, and why and for what purpose we are provisorily obliged to abandon it. No point of view has an absolute permanent validity. Each has an importance but for some one given end.



#Given facts and deduced facts.#

We must distinguish between two kinds of facts; viz., given facts or data, and deduced facts or inferences. With regard to the facts of soul-life we recognise that the former class, that of given facts, necessarily consists of states of consciousness only; they are feelings of any description, varying greatly in their nature. They are different in the rhythmical forms of their vibrations, in their intensity, and in their distinctness. The latter class, that of inferences, is deduced from the former, and serves no other purpose than that of explanation. This class is mostly representative of external facts, and knowledge of external facts exists only in so far as external facts are represented in deduced facts. What a thinking being would call external facts is nothing but the contents of certain deduced facts.

Deduced facts, and among them the conception of external facts (wherever they exist), have been produced by the effort of accounting for given facts—viz., the elementary data of consciousness and their relations. Deduced facts are the interpretation of given facts. They are, so to say, conjectures concerning their causes as well as their interconnections.

#Definition of mind.#

The organised totality of deduced facts, as it is developed in feeling substance, is called mind. Feelings are the condition of mind. From feelings alone mind can grow. But there is a difference between feelings and mind. Feelings develop into mind, they grow to be mind by being interpreted, by becoming representative. Representative feelings are mind. Accordingly, we characterise mind as the representativeness of feelings.

#The growth of mind.#

Although deduced facts are an interpretation of given facts, this "interpretation" is not expressly designed. These inferences from given facts are not invented with a premeditated purpose; they are not constructed with foresight or intention. Deduced facts grow naturally and spontaneously from given facts, which are the elements of sense-activity. There is not an agent that oversees their fabrication; there is not a devising "subject" that surmises the existence of external facts and thus matures their conception into deduced facts. Deduced facts are rather the natural product of a certain group of given facts. Deduced facts issue from a co-operation of a number of feelings. They are the result of an organisation of certain repeated sense-impressions which produce a disposition not only to receive sense-impressions of the same kind, but also to react upon them in a certain way. Mind is not the factor that organised the given facts of mere sense-impressions so that they became representations. There was no mind as long as feelings remained unorganised. Feelings acquire meaning; and as soon as they have acquired meaning they are what we call "deduced facts," representations—especially representations of external facts. Deduced facts are the elements of mind; and mind is not their root, but their fruit.

#Subjective and objective existence.#

The whole domain of mind-activity (i. e., of the representativeness of feelings) is called subjective; while the totality of all facts that are represented in the mind is called objective. Subjective existence consists of feelings and of states of consciousness; objective existence is represented as things that are in motion. Motion and feeling are quite different things, yet in spite of their radical difference experience teaches us that both spheres are intimately interwoven. Subjective existence constantly draws upon objective existence. Not only do states of consciousness exist as they are by virtue merely of the objects represented, but also that group of facts called our body, the action of which appears in a constant connection with and as a condition of our consciousness, is kept in running order only through a constant renewal of its waste products out of the resources of objective existence.

We distinguish between our body and external facts; but the boundary between both provinces is not distinct. There is constantly an exchange of substance taking place, proving that our body is in kind not different from the substance of which external facts consist. It must be regarded as a group of the same kind as external facts, existing in a constant interaction with and among the external facts. In other words, the body of the thinking subject is an object in the objective world.

#The origin of feeling from the elements of subjective existence.#

Concerning the subjective sphere of existence we recognise that consciousness does not act uninterruptedly; there are moments when consciousness is lost. If they are normal, we call them sleep; if they are abnormal, swoons or trances. Former conscious states can be revived; they form a chain of memories which is very limited in comparison with the extension of the objective world. There is a time in the past beyond which our memory does not reach. Moreover we have reason to believe, that there will be a time when the chain of conscious states will be broken forever. This consummation is called death. In short the subjective world is transient; it grows by degrees; its existence is very precarious; it flickers like a candle in the wind and will disappear again. The objective world however is eternal, it is indestructible. Experience teaches that it constantly undergoes changes, but that in its totality it is imperishable.

#Feeling with the help of memory acquires meaning.#

The objective world is in a certain sense a part of the subject. In another sense, we must say that the subject is a part of the objective world. Indeed these two sentences represent the same truth, only viewed from two standpoints. The subjective world being transient and the objective world being eternal, the question presents itself, "How does the subject originate in or among the objects of the objective world?"

The problem is complicated and we must approach it step by step. First, we are inevitably driven to the conclusion, that the subjective world of feelings forms an inseparable whole together with a special combination of certain facts of the objective world, namely our body. It originates with this combination, and disappears as soon as that combination breaks to pieces. And, secondly, we must assume that the conditions for building up such material dispositions as have the power of developing the subjectivity of consciousness are an intrinsic quality of the objective world. Subjectivity cannot originate out of nothing; it must be conceived as the product of a co-operation of certain elements which are present in the objective world. In other words, the elements of the subjective world are features that we must suppose to be inseparably united with the elements of the objective world, which are represented in our mind as motions. This leads to the conclusion that feeling has to be considered not as a simple but as a complex phenomenon. Feelings originate through a combination of elements of feeling; and the presence of the elements of feeling must be supposed to be an intrinsic property of the objective world.[23] The objective elements, the action of which is accompanied with the elements of feeling, arrange themselves, we suppose, into such combinations as display actual feelings, in exact agreement with the laws of molar and molecular mechanics. This, we must assume, takes place with the same spontaneity as, for instance, an acid and a base combine into a salt. To use another example, it takes place with the same necessity as, under special conditions, a certain amount of molar motion is transformed into the molecular motion of ether-waves, called electricity. Motions are not transformed into feelings, but certain motions (all being separately accompanied with elements of feeling), when co-operating in a special form, are accompanied in that form with actual feelings.

[23] For further details see the author's article Feeling and Motion; published first in The Open Court, Nos. 153 and 154.

#Neither feeling nor mind can be considered as incidental phenomena.#

There is a certain class of philosophers who look upon feeling as an incidental effect, as a fortuitous by-play of the interacting elements of matter. This conception has little if anything in its favor. On the contrary, if the elements of feeling are throughout inseparably connected with the elements of objective existence, it must appear natural that wherever the conditions fitted for organised life appear, irritable substance will originate. We may fairly assume that feeling will arise on the cooled surface of a planet with the same necessity as, for instance, a collision between non-luminous celestial bodies will cause them to blaze forth in the brilliant light of a nebula containing all the elements for the production in the course of ages of a planetary system.

Wherever a combination of substances originates that displays the quality of feeling, it will form a basis for given facts of soul-life. Feeling substance having been exposed to a special stimulus, or having performed a certain function, has thereby undergone a rearrangement in its molecular parts. The structure has suffered a change in its configuration, the form of which is preserved in the general flux of matter, and there is thus produced in the feeling substance a disposition to respond more quickly to impressions of the same kind. The feeling accompanying a subsequent impression of the same nature is coincidently felt to be a revival of a former feeling, similar or the same in kind. In other words, feeling substance, preserving the forms of its functions, is possessed with memory.[24] The preservation of form in a function which is accompanied with feeling makes it possible that the feeling accompanying a special form of function will become a mark of signification. By being felt to be the same in kind as a former feeling it will come to denote a certain condition of feeling tissues. A feeling that is felt to be the same as or similar in kind to a former feeling, the revival or memory of which it causes, is in this way endowed with meaning; by which we understand the awareness of the congruence or similarity of two or several feelings. Thus in the lapse of time, by constantly renewed experience, one special feeling, whenever repeated, will naturally become the indicator showing the presence of certain external facts that cause it. An isolated feeling is naturally meaningless; yet through a preservation of form, viz., through memory, it is by repetition necessarily changed into a symbol of representative value.

[24] Memory is no mysterious power; it is the preservation of form in feeling organisms. See Ewald Hering's treatise on Memory, English translation in Nos. 6 and 7 of The Open Court. Compare also the author's article Soul-life and the Preservation of Form, in No. 143 of The Open Court.

Feelings, accordingly, in the course of time, necessarily acquire meaning; they naturally and spontaneously develop mind. They can as little avoid co-ordinating into a mental organism, as water at a low temperature can escape congealing into ice; or as a seed can keep from sprouting when it is exposed, with sufficient moisture, to the light. Mind, accordingly, is the necessary outcome of a combination of feelings. It is as necessary an effect of special causes, as, for example, a triangle is the product of a combination of three lines. The first step in the organisation of feeling, which will throughout remain the determining feature of its development, is the fact that with the help of memory the different sets of feeling acquire meaning, and in this way the mere feelings are transformed from given facts into deduced facts.

* * * * *

#Subjectivity and objectivity.#

The nature of given facts is subjectivity, while the character of inferred facts is objectivity. The latter having grown out of the former will nevertheless, so far as they are states of consciousness, always remain subjective; yet they contain representations of that which is delineated by certain given facts. Thus they contain an element which stamps upon them the nature of objectivity. They represent objects, the existence of which the feeling subject cannot help assuming, because this is the simplest way of indicating certain changes that are not caused within the realm of its own subjectivity.

Objectivity, accordingly, does not mean absolute objectivity. Objectivity means subjective states, i. e., given facts or feelings representative of outside facts, i. e., of facts that are not subjective, but objective.

#The projection of objective facts.#

The sense-impression of a white rectangle covered with little black characters is a given fact; yet the aspect of a sheet of paper is an inferred fact. The former is a subjective state within; the latter is the representation of an objective thing without. The process of representing is a function of the subject, but the fact represented is projected as it were into the objective world, where experience has taught us to expect it. And the practice of projection grows so naturally by inherited adaptation and repeated experience that the thing represented appears to us to be external. We no longer feel a sensation as a state of consciousness but conceive it as an independent reality.

#Projection, an economy of labor.#

The practice of projecting subjective sensations into the outside world is not an act of careless inference, but the inevitable result of a natural law. This natural law is that of the "economy of labor." When a blind man has undergone a successful operation, he will first have the consciousness of vague color-sensations taking place in his eye. Experience will teach him the meaning of these color-sensations and his motions will inform him where to find the corresponding outside facts. His consciousness will more and more be concentrated upon the meaning of the sensations. The less difficulty he has in arriving at their proper interpretation, the more unconscious his sense-activity will become and at length consciousness will be habitually attached to the result of the sensation alone, i. e., to its interpretation.

In the same way, every one who learns to play an instrument will first feel that part only which his hand touches. By and by, however, he will acquire a consciousness of the effects produced by the slightest touch. Constant practice forms in the brain of an expert certain living structures which are correspondent to the action of the instrument and represent it with great accuracy. Whenever these structures are stimulated, the action of the instrument is felt to take place. In this way consciousness is projected into the work performed by the instrument. The touch of the hand has become purely automatic, and the operator now feels the full effects of his manipulation although he is not in direct contact with all the parts of his instrument. The instrument becomes as if alive under his treatment, he feels it as a part of himself; for its action stands en rapport with his brain-activity.

* * * * *

#The subject-superstition and agnosticism.#

States of consciousness, collectively considered, have been termed "subject," and we have also employed the phrase "subjective world." But we must not forget the fact, that the adoption of the name "subject" is based upon a misconception. Subject means "that which underlies," and the subject was supposed to be that something which formed the basis of all the states of consciousness present in any one special case—in you or in me, or in any person like you and me. The subject was considered as a being that was in possession of sense-impressions, of feelings, of thoughts, of intentions, etc.; and the existence of this subject was proved by Descartes's famous syllogism Cogito ergo sum. The subject was supposed to produce the states of consciousness, while in fact (as we have explained above) it is exactly the opposite. Feelings change into mind, they produce the subject which thinks. The subject is nothing underlying but rather overlying. It is the growth out of and upon feelings. It is the sum of many feelings in a state of organisation.

The fallacy of Descartes's dictum has been pointed out by Kant. The existence of states of consciousness, or the fact cogito, does not prove the existence of something that underlies the states of consciousness. It simply proves the existence of feelings and thoughts. There are certain sense-impressions, there are perceptions, there are ideas. Ideas develop from perceptions, and perceptions develop from sense-impressions. States of consciousness are nothing but the awareness or the feeling that is connected with certain perceptions and ideas.

Descartes's subjectivism is a transitory phase leading from the authoritative objectivism of the middle ages to the critical objectivism of modern times. The authoritative philosophy of the Schoolmen yielded to the arbitrary philosophy of metaphysical subjectivity, commencing as a matter of principle with doubt, instead of commencing with positive data, and establishing anarchy through lack of any objective method of arriving at truth. The reaction against the arbitrary authority of scholasticism was indispensable to further progress. But we must not rest satisfied with its negative result. We cannot commence a business without capital and without making a start. So we cannot begin philosophy with nothing. Knowledge is not possible without positive facts to serve as a basis to stand upon.

The negative features of Descartes's philosophy naturally found their ultimate completion in agnosticism. The assumption of the existence of a subject led to the doctrine, that this subject is unknowable. Moreover, the assumption of something that underlies the acts of thought leads to the assumption of something that underlies objective existence, and thus it begets the theory of things in themselves. This theory involves us in innumerable contradictions and thus it ends ultimately in the proposition that things in themselves are unknowable.

There are few who know the historical meaning of agnosticism; but those who can survey philosophical thought in its evolution, its growth, and decay, know that agnosticism means failure in philosophy. The word is a foreign-sounding name for "knownothingism," denoting a half-concealed confession of bankruptcy. The philosophy of the future, in order to escape from the fatal consequences of agnosticism, has to discard the subject-superstition inherited from Descartes. Descartes was a great thinker, a star of first magnitude in the realm of thought, but it is time that, without returning to the authoritative philosophy of the Schoolmen, we should free ourselves from the errors of his one-sided subjectivism.

Let us not forget, that all subjective states contain an objective element. Objectivity is no chimera, and we are very well enabled to establish the truth or untruth of objective facts. The philosophy of the future, accordingly, will be a philosophy of facts, it will be positivism; and in so far as a unitary systematisation of facts is the aim and ideal of all science, it will be MONISM.

From the standpoint of positivism, the subject, in the old sense, does not exist, and things in themselves do not exist either. Their existence is an unwarranted assumption, a superstition of philosophy, and we can retain the word subject only on the condition of a complete change of its meaning. The word subject, accordingly, (which has acquired a place in philosophical language and is for several purposes quite an appropriate expression,) must be corrected so as to mean, not an underlying substratum, nor an agent which does the thinking, but simply a collective term designating a certain group of sense-impressions, perceptions, ideas, and volitions. These sense-impressions, perceptions, ideas, and volitions, which form, simultaneously as well as successively, the elements of soul-life, carrying consciousness upon the waves of many subconscious states, make up the reality of the subject; they are the facts of its existence, and it is the states of consciousness only, not an underlying something, the existence of which is beyond all doubt. They form the basis of all knowledge.

* * * * *

#The objective element in subjective states.#

We must bear in mind that states of feeling are not empty feelings, but always feelings of a certain kind. There is no consciousness pure and simple, but only consciousness of a certain state. Let us suppose, for instance, the consciousness of a certain pressure. What is it but a feeling of being pressed in a certain direction and with a certain intensity? If a certain pressure is resisted, the feeling indicates a state of active reaction against pressure, and experience teaches by comparison with other pressures how much counterpressure is necessary to resist or overcome it.

Among the states of consciousness there are accordingly some that represent an awareness of receiving impressions, and there are others of making impressions. There are some feelings of a passive nature, which are felt to be produced by impacts from a something that is not the subject, and there are other feelings of an active nature, which are felt to produce effects on something that is not the subject. This something that is not the subject is called "object." It is represented as lying outside the subject, although the latter stands in a close and inseparable relation to the object, which, so far as this relation is considered, forms a part of the subject. A given subjective state possesses a definite form; it exists as it is on account of the object only; for its form has been produced by its relation to the object, and it represents this relation. The object, therefore, is no unimportant part of, and indeed is an essential element in, the constitution of the subjective state.

#All data are states of subject-object-ness.#

Idealist philosophers are apt to say that the subject alone is known to us, while the existence of the object must forever remain a vague hypothesis. This, however, is incorrect. It involves an unjustifiable deprecation of the objective element in the given facts of conscious states, and is based on a misconception of the entire state of things. The data of knowledge are not mere subjective states, they are relations between subject and object. Neither the subject is given, nor the object; but an interaction between subject and object. From this interaction we derive by a very complicated process of abstraction both concepts, the subject as well as the object. It is true that the subjective world of feelings and of representative feeling is very different from the objective world of things. Nevertheless they are one. The subject together with all objects forms one inseparable whole of subject-object-ness.

Every special object, accordingly, must be conceived as a part of this inseparable whole—of the All; it is a certain set of facts, represented in a certain group of experiences, and is to be described as that something which in a special way affects the subject and can again in a special way be reacted upon by the subject.

#Idealism and realism.#

Here we have the clue for the proper meaning of objectivity. What is a piece of lead but something that at a definite distance from the centre of the earth exerts a certain pressure proportionate to its mass; that is seen to become liquid at a certain temperature; etc., etc.? If it is treated in a particular way, it will be observed to suffer certain changes. What lead is has been established by experience; i. e., by systematic observation through sense-impressions.

From this standpoint the differences between the schools of idealism and realism appear as antiquated. The questions whether matter is real, whether objects exist, and whether there is any reality at all, have lost their meaning. That which produces effects upon the subject and against which the subject does or can react, is called object. The sense-effects produced by the object upon the subject, and also the reactions of the subject upon the object, are realities; and every name of a special object signifies a certain group of such effects and their respective reactions. Thus, for instance, the word lead comprises a certain set of experiences that have always been found combined with certain whitish objects.

#Space and Reality.#

Some philosophers have denied not only the existence of objects, but also the reality of space. What is space but a certain group of experiences? The conception of space originates by moving and by being moved about. The conception of space is the consciousness that by moving, or by being moved, a change is effected; that is, a certain object serving as a point of reference is either approached or left at a greater distance. The acts of approach or withdrawal are as much realities as are any other acts of the subject. Discussions concerning the reality of space accordingly become mere verbal quibbles as soon as we understand by space the condition common to all motion-experiences.

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#Perception and concepts.#

The mental state in which through contact with external facts one or several of the senses are affected so as to produce a direct awareness of their presence, is called perception. The effects of external facts upon the sense of touch appear as different forms of resistance. To the other senses they appear as odors, tastes, sounds, and images. All these sensations are so many subjective methods of representing certain objective processes. Perceptions represent immediate reality because the objects perceived, i. e., the objects represented by an image in the eye, a taste on the tongue, etc., are in an immediate contact with our senses. The feeling subject is directly conscious of their existence by their present effects. They are our Anschauung, i. e., the living presence of objective reality.

Besides this living presence of objective reality, of which our immediate surroundings consist,—besides our Anschauung—, man is in possession of more general representations, which comprise all the memories of a certain class of percepts. We call them concepts. Man alone through the mechanism of word-symbols has been able to form concepts. Abstract reasoning as well as scientific thought will grow with the assistance of concepts in the course of a higher development.

#Hallucinations and errors.#

The higher we rise in the evolution of representative feelings, i. e., in the development of mind, the more numerous are the opportunities for going astray. A scientific hypothesis, if erroneous, is more sweeping in its fallacies than a single hallucination, which is a misinterpretation merely of certain feelings. The subjective part of an hallucination, namely the feeling itself, is real; but the objective part, the representative element of the feeling, is not real; that which it is supposed to mean, does not exist. The interpretation of the feeling is erroneous in a hallucination.

Hallucinations are possible, and in the more abstract domains of mental activity errors are possible also; and will be ever more frequent. Nevertheless the reality of outside facts in the sense stated above can as little be doubted as the reality of immediate perception; and all the facts established by science, if they are but true, are as much realities as is the resistance of the table to the pressure of my hand or the perception of the sheet of paper by my eye.

#Inferential facts, if true, are real.#

Facts established by science are those observations which are made with all the necessary exactness as well as completeness from certain groups of experiences, and formulated with precision. The theory of atoms, for instance, is true in so far as all elements combine in certain proportions, which shows that the ultimate particles of which the elements consist are of a definite mass. Atoms, if the word is understood in this sense, are realities. The theory of atoms, however, is not proved in the sense that atoms are ἄτομοι; or single, isolated, minute bodies of a peculiar individuality—separate, indivisible, and eternal entities. Whether they are concrete things or certain forms of motion in a continuous substance, whether they are vortices or whirls of a certain density and velocity in an ether ocean, or whatever else be their character, is not yet known. If we exclude from the concept "atoms" all hypothetical views and confine their meaning strictly to the formulation of certain experiences, we have to deal with facts that are real. Theories are true in so far as they comprehend in a formula a certain group of facts, and a hypothesis becomes reliable to the extent that it agrees with facts. The slightest actual disagreement with facts is sufficient to overthrow the most ingenious hypothesis.

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This leads us to the question, What is meant by true? What is truth?

#Facts and reality. Truth and mind.#

The epitheton "true" has reference to representative states only. A representation is true, if it conforms to, or agrees with, experience; in other words, if it is an interpretation of given facts, is free from contradiction, and nowhere collides with any one of the given facts and their consistent interpretation. There is no sense in speaking of mere feelings as being true. We can never meet, in our own experience, with given facts that are nothing but meaningless feelings; for we (as thinking beings) are incapable of bringing meaningless feelings into the scope of consciousness, since in the very act of thinking we comment upon the given facts of our feelings. But supposing there are mere given facts, mere meaningless feelings void of any representative element, the application of the word true to such non-representative feelings would be improper. States of consciousness become true or untrue only by being representative of objective conditions or things. There is no trace of truth in mere feelings, but only in representative feelings. Truth and error are the privilege of mind. A representation is true, if all the various experiences concerning a certain thing or state of things agree with the representation; it is untrue if they do not agree.

We observe that certain classes of facts, in spite of all variety, exhibit in one or another respect a sameness, and science attempts to express the sameness in exact formulas. These formulas we call natural laws. If a natural law covers all cases of a class that have come or even that possibly can come within the range of our experience, if it agrees with every one of them, we call it a truth.

"Truth" accordingly is not at all identical with "fact." These two words are often used as synonyms, but properly employed they are quite distinct. Truth is the agreement of a representation with the facts represented. The fall of a stone is a fact; it is an inferred fact deduced from certain sense-impressions. In so far as the inference is made with necessity as the only proper and simplest explanation of a certain given fact or sense-impression, it must be considered as a fact or as real. The law of gravitation, however, is not a fact, but a truth.

Facts are real. There is no sense in speaking of facts as being true. Representations of facts are true or untrue. Reality is the characteristic feature of all facts, but truth is a quality that can reside in mind alone.

#Facts and truth.#

Facts are always single, concrete, and individual. Every fact is a hic and nunc. It is in a special place, and it is as it is, at a certain time. It is definite and of a particular kind. Yet a truth, although representing certain objects or their relations, is never a concrete object, nor is it a hic and a nunc. It possesses a generality applicable to all instances wherever and whenever the objects in their particular relation appear represented in that truth. Truth accordingly possesses as it were an ubiquity; it is omnipresent and eternal.

Truth in one sense is objective; it represents objects or their relations conceived in their objectivity, in their independence of the subject. This means that the representation of certain objective states will under like conditions agree with the experiences of all subjects—i. e., of all feeling beings having the same channels of information.

Truth in another sense is subjective. Truth exists in thinking subjects only. Truth affirms that certain subjective representations of the objective world can be relied upon, that they are deduced from facts and agree with facts. Based upon past experience, they can be used as guides for future experience. If there were no subjective beings, no feeling and comprehending minds, there would be no truth. Facts in themselves, whether they are or are not represented in the mind of a feeling and thinking subject, are real, yet representations alone, supposing they agree with facts, are true.

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#The problem of the origin of mind.#

Mind, or the representation of facts in feeling substance, is the creation of a new and a spiritual realm above the facts of material existence. By spiritual we understand feelings that are representative; and we say that it is a new creation because it does not exist in the isolated facts of the world. It is formed under special conditions. It rises from certain combinations of facts; being built upon those facts which produce in their co-operation the subjective state of feeling. The activity of mind if methodically disciplined is called science. Science attempts to make the mental representations correct: it is the search for truth. The object of all the sciences and of philosophy is to systematise knowledge, i. e., all the innumerable data of experience, so that we can understand and survey the facts of reality in their harmonious interconnection. The most important problem of philosophy has always been the problem of the origin of mind; for we are anxious to comprehend how it is possible that feeling can spring up in a universe of not-feeling objects, and that thinking beings can originate in a world of not-thinking elements.

Dualism assumes that the gulf between the two empires, the thinking and feeling on one side and the not-thinking and not-feeling on the other side, is insurmountable; Monism however maintains that there is no gulf, for there is no reason for such an assumption. Both realms, the feeling and thinking on the one hand, and the unfeeling and unthinking on the other hand, are not at all distinct and separate provinces. The transition from the one to the other takes place by degrees, and there is no boundary line between them. The atoms of oxygen which we inhale at present are not engaged in any action that is accompanied with feeling, but some of them will be very soon active in the generation of our best thought accompanied with most intense consciousness. After that they are thrown aside in the organism and pass out as waste products in the shape of carbonic acid.


The spiritual originates from and disappears into the non-spiritual not otherwise than light originates out of, and dissolves again into, darkness. Light is usually considered as the emblem of mind, for light also discloses to our eye those objects which are so far away that we can never expect to touch them with our hands. So mind, the representation of the objective world in feeling substance, unveils the riddles of the universe and shows the secret connections of most distant things and events.

Spiritualists discuss with great enthusiasm the problem of telepathy. Telepathy means "far-feeling." Mental activity exhibits in all its elements instances of telepathy in the literal sense of the word. We do not feel our sense-organs; but in and through our sense-organs objects outside of us are felt. In and through our eyes most distant stars are seen. If telepathy has no other but its natural and proper meaning we must confess that the whole activity of the mind rests upon telepathy.

However, we cannot recognise telepathy in the sense in which the word is often employed by spiritualists. With many it denotes a process of such far-feeling as is not caused in the natural way and as stands in contradiction to the mechanical interconnection of causes and effects in the universe. It is supposed to supersede the order of nature. We recognise telepathy fully in the sense that feelings represent distant events and that mind can thus penetrate into the remotest regions of time and space, but not in any other sense that stands in contradiction with the universal order of mechanical causation.

What is the soul but a telepathic machine! It is an organised totality of representations in feeling substance employed for the purpose of reacting appropriately upon the stimuli of external things. Man is a part of the cosmos, he consists of a certain group of facts, belonging to and being in intimate connection with the whole universe. Man's mind is the cosmos represented in this special group of facts. A correct representation of the cosmos includes a proper adaptation. Accordingly the human soul is a microcosm and its function is the endeavoring to conform to the macrocosm.

#Mind and light.#

Light is a most wonderful phenomenon; and yet we know that the objective process taking place in luminous bodies and thence transmitted through ether vibrations to our eye where it causes the sensation of light, is a mode of motion that can be produced mechanically by changing simple or mechanical motion (i. e., change of place) through friction into molecular motion. As light originates out of darkness, being a special mode of motion, so feeling originates out of the not-feeling. The not-feeling accordingly contains the conditions of feeling in a similar way as potential energy contains the potentiality of kinetic energy, or as molar motion contains potentially the molecular motion of heat, light, and electricity.

Mind sheds light upon the interconnection of all things and gives meaning to the world. If the world consisted of purely objective facts only, it would remain a meaningless play of forces. Mind and the whole realm of spiritual existence rises from most insignificant beginnings; yet is it so grand and divine because it represents the world in its wonderful harmony and cosmic order.

#Continuity in the transient.#

The function of spiritual activity appears to us as transient; but mind is not as transient as it seems. The continuous light of a flame depends in every instance upon the conditions of the moment. But the continuity of mind shows a preservation of mind-forms, the corresponding spiritual activity of which is called memory. Memory or the mind-form of former states is the most important factor in the determination of the representative value of present states of mind. The continuity thus effected makes it possible for mind to represent not only things and processes distant in space, but also those distant in time.

The continuation of form in feeling substance, not merely in the life of single individuals, but also in the life of the race, produces the growth, the development, and evolution of mind. Thus facts can be represented in their connections, and the necessity of their connection can be understood. To use Spinoza's phrase: The world can be viewed sub specie æternitatis.

#Mind and Eternity.#

The fulfilment of mind is truth, or a correct representation of facts, not as they are now and here, but as, according to conditions which constitute a given state of things, they must be here and everywhere. Mind expands in the measure that it contains and reflects the eternity of truth.

The activity of mind is in one respect as transient a process as is the phenomenon of light. Yet in other respects mind is able to grasp eternity within the narrow span of the moment.



The famous time-honored saying of Rabbi Ben Akiba, "There is nothing new under the sun," has often been verified to our astonishment in the history of the sciences. No observation is proclaimed that has not been made before, no position upheld that has not been before maintained. The more extensive the survey that one acquires over any given province of science, and the more deeply one penetrates into the past history of that science, the more surely will one arrive at the conviction, that even that which is apparently very new is at bottom old.

But the unceasing progress of the natural and mental sciences, on the other hand, is an indisputable fact; and the true characteristic of this progress must consequently be sought in some other element than in the accession of new material. The subject-matter with which science deals, remains almost unchanged throughout prolonged periods of time; the treatment of that material alone changes. Accordingly, the factor that determines the extension of our knowledge is pre-eminently the growing comprehension that proceeds from the illumination of that which was before in our possession. Apples fell from trees in all ages, but Newton was the first who placed the event in its proper light, thereby creating a tangible principle by means of which a great number of other phenomena were successfully apprehended. Our system of scientific ideas was increased by the addition of one conception that illuminated phenomena hitherto but half or not at all explained.

Even the most enthusiastic advocate of the present state of knowledge cannot maintain that it is perfect. On the contrary, he will recognise that an advance of the barriers that separate that which is now understood from what is not understood, is not only possible, but even on his part devoutly to be wished. Indeed, a very large province of knowledge—that of superstition—still remains almost wholly unworked. It is absurd to imagine that all the tales of magic and demonology are founded entirely in deception. For how could it happen that in all historical epochs, and among all the peoples of the earth, the same phenomena should be uniformly reported, if something true and real were not concealed behind it all! The illuminate, of course, looking upon our present code of ideas as ultimate, shrugs his shoulders with a superior air and banishes what to him is "supernatural" into the realm of fables; the cautious observer, on the other hand, refrains from passing judgment thus prematurely, for he knows that departments formerly very extensive have passed out of the realm of superstition into the kingdom of science, and that in the future the same will also occur. Thus the divine summons in the mediæval trial by ordeal have turned out to be effects of suggestion, and the majority of the performances of witches have proved to be the effects of hysterical temperament. So that we are now in a position to comprehend the tales of the Magic Mirror[25] in their true light and to bring them, without constraint, into accord with the doctrines of a developed science of psychology.

[25] The Japanese "Magic Mirrors" consist of ingenious physical contrivances and are in no way concerned with our present subject.

A brief recountal of the most important of the stories of this kind, must be prefaced by the paradoxical statement that the Magic Mirror need not by any means be a mirror. People are also reported to have seen future and distant things in shining metal surfaces, in rock-crystals, and in glasses filled with water. The Old Testament mentions a divination made by the radiance of gems—where it speaks of Urim and Thummim, the breast-ornament of six bright and six dark stones which the high priest donned to receive revelations from Jehovah. In a like manner, too, in dactylomancy (divination by rings) the abnormal condition is said to have been induced by fixedly gazing at the stones of finger-rings. Likewise in the Bible we find an instance of divination by means of polished metal cups; for according to the Septuagint, the cup that Joseph caused to be placed in the sack of Benjamin, was the cup from which he was wont to divine. Instead of cups, use was also made of metal balls, arrows, swords, knives, and metal mirrors. Even Jacob Böhme practised the art of clairvoyance by the help of the "lovely jovial lustre" of a tin cup, "with the result that he was now introduced into the innermost depths or centre of recondite nature, and was enabled to look into the hearts and innermost character of all creatures."

When gold and silver leaves marked with mysterious characters were thrown into a basin filled with water, and it was sought by gazing at the surface thus furnished, to arouse the "higher powers," the art was called lecanomancy. If the surface of the water alone was gazed at, it was called hydromancy; a method which communicated oracles by means of the images that appeared in the water.

The only distinction between hydromancy and gastromancy was, that in the latter case the water was poured into distended vessels. Cardanus has minutely described some gastromantic experiments that came under his observation. A bottle filled with holy water was placed in the sun upon a white-covered table; over the mouth of the bottle two olive leaves were laid crosswise; three lighted wax candles were then placed about the leaves and fumigated with incense, during which performance a prayer to Saint Helena was uttered. Very soon the mantic adepts standing in the background saw forms in the water; once a man with a bald head, slightly inclined forward; a second time a man dressed in scarlet. Cardanus himself could see nothing more than a disturbance in the water, as if produced by the motes of a sunbeam, and a peculiar generation of bubbles.

The same principle lies at the foundation of onychomancy, where the thumb-nail of some suitable person, or the palm of the hand was anointed with oil and soot, and the images appeared in the shining surface illuminated either by the rays of the sun or by a candle.[26] Ink was often poured into the palm of the bent hand and divination made from the reflecting surface of the ink.

[26] The facts cited are taken from Karl Kiesewetter's essay Hypnotisches Hellsehen, in Sphinx, I, 130, 1886. Perty's work on the Magical Phenomena of Human Nature, and Adolf Bastian's treatise Psychische Beobachtungen bei Naturvolkern in No. 2 of the Schriften der Gesellschaft für Experimental-Psychologie (Leipsic, Ernst Günther, 1890), may also be consulted.

It will appear from the very enumeration of these multifarious methods of procedure that the effect does not depend upon the especial character or constitution of the "magic mirror." It is a remarkable trait of human thought, however, that it first endeavors to trace all phenomena back to external facts before it seeks the cause of the same within itself: the child of nature sees in all his thoughts the inspirations of good or evil spirits, and even the modern believer finds the source of all extraordinary enlightenment not in himself but in another—the Highest Being. A very high degree of culture is requisite for man approximately to comprehend what marvellous forces slumber within him, and to what a great extent, in the truest sense of the word, he is the creator of his own perceptions and emotions. And thus it was that throughout the long space of three thousand years people did not clearly discover that in the case of magic mirrors the most important factor was the person that saw, and not the instruments of seeing. If we will use the word "superstition," therefore, we can justly do so with reference to the improper disposition of the two factors involved.

This incorrect interpretation of the phenomenon, as being necessarily dependent in its origin upon the material object employed, then called forth the fables regarding some particularly rare and miraculous mirror which was kept in a certain family as a holy relic, and whose possession admitted people to a knowledge of the secrets of nature and of the future. Countless sacrifices of money and human life have been made to these extravagant fancies. Indeed, even to-day, certain English business-houses deal in magic mirrors "manufactured after the best prescripts," and certainly derive much profit from their traffic. In all the treatises upon occult science, in those of ancient Egypt as well as in those of the present time,—and the literature of divination by mirrors (catoptromancy) fills whole libraries,—in all I say are found directions for the manufacture of especially effective glass or metal mirrors. True, in addition to this, there is now and then a presentiment to be detected of the importance of personality. Tradition prefers in such experiments chaste maidens, pure boys, or pregnant women—a choice that despite its material faultiness at any rate pursues the correct principle of emphasising individual character.

Mirror-gazing was formerly, and is to-day, most extensively practised in the Orient. We possess an account written by Lane in 1834 of an adventure he had in Egypt in company with the English Consul Salt. The magician in charge of the ceremonies first wrote upon a slip of paper invocations summoning his two Genii; and then a few verses from the Koran, "to open the boy's eyes in a supernatural manner, … to make his sight pierce into what is to us the invisible world." The slip of paper was thrown into a chafing-dish containing live charcoal, frankincense, coriander seed, and benzoin. A boy eight or nine years of age had been chosen at random from a number who happened to be passing in the street, and the magician, taking hold of his right hand, drew in the palm of it a magic square, that is to say, one square inscribed within another, and in the space between certain Arabic numerals; then, pouring ink in the centre, bade the boy look into it attentively. At first the boy could only see the face of the magician, but proceeding with his inspection, while the other continued to drop written invocations into the chafing-dish, he at length described a man sweeping with a broom, then a scene in which flags and soldiers appeared, and finally when Lane asked that Lord Nelson should be called for, the boy described a man in European clothes of dark blue, who had lost his left arm, but added, on looking more intently, "No, it is placed to his breast." Lord Nelson generally had an empty sleeve attached to the breast of his coat, but as it was the right arm he had lost, Lane, without saying that he suspected the boy had made a mistake, asked the magician whether the object appeared in the ink as if actually before the eyes, or as if in a glass, which makes the right appear left. He answered they appeared as in a mirror; and this rendered the divination faultless.

A counterpart to this in more recent times may be cited. When Seringapatam was stormed by General Harris and Sir David Baird, the unfortunate Tippoo Saib retired to discover by means of divination by a cup what the future prospects were for the continuance of his rule. After he had remained seated for a long time deeply absorbed in meditation, he suddenly sprang up and in despair rushed into the foremost ranks of the combatants and fell covered with wounds; so deeply had the fatal aspect of the image in the cup moved him.

In Europe, during the period of classic antiquity, hydromancy was especially practised. The Byzantine Andronicus Comnenus also put his faith concerning the knowledge of future things, in water. Christianity denounced the practice of these magic arts as the work of the devil. St. Thomas Aquinas says that the gift of seeing visions possessed by children, is not to be ascribed to any power of innocence but to evil influences. Despite this however the art did not perish. Indeed, in the sixteenth century, under the protection of physicians and University professors, it attained the acme of its development.

The celebrated humanist Pico de Mirandola was firmly convinced of the power of magic mirrors, and declared that it was sufficient in order to read in a magic mirror the past, the present, and the future, simply to construct one under a favorable constellation and at the proper temperature.

But the most successful of all in the practice of crystallomancy was Dr. Dee, who flourished from 1527 to 1608. His seer or scryer was a man named Kelly, who could hardly be described as "unpolluted" or as "one that had not known sin," for he had been the perpetrator of so many villainies that as a testimony of his character both his ears had been cut off. A crystal served as the vehicle of the ecstatic revelations, to which according to the conception of the times numerous spirits were attached, who made themselves intelligible to Kelly by dramatic scenes and often by sounds. The Shew-Stone, or Holy Stone, was round and rather large; it is said to have come into Dee's hands in a very wonderful manner. The large folio volume of the English mathematician upon crystallomancy was very probably used later by Cagliostro, although the latter practised a somewhat different method and used a carafe of water instead of the stone. The prophecy of the magician who predicted the regency of the Duke of Orleans through the death of the Prince, is to be noticed as the last historical case of the use of the magic mirror.

In our century Courts and Universities no longer form the stage upon which the drama of crystal-gazing is enacted, but almost exclusively the circles of the Spiritists, or, as they are commonly called, Spiritualists. Spiritualism has artfully confiscated a great quantity of psychological data, and has made an impartial examination of phenomena very difficult by always presenting the data to the novice in connection with spirit-theories. Having learned much from evil experience, the public has assumed a sceptical position with regard to everything that comes from spiritualistic quarters, and easily overlooks what is actual and real beneath the cover of uncritical drivel. I shall also introduce here one or two instances which plainly show that after the stupendous advances which made chemistry an exact science the cause of these phenomena was no longer sought in the properties of stones and mirrors, but was attributed to ghosts and spirits, by which still greater confusion was produced.

In Justinus Kerner's "Magikon" we read: "Questions are put to the unsubstantial beings that appear in shining objects and the seer hears the answer in dull tones. These beings also make signs and often appear in great numbers, but again only three at a time,—and within five or ten minutes in the case of practised scryers, but in the case of the unpractised not until a longer space has elapsed. The objects described appear in a few seconds and vanish when they are no longer needed. In Athens a female seer of this description is said to have seen a sick person in Vienna and everything described in minutest detail was confirmed by the next post. A boy who beheld absent persons and their acts in a medicine glass filled with water is said to have discovered by this means unknown thieves."

Barth gives the following directions for crystal-gazing: "When the crystal has been ground and polished it is dedicated to some spirit or other; this is called its consecration. Before being used it is 'charged'; that is, an invocation is made to the spirit, wherein a vision is requested of the things that one wishes to experience. Ordinarily a young person is chosen to look into the glass and behold the prayed for vision. After a little time the crystal becomes enveloped in a cloud, and a tiny vision appears which represents in miniature the persons, scenes, and things that are necessary to supply the required information. When the information has been obtained the crystal is 'discharged,' and after receiving thanks for the services he has performed the spirit is dismissed."

Perty from whom I take this citation aptly adds, "One's own spirit, accordingly, is here invoked as a stranger."

The recent reports of Anglo-American Spiritualists are less crude, yet are similarly permeated by ghost-hypotheses. For example, a Mr. Rogers relates that he had put a crystal into the hands of a lady who knew nothing at all of its magical powers, yet who a short time afterwards very minutely described a scene in which a lecturer, evidently of English nationality, was addressing a foreign audience, while behind his chair the shade of a North-American Indian stood—the source of his inspiration. A few months later the lady was by chance introduced to the United States Consul at Trebizond whom she immediately recognised as the principal character of her vision, and who upon being questioned declared that at the time mentioned he had given an address at that place, and moreover, that according to the declaration of Spiritualist mediums he was controlled by the spirit of a North-American Indian.

In Germany the best known work is probably the "Visionen im Wasserglass," by Frau Adelma Von Vay, née Countess Wurmbrand. She reports in her little book some ninety experiments that were made in the years from 1869 to 1875. Frau Von Vay sees her pictures without difficulty, at times in their natural colors, at times in shades between white and black; often they are of only momentary duration, then again they persist for some time or gradually melt into confused and nebulous spots. The lady dictates to her husband the description of what is presented to her gaze; the "Spirit" furnishes commentaries and supplementary interpretations, and the fulfilment or non-fulfilment of the prophecies and divinations is carefully noted down.

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Before passing on from the history of this subject to the presentation of a number of systematic experiments, and to the development of the theory underlying them, I shall briefly consider the part that the magic mirror has played in poetry and fiction. For we often find here, especially in popular poetry, fairy tales, and traditions, an artistic anticipation of ideas that only the advanced knowledge of later centuries is able scientifically to verify. The illumined eye of genius prematurely seizes upon what in the distant future becomes the conscious property of all humanity. And this is true of the half-unconscious art of the individual poet. The imagination of the poet, borne aloft by the immediate sense of truth and the self-consciousness of typical humanity, casts flashes of illumination very frequently into the dark regions of our inner world. In the facts inherent in popular instinct it discovers intuitively a multitude of combinations, long before they possess for the average perception creditable possibility, or even possible reality. The minute analysis, however, of symbolic art belongs to the most difficult problems of comparative psychology.

To present at once from the multitude of examples a singularly striking one, "The History of the Youthful King Zein Alasnam and the Prince of Spirits" may be chosen. Zein Alasnam, who possesses eight statues of great value, is in quest of a ninth of marvellous beauty, which the Prince of Spirits promises him as soon as "thou shalt bring me a young maiden who shall be at least fifteen years of age and of perfect beauty; the maiden shall not be vain of her beauty and shall have never spoken an untruth." With the help of his magic mirror, Zein, after many vain attempts,—for the mirror was always murky when he looked into it in the presence of a girl,—finally found a maiden in whose presence a brilliant image shone forth from the mirror. By strategy Zein brought the noble girl, with whom in the mean time he had fallen passionately in love, to the Prince of Spirits—but it must be confessed that it was only at the earnest entreaty of his faithful servant, for he would have very much liked to possess the maiden himself. The Prince of Spirits thanked him and told him to return to his home where he would find the ninth statue that was promised him upon a golden pedestal in the centre of the others. Zein hastened to his palace and flew into his treasure-chamber. Upon the ninth pedestal there stood attired in silk of roseate hue, with modest blushing countenance, an immovable statue. Zein Alasnam, dazzled by the brilliancy of the other forms, stepped into the glittering circle to behold his treasure close at hand, when behold! the statue suddenly descended from its pedestal and fell into his arms. It was the same beautiful and virtuous maiden that he had conducted into the presence of the Prince of Spirits. She wept tears of joy and Zein Alasnam wept with her.

The factor here emphasised—namely, a mirror that only exhibits a clear surface to its possessor when a chaste maiden is in its presence—is not at all as fabulous as at first sight appears. It depends of course upon the person gazing whether the reflecting surface will appear murky or not; for it is a question here merely of subjective perception, and not of an objective blurring of the glass. In the case in which the girl made no impression upon the youth,—that is where the soul unconsciously passed an unfavorable judgment,—the picture will have been dimly perceived and will thus have expressed in a strangely roundabout way, that which lay slumbering in the depths of his heart. The mirror furnishes no other information than that which we put into it; but it communicates it to our every-day consciousness which knows little or nothing of the recondite processes of our inner life. The fabulous performances of other magic mirrors may be similarly explained if we discard the unnecessary adornment in which they are generally set forth. The "buch aller verbotenen kunst" (published in 1455), a mediæval collection of stories of this character, is supplied with marginal annotations of moral purport that possess some historical value. We shall therefore transcribe a passage illustrative of its character.

"Die maister und iregleichen die treiben die kunst pyromancia auch in ainem schlechten spiegel und lassen kinder darein sehen die sie dan auch vast beswern und in auch verporgne wort einraunen und mainent vast vil darin zu erfragen. das ist alles ein ungelaub und des boesen tewfels gespenst und verfuerung. huet dich du christen, ich warn dich gar treulich. auch treibt man die sach in ainem schönen glanzen pulierten swert … In der kunst pyromancia sind auch gar vil ander ungelauben, und nemlich ainer der sol des gewiss sein, der ist der allerschnoedest und boesest, wann so man ie vester gelaubt an soelich zauberey so si ie mer is sünd. das stueck gat zu, das die knaben kuenftige und alle ding suellen sehen in ainem cristallen. das stueck treiben die valschen verzweifelten und verzagten cristen, den dann lieber ist des tiuefels gespenst und trugnuss, dan die warheit gottes in maniger hand weis. ettlich haben gar ain lautern schoenen gepulierten cristallen oder parillen, den lassen sie waihen und halten in gar rain und lesen dazu weirrauch, mirren und desgleichen, und wann sie die kunst treiben woellen, so warten si uf gar ainen schoen tag oder haben ain rain gemach und darin gar vil geweichter kerzen; die maister gan den gen bad und nemen dann das rain chind mit in und beclaiden sich dan in raines weiss gewand, und sitzen nider und sprechen in zauber bact, und prennen den ir zauberopfer und lassen dan den knaben in den stain sehen und raunen im in seine oren verporgen wort die suellen vast hailig sein, warlich, die wort sind tewflisch."[27]

[27] "The Masters and their like also practice the art Pyromancia in a wretched mirror, and make children look into it, whom they then do conjure and also whisper secret words in their ears, and fancy they get much information thereby. But it is all a heresy, the work and allurement of the wicked devil. Christian, have a care! I give thee honest warning. They practise the thing, too, in a beautiful, shining, polished sword…. In the art Pyromancia there is also much other heresy, and especially there is one that is so, the worst and wickedest of all: and the firmer one's belief in it is, the greater is his sinfulness. Here, young boys are said to behold future things and all things in a crystal. Base, desperate, and faint-hearted Christians practise it, to whom the shadow and the phantom of the devil are dearer than the truth of God. Some take a clear and beautifully polished crystal or beryl, which they consecrate and keep clean, and treat with incense, myrrh, and the like. And when they propose to practise their art, they wait for a clear day, or select some clean chamber in which are many candles burning; the masters then bathe, and take the pure child into the room with them, and clothe themselves in pure white garments, and sit down and speak in magic sentences, and then burn their magic offering, and make the boy look into the stone, and whisper in his ears secret words, which have, as they ween, some holy import: verily, those words are of the Devil."

Exactly one hundred years after this, a similar pot-pourri appeared, intermingled with references to modern affairs and Christian Ethics, entitled the "Neupolierte Geschicht-Kunst- und Sittenspiegel ausländischer Völker." Wherein we may read this:

"Es ist bekannt | dass | in manchen Staedten | bey uns | unterweilen alte Weiber | auch wol zu zeiten Männer | den Leuten | welchen Gott eine Straffe schuldig ist | in Spiegeln und Krystallen weisen | was sie zu wissen begehren. Also hat | fuer einigen Jahren | zu Elbingen in Preussen | einer sich aufgehalten | welcher | aus einem solchen Wahrsager-Spiegel | die Verborgenheiten verkuendiget | und den Fuerwitzigen angedeutet hat. Mit dem Krystall-Gucken | wird zwar mancher | von den alten Sagen-Sprecherinnen | getaeuscht und falsche Mutmassungen | oder behende Augenblendungen | ihm fuer eine Gewissheit verkauft: weil solche Vetteln vielmals | unter dem Schein der Wahrsager-Kunst | ihren Betrug spielen | und weder Gutes noch Boeses wissen. Nichts destoweniger stehen dennoch auch viel solcher alten Sibyllen mit dem schwarzen Kaspar in guter Vertraulichkeit und koennen | in den Spiegeln | oder Krystallen | durch Huelfe und Vermittelung dieses boesen Geistes | den Erfolg kuenfftiger Begebenheiten fuerbilden. Wie dessen Herr Johannes Rist ein merkliches Exempel erzaehlet welches er | in seiner Jugend | mit seinen leiblichen Augen | gesehen | in einer grossen Stadt: darin er sich damals | bei fuernehmen Leuten | aufgehalten | die einen feinen wohlgearteten Sohn gehabt | welcher nachgehends zu hohen Ehren-Aemtern gestiegen."[28]

[28] "It is known that in many of our towns old women, possibly at times men, sojourn, who show to people to whom God owes punishment that which they want to know, by means of mirrors and crystals. Some years ago one such person was staying in Elbingen, in Prussia, who predicted hidden truths by the help of a divining mirror of this kind, and announced them to his curious customers. Many indeed are deceived in crystal-seeing by the old fortune-tellers that practice it, and baseless guesses and cunning deceptions of the eye are often sold them for certainties: for these hags frequently practise their impostures only under the cover and semblance of the art of divination, knowing neither good nor bad. Nevertheless, many of these old Sibyls stand upon terms of intimacy with Black Kaspar, and are able with the assistance and intermediation of this evil spirit to foreshow in their mirrors and crystals the issue and outcome of future events. Such was the remarkable case that Herr Johannes Rist tells of, which he saw in his youth with his own corporeal eyes; it was in a great city wherein at the time he was staying with very distinguished people who had a handsome and well-mannered son who afterwards rose to high offices of honor."

Again, we have a "Denckwuerdige Geschichte von der Krystall-Guckery," which makes skilful use of all the fabulous elements of the magic mirror legends. It tells of a mirror that always reveals to its possessor the truth, and by means of which the future may be divined. A prominent feature of the nursery tales of to-day is discoverable in it—that if children look at night into a mirror an ugly, forbidding face will gaze out upon them. The book, however, presents few interesting details, and we may therefore pass it and others of the same period by in order to hasten on to the present.

And to whom would not the name of Hoffmann at once occur! He who delighted to employ, and weave in the magic web of his fiction, all that was marvellous and mysterious, will undoubtedly have dealt with the subject we now have in hand. In fact the magic mirror has three times figured in his works: once in "Der Goldene Topf," again in the "Lebensansichten des Kater Murr," and finally in the novel "Das öde Haus." A few passages may be taken from the last-mentioned novel as illustrations of the point we are considering.

A small forsaken cottage bears an evil name; it hides a secret from the world.

"This was what people said in the town, and I who tell this story could get no rest with thinking of it; daily I walked by the house with the curtained windows. Once, as I was passing, I saw the curtain move and a beautifully-shaped hand adorned with a brilliant diamond ring place a crystal carafe upon the window-sill. The memory of this picture aroused in my mind a visionary dream, and on the following day when I looked up to the window at which the hand had appeared, the countenance of the vision I had seen was regarding me with a look of sorrowful entreaty. I seated myself upon a bench opposite, the back of which was turned to the house, so that by leaning over the arm I could gaze without disturbance at the fatal window and the lovely maiden. Absorbed in contemplation, I failed to observe an Italian pedlar who was offering me his wares. But being seized by the arm I at last gave attention to the importunities of the pedlar, who, with the words 'I have other beautiful things here,' pulled out the lower drawer of his box, and held at a short distance before me, at an angle, a little round pocket-mirror that lay in the drawer among a number of other trinkets. I beheld the desolate house behind me, the window, and, marked in the distinctest outlines, the lovely angelic form of my vision. I quickly purchased the little glass, which now made it possible for me, in easy posture and without attracting the attention of the neighbors, to look towards the window of my hopes…. The little mirror that so deceptively reflected the lovely form, I had now devoted to domestic purposes. I was in the habit of tying my cravat before it. And so it happened once, while I was in the act of performing this important duty, that it appeared tarnished to me. With a view to brightly polishing it, I breathed upon it in the usual manner. My pulse ceased its beating, my heart trembled with delight and dismay. Delight and dismay! Yes, thus I must describe the emotion that overpowered me, as, when my breath fell upon the mirror, I beheld in a bluish mist the lovely face that had looked upon me with that sorrowful, heart-penetrating glance!—You laugh?—Denounce me, believe me an incurable dreamer! But say and think what you will—it is enough—the fair one gazed upon me from the mirror, and as soon as the breath disappeared her face vanished in the darkness of the glass.

"But I will not weary you, I will not tell all that came of this. Only this much will I say, that I again and again renewed my experiments with the mirror, that I was often successful in calling forth by my breath the picture I so loved, but that oftentimes my most strenuous efforts were in vain…. I lived only in the thought of her; all else was dead to me; I neglected my friends and my studies…. Often when that picture grew pale and wan, a physical indisposition seized me, the figure came forth as never before with such life-like reality and brilliancy that I almost fancied I could seize it. And then it seemed to my horror that I myself was the figure, veiled and encompassed by the mists of the glass. A sharp pain in my breast and then total apathy terminated this torturing condition, which invariably left me exhausted, and shaken to my inmost core. In these moments every attempt with the mirror miscarried; but when I had become strengthened, and the picture appeared again from the mirror in life-like form, I cannot indeed deny that a peculiar physical charm otherwise foreign to me was united with it…."

We see what brilliantly colored creations tradition and fiction have woven about the magic mirror. It is now the duty of science to cull from these shining husks, by sober investigation, the kernels of truth; and that, it will be seen, can be done only by experiment. Unfortunately I myself am unable to report any successful experiments; for, despite repeated attempts, I have been unsuccessful in obtaining any images whatever from mirrors, or crystals, or reflecting surfaces of any kind. Similarly several members of the Berlin Society of Experimental Psychology have only had exclusively negative results to recount. But on the other hand, a member of the English Society for Psychical Research has been enabled to report a great number of pertinent observations. And although to my regret I am not permitted to publish the name of the lady[29] in question, yet every doubt as to the truth of her utterances is excluded, and the material she has furnished forms a valuable enrichment of psychological literature. I shall, accordingly, collect from the communications of this lady, who is a friend of Professor and Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, several cases which appear to me especially adapted to throw light upon the nature of the strange phenomena we are examining.

[29] I afterwards received permission to publish her name: it is Miss A. Goodrich of London.

The lady made more than seventy experiments of her own, of which—a fact of the greatest value for passing upon their exactness—she always made notes at once, or at the most never more than an hour afterwards. She employed various means for the production of the hallucinations. At first she used the colored balls that are hung upon Christmas trees, or the back of a gold watch; but it turned out that both these objects tried the eyes by their strong brilliancy and grotesquely distorted the visions that were evoked. A glass filled with water proved to be inconvenient to handle, especially in the dark; while mirrors also possessed many disturbing peculiarities. A magnifying glass set on a dark background proved to be very effective, especially by daylight; as did also a black-framed photograph placed upon the wall of the room opposite the light. The gaze and the attention, however, were best concentrated upon a well-polished rock-crystal. The method of procedure—since happily all the appurtenances of mysticism were discarded—was very simple. The lady draped the crystal in black, placed it where none of the surrounding objects could be reflected in it, and waited for whatever might happen.

What occurred? The simplest instance is perhaps No. 7, which we here introduce:

"I find in the Crystal a bit of dark wall, covered with white jessamine, and I ask myself, 'Where have I walked to-day?' I have no recollection of such a sight, not a common one in the London streets, but to-morrow I will repeat my walk of this morning, with a careful regard for creeper-covered walls. To-morrow solves the mystery. I find the very spot, and the sight brings with it the further recollection that at the moment we passed this spot I was engaged in absorbing conversation with my companion, and my voluntary attention was preoccupied."

This is a very simple case. A visual image, recently yet unconsciously received, springs up from the subterranean strata of the soul into which it had sunk. No. 68 affords a similar instance:

"I had carelessly destroyed a letter without preserving the address of my correspondent. I knew the county, and searching in a map, recognised the name of the town, one unfamiliar to me, but which I was sure I should know when I saw it. But I had no clue to the name of the house or street, till at last it struck me to test the value of the crystal as a means of recalling forgotten knowledge. A very short inspection supplied me with 'Hibbs House' in grey letters on a white ground, and having nothing better to suggest from any other source, I risked posting my letter to the address so strangely supplied.

"A day or two brought me an answer, headed 'Hibbs House' in grey letters on a white ground."

Tricks of the memory like these appear still more strange when they are due merely to an indirect excitation. It may happen that one is suddenly reminded of a friend who is long since dead, by the accidental sight of his favorite dish. No direct excitation is here presented, but the image of the friend remembered is indirectly revived through a certain concatenation of ideas. This we find in the eleventh experiment:

"One of my earliest experiences was of a picture, perplexing and wholly unexpected—a quaint oak chair, an old hand, a worn black coat-sleeve resting on the arm of the chair,—slowly recognised as a recollection of a room in a country vicarage, which I had not entered and but seldom recalled since I was a child of ten. But whence came this vision, what association has conjured up this picture? What have I done to-day?… At length the clue is found. I have to-day been reading Dante, first enjoyed with the help of our dear old vicar many a year ago."

The process here carried on, which takes place for the most part outside of the sphere of consciousness, is therefore the following: The reading of Dante revives the image 'Vicar'; the image 'Vicar' produces the image of the room; the latter image is externalised.

But we can penetrate consciously into these processes. There are any number of people who, with their eyes closed, can produce phantasy-pictures surprisingly realistic; and geniuses especially have command of rich powers in this direction. George Sand's biographer tells us, that sitting at the feet of her mother before the chimney fire, she would often watch the old green-colored fire-guard in order to form from the reflections of the flames figures and scenes. And this is the case of our English lady. Just as an imaginative child tells itself stories, so she, to while away the time, builds in the twilight hours groups of figures, and projects them into her crystals; and so strange is the unconscious "I" to the conscious "I," that oftentimes the miniature drama that is unfolded is the source of the greatest surprises to its own creator. This independence of our consciousness in two spheres, is exhibited with surprising distinctness where especial aids and expedients must be employed to decipher the visions. Thus:

"On March 20th, I happened to want the date of Ptolemy Philadelphus, which I could not recall, though feeling sure that I knew it, and that I associated it with some event of importance. When looking in the Crystal some hours later, I found a picture of an old man with long white hair and beard, dressed like a Lyceum Shylock, and busy writing in a large book with tarnished massive clasps. I wondered much who he was, and what he could possibly be doing, and thought it a good opportunity of carrying out a suggestion which had been made to me, of examining objects in the Crystal with a magnifying glass. The glass revealed to me that my old gentleman was writing in Greek, though the lines faded away as I looked, all but the characters he had last traced, the Latin numerals LXX. Then it flashed into my mind, that he was one of the Jewish Elders at work on the Septuagint, and that its date, 277 B. C., would serve equally well for Ptolemy Philadelphus! It may be worth while to add, though the fact was not in my conscious memory at the moment, that I had once learnt a chronology on a mnemonic system which substituted letters for figures, and that the memoria technica for this date was 'Now Jewish Elders indite a Greek copy.'" (No. 74.)

The employment of a magnifying glass, which by reason of external difficulties is seldom possible, is a convincing proof of the degree of independence of the two personalities within us. Anything more marvellous than the fact before us can hardly be imagined. We create something which is immediately wrested from our control and which leads a totally independent life; we produce something which becomes for our own selves a mute enigma, and which can only be aroused by artificial means out of its ghost-like silence.

    "The rent that gapes throughout creation,
    Goes also through the human heart."

And thus it may happen that our second "I" actually mystifies at times our first and principal "I."

Once a number of letters appeared to her in the crystal, each letter seen separately, of a bright red color. At first they seemed to be absolutely meaningless, but it was at length discovered that they composed words, spelt backwards, in the following fashion:—

d e t n a w a e n o e m o s o t n i o j a e t a v i r p e l c r i c t s u m e b g n i l l i w o t e v i g s e v l e s m e h t p u o t e h t t c e j b u s

and the message at length became intelligible as follows:—

"Wanted a someone to join a private circle, must be willing to give themselves up to the subject."

We now come to a third group of experiments in which an entirely new element enters into play. Whereas hitherto we have seen things revealed in the magic mirror which were demonstrably or presumably already present in the brain of the operator, or, where this was not the case, in any event possessed no external significance, we now hear of experiments in which unknown events are said to have been presented. I should take no notice whatever of this class of reports regarding clairvoyance in space and time, if our informant did not give the impression of being thoroughly conscientious and scientific. The English lady possesses, as I believe I have discerned from our correspondence, a highly critical mind, and is well acquainted with the common sources of error in this department of investigation, and her testimony is in my opinion more valuable than that of all the early authors together. It were indeed more acceptable if the results of recent investigations had been to show that all the phenomena of crystallomancy were referable to the hitherto misunderstood dominance of the soul of the individual gazing; but since a number of cases remain that will not fit into this explanation, we must as honest people openly acknowledge the fact. Accordingly, without attempting any detailed explanation, I shall select a few cases as illustrations, leaving it to the reader to discard them as "accidental" or to retain them as worthy of consideration:

"On Saturday, March 9th, I had written a somewhat impatient note to a friend, accusing her of having, on her return from a two months' absence on the Continent, spent ten days in London without paying me a visit. I was not, therefore, surprised, when on Sunday evening she appeared before me in the Crystal, but could not understand why she should hold up, with an air of deprecation, what appeared to be a music portfolio. On Monday I received an answer, written the previous day, pleading guilty to my charge, but urging, in excuse, that she was attending the Royal Academy of Music, and was engaged there during the greater part of every day. This intelligence was to the last degree unexpected, for my friend is a married woman, who has never studied music in any but amateur style, and who, according to the standard of most ladies of fashion, had "finished her education" some years ago. I have since ascertained that she, in fact, carries a portfolio corresponding with the sketch I made of that seen in the vision." (No. 64.)

The simplest explanation of this case would be the assumption that our informant had at some time or other cursorily heard of her friend having again taken up music. The whole thing would then be a revived memory; and the agreement in appearance of the portfolio seen with the real portfolio, an accidental coincidence. But this presumption being excluded, psychologists who believe in the possibility of telepathic communication might propose a different explanation. In this way. The lady's friend, in writing her note of excuse, is vividly thinking of her work, which is to her to a certain extent represented by her portfolio, and conveys this picture to the receptive sub-consciousness of the other lady. There the image lies latent until it is translated into sensory life through the agency of the magic mirror—the very process with which we have at a previous place become acquainted, and will more exactly explain further on. The question, therefore, is reduced simply to the truth of the premise first assumed—namely, telepathic communication; and all that we can at present say, is, that it is considered as an actual fact, upon the basis of personal experience, by many prominent investigators, but is rejected by the majority as undemonstrated. For our part, we admit that an hypothesis of this kind would prove to be very useful, since reports similar to the last mentioned one, have recently been published in great numbers. We select as an illustration the following note by Mrs. L. M., from the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research:

"I was anxious to see a Mr. H., but was uncertain on what day he would call. On the 19th [July, 1887] I was called out of the office, and, before going out, I put on the door a card having these words on it, 'Will return soon.' I was absent about an hour. On my return I came upstairs, but did not ask the elevator boy if any one had called; nor did he tell me any one had done so. As I came within a short distance of the door, I saw some characters written upon the card I had left, and just below the printed words 'Will return soon,' I stooped down and read, 'Mr. H. has been here, and will return.' As I looked the words faded away. I entered the office, and in a very short time Mr. H. came in. He had left no name or message. He had impressed my face upon his mind very strongly, with the intention of seeing if I would be in any way affected by it, or conscious of his approach."

If the fact of accident, intensified by the strained expectation of Mrs. M., cannot be accepted as a satisfactory explanation, it is to be considered that the white surface of the card in this case acted in the same externalising manner as the crystal in the instance given just above. The remotely-operative excitation penetrated the soul unobserved, and was first translated into a conscious image at the moment when the glance at the card favored the formation of hallucinations.

Finally a number of other cases are to be mentioned, in which even these suppositions seem insufficient; and for the reason that the events seen were not to happen until some future time. But that which has not yet happened, and which is not to be foreseen in detail, can neither originate in the repositories of memory, nor from the telepathic influence exercised by another person. We should in that case be obliged to accept some hypothesis of clairvoyance in time—granting of course that all sources of error are excluded. The reader may judge for himself:

"In January last I saw in the Crystal the figure of a man crouching at a small window, and looking into the room from the outside. I could not see his features, which appeared to be muffled, but the Crystal was particularly dark that evening, and the picture being an unpleasant one, I did not persevere. I concluded the vision to be a result of a discussion in my presence of the many stories of burglary with which the newspapers had lately abounded, and reflected with a passing satisfaction, that the only windows in the house divided into four panes as were those of the Crystal-picture, were in the front attic and almost inaccessible. Three days later a fire broke out in that very room, which had to be entered from outside through the window, the face of the fireman being covered with a wet cloth, as a protection from the smoke which rendered access through the door impossible." (No. 36.)

Is this a case of prevision? Granting that the agreement of the facts with the vision is not due to mere accident, the possibility yet remains of a falsification of memory; that is, the possibility that a vision originally similar to the event afterwards observed, was subsequently taken to be the same as that event. Such obscurations and falsifications of memory are very frequent. Indeed they get to be epidemic, the moment a second factor, that of expectation, is added. We need only have a foreboding that something will eventually happen, and we shall inevitably form certain indefinite notions of its particular character. If now the event actually happens, our obliging memory is at once at hand with the lie, 'Exactly as I knew before.' 'I told you so,' is the assertion. And it is therefore no accident that in the literature of clairvoyance, the arrival of letters of this or that tenor plays so great a part; for expectation has a broad and acceptable arena in this very connection. The extent to which the falsification of memory and intense expectation take part in the observation which we shall now cite, it would be hardly possible to determine accurately:

"On the evening of March 11th, being tired, I was about to go early to my room, when it occurred to me to wait for the last post, already late, that I might not be again disturbed by having the letters brought to my room. I took up the Crystal rather to pass the time than with much expectation of seeing anything; for as a rule, when one is tired, the concentration of attention necessary to Crystal-vision is somewhat difficult to attain. However, I perceived a white object on a dark ground, soon becoming more clearly defined as a letter in a very large envelope torn at the edges, as if not sufficiently strong to hold its contents. Another envelope, of ordinary size, lying at the top, concealed the address, and the writing on the smaller one was too much blurred to decipher. The vision was momentary only, or I might have applied the test of the magnifying glass, which is sometimes, though not always, of use in such cases. I thought it possible that the vision might be merely the result of expectation, but it seemed at least worth while, after making a note of the fact,—my invariable rule whenever possible,—to test its significance. As a matter of fact, the letters were lying on a seat in the hall, showing white against the dark polished wood—placed there possibly by some one leaving the house who had met the postman before he had time to ring. The letters were two,—the lower one, which had burst the envelope, was the size of a sheet of letter-paper not folded, and was for myself, the upper one, the usual size of a note, and not for me, which may have accounted for my inability to read the address." (No. 66.)

I repeat it—with accounts of this character, though in the highest degree acceptable, science cannot at present deal; and in proceeding now to attempt an explanation of the phenomena illustrated by the experiments of the English communication mentioned, I shall entirely leave out of consideration the cases that point to telepathic causes or clairvoyance in time and space.

We have already made the acquaintance of some few theories which have arisen historically. Formerly, and even at the present day in fact, certain objects and qualities of objects were made accountable for the occurrence of striking hallucinations. The great cycle of legends that adhere to the magic mirror, has thus arisen. Often a pentahedronal quartz-crystal, often the fusion of the seven ancient metals into polished surfaces was supposed to possess especial virtue. Gregory, of Edinburgh, asserted that the phenomena were most easily produced by looking into a double-convex plate of zinc into the centre of which a small polished copper disk had been set. We now know that in the importance attached to these and similar directions the salient point was missed and an incidental factor pushed into the foreground. But in any event it is worthy of remark, that through belief in notions of this kind the seer gained a greater confidence in the success of his experiments. Even incorrect theories prove to be useful. When any one finally came into the possession of a famous magic stone, his firm belief in its powers induced a disposition to visions that perhaps never before existed in his organism to the same degree.

A second hypothesis regards the phenomena as manifestations of the Devil or the work of spirits. Dr. Dee gives a very minute description of his regular spirit visitors. He tells of an old woman in a red petticoat, and of a pretty little girl with her hair rolled up in front and hanging down very long behind. This constant personification is very significant, since it indicates the approach of recognised forms of mental alienation; however, the "Daimon" of Socrates proves that it does not in every case necessarily lead to this. We are come, here, into a border-land, from which some roads lead into the dark regions of insanity and others up to the luminous heights of inspired genius: but in every case we are concerned with a region in our own mind, and no natural propensity to externalisation must be allowed to deceive us with regard to it. The intrusion of foreign "spirits" into our psycho-physical organism, the assumption that incorporeal beings influence our nervous system so as to produce external effects, violently contradicts all human experience. If the spiritist doctrine could be mathematically proved it would be the most interesting solution imaginable of all these problems; and I must confess, the establishment of the existence of intelligent incorporeal beings would in my opinion eclipse all other events of our time. But the probability of this is at present very small.

A third theory, of modern origin, seeks the explanation of the question in a species of magic power inherent in man, as yet unfathomed, which is manifested especially in ecstatic conditions. The vehicles of the magic gaze are shining mirrors or reflecting surfaces, which forming a means of attraction for individuals of the proper constitution induce that peculiar state of alienation from every other subject, that concentration in the innermost self, which often rises to insensibility and unconsciousness, or even to cataleptic torpidity, wherein the consciousness of All-existence is liberated. Future events and distant occurrences are seen in pictures which appear to be reflected in the mirror or the fluid employed, but which in reality exist in the person gazing and are represented by projection outwards. Thus Perty.

Other philosophers speak of the "transcendental" capacities and powers of the human soul, or of the liberation of a metaphysical essentiality within us.

But these theories and suppositions are plainly the outcome of a premature simplification of our difficult problem. People are always too ready to thrust forward a new "power" or "force" to unify with dispatch and celerity uncomfortable phenomena of the present sort, and overlook the fact that every single phenomenon demands an exact investigation and explanation. Nothing is accomplished by calling phenomena "magical" or "transcendental." The work demanded is, to ascertain the connection and relation of the phenomena in question with the province of soul-life as a whole. To put an x in the place of a y contributes nothing to the solution of a problem. We cannot be too closely upon our guard against comprehensive syntheses of this character; for their splendid appearance dazzles woefully the eye of research.

Much nearer the truth is the position that hypnosis merely is concerned here. A well-known author, Louis Maury, who wrote in the middle part of this century, says:

"Among the principal methods of divination a great number aim at producing a sort of vertigo by acting upon the eyes and consequently upon the brain, in a manner something like that in which shining bodies act in hypnotism."

Mrs. De Morgan speaks in a similar strain:

"Crystal-vision is a well attested fact, having its laws and conditions like other phenomena in this world of known and hidden causes, and a little careful observation may clear away some of that obscurity which has kept it as the property of witches and sorcerers. The Crystal … seems to produce on the eye of the seer an effect exactly like what would ensue under the fingers of a powerful mesmeriser. The person who looks at it often becomes sleepy. Sometimes the eyes close. At other times tears flow."

Mrs. De Morgan's very description renders it doubtful whether we have to deal here with true, developed hypnotism. Other accounts are also calculated to shake this assumption. Cahagnet, for example, required only a moment of mental concentration for his eyes to become fixed; he lost all sight of the objects he had a moment before gazed upon, and those which he wished to call up appeared between him and the former. All spontaneous visions were fulfilled. When voluntarily evoked, but seven out of ten were true. When he wanted to produce the visions he fixed his eyes upon the first fit object, and he often saw hundreds and thousands of persons running hither and thither in one little shining point. Or he beheld a great city distinctly drawn in a mirror but one inch in diameter. This is not very easily reconciled with our conceptions of the character of hypnotism. Nor less so—to close our list of examples—the observations of an experimenter mentioned by Mrs. De Morgan, that the perceptions of crystal-vision are not interfered with by those of normal vision, but that the percipient could discontinue her observation at will, and returning would find the scene as she left it.

There is evidently involved here the condition of mind called "temporary" or "momentary" hypnosis, or what Eduard Von Hartmann more aptly calls "masked somnambulism." It is not fully developed hypnosis, but simply its incipient forms—hypnoid states of manifold variations. Now the question arises, Of what do these states consist? What are their essential characteristics? And how are they to be psychologically explained? For even our appeal to hypnotism simply puts a new empty name into the place of an old one. If we do not understand hypnosis, its production for the explanation of the magic mirror profits us very little. The task, accordingly, presents itself of referring, in connection with some psychological theory of hypnotism, the well-established facts at our disposal to one and the same cause.

The theory from which I shall proceed in attempting an explanation, has already been frequently touched upon in the course of this article; for certain observations indicated it so clearly that mention of it was not to be avoided. It is the doctrine of the double consciousness of the human soul.[30] Acts are done in the course even of our every-day life, which presuppose for their origin and execution all the faculties of the soul, yet nevertheless occur without the knowledge of the individual; they require a sort of consciousness and a separate memory beyond the cognisance of the normal person. One of the most frequent cases in practical experience is where the thoughts of a person reading aloud wander and become occupied with an entirely different subject; and where despite this aberration the person in question reads correctly with the proper emphasis and expression, turns the leaves, and in short performs acts which without intelligent control are hardly conceivable. An English psychologist, Mr. Barkworth, has acquired such expertness in the practice of this, that during an animated debate he can rapidly and correctly add long columns of figures without having his attention diverted in the least. This points not only to an unconscious intelligence, but—which is of still greater consequence—to an unconscious memory. Mr. Barkworth must keep two series of figures in his mind in order to obtain from them a third; this latter sum he is again obliged to retain in order to add to it a newly acquired fourth; and so on. The latter chain of memories, let it be remarked, performs its office entirely independently of that upon which the recollection of the debate is constructed; and it may therefore be reasonably maintained that there exists beyond the cognisance of the individual, both consciousness and memory; and if the essential components of the ego are found in these two last-mentioned factors, then every person conceals within himself the germs of a second personality. I designate the two halves of consciousness that thus operate in greater or less independence of each other,—in a figurative sense of course,—as super-and sub-consciousness, and comprehend the whole as the doctrine of double consciousness or the double ego.

[30] Compare my treatise Das Doppel-Ich, the first number of the "Publications of the Society of Experimental Psychology of Berlin," Leipsic 1890, Ernst Günther. I must refer here, moreover, to an acute criticism of my views by Adolf Bentivegni, published as No. 4 of the above-named series, and entitled Die Hypnose und ihre civilrechtliche Bedeutung, Leipsic, 1890. The views set forth in the present article will be found in the German magazine Vom Fels zum Meer.

The division very clearly appears in the opposition between waking and dreaming. Even when we very accurately remember a dream which we have just had,—which happens very seldom,—we feel the difference of the two states of consciousness with unmistakable distinctness. We have no power over the tricks that phantasy plays with us in our sleep, and in spite of the often present belief that it is all but a dream, yet every power fails us of penetrating into its independent activity. Moreover the images are generally of a very definite signification, since they are merely reproduced from the store-house of impressions that have sunk into the unfathomable depths of our soul. In this way many a dream reveals to us the true character of our Self; in this manner sub-basal dream-images exhibit the thoughts and emotions that principally occupy us in our innermost heart. Closer investigation teaches further, that in dreams, states of intoxication, in somnambulistic and epileptic attacks, not only does a consciousness different from the normal consciousness rule, but that also between separate successive periods memory-links of greater or lesser stability are wont to form. But this is most strikingly exhibited in the case of hypnosis. The hypnotic state is nothing more than an artificially produced ascendancy of the secondary or subordinate ego. All its peculiarities are explainable from this; for psychology endows the dream-consciousness prevailing in this state, with sensibility and suggestibility, the waking consciousness on the other hand with the inhibitory ideas that represent reality. It has established, moreover, that our fully conscious soul-life rests upon an automatically operating substratum of hallucinatory character, in which images, long since forgotten, have their abode. By virtue of these properties the subconsciousness becomes the source of bold and fantastic creations, while the superconsciousness is made the vehicle of our psychic life-work, laboriously sustaining and regulating itself in its relations with the outside world.

To this conception, which explains crystal-visions as a form of the activity of the subconsciousness, it will be variously objected, that such a simultaneous coexistence of two divisions of consciousness does not possess the same degree of probability as an alternation of states of consciousness. But how, upon this latter supposition, could the "Hibbs House" case be explained? In this instance, two psychical groups do not alternate, but one operates during the existence of the other.

Further, the propriety in general is questioned of speaking of half-conscious or unconscious ideas and mental processes. It is the opinion of the Göttingen philosopher G. E. Müller, that just as every excitation of the brain immediately occasioned by a sensory stimulus is not competent to produce a sensation, so also all reproduced nervous excitations are not necessarily accompanied by perceptual images. In the cases mentioned, and in many others, there is no reason why groups of true psychical states should be admitted, which, in contradistinction to other psychical states, only lack consciousness; on the contrary, we have to deal with simply a series of nervous excitations, which, as distinguished from other excitations, are not accompanied by corresponding states of our consciousness.

This conception of soul-life, which has been of late very favorably received, Hugo Münsterberg has formulated thus—that the psychical phenomenon is to a certain extent the subjective internal aspect of a thus and thus constituted objective physical phenomenon. We are to bear in mind that the succession of the physical processes is nowhere interrupted, and that in addition certain of these physical processes, those namely which are carried on with a certain intensity in particular apparatuses of the brain, possess a psychical internal aspect; so that this excitation of the nervous cells is, without losing thereby anything in physical effect, the condition of the appearance of certain sensations in consciousness.

But by the side of the physiological theory legitimately exist as possibilities a psychological one and a psycho-physical one. It is the doctrine of the latter theories that not only are physical vestiges left behind in the cortex of the brain after every perception, but also psychical dispositions to the formation of ideas and images; and that it is possible for images of all kinds to continue to exist without distinctly attaining to consciousness. These theories distinguish between degrees of luminosity in our percepts and images, the three most important degrees of which I have designated as consciousness, subconsciousness, and unconsciousness. There exists a gradation of degrees of consciousness, and the fully-conscious course of mental representation is everywhere conditioned by its connection with the obscured spheres beyond. Our attention surveys but a small area, on the boundary lines of which the altitudes of consciousness decrease, and finally approach the zero point. I say approach, for they never reach it. Our experiments with the magic mirror in fact show us how the oldest impressions, and impressions of ridiculous insignificance, after long long years awake as it were from the slumber of the fabled Sleeping Beauty. If our millions of perceptions were to live on in consciousness we should no longer have a past, but live in a continuous celestial present; but were the operation of consciousness so limited that it destroyed great numbers of images, the very facts upon which the belief in supernatural powers rests, would lose their only rational explanation. One result of our study of crystal-visions is assuredly this, that we shall have to erase the word "forgotten" with all its derivatives from the dictionary, and at the most employ the phrase "not remembered." With more ardent yearning than ever before will we long for a river of Lethe, and join with our whole hearts in the cry of Themistocles, "O that some one might teach me the art of forgetting!"

Along with the inner process the outward form of the hallucination still requires a brief explanation. The circumstance, namely, which lends magic-mirror phenomena their salient feature, is the sensory reproduction of the images that have sprung up from the subconsciousness. The subterranean ideas produced do not reach the surface as thoughts, but as pseudo-perceptions. To refer the latter to the place to which they belong, I shall first remind the reader of the well-known after-images which arise when an excitation produced in the sensory organ and in the sensory nerves does not immediately disappear with the cessation of the excitatory action. By gazing at the sun we can at once obtain this effect. But despite the fact that the last-mentioned class of images possesses the full distinctness of real sensations as distinguished from mere memory and imagination images, they still bear no relation to our subject on account of their union with recently occurring sensory impressions. Still less do the repetition-sensations in the dark field of vision—as of revolving wheels—belong here; or illusions. There remain accordingly only hallucinations, which are withdrawn from all conscious control, and which possess the exact character of sensory perceptions externally awakened, without any object or objective stimulation actually being present in the outer world to correspond to them.

Hallucinations, the production of which are facilitated by the fixation of shining surfaces, do not occur with all persons; and there may be a kernel of truth in the tradition which designates women and children as endowed with especial capacities in this respect. The investigations of Fechner upon the varying vividness of after-images; the statistics of Galton upon hallucinatory phantasms in artists; and the extensive statistical work of the Society for Psychical Research, appear to point to a connection of this character. Miss Goodrich told me that her dreams were few in number and colorless. I must confess that I was surprised at this; but she added that all her recollections of places were accompanied with the vividness of actual sensory impressions. If, for example, she desires to describe a room in a friend's house, she returns in recollection to the occasion of her last visit; she again occupies the same chair; the carpet at her feet becomes visible, then the furniture nearest her, then the walls and ceiling, until a true picture of the whole room is extended before her mind's eye. Crystal-visions are distinguished from internal visions of this character only by the single circumstance that they are projected outwards to or upon a reflecting point. These visions often consist of a room that Miss Goodrich has lately seen, or a street sign, or of some movement that has startled her, as of a servant letting a plate fall, or of a dog running under a wagon. No consideration that the objects are not before her is of avail; the force of out-rushing memory-formations and the acquired established connection of the elements of soul-life are reduced to the primitive state that obtains in the soul of a child, to whom life is in reality a dream without definite limits. I well remember from the period of my early boyhood, the peculiar sensation of a state flickering between reality and fancy, and I understand the condition of those primitive tribes with whom dreamland and life intermingle in the strangest way; but capacities in this direction have disappeared down to the striking want of a normally developed faculty for colors.

* * * * *

Summing up then, we may say, that with regard to their contents the phenomena produced by the agency of the magic mirror proceed from the realm of subconsciousness; and that with regard to their form they belong to the category of hallucinations. Their contents, not regarded as a performance of memory, appear to possess no great value—so grotesque and ordinary are the few ideas brought up from this invisible storehouse. But they often supply us with a deep view into the secrets of character, and inculcate with terrible emphasis the truth that nothing is lost in the realms of the soul, any more than in the external world which is ruled by the law of the conservation of energy. Every thought that ever traversed our brain, every emotion that has ever thrilled our heart, every wish that has ever animated for a fleeting moment our breast—has all been entered in ineffaceable characters in the day-book of our earthly existence. Would that this knowledge could strengthen our feeling of moral responsibility!

Thus does the expansion of our psychological conceptions not infrequently lead to an enrichment of our notions of morality. But whether we place a higher value upon this aspect last mentioned, or upon the purely scientific object to which we referred at the beginning of our article, or finally upon a factor connected therewith, namely the enlightenment of society—at any rate we must confess that in the much abused "magic mirror" a rich and attractive source of treasures has been opened.



Few topics are of greater speculative or indeed practical interest than that of the relation of the body to the mind. Rarely has the subject been treated with such perspicuity and at the same time with such candor and avoidance of hasty dogmatism as by Professor Harald Höffding, of Copenhagen, in his "Psychology" (translated into German from the Danish and published in Leipsic, Reisland). A leading American professor of philosophy remarked to me recently that this for its size (the volume contains 452 pages) was the best all-around work on Psychology; and an examination of the section entitled Seele und Körper (Mind and Body) certainly gives countenance to the statement.

Professor Höffding does not indeed oppose himself to metaphysical speculation; he believes that the human mind will never consent to being shut out from the task of searching after the ultimate principles of the universe, of which it is a part. But his standpoint in this work is the purely empirical one, as one's standpoint must be in every positive science. Positive science deals with the facts of experience; metaphysics with their ultimate explanation. He regards it as a misfortune to confuse the two, as popular thinking in psychology does; and scientific thinking in this realm is characterised by the effort to avoid the confusion and keep solely to the facts of observation and experience. Accordingly both materialism and spiritualism are excluded from the field—each theory involving a transcending of the realm of experience, i. e., being metaphysical.

There are two subdivisions of the realm of experience according to Professor Höffding,—one coextensive with psychical phenomena, such as feelings, thoughts, and volitions, the other with physical phenomena, i. e., with what moves in space. They may be called respectively inner experience and outer experience. Each must be grasped in its distinct features; and only after doing so can we feel the problem involved in the question of their relation to or connection with one another. For it happens that one set of outer experiences stands in an indisputably peculiar relation to the phenomena of consciousness, namely, the set which we describe by the term "body" and, more particularly, by that of "nervous system" or "brain." Much of what we call the physical world stands in relation to consciousness as the thing known to the knower; but a part of the physical world (i. e., the body or brain) seems a part of the knower as well—a body or nervous system of some kind seems an indispensable requirement or at least concomitant of anything like feeling, or thought, or act of volition.

Now, different as the movements of the nervous system, the processes of the brain are from the phenomena of consciousness, there are a number of resemblances between them. Professor Höffding specifies six: (1) As the nervous system is the central, unifying organ of the body, so does consciousness bring together into a unity all the varied phenomena of experience, scattered though they be in time and space. (2) Just as a change is necessary that consciousness may be awakened, (an absence of contrasts tending in the direction of unconsciousness,) so a stimulus is necessary that the nerves may act. (3) A stimulus may produce a commotion in the nervous system out of all proportion to its immediate efficacy, just as a spark may act on a magazine of powder; so a simple sensation may set in motion a whole train of ideas and emotions, owing to the complicated structure and multitudinous inner relations of consciousness. (4) The movements of the body are slow in proportion as they are conscious; now the nerves which appear to be closely related to consciousness act more slowly than those which direct purely physiological (i. e., unconscious) processes. (5) The lower nerve-centres form a system comparatively independent of the higher ones; corresponding to this is the fact that many bodily processes go on unconsciously and only make us aware of them when the circumstances attending them are particularly favorable or unfavorable. The consciousness of the physical state corresponds to the excitation of the higher nerve-centres. Similarly the action of the will has its physiological counterpart; in the struggle between "the flesh and the spirit," the lower nerve-centres with their reflex and involuntary actions correspond to the flesh, the higher centres to the spirit. (6) The construction of the nervous system is similar to the constitution of consciousness; just as consciousness is at once receptive and active, with more or less of intervening reflection or thought, so the nervous system has both sensory and motor organs, with an intervening sphere.

Not only are there these formal resemblances, there is a real connection, according to Professor Höffding, as is shown by the fact that with the evolution of the nervous system go higher and higher forms of consciousness, that irritation on the surface of an organism must be communicated to the brain that conscious sensations may arise, and that when arterial blood fails to reach the brain unconsciousness supervenes. What hypothesis do these facts conduct to us? All of them must be born in mind that any special hypothesis may be legitimated. There are only four possibilities: (1) Either consciousness and the brain, mind and body, act upon one another as two separate things or substances; (2) or the mind is only a form or product of the body; (3) or the body is only a form or product of one or more mental substances; (4) or mind and body, consciousness and the brain, grow and develop as different manifestations of one and the same substance. It must be admitted that the author at this point somewhat deserts the empirical standpoint to which he declared at the outset that he should keep. The facts of correspondence or parallelism are all that come within the realm of experience; their explanation must be more or less a matter of inference and theoretical construction and involves a departure in the direction of metaphysics. Professor Höffding is aware of this and says that these hypotheses belong to the border-land between positive science and metaphysics. Moreover, he confesses that any conclusion he may reach will have only a provisional value and may need revision, before it can serve as a final part of a philosophical system. He will, however, follow as closely as possible the leadings of experience, as indeed he says we should do in all metaphysical speculation.

In considering the first hypothesis, (namely, that mind and body act on one another as two things,) Professor Höffding shows that it is inconsistent with the law of the conservation of energy. For, at the point where the nervous process is converted into mental activity, one sum of physical energy would disappear without being replaced by another sum of the same kind. As matter of fact no disappearance of energy takes place on account of the arising of a conscious state. The chain of psychical causation is not broken; its completeness no more suffers than if states of consciousness did not arise at all. Nor on the other hand does consciousness affect the sum of physical energy; it is hardly conceivable that it should even change the direction of such energy (the sum supposably remaining constant, as is sometimes held), since to do this it must itself become a physical force. Moreover, if there is a relation of cause and effect between the brain and consciousness it would seem as if an interval of time must elapse between the process in the brain and the rising of the conscious state, a view to which the teachings of physiology lend no likelihood.

The second hypothesis regards matter as the real or actual thing and mind as an effect or form of it. Such materialism is certainly older than the now prevalent doctrine of the interaction of two distinct things. Homer and the earliest Greek philosophers held to it. Similar views prevailed among the early Christian fathers before Augustine. Modern materialists, however, regard the mind, not in the earlier fashion as semi-corporeal, but as a function or form of the corporeal. Yet when we closely consider the matter, we find that to conceive of the function of a bodily organ is simply to conceive of that organ as in activity. As Goethe said, "Function is das Dasein in Thätigkeit gedacht." But a bodily organ in activity is just as much corporeal as one at rest, and anything without corporeal attributes can no more be the function of such an organ than it can be the organ itself. The conception of function (in the physiological sense) as truly as that of matter implies something that exists in spacial form; while thoughts and feelings are without spacial form.

In dealing with the third hypothesis, (namely, that body is a form or product of mind,) Professor Höffding does not so much criticise it as explain a modified and interesting form in which Lotze held it. It is not, however, the view which he adopts.

To the fourth hypothesis he gives his adhesion. The parallel and proportional relations between consciousness and brain-activity point, according to him, to an underlying identity between the two. One and the same principle, he says, has found its expression in a two-fold form. The physical interaction between the elements of which the nervous system is composed, is an outward form of the inner ideal unity of consciousness. What we immediately experience as thoughts, feelings, volitions, has its physical representation in certain brain-processes, which as such are under the law of the conservation of energy, though this law has no application to the relation between brain-processes and consciousness. It is as if one and the same content were expressed in two languages.

This conclusion, however, he repeats, is but an empirical formula and has provisional value only. One substance, he says, acts in both consciousness and the bodily organism, but what kind of a substance is this, and why does it have this twofold form of manifestation? These are questions, he replies, beyond the reach of our knowledge. We can simply make a statement which seems to be required by the facts, namely, that the same thing which lives, grows, and takes on form in the outward world, apprehends itself inwardly as thinking, feeling, and willing. No opinion is thereby ventured as to whether mind or matter is the more original form of existence. By no means is metaphysical speculation upon this question excluded. The hypothesis of identity (for so Professor Höffding terms it) is consistent with philosophical idealism and also with the view that the innermost nature of being is not identical with consciousness. He simply claims for it that it is the most natural conclusion with regard to the relation between two empirical sciences, physiology and psychology. These sciences, according to the hypothesis, treat of the same material viewed from two different sides, and there can be no more conflict between them than between one person who looks on the convex side of a circle and another who looks on the concave side (to borrow an illustration used by Fechner).

On another occasion I may give my own views, and content myself now with saying that I have followed with the greatest interest and with much (if not unlimited) satisfaction the treatment of the subject at the hands of the genial, large-minded Danish professor.




The work of M. FOUILLÉE which I announced in my last communication (to your other magazine), bears the title of L'Evolutionnisme des Idées-Forces. It is a voluminous work; and it contains a great many things—perhaps too many. We have from M. Fouillée, the promise of a constructive work—La Psychologie des Idées-Forces, in two volumes; but his present book is chiefly devoted to the labor of demolition. As contemporaneous psychology has its weak sides, and as M. Fouillée is a skilful critic, you may imagine that his attacks upon Wundt, Herbert Spencer, Taine, Ribot, W. James, and numbers of others, both living and dead, are conducted with spirit. The successful fulfilment of the task he has set himself would necessitate the ruin of the hypothesis, avowed or concealed, that has supported psychological research as well as furnished occasional excellent conclusions; for it is the aim of M. Fouillée to overthrow what he has ingeniously termed the theory of "idea-reflexes," and the place once cleared, to substitute for it the theory of "idea-forces."

The chief feature of the book is therefore M. Fouillée's criticisms of the theories "that make consciousness the intermittent illumination of a mechanism"; of the theories "that reduce the sentiments and the emotions to simple reverberations of organic movements and even of expressive movements"; of those finally "that make of desire and the feeling of effort, simple passive muscular sensations, the reflexions of movements already executed." Solid objections are not wanting in these pages. M. Fouillée does not refrain from playing when he has a good hand.

So far so good. But—we ask—would psychology have ever made any advances if it lacked the hypothesis that M. Fouillée condemns? And, as a matter of fact, are the majority of psychologists really thus irretrievably bent upon establishing a mechanical explanation of life, a theory of "man as automaton"? The truth of the matter is that the opposed point of view has rendered no results, and that in taking consciousness for our central position we too easily go astray in fanciful speculations. On the other hand, by the endeavor to grasp the bonds of mind through the medium of the body, it has been found possible to throw some light upon unobserved facts. It would not do to let this be too quickly forgotten; and if some have seen fit to pass beyond and to attempt to reduce the Universe to a mechanism, imprudent saltations of this character into open materialistic metaphysics concern them alone.

Will M. Fouillée be more fortunate in his reduction of the world to idealism? It yet appears doubtful. The definition of 'idea-forces' presents at the outset elements of embarrassment. That every idea, every mental image, however absolutely an image it may be, of emotions or of passions, always contains some motor elements, and consequently acts like a force, is easily comprehended, and every body allows it. When physiologists speak of the power of ideas, they mean nothing else. But beyond that we cannot go. The idea, in M. Fouillée's sense, is every state of consciousness. Now, all the facts of consciousness are reducible to the following elementary connected process: sensation, perceptual excitation, reaction; and the three factors of this process cannot be separated or reduced to one. Every idea, or state of consciousness, is accordingly the source of motion since it contains desire. Desire is basal to the nervous act; the nervous act does not precede and does not explain the higher states that psychologists, viewing things from a different point of view, have regarded as epiphenomena. The essence, not only of man, but also of the world, is desire. The idea-force, "the abridged formula of the appetitive process," becomes the shaper of universal evolution, and, in a word, the physical is a reflection of the psychical.

Such are, if I am not deceived, the chief propositions of the work, put into a logical form, from which no doubt you will judge that the facts do not correspond without evident hiatus.

You do not believe in absolute truth, and I no more hope for it. The mind does not escape certain illusions, which come from what it necessarily places in the reality that it wishes to know, or which it acquires from itself. Meanwhile both the opposing doctrines triumph, seeing that there is always something in each that cannot be explained; but let them not be too severe on each other, and not forget that if they succeed in explaining something, it is perhaps as well that they resign themselves to not explaining everything.

I had intended to give in this letter a detail of the theory of Mme. CLÉMENCE ROYER, in order to compare it with that of M. Fouillée; I had prepared it from certain published memoirs, as her great manuscript work has unfortunately not found a publisher. But The Open Court has given a résumé of it sufficiently complete to excuse me from returning to the subject. Whatever service can be rendered by the hypothesis of Mme. Clémence Royer, or, more strictly whatever use can be made of the mathematical formulæ which explain them, or which are deducible from them, it will belong to special scientists to inform us. She begins the explanation of the world by physics, and M. Fouillée by psychology. It is a difference in the point of departure. Let us add that M. Fouillée appears to imagine an activity without substance, a mind without muscles, if it can be thus expressed; on the contrary, in that which she calls world-stuff Mme. Clémence Royer distinguishes a hyperethereal or vital state, and she assigns for the substratum of life this simple state of the cosmical substance.

Opposed as may be the character of the minds of these two authors, the two theories seem to coincide in the notion of a living and conscious monad. We meet it when they are farthest apart! Thus, for Mme. Clémence Royer, life and consciousness are everywhere, they are in the atom, and from the beginning. There, in the great "romance of being," is a scene which reappears almost always the same. As to the ultimate explanation we have no great choice, and each of the hypotheses that we form almost produces the other. All the value of a system of philosophy is really in the help it lends to scientific curiosity or to the conduct of life.

* * * * *

M. ERNEST NAVILLE is one of those who cannot comprehend moral conduct in life apart from spiritualism. He endeavors, accordingly, in a work called La Physique Moderne, to prove that the study of the phenomena of matter does not imply materialism and does not necessarily lead to atheism. The argument of M. Naville is well worn. We shall grant to him only that "it is necessary to avoid implicitly solving questions by saying that we do not deal with them at all." On the whole, this pledges to nothing. Practically, and in good faith, abstention is nevertheless a solution.

* * * * *

I have now to point out L'Esthétique d'Aristote et de ses Successeurs, by M. CH. BÉNARD, an Etude sur Francois Bacon by M. J. BARTHÉLEMY ST. HILAIRE, and L'Anthropologie Criminelle et ses Récents Progrès, by M. CESARE LOMBROSO. M. Bénard is one of the good old masters, who, what they do know, know well, and his book is one of those that it is profitable to possess. The study of M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire is followed by the Report on the Memoirs presented to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, which had proposed as a subject "The Philosophy of Bacon." As to M. Lombroso, the celebrated Italian criminologist, he has wished to reply to the objections that have been made to his views, especially by the French medical alienists at the Congress of 1889, and this is why he has written on this occasion in our language: he supports by new facts the notion, hitherto contested, of a "criminal type."

* * * * *

The last work of which I have to speak, is the Souvenirs de M. Charles Mismer,[31] of which the third volume which recently appeared, has for its title Souvenirs de la Martinique et du Mexique pendant l'Intervention Francaise. There is in these volumes no express philosophy, as this term is understood, but they are the work of an observing, reflecting mind, and in these pages one sees a man living and growing. In the course of his adventurous existence, M. Mismer, already instructed by experience, by chance acquired knowledge of the Cours of August Comte; he became attached to it, and found there an opening into sociology, a tie by which to link together his personal ideas. He afterwards published several articles[32] in the Review conducted by M. Littré, and he records to-day in his Souvenirs the valuable observations which he has had occasion to make on very different races of men and strongly opposed social states. He is one of those whom the philosophic spirit has led to a philosophic life, and the persons who read his work will thank me for having made them acquainted with a unique and worthy character.

[31] In course of publication by Hachette. The other works mentioned are published by Alcan.

[32] A part of these articles formed a volume entitled Principes Sociologiques.



THE WAY OUT OF AGNOSTICISM, or, THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREE RELIGION. By Francis Ellingwood Abbott, Ph. D., Boston: Little, Brown & Co.

"This book aims to show that, in order to refute agnosticism and establish enlightened theism, nothing is now necessary but to philosophise that very scientific method which agnosticism barbarously misunderstands and misuses … It aims to develop the philosophy which must (consciously or unconsciously) underlie any and every free religious movement or institution: namely the philosophy which results from the faithful application of the scientific method to the universe as a whole."

The author further observes that "nothing is more common or more confusing than a loose vague and indeterminate use of this phrase" [scientific method] and that his object is "to give definiteness and scientific precision to a much abused expression by showing that the Scientific Method … is neither more nor less than the SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF UNIVERSALS APPLIED IN PRACTICE TO THE ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE."

Now whether or not the identification of the scientific method with the practical application of the theory mentioned, will give the much needed definiteness and precision, depends very much upon the definiteness and precision of that theory itself.

The Scientific Theory of Universals, the author tells us, receives "no adequate exposition" in this book. We are in possession, however, of several other publications of the author, one of which—"Scientific Theism"—is largely devoted to that purpose.

We will endeavor in a spirit of studious candor and fidelity, to state as well as we can the essentials of that theory. We must protest, however, that we cannot undertake to clear up the obscurity that must necessarily involve any theory that is stated by the aid of such shifty and inconstant terms, as objective, subjective, knowledge, relation, existence, reality, etc., when the same are used without rigorous definitions of the respective senses thereof that are intended.

The Scientific Theory of Universals affirms, that objectively real individuals do exist, that objectively real genera do exist, that objectively real relations do exist, that the objectively real genera are in every instance constituted as such by that set of objectively real relations uniquely appropriate to it; that in every instance of a genus the objectively real relations "reproduce" themselves in specie in the mind separate from aught of the objective realities that are brought into relation by them, that these "reproduced" relations in the mind constitute the subjective concept that is designated by the word appropriate thereto, and that the single objective Universal is at once and integrally the objective genus, the subjective concept, and the term or word. The Universe is the summum genus, concept and word, which is, means, and expresses the correlated totality of all genera together.

Dr. Abbott neglects reference to genera of purely mental existences, and relies for proof of his theory upon the single argument that no postulate is used that Science has not taken for granted, and proved by the finding that the facts are in agreement with the postulates.

Now "the only possible justification of any theory is that it makes things clear and reasonable." In this theory the central and controlling position is that the objectively real relations invade the mind in person and there obtain as the concept.—This doctrine is so far as we can see the original idea of Dr. Abbott and must be considered as his contribution to philosophy. It is by this that his work is to be tested. Does the addition of this new postulate clear up any obscurity?—Is this new postulate one of the assumptions of Science?

The truth about this whole matter of universals seems to be that it belongs to the theory of notation primarily, and then to psychology and ontology.

The mind proceeds to obtain correspondence with its alternative by analysis and synthesis. The recognition of difference or otherness is an indispensable condition of consciousness itself. One phase of the recognition of difference is that activity called abstraction. But along with difference comes the recognition of what is different from difference, or likeness in all its grades and involutions. The sense of relation, and the impulse of generalisation also arise, and altogether these mentalities become effectual in virtue of some system or some plexus of systems of notation. Long before man ever began to reflect upon his mental operations and the means or tools employed on that behalf, his mental manners and customs had become a second mental nature. What warrant have we for taking these mental manners and customs as the same are reflected in ordinary language as adequate criteria for the world-problems, or even as representative of the very constitutional laws of thought itself? Just as philosophy found it profitable to postpone ontology to psychology, so it is submitted may it again find it profitable to postpone psychology to a study not merely of language but of notation generally, of which the notation of mathematics will undoubtedly be found the most significant. Here we have distinction, abstraction, assimilation, relation, and generalisation carried on and carried out with unchecked thoroughness, and systems of universals ascertained that not only correspond exactly with every acquired and incoming item of our experience, but are also in respect to one another continuous throughout the whole of their range. It will be impossible for any one who once appreciates the nature and competence of mathematical notation to regard any theory of universals relating to ordinary language as a solution of its problem that does not conform to the perfect models set in mathematics.

Dr. Abbott claims that scientific method is neither more nor less than the application of his theory. Granting that science makes the same presumptions, can scientific method be said to be neither more nor less than the application of his theory in any other sense than it could be said to be neither more nor less than the application of the theory of the existence of matter, energy, ether, and mind?

The scientific method consists not in its data but in the ways in which it deals with its data, in other words it consists in its logic. It observes and infers. It never stops to inquire if what it observes are the "things in themselves" or only phenomena. That is an utterly inconsequential question to it. It tests the validity of inductive and hypothetical inferences by comparison with experience, and phenomenal experience is every whit as good a criterion for it as any other. It has a metaphysics of its own which is mathematics and which it acknowledges as the supreme and unquestionable arbiter over whatever of its presumptions and theories that arbiter may undertake to govern.

No philosophy that neglects to comprehend and apply the now supremely important methods and results of mathematics can be anything but an ineffectual attempt. No doubt this will seem to most of those who affect philosophy a statement worthy only of scorn. Prof. Crystal, at the close of his article on "Parallels," in the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica "calls the attention of those who busy themselves with mental philosophy" to that geometrical subject and its affiliations "as one of the results of modern mathematical research which they cannot afford to overlook." We can imagine with what an air of conscious eminence one or more of our dilettanti philosophers may have perused this suggestion, wondering what in the world parallels and measurement have to do with philosophy.

But, nevertheless, so it is that a new departure in philosophy has been made inevitable by the stupendous researches of modern mathematics and this the philosophical world is just beginning to find out. It seems to us, that the incomplete view taken by Dr. Abbott will prevent that success for his theory which his most distinguished ability might otherwise achieve, and which his devoted efforts well merit.

F. C. R.

    G. Brinton
, A.M., M.D., etc., etc. New York: N. D. C. Hodges.

These lectures, which are dedicated to Mr. Horatio Hale, the veteran philologist and ethnographer to the United States exploring expedition in 1832-42, go over a very wide ground. The ground traversed is, indeed, so extensive that Dr. Brinton feels bound to apologise for being often superficial, as otherwise he could not have compressed into so small a space the subjects of which he treats. This apology must necessarily to some extent disarm the critic, although it should do so only where a conclusion is not supported by sufficient evidence. Where a statement made is not merely unsupported by, but is contrary to, the best evidence available, the author must expect to be called to account. We were prepared to act on this principle, thinking that possibly confession like charity would be found to cover a multitude of sins, but we must admit that with certain exceptions, the chief of which are to be found in the lecture on "the psychical elements of Ethnography," we were mistaken.

We do not propose to follow the author in his classification of the varieties of mankind, or in his views of the origin of the various races into which they are divided, both of which will meet with keen opposition from most of the anthropologists of Western Europe, although those of Germany may receive them with more favor. We are concerned chiefly with the opening and the closing chapters of the work before us, from which we may draw some conclusions bearing on the race question, that disturbs the minds of so many people in this country. Dr. Brinton remarks that the physical traits of man are correlated to the physiological functions in such a manner as profoundly to influence the destiny of nations. He adds that from the physical point of view, the pure white is weaker than the dark races, worse prepared for the combat of life, with inferior viability; but in the white this is more than compensated by the development of the nervous system and intellectual power. The white "can bear greater mental strain than any other race, and the activity of his mind supplies him with means to overcome the inferiority of his body, and thus places him at the head of the whole species." It might be supposed that a mixture of races having these different qualities, would result in the formation of a hybrid race, superior to either of the parent stocks.

Dr. Brinton, who is strongly opposed to the practice of miscegenation, endorses the opinion that the offspring of a cross between the white and the black races are deficient in physical vigor, and that such hybrids gradually die out. He admits, however, that it was not so within the African area in early times, and he suggests that special causes are now at work to affect the results of race-mixture. One of these is the fact that the white blood is derived exclusively from the father, and the dark blood exclusively from the mother. Now, if it be true, as is supposed, that physical qualities are derived chiefly from the father and the psychical qualities chiefly from the mother, we may reasonably expect, as is indeed recognised, that the children of such unions will be physically superior to members of the black stock, although inferior to those of the white race. It is admitted, moreover, that mulattoes are, as a rule, intellectually superior to pure negroes; so that miscegenation is undoubtedly of relative advantage to the immediate offspring, whatever may be its result on their descendants. What Dr. Brinton and other writers of the same opinion object to, however, is the deterioration of the white stock. If there was any reason to believe this possible, the objection would have weight. But it supposes miscegenation to become general, which, in the first place, is an event which could never happen, unless the women of this country descended to the level of a Messalina. And in the second place, Dr. Brinton admits that "in the earlier conditions of social life, no such debility attended the crossing of the Eurafrican [white race] and African race as seems at present to be the case." It is possible, therefore, that if the mixture of the two races became general, and were regarded as perfectly legitimate, the present physical and intellectual debility attending such unions might disappear. We do not advocate miscegenation, but we wish to point out, that those who oppose it under the present limitations of our knowledge, do so either on insufficient grounds, or because they are influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by sentimental considerations.

We are glad to see that Dr. Brinton does not endorse the views so prevalent among English Ethnologists as to the existence of "communal marriage" among the lower races of mankind. In his recent work on "The Origin and Development of Marriage and Kinship," Mr. C. Staniland Wake has dealt exhaustively with that subject, and shown that the "marriage law" is fully recognised among the most savage peoples. We cannot accept Dr. Brinton's statements where he says that the Australian aborigines are led to associate "by much the same motives as prompt buffaloes to gather in a herd," or when he speaks of the "rare" custom of polyandry, or declares that mutual affection has no existence among the Australians and many other tribes, and that romantic love is practically absent among the African and Mongolian races. Our author is equally at fault when he says that no Asiatic nation respects truth telling, and that "the idea of independent personal ownership does not exist among them." These errors, and such misstatements as that "the excellent results of the extension of the Slavonian supremacy in Central Asia have been studiously ignored by British writers," which are due to Dr. Brinton's preference for Continental authorities, are serious blemishes. Nevertheless, his book is an excellent one, and we can heartily recommend it as an introductory Manual of Ethnology.


    Unity in America. By J. Macbride Sterrett, D. D., Professor of
    Ethics and Apologetics in Seabury Divinity School. New York: D.
    Appleton & Co.

These studies in Hegel's Philosophy of Religion, except Chapters III and VIII, claim to be something more than a mere expository paraphrase of Hegel, although following Hegel's argument in Chapter IV. The author's purpose is strictly theological and apologetic. His work is written with faith, and in the interest of "the faith." In fact, in England and America the theological rather than philosophical interest taken in the study of Hegel has mainly been called forth by the supposed intimate relation of his thought to religion and to Christianity regarded as the absolute, full, and final religion. To this pseudo-Hegelian school of England and America, Hegel, above all, is radically a theologian; all his thoughts beginning and ending in that of divinity. It regards Hegel's Philosophy of Religion as the very heart of his thinking, as "the highest bloom of his philosophy." It is supposed to reconcile Christian theology with the modern science of religion (or comparative religion), with anthropology, and with the classification of positive, pre-Christian religions. American students of Hegelian philosophy, as a rule, do not desire to be regarded as Hegelians. "Bound to swear in the name of no master in philosophy, and only in the name of Christ in religion, would better characterise them all. They are simply using his method … they are getting great help, and looking for still greater from the method, which was greater than even Hegel's own employment of it." Hegel's method is thus declared to be greater than himself, and is received like an article of faith. In these studies, while freely discussing and criticising all that Hegel has thought or said upon the subject of the philosophy of religion, the author entirely omits to enter into a critical discussion of precisely the most important point; namely, the absolute value of Hegel's philosophical method. He overlooks the interesting fact, that all that is permanently true and great in Hegel was really reached by Hegel himself, and understood, from a point of view that was diametrically opposed to his own accepted method; in glaring contrast to his evolution of the logical idea, and to his theory of "pure thought" or "reines Denken." "To reconcile reason with religion, by finding reason in religion and religion in reason," is doubtless a correct Hegelian statement, yet, at the same time, it only expresses an exclusive, one-sided aspect of the system.

There was a time when the Hegelian system ranked as a foremost intellectual phenomenon. It was, perhaps, the highest that philosophy ever had achieved; but its manifest fault consisted in its being a purely philosophical and a priori system. A philosophy that existed in external opposition to the sciences remained only an empty abstraction, just as force when severed from the phenomenon, or Deity when opposed to the outside world. Hegel's philosophy ultimately recognised, that force only is or exists in the phenomenon; that the internal itself constitutes the external, the Deity is only present in the universe, the infinite in the finite. Any philosophy proclaiming all this must be said to have succumbed with a vengeance to its own dialectic process.

A philosophy of this kind would seem to have signed its own death-warrant—or according to the popular German saying, "hat selbst den Stab über sich gebrochen!" And thus it really happened to Hegelianism—we mean to genuine German Hegelianism. From that moment it forfeited its claim to be regarded as the highest truth. It was compelled to step forth out of its one-sided exclusiveness, out of its opposition to empirical science. Hegelianism was not expected to effect any kind of compromise or reconciliation with empirical science, because any yielding on its own part would have been illogical, and could only have brought about a momentary truce, but no lasting peace. On the contrary, Hegelianism had to suffer the infinitely bitter pang of self-immolation. It had deliberately to commit suicide, in order thereupon to be welded with empirical science into a much higher and more comprehensive unity. In other words,—in fact in Hegel's own words—"when the old principle thus reappears, it is no longer what it was before, for it is changed and purified by the higher element into which it is now taken up."

The Hegelian system was thus compelled to acknowledge, that not only must philosophy agree with experience, but moreover, the creation of a philosophical science premises as an indispensable condition the hypothesis of an empirical science, which itself implies that the ideas of space, of time, of movement, and of matter cannot be obtained a priori,—that is before the experience of the things themselves,—or be purely evolved, according to the Hegelian method, from the logical idea. To attempt to reconcile reason with religion by finding reason in religion and religion in reason, is simply to evolve a priori a philosophy of religion from the logical idea. This is believed to be possible by means of the mystic factors—"the Hegelian method" and the "Logos." The original contents of eternal reason itself—of the logos—are supposed to exist within our mind in a form that constitutes our inmost truth; our spontaneous logical thinking coincides with the innate eternal reason in form and contents, and thus attains to the full revelation of itself.

But all this is purely an hypothesis, or a kind of belief in reason, "der Glaube an die Vernunft!" Hegel himself in conclusion was forced to admit that philosophy must closely observe the method of nature. (See Encycl. III, 22.) The editor of Hegel's Philosophy of History (Gans, page XV) says, "Hegel did not wish to personate the deity that creates or evolves history, but to be a man who contemplates created rational history"; and Hegel himself says (page 13), "we must take history as it is; we have to proceed according to an historical, empirical method. … Only from the study of history itself are we allowed to infer that historical events are really rational events." And in Hegel's "Naturphilosophie," (page 24,) and elsewhere there are to be found perfectly analogous passages.

It cannot be denied, that the author of this work on Hegel's philosophy of religion has made a deep study of all the vast details of the Hegelian system; but his one-sided theological criticism exclusively aims at representing Hegel himself as a theologian. This American pseudo-Hegelianism may probably have had the effect of stimulating American thinkers, but in other respects it has only retained the phantom and empty shadow of Hegelianism, playing fast and loose with the old system under the captious name of the "Hegelian method," and making a free use of its obscure, obsolete phraseology. The cry "back to Kant" by English Neo-Kantianism, is declared to mean a speedy return to Hegel's method, and to be only the first step of the protest "against temporary, materialistic, and psychological thought."

The last chapter, in the form of an appendix, is devoted to the discussion of "Christian Unity." The author deplores the current abstract conceptions of the church, and regards them as the main obstacle to its visible organic unity. The Hegelian ideas on religion and the state are believed to suggest a more concrete, historical view, and to destroy the abstract conception.


. Third edition, revised and abridged. London and New York:
    Longmans, Green, & Co.

This work was originally published in 1841, and comprised an Exposition of the Doctrine of the Philosophy of Necessity, or the Law of Consequences, first, in its relation to Mental Science, secondly, in its relation to Ethics, and thirdly, an application of its principles to the social questions of the day. The third part has been omitted from the present edition, as being out of date, but many of its statistics and observations are given as an Appendix. In a prefatory note it is stated as a reason for preserving in an accessible form the conclusions arrived at by Mr. Bray, that he "worked out for himself a theory as to the purpose of existence that satisfied his own mind, and became to him a cheerful philosophy which intensified his enjoyment of all things good and pleasant, helped him to bear the troubles of life, and to meet the end in a spirit as bright as it was resigned"—a statement which those who knew him personally will heartily endorse.

Mr. Bray's theory is embodied in the title of the work under review, and its key-note is "order in nature." His object is to show "that the mind of man is not an exception to nature's other works; that like everything else it has received a determinate character; that all our knowledge of it is precisely of the same kind as that of material things, and consists in the observation of its order of action, or of the relation of cause and effect." According to this view we can know the real nature of neither matter nor mind, Nature herself having fixed the boundaries beyond which human knowledge cannot extend. It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that Mr. Bray regarded Nature as something apart, giving to man laws from the operation of which it is itself free. A little consideration shows that such is not his idea. Nature is with Mr. Bray only another name for God. Moreover, man is nothing, God is all; "individuality, or anything separate from Him, is a mode of thought, and has no real existence." Electricity, heat, light, and other forces of nature are modes of the Unknowable, and are transformable into each other and into the other modes which we distinguish as sensation, emotion, thought. The qualities or properties of matter are mere force or power, and as they are qualities of God, the assumption of the existence of matter is not necessary. God "is the Universal Being, of which all things are the manifestations. Every thing is a mode of God's attribute of extension; every thought, wish, or feeling, is a mode of His attribute of thought."

To Mr. Bray the only reality is God, the great Unknown, and as He is also the Unknowable, we have in the Philosophy of Necessity a system of Agnosticism. And yet Mr. Bray is hardly consistent with himself. For, unlike Mr. Herbert Spencer, he speaks of God in terms of Spirit, which becomes in his system identical with force. When, moreover, he declares that "the whole sensitive existence is but the innumerable individual eyes with which the Infinite World Spirit beholds Himself," we have a kind of Monism. This view however recognises God as "the only real and efficient power in the universe," and, as the Great First Cause and the Great Last Cause of all things, a Divine Being. Mr. Bray does not enter into the question of the personality of God, but that he supposes the Deity to possess consciousness is evident from his reference to the Great Soul of Nature, and his statement that the operation of its forces is governed by thought. His ideas are summed up in the words, "we feel ourselves a part

        "Of that stupendous whole,
    Whose body nature is, and God the Soul."

Holding this opinion, Mr. Bray could not be otherwise than a Necessitarian and an Utilitarian in his practical views. These are well shown in his treatment of the question of the freedom of will, as to which he accepts the opinion of Locke that a man is free within the range of the preferences or directions of his own mind. Mr. Bray's own conclusion is: "Since, then, the only freedom we have is limited to action in accordance with our natural powers and capacities, our aim must be to develop fully these powers and capacities, and to remove all impediments, external and internal, to their free and complete action. There must be no external compulsion from physical impediment, or internal compulsion from defect in the mind itself; no obstacle to the full exercise of our natural powers both of body and mind. Education in its full meaning is the developing and perfecting of all these powers."


. Volume II. Kant and the Ethics of the Nineteenth Century.
    Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta.

In this volume Professor Jodl continues his history of theoretical ethics; starting with Kant and coming down to contemporary philosophers. His work is thus mainly concerned with the classical philosophy of Germany till Feuerbach's time, and the spiritualistic and positivist philosophy of France and England down to the time of Cousin, Jouffroy, and Mill. Professor Jodl has been obliged to forego his original intention of appending to his work an epitome of the logical constructive results of his investigations, and has exclusively applied himself to the investigation and historical presentment of the fundamental and central principles of the ethical thought of the past century. He has therefore ever held in view the economical and historical purpose of his work, and avoided on the one hand an exposition of all systems in which originality of principles is lacking, and on the other abstained from the critical examination of the systems of his contemporaries. Thus he has aspired, by the constant emphasis of central basal principles and of the points whereon all have agreed, to refute the belief that the history of his science is a chaotic mass of contradictory views, and that ethical opinion presents in its historical expression only diversity, and never community of mental possession. Professor Jodl has only collaterally dealt with the non-ethical literature and tendencies of the times of which he treats, and he has disclaimed all intention of portraying the effects and influence that ethical systems have produced and exerted in practical spheres; France and England being the only instances in which, for manifest reasons, the discussion of literature and politics has preceded the criticism and analysis of philosophies. Nevertheless, his work throughout is interspersed with many well-judged and apposite thoughts upon the effective, though not always apparent, influence of a nation's intellectual activity upon its practical conduct of affairs; as well as, also, regarding the lamentable fact that, often, a people are violently and dangerously engaged in the solution of questions that their thinkers have solved decades before.

Let us look at Professor Jodl's examination of the historical position of Kantian Ethics. The element of non-interest in ethical judgment we find not to have been first emphasised by Kant. Whatever the success and worth of their speculations, a great many of Kant's predecessors sought to realise this very factor in their systems; thus it was with Plato as opposed to Protagoras, with Shaftesbury and Butler as opposed to Hobbes, Locke, and Hume; while Cudworth, Clarke, Wollaston, and Price were similarly actuated by the purely speculative consideration. Kant's real and original advance upon previous systems of ethics, was his emphasis of the element of conscious volition in ethical judgment and the statement of its imperative character. It was just in this last respect that his ethical philosophy formed so marked a contrast to the eudæmonism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The imperative and absolute nature of duty, eudæmonism neglected to inculcate; Kant aroused the conscience of his time, and presented in contrast to the moral weakness then prevalent the strength and earnest grandeur of an absolute conception of duty.

So too in the conflict between the metaphysics of ethics and the practical postulates, wherein the great philosopher displayed so much ingenuity, Professor Jodl is unable to distinguish Kant's position very sharply from that of the English intellectualists when in a similar plight. Not that the idea of the practical postulates is valueless; this Professor Jodl afterwards explains. Our historian merely shows that Kant had not yet gotten clear of the ancient conflict that had agitated the Schoolmen of the Middle Ages as well as the utilitarian and rationalistic theologians of more modern times. Yet despite the mysticism that inheres in Kant's argument for the practical existence of God, the kernel of the truth he emphasises in the alliance of ethics with religion still remains; namely that religious ideas are essentially ethical, that in this relation only have they meaning, and that religious ideas which are ethically valueless are to be uncompromisingly discarded.

Especial attention should be called to Professor Jodl's estimate of Feuerbach, whose merits have been strangely neglected. Feuerbach's ethical system, in perfect form, has not been independently set forth in his works, but is intermingled with the subjects dealt with in his religious treatises. Yet he left few of the fundamental questions of ethics untouched and his works contain a great store of most excellent and pertinent thoughts which must be characterised, says our author, in the widest sense of the term, as the real foundation in ethics of modern scientific empiricism.

With regard to the presentment of English and French ethical philosophy, Professor Jodl's work, it is claimed, is the first historical exposition in the German language of this special department of thought in its connection with the universal intellectual progress of these two countries. His analysis of Bentham and Mill is very accurate and full.

Professor Jodl exhibits an extensive acquaintance with English philosophical literature; indeed, he has even discovered the little book known as "Kant's Ethics," by Dr. Noah Porter, whom he calls the "Nestor" of American philosophy.

Unity of execution, and the skilful employment of historical perspective in dealing with the various phases of ethical thought, may be characterised as prominent merits of Professor Jodl's performance. In the books of its class it stands unique.


ETHIK. Eine Darstellung der ethischen Principien und deren Anwendung auf besondere Lebensverhältnisse. By Dr. Harald Höffding, Professor an der Universität zu Kopenhagen. Unter Mitwirkung des Verfassers aus dem Dänischen übersetzt von F. Benedixen. Leipsic: 1888.

Harald Höffding, Professor at the University of Copenhagen, is a representative thinker among ethical scholars. Unhesitatingly he takes his stand upon the real facts of life and attempts to construct a system of ethics which shall be a science among the other sciences. Professor Höffding says in his preface:

"If we see the snow-covered peaks of a mountain range from a far distance, they seem to hover in the air. Not until we approach do we discover plainly that they rest upon solid ground. It is the same with ethical principles. In the first enthusiasm one imagines that a place should be assigned to them above the reality of nature and life. On further reflection and after a longer experience, which must perhaps be dearly bought, we discover that the ethical principles can regulate life only if they have really proceeded from life."

Professor Höffding is in a certain sense a utilitarian. The influence of utilitarian systems upon his mode of thought can be traced throughout the whole work, and it is this influence perhaps to which the Danish Professor owes his positive standpoint as well as the scientific method of his procedure. Nevertheless he differs from the ordinary utilitarian school and prefers to characterise his system as an ethics of general welfare. He says:

"The so-called utilitarianism,—that ethical conception which has been founded mainly by Bentham,—has the merit of having for the first time energetically propounded the principle of welfare. Yet Bentham has detracted from his cause by proceeding from a psychological theory which considers consciousness as a sum of ideas and feelings, and dissolves society into a number of individuals. The import of pleasurable and painful feelings for the continuous and general welfare cannot be established by a mere process of calculation." (P. 37.)

Professor Höffding opens the first chapter of his work with the following sentence:

"Ethical judgments contain a valuation of human actions…. The criterion of the ethical valuation is the contents of ethics."

If life consisted of isolated sovereign moments, every one of them would have an equal right, and no one would be obliged to resign in favor of any other moment. No valuation, no discrimination would be required. But the life of each individual, as well as the life of society, makes up a "life-totality," and we possess a conception of this life-totality. "If the state of feeling in a single moment agrees with the conception of the life-totality, a new feeling arises which is determined by this mutual relation…. The ethical valuation is conditioned by this feeling." (p. 27.) Taking this ground, Professor Höffding defines good and bad in the following way:

"'Good' accordingly becomes that which preserves the life-totality and gives fulness and life to its contents; 'bad,' on the contrary, that which has more or less the tendency to dissolve or to limit the life-totality and its contents. Bad accordingly is the single moment, the separate impulse in its revolutionary isolation from the rest of life…." (P. 29.)

"The Bad, therefore, is egotism in its various degrees and various forms. And the verdict about it will be the severer the more conscious this egotism is."

Utilitarianism as a rule has been hedonistic. Utilitarians have proposed as the criterion of an ethical valuation the consequences of an act; if the consequences give more pleasure than pain, it is said to be good; if they are attended with more pain than pleasure, it is said to be bad. In the above quoted definitions by Prof. Höffding there is no trace of hedonism, and I should consider an ethical system based upon these definitions as being in strong opposition to hedonism. But Prof. Höffding appears to have been so strongly biased by the influence of hedonistic utilitarianism, that he introduces again its fundamental idea, which identifies the good with the pleasurable. Although he objects to employing the terms "utility" and "happiness," "because they are liable to lead to misunderstandings and have indeed done so"; although he declares that "momentary feelings of pleasure and pain are no sure criterion for the total state" (p. 37); although for such reasons he proposes the word welfare, saying, "by the word 'welfare' I think of everything which serves to satisfy the wants of human nature in its whole entirety": still Prof. Höffding again returns to hedonism by limiting the idea "welfare" to the hedonistic conception of goodness. He defines welfare as "a continuous state of pleasurable feelings." (P. 98.)

Thus we are presented with two definitions of what constitutes the criterion of an ethical valuation: (1) that which promotes the life-totality, and (2) that which produces a continuous state of pleasurable feeling.

These two definitions are in many respects harmonious, but on the other hand they may come into conflict; and if they come into conflict, which of the two is to be sacrificed? Supposing that a contemplation of the evolution of organised life should teach us that the development of a "life-totality" is not at all a pleasurable process; that on the contrary it is attended with excessive and innumerable pains. Inorganic nature so far as we can judge is free from pain. The isolated atom, we may assume, exists in a state of indifference. Supposing now that pain could be proved to increase, the higher we rise in the development of a life-totality; supposing that the growth of a life-totality had to be bought with pain, what would be the consequence? I will not here enter into the subject, but I may mention that this supposition is not at all without foundation. Assuming that it were so, would not, in such a case, the good be as Schopenhauer, Hartmann, and Mainlaender propose, that which destroys the life-totality of consciousness and with it the whole world of civilised humanity, built up of the innumerable consciousnesses of individuals?

Professor Höffding has seen this difficulty, which arises from a conflict of the two criteria of ethical valuation (1) the hedonistic principle and (2) the principle of progress, i. e., the constant evolution of a higher life-totality. He says:

"John Stuart Mill has declared that it is better to be a dissatisfied man than a satisfied pig, a dissatisfied Socrates than a satisfied fool. He bases this assertion upon the fact that even if the pig and the fool were of a contrary mind, their opinion would have to be rejected, since they possess no knowledge of the higher point of view from which man and Socrates consider life, whereas man knows the needs of the pig and Socrates fathoms the fool. We most be regulated by the judgment of those that know the two kinds of needs in question and that are consequently able to institute an estimation of the value of the same.

"But I feel obliged to put in a word for the pig and the fool. The difficulty is greater than Mill imagines. Man, it is true, knows all the wants of the pig, and it would not be difficult for a Socrates to comprehend those of the fool. But man does not have the wants of the pig, nor Socrates those of the fool, as his sole and only dominant wants. And yet this is the very circumstance that determines the matter. Man cannot transform himself into a pig without ceasing to be a man, and a Socrates will hardly be able so to identify himself with a fool as to lose completely his Socratic wants. If, now, the pig can attain the complete satisfaction of all his wants, is not his happiness greater than that of man whose desires and whose longings are never wholly satisfied? And the fool, who does not nourish many thoughts and makes no great demands upon life, is he not happier than Socrates who spends his whole life in striving to know himself and to stimulate others, only finally to declare that death is really preferable to life?"

Professor Höffding's solution of the difficulty is summed up in the following paragraph:

"Welfare is an illusion if we understand by it a passive condition of things, created once for all. It must consist in action, work, development. Rest can only mean a termination for the time being, the attainment of a new level, upon which it is possible for a new course of development to proceed."

Thus it appears that Professor Höffding decides in favor of the second principle. The evolution of the life-totality is considered higher than a continuous state of pleasurable feeling. Nevertheless Professor Höffding adds:

"On that account, however, we are not obliged to retract our first definition of welfare as that of a continuous state of pleasurable feeling. That which must be rejected is only the notion of a passive state."

Truly, as Professor Höffding says, "the difficulty is greater than Mr. Mill imagined." The difficulty is great enough to undermine the whole basis upon which welfare is defined as "a state of continuous pleasurable feeling." If, as Professor Höffding declares, welfare is to be interpreted as activity, work, development; if this kind of active welfare is the greatest good, whatever admixture of pain and whatever absence of pleasurable feeling it may have; if the greatest amount of a state of continuous pleasurable feeling is not welfare in an ethical sense, what becomes of the utilitarian definition of welfare as pleasurable feeling? If, however, welfare is "the state of a continuous pleasurable feeling," how can we declare that the life of a pessimistic philosopher is preferable to that of a joyful fool?

Must not the ultimate reason of this conflict be sought in Professor
Höffding's statement that—

"The proposition of a purpose presupposes in the subject which makes the proposition feelings of pleasure and displeasure." (P. 30.)

Should we not rather say that the proposition of a purpose presupposes an expression of will in the subject which makes the proposition? Wherever there is will, there is also approval and disapproval, but approval is not always pleasurable and disapproval is not always attended with displeasure. Does it not often happen that we cannot help disapproving of things which please us?

We have mainly limited our review to some topics of the first division entitled "The Conditions of Ethics," because we have regarded them as most important in a representation of the ethical principles. The doubts we have raised as to the consistency of the author are less noticeable in the remaining chapters, which contain an unusual store of ideas presented with great lucidity. The doctrine of the freedom of will is excellently treated (chap. v.). Social ethics, family life, marriage, the position of woman, and the education of children are separately and exhaustively discussed, and there is no chapter which even if we cannot always give assent to the author's views, does not richly repay a careful perusal.

P. C.

KURZGEFASSTE LOGIK UND PSYCHOLOGIE. By Dr. K. Kroman. Translated from the second edition of the Original by F. Bendixen. Leipsic: O. R. Reisland.

Dr. Kroman is professor of philosophy at the University of Copenhagen. He has sought to present in this book of three hundred and eighty nine pages the elements of Logic and Psychology. The work was principally intended for the use of the general reader and the beginner, although its author hopes it will not be altogether without interest to the specialist, and that it will find its way into the schools of pedagogy (the subject of the art of education being also incidentally dealt with in its pages).

Dr. Kroman's method of presentation is concise and lucid; the elements of logic occupy but some one hundred and four pages, and form a good introduction to the common phases of that science.

But his psychology is, from our standpoint, more open to objection; or rather his philosophy. He says: "Unless we assume the law of causation, research is impossible; but assuming this, it is impossible to stop with states of consciousness, we must assume a subject and real objects." What Dr. Kroman means by real is seen from the following. "Our senses give us knowledge only of properties of things, not of things. We do not perceive the apple, but only its form, color, etc. But all these sensations thus derived form an interconnected whole; and the law of causality forces us to the assumption of a thing behind these sensory manifestations. Yet, our belief that we know this thing in itself has only a practical value; in reality it is an unknown quantity. It is a single point, a nucleus, of which direct and positive knowledge is unobtainable; yet exist it must if our assumption of the law of causation is to be upheld." Thus Dr. Kroman shows in an admirable manner how our everyday conceptual life is formed; but it is the office of philosophy, in our view, to point out how this same conceptual life should be formed. However, Dr. Kroman supplements this explanation—which we have much abbreviated—by considerations that lead one to believe that he seeks only to demonstrate the reality of existence and has collaterally accepted the doctrine of the independent, 'outside' thing in itself. We may refer our readers, regarding this question, to Prof. Mach's article in this number of The Monist.


. Freiburg: J. C. Mohr.

In this exhaustive monograph Dr. Paul Natorp does not deal with psychology itself, but proceeding from a number of novel points of view he opens up the road by which the principles of psychology may be reached. The author frankly assumes that psychology even as yet has not absolutely and clearly defined its own fundamental problem, and that this is chiefly the reason why we still disagree concerning the significance and value of many of the results of psychology. Before we approach the solution of the special problems, psychology itself must be laid down as a problem. The author, therefore, in the first part of his introductory task has sought to indicate the objects of psychology,—namely, what it will and rationally can pursue; and in the second part, he points out, the only correct method according to which psychology can accomplish its aims.

Since Descartes, says our author, real and possible consciousness constitutes the true limits of the province of psychic research, the fundamental problem of psychology, and the characteristic distinction between the old and new philosophy. But, in order to find out, whether this tendency of the new philosophy has been entirely successful, it will be necessary to examine more closely the nature of the fundamental psychic phenomenon, and the problem that it involves.

In the fact of consciousness we can distinguish several elements which really are inseparable, but which in the study of the problem ought to be separated. There is the content of which one is conscious, and secondly, the consciousness thereof, or its relation to the ego; and, by a further abstraction, this relation itself might be distinguished from the total fact of consciousness. The relation to the ego, in ever varied contents, is one and the same; it makes up both the common and specific element of consciousness, and as the third abstract element of consciousness (Bewusstsein) it might aptly be called self-consciousness (Bewusstheit). The ego, being a common point of relation to all contents of consciousness, cannot itself become the content of consciousness, because it represents a contrast to any idea of content. We do not correctly conceive consciousness as a thing, a cause, a force, an explanatory principle, but simply as a phenomenon—the fundamental phenomenon of psychology. We thereupon ask, what contains this phenomenon, and by what is it characterised? It is, above all, characterised by subjective experience. This denotes, that it is I who am conscious of a content. The reflective expression "I am conscious" implies a "subject" that is conscious. Without this reflective relation to the ego, consciousness no longer conveys any meaning. Consciousness denotes self-consciousness. This reflective relation is therefore the only distinctive mark of all conscious phenomena.

Content we call anything that can be related to the ego. In the language adopted by psychologists, a feeling or a desire can also be regarded as content of consciousness. But our investigation cannot proceed beyond this reflective relation. If we attempt a representation of the ego, we should turn it into object, and we should have ceased to regard it as ego. The ego is never an object—not even to itself.

It is not denied, that in every consciousness there can be distinguished two elements—the existence of a content, and its relation to the ego; but it is denied, that this relation can be made objective, even to itself. This correctly describes the character of consciousness, as content and activity, and moreover, precisely delimits the domain of the psychical and determines the positive task of psychology. Those, who assume a consciousness of consciousness, ought logically to admit the consciousness of a consciousness of consciousness, etc.; as indeed some metaphysicians have done.

It may be maintained, however, that the distinction of the activities of consciousness, of sensation, representation, and thinking, is indispensable in psychology; but, at any rate, there are no different kinds, or even degrees or stages of consciousness. The consciousness of any simple sensation in kind is not different from the consciousness of a world; the factor of consciousness in both is the same; the difference lies exclusively in the content. This also applies to clear and obscure consciousness.

In order to determine the positive task of psychology, we ought to discover in every content and in every repeated act of consciousness, a certain common characteristic. Perception, as such, does not constitute consciousness, but merely denotes the presence of a multiple content; apperception, on the other hand, indicates only consciousness in the definite sense of a "unity" of that multiple content. This unity of consciousness properly does not appear, or only appears in the connection of the contents. That peculiarity of consciousness which we call apperception, is psychologically only apparent in the contents of consciousness; it does not constitute an object of psychology, but forms only its extreme limits. The common characteristic of every content of consciousness is therefore really to be found in the connection (Verbindung) in which the simple contents are represented in the repeated acts of consciousness. This connection exists only subjectively, irrespective of all objective meaning or value.

The existence of phenomena purely as phenomena, their subjective existence irrespective of object, constitutes their psychic existence or that side of the phenomenon from which it becomes an object of psychological research. Under this head come all those phenomena to which science denies an objective value: illusions of the senses, mental hallucinations, and the normal non-scientific representations of things, the creations of the imagination in music and in art, the entire subjective life of feeling and of aspiration, regarded only as a particularly characteristic association of representation, irrespective of all objective truth, which lies beyond the limits of psychology as such.

The characteristic, accordingly, is found in the unity in which the content represents itself in the single or reiterated acts of consciousness. In each act of consciousness the content is simply present, and no time is distinguished. When we distinguish time, a plurality of consciousness also must be distinguished. It may seem difficult to understand how two or more original acts of consciousness are again united into one act; but in reality this takes place. The idea of unity is thus enlarged, and becomes the consciousness of a multiplicity, the necessary unity of a multiple, a successive connection in time, and a simultaneous connection. All consciousness (representation) depends on connection, as is indirectly shown by trying to discover whether the elementary contents of consciousness can be represented in absolute isolation.

Abstract consciousness is thus found to be the relation of given contents to an ego, and connection constitutes the manner in which a multiple content appears or is represented in the reiterated relation to one and the same ego. Connection is the concrete expression of that relation itself, through which consciousness attains its definite and positive value. Abstract consciousness seems poor, but the multiplicity of a definite connection of contents affords a vast field of psychological research, for on that connection depends the concrete significance of the ego, which to us is not subject in general, but above all, is our own particular subject.

And finally at this point there spontaneously arises the question of a theory of the psychic phenomena. Every theory essentially presupposes an objective tendency, while consciousness, as the expression of the purest subjectivity of phenomena, cannot be rendered objective. It clearly follows, therefore, that the method of psychology must be radically different from all methods of the objective sciences.


DER GENIALE MENSCH. By Cesare Lombroso. German Translation by Dr. M. O. Fraenkel. Hamburg: Verlagsanstalt und Druckerei-Actien-Gesellschaft (vormals J. F. Richter).

The French edition of Lombroso's "Man of Genius" has already appeared. The work is introduced by a preface written by M. Charles Richet, which reviews the subject with great clearness. All in all, this is an admirable book, well stocked with interesting facts and incidents, and well adapted to obtain a large number of readers outside of scientific circles. There is necessarily a dearth of abundant and well-authenticated facts in this subject,—historians until lately not having occupied themselves with the psychological phases of life; and accordingly there is great danger in universal generalisation from those that we have. This, however, Prof. Lombroso has recognised.

Genius, the author claims, is a variety of psychosis, an instance of degeneration. Degeneration of certain parts is the condition of the acquisition of others; thus the loss of a number of ribs and muscles, of a tail, etc., has in man been compensated by the acquisition and development of the brain; and so in the genius the possession of very great intellectual or emotional faculties has been counterbalanced by the loss of equilibrium in the other parts. Moreover, there are no exceptions in nature; the occurrence of insanity, abnormalities, and eccentricities in a few cases leads us inevitably to the conclusion that there are correspondent defects in all others. And this we find to be true in all historical instances. Popular speech and tradition have identified genius and demency: in Hebrew and Sanskrit the words prophet and insane are synonymous; and so we have the proverbs—'Children and fools speak the truth,' 'Un fol avise bien un sage,' 'Saepe etiam est morio valde opportune locutus.' The line of demarcation between the two is hardly traceable. Genius is the exception, a deviation from the common type of humanity, and nature avenges the aberration by denying it permanency and inflicting upon it abnormality. Whether degeneration or progression, genius is unusual and unstable. But one thing distinguishes genius from mental alienation, and it is this—that genius possesses the power of inhibition, of concentration, of critique, and far-sightedness, while demency has no control of the ideas it has formed; both possess the swift and unerring power of origination; the one can command what it has originated, the other cannot.

It must be admitted that the method employed for the verification of this thesis, is not absolutely safe. Wherever an eccentricity in a man of genius is found, it is accredited to psychosis, even though the genius in question be upon the whole more normal than the average "normal" man; as, for instance, Goethe. If the same method were applied to all men, would not normality be the exception and abnormality the rule?


DAS BEWUSSTSEIN UND SEIN OBJECT. By Dr. Joh. Wolff, Professor of
    Philosophy at the University of Freiburg (Switzerland). Berlin:
    Mayer & Müller.

This is a huge closely printed volume of six hundred and twenty pages. It is the enlargement and development of a treatise offered several years ago to the faculty of the University of Bonn, upon application by Dr. Wolff for a University instructorship, and contains the results of the author's thoughts and researches since that time upon the subject there dealt with.

Among many valuable isolated speculations and suggestions, we find fundamental theses with which it is impossible for us to agree. Thus, Dr. Wolff says that when he speaks of soul he means 'a substance, a substratum, a vehicle, a cause of psychical phenomena, and not a phenomenon or sum of phenomena'; and he says it is no more a pre-judgment or prejudice on his part to begin with this thesis than it is on the part of those who hold a different view to begin with the opposed one,—in fact less so, since he starts from the notion which all men hold in common, while the others do not.

Does the mathematician, in propounding a new method, or a physicist in explaining an unsolved problem, proceed from the mathematical and physical notions all men hold in common? And if the soul is made an object of scientific research, why should an exception be made of it? It is not so much what we begin with as what we end with, and it is perhaps superfluous to say that Dr. Wolff has ended where he began—with the simplicity, the substantiality, the unity, and the permanency of the ego.



We had originally intended, in this first number of The Monist, to present to our readers a comprehensive statement of the courses announced by American Universities in the departments of Philosophy, Ethics, and Psychology; first, in order to supply students proposing to pursue these studies and others interested, with information at first-hand, and secondly to give the non-academic world, which is considerable, an insight into what our higher professional schools are doing in these branches.

Since then The American Journal of Psychology has published a very full and gratifying account of the state of psychological research in our Universities, made up of the reports of the professors at the head of these departments; and we therefore refer our readers for information regarding this branch to the article entitled "Psychology in American Universities," published in Vol. III, No. 2, of that ably-conducted magazine.

It was also difficult to obtain the required information: most of our professors, in the last few months, having been absent from the university towns.

But reports from the most representative universities in different parts of the country have been obtained. They are intended merely to exhibit the general nature and extent of philosophical instruction in America and do not profess to be complete.

* * * * *

A review of the Registers, Catalogues, and Programmes of a large number of our colleges has led us to the conviction that the acquiring in America of a broad philosophical training is not the fault of the professions of our academical authorities. The courses offered are set forth in our college catalogues at very great length; they are very exhaustive; and their specification is accompanied with analyses of the work of the various departments and with bibliographical schedules that in point of thoroughness leave nothing to be desired. This fulness of exposition is noticeable in all the departments.

But under the obligatory system of study, the separate departments, or rather the professions of the separate departments, must certainly conflict: and the question arises in the mind of the observing outsider, To which is justice done?

And, except where a specialty is exclusively followed, wherein under the professed conditions, does the elective system differ from the obligatory? Only that in the one case, the student is made the author of his embarrassment, and in the other the victim of it. However, in the absence of a decided educational sentiment in our nation, and in the lack of a uniformity of opinion as to what must be demanded of our schools instead of a submissive acquiescence in what they give us, the question whether a college has fulfilled what it has professed, must be left to the faithful individual student who is forced to devote the best years of his life to the solution of it. It seems impossible to determine it otherwise. And yet, except in the case of our foremost institutions, to which all of us cannot go, this is true.

We have observed, too, that the extension of the departments of philosophy proper is not keeping pace with that of many other departments—as, for instance, the departments of history and economics.

Perhaps this is inevitable; the last-mentioned sciences having been until of late very much neglected.

But the tendency threatens to overbalance the curriculum; and where pretensions to universality are made, it is not justified.

On the other hand, the firm hold that experimental psychology has obtained in some of our foremost schools, is gratifying; though enthusiasm may also lead too far in this direction.

Lack of co-operation in cognate branches is, with very few notable exceptions, universal. Preparatory training is not emphasised. At least, where so much is said of the character and method of instruction, and where the elective system prevails, we should expect some mention of it. But it is not found.

Philosophy would seem to be something that is to be obtained only in the lecture-rooms of the "philosophical department," and in most cases it is sought nowhere else. The study of Mathematics, Physics, Natural Science, and Philology, is greatly neglected. Philosophy becomes an aim and a means in itself, and the student at the close of his course often discovers himself in the quest of philosophy, but with no means of finding it.

This necessity of co-operation has been fully recognised, for instance, at Harvard. "When a student applies for Honors," says Professor Palmer, "we require from him not merely an acquaintance with technical philosophy but also with the subjects most nearly adjacent to the special philosophical field he has chosen."

And so it is in other of our advanced and enlightened schools. Yet in the majority of cases, the foundations of philosophical culture are not insisted upon, but left to chance and the uncertainties of a universal elective curriculum.

Lastly, philosophy at some institutions exhibits a sectarian and theological complexion.

This, one thinks, might be left to the theological seminaries. But it is not.

We have Baptist Philosophy, and Presbyterian Philosophy, and denominational philosophies of divers other descriptions.

A president of a prominent Eastern University, (a gentleman to whom the philosophic spirit of this country is greatly indebted for inspiration and expansion,) has taken,—let it be remarked in this connection,—a much more liberal step, and urged the necessity of establishing a school of American Philosophy.

This is laudable; and in harmony with the present resuscitation of
American patriotism in——matters of learning.

It was this spirit that dictated the witty proposition of a Chicago gentleman to found a "school" of American Geometry.

* * * * *

We hope that the appended syllabuses of courses in philosophy will afford a general idea of the scope of philosophical teaching in America. The professors who have supplied us with the information we requested, we thank for their courtesy and obligingness.


The Philosophical Courses of the University of Michigan may be conveniently classified under three heads:—


1. ELEMENTARY LOGIC, in which there are two courses, one general covering the rudiments of syllogistic and deductive logic in which Jevons is used as the basis, the other in inductive logic, intended especially for scientific students, in which Fowler is used.

2. ELEMENTARY PSYCHOLOGY. The main facts regarding modern scientific researches and methods, and the various attempts at their philosophic interpretation. Dewey's Psychology is the book used in connection with this course.

3. INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY. A course of lectures on the main problems and principles of the theory of knowledge and reality. Each of the foregoing courses is for one semester.


1. HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY. Ancient and Modern. Lectures and readings designed to give information regarding both the historical development of thought, and the main problems developed in its course. The department of philosophy owns a large number of copies of the chief thinkers in modern philosophy, Locke, Descartes, etc., etc., and these are assigned to members of the class for readings and reports. Each student thus becomes acquainted with at least half-a-dozen of the leading writers at first-hand.

The course runs through the year.

2. ETHICS, THEORETICAL (one-half year) AND SOCIAL (Political Philosophy, one-half year also). The theoretical course attempts to arrive at an account of the ethical ideal by means of a critical consideration of the principal modern ethical theories, especial attention being paid to Utilitarianism, Evolutionary Ethics, and Kantianism. The second division of the course discusses the ethical basis and value of society and the state, law and rights, in connection with an account of the political theories of Plato, Aristotle, Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Rousseau, Hegel, etc.

3. ÆSTHETICS. This course, like the previous one, unites the historical and theoretical treatment of æsthetic doctrines and results. It is designed largely to aid students in the interpretation and criticism of literature. It is a half-year course, and is followed by a half-year course (given in the English Department) on the Principles and Methods of Literary Criticism.

4. PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY. Lectures, assigned readings and elementary experiments, and demonstrations. There is established, as yet, no separate psycho-physical laboratory, but the new-equipped physiological laboratory of the University is, through the courtesy of the Professor of Physiology, at the disposal of students in this line. Half-year course.

5. SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. Lectures, readings, etc., designed to give an account of the chief methods employed and results achieved in the modern historical and comparative study of religions. And also an account of the principal theoretical interpretations of religion. Half-year course.


1. KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. A study of Kant's masterpiece at first-hand. This is accompanied by a shorter subsidiary course, treating of the development of the Kantian system, and criticisms upon it. Caird's Critical Philosophy of Kant, is read and discussed in connection with the latter course. Half-year course.

2. HEGEL'S LOGIC. A study of Wallace's translation of the lesser Logic of Hegel. Half-year course.

3. THE LOGIC OF SCIENTIFIC METHODS. A lecture course taking up the study of the Logic of Science, and intended to make the hearers acquainted with the standpoint and spirit of such authors as Lotze, Sigwart, Wundt, Mill, Jevons, Bradley, Bosanquet, and the modern movement in logic generally. Half-year course.

4. PROBLEMS IN HIGHER ÆSTHETICS. A brief course for graduate students in Æsthetics.

5. SEMINARY IN ETHICS. Discussion of the treatment of some main ethical problems by the chief modern ethical writers.

The Elementary courses are conducted mainly by text-books and recitations; the Intermediate courses by lectures and assigned readings, reports and essay-writings. The Advanced courses are pursued by class discussions, conversations, etc. on basis of work done independently by the student.

The teaching is carried on by John Dewey, J. H. Tufts, and F. N. Scott.



The courses at Harvard are, we believe, the most complete offered in any American University. They consist (for 1890-91) of four groups:








Including the Psychological, Metaphysical, and Ethical Seminaries. These do not include the additional and auxilliary courses in other subjects, which are required for Honors.

"Holding that there is one best way for the young student to begin his philosophical study," says Prof. G. H. Palmer, "we have planned a single introductory course and have given it variety by setting three instructors to teach it. When these elementary matters have been mastered, we offer the student a choice among half-a-dozen dogmatic courses, or among as many more historical. These last two sets of courses are open alike to graduates and to undergraduates. For graduate specialists three or four lines of Seminary work are provided, with a view to giving the most advanced students ample opportunity to develop their individual powers…. But the chief aim of our Honors is to test powers rather than acquirement."

In Harvard there are six instructors engaged in the department of philosophy alone: Prof. G. H. Palmer, Prof. C. C. Everett, Prof. W. James, Prof. F. G. Peabody, Prof. J. Royce, and Dr. G. Santayana. A dozen or more courses of philosophical content are offered, and acquaintance with auxilliary branches is necessary to take Honors.


The instruction given in the various branches of philosophy at this institution is conducted according to the following scheme:

1. PROPÆDEUTIC TO PHILOSOPHY. Empirical psychology, including formal logic, deductive and inductive. Four times a week.

2. INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY. History of European philosophy, in outline. Four times a week.

3. ELEMENTARY ETHICS, INCLUDING CIVIL POLITY. Sketch of the history of ethical and political theories; critique of the conflict between perfectionism and hedonism, freedom and necessity, optimism and pessimism; investigation of the nature of a state, and of its bearing on the limits of liberty and allegiance. Four times a week.

4. FIRST ALTERNATING COURSE. Exposition of some principal movement or conflict in the history of philosophy, by a critical study of its leading participants; or the like, the subject being changed from year to year. Twice a week.

5. SECOND ALTERNATING COURSE. Some additional topic, similar to that of Course IV., and similarly changed, but drawn, preferably, from the field of practical philosophy. Four times a week.

6. GRADUATE COURSE. First-hand study of certain philosophic masterpieces, such as Plato's Parmenides, Theætetus and Sophist, Aristotle's De Anima, Kant's Kritiken, or Hegel's Phænomenologie des Geistes; etc. Four times a week throughout the year.

Courses 1, 2, and 3, in this scheme are permanent, and are repeated from year to year in substantially the same form; Course 4 is continued throughout a whole year; the rest throughout a single term. Courses 4 and 5 are projected with the intention of furnishing a variety of topics, a new one being usually presented each year; though a subject is sometimes continued, if it proves to excite the special interest or meet the particular wants of the incoming Senior class. Course 6, provided for graduate students only, is sufficiently described in its sub-title.

The specific subjects for the ensuing year 1890-91, under these courses with varying topics, will be as follows:

Course 4. PHILOSOPHY FROM KANT TO HEGEL. The Development of Rationalistic Idealism, from its negative and partial to its complete and positive form. Twice a week.

Text-Books: (1) Watson's Philosophy of Kant; (2) Everett's Fichte's Science of Knowledge; (3) Watson's Schelling's Transcendental Idealism; (4) Caird's Hegel; (5) Hegel's Logic, translated by Wallace. With the standard works of reference.

Course 5. HIGHER ETHICS. Based on a criticism of Sidgwick and
Martineau. Four times a week during the second term.

Text-Books: (1) Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics; (2) Martineau's Types of
Ethical Theory.

Course 6. GRADUATE COURSE. The Dialektik and Methodenlehre in Kant's Kritik, followed by Hegel's Lesser Logic in Wallace's translation. Four times a week throughout the year.

From this statement it will be seen that some important text covering each topic is in the hands of each student. The object of this is to furnish an actual historical basis for the discussion of the subject, which is conducted by the professor's lectures. These proceed from a criticism, partly appreciative, partly destructive, of the texts chosen, to a constructive and positive presentation of the subject, according to the reasoned views of the lecturer.

The interest in philosophical studies is steadily increasing in this institution. The instruction in them was opened in the academic year 1884-85, and the growth of interest is well indicated by the fact that the number of students now annually electing these courses is more than double the number during the first and second year.



The Courses offered in Logic, Psychology, Ethics, and Philosophy, at this institution for the year 1890-91, are as follows:


1. A ELEMENTARY COURSE IN LOGIC. Two hours a week.


3. SCIENTIFIC METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY. Lectures with Laboratory Work. Two hours.

4. EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. Lectures with Laboratory Work. Two hours.

5. A COURSE IN ETHICS. Two hours.






2. SPECIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. Lectures with Laboratory Work. Two hours.




Each course of undergraduate lectures will extend through half the year. Courses 1, 2, 3, and 7, will be delivered during the first term; Courses 4, 5, 6, and 8 during the second. Of the graduate lectures, Courses 1 and 2 will be given during the first and second terms respectively. Courses 3, 4, and 5 will extend throughout the year. The psychological laboratory is open at all hours to students engaged in special researches.

In addition to these courses, mention may be made of those delivered on Physiological, Abnormal, and Comparative Psychology in the Biological and Medical Schools of the University; and of the numerous courses, more or less directly ethical, which are delivered in the field of Sociology. In several of these there is a purposed effort to bring out the significance for ethics of the subject treated.



From the well-classified and thorough courses offered at Clark
University, (conducted by Dr. Hall, Prof. Donaldson, Dr. Sanford, Dr.
Boas, Dr. Cook, Dr. Strong, and others,) we select, for its uniqueness,
an account of the instruction at that institution in—


Under this head, come among others, the different forms of abnormal and pathological humanity. The most extreme form is treated of in Criminal Anthropology, which takes up the study of man as criminal. As an introduction, the acts that would be considered criminal in man's case, are investigated, as they appear in the whole realm of nature. This division we call Criminal Embryology.

The other divisions to be considered in the lectures are: the Anthropometry, Craniology, Physiognomy, Cerebrology, Psychology, Sociology, Teratology, and Prophylaxis of criminals; also criminality in relation to Psychiatry and Psychiatrical Anthropology. The general relation of Ethics to Criminal Anthropology, is one of degree; crime being an exaggerated form of wrong. We can illustrate the method of application in this way: If a nerve of a normal organism is cut, the organs in which irregularities are produced, are those which the nerve controls. In this way the office of a nerve in the normal state may be discovered. The criminal is, so to speak, the severed-nerve of society; and the study of him is a very practical way (though indirect) of studying normal men. And since the criminal is seven-eights like other men, such a study is also a direct inquiry into normal humanity.

The lesser degrees of abnormal and pathological cases will be discussed under the head of Charitology. These are represented by the different kinds of benevolent institutions, such as almshouses, asylums for the insane, imbecile, and epileptic; for the deaf, dumb, and blind; hospitals, dispensaries, and infirmaries; homes for truants, orphans, and for the friendless and aged.

The characteristics of inmates of such institutions and the methods of treatment and prevention, will be the main considerations. The facts gathered, and the principles underlying such institutions, will be utilised in an attempt to give a scientific basis to ethics. The problems of right, duty and freedom, will be carefully considered.

Accepting the sociological truism, that the community is more important than any individual in it, the ethical standpoint of the lecturer is: that the idea of wrong depends upon the moral, intellectual, physical or financial danger or injury, which a thought, feeling, willing or acting, brings to humanity.

The decision, as to what thoughts, feelings, actions, etc., are dangerous or injurious, will depend upon the results from the application of the scientific method to the different departments of knowledge.

The direct practical object of the course, will be the study of preventatives, based on a thorough diagnosis.

Visitations and practical investigations of charitable and penal institutions will be made as occasion shall offer.

The lectures will be delivered in the latter part of the year.



Besides the comprehensive courses in psychology, the following are offered:

1. HISTORY OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY. A brief survey of the development of philosophical thought in Greece. Zeller's Hand-book of Greek Philosophy is the reference book. Twice a week. Elective. (Prof. Jastrow.)

2. THE HISTORY OF MODERN ENGLISH PHILOSOPHY. Three times a week. Elective. (Prof. Stearns.)

3. ETHICS. Four times a week. Elective. (Prof. Stearns.)

4. ÆSTHETICS. In addition to the study of the physiological and psychological basis of æsthetics an elementary knowledge of the history of art and the principles of art criticism is given by lectures and discussions. Five times a week. Elective. (Prof. Stearns.)

5. ELEMENTARY LOGIC, DEDUCTIVE AND INDUCTIVE. The analysis of arguments, the construction and elaboration of syllogisms; the symbolic and diagrammatic methods of representing logical operations, and modern and ancient systems of logic will form the main topics of the deductive logic; while in inductive logic special emphasis will be laid upon the methods of scientific reasoning, the logic of chance, the detection of fallacies, and the estimation of evidence. Daily in winter term. (Prof. Jastrow.)

6. ADVANCED LOGIC. Special attention paid to the logic of the sciences; to mathematical logic as introduced by Boole and developed by Venn, Peirce, Schroeder and others; to the theory of probabilities, and the history of logical doctrines. Twice weekly. Elective. (Prof. Jastrow.)

7. MILL'S LOGIC. A general course upon the philosophy of reasoning and the principles of inductive science. Killick's Handbook to Mill's Logic used. Three times weekly. (Prof. Jastrow.) Each course extends over a single term only.

In Ethics an effort is made to introduce the students to three phases of the subject, the historical, theoretical, and practical. The first is at present limited to a brief review, by lectures, of the chief English ethical theories. In the second Prof. Fowler's Progressive Morality is made the basis of the instruction. The third is pursued chiefly in the form of topics, relating generally to current ethical questions, which are assigned for special study to members of the class, and their presentation is, when desirable, made the basis of general discussion.



The following are the courses for the present year, at Boston
University, under the direction of Prof. B. P. Bowne and Dean

PSYCHOLOGY. Thought studied as a fact; its forms and laws investigated;
Current Theories expounded and criticised. Five hours.

LOGIC. Thought studied not as a fact, but as an instrument of knowledge. Investigation of the laws, forms, aims, and methods of mental activity. Five hours.

THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE. The study of thought as a process supplemented by the study of knowledge as its product. Knowledge defined, and the conditions, subjective and objective, of its validity investigated. The claims of scepticism, agnosticism, etc., considered at length. Three hours.

METAPHYSICS. Modifications of ontological and cosmological ideas in the light of rational criticism. Four hours.

PHILOSOPHY OF THEISM. The logical value and foundation of Theism considered. Four hours.

HISTORY OF ETHICAL THOUGHT. Christian Ethics. Text-book and lectures.
Five hours.

PHILOSOPHY OF ETHICS. Critical and constructive review of ethical theories. Psychological questions as to the nature and origin of moral faculty ruled out as irrelevant. Two hours.

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY. From Descartes to the present time. Five hours.

The Philosophical Club, organised in 1886, has since that time maintained stated meetings for the furtherance of its members in philosophical studies.

Last year, under the auspices of the University, a special course of five lectures on Educational Psychology was given before large audiences by William T. Harris, LL. D. The topics treated were as follows:

1. Introspection contrasted with external Sense Perception.

2. Mental Pictures versus General Ideas.

3. The Logical Constitution of Sense Perception.

4. Physiological Psychology.

5. The Psychology of Mathematics, Æsthetics, and Ethics.

The courses are for single terms only.



The Undergraduate instruction in philosophy provides five hours a week of required work for one year:


The courses are unified and thorough. A voluntary course in the History of Philosophy is given; and advanced courses will be offered this year in Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Kant, and in English Ethics from Hobbes to Stephen. The instructors are Professors Griffin and Emmot.


MIND. July 1890. No. LIX.


OUR SPACE-CONSCIOUSNESS. A Reply. By Herbert Spencer.

VOLKMANN'S PSYCHOLOGY (I). By Thomas Whittaker.




    DISCUSSION: 1) The Evolution of Inductive Thought. By Hiram M.
      2) The Genesis of the Cognition of Physical Reality. By Julius

    CRITICAL NOTICES: "Fouillée's L'Avenir de la Métaphysique fondée
      sur l'Expérience"; Tarde's "Lois de l'Imitation"; Bæumker's
      "Das Problem der Materie in der Griechischen Philosophie."


Our Space-Consciousness. In this article Mr. Herbert Spencer replies to criticisms, by adherents of Kantian doctrine, of objections contained in §§ 326-335 of The Principles of Psychology. He objects that the disciples of Kant "cannot imagine how it is possible that our space-consciousness can have arisen out of that which was not originally a space-consciousness."

Volkmann's Psychology. Shows that the really important point in Volkmann's doctrine of "psychological mechanism" is its theory of the interaction of contemporaneous presentations, and of the existence among them of unconscious presentations. Herbartian psychology is strictly scientific system, but when its superfluous mechanism is cleared away, its explanations become those of associationism.

In The Logic of the Ethic of Evolution, Mr. William Mitchell points out that the two conditions of an ethical end are that it be the motive of individual action, and that it furnish a critical system of universal laws; and further that those conditions are fulfilled by the end variously propounded in the ethic of evolution only if it be represented, not as an external limit forcing itself on men, but as presenting a more desirable character and medium to the individual than any other. The end and means of moral progress given by the Ethic of Evolution are perfectly true, but they do not express the essence of the matter.

The Antinomy of Thought. This paper investigates an antinomy which infects all our thought of reality that is not intuitive. The source of error is the confusion of the judgment with the consciousness or intuition of reality.

In the article on Mental Tests and Measurements, Prof. J. McK. Cattell describes certain tests which are used in the Psychological Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, with the object of providing data for the discovery of the rules which govern the constancy of mental processes, their interdependence, and their variations under different circumstances.

The Evolution of Inductive Thought. A primary element in all experience is its inductive quality. The struggle of existence awakens experience to the thought-stage where it knows and directs itself, but this very slowly. Development precedes self-development, and this precedes a self-development which is self-conscious. This conclusion is confirmed by some analyses of thought in the divisions of conception, judgment, and reasoning.

The Genesis of the Cognition of Physical Reality. This is a criticism by Mr. Julius Pikler of Mr. Stout's criticism on Mill, which appeared in the January number of Mind. His opinion is that Mr. Strong's statements are simply negations of Mill's theory, and as such prove nothing.

Some newly-discovered Letters of Hobbes. These letters, seventeen in number, were written to the French physician Sorbière, and have been discovered by Dr. F. Tönnies in the National Library at Paris. All of them, with related letters of Sorbière and others, are given at length in the Archiv f. Gesch. d. Phil. iii. 58-71, 192-232, and the first nine, which are the only ones of real importance, are set out in this number of Mind. They have reference to the important period of Hobbes's life and work that led up to Leviathan in 1651. (London: Williams & Norgate.)

REVUE PHILOSOPHIQUE. No. 175. July 1890.





      ENFANTS. By Alfred Binet.


M. Fonsegrive in L'Homogénéité morale points out the necessity of a proper system of education for developing in the mind of the young a moral homogeneity to replace the heterogeneity which psychologists find in the nature of man.

In Contributions psycho-physiques a l'Etude esthétique, M. G. Sorel continues his studies on the psychology of æsthetics, and concludes that experimental psychology and especially psycho-physics form the base of practical æsthetics.

M. H. Joly in La Folie de J. J. Rousseau points out that the problem of the agreement of genius with insanity, so far as concerns Rousseau, is reduced to small dimensions.

La Perception des Longueurs et des Nombres ches quelques petits Enfants by M. Alfred Binet, describes certain original experiments which indicate that young children have an accurate perception of differences in length, but that their perception of number is very limited. (Paris: F. Alcan.)

REVUE PHILOSOPHIQUE. No. 176. August 1890.






CORRESPONDANCE: "Les Manuscrits de M. de Biran."

In Les Origines de la Technologie M. Espinas aims at giving a history of philosophy in action. The present paper is devoted to physico-theological technology, and concludes with the observation that it was undoubtedly a progress to conceive the technical arts as a whole, as a divine gift in like manner as the fruits of the earth and the beneficent phenomena of nature, since this conception by opposition gave rise to the idea of art, that is of human initiative acting differently according to diversity of circumstances.

In L'Inhibition dans les Phénomènes de Conscience M. Alfred Binet explains certain phenomena by showing that under various circumstances certain images and sensations cannot coexist with others in the same field of consciousness; the presence of one excludes that of another. Antagonism and exclusion are the two simple facts which explain the phenomena in question.

La Géométrie Générale et les Jugements Synthétiques a priori is a reply by M. G. Lechalas to an article by M. Renouvier in the Critique Philosophique criticising M. Calinon's theory of geometrical spaces embodied in the system of "general geometry." While showing that spaces with three dimensions are rationally included in a space with four dimensions, M. Lechalas recognises the impossibility of establishing such a geometry, seeing that we have no figure that answers to what a four-dimensional space would be, as well as the purely formal character of the presentations of non-Euclidian figures. (Paris: F. Alcan.)

No. 2.


      DIFFERENZTÖNEN. By Carl L. Schaefer.


      (Concluded.) Edited by W. Preyer.


The results of Mr. Schaefer's researches are that for the localisation of the vibrations of two tones, in the case of their unequal relative intensity, the direction and distance of the relatively louder tone are determinate. If the relative intensity of the primary tones is equal, the vibrations are heard to proceed from the region between the two sounding points. Differential tones are heard between the ears, when the sounding sources are in the median plane; but when both primary tones come from the same side, in or immediately before the ear on that side; and in case of unequal intensity, when both come from different sides, on the side of the softer sound.

Prof. Münsterberg concludes that there is no successive association of ideas; when successively appearing, they are received singly into the memory.

The letters of Fechner are continued from No. 1.

No. 3.




    BESPRECHUNGEN: (1) A. Mosso's und A. Maggiora's "Ueber die
      Gesetze der Ermüdung." (2) Münsterberg's "Beitraege zur
      Experimentellen Psychologie."


Dr. Uhthoff, in order to determine the least visual angle of perception, has employed a grating in a pure-monochromatic spectral field. His results were that the angles in the different parts of the spectrum are essentially equal.

Æsthetic emotions, Mr. Döring contends, proceed from the unhindered play of the functions of psychical faculties; their contrary, from the inhibition of the same.

This periodical is edited by H. Ebbinghaus and A. König, with H. Aubert, S. Exner, H. v. Helmholtz, E. Hering, J. v. Kries, Th. Lipps, G. E. Müller, W. Preyer, and C. Stumpf as collaborators. It appears every two months. The review of the literature of its special department of research is very comprehensive. (Hamburg and Leipsic: L. Voss.)


RAGIONI E IDEALI. By La Direzione.






      G. Fioretti.


    A. Angiulli—A. Saffi—F. Petruccelli della Gattina. (MEMORIE.)
      By A. Torre.


QUESTIONI E PROBLEMI. La responsabilità filosofica, secondo Paolo Janet.

This is the first number of La Nuova Filosofia which is established, under the editorship of Dr. Andrea Torre, to diffuse in Europe and America the best results of contemporary culture, in relation especially to the life and development of society. (Naples: Dr. Andrea Torre, Vico Lungo Avvocata, 66.)


Cut exhibiting modifications that affect the accessory nucleus. Referred to on page 26 of this number of The Monist, in M. Binet's article "The Immortality of Infusoria."


A, beginning of conjugation; b, mouth; n, nucleus; nu, nucleolus; v. c., multiple contracticle vesicles.

B, division of the nucleolus into two segments, nu', nu'; the nucleus n begins to show signs of regression.

C, each of the two individuals in conjugation contains two nucleolar segments, brought near together, of which one probably comes from the individual opposite by course of exchange, and will fuse with the segment not exchanged, to form a compound segment (Maupas).

D, division of the segment into two portions which grow to unequal sizes; the larger, nn, will become the new nucleus, the smaller, the nucleolus of the new formation, nun.

E, the old nucleus, n, reduced to a small pale and rumpled mass, is replaced by the new nucleus nn, near by which is seen the new nucleolus nun.

VOL. I. JANUARY, 1891. NO. 2.



Of the fifty or hundred systems of philosophy that have been advanced at different times of the world's history, perhaps the larger number have been, not so much results of historical evolution, as happy thoughts which have accidently occurred to their authors. An idea which has been found interesting and fruitful has been adopted, developed, and forced to yield explanations of all sorts of phenomena. The English have been particularly given to this way of philosophising; witness, Hobbes, Hartley, Berkeley, James Mill. Nor has it been by any means useless labor; it shows us what the true nature and value of the ideas developed are, and in that way affords serviceable materials for philosophy. Just as if a man, being seized with the conviction that paper was a good material to make things of, were to go to work to build a papier mâché house, with roof of roofing-paper, foundations of paste-board, windows of paraffined paper, chimneys, bath tubs, locks, etc., all of different forms of paper, his experiment would probably afford valuable lessons to builders, while it would certainly make a detestable house, so those one-idea'd philosophies are exceedingly interesting and instructive, and yet are quite unsound.

The remaining systems of philosophy have been of the nature of reforms, sometimes amounting to radical revolutions, suggested by certain difficulties which have been found to beset systems previously in vogue; and such ought certainly to be in large part the motive of any new theory. This is like partially rebuilding a house. The faults that have been committed are, first, that the dilapidations have generally not been sufficiently thoroughgoing, and second, that not sufficient pains has been taken to bring the additions into deep harmony with the really sound parts of the old structure.

When a man is about to build a house, what a power of thinking he has to do, before he can safely break ground! With what pains he has to excogitate the precise wants that are to be supplied! What a study to ascertain the most available and suitable materials, to determine the mode of construction to which those materials are best adapted, and to answer a hundred such questions! Now without riding the metaphor too far, I think we may safely say that the studies preliminary to the construction of a great theory should be at least as deliberate and thorough as those that are preliminary to the building of a dwelling-house.

That systems ought to be constructed architectonically has been preached since Kant, but I do not think the full import of the maxim has by any means been apprehended. What I would recommend is that every person who wishes to form an opinion concerning fundamental problems, should first of all make a complete survey of human knowledge, should take note of all the valuable ideas in each branch of science, should observe in just what respect each has been successful and where it has failed, in order that in the light of the thorough acquaintance so attained of the available materials for a philosophical theory and of the nature and strength of each, he may proceed to the study of what the problem of philosophy consists in, and of the proper way of solving it. I must not be understood as endeavoring to state fully all that these preparatory studies should embrace; on the contrary, I purposely slur over many points, in order to give emphasis to one special recommendation, namely, to make a systematic study of the conceptions out of which a philosophical theory may be built, in order to ascertain what place each conception may fitly occupy in such a theory, and to what uses it is adapted.

The adequate treatment of this single point would fill a volume, but I shall endeavor to illustrate my meaning by glancing at several sciences and indicating conceptions in them serviceable for philosophy. As to the results to which long studies thus commenced have led me, I shall just give a hint at their nature.

We may begin with dynamics,—field in our day of perhaps the grandest conquest human science has ever made,—I mean the law of the conservation of energy. But let us revert to the first step taken by modern scientific thought,—and a great stride it was,—the inauguration of dynamics by Galileo. A modern physicist on examining Galileo's works is surprised to find how little experiment had to do with the establishment of the foundations of mechanics. His principal appeal is to common sense and il lume naturale. He always assumes that the true theory will be found to be a simple and natural one. And we can see why it should indeed be so in dynamics. For instance, a body left to its own inertia, moves in a straight line, and a straight line appears to us the simplest of curves. In itself, no curve is simpler than another. A system of straight lines has intersections precisely corresponding to those of a system of like parabolas similarly placed, or to those of any one of an infinity of systems of curves. But the straight line appears to us simple, because, as Euclid says, it lies evenly between its extremities; that is, because viewed endwise it appears as a point. That is, again, because light moves in straight lines. Now, light moves in straight lines because of the part which the straight line plays in the laws of dynamics. Thus it is that our minds having been formed under the influence of phenomena governed by the laws of mechanics, certain conceptions entering into those laws become implanted in our minds, so that we readily guess at what the laws are. Without such a natural prompting, having to search blindfold for a law which would suit the phenomena, our chance of finding it would be as one to infinity. The further physical studies depart from phenomena which have directly influenced the growth of the mind, the less we can expect to find the laws which govern them "simple," that is, composed of a few conceptions natural to our minds.

The researches of Galileo, followed up by Huygens and others, led to those modern conceptions of Force and Law, which have revolutionised the intellectual world. The great attention given to mechanics in the seventeenth century soon so emphasised these conceptions as to give rise to the Mechanical Philosophy, or doctrine that all the phenomena of the physical universe are to be explained upon mechanical principles. Newton's great discovery imparted a new impetus to this tendency. The old notion that heat consists in an agitation of corpuscles was now applied to the explanation of the chief properties of gases. The first suggestion in this direction was that the pressure of gases is explained by the battering of the particles against the walls of the containing vessel, which explained Boyle's law of the compressibility of air. Later, the expansion of gases, Avogadro's chemical law, the diffusion and viscosity of gases, and the action of Crookes's radiometer were shown to be consequences of the same kinetical theory; but other phenomena, such as the ratio of the specific heat at constant volume to that at constant pressure require additional hypotheses, which we have little reason to suppose are simple, so that we find ourselves quite afloat. In like manner with regard to light, that it consists of vibrations was almost proved by the phenomena of diffraction, while those of polarisation showed the excursions of the particles to be perpendicular to the line of propagation; but the phenomena of dispersion, etc., require additional hypotheses which may be very complicated. Thus, the further progress of molecular speculation appears quite uncertain. If hypotheses are to be tried haphazard, or simply because they will suit certain phenomena, it will occupy the mathematical physicists of the world say half a century on the average to bring each theory to the test, and since the number of possible theories may go up into the trillions, only one of which can be true, we have little prospect of making further solid additions to the subject in our time. When we come to atoms, the presumption in favor of a simple law seems very slender. There is room for serious doubt whether the fundamental laws of mechanics hold good for single atoms, and it seems quite likely that they are capable of motion in more than three dimensions.

To find out much more about molecules and atoms, we must search out a natural history of laws of nature, which may fulfil that function which the presumption in favor of simple laws fulfilled in the early days of dynamics, by showing us what kind of laws we have to expect and by answering such questions as this: Can we with reasonable prospect of not wasting time, try the supposition that atoms attract one another inversely as the seventh power of their distances, or can we not? To suppose universal laws of nature capable of being apprehended by the mind and yet having no reason for their special forms, but standing inexplicable and irrational, is hardly a justifiable position. Uniformities are precisely the sort of facts that need to be accounted for. That a pitched coin should sometimes turn up heads and sometimes tails calls for no particular explanation; but if it shows heads every time, we wish to know how this result has been brought about. Law is par excellence the thing that wants a reason.

Now the only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature and for uniformity in general is to suppose them results of evolution. This supposes them not to be absolute, not to be obeyed precisely. It makes an element of indeterminacy, spontaneity, or absolute chance in nature. Just as, when we attempt to verify any physical law, we find our observations cannot be precisely satisfied by it, and rightly attribute the discrepancy to errors of observation, so we must suppose far more minute discrepancies to exist owing to the imperfect cogency of the law itself, to a certain swerving of the facts from any definite formula.

Mr. Herbert Spencer wishes to explain evolution upon mechanical principles. This is illogical, for four reasons. First, because the principle of evolution requires no extraneous cause; since the tendency to growth can be supposed itself to have grown from an infinitesimal germ accidentally started. Second, because law ought more than anything else to be supposed a result of evolution. Third, because exact law obviously never can produce heterogeneity out of homogeneity; and arbitrary heterogeneity is the feature of the universe the most manifest and characteristic. Fourth, because the law of the conservation of energy is equivalent to the proposition that all operations governed by mechanical laws are reversible; so that an immediate corollary from it is that growth is not explicable by those laws, even if they be not violated in the process of growth. In short, Spencer is not a philosophical evolutionist, but only a half-evolutionist,—or, if you will, only a semi-Spencerian. Now philosophy requires thoroughgoing evolutionism or none.

The theory of Darwin was that evolution had been brought about by the action of two factors: first, heredity, as a principle making offspring nearly resemble their parents, while yet giving room for "sporting," or accidental variations,—for very slight variations often, for wider ones rarely; and, second, the destruction of breeds or races that are unable to keep the birth rate up to the death rate. This Darwinian principle is plainly capable of great generalisation. Wherever there are large numbers of objects, having a tendency to retain certain characters unaltered, this tendency, however, not being absolute but giving room for chance variations, then, if the amount of variation is absolutely limited in certain directions by the destruction of everything which reaches those limits, there will be a gradual tendency to change in directions of departure from them. Thus, if a million players sit down to bet at an even game, since one after another will get ruined, the average wealth of those who remain will perpetually increase. Here is indubitably a genuine formula of possible evolution, whether its operation accounts for much or little in the development of animal and vegetable species.

The Lamarckian theory also supposes that the development of species has taken place by a long series of insensible changes, but it supposes that those changes have taken place during the lives of the individuals, in consequence of effort and exercise, and that reproduction plays no part in the process except in preserving these modifications. Thus, the Lamarckian theory only explains the development of characters for which individuals strive, while the Darwinian theory only explains the production of characters really beneficial to the race, though these may be fatal to individuals.[33] But more broadly and philosophically conceived, Darwinian evolution is evolution by the operation of chance, and the destruction of bad results, while Lamarckian evolution is evolution by the effect of habit and effort.

[33] The neo-Darwinian, Weismann, has shown that mortality would almost necessarily result from the action of the Darwinian principle.

A third theory of evolution is that of Mr. Clarence King. The testimony of monuments and of rocks is that species are unmodified or scarcely modified, under ordinary circumstances, but are rapidly altered after cataclysms or rapid geological changes. Under novel circumstances, we often see animals and plants sporting excessively in reproduction, and sometimes even undergoing transformations during individual life, phenomena no doubt due partly to the enfeeblement of vitality from the breaking up of habitual modes of life, partly to changed food, partly to direct specific influence of the element in which the organism is immersed. If evolution has been brought about in this way, not only have its single steps not been insensible, as both Darwinians and Lamarckians suppose, but they are furthermore neither haphazard on the one hand, nor yet determined by an inward striving on the other, but on the contrary are effects of the changed environment, and have a positive general tendency to adapt the organism to that environment, since variation will particularly affect organs at once enfeebled and stimulated. This mode of evolution, by external forces and the breaking up of habits, seems to be called for by some of the broadest and most important facts of biology and paleontology; while it certainly has been the chief factor in the historical evolution of institutions as in that of ideas; and cannot possibly be refused a very prominent place in the process of evolution of the universe in general.

Passing to psychology, we find the elementary phenomena of mind fall into three categories. First, we have Feelings, comprising all that is immediately present, such as pain, blue, cheerfulness, the feeling that arises when we contemplate a consistent theory, etc. A feeling is a state of mind having its own living quality, independent of any other state of mind. Or, a feeling is an element of consciousness which might conceivably override every other state until it monopolised the mind, although such a rudimentary state cannot actually be realised, and would not properly be consciousness. Still, it is conceivable, or supposable, that the quality of blue should usurp the whole mind, to the exclusion of the ideas of shape, extension, contrast, commencement and cessation, and all other ideas, whatsoever. A feeling is necessarily perfectly simple, in itself, for if it had parts these would also be in the mind, whenever the whole was present, and thus the whole could not monopolise the mind.[34]

[34] A feeling may certainly be compound, but only in virtue of a perception which is not that feeling nor any feeling at all.

Besides Feelings, we have Sensations of reaction; as when a person blindfold suddenly runs against a post, when we make a muscular effort, or when any feeling gives way to a new feeling. Suppose I had nothing in my mind but a feeling of blue, which were suddenly to give place to a feeling of red; then, at the instant of transition there would be a shock, a sense of reaction, my blue life being transmuted into red life. If I were further endowed with a memory, that sense would continue for some time, and there would also be a peculiar feeling or sentiment connected with it. This last feeling might endure (conceivably I mean) after the memory of the occurrence and the feelings of blue and red had passed away. But the sensation of reaction cannot exist except in the actual presence of the two feelings blue and red to which it relates. Wherever we have two feelings and pay attention to a relation between them of whatever kind, there is the sensation of which I am speaking. But the sense of action and reaction has two types: it may either be a perception of relation between two ideas, or it may be a sense of action and reaction between feeling and something out of feeling. And this sense of external reaction again has two forms; for it is either a sense of something happening to us, by no act of ours, we being passive in the matter, or it is a sense of resistance, that is, of our expending feeling upon something without. The sense of reaction is thus a sense of connection or comparison between feelings, either, A, between one feeling and another, or B, between feeling and its absence or lower degree; and under B we have, First, the sense of the access of feeling, and Second, the sense of remission of feeling.

Very different both from feelings and from reaction-sensations or disturbances of feeling are general conceptions. When we think, we are conscious that a connection between feelings is determined by a general rule, we are aware of being governed by a habit. Intellectual power is nothing but facility in taking habits and in following them in cases essentially analogous to, but in non-essentials widely remote from, the normal cases of connections of feelings under which those habits were formed.

The one primary and fundamental law of mental action consists in a tendency to generalisation. Feeling tends to spread; connections between feelings awaken feelings; neighboring feelings become assimilated; ideas are apt to reproduce themselves. These are so many formulations of the one law of the growth of mind. When a disturbance of feeling takes place, we have a consciousness of gain, the gain of experience; and a new disturbance will be apt to assimilate itself to the one that preceded it. Feelings, by being excited, become more easily excited, especially in the ways in which they have previously been excited. The consciousness of such a habit constitutes a general conception.

The cloudiness of psychological notions may be corrected by connecting them with physiological conceptions. Feeling may be supposed to exist, wherever a nerve-cell is in an excited condition. The disturbance of feeling, or sense of reaction, accompanies the transmission of disturbance between nerve-cells or from a nerve-cell to a muscle-cell or the external stimulation of a nerve-cell. General conceptions arise upon the formation of habits in the nerve-matter, which are molecular changes consequent upon its activity and probably connected with its nutrition.

The law of habit exhibits a striking contrast to all physical laws in the character of its commands. A physical law is absolute. What it requires is an exact relation. Thus, a physical force introduces into a motion a component motion to be combined with the rest by the parallelogram of forces; but the component motion must actually take place exactly as required by the law of force. On the other hand, no exact conformity is required by the mental law. Nay, exact conformity would be in downright conflict with the law; since it would instantly crystallise thought and prevent all further formation of habit. The law of mind only makes a given feeling more likely to arise. It thus resembles the "non-conservative" forces of physics, such as viscosity and the like, which are due to statistical uniformities in the chance encounters of trillions of molecules.

The old dualistic notion of mind and matter, so prominent in Cartesianism, as two radically different kinds of substance, will hardly find defenders to-day. Rejecting this, we are driven to some form of hylopathy, otherwise called monism. Then the question arises whether physical laws on the one hand, and the psychical law on the other are to be taken—

(A) as independent, a doctrine often called monism, but which I would name neutralism; or,

(B) the psychical law as derived and special, the physical law alone as primordial, which is materialism; or,

(C) the physical law as derived and special, the psychical law alone as primordial, which is idealism.

The materialistic doctrine seems to me quite as repugnant to scientific logic as to common sense; since it requires us to suppose that a certain kind of mechanism will feel, which would be a hypothesis absolutely irreducible to reason,—an ultimate, inexplicable regularity; while the only possible justification of any theory is that it should make things clear and reasonable.

Neutralism is sufficiently condemned by the logical maxim known as Ockham's razor, i. e., that not more independent elements are to be supposed than necessary. By placing the inward and outward aspects of substance on a par, it seems to render both primordial.

The one intelligible theory of the universe is that of objective idealism, that matter is effete mind, inveterate habits becoming physical laws. But before this can be accepted it must show itself capable of explaining the tridimensionality of space, the laws of motion, and the general characteristics of the universe, with mathematical clearness and precision; for no less should be demanded of every Philosophy.

Modern mathematics is replete with ideas which may be applied to philosophy. I can only notice one or two. The manner in which mathematicians generalise is very instructive. Thus, painters are accustomed to think of a picture as consisting geometrically of the intersections of its plane by rays of light from the natural objects to the eye. But geometers use a generalised perspective. For instance, in the figure let O be the eye, let A B C D E be the edgewise view of any plane, and let a f e D c be the edgewise view of another plane. The geometers draw rays through O cutting both these planes, and treat the points of intersection of each ray with one plane as representing the point of intersection of the same ray with the other plane. Thus, e represents E, in the painter's way. D represents itself. C is represented by c, which is further from the eye; and A is represented by a which is on the other side of the eye. Such generalisation is not bound down to sensuous images. Further, according to this mode of representation every point on one plane represents a point on the other, and every point on the latter is represented by a point on the former. But how about the point f which is in a direction from O parallel to the represented plane, and how about the point B which is in a direction parallel to the representing plane? Some will say that these are exceptions; but modern mathematics does not allow exceptions which can be annulled by generalisation. As a point moves from C to D and thence to E and off toward infinity, the corresponding point on the other plane moves from c to D and thence to e and toward f. But this second point can pass through f to a; and when it is there the first point has arrived at A. We therefore say that the first point has passed through infinity, and that every line joins in to itself somewhat like an oval. Geometers talk of the parts of lines at an infinite distance as points. This is a kind of generalisation very efficient in mathematics.


Modern views of measurement have a philosophical aspect. There is an indefinite number of systems of measuring along a line; thus, a perspective representation of a scale on one line may be taken to measure another, although of course such measurements will not agree with what we call the distances of points on the latter line. To establish a system of measurement on a line we must assign a distinct number to each point of it, and for this purpose we shall plainly have to suppose the numbers carried out into an infinite number of places of decimals. These numbers must be ranged along the line in unbroken sequence. Further, in order that such a scale of numbers should be of any use, it must be capable of being shifted into new positions, each number continuing to be attached to a single distinct point. Now it is found that if this is true for "imaginary" as well as for real points (an expression which I cannot stop to elucidate), any such shifting will necessarily leave two numbers attached to the same points as before. So that when the scale is moved over the line by any continuous series of shiftings of one kind, there are two points which no numbers on the scale can ever reach, except the numbers fixed there. This pair of points, thus unattainable in measurement, is called the Absolute. These two points may be distinct and real, or they may coincide, or they may be both imaginary. As an example of a linear quantity with a double absolute we may take probability, which ranges from an unattainable absolute certainty against a proposition to an equally unattainable absolute certainty for it. A line, according to ordinary notions, we have seen is a linear quantity where the two points at infinity coincide. A velocity is another example. A train going with infinite velocity from Chicago to New York would be at all the points on the line at the very same instant, and if the time of transit were reduced to less than nothing it would be moving in the other direction. An angle is a familiar example of a mode of magnitude with no real immeasurable values. One of the questions philosophy has to consider is whether the development of the universe is like the increase of an angle, so that it proceeds forever without tending toward anything unattained, which I take to be the Epicurean view, or whether the universe sprang from a chaos in the infinitely distant past to tend toward something different in the infinitely distant future, or whether the universe sprang from nothing in the past to go on indefinitely toward a point in the infinitely distant future, which, were it attained, would be the mere nothing from which it set out.

The doctrine of the absolute applied to space comes to this, at either—

First, space is, as Euclid teaches, both unlimited and immeasurable, so that the infinitely distant parts of any plane seen in perspective appear as a straight line, in which case the sum of the three angles of a triangle amounts to 180°; or,

Second, space is immeasurable but limited, so that the infinitely distant parts of any plane seen in perspective appear as a circle, beyond which all is blackness, and in this case the sum of the three angles of a triangle is less than 180° by an amount proportional to the area of the triangle; or,

Third, space is unlimited but finite, (like the surface of a sphere,) so that it has no infinitely distant parts; but a finite journey along any straight line would bring one back to his original position, and looking off with an unobstructed view one would see the back of his own head enormously magnified, in which case the sum of the three angles of a triangle exceeds 180° by an amount proportional to the area.

Which of these three hypotheses is true we know not. The largest triangles we can measure are such as have the earth's orbit for base, and the distance of a fixed star for altitude. The angular magnitude resulting from subtracting the sum of the two angles at the base of such a triangle from 180° is called the star's parallax. The parallaxes of only about forty stars have been measured as yet. Two of them come out negative, that of Arided (α Cygni), a star of magnitude 1-1/2, which is -0."082, according to C. A. F. Peters, and that of a star of magnitude 7-3/4, known as Piazzi III 422, which is -0."045 according to R. S. Ball. But these negative parallaxes are undoubtedly to be attributed to errors of observation; for the probable error of such a determination is about ±0."075, and it would be strange indeed if we were to be able to see, as it were, more than half way round space, without being able to see stars with larger negative parallaxes. Indeed, the very fact that of all the parallaxes measured only two come out negative would be a strong argument that the smallest parallaxes really amount to +0."1, were it not for the reflexion that the publication of other negative parallaxes may have been suppressed. I think we may feel confident that the parallax of the furthest star lies somewhere between -0."05 and +0."15, and within another century our grandchildren will surely know whether the three angles of a triangle are greater or less than 180°,—that they are exactly that amount is what nobody ever can be justified in concluding. It is true that according to the axioms of geometry the sum of the three sides of a triangle are precisely 180°; but these axioms are now exploded, and geometers confess that they, as geometers, know not the slightest reason for supposing them to be precisely true. They are expressions of our inborn conception of space, and as such are entitled to credit, so far as their truth could have influenced the formation of the mind. But that affords not the slightest reason for supposing them exact.

Now, metaphysics has always been the ape of mathematics. Geometry suggested the idea of a demonstrative system of absolutely certain philosophical principles; and the ideas of the metaphysicians have at all times been in large part drawn from mathematics. The metaphysical axioms are imitations of the geometrical axioms; and now that the latter have been thrown overboard, without doubt the former will be sent after them. It is evident, for instance, that we can have no reason to think that every phenomenon in all its minutest details is precisely determined by law. That there is an arbitrary element in the universe we see,—namely, its variety. This variety must be attributed to spontaneity in some form.

Had I more space, I now ought to show how important for philosophy is the mathematical conception of continuity. Most of what is true in Hegel is a darkling glimmer of a conception which the mathematicians had long before made pretty clear, and which recent researches have still further illustrated.

Among the many principles of Logic which find their application in Philosophy, I can here only mention one. Three conceptions are perpetually turning up at every point in every theory of logic, and in the most rounded systems they occur in connection with one another. They are conceptions so very broad and consequently indefinite that they are hard to seize and may be easily overlooked. I call them the conceptions of First, Second, Third. First is the conception of being or existing independent of anything else. Second is the conception of being relative to, the conception of reaction with, something else. Third is the conception of mediation, whereby a first and second are brought into relation. To illustrate these ideas, I will show how they enter into those we have been considering. The origin of things, considered not as leading to anything, but in itself, contains the idea of First, the end of things that of Second, the process mediating between them that of Third. A philosophy which emphasises the idea of the One, is generally a dualistic philosophy in which the conception of Second receives exaggerated attention; for this One (though of course involving the idea of First) is always the other of a manifold which is not one. The idea of the Many, because variety is arbitrariness and arbitrariness is repudiation of any Secondness, has for its principal component the conception of First. In psychology Feeling is First, Sense of reaction Second, General conception Third, or mediation. In biology, the idea of arbitrary sporting is First, heredity is Second, the process whereby the accidental characters become fixed is Third. Chance is First, Law is Second, the tendency to take habits is Third. Mind is First, Matter is Second, Evolution is Third.

Such are the materials out of which chiefly a philosophical theory ought to be built, in order to represent the state of knowledge to which the nineteenth century has brought us. Without going into other important questions of philosophical architectonic, we can readily foresee what sort of a metaphysics would appropriately be constructed from those conceptions. Like some of the most ancient and some of the most recent speculations it would be a Cosmogonic Philosophy. It would suppose that in the beginning,—infinitely remote,—there was a chaos of unpersonalised feeling, which being without connection or regularity would properly be without existence. This feeling, sporting here and there in pure arbitrariness, would have started the germ of a generalising tendency. Its other sportings would be evanescent, but this would have a growing virtue. Thus, the tendency to habit would be started; and from this with the other principles of evolution all the regularities of the universe would be evolved. At any time, however, an element of pure chance survives and will remain until the world becomes an absolutely perfect, rational, and symmetrical system, in which mind is at last crystallised in the infinitely distant future.

That idea has been worked out by me with elaboration. It accounts for the main features of the universe as we know it,—the characters of time, space, matter, force, gravitation, electricity, etc. It predicts many more things which new observations can alone bring to the test. May some future student go over this ground again, and have the leisure to give his results to the world.





If I had to be the judge of M. Zola I could be only a very partial judge. To me the books of Zola are, with those of Dostoyewski and Tolstoï, the only ones which have struck a fresh tone in the literary monotony of this quarter of a century, in which it is said the political levelling and the general abasement of character extend even to the republic of letters. Thus I am partial to Zola, for, as the chief of a school which pushes the science of psychiatry far into the field of psychology and of sociology, I find in Zola an ally the more valuable that he has not been sought and that he reigns in a very different empire. To the scientific charlatans who deny, as does M. Colajanni, the importance and the gravity of alcoholism, its associations with crime and degeneracy, "L'Assommoir" is perhaps the best of refutations. "Germinal" and "La Fortune des Rougon" give us the demonstration of that cruelty which is born for the crowd and in the crowd, and both prove the influence that criminals and lunatics have in rebellions. Zola is the only one of the Latin race who endeavors to introduce the scientific method into literary work.

His romances are modern histories which are founded upon living data, as histories in general are on dead data. And in history he knows also how to employ soberness, by contenting himself with a very simple sketch, disdaining the vulgar tricks which are as easy to invent as they are far from the truth.

I ought to be still more partial to "La Bête Humaine"; for, with a generosity not very frequent in men of letters, M. Zola avows that he had recourse to my "Homme Criminel" and my "Homme de Génie" for the material for his romance. Nevertheless, I cannot forbear mixing some criticism with the praises merited by this work, for I do not find satisfied by it that which I regard more than my personal vanity: my love of truth. In "La Bête Humaine" all those artifices which the romanticists had accustomed us to, and from which Zola was freed, reappear, and that alas too often!

In the first place, it is a sufficiently strange fatality that the same knife that was given as a mark of conjugal love should be by turns the instrument of every murder committed, and that all the assassinations, derailments, and suicides invariably occur at the Croix-de-Maufras, where the first lewd practices of the President Grandmorin took place. That a great number of criminals should be congregated in the small enclosure of a second-rate railway station and of its approaches, is in itself a strange fact, but it is still more strange that every crime always derives its character from that accursed place which already bears a fateful and dismal name. This is contrary to the laws of probability; for we know by statistics that the number of criminals, as well as of crimes, is always the same for a certain number of people, or a certain number of square miles, or years, and cannot be massed and restricted to a small space of ground, to so few individuals, and so short a time. This is an atavistic reversion, or, we might say, a return to the old ways of romance, in which fatal events always followed each other in certain fatal localities, or through particular men and by certain fated weapons, etc. In "La Fortune des Rougon," also, there is a certain musket which serves for the murder of gendarmes by a grandfather and his nephew, and of the nephew by gendarmes; as if the cause of the fatality was not the hereditary instinct, but this silent and unconscious instrument.

However, the greatest fault is not here; but rather in the delineation of character. Zola, who, in my opinion, has admirably depicted people poisoned by alcohol, and the common middle classes of the towns and of the country, has not studied criminals according to nature: undoubtedly because the latter are not so easily met with; nor allow themselves to be studied even in prisons. Zola's figures of criminals give me the false pictorial effect produced by certain photographs taken from portraits, and not from the living subjects. For this reason it is then that I, who have studied thousands and thousands of criminals, should not know how to class his Roubaud, a good clerk and a good husband, who on accidentally discovering the secret of the old amours of his wife with Grandmorin, which were not yet done with, throws himself upon her, wishes to kill her, finally changes his mind, and ends by deciding on the murder of the pseudo-adulterer, with the complicity of his wife. Can he be called a criminal through passion? But then it is she that he should have killed, or at least the adulterer being killed he should have repented of it. And again, criminals through passion are, like Roubaud, very good and respectable people, but in their crimes they rush blindly and headlong forward, without accomplices, without premeditation, and without artifices. And they repent, they confess: they are the only criminals who feel remorse. He has no remorse; for some time he leads a life of revenge, and, afterwards, suddenly, he gives himself up to vice, to wine, to gambling, and forgets his wife, and he is jealous of her no more; on the contrary, indifferent, he assists in her infidelities. Can he be called a born criminal, a bête? But then how explain that he had lived so long without vices, free from debauchery, and that he had been so good a clerk? He could still be a criminal incidentally; but for a correct, steady, quiet man, as a railway official ought to be, would the discovery of the old amour of his wife be a proportionate reason for him to commit a premeditated murder, the greatest of crimes? And then, as we shall see, criminaloids are born criminals in part; they have many of the latters' psychological and physical characteristics. Now Roubaud has a full beard, red hair, and quick eyes: the only anomalies are meeting eyebrows, a low forehead, and a flat head: nothing is said of hysterical or epileptical ancestors.

According to Henry Héricourt (Revue Bleue, p. 14), M. Zola was inspired by a recent trial, that of the apothecary Fenayron, who is said to have had much resemblance to Roubaud. Marin Fenayron, the apothecary, was a man of forty-one, intelligent, steady, and industrious. He had married, twelve years before, the youngest daughter of his old employer, whom he had succeeded. His wife, who was eighteen years old at the time of her marriage, and who had consented to the union only with repugnance, was not slow to deceive him, and soon formed an intimacy with his assistant. This triangular relation lasted a time, not precisely stated by the proceedings, but sufficiently long for Gabrielle Fenayron, tired of her first lover, to take the opportunity to replace him by several others. The husband, who during this time has become a gambler and idle fellow, is informed of the misconduct of his wife. Although he did not put much credit in this at first, yet in the quarrels which followed and were continually renewed he ended by abusing her, striking her, and menacing her with death: and at last he obtained from her the confession of her relations with his old assistant Aubert, then himself established as a chemist. According to her recital, the woman could obtain the pardon of her husband only by the promise that she would assist him in his plans of revenge, and she had consented through shame without protesting. Then, by the order of her husband, she writes several letters to her old lover, renews relations with him, and finally, under the pretext of a country excursion, draws him into an ambush where she aided her husband in killing him with a hammer. It will be remembered that Aubert, after the first blow, turned round, recognised his murderer, and prepared to defend himself: but his mistress threw herself on him, twined her arms about him, and the husband could thus finish his work in safety.

After the crime there was no remorse on the part of either the one or the other. Far to the contrary. The criminal pair delivered themselves anew to their accustomed distractions with the most perfect tranquillity, and the performance appeared without doubt very natural to Fenayron, for one day, meeting his mother-in-law, he accosted her, saying, "Well, Mother, it is done. I have killed Aubert."

But let it be remarked how this Marin Fenayron, who figures as an occasional criminal, this time reveals himself a criminal by habit, meditating and premeditating his vengeance, waiting two long months before putting it into execution, surrounding himself with every precaution to secure immunity for the crime. Such a one certainly is not the violent man whom passion blinds and who is instantaneously inflamed with anger. It is rather the degenerated man with whom predisposition has found the opportunity to reveal and to develop itself. It is necessary to add that Marin had a brother feeble in mind: an hereditary defect.

The true bête humaine, Jacques Lantier, possesses the anatomical characters of the born criminal; "his thick black locks were curled, like his moustaches, so heavy and dark that they increased greatly the natural paleness of his complexion." Moreover, the inclination to crime in him was justified by inheritance. And this passion for murder which supplants the sensual passion is truly intoxicating. Where the author has gone astray is where he makes Jacques find pleasure for a considerable time with Séverine without any thought of murder; while these unfortunates, at least all that I have studied, do not experience sexual pleasure except in murder. On the other hand, the vertigo of epileptic amnesia which Zola often causes Jacques to suffer, is based on fact and actually accords with the most recent observations:

"He had finally found himself on the brink of the Seine without being able to explain to himself how. That of which he retained a very clear impression, was of having thrown from the top of the bank the knife that his hand held clutched in his pocket. Then he knew no more, stupefied and absent of mind, out of which the other, and the knife too, had entirely vanished…. He was in his narrow chamber in the Rue Cardinet, fallen across his bed, fully dressed. Instinct had brought him back there, as a worn out dog crawls to his kennel. Besides he remembered neither having ascended the stairs, nor of having slept. He awoke from a heavy sleep, scared to re-enter abruptly into possession of himself, as after a profound fainting fit. Perhaps he had slept three hours, perhaps three days."

Never have I found a more perfect description of that which I have termed criminal, epileptoid vertigo. But here again is a mistake of fact arising from a velleity not content with knowledge. It is that the novelist several times explains these bloodthirsty sexual instincts by a peculiar kind of atavism: the tendency, namely, to avenge the evil that women had done to his race; the spite accumulated from male to male since the first deceit in the depths of caverns. This is an error of fact. Primitive women have never done wrong to men. More feeble than men, they have always been their victims. These bloodthirsty sexual instincts are explained by a quite different atavism, which goes back to inferior animals, to the conflict between the males for the conquest of the female, who remained for the strongest; and by the blows that were inflicted on the woman in order to reduce her to conjugal slavery, conflicts of which traces still remain in Roman history (the Rape of the Sabines), and in the nuptial rites of almost all European countries, and in those of New Zealand, where the husband knocks down his wife before carrying her off to the matrimonial bed.

Another technical defect is, that a man who has arrived at the degree of degeneracy that Jacques has, ought to have still other vices: as great violence of character, impulsiveness without cause, profound immorality; while, as a matter of fact, except in moments of sexual fury, he appears as a good and honorable man. However, even recognising the force of his bloody sexual monomania, I find that instinctive aversion, characteristic of the good man, to be proper which Jacques feels at the thought of killing some one who is not a young and beautiful woman; for instance, to killing his rival, notwithstanding the favorable circumstances and the suggestions of Séverine.

"To kill that man, my God! Had he the right to do it? When a fly troubled him he would crush it with a blow. One day when a cat had got between his legs, he had broken its back with a kick. But to kill this man, his fellow-creature! He must reason with himself, he must prove his right to murder; the right of the strong whom the weak are troublesome to…. But afterwards that appeared to him monstrous, impracticable, impossible. The civilised man revolted in him, the acquired force of education, the slow and indestructible concretion of inherited ideas. His cultivated brain, filled with scruples, repelled murder with horror, as soon as he began to reason about it. Yes, to kill in a case of necessity, in a transport of rage! But to kill voluntarily by design, and from interest, no never, never could he do it!"

All that is very true. Where the author has certainly copied after nature is in the personality of Séverine. She is not a true criminal; sensual, depraved though still young, experiencing love only in adultery. Though deceitful, she is nevertheless a good wife and a good housekeeper up to the day where chance had thrown her into evil doing. She is united to her husband, and for that reason she becomes his accomplice in crime, without horror or dread; but afterwards, seized with love for Jacques, she experiences dislike for her husband and wishes to turn the lover into his murderer.

"The need increased in her of having Jacques for herself, all for herself, to live together, days and nights, without ever more parting. Her hatred of her husband grew greater, the mere presence of this man threw her into a morbid and intolerable condition of excitement. Tractable, and with all the amiability of a delicate woman, she became enraged at everything in which he was concerned; she flew into a passion at the least obstacle he put to her wishes…. The stupid tranquillity in which she saw him, the indifferent glance and manner with which he received her anger, his round back, his enlarged stomach, all that greasy dullness which has the appearance of happiness, made her exasperation complete. Oh! to go far away from him…. One day when he returned, pale and livid, to say that in passing before a locomotive he had felt the buffer graze his elbow, she thought to herself that if he were dead she would be free…. She would go with Jacques to America…. She who at other times so rarely went out now conceived a passion for going to see the steamships sail. She would go to the pier, and would lean on her elbow watching the smoke of the departing vessels…. [And at the decisive moment] she threw herself passionately on Jacques's neck. She fastened her burning lips to his. How she loved him and how she hated the other! Oh! if she had dared, twenty times already would she have done the deed … but she felt herself too gentle, it required the hand of a man. And this kiss which would never come to an end, was all that she could communicate to him of her courage, the full possession that she promised him, the communion of her body. When she finally withdrew her lips nothing more was left to her; she believed that she had passed completely into him."

And is this, then, the woman criminal, the criminaloid, as I have called her (Vol. II of my "Uomo Delinquente")? A criminal who, when she is not urged onward by opportunities, (and these opportunities always have love for their origin,) is not capable of any true crime, and who when she commits it always makes use of the arm of another; and this latter is always her lover, for she finds herself too feeble to accomplish it herself. Her anatomical characters, as well as her physiognomy, if not those of the born criminal, have at least some features which those of other females have not, and which unite her with the animal. "She had very black and very thick hair, which stood like a helmet on her forehead, a long face, a strong mouth, and large blue-green eyes."

M. Héricourt justly finds that many features of this woman are to be met with in Gabrielle Fenayron, the accomplice of her husband. Gabrielle Fenayron is about thirty years of age: she is a tall dark woman with a very pale complexion; her hair is very black, the oval of her face elongated, and her eyes have a certain hardness that accentuate the projecting and unsightly cheek-bones. Gabrielle Fenayron, as we know, pretended to have been terrorised by the threats which her husband had uttered against her, and to have been infatuated, on the other hand, by the love that she felt for him; she had thus submitted her will in order to repair her fault. In the appreciation of this system of defence, the bill of indictment stated that the energy and the coolness exhibited by this woman in the preparation of assassination, the facilities that she had during the course of the long premeditation which had preceded the murder to warn Aubert without danger to herself, induced the belief that she had in the commission of the crime yielded to a profound hatred against her old lover. But this interpretation appears to me, psychologically, to be a clumsy and a forced one. It is not necessary to have recourse to motives left mysterious in order to explain the absolutely strange conduct of some women.

Perhaps Zola would have completed his picture if he had known Gabrielle Gompard; who allies and unites the passion of murder with prostitution when she attaches herself to a wicked man, but who grows animated for virtue and denounces herself an accomplice when she becomes the mistress of a virtuous man. These women change their personality in changing a lover, and then make a point of playing a role in the miserable world where their fickle passions destroy them.

Less happy, perhaps, has Zola been in the case of Flora, "fair, strong, with thick lips, and great greenish eyes, with low forehead set beneath heavy hair." According to the plot of the novel, she should be a criminal of passion. A good woman throughout her whole life, she commits a crime through jealousy. But the method of the crime (the derailment of a train with a view to striking her rival and her lover) is not that which is chosen by criminals of passion, who are unable to meditate long on their crimes, and who kill in day-light without premeditation. It is true that it is natural to the mind of female criminals to deal indirect and very complicated blows, and without proportion to the end to be attained: but all this is only the effect of their weakness. In a virago as strong as Flora is depicted, (a bellicose maid with the strong and hard arms of a boy,) this reason fails to satisfy us; and when she meditates her crime she is urged much less by thoughts of revenge, than by a necessity to commit the wrong in order to become cured of her own; she is then a born criminal, an epileptic rather than a creature of passion; and in this sense the attribute that he gives to Flora of a monstrous muscular force, that is observed very frequently in born criminals, would be reasonable. Thus the girl who always wore masculine clothes had a remarkable muscular power. Her weapon was a hammer, and with it she struck down many men.

I knew at Turin a murderess, a courtesan, who when a model in Paris, killed for money and love an artist, whose portrait she carried tattooed on her arm. This unfortunate woman fought two or three times with the five wardens of her prison. When liberated she was the head of all the scoundrels of Turin, challenging them to contest. One day even I found her in a red shirt, with epaulettes on. "It is my ensign," said she to me, "I am the captain of the scoundrels of Turin." But all these women are very different from Flora. Of course, a single and only love is wanting in their case.

It will finally be said, that the propensity which casts the two criminaloid women into the arms of the born criminal, the bête humaine, is copied from nature. As a matter of fact, there does exist a true elective affinity which unites the two sexes of these unfortunates; a cause that gives rise to criminal families, which form the nucleus of gangs. Nevertheless, the demonstration of it in this instance is not evident, for in crowding a large number of criminals into so narrow a space, great liberty of choice is excluded.



Secretions.—Dr. Ottolenghi[35] has made in my laboratory a number of observations with 15 born criminals and 3 occasional criminals, for the purpose of ascertaining the proportional quantities of urea, chlorides, and phosphates eliminated under the same alimentary conditions. Here are the average results:

  Urea per 100 grammes of the weight {Born criminals 0·39
                        of the body {Occasional criminals 8·53

  Phosphates do {Born criminals 0·024
                                      {Occasional criminals 0·0195

  Chlorides do {Born criminals 0·28
                                      {Occasional criminals 0·29

[35] Journal of the Medical Academy of Turin, 1888, Archiv. di Psichiatria, Scienze penali ed Antropologia Criminale, Turin, 1888, x, Lombroso.

There is therefore amongst the born criminals a diminution in the elimination of urea; and an augmentation in that of phosphates, while the elimination of chlorides does not vary. He has obtained the same results in the case of psychical epilepsy; while the occasional criminal offers no anomaly.

In connection with this it may be stated, that, on the other hand, Mr. Rivano[36] found amongst epileptics on the days of paroxysm a greater quantity of urea and less phosphates.

[36] Archiv. di Freniatria, Turin, 1889.

Power of Smell.—Dr. Ottolenghi has also studied the power of smell amongst criminals. He has contrived with this object in view an osmometer, containing 12 aqueous solutions of the essence of cloves varying from 1 part in 50,000 to 1 part in 100. He made his observations in several series, one each day only; the conditions of ventilation being about the same, and the solutions being renewed for each observation, to avoid errors caused by evaporation. He looked first for the lowest degree at which olfactory perception began. In former experiments he proceeded differently. He disarranged the different bottles, and requested the subject to replace the same in the order of the intensity of their odor. He has divided the errors of disposition which resulted into serious and less serious errors, according as, in the order of the solutions, there occurred a distance of several or only one degree. He examined 80 criminals (50 men, 30 women) and 50 normal persons (30 men, mostly chosen amongst the prison warders, and 20 respectable women). Here are the results:

While amongst the normal males the average power of smell varied between the third and fourth degree of the osmometer, amongst the criminals it varied from the fifth to the sixth degree; 44 individuals had no power of smell at all. While the honest men made an average of three errors in the disposition of the bottles, the criminals made five, of which three were so-called serious ones.

The normal women touched the fourth degree of the osmometer, the criminal women the sixth degree; with two the power of smell was wanting entirely. While the normal women made an average of four faults in the disposition, the criminal women made five.

In eight cases of anosmia (loss of the sense of smell), presented in a certain set of criminals, two cases were due to nasal deformities; the others were a kind of smell-blindness; the subjects were susceptible to odoriferous excitations, but were unable to specify them and still less to classify them.

To verify what was really true in the assertion,[37] that criminal offenders against morality and customs have a highly developed power of smell, he examined this power in 30 ravishers and 40 prostitutes. In the former he found olfactory blindness in the ratio of 33 to 100; the remainder possessed an average power corresponding to the fifth degree of the osmometer. Arranging, then, the different solutions according to their intensity, he observed three so-called serious errors. In 19 per cent. of the girls submitted, he found olfactory blindness; and for the others an average acuteness corresponding to the fifth degree of the osmometer. Comparing these results with those obtained for the normal subjects and for regular criminals, the power of smell appears much less developed in the class just considered.

[37] Krafft-Ebing, Psychopatia sexualis, 4th ed., Stuttgart, 1889.—Archiv. di Psichiatria, 1889.

Taste.—Dr. Ottolenghi has also examined the sense of taste of 100 criminals (60 born criminals, 20 occasional criminals, and 20 criminal women). He compared them with 20 men taken from the lower classes, 20 professors and students, 20 respectable women, and 40 prostitutes. These series of experiments were made with 11 solutions of strychnine (graduated 1/80000 to 1/50000) and of saccharine (from 1/100000 to 1/10000), and 10 of chloride of sodium (1/500 to 3/100). The criminals showed remarkable obtuseness. The lowest degree of acuteness was found in the proportion of 38 to 100 in born criminals, 30 to 100 in occasional criminals, 20 to 100 in criminal women; while we found it in 14 per cent. of the professors and the students, in 25 per cent. of the men from the lower classes, in 30 per cent. of the prostitutes, and finally in 10 per cent. of the respectable women.

Walk.—A study which I have made with Perachia,[38] shows us that, contrary to the case of normal men, the step of the left foot of criminals is generally longer than that of the right; besides they turn off from the line of the axis more to the right than to the left; their left foot, on being placed on the ground, forms with this line an angle of deviation more pronounced than the angle formed by their right foot; all these characteristics are very often found among epileptics.

[38] Sur la Marche suivant la Méthode de Gilles de la Tourette.

Gestures.—It is an ancient habit among criminals to communicate their thoughts by gestures. Avé-Lallemant describes a set of gestures used among German thieves,—a real language executed solely with the fingers, like the language of the deaf. Vidocq says that pickpockets, when they are watching a victim, give each other the signal of Saint John, which consists in putting their hand to their cravat or even in taking off their hat. But Pitré especially has published the most important information on this point. In his "Usi e Costumi della Sicilia" (Usages and Customs of Sicily,) he describes 48 special kinds of gestures employed by delinquents. This phenomenon is explained by the exaggerated mobility with which born criminals are endowed, as is the case with children.


The Skeleton.—Mr. Tenchini, having made studies upon 63 skeletons of criminals, has found in the proportion of 6 out of 100 cases, the perforation of the olecranon (the bony prominence at the back of the elbow) which one observes in 36 out of 100 Europeans, and in 34 out of 100 Polynesians; he likewise observed additional ribs and vertebræ in 10 cases out of 100 of them, and also too few, in the same proportion; which reminds us of the great variableness of these bones in the lower vertebrates. Lately he has even found in a criminal 4 sacral vertebræ too few, made up by 4 supplementary cervical vertebræ.

Madame Tarnorosky in her study of prostitutes, female thieves, and peasant women has demonstrated,[39] that the cranial capacity of prostitutes is inferior to that of female thieves and peasant women and particularly to that of women of good society;[40] vice versa, the zygomas (bones of the upper jaw) and the mandibles (lower jaw) were more developed among the prostitutes, who also exhibited a greater number of anomalies, in the proportion of 87 to 100, while the proportion of the female thieves showing anomalies was 79 to 100, and the proportion of peasant women was 12 to 100. The prostitutes had 33 in 100 of their parents addicted to drink, while the female thieves had 41 in 100 and the peasant women 16 in 100. Mr. De Albertis has found tattooing among 300 prostitutes of Genoa in the enormous proportion of 70 in 100.[41] He has also found the tactile sensibility of the women very much diminished: 3·6 millimetres to the right and 4 millimetres to the left.

                      50 100 100 50 50 50
                                                     (NORTH.) (SOUTH.) SOCIETY.
  Anteropost. diam. 17·7 17·8 17·9 18·3 18 18·3
  Max. trans. diam. 13·9 14·4 14·9 14·5 14·5 14·5
  Max. circumference 52·9 53·3 53·5 52·7 53·6 58·8
  Zygomatic dist. 11·4 11·3 11·2 10·9 11·4 11·3
  Mandib. biang.
    distance 10·1 10·18 9·1 9·1 9·9 9·8

[40] Archiv. di Psichiatria, Mierjeivki, 1887.—Ibid., 1888, p. 196.

[41] Arch. di Psichiatria, x, 1889.

Among criminal women, Saloalto has made studies altogether new; he has recognised among 130 female thieves the degenerative character, anomalies of the skull and of the physiognomy, in a less degree than among the men; he has found brachycephaly in 7, oxycephaly in 29, platycephaly in 7, the retreating forehead in 7, strabismus in 11, protruding ears in 6; the sense of touch was normal in 2 out of 100, the reflexions of the tendons decreasing in 4 out of 100, exaggerated in 12 out of 100.

Marro and Marselli have explained by sexual selection this enormous difference, which one also finds among epileptics and particularly in insane people; the men in fact do not choose ugly women with degenerative characters, while the women have no choice, and very often an ugly man, criminal, but vigorous, for this reason triumphs over all obstacles; sometimes he is even preferred. (Flaubert, "Correspondance," 1889.) Let us add that the cares of maternity soften the character of women, and augment in them the sentiment of pity.

Dr. Ottolenghi[42] has studied in my laboratory the wrinkles of 200 criminals and 200 normal persons (workingmen and peasants), and he has found that they occur earlier and much more frequently among the criminals; in fact, two to five times more so than among normal persons, with predominance of the zygomatic wrinkle (situated in the middle of each cheek), which wrinkle may well be called the wrinkle of vice, and is the characteristic wrinkle of criminals.

                            UNDER 25 YEARS. BETWEEN 25 AND 50 YEARS.
                           NORMAL. CRIMINAL. NORMAL. CRIMINAL.
  LOCATION. p. 100. p. 100. p. 100. p. 100.

  Wrinkles of the forehead 7·1 34 62 86
  Nasolabial wrinkles 22 69 62 78
  Zygomatic wrinkles 0 16 18 33

In criminal women (80) also, wrinkles have been found more frequent than in normal women, although here the difference is not so marked. One calls to mind at once the wrinkle of the sorcerers. It is enough to look at the bust of the celebrated Sicilian woman poisoner, preserved in the National Museum of Palermo, and whose face is one heap of wrinkles.

Dr. Ottolenghi, studying with me the frequency of canities (turning grey) and baldness in people, has demonstrated either absence or lateness of the same among criminals,[43] as also among epileptics and among cretins. Among the first, swindlers only tend to approach more the normal type.[44] On the other hand, among 280 criminal women canities was found more frequently, and baldness less frequently, than in the case of 200 honest workingmen.

  [43] La Calvizie, la Canizie e le Rughe nei normali,
  nei criminali negli epiletis e nei cretini
. Archiv. di
, 1889, x.

                                     p. 100. p. 100.

  400 Normal people 62·5 19
   80 Epileptics 31·5 12·7
   40 Cretins 11·7 13·5
  490 Criminals 25·9 48
        Thieves 24·4 2·6
        Swindlers 47 13·1
        Maimers 23·7 5·3
   80 Criminal women 45 9·7
  200 Honest women 60 13

We shall not terminate this part of our discussion without making mention of the beautiful discovery that we owe—it pleases us to state—to a lawyer, Mr. Anfosso. The tachyanthropometer which he has constructed is a real automatic measurer. (Archiv. di Psych., Art. IX. p. 173.) We might name it,—if the word did not possess a little too much local color,—an anthropometric guillotine; so quickly and with the precision of a machine, does it give the most important measurements of the body, which makes the practice of anthropometry very easy, even to people who are entire strangers to the science; and it facilitates, moreover, the examination of the description of individual criminals, the perfection of which will always remain one of the most glorious distinctions of M. Bertillon. And at the same time that this instrument renders services to the administration of justice, it permits on a grand scale observations which hitherto were only obtainable by the learned.

Experiments were made a short time ago by Mr. Rossi, who studied the result of these measurements in 100 criminals (nearly all thieves). He found the breadth of the span of the arms to be greater than the height of body in 88; and in 11 to be less. In 30 he found the right foot larger; in 58 he found the left foot larger; in 12 both feet equal. The right arms of 43 per cent. were longer than the left, and the left in 54 per cent. longer than the right. Which confirms to a marvellous degree the gaucherie, mancinism, or structural misproportion, that had before been indicated by dynamometry and the study of the walk of criminals.[45]

[45] Archiv. di Psichiatria, 1889, Vol. x. p. 191.

The very frequent recurrence of anatomical misproportion and gaucherie could not be better confirmed; and there are in this atavistic symptoms, for Rollet has observed in 42 anthropoids the left humerus to be longer than the right, in the proportion of 60 to 100, while among men the proportion is only 7 out of 100. (Revue Scientifique, 1889.)

This anatomical misproportion I have very recently verified with Mr. Ottolenghi by measurements of the two hands, the middle fingers, and the feet, right and left, in 90 normal persons and in 100 born criminals.[46] (Archiv. di Psichiatria, X. 8.)

                      HAND LONGER. MIDDLE FINGER. FOOT.
                       PER CENTUM. PER CENTUM. PER CENTUM.

  Normal persons 14·4 11 16·6 15·5 38·5 15·6
  Criminals 5 25 10 27 27 35
  Swindlers 4·3 13 13 21·7 21·7 26
  Ravishers 7 14·2 14·2 28·4 35·7 35·7
  Maimers 15 25 5 25 20 55
  Thieves 0 34·8 13 30·4 26 26·6
  Pickpockets 0 35 5 30 35 25

Tattooing.—I was under the belief that in this respect nothing more was to be said after the beautiful studies of Messrs. Lacassagne and Marro, and after my own.[47]

[47] See Nouvelle Revue; also my Uomo Delinquente, 4th ed., 1889.

However, the researches made by Messrs. Severi, Lucchini, and Boselli on 4,000 new criminals have given results of a high importance and first of all a proportion eight fold greater than that of the alienists of the same district (Florence and Lucca). The prevalency of this practice is enormous; it amounts to 40 in 100 among military criminals and to 33 in 100 among criminals under age; the women give a proportion of only 1·6 in 100, but this would be increased to 2 in 100 if we included certain kinds of fly-tattooing (tatouages mouches) resembling beauty spots, which are found even in high life prostitution.

What chiefly astonishes us in these researches, next to the frequency of the phenomena, is the specific character of the tattooings: their obscenity, the vaunting of crime, and the strange contrast of evil passions and the highest sentiments.

M. C…, aged 27 years, convicted at least fifty times for affrays, and the assaulting and wounding of men and horses, has the history of his crimes literally written on his skin; and in this respect, let us note that the infamous De Rosny, who only lately committed suicide in Lyons, had her body covered with tattooings in the form of erotic figures; one could read there the list of her lovers and the dates at which she left them.

F. L…, a carrier, aged 26 years, several times convicted, bears on his breast a heart pierced by a poniard (the sign of vengeance), and on his right hand a female singer of a café chantant, of whom he was enamoured. By the side of these tattooings, and others which propriety forbids us to cite,[48] one sees with surprise the picture of a tomb with the epitaph: "To my beloved father." Strange contradictions of the human mind!

[48] See Atlas de L'Homme Criminel. 1888. Alcan.

A certain B…, a deserter, has on his chest a St. George and the cross of the Legion of Honor, and on the right arm a woman, very little dressed, who drinks with the inscription: "Let us wet the interior a little."

Q. A…, a laborer, convicted many times for theft, expelled from France and Switzerland, has on his chest two Swiss gendarmes with the words "Long live the Republic!" On his right arm he has a heart pierced through, and at the side the head of a fish—a mackerel, to signify that he will poniard a bully, his rival.

We have seen on the left arm of another thief, a pot with a lemon tree, and the initials V. G. (vengeance); which in the strange language of the criminals means: treason, and, afterwards, revenge. He did not conceal from us the fact that his constant thought was to revenge himself on the woman who loved him and then abandoned him. His desire was to cut off her nose. His brother offered to perform the operation for him, but this he refused, reserving for himself the pleasure of executing his purpose when he should ultimately be liberated.

One sees, therefore, from these few examples, that there is among criminals a kind of hieroglyphical writing, but which is not regulated or fixed. The system is founded on daily happenings and slang, as would be the case among primitive mankind. Very often, in fact, a key signifies among thieves the silence of secrecy; and a death's-head (the bare skull), revenge. Sometimes points are used instead of figures. In this way one criminal marked himself with 17 points, which means, to his mind, that he proposes to inflict injury on his enemy seventeen times, whenever he meets with him.

The criminal tattooers of Naples have the habit of making long inscriptions on their bodies; but initials are used instead of words. Many Camorrists of Naples carry a tattooing which represents iron bars, behind which there is a prisoner and underneath the initials Q. F. Q. P. M.; which means: "Quando finiranno queste pene? Mai!" (When will these pains end? Never!) Others bear the epigraph C. G. P. V., etc., which means: "Courage, galeriens, pour voler et piler; nous devons tout mettre à sang et à feu!" (Courage, convicts, to steal and to rob; we must put all to the sword and fire!) We see here at once that certain forms of tattooing are employed by criminal federations, and serve as a sort of rallying-call. In Bavaria and in the South of Germany, the pickpockets, who are united together in real alliances, recognise each other by the epigraphic tattooing "T and L," which means Thal und Land (valley and country); words which they must exchange in a low voice when they meet each other, in order not to be denounced to the police. A thief R…, who has on his right arm a design representing two hands crossed, and the word union (unity) surrounded by a garland of flowers, told us that this tattooing is extensively adopted by malefactors in the South of France (Draguignan). According to the revelations made to us by emerited Camorrists, a lizard or a serpent denotes the first grade of this dangerous association.

I pass over in silence, and for good reasons, the tattooings spread over all the remaining parts of the body.

In the Revista de Antropologia Criminal, a new publication which has just appeared in Madrid, Mr. Sallilas has published an excellent study relative to the tattooing of Spanish criminals. According to him, this is a frequent custom among murderers. The predominance of the religious character is there noticeable, but always with the seal of lewd obscenity, universally observed. I have lately had occasion to verify up to what point the impulsion which leads criminals to inflict on themselves this strange operation, is atavistic. One of the most incorrigible thieves I have met, who has six brothers tattooed like himself, begged of me, notwithstanding he was half covered with the most obscene tattooings, to find him a professional tattooer who should complete what might well be called the carpeting of his skin. "When the tattooing is very odd and grotesque, and spreads over the whole body," he said, "it is for us thieves what the black dress coat and the decorated vest is to society. The more we are tattooed the greater is our esteem for one another; the more an individual is tattooed, the more authority has he over his companions. On the other hand, he who is not much tattooed enjoys no influence whatsoever with us; is not considered a thorough scoundrel, and has not the estimation of his fellows." "Very often," another told me, "when we visited prostitutes, and they saw us covered all over with tattooings, they overwhelmed us with presents, and gave us money instead of demanding it." If all that is not atavism, atavism does not exist in science.

Of this characteristic, of course, as of all the other characteristics of criminals, one may say that it is to be met with among normal people. But the chief thing here is its proportion, its commonness, and the exaggerated extent to which it is practised. Among honest, respectable people its peculiar complexion, its local and obscene coloring, and the useless, vain, and imprudent display of crime are wanting.

Again, it will probably be objected that this is not psychology, and that only through the latter science can we trace out the picture of the criminal. I could well answer here, that these tattooings are really psychological phenomena. And I may add that Mr. Ferri, in the introductory part of his work on Homicides, has given us in addition to a real statistical psychology, an analysis of all criminal propensities and of their extent before and after the crime.

Among born criminals, for example, 42 in 100 always deny the crime with which they are charged, while among occasional criminals, and in particular among maimers, only 21 in 100 deny all; of the first 1 in 100, and of the second 2 in 100 confess their crime with tears; etc.[49]

[49] L'Omicidio, Turin, 1890.


[Prof. Lombroso has in preparation for this series of criminological studies, an essay on the physiognomy of the Anarchists.—ED.]



[50] From Holtzendorff and Virchow's Sammlung gemeinverständlicher wissenschaftlicher Vorträge, Heft 67. Hamburg: Verlagsanstalt, etc.


#Universal interest in the problem.#

For two and a half thousand years, both trained and untrained minds have striven in vain to solve the problem known as the squaring of the circle. Now that geometers have at last succeeded in giving a rigid demonstration of the impossibility of solving the problem with ruler and compasses, it seems fitting and opportune to cast a glance into the nature and history of this very ancient problem. And this will be found all the more justifiable in view of the fact that the squaring of the circle, at least in name, is very widely known outside of the narrow limits of professional mathematicians.

#The resolution of the French Academy.#

The Proceedings of the French Academy for the year 1775 contain at page 61 the resolution of the Academy not to examine from that time on, any so-called solutions of the quadrature of the circle that might be handed in. The Academy was driven to this determination by the overwhelming multitude of professed solutions of the famous problem, which were sent to it every month in the year,—solutions which of course were an invariable attestation of the ignorance and self-consciousness of their authors, but which suffered collectively from a very important error in mathematics: they were wrong. Since that time all professed solutions of the problem received by the Academy find a sure haven in the waste-basket, and remain unanswered for all time. The circle-squarer, however, sees in this high-handed manner of rejection only the envy of the great towards his grand intellectual discovery. He is determined to meet with recognition, and appeals therefore to the public. The newspapers must obtain for him the appreciation that scientific societies have denied. And every year the old mathematical sea-serpent more than once disports itself in the columns of our papers, that a Mr. N. N., of P. P., has at last solved the problem of the quadrature of the circle.

#General ignorance of quadrators.#

But what kind of people are these circle-squarers, when examined by the light? Almost always they will be found to be imperfectly educated persons, whose mathematical knowledge does not exceed that of a modern college freshman. It is seldom that they know accurately what the requirements of the problem are and what its nature; they never know the two and a half thousand years' history of the problem; and they have no idea whatever of the important investigations and results which have been made with reference to the problem by great and real mathematicians in every century down to our time.

#A cyclometric type.#

Yet great as is the quantum of ignorance that circle-squarers intermix with their intellectual products, the lavish supply of conceit and self-consciousness with which they season their performances is still greater. I have not far to go to furnish a verification of this. A book printed in Hamburg in the year 1840 lies before me, in which the author thanks Almighty God at every second page that He has selected him and no one else to solve the 'problem phenomenal' of mathematics, "so long sought for, so fervently desired, and attempted by millions." After the modest author has proclaimed himself the unmasker of Archimedes's deceit, he says: "It thus has pleased our mother nature to withhold this mathematical jewel from the eye of human investigation, until she thought it fitting to reveal truth to simplicity."

This will suffice to show the great self-consciousness of the author. But it does not suffice to prove his ignorance. He has no conception of mathematical demonstration; he takes it for granted that things are so because they seem so to him. Errors of logic, also, are abundantly found in his book. But apart from this general incorrectness let us see wherein the real gist of his fallacy consists. It requires considerable labor to find out what this is from the turgid language and bombastic style in which the author has buried his conclusions. But it is this. The author inscribes a square in a circle, circumscribes another about it, then points out that the inside square is made up of four congruent triangles, whereas the circumscribed square is made up of eight such triangles; from which fact, seeing that the circle is larger than the one square and smaller than the other, he draws the bold conclusion that the circle is equal in area to six such triangles. It is hardly conceivable that a rational being could infer that something which is greater than 4 and less than 8 must necessarily be 6. But with a man that attempts the squaring of the circle this kind of ratiocination is possible.

Similarly in the case of all other attempted solutions of the problem, either logical fallacies or violations of elementary arithmetical or geometrical truths may be pointed out. Only they are not always of such a trivial nature as in the book just mentioned.

Let us now inquire whence the inclination arises which leads people to take up the quadrature of the circle and to attempt to solve it.

#The allurements of the problem.#

Attention must first be called to the antiquity of the problem. A quadrature was attempted in Egypt 500 years before the exodus of the Israelites. Among the Greeks the problem never ceased to play a part that greatly influenced the progress of mathematics. And in the middle ages also the squaring of the circle sporadically appears as the philosopher's stone of mathematics. The problem has thus never ceased to be dealt with and considered. But it is not by the antiquity of the problem that circle-squarers are enticed, but by the allurement which everything exerts that is calculated to raise the individual out of the mass of ordinary humanity, and to bind about his temples the laurel crown of celebrity. It is ambition that spurred men on in ancient Greece and still spurs them on in modern times to crack this primeval mathematical nut. Whether they are competent thereto is a secondary consideration. They look upon the squaring of the circle as the grand prize of a lottery that can just as well fall to their lot as to that of any other. They do not remember that—

"Toil before honor is placed by sagacious decrees of Immortals,"

and that it requires years of continued studies to gain possession of the mathematical weapons that are indispensably necessary to attack the problem, but which even in the hands of the most distinguished mathematical strategists have not sufficed to take the stronghold.

#About the only problem known to the lay world.#

But how is it, we must further ask, that it happens to be the squaring of the circle and not some other unsolved mathematical problem upon which the efforts of people are bestowed who have no knowledge of mathematics yet busy themselves with mathematical questions? The question is answered by the fact that the squaring of the circle is about the only mathematical problem that is known to the unprofessional world,—at least by name. Even among the Greeks the problem was very widely known outside of mathematical circles. In the eyes of the Grecian layman, as at present among many of his modern brethren, occupation with this problem was regarded as the most important and essential business of mathematicians. In fact they had a special word to designate this species of activity; namely, τετραγωνίζειν, which means to busy one's self with the quadrature. In modern times, also, every educated person, though he be not a mathematician, knows the problem by name, and knows that it is insolvable, or at least, that despite the efforts of the most famous mathematicians it has not yet been solved. For this reason the phrase "to square the circle," is now used in the sense of attempting the impossible.

#Belief that rewards have been offered.#

But in addition to the antiquity of the problem, and the fact also that it is known to the lay world, we have yet a third factor to point out that induces people to take up with it. This is the report that has been spread abroad for a hundred years now, that the Academies, the Queen of England, or some other influential person, has offered a great prize to be given to the one that first solves the problem. As a matter of fact we find the hope of obtaining this large prize of money the principal incitement to action with many circle-squarers. And the author of the book above referred to begs his readers to lend him their assistance in obtaining the prizes offered.

#The problem among mathematicians.#

Although the opinion is widely current in the unprofessional world, that professional mathematicians are still busied with the solution of the problem, this is by no means the case. On the contrary, for some two hundred years, the endeavors of many considerable mathematicians have been solely directed towards demonstrating with exactness that the problem is insolvable. It is, as a rule,—and naturally,—more difficult to prove that something is impossible than to prove that it is possible. And thus it has happened, that up to within a few years ago, despite the employment of the most varied and the most comprehensive methods of modern mathematics, no one succeeded in supplying the wished-for demonstration of the problem's impossibility. At last, Professor Lindemann, of Königsberg, in June, 1882, succeeded in furnishing a demonstration,—and the first demonstration,—that it is impossible by the exclusive employment of ruler and compasses to construct a square that is mathematically exactly equal in area to a given circle. The demonstration, naturally, was not effected with the help of the old elementary methods; for if it were, it would surely have been accomplished centuries ago; but methods were requisite that were first furnished by the theory of definite integrals and departments of higher algebra developed in the last decades; in other words it required the direct and indirect preparatory labor of many centuries to make finally possible a demonstration of the insolvability of this historic problem.

Of course, this demonstration will have no more effect than the resolution of the Paris Academy of 1775, in causing the fecund race of circle-squarers to vanish from the face of the earth. In the future as in the past, there will be people who know nothing, and will not want to know anything of this demonstration, and who believe that they cannot help but succeed in a matter in which others have failed, and that just they have been appointed by Providence to solve the famous puzzle. But unfortunately the ineradicable passion of wanting to solve the quadrature of the circle has also its serious side. Circle-squarers are not always so self-contented as the author of the book we have mentioned. They often see or at least divine the insuperable difficulties that tower up before them, and the conflict between their aspirations and their performances, the consciousness that they want to solve the problem but are unable to solve it, darkens their soul and, lost to the world, they become interesting subjects for the science of psychiatry.


#Nature of the problem. Numerical rectification.#

If we have a circle before us, it is easy for us to determine the length of its radius or of its diameter, which must be double that of the radius; and the question next arises to find the number that represents how many times larger its circumference, that is the length of the circular line, is than its radius or its diameter. From the fact that all circles have the same shape it follows that this proportion will always be the same for both large and small circles. Now, since the time of Archimedes, all civilised nations that have cultivated mathematics, have called the number that denotes how many times larger than the diameter the circumference of a circle is, π,—the Greek initial letter of the word periphery. To compute π, therefore, means to calculate how many times larger the circumference of a circle is than its diameter. This calculation is called "the numerical rectification of the circle."

#The numerical quadrature.#

Next to the calculation of the circumference, the calculation of the superficial contents of a circle by means of its radius or diameter is perhaps most important; that is, the computation of how much area that part of a plane which lies within a circle measures. This calculation is called the "numerical quadrature." It depends, however, upon the problem of numerical rectification; that is, upon the calculation of the magnitude of π. For it is demonstrated in elementary geometry, that the area of a circle is equal to the area of a triangle produced by drawing in the circle a radius, erecting at the extremity of the same a tangent,—that is, in this case, a perpendicular,—cutting off upon the latter the length of the circumference, measuring from the extremity, and joining the point thus obtained with the centre of the circle. But it follows from this that the area of a circle is as many times larger than the square upon its radius as the number π amounts to.

#Constructive rectification and quadrature.#

The numerical rectification and numerical quadrature of the circle based upon the computation of the number π, are to be clearly distinguished from problems that require a straight line equal in length to the circumference of a circle, or a square equal in area to a circle, to be constructively produced out of its radius or its diameter; problems which might properly be called "constructive rectification" or "constructive quadrature." Approximately, of course, by employing an approximate value for π these problems are easily solvable. But to solve a problem of construction, in geometry, means to solve it with mathematical exactitude. If the value π were exactly equal to the ratio of two whole numbers to one another, the constructive rectification would present no difficulties. For example, suppose the circumference of a circle were exactly 3-1/7 times greater than its diameter; then the diameter could be divided into seven equal parts, which could be easily done by the principles of planimetry with ruler and compasses; then we would produce to the amount of such a part a straight line exactly three times larger than the diameter, and should thus obtain a straight line exactly equal to the circumference of the circle. But as a matter of fact, and as has actually been demonstrated, there do not exist two whole numbers, be they ever so great, that exactly represent by their proportion to one another the number π. Consequently, a rectification of the kind just described does not attain the object desired.

It might be asked here, whether from the demonstrated fact that the number π is not equal to the ratio of two whole numbers however great, it does not immediately follow that it is impossible to construct a straight line exactly equal in length to the circumference of a circle; thus demonstrating at once the impossibility of solving the problem. This question is to be answered in the negative. For there are in geometry many sets of two lines of which the one can be easily constructed from the other, notwithstanding the fact that no two whole numbers can be found to represent the ratio of the two lines. The side and the diagonal of a square, for instance, are so constituted. It is true the ratio of the latter two magnitudes is nearly that of 5 to 7. But this proportion is not exact, and there are in fact no two numbers that represent the ratio exactly. Nevertheless, either of these two lines can be easily constructed from the other by the sole employment of ruler and compasses. This might be the case, too, with the rectification of the circle; and consequently from the impossibility of representing π by the ratio between two whole numbers the impossibility of the problem of rectification is not inferable.

The quadrature of the circle stands and falls with the problem of rectification. This is based upon the truth above mentioned, that a circle is equal in area to a right-angled triangle, in which one side is equal to the radius of the circle and the other to the circumference. Supposing, accordingly, that the circumference of the circle were rectified, then we could construct this triangle. But every triangle, as is taught in the elements of planimetry, can, with the help of ruler and compasses be converted into a square exactly equal to it in area. So that, therefore, supposing the rectification of the circumference of a circle were successfully performed, a square could be constructed that would be exactly equal in area to the circle.

The dependence upon one another of the three problems of the computation of the number π, of the quadrature of the circle, and its rectification, thus obliges us, in dealing with the history of the quadrature, to regard investigations with respect to the value of π and attempts to rectify the circle as of equal importance, and to consider them accordingly.

#Conditions of the geometrical solution.#

We have used repeatedly in the course of this discussion the expression "to construct with ruler and compasses." It will be necessary to explain what is meant by the specification of these two instruments. When such a number of conditions is annexed to a requirement in geometry to construct a certain figure that the construction only of one figure or a limited number of figures is possible in accordance with the conditions given; such a complete requirement is called a problem of construction, or briefly a problem. When a problem of this kind is presented for solution it is necessary to reduce it to simpler problems, already recognised as solvable; and since these latter depend in their turn upon other, still simpler problems, we are finally brought back to certain fundamental problems upon which the rest are based but which are not themselves reducible to problems less simple. These fundamental problems are, so to speak, the undermost stones of the edifice of geometrical construction. The question next arises as to what problems may be properly regarded as fundamental; and it has been found, that the solution of a great part of the problems that arise in elementary planimetry rests upon the solution of only five original problems. They are:

1. The construction of a straight line which shall pass through two given points.

2. The construction of a circle the centre of which is a given point and the radius of which has a given length.

3. The determination of the point that lies coincidently on two given straight lines extended as far as is necessary,—in case such a point (point of intersection) exists.

4. The determination of the two points that lie coincidently on a given straight line and a given circle,—in case such common points (points of intersection) exist.

5. The determination of the two points that lie coincidently on two given circles,—in case such common points (points of intersection) exist.

For the solution of the three last of these five problems the eye alone is needed, while for the solution of the two first problems, besides pencil, ink, chalk, and the like, additional special instruments are required: for the solution of the first problem a ruler is most generally used, and for the solution of the second a pair of compasses. But it must be remembered that it is no concern of geometry what mechanical instruments are employed in the solution of the five problems mentioned. Geometry simply limits itself to the presupposition that these problems are solvable, and regards a complicated problem as solved if, upon a specification of the constructions of which the solution consists, no other requirements are demanded than the five above mentioned. Since, accordingly, geometry does not itself furnish the solution of these five problems, but rather exacts them, they are termed postulates.[51] All problems of planimetry are not reducible to these five problems alone. There are problems that can be solved only by assuming other problems as solvable which are not included in the five given; for example, the construction of an ellipse, having given its centre and its major and minor axes. Many problems, however, possess the property of being solvable with the assistance solely of the five postulates above formulated, and where this is the case they are said to be "constructible with ruler and compasses," or "elementarily" constructible.

[51] Usually geometers mention only two postulates (Nos. 1 and 2). But since to geometry proper it is indifferent whether only the eye, or additional special mechanical instruments are necessary, the author has regarded it more correct in point of method to assume five postulates.

After these general remarks upon the solvability of problems of geometrical construction, which an understanding of the history of the squaring of the circle makes indispensably necessary, the significance of the question whether the quadrature of the circle is or is not solvable, that is elementarily solvable, will become intelligible. But the conception just discussed of elementary solvability only gradually took clear form, and we therefore find among the Greeks as well as among the Arabs, endeavors, successful in some respects, that aimed at solving the quadrature of the circle with other expedients than the five postulates. We have also to take these endeavors into consideration, and especially so as they, no less than the unsuccessful efforts at elementary solution, have upon the whole advanced the science of geometry, and contributed much to the clarification of geometrical ideas.


#The Egyptian quadrature.#

In the oldest mathematical work that we possess we find a rule that tells us how to make a square which is equal in area to a given circle. This celebrated book, the Papyrus Rhind of the British Museum, translated and explained by Eisenlohr (Leipsic, 1887), was written, as it is stated in the work, in the thirty-third year of the reign of King Ra-a-us, by a scribe of that monarch, named Ahmes. The composition of the work falls accordingly into the period of the two Hiksos dynasties, that is, in the period between 2000 and 1700 B.C. But there is another important circumstance attached to this. Ahmes mentions in his introduction that he composed his work after the model of old treatises, written in the time of King Raenmat; whence it appears that the originals of the mathematical expositions of Ahmes, are half a thousand years older yet than the Papyrus Rhind.

The rule given in this papyrus for obtaining a square equal to a circle, specifies that the diameter of the circle shall be shortened one ninth of its length and upon the shortened line thus obtained a square erected. Of course, the area of a square of this construction is only approximately equal to the area of the circle. An idea may be obtained of the degree of exactness of this original, primitive quadrature by our remarking, that if the diameter of the circle in question is one metre in length, the square that is supposed to be equal to the circle is a little less than half a square decimetre larger; an approximation not so accurate as that computed by Archimedes, yet much more correct than many a one later employed. It is not known how Ahmes or his predecessors arrived at this approximate quadrature; but it is certain that it was handed down in Egypt from century to century, and in late Egyptian times it repeatedly appears.

#The Biblical and Babylonian quadratures.#

Besides among the Egyptians, we also find in pre-Grecian antiquity an attempt at circle-computation among the Babylonians. This is not a quadrature; but aims at the rectification of the circumference. The Babylonian mathematicians had discovered, that if the radius of a circle be successively inscribed as chord within its circumference, after the sixth inscription we arrive at the point of departure, and they concluded from this that the circumference of a circle must be a little larger than a line which is six times as long as the radius, that is three times as long as the diameter. A trace of this Babylonian method of computation may even be found in the bible; for in 1 Kings vii. 23, and 2 Chron. iv. 2, the great laver is described, which under the name of the "molten sea" constituted an ornament of the temple of Solomon; and it is said of this vessel that it measured ten cubits from brim to brim, and thirty cubits round about. The number 3 as the ratio between the circumference and the diameter is still more plainly given in the Talmud, where we read that "that which measures three lengths in circumference is one length across."

#Among the Greeks.#

With regard to the earlier Greek mathematicians,—as Thales and Pythagoras,—we know that they acquired the foundations of their mathematical knowledge in Egypt. But nothing has been handed down to us which shows that they knew of the old Egyptian quadrature, or that they dealt with the problem at all. But tradition says, that, subsequently, the teacher of Euripides and Pericles, the great philosopher and mathematician Anaxagoras, whom Plato so highly praised, "drew the quadrature of the circle" in prison, in the year 434. This is the account of Plutarch in the seventeenth chapter of his work "De Exilio." #Anaxagoras.# The method is not told us in which Anaxagoras had supposably solved the problem, and it is not said whether knowingly or unknowingly he accomplished an approximate solution after the manner of Ahmes. But at any rate, to Anaxagoras belongs the merit of having called attention to a problem that bore great fruit, in having incited Grecian scholars to busy themselves with geometry, and thus more and more to advance that science.

#The quadratrix of Hippias of Elis.#

Again, it is reported that the mathematician Hippias of Elis invented a curved line that could be made to serve a double purpose: first, to trisect an angle, and second, to square the circle. This curved line is the τετραγωνίστουσα so often mentioned by the later Greek mathematicians, and by the Romans called "quadratrix." Regarding the nature of this curve we have exact knowledge from Pappus. But it will be sufficient, here, to state that the quadratrix is not a circle nor a portion of a circle, so that its construction is not possible by means of the postulates enumerated in the preceding section. And therefore the solution of the quadrature of the circle founded on the construction of the quadratrix is not an elementary solution in the sense discussed in the last section. We can, it is true, conceive a mechanism that will draw this curve as well as compasses draw a circle; and with the assistance of a mechanism of this description the squaring of the circle is solvable with exactitude. But if it be allowed to employ in a solution an apparatus especially adapted thereto, every problem may be said to be solvable. Strictly taken, the invention of the curve of Hippias substitutes for one insuperable difficulty another equally insuperable. Some time afterwards, about the year 350, the mathematician Dinostratus showed that the quadratrix could also be used to solve the problem of rectification, and from that time on this problem plays almost the same rôle in Grecian mathematics as the related problem of quadrature.

#The Sophists' solution.#

As these problems gradually became known to the non-mathematicians of Greece, attempts at solution at once sprang up that are worthy of a place by the side of the solutions of modern amateur circle-squarers. The Sophists, especially, believed themselves competent by seductive dialectic to take a stronghold that had defied the intellectual onslaughts of the greatest mathematicians. With verbal nicety, amounting to puerility, it was said that the squaring of the circle depended upon the finding of a number which represented in itself both a square and a circle; a square by being a square number, a circle in that it ended with the same number as the root number from which, by multiplication with itself, it was produced. The number 36, accordingly, was, as they thought, the one that embodied the solution of the famous problem.

#Antiphon's attempt.#

Contrasted with this twisting of words the speculations of Bryson and Antiphon, both contemporaries of Socrates, though inexact, appear in high degree intelligent. Antiphon divided the circle into four equal arcs, and by joining the points of division obtained a square; he then divided each arc again into two equal parts and thus obtained an inscribed octagon; thence he constructed an inscribed dodecagon, and perceived that the figure so inscribed more and more approached the shape of a circle. In this way, he said, one should proceed, until there was inscribed in the circle a polygon whose sides by reason of their smallness should coincide with the circle. Now this polygon could, by methods already taught by the Pythagoreans, be converted into a square of equal area; and upon the basis of this fact Antiphon regarded the squaring of the circle as solved.

Nothing can be said against this method except that, however far the bisection of the arcs is carried, the result must still remain an approximate one.

#Bryson of Heraclea.#

The attempt of Bryson of Heraclea was better still; for this scholar did not rest content with finding a square that was very little smaller than the circle, but obtained by means of circumscribed polygons another square that was very little larger than the circle. Only Bryson committed the error of believing that the area of the circle was the arithmetical mean between an inscribed and a circumscribed polygon of an equal number of sides. Notwithstanding this error, however, to Bryson belongs the merit, first, of having introduced into mathematics by his emphasis of the necessity of a square which was too large and one which was too small, the conception of maximum and minimum "limits" in approximations; and secondly, by his comparison with a circle of the inscribed and circumscribed regular polygons, the merit of having indicated to Archimedes the way by which an approximate value for π was to be reached.

#Hippocrates of Chios.#

Not long after Antiphon and Bryson, Hippocrates of Chios treated the problem, which had now become more and more famous, from a new point of view. Hippocrates was not satisfied with approximate equalities, and searched for curvilinearly bounded plane figures which should be mathematically equal to a rectilinearly bounded figure, and therefore could be converted by ruler and compasses into a square equal in area. First, Hippocrates found that the crescent-shaped plane figure produced by drawing two perpendicular radii in a circle and describing upon the line joining their extremities a semicircle, is exactly equal in area to the triangle that is formed by this line of junction and the two radii; and upon the basis of this fact the endeavors of the untiring scholar were directed towards converting a circle into a crescent. Naturally he was unable to attain this object, but by his efforts to this end he discovered many a new geometrical truth; among others the generalised form of the theorem mentioned, which bears to the present day the name of "Lunulae Hippocratis," the lunes of Hippocrates. Thus it appears, in the case of Hippocrates, in the plainest light, how the very insolvable problems of science are qualified to advance science; in that they incite investigators to devote themselves with persistence to its study and thus to fathom its depths.

#Euclid's avoidance of the problem.#

Following Hippocrates in the historical line of the great Grecian geometricians comes the systematist Euclid, whose rigid formulation of geometrical principles has remained the standard presentation down to the present century. The Elements of Euclid, however, contain nothing relating to the quadrature of the circle or to circle-computation. Comparisons of surfaces which relate to the circle are indeed found in the book, but nowhere a computation of the circumference of a circle or of the area of a circle. This palpable gap in Euclid's system was filled by Archimedes, the greatest mathematician of antiquity.

#Archimedes's calculations.#

Archimedes was born in Syracuse in the year 287 B. C., and devoted his life, there spent, to the mathematical and the physical sciences, which he enriched with invaluable contributions. He lived in Syracuse till the taking of the town by Marcellus, in the year 212 B. C., when he fell by the hand of a Roman soldier whom he had forbidden to destroy the figures he had drawn in the sand. To the greatest performances of Archimedes the successful computation of the number π unquestionably belongs. Like Bryson he started with regular inscribed and circumscribed polygons. He showed how it was possible, beginning with the perimeter of an inscribed hexagon, which is equal to six radii, to obtain by way of calculation the perimeter of a regular dodecagon, and then the perimeter of a figure having double the number of sides of the preceding one. Treating, then, the circumscribed polygons in a similar manner, and proceeding with both series of polygons up to a regular 96-sided polygon, he perceived on the one hand that the ratio of the perimeter of the inscribed 96-sided polygon to the diameter was greater than 6336 : 2017-1/4, and on the other hand, that the corresponding ratio with respect to the circumscribed 96-sided polygon was smaller than 14688 : 4673-1/2. He inferred from this, that the number π, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter, was greater than the fraction 6336/2017-1/4 and smaller than 14688/4673-1/2. Reducing the two limits thus found for the value of π, Archimedes then showed that the first fraction was greater than and that 3-10/71 and that the second fraction was smaller than 3-1/7, whence it followed with certainty that the value sought for π lay between 3-1/7 and 3-10/71. The larger of these two approximate values is the only one usually learned and employed. That which fills us most with astonishment in the Archimedean computation of π, is, first, the great acumen and accuracy displayed in all the details of the computation, and then the unwearied perseverance that he must have exercised in calculating the limits of π without the advantages of the Arabian system of numerals and of the decimal notation. For it must be considered that at many stages of the computation what we call the extraction of roots was necessary, and that Archimedes could only by extremely tedious calculations obtain ratios that expressed approximately the roots of given numbers and fractions.

#The later mathematicians of Greece.#

With regard to the mathematicians of Greece that follow Archimedes, all refer to and employ the approximate value of 3-1/7 for π, without however, contributing anything essentially new or additional to the problems of quadrature and of cyclometry. Thus Heron of Alexandria, the father of surveying, who flourished about the year 100 B. C., employs for purposes of practical measurement sometimes the value 3-1/7 for π and sometimes even the rougher approximation π = 3. The astronomer Ptolemy, who lived in Alexandria about the year 150 A. D., and who was famous as being the author of the planetary system universally recognised as correct down to the time of Copernicus, was the only one who furnished a more exact value; this he designated, in the sexigesimal system of fractional notation which he employed, by 3, 8, 30,—that is 3 and 8/60 and 30/3600, or as we now say 3 degrees, 8 minutes (partes minutae primae), and 30 seconds (partes minutae secundae). As a matter of fact, the expression 3 + 8/60 + 30/3600 = 3-17/120 represents the number π more exactly than 3-1/7; but on the other hand, is, by reason of the magnitude of the numbers 17 and 120 as compared with the numbers 1 and 7, more cumbersome.


#Among the Romans.#

In the mathematical sciences, more than in any other, the Romans stood upon the shoulders of the Greeks. Indeed, with respect to cyclometry, they not only did not add anything to the Grecian discoveries, but often evinced even that they either did not know of the beautiful result obtained by Archimedes, or at least did not know how to appreciate it. For instance, Vitruvius, who lived during the time of Augustus, computed that a wheel 4 feet in diameter must measure 12-1/2 feet in circumference; in other words, he made π equal to 3-1/8. And, similarly, a treatise on surveying, preserved to us in the Gudian manuscript of the library at Wolfenbüttel, contains the following instructions to square the circle: Divide the circumference of a circle into four parts and make one part the side of a square; this square will be equal in area to the circle. Aside from the fact that the rectification of the arc of a circle is requisite to the construction of a square of this kind, the Roman quadrature, viewed as a calculation, is more inexact even than any other computation; for its result is that π = 4.

#Among the Hindus.#

The mathematical performances of the Hindus were not only greater than those of the Romans, but in certain directions even surpassed those of the Greeks. In the most ancient source for the mathematics of India that we know of, the Culvasûtras, which date back to a little before our chronological era, we do not find, it is true, the squaring of the circle treated of, but the opposite problem is dealt with, which might fittingly be termed the circling of the square. The half of the side of a given square is prolonged one third of the excess in length of half the diagonal over half the side, and the line thus obtained is taken as the radius of the circle equal in area to the square. The simplest way to obtain an idea of the exactness of this construction is to compute how great π would have to be if the construction were exactly correct. We find out in this way that the value of π upon which the Indian circling of the square is based, is about from five to six hundredths smaller than the true value, whereas the approximate π of Archimedes, 3-1/7, is only from one to two thousandths too large, and the old Egyptian value exceeds the true value by from one to two hundredths. Cyclometry very probably made great advances among the Hindus in the first four or five centuries of our era; for Aryabhatta, who lived about the year 500 after Christ, states, that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is 62832 : 20000, an approximation that in exactness surpasses even that of Ptolemy. The Hindu result gives 3.1416 for π, while π really lies between 3.141592 and 3.141593. How the Hindus obtained this excellent approximate value is told by Ganeça, the commentator of Bhâskara, an author of the twelfth century. Ganeça says that the method of Archimedes was carried still farther by the Hindu mathematicians; that by continually doubling the number of sides they proceeded from the hexagon to a polygon of 384 sides, and that by the comparison of the circumferences of the inscribed and circumscribed 384-sided polygons they found that π was equal to 3927: 1250. It will be seen that the value given by Bhâskara is identical with the value of Aryabhatta. It is further worthy of remark that the earlier of these two Hindu mathematicians does not mention either the value 3-1/7 of Archimedes or the value 3-17/120 of Ptolemy, but that the later knows of both values and especially recommends that of Archimedes as the most useful one for practical application. Strange to say, the good approximate value of Aryabhatta does not occur in Bramagupta, the great Hindu mathematician who flourished in the beginning of the seventh century; but we find the curious information in this author that the area of a circle is exactly equal to the square root of 10 when the radius is unity. The value of π as derivable from this formula,—a value from two to three hundredths too large,—has unquestionably arisen upon Hindu soil. For it occurs in no Grecian mathematician; and Arabian authors, who were in a better position than we to know Greek and Hindu mathematical literature, declare that the approximation which makes π equal to the square root of 10, is of Hindu origin. It is possible that the Hindu people, who were addicted more than any other to numeral mysticism, sought to find in this approximation some connection with the fact that man has ten fingers; and ten accordingly is the basis of their numeral system.

Reviewing the achievements of the Hindus generally with respect to the problem of the quadrature, we are brought to recognise that this people, whose talents lay more in the line of arithmetical computation than in the perception of spatial relations, accomplished as good as nothing on the pure geometrical side of the problem, but that the merit belongs to them of having carried the Archimedean method of computing π several stages farther, and of having obtained in this way a much more exact value for it—a circumstance that is explainable when we consider that the Hindus are the inventors of our present system of numeral notation, possessing which they easily outdid Archimedes, who employed the awkward Greek system.

#Among the Chinese.#

With regard to the Chinese, this people operated in ancient times with the Babylonian value for π, or 3; but possessed knowledge of the approximate value of Archimedes at least since the end of the sixth century. Besides this, there appears in a number of Chinese mathematical treatises an approximate value peculiarly their own, in which π = 3-7/50; a value, however, which notwithstanding it is written in larger figures, is no better than that of Archimedes. Attempts at the constructive quadrature of the circle are not found among the Chinese.

#Among the Arabs.#

Greater were the merits of the Arabians in the advancement and development of mathematics; and especially in virtue of the fact that they preserved from oblivion both Greek and Hindu mathematics, and handed them down to the Christian countries of the West. The Arabians expressly distinguished between the Archimedean approximate value and the two Hindu values the square root of 10 and the ratio 62832 : 20000. This distinction occurs also in Muhammed Ibn Musa Alchwarizmî, the same scholar who in the beginning of the ninth century brought the principles of our present system of numerical notation from India and introduced the same into the Mohammedan world. The Arabians, however, did not study the numerical quadrature of the circle only, but also the constructive; as, for instance, Ibn Alhaitam, who lived in Egypt about the year 1000 and whose treatise upon the squaring of the circle is preserved in a Vatican codex, which has unfortunately not yet been edited.

#In Christian times.#

Christian civilisation, to which we are now about to pass, produced up to the second half of the fifteenth century extremely insignificant results in mathematics. Even with regard to our present problem we have but a single important work to mention; the work, namely, of Frankos Von Lüttich, upon the squaring of the circle, published in six books, but only preserved in fragments. The author, who lived in the first half of the eleventh century, was probably a pupil of Pope Sylvester II, himself a not inconsiderable mathematician for his time, and who also wrote the most celebrated book on geometry of the period.

#Cardinal Nicolaus De Cusa.#

Greater interest came to be bestowed upon mathematics in general, but especially on the problem of the quadrature of the circle, in the second half of the fifteenth century, when the sciences again began to revive. This interest was especially aroused by Cardinal Nicolaus De Cusa, a man highly esteemed on account of his astronomical and calendarial studies. He claimed to have discovered the quadrature of the circle by the employment solely of compasses and ruler, and thus attracted the attention of scholars to the now historic problem. People believed the famous Cardinal, and marvelled at his wisdom, until Regiomontanus, in letters which he wrote in 1464 and 1465 and which were published in 1533, rigidly demonstrated that the Cardinal's quadrature was incorrect. The construction of Cusa was as follows. The radius of a circle is prolonged a distance equal to the side of the inscribed square; the line thus obtained is taken as the diameter of a second circle and in the latter an equilateral triangle is described; then the perimeter of the latter is equal to the circumference of the original circle. If this construction, which its inventor regarded as exact, be considered as a construction of approximation, it will be found to be more inexact even than the construction resulting from the value π = 3-1/7. For by Cusa's method π would be from five to six thousandths smaller than it really is.

#Bovillius and Orontius Finaeus.#

In the beginning of the sixteenth century a certain Bovillius appears, who announced anew the construction of Cusa; meeting however with no notice. But about the middle of the sixteenth century a book was published which the scholars of the time at first received with interest. It bore the proud title "De Rebus Mathematicis Hactenus Desideratis." Its author, Orontius Finaeus, represented that he had overcome all the difficulties that had ever stood in the way of geometrical investigators; and incidentally he also communicated to the world the "true quadrature" of the circle. His fame was short-lived. For soon afterwards, in a book entitled "De Erratis Orontii," the Portuguese Petrus Nonius demonstrated that Orontius's quadrature, like most of his other professed discoveries, was incorrect.

#Simon Van Eyck.#

In the period following this the number of circle-squarers so increased that we shall have to limit ourselves to those whom mathematicians recognise. And particularly is Simon Van Eyck to be mentioned, who towards the close of the sixteenth century published a quadrature which was so approximate that the value of π derived from it was more exact than that of Archimedes; and to disprove it the mathematician Peter Metius was obliged to seek a still more accurate value than 3-1/7. The erroneous quadrature of Van Eyck was thus the occasion of Metius's discovery that the ratio 355 : 113, or 3-16/113, varied from the true value of π by less than one one-millionth, eclipsing accordingly all values hitherto obtained. Moreover, it is demonstrable by the theory of continued fractions, that, admitting figures to four places only, no two numbers more exactly represent the value of π than 355 and 113.

#Joseph Scaliger.#

In the same way the quadrature of the great philologist Joseph Scaliger led to refutations. Like most circle-squarers who believe in their discovery, Scaliger also was little versed in the elements of geometry. He solved, however,—at least in his own opinion he did,—the famous problem; and published in 1592 a book upon it, which bore the pretentious title "Nova Cyclometria" and in which the name of Archimedes was derided. The worthlessness of his supposed discovery was demonstrated to him by the greatest mathematicians of his time; namely, Vieta, Adrianus Romanus, and Clavius.

#Longomontanus, John Porta, and Gregory St. Vincent.#

Of the erring circle-squarers that flourished before the middle of the seventeenth century three others deserve particular mention—Longomontanus of Copenhagen, who rendered such great services to astronomy, the Neapolitan John Porta, and Gregory of St. Vincent. Longomontanus made π = 3-14185/100000, and was so convinced of the correctness of his result that he thanked God fervently, in the preface to his work "Inventio Quadraturae Circuli," that He had granted him in his high old age the strength to conquer the celebrated difficulty. John Porta followed the initiative of Hippocrates, and believed he had solved the problem by the comparison of lunes. Gregory of St. Vincent published a quadrature, the error of which was very hard to detect but was finally discovered by Descartes.

#Peter Metius and Vieta.#

Of the famous mathematicians who dealt with our problem in the period between the close of the fifteenth century and the time of Newton, we first meet with Peter Metius, before mentioned, who succeeded in finding in the fraction 355 : 113 the best approximate value for π involving only small numbers. The problem received a different advancement at the hands of the famous mathematician Vieta. Vieta was the first to whom the idea occurred of representing π with mathematical exactness by an infinite series of continuable operations. By comparison of inscribed and circumscribed polygons, Vieta found that we approach nearer and nearer to π if we allow the operations of the extraction of the square root of 1/2, and of addition and of multiplication to succeed each other in a certain manner, and that π must come out exactly, if this series of operations could be indefinitely continued. Vieta thus found that to a diameter of 10000 million units a circumference belongs of 31415 million and from 926535 to 926536 units of the same length.

#Adrianus Romanus, Ludolf Van Ceulen.#

But Vieta was outdone by the Netherlander Adrianus Romanus, who added five additional decimal places to the ten of Vieta. To accomplish this he computed with unspeakable labor the circumference of a regular circumscribed polygon of 1073741824 sides. This number is the thirtieth power of 2. Yet great as the labor of Adrianus Romanus was, that of Ludolf Van Ceulen was still greater; for the latter calculator succeeded in carrying the Archimedean process of approximation for the value of π to 35 decimal places, that is, the deviation from the true value was smaller than one one-thousand quintillionth, a degree of exactness that we can hardly have any conception of. Ludolf published the figures of the tremendous computation that led to this result. His calculation was carefully examined by the mathematician Griemberger and declared to be correct. Ludolf was justly proud of his work, and following the example of Archimedes, requested in his will that the result of his most important mathematical performance, the computation of π to 35 decimal places, be engraved upon his tombstone; a request which is said to have been carried out. In honor of Ludolf, π is called to-day in Germany the Ludolfian number.

#The new method of Snell. Huygens's verification of it.#

Although through the labor of Ludolf a degree of exactness for cyclometrical operations was now obtained that was more than sufficient for any practical purpose that could ever arise, neither the problem of constructive rectification nor that of constructive quadrature was thereby in any respect theoretically advanced. The investigations conducted by the famous mathematicians and physicists Huygens and Snell about the middle of the seventeenth century, were more important from a mathematical point of view than the work of Ludolf. In his book "Cyclometricus" Snell took the position that the method of comparison of polygons, which originated with Archimedes and was employed by Ludolf, need by no means be the best method of attaining the end sought; and he succeeded by the employment of propositions which state that certain arcs of a circle are greater or smaller than certain straight lines connected with the circle, in obtaining methods that make it possible to reach results like the Ludolfian with much less labor of calculation. The beautiful theorems of Snell were proved a second time, and better proved, by the celebrated Dutch promoter of the science of optics, Huygens (Opera Varia, p. 365 et seq.; "Theoremata De Circuli et Hyperbolae Quadratura," 1651), as well as perfected in many ways. Snell and Huygens were fully aware that they had advanced only the problem of numerical quadrature, and not that of the constructive quadrature. This, in Huygens's case, plainly appeared from the vehement dispute he conducted with the English mathematician James Gregory. This controversy has some significance for the history of our problem, from the fact that Gregory made the first attempt to prove that the squaring of the circle with ruler and compasses must be impossible. #The controversy between Huygens and Gregory.# The result of the controversy, to which we owe many valuable treatises, was, that Huygens finally demonstrated in an incontrovertible manner the incorrectness of Gregory's proof of impossibility, adding that he also was of opinion that the solution of the problem with ruler and compasses was impossible, but nevertheless was not himself able to demonstrate this fact. And Newton, later, expressed himself to a similar effect. As a matter of fact it took till the most recent period, that is over 200 years, until higher mathematics was far enough advanced to furnish a rigid demonstration of impossibility.


Before we proceed to consider the promotive influence which the invention of the differential and the integral calculus had upon our problem, we shall enumerate a few at least of that never-ending line of mistaken quadrators who delighted the world by the fruits of their ingenuity from the time of Newton to the present period; and out of a pious and sincere consideration for the contemporary world, we shall entirely omit in this to speak of the circle-squarers of our own time.

#Hobbes's quadrature.#

First to be mentioned is the celebrated English philosopher Hobbes. In his book "De Problematis Physicis," in which he chiefly proposes to explain the phenomena of gravity and of ocean tides, he also takes up the quadrature of the circle and gives a very trivial construction that in his opinion definitively solved the problem, making π = 3-1/5. In view of Hobbes's importance as a philosopher, two mathematicians, Huygens and Wallis, thought it proper to refute Hobbes at length. But Hobbes defended his position in a special treatise, in which to sustain at least the appearance of being right, he disputed the fundamental principles of geometry and the theorem of Pythagoras; so that mathematicians could pass on from him to the order of the day.

#French quadrators of the Eighteenth Century.#

In the last century France especially was rich in circle-squarers. We will mention: Oliver de Serres, who by means of a pair of scales determined that a circle weighed as much as the square upon the side of the equilateral triangle inscribed in it, that therefore they must have the same area, an experiment in which π = 3; Mathulon, who offered in legal form a reward of a thousand dollars to the person who would point out an error in his solution of the problem, and who was actually compelled by the courts to pay the money; Basselin, who believed that his quadrature must be right because it agreed with the approximate value of Archimedes, and who anathematised his ungrateful contemporaries, in the confidence that he would be recognised by posterity; Liger, who proved that a part is greater than the whole and to whom therefore the quadrature of the circle was child's play; Clerget, who based his solution upon the principle that a circle is a polygon of a definite number of sides, and who calculated, also, among other things, how large the point is at which two circles touch.

#Germany and Poland.#

Germany and Poland also furnish their contingent to the army of circle-squarers. Lieutenant-Colonel Corsonich produced a quadrature in which π equalled 3-1/8, and promised fifty ducats to the person who could prove that it was incorrect. Hesse of Berlin wrote an arithmetic in 1776, in which a true quadrature was also "made known," π being exactly equal to 3-14/99. About the same time Professor Bischoff of Stettin defended a quadrature previously published by Captain Leistner, Preacher Merkel, and Schoolmaster Böhm, which made π implicite equal to the square of 62/35, not even attaining the approximation of Archimedes.

#Constructive approximations. Euler. Kochansky.#

From attempts of this character are to be clearly distinguished constructions of approximation in which the inventor is aware that he has not found a mathematically exact construction, but only an approximate one. The value of such a construction will depend upon two things—first, upon the degree of exactness with which it is numerically expressed, and secondly on the fact whether the construction can be more or less easily made with ruler and compasses. Constructions of this kind, simple in form and yet sufficiently exact for practical purposes, have for centuries been furnished us in great numbers. The great mathematician Euler, who died in 1783, did not think it out of place to attempt an approximate construction of this kind. A very simple construction for the rectification of the circle and one which has passed into many geometrical text books, is that published by Kochansky in 1685 in the Leipziger Berichte. It is as follows: "Erect upon the diameter of a circle at its extremities perpendiculars; with the centre as vertex, mark off upon the diameter an angle of 30°; find the point of intersection with the perpendicular of the line last drawn, and join this point of intersection with that point upon the other perpendicular which is at a distance of three radii from the base of the perpendicular. The line of junction thus obtained is then very approximately equal to one-half of the circumference of the given circle." Calculation shows that the difference between the true length of the circumference and the line thus constructed is less than 3/100000 of the diameter.

#Inutility of constructive approximations.#

Although such constructions of approximation are very interesting in themselves, they nevertheless play but a subordinate rôle in the history of the squaring of the circle; for on the one hand they can never furnish greater exactness for circle-computation than the thirty-five decimal places which Ludolf found, and on the other hand they are not adapted to advance in any way the question whether the exact quadrature of the circle with ruler and compasses is possible.

#The researches of Newton, Leibnitz, Wallis, and Brouncker.#

The numerical side of the problem, however, was considerably advanced by the new mathematical methods perfected by Newton and Leibnitz, commonly called the differential and the integral calculus. And about the middle of the seventeenth century, some time before Newton and Leibnitz represented π by series of powers, the English mathematicians Wallis and Lord Brouncker, Newton's predecessors in a certain sense, succeeded in representing π by an infinite series of figures combined by the first four rules of arithmetic. A new method of computation was thus opened. Wallis found that the fourth part of π is represented more exactly by the regularly formed product

2/3 × 4/3 × 4/5 × 6/5 × 6/7 × 8/7 × 8/9 × etc.

the farther the multiplication is continued, and that the result always comes out too small if we stop at a proper fraction but too large if we stop at an improper fraction. Lord Brouncker, on the other hand, represents the value in question by a continued fraction in which all the denominators are equal to 2 and the numerators are odd square numbers. Wallis, to whom Brouncker had communicated his elegant result without proof, demonstrated the same in his "Arithmetic of Infinites."

The computation of π could hardly be farther advanced by these results than Ludolf and others had carried it, though of course in a more laborious way. However, the series of powers derived by the assistance of the differential calculus of Newton and Leibnitz furnished a means of computing it to hundreds of decimal places.

#Other calculations.#

Gregory, Newton, and Leibnitz next found that the fourth part of π was equal exactly to

1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7 + 1/9 - 1/11 + 1/13 - …

if we conceive this series, which is called the Leibnitzian, indefinitely continued. This series is indeed wonderfully simple, but is not adapted to the computation of π, for the reason that entirely too many members have to be taken into account to obtain π accurately to a few decimal places only. The original formula, however, from which this series is derived, gives other formulas which are excellently adapted to the actual computation. This formula is the general series:

α = a - 1/3_a_^3 + 1/5_a_^5 - 1/7_a_^7 + …,

where α is the length of the arc that belongs to any central angle in a circle of radius 1, and where a is the tangent to this angle. From this we derive the following:

π/4 = (a + b + c + …) - 1/3(a^3 + b^3 + c^3 + …) + 1/5(a^5 + b^5 + c^5 + …) - …,

where a, b, c … are the tangents of angles whose sum is 45°. Determining, therefore, the values of a, b, c …, which are equal to small and easy fractions and fulfil the condition just mentioned, we obtain series of powers which are adapted to the computation of π. The first to add by the aid of series of this description additional decimal places to the old 35 in the number π was the English arithmetician Abraham Sharp, who following Halley's instructions, in 1700, worked out π to 72 decimal places. A little later Machin, professor of astronomy in London, computed π to 100 decimal places; putting, in the series given above, a = b = c = d = 1/5 and e =-1/239, that is employing the following series:

π/4 = 4. [1/5 - 1/3.5^3 + 1/5.5^5 - 1/7.5^7 + …] - [1/239 - 1/3.239^3 + 1/5.239^5 - …]

#The computation of π to many decimal places.#

In the year 1819, Lagny of Paris outdid the computation of Machin, determining in two different ways the first 127 decimal places of π. Vega then obtained as many as 140 places, and the Hamburg arithmetician Zacharias Dase went as far as 200 places. The latter did not use Machin's series in his calculation, but the series produced by putting in the general series above given a = 1/2, b = 1/5, c = 1/8. Finally, at a recent date, π has been computed to 500 places.

#Idea of exactness obtainable with the approximate values of π.#

The computation to so many decimal places may serve as an illustration of the excellence of the modern method as contrasted with those anciently employed, but otherwise it has neither a theoretical nor a practical value. That the computation of π to say 15 decimal places more than sufficiently satisfies the subtlest requirements of practice may be gathered from a concrete example of the degree of exactness thus obtainable. Imagine a circle to be described with Berlin as centre, and the circumference to pass through Hamburg; then let the circumference of the circle be computed by multiplying its diameter with the value of π to 15 decimal places, and then conceive it to be actually measured. The deviation from the true length in so large a circle as this even could not be as great as the 18 millionth part of a millimetre.

An idea can hardly be obtained of the degree of exactness produced by 100 decimal places. But the following example may possibly give us some conception of it. Conceive a sphere constructed with the earth as centre, and imagine its surface to pass through Sirius, which is 134-1/2 million million kilometres distant from us. Then imagine this enormous sphere to be so packed with microbes that in every cubic millimetre millions of millions of these diminutive animalcula are present. Now conceive these microbes to be all unpacked and so distributed singly along a straight line, that every two microbes are as far distant from each other as Sirius from us, that is 134-1/2 million million kilometres. Conceive the long line thus fixed by all the microbes, as the diameter of a circle, and imagine the circumference of it to be calculated by multiplying its diameter with π to 100 decimal places. Then, in the case of a circle of this enormous magnitude even, the circumference thus calculated would not vary from the real circumference by a millionth of a millimetre.

This example will suffice to show that the calculation of π to 100 or 500 decimal places is wholly useless.

#Professor Wolff's curious method.#

Before we close this chapter upon the evaluation of π, we must mention the method, less fruitful than curious, which Professor Wolff of Zurich employed some decades ago to compute the value of π to 3 places. The floor of a room is divided up into equal squares, so as to resemble a huge chess-board, and a needle exactly equal in length to the side of each of these squares, is cast haphazard upon the floor. If we calculate, now, the probabilities of the needle so falling as to lie wholly within one of the squares, that is so that it does not cross any of the parallel lines forming the squares, the result of the calculation for this probability will be found to be exactly equal to π - 3. Consequently, a sufficient number of casts of the needle according to the law of large numbers must give the value of π approximately. As a matter of fact, Professor Wolff, after 10000 trials, obtained the value of π correctly to 3 decimal places.

#Mathematicians now seek to prove the insolvability of the problem.#

Fruitful as the calculus of Newton and Leibnitz was for the evaluation of π, the problem of converting a circle into a square having exactly the same area was in no wise advanced thereby. Wallis, Newton, Leibnitz, and their immediate followers distinctly recognised this. The quadrature of the circle could not be solved; but it also could not be proved that the problem was insolvable with ruler and compasses, although everybody was convinced of its insolvability. In mathematics, however, a conviction is only justified when supported by incontrovertible proof; and in the place of endeavors to solve the quadrature there accordingly now come endeavors to prove the impossibility of solving the celebrated problem.

#Lambert's contribution.#

The first step in this direction, small as it was, was made by the French mathematician Lambert, who proved in the year 1761 that π was neither a rational number nor even the square root of a rational number; that is, that neither π nor the square of π can be exactly represented by a fraction the denominator and numerator of which are whole numbers, however great the numbers be taken. Lambert's proof showed, indeed, that the rectification and the quadrature of the circle could not be possibly accomplished in the particular way in which its impossibility was demonstrated, but it still did not exclude the possibility of the problem being solvable in some other more complicated way, and without requiring further aids than ruler and compasses.

#The conditions of the demonstration.#

Proceeding slowly but surely it was next sought to discover the essential distinguishing properties that separate problems solvable with ruler and compasses, from problems the construction of which is elementarily impossible, that is by solely employing the postulates. Slight reflection showed, that a problem elementarily solvable, must always possess the property of having the unknown lines in the figure relating to it connected with the known lines of the figure by an equation for the solution of which equations of the first and second degree alone are requisite, and which may be so disposed that the common measures of the known lines will appear only as integers. The conclusion was to be drawn from this, that if the quadrature of the circle and consequently its rectification were elementarily solvable, the number π, which represents the ratio of the unknown circumference to the known diameter, must be the root of a certain equation, of a very high degree perhaps, but in which all the numbers that appear are whole numbers; that is, there would have to exist an equation, made up entirely of whole numbers, which would be correct if its unknown quantity were made equal to π.

#Final success of Prof. Lindemann.#

Since the beginning of this century, consequently, the efforts of a number of mathematicians have been bent upon proving that π generally is not algebraical, that is, that it cannot be the root of any equation having whole numbers for coefficients. But mathematics had to make tremendous strides forward before the means were at hand to accomplish this demonstration. After the French Academician, Professor Hermite, had furnished important preparatory assistance in his treatise "Sur la Fonction Exponentielle," published in the seventy-seventh volume of the "Comptes Rendus," Professor Lindemann, at that time of Freiburg, now of Königsberg, finally succeeded, in June 1882, in rigorously demonstrating that the number π is not algebraical,[52] thus supplying the first proof that the problems of the rectification and the squaring of the circle, with the help only of algebraical instruments like ruler and compasses are insolvable. Lindemann's proof appeared successively in the Reports of the Berlin Academy (June, 1882), in the "Comptes Rendus" of the French Academy (Vol. 115. pp. 72 to 74), and in the "Mathematischen Annalen" (Vol. 20. pp. 213 to 225).

[52] For the benefit of my mathematical readers I shall present here the most important steps of Lindemann's demonstration, M. Hermite in order to prove the transcendental character of

e = 1 + 1/1 + 1/1.2 + 1/1.2.3 + 1/ + ….

developed relations between certain definite integrals (Comptes Rendus of the Paris Academy, Vol. 77, 1873). Proceeding from the relations thus established, Professor Lindemann first demonstrates the following proposition: If the coefficients of an equation of _n_th degree are all real or complex whole numbers and the n roots of this equation z{1}, z{2}, …, z{n} are different from zero and from each other it is impossible for

e^z{1} + e^z{2} + e^z{3} … + e^z{n}

to be equal to a/b, where a and b are real or complex whole numbers. It is then shown that also between the functions

e^{rz{1}} + e^{rz{2}} + e^{rz{3}} + … e^{rz{n}},

where r denotes an integer, no linear equation can exist with rational coefficients variant from zero. Finally the beautiful theorem results: If z is the root of an irreducible algebraic equation the coefficients of which are real or complex whole numbers, then e^z cannot be equal to a rational number. Now in reality e^{t√-1} is equal to a rational number, namely,-1. Consequently, π√-1, and therefore π itself, cannot be the root of an equation of _n_th degree having whole numbers for coefficients, and therefore also not of such an equation having rational coefficients. The property last mentioned, however, π would have if the squaring of the circle with ruler and compasses were possible.

#The verdict of mathematics.#

"It is impossible with ruler and compasses to construct a square equal in area to a given circle." These are the words of the final determination of a controversy which is as old as the history of the human mind. But the race of circle-squarers, unmindful of the verdict of mathematics, that most infallible of arbiters, will never die out so long as ignorance and the thirst for glory shall be united.




Modern science rests upon the recognition of the truth that all knowledge is a statement of facts. The formulation of natural laws is nothing but a comprehensive description of certain kinds of natural processes. Natural laws are generalisations of facts. Similarly, any philosophical theory is, or from the modern standpoint ought to be, simply a systematised representation of facts. Facts are the bottom-rock to which, everywhere, we have to go down.

The recognition of this maxim is called, most appropriately, positivism; and I take it that as a matter of principle all modern thinkers can and perhaps do agree to it. A Roman Catholic philosopher may consider some things as facts which a scientist of heretic England, for instance, does not; yet it is from facts, or what is thought to be facts, that every one derives his conception of the world.

It is natural that the range of individual experience should be very limited in comparison with the knowledge indispensably needed for acquiring an adequate conception of the world in which we live. We have, to a great extent, to rely on statements of facts which we ourselves have not observed. To enrich and to enlarge our own experience we have to imbibe the experience of others. Sometimes we can, but sometimes we cannot, verify what we have been told. For instance, that stones fall through empty space with a velocity of 32·18 English feet at the end of the first second can be verified by experiment, i. e., the experiment can be repeated under the same circumstances. But historical data such as whether Buddha died under a fig-tree, or whether Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate, cannot be verified by experiment. Historical data are statements, not of general truths, but of single facts, which, if they are accepted at all, have to be taken on authority. The authority may be weak or strong; it may be strong enough to be equivalent practically to a certainty, which latter case occurs, for instance, when the fact in question in its direct consequences perceptibly affects our life, and its causal connection can thus be directly and indubitably traced.

It is not intended here to emphasise the difference between facts verifiable by experiment, and historical facts; yet it is desirable with reference to all kinds of facts stated on authority, to understand the importance of a criterion of truth. We do accept and we have to accept, every one of us, without any exception, the most discriminate scientist even and most of all the philosopher, innumerable statements of facts as they have been observed by others. We all have to rely on the authority of others. The time of the longest human life would be too short to repeat all the experiments made by others, with a view to verifying them in detail. On the other hand, it is obvious that no statement of facts should be accepted on pure authority. We must have a means, a sieve as it were, by which the wheat can easily be winnowed from the chaff; a sieve that will enable us to discard at once those statements that are positively erroneous. In this way our attention can be confined to statements of things that are possible, those that need not, but may be true. "Possible" in German is very appropriately called möglich, i. e. mayable.

The criterion of that which 'may be' true is the first step towards ascertaining truth; and although it does not exhaust the methods of arriving at truth it is of greatest consequence, for if properly understood and applied, it would save from the start many useless efforts in the investigation of truth.

* * * * *

The question arises then, What is the criterion of the possible? We reject statements, sometimes, as prima facie untrue. Have we a right to do so? And if we have, by what standard do we determine this?

Let us first take into consideration how people really behave when a statement of new facts is made. Take, for instance, the following case. Two strangers meet; A. and B. Mr. A. relates to Mr. B. some incident of his life. He is apparently a very trustworthy person and during the conversation remains perfectly serious. He tells a ghost story in detail, how a departed friend of his appeared to him in distinctly visible form; he says that the spirit spoke to him and told him many strange things, and that he pointed out to him an imminent danger.

We suppose that on the one hand A. makes his statement in good faith and that on the other hand B. is a spiritualist. Will B. consider A.'s story as possible? B., being a spiritualist, most probably will consider A.'s story as possible, and, if he is convinced of A.'s honesty, he will believe the story the same as if he had experienced it himself; no less than a scientist will rely on the statement of an experiment made by one of his colleagues whose scientific veracity he has no reason to doubt.

Suppose A. tells the same story to C. Mr. C. is an infidel and a materialist. As characteristic features of his personality we might mention that he considers religion as pure superstition originated by the fraud of cunning priests. This man will, we may fairly suppose, laugh at A.'s story, because it appears to him an out and out lie. Mr. A. as well as Mr. B., he who tells and he who believes the story, C. will declare, are either insane or they are both impostors.

The difference of opinion in B. and C. indicates that the criterion of truth is different with different persons and that it depends upon their conception of the world. Men who have the same world-conception will also have the same criterion of truth.

The problem consequently is, whether this criterion of truth (i. e. the criterion of what is possible) is necessarily wholly subjective, or whether we can arrive at an objective criterion. It is apparent that this question is intimately connected with another problem, namely, Is every world-conception necessarily subjective, or, Is it possible to arrive at an objective world-conception? It appears to me that we can; and the ideal of philosophy to-day is just such an objective representation of facts.

The difficulty that presents itself lies mainly in the confusion between facts and our interpretation of facts. If A. declares that he saw a ghost, he does not relate a fact, but his interpretation of a fact. Let us suppose that he tells his story again to a third person D., who is a psychologist. D. most likely will not think him a liar. D. will accept the statement bona fide as a mere interpretation of a fact and will inquire after the causes that produced the hallucination. He may be able, possibly, to lay bare the facts disfigured by the wrong interpretation of A. And having clearly stated the objective state of things he may with the assistance of his experience explain the origin of the whole process, partly from the mental condition and the physiological constitution of A., partly from individual circumstances that gave rise to the hallucination. He will not doubt that something extraordinary has happened to Mr. A. The latter's mind has been, and perhaps still is in an abnormal state. And as to B.'s believing the ghost story, Mr. D. will not think that he is insane; though we may presume that he will regard B.'s views of the world as resting upon unfirm grounds; and he will not believe him to be a man of critical ability.

The notion is very common among idealists that we can never go beyond our subjective states of consciousness. This would be tantamount to saying that there is no difference between dreams and real life, except that a dream is cut off by awaking while life lasts comparatively much longer and ceases with death, which may also be an awakening from a dream. In that case hallucinations would be of the same value as sensations. Both would be interpretations of facts for which we do not have an objective criterion of truth. Interpretations of facts would be the sole facts, and it would be quite indifferent whether they were misinterpretations or correct interpretations.

Take a simple instance. We see a tree. The perception of a tree is an interpretation of a set of facts. Interpretations of facts, whether correct or not, are of course also facts. Thus the perception of a tree is a fact which, if all matter were transparent, would, physiologically considered, appear to the eye of an observer as special vibrations in the brain. But the peculiarity of this fact is that it represents other facts. The question is no longer whether there is a perception of a tree taking place in a brain, but whether this perception is true, i. e., whether it agrees with the facts represented. Every perception has a meaning beyond itself; every perception is a fact representing other facts, and the question of truth or untruth has reference to the agreement between representations and facts represented.

Professor Mach says in his essay "The Analysis of Sensations" (The
, Vol. I. No. I, p. 65):

  "Bodies do not produce sensations, but complexes of sensations
  (complexes of elements) form bodies."[53]

[53] Professor Mach in thus speaking of bodies uses the word in the sense of representations and not in the sense of objects represented. He calls them in the sentence next following "thought-symbols for complexes of sensations (complexes of elements)."

And, certainly, we do not deny that upon a closer analysis the perception of a tree appears as a bundle, or a complex of sensations; there is the green of the leaves, the color of the bark, the different shades of the color indicating its bodily form, the shape of the branches, and their slight motions in the breeze that gently shakes the tree. Yet the perception of a tree does not consist of these sensations alone. All these sensations might be so many isolated sensations; and if they remained isolated, they would not produce the percept of a tree. These sensations are interpreted; they have acquired a meaning and are combined into a unity. It is this unity which constitutes the perception of a tree. This unity has grown from sensations; and that process which develops and, as we have learned, naturally must develop sensations from sense-impressions, and from sensations perceptions that are representative of a group of facts outside of the perceptions themselves,—that process we define as mind-activity.

What does the 'perception of a tree' mean? It means that if the person perceiving it moves in a certain direction and over a certain distance, he will have certain sensations which upon the whole can be correctly anticipated. Every perception and also every sensation contains a number of anticipations. The perception of a tree is in so far to be considered correct, as the anticipations which it contains, and of which it actually consists, can be realised. If and in so far as these anticipations when realised tally with the perception, if and in so far as they justify it, or can justify it, if and in so far as they fulfil the expectations produced by the perception, if and in so far as they make no alteration of the perception necessary, but being in agreement with it confirm the representation it conveys: the perception is said to be true. Moreover, we can predict similar results with regard to beings of a similar constitution.

* * * * *

Now let us suppose that an apple falls from a considerable height to the ground. Knowing, from former experiences, the hardness of the soil as well as the density of the apple, we can anticipate the effect of the fall. The soil will not show any considerable impression, yet one side of the apple will be crushed. In predicting this result we anticipate sensations that we shall have under a certain set of circumstances. In so far as we shall necessarily have these sensations we have to deal with facts. Not as if our sensations constitute the entire existence of facts; our sensations, being the effects of so-called objective processes upon our senses, are only one end of a relation, which as a matter of course never exists without the other end. Sensations are the one end; they depend upon and vary with the other end. Showing within certain limits as many varieties here as occur there, they represent the other end.

We can, and for certain purposes we must, entirely eliminate the subjective and sensory part of our sensations, in order to represent in our minds not how two objects affect our senses of sight or touch but how two or more objects affect each other. Thus we arrive at an objective statement of facts, how the falling apple affects the soil, and the soil the apple; while the relation of both to our senses is to be eliminated. This objective statement of facts is the ideal of all natural sciences. The physicist states the interaction between the falling apple and the soil. He does not care how many sentient beings witness the fall; he does not care about the psychological element in their observations. He abstracts from the subjective elements in their observations as well as in his own, and confines his attention to the objective facts represented in their minds.

The objection to this conception of things is made by a consistent idealist, that these observations must always exist in some mind, they do not exist outside of a mind, and mind can as little go beyond itself as a person can walk outside of his skin. Certainly, observations always exist in some mind; they have always a subjective element. But they have also an objective element. No sensation, no perception, no observation is without an objective feature. This objective feature in a sensation or a perception, and also in an abstract idea, is the element that if true has to agree with other facts outside of the sentient being of whose mind the perception is a part. An idealist who is pleased to deny this would either have to identify hallucinations with sensations, or he would be obliged to consider the objective elements of his mind merely and solely as subjective states, having no representative value. In that case he would necessarily be obliged to consider the facts represented, i. e. the things outside the body, as parts of his mind. This being granted, every mind would appear as congruent and coextensive with the universe. We should have as many universes as there are minds, and yet all universes would be only one and the same universe, their sole difference being that of a difference of centres. With the death of every living creature a universe would die; but notwithstanding the chain of consciousness were broken forever in death, the existence of his mind, being that which is commonly considered as the objective universe, would not cease; merely a view-centre would be lost. That which we have characterised as representations in feeling-substance (which according to our terminology constitutes mind) would be a transient and unessential feature of mind only; and if it should cease to be, mind would still exist in what we have defined as the outside facts, the facts represented in mental symbols. In short, mind would be the All, it would be a synonym of God. And not only all mental beings actually existing or having existed would each, one and all, constitute the universe, but also all potential minds, every atom and all possible combinations of atoms that possibly might play a part in the mental activity of a sentient being, would constitute it.

The views of an idealist who accepts these consequences are undeniably correct, although we may quarrel about the propriety of his terminology. Yet an idealist of this type, we may fairly assume, will have little difficulty in adapting himself to our terminology, and in that case we might easily agree about the possibility of arriving at a criterion of truth; for his world-conception (aside from a difference in terms) might, or rather would be practically the same as ours.

If truth is the agreement of certain mental facts with other facts outside of the mind—if it is the agreement of subjective representations with objective things or states of things represented, the problem is whether we have any means of revising or examining this agreement.

* * * * *

If the world were a chaos, i. e. if the facts of nature were not ruled by law; if every fact were not only individually but also generically different from every other fact, so that no single fact had anything in common with other facts; if they thus had no features in common, there would exist no general properties, and we could form no concepts of genera; facts would vary radically and totally, without exhibiting regularities or uniformities other than such as might occasionally and without any reason incidentally originate by haphazard,—in short, if our world were a world of chance and not of law, there would be no criterion of truth. Our world, however, is a world of law and not of chance. Thus all facts, although individually different, are found generically to agree among themselves. No two atoms are, with regard to their position, the same at a given moment; all of them are different somehow in their operation and effectiveness. Nevertheless every one of them moves in strict accordance with exactly the same law of causation. There is not the least change taking place in the universe which is not the precise effect of a special cause. There is rigidity in mutability, unity in variety, determinateness in irregularity, law in freedom, order in anarchy. The unity of law, which in its oneness is comprised in the universality of causation, is so perfect that the different facts cannot be thought of as being generically different. However much they differ specifically, they represent the action of the same law, and this same oneness of nature is the basis of all monism.

Monism of this kind, it has been remarked by a critic of ours,[54] is identical with philosophy. Certainly it is. Every philosophy is or at least attempts to be monism, and in so far only as a philosophy recognises monism does it possess a criterion of truth. This monism may be based upon a correct or a mistaken conception of unity. Upon the correctness of this monism will depend the correctness of the criterion of truth. But it must be understood that without a monism there can be no criterion of truth, and philosophy must become either scepticism, mysticism, or agnosticism.

[54] The Nation quotes the following passage from a former essay of mine: "The philosophy of the future will be a philosophy of facts, it will be positivism; and in so far as a unitary systematisation of facts is the aim and ideal of all science, it will be monism." The Nation rejects this definition of monism and adds: "The search for a unitary conception of the world or for a unitary systematisation of science would be a good definition of philosophy; and with this good old word at hand we want no other."

Very well. Call that which we call monism or a unitary systematisation of knowledge, "philosophy"; we will not quarrel about names—dummodo conveniamus in re. We agree perfectly with our critic; for we also maintain that monism (at least, what we consider monism) is philosophy; it is the philosophy.

What then is the criterion of truth for a single fact, be it a sensation, a perception, or an observation? It is this, that if the observation be repeated under the same circumstances it will, to the extent that the circumstances are the same, be again the same; the observer will always make the same observation.

This maxim will do for a statement of facts. If according to this maxim we are in the position to ascertain that the same observation can be made again and again under certain conditions, we gain the assurance that we have to deal with a fact of some kind. But how shall we inquire into the correctness of the interpretation of the fact?

* * * * *

Every living creature and furthermore among human beings every individual man has an idiosyncracy of his own. How can we avoid the errors arising therefrom? We substitute other observers so that we can detect to what extent the individual way of observation influences the result of the experiment. Thus we shall find that some persons are color-blind with reference to red or to green, and we can in this way explain certain mistakes caused by such conditions.

Supposing that all human beings were color-blind we should consider this state as normal; and the discovery of science that certain colors which appear alike to us, are after all, considering their wave-lengths and other qualities, more different than certain other tints which are easily discerned by the eye, would be an unexpected surprise. It would to some extent be analogous to the well-known fact that there are rays of light which are not perceptible to the eye, namely, the so-called chemical rays; their existence has been discovered by their chemical effects.

It might be, although it is not probable, that what appears green to me and what I call green, may appear different to other people, perhaps gray, red, or brown, or some other color that I know not of: yet other people will—just as much as I do—call that peculiar sensation green which they experience under the same conditions, for instance, when seeing the fresh leaves of a tree. It is quite indifferent how variegated in single minds the feelings may be that accompany each kind of sensation. So long as they have for every special objective state a special analogue, they can map out in their minds their surroundings, they can have a correct representation of the world, and so long as they employ the same symbols (words or other signs) for indicating the same objective states, it is quite indifferent whether or not the feelings that are produced in the process of observation vary. It would make no more difference for the general purpose of mental operations, than it would if we were to employ Roman letters, or Italics, or Greek or Hebrew characters to designate the lines and points in explaining a mathematical figure. The main thing is that certain points are marked and represented by some sign which stands for this or that point and for that alone.

To cite another example in illustration of the subjective element of feeling in cognition, we may compare our knowledge of the world to the map of a city. The map may be printed in black, green, red, blue, or any other color. The color in which the map is printed represents the subjective element of feeling, while the form of the lines, their geometrical configuration, contains the objective element of the things represented. The map is good, i. e. its representations are true, if the squares and the streets of the city stand in the same relation among each other, as the little blocks and divisions on the map do. Whether the map is printed in green or blue will make no difference so long as we find everything we want to know about the city represented in a way such that we should be able to set ourselves aright and to find our bearings if we went astray.

The subjective element in mind is not of one half the importance generally attributed to it. The objective element, being that which is represented, is paramount, and it is the aspiration of all the sciences to concentrate their entire attention upon the objective features of observation. Objective truth is what we want, and objective truth is identical with a scientific description of facts.

* * * * *

What then is the criterion of objective truth for the interpretation of facts? Is it not wanting? May it not be that a person, Mr. A., will under given circumstances regularly see a ghost. Indeed we do not doubt that he will, and we can even prove it by experiment. This being so, is not the interpretation of facts as to whether the phenomenon is a real ghost or a mere vision, beyond any criterion of truth?

If the methods of science are reliable, (and they have been justified by their brilliant success,) we have indeed a criterion for the interpretation of facts; and this criterion for the interpretation of facts, no less than the criterion of single observations is based upon monism. If the world is really a universe, if there is oneness in the All, if there is a unity of law throughout nature, our interpretations of the different facts must agree among themselves. They cannot and should not contradict one another; and whenever they do, it is a certain sign that somewhere there is something wrong in our interpretation of facts.

Philosophy has ceased to be a metaphysical world-theory. The interpretation of facts no longer means a hypothetical assumption which will square all the irregularities among facts that we are unable to account for, but simply a methodical systematisation of facts, enabling us to recognise the sameness of law in the irregularities apparent in innumerable individual instances. Interpretation in this sense means harmonisation; it means an orderly arrangement; classification with due discrimination. An explanation of natural phenomena is not the carrying of an hypothesis in to facts out of the realms of our imagination, out of depths unknown, by what might be styled revelation or inspiration, but it is a comparison of facts with facts. The hypothesis we apply to facts must come from facts and must cover facts. That element in an hypothesis which does not cover facts is redundant as an explanation; it is useless as such, or even dangerous; and unless it serves as an aid to thought where ignorance of facts requires some assistance, some allegorical symbol, some auxiliary construction,—unless it is to the scientist what crutches are to the lame,—it must be dropped.

Accordingly, the criterion of truth is the perfect agreement of all facts, of all interpretations and explanations of facts among themselves. If two facts (such as we conceive them) do not agree with each other, we must revise them; and it may be stated as a matter of experience, that our mind will find no peace until a monistic conception is reached. A monistic conception is the perfect agreement of all facts in a methodical system, so that the same law is recognised to prevail in all instances, and the most different events are conceived as acting under different conditions yet in accord with the same law.

* * * * *

It does not lie within the scope of this essay to enter upon the practical application of the principle which we have set forth as the criterion of truth. One hint only may be supplied, to point out the most obvious maxim derivable from it—a maxim that is instinctively obeyed by all scientists and has often been popularly expressed in the sentence: An ounce of fact is worth a hundred pounds of hypothesis, or of any interpretation of facts. All the theories in the world, scientific and economical, our dearest ideals not excepted, and all the most ingenious hypotheses have no value unless they have been derived from, and agree with, the laws that live in the facts of our experience.

The trouble of applying this rule lies mainly in the difficulty of distinguishing between facts and our interpretation of facts. Considering that mind is representativeness in feelings we have to analyse the mind in order to come down to objective facts. The percept of a tree is not the tree; it is an interpretation of a group of facts; it is a mental picture produced by a synthesis of sensations, the latter being caused by sense-impressions. Considering that all the images, ideas, abstract concepts, and theories of which our mind consists are not the facts represented by them but their several interpretations, we at once see how careful we have to be for purposes of philosophical and scientific exactness in the statement of facts.

* * * * *

On this occasion, a few critical remarks concerning the leading essay of this number, "The Architecture of Theories," by Mr. Charles S. Peirce, may be added. Mr. Peirce is one of our subtlest thinkers and logicians, and it is incumbent upon one to reflect twice before criticising any sentence of a man who writes upon the most recondite topics,—upon what I should call the higher mathematics, the differential and integral calculus of logic,—with ease and masterly accuracy. Mr. Peirce's essay "The Architecture of Theories,"[55] presented in this number of The Monist, is the first publication of his in which he propounds not mere criticism or the discussion of abstruse logical subjects, but his own positive opinion, presenting in great and clear outlines the foundations of his philosophy.

[55] The term "architecture of theories" seems inappropriate from the standpoint of a positive conception of the world. Many monisms have been constructed in the way Mr. Peirce so well describes in his comparison of these philosophical systems to the building a house of one and the same material, for instance papier mâché, with roof of roofing paper, foundations of paste-board, windows of paraffined paper, etc., etc. Philosophy, however, is not a construction of a theory comparable to the building of an edifice; it is rather the mapping out of the house in which we live for the purpose of orientation.

The world-conception of Mr. Peirce agrees in one fundamental maxim with our own, but it disagrees with the latter in the main and most important application of this maxim. Mr. Peirce says, "Law is par excellence the thing that wants a reason." This maxim was the guiding star of our inquiry into the fundamental problems of philosophy.[56] The world considered as a universe displaying in all its innumerable actions one and the same law is called a cosmos; if considered as a heap of processes with no common law pervading them it is called a chaos. We found in our inquiry into the forms of existence that the laws of form possess intrinsic necessity. The laws of the form of existence are represented in the laws of formal thought (arithmetic, mathematics, logic, mechanics, and pure natural science). So long as the formal laws hold good, (and we have found in the chapter "Form and Formal Thought" that they will hold good under all circumstances,) any kind of world, whatever materially or dynamically it be, must be a cosmos, and cannot be a chaos. We can imagine that we had a world consisting of some other substance and being different either in the amount or in the action of its energy to this world of ours, but we cannot imagine that a world should exist which does not exhibit the harmony of form, and is not regulated as it were by the formal laws of existence. One plus one would be two in any kind of a world, and obviously all the other more complex statements of formal laws would remain true with the same intrinsic necessity. The truth 'one plus one makes two' contains the universal applicability of causation and of the conservation of matter and energy. Taking this ground we arrived at the conclusion that the world is a cosmos: there is no chaos and there never has been a chaos. A chaos, in the sense of an absolute non-existence of law, is an impossibility.

[56] See the author's Fundamental Problems.

Accordingly, we cannot agree with Mr. Peirce that the occurrence of chance "calls for no particular explanation." There is no chance, if chance means absence of law. Chance, if the word be admissible, is a mere subjective conception produced by limited knowledge and signifying a state of things not determinable with the means of knowledge at our disposal. Law once recognised is the death of chance (in the objective sense of the word); and chance, or sport, or chaos, or indeterminacy, or whatever one may call the absence or at least the imperfect cogency of law, far from "calling for no particular explanation," must be classed prima facie among those theories that are per se impossible: These conceptions whether applied to the world at large or to special processes of nature are in contradiction to those interpretations and systematised statements of facts which are most fundamental, most reliable, most indispensable and universal. Whatever generalisation the theory of evolution may be capable of, it is certainly not capable of being applied to law. The formal order of Nature and especially the mechanical laws of physics cannot be thought of as having been developed out of a state of sportive chance; they must be considered as having always been the same as they are now: they are eternal.[57]

[57] Mr. Peirce seems to define Mind as sportive chance; for according to his theory, as soon as sportiveness assumes fixed habits, it settles into the mechanical motions which physical science observes in gravitating masses; and matter is thus defined as "effete mind."

In stating this difference of opinion, I apprehend a possibility that although Mr. Peirce has stated his case with most admirable and I should say unequivocal clearness, I have misunderstood his views. In a former article of his, Mr. Peirce makes a statement concerning Nature considered as a possible chaos, which seems to concur rather with my views on the subject than with his own. Mr. Peirce says in his fourth Paper on the "Illustrations of the Logic of Science":

"If there be any way of enumerating the possibilities of Nature so as to make them equally probable, it is clearly one which should make one arrangement or combination of the elements of Nature as probable as another…. It would be to assume that Nature is a pure chaos, or chance combination of independent elements, in which reasoning from one fact to another would be impossible; and since, as we shall hereafter see, there is no judgment of pure observation without reasoning, it would be to suppose all human cognition illusory and no real knowledge possible. It would be to suppose that if we have found the order of Nature more or less regular in the past, this has been by a pure run of luck which we may expect is now at an end. Now, it may be we have no scintilla of proof to the contrary, but reason is unnecessary in reference to that belief which is of all the most settled, which nobody doubts or can doubt, and which he who should deny would stultify himself in so doing.

"The relative probability of this or that arrangement of Nature is something which we should have a right to talk about if universes were as plenty as blackberries, if we could put a quantity of them in a bag, shake them well up, draw out a sample, and examine them to see what proportion of them had one arrangement and what proportion another. But, even in that case, a higher universe would contain us, in regard to whose arrangements the conception of probability could have no applicability."

I rest the case here in the hope that the statement of both sides of the problem will contribute to elucidate truth.




The investigation of the psychical faculties of animals is comparable to a journey into fairy-land. We do not know, and according to Du Bois-Reymond, we shall never know, how our own mental activity has originated, yet in spite of this we deliberately form theories and opinions concerning the psychical powers and faculties of other beings that in point of nervous organisation are perhaps altogether different from us! The ancients wisely limited themselves to expressing the intelligence of animals in the form of instructive fables, and in the famous park of Versailles the charming idea was actually carried out of representing the fables of Æsop in a so-called labyrinth, every turn of the intricate lanes of which led to a different group of animals whose speech was symbolised by streams of water spouting from their mouths, and the purport of their imagined utterances was to be read in golden letters upon marble tablets placed at the side. How often have I wandered over the scene of those long since ruined mazes and have thought of the deep meaning that frequently lies in childish pastime of this kind.

But labyrinth aside—when we see an animal perform before our eyes purposive acts; and we recognise that our own thought operates in accordance with definite, rigorous laws; we shall still have to say to ourselves that a comparative animal psychology is after all not necessarily so hopeless a thing as one might be led to believe from the bold, and yet faint-hearted, "Ignorabimus" of the distinguished Berlin physiologist. And as a matter of fact the range of insight obtained in very recent times into this very field is highly encouraging. On this occasion I should like to select for discussion one of the most remarkable of questions, that, namely, which concerns the psychical activity of many-souled animals.

Quite a stir was made some years ago in the scientific world when Haeckel began to philosophise about the souls of cells, or so-called plastidule-souls; for it was patent that the course of life in the individual single cell of an animal or vegetable body flowed on in such strict conformity with reason that it was logically necessary to posit the presence of psychical guidance in the instance in question as much as in the case of composite cellular colonies in higher organic beings,—especially since every single one of these composite organisms begins its life as a simple cell, from which the others afterward spring. The wide-spread opposition that Haeckel's view met with, must be regarded as the result of current and common ignorance of the history of philosophy; since otherwise it must have been known that the idea of a cell-soul or a germ-soul which controls the development of the young, has been propounded by innumerable philosophers, and that it was proclaimed by Daniel Sennert, of Wittenberg, who died in 1637, with perfect consistency as the foundation of all psychological knowledge. Many beings, such as Algæ, Fungi, and Infusoria, never in their lives get beyond the state of a single cell, and yet under the microscope we may observe them seeking light, capturing prey, and in the majority of cases founding families. And when the Genevan Trembley discovered, in 1740, the fact of the divisibility of fresh-water Polyps and showed that after cutting them up every piece grew and developed into a new individual endowed with sensation, will, and other psychical capacities, philosophers began to debate whether there were initially present in every divisible polyp a number of souls in the germinal state, or, if such were not the case, whether the simple soul of a polyp possessed the property of divisibility. The Leipsic theologian Crusius, who died in 1775, declared in favor of the presence in every polyp of a plurality of germinal souls; the Dutch insect anatomist, Peter Lyonnet (died 1796) declared in favor of the divisibility of the single polyp soul.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.—STAR-FISH. (After Haeckel.)]

But let us pass by these subtle speculations to turn to a class of animals in the case of which we may speak with more propriety than in the case of polyps and other zoöphytes of a plural soul, since physically and psychically they act in every respect as if they had grown together out of five or more individuals,—I mean the Echinoderms in general and the Star-fish (Asteroidea) in particular. In the following paragraphs, for the sake of brevity, I shall speak of only five-rayed star-fishes, because the sacred number five is the one that lies at the basis of the physical structure of the great majority of star-fishes developed from the egg, and of all other echinoderms, although there really do occur star-fishes which are supplied, some with more and some with less than five rays,—single rays often being cast off and a larger number growing out in their places,—and although many species are regularly and normally supplied with more than five rays. From visits to the sea-shore or to aquariums, at any rate from pictures, my readers all know how a star-fish in general looks. In the first cut which accompanies this article a number of echinoderms are presented. The star-fish is in the centre to the left. It resembles the decorative star of an Order, and has short or long, broad or slender rays, as the case may be, and a disc-shaped central body.

The observation which is most important for our present discussion, and which strikes us on first seeing a star-fish, or its relatives the sea-urchin and the sea-anemone, consists of the fact that these animals possess no head, which even the most insignificant worm or insect does not lack, and that consequently its organs are in want of a guiding, regulative member, possessing externally organs of sense and having within a brain with the power to communicate the requisite commands for the movement and the conduct of the same. On the contrary, each single branch or ray possesses its own individual nervous system; and in the case of the voluntary separation of the rays, which frequently occurs, is able to continue life of its own independent accord, developing itself by the growth of new rays into a new and complete star-fish. (See Fig. 2.) But these five or more nervous systems do not radiate from a common central nerve-ganglion which might be termed a central brain, but are merely joined to a nerve-ring which lies in a common central portion, encircling the esophagus; this nerve-ring in the majority of cases forms a regular polygonic figure, and into each angle of the polygon the nerve-cord of a ray enters. It will be seen from this structural arrangement of things, that the psychical and mental guidance of these animals is entrusted to a board of five members who possess, it is true, sentient communication with each other, but act without the intermediation of a presiding officer.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.—COMET-FORM OF ARM OF A STAR-FISH.

A cast-off arm re-forming by the sprouting of four new rays.]

We may well look forward with intense interest to the outcome of a psychical administration of this kind, and to tell the truth, until recently its importance has been greatly underestimated. Every inference made with respect to the psychical excitability of an animal must be derived from its movements and actions in various natural and artificially produced positions, by observing what its conduct under these conditions is. To start with, star-fishes, like sea-urchins (which psychically are similarly governed), admit with respect to the position of their bodies a distinction of top and bottom; that is to say, the side on which the mouth lies situated in the centre of the five rays belongs properly face downwards, while the opposite surface is to be regarded as the dorsal side. But the conceptions of a forepart and a hindpart, of a right and a left are not applicable. The rays of the star-fish, like the central disc, also plainly exhibit a distinction of lower and upper parts. Among the real star-fishes (Asteroidea) the inferior or ventral surface of the arms is supplied either with two or with four rows of sucker-feet or pedicels, consisting of long, extensile, hollow sacs, which when filled and extended by the water let into their widely ramified ambulacral systems, protrude into the grooves of the arm through openings in the hardened calcareous integument. To level surfaces they easily cling fast by simply drawing back the terminal discs of their tubular feet and thus creating a rarefied atmosphere in the space between the object to which they adhere and the puffed out walls of the extremities of the pedicels. Star-fishes may be seen climbing in this way, with their hundreds and hundreds of tube-feet, up slippery cliffs and even the perpendicular glass walls of aquariums, and they are even able to hang suspended from a horizontal glass ceiling for a considerable length of time after they have been taken out of the water. When they wish to change their position they do it by alternately loosening and fastening their extensile feet in such a way that those loosened reach forward in one and the same direction uniform in all the arms, and fasten themselves to the surface anew, whereupon the others also let loose and go through the same movement in the same direction. The sucker-feet also help to convey to the mouth the food seized at the end of the arms.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.—MODE OF LOCOMOTION OF SAND-STARS. (After

In the cut to the left 1 first advances, then (5) and (2); 3 and 4 remaining at rest. Whereupon (5) and (2) simultaneously come back to the positions 5 and 2, c is lifted and pushed forwards with 1, while the two rays 3 and 4 are pulled along behind. In the figure to the right the same animal first shoves forward the pairs (1) (2) and (5) (3), 4 remaining at rest, and then bends both pairs backwards, dragging only 4 behind; c is lifted and thrown forward in the direction of the arrow.]

While in this instance, accordingly, the arms, although they are not immovable and bend and approach each other, officiate rather as the bearers of organs than as prehensile and locomotory apparatuses themselves,—the sucker-feet performing the principal tasks and requiring for their work a very finely ramified nervous system; in the case of a certain other division of the star-fishes, the so-called sand-stars (Ophiuridae), the arms are thinner and more supple, and act as organs of prehension and locomotion, dispensing more or less entirely with their suctorial pedicels. By alternately thrusting three feet forward (Fig. 3) and then drawing back the two side feet of these three, the five-footed sea-stars move more swiftly than the others, sometimes proceeding by jumps even; but they cannot climb up smooth surfaces, or cliffs, unless irregularities are present which may be grasped by their pliant arms, whereas on the other hand the common star-fishes, which are furnished with sucker-feet, climb best of all on smooth and slippery surfaces, each one of their countless pedicels being able to suspend a considerable weight, in some species as much as twenty-five grammes. In other respects, especially with regard to the ring-shaped connection of the five nerve-cords, their organisation is essentially the same; only in the sand-stars the central portion forms a disc more distinctly separate from the arms, in which former the common organs of feeling and digestion have more fully retracted.

Recognising thus, that the star-fishes and all their relatives act physically like a federal animal-union, composed of five independent animal-states, I called attention in the first edition of my work "Werden und Vergehen" (1876) to the psychological enigma that we were here confronted with a five-fold Siamese monster, as it were, in which five separate persons were brought mentally under the same guidance, or where five minds had to pull, simultaneously, one rope. On account of the absence of a head and a brain in these animals, certain well-known modern animal psychologists have taken the position that their powers of psychical performance are very scanty, and that, in a much fuller sense than was predicated of all animals by the Cartesians, these especially were irrational automatons, or, to use a technical expression, were mere "reflex-organisms," animals in which only direct external excitations evoke with unalterable regularity responsive movements, so that, for example, if any unpleasant excitation were brought to bear on them from any direction they would move in the opposite direction, but world approach if anything became perceptible that excited their desire for food. On this ground the distinguished English animal psychologists Romanes and Ewart claim to have established that these animals actually do respond like machines to external excitations; if they were excited at any part of their body by a wound, by the application of acids, an electric current, or any other irritant, they would run without exception in a straight line in the opposite direction, but if the excitation were applied to any two parts of their body at some distance from each other they would move in the line of the diagonal of the two directions, in accordance with the principle of the parallelogram of forces. Similarly their movements after prey and food (the presence of which at a distance was made known by the emission of odors), their movements toward more brightly illuminated parts of the containing vessel, their flight from the air into the water, their recovery of their normal position when placed on their backs, and finally their so-called autotomy or self-amputation, that is the casting off of their members under the irritation of powerful stimuli—were all held to represent mere automatic responses to prearranged conditions without a trace of intelligence being exhibited.

In view of this condition of things it was a very welcome announcement, that one of the most brilliant representatives of modern experimental physiology and psychology, Professor W. Preyer, at present of Berlin, had determined to undertake a comprehensive series of experiments with these very animals, and was able to carry out his intention at the zoölogical station in Naples, so admirably adapted to the purpose. To obtain clear ideas generally with regard to animal reflex-mechanisms, fitter specimens for experiment could scarcely be presented than the star-fishes, which unite a rare degree of decentralisation, power of independent action, and absence of a cerebral centre, with a nervous system of the minutest ramifications. Here, if anywhere, were simple, clear and transparent results to be expected, and finally information relating to the co-operative activity of different nervous systems. Preyer published the results of his observations in the "Mittheilungen der Zoologischen Station in Neapel" for the years 1886 and 1887, and although he does not regard his labors as completed, the scientific reading public may nevertheless take sufficient interest in the present state of his researches to justify a presentment of the principal and most general results obtained.

In confirmation of the view that previously obtained it was found that these animals actually did respond in a rare degree to given stimuli in a manner determined once for all; it could be foretold with a degree of sureness verging on astronomical certainty, how, for example, the sucker-feet of a star-fish would act if the animal in its normal and sound condition was irritated at this or that place, powerfully or weakly, one time or many times successively, by mechanical or chemical applications, by electric currents, or heated instruments. With all the means of irritation employed the result was always identical, and consisted in the fact that the distensible feet were drawn in at the point of application when the irritation did not extend beyond its region, no matter whether it was applied at the inferior or superior surface of the animal, but that protrusion of the feet never resulted from local irritations of this character so long as they did not exceed a certain intensity. A more powerful irritation, on the other hand, radiating over a greater portion, or over the whole animal, produces a general protrusion of the distensible pedicels, so far as the irritation extends, with the single exception of the point of application itself when the same lies on the inferior surface.

Inasmuch as this swarming protrusion of pedicels may spread over the entire inferior surface when only a single arm is irritated in the neighborhood of its extremity, it follows from this that the nervous excitation must first be conveyed to the ring at the centre in order to radiate thence to the pedicels of the other arms; and from the manner in which the irritation is propagated, the course of the radiation can be accurately followed. Thus, if the irritation of an arm proceeded from the dorsal region, the distensible pedicels of this arm were the first to protrude, then those of the two adjacent arms, and finally those of the two remaining arms, but in the latter not quite out to the extremities unless the irritation exceeded a certain intensity. That is to say, the effect of the irritation was propagated through the inner nerve-ring according to the same laws by which a fluid under pressure or an electric current in a similar conductory system would proceed. But if the connection of the ring was severed at both sides of the irritated arm, the effect would remain confined to that arm. If the connection was broken only on one side the irritation advanced round the other side and reached the severed neighbor last. On the other hand, a powerful irritation of the central disc immediately provoked the extension of all the pedicels. The phenomena recorded occurred moreover in accordance with simple mechanical laws as was expected from the outset, and when the irritations were unusually powerful the effect was manifested by a continuous alternate extension and contraction of the pedicels.

Amputated arms of the common sucker-footed star-fish act like arms isolated at both sides by severance of the nerve-ring, as just explained. Upon local irritation they draw in their pedicels, and protrude them upon being powerfully irritated; they creep forward in a definite direction, and when placed upon their backs are able even to turn themselves over like the uninjured animal. The severed arms of sand-stars are less independent. They twist about aimlessly hither and thither, but if any considerable portion of the central disc and nerve-ring adheres to them they are able to perform adaptive movements. Similarly the disc, with one or two arms attached, is not helpless; and is able to get along quite alone without any arms. We could explain all these movements by so-called reflex actions and might grant also that the mechanism that effects these results operates in this case upon a greater scale and with more independence than in other classes of animals, for the reason that here a real guiding organ is not present.

But whatever might be inferred from the experiments just described in favor of a senseless and unintelligent life of star-fishes, Professor Preyer was nevertheless able by extending his experiments to win the conviction that the old conception of star-fishes being real reflex animals was wholly untenable, since a great number of capacities and capabilities could be verified and provoked, which are intelligible only on the basis of adaptive co-operation and mutual concerted action in the five rays. We shall not discuss here whether this is also proved by the wonderful fact that a star-fish, which fastens its arms to everything possible, never seizes its own arm and thus, like Molière's miser, in its visits to its oyster beds never catches itself for a thief. We might say, indeed, that the arm seeking a hold does not seize its companion because it feels it and has learned by experience that it takes a Münchausen to pull one's self out of a swamp by the tops of one's boots. But we find exactly the same phenomenon among creeping plants, which clasp every kind of support in their way, but never, as Darwin observed, take hold of their own stalks; whence we might assume that there probably exists in these beings some sort of power of reflex inhibition dependent upon a property of the body and developed in consequence of the fact that clasping and grasping parts of itself would involve a useless waste of energy. We shall see, however, that under certain circumstances this instinctive "dread" of contact with self is inoperative.

But to our main task. In the simplest changes of place and position, intelligent co-operation of the arms is manifest. For if in moving from one place to another, or in turning around each arm tended to perform on its own account the necessary movements of extension or rotation, without giving any heed to the others, the animal would endure the torments of Tantalus before it could reach, if ever at all, the choice bit of food that it had scented from afar, or the ray of light towards which an obscure impulsion drove it. On the contrary, when a star-fish is spying after food, we observe it lift the ends of its pedicel-covered arms so that the downward deflected eye there situated may obtain a good view of things in the neighborhood, and if in any direction an object worth going after is discovered we see the many hundreds of sucker-feet on the five arms push out in one and the same direction,—a phenomenon that requires the presence of a very widely ramified nervous system, since every tactile pedicel needs its separate telegraph wire in order to be properly moved and not always in the same direction, as for example when the animal wishes to perform a rotation about its own axis. For these comical animals sometimes do rotate about their axis, although our simple mind wonders why a Janus-head should want to turn around, these animals being able to look simultaneously in the four directions of the compass, and having still another eye for looking downward. Similarly in the sand-stars, to which the Medusa-heads with branched arms belong, an adaptive co-operation of the arms in creeping and swimming occurs; which can be explained only as the result of a common understanding issuing from the central ring.

It would seem to follow from Preyer's extensive observations, that as a rule no one individual arm of a star-fish enjoys to the exclusion of its fellows the prerogative of universal or even general precedence; the lead of any one arm is rather solely determined by the object sought, so that the one next to the object generally starts first and assumes the lead of the little army of arms. Of course in the case of new-growing star-fishes which have sprung from a single arm by sprouting, this is different; for in this instance the old arm will undoubtedly retain control of the others for some length of time until the young ones have reached a certain size. Preyer does not seem to have instituted observations to ascertain this, but it would be interesting to determine whether an arm of this kind always takes the lead, or in the proper cases acts as driver from behind and pushes the baby-carriage with the children before it.

AURANTIACUS. (After Preyer.)

Through the end of each ray of the animal a thread is drawn and affixed to a cork; the animal lying back downwards. At first the creature swung the corks alternately inwards and outwards, taking the positions represented in the above figure. After the lapse of an hour the ray with the smallest cork attached, upon which thus the least upward pressure was exerted, was pulled downwards and sidewise and brought beneath an adjacent ray; the two opposite rays were retracted centrally, the disc lifted, the centre of gravity of the animal thus displaced, and the turning effected.]

Examples of surprisingly dexterous co-operation and concerted adaptive action are observed in these animals in their climbing on difficult surfaces, and in their attempts, also, to regain their normal position when placed on their backs or made to swim in reversed positions by discs of cork fastened to the extremities of their arms. Scientists have observed members of the orders Asteroidea and Ophiuroidea, in difficult positions of this kind, display an astounding sense of equilibrium and a skilfulness in gaining firm holds, suggestive of the athletic feats of monkeys, and that even when placed in very unusual positions such as never occur in nature. Thus many star-fishes let themselves drop from steep rocks and cliffs, if that happens to be the best way of getting down; but in such cases before they let their whole weight go hold fast to the last moment with one or two arms, as if it were previously necessary to calculate the leap into the depths below. To furnish the counter-test of this, and to prove that the central nerve-ring is, as assumed, the indispensable and necessary condition of this united co-operation, Preyer severed the ring in individual specimens of the class between every two arms, sparing the other parts as much as possible. In this way the nervous systems of the five rays were disconnected. As was expected, it was found that the more connections there were severed, the more difficult the animal found it when placed on its back to regain its normal position. For since the recovery of the normal position must be introduced by the groping about and the fastening of the pedicels of one or of several adjacent and half-turned arms, two arms or pairs of arms might for want of a mutual understanding act directly in opposition to one another and thus make the turning impossible. On the other hand, the central disc was able, though deprived of all arms, to accomplish the turning, if only the nerve-ring were preserved intact; and the more there remained of the nerve-ring on a single arm the better the single arm was able to do it.

But in circumstances which were wholly new, the adaptive co-operation of the arms demonstrated itself in so striking a manner that we may say they are not to be easily put out of countenance or confounded. When Professor Preyer, for example, slipped narrow rubber bands or cylinders over their rough spiny arms, they rid themselves as a rule of these unwonted fetters in a very short time, and in the most various but always well calculated ways. Generally the two nearest ones seized their poor imprisoned fellow "under the arms," bracing themselves with their rough spiny surface against the rubber sleeve, and thus finally stripping it off. (See Fig. 5; next page.) Sometimes, when the band was loosely adjusted, twisting movements of the arm in the water sufficed gradually to loosen it, until it could be finally cast off. Often the peeling off was effected by pressing against a rough surface, whereby sometimes an adjacent arm held the sleeve fast; and when no other expedient was of avail the animal cast the arm, sleeve and all, away from itself; and the latter may possibly have not gotten rid of it at all. At times the casting off of the arm occurred subsequently, after the obstacle had been entirely removed, and often even a day later, as if the impeded arm was still sensible of some obstruction which caused it to afterwards separate from its companions.


The figure represents the moment at which the band is about to be removed. An adjacent arm is braced against the lower edge of the band, forcing it off in the direction of the extremity of the ray.]

Attempts at flight and liberation from unwonted compulsory positions or narrow confinement, also deserve special attention. Many a person who has put a star-fish into a cage and fancied that he was assured of its possession, has been disappointed on finding that the animal had effected its escape through the meshes. But star-fishes have, in consequence of their abhorrence of the air, been made to creep into the narrow necks of bottles filled with water. Professor Preyer, for example, thrust two of the arms of a common star-fish species (Asterias glacialis) into a tube filled with salt water leaving the three other arms exposed to the atmosphere outside; and although it would have been impossible to force the animal into the tube without crushing it, the three arms exposed to the air were also pulled in within the space of three minutes. If the tube was placed perpendicularly in water the animal quickly crept out again. The performance seemed utterly impossible, for each single arm of the star-fish was almost as thick at its base as the greatest width of the tube, and yet three of these arms had to pass in side by side. This was made possible by the animal emptying during the passage all the numerous water-vesicles in the interior of the arms which serve to fill and to empty the distensible pedicels therein; the star-fish, after the expulsion of the water, becomes very soft in all its parts and does not harden again until it has forced itself completely through and refilled itself with water. In order to accomplish these emptyings, bendings, turnings, and rollings, thousands of muscular fibres must work in harmony within the body of the animal. This experiment was also successfully carried out with other star-fishes, but I cannot agree with the observer when he says that in so doing he brought the animals into a completely new and hitherto unexperienced position. In their haunts on rocky coasts they must assuredly often have to force their way through narrow fissures and holes; and they must find occasion to make use of the advantages of being able to evacuate water in the case also of single arms, as when they search with them in narrow apertures and snail-houses.

But undoubtedly new for these animals was the position in which they were fastened to a board by five long pins with broad heads, which Preyer drove in close to the central disc between the rays, so that the star-fish, as it seemed, was fastened to its resting-place in a way that admitted of no escape. Nevertheless, the star-fish found a means of freeing itself with ease and elegance from this constrained imprisonment in a great variety of ways, even when the exterior parts of their bodies were girded in by a much greater number of pins. Ordinarily they began by shoving one of their rays, accompanied by a backward bending movement of its two companions, far out between the two encompassing pins, and then drew with the greatest care first the one and then the other adjacent ray through the same narrow avenue of escape, whereupon then the two remaining rays, the one slightly overlapping the other, were enabled to follow with perfect ease. (See Fig. 6.) A practised knot-untier who had studied the position could not have given them better advice. But if no agreement of plan and purpose existed in this case between the separate rays, if each ray sought to free itself of its own accord, a successful extrication from the difficulty could hardly have been foreseen; and we must infer from this great unanimity of action in times of danger.


1. Original encompassment. 2. First stage of extrication. 3. Second stage. 4. Third and last stage. The smaller figures indicate the successive positions of the same rays.]

Preyer thinks that at times the concurrence of all the rays in matters of concerted action might have to be effected by first obtaining the concurrence and assent of any individual ray that might be hostilely disposed; he holds it as not improbable that profound dissensions may arise between the united brothers, and refers to the fact that perhaps the voluntary section of a star-fish into a three-rayed and a two-rayed portion,—which frequently takes place,—may have to be regarded as the violent dissolution of a community of fellow animals formerly living in harmony, but now lapsed into a state of conflict. We shall pass this view by, however, to point out in a few words Preyer's general inferences with regard to the mutual relation of the five communal souls. Progression and flight in a direction once taken and unimpeded by obstacles,—an observation often made and easily verified,—the acrobatic performances, and lastly the intelligent behavior, so to say, of imprisoned and fettered star-fishes, prove that generally, and especially in moments of peril, strength-giving unanimity prevails.

But Preyer is nevertheless of opinion that it is not therefore necessary to assume the existence of a permanent central government, a central soul, holding simultaneous sway over the five radial souls, and in which is lodged, especially in times of battle, full executive power. He employs the simile of five hunting-dogs yoked together in the form of a ring, of like age, like power, and the same training, who hunt a hare in concert, or stand simultaneously and mechanically before a partridge; when thrown into the water make for the shore all in the same direction, and when equally tired fall simultaneously asleep. "Like the Siamese twins," he says, "these yolked-together dogs will have upon the whole apparently but one will, although they often obey only necessity in this and not their own impulses." Preyer arrives in this at the same conclusion that I pronounced in 1876 in the work I have mentioned, where I compared the concerted actions and movements of star-fishes and sea-urchins to the walking and dancing of human twin-monsters, who in spite of a difference of mental individuality, often very far reaching, nevertheless bring about perfect harmony in their external movements. In this I had especially in mind the so-called "two-headed nightingale," two girls closely united in growth, who often violently quarreled but sang and danced so harmoniously with one another that for the time being the sorrowful fate of the indissoluble union of two so different natures was completely forgotten. In the majority of their relations the five or more associates united in the star-fish are much better off than unfortunate human beings like those just described, and especially in this one particular that they do not have to die with one another, but are able to break loose with impunity from a companion whom death threatens, when they observe that he has suffered a wound or loss, simply expelling him from the community.





You have requested me to write you for your new quarterly magazine a review of the philosophy of contemporary Germany as manifested in its most important tendencies and endeavors. In setting out to comply with your wish, I feel that this is no simple task. With mere titles of books neither you nor your public will be satisfied. The readers of The Monist will demand a deeper insight into the workshops of German philosophy; they will want to know if the old mother soil of speculative thought has retained its pristine fertility. Fertile it has remained. But in quite another sense from formerly. In a few years a century will have elapsed since Schelling published in the Philosophische Journal of Niethammer and Fichte, his "General Survey of Modern Philosophical Literature," and it is well to recall to mind that treatise and that period in attempting to characterise the present state of philosophy in Germany; contrasts, we all know, are quite as important for the acquisition of knowledge as resemblances. One central problem stood at that time predominantly in the foreground; the problem, namely, of the unification of knowledge. Neither the idea nor the tendency it involves, is unknown to the philosophy of to-day, but its meaning has become a different one. At that epoch it was sought to solve the problem from within, to solve it from the centre; it was sought to find a supreme species of knowledge possessing a certainty founded unconditionally in itself, and to expand this dialectically into a system of ideas.

I do not need to set forth here the great and peculiar acquisitions that this method has won for us, nor to point out what wealth of noble power was dissipated by it in the treatment of impossible problems. These things belong to history. The speculative period of German philosophy is dead. Ludwig Feuerbach in the middle of this century sung its funeral dirge. But it took some time before people accustomed themselves to regard it as really dead,—a time in which countless attempts were made to resuscitate it; it took some time before philosophers began generally to bestow upon the corpse the kicks of abuse that Schopenhauer in its own lifetime administered to it, and for which he was rebuked by a universal silence of indignation.

Earlier history, still under the influence of the speculative masters, had characterised the progress of German philosophy from Kant to Hegel as the necessary and logical evolution of the idea of philosophy in its highest sense. But the present prevailing method of presentation is accustomed to draw a sharp, deep line at the termination of Kant's activity, and to regard the entire subsequent speculative development of the Kantian philosophy as a fallacious digression and an abandonment of the fundamental critical idea. "Back to Kant" is the watchword that has resounded since the beginning of the sixties, at first in solitary utterances, and then with greater, ever-increasing emphasis—the incipient condemnation of a period in which German philosophy had celebrated its grandest and most brilliant triumphs, and at a time when German speculative thought had just begun to grow better known and more influential abroad.

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Back to Kant. Yes. But to which Kant? To the Kant of the first or the second edition of the Critique of the Pure Reason? To the Critique of the Pure or the Critique of the Practical Reason? Very perplexing questions these. The philosophy of Kant is not so easily reducible to a simple and comprehensive formula. It is a veritable Proteus, that changes at will form and appearance. Every one interprets it, in the end, as he wishes Kant should have thought. The cry "Back to Kant" has become in the ranks of German philosophers a veritable apple of discord. An enormous Kantian literature has sprung up; critical, exegetical, constructive. No one can dispute its acumen, learning, erudition, and profundity. But the traits of Alexandrianism unmistakably cling to it. A more pernicious waste of intellectual power, perhaps, than that of the much deplored speculative period. One has the feeling often as if one would like to cast into the tumultuous, struggling crowd of combatants a different battle cry—"Back to Nature! Back to to the examination of the true contents of things!"

I shall select on this occasion from the superabundant store of Kantian literature the works of two writers only to whom the characterisation just advanced does not apply, and to whom independent and fundamental importance belongs. They are, first, ERNST LAAS,[58] professor at the University of Strassburg, who died in 1885, and second, ALOIS RIEHL,[59] formerly of Gratz, now of Freiburg. Both began with Kantian research. Neither remained identified with it. Both sought to supply a new foundation for that branch of philosophy that deals with the theory of cognition; both brought to the service of their task, in addition to eminent critical and analytical acumen, comprehensive historical knowledge. Widely different in method, both pursued the same end—the eradication of that transcendent bias which had so pernicious an influence with Kant himself and his immediate followers, and the replacing of all dualistic opposition of a higher and a lower, or a real and a phantom world, by a philosophy of reality based upon the rigid analysis of pure experience. Both, therefore, are, in this sense, indispensable preconditions of every monistic philosophy that is not founded on immediate intellectual perception, or mere postulates, but aims at a critical foundation.

[58] Laas, Idealismus und Positivismus, 3 Vols. 1876-87.

[59] Riehl, Der philosophische Kriticismus und seine Bedeutung für die positive Wissenschaft, 3 Vols. 1876-87.

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Simultaneously with this battle for the "real" Kant and the measure of that in his philosophy which could be utilised as the groundwork of a new structure conforming to the conditions of the times, German philosophy in the second half of this century waged another war. No fratricidal struggle this, no mere scholastic feud, but a battle for existence with a foreign foe—the physical sciences. After the speculative philosophy had retired from the throne that it had so long occupied, and the vacancy seemed yet unfilled, the attempt was made to place in the unoccupied seat another intellectual power whose credit and authority with the contemporary world had begun to keep pace with the success that attended its endeavors. We shall designate these attempts briefly as "materialism," and understand by the term any and every endeavor that aims at constructing a conception of the world with the means and methods of the mathematical and mechanical sciences alone. That which was here sought after was the exact opposite of the state of things that obtained in the speculative period; and the treatment that the speculative philosophy had to submit to at the hands of many of the spokesmen of the new movement was not entirely undeserved. The battle that German philosophy here had to fight was no easy one. Its foe occupied every position of vantage. The real or apparent exactness of its principles, the detailed character of the structure of the world that it bade fair to offer were a power. What we want is facts, not ideas; intelligibility, not profundity—these were the demands with which philosophy was confronted. It was impossible to outflank, in this direction, the representatives of a scientific discipline that admitted of skilful popularisation. There was nothing similar to oppose to it. Philosophers were accordingly compelled to confine themselves to criticism, to show forth the unmistakable defectiveness of the pure-mechanical philosophy, the weaknesses and flaws in its demonstrations and the arbitrary character of its construction; and to point out by a display of much acute reasoning what fifty years before was self-evident, that mind and mental life are not merely an accidental phase of things, not a product incidentally resulting, but an indestructible feature of the inward nature of the world itself.

Much of this extensive antimaterialistic literature, in which may also be included by far the greater part of anti-Darwinian literature, can put forth no claim to lasting worth, and is to-day wholly antiquated. For the simple reason that people no longer understand, or at least will soon no longer be able to understand, the circumstances and conditions out of which this polemical activity sprung: namely the transcendent metaphysical philosophy; mistaken idealism which imagined that existence and reality had to be transfigured in and by cognition instead of through will and action; the secret fear of an endangerment or indeed of a dislodgment of the religio-theological world-conception, the supernatural God-idea, the pure spiritual and immortal soul, the freedom of the will, and other phantoms whatsoever the designations they may bear.

But this warfare against materialism, which was waged by minds of widely varying rank and power, resulted at least in the substantial advantage of having brought the hostile parties closer together, of having forced them to the reciprocal study of their respective means of investigation, and of having put an end to the complete estrangement that formerly existed between them. Not only did it enrich philosophy, but it also led physical science to a correction of many of its conceptions and to a re-examination of its methodological hypotheses.

This is best to be studied, perhaps, by taking to hand the writings of a man who may be characterised pre-eminently as a spokesman of the materialistic movement in Germany,—I mean JAKOB MOLESCHOTT. His well known work Der Kreislauf des Lebens has become in its last, the eighth edition, something quite different from what it was in its first; and the rich collection of his lesser writings (Kleinere Schriften, 2 Vols., 1879-87) also offers the philosopher, especially from a methodological point of view, much that is worthy of especial attention. Moreover, this reciprocal influence of mind upon mind is manifested in the case of many of the most distinguished investigators of the last thirty years, in the most remarkable and gratifying manner. It is impossible to study the discourses and treatises of physiologists like DU BOIS-REYMOND and WILHELM PREYER, of physicists like HELMHOLTZ and ERNST MACH, and the discussions occasioned by their works, without being surprised at the extent to which the points of view of psychology and of the theory of cognition have penetrated into the problems and inquiries of the physical sciences. And vice versa philosophical works, like FR. A. LANGE'S History of Materialism (Geschichte des Materialismus und Kritik seiner Bedeutung in der Gegenwart), UEBERWEG'S Collected Essays (Gesammelte Abhandlungen, just recently edited in a commendable manner by Moritz Brasch), the numerous works of LUDWIG NOIRÉ, and, last but not least, the entire scientific activity of WILHELM WUNDT,—all show an intimate familiarity with the methods of the physical sciences and an assimilation of materials from these branches of knowledge such as the speculative period can furnish no example of.

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Nevertheless, this intellectual revolution, far-reaching as it was, has led neither to solid systematic construction nor even to the successful development of positive methods of thought. Since the decline of speculative philosophy,—in which in this connection the Herbartian may also be included,—two systems only have dominantly influenced the German mind: the system of ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER and that of HERMANN LOTZE. In both a resonance still lingers of the older time. In Schopenhauer we detect the spirit of Schelling's nature- and art-philosophy; in Lotze, traces of the finely studied subtlety of Herbartian metaphysics. But though both are indebted for a portion of their real intrinsic worth to this organic though involuntary connection with a great epoch, their influence upon the present time rests upon very different grounds; and primarily upon the symmetrical, finished, and compact totality of their intellectual creations. They arose at a time in which philosophers had begun to lay aside the older systems as useless, and in which that multitudinous dismemberment of knowledge already began to make itself felt which to-day seems to be still growing greater. Although it may be difficult in many phases of the development of science to satisfy the impulse latent in us to unify knowledge, and although this endeavor is characterised ever anew by the representatives of special research as a delusion, nay as a ruinous delusion,—yet this impulse is not to be eradicated from the human mind and in some way or other it will ever procure itself recognition. Works like Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (World as Will and Idea), or Der Mikrokosmus (Microcosm) embrace in fact the entire sphere of knowledge, not in an extensive, but in an intensive sense: they furnish a definite view of the complete inter-relation and meaning of life.

It will perhaps appear strange to the reader that works are here mentioned in the same breath and their effects upon the present time discussed, which are separated in origin from each other by a space of about forty years. Yet this very anomaly is characteristic of the development of the German mind. When Schopenhauer published, in 1819, his principal work, the time for it had not yet come. The philosophy of Hegel, a rationalistic panlogism, was then in the very midst of its career of triumph. The irrationalistic and pessimistic elements of Schopenhauerian thought were repulsive. We now know that the two first editions of the Welt als Wille und Vorstellung mouldered in the shops of the booksellers. Not until shortly before Schopenhauer's death in 1860 did the literary public and the scholastic circles of Germany begin to occupy themselves more seriously with this philosopher. Not until then did he really enter as an active factor into our intellectual life.

This influence, in the case both of Schopenhauer and Lotze, rests, aside from the fact of the universal character of their thought-creations, already referred to, pre-eminently in the circumstance that both made thoroughly their own the scientific theory of things and recognised that conception as one whose justification was contained in itself, and which, regarded from the standpoint of its own hypotheses, was irrefutable, though they were nevertheless far removed from perceiving in it the final and irreversible verdict of human knowledge. In this endeavor to fix the limits of scientific cognition Schopenhauer and Lotze form important pillars of the antimaterialistic movement in Germany, and are just in this respect also intimately related with the task of the modern Critical Philosophy or Neo-Kantianism. But while the latter movements came to a stop with predominantly negative or preparatory criticism, Schopenhauer and Lotze owe a great portion of their wide-spread influence on German culture to the circumstance that they undertook, from the point of view of the critical theory of knowledge already acquired, to sketch the plans of structures of the world which would furnish a general background and scheme of synthetic connection for the collective special results of the physical and mental sciences. That these sketches of world-construction have an individual coloring can only lessen their value in the eyes of those who believe they are privileged to apply to such a synthetic, constructive formulation of the highest ideas of all existence and thought, the standard of the exact determination of a single law. And so I shall only hastily point to the fact, that the contrariety and oppositeness that permeates the world and all our thought about the world also comes sharply to light in the case of these two philosophers, not to their mutual destruction, but to the heightenment of the effect by the contrast.

The fortunes of the two systems, which began about the same time to acquire influence, were dissimilar. The pessimistic element alone evinced itself fruitful, in the sense that it came immediately into contact with general culture through manifold forms of presentation and extensive discussion. The royal structure of the Schopenhauerian philosophy has given a host of dispensing draymen for thirty years an abundance to do. The leader of this army, EDUARD VON HARTMANN, has long since taken a place by the side of the sage of Frankfort, as independent master-builder, and presented a system planned and executed with the most diffuse architectural details. The nuclear idea of the Philosophy of the Unconscious (Die Philosophie des Unbewussten) has been amplified by the author himself in every direction, extended, exhibited in its historical relationships, and applied to the special departments of philosophical science. The theory of cognition, ethics, æsthetics, the philosophy of religion have all been treated of by Hartmann in the last two decades in voluminous works, and often repeatedly elaborated. In addition thereto, come several volumes of essays in which the philosopher has had something to say upon every conceivable topic, political, literary, æsthetical, pedagogical, and politico-economical. Hartmann's fecundity is only surpassed by his volubility. In him appears anew that union of philosophy and journalism that had remained disunited since the close of the period of illumination. The utility, nay the necessity, of this combination, with which, unfortunately, the academical philosophy of the passing century would have naught to do, Hartmann knew the value of, and skilfully exhibited his appreciation; though one often wishes that its popular character had, in places, been made to do service in behalf of different ideas.

The writings of no other philosopher have obtained so wide a circulation as those of Hartmann. His chief work, "The Philosophy of the Unconscious," first published in 1870, has long since been put in stereotype form, and from time to time passes through repeated new editions. Also his numerous other writings have for the greater part been repeatedly republished. We possess a collection entitled "Select Works," and have just received a "Popular Edition." And it is moreover generally known that it has only been since the appearance of the Philosophy of the Unconscious, that the sale of the writings of Schopenhauer has assumed great proportions. Through the mediation of Hartmann Schopenhauer's fundamental ideas first reached the general public.

* * * * *

The philosophy of Lotze lacked an interpreter of like versatility and fecundity, although it had need of such a one in a much higher degree. Both thinkers were masters of the philosophical style. But Lotze's symmetrically rounded and intricate periods, with their inexhaustible influx of incident relations, makes very different demands upon the patient resignation of the reader than the lightly moving, epigrammatically pointed style of Schopenhauer. Lotze for this reason never really became popular. His influence has remained rather a scholastic and academic one. It has been fruitful in high degree in its effect on the special departments of philosophical science, particularly on psychology, whose present representatives in Germany almost without exception received from him incitation and a solid scientific view-point. Not unimportant, too, is his influence upon academic instruction in philosophy, through the "Dictations" to his lectures, published after his death, which are in every student's hands and serve in many ways as a substitute for the study of his principal work. Lotze's authority, finally, stands like a rock with all whose great concern it is to find ways of reconciling the claims of theology and of religious belief with the present state of science.

And their number is by no means inconsiderable. Official Germany has become pious, or, at least, would like to appear so; and although this is not to be understood exactly in the sense of especial dogmatic zeal, yet people adhere nevertheless with a certain tenacity to the religious background of the prevailing world-conception. Abroad it is the custom to regard the Germans upon the whole as a nation of atheists, because they have produced several curious fellows like Strauss and Feuerbach, enjoy having a good time on Sunday, and drink plentifully. Nothing can be more erroneous than this opinion. The average German has long since learned to place implicit confidence in the declaration of his teachers, that the great critical liberal movement of the later Hegelian school is not to be seriously taken but to be looked upon merely as the outcome of a "pathologically over-excited" epoch. Nowhere in the great civilised countries has freethought practically found so little footing; nowhere is its dependence upon the central powers of government greater; nowhere is it more impossible to wrest even a tittle from the authority of the old system of education with its foundation laid in the theological world-theory.

This condition of things, the obstinacy, the timidity with which state and public opinion hold fast to religion,—and now in times of imminent social danger more so than ever,—must be borne in mind if we wish to understand the comparatively great success that the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Hartmann has had in Germany. In the support of these two systems the philosophical opposition of freethought has simply found expression—the opposition that has arisen against the official philosophy, of which it cannot exactly be said that it theologises, but which carefully avoids coming into conflict with theology, and does not, in its aristocratic academic exclusion, endeavor to influence more extended circles. The factor that made this philosophy of opposition accord with the spirit of the times—its proximity, namely, to the scientific world-theory—has already been emphasised; and the fact that its pessimistic coloring has not been changed by its connection therewith will be found intelligible when we consider the turn that pessimism took in the hands of Hartmann. Only the quietistic Buddhism that Schopenhauer taught, could, in an age of the highest expansion and display of power both at home and abroad, appear as an incomprehensible riddle of the national mind. The evolutionistic pessimism of Hartmann, however, which demands of the individual complete and resigned submission to the struggle for existence, although it is able to offer him in the remotest background of time no better outlook than the ultimate annihilation of existence itself—is in its immediate practical commands too closely akin to an optimistic conception not to satisfy fully the needs of life, and is again too analogous to certain cosmological prophecies of natural science not to pass as the metaphysical expression of a truth otherwise accredited.

As opposed to this state of things Neo-Kantianism or the Critical Philosophy in its various forms has taken no firm position; no more than its master Kant himself did. To a great extent it makes use of the limitations of knowledge that have been critically determined, in order to leave open behind the same a realm of transcendent possibilities in which religion may lead a passably secured existence. Behind the greatest critical acumen theological prejudice is only too often concealed.

Few only of the intellectually eminent representatives of this movement like Alois Riehl and Ernst Laas exhibit in this respect perfect determination and the consciousness that the consequences of modern science unavoidably demand the laying aside of current religious conceptions and the substitution for them of more correct ones. Laas especially, in many passages of his principal work (Idealism and Positivism), as also in his readable little treatise Kant's Stellung im Conflicte zwischen Glauben und Wissen,[60] has emphasised strongly the view that there can be ideals only for the man who acts, and that so-called ideals where mingled with the function of pure cognition only falsify reality and lead to irresolvable conflicts. And Laas likewise belongs to the few who have laid prominent stress upon the educational task of modern philosophy as a substitute for systems of religious ideas.

[60] Kant's Position in the Struggle between Faith and Knowledge.

* * * * *

From the point of view of different systematic hypotheses, but substantially with exactly the same tendencies, analogous ideas find representation in EUGEN DÜHRING, who in versatility of talent and literary activity is perhaps to be placed directly by the side of Lotze and Hartmann, though the favor in which his works stand and the circulation they have obtained fall far below the position of the latter. He presents a different form of positivistic philosophy in Germany, a philosophy not preponderantly critical but constructive, and begins with what Ludwig Feuerbach about the middle of this century in his Principles of a Philosophy of the Future (Grundsätze einer Philosophie der Zukunft) once propounded as programme. His chief work, Cursus der Philosophie als strengwissenschaftlicher Weltanschauung und Lebensgestaltung (Course of Philosophy as Exact-Scientific World-Conception and Conduct of Life), and the treatise against pessimism entitled Der Werth des Lebens (The Value of Life) sketch a world-picture that is intended theoretically to be but the simple conceptual interpretation of the present contents of experience, and therefore rejects the metaphysical constructions of Lotze, as well as the new conceptual mythology of Hartmann, and criticistic doubts concerning the objective reality of the world given in consciousness. In the practical direction, as an offset to the world-throe of humanity, the gladdening power of a life and action based on universal sympathy is emphasised. Dühring is a unique, but isolated phenomenon; standing, like Schopenhauer once did, in sullen antagonism towards the official academic philosophy, and totally ignored by it; unable by virtue of the conditions already delineated to influence wider circles, which the unanimated rigidity of his manner of presentation does not contribute to make easy. Eminent mental endowment and extensive knowledge are perhaps displayed in a higher degree in his historical works (Kritische Geschichte der Allgemeinen Principien der Mechanik[61]; Kritische Geschichte der Philosophie[62]; Kritische Geschichte der Nationalökonomie und des Socialismus[63]) than in his systematic treatises.

[61] Critical History of the General Principles of Mechanics.

[62] Critical History of Philosophy.

[63] Critical History of Political Economy and Socialism.

Nevertheless, Dühring can at the farthest be regarded only as one of the forerunners of that Messiah that is destined for German philosophy and German intellectual culture perhaps in the coming century; of that man who shall be able to cast up the accounts of the work of the present period, with its infinite analyses, its historical comparative character, and its pyramidal yield of material, and to condense that which now everywhere surges about us like a spiritual ether, but nowhere palpable or tangible, into the unity of a system that shall point out the paths to be followed and shall dominate all minds.

* * * * *

There are many,—and among them eminent investigators and estimable scholars,—who smile at this prophecy as an Utopian dream; nay, almost stand in dread of such hopes, as perilous to science. The day of systems, say they, is past. Philosophy, too,—perhaps it were more proper to say "mental science,"—is breaking up into a number of special sciences, over which it is sought to place a general science of knowledge or theory of science, as the last representative of that which was once called philosophy and was recognised as the queen of the sciences.

As intimated, I do not know whether the impulse toward unity that inheres in the human mind is to be so easily driven from the field; whether we shall be satisfied in the long run to behold that light that irradiates the universe, broken a hundred-fold by the prisms of the single sciences. But one thing is certain. The more irresolute they are in whom the science of the future places its confidence, the more actively will they press forward who hold that the precious treasure of truth has long since been granted unto man, and who would fain forge with this heritage of the past the fetters of the future. After the Catholic church under Pius IX. had hurled in the face of modern culture and science its frantic Anathema sit, it began under his successor a much quieter, yet far more determined warfare. Like one of the famed lianas of the primeval tropical forests, it entwines the giant Science, to sap his best powers and slowly but surely to stifle his life. Whatever the modern mind with the help of freedom won by bitter struggles has gained in the knowledge of nature and of history, is twisted and turned, falsified and misinterpreted by hundreds and hundreds of busy hands until it has been fashioned to fit that ready-made scheme of things composed on the one hand of Catholic dogmatical teachings, and on the other of the Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy. As many representatives as secular freethought can show, there will be found beside them to-day an ecclesiastical advocatus diaboli who will neither rest nor cease until of the hero has been made a wretch and mangy heresiarch.

Under protection of the principle of free inquiry, and with all the helps of science, a warfare of extermination is here carried on against all freedom of mind and all science, which is the more dangerous in proportion as the opponent loves to decorate himself with the borrowed plumes of science, and as he is able skilfully to mask his real designs. Catholicism is striving with untiring efforts to gain by the help of this reformed and modernised scholasticism, the mastery of the schools, of education, of the universities, and of the entire activity of science. And compared with the position of the representatives of modern thought it has decidedly the advantage. Not only is it in the possession of a unitary world-theory, but it defends that theory with most determined vigor and heedlessness against all differing views. The representatives of modern science, on the contrary, are not so fortunate as to possess inherited truth and infallible authority, and they not only have to contend with the formidable internal difficulties that stand in the way of a unitary formulation of their conception of the world, but frequently even avoid entering on this task with determination in order to make less prominent the contrast with the religio-theological system to which every exact scientific conception of the world must of necessity lead.

Against these aggressive endeavors of the theological mind, neither lofty indifference, nor calm historical contemplation, nor mere literary warring will avail. The power of freethought must be displayed, and the positive work that it can do must be shown. Otherwise the time may come when the fame of rigid scientific thought and successful research in special fields will not exonerate German philosophy from the reproach of having left the nation in the lurch at a period of momentous spiritual crisis. To make useful the rich acquisitions of these labors toward the construction of a general theory of the world, remains, therefore, the serious task of the German philosophy of the future.

I shall be permitted, perhaps, in a future article to present an account of the literature of these special departments.




The works that have appeared during the last three months belong to authors of different nationalities—Italian, Roumanian, Belgian, and I ought to add Russian; but I shall not speak on this occasion of the important work of Sergneyeff, Physiologie de la Veille et du Sommeil.

It is, as you see, a gathering of good company, on French soil.[64]

[64] All these works are published by Alcan.

* * * * *

The only French work to be mentioned is that of M. CH. ADAM, Philosophie de François Bacon, a memoir presented in the prize competition of which M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire was the reporter and preferred by the Academy of Moral and Political sciences.

M. Ch. Adam is already known by several works relating to the history of philosophy. The study which he now gives to the public is conscientious; we must commend his erudition and the moderation he has displayed both in his praise and in his criticism. I am not sure, however, if he is right in asserting that the fame of Bacon will increase and diminish alternately, according to whether patient analyses or daring hypotheses find the more favor in the scientific world. I have known many a savant, profoundly metaphysical and imaginative, who, in admiring Bacon, delusively believed himself in the possession of a solid safeguard against metaphysics. There is more chance, to my mind, of finding the admirers of the Chancellor among pure philosophers than among men of science. This is why I subscribe completely to the judgment of M. Ch. Adam, when he subordinates Bacon to Descartes and to Galileo. Especially should he be put below Galileo, who was the great initiator of modern science, at least the first to add a link to the chain of human science then being forged; one, I might say, who by his solid contributions really founded physical science, as chemistry was founded by Lavoisier and his contemporaries a century and a half later.

* * * * *

The Roumanian writer is M. BASILE CONTA, whose unfinished work, Les Fondements de la Métaphysique, has been translated by M. Tescanu. M. Conta died in the heyday of his powers. Born in 1845, he was successively, from 1875 to 1881, professor of jurisprudence at the University of Jassy, deputy, and minister of public instruction. The author and his works have, therefore, serious claims to our attention. Nevertheless, I can hardly believe that M. Conta always kept in the path in which he started, for if he had, it would have led him to considerable results.

M. Conta held that every combination of ideas, that is to say every ultimate generalisation, is essentially mobile, alterable in character, and that there will never be any final, definitive philosophical system. Subject to the benefit of this wise reserve, he undertook, nevertheless, to frame a "materialist" metaphysic, founded like the positive sciences on induction, and he attempted to rise to a general system, from which it appeared to him that the ancient notions of the soul, of freedom, and of God could not be legitimately excluded.

According to my mind, the defect of his method was the allowing too much to reasoning, the too great desire to create reality by simple logic. Unfortunately, the intellectual necessity that he proclaimed, of reducing all to unity, does not carry with it the means of properly making this reduction by a subtle operation of the mind. In order to advance towards his end, M. Conta found himself led to formulate a compendious sketch of a theory of cognition, a psychology, and a logic, at the risk of sinking at times in the quicksands of a treacherous discussion. As a matter of fact, metaphysics, spiritualism, and materialism, are conceptions of great vagueness, and the problem to reconcile them by any fashion of union, is rather like inquiring how many ways there are of placing three persons at table, or even a greater number.

This is not said by way of disputing the merits of a writer whose loss is justly regretted, or to discourage the reading of a book in which many will find much to accept.

* * * * *

The Belgian author is M. ALBERT BONJEAN, a barrister of Verviers. His book, L' Hypnotisme, ses Rapports avec le Droit et la Therapeutique, la Suggestion Mentale, affects too much the style of an address before a court in which the orator wishes to exhibit wit and acumen. Nevertheless, it is written with clearness, is agreeable to read, and the verbal nicety sought does not impair its good sense.

M. Bonjean has developed the three following theses: First, that the action of magnetism is not explained by the hypothesis of a fluid, that we cannot speak with M. Ochorowicz, of "a certain tonic vibratory movement which propagates itself outward from the periphery of the body," but that it is explainable by simple suggestion; second, that the power of suggestion is almost unlimited; and third, that though verbal suggestion is incontestable, mental suggestion remains doubtful until proof to the contrary.

M. Bonjean thus sides with MM. Ochorowicz and Delbœuf, and the whole school of Nancy, against that of the Salpêtrière. He endeavors especially to show the serious consequences, in criminal and civil affairs, of immoral suggestions, the dangers of which he reproaches M. Gilles de la Tourette with having concealed far too much. His personal conviction does not rest itself solely on the expositions of others, but on experiments which seem to have been conducted with prudence.

Extraordinary as this almost passive obedience of a subject to the suggestion of an act which is repugnant to his moral tendencies appears, we come in a position, it seems to me, to comprehend it by the observation of the degenerate patients of our asylums in their various manias. The dipsomaniac resists with all his power the impulse to drink, and the kleptomaniac the impulse to steal; they fight against it even to agony, but they end always by yielding to it. "It was stronger than I"; such is the formula that we have noted most often in the answers of these unfortunates. And remark, that the dipsomaniac does not drink for pleasure, but by compulsion, be the beverage what it may, water, urine, or petroleum; just as the kleptomaniac does not steal with a view to enjoying the product of his theft, which he ordinarily abandons or restores, but steals to deliver himself from agonising torture. In this manner also the onomatomaniac acts, who is seeking a word, and who rises at night to consult the dictionary, etc. The hypnotised subject is in the same predicament, whatever pathological difference there may be between the two; his personality has momentarily sunk in hypnosis, as does that of an insane person during the attack of insanity; his moral resistance must finally yield, and it is not at all remarkable that it does.

The volume of M. Bonjean ends with an interesting discussion of the celebrated case of Lully. The deceit that gave rise to belief in suggestion without words or gestures appears to be established; the subject reads from the lips of his magnetiser.

* * * * *

Let us turn to the fine work of M. R. GAROFALO, La Criminologie, Etude sur la Nature du Crime et la Théorie de la Pénalité. M. Garofalo has himself translated his work from the Italian; this second edition is entirely recast.

The Italians have always had a taste for juridical studies. Their school of criminologists has placed itself at the head of the movement which ought to result in the reform of all criminal codes. Two principal tendencies are predominant in the works of this school: the physicians and anthropologists, for example M. Lombroso, have conformably to their mental tendencies, particularly studied the criminal, of whom they have endeavored to fix the type; the jurists, like M. Garofalo, vice-president of the civil tribunal of Naples, consider by preference the crime, which they determine by reference to our social organisation. M. Garofalo shows himself at once an innovator, in that he endeavors to give a positive definition of crime, to take the place of the vague and incomplete definition which was accepted by the old jurists, and conforming to which anthropologists have thought themselves able to mark the characteristics of the criminal man. That definition has relation to the average morality of the societies of to-day; crime or criminal offence is to be sought, according to him, only in the violation of altruistic sentiments acquired and consolidated in the average social individual—compassion and probity. New categories ought then to be established; that of "revolutionists," for example, with whom the offence does not proclaim moral monstrosity.

The violation of altruistic sentiments certainly reveals in the offender a grave anomaly; it marks him as not adapted to the conditions of society, and even incapable of adapting himself to them, in consequence of psychical and physiological irregularities. The principle, then, is correct, although M. Garofalo has based it on an analysis of sentiments which appears to me insufficient. The sympathetic emotions which compassion embraces, are not the only source of our moral activity; probity arises in part from intelligence, and the logical sense intervenes to give the form of justice or injustice to an act of passion. Now, feebleness of judgment becomes, incidentally, an important element of the diagnosis of the criminal. Let us agree, nevertheless, that the absence of compassion and of probity upon the whole makes up the "natural crime." This suffices surely in practice.

On the other hand, it is not convenient, and it is unquestionably not indispensable, to make a difference between an anomaly "in relation to a superior civilised type," and an anomaly "in relation to the human type itself." Here is the criterion that M. Garofalo—prepossessed as he is to take away from born criminals the benefit, too easily obtained, of disease—proposes to us, in order to distinguish from the anomaly truly morbid, an anomaly not pathological, but which depends in some way on the cerebral organisation. Subtle is this distinction which he opposes to the opinion of French alienists, according to whom the immoral are always more or less physically degenerated. I will confine myself to recalling on this point a remark of Dr. Magnan. Very often, said this eminent clinician one day to me, a father of poor moral stability but otherwise healthy of body, has a son well balanced in his moral and intellectual tendencies but already on the way to degeneracy. The anatomical anomaly invoked by M. Garofalo would be then not far from the physiological anomaly; functional disturbance of the higher faculties is not alone concerned. Fundamentally, this is of little moment to the practical conclusions of his system, which we must rapidly indicate. With regard to the repression of crime, and as to a large category of criminals, the social point of view necessarily dominates the medical point of view.

M. Garofalo inquires what the power of education and of the increase of well-being is in diminishing crime. He has found them extremely weak. Severity of repression alone appears of some efficacy; indulgence augments crime. For the sake of social selection, the criminal ought to be eliminated, by capital punishment, perpetual banishment, etc., according as the case demands. Temporary imprisonment has no place in this system. Finally, the only criterion of penality is lack of adaptability to social life; this criterion will replace the false principles of "moral responsibility" and "proportionment of the punishment to the crime." It is too apparent that the prevailing penal theory and the jurisprudence in agreement with it, seem to tend to protect the criminal against society, rather than society against the criminal. And what absurdities besides! The attempt is less severely treated than the consummated offence; preparatory acts are never punished, the attempt at a crime is always punished.

The criterion of penality once accepted, it is necessary to find the indices of this lack of fitness, of the impossibility of adaptation to social life, which justifies repression. M. Garofalo seeks them no longer in "premeditation," but he finds them in the motive of the crime and in the way in which it has been prepared or perpetrated. We cannot follow him into the details of this discussion, which presents the highest interest. Our exceptions would turn on the interpretation of certain features; they do not bear on the general principles of this great and solid work.



THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY. By William James, Professor of
    Psychology in Harvard University. In two volumes. New York: Henry
    Holt & Co., American Science Series. Advanced Course.

In the present status of psychological science every attempt to gather the diversified facts and views and present them in a single, though extensive work, cannot but be scrutinised with great care and interest; and when this work comes from the pen of one who has gained so wide and appreciative a circle of readers, the interest becomes deeper and more personal.

It was, perhaps, the professor of mental science, struggling for years with text-books, inadequate, or antiquated, or narrow, or unscientific, or dry, or unpedagogic, who most anxiously awaited the appearance of Professor James's volumes; and his expectation was the more warranted, as the work was announced in a series of text-books deservedly successful and popular. To such a one, the work itself does not come to fill the place of a text-book; not alone the great length (1,400 pages), but the general supposition of knowledge on the part of the reader which it is the object of college courses to supply, together with the selection of topics and the peculiar division of space amongst them, limit the work to students of a much more advanced type than (unfortunately, perhaps) American education as yet supplies. But while our professor must still patiently hope for some work that will present in brief and convenient form the main facts of Psychology, he will find his task made easier and more interesting by these welcome volumes. He will find in them an original and frequently brilliant treatment of many of the deepest problems of modern Psychology: and it is as a contribution to science and as an aid to the professional student that a discussion of their contents and tenets will be pertinent in these pages.

To begin with, the attitude of the author to his subject is that of a professional scientist to his specialty. "I have kept close," he says, "to the point of view of natural science throughout the book. Every natural science assumes certain data uncritically, and declines to challenge the elements between which its own 'laws' obtain, and from which its own deductions are carried on…. This book, assuming that thoughts and feelings exist, and are vehicles of knowledge, thereupon contends that Psychology, when she has ascertained the empirical correlation of the various sorts of thought or feeling with definite conditions of the brain, can go no farther—can go no farther that is as a natural science. If she goes farther she becomes metaphysical."

This position does not carry with it the condemnation of all matters metaphysical, but simply excludes them from Psychology; nor does this independence place Psychology in a position unrelated to other sciences. Such relation is a cardinal fact in the mental world, and nowhere is it more necessary to bear in mind that the division of the sciences is largely an expression of the lines of men's interests and the inevitable specialisation of knowledge. Those forms of adaptations of means to ends which we study as forms of psychic action, while theoretically distinguishable from other modes of action, in fact, often resemble them; in other words, "the boundary line of the mental faculty is certainly vague. It is better not to be pedantic, but to let the science be as vague as the subject," and include all facts, whether they are usually called physiological, or biological, or not, that shed light on the main problems dealt with.

This conception accordingly views mind as distinctly related to and an essential part of its environment; it views mental phenomena as infinitely varied, as most intricately conditioned by and in turn conditioning other natural phenomena. For the complete survey of its domain, it calls upon experiment, observation, introspection, comparison, analysis, hypothesis, deduction, each properly controlled by the others, and limited by community of purpose to a firm foundation of fact.

It is true that in the more intricate problems, those with the smallest connection with sensation and the largest with inference and analysis, the author will be regarded as more metaphysical than psychological and plainly admits his fault; it is true that the personal leanings of the author lead him to lengthy discussions of these more intricate points, but none the less the positive, broad, and evolutionary spirit that dominates the general view of the subject leaves a clear impress of vitality, progress, and interest on every page.

Passing from point of view and purpose to content we do not look for and do not find any 'closed system,' but "a mass of descriptive details" in the selection of which personal interest has been the controlling factor. The articles which Professor James has written from time to time in the periodicals appear, sometimes a little remodelled, in the larger work; each chapter is thus largely an independent essay upon the topic printed at the head of it. On the physiological side we have an admirable chapter on the functions of the brain, but elsewhere the student is referred to other works for the physiological points involved.

Following this is an excellent essay on Habit and Automatism, whereupon without further ceremony the reader is invited to a somewhat speculative series of chapters upon 'Mind Stuff,' 'Knowledge and Reality,' and the like, and may resume the more concrete chapters on Attention, Conception, Discrimination and Comparison, Association, only after struggling with the complex picture of 'the Stream of Thought,' 'the Consciousness of Self,' and 'the Snares of Psychology.' Each of these chapters presents a distinct problem, presents it well and positively, and contributes much that is original to the discussion.

In all this there is strongly emphasised the subjective contribution to Psychology,—the value of a discerning and critical introspection and the importance of the subject in all processes of sense, judgment, attention, association, and the like. The mind is not a passive receptacle of experiences, but is continually active, making and shaping, seizing and transforming, absorbing and assimilating the stimuli of its environment.

A second series of topics take up the perception of those general concepts, Time, 'Things,' Space, Reality, and Form, the largest and heaviest chapters in the work, amongst which, as if to whet the appetite, are distributed more concrete pages dealing with Memory, Sensation, and Imagination. The former devote much space to criticism, and would, perhaps, border upon the metaphysics that was to have been avoided, were it not that they spring from considerations much more concrete and provable; the latter group of chapters are amongst the most interesting of the volume, and though treating but a small and somewhat arbitrarily selected portion of each of the topics, treat them in a suggestive and inspiring way. Discerning and ingenious sketches of single mental traits and processes, happy illustrations, suggestive side issues make these pages a striking contrast to the usual text-book tone, and will attract students of all shades and grades of agreement or disagreement with the author's views.

The remaining chapters deal with Reasoning, Movement, Instinct, Emotions, Will, Hypnotism, Necessary Truths; in addition to the characteristics already indicated, we find here a wise use of the facts of Morbid Psychology, of the inferences from the abnormal to the normal. This naturally stands out prominently in the discussion of Hypnotism—so recent and yet so essential a department of mental science.

When we close the cover of the second volume we do so with the feeling that our mental horizon has been enlarged, our interests have been quickened, our attention has been held, our time agreeably spent,—and yet the result of all this reading seems intangible, diffuse, scattered, unsatisfactory. The scholar and the professor always retain the student feeling and the student habit of thought; and what is unpedagogic for the one is uneconomical for the other. A logical order of exposition, a unifying grouping of topics, a just perspective of details, a painstaking selection of facts, constitute much to convert useless knowledge into useful science; such works contain a large element of drudgery, must be impersonal in one sense of the term, and yet are not inconsistent with a high degree of originality, but it is such works that are enormously helpful, that form landmarks by which progress is measured and retained. These useful qualities we miss in Professor James's work. True, it does not pretend to possess them, but psychological text-books are not written every day, and when so influential a one appears, the wish that its utility shall reach a maximum demands expression. Finally, it is a work destined to be much quoted, to arouse considerable discussion, to excite quite different opinions from different critics, and so, every one interested in modern Psychology will find it necessary and profitable to learn at first hand this important American contribution to the science of Psychology.

J. J.

THE SCIENCE OF THOUGHT. By Charles Carroll Everett, D. D. Boston: De
    Wolfe Fiske & Co. Revised edition.

An excellent manual of that which is accepted as logic. The author is a disciple of Hegel, and throughout conforms his treatment of the topic to the lines laid down by his master, although in various connections where these lines permit, the author contributes from his own resources, and from other masters, much needed supplementary matter.

The appearance of late of so many essays, manuals, and treatises professing to deal with logic and its affiliated topics is quite noteworthy, and is the manifestation of a need that has become, not merely a crying, but an absolutely groaning one. It is scarcely a metaphor to say that to-day the intellectual world is in great travail over its need of an organon. We are crying unto our logical desire from the depths of our souls and waiting for it as they that wait for the morning. This intensity of our want makes us intolerant of the old incompetences and sets us to fault-finding in the hope of better insight when the current obscurities shall have been dissipated. We scan each effort as it appears, and as it discovers no even single clear organic general principle around which the wealth of knowledge now ascertained can set in order we lay it aside with a feeling of being merely tantalised. We cannot but assimilate our condition to that of the Haunted Man in Bret Harte's clever travesty of Dickens: "'Here again?' said the Haunted Man. 'Here again,' assented the phantom, in a low tone. 'Another novel?' 'Another novel.' 'The old story?' 'The old story.' 'It won't do, Charles! It won't do!' and the Haunted Man buried his head in his hands and groaned."

When the singular difficulties of the search are considered, all this is, no doubt, void of that sweet reasonableness that should obtain. Still the interests of progress are too supreme to permit any compromise with error or incompetence.

So, although the excellent manual under notice makes no pretensions that are unwarrantable, according to the customs usually observed in such cases, it yet affords salient features, apt as texts for a course of comment that applies, not merely to the doctrine and treatment adopted in it but to the doctrine and methods of the accepted logic-books in general.

The book is entitled, "The Science of Thought." This exposes an incompetent comprehension of the topic. The Science of Thought should be a mere branch of psychology. In logic, we of course, have an almost prime need of information concerning the anatomy and physiology of thought. But this is not the peculiar motive of logic. The raison d'être of logic is not the general economy of thought, but the phenomena of untrue, incompetent, or fallacious thought, or, in other words, erroneous thought. Did but the mind of man always supply him with true and competent thoughts he would find no need of seeking logical criteria, however much he might be interested in the phenomenology of thought in general.

Man being, however, what he is, informed by a mind, prone to error, and he, in consequence, frequently subjected to evils and misses that better information would have enabled him to avoid or mitigate, he naturally seeks to solve the causes of his errors, and to discover means of testing the worth of his thoughts and of deriving thoughts that are true and competent. This search is the study of logic; the true information relevant thereto is logic, and no other device of man ought to trespass upon the name. Using for this turn the word truth in a broader sense than usual, so as to include the sense of competence, we may say that Logic is the Science of Truth and Untruth in Thought,—take notice, in thought—for we are supposing that there neither is, nor can be, any other or further means of becoming aware of aught of the nature or features, of aught that is pure alternate to mind, than thought merely, and that, therefore, truth and untruth in thought exhausts all the proper possibilities of truth and untruth.

Following Hegel, and concurring with so many others, our author starts with Being as the proper primordial universal notion. Is this not taking note merely of the comprehensive meaning of thought, in ignorance of its denominate meaning? Prior, at least logically, to Being, Form, Mode, Limit, Relation, and the like, must there not be posited or supposed somewhat to be, to be formed, to be modulated, to be limited, to be related, etc? Must not Quality be quality of somewhat, and Quantity, quantity of somewhat? So it seems to us and we therefore posit Ground as primordial in thought. Ground as intended here is not the same as the Absolute Being of Hegel. It is in general independent of the notions either of existence or reality, being in general that of which aught is predicative either in discourse or thought. It is pure logical denomination free of all logical comprehension. The imaginary number and the ideal number of mathematics are each just as truly grounds according to this intent as is a house or a tree.

Ground is the seat or basis of Being, Mind, Form, Mode, Limitation, Relation, etc. Behind any momented thought, say Sun shines, Mind thinks, or It is, lies, it may be latent, but all potential, the mere thought stripped of all comprehension: Sun, Mind, or It. It is wholly irrelevant that a ground is manifest only by means of its comprehension if it be true that it must be supposed as the seat of that comprehension. Undistributed and therefore unrelated or absolute ground from its very nature admits of no other predicate than mere being. It is in general at once the All and Existence. Its negative or Naught has no ground, being, or comprehension whatever, and no proper denomination, its name being only quasi-denominative and for convenience of notation merely. Form or Thought breaks this barren universe of mere Ground and Being by the formation of modes of Ground and by the more or less arbitrary fiats and finds of Limitation.

By the formation of Mode emerge Form, Time, and Extent, and perhaps
Cause and Aim. By Limitation emerge Part and Whole, Number, and
Relation in all their manifold involutions. Attribute being only
degraded Relation, and Quantity being only one power of Relation.

It is a most notable peculiarity of thought that it has the ability and that it is its custom to take any form or phase of Being, and regard and deal with it as a ground.

Hence every momented thought (which in effect embraces every thought properly speaking) makes two distinct references, its ground reference and its being or predicate reference. This seems to be the bottom truth in respect to the much vexed topic of extension and comprehension. There would seem to be, therefore, in reality only two ultimate categories, Ground and Being.

As to how the categories, usually taken as such, and their complements, should be distributed between Ground and Being, would seem to be a matter requiring much pondering to arrange. Owing to the double quality of so many of the mental alternates, as in one regard Being and in another regard Ground, much difficulty might well be anticipated.

Neglecting this distribution we may say that very universal terms of thought are Ground, Being, Form, Mode, Limit, Number, Part, Relation. Epoch, Place, Alteration, Event, Cause, Effect, Aim, and the like.

The cardinal mental activities which produce thought seem to be, in order, Attention, Conception, Recognition, Induction, and Deduction. In all these operations there is opportunity for not only true, but erroneous thought, and logic in its office as the inspector and judge of thought in respect of its truth or error, should study all these operations and those which are subsidiary to them, and ascertain the causes of error and the means of truth, and perfect methods of deriving truth with certainty and ease.

It is very presumptuous and hazardous to essay a definition of truth, yet since such a definition is a great desideratum, and since it will not be effected except by earnest trial, and since also, in such a matter, even failures that are consequent on devoted attempts are instructive to subsequent attempts, we venture our submission:

A thought is true which while representing its applicate (that is whatever to which it is directly applied) also, in so far as its purport implies, represents in mind a thorough and respective parity and ratio, through which each thought-analyton and thought-syntheton (whether ground, mode, limit, number, part, relation, etc.) corresponds to its proper applicate-analyton or applicate-syntheton. Truth is this representative and correspondent parity and ratio in general. A thought may be true and yet incompetent, that is unfit to serve some assigned purpose or turn in view, by reason, it may be, of its irrelevancy, or it may be of its restricted application or purport. It is a question that has been much mooted whether or not our sensations are true to their mind-alternate excitants. The argument towards showing that they are would be prolix and must be passed. If however they are not true it would be interesting to hear by what quality or nature they are to be characterised in respect to their verity.

Attention is a mental activity of considerable importance in logic in connection with that very fruitful source of error, mal-observation. But by far the most important mental activity to be studied and thoroughly known for the behests of logic is Conception, with its all important adjunct of denomination. The verity or error of all other mental operations that generate thought depends largely on the truth or untruth, the competence or incompetence of Conception. On our conceptions as a basis is erected and must ever be erected every scheme of our notation, and in so far as our conceptions are untrue or incompetent, so probably is, and so will be, in perhaps a multiple measure, all our knowledge. Very much more ought to be said in this connection, but space will not permit.

The mental operation which is here called Recognition, but which has been called hypothesis and otherwise, and which the author reviewed calls Identification, has not received the attention from logicians in general which its importance requires. It is a true variety of inference, as Mr. C. S. Peirce has fully shown. Our conceptions which are the central facts of logic would be of little value to us were we not able truly to subsume our perceptions under them. A variety of facts are available to show how very often we do this wrongly, imperfectly, or not at all.

Induction, and its rationale, depends also very largely upon conception and its intimate consequences, denomination, attribution, and relationising. Deduction and the Syllogism are trite themes, although the part that attribution plays in the process has been insufficiently noticed, and although the rules of deduction from relation-terms, the most important and fruitful of all, are as yet very partially ascertained. What is needed as an indispensable prerequisite to this last, seems to be a census and classification of the manifold relations that are known, after the model of say Roget's Thesaurus, and then a determination of the consequences of such combinations and constructions as are admissible and fruitful, and a tabulation of the same as our multiplication table is a tabulation of the consequences of the multiplication of numbers. The Logic of Relatives as it is called suffers from its having been formed thus far on so very abstract and formal a plan that its formation lacks the check and correction of frequent comparison with concrete knowledge, while its results are almost if not quite useless owing to their extreme generality, which in defect of the mediate formula leaves them inapplicable to aught that can manifest their utility or power.

F. C. R.

    N. D. C. Hodges.

The accomplished Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin gives in this publication, which forms one of the series of "Facts and Theory Papers" issued by Mr. Hodges, the results of numerous observations by Cattell, Münsterberg and other observers. His object is to present a general view of what has been done already in this department of research. The study of the time-relations of mental phenomena is of importance in various connections. As Professor Jastrow remarks:

"It serves as an index of mental complexity, giving the sanction of objective demonstration to the results of subjective observation; it indicates a mode of analysis of the simpler mental acts, as well as the relation of these laboratory products to the processes of daily life; it demonstrates the close interrelation of psychological with physiological facts, an analysis of the former being indispensable to the right comprehension of the latter; it suggests means of lightening and shortening mental operations, and thus offers a mode of improving educational methods; and it promises in various directions to deepen and widen our knowledge of those processes by the complication and elaboration of which our mental life is so wonderfully built up."

The results of the observations referred to by Professor Jastrow are given in Tables of Simple Reaction Times and of Complex Reaction Times. One of the most important points considered is "the overlapping of mental processes," as to which Cattell made a special study. From the fact that the time needed for the performance of complete operations, as multiplying numbers and reciting a verse or two at the same time, is shorter than the sum of the times required to do each separately, it is inferred that the mind should be likened not "to a point at which but a single object can impinge at one time, but rather to a surface of variable extension." Moreover, "the performance of a complex and extended mental task is not the same thing as the separate performance of the several elements into which that task may be analysed." The addition of a classified Bibliography adds much to the value of Professor Jastrow's interesting little work.


ON SAMENESS AND IDENTITY. By George Stuart Fullerton. Philadelphia:
    University of Pennsylvania Press.

Mr. Fullerton's psychological study is the first of a series of contributions to Philosophy to be issued by the University of Pennsylvania. It is truly entitled a "contribution to the foundations of a Theory of Knowledge," and is an attempt to arrive at an accurate conclusion as to the several senses in which the word same is used; with an historical and critical statement of the use of the word in a wrong sense. Mr. Fullerton finds that same has seven different meanings according to the mode in which it is applied. In the first case it has the sense of identity, and in the second that of similarity. Thirdly, the "external" bundle of qualities may be regarded as being the same at two different times, while in a fourth sense, two "external" things, or "external" qualities, existing at one time, may be called the same to mark similarity. Again, an "external" thing or an "external" quality may be called the same with its external representative, as the identification of a thing with its reflection in a mirror. This is the fifth sense; the sixth is where the same "external" object is said to be perceived by different persons. Finally, an "external" thing may be said to be the same "with its representative in consciousness or with the substance or noumenon assumed to underlie it."

On searching for the reason why such various experiences are expressed by the use of one word, Mr. Fullerton discovers that the common notion which unites them is the idea of similarity. But how can we speak of similarity when strictly only one thing is in question? The answer given is that we have "a series of experiences, beginning with one in which two objects are recognised as similar and yet are very clearly distinguished as two objects, continued in others in which the sense of duality falls more and more into the background, and ending in one in which there is no consciousness of duality at all." The last of these experiences is not wholly different from the others. It differs from them "not in the element which has led us to declare two objects similar—the element which they have in common—but in that which has led us to declare them two and different. It is by adding to this last experience, so to speak, that we get the others. They contain it and more." The experience in which two things are not distinguished, is at the bottom of all our experiences of similarity. The use of the expression "X is X," then, emphasises the fact that one is not to pass from X to any Y or Z, and it, moreover, puts a period to one's thinking, and fixes the thought upon X alone. When the words "identity" and "sameness" are intended to be used with some degree of precision, the former word indicates "sameness in which there is no consciousness of duality, or in which the consciousness of duality has fallen into the background and may easily be overlooked."

More than half of Mr. Fullerton's work is occupied by an historical and critical consideration of the use of the word same in a wrong sense, beginning with Heraclitus and coming down to Prof. W. K. Clifford. The examples he has given of that confusion of thought justifies the assertion of "the need of much greater care and exactitude than one commonly finds in metaphysical reasonings," and at the same time the hair-splitting for which Mr. Fullerton needlessly considers himself called on to plead guilty.


    Edited by R. Lewins, M. D. London: Bickers & Son.

The chief of the essays comprised in this volume is an "historical and critical sketch of successive philosophical conceptions respecting the relations between inductive and deductive thought." It was awarded the Heslop Gold Medal as the best dissertation by a student of Mason College, Birmingham (England), in 1887, and Miss Naden was also rewarded for it by being made an Associate of the College, an honor she well deserved. The dissertation displays a wide knowledge of scientific facts with a rare capacity for dealing with them in a philosophical spirit, and a power of acute reasoning such as few other women have ever possessed. Whether her opinions are always correct is another question. It is a profound remark that we are obliged to regard nature as a system, "because we can consider its multiplicity only in relation to one thinking subject." But we must challenge her statement that we have no certainty for assuming that the laws of nature will always remain unchanged. A change in the laws of nature would be the replacing of it by a different nature of which man could not take cognisance, and which therefore we cannot reasonably conceive to be possible. There might be a change of conditions which would introduce other laws, but these must be in conformity with, and not in opposition to, the present laws of nature, as otherwise they could not exist for us, seeing that "experience is possible in virtue of the original constitution of the mind," and therefore, according to the views of which Miss Naden is an exponent, they could not exist at all.

The most interesting of her essays are those which explain the system to which her editor Dr. Robert Lewins gives the name of Hylo-Idealism. This is described as the "brain theory of mind and matter," and it is so described because it asserts that every man is the maker of his own cosmos, all his perceptions having merely a subjective existence and being generated by the brain, "which focuses converging rays of sense from all parts of the body, and unites them into the white light of consciousness." It would be a mistake, however, to think that, according to this theory there is nothing outside of the percipient subject, that is, beyond man himself. The real existence of matter is not denied and, indeed, "so far from being a nonentity, matter is the fons et origo of all entities." Hylo-Idealism deals only with the relative, "ignoring the absolute as utterly beyond human gnosis." While asserting that "the only cosmos known to man, or in any way concerning him, is manufactured in his own brain-cells," it affirms the existence of another cosmos, the external universe of other systems. The mind does not however passively apprehend external objects, but actively constructs them. "We make the mountains, and the sea, and the sun himself; for sunshine is nothing if not visible, and if there were no eye and no brain, there could be no sunshine." The defect of this reasoning is that it makes man the only measure of all things. Because our senses are necessary to us to distinguish certain phenomena, it does not follow that the same phenomena cannot be distinguished under other conditions. The protozoa which have no organs of special sense are affected by the vibrations of light, sound, and probably smell, which would not be possible if those phenomena are "constructed" by the human mind.

The utmost that can be said with any show of reason is that the imaging in our consciousness of external objects does not give an actual representation of them. This is required by the theory of Hylo-Idealism, which goes still further, however, and declares that the universe does not exist as we know it. It seems to us that this view is not consistent with even the principles of Hylo-Idealism. Dr. Lewins specially points out that this system "in no sense denies the objective, but only contends for identity of object and subject, proved as it is by natural Realism itself, from the doctrine of molecular metamorphosis, which shows the Ego continually undergoing transubstantiation with the 'Non-Ego,' and vice versâ, so far as to form one indivisible organism." He compares the Ego and the Non-Ego, that is, subject and object, or our bodies and the "external universe," to a porous vessel of ice, filled with water, immersed in an infinite ocean. "What is within and without, and the septum that seems to divide the two, are all three consubstantial or identical." If they are identical, however, they must perfectly respond to each other, which would not be the case if the object in the mind did not give a true representation of the objects in external nature. Otherwise the identity of subject and object can be predicated, on the condition only of abolishing the "external universe," and affirming of it, as Dr. Lewins affirms of the stars, "What you see is a vision, or organic function, of your own sensifacient organism."

We have not space to critically consider Miss Naden's essay on "Evolutionary Ethics," which is a valuable study in Sociology. She gives logical form to Mr. Herbert Spencer's quasi-utilitarian system in the words, "the inclination is always in the direction most pleasurable or least painful; the results of the action, if it be a moral one, are such as in the long run and on a large scale, must increase happiness; but the object of the action need not be connected in the mind of the actor with any thought of happiness, personal or general." The practical objection to this view of moral conduct is the reference to personal happiness. This should be excluded altogether as an actual motive of such conduct where self is the chief object concerned. Here duty or virtue should be the guiding principle, as it should be ultimately in all moral conduct. This indeed is really admitted when it is said that rational utilitarianism "aims, not straight at happiness, but at the essential conditions of happiness." The weak point in Mr. Spencer's system of ethics is the origin it assigns for the altruistic sentiment. This is based in sympathy, the germ of which, says our author, is to be found in the fact that the ideal or "representative" world possesses an emotional aspect and therefore "the thought of a fellow creature carries with it the thought of his feelings." This thought is not necessarily, however, accompanied with an active feeling of sympathy. It requires some other influence to give it external expression, and this must be sought in the activity of the sexual instinct. Traced to this source we can understand how the altruistic sentiment may become instinctive, giving rise through parental and fraternal affection, to the higher love of country and of race, which in time will also become instinctive.

In taking leave of Miss Naden's work, we must say that, much as we disagree with its Hylo-Idealistic views, it deserves to be read by all who are interested in the search for the key to the great problem of nature. Its examination of the logical system of Kant is slight, and it is not surprising, therefore, that the name of the great German philosopher is omitted from among the precursors of Darwin. Miss Naden is in error, too, in describing Haeckel as a pronounced Materialist. He is no more so than was Darwin himself. Such mistakes were probably due to the bent of the mind of our authoress, whose too early death is a loss to the cause of truth and to humanity itself.


    American Antiquarian office.

The author of this work is well known, not only as the editor of the American Antiquarian, but as a careful explorer of aboriginal monuments in the Northwest. His attention has not been limited, however, to the results of personal observation; he has utilised the researches of other explorers, and is thus able to present to his readers an amazing amount of information, which is rendered doubly valuable by the profuse use of maps and illustrations. The points which Mr. Peet has sought to bring out in his book are, that (1) the works described as effigies were imitations of the wild animals which were once common in the region where they are found, which is chiefly in Wisconsin and Ohio, and were also totemic in their character; (2) the effigies were used for practical purposes, such as screens for hunters, guards for villages, foundations for houses, heaps on which sentinels were stationed; (3) they embodied "certain superstitions and customs which are rarely found, but which are suggestive of the religious system prevalent in prehistoric times."

The consideration of the first and second of these points does not come within our province, but it will be interesting to see what light the curious monuments described throw on the religious ideas of the aborigines. Mr. Peet states that the location of the effigies gives the idea of the prevalence among their builders of a kind of nature-worship. They are closely associated with the natural features of the earth, "the streams and lakes, hills and valleys, woods and prairies," being overshadowed by them. The animals represented were divinities to the people, and the effigies were intended to be symbols of such divinities, associated for particular reasons with special localities. In support of this view, Mr. Peet refers to the fact that the "myths which fix upon scenes in nature are those which remind one of the animal divinities which were worshipped. The figure of the moose and the turtle and other animals have been recognised in certain strange and contorted figures in the rocks and mountains, and myths have been connected with them, the myth having evidently been made to account for the resemblances." The most remarkable example of this kind is the great serpent mound of Adams County, Ohio. Serpent mounds are found in various other localities, and usually they correspond with the natural features of the ground on which they are placed.

But if the effigies are to be regarded as symbols of a totemic animal-worship, it may be thought that they cannot be taken as evidence of the existence of nature-worship. Mr. Peet remarks, however, that the symbolism of Ohio was that of sun-worship, and the existence of this phase of nature-worship among the American aborigines is an important fact. It connects their religious ideas with those which were at one time almost universally prevalent in the Old World. The Sun as the source of life and energy was from an early date the object round which centered the religious ideas of the ancient world, and the serpent occupied a chief place as symbolical of the most important of those ideas. The veneration for deceased ancestors represented similar ideas with those embodied in sun-worship, and the animal totemism of which the effigy mounds are symbolic was connected with the latter superstition through ancestral worship, the mythical ancestor being identified with the totem. If this is so, the study of the mythology of the aboriginal inhabitants of this country may be expected to throw light on the origin of Old World superstitions, and Mr. Peet may be congratulated on having done so much to make known the symbolical and other works which will soon be the only relics of an ancient and wide-spread race.


LIFE. By M. J. Savage. Boston: Geo. H. Ellis.

In this volume of sermons we have a most interesting series of studies on a subject which is probably attracting at the present time more intelligent interest than at any past epoch. The views entertained by Mr. Savage are so well known that it is not necessary to give any elaborate review of the present work. Among other themes he treats of the Nature and Origin of Life, Goodness and Moral Evil, Life's Meaning, Nationalism and other social dreams, Morality and Religion. Everywhere we find much material for thought, and, although from the very nature of the case many of Mr. Savage's conclusions will not be generally accepted, his words will be read with more than a passing interest.

His statement that right and wrong "are to be understood by studying the progress, the development, of the race, just as we find out any other truth," cannot well be contested by the advocate of any ethical theory. When he affirms this life "to be only manifestations as the years go by, out-blossomings everywhere of that life which is God,—the mystery and yet the explanation of all things," he expresses an opinion that most men who have given the subject serious thought will accept—subject only to the reservation that they are allowed to understand "God" in their own way.

The answer given by Mr. Savage, in his concluding discourse, to the question "What is it all for?" will meet with less acceptance. He remarks that all the theories which can be found as to the outcome of things are only variations of three chief theories: (1) that of a future life of rewards and punishments, the theory of Milton's "Paradise Lost"; (2) that of M. Comte, which is well named the religion of humanity; (3) that which regards spirit as having the pre-eminence over matter. As to the first theory, Mr. Savage declares it to be condemned by the intellect, the heart, and the conscience of men. He affirms that the second theory ends in nothing, and he endorses the statement of Mr. John Fiske, that "considered intellectually, such a theory puts the world to permanent intellectual confusion." Mr. Savage, therefore, accepts the third theory which "makes immortality a wholly rational thought." He sees the proof of it in the existence of the brain, the conscience, the heart of man, which "are prophecies, since they are the expression of the nature of things, and since they demand the perfect thought, and love, and right."


PROTOPLASM AND LIFE. By Charles F. Cox, M. A. New York: N. D. C.

The first part of Mr. Cox's contribution to the study of what may be termed the literature of the interesting subject he discusses, treats of the Cell doctrine. He traces clearly the changes that have taken place in the protoplasm theory, to which that doctrine belongs, with particular reference to Doctor Beale's germinal matter and Prof. Huxley's physical basis of life. In his summary of conclusions, Mr. Cox shows that the original idea of the cell, as propounded by Schleiden and Schwann, has gradually faded away. As he states, the attention of the defenders of the cell doctrine has been forced from one position to another until it is fixed on a germinal point. The same fate has befallen Dr. Beale's ideal living matter, which if an actually visible thing is reduced to "a mere skeleton of his original bioplasm," an attenuated reticulum; while Huxley's physical basis of life, like his Bathybius, is relegated to the realm of the imagination. Thus there is "no one visible and tangible substance to which the name protoplasm is rigidly and exclusively applied." Mr. Cox's conclusion as to the nature of the basal life-stuff is that "the only admissible alternative is matter plus vitality or matter minus vitality." This brings us to "the impassable gulf between the not-living and the living"; which we would observe, however, might cease to be impassable if we could properly define the terms "matter" and "vitality."

The second part of Mr. Cox's brochure is devoted to a consideration of the spontaneous generation theory, and its relation to the general theory of evolution. Mr. Cox's personal conclusion is, that, to the better part of the scientific authorities, "the spontaneous generation theory is a necessary part of the general theory of evolution, but that no experimental evidence has as yet been produced in support of the belief in the occurrence of abiogenesis, and that therefore the evolution theory hangs upon a link of pure faith." Mr. Cox finds in the gap between lifeless substances and living forms the veritable "Missing Link."


NOUVEAUX APERÇUS SUR LA PHYLOGENIE DE L'HOMME. By Madame Clémence Royer. Extracted from the Bulletin de la Société d'Anthropologie for 1890.

Madame Royer, in this admirable memoir, taking for a text the fact that an Australian lizard was seen by M. de Vis walking on its hind feet, criticises severely Haeckel's genealogy of man, whose line of descent she declares to be distinct from that of the apes. The first terrestrial ancestors of man and of other anthropomorphous animals issued from pelagic forms of distinct origins, whose evolution had been parallel, but the human ancestors acquired the upright position in a phase of amphibious ichthyophagy, while the ape ancestors adapted themselves directly to an oblique position. This original difference of attitude adapted men from the first to an entirely pedestrian motion, and the apes to a life more or less arboreal, but neither men nor apes have had any terrestrial ancestor adapted to the horizontal position.


LE MONDE COMME VOLONTÉ ET COMME REPRESENTATION. Par Arthur Schopenhauer. Traduit en Français par A. Burdeau. Tome troisième. Paris: Félix Alcan.

M. Burdeau's translation of the chief work of the renowned philosopher of pessimism is the only perfect translation into the French language. It is made with a scrupulous exactness, and its style is said to be as clear as that of Schopenhauer himself, "by which he is distinguished from all other German philosophers and is recognised as a disciple of Voltaire, Rousseau, and Chamfort." The present volume contains important appendices in which Schopenhauer recapitulated and developed various points treated of in the first edition of his work. We may refer particularly to the chapters on Instinct, Genius, Insanity, the Metaphysic of Music, and the Metaphysic of Love.

DIE HYPNOSE UND DIE DAMIT VERWANDTEN NORMALEN ZUSTAENDE. Vorlesungen gehalten an der Universität Kopenhagen im Herbste 1889. By Alfred Lehmann, Ph. D. Leipsic: O. R. Reisland.

This little book will in one respect be of special interest to psychologists. The author confesses in the preface that when he commenced his hypnotic investigations, he attempted to explain the facts under consideration by the Cartesian theory which hitherto, he says, had proved perfectly sufficient to explain the data of normal soul-life. What the author understands by the Cartesian theory appears from the following passage:

"The popular conception of the relation between soul and body is, that the soul is a being distinct from the body and endowed with certain faculties. This conception is still defended by a certain, not very numerous school of philosophers whom we may briefly call Cartesians from the fact that their theory can be traced back to Descartes, although in the lapse of time it has been considerably modified."

In a word the Cartesian theory is the theory that still accepts the existence of a mythical or metaphysical soul-unity called the ego. Dr. Lehmann says:

"It was argued since 'I' in spite of a constant change of my consciousness, am in possession of the certainty that it is the same identical 'I' that has all these states, sensations, feelings, this 'I' or the soul must be a unity. And this unity must stand in a causal connection with the outside world, with the domain of nature in the widest sense of the word," etc.

It is perhaps exceptional that a teacher at a University of Protestant Northern Europe has been under the influence of Cartesianism, but it is highly commendable that he openly confesses his change of opinion because the facts under observation demonstrate its erroneousness. Dr. Lehmann no doubt will find that the normal phenomena of psychic life are by no means in accord with the Cartesian doctrine. Indeed by showing how the abnormal and normal states agree, he implicitly confesses that the theory that proves untenable for the former ought to be regarded as untenable for the latter. We have instances of men who believe in the Cartesian doctrine, or at least by a natural predisposition have a tendency to believe in it, wavering in their belief, because the data of the normal states of psychic life so little favor the dualism of the great French philosopher. Now it almost seems as if the discoveries and the strangeness of hypnotic phenomena had contributed a great deal towards turning the tendency toward a monistic solution of the psychological problems back to the almost abandoned dualistic solution. We are fully confident that this reaction will not last, because in spite of all the strange mysteries that surround modern hypnotism, it will after all only find a satisfactory interpretation in some monistic conception.

Dr. Lehmann in abandoning the Cartesian theory, says: "The bodily and psychical states are as a matter of experience given as two series intimately connected the one with the other. Their connection can be explained in two different ways: Either the phenomena of the one are effects of the other, or both series are effects of one and the same unknown cause."

Dr. Lehmann considers either solution as a priori equally acceptable, yet he favors the latter, which might briefly be called (although the author does not use the expression) "the agnostic solution." Dr. Lehmann characterises it as "die Spinozistische Annahme" and calls it Psycho-physical Materialism.

One of his colleagues, Professor Kroman has proposed in his "Logik and Psychologie" a theory that is called by the same name. Yet Kroman's psycho-physical materialism, Dr. Lehmann declares, is widely different from his own; the former being "a mutual causal relation between the Physical and Psychical within the limits of the Atom," which, says Dr. Lehmann, "would make the explanation of complex psychical phenomena impossible."

The psycho-physical materialism of Dr. Lehmann, our author maintains, agrees in all essential points with the views of Professor Münsterberg (Freiburg in Baden).[65]

[65] The observations of Professor Münsterberg were reviewed in The Open Court No. 134.

The laboratory work done by Professor Münsterberg was published after Dr. Lehmann had finished his lectures. A certain similarity between Dr. Lehmann's views and those of the Freiburg Professor cannot be denied, yet it is more than doubtful whether Professor Münsterberg would recognise this similarity in the same measure as Dr. Lehmann does. The fact is that Dr. Lehmann has progressed in the direction which the German school of Wundt has taken; yet he has not as yet reached the same clearness; he is still entangled in Cartesian ideas, as is shown by his way of proposing problems: for instance in his treatment of the problem of will, which he justly calls "der eigentliche Probirstein der Hypothese," and of Attention, "the most enigmatic of all states of the soul" (der räthselhafteste aller Seelenzustände). In these and in other considerations Dr. Lehmann shows that he is still far from the positive standpoint by which Münsterberg's investigations are distinguished. It is very strange that in speaking of Attention M. Ribot's name has not even been alluded to. If the author had shown a familiarity with some of the monographs of this great French psychologist, he might have saved himself much work.


    HELIOTROPISMUS DER PFLANZEN. By Dr. J. Loeb. Würzburg: Verlag von
    George Hertz.

The object of this work is to fill a gap in the treatment of the subject of animal movement depending on light, and to explain it by a consideration of the actual facts. After stating that the effect of light upon animal movement is purely mechanical, and that it is governed partly by the action of the light as the exciting cause, and partly by the structure of the sensitive organisation, Dr. Loeb proceeds, "I will now prove that the direction of the light rays determines quite generally the movements induced in animals by the light, no less than the direction of plant movement, and that the orientation not only of plants but of animals, depends upon the bodily form of the latter, in so far as the dorsiventral animals themselves move with the median plane in the direction of the light rays," etc. The more refrangible are the rays of light the more efficacious is its mechanical action upon animal and plant movement, which is affected also by the constant intensity of the light and its temperature. Thus it appears that the moth's flight into a flame must be considered as the same mechanical process as, for instance, the motions of sunflowers, the growth of the sprouting axis in buds, etc. Dr. Loeb's conclusion that the circumstances which govern the movements of animals towards the light are conformable to those which have been already recognised in relation to plant-movement, is supported by numerous facts, which appear to fully establish the accuracy of his observations and deductions.

The diligent author who is at present engaged in scientific investigations at the stazione zoologica in Naples, has in the mean time published a series of further observations on the same question, all of which, as was to be expected, corroborate the propositions set forth in the above mentioned little book. We have before us two reprints, one from the Biologische Centralblatt, Vol. X, Nos. 5 and 6, 1890, the other the Archiv f. d. ges. Phys., Vol. XLVII, with one plate and two wood-cuts, the former treating of the heliotropism of the nauplii of Balanus perforatus, whose periodical migrations are shown to depend upon the action of the light, the latter discussing the common features of heliotropism in animals and plants.

    HETEROMORPHOSE. By Dr. Jacques Loeb. With 1 plate and 3 figures.
    Würzburg: George Hertz.

Julius von Sachs, Vöchting, Noll, and other botanists have successfully opened the way to a knowledge of the growth of plants in their causal conditions. This method has been applied to the physiology of animals by Pflüger. The present pamphlet is a contribution to this endeavor by Dr. Loeb, whose special object has been to determine the laws of the restoration of lost organs in animal organisms. Botanists have found that if a plant that has undergone the loss of an organ has to build it up again, the new organ will be different from the original organ, and this difference can be determined by law. Dr. Loeb inquires whether the same can be said of the reconstruction of the lost organs of animals.

There are, as a rule, in animal organisms two poles, viz. the oral pole, forming the head, and the aboral forming the tail. It has been generally supposed that living animal substance possesses the tendency to develop in one special direction oral organs, and in the other aboral organs. This was called Polarity and is based upon the experiments of Allman, Trembley, Dalyell, and others. The experiments of Dr. Loeb, made with the view of testing the polarity theory, show that it is possible to develop in animals possessing physiologically distinct heads and tails, heads instead of tails in the aboral pole, and to do so without any serious interference with the vitality of the creature. The experiments have been made chiefly on Tubularia mesembryanthemum, Aglaophenia pluma, Plumularia pinnata, and other species.

Dr. Loeb proves by his experiments that external conditions control the reproduction of organs, so that artificially oral organs can be made to grow where aboral organs have been, and vice versa. It is this faculty of animal organisms which Dr. Loeb calls heteromorphosis.


    Uebersetzung von Georg von Gizycki. Leipsic: O. R. Reisland.

This series of Sunday lectures by Dr. Stanton Coit, the speaker of the South Place Ethical Society of London, England, has been translated into German, in the shape it is now before us, by Dr. Coit's friend and teacher Prof. George von Gizycki; they have not yet appeared in English. The South Place Ethical Society is not directly affiliated to the Ethical Societies of North America, but it stands with them in friendly relations. Dr. Coit, a native American, is strongly biased in his views by his American co-workers; he is the youngest among them, and is, I believe, to be considered as a disciple of Professor Adler. He has inherited from Professor Adler the idea that we can have ethics without a world-conception or a religion; yet this idea has been considerably modified, and an approach to more positive and practical views is perceptible in many passages of his sermons.

In the lecture "Which Ethics?" Dr. Coit says: "We need (bedürfen) a theory concerning the universe and our position in it instead of the old faith." Yet in contradiction to this, he declares that theories are of little use. He adds: "If two men come down from their abstract theories into real life and to the forces which create action, it is as if they descend from two opposite mountain peaks into a warm and rich valley where rivulets run down from both sides to unite their waters inseparably into one continuous stream."

Is not this beautiful allegory, true as it certainly is in one sense, after all misleading? Is not theory and theory different? If theory means mere speculation, we heartily agree with the proposition to keep clear of and far away from theorising. It is at best a harmless play, and certainly a loss of valuable time. Yet if theory means methodical systematisation of facts, it is not mere waste of time; in that case it is the indispensable condition of all truly practical work. And it is this latter kind of theory which also in the practical work of ethical culture must be sought to be established. We must at least be clear as to basic principles so that the efforts of ethical teachers may not be at random, but directed by the progressive spirit of the age in harmony with our best scientific and philosophic thought.

Concerning religion Dr. Coit says (p. 19) in his article "Why Ethics Instead of Religion": "My own opinion is that there is one feature which distinguishes Religion from all other doctrines, ceremonies, and rules. This feature characterised Matthew Arnold's view. For he insisted not only upon morals and their importance, and thought of means for their propagation, but he proclaimed also that there was a power above the will of man to which he must bow. In the very moment he proposed that power which we have to obey, his ethics became religious…. But the recognition of this higher power, if I am allowed to propose my own views, appears to me of very little importance."

If there is such a power, and we have sufficient reasons not to doubt its existence, I should say that for ethical purposes it is of paramount importance to recognise it and to obey it. In another and a more recent lecture, Dr. Coit pronounces a very different view, he says:

"Anybody who has ever reflected a moment, must have discovered how dependent he is upon a power outside of his own will. He has no strength either for good or for evil, which he has made himself. The more he thinks about it, the deeper must become the feeling of his dependence. And being aware that God, or whatever we call that power in all things, does not mind his whims, he will find it easier not to mind, himself, his own whims. The constant thought that we are not the powers of life and death, will take away conceit and vanity and foolishness. And in this way, it brings us in times of tribulation to a quick resignation. It makes us loving brothers and sons."

Dr. Coit indeed aspires to make of ethical culture a religion for the people. He speaks on this subject in his last lecture. He opposes the Churches for mixing their ethics with theology, and he speaks with great enthusiasm about the poetry of ethics, which is much more powerful than the prose of ethics. He does not seem to see that the influence of the churches is mainly due to their poetry of ethics. Would it not be advisable to point out the prosaic truth in this poetry for the purpose of freeing the human mind of the obnoxious elements of a misunderstood poetry? Would it not be advisable to investigate the poetry of the basic idea in ethics, viz., of the God-idea, so as to let the ethical movement develop itself historically from the past. Dr. Coit's method of dealing with the God-idea is far from satisfactory. He is neither a theist nor an atheist. Sometimes he appears to appreciate the moral importance of the God-idea in its purified shape, and then again he seems to consider it as an ethically indifferent idea. Should not this problem be settled by every one who undertakes to preach ethics. It appears almost as if all the leaders of the ethical culture societies underrated the ethical importance and indispensableness of thought in general and of science and philosophy in particular.

The contradictions which appear in Dr. Coit's lectures show that he is still developing. The book is full of promise and we have every reason to hope that its author will overcome the unclearness that is still lurking in his mind, and that he will grow with the work he is doing.



Opinions admittedly are still divided with respect to the laudable efforts of a large class of scientists and writers whose main object is that of presenting the results of scientific research in an intelligible, popular form. Every department of the natural sciences, geology, astronomy, even psychology and comparative philology, each and all, are now represented by able and ardent popular interpreters, who at the same time by their aggressive style and by their polemical methods not unfrequently seem to impart a kind of militant and apostolic attitude to the cause of science. It must further be admitted, that many of these writers, by the unanimous verdict of the present age, are among the most instructive, readable, and actually the most widely read authors of contemporaneous German, French, and Anglo-American literature. At first glance, it accordingly may seem rather strange, that these same popular authors should also be subjected, not unfrequently, to their commensurate share of unfair, and even offensive, popular criticism; and yet it could hardly be otherwise.

The well-known writer of these scientific and critical essays, Prof. Ludwig Büchner, affords an exceptionally striking instance of the unenviable lot of some of our most popular writers of science. In one of these essays inscribed "Meine Philosophie," Professor Büchner has been compelled to defend the arduous work of his laborious life against a decidedly unfriendly and unappreciative criticism of his philosophy and whole scientific activity, that some time ago appeared in the American Freidenker of Milwaukee. Prof. Büchner, with a touch of legitimate bitterness, repudiates the imputation of having been, or still being, as he himself calls it, only the "popularisator," expounder and commentator, of the theories and systems of other thinkers; that, on the contrary, in Germany and elsewhere, among the highest representatives of science, for more than thirty years Professor Büchner himself has been recognised and honored as an original worker and thinker. His book on "Force and Matter" (Kraft und Stoff) was published five years before Darwin's great work on the "Origin of Species." Subsequently his well-known popular Lectures in connection with Darwin's work claim the distinguished merit, of having more widely generalised and extended the Darwinian theory by embracing the origin and evolution of man, which had until then been overlooked by Darwin himself. By the contemporary press of Germany Professor Büchner was then charged with premature rashness, and with being only a shallow, imitative scientific dilettante; but all this vituperative criticism was for ever silenced, when in the year 1871 Darwin's own work appeared on the "Descent of Man," in which Darwin himself accepted all the consequences of the theory of evolution, as set forth in Professor Büchner's Lectures, and, somewhat later, in Professor Haeckel's "Natural History of Creation" (Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte). Professor Büchner, moreover, is the author of the widely popular work "The Future Life and Modern Science" (Das künftige Leben und die moderne Wissenschaft). To deny him, accordingly, the rank and merit of a solid and original scientist and thinker, as he himself says, is to do him a signal injustice, a positive injury.

Let all this be willingly granted; but this concession, at all events, does not settle his final, mediating attitude to the entire satisfaction of philosophy, regarded as an independent science. Professor Büchner openly declares himself in favor of popular science. He maintains, that "Philosophy ought to step down from her lofty state of independent science, and henceforth content herself with the humble rôle of simply mediating the results of individual scientific research; that science, in such case, would no longer run the risk of being exposed to the scorn and contempt of the masses(!) … In popular scientific writings, at all times, there can and must occur contradictions, superficial estimates, even trivialities, but all this is perfectly understood by any fair-minded reader." … These remarks might almost tempt the reader to believe, that Professor Büchner, in his eagerness to popularise science, really ignores the value of philosophy as an independent science, and of philosophical research, irrespective of all popular results, and that the Professor wishes to inculcate a narrow and purely utilitarian estimate of philosophy. But, the impulsive Professor, of course, knows better; his mental vision embraces the entire field of the sciences, and he has written admirably and entertainingly upon almost every scientific topic, and moreover he admits, that possibly he sometimes contradicts himself.

One might further be inclined to ask, whether, in view of his self-imposed, familiar contact with the popular mind, Professor Büchner upon the whole displays the expected equanimity and broad-minded consistency when resenting the harsh criticism of antagonists, which he does with a singularly thin-skinned sensitiveness scarcely worthy of a true philosopher. In all his other works and throughout these critical essays, Professor Büchner himself shows no tender regard for the feelings of his philosophical antagonists. In the critical essay "Against Materialism," (Wider den Materialismus), for example,—mainly directed against Prof. Harald Höffding,—he bluntly affirms that Professor Höffding's works have produced upon him the impression that the author is a man without the philosophical and scientific knowledge requisite for the solution of the problems he has ventured to approach.

From what has been said, the reader may expect to find much important, instructive, and readable matter even in Professor Büchner's critical essays, bearing upon the intellectual life of the period; but he also must be prepared to find them leavened in no small degree with the characteristic mental idiosyncrasies of their ever polemical author.


DEACON HERBERT'S BIBLE CLASS. By James Freeman Clarke. Boston: Geo.
    H. Ellis.

This booklet is an unassuming little publication, but it is important as a symptom of the times. It was written by the late Mr. James Freeman Clarke many years ago as a series of papers for the Christian Inquirer. Yet it is well that they should not be forgotten and the lessons contained therein should be heeded by the clergy as well as the laity of this country. It is an attempt to make religion practical and to point out the true direction in which church-life has to develop.

There is a great truth in the general complaint made throughout the world that the religion of civilised mankind, especially Christianity in the shape it exists at present, has lost its life, its influence, and its usefulness. Our religious views must be transformed, they must be reconciled with the principles of science and must be adapted to the real needs of the people. The problem is, how to do it.

If a solution of the problem shall be found, it is certain that it will be first put into practice in the United States of America; for here the church is free. The many different churches of our country, with few exceptions (the Roman Catholic Church is perhaps the only one) are in principle churches of the people. A change of opinion, of belief, of religious conviction among the people will result in the appointment of such pastors and leaders as are in agreement with their congregations. Clergy and laity form here one organic body. The clergy are not imposed upon their congregations by the state; they are the exponents of their congregations, the representatives of the religious ideas (perhaps upon the whole of the conservative religious ideas) of their churches.

How different things are in Europe, where the state-churches of England and Germany, for instance, prevent all progress in religion, theology, and church-life.

Mr. Clarke's book, if read with these considerations in mind, shows the agencies that are at work in this country and that will (as we confidently hope) result in a new phase of religious life. Among the chapters of the book we note the following titles: "The way we helped our minister to write good sermons"; "Aim of Life"; "Temptation of Jesus"; "The Miracles"; "The Sermon on the Mount"; and others. The spirit in which the book is written is not exactly rationalistic, yet it shows in every line a strong monistic bias. For instance, the usual definition of miracles as a suspension of the laws of nature is discarded; and yet it would be erroneous to suppose that the style of the book is marked by a radical tendency. Not at all. Every faithful Christian can read it line for line without feeling the least offence. But it is plain that herein lies the author's force. The book is popular, but behind its popularity, unusual depth of thought is noticeable. In a similar way St. Paul gave milk to his followers because they were babes in Christ, and could not bear heavier food. Mr. Clarke's book is written especially for babes in Christ, yet every one who has given any serious thought to the religious problem will appreciate at once the difficulty and the importance of such an undertaking.









    PSYCHOLOGICAL LITERATURE. The Nervous System—by H. H.
; Experimental Psychology; Criminology—by Arthur
; Psychiatry—by William Noyes; Miscellaneous.

The full title of Dr. Donaldson's elaborate article is Anatomical Observations on the Brain and Several Sense-Organs of the blind Deaf-Mute, Laura Dewey Bridgman. The object had in view in the examination of the brain was "to determine, if possible, whether the peculiar mental existence of Laura Bridgman, which was the result of her defective sense-organs, has left any trace on her brain, or whether such anomalies as may be observed are sufficiently explained when considered as the direct consequences of the initial defect alone." The article is therefore "a special study in the general field of the inter-relation of brain-structure and intelligence." The final results are reserved for a second article, but it appears from the present one that the total area of Laura's brain is somewhat small for its weight, and that it is slightly inferior to two other female brains with which comparison was made, the inferiority depending mainly on the smaller average depth of the sulci, that of the left side being the most manifest. The difference can be explained in part at best, by the failure of certain portions of the brain to develop completely. Dr. Donaldson's article is illustrated by very carefully prepared plates.

In the present part of his sketch of the history of reflex action, Dr. Hodge treats of the law demonstrated by Bell, that the posterior roots of the spinal nerves are sensory, the anterior motor, which forms the beginning of the modern history of the nervous system, and of "the physical versus the psychic theory of reflex action." The mechanical theory of reflex action was first elaborated by Marshall Hall. It was opposed by Volkmann and others, among them Pflügel and Auerbach. On the other hand, Lotze supported the former view, but he advanced "a step beyond the comparatively crude, simple mechanism of Marshall Hall to a mechanism of the utmost delicacy, a mechanism susceptible of the nicest adjustments, capable of education, and of prolonged, independent, and complex activity." Habit is only another name for mechanism.

Under the head of Psychiatry, Dr. William Noyes gives an elaborate sketch of the life of Jean Jacques Rousseau bearing on the question of his insanity, which is exciting considerable interest at the present time. (E. C. Sanford, Clark University, Worcester, Mass.)

MIND. October, 1890. No. LX.


THE ORIGIN OF MUSIC. By Herbert Spencer.


VOLKMANN'S PSYCHOLOGY (II). By Thomas Whittaker.



    DISCUSSION: 1) Mr. Spencer's Derivation of Space. By Prof. John
      2) Dr. Pikler on the Cognition of Physical Reality. By G. F.

    CRITICAL NOTICES: Lewis's "A Text-Book of Mental Diseases."
      Mercier's "Sanity and Insanity"; Jones's "Elements of Logic as
      a Science of Propositions"; Coupland's "The Gain of Life and
      other Essays."


The Origin of Music. This article is intended as a postscript to Mr. Spencer's essay on "The Origin and Function of Music," included in his Essays, Scientific, Political, and Speculative, of which he is preparing a final edition. It is a reply to Mr. Darwin, who supposes music to have originated from a particular class of vocal noises, the amatory class, instead of, as Mr. Spencer asserts, its being derived from the sounds which the voice emits under excitement, eventually gaining this or that character according to the kind of excitement. After considering various objections by Mr. Edmund Gurney and others, Mr. Spencer concludes: "The origin of music as the developed language of motion seems to be no longer an inference but simply a description of the fact."

Mr. James Sully deals with Differentiation, Assimilation, and Association as the intellectual constituents in the process of Mental Elaboration. Differentiation is considered first as a process of marking off, by means of special adjustments of attention, particular sensations; followed by Discrimination, which involves change of psychical state, the dependence of mental life on which has been formulated as the Law of Relativity. Assimilation, described as a mode of unification or integration, is treated of under the headings, Psychological Nature of Likeness; Automatic Assimilation; Recognition; and Transition to Comparative Assimilation. Association is the "process of psychical combination or integration which binds together presentative elements occurring together or in immediate succession." This supposes Retention or the tendency of a sensation to persist, and Reproduction, or the reappearance "in consciousness" of the impression under a new representative form. The three processes of Differentiation, Assimilation, and Association do not follow each other, but are closely interconnected.

Part II. of Volkmann's Psychology deals with the problem of Time and Space, and with the subjects of Space of Time (Zeitraum), Motion, Number, and Intuition. "Out of sensations intuitions are evolved in consequence of the properties immanent in the sensations." While their localisation progresses in the region of the more strongly toned sensations, projection, or the "assignment of sensations to the external world," goes on simultaneously in the region of toneless sensations. By the addition of "consciousness of dependence in having the sensation," there is the completion of the presentation of the External Thing as thing. Illusions are divided into two classes; namely, 'illusions of internal perception' and 'illusions of sense.' The Ego is purely a psychical result of the soul "becoming conscious of an interaction between one of its presentations and the most ramified of its presentation-masses." Self-consciousness is defined as "internal perception within the Ego." The mind is then dealt with as thinking, feeling, desiring, and willing. Ethical feeling is a kind of æsthetic feeling, distinguished from others by the peculiarity of its objective basis, which is the actual will of the subject. Moral freedom is to have the will determined by reason. Psychological freedom permanently extended over the whole of volition is Character; its opposite is Passion.

Mr. Orange furnishes a different explanation of Berkeley's ethical system from that given by Professor Fraser, in a note to the third dialogue of Alciphron (ii. 107), and points out its agreement with Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge. "Moral laws are laws of nature; but there is no value or force in them as laws, save in so far as they are the orderly expression of God's ideas." Man's ideas are true or good, when the human spirit is at one with the divine. Both in natural and moral philosophy the laws of nature are to be attained by the use of reason.

Prof. Robertson draws attention to the concessions involved in Münsterberg's idea of 'Muscular Sense.' To the term 'muscle-sensation' no exception can be taken, "provided it is meant for no more than mere external designation, as when we speak of 'eye-sensation,' 'skin-sensation,' or the like," and is not called 'sensation of movement.' Münsterberg finds that a whole class of factors have been overlooked, or hardly regarded, by previous inquirers into 'Time-Sense.' These are sensations (or representations) of muscular tension, by synthesis of which with sense-elements (sounds by preference) time-apprehension is explicable. He is struck particularly with the part played in his experiments by the breath-rhythm, and "it seems impossible to doubt that breathing has a prerogative position among the sense-factors concerned in the estimation of short time-intervals." The name 'Time-Sense' has through Münsterberg's investigations "more justification than it ever got from its inventors, for whom it has marked only the apparent immediacy of time-apprehension."

In his criticism of Mr. Spencer's theory of the derivation of space Prof. John Watson lays down as the fundamental position of Transcendentalism, or Idealism, as he prefers to call it, "that the universe is intelligible, and that man in virtue of his intelligence is capable of grasping it in its essential nature. It therefore rejects as unmeaning the doctrine of Mr. Spencer, that we know reality to be unknowable." While recognising that Mr. Spencer and others have done good service in drawing attention to certain outward aspects of the evolution of mind, Professor Watson "concludes that no psychology can be adequate which does not recognise that perception is not the mere occurrence of transient feelings, but the first step in that recognition of the true nature of reality which culminates in the comprehension of the world as a single organic unity of which the source and explanation is intelligence."

Mr. Stout points out, in reply to Dr. Pikler (Mind, No. 59), that the sole aim of his article on "The Genesis of the Cognition of Physical Reality" (Mind, No. 57) was to trace "the genesis of the presentation of physical reality as it appears to the ordinary consciousness: not as it may be modified, and perhaps rectified, by the reflective criticism of this or that philosopher," and that what he urged against Mill was simply that "he has confounded his own philosophical view of physical reality with the view which men ordinarily take when they are not in a philosophical mood."

It is shown by Mr. Sutherland that in the utilitarian ultimate conception there is, in addition to "the greatest happiness, plus an arithmetical truth," the element of absolute justice, the existence of which requires that "all subsidiary rights as means to greatest general happiness should at utmost be classed under relative justice." (London: Williams & Norgate.)



THE MORALITY OF STRIFE. By Professor Henry Sidgwick.


THE LAW OF RELATIVITY IN ETHICS. By Professor Harald Höffding.

THE ETHICS OF LAND TENURE. By Professor J. B. Clark.

      SOCIETY By Bernard Bosanquet, M. A.

DR. ABBOT'S "WAY OUT OF AGNOSTICISM." By Professor Josiah Royce.


This is the first number of the International Journal of Ethics, which is intended to take the place of the Ethical Record. In the opening article, Professor Sidgwick affirms that the idea of a universal and complete harmony of the earthly interests of all human beings is "an optimistic illusion as to human relations, which in the present age of the world has nearly faded away." Nevertheless, "a very substantial gain would result if we could remove from men's minds all errors of judgment as to right and wrong, good and evil, even if we left other causes of bad conduct unchanged." What is practically wanted is improvement in moral insight, and the aim of the paper is to aid in the solution of certain intellectual difficulties which arise when we try to get a clear idea of duty. Warfare among modern nations "is normally not a mere conflict of interests, but also a conflict of opposing views of right and justice." Disputants may therefore be brought into harmony if they can be really and completely enlightened as to their true rights, as distinguished from their interests. The international law administered by arbitrators may be most useful "in removing minor occasions of controversy and in minimising the mischief resulting from graver conflicts," but it will not provide a settlement of all occasions of strife. Where the sphere of arbitration ends that of the moral method of attaining international peace begins; "if we must be judges in our own cause, we must endeavor to be just judges." The impartiality required is difficult, but "the judicial function—which, in a modern state under popular government, has become, in some degree, the business of every man"—might be performed with success, "if national consciences could be roused to feel the nobility and grapple practically and persistently with the difficulties of the task."

Professor Adler's article is devoted to an account of the Ethical Societies, which are described as being "consecrated to the knowledge of the Good, but not to any special theory of the Good." To adopt a philosophical formula as the basis of union would be to become a philosophical sect, which he declares is "the most contemptible of all sects, because the sectarian bias is most repugnant to the spirit of genuine philosophy." The accepted norms of moral behavior form the starting points of Ethical Societies and their basis of union. They build on the common stock of moral judgment, which may be called the common conscience. Ethics is both a science and an art. As a science it has to explain the facts of the moral life, and it is necessary to begin with the facts and to test theories by their fitness to account for them. It is "the prime duty of every one in his individual capacity to rise to the ever clearer apprehension of first principles," but for this very reason Ethical Societies in their collective capacity abstain from laying down any set of first principles as binding.

It is not quite clear how Professor Adler can declare that the Ethical Societies are consecrated to the knowledge of the good, and yet make so strong an opposition to their stating such knowledge in the exact terms of a philosophical formula. Philosophy is nothing but knowledge of the world systematised into a world-conception. It will hardly be sufficient to make the "common conscience" the corner stone of any society devoted to the elevation of morality. Not only would it be difficult to ascertain what that "common conscience" at present is, but, in addition, we can be assured that the "common conscience" is constantly changing.

Ethics as a science means philosophical ethics; and Professor Adler's ethics is, in fact, the expression of a philosophy. Yet in spite of the advanced position of the Ethical Societies, which have discarded all religious views and ceremonial practices, we find that their leader still stands upon the ground of a dualistic extra-naturalism. Professor Adler says:

"There is a reality other than that of the senses, and the ultimate reality in things is, in a sense, transcending our comprehension, akin to the moral nature of men. But how shall we acquaint ourselves with this Supersensible. The ladder of science does not reach so far."

It is true that there are realities other than that of the senses; take as a most simple instance mathematical points and lines. But there is no reality which theoretically considered can not become an object of science. The statement that there are facts to which the ladder of science does not reach, is tantamount to a declaration of supernaturalism and dualism. Professor Adler has discarded the terminology of the old dogmatism, but he has not discarded its basic error. Instead of developing the old faith into a monistic religion, he throws away religion as a basis of ethics, but preserves carefully that element in it which is hostile to science and philosophy.

The Law of Relativity is a very important contribution by Professor Höffding to the Science of Ethics. After stating that the moral law, if it is to be truly universal, must "only judge the general direction of the tendency of the will," he affirms that the individual relativity of ethics, or its personal equation, is a factor which enters into the ethical question, "when different individuals with like ethical principles and in like circumstances, but with different dispositions and capacities have to be considered." The individual is always a part of society, and the life of society is no other than that contained in its members, the ideal being "reached only when the individual's efforts in the cause of society also serve the free and harmonious development of his own faculties and impulses." In an ideal State only that would be demanded of each individual which lay within his range and power. Self-control, as a negative virtue, is a psychological impossibility. It is necessary to take note whether there is room for other inclinations that could absorb the store of energy. The struggle of self-control lasts until the new application of energy gains complete ascendancy. The happiest man is where morality has become organic and "there is an agreement between the task arising from the general principles and the particular circumstances, and the capacities and desires of the individual." Professor Höffding objects to the views of the Italian criminal-psychological school that atavism is a sign of social imperfection, that it "does not justify placing society and the criminal over against each other as absolute right and absolute wrong." He concludes that it is at least an open question whether there are any human beings "in whom no sympathy for the moral law can be awakened, however much the law may be individualised."

The arguments of Professor Clark on The Ethics of Land Tenure are summed up in the following passage: "If a state originally owned its land, in the fullest sense of the term, it had the right of voluntary alienation which is inherent in such ownership. Increments of value, present and future, are its property; in alienating them it gives away its own. If the attainment of its ends requires that they be transferred to others, the title of the grantees is valid. To deny to the state the privilege of alienation is to essentially abridge its natural rights; it is to make its ownership of the land incomplete." In relation to what is incorrectly termed "unearned increments," it is remarked, "if the essence of property is regarded, and not its form, the increments of value attaching to land are not unearned by their proprietors. In an active market land has its fair price, and this is based partly on the future increments themselves." The loss arising from a confiscation of land-value would fall "not merely on millions who have titles in fee simple, but on all who have made loans on land as security…. To every one it would come in the shape of a seizure by the state of property invested in accordance with its own positive invitation."

The communication of moral ideas, and not ideas about morality, which are the abstract or scientific renderings of moral ideas, is considered by Mr. Bosanquet as the proper function of an Ethical Society. The fault of the present time is distraction, and "one great cause of this distraction is the notion of a general duty to do good, or something other than and apart from doing one's work well and intelligently." The only certain way of communicating moral ideas is contagion, and the most useful teacher of morality is "not so much a man of abstract theory as a man of reasonable experience."

Ethics may be of service to philosophy, says Mr. Salter, in opening up the realm of "what ought to be," beyond the realm of "what is and happens." Moral ideas belong to the realm of unverifiable ideas, which are believed in because of "their own intrinsic attractiveness and authority." Ethics tells us of the law according to which men should act, the law of justice and brotherhood; we may conclude "that whatever may be the actual forces in the world at any time, justice and love are rightfully supreme over them all, and that these are so interwoven with the order of things that nothing out of harmony with them can long stand." It is "the imperishable glory of transcendentalism in our country that in the decay and disintegration of the ancient creed," it sounded the high-note "that the soul can in some sense know the object of its worship; that it need not feed on hearsay, and tradition, and arguments, but can have vision." (Philadelphia: International Journal of Ethics, 1602 Chestnut St.)

REVUE PHILOSOPHIQUE. September, 1890. No. 177.







The principle of causality belongs only to the world of sense, that of children and of the commonality of mankind who neither reflect nor analyse their knowledge. It represents confusedly the continuity and inertia which are proper to the scientific stage, as colors represent imperfectly the undulations of the ether, and sound the vibrations of ponderable matter. To make of causality a scientific property of things, a law of the phenomenal and mechanical world, is to affirm that bodies preserve their color in the absence of an eye to perceive it, or their sonorousness when no one hears them. Moreover, from a scientific standpoint, the words sound and color lose all proper meaning; while the principle of causality retains a sense, but then expresses a false proposition, and one which leads us incessantly into error. Several consequences flow from M. Lalande's conception of causality. The first is that this law is not a rational principle, but is an empirical formula, in the mathematical sense of that word. The second is that we are thereby led to see in the idea of efficiency an artificial concept, and, as would be said by philologists, a disease of language, instead of a mysterious "power" that emanates from one phenomenon in order to create its effect. A third consequence is the great simplification it leads to in the problem of induction, which requires us merely to believe in the stability of the laws of nature, which are only mathematical laws proved by experience. The true foundation of induction is the universal value of mathematics, which rests finally on the principle of identity. The degree of perfection of a science can be measured by the quantity of mathematics it employs; and it is this preconceived idea which has given birth to all the psycho-physical measures that have been recently introduced into psychology.

M. Guardia's paper gives a sketch of the philosophical system laid down in the work of the Spanish writer J. Huarte, The Trial of the Spirits, with an introductory account of the author and his book, which first appeared in 1575. Huarte is described as unique among Spanish thinkers, and as a leading figure among natural philosophers on account of the daring novelty of his original views and the excellence of his method, which is that of the inductive philosophy. His doctrine is founded on that of Galen, and he proclaims the principle that the physical determines the moral. All his metaphysics reduce themselves to the recognition of the action of exterior causes, which are of inorganic nature, and of the organism which reacts to them. He thus explains all the manifestations of life, heredity intervening as a factor in its evolution. Huarte was less concerned, however, with physiology and psychology, than with the amelioration of the social state. He worked for the future by creating of psychology an organic science of observation and experience, founded on the knowledge of human nature, and by basing on it the art of education.

In concluding his valuable study of the Origin of Technology, M. Espinas, after giving numerous examples drawn from ancient Greek life, says: "All the technical arts of this epoch have the same characters. They are religious, traditional, local. The myths referred to are at first the faithful as well as the symbolic expression of them." This mythological symbolism is "the product of a psychological and sociological projection, that is to say, the things of art are conceived as benevolent or angered feelings, as intelligent inventions or combinations that are attributed to fictitious idealised men, as exchanges that are made with them, as gifts or precepts that are received from them, or as orders imposed by their will. They are thus psychical operations or social products drawn from human consciousness unknown to it which, personified, find themselves invoked by it in order to explain to itself its own creations."

The unpublished matter referring to the manuscripts of Descartes is contained in a copy of the 1659 edition of the Principes of the French philosopher, and consists of numerous notes in the handwriting of its former owner Joseph de Beaumont. (Paris: Félix Alcan.)

REVUE PHILOSOPHIQUE. No. 178. October, 1890.








M. Tarde finds M. Lombroso too severe and at the same time too kind towards the spirit of conservatism. Too severe in terming it misoneism and too kind in regarding it as the only normal condition of societies. The hospitable reception given to novelties is an equally normal function, although intermittent. If instead of making all his sociological ideas circle round the idea of the new, and creating an unfruitful antithesis between the love and the hatred of novelty, he had taken as his central notion the idea of imitation, and proved the universal distinction between the imitation of the new and the imitation of the old, M. Lombroso would have escaped many errors. In all of us, caprice exists by the side of habit, due to physiological misoneism; and the conflict between them goes on in each individual throughout our life. Caprice triumphs at the commencement, but the contest is terminated in old age by the definite victory of habit. It is the same in the social life. The inclination to adopt new ideas is due to the law of imitation, which is a more important factor in great social movements than misoneism.

M. Belot remarks that he would not dare to write the title Une théorie nouvelle de la liberté if it referred to a theory of his own. Under it he criticises the theory advanced by M. Bergson in his Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience; according to which freedom belongs, not to the empirical personality of the superficial ego, but to the deeper ego, the subjectivity itself, the alteration of which through the laws of thought and exigencies of science gives rise to the former. According to M. Belot, on the contrary, the will and freedom are shown in the forcing back of the lower ego, which comes to the surface, and its impulses by enlightened ideas. To act in harmony with these is freedom, which is not inconsistent with determinism in the proper sense. Determinism becomes freedom in becoming intelligent. Until then we obey concealed impulses, which may belong to our parents, our ancestors, or our social surroundings, and therefore we are not free.

By an excellent series of experiments, M. Féré has demonstrated that in attention all the qualities of movement are modified; its rapidity, its energy, and its precision, the physiological condition of the process being a general tension of the muscles. It is an error to suppose the intervention of arrestive action, of inhibition, in the physiology of attention. Voluntary immobility results from very intense muscular activities, and has for its physiological condition the general tension of the muscular system, which places the subject in such a condition that he can react in the quickest and most energetic manner possible to an excitation from whatever point it may come. This is the physiological condition of attention. The exercise of immobility is the most favorable to the development of intelligence, while the relaxation of the muscles which results from the removal of the tension tends to the suppression of attention, and of the psychical activity. Excitations of the skin determine exaggerated reflex activities, more rapid and more energetic movements. As intelligence is developed, the reflex movements become less imperious, the multiplicity of motives of action gives the illusion of freedom of choice. When the excitable centres are incompletely developed, as with women and children, and especially with degenerates, the impulsions and the reflex activities generally, of which the centres are better developed, are more violent and more uncontrollable. (Paris: Félix Alcan).

Nos. 4 and 5.




      L. Schaefer



VERSAMMLUNGEN: Internationaler medizinischer Kongress zu Berlin 1890. I. Sektion für Augenheilkunde. Referiert von Claude du Bois-Reymond.—II. Sektion für Ohrenheilkunde. Referiert von Krakauer.


Professor J. von Kries examines the hypotheses propounded of late concerning the recognition of the direction in which sound-waves reach the ear. Professor Preyer maintains that different irritations, according to the source of sound, take place in the semi-circular canals, and Münsterberg, on the basis of his own experiments, has with some essential modifications accepted Preyer's views. The author devotes his chief attention to the localisation of sounds originating either to the right or to the left of the median plane. The experiments were made with two movable whistles, the intensity of which could easily be regulated. The result was that concerning right and left direction, and also with regard to simultaneous sounds from both directions at a different pitch, each note could be correctly localised. He adds that, so far as he can judge, even he who adopts Münsterberg's view has to fall back upon a comparison of the intensity in both ears. A localisation of whistle-sounds in the median line, be it in front or at the back, was not so certain. A single tone was, upon the whole, correctly localised; yet it was difficult to discriminate two sounds in the median plane.

In another article on the same subject, entitled On Interaureal Localisation of Diotic Sensations Karl L. Schaefer of Jena recapitulates in brief the monotic and diotic experiments made by Silvanus B. Thompson, Purkynés, Urbantschitsch, and Preyer; completing the inquiries of Fechner on the subject he states the following result: "Let two tuning forks be placed at an equal distance from the median plane in front of the ears, so that their sound is medianly localised: 1) Synchronal vibrations of any pitch, at the same distance, and in exactly opposite directions, produce median oscillations; 2) If the forks are moved a tempo to the right or to the left, i. e. in the same direction, the sound rolls from ear to ear, so long as the motions are not too rapid; 3) If they are executed as quickly as possible the vibrations have their seats in both ears."

The Psychology of Causality is the subject of a longer article (47 pages) by Prof. Th. Lipps. Lipps declares that his "investigation intends to reduce causality to association, and the law of causality to the law of association." The author does not identify his undertaking with the psychology of association, and protests against considering mind-activity as passive processes. He devotes almost too much space to stating what is, or can easily become, an anthropomorphic conception of causation. Where he propounds his positive views, we miss discriminative exactness. Ursache and Grund are not sufficiently distinguished, and the definitions of formal and material cognitions, are not lucidly stated. Dr. Lipps says: "All cognition is objectively conditioned representation; respectively associations of representations. In purely formal cognition the objective raison d'être (Grund) consists in the presence of a contents of consciousness. In material cognition, or cognition by experience in the narrower sense, it consists in the consciousness of the objective reality of a contents of consciousness."[66] The author's conclusion is summarised as follows:

[66] The passage being so difficult to translate, we quote the original in full: "Alle Erkenntniss ist objectiv begründetes Vorstellen, bezw. Verbinden von Vorstellungen. Bei der lediglich formalen Erkenntniss besteht der objective Grund im Dasein eines Bewusstseinsinhaltes, bei der materialen oder Erfahrungserkenntniss im engeren Sinne besteht er im Bewusstsein der objectiven Wirklichkeit eines Bewusstseinsinhaltes."

"Hume's work and his mistake can thus plainly be recognised. That causal connection is a connection among our ideas, not a connection among the objects represented, that the necessity which distinguishes this connection consists in the psychological compulsion to combine one fact with another, that this compulsion has its reason in association, is the discovery of Hume; and this discovery of Hume is one of the most important in the history of philosophy. That the world becomes a world regulated by law, by being subjected to the law of our mind, this anthropocentric standpoint was therewith determined. Hume's mistake consisted only in this: He did not recognise the full importance of the law of association. Therefore he did not see what associative relations are directly identical with the causal relation. An attempt was made to cover the defect rising therefrom by the principle of habit. Not the principle of association, but the principle of habit depriving the principle of association of its strength, hindered Hume from proposing the correct answer to the question, 'How in experience are general and necessary judgments possible?'" Professor Lipps does not answer this question satisfactorily either; he gives no explanation of the fact that in experience general and necessary judgments are possible. He simply states the fact. Every natural scientist, he says, expects that a certain result that has been observed once, will always take place again if the experiment be repeated under exactly the same conditions.

Professor Lipps states, in concluding, that he is fully conscious of having discussed only a small part of that which might be said on this subject, and adds: "Perhaps objections or criticisms will give me an occasion for additional remarks." We here call his attention to the treatment of the subject in Dr. Paul Carus's pamphlet Ursache, Grund und Zweck (Dresden: Grumbkow, 1881) and also to his articles on Form and Formal Thought and on Causality in Fundamental Problems.

Dr. Richard Wahle, Privat-docent in Vienna, defines in a short sketch on The Psychology of the Question the meaning of Question in the following way: a question is "the preparation during a state of indecision for a perception of the decision." In explaining the meaning of this decision Richard Wahle makes an occasional fling at that kind of psychology which divorced from physiology confines itself to the method of introspection.

The last article, by Prof. H. Ebbinghaus, is the first part of a criticism of Fechner's posthumous letters on Negative Empfindungs verthe, published in the first numbers of this periodical. These letters, Ebbinghaus declares, afford an interesting insight into the scientific personality of Fechner; yet the doctrine contained therein, he adds, has its drawbacks. Ebbinghaus does not accept Fechner's presentation of the case, but refers us to Delbœuf from whose experiments alone, he says, the correct interpretation of negative values of sensations can be derived. Delbœuf's views are not so clearly presented in his first statement as in a later article written in answer to the objections of Tannery, published in the Revue Philosophique V. 1878, and republished under the title Examen critique de la loi psychophysique (Paris, 1883). Ebbinghaus adopts Langer's definition of negative values of sensations. They are "such as under all circumstances if additively connected with equally great positive ones produce as a result zero."

The reports of the proceedings of the International Congress of Physicians, Berlin, 1890, will be of special value to physicians. The present number contains those of the sections of oculists and aurists.

The number contains a valuable bibliographical catalogue of the chief works on physiological psychology for the year 1889. (Hamburg and Leipsic: L. Voss.)







Professor Paul Natorp, the editor, discusses Quantity and Quality in Concept, Judgment, and Objective Cognition. His object is the attempt not to proceed subjectively, or psychologically, or genetically, or causally, or teleologically, but purely objectively in the same sense as mathematics proceeds objectively. The result which he reaches is summarily expressed in the statement "that there is no formal logic … and that it cannot exist at all—except it be based upon the logic of objective cognition (transcendental logic), or represents a part thereof, the severance of which from the whole to which it belongs can have merely technical not scientific reasons." (Heidelberg: Georg Weiss.)

RIVISTA ITALIANA DI FILOSOFIA. September and October, 1890.







RIVISTA ITALIANA DI FILOSOFIA. November and December, 1890.






There are two problems which at present command a general and a keen interest in all countries; viz. the psychological problem and the ethical problem, the latter comprising all the questions of education and instruction, religious as well as secular. If this is true of Germany, France, England, and the United States, it is no less true of Italy. The Rivista Italiana di Filosofia, so ably edited by Luigi Ferri, Professor at the University of Rome, shows this tendency in its latest numbers in a marked degree. They contain among other valuable materials an article by Luigi Pietrobono on the perception of the human body, a psycho-physiological investigation of sentient substance with special reference to sensation and perception. The author arrives at a result, which, if it could be sustained, would lead to an outspoken dualism. Pietrobono believes in two principles, a psychical and an organical, forming an original synthesis and antithesis, interdependent upon and inseparable from each other. Vittorio Benini discusses in the same number the captivating subject of Attention, starting from a discussion of Ribot's monograph on the subject, and devoting his main interest to what he calls "l' attenzione perceptiva è accompagnata dall' intelligenza." The latter kind of attention is of especial importance in education, a subject which is discussed in the conclusion of the article. This leads us to another essay which treats of an exclusively educational subject, proposing the pedagogical ideas of Pietro Ceretti. This article does not contain new truths, but emphasises truths which have perhaps been too little recognised in Italy. Starting from the maxim that all education must develop the faculties of body, soul, and mind (le facoltà del corpo, dell' anima e della mente), and that all education must be conducted so as to let the social body derive the benefits therefrom, he urges besides demanding the moral and intellectual culture of man a technical instruction, and among the sciences, literature, and history, he would give mathematics a prominent place.

It may be added that the department of Bibliography contains among other reviews discussions of the following works: 1) Reich's book on Gian Vincenzo Gravina as an author of æsthetics; 2) Antonio Rosmini's Fragments of a Philosophy of Law and Politics; 3) Robert Benzoni's The Philosophy of Our Day; 4) Pietro Ellero's The Social Question; 5), in the December number, Ferdinando Puglia's Evolution in the History of Italian Philosophical Systems; 6) The national edition of Galileo Galilei's works; and 7) La Somiglianza nella Scuola Positivista e l'Identità nella Metafisica Nuova, by Donato Jaia.


[67] Questions of Philosophy and Psychology. In the Russian language.



REMARKS. By the Editor, Prof N. Grote.

      HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE. By Prince E. N. Trubetzkoi.






    NECROLOGY. M. I. Vladislavlew, Rector of the University of St.
      Petersburg. By K.


EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: The Elements of Will. By N. Lange.


    COMMON CHARACTERISTICS. Concerning the conflict with the Occident
      in connection with the literary activity of a Slavophil. By V.
. The ethical doctrine of Count Tolstoi and its most
      recent criticism. By P. E. Astafiew.

BOOK REVIEWS. Reviews of Russian philosophical works on Metaphysics, Logic, Psychology, Ethics, and Æsthetics. Reviews of foreign philosophical periodicals. Philosophical articles in Russian ecclesiastical periodicals.

The distinguished Editor, Prof. N. Grote, in his introductory remarks calls attention to the fact that the present issue of this philosophical and literary review in the Russian language, completes the series that had been promised during the first year of its existence. The review does not claim, during this brief lapse of time, to have been able to solve all the many problems incident to the task that it had assumed at the outset of its career; but it may at least modestly claim to have won the hearty sympathy of an intelligent fraction of the Russian people, expressed by the acquisition of a comparatively large number of subscribers. This material success, moreover, attests the fact that the editor did not deceive himself when at the original publication of the review he seemed to notice an awakening in his country of more serious intellectual interests, and the rise of a desire for a philosophical analysis of the principles of knowledge and of life.

On the other hand, with regard to whether the problems treated of in the pages of the review are identical with those that occupy by preference the minds of intelligent Russian readers; or whether the exposition and the methods of investigation have been properly adjusted to the degree of development and to the mental calibre of the mass of its readers, it will suffice to remark, says the editor, that the full development of all the potential forces of nature and of mind can be attained only through slow and persistent action. We have to bear in mind that the attempt is by no means easy to organise for the first time in a project of this kind the many active workers of a country in which people had never before been associated in a similar undertaking. Yet in confidently entering upon the publication of this review, the editor well knew that there existed in Russia abundant intellectual powers, perfectly adequate to the demands of a high-class philosophical magazine—scientists, learned specialists, talented thinkers, and men of letters; and the review without doubt will not fail to enlist the valuable assistance of all these men in the arduous task, which it will continue steadily to pursue. The main task above all, is to advance the development of self-consciousness in modern Russian society, but the success of this aspiration depends of necessity on the continued sympathy and good will of the public.

As regards the external form of the review, for the greater convenience of the public, instead of four volumes of 20 sheets, as hitherto, there will be issued during the present year five volumes in all—one volume of 15-16 sheets bimonthly, except during the midsummer months.

The editor in conclusion expresses his acknowledgment to several of his western colleagues, to the editors of Mind, the Revue Philosophique, the Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, and The Open Court—all of whom have promised to note with genuine interest the contents of the Russian review "Questions of Philosophy and of Psychology." (Moscow, 1890.)

VOL. I. APRIL, 1891. NO. 3.




The usually recognised factors of evolution are at least five; viz.: (1) Pressure of a changing environment affecting function and function affecting structure, and the changed structure and function inherited and integrated through successive generations indefinitely. (2) Use and disuse of organs reacting on growth-force and producing change in form, structure, and relative size of parts, and such change inherited and integrated through successive generations. (3) Natural selection among individuals of a varying progeny, of those most in accord with an ever-changing environment—or as it has been otherwise called "survival of the fittest" in each successive generation. (4) Sexual selection: the selection by the female, among varying male individuals all competing for her possession, of the strongest or the most attractive. Among mammals the selection is mainly of the strongest as decided by battle; among birds, of the most attractive as determined by splendor of color or beauty of song. (5) Physiological selection, or selection of those varieties, the individuals of which are fertile among themselves, but sterile or less fertile with other varieties and with the parent stock. This has also been called "segregate fecundity" by Gulick, and homogamy by Romanes.

These five factors are all usually but not universally recognised. The first two are Lamarckian, the second two Darwinian factors. In the Lamarckian factors the changes occur during individual life, and the offspring is supposed to inherit them unchanged. In the Darwinian factors on the contrary the changes are in the offspring, and the individuals during life are supposed to remain substantially unchanged. The fifth factor has, only very recently, been brought forward by Romanes and Gulick and is not yet universally recognised; but we believe that with perhaps some modifications it is certain to triumph. (6) To these recognised factors of organic evolution must now be added, in human evolution, another and far higher factor, viz. conscious, voluntary co-operation in the work of evolution, conscious striving for the betterment of the individual and of the race. This factor consists essentially in the formation and pursuit of ideals. We call this a factor, but it is also much more than a factor. It stands in place of nature herself—it is a higher-rational nature using all the factors of physical nature for its own higher purposes. To distinguish the evolution determined by this factor from organic evolution, we often call it progress.

Underlying all these factors as their necessary condition, and therefore themselves not called factors, are two opposite operative principles, viz. heredity and variability. Like the conservative and progressive elements in society, one tends to fixedness, the other to change. The one initiates change, the other accumulates its effects in successive generations. The one tries all things, the other holds fast to whatever is good. They are both equally necessary to the successful operation of any or all of the factors.

Let us now compare these six factors, as to their grade or position in the scale of energy and as to the order of their introduction.

The first two—Pressure of the environment and Use and disuse, i. e. the Lamarckian factors—are the lowest in position, most fundamental in importance, and therefore most universal in their operation. They are therefore also first in the order of time. They precede all other factors and were for a long time the only ones in operation. For observe: all the selective factors, viz. those of Darwin and Romanes, are wholly conditioned on Reproduction; for the changes in the case of these are not in the individual life but only in the offspring. And not only so but they are also strictly conditioned on sexual modes of reproduction. For all non-sexual modes of reproduction such as fission and budding are but slight modifications of the process of growth, and the resulting multitude of organisms may be regarded as in some sense only an extension of the first individual. There is thus a kind of immortality in these lowest protozoa. Of course therefore the identical characters of the first individual are continued indefinitely except in so far as they are modified in successive generations by the effect of the environment or by use and disuse of organs—i. e. by Lamarckian factors. In sexual generation, on the contrary, the characters of two diverse individuals are funded in a common offspring; and the same continuing through successive generations, it is evident that the inheritance in each individual offspring is infinitely multiple. Now the tendency to variation in offspring is in proportion to the multiplicity of the inheritance: for among the infinite number of slightly different characters, as it were offered for inheritance in every generation, some individuals will inherit more of one and some more of another character. In a word, sexual generation, by multiple inheritance, tends to variation of offspring and thus furnishes material for natural selection.

Thus then I repeat, all the selective factors are absolutely dependent for their operation upon sexual reproduction. But there was a time when this mode of reproduction did not exist. It is certain the non-sexual preceded the sexual modes of reproduction. I cannot stop now to give the reasons for believing this. I have already given them in some detail in a previous article[68] to which I would refer the reader. Suffice it to say now that the order of introduction of the various modes of reproduction culminating in the highest sexual modes is briefly as follows: (1) Fission. An organism of the lowest kind grows and divides into two. Each half grows to mature size and again divides; and so on indefinitely. In this case there is no distinction between parents and offspring. Each seems either or neither. (2) Budding. Growth-force concentrating in one part produces a bud, which continues to grow and individuate itself more and more until it separates as a distinct individual. This is a higher form than the last because in this case the individual is not sacrificed. Only a small part separates and the separated part is in some sense an offspring. We have therefore for the first time the distinction of parent and offspring. (3) By the law of differentiation and localisation of functions, the bud-forming function is next relegated to a special place and we now have a bud-forming organ. (4) By another general law, the law of interior transfer, the bud-forming organ is next transferred for greater safety to an interior surface and thus simulates an ovary, although not yet a true ovary or egg-forming organ. Examples of all these steps are found among existing animals.

[68] Genesis of Sex, Pop. Sci. Monthly, 1879, Vol. xvi. p. 167. Revue Scientifique, Feb. 14, 1880.

Thus far reproduction is non-sexual. But now comes the great step, i. e. the introduction of sexual reproduction, in its lowest forms. (5) This simulated ovary or bud-forming organ becomes a true ovary or egg-forming organ; or rather, at first, a combination of ovary and spermary. The same organ prepares two kinds of cells, male and female, germ-cell and sperm-cell, which by their union produce an egg which develops into an offspring; and not only an offspring in the sense of a separated part of a previous individual, but in some sense a new creature, the creation of a new individual. There is an enormous difference and even contrast between this and all preceding modes. In non-sexual modes one individual becomes two; in this, two individual cells unite to form one. It is an expensive, even wasteful mode unless attended with some great advantage. The nature of this advantage we will presently see.

Thus far we have given only the lowest form of sexual generation. The two sexual elements only, germ-cell and sperm-cell are separated from each other, but not yet even the sexual organs, ovary and spermary, much less the sexual individuals, male and female. (6) The sex-element-forming function is next differentiated and localised in two different organs, ovary and spermary, but not yet in two different individuals. This is hermaphroditism so common in plants and in lower animals. (7) The already separated sexual organs are next localised in different individuals, and we now have male and female individuals. This is the case in many plants and in all the higher animals. (8) And finally these male and female individuals become more and more diverse in character.

The object of this whole process of separation, first of the elements, then of the organs, then of the individuals, and last the increasing divergence of the individuals, is undoubtedly the funding of more and more diverse characters in a common offspring; and thus by increasing multiplicity of inheritance to insure larger variation in offspring and thereby furnish more abundant material for natural selection. This is far more than a compensation for the apparent wastefulness of this mode of reproduction.

If then the non-sexual preceded the sexual modes of reproduction, evidently, at first, only Lamarckian factors could operate. Evolution was then carried forward wholly by changes in the individual produced by the environment and by use and disuse of organs, continued and increased through successive generations indefinitely. It is probable therefore that for want of the selective factors, the rate of evolution was at first comparatively slow; unless indeed, as seems probable, the earliest forms were, as the lowest forms are now, more plastic under pressure of physical conditions than are the present higher forms. The great contrast between the Lamarckian and Darwinian factors in this regard, and the slowness of change now in higher forms under Lamarckian factors alone, is best shown in plants where either kind of factors may be used at pleasure. In these, if we wish to make varieties, we propagate by seeds—sexual reproduction—but if we wish to preserve varieties, we propagate by buds and cuttings—non-sexual reproduction.

We have taken the two Lamarckian factors together, in contrast with the Darwinian. But even in the two Lamarckian factors there is a great difference in grade. Undoubtedly the lowest and first introduced was pressure of the physical environment. For even use and disuse of organs implies some degree of volition and voluntary motion, and therefore already some advance in the scale of evolution.

With the introduction of sex another entirely different and higher factor was introduced, viz. natural selection, among a varying progeny, of the fittest individuals. We have already seen how sexual generation produces variation of offspring and how this furnishes material for natural selection. As soon, therefore, as this form of generation was evolved, this higher factor came into operation, and immediately, as it were, assumed control of evolution, and the previous factors became subordinate though still underlying, conditioning, modifying the higher. The result was an immediate increase in the speed and in the diversity of evolution. It is very worthy of note too, that it is in the higher animals, such as birds and mammals, where we find the highest form of sexual generation, where the diversity of funded characters and therefore the variation in the offspring is the greatest, and natural selection most active: it is precisely among these that the Lamarckian factors are most feeble, because during the most plastic portion of life the offspring is removed from the influence of the physical environment and from the effects of use and disuse, by their enclosure within the womb or within a large egg well supplied with nourishment. In these, development is already far advanced before Lamarckian factors can operate at all.

Next I suppose Physiological selection or Romanes's factor came into operation. After the introduction of sex, it became necessary, that the individuals of some varieties should be in some way isolated, so as to prevent the swamping of varietal characters as fast as formed, in a common stock by cross breeding. In very low forms with slow locomotion, such isolation might easily take place accidentally. Even in higher forms, changes in physical geography or accidental dispersion by winds and currents, would often produce geographical isolation; and thus by preventing crossing with the parent stock, secure the formation of new species from such isolated varieties. But in order to insure in all cases the preservation of commencing species, sexual isolation was introduced or evolved as I suppose later, and according to Romanes somewhat as follows:

All organs are subject to variation in offspring, but none are so sensitive in this regard as the reproductive organs; and these in no respect more than in relative fertility under different conditions. Suppose then the offspring of any parent to vary in many directions. By cross-breeding among themselves and with the parent stock, these are usually merged in a common type, their differences pooled, and the species remains fixed or else advances slowly by natural selection, along one line, as physical conditions change in geological time. But from time to time there arises a variation in the reproductive organs of some individuals, of such kind that these individuals are fertile among themselves, but sterile or less fertile with other varieties and with the parent stock. Such individuals are sexually isolated from others, or sexually segregated among themselves. Their varietal differences of all kinds are no longer swamped by cross-breeding, but go on to increase until they form a new species. It is evident then, as Romanes claims, that natural selection alone tends to monotypal evolution. Isolation of some sort seems necessary to polytypal evolution. The tree of evolution under the influence of natural selection alone grows palm-like from its terminal bud. Isolation was necessary to the starting of lateral buds, and thus for the profuse ramification which is its most conspicuous character.

Next, I suppose, was introduced, sexual selection, or contest among the males by battle or by display, for the possession of the female, the success of the strongest or the most attractive, and the perpetuation and increase of these superior qualities of strength or beauty in the next generation. This I suppose was later, because connected with a higher development of the psychical nature. This is especially true when beauty of color or song determines the selection. As might be supposed therefore, this factor is operative only among the highest animals, especially birds and mammals, and perhaps some insects.

Next and last, and only with the appearance of man, another entirely different and far higher factor was introduced, viz. conscious, voluntary co-operation in the work of evolution—a conscious voluntary effort to attain an Ideal. As already said, we call this a factor, but it is much more than a factor. It is another nature working in another world—the spiritual—and like physical nature using all factors, but in a new way and on a higher plane. In early stages man developed much as other animals, unconscious and careless whither he tended and therefore with little or no voluntary effort to attain a higher stage. But this voluntary factor, this striving toward a goal or ideal, in the individual and in the race, increased more and more until in civilised communities of modern times it has become by far the dominant factor. Reason, instead of physical nature, takes control, though still using the same factors.

Now, in this whole process, we observe two striking stages. The one is the introduction of Sex, the other the introduction of Reason.[69] They might be compared to two equally striking stages in the evolution of the individual, viz. the moment of fertilisation and the moment of birth. As the ontogenic evolution receives fresh impulse at the two moments of fertilisation and of birth; so the evolution of the organic kingdom at the two periods mentioned. With the appearance of sex, three new and higher factors are introduced, and these immediately assumed control and quickened the rate of evolution. With the appearance of reason in man another and far higher factor is introduced which in its turn assumes control, and not only again quickens the rate, but elevates the whole plane of evolution. This voluntary, rational factor not only assumes control itself, but transforms all other factors and uses them in a new way and for its own higher purposes.

[69] By Reason I mean the faculty of dealing with the phenomena of the inner world of consciousness and ideas, or reflection on the facts of consciousness. Animals live in one world, the outer world of sense; man in two worlds, in the outer world like animals, but also in the inner and higher world of ideas. All that is characteristic of man comes of this capacity of dealing with this inner world. In default of a better word I call it Reason. If any one can suggest a better word I will gladly adopt it.

This last is by far the greatest change which has ever occurred in the history of evolution. In organic evolution nature operates by necessary law without the voluntary co-operation of the thing evolving. In human progress man voluntarily co-operates with nature in the work of evolution and even assumes to take the process mainly into his own hands. Organic evolution is by necessary law, human progress by free, or at least by freer, law. Organic evolution is by a pushing upward and onward from below and behind, human progress by an aspiration, an attraction toward an ideal—a pulling upward and onward from above and in front.

This great change may well be likened to a birth.[70] Spirit or Reason or the Psyche—call it what you like—was in embryo in animals in increasing degrees of development through all geological times and came to birth and capacity of free activity, became free spirit investigating its own phenomena in man. In animals the evolution of Psyche was the unconscious result of organic evolution. In man the Psyche is born into a new world of freer activity and undertakes to develop itself.

[70] See Evolution and its Relation to Religious Thought, Part iii. Chap. iv, where the writer's views are more fully brought out.

It may be well to stop a moment and show briefly some of the striking differences between organic and human evolution, differences resulting wholly from the introduction of this new factor, or rather this evolution on a new and higher plane.

(1) In organic evolution the fittest are those most in harmony with the environment and therefore they survive. In human evolution the fittest are those most in harmony with the ideal, and often, especially in the early stages of evolution, during the dominance of natural selection, they do not survive because not in harmony with the social environment.

(2) In organic evolution the weak, the helpless, the unfit in any way, perish, and ought to perish, because this is the most efficient way of strengthening the blood, or physical nature. In human evolution the weak, the helpless, the physically unfit, are sustained, and ought to be sustained, because sympathy, love, pity strengthens the spirit or moral nature. But the spirit or moral nature is also sustained by, and conditioned on, the physical nature. In all our attempts therefore to help the weak we must be careful that we avoid poisoning the blood and weakening the physical health of the race. This we believe can and will be done by rational education, physical, mental, and moral. We only allude to this. It is too wide a subject to follow up here.

(3) In organic evolution the form must continually change in order to keep in harmony with the changing environment. In other words evolution is by constant change of species, genera, etc.; there must be a continual evolution of new forms. In human evolution, and more and more as civilisation goes on, man modifies the environment so as to bring it in harmony with himself and his wants, and therefore there is no necessity for change of form or making of new species of man. Human evolution is not by modification of form—new species, but by modification of spirit—new planes of activity.

(4) In organic evolution as a higher factor arises it assumes control, and previous factors sink into subordinate position. But in human evolution the rational factor not only assumes control but transforms all other factors, using them in a new way and for its own higher purposes. Thus the Lamarckian factor—environment—is modified and even changed so as to affect suitably the human organism. This is Hygiene or Sanitation. Again, the various organs of the body and faculties of the mind are deliberately used (another Lamarckian factor) in such wise as to produce their highest efficiency. This is education, or training, physical, mental, moral. So also the selective factors are similarly transformed, and natural selection becomes rational selection. This is freely applied to domestic animals and with limitations imposed by reason itself will be applied to man.

(5) The way of evolution toward the highest, i. e. from Protozoa to man and from lowest man to the ideal man, is a very narrow way, and few there be that find it. In the case of organic evolution it is so narrow, that once get off the track and it is impossible to get on again. No living form of animal is now on the way to form man, can by any possibility develop manward. They are all gone out of the way. They are all off the trunk line. The golden opportunity is past. The tree of evolution is an excurrent stem continuous to the terminal shoot—man. Once leave the main stem as a branch, it is easy to continue growing in the direction chosen, but impossible to get back again on the straight upward way to the highest. In human evolution whether individual or racial, the same law holds, but with a difference. If an individual or a race gets off from the straight and narrow way toward the highest, the Divine ideal, it is hard to get back on the track; hard but not impossible. Man's own effort is the chief factor in his own evolution. By virtue of his self-activity, and through the use of reason, man alone is able to rectify an error of direction and return again to the deserted way.



Just now there is much controversy in regard to the factors of evolution. Both Darwin and Spencer, the two greatest expounders of the modern theory of evolution, acknowledge and insist upon at least four factors; viz. the two Lamarckian and the two distinctively Darwinian. The only difference between them is in the relative importance of the two sets; Spencer regarding the former and Darwin the latter as the more potent. But some late Darwinians have gone far beyond Darwin himself in their estimate of the power of the most distinctive Darwinian factor, viz. natural selection. Weismann and Wallace have each written a book, and Lankester many excellent articles to show that natural selection is the one sole and sufficient cause of evolution, that changes during the individual life whether by effect of the environment or by the use and disuse of organs are not inherited at all, that Lamarck was wholly wrong and that Darwin (in connection with Wallace) is the sole founder of the true theory of evolution, and finally that Darwin himself was wrong only in making any terms whatever with Lamarck.

The argument for this view has, perhaps, been most strongly put by Weismann and is based partly on experiments, but mainly on his ingenious and now celebrated theory of the immortality of germ-plasm. The animal body consists of two kinds of cells wholly different in function, somatic cells and germ-cells, including in this last the sexual elements both male and female. Somatic cells are modified and specialised for the various functions of the body; germ-cells are wholly unmodified. The somatic cells are for the conservation of the individual life, germ-cells for the conservation of the species. Now according to Weismann, inheritance is only through germ-cells. Environment affects only the somatic cells and therefore changes produced by environment cannot be inherited. Sexual generation was introduced for the purpose of producing variability in progeny and thus furnishing material for natural selection, as this was the only means of evolutionary advance. Weismann made many experiments on animals, especially by mutilation, to show that somatic changes are not inherited.

We shall not argue this question but content ourselves with making three brief remarks.

1. If the views presented in this article be true, then the Lamarckian factors must be true factors, because there was a time when there were no others. They were necessary therefore to start the process of evolution, even if no longer necessary at present.

2. But if the Lamarckian factors were ever operative, they must be so still, though possibly in a subordinate degree. A lower factor is not abolished, but only becomes subordinate to a higher factor when the latter is introduced. Thus it may well be that Lamarckian factors are comparatively feeble at the present time and among present species, especially of the higher animals, and yet not absent altogether. In the earliest stages of evolution there was a complete identification of germ-cells and somatic cells—of the individual with the species. In such cases, of course, the effect of environment must be inherited and increased from generation to generation. But the differentiation of germ and somatic cells was not all at once; it was a gradual process, and therefore the effect of the environment on the germ-cells through the somatic cells must have continued, though in decreasing degree, and still continues. The differentiation is now, in the higher animals, so complete that germ-cells are probably not at all affected by changes in somatic cells, unless these changes are long continued in the same direction and are not antagonised by natural selection.

3. It is a general principle of evolution that the law of the whole is repeated with modifications, in the part. This is a necessary consequence of the Unity of Nature. We ought to expect therefore and do find, that the order of the use of the factors of evolution is the same in the evolution of the organic kingdom, in the evolution of each species, and in the evolution of each individual. In all these the physical factors are first powerfully operative, then become subordinate to organic factors, and these in their turn to psychical and rational factors. Therefore, as the individual in its early stages, i. e. in embryo and infancy, is peculiarly plastic under the influence of the physical environment and afterwards becomes more and more independent of these: so a species when first formed is more plastic under the influence of the Lamarckian factors and afterwards becomes more rigid to the same. And so also the organic kingdom was doubtless at first more plastic under Lamarckian factors, and has become less so in the present species, especially of the higher animals. The principal reason for this, as we have already seen, is the increasing differentiation of germ and somatic cells, and the removal of the former to the interior where they are more and more protected from external influence.


Some evolutionists—the materialistic—insist on making human evolution identical in all respects with organic evolution. This we have shown is not strictly true. The very least that can be said is that a new and far more potent factor is introduced with man, which modifies greatly the process. But we may claim much more, viz. that evolution is here on a wholly different and higher plane. The factors of organic evolution are indeed still present and condition the whole process; but they are not left to be used by nature alone. On the contrary, they are used in a new way and for higher purposes by Reason.

But by a revulsion from the materialistic extreme, some have gone to the opposite extreme. They would place human progress and organic evolution in violent antagonism, as if subject to entirely different and even opposite laws. But we have also shown, that although the distinctive human factor is indeed dominant, yet it is underlaid and conditioned by all the lower factors—that these lower factors are still necessary as the agents used by Reason.


We have already alluded to Weismann's and Wallace's views, but there is one important aspect not yet touched.

If Weismann and Wallace are right, if natural selection be indeed the only factor used by nature in organic evolution and therefore available for use by Reason in human evolution, then alas for all our hopes of race-improvement, whether physical, mental, or moral! All enlightened schemes of physical culture and of hygiene, although directed indeed primarily for the strength, health, and happiness of the present generation, yet are sustained and ennobled by the conviction that the physical improvement of the individual, by inheritance enters into a similar improvement of the race. All our schemes of education, intellectual and moral, although certainly intended mainly for the improvement of the individual, are glorified by the hope that the race is also thereby gradually elevated. It is true that these hopes are usually extravagant; it is true that the whole improvement of the individuals of one generation is not carried over by inheritance into the next; it is true therefore that we cannot by education raise a lower race up to the plane of a higher race in a few generations; but there must be a small residuum, be it ever so small, carried forward by inheritance and accumulated from age to age, which enters into the slow growth of the race. If it be true that reason must direct the course of human evolution, and if it be also true that selection of the fittest is the only method available for that purpose; then, if we are to have any race-improvement at all, the dreadful law of destruction of the weak and helpless must with Spartan firmness be carried out voluntarily and deliberately. Against such a course all that is best in us revolts. The use of the Lamarckian factors, on the contrary, is not attended with any such revolting consequences. All that we call education, culture, training, is by the use of these. Our hopes of race-improvement therefore are strictly conditioned on the fact that the Lamarckian factors are still operative, that changes in the individual, if in useful direction, are to some extent inherited and accumulated in the race.


We have said that the new factor introduced with man is a voluntary co-operation in the process of evolution, a conscious upward striving toward a higher condition, a pressing forward toward an ideal. Man contrary to all else in nature is transformed, not in shape by external environment, but in character by his own ideals. Now this capacity of forming ideals and the voluntary pursuit of such ideals, whence comes it? When analysed and reduced to its simplest terms, it is naught else than the consciousness in man of his relation to the infinite and the attempt to realise the divine ideal in human character.





One of the most curious applications, and perhaps the most practical, of Criminal Anthropology, (of that new science which has associated itself with sociology, psychiatry, and history,) is that which flows from the study of the physiognomy of the political criminal. For not only does it appear to succeed in furnishing us with the juridical basis of political crime, which hitherto seemed to escape all our researches, so completely that until now all jurists had ended by saying that there was no political crime; but it seems also to supply us with a method for distinguishing true revolution, always fruitful and useful, from utopia, from rebellion, which is always sterile. It is for me a thoroughly established fact, and one of which I have given the proofs in my "Delitto Politico,"[71] that true revolutionists, that is to say, the initiators of great scientific and political revolutions, who excite and bring about a true progress in humanity, are almost always geniuses or saints, and have all a marvellously harmonious physiognomy; and to verify this it is sufficient simply to look at the plates in my "Delitto Politico." What noble physiognomies have Paoli, Fabrizi, Dandolo, Moro, Mazzini, Garibaldi, Bandiera, Pisacane, la Petrowskaia, la Cidowina, la Sassulich! Generally we see in them a very large forehead, a very bushy beard, and very large and soft eyes; sometimes we meet with the jaw much developed, but never hypertrophic; sometimes, finally, with paleness of the face (Mazzini, Brutus, Cassius); but these characteristics seldom accumulate in the same individual to the extent of constituting what I call the criminal type.

[71] 1890.

In a study that I have made with three hundred and twenty-one of our Italian revolutionists, (against Austria etc.,) nearly all males, (there were twenty-seven women to one hundred men,) the proportion of the criminal type was 0·57 per cent.; i. e. 2 per cent. less than in normal men. Out of thirty celebrated Nihilists, eighteen have a very fine physiognomy, twelve present some isolated anomalies, two only present the criminal type (Rogagiew and Oklasdky), that is to say 6·8 per cent. And if from these unfortunate men who represent to us, even psychologically, the Christian martyrs, we pass to the regicides, to the presidenticides, such as Fieschi, Guiteau, Nobiling, and to the monsters of the French Revolution of 1789, such as Carrier, Jourdan, and Marat, we there at once find in all, or in nearly all, the criminal type. And the type again frequently appears among the Communards and the Anarchists. Taking fifty photographs of Communards I have found the criminal type in 12 per cent.; and the insane type in 10 per cent. Out of forty-one Parisian Anarchists that I have studied with Bertillon at the office of the police of Paris, the proportion of the criminal type was 31 per cent.

In the rebellion of the 1st of May last I was able to study one hundred Turin Anarchists. I found the criminal type among these in the proportion of 34 per cent., while in two hundred and eighty ordinary criminals of the prison at Turin the type was 43 per cent.


                                  | TURIN | ORDINARY
  Exaggerated plagiocephaly | 11 | 21
  Facial asymmetry | 36 | 60
  Other cranial anomalies | |
    (ultra-brachycephaly etc.) | 15 | 44
  Very large jaw | 19 | 29
  Exaggerated zygomas | 16 | 23
  Enormous frontal sinus | 17 | 19
  Dental anomalies | 30 | 20
  Anomalies of the ears | 64 | 75
  Anomalies of the nose | 40 | 57
  Anomalous coloration of skin | 30 | 8
  Old wounds | 10 | 26
  Tattooing | 4 | 10
  Neuro-pathological anomalies | 8 | 26

Among the 100 individuals arrested on the 1st of May, 30 per cent. were recidivists for common crimes; among the others, 50 per cent. Of true prison habitués there were 8 among the former and 20 among the latter.

Thanks to the assistance of Dr. Carus of The Open Court Publishing Company, who has sent me many curious data and also the work of Schaack, "Anarchy and Anarchists" (Chicago, 1889), which is very partial, although rich in facts, I have been able to study the photographs of 43 Chicago anarchists, and I have found among them almost the same proportion of the criminal type, that is 40 per cent. The ones that presented this type are the two Djeneks, Potoswki, Cloba, Seveski, Stimak, Sugar, Micolanda, Bodendick, Lieske, Lingg, Oppenheim, Engel and his wife, Fielden, G. Lehm, Thiele, and Most. Especially in Potowski, Sugar, and Micolanda I mark facial asymmetry, enormous jaws, developed frontal sinus, protruding ears; and the same (except the asymmetry) in Seveski and Novak. Fielden has a turned up nose and enormous jaws; Most has acrocephaly and facial asymmetry. On the contrary a very fine physiognomy has Marx, with his very full forehead, bushy hair and beard, and soft eyes; and likewise Lassalle, Hermann, Schwab, the two Spies, Neebe, Schnaubelt, Waller, and Seeger.

In studying the chief anarchists separately,—the martyrs of the Chicago anarchists, it might well be said,—there is found in them all an anomaly, very frequent in normal men as well; that is to say the ears are without lobes; the ears are also developed a little more than normally in all (except in Spies), they are protruding in Lingg, Fischer, and Engel; the jaw is much developed in Lingg, Spies, Fischer, and Engel; all have, however, except Spies,[72] the forehead fine and full, with great intelligence. In the plates of the journal Der Vorbote we find a Mongolic cast of feature in Engel and Lingg, both of whom should have much of the degenerative characters, enormous jaw and zygoma, and Lingg oblique eyes. But these characters are much less apparent in the photographs that I received from The Monist and in which the jaw of Fischer even decreases. Perhaps these photographs were taken some years before the crime, when they were very young. Certainly in both instances (in the Vorbote and the photographs from The Monist) I find a very noble and truly genial physiognomy in Parsons and Neebe. The physiognomy of August Spies is morbid. He has a senile auricle, voluminous jaw bones and a strongly developed frontal sinus. And, it is necessary to remark, the physiognomy corresponds with his autobiography, written with a fierce fanaticism; whilst in the posthumous writings of Parsons and in the writings of Neebe we remark a calm and reflective enthusiasm.

[72] Thus according to the portrait in Schaack's book; but according to information which I later received from General Trumbull of Chicago, this portrait is not true to life. It would seem, then, that the features upon which my opinion is based do not exist.

Schwab has the physiognomy of a savant, of a student; he much resembles the nihilist Antonoff, beheaded in Russia. (See Plate IV in my "Delitto Politico.") Neebe is quite like an Italian economist well known in America, Luigi Luzzatti.

Fielden has a wild physiognomy, not without sensuality. Parsons resembles Bodio, the great Italian statistician, and in the upper part of the face, Stanley.

When I say that the anarchists of Turin and of Chicago are frequently of the criminal type, I do not mean that political criminals, even the most violent anarchists, are true criminals; but that they possess the degenerative characters common to criminals and to the insane, being anomalies and possessing these traits by heredity; as a fact, the father of Booth was called Junius Brutus, and gave to his son the name of a revolutionist, Wilkes. The fathers of Guiteau and of Nobiling, and the mother of Staps were religious lunatics; and Staps also, like Ravaillac, Clement, Brutus, had hallucinations. In the autobiographies of the Vorbote I find that Parsons had a very religious Methodist mother and a father who had much to do with the movement of the Temperance League. Indeed, the Parsons since 1600 had as a family taken part in all revolutionary movements. A Tompkin, a relation of his mother, had taken part in the battles of Brandywine and of Monmouth; a General Parsons was an officer in the Revolution of 1776, and a captain Parsons engaged in the battle of Bunker Hill.

Spies was born in a chateau celebrated for feudal robberies—called on that account the "Raubschloss."

The father of Louis Lingg suffered through his labor as a workman a concussion of the brain—according to the Vorbote.

The father of Fielden, an orator of power notwithstanding his occupation as a workman, was one of the agitators of the question of agricultural lands for workingmen in England; he was one of the founders of the "Consumers' Co-operative Society" and a prime mover in the society of "Odd Fellows." For those who will object that in many of these relations they see only geniuses, I have only to cite my work "L'Homme de Génie," where I have proved how often genius is nervous epilepsy, and how almost all the sons of men of genius are lunatics, idiots, or criminals.

This hereditary influence is seen also in the great number of brothers charged together, the two Spies, the two Djeneks, the two Fieldens, and the two Lehms. According to their autobiographies also their fathers or their mothers died early; from which we may presume that they were old or diseased.

The morbid impressibility of Engel has been admitted by himself. "I cannot," he said to his wife, "hold within me what I feel. I must explode. The enthusiasm takes possession of me; it is a disease." Lingg could not remain quiet an instant; in his room he always had some dynamite in store. Bodendick was a thief and a mattoid; full of cunning, mischief and mad tricks, even according to the Arbeiter-Zeitung. He was always dreaming of new explosives. Though insane he was a genius as appears from his poetry, which is published by Schick and is in the style of the celebrated "Song of the Shirt." The suicide of Lingg with dynamite shows his moral insensibility, as do the words of Parsons addressed to the society of anarchists: "Strangle the spies and throw them out of the window." In Lingg we see a truly ungovernable epileptoid idea driving him to political action. "I cannot control myself;" he said, "it is stronger than I."

I repeat that among the anarchists there are no true criminals; even Schaack, the police historian, can name but two criminals, and certainly he would not have spared them if he could have stigmatised them.

Their heroic-like deaths, with their ideal on their lips, proves that they were not common criminals. Nevertheless the psychology of the leaders of the Commune shows in them a true moral insensibility, an innate cruelty, which found a pretext and a scope in politics; and which accords too well with their criminal physiognomies. Marat demands two hundred and ten thousand heads; Vallés speaks of his family with a true hatred; Carrier wrote, "We will make a cemetery of France"; Ferré smiled while by his orders they killed Veisset; and Rigault said in slang to his pistol, "Il faut peter sur le chipau." The last words of Spies before the court express a ferocious hatred towards the rich; and the project of the anarchists of Chicago (if it is true) to blow up a part of the city with bombs attests an absence of the moral sense. We know that many anarchists regard brigands and thieves, such as Pini, Kammerer, and Gasparoni, as their brothers in arms. Booth had for accomplice Payne, a true murderer by profession. See also the journal published at Geneva L'Explosion, and the Como journal Le Poignard.

But it is necessary to note that hereditary anomaly, if it provokes an anomaly in the moral sense, also suppresses misoneism, the horror of novelty which is almost the general rule of humanity; it thus makes of them innovators, apostles of progress, though the education is too rude: and the fight with relative misery of which all the anarchists of Chicago except Neebe have been the victims, not affording material for useful novelties made of them only failures and rebels, hindering them from comprehending that humanity as a part of nature, which it is, cannot progress at a gallop, non facit saltus. Spies on his last day discovered that humanity is misoneic, the slave of custom, and said, quoting the lines in German, "I now understand the poet's words,

    'Denn aus Gemeinem ist der Mensch gemacht,
    Und die Gewohnheit nennt er seine Amme.

      [Man has been shaped of what is common,
    And habit is the nurse by whom he's reared.]

Evidently if he had understood it before he would not have been an anarchist. Whoever has observed in asylums the conduct of lunatics, will understand that one of their characteristics is originality, just as in men of genius; only the originality of the insane and of moral lunatics, or of born criminals, is very often absurd or unavailable.

This is why I, although I am an extremist in my partisanship for the death-penalty, cannot approve the shooting of the Communards and the hanging of the anarchist martyrs of Chicago. I deem it highly necessary to suppress born criminals, when they reach the persuasion that being born for evil they can do nothing but evil; and I believe that their death thus saves the lives of many honest men. But we have to do with a very different thing here, where the criminal type is, as shown above, less frequent than among born criminals.

It is also necessary to consider here the youthful condition of almost all these persons—Lingg 23 years, Schwab 33 years, Neebe 32 years. For at this age men are at the maximum point of their audacity and misoneism; and I remember a leading Russian Nihilist saying to me that there was not an honest man in Russia who was not a nihilist at 20 years of age and ultra-moderate at 40 years. If the inclination to evil here exists in greater proportion than in law-abiding men, it nevertheless takes an altruistic turn, which is quite the contrary to that which is observed among born criminals, and which commands our admiration and arouses our just pity. This inclination, in associating itself with the want of the new, which is also abnormal in humanity, could, if it were properly directed and were not crossed by misery, prove itself of great value to humanity; it could trace for it new routes, and in every case be practically useful to it. A born criminal imprisoned for life will kill some gaoler, in a colony will ally himself with the savages, and will never work; while political criminals in a colony will become more useful pioneers even than law-abiding men. An example is seen in Louise Michel, who in New Caledonia was the most charitable of the sick nurses.

And then there is no political crime against which the punishment of death can be directed. An idea is never stifled with the death of its abettors: it gains with the death of the martyrs if it is good, as is the case in revolutions; and it falls at once into vacuity if it is sterile, as is the case, perhaps, with the anarchists. And then, as judgment cannot be formed of a great man during his life, so a generation cannot in its ephemeral life judge with certainty of the justice of an idea, and for that reason it is not proper to inflict so radical a punishment on its abettors.




In the moral world the law which is seen to dominate all the others is the law of inertia. This law of inertia is so powerful that even after having been overcome by the friction of ages it always leaves, even among beings that have most progressed, traces of its original oscillation, in survivals, in rudimentary organs, when it is not renewed in all its completeness in certain atavistic forms.

Inertia in the moral world.—Granting that it were possible and desirable to contest this law in the organic world, it could certainly not be done in the moral world. In fact, although we are thought to be making great progress, yet if we form a graphic chart showing the progress made on the globe, we shall see to what miserable proportions it is reduced. It may be said that all Africa, except certain points encroached on by the Aryans, Australia, and a good half part of America, are almost in the prehistoric state, or at best in the state of the great Asiatic empires of the earliest historic epochs. Or perhaps (as in South America, Hayti, and Siberia) civilisation has only changed the appearances of primitive life, by substituting for immobility an unstable equilibrium, which is almost worse still.

The most certain proof of the extension and of the predominance in the moral world of the law of inertia, is the hatred of novelty, so little noticed, which we call Misoneism, and which arises from the effort and the repugnance we experience when we have to substitute a new sensation for an old one. And this is so common among animals that it can be regarded as a physiological character.

Minds feeble, enfeebled, or primitive in character, show themselves the most susceptible of repugnance to what is novel; it being understood, however, that it is not a question here of small innovations, such as fashion for women, the change from the elliptic to the circular, tattooing for savages, and sports for children; for not only have the latter no dread of such changes, but on the contrary they wish heartily for them, as they excite the nervous centres, which require change, without irritating them, and without causing pain.

But when the innovation is too radical, it is not merely the savage and the child who repel it with dread; the great majority of men, for whom misoneism is a law of nature, are sensible of a feeling of repugnance, as the result of the pain produced by the necessity in which they are placed of causing their brains to be traversed by too rapid transitions, a task not within their power, inertia and the repetition of movements (individual or atavistic) before performed, being natural to ordinary men, as to all animals.

Misoneism in manners.—This may be seen, for example, in the manners and customs of the modern Greeks; notwithstanding the vicissitudes of time, we find in them the ancient Greek.

The French of the nineteenth century are still in many respects such as they are depicted by Strabo (IV, 4), and by Cæsar (De Bello Gallico, IV, 5), lovers of arms and of ostentation, incurably vain, facile of speech, easily carried away by words, and imprudent in their resolves.

Misoneism in religion.—As much can be said of this in relation to religion, literature, and art, where we see misoneism triumph. With respect to religion it can even be affirmed that this is the institution most completely based on misoneism; to the extent that we see the Christian religion preserve of ancient religions, not only musical harmony (the chant), sacred vestments (the mitre and fibula of the Egyptian priests), the scapular and the sandals of the Roman plebeian, etc., but also the Mithraic legends in certain dogmas which have relation to the sun, and even to ancient fetichism.

Misoneism in morality.—The misoneistic instinct, fed by religion, may leave traces profound enough to form a morality sui generis, and provoke among savages remorse at having failed in a brutal custom, be it ever so repugnant, such as among us is provoked in good men by crime.

Misoneism in science.—In the domain of science the history of the various persecutions of men of genius, inventors or reformers, will suffice to prove the terrible influence of misoneism, which is the more intolerant and the more fanatical the more ignorant it is; and we need only cite the names of Columbus, of Galileo, and of Salomon de Caus, the first inventor of steam apparatus, who was sent to the Bicêtre by Richelieu.

Misoneism in literature.—Likewise to misoneism we owe, in great part, our admiration for old works and ancient ruins, however hideous they may be. Because admired by our fathers and by our forefathers they obtain, so to say, a way of entrance into us, to impose themselves on our veneration. Thus the Sanscrit language for the Hindoo, the Hebrew language for the Jews, and to some extent Latin for many Christian Europeans have become a kind of sacred tongue and linguistic fetich even outside the precincts of religious usage.

The enormous influence of grammarians in imperial Rome, and afterwards during the epoch of decadence, as well as in the middle ages, explains also the persistence of the modern fetichism for grammar, which seems absurd in an age of naturalists and mathematicians.

And from thence comes the not less absurd and yet unshakable faith in classicism, rooted deeply even in men worthy of respect, who cause us to lose the best years of life in stammering in an almost useless tongue.

Misoneism in politics.—The same may be said with much more fitness of many social and political institutions which are thought to be modern and which are only relics of other times; it is for this reason only that they attract the admiration and the respect of the majority of people, constituting true conventional lies, as Nordau calls them, but which have their bourgeois believers and apostles.

In fact, the past is so incorporated in our inward being that even the most refractory of us feel a powerful attraction towards it. Thus we may be as unbelieving as can be wished, and yet at every hour of the day we feel ourselves struck and attracted by the cajoleries of priests. We may be lovers of equality, but, as we have already said, we feel a secret veneration for the heirs of our barons. It is in vain that the uselessness of certain laws is accepted; he who upholds and defends them will meet with the approbation of multitudes, called forth by the sole circumstance that the laws have existed. And if civilisation progresses often, it is because it finds in the changes of climate, of race, or in the appearance of men of genius or madmen, circumstances which end in combining a great many small movements in such a manner as to make of them in time a great one. Max Nordau thinks (with some exaggeration) that progress is due more to a few enlightened despots than to all revolutionists. But this progress was very slow; he who wished to precipitate it, contravened the physiological nature of man; consequently a revolution which is not an evolution, is pathological and criminal.

Misoneism in the punishment of crimes against custom.—This is why in primitive legislation we see offences against custom constitute the maximum of delict, of immorality.


This theory of misoneism, previously expounded in my "Delitto Politico," has aroused opposition from all sides; especially in France, on the part of Brunetière, Proal, Tarde, Joly, and Merlino. "Children," say they, "women, savages are curious, lovers of novelties, and misoneists are so far from being ignorant that you yourself refer to them as being among the academicians, (these last are still it appears in the Latin world admirers of good faith); artists have success only in attempting new paths; all peoples have the love of change; they prove it by their emigrations and by their invasions; the great invasions of the barbarians were an example of it."

"Besides, if there are misoneists, there are also neophiles, and the one makes up for the other."

"In each of us," writes Tarde, "by the side of habit, a sort of physiological misoneism, exists caprice; by the side of the inclination to repeat, the inclination to innovate. The first of these two necessities is fundamental, but the second is the essential, the raison d'être of the others."[73]

[73] Revue Philosophique, October, 1890.

In order to reply to all these objections it is necessary above all to be well understood. As to minor innovations, and caprices that satisfy the need of movement of our organs, from the very fact that they are animate, it is certain that we are all very eager for these; in proportion of course to our sex, our age, and our degree of intellectual culture. The little child will be happy with a toy, he will experience fear or dread at the sight of a mask, of a large animal or even of a small one; I have seen children frightened by a sparrow, by a fly. Woman takes pleasure in disguising herself in a striking manner, in wearing new garments in which to attend great plays in the theatres, but she has a horror of new religious rites, and of new discoveries, to such a degree that a great number still refuse to use linen and knitted work made by machinery; sewing machines themselves find their way among them only very slowly. (Merlino.)

When it is claimed (Merlino) that savages love novelties, from the fact, related by Ellis, that some of them endeavored to procure Bibles, (taking them, perhaps, for playthings,) or arms of which they had seen the useful effects, their nature is misjudged; since even after many years passed in contact with European civilisation, after having worn its clothing and ornaments, they return naked to their forests, where a warm garment would certainly not be an object of embarrassment. To believe with Cardinal Massaia that they offer themselves voluntarily for vaccination, that they even ask it, is to ignore that even among ourselves, vaccination encounters a great number of adversaries. Does not Stanley relate that in his last journey, an epidemic of smallpox having broken out in the camp, many of the porters, although they saw that the vaccinated Zanzibaris did not die, refused to submit to vaccination?

According to Tarde, the superstitious admiration, the enthusiastic veneration by barbarous peoples of various forms of insanity, often baptised as prophetism and saintliness, scarcely accords with the aversion for novelties, that is to say for singularities, which I attribute to them too liberally. But the cause of that admiration is nothing else than the fear, the ignorance which leads them to take a disease for the inspiration of a God. Nevertheless, I am far from denying the influence of madmen in philoneism and in revolutions (as we shall see in the sequel of this article); yet if we observe the Santons of Africa and their obscenities, we see that it is not for their useful and innovating ideas that barbarians venerate madmen.

The Academician will admire a new species of snail, he will thrill with joy at the discovery of a Phœnician inscription that will enable him to learn the name of a tribal chief, he will go into ecstasies before a greater curvity given to a screw, but he will excommunicate the telephone, the telegraph, the railway, the new laws of Darwin.

The artist, also, will love to trace a new arabesque, to change to blue the prevailing color of the rose, but he will never attempt, directly, with success, new methods. The hatred by all the elevated and academical classes which still besets Zola, Balzac, and Flaubert, the action brought against the last named, and the universal scandals raised by De Goncourt, Boito, Rossini, and Verdi, are there to prove it. The first, at least, who attempts a new method in painting, in literature, etc., will encounter only hatred and contempt. And when we smile at models unchangeably fixed by Egyptian art, we do not think that the Madonna and the Jesus of our painters have not changed for eighteen centuries.

Horace wrote:

"Adeo sanctum est vetus omne poema.

* * * * *

    Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse
    Compositum, illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper."

It is then not true, as is objected against me in France (Journal des Economistes, 1890), that in extending misoneism to the academies, its greatest intensity is excluded from among the ignorant. Each class, each caste has a proportionate ignorance, and a repugnance equally proportional for that of which it is ignorant. We have demonstrated it for genius itself, which is sublime on certain sides only to be the lowest on some others, and we could have a proof of it even in the opposition that the most ardent neophiles, the anarchists, make to this theory of misoneism, of which they are thus themselves a confirmation.

Bismarck despises parliamentarianism, peace, arbitration, and even the Latin, or rather European, alphabet. Flaubert and Rossini had a dread of railways. The statesmen who govern Europe are not all geniuses, but they are men not destitute of intellectual culture; and yet how can it be explained that they so strive with ever increasing tenacity and zeal to increase armaments and armies, to the extent of causing ruin to their peoples,—a greater and more complete ruin perhaps, than that which even a disastrous war might occasion? And this for the purpose, they declare, (and it seems to be sincere,) of more surely escaping war, when as a fact one fourth of the money spent for that end would be sufficient to assure the happiness of the peoples governed by affording the social questions which they all pretend to have at heart, a solution which, as things now are, it is ever becoming more difficult to reach. The true cause is in the repugnance they experience to the idea of starting on a fresh path, in the tendency to adhere to old habits which go back even to the epochs of the warrior castes. Indeed in the minds of a very great number, at least among the Germans, a good corporal of the guard is more worthy of consideration than a great scholar; debate in parliament on the erection of a fortress is not permitted, however costly it may be, whilst every one may speak on the establishment of a school; in France, in Italy, and in Germany, to touch the war budget, unproductive and ruinous as it may be, is to raise the hand to the ark of the covenant,—a veritable state crime. But science is a new thing, while the art of war goes back to remotest antiquity; it descends from Achilles and from Cain.

I was not guilty of a self-contradiction when I said that the modern French love novelty as much as their ancestors did. I am too much the friend and too fond of the French to flatter them, and not to tell them exactly what I think. France is undeniably at the head of the Latin races, but to the same extent, and perhaps more than they, it prefers novelties to the new. It has always had the stormy agitations, rather than the useful results, of revolutions. The great religious reform, Protestantism, touched it without affecting it; the great constitutional reform has taken but slight root, and that two centuries and a half after it was accomplished in England.

Balzac wrote: "In France the provisional is eternal although the French are suspected of loving change."

Novelties to be accepted by the French must be such as do not interfere with their habits. And it is they who have invented the words routine, blague, and chauvinism. It is because they are still in the military period of Spencer. So far as that goes, they have cried out beware! to the English, then, beware to the Russians, now beware to the Germans and the Italians. They change voluntarily their dress, their ministers, their external form of government, but always there remains in them at bottom a slight attachment to the ancient druidical and Cæsarian tendencies. It is not many years since the priest still commanded in Vendée. We have seen the French, while extreme republican, make war for the Pope.

After having a Fourier and Proudhon and, what is more, universal suffrage, they have not yet a social law which gives satisfaction to the just demands of the indigent, or of workingmen, beyond that of the "probi viri."

It is true that they have had their peasant wars—their Jacquerie—and '89; but these were explosions that aroused them but for a moment only to allow them afterwards to fall much lower. Indeed, but a few centuries after the Jacquerie, they saw the same peasants who had raised the insurrection, kiss the horses of the couriers who brought good news of the health of the king. And what a king! Louis XV, who might rather be called the executioner, than the administrator of his people. And after having driven away so many Cæsars, little was wanting to make them fall again under such a trumpery Cæsar as Boulanger if the highest classes of the capital had not been opposed to it.

Moreover certain particular facts, which portray much better their physiognomy, show how fundamentally conservative they are.

Let us cite for example the veneration exhibited by the high classes for the Academies and the passion for heraldic titles and decorations. "France is academic," wrote De Goncourt in Manette Salomon.

Sarcey relates that during the siege of Paris, the flesh of the animals of the Jardin des Plantes, having been put up for sale, the common people preferred to suffer hunger rather than eat of it, so that the educated classes alone fed on it.

We know what resistance the French made, under a thousand pretexts, to the reform of their orthography, which is in part merely the relics of the old pronunciation.

Recently, an engineer at Bordeaux wrote to me, that, on his inventing machinery for the easy transference of merchandise from ships to the quays, sturdy opposition was met with on the part of the stevedores of the port, who would have been the first to derive great advantage from it.

The medical faculty at Paris has not only anathematised tartar emetic, vaccine, ether, and the antiseptic method, but also the physicians who substituted the use of horses for the ancient employment of mules to expedite their visits to their patients.[74]

[74] Revue Scientifique, 1889.

Is it not in learned Germany that we find Anti-semitism in fashion? And has not Russia made it a law of the state?

In certain districts of Sicily is not the ancient method still preserved of embalming and of painting the bodies of the dead which was practised among the ancient Egyptians?

A recent law-suit tried at Turin has proved that not only the lower classes, but also numbers of persons belonging to the higher classes protect themselves by practices that distinctly recall those of the sorcerers of antiquity. All this would prove that philoneism is rather the exception than the rule.

It is objected to my position, that nations and peoples are such lovers of change that they have always emigrated. But before making this affirmation, we ought to study the causes which impel them to emigration.

Day by day the peasants see their wages decrease; yet even then they do not remove from the land that they love more than themselves, and to which they are more closely bound than they ever were by feudal laws. When epidemics produced by the bad quality of cereals, as pellagra and acrodynia, when mortal diseases and the most cruel famine destroy them by thousands, then only, and even then not always, do they come to a determination; while for many years they keep before them the remembrance of their native soil, of that country, which, like a true stepmother, gave them only diseases and sufferings.

I have listened to poor emigrants say to me: "We have only to die! The life that we lead is certain death; and it is for this reason alone that we have determined to emigrate."

As to the invasions of the barbarians, only ill-informed minds can believe that it was the effect of a sudden movement, of a caprice hurrying away masses almost without a reason. On the contrary, all now admit (as was really mentioned in Tacitus, Bk. II., Chap. 2, of the Annals) that it was a very slow movement, already begun three centuries before Christ, and of which that of the Cimbri, who came from Jutland, was an episode. The crossing of the Baltic was an easy enterprise. The inhabitants of the coast had a sufficient number of vessels, and from Carlsroon to the nearest ports of Russia and of Pomerania was only a distance of thirty-four leagues.

If the tribes of Germans, Suevians, and Goths were repulsed from Italian soil, they had already taken a firm position on the soil of Gaul. Cæsar (De Bello Gallico) speaks of Ariovistus and the Suevians whom he met there as his most formidable enemies. They did not appear to him as forming an isolated body, detached from Germany; on the contrary, he relates that the Germans time and again forced their way into Gaul. Movements within continued, for even after Augustus we find that the Romans did not always encounter the same peoples in the same countries. This is affirmed by Procopius, Paulus Diaconus, and many others.

Let us recall here that already after the death of Nero, Civilis, who was in the service of Rome, led eight cohorts from his country into Gaul where he was defeated, but he was able to make an arrangement, thanks to which he could settle as an ally at a small distance from the borders which he had betrayed (Gibbon).

The Germans (a people composed of voluntary associations of soldiers, almost savages) being hunters rather than cultivators, were naturally obliged to change their residence; we know indeed with what rapidity the game was exhausted, which obliged those who live by it to overrun an immense extent of territory and continually to transfer their residence to other places; this is why emigration is in this case the result of the law of inertia, the people not knowing how to replace a precarious form of existence by one that is more stable. They had no towns, but real movable villages that could be compared to those of the Arabs of Africa. Like all nomad peoples and hunters, when the hope of a conquest shone before them, they abandoned their forests and, desiring to reach warmer regions, went from them with their wives and children to war. During long years their efforts were impotent, because until the time of Marcus Aurelius they were divided, precisely like the savages of America, into a great number (40) of small tribes, dispersed over an immense territory and enemies of one another; it was, consequently, the more easy to subdue them, the rather that not knowing the use of the breast-plate and but little that of iron and of cavalry, they found themselves powerless against the Roman legions, of whose tactics besides they were ignorant.

But when Rome, at the decadence, commenced to recruit its army with Germans, and when less vigilant in guarding the frontiers, she allowed German families, if not even tribes, to pass the same, she found herself in great part disarmed against an enemy who had already set foot against her, bearing her own weapons, and what is worse, who knew her treasures, her tactics, and her weaknesses. Under Tiberius even, it was known that the auxiliary soldiers constituted the principal force of the Roman armies (nihil validum in exercitibus nisi quod externum); at first equal in number to the legionary soldiers, they much exceeded them afterwards, when the citizens evaded military services, and when under Gallienus the Senators were forbidden to command the army. To all these causes can still be added secondary ones.

Before the historic invasion, emigration had taken place. "When," says Gibbon, "a cruel famine befell the Germans, they had no other resource than to send a third or a fourth part of their young men to seek their fortune elsewhere."

According to the national historians, emigration was due to the disproportion between the size of the population and the means of subsistence in the region where they dwelt (Paulus Diaconus): the Germans were very prolific. As they were not agriculturists, nothing bound them to the soil; pestilence or famine, a victory or a defeat, an oracle of the Gods, or the eloquence of a chief sufficed to attract them to the warmer countries of the south. Germany was then much colder than it is at present. (Gibbon.)

The necessity of fleeing from the domination of a victorious enemy forced the Huns towards the west; religious fanaticism drove the nomad Arabs towards the great Byzantine and Persian empires; religious terror urged the Cimbri and the Teutons to throw themselves on the Gauls and on Italy.[75] Often also the taste for wine and liquors led them to invade rich countries for these gifts of God.

[75] Revue des deux mondes. June 11, 1889. Berthollet.

According to a legend, doubted by some historians, but accepted by others, among them Cipolla, the descent of the Lombards into Italy appears to have been caused by the fact that some of their companions, after having served Narses, conveyed into their country some Italian fruits which excited their curiosity.

All this will suffice to explain the movement we are considering, which commenced slowly among the Northern peoples and afterwards became unrestrainable, and to show how the law of inertia was counteracted among them.

And it is necessary to remark that this need of movement thus begun, did not end with the conquest; but, obeying perfectly the law of inertia, according to which a movement being started it continues indefinitely if friction does not occur to arrest it, it was continued by the crusades, by the Norman invasion of Sicily, and by the epidemics of pilgrimage that may be regarded as the continuation of the movement towards the South, begun three centuries before Christ, and become a habit when even the necessity was no longer so great as at other times, and when it was even no longer urgent.

Here is still another cause of philoneism; the successive movements which grow out of those first started.

As the historians very well observe, Mahomet was a continuation of the Judaic Christian revolutionary initiative. "Mahomet was a Nazarene, a Judæo-Christian. Semitic monotheism regained its rights through him, and avenged itself for the mythological and polytheistic complications that Greek genius had introduced into the theology of the first disciples of Jesus." (Renan.) There is more of this in revolutions and still more in rebellions; progress, philoneism, following the law of accelerated movement and of the same law of inertia, once begun, blindly precipitates itself to opposite excesses, the very thing that causes its ruin. Thus Cromwell in a country almost feudal and ultra-monarchical reached, or rather was driven by his party, to regicide, and to the foundation of a democratic republic in which the peers were consigned to oblivion and his partisans (of the Barebones parliament) went so far as to wish to do away with lawyers and universities, to forbid dances, theatrical representations, and even Christmas festivities, to mutilate statues on behalf of decency, and to burn sacred pictures. (Macaulay.) This led to a reaction which under Charles II. reached absolute power by consent of parliament. In Christianity castration, and even the abolition of property was reached. We know the excesses of '89.

Passion explains many of these facts, which proceed even to insanity. St. Paul, from an enemy became an apostle of Christ. Clarendon after abandoning himself to despair at seeing his son go over from the service of James to that of William, became a rebel at the end of fifteen days. The parliament of James, ultra-monarchical as it was, rebelled. The conventional Baudot said: "There are men who have fever for twenty-four hours. I have had it for ten years." "In the days of terrible crises," wrote Valbert, "the law of cause and effect seems suspended, the work is accomplished in an hour. To ask revolution to be wise, is to ask the tempest to break nothing."[76]

[76] Valbert. Le centennaire de 1789. Paris, 1889.

"In every revolution," writes Renan, "the authors of it are absorbed and suppressed by those who succeed them. The first century of the Hegira saw the extermination of the relations and friends of Mahomet by those who pretended to confiscate for their own profit the revolution he had created. In the Franciscan movement the true friends of Saint François d'Assisi, were, after a generation, regarded as heretics and as dangerous men, and were led to the stake by hundreds."

An idea in the first days of creative activity proceeds with giant steps, and we can say, the movement once begun continues by virtue of the law of inertia always to increase; its originator falls behind, and becomes an obstacle to his own idea which persists in moving forward in spite of him. The Ebionites who gave to Christianity its first start became after a century a scandal to the church; their doctrine a blasphemy.[77]

[77] Renan. L'Eglise chrétienne.

It is this very tendency, caused by the arousing of passion, that makes all revolutions abortive, that causes them through their own excesses to be the authors of their own destruction, and which neutralises or much decreases the progress made by revolutions.

The gravest objection against misoneism constitutes, accordingly, the strongest proof of it. Like the plant, the animal, and the stone, man remains motionless, unless a disturbance of his state occurs through other forces, and through the law of inertia itself, which after having at first rendered him immovable afterwards drives him to opposite excess, but to replunge him anew into immobility.

The most potent cause is that of physical environment, change of climate. Next comes the crossing of one race with another, and it is to this we owe in great part the marvellous productions of Greek art that arose in Magna Grecia. Then, often, the influence of climate is active, to which is owing the transformation of the Jew; so persecutions, and the great calamities which races experience and which determine the selection of the strongest. And to this result contribute above all the impulses impressed by geniuses and by mattoids, who, as I have already pointed out in my work on "Genius" alone possess an intense love for the new, for the very reason that their organisation is different from that of other people. The intensity of individual violence and power here unbalances the tendency to immobility; but almost always—and I show it in the work referred to—when that intensity is not favored by circumstances, when it does not arise as the final synthesis of a general desire, a latent and universal necessity, but simply as a pathological phenomenon, it becomes again valueless, for the very reason that it is individual. It is owing to this that the efforts of a madman like Cola de Rienzi, and of such geniuses as Alexander, Napoleon, Pombal, and Peter the Great, result in nothing. To beneficent geniuses, as Bolivar, the Gracchi, etc., are attributed all the merit of revolutions which triumph because they were prepared long before by history and by circumstances, and which were only precipitated by them and summed up in them. It suffices to note that the genius of Garibaldi, of Cavour, and of Mazzini, has been able to give us nothing more than Italy as it now is, in order to comprehend that in spite of geniuses and, up to a certain point, in spite of circumstances the work of revolution is durable only when the circumstances that have commenced it persist, and men are profoundly modified by it.

However, the law of inertia always prevailing, (since primitive tendencies always concern it,) these changes are but very slow and, as we have seen, give place to easy relapses; they become fixed and swell to new movements only when the causes which provoke them continue and become more intense.

In fine, philoneism, progress, also sometimes triumphs—at least with the white race and frequently with the yellow races; but it is not the result of a sudden movement or of a natural human tendency, but the effect of external physical forces, whether social, historical or the like, which have caused the law of inertia to change its direction. It is therefore the slow result, we might say, of the small and sensible variations peculiar to men according to their condition, added to grander movements, as well as momentarily barren ones, of geniuses and forces, and to those more powerful ones of the physical and historical environment. Of the resulting product we see only the effects, because without the telescope of history and of sociology we do not perceive the slowness with which they have reached us, and the smallness of the efforts which contribute to it. It is thus that we do not imagine that the great Coral Islands can be the work of billions of small zo-ophytes accumulated the one on the other during thousands of years. The organic kingdom, like the social, is made up of the sum total of slow and small efforts.

The idea of the Christ and that of Buddha, the way for which had been prepared for several centuries by other geniuses less fortunate than they, miscarries among the people in which it was conceived, and becomes fruitful elsewhere. But dating from the epoch in which its votaries, nihilists of the reverse type, began to multiply and spread, in the lowest and least intelligent strata of society, employing as arms not violence but gentleness, more than three centuries elapsed before it was tolerated and officially recognised. For two hundred and fifty years the plebeians fought at Rome for their liberty. Yet they always heard the Senators say, "Your propositions are too novel." And liberty was granted by the one, and acquired by the others, only soon to be lost, first, in anarchy, then under the dictatorship, and then under the empire.

It is in this sense, that revolutions at the start can be the work of a small number, but they represent, they are the sign of a latent universal sentiment; this is why they grow in direct proportion to time (and time is very long) and gain partisans among their own adversaries. The apostles of Christ numbered only twelve, but a hundred and fifty years later, at Rome alone, there were in the catacombs 737 tombs of Christians; and Renan calculates that at the time of Commodus 35,000 Christians existed. We know that Saint Paul himself was one of the bitterest adversaries of the Christians.

The English revolution, up to the time Charles I. sought to cause the arrest of the four parliamentarians, was anti-republican, and strictly royalist even; but ultimately revolutionary ideas spread throughout all England, and the zealous but not blind partisans of the king were the first to turn against him after his excesses and his treasons.

In the revolution of Flanders, the chief citizens and a great part of the nobility, held aloof from the movement for a long period; but all possessed in embryo the feeling uttered by the first apostles and pioneers of the movement. Time, in its slow development, gives rise to the complete expansion of the latent sentiments expressed by misoneism.

For example let us now transfer ourselves to another field; I wish to speak of the abolition of classical studies. There are perhaps actually five or six of us in Italy who proclaim without fear its absolute necessity; as we were only three when we proclaimed the necessity of changing the penal laws and of bringing them to examine the criminal rather than the crime.

The first statesman who should attempt to carry out our ideas would fall amid universal scandal; and yet these very ideas are entertained by all who are not blinded by archæological and academic misoneism. But they have not the courage to avow them and still less to realise them. In a few years these ideas will no longer admit even of discussion.

That is revolution. Let us look, on the other hand, at the ideas of the anarchists; they are in the heads, and unfortunately in the hands of certain diseased persons, but they are not in the thought of the majority; consequently all their agitation will be in vain, and result only in isolated commotions and frays.

That is revolt, insurrection. And let no one say that philoneism and progress are found as proportional reaction to misoneic action, an oscillation of the pendulum excluding the law of inertia. The pendulum itself does not oscillate, but remains perpetually motionless until moved; and its oscillations, even the smallest, are produced the most often by external causes entirely accidental. And the law of inertia is here also so constant, that if it did not find in the friction of the atmosphere a cause of impediment the movement once begun would continue ad infinitum. So a ball flies and rebounds, when a force propels it; and here also if friction did not retard it, it would continue forever the motion once commenced. Inertia is the rule, and mutations are produced by special external incidents, which being usually less persistent, less tenacious, change more the appearance than the reality. And these modifications which are very slow and proceed from external causes, are produced not only among men and among animals, but are met with even in the inorganic world; it is thus that the salts of copper and of lime, in certain conditions of a warm medium, change their color but not their nature nor their molecular arrangement, and always give the same chemical reactions.



It is certainly conceded by all who come in general estimation within the category of thinkers, that psychology, as formerly studied, without basis in physiology, was most unfruitful, as compared with the modern study of it upon that basis. It is therefore quite remarkable to find in quarters of repute, where psychological problems are discussed, some into which enter, even inferentially, either momentary obliviousness, or temporary disregard of truths that are held indisputable by modern thinkers within the lines of the subjects indicated. Yet such contradiction and conflict are found in the constantly recurring attempted demonstration of the dual nature of the mind or the soul, call the entity what one will. That man has within his organisation tendencies which are relatively higher or lower than others within himself, is not to be disputed; but that such mixture of nature is to be regarded as constituting him of dual mental nature, is a proposition untenable coincidently with the maintenance of the proposition that he is in nature physiologically single. It has been maintained lately, that he is physiologically double, but this view has not met with any acceptance worthy of the name. In short, it would seem, from all that we know, that in every individual, psychical being must bear the same relation to physiological that the latter does to physical, and that they are all interdependent. And if this be true, the same relations must hold good when the physical and physiological nature degenerate into the pathological, and we find by observation that they do hold good. So far, therefore, as the lesson inculcated by Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde presents to the popular mind the idea of dual mental nature in man, it is false. Viewed from the scientific standpoint, the case exhibits nothing more or less than a phase of physical, physiological, and psychical action, terminating in pathological manifestations. Gradually, the physical, physiological, and psychical natures suffer, pari passu, and the whole being exhibits profound retrograde metamorphosis, through the continuous degenerations that have been so often and so ably described by Dr. Henry Maudsley, in which all will-power passes away, the whole being becomes involved, and direful death of all higher attributes finally ensues. That, during the struggle in this decadence between the will and the instincts it is natural that it should seem to the outside uninstructed view, and even to the individual sufferer himself, that the phenomenon witnessed is evidence of a dual nature of mind, is not surprising; but it is surprising to find any one of the present day who deems himself scientific, implying that the observed changing mental, moral, and bodily manifestations are not witnesses to co-ordinated change; it is surprising that any scientific inquirer should lend the slightest countenance to the belief that changed psychical phenomena are possible without changed physical and physiological conditions, and yet that is what we often see proclaimed through maintenance of the proposition of the duality of mental nature.

The point mentioned belongs to the most flagrantly unscientific view of the relations and effects of the forces in play under the conditions discussed. But there may be in the inclusive subject-matter of the question minor points as to which erroneous views are sometimes presented to the public as emanating from sources otherwise scientific. Such a one it is my intention to make the principal subject of this paper. In the October number of The Monist, in the article "The Magic Mirror," Max Dessoir, the author, says, pages 111 and 112:

"The theory from which I shall proceed in attempting an explanation, has already been frequently touched upon in the course of this article; for certain observations indicated it so clearly that mention of it was not to be avoided. It is the doctrine of the double consciousness of the human soul. Acts are done in the course even of our every-day life, which presuppose for their origin and execution all the faculties of the soul, yet nevertheless occur without the knowledge of the individual; they require a sort of consciousness and a separate memory beyond the cognisance of the normal person. One of the most frequent cases in practical experience is where the thoughts of a person reading aloud wander and become occupied with an entirely different subject; and where despite this aberration the person in question reads correctly with the proper emphasis and expression, turns the leaves, and in short performs acts which without intelligent control are hardly conceivable. An English psychologist, Mr. Barkworth, has acquired such expertness in the practice of this, that during an animated debate he can rapidly and correctly add long columns of figures without having his attention diverted in the least. This points not only to an unconscious intelligence, but—which is of still greater consequence—to an unconscious memory. Mr. Barkworth must keep two series of figures in his mind in order to obtain from them a third; this latter sum he is again obliged to retain in order to add to it a newly acquired fourth; and so on. The latter chain of memories, let it be remarked, performs its office entirely independently of that upon which the recollection of the debate is constructed; and it may therefore be reasonably maintained that there exists beyond the cognisance of the individual, both consciousness and memory; and if the essential components of the ego are found in these two last-mentioned factors, then every person conceals within himself the germs of a second personality. I designate the two halves of consciousness that thus operate in greater or less independence of each other,—in a figurative sense of course,—as super-and sub-consciousness, and comprehend the whole as the doctrine of double consciousness or the double ego."

No one will at this late day, it is to be presumed, dispute the existence in the same individual of subconsciousness, as contra-distinguished from superconsciousness; superconsciousness being that which is more familiarly known as self-consciousness, and subconsciousness as that latent consciousness of which we are not at all conscious, and which yet receives impressions which may or may not rise soon, late, or at all into the sphere of self-consciousness; an impress which cannot be summed into self-consciousness by an effort of will, for the obvious reason that the memory has yet taken no cognisance of them. That this subconscious function of the brain is simply a phenomenon dependent upon cell-storage of the brain, the product of which may or may not ever reach self-consciousness, is proved by many circumstances attested by our memory of collated facts concerned in our waking and dream life. Sir Walter Scott, in his story of the "Tapestried Chamber," gives an admirable account of its working under the lead of a sleeper's unconscious cerebration risen to self-consciousness, for let it be here parenthetically noted that it is absurd, as is sometimes attempted, to rule dream-thoughts out of the realm of self-consciousness, the individuality of the dreamer never being lost, however modified the mental and moral ideation of that individuality may be.

But Max Dessoir evidently confounds subconsciousness with unconscious cerebration. He makes subconsciousness, in the intellection described, a primary factor in execution. Now subconsciousness is the mere tablet, as it were, upon which impressions are made, and unconscious cerebration that faculty of the brain which, without immediate, and perchance future, cognisance of self-consciousness, may evolve from all brain-impressions, whether subconsciously or self-consciously received, thought of which not even the individual himself becomes aware that he is the possessor until it is presented to him as a free gift. This proceeds during sleep as well as during waking, sometimes anticipating, coincidently with waking, the routine subject of thought for the day. It sometimes in sleep, as well as in waking moments, presents itself with the startling effect of a revelation. Subconsciousness, therefore, is a condition of passivity, and unconscious cerebration one of activity, although, of course, of even unknown existence unless a product of it reaches self-consciousness. They are not to be crudely conceived of as different manifestations of the same thing, any more than an emotion is to be thought of as another aspect of the sensation which produced it, the emotion being qualitatively an entirely new departure from the sensation. Both sensation and emotion represent conditions of activity, whereas, so far as self-consciousness is equal to differentiating them, subconsciousness and unconscious cerebration respectively represent passivity and activity.

But the admission of the coexistence in the same individual of unconscious cerebration with self-consciousness does not involve the concession of the existence of dual mentality, any more than recognised possession of striped and unstriped, voluntary and involuntary muscle, involves the concession that man is physically dual in mechanical motive power. Yet it is upon the basis of the recognised coexistence of double consciousness in man that Max Dessoir reaches the conclusion that, figuratively speaking, as he says, there is a double ego, by means of whose duplex action different mental processes are simultaneously carried forward. Now, neither figuratively nor otherwise, as should be clearly apparent from what has been said, is there in man a double ego. For although while there is life subconsciousness must exist, and unconscious cerebration proceed, nothing is more open to observation than that subconsciousness and unconscious cerebration, although always present, do not always rise into the sphere of self-consciousness. That, during self-conscious activity of thought on a particular subject, if continued for a long time, subconsciousness may, through unconscious cerebration, in a measure yield tribute to self-conscious thought is undeniable, for we see their effect sometimes visible in the sudden inspiration of the orator and the writer, but that they are factors in ordinary thought-evolution, for immediate use, within very limited spaces of time, is impossible, for we by definition limit subconsciousness and unconscious cerebration to pure unguided automatism, while to self-consciousness we concede the direction of all automatic processes that represent conceptions of the mind. Obviously, to imagine that we direct that which may or may not appear at all in the sensorium, to be directed, and which from its nature, as known from observation, is not likely to appear within moderate time-limits of special thought-evolution, is inadmissible, involving the assertion of two contradictory propositions, for, as matter of experience, we know that the product of unconscious cerebration, even when it appears clearly recognisable as such, seldom manifests itself before the lapse of a few hours.

The simple and complete explanation of the phenomenon observed, in what are deemed simultaneous mental processes, is that they are not absolutely simultaneous. The best illustration that can be given of the manner in which they take place is afforded by the system known as synchronous multiple telegraphy, in which, by means of an admirable apparatus, points on discs, representing makes and breaks of electric current, are, at stations distant from each other, adjusted to synchronous relations with each other, by means of electro-magnetic agency, tuning-forks, and self-adjusting varying resistances to the currents, so that receiving and transmitting proceeds with a continuousness just short of perfect continuity. I am not attempting to liken the rapidity of thought to that of electricity, even when electricity is embarrassed and slowed by mechanism of man's construction; but otherwise the analogy between so-called simultaneous mental processes and the results obtained from so-called synchronous multiple telegraphy, is as perfect as any analogy can be. Thus the make and break impulses of the will direct the self-conscious flow of nerve-force in receiving and transmitting impulses of almost synchronous time upon various subject-matter successively taken up and dropped. The thought for each is not simultaneous, nor of equal duration, but so nearly simultaneous as to appear so, and of duration sufficient for its task. The individual thought-times are not, therefore, represented, as in the telegraphic instrument described, by equal spaces of time, but bear due relations to the respective difficulties of the subject-matter almost synchronously attacked. It is self-conscious thought that is here involved, whether in sleeping or waking, that is, will-directed thought, for even in sleep we observe the will as imperfectly directing; striving, however, always to direct. As has been admitted, if the process of self-conscious cerebration last over a long space of time, it is possible that some fragment derived from unconscious cerebration may contribute to the grand total of primary flow. This, however, is not of normal occurrence, seeing that unconscious cerebration often deals with matter entirely alien to present self-conscious mental occupation. The fruits of such cerebration are therefore impossible to be counted upon, and therefore cannot be insisted upon as proving from the experience cited by Max Dessoir the existence, even figuratively speaking, of double consciousness construed as forming with self-consciousness a double self; while the well-known action of subconsciousness, unconscious cerebration, and conscious cerebration, as related to one another, amply explain all the phenomena in waking, sleep, and even in hypnotism if we include in that hysteric diathesis.

When, in abstraction, in wrapt attention to a single idea, we are carried past the door at which we had intended to stop, or continue to read aloud, unobservantly of the sense of words, or otherwise betray that we are buried deep in one absorbing thought; it is not, in the first case, that our automaton has unwontedly borne us along, or in the second, that we are not permitting it to take a partial holiday, for it is our automaton that serves our commonest daily needs; but only that we have, in the first case, forgotten to arrest its movements in due time, and in the second, have not thought it worth while to do so; for when decrepitude overtakes us, and our automaton, sharing in the misfortune, toils wearily along, or requires intense purposiveness for special brain-accomplishment, ideation can no longer afford to give to it its former liberty, but dwells in concentration on a single action; unless, indeed, when that still lower grade is reached, when the automatic man is almost all that remains, and ideation but the fitful glow that may start to futile movement the once efficient mechanism of the human frame. By easy stages, receptivity and communicability, ever lowering in degree, in quantity, and in quality, may dwindle to a single point, and movement be but faint automatic habit; the former high being now occupying the opposite extreme from rapid thought-transmission and receipt, and bodily response to ideation, upon the basis of life's whole energised experience.

Max Dessoir remarks, in a passage shortly following the one already quoted at length:

"Closer investigation teaches further, that in dreams, states of intoxication, in somnambulistic and epileptic attacks, not only does a consciousness different from the normal consciousness rule, but that also between successive periods memory-links of greater or less stability are wont to form."

As to the greater or less closeness, as well as greater or less stability, of the memory-links to which Max Dessoir refers, there can be no dispute; but it is demonstrable that sleeping and waking consciousness of both kinds exactly correspond. The difference observable in waking and dream thought-evolution does not chiefly relate to modified consciousness, but to modified conscientiousness; the defect in both being the necessary consequence of temporary abeyance of normal co-ordination between the nerve-centres. Determinately directed thought, which is necessarily waking thought, proceeds upon the basis of memorabilia that are the cash in hand of the kind of currency that is temporarily available for logical transactions; while in sleep, conscious cerebration only partially controls its treasures, and often regretfully sees them squandered before its face. Determinately directed thought is necessarily derived from the will, unless one believes with Lord Kames, that thought preserves unbroken heredity; in which case the ego becomes only the witness through life of pure automatism—a position which is easily refuted. The will directs the thought upon the basis of cognate memorabilia, be the channels many or few, by means of semi-synchronous, rotative attention.

The great lapse of time during which the action of subconsciousness may remain unrevealed until, through unconscious cerebration, it reaches self-consciousness, through the medium of recognition of a particular event as of actual occurrence, and how, finally, this recognition, as true, of a particular event, may be restricted for a while to the condition of sleep, and after a long period of incubation at last rise to waking knowledge, is so admirably exemplified by an experience of my own that I here put it on record.

About five years ago I had a dream of a landscape, where there were rocky escarpments partially covered with trees, with a plain as foreground, upon which a carriage drew up to take me home after a day's topographical surveying. Both in dreaming and upon awaking I was vividly impressed with the idea that the place was one in which the topography remained to be finished by me. But when awake, I fruitlessly went over in memory all parts of the coast where I had ever executed topographical surveys, and where by any chance, at any time, I could have left unfinished anything that I was in duty bound to finish. Some time elapsed, and I had the same dream again. Coming at once to the conclusion that, if I should dream it a third time, I should be told (as I should be, if I mentioned it at the second to any indifferent person) that I had dreamed that I dreamed it, I at once described in detail to a member of my family the landscape, the rocks, the trees, the plain, and the coming of the carriage, and requested that all these be memorised. Some months again passed, and the dream in all its vividness recurred, and was repeated to the same person, agreeing as to its details with those introduced in the recital of the preceding ones.

I never had from the first a doubt that the dream had a foundation in some one concrete fact, but from the lapse of time without a solution of it being afforded, I was all but hopeless that its subject-matter would ever rise into the sphere of full waking knowledge. However, at moderate intervals I dreamt it again and again, each time simply saying to my confidant, "I have had that dream again," and at length, without any special effort directed to its solution, that which had heretofore eluded all efforts to explain, was presented solved.

The uncomfortableness of the dream, it is to be borne in mind, lay in the impression, although contradicted by memory, that I had neglected to finish some piece of topography which it was my duty to finish. Hence the direction of self-conscious thought towards its solution had always been wrong. There was no piece of work of any kind that I had ever neglected to finish. There was, however, a piece of topographical work, which, when I was about to finish it, I was prevented from completing by orders taking me away from the locality to another far distant. The whole tract originally intended to be executed in topography was of about one hundred square miles, a tract of much geological as well as topographical interest, over a portion of which I had been accompanied two or three times by Prof. James D. Dana, who was deeply interested in the execution of the topography, on account of his development from it of the minute geological characteristics of the region. At one boundary of the area mentioned there was a ridge and summit of some nine hundred feet in height, densely covered with a stunted growth of trees. How to get the contours of this ridge by some original plan I had been obliged in advance to settle in my mind, for on the ridge itself nothing could, on account of the dense growth, be seen for any great distance, and over it no roads passed. I had concluded to have simultaneous horizontal and vertical angles taken to staffs, from a line of foot-hills lying parallel with the ridge, when I was ordered to Florida to make there a survey. This was succeeded by surveys in other far-distant localities during successive years. Not, however, as it appears, until seven years after leaving the locality intimately described, did the first dream related to it take place, and not until rather more than two years thereafter did its repetitions cease with its solution. I said to my confidant when, about three years ago, that solution was reached, "I shall never have that dream again," and it has never since appeared; as why should it, the mystery with which the uncoördinated ego struggled being solved?

We can readily comprehend, from such an experience as this, how it has been possible, as we have learned from well authenticated cases, for a person to lead two somewhat independent thought-lives. What, however, is clearly shown by it is the possibility, for it has been proved, of subconscious record remaining for years dormant, proceeding at last through unconscious cerebration to reach conscious cerebration, but even then conscious cerebration only during sleep, until finally conscious cerebration of waking moments being reached, the judgment seat of co-ordinated faculties, the dream departs, no longer abusing the curtained sleeper, nor ghost-like rising to disturb his waking self-consciousness.



If you sit down in the quiet of your own room and calmly ask yourself what it is in reference to a life after death that you really desire and what you may reasonably expect, you will probably be surprised to find what a blank your mind is upon the subject. I doubt if you will find that you inwardly desire it, in the same manner, for example, that you desire wealth, or fame, or beauty. You have grown up in the belief that it is right to desire and believe, but that, you know, is quite a different affair from actual yearning.

Nearly every one puts the thought aside as beyond solution. One says, "My thinking will not change the fact nor my longing bring it about. The duty of the passing day is all I can fulfil." Under this cover of postponed examination the world has grown as indifferent to the question as it was formerly engrossed by it. Fear of offending delicate sensibilities and established beliefs keeps the doubter and modifier silent; whilst the extreme of the omnivorous believer is set over against the out-and-out denier. But the great majority of people are neither believers nor disbelievers, but indifferentists—slowly settling toward an agnostic non-committalism that is destructive of all intellectual and moral earnestness.

It is my conviction that this abrogation of curiosity and examination is a most culpable and dangerous fact. If we live after death it is of tremendous importance; if we do not it is of no less vital import, and the belief, the disbelief, or the evasion is of the most constant influence, unconsciously, subtly, upon every thought and act of every day's living.

Suppose now we divest ourselves of the creeps and shudders usually accompanying a discussion of death and immortality, and fearlessly test the common dogma with a little analysis in the light of scientific research and reason. Let us suppose you are a believer: what is it you believe? You desire: what is it you desire, and how far is your desire feasible? You are convinced: but what is the truth? If possible, in what way and to what extent is a future life possible? If attainable, by whom and by what means? Moreover, the kind of belief makes all the difference in the world. I have read somewhere about an African chief who killed his wife's lover, and was defeated at last by his wife's unswerving belief in immortality, she committing suicide in order to join her lover. But the chief was equal to the emergency and he in turn killed himself in order to follow the pair and break up their tête-à-têtes in the other world! It all depends upon what you propose doing with a future life after you get it. You might just as well be digging clams on this earth as "singing Hosannas around the throne" in heaven.

Do you believe in or fervently desire what, with splendid bravery and abandon the old creed called "the resurrection of the body"? Terrible counter-queries arise: At what age in your life would you choose as best representing the ideal body for your resurrection? Would you prefer your body as it was when you were a child, when youthful, when mature, or when old? Moreover, it is changing every minute, this body. It is estimated that something like five million blood-corpuscles die every second of your life. Even the two or three pounds of minerals in one's bones are only a little more permanently fixed. All component parts are undergoing change every instant: they soon become grass, grain, or tree, passing again into others' bodies, and so on forever. Is it the form and feature you desire to preserve and not the constituent particles? But form and feature change every day or year, and are as impossible to fix as the atoms themselves. Indeed, is not the whole matter put beyond choice by the evident fact that unless by the fiat of an extramundane deity the only moment possible to fix the bodily form in the mould of eternity would be the death-moment? And yet this were the most undesirable of all seasons, since at that hour the body is in the weakest, most useless, and most wretched condition of all the hours it has served us. Supposing therefore, that you are so in love with your own body that you would wish to call it into life again and for forever, we see at once that no moment or phase of development could be chosen, except perhaps the dying moment, the least desirable of all, and that the particles of one's body have served their turn in myriad other bodies each having an equally valid claim to his "property." Besides this the absurdity of the whole is emphasised by the crushing fact that all the organic matter of the world has been used over and over for bodies and the earth has not enough hydrocarbons to fit out again with bodies a small fraction of the souls that have lived upon it. Doubtless the combined weight of all the organic bodies that have lived on the earth would be many times the total weight of the globe including its minerals, elements, and gases. It may be frankly admitted that no bodily resurrection is possible.

And it is as certainly undesirable. The old dogma was the crudest materialism, wholly unworthy of the credence of those who pretended to believe that God was a spirit, and that they were his children. The belief in bodily resurrection was a natural concomitant of the age of sensualism before the mind and spirit had risen to their modern heritage. The desire for such a resurrection stamps the person with a self-confessed imperfection of mental and moral development. The impossibility of such a resurrection is one of many proofs that life is no sensualist at heart and that ideality is the final outcome, the trend of actuality. Nature compels us to take wings though the sluggish Psyche lingers lovingly in the pretty little cocoon of materiality she has built about herself.

Is it perhaps your understanding, reason, or intellect that you desire to perpetuate forever? Frankly, now, are you so in love with your mental outfit? In your more modest and sane hours are you not sadly conscious how very imperfect it is? While we are young and very conceited we may be filled with self-satisfaction and trust in our own judgment, but as the years drag by, we, looking back over the past, grow more and more conscious that our intellect is not to be trusted. Think of the interminable series of blunders of which your life is the record! How poorly you have misjudged people and circumstances! How your reason has fooled you many times and again! How many illusions and delusions you have lived through! With what sad clearness you now see your former stupidities, and with what blindness you fail to see your present ones! Looking about you, you find others equally as gifted as yourself holding your opinions as loathsome. Looking above you, you see the most intellectual and the most educated diametrically opposed in their opinions of God, man, and nature. Two great men, two brothers learned and trained in dialectic and logic, soon grow apart. One becomes a cardinal of the Romish church, accepting papal infallibility and a thousand such absurdities, the other as firmly convinced that the fallacies of the English church are God's gospel. Looking below you, you see the great mass of men wrecking their minds and lives upon a thousand outrageous beliefs and prejudices. There is no sadder spectacle in the world than this that the people love error. But each one with imperturbable conceit is convinced that he sees better and plainer than another. Every partisan democrat or republican has no sort of doubt that he is right about every financial or governmental measure, though he has never studied finance, history, or political economy five minutes. He does not dream that he is a dupe of the lousy politicians and of his own lack of intellect. All history is a tangle of such poverty-stricken intellection. One can but be amazed at the proneness of everybody to see things and do things every way but the right way. And this is the kind of a mental equipment you would stamp with the seal of eternity!

Possibly you may protest that it is a more perfect and purified intellect that you wish. Ah, yes, but that would not be your intellect. You want to be made over, made into another person. That would not be your immortality but that of another. That would imply that it is pure intellect and perfect, in the abstract, that you are interested in. Have you shown much interest in that sort of intellect in the past? If you wish such an immortality of a perfected intellect you must certainly possess it before it can be made everlasting.

Perhaps, again, you will say that it is the ever-progressive ever-growing intellect you desire. This is subterfuge. That is not what you wish but what you would take in default of your first choice. Lessing said that if God held out to him absolute truth in one hand and in the other the everlasting search for truth he would choose the latter. But the condition of everlasting search would be the condition of everlasting imperfection of intellect. Lessing's choice seems to me impious.

I therefore conclude, that at heart you do not wish to eternalise your crude imperfect intellect, and that the sole method of getting an exalted and perfected intellect is to cultivate it here and now. Have you in the past obeyed reason and not passion or self-interest? Have you studied logic, history, and science with a sincere desire to do your political and social duty, and to free yourself from prejudice, error, superstition, and conceit? If not why should God suddenly endow you with a perfect intellect ready-made? Is it God's way in this world, to give excellencies unasked and unearned? Rest assured he will not do it at your dying hour. It is no particular merit in you to die; why should you be rewarded with a new intellect then?

Or, again, you may say that it is not so much your intellect that you wish to make immortal as it is your emotional nature, affection, etc. Love and friendship, you complain, are cut off by death and the tendrils of the heart die because they find nothing to cling to or rest upon. You would like to renew beyond the grave the love and sympathy that has made the earth-life endurable, and even beautiful. Now is this, in very truth, just so? Are you really satisfied with your devotion and love? Have not your outgoings of the heart been quite fickle, illogical, selfish, and calculating? Has not your love and gratitude been often a lively sense of benefits to come? Has your love to woman not been of the "Kreutzer-Sonata" type, a little better and more subtly-concealed perhaps, but at heart the same? If you are a woman have you been seeking to get or to give love, and has your little affection been but payment for protection and a home? Have you chosen true and noble friends and been true and noble to them? Has your charity been but alms-giving without kind sympathy and helpfulness? Have you as married folk, perhaps, been, as the cant phrase has it, "devoted to each other," but oblivious of the duty of affection toward the rest of the world,—grinning examples of égoisme à deux? Is your family a fetich, an enlarged sort of selfishness? Do you at heart care much for anybody except your own precious self? And a too exclusive love, even of the purest type may be sin in God's eyes. If you bind all your affection upon one weak life you risk a precious value upon too single and narrow an object, and deprive others of the sympathy that need it more. "Just wrapt up in one," as the sentimental jargon has it, is often if not always a pleasant way of great sin. Affection may become morbid—a disease, quite as well as any abuse or exaggeration of any other characteristic.

I take it that they who are the most satisfied with the strength, purity, and constancy of their love and emotional nature are precisely they that have neither actual strength, purity, and constancy of sentiment, and are thus accurately they that should not have immortality.

Lastly, if neither body, intellect, nor the affectional nature are such as you wish made eternal, are you any better contented with your moral nature? The question at once raises a smile. The feeling of our own ethical unworthiness has crystallised into the great Christian dogma of Christ's vicarious sacrifice. In the words of the old hymn, "Jesus died and paid it all, all the debt I owe." No man hoped to get to heaven on his own merits. Much of the zeal of religion has consisted in the joy of the belief that by a sleight-of-hand trick, a big sponge of forgiveness was wiped over the ethical debit and credit account by the lachrymose deity, whose occupation, as Heine said, was to forgive. History is one long monotonous list of man's sins and inhumanities. I think it probable that you will not urge the ethical aspect; I would leave that plea aside. We all know that we are very much like a lot of pigs, each after the most and best corn and the warmest bed. The amazing immorality of trying to get to heaven on another's merits was the most brazen example of how little heavenliness there was in the heaven-hunters and heaven-scalers. Of course the desire for heaven itself, the desire for one's happiness was immoral when conditioned upon the misery of others. Nature in this respect is better than man, denying him his childish materialistic desires and forcing him to wait for immortality until he can learn to live in the spirit and seek no selfish heaven.

Just as the body is ever changing, and it is impossible to seize upon any hour when we could eternalise it, except at the undesirable death-hour, so it is the same in reference to intellect, love, and morality. There are no two days in life when we are the same. As to intellect we have little before adult life is reached, and most people have little after fifty or sixty years. It is proverbial that no one changes his opinion after that age, but lives on old prejudices and ideas. The mental powers get into ruts and habits, true reason being abrogated. As to love we laugh at our fickleness, and our habits and ideals of friendship get sordid as each year strips off the freedom and expansiveness of youth and the dear cold ghost of self is more exclusively worshipped. And our ethical standards change with each day's passing. We have at every hour to clutch ourselves by the throat and cry, "Stay! Who art thou?" And lo! while we ask our protean self the question, we have become another. We seek perpetuity of existence for something ever becoming other. We seek personal identity after death, but we have no personal identity before death: how then can we have it afterward? Do you not see that what makes you recognisable, different from other individuals, and what would make personal immortality possible depends upon the accidents of organisation,—depends firstly upon the bodily peculiarity, and secondly upon imperfections of mind that you do not wish to perpetuate? Twins sometimes wear a knot of ribbon as a signal whereby their friends may recognise them. Our faces and bodies are but such little symbols or signals that our souls have hung out for the day. Divest your best friend of his body and would you recognise him? Have you ever thought how the photograph of your friend's soul would look? If bodily form and imperfections make up the most of what we call individuality it becomes evident that in casting off imperfection we become less narrow, less individual. As you become freed from the cramping littleness of self-love and the bonds of self-gratification, as you rise into the life of the spirit, you find yourself less individual. One fitted for a true heaven would not care for the old immortality. What is good to carry over into the future life is not so much personal identity as personal non-identity, not so much the imperfections that make us individuals as the perfections that free us from individualism. We must lose our life to find it. We have overestimated the value of individuality. Self-consciousness has become hypertrophied, and the summum bonum of life is held to be the preservation of a little puckered-up individuality. This over-development of individualism is doubtless due to the fierce struggle man has had to elevate himself out of savagery. It has been possible only through excessive carefulness and love of the ego. The struggle for existence is now taking on class and corporate characteristics so that the common weal is an ideal quite as much as individual satisfaction and safety. Hence the exaggeration of personality may now return to something like a healthy normalism. As a natural outgrowth and consequence of this over-development of the individual consciousness, there came the absurd attempt to carry over into the after-life the same sort of existence that had been developed here,—consisting in a neglect of the actual world of one's descendants, an ignoring of death that ends the body and products of organisation, and a failure to see that a future life after death must be a life of the spirit, of perfections, and of the common life, not of peculiarities and imperfections. If this seems an aery height and a too rare air it argues against your preparation for the only desirable as well as the only possible kind of immortality. It argues against you just in the same way that your horror of death does. It is only participation in the divine life of the spirit that can see death as right and good. Death comes to shatter our baseless trust in the evanescent physical and teach us dependence upon the everlasting spiritual. They dread death whose life is of the physical type. God never gave to man a greater blessing, after life itself, than death, and nothing more strikingly proves the divine government of the world than the certainty of its coming to us all. If death is your enemy, life is not your friend. The brutal attempt to ignore the fact, the belief that the body with its pack of heathenish appetites and needs could push through death and come out fresh and renewed on the other side is the very insanity of individualism and the intoxication of materialism. The mourning, shudder, gloom, and horror of death,—God-sent if anything is—is practical pessimism and reckless atheism. Death's one lesson is that we must love and cultivate what he cannot touch. One who has lived a life of kindness and spirituality has no horror of death, and to him it has little mystery. But to him whose divinity has been self and whose religion the worship of his physiological senses, death must be the ugliest of enemies who is to rob him of his all. Did you ever notice how life is plastic and free when first fashioning for itself a body? "All heaven lies about us in our infancy." In youth we are unselfish, aspiring, and noble. As the years go by the power of the organisation, the material grows, and limits more and more the freedom of the spirit. Frankenstein turns upon its maker. With age men get narrow, cold, calculating; women snakey, scheming, cruel. The soul finds itself more and more the slave instead of the master, and by and by when the slavery becomes unendurable, it takes flight, and this you call death. It is the body's reward for insubordination. I think we deserve little sympathy for dying. Most of us have well-merited death before it comes—I speak, of course only of the death of those in life's afternoon. Few keep the young life pliant and free beyond the age of fifty. If people could see that life is the maker and moulder of organisation, and if they would seek immortality upon earth, I believe men might come to live a hundred years. Trees learn to live thousands of years, but they keep youth, and spring, and trust, and love, forever nestling with the birds among the rejuvenescent leaves of spring. We die not because the body is weak, but because it has become too strong. We die because there is no real continuance and strength in anything but the non-physical, and we have trusted in the physical. Matter without free life is inert, moved only from without: the dead body is simply matter without life. It is not the blacksmith's arm that is strong: without nerve-force it cannot raise an ounce, cannot raise itself. Whence the nerve-force? From the ganglionic gray cells of the spinal cord and brain. And whence these little gray cells? The dear stupid physiologist has now reached his limit, and you can confidently answer for him that it was Life created these things, Life that existed before muscles, nerves, and cells, and that slowly fashioned them; Life, an order of existence in no imaginable way analogous to, or to be confounded with matter or mechanics. There is in the history of thought no more ludicrous and dismal failure than the attempt to explain life in terms of mechanics. The hope of the materialist that science would prove his prejudice is torn to tatters. The children of the spirit are amazed at the bat-blind inability to see the fact,—to see that life is more certain and enduring than matter, soul than sense. The organs of the body are changed, diseased, die; the body itself dies; generations of bodies die, but like a containing cord of silk, on which all the glittering beads of flesh are strung, there is the soul, the life, ever the same, persisting unchanged through all change, giving unity to diversity, moulding, making, discarding, choosing, healing, working to far-away ends with blind, and dead, and obstinate materials. You love the flesh over-much and jealous life says to you, "Take it then, this so loved and wondrous flesh; me you have not loved,"—and lo! the dead body, useless, decaying, lies before you. Let no materialistic misreading of science hoodwink you into any blurring of the outlines between matter and life.[78] The two are as far apart as heaven and earth, are as dissimilar as thought can conceive,—perhaps in a final analysis, are the only two things of the universe. There is no fact of science showing the faintest warrant for confounding the two. Even Huxley calls materialism the most baseless of all dogmas. It will probably be found that there is but one element, of which all others are duplications and combinations, atoms being but centres of force. But life is irresolvable into any form of matter or mechanical energy. It is not only unthinkable that matter could originate life, but it is demonstrably absurd. No scientist to-day believes in spontaneous generation. Omne vivum ex vivo is an axiom. The plant has no nervous system and yet has every physiological function possessed by the human body. It has contractility, irritability, respiration, anabolism, catabolism, and reproductivity,—that is, it has spontaneous movement, it responds to stimulation, it breathes, it assimilates, it excretes, it begets its like,—and physiologically this is all you can do. Nay, more than this, even a drop of the jelly-like protoplasm that makes up the basis of all cell-structures, animal or vegetable, has also all of these qualities or powers.[79] There are bundles of wholly structureless, unorganised jelly that exhibit these capacities in a wonderful degree. There is, for instance, Hydra viridis, that has no eyes and yet sees, no brain or nerves and yet lies in wait for prey, pursues and fights, or flees from danger. Turned inside out it lives and digests its food as well as before. It holds live worms down with an improvised arm when they try to get out of its stomach. Any part reproduces all. Cut off the bottom of its stomach and it goes on eating, quite untroubled by the little accident,—and so on. A great, wise, blind man has defined evolution, or life, as the integration of matter and the dissipation of motion during which the matter passes from an indefinite incoherent homogeneity to a definite coherent heterogeneity, and during which the motion undergoes a parallel transformation. Some one else improved upon this by saying that it was "a change from a no-howish, untalkaboutable all-alikeness, to a some-howish and in general talkaboutable not-all-alikeness, by continuous something-elsifications and all-togetherations." Schelling said that life was the tendency to individuation. But the crystal or the planet shows that, and they are not living. As the hand cannot grasp itself, neither can life define itself. All definitions I have seen miss the essential and primal characteristics of spontaneous movement. But all definitions begin by begging the question,—assuming the thing explained. The truth is that there is no definition or explanation possible. The dualism of matter and life must be accepted. There is no monism can bridge the gulf between mechanics and life. Inorganic matter with its inherent forces and laws cannot be conceived as ever coming into or as passing out of existence. From all eternity it was as it is, and so it will remain. The physical universe shows no hint of design, no glimpse of freedom, no trace of intelligence, no suggestion of a maker or God. It has no power of choice, no spontaneous motion. But the merest speck of living matter is utterly and absolutely different. It may have eyes or no eyes, and yet it sees, ears or not and yet it hears, nerves or not and yet it feels and reacts, brain or not and yet it thinks and plans, and acts in accordance with intellectual resolves. The dead body of your child is most inconceivably different from the living body of an hour ago. The one fundamental mystery of the explainable world is why life seeks objectification in material forms, and why it seeks it with such vehemence and ardor. Life seems to bite at matter as if with famishing hunger. One wonders if from some other planet life is being suddenly starved out or banished by some catastrophe, and as a consequence there is thence an over-emigration of the hungry Huns upon our earth. Certain confused and confusion-breeding philosophers in the interests of a theoretical monism or pantheism pretend to find, or to believe that the organic is born out of the inorganic, that the physical world shows evidence of design, that life and mentality were implicate and latent in pre-existent matter. Yet they will accept the evidence against spontaneous generation derived from the fact that if you kill all organic life by intense heat and then exclude life from without you will never find life to arise. But it is plain that in the condensation of the dust of space into suns and planets all organic life was killed in the hottest of all conceivable heat. But as the planets cool, life appears. It must have come from without, and must therefore be an universal self-existent power. Why, or how, or whence life comes to us we do not know now, but the transcendent miracle is ever before our eyes: infinitely rich and free, life is filling, thrilling, surcharging every molecule of matter to which with wondrous power and ingenuity it can gain access. It covers every thousandth of an inch of the earth's surface, dives into the deepest ocean depths, fills the air as high as the mountain tops, ever unsatisfied, ever grasping up a million million renaissant forms, never resting, never baffled. Before this omnipresent god one stands in rapt amazement and worship. To matter, then, life first brought, and still ever brings the power of organisation, of adaptation, of spontaneous energy, and of movement. But when the death of the organisation takes place, the life that preceded and formed it is not lessened or affected. When the watch wears out does it prove that the watchmaker is dead? It is more rational to suppose that the watchmaker has kept on with his work, that he has made and will make many more watches, and I therefore judge that the life of each of us, that existed before our bodies, that formed our bodies, will still form other bodies after ours. The Oriental doctrine of the transmigration of souls is not to be accepted in its crude details, but it is doubtless a great truth. It is more rational and more consonant with what we know of life, than the theory of wasted life implicate in the barbaric notion of sending numberless millions of souls to hell to do nothing but suffer useless pain, and other millions to heaven to suffer (I use the word advisedly) useless pleasure. Any theory of immortality that rests upon the assumption of uselessness and waste may be quickly set aside. Just as matter and force are indestructible, various forms of force being interchangeable, so it must be with life. There must be a conservation of life-energy just as rigid, and this truth must remake and remould the whole conception of immortality. When a mechanical force disappears in one phase, it at once reappears in another aspect. So vegetable, animal, and mental life are but different aspects of life-force, and suffer no loss when transformed one into the other, or when the body disappears altogether. And as it is the inherent nature of force never to rest so there is no rest for life. Banishment of life to a heaven of inaction is as impossible as it is absurd.

[78] Those who think this view is the voice of faith and not of true science may profitably read a little book that has come to my notice since writing these pages: Life Theories and Religious Thought, by Lionel S. Beale.

[79] According to the latest scientific researches the dependence of all organisation upon life is more clearly shown than ever. My friend Dr. Edmund Montgomery twenty-five years ago, as a result of extended experiment and research, showed that the body of animals is not an aggregation of cells, the force of the whole being derived from the enslaving and utilising these subordinate organisms, but that the whole body is a single protoplasmic living connected mass or unit with functionally specialised parts. That this view is the scientific view of to-day and that the cell-aggregate theory is dead may be seen by consulting the article "Zelle," by Prof. Frommen in Eulenburg's Real-Encyclopädie der gesammten Heilkunde, 1890.

This extension of the law of the conservation of force to things biologic and psychic is a two-edged sword: it offers conclusive evidence of the fallacy of the materialist and unbeliever. There is no annihilation; your life at death not only may not stop but cannot stop. Life is as inextinguishable as physical force. On the other hand this sword deals the death blow to two equally shallow fallacies of believers. Just so sure as it insures the preservation of your life, of all that is worth preservation, just so sure it denies the possibility of preserving what was bound up with and produced by organisation,—that is individuality and personal identity. These things, if not entirely, are certainly largely the products of your peculiar physical and physiological organisation. Whatever is born of the flesh must perish with the flesh; what is born of the spirit shall inherit eternal life. But the profoundest and most distinguishing rebuke is given the unscientific, puerile, selfish assumption of the waste, loss, and uselessness of life involved in the old theory of heaven and hell. When from a chemical compound you take away and liberate one element or compound radicle, does it then shoot off into space, to "flock all by itself" for eternity? By no means! It at once rushes into a new combination with its nearest neighbor, quickly picking up again the round of its duty and function. The curious notion that after having done work in one body, life or souls should at once rush off to some far-away star, there to sing or howl for eternity was a childish absurdity. One wonders where even an omnipotent God could get material for such an amazing manufacture and loss of souls. The theory also forgot that logic demands that what should live forever in the future must perforce have lived forever in the past. A rope if it have one end, must have two ends. What, therefore have our souls been doing during this past eternity? The truth is that absolutely speaking there cannot be souls, but only soul. Life is a unit, and indivisible. The tiniest bit of bioplasm holds and represents all of life. Neither you nor it are separable from the whole. There may be education and progressive evolution of life as a whole but there can be no individual and selfish salvation apart from the salvation of all other souls. The idea that release from the body at once releases a soul from action, duty, and the work of life, is an illogicality that could have arisen in no mind conversant with the demonstrated law of the non-wastage of force in any work of energy elsewhere. Life is never tired; it is the body that requires rest not the spirit. The old doctrine of heaven, an eternity of laziness, was the sigh of the sluggish flesh whipped to ceaseless work by the unresting life. The desire of heaven was the desire of eternal death.

This extension of the idea of the non-wastage, the rigid conservation and interconvertibility of force to things of life, gains a new significance and grandeur when we consider that whatever proves the immortality of man proves the immortality of every other animal or vegetable form. The tree and horse have a soul quite as well as you, and must live after death quite as surely as you will. It is the flimsiest of conceits that makes men think they are endowed with a special sort of soul or divine life, different from that of animals or plants. Don't flatter yourself. God takes quite the same loving pains and care in the elimination of a leaf that he does of a brain-cell. Man is but a small part of the animal world, and the whole animal world is but a small part of the total life of the globe. Don't despise the vegetable kingdom: it can do something you cannot do—make living matter out of mineral substances. You could not live a day without the food furnished you by "your brothers, the plants." Hence if human life or souls cannot be sent off into space to do nothing, neither can the souls of animals and plants. If we are to have our heaven they must have theirs also. Does not this tangential theory begin to be clumsy and work with huge creakings and difficulties? It looks like reductio ad absurdum.

Not only is the tangential theory contradictory of all physical analogies and all known laws, but it is positively immoral. It is but a refined selfishness. Worldliness is none the less sinful because it is other-worldliness. If billions of souls could thus be wasted in an eternity of useless pain or pleasure, could thus, drunken with individuation, hug their own sweet ghosts for never-ending time—then were life a farce, the universe a huge meaningless machine for grinding out waste and useless souls. But if all life, past or future, is one and indivisible, purposive, educational, then the world becomes full of meaning and the face of the Father, Life, smiles out at us from every living thing. The faith of all good men that goodness is at the heart of things is justified. The Earth becomes our home, that we can love; our Father ever dwelleth here; we cannot be banished. When we have finished our task, when our body has worn out, tireless life, of which we are the children and heirs, gives us here and now other work to do.

To matter, this tremendous cosmical game of incarnation can mean nothing. We see the dead flesh break up into simpler chemical forms and the atoms finally spin off unaltered by their flesh-dance, again to be caught up by the mystic and unseen Master, again to be pressed into organic forms,—forms that like empty sea-shells only show where life has been. And so on forever. But to life some educative purpose must be operative through it all. Life that made eyes must see more than eyes; life that made brains must know more than brains. There is doubtless pain and strain; but is there to be no ultimate justification? We may catch glimpses of reasons. Do we not see an increase both of quantity and quality of life in geologic times? Is life trying to do away with death and heredity? Are they but makeshifts, death but a discarding of too obstinate material? Birth but a retempering and reworking of the same material? Heredity but the temporary means of passing life and its experiences onward until death and birth shall be found unnecessary in a growing command of chemical and physical forces that shall banish old age out of the world? There is no inherent reason why a body should grow decrepit. If it can be made to preserve its suppleness for fifty years why not for a thousand? It may transpire that the dream of an elixir of life may come true through scientific progress despite the savage death-blow given it by Brown-Séquard. The more sin, selfishness, and wrong there is the shorter is the average length of human lives. If you will look into the rich and awful science of statistics you will find proof of this in every class of society. When we apply ourselves to enrich and lengthen our life-time with the same zeal we now use in killing each other—when the endowments of the world's scientific schools equal the cost of the world's armies then there will be a very different life-table found in the insurance-offices.

Finally with mournful echoing recurrence comes the old question: How much of individuality persists and passes untouched through death's fingers? How far does the graduate life carry with it the results of experience? I would answer: all that you ought to desire, all that is best, all that you will want when you fully understand how little and poor is individuality and that there is something including it and far better. I have a strange inability, personally, to understand the to me absurd hunger after personal identity. It appears to me a childish obtuseness of character. The great and glorious freeness and largeness of life, the decentralised, impersonal quality of it seems to be unappreciated. I do not see how people can fail to understand that personal identity is not only impossible, does not exist now and here, but that the desire of it is the renunciation of progress. We grow and advance only by change, only by breaking up identity and becoming other. Think also of the lack of identity or individuality in nature. There is no personality and individualism there, and yet there is something that includes personality and is much more. There is will, consciousness, intelligence, life,—but not identity or individuality. So the life that is the heart of us invites us to leave our little self and find a larger self. Religion is our yes to that invitation. Materialism and pessimism is the saying no to it. The immortality that is alone possible or desirable is the losing our life, the individual identity-loving life, again to find it as the impersonal but richer, deeper life of nature and God. God denies you an immortality of individualism and identity because he loves you so well that he refuses you your crude childish desire in order to offer you something infinitely better. People do not seem to see how narrow, small, and partial is the dissociate speck of the individual, and that as an individual progresses in all the virtues of character he evermore becomes proportionally less individual and less centralised, always more like the divine prototype of his impersonal father, Life. The love of individualism is the love of imperfection. This may to some seem a hard doctrine. It is not perhaps an easy task for the butterfly to break its way out through the million-fold bonds of its cocoon, but when risen into the large air and sunshine does it regret the birth-struggle? They who think they are being cheated of reality for a metaphysic illusion will find in breaking through the bonds of flesh that they also have brought with them splendid wings for rising in the no less real but rarer air of spiritual trust in life. It is not that we love less the thousand ties of flesh, home and kindred, but that in recognising the paternity and fraternity of all life, we find love commensurate with that life. I do not think there was any cold stony harshness in the face of Jesus when he uttered those most profoundly significant of all words, "Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." What a recall to the common life of the spirit! What unity with the common life based upon loving obedience to the will of the Father. What a wonderful rebuke of the love of individualism. He did not love his mother less but humanity more. The more we rise into that impersonal atmosphere the more are we careless of the fate of personal identity. The composite photograph shows the fundamental and enduring quality, the average feature. In a certain sense life and history are taking humanity's composite photograph; but, inordinately-loving individualism, each sitter conceitedly demands that his own picture be left untouched and unblurred by that of the others, and that his poor little portrait shall stand alone and forever—precisely what the divine photographer does not wish and will not permit. Obstinacy persists and God smashes the negative to the ground with the unanswerable argument called death. Because it is more than metaphor that in any ways your body may be likened unto a photographer's negative: created, for example, by the in-flashing of a heavenly ray of light among the highly unstable chemicals of matter; useless, except as an intermediate step to a clearer showing of the character; black and invisible unless shone through by the pure light of life and love; fragile as glass,—and lastly the poor, weak, shadowy, dead counterfeit of a throbbing, marvellous, living reality. The hunger for an immortality of the body, of the senses, the lust of immortality, is, in empty fatuousness, only comparable to the mania of a crazy photographer interested only in his negatives, and who never "develops" one, or to the foolishness that values photographs more than the friends themselves. If we once get our spiritual eye fixed upon the deep reality and unity hidden by the Maia-veilings of individuality and flesh, the cravings of our weak hearts for eternal continuance of our little bundle of littlenesses, would fall away from us as softly as the wayward longings of childhood. We could then see that it is the quality of all life, the progressive purity, power, and increase of life in the abstract, that become all-important. Religion would become the love and veneration of Life the Father of us; morality the cheerful obedience of the individual to that Father; Heaven the re-entrance of the individual life into the great unity. Much of the old religion was irreligious; its God a far-away dead abstraction, not a living, ever-present love; its immortality was at heart a desire for death, its spiritualism at heart a barbaric materialism. To this death of faith and irreligious religion, comes the sympathetic study and love of nature—that is, science—and reveals to us the opulence of life, the infinity of intellect in nature, the inexhaustibleness of her resources and of her diversity, her beauty, and her splendor. The old materialistic degradation of religion forefelt its doom would come from this spiritualistic revivification, and the devotees cried out against science as atheistic. And science found some foolish enemies in her own camp who, misreading their divine book, joined in the cry—"Nothing but mechanics." It was a dismal short-lived croak. We now see that not only are science and her workers religious, but without scientific knowledge there can be no adequate idea or practice of religion. You can't love God unless you love and know what he is doing in this universe. The man who in a walk goes neglectfully and obliviously by a million mysteries and wonders that God has been toiling to eliminate for ages,—such a man cannot lay much claim to God's friendship. If we love our friend, we have some interest in the deepest concern of his life. The foolishest of all fears is the fear that science is somehow going to destroy all good things of faith and life. In truth it reveals all good things. It demonstrates and manifests both God and immortality,—God as the Father of all life, immortality as the surety of the conservation and non-wastage of that life. Much of the fear of science, is as I have said the fear of the old materialistic religion in presence of the larger faith that burns up its beloved errors. They who had been promised and had argued themselves into a groundless belief in the value and immortality of a bundle of sensual appetites, selfish desires, and imperfections saw far in advance that any large study of life and nature would dash their wretched faith to atoms. And science has overridden this unfaithful faith. "He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." This is as true scientifically as it is true morally and religiously.

It requires but a little study of neurology and psychology to give demonstration to this truth. The products of organisation die with disorganisation. Most, if not all, of what people mean by individuality and personal identity is a product of organisation, is an accident of incarnation. Children are similar to each other; they are lovable partly because idiosyncrasy and individualism haven't yet developed. As we grow older we cultivate individuality, until the very old are usually angular, cranky, individual with a vengeance! Death, thank heaven, is the end of that, the certainty of a non-eternalising of the imperfect. Birth is a new trial. Incarnation and reincarnation are the ever-renewed work of Life. Through the laws of heredity, through physiology, sociology, and biology, science is tirelessly illustrating to us how all life holds together, how individualism is valueless, and sacrificed to the common weal. There is no escape, sensual or supersensual from the world's great common life. The old selfish dream of a heaven apart from incarnation, from doing and becoming was a pitiful mistake. You cannot clutch your cake of happiness and like a spoiled child run into the attic of heaven to eat it alone. Life will see to it that you do not slip off. And if you have been born again of the spirit you will have no such desire, but will beg for kindred work upon the old earth-home.

In the meantime the conclusion is clear: to love and aid the work of our master Life we need not wait for death. We may not seek our own salvation; it is no matter whether you and I are saved or not. The reincarnation of life is our work here and now. It took you twenty years to fashion out of a microscopically-small speck of unorganised protoplasm your body and brain. Within us we are to keep that organisation from cramping and binding the life,—keep life as large and free and pliant as possible. Outside of us the incarnation goes on as well, and every person you influence either for good or for ill, thus by the fact, becomes a product of your incarnating work. Every day you have a hundred opportunities to give, without lessening your own supply, some of your own life, to increase the quantity and to elevate the quality of the general stock of the world's life. Help the young, they inherit the world and will use it well or ill according to your teaching and example. Stop cruelty to animals, they are your brothers, filled with the same life as your own; fight the political ruin we are preparing for ourselves by partisanship, bribery, and class-legislation; discourage war and intemperance and lessen the tyranny of the strong and wealthy. Wage a ceaseless war to the death against luxury, the poison that is eating and rotting the hearts of all of us; love trees, meadows, clear brooks, the mountains and silences of Nature. Love, not so much your own or another's individual life, as Life itself. There is otherwise no immortality.

The divine story tells us that after measureless suffering and self-purification, Buddha had gained the right to enter Nirvana. With compassion filling his heart he put his merited reward aside and resolved to remain without to teach and to help until every child of earth should have become his disciple, and until every disciple should have entered Nirvana before him. Such must be the resolve of every true lover of life and of every right seeker after immortality.




[80] This article is the substance of a private communication from Prof. Ernst Mach to the Editor of The Monist—published in the present form with Prof. Mach's consent. Translated from Professor Mach's MS. by Thomas J. McCormack.

I have read Dr. Carus's article "Feeling and Motion"[81] with care, and have also perused Clifford's essay on "The Nature of Things in Themselves." Let me attempt to present the points in which our agreements and differences consist.

[81] The Open Court, Nos. 153 and 154.

To begin with, I state with pleasure that the monistic tendency of both endeavors is in the direction that appears to me to be the true one and that is most likely to afford elucidation. Consequently, agreement in matters of detail is of subordinate importance and is only a question of time.

Let me cite, first, a few passages from "Feeling and Motion" to which I give my full assent. They are the following:

"The interconvertibility of motion and feeling is an error."

"Feeling is real as much as are matter and motion."

"Its reality accordingly is most immediate and direct, so that it would be ridiculous to doubt it."

"Man's method of understanding the process of nature is that of abstraction."

"Every concept is formed for some purpose, and every concept by serving one purpose necessarily becomes one-sided…. We must bear in mind…. (1) the purpose it has to serve, and (2) that the totality of things from which abstractions can be made is one indivisible whole…. We must not imagine that the one side only is true reality."

Some years ago I should also have agreed in toto with the passages in which Dr. Carus speaks of the animation of all nature, and of the feeling that accompanies every motion. To-day this form of expression would not, it seems to me, correctly characterise the matter. If I were now prematurely to advance a definitive formulation, I should fear lest, so far as myself and perhaps others are concerned, important aspects might remain concealed.

I shall next cite the passages with respect to which I do not agree with Dr. Carus, and then I shall endeavor to state wherein our differences of opinion consist:

"All series A B C … are accompanied by α β γ." [The A B C … series of Dr. Carus has a different meaning from mine.]

"We may represent motion or we may represent mind as the basis of the world, or we may conceive them as being on equal terms." [I cannot agree with a co-ordination of "motion" and "mind."]

"They [viz. feeling and motion] are as inseparable as are the two sides of a sheet of paper." [Fechner says, "As inseparable as the concave and convex sides of the same circle." This appears to me an inapposite simile in so far as a duality is predicated where in my view a unity alone exists.]

My view of the problem is as follows: We have colors, sounds, pressures, and so forth (A B C …), which, as simplest component parts, make up the world. In addition thereto, percepts (resolvable into α β γ …), feelings, and so forth, more or less composite. How α β γ … differ from A B C … I will not define here, for I do not know exactly. It is enough for the time being that they do differ from A B C …, as the latter do from one another. And let us now leave α β γ … entirely out of account and put ourselves in a time and state in which there are only A B C. Now I say, that if I see a tree with green leaves (A), with a hard (B), gray (C) trunk, that A B C are elements of the world. I say elements—and not sensations, also not motions—because it is not my purpose at this place to arrive at either a psychological or a physiological or a physical theory, but to proceed descriptively. The every-day man, indeed, takes greenness, grayness, hardness, or complexes thereof it may be, for constituent parts of the world—for he does not trouble himself about a psychologico-physiological theory—and does not learn moreover anything more about the world; from his point of view he is right. Similarly, for the descriptive physicist the question is also one merely of the dependencies of A B C … on one another; for him too A B C …, or complexes thereof, are and remain constituent parts of the world.

If, however, I close my eye (K), withdraw my feeling hand (L), A B C … disappear. If I contemplate A B C … in this dependence they are my sensations. This is but a special point of view within the first.

According to my conception, therefore, the same A B C … is both element of the world (the "outer" world, namely) and element of feeling.

The question how feeling arises out of the physical element has for me no significance, since both are one and the same. The parallelism stands to reason, since each is parallel to itself. It is not two sides of the same paper (which latter is invested with a metaphysical rôle in the simile), but simply the same thing.

A perfect physics could strive to accomplish nothing more than to make us familiar beforehand with whatever it were possible for us to come across sensorily; that is, we should have knowledge of the interrelation of A B C. A perfect psychology would supply the interrelation of α β γ. Leaving out of account the theoretical intermediaries of physics—physiology and psychology—questions like "How does feeling arise from motion" would never come up. However, the artificial inventions of a physical or psychological theory, must not be introduced into a general discussion of this character—for they are necessarily "one-sided."

I may now set forth my differing point of view with regard to the idea of "motion." A motion is either perceptible by the senses, as the displacing of a chair in a room or the vibration of a string, or it is only supplied, added (hypothetical), like the oscillation of the ether, the motion of molecules and atoms, and so forth. In the first instance the motion is composed of A B C …, it is itself merely a certain relation between A B C …, and plays therefore in the discussion now in hand no especial part. In the second instance the hypothetical motion, under especially favorable circumstances, can become perceptible by the senses. In which case the first instance recurs. As long as this is not the case, or in circumstances in which this can never happen (the case of the motions of atoms and molecules), we have to do with a noumenon, that is, a mere mental auxiliary, an artificial expedient, the purpose of which is solely to indicate, to represent, after the fashion of a model, the connection between A B C …, to make it more familiar to us. It is a thing of thought, an entity of the mind (α β γ …). I cannot believe that this is to be co-ordinated with A B C … in the same way as A B C … among each other are. Putting together motion and feeling goes as much against me as would say the co-ordination of numbers and colors. Perhaps I stand quite alone in this, for physicists have accustomed us to regard the motions of atoms as "more real" than the green of trees. In the latter I see a (sensory) fact, in the former a Gedankending, a thing of thought. The billions of ether-vibrations which the physicist for his special purposes mentally annexes to the green, are not to be co-ordinated with the green, which is given immediately.

When a piece of zinc and a piece of copper, united by a wire, are dipped in sulphuric acid and deflect a magnetic needle in the vicinity of the wire, the unprepossessed discoverer of the fact discerns naught of motion beyond the deflection of the needle and the diffusion in the fluid. Everything reverts to certain combinations of A B C. Electricity is a thing of thought, a mental adjunct; its motion another; its magnetic field still another. All these noumena are implements of physical science, contrived for very special purposes. They are discarded, cast aside, when the interconnection of A B C … has become familiar; for this last is the very gist of the affair. The implement is not of the same dignity, or reality, as A B C …, and must not be placed in the same category, must not be co-ordinated with it where general considerations are involved to which physics with its special objects does not extend.

The green (A) of the tree is not only adjoined to the presence of the sun (B), but also to the deflection of the needle (X), by my optic nerve. Familiarising intermediary connections to-day by motions, to-morrow by some other means, is the business of the special sciences, and can only disturb and obscure a general discussion. What should we say of a cosmology from a pharmaceutical point of view? In principle, this very thing is done, it seems to me, when physical augers and saws are employed in all fields of work, as is universally the case.

So much for the juxtaposition of motion and feeling. Perhaps I alone am right, perhaps I alone am wrong.

* * * * *

According to my conception accordingly "material" processes are not "accompanied" by "feelings," but are the same (A B C …); only the relation in which we consider them makes them at one time physical elements and at another time feelings.

The relation in which "percepts" and "feelings" as distinguished from "sensations" stand to sensations, is not clear to me. I am much inclined to regard these feelings as a species of sensation (co-ordinate with sensations). How the representative percepts of imagination and memory are connected with sensations, what relation they bear to them, I dare venture no opinion. The relation of α β γ … to A B C … is the point regarding which I do not feel sufficiently sure. Regarding A B C … (world of sense in its objective and subjective significance) I believe I am clear.

Dr. Carus in a private letter to me says: "It almost seems as if you transform all A B C … series into the corresponding α β γ … series."

This is not the case. I designate by α β γ … representative percepts (not sensations), and say simply that A B C …, the same A B C …, play, according to circumstances, now the rôle of physical elements, now the role of sensations. I call A B C …, therefore, elements, pure and simple.

Mine is not the Berkeleian point of view. The latter has been mistakenly attributed to me time and again, the separation that I make of A B C … from α β γ … not having been sharply discriminated and it not having been borne in mind that I call A B C … alone sensations, not however α β γ. Clifford, with his "mind-stuff," approaches very near to Berkeley.

Monism, as yet, I cannot thoroughly follow out; because I am lacking in clearness with regard to the relation of α β γ … to A B C …, which can only be supplied by further physiologico-psychological investigations; but I believe that the first step towards a competent monism lies in the assertion that the same A B C … are both physical and psychical elements. As regards the psychical "accompanying" the physical, the question How? continually recurs. Either they are two incompatible things (Dubois) or their relation is bound up in a third thing ("thing-of-itself"). By viewing the matter as two sides of the same thing, not much more is gained, to my mind, than a momentary satisfaction.

All non-monistic points of view are, in my opinion, artificial constructions, which arise by investing with very far-reaching extensions of meaning psychological or physical special-conceptions, which have a limited value, applicable only within the department in question for the elucidation of the facts of that department. The overvaluing of psychological conceptions leads to spiritualistic systems, the overrating of physical conceptions to materialistic systems. Naturally in the latter systems motion plays a great rôle; for through a mistaken conception of the principle of energy, people have come to believe that everything in physics can be explained by motion. But explanations by motions have, as a matter of fact, nothing to do with the principle of energy. The majority of physicists, it is true, believe and disseminate this opinion. If, when a physicist speaks of motion and nothing but motion, the question is asked What moves? in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred nothing palpable or demonstrable is brought forward in answer, but hypothetical atoms or hypothetical fluids are adduced which execute motions still more hypothetical. Even in the domain of physics itself, the business of which is to proceed from the sensory and to return to the sensory, I can regard these "motions" at best only as provisorily tolerated intermediaries of thoughts, that have no right to be ranked on equal terms with reality, let alone placed above it.

Still less can I allow "motion" the right to create a world-problem where none exists, and thereby to conceal the real point of attack in the investigation of reality.

I may add that some years ago I took exactly Dr. Carus's point of view, which I presented in a lecture on Psycho-physics published in 1863 in the Oesterreichische Zeitschrift für praktische Heilkunde.

With regard to Clifford I may make the following remarks. The notion "eject" pleases me very much. I have long had the idea in mind, but have not defined it because its limitation is not clear to me; nor has Clifford given me any light on the subject. Is the representation in us of the material nature of things we cannot lay hold of (the sun, the moon) to be called an eject? Are the abstract concepts of physical hypotheses, which in their very nature can never become sense-affective, ejects? Such things are abstract in widely differing degrees, and are bound up with the sensory in very unequal proportions; the impossibility of becoming sense-affective is partly absolute, partly only relative, that is, it exists for the time being.

I do not at all agree with Clifford's notion "mind-stuff"; in this I wholly concur with Dr. Carus. It is not unbiased philosophising to come down in the end to a psychological notion as comprehensive of the world,—a notion on the face of it pre-eminently one-sided.

* * * * *

In connection with the subject under discussion, I might incidentally make mention of Mr. Charles S. Peirce's article "The Architecture of Theories" in the last number of The Monist. One Mr. Peirce, a mathematician,[82] has made some very valuable investigations, similar to Grassmann's. This author's view of the evolution of natural laws does not strike me as so singular. If predominance be given in our conception of the world to the spiritualistic or psychical aspect, the laws of nature may be regarded as tremendous phenomena of memory; as I attempted some years ago to set forth in a lecture of mine. The idea of their evolution is then very near at hand. Of course I do not think that for the time being we can gain much light from this view. For the present the "scientific method" in the grooves of which we have moved for three hundred years, continues to be the most fruitful. It is advisable to be very cautious in advancing beyond this. It is for this reason also that I do not think very much of the fruitfulness of the idea that the entire world is animated and feeling. We have as yet too little insight into the psychical, and still less into the connection between brain-organisation and brain-function and psychical process. Of what advantage to us is the assumption of feeling in cells in which every clue is missing by which to proceed from the psychical assumed to the physical connected with it. It seems to me that the physical and psychical investigation of sensations is for the time being the only thing that can be entered upon with any prospect of accomplishing anything. In this we shall first learn the proper formulation of questions that are to form the subject of further investigations.

[82] Mr. Benjamin Peirce, father of Mr. Charles S. Peirce.—ED.





When a man who has done so much valuable work for the progress of science as Professor Ernst Mach finds it necessary to change the position he has taken,—a position which has appeared to many thinkers as a satisfactory solution of the most intricate problem in the philosophical and psycho-physical field,—there must exist in the solution some difficulty which has either been overlooked or at least too little appreciated. If there is a flaw in it, I wish it to be exposed. And convinced that its discovery must be of general interest, I take pleasure in publishing Professor Mach's criticism of the view which I have defended in a former article of mine.

The main source of most differences, it seems to me, springs from misapprehensions. I shall therefore attempt to elucidate the subject with reference to the objections presented by Professor Mach.


The main idea set forth in my article "Feeling and Motion" may be briefly recapitulated as follows. Our feelings are phenomena which to an observer who could see all the processes taking place in our brain, would appear as motions of a special kind. Motions and feelings are two aspects of one and the same reality. But feeling cannot be explained as transformed motion. Accordingly, the elements of the conscious feeling which now exists and now disappears, must have existed before. The presence of elements of feeling must be an additional feature of the processes of nature not included in the term motion, and not observable in motions, yet inseparably bound up in motions. Or, in other words, feelings and the elements of feeling are the subjective aspect of what objectively appears as and is called motions.

The term "elements of feeling" employed in this sense has been adopted from Clifford. The idea that feelings and motions are two aspects of one and the same reality has been held by several psychologists; among whom are the founders of the science of psycho-physics, especially Fechner.


Professor Mach says: "Putting together motion and feeling goes as much against me as would, say, the co-ordination of numbers and colors."

#Justification of juxtaposition.#

The putting together of two concepts depends upon the purpose of our investigation. Motion and feeling, in spite of their disparity, have one quality in common which justifies their juxtaposition. Both in their spheres are terms of the most general circumscription.

#Feeling described.#

By feelings I understand those features of our experience which constitute what may be called the awareness of the present state. Feeling comprehends all the many degrees of awareness in pleasures and pains, sensations and thoughts, emotions and ideals. It constitutes the subjectivity of our existence and furnishes the basis of all psychic life. Feeling is the most general term of its kind.

#Motion described.#

By motion I understand all kinds of changes in the objective world that can either be directly observed or are supposed to be observable. Indeed all changes taking place must, objectively represented, be thought of as motions.

Feeling and motion being each the broadest concept of its kind, the question, In what relation do motions stand to feelings? appears to be quite legitimate.

* * * * *

Concerning the relation that obtains between feeling and motion, Professor Mach objects to the use of the expression "feeling accompanies motion." "Material processes," he says, "are not accompanied by feeling, but both are the same." And in another passage, "The parallelism stands to reason, since everything is parallel to itself."

#The term "accompany" inadequate.#

I grant most willingly that the term "accompany" is inadequate, and I admit that a certain feeling and a certain motion form one inseparable process. There is no duality of feeling and motion, both are different abstractions made from one and the same reality. I do not say that feeling and motion are identical, not that they are one and the same; but I do say that they are one. There is no such thing as pure feeling; real feeling is at the same time motion. Feeling by itself does not exist in reality. Pure feeling is a mere abstraction. And wherever the expression parallelism between feeling and motion has been used, it can mean only a parallelism between the two spheres of abstraction.

Professor Mach continues: "They [motion and feeling] are not two sides of the same paper (which latter is invested with a metaphysical rôle in the simile), but simply the same thing."

#Fechner's simile.#

For the same reason Professor Mach objects to Fechner's comparison. Yet it seems to me that Fechner hit the mark when he compared feeling and motion to the inside and the outside curves of a circle; they are entirely different and yet the same. The inside curve is concave, the outside curve is convex. If we construct rules relating first to the concave inside and then to the convex outside, we shall notice a parallelism in the formulas; yet this parallelism will appear only in the abstractions which have been made of one and the same thing from different standpoints and serving different purposes. The abstract conceptions form two parallel systems, but the real thing can be represented as parallel only in the sense that it is parallel to itself. If we consider the real thing, it represents a parallelism of identity. There is but one line, and this one line is concave if viewed from the inside, it is convex if viewed from the outside.

#The simile of a sheet of paper.#

The simile which I introduced of the two sides of one and the same sheet of paper was devised to convey no other meaning than this construction of Fechner's comparison. The paper is invested with a metaphysical rôle only in the case where the simile is otherwise construed. There is no page which exists of itself as a mere mathematical plane independent of the paper of which it forms a side. Thus there can never be in reality a page without its counterpage. The paper, its size and color, belong to the page and constitute its properties.

Thus the abstraction 'feeling' represents my looking at the one side of reality. I leave, and from the subjective standpoint I have to leave, the other side out of account. Yet the other side of the sheet is inseparable from the one at which I am now looking, just as much as feeling is inseparable from motion. And I am constrained to admit the truth of the reverse also: motion is inseparable from feeling, but with the limitation that motions need not be on their subjective side actual feelings; they may be only elements of feeling which under certain conditions become actual.

#The metaphysical misinterpretation.#

I am aware that my comparison of feeling and motion to the two sides of one sheet of paper may be easily misinterpreted. But is not that a danger to which all comparisons are subject? A comparison is always imperfect, or as the Romans used to say, it limps: "Omne simile claudicat." And is not reality liable to be misinterpreted in the same way? Have not some philosophers thus introduced the metaphysical explanation of the unknowableness of things in themselves? Such philosophers conceive the two sides of a sheet of paper (the abstract mathematical planes of the pages) as phenomenal and the paper as their metaphysical essence. The size of the sheet, the color of the paper, and all its other qualities are in a metaphysical world-conception represented as properties of which the thing is possessed—not as constituting the thing, but as essentially different from it.

It appears to me that Professor Mach in spite of his opposition to Fechner's simile and to the expression that feeling and motion are two aspects of one and the same reality, entertains the same view. At least his words: "Only the relation in which we consider them makes them at one time physical elements, at another time feelings," are to that effect.


#Professor Mach's problem.#

The difference between Professor Mach's view and mine may appear greater than it is, because the problem which Professor Mach treats in his article "The Analysis of the Sensations," lies in quite a different field from that of the problem of the relation of feeling to motion. The problem being different, the same and similar terms are not only used for different purposes, but demand also different comparisons. Professor Mach's symbols A B C … and α β γ … represent a contrast different from that of feeling and motion. They represent the contrast of sensations and thoughts. Sensations, such as green and hard, are colors, pressures, tastes, etc; thoughts are memory-images, concepts, volitions, etc.

Professor Mach says: "How the representative percepts of imagination and memory are connected with sensations, what relations they bear to them, as to this I dare venture no opinion…. Monism, as yet, I cannot thoroughly follow out; because I am lacking in clearness with regard to the relation of α β γ … to A B C …; but I believe that the first step towards a competent monism lies in the assertion that the same A B C … are both physical and psychical elements."

My symbols A B C … and α β γ … represent the contrast of physical and psychical elements, not of sensations and thoughts. Concerning thoughts, Professor Mach says he is much inclined to co-ordinate them with sensations so that his Greek symbols might differ from his Italic symbols not otherwise than the latter, viz. A B C …; differ among themselves. Taking this ground, I believe, it would be preferable to symbolise them accordingly among the Italic letters, perhaps as X Y Z. In the diagrams on page 407 they are called Μμ, Νν, Σς.

#Feeling, sense-impression and sensation defined.#

According to my terminology, feeling, as explained above, is the most general term expressing any kind and degree of subjective awareness. A sense-impression is a single irritation of one of the senses, the irritation being a special kind of motion plus a special and correspondent kind of feeling. A sensation is a sense-impression that has by repetition acquired meaning. A later sense-impression, when felt to be the same in kind as a former sense-impression, constitutes, be it ever so dimly, an awareness of having to deal with the same kind of cause of a sense-impression; thus giving meaning to it. By sensation, accordingly, I understand a sense-impression which has acquired meaning. And feelings that have acquired meaning, I should call mental states. Representative feelings (feelings that have a meaning) are the elements of mind.

#Thought and thinking defined.#

By thinking I understand the interaction that takes place between representative feelings. Such are the comparisons of sensations with memory-pictures, or of memory-pictures among themselves, the experimenting with memory-pictures so as to plan new combinations, etc. The products of thinking are called thoughts; and by thought in the narrower sense is commonly understood abstract thought which on earth is the exclusive privilege of man.

If I am not mistaken Professor Mach understands by sensations (represented by him as A B C …) what I should call sense-impressions; while thoughts, memories, and volitions (represented by him as α β γ …) form what I should call mind, or all kinds of mental states, that is, the domain of representations.

The higher spheres of thought, or representative feelings, grow out of and upon the lower spheres. Sense-impressions, as I have attempted to explain in the article "The Origin of Mind" (The Monist, No. 1), are the data which are worked out into concepts and ideas; they are the basis upon which the whole structure of mind rests. The reflex motions of simple irritations, being modified in higher spheres by the rich material of experience consisting of memory-images, and by the possibility of forethought created through experience, become volitions.

#Monism and the origin of mind.#

A monistic explanation of the rise of mind from elements that are not mind is possible only on the supposition that the objective processes of motion are not mere motions but that they are at the same time elements of feeling.

Is this not the same position as Professor Mach's, where he says that "the first step towards a competent monism lies in the assertion that the same A B C … are both physical and psychical elements"? and again: "The same A B C … are both elements of the world (the 'outer'[83] world namely) and elements of feeling."

[83] Professor Mach here says "outer world." I should prefer to replace it by the expression "objective world," because the motions of a man's brain belong to the outer world of all other men. To make sure of including the actions of my own body in this outer world, I should prefer the term "objective world," making feelings alone (to the exclusion of the subject's own motions) the constituents of the subjective world.

#Agreement with Professor Mach.#

Considering the two last-quoted sentences of Professor Mach, it appears to me that all differences vanish into verbal misunderstandings. Yet since I am not at all sure about it, I may be pardoned for becoming rather too explicit. The adjoined diagram may assist me in making my ideas clear.

[Illustration: Fig. I. Fig. II.]

#Explanation of the diagrams.#

Let the large circle of both figures represent a sentient being, a man. The periphery is his skin. The small circle enclosing K and L is a sensory organ; the other small circle enclosing M and N represents the hemispheres of his brain. A and B are processes taking place outside of the skin of this man. A produces an effect in K; B in L. The line R represents a reflex motion. M and N are concepts and abstract ideas derived from such impressions as K and L. The line S represents an act of volition.

All these symbols represent motions in the objective world. We know through physiological investigations that K, L, M, and N are motions; in our individual experience they appear as feelings.

The second figure represents in agreement with my system of symbols the states of awareness, in Greek letters. Certain physiological processes (K L R, M N S of Figure I) appear subjectively as states of awareness (i. e. κ λ ρ, μ ν ς of Figure II). Yet A and B remain to the thinking subject mere motions. If they possess also a subjective side, although only in the shape of potential feeling, it does not and it cannot appear.

#Sensations not elementary.#

Professor Mach calls green, hard, etc., which in a certain relation are our sensations, "the elements of the world." These processes characterised as "green," "hard," etc., are in my opinion too special and at the same time too complicated to be considered elementary. I grant that they are elements of mind, because if further analysed, they cease to be mental phenomena. But they are not elements per se, not elements of the world. It remains doubtful to me whether Professor Mach understands by his term "sensation" only K κ and L λ or the whole relations A K κ, and B L λ. Taking it that he represents A B C … as both elements of the world and sensations, it almost appears certain to me that his term "sensation" stands for the whole process A K κ, and that he considers the scientific analysis of this process into A the outside thing, into K the nerve-vibration corresponding in form to the outside thing, and κ the feeling that takes place in experiencing the sense-impression A K, as an artificial procedure that serves no other purpose than that of familiarising us with certain groups of elements and their connections. The processes A K κ, B L λ, in that case would be considered by Professor Mach as the actual facts, while the A and B, the K and L, the κ and λ represent mere abstract representations without real existence, invented by scientists in order to describe the realities A K κ, B L λ, etc., with the greatest exactness as well as economy of thought. In their separate abstractness they are the tools of science only and we must not take them for more than they are worth.

#Thoughts as mental implements.#

If this be so, I understand Professor Mach very well and I agree with him when he looks upon all M and N with their respective μ and ν as being "noumena, Gedankendinge, things of thought." They are mental tools. Sense-impressions are realities, but mental representations are implements; they are auxiliaries for dealing with realities; they are "the augers and saws" employed in the different fields of cognition.

#Persistence of the elements of mind.#

Professor Mach says in his article "The Analysis of the Sensations": "When I (the ego) cease to perceive the sensation green, when I die, then the elements no longer occur in their customary, common way of association. That is all. Only an ideal mental economical unity, not a real unity, has ceased to exist." The term sensations, it appears to me, can in this passage be interpreted neither as K κ only, nor as the whole relations A K κ, but as any A B C … relations; and since Professor Mach has not excluded from them the element of feeling, I should have to represent them by A α, B β, C γ…. Sensations as I understand the term (viz. A K κ, B L λ), are elements of mind; if they are further analysed they cease to be mental states. Says Professor Mach: "If I close my eye (K) withdraw my feeling hand (L), A B C … disappear. In this dependence A B C … are called sensations." Should we not rather say, they cease to be sensations, if this dependence ceases? Accordingly, sensations and sense-impressions are for this and for other reasons not indecomposable, not ultimate atoms. The elements of mind can be further analysed into the elements of the elements of mind. The elements of mind do not persist; but the ultimate elements of the elements of mind, whatever they are, do (or at least may) persist.

When speaking of the elements of the elements of mind we cease to deal with objects of actual experience as much as a physicist or chemist does who speaks about atoms. Nevertheless the analysis is as legitimate in our case as it is in the chemist's. If in the above quoted passage I am allowed