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also perform a variety of movements, often complex, owing to the incidence of sensations in the arousing of emotions without consciousness, and such mere results of sensitivity have been distinguished by Mr. Lewes and ourselves * as consentience, which we freely allow to animals, and deem amply sufficient to account for all their highest psychical states and the various external manifestations thereof.
Mr. Romanes, on the other hand, fails to distinguish between direct self - consciousness and consentience, saying, † “Receptual or outward self-consciousness, then, is the practical recognition of self as an active and a feeling agent; while conceptual or inward self-consciousness is the introspective recognition of self as an object of knowledge, and, therefore, as a subject.” We repeat, direct consciousness is not introspective. It does not think without knowing what it thinks about, but without expressly directing its attention to what it is doing. In a note Mr. Romanes quotes from Wundt as replying “to the objection that there can be no thought without knowledge of thought,” by saying, “that before there is any knowledge of thought there must be the same order of thinking as there is of perceiving, prior to the advent of self-consciousness.” But we deny that there is any “perception ” without consciousness other than mere "sense-perception;" which is only called perception by analogy. Probably Wundt means that before reflex thought, there must be direct thought, which is true ; as well as that before we can think even directly, there must be antecedent sensitivity in exercise, which is also
* See “ On Truth,” pp. 183, 354. ť pp. 199, 200.
true. But sensitivity in exercise is not "thought.” If animals had consciousness they would make for themselves conceptual signs of one kind or another, and not merely emotional expressions.
Our author next says, * "I take it, then, as established that true or conceptual self-consciousness consists in paying the same kind of attention to inward psychical processes as is habitually paid to outward physical processes.” This error we have already forestalled † in our preceding distinction of "direct" from “reflex” consciousness.
He then tells us, I “All observers are agreed that for a considerable time after a child is able to use words as expressions of ideas, there is no vestige of true selfconsciousness."
This is an amazing assertion. Children often exhibit their self-consciousness in an unmistakable manner, long before they can use words. A boy may very likely have “bitten his own arm”—as Professor Preyer is quoted as relating; but that does not show an absence of self-consciousness. Even a grown man has struck his own head and inflicted other injuries on his body without thereby giving us the least reason to suppose he did not know full well that it was his own body. Mr. Romanes makes, $ as we have before noted, the fact of a child's speaking of itself in the first person the sign of the advent of self-consciousness and conceptual power. || But when a child speaks of himself * p. 200.
† See above, pp. 197, 202. I p. 200.
§ p. 201. || At p. 230, “self-consciousness” is explicitly stated to be “the very condition to the occurrence of conceptual ideation.”
as “ Jimmy," it is absurd to suppose he does not understand that he is Jimmy, and that Jimmy is himself.
Mr. Romanes really attaches an altogether absurd importance to the saying of “I.” We cannot, of course, intelligently say it without having a concept of self, but we cannot intelligently say anything else without having a concept thereof. The idea of self is by no means so exceptionally gifted that it alone of all things is able to evoke mental conception. Any object indicated by either voice or gesture as being one of a kind, or being in any particular state, is the result of a concept, and the index of the presence of “conceptual ideation." If a thing is not known to be of any kind or in any state at all, it is not known, but if it is understood, it must be understood by the medium of a concept. Any object whatever will serve to give rise to a concept equally well with the object “self,” to which Mr. Romanes thus attributes such factitious importance.
He further observes, * “It will no doubt be on all hands freely conceded, that at least up to the time when a child begins to speak it has no beginning of any true or introspective consciousness of self.”
We concede nothing of the kind, but rather think that in all cases self-consciousness precedes, and may for a long time † precede, speech.
Anecdotes of child-language will be more conveniently considered in our next chapter, but we cannot
* p. 202.
† Amongst my own friends I know a very striking instance in confirmation of this. A youth (now a very distinguished medical man) was long unable to speak after he was able to express most plainly by gesture-language, what related to his own individuality, refrain altogether from noticing here some instances quoted from Mr. Sully, as follows :
“When a child of eighteen months on seeing a dog exclaims, ‘Bow-wow, or on taking his food exclaims, 'Ot' (Hot), or on letting fall his toy says, Dow' (Down), he may be said to be implicitly framing a judgment: “That is a dog,' 'This milk is hot,' 'My plaything is down.'... The boy ... we will call C., was first observed to form a distinct judgment when nineteen months old, by saying, 'Dit ki' (Sister is crying).”
But we deny that any distinction as to explicitness or implicitness is conveyed by the distinction between the utterances of these children of eighteen months and nineteen months respectively. Indeed, we regard the attempt to draw such a distinction as a most absurd attempt. "Dit ki” is admitted to be the expression of a distinct judgment. Now, in what respect does the utterence of the monosyllable “Ot” differ from "Dit ki”? It merely differs in the emission of two sounds instead of one, but the one sound, “Ot," means as much as do the two sounds “Dit ki.” The sound “Ot” was understood by those present to predicate heat of the food, and no one, out of Bedlam, can question that the child meant to convey the notion that its food was hot. But, as Mr. Romanes has most truly observed,* it is what is meant, not what is said, which is the really important matter.f It comes to this, then—that a sentence is conveyed in the one instance by two sounds,
* p. 164.
+ Even adults often express a full judgment by a single word. Suppose two men are watching birds not distinctly to be seen, and trying to make out what they are. When one man, having made
and in the other by the utterance of a monosyllable. The latter mode is only inferior in so far as it seems incapable of being adapted to express the complex ideas of later life. If it were only possible to follow out that mode without confusion, then the use of monosyllables to express whole sentences, instead of being inferior, would be the very highest ideal of language.
Of course, as children grow up, they more and more conform to their environment and imitate the adults about them, and it is, as we have said, practically much more convenient to use distinct articulate sounds to express the several ideas involved in a sentence. Thus it is natural enough that a child somewhat older should say, “Ka in milk (Something nasty in the milk); milk dare now (There is still some more milk in the cup),” and so on; also that a child,“ towards the end of the second year,” should say, “Dat a big bow-wow (That is a large dog); Dit naughty * (Sister is naughty),” and “ Dit dow ga (Sister is down on the grass).”
It was with little short of amazement that we read Mr. Romanes's comment † on these facts :
“Were it necessary, I could confirm all these statements from my own notes . . . but I prefer ... to quote such facts from an impartial witness. For I conceive that they are facts of the highest importance in relation to our present subject.”
sure, cries out “Grouse !" is that less truly the expression of a judgment than saying, “They are grouse”?
* It is very difficult to see what important difference exists between the nineteen months expression, “ Dit ki,” and the nearly two year old expression, “Dit naughty.” † p. 203.
I The italics are ours.