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Mr. J. J. Murphy, after noticing” the power which crystals have to repair injuries inflicted on them and the modifications they undergo through the influence of the medium in which they may be formed, goes on to say: * “It needs no proof that in the case of spheres and crystals the forms and the structures are the effect, and not the cause, of the formative principles. Attraction, whether gravitative or capillary, produces the spherical form; the spherical form does not produce attraction. And crystalline polarities produce crystalline structure and form; crystalline structure and form do not produce crystalline polarities. The same is not quite so evident of organic forms, but it is equally true of them also.” . . . . “It is not conceivable that the microscope should reveal peculiarities of structure corresponding to peculiarities of habitual tendency in the embryo, which at its first formation has no structure whatever;” and he adds that “there is something quite inscrutable and mysterious ” in the formation of a new individual from the germinal matter of the embryo. In another place" he says: “We know that in crystals, notwithstanding the variability of form within the limits of the same species, there are definite and very peculiar formative laws, which cannot possibly depend on any thing like organic functions, because crystals have no such functions; and it ought not to surprise us if there are similar formative or morphological laws among organisms which, like the formative laws of crystallization, cannot be referred to any relation of form or structure to function. Especially, I think is this true of the lowest organisms, many of which show great beauty of form, of a kind that appears to be altogether due to symmetry of growth; as the beautiful star-like rayed forms of the acanthometrae, which are low animal organisms not very different from the Foraminifera.” Their “definiteness of form does not appear to be accompanied by any corresponding differentiation of function between different parts; and, so far as I can see, the beautiful regularity and symmetry of their radiated forms are altogether due to unknown laws of symmetry of growth, just like the equally beautiful and somewhat similar forms of the compound six-rayed, star-shaped crystals of snow.” Altogether, then, it appears that each organism has an innate tendency to develop in a symmetrical manner, and that this tendency is controlled and subordinated by the action of external conditions, and not that this symmetry is superinduced only ab eacterno. In fact, that each organism has its own internal and special laws of growth and development. If, then, it is still necessary to conceive an internal law or “substantial form,” moulding each organic being,” and directing its development as a crystal is built up, only in an indefinitely more complex manner, it is congruous to imagine the existence of some internal law accounting at the same time for specific divergence as well as for specific identity. A principle regulating the successive evolution of different organic forms is not one whit more mysterious than is the mysterious power by which a particle of structureless sarcode develops successively into an egg, a grub, a chrysalis, a butterfly, when all the conditions, cosmical, physical, chemical, and vital, are supplied, which are the requisite accompaniments to determine such evolution.
* “Habit and Intelligence,” vol. i., p. 75. 88 Ibid., p. 112. * Ibid., p. 170. * Ibid., vol. i., p. 229.
41 It is hardly necessary to say that the author does not mean that there is, in addition to a real objective crystal, another real, objective separate thing beside it, namely the “force” directing it. All that is meant is that the action of the crystal in crystallizing must be ideally separated from the crystal itself, not that it is really separate.
IEVOLUTION AND ETHICS,
The Origin of Morals an Inquiry not foreign to the Subject of this Book.-Modern Utilitarian View as to that Origin.-Mr. Darwin's Speculation as to the Origin of the Abhorrence of Incest.—Cause assigned by him insufficient.--Care of the Aged and Infirm opposed by “Natural Selection; ” also Self-abnegation and Asceticism.—Distinctness of the Ideas “Right” and “Useful.”—Mr. John Stuart Mill.—Insufficiency of “Natural Selection” to account for the Origin of the I)istinction between Duty and Profit.—Distinction of Moral Acts into “Material" and “Formal.”—No Ground for believing that Formal Morality exists in Drutes.—Evidence that it does exist in Savages.—Facility with which Savages may be misunderstood.—Objections as to Diversity of Customs.-Mr. Hutton's Review of Mr. Herbert Spencer.—Anticipatory Character of Morals.-Sir John Lubbock's Explanation.—Summary and Conclusion.
ANY inquiry into the origin of the notion of “morality” —the conception of “right"—may, perhaps, be considered as somewhat remote from the question of the Genesis of Species; the more so, since Mr. Darwin, at one time, disclaimed any pretension to explain the origin of the higher psychical phenomena of man. His disciples, however, were never equally reticent, and indeed he himself is now not only about to produce a work on man (in which this question must be considered), but he has distinctly announced the extension of the application of his theory to the very phenomena in question. He says: ' “In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.” It may not be amiss then to glance slightly at the question, so much disputed, concerning the origin of ethical conceptions and its bearing on the theory of “Natural Selection.”
* “Origin of Species,” 5th edit., 1869, p. 577
The followers of Mr. John Stuart Mill, of Mr. Herbert Spencer, and apparently, also, of Mr. Darwin, assert that in spite of the great present difference between the ideas “useful ?” and “right,” yet that they are, nevertheless, one in origin, and that that origin consisted ultimately of pleasurable and painful sensations.
They say that “Natural Selection ” has evolved moral conceptions from perceptions of what was useful, i.e., pleasurable, by having through long ages preserved a predominating number of those individuals who have had a natural and spontaneous liking for practices and habits of mind useful to the race, and that the same power has destroyed a predominating number of those individuals who possessed a marked tendency to contrary practices. The descendants of individuals so preserved have, they say, come to inherit such a liking and such useful habits of mind, and that at last (finding this inherited tendency thus existing in themselves, distinct from their tendency to conscious selfgratification) they have become apt to regard it as fundamentally distinct, innate, and independent of all experience. In fact, according to this school, the idea of “right” is only the result of the gradual accretion of useful predilections which, from time to time, arose in a series of ancestors naturally selected. In this way, “morality” is, as it were, the congealed past experience of the race, and “virtue’” becomes no more than a sort of “retrieving,” which the thus improved human animal practises by a perfected and inherited habit, regardless of self-gratification, just as the brute animal has acquired the habit of seeking prey and bringing it to his master, instead of devouring it himself.
Though Mr. Darwin has not as yet expressly advocated this view, yet some remarks made by him appear to show his disposition to sympathize with it. Thus in his work on “Animals and Plants under Domestication,” he asserts that “the savages of Australia and South America hold the crime of incest in abhorrence; ” but he considers that this abhorrence has probably arisen by “Natural Selection,” the ill effects of close interbreeding causing the less numerous and less healthy offspring of incestuous unions to disappear by degrees, in favor of the descendants (greater both in number and strength) or individuals who naturally, from some cause or other, as he suggests, preferred to mate with strangers rather than with close blood-relations; this preference being transmitted and becoming thus instinctive, or habitual, in remote descendants. . But on Mr. Darwin’s own ground, it may be objected that this notion fails to account for “abhorrence ’’ and “moral reprobation; ” for, as no stream can rise higher than its source, the original “slight feeling ” which was vseful would have been perpetuated, but would never have been augmented beyond the degree requisite to insure this beneficial preference, and therefore would not certainly have become magnified into “abhorrence.” It will not do to assume that the union of males and females, each possessing the required “slight feeling,” must give rise to offspring with an intensified feeling of the same kind; for, apart from reversion, Mr. Darwin has called attention to the unexpected modifications which sometimes result from the union of similarly constituted parents. Thus, for example, he tells us: * “If two top-knotted canaries are matched, the young, instead of having very fine top-knots, are generally bald.” From examples of this kind, it is fair, on Darwinian principles, to infer that the union of parents
* Vol. ii., p. 122. 8 “Animals and Plants under Domestication,” Vol. i., p. 295.