« НазадПродовжити »
animals which present it,” and yet only certain animals, and only bats amongst the class of beasts, have attained to it, though they all possess structures which might be modified into organs of flight. “Similarly," he tells us, “the flight of thought' is a most useful faculty,” but “it has only been developed in man." The analogy we do not admit. The utility of flight is as nothing compared with the utility of thought-as the experience of each autumn abundantly demonstrates in every county of England. A multitude of unfavourable conditions might check the development of wings, which would also be of little service to a whale, an ant-eater, or a mole. But as regards " thought,” the case is not “ similar,” but quite otherwise. Not only can we see no reason why anything (disease or mutilation apart) should hinder its manifestation if it existed ; but we can also see that its possession must be the greatest possible gain. Nevertheless there is no animal which shows a sign of possessing it. Mr. Romanes himself says, “it has only been developed in man”! Much mistaken, then, was he when he wrote : “So far, then, as we have yet gone, I do not anticipate that opponents will find it prudent to take a stand.”*
Hereupon follow statements of the “exact meanings” severally given by our author to what he terms (1) indicative, (2) denotative, (3) connotative, (4) denominative, and (5) predicative language. †
* p. 157.
† He tells us (pp. 161, 162), “By an indicative sign I will understand a significant tone or gesture intentionally expressive
Since our author does not, however, discriminate between material and formal understanding, making known, denominating, etc., his distinctions are useless, and cannot be accepted by us. As critics, we need only attend to them as far as may be necessary to apprehend fully the author's meaning, and to scrupulously avoid doing him a shadow of injustice.
His ninth chapter, that on speech, is the one for which, he tells us, * all his preceding chapters were arranged, adding, mirabile dictu, “Therefore, as already remarked, I have thus far presented material over which I do not think it is possible that any dispute can arise”!
As Mr. Romanes has adopted our classification of language, we regret, for the sake of convenience, that he did not, as we did, restrict his use of the term “speech” to denote rational expression which is exclusively oral. Mr. Romanes also includes under that term, rational expression by gesture. Nevertheless, he truly says, of a mental state ; but yet not in any sense of the word denominative.
“By a denotative sign I will understand the receptual marking of particular objects, qualities, actions, etc.
“ By a connotative sign I will understand the classificatory attribution of qualities to objects named by the sign, whether such attribution be due to receptual or to conceptual operations of the mind.
“By a denominative sign I will understand a connotative sign consciously bestowed as such, or with a full conceptual appreciation of its office and purpose as a name.
“By a predicative sign I will mean a proposition, or the conceptual apposition of two denominative terms, expressive of the speaker's intention to connote something of the one by means of the other." * p. 163.
† p. 164
"The distinction resides in the intellectual powers ; not in the symbols thereof. So that a man means,* it matters not by what signs he expresses his meaning : the distinction between him and the brute consists in his being able to mean a proposition, that is, “ to make an act of judgment.”
Mr. Romanes unintentionally misrepresents, and quite needlessly censures us for having said † that the simplest element of thought is a judgment. He evidently thinks we meant an explicit, instead of an implicit, judgment. Yet as an “explicit" judgment is manifestly made up of concepts, it is strange that he should have deemed us capable of an absurdity at once so outrageous and so evident. That the simplest element of thought is an implicit judgment, Mr. Romanes himself states I plainly enough.
* See also “On Truth,” p. 280. It is curious that Mr. Romanes criticizes Prof. Huxley's exceedingly sophistical remark about a machine which marks likeness and unlikeness, saying (“ Critiques and Addresses," p. 281), “Whatever does this reasons; and if a machine produces the effects of reason, I see no more ground for denying it the reasoning power, because it is unconscious, than I see for refusing Mr. Babbage's engine the title of a calculating machine on the same grounds." This remark Mr. Romanes declares absurd, but he excuses the Professor on the ground that “he must have been writing in some ironical sense, and therefore purposely threw his criticisms into a preposterous form.” It was, however, by no means ironical, but a very serious work, which first appeared in the Contemporary Review, 1871, as a criticism of our “ Genesis of Species,” and an article in the Quarterly Review, on Darwin's “Descent of Man."
† In an address to the Biological Section of the British Association, in 1879.
† Thus at p. 168 he says, “ Given the power of conceiving, and the germ of judgment is implied, though not expanded into the blossom of formal predication. For whenever we bestow a name He further objects * to our remark † that when the mind perceives the truth expressed in the principle of contradiction, its intuition, or perception, is aided by "images” or “phantasmata” answering respectively to “a thing being” and “a thing not being,” “at the same time” and “in the same sense,” observing that such images “must indeed be vague." There is here an imperfect description. The “images” are not the direct, but only the indirect, support of the intuition. Its direct support consists of "recognitions” of past perceptions as to coexistences, and the recollections of the past perceptions themselves repose upon reminiscences (phantasmata) of the sensuous affections which first accompanied them.
Thus, as we said, such sensuous images or phantasmata by no means constitute the intuition, though without such sensuous elements underlying it and indirectly supporting it, no such judgment or intuition could take place.
Mr. Romanes, having misunderstood us to so extraordinary an extent, very naturally objects † that the
we are implicitly judging that the thing to which we apply the name presents the attributes connoted by that name. ... To utter the name Negro ... is to form and pronounce at least two judgments ... to wit, that it is a man, and that he is black.” Again, he observes (p. 173) about our assertion that “the simplest element of thought is a judgment,” as follows : “ Of course, if it were said that these two faculties are one in kind-that in order to conceive we must judge, and in order to name we must predicate—I should have no objection to offer.” Mr. Romanes could hardly justify our assertion more completely than by such statements as these. As to what is implied in the term "negro," see “ On Truth,” p. 137.
* p. 166 (note).
distinction between animal and human intelligence lies in the power of “bestowing a name known as such ” and forming a concept. In this we quite agree with our author, as also in his remark * that “in the very act of naming we are virtually predicating existence of the thing named,” and that “the power to think is,' is the power concerned in the formation of a concept ;” while it is also concerned (in spite of Mr. Romanes's denial) “in the apposing of concepts when formed.”
Mr. Romanes denies that the predication of existence is the essential or any important part of a full, formally expressed proposition. Rather, he tells us, “it is really the least essential or the least important. For existence is the category to which everything must belong if it is to be judged about at all.” But because it is a category to which every actual thing must belong, it by no means follows that it is an unimportant category. Mr. Romanes might be deprived of objects and conditions belonging to various categories which might not matter much to him, but he could hardly say it was unimportant to him whether or not he was deprived of existence! He continues, “Merely to judge that A is and B is, is to form the most barren (or least significant) judgment that can be formed with regard to A and B.” Of course it is manifest that so to affirm is to give the minimum of information about A and B; but though it tells little as to extent, it tells us a truth of the most profound and intensely important kind. Existence is an attribute which clings to everything to the very last, and clings to it in a certain form even when it has ceased actually to * pp. 171, 172.
† p. 172.