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in the final resort from his well-digested meals and healthy respirations, is the true source, the veritable antecedent of all that muscular power. It is now-a-days a truism to compare a living animal with a steam-engine as regards the source of the moving power. What the coal by its combustion is to the engine, the food and inspired air are to the living system ; the concurring consciousness of expended power is no more the cause of that power than the illumination cast by the engine furnace is the source of the movements generated.'1

Is it not strange to think that consciousness of effort is the cause of the voluntary motion, when we see that if power be as great as possible, effort is nil, and if effort be as great as possible, power is nil ? ?

“The pleasure or pain, that is, the mental antecedent of a voluntary act, is embodied in the nervous and other organs, and rises and falls with their physical condition. When a feeling of either sort prompts the voluntary executive, a new kind of consciousness arises, that belonging to the expenditure of motive power ; but in a way, if possible, still more decided, does this consciousness repose upon material processes. The nervous centres are drained of their energy, the muscles part with theirs, and in a very short time the whole system is run down like a steam-engine with its fire burnt out. . . . On a close examination it turns out that the animal system puts forth active energy without as well as with consciousness; but in no case without the expenditure of nutritive material.

Voluntary actions are distinguished from reflex and spontaneous activity by the directive intervention of a feeling in their production; and the phenomenon is altogether a remarkable one. ... If it so please us, we are at liberty to say mind is a source of power; but we must then mean by mind the consciousness in conjunction with the whole body; and we must also be prepared to admit, that the physical energy is the indispensable condition, and the consciousness the casual.' 1

1 Bain, Emotions and Will, p. 475.

? We must not forget that Mr. Bain, arguing upon the tendency of idea to pass into action, never separates resolution from action. The latter mode is part of the voluntary development, and crowns it. To him, resolution not followed by action is a demi-volition, a sort of psychological abortion. The form of volition in which there is a motive, without the ability to accomplish it, is Desire.'-Chap. viii.

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* All that has hitherto been explained in relation to the voluntary actions of living beings, implies the predominance of a uniformity, or of a law in that class of phenomena, by granting a complication of numerous antecedents which are not always perfectly known.' The practice of life is generally in accordance with this theory; we predict the future conduct of each person according to his past; we call a just man, Aristides; a moral hero, Socrates : a monster of cruelty, Nero. Why? Because we take for granted a certain persistence and regularity in the influence of motives almost as much as when we affirm that bread nourishes, that smoke rises, or any other such attribute of material bodies. The question of liberty, 'that hampered lock of metaphysics,' that paradox of the first degree,' that inextricable knot,' belongs to the category of artificial problems, like the famous arguments of Zeno, on the race between Achilles and the tortoise, and the difficulties raised by Berkeley against the differential calculus.

The notion of human free-will appeared for the first time among the Stoics, and later in the writings of Philo the Jew; by a metaphor the virtuous man was called free, and the vicious man was called a slave. The metaphysical elaboration of the doctrine of free-will and necessity is especially due to Saint Augustine, in his controversy with Pelagius, and to the strife between the Arminians and the Calvinists. 'A fitting answer to the advocates of free-will is the utter unfitness of the word or the idea to express the phenomenon in question. We may produce an entire mystery, an entire extricable difficulty, by persisting in preserving a phraseology which does not adopt itself to the facts. The Newtonian theory of gravitation explains natural phenomena in a complete and scientific manner, but substitute another idea

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for gravity, that of a polarity, for example, such as exists in a loadstone, make of it the type and the foundation of all the groundwork of all the forces of nature, and see how everything becomes entangled, how you substitute an unintelligible mystery for a simple explanation. In the same way, to ask whether or not our volitions are free, is to confuse everything, it is to add artificial difficulties to a problem not of itself insoluble, it is to resemble the personage whom Carlyle makes to ask, “Is virtue a gas?' A motive, hunger, impels me: I take the food which is before me: I go to an eating-house, where I fulfil some other preliminary condition : here is a plain and simple sequence ; make the idea of liberty enter into it, and it becomes a chaos. The term ability is inoffensive and intelligible, but the term liberty has been forcibly dragged into a phenomenon with which it has nothing in common. A metaphor relative to virtue having given rise to this question, we might as well have asked ourselves whether the will is rich or poor, noble or ignoble, sovereign or subject, since all that has been said about virtue !

The word necessity is also an improper expression, which ought indeed to be banished from all the sciences, physical or moral. At present it is only troublesome, and the words which we are tending to substitute, such as uniform, conditional, unconditional, sequence, antecedent, consequent, have a precise meaning, and do not admit of confused associations.

By liberty of choice, we mean one thing only, the denial of all foreign intervention. It is no more than this: if, a person intervening, I am led by that person to act in a certain manner, as a child who is taken into a shop to purchase an article of clothing, but who is not suffered to choose for himself. But, applied to the various motions of my own mind, the word “liberty of choice' has no meaning. Various motives concur in pushing me into action; the result of the conflict shows that one group is stronger than another, and the whole case lies in that. The question of liberty of choice consists, then, in knowing whether the action is my own, or whether another person has used me as an instrument; and it cannot be too much deplored that psychology should have been pulled up for so long in the front of an entirely gratuitous difficulty.

Now, what is to be understood by spontaneity, by self-determination? Must we look for something more in it than the operation of sensible motives, added to the central spontaneity of the system? Is some unknown, mysterious power hidden behind the scenes ? Is there, between the feelings, the will, and the intelligence, a fourth unexplored region — that of the Ego ?

• The proper meaning of self can be nothing more than my corporeal existence, coupled with my sensations, thoughts, emotions, and volitions, supposing the classification exhaustive, and the sum of these in the past, present, and future. ... I am not able to concede the existence of an inscrutable entity in the depths of one's being, to which the name I is to be distinctively applied, and not consisting of any bodily organ or function, or of any one mental phenomenon that can be specified.'1

As to the appeal which has been made to consciousness, as testifying in an indisputable manner to our freedom of will, we must think of that as follows :-Consciousness has been said to be our ultimate and infallible criterion of truth; to affirm that it deceives itself is to destroy the mere possibility of every certain science. In the first place, let us remark that consciousness is to internal phenomena what observation is to external facts. The generality of people know that they think and feel, without exactly knowing the laws of thought, of mental co-existences and sequences, in the same way as their senses reveal rivers, mountains, cities, etc., to them, but without giving them an exact and precise knowledge of these things. Nothing is more common than disagreement in human appreciations of size, forces, weight, forms, colours, etc. If this be so in the case of the objects of our external senses, what reason have we for believing that the internal sense is more exact ? Are not metaphysical disputes in themselves a proof of the contrary? Besides, if we grant to consciousness the privilege of infallibility, it can last for only a short moment; and that does not constitute a science. Consciousness being strictly applicable to any individual person, , and for one instant only, it contains the minimum of information.

1 Bain, Emotions and Will, p. 554.

This is the atom of knowledge. If we wish to go beyond this short moment, we must have recourse to memory, and we know that memory is fallible. Thus, while the infallibility lasts, there is no science, and when the science begins, there is no infallibility. Now, the notion of free-will is in nowise an intuition ; there is in it a collection of anterior volitions, and a comparison established between them and a certain condition of sentient beings, the condition of being free from constraint, like that of a dog untied, or a prisoner set at large ; and comparison is not an infallible operation.


Here we come to the end without lingering over some chapters in which the author completes his moral theory, but which do not add anything essential to it. Let us summarize the merits and defects of this important Treatise on Psychology. It will please those who love facts, who think that facts are the very

substance of an experimental science, that it only lives by them ; that every generalization is empty and vain, without an ample collection of phenomena which serves it as a starting point, and as a verification. It is, to my knowledge, the most complete repertory in existence of exact and positive psychology, placed au courant of recent discoveries : we in France have nothing to approach it. Garnier's Traité des Facultés, founded, as its title indicates, upon a method which subordinates phenomena to causes, facts to faculties, embarrassed too by metaphysical discussions, cannot be compared in any way to Mr. Bain's work. Let us add, that, according to the customs of the Eclectic School, this treatise has given so ample a space to the history of theories that the dogmatic part is singularly limited. In its mode of explanation, its method, and the general impression it produces upon the reader, Mr. Bain's work can only be compared to a physiology. Examined in detail, the composition of the book is not quite irreproachable; its order is sometimes more apparent than real; the author takes up the same questions several times, and discusses them over and over again. But, perhaps, this is an inherent defect in works of this nature, in which the

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