Зображення сторінки

affirms * that “this large and important territory of ideation is, so to speak, unnamed ground. ... So completely has the existence of this intermediate land been ignored, that we have no word at all which is applicable to it.” On this account he coins his word “recept.” We have no objection to the term in itself, although as he uses it, error is connected with it. He says † that "in order to form a concept, the mind must intentionally bring together its percepts (or the memories of them), for the purpose of binding them up as a bundle of similars, and labelling the bundle with a name. But in order to form a recept, the mind need perform no such intentional actions.” The distinction is surely here drawn in the wrong place. The mind must be active in either case, but need act intentionally in neither-and, certainly, in forming general ideas, or true universals, it never collects and builds up its sensuous cognitions into bundles.

On the occurrence of the requisite reiterated sensations, a sensuous cognition, or “recept” (an entity of the same essential nature as sensations) is formed.

On the occurrence of the requisite sensuous cognitions, an intellectual general idea, or concept (an entity of an essentially different nature from sensations) springs forth spontaneously in the mind, without the need of our exerting any intentional activity.

In introducing his list $ of ideas at the end of his second chapter, he tells us that for the sake of avoiding confusion he makes use of the term generic instead of

Weismann refer to no matters the principles of which were not, in principle, discussed by the Scholastics of the Middle Ages. * p. 35. # pp. 36-37.

I p. 39.

the term general in naming his intermediate class, and he sums up as follows :

(General, Abstract, or Notional = Concepts. IDEAS

Complex, Compound, or Mixed = Recepts, or Generic ) Ideas.

Simple, Particular, or Concrete = Memories of Percepts. In order to make clear the precise divergence of view which exists between Mr. Romanes * and ourselves, we subjoin a tabular statement of corresponding subdivisions which may respectively be made in the two groups of activities which we regard as fundamentally distinct in kind-namely, intellectual perceptions and sensuous cognitive affections. To one group of the latter we have applied the new term “sencept,” for which we feel much apology is due. We have used it as conveniently matching with Mr. Romanes's term “recept,” and as serving to distinguish one simple set of affections from those which we ourselves term "sensuous universals,” but which we have no objection to denote by the term which Mr. Romanes has himself coined :o s General, or true Universals = Concepts.

| Particular or individual = Percepts.

(Groups of actual experiences) = Sensuous UniSENSUOUS combined with sensuous versals, or ReCOGNITIVE reminiscences

cepts. AFFECTIONSGroups of simply juxtaposed) = Sense - percep actual experiences

tions, or Sen

cepts. In his third chapter Mr. Romanes reviews what he

* In his chapter ix., pp. 184, 185 (on Speech), he further distinguishes between (1) lower and (2) higher recepts, as well as between (3) lower and (4) higher concepts-distinctions which further aid his attempt to bridge over the gulf which yawns between sense and intellect.

calls the “Logic of Recepts." Before proceeding to its examination, we would ask our readers to bear carefully in mind eight special points, some of which have been already adverted to either in our introductory chapter or in the present one, but which we deem it necessary to here especially insist upon :

(1) It is abundantly evident, and it is freely admitted by Mr. Romanes himself, that animals, even the highest, do not exercise the intellectual powers which we exercise ; though it is plain that they possess abundantly the sensitive faculties of feeling, imagination, and emotion.

(2) Besides our powers of feeling, thinking, and willing, we possess both a faculty of instinct * and a power of forming habits. These powers account for the existence, even in ourselves, of a number of actions which our possession of intellect will not account for, and it is an unquestionable fact that instinct is more largely developed in animals, notably in insects, than it is in ourselves.

(3) These faculties of instinct and habit, do not form part of our conscious life. We are, of course, conscious of the actions we perform, and we can recognize them as having been instinctive or habitual. But we have no conscious experience of those faculties, while we have conscious experience of our powers of reasoning, think

* As to this faculty in ourselves, see“ On Truth," pp. 175, 184.

† Habit is the determination in one direction of a previously vague tendency to action. Its existence presupposes this active tendency. See“ On Truth,” pp. 174, 358, 362.

# Such as the sucking of the infant and various activities attending adolescence.

§ See “ On Truth,” p. 358, for various cases in point.

ing, imaging, or feeling, at the time we exercise them. We are only conscious of the effects of our faculties of instinct and habit. It results from this that we cannot imagine a faculty of instinct or a faculty of habit, for we can never imagine anything of which we have not had experience. Therefore, although our reason tells us that these faculties not only exist but have acted in us, they nevertheless seem to possess a specially mysterious character. Thus it is that we come to feel a temptation not to believe that there are any such special faculties at all. But groups of feelings and thoughts, on the other hand, can be most easily imagined because they are constantly experienced, and this alone would suffice to prevent our feeling any temptation to doubt the existence of our sensitive and cognitive faculties, which would seem to be even more absurd (though it is not really so) than is a doubt as to our own continued, substantial existence.

(4) We may, then, well expect to find that animals possess powers which we cannot imagine, and in the existence of which, therefore, we may find it difficult to believe. Such are some of the truly marvellous instinctive faculties of insects and other lowly organisms, and the seemingly intelligent powers of some plants.* But these various faculties are no more really wonderful than are our powers of sensation (which are quite as inexplicable), and are vastly less wonderful than are our amazing powers of cognition—especially our knowledge of necessary and universal truths. (5) We should carefully distinguish between direct

* See “On Truth,” pp. 334, 335.

and reflex cognition. Even in ourselves, who possess true intellect, we may often, by reflection, detect the past, latent presence of feelings which were not perceived. We do not mean by this that we have apprehended something without adverting to our apprehension. That is a thing we constantly do. It is very rarely that we perceive, or advert to the fact that we are thinking whatever we may happen to be thinking. What we mean is that we can perceive that we had a senseperception of an object without knowing the objecta sense-perception without consciousness,* as when walking along in a town we suddenly recollect we have seen a name over a shop-window sometime before.

Such an impression cannot be a “percept,” which is a state the existence of which implies consciousness. † Instead, then, of “percept” and “perception,” I, for this, shall venture to employ the terms “sencept” and “senception.” Surely in animals which give us no evidence of reflective power, or, as we shall see, of the presence of “consciousness” as distinguished from “consentience," we should expect to be able to account for the most seemingly intelligent actions of animals by “sencepts” and “recepts” (and we ought to do so if we could), without supposing the existence in them of “percepts" and “concepts," which, if they existed, would certainly produce very startling effects which we do not see. By “consentience "I we mean the faculty of receiving divers

* See “On Truth,” pp. 89, 187.

† To call any“thing not perceived” a percept—that is, a “thing perceived "--is a glaring contradiction in terms.

I See “On Truth," pp. 183, 219, 354. As to such an “internal sense,” see also above, p. 44, note t.

« НазадПродовжити »