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It remains to us to consider the cases in which a plurality of rings or links concur in reviving some anterior thought or mental condition. Associations individually too weak to revive a past idea may succeed in doing so when they act together. The general law of this mode of association is thus established. 'Past actions, sensations, thoughts, and emotions are more easily recalled when they are associated by contiguity or resemblance with more than one impression, or with a present object.'
Compound associations result from single contiguities, from single resemblances, or from united contiguities and resemblances.
Here are some examples of the first case:We feel the odour of a liquid; this sensation alone does not suffice to recall its name; but we afterwards taste it, and remembrance is effected by these united sensations. Complex objects, and concrete wholes, which we see in nature, such as a tree, an orange, a locality, or a person, are aggregates of ideas, and of contiguous sensations.
A person who has previously read the two Edipes of Sophocles will recollect them in reading King Lear;' because a composi tion of resemblances naturally leads to comparison.
Finally, if, in describing a tempest, you say, 'the strife of the elements,' you associate by resemblance, because there is strife and combat in a tempest; and by contiguity, because this metaphor is so generally used that the two ideas are connected. Whence the defects of the banal style, and of frequently used expressions.
It may be asked, why the author has not recognised a particular mode of association by contrast? It is because he sees therein not so much a form of the fundamental law of intelligence, as the condition inherent to every act of knowledge, and without which it is not possible.
'Contrast is the reproductive phase of the first law of mind, relativity, or discrimination: everything known to us is known in connexion with something else, the opposite or negation of itself; light implies darkness; heat supposes cold. Knowledge, like
consciousness, in the last resort is a transition from one state to another, and both states are included in the act of knowing either. 1,
The necessity inherent in every idea of completing itself by its contrary, produces the love of contradiction in discussions. Among the Greeks it gave rise to the doctrine of the Nemesis.
Hitherto we have only had in sight the resurrection, the literal awakening of sensations, images, emotions, consequences of anterior thoughts.
But there are other modes of association, known under the names of imagination and creation. Here we unite new forms, we construct images, pictures, conceptions, mechanisms, differing from all which experience has previously given. The painter, the poet, the musician, the inventor in the arts and sciences, furnish us with examples. This is the law :-—
'By means of association the mind has the power of forming combinations or aggregates, differing from everything which has been presented in the course of experience.'
The essay upon constructive association, or the theory of imagination, is equal to the best analyses of the work, for its order, its clearness, its fulness, the exactitude of its details, and the interest of the questions which it raises.
Constructiveness permits us by associations of sensations to imagine new sensations. You hear a passage read, you have already heard Rachel or Macready, and you say: 'Imagine Macready or Rachel delivering that passage.' You wish to remodel the plan of your garden, it is by a constructive association that you can imagine the effect which will be produced when the new plan shall be realized.
So it is with the emotions. The sentiments of men who differ altogether from us in their position, their character, their occupations, can only be conceived by a constructive proceeding. Every one has experienced fear, anger, love, etc., these are the elementary facts which serve for our constructions; but it is
1 Bain, The Senses and the Intellect, p. 579.
impossible to comprehend a sentiment of which one has not in one's-self the source: this it is which renders religious or artistic forms, different from those to which they are accustomed, unintelligible to so many people. Many historians have made this remark--Mr. Grote for example:-'We cannot comprehend,' he says, 'the terror of the Athenians on learning the mutilation of the Hermes, except by remembering that, in their eyes, it was a pledge of security that the gods should dwell upon their soil.'
Constructive association in the fine arts, or imagination properly so called, presents a peculiarity: it is the presence of an emotional element in the combinations. It is the artist's ambition to give pleasure to human nature, 'to increase the sum of its happiness.' The first aim of the artist must be to satisfy taste. 'I cannot, then,' says Mr. Bain, 'accept the current doctrine which would make of nature his criterion, and of reality his end. The criterion of the artist is sentiment, his end is a delicate pleasure.'
Here we perceive the aesthetics of the author. We shall find them amply explained under the title of the emotions.
The Feelings.-1. Judgment of Mr. Herbert Spencer-2. Classification of the emotions-3. Esthetic feeling of laughter-4. Moral feelings.
We are now about to consider the weakest portion of the great work which occupies us,1 and its objects are the emotions. Although the author announces in his preface that he wishes to proceed as a naturalist, and to continue in the affective region what he has done for intelligence, appetites, and sensations, we do not find such certainty of method as satisfies the mind, more than it is satisfied by analyses and discoveries. The
Such also is Mr. Mill's opinion in the article previously quoted.
method of the naturalist, in fact, comprehends two essential operations-classification and description. The descriptive portion is excellent, and we could not desire it to be more complete. Each species of emotion is carefully characterized, considered in its effects, in its modifications, its influence, and its transformations. The author never fails to study it under its double aspect, physical and mental, thus attaching the psychology of the passions to the physiology of the passions; and thereby exhibiting, as he remarks, the relation of the physical to the moral. This explanation, made in detail, and by fragments, under the special title of each emotion, gains in precision by this method, in which we find all the ability of his preceding essays.
The defect of the work appears to us to exist in its classification of the affective phenomena. And here we will allow a better judge than ourselves to speak. Mr. Herbert Spencer, in an article published in 1860 by the Medico-Chirurgical Review, and since reproduced in his essays (volume i., 1868), has given a detailed criticism of Mr. Bain's book upon the emotions, of which we reproduce the substance.
Notwithstanding its merits, Mr. Bain's work is provisional—it is a transitional study. His declared intention is to follow a natural method, and he does it in many respects. But his classifications are not founded on this method, for this reason: A natural classification supposes two things-a comparison of phenomena, and a close analysis, which, without stopping at its accidental characteristics, penetrates to all that is fundamental. This double labour is missing here; description replaces analysis too far. Mr. Bain acknowledges that he has adopted as the the basis of classification the most manifest characters of the emotions, such as they are given to us, subjectively and objectively. From the objective point of view he refers to the natural language of the emotions, and the social phenomena which result from them. From the subjective point of view, he holds as primitive, and not to be decomposed, the emotions, given as such by the analysis of consciousness. Nevertheless, psychologists know well that there are intellectual acts which consciousness gives as simple, and not to be decomposed, and which analysis perfectly resolves. It ought to be the same in the case of the emotions as
in that of intellectual acts. Just as the conception of space resolves itself into experiences altogether different from that conception; so it is probable that the sentiment of affection or of respect is composed of elements each acting differently from the whole which they compose.
How is it that Mr. Bain has not seen that to keep to the manifest characteristics is to follow the method of the ancient naturalists, who, in virtue of exterior and superficial resemblances, place cetacea among fish and zoophytes among seaweeds? Every classification which is not founded upon real relations may contain many truths; it is useful at the commencement of a science, but it can only be provisional.
Mr. Herbert Spencer then asks how the strict analysis which ought to precede classification should have been set about. It is assuredly more easy, he says, to compare animals and organs than emotions; there is the first difficulty. A second, which is more grave, is that of a good psychological classification, supposing that a certain number of biological questions had been resolved, which in the actual state of science are not so. We may then aspire to progress, not to a definite result; and the following are the conditions of that progress :—
1. We must study the ascending evolution of the emotions through the animal kingdom; seeking out those which appear first, and which co-exist with the lowest forms of organization and intelligence.
2. We must note the emotional differences which exist between the lower and higher human races; those which are common to all may be considered as primitive and simple, and those which are proper to the civilized races as ulterior and compound.
3. We must observe the order of evolution, and of the development of the emotions, from earliest infancy to mature age.
The comparison of this triple study of emotion in the animal kingdom, the progress of civilisation and of individual development, will render a truly scientific analysis of the affective phenomena more easy. The order of the evolution of the emotions would give the order of their mutual dependence. We should see, for example, that the lowest savage races ignore justice and pity; that they hardly know certain æsthetic emotions, like those