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ment as well as in it. If they did not so exist, i.e. if the child did not consciously perceive both his sister and her crying condition, the statement would be mere meaningless babble. But, of course, the child does not advert to such psychical facts, and recognize what it says with reflex consciousness.
Mr. Romanes then attempts * to prove that there is no distinction of kind between what he calls preconceptual acts and true mental conception. But this is, of course, an utterly vain attempt, because every one who understands the position of Mr. Romanes's opponents knows that they affirm not only what he calls “preconception,” but also what he calls “higher reception,” to be truly conceptual. He distinguishes “ideation which is capable” of itself becoming an object of thought, from “ideation which is not” so capable—that which is denoted by speech being supposed by him to be alone so capable. But why cannot a statement made in gesture by a dumb man be thought of by him as being a statement ? Mr. Romanes has himself declared that a deaf-mute had told him that he always thought by means of mental images of hand and feature movements, and therefore that deaf mutes must have thought of his statements as statements, i.e, must have reflected about them.
Finally, he deals with two supplementary considerations : (A) the first concerns † the great progress which can be made between childhood and maturity, and he concludes $ that “self-consciousness marks a comparatively low level in the evolution of the human mind.” To show this he cites the case of his little girl * p. 230. † p. 232.
I p. 233.
when four and a half years old, who when asked to say what room was beneath the drawing-room of her home, “first suggested the bath-room, which was not only above the drawing-room, but also on the opposite side of the house ; next she suggested the dining-room, which, although below the drawing-room, was also on the other side of the house ; and so on, the child clearly having no power to think out so simple a problem,” although she herself had wished to know what was under the drawing-room. But this, in our eyes, did not indicate a low level of intellect, but only a certain incapacity for one kind of imagination. Such partial incapacities are by no means rare. There are very good classical scholars who seem unable to form for themselves the phantasmata they need in order to become good mathematicians, and there are excellent mathematicians who have but a very feeble power of retaining those sensuous distinctions which underlie, and are needful for, classical proficiency.
Mr. Romanes continues, * “There is thus shown to be even less reason to regard the advent of self-consciousness as marking a psychological difference of kind, than there would be so to regard the advent of those higher powers of conceptual ideation which subsequentlythough so gradually-supervene between early childhood and youth. . . . Or, otherwise stated, the psychological interval between my cebus and my child (when the former successfully investigated the mechanical principle of the screw by means of his highly developed receptual faculties, while the latter unsuccessfully attempted to solve
* p. 233.
a most simple topographical problem by means of her lowly developed conceptual faculties) was assuredly much less than that which afterwards separated the intelligence of my child from this level of its own previous self.”
Now, as to the cebus, etc., we have already made our criticism. But the answer to all this is given by Mr. Romanes himself a few lines later on, where he says (in words already quoted by us), “ The greatest of all distinctions in biology, when it first arises, is thus seen to lie in its potentiality.” Once more, that is just it. It is, as we just said, the distinction between a nature which can, and a nature which cannot, possess conceptual power. Mr. Romanes completes his sentence by adding the words, “rather than in origin.” The meaning of these words is not clear. By this "potentiality” in which he declares lies the greatness of a distinction, he must mean the nature thus distinguished; for the “potentiality” cannot lie in “ the distinction itself.” With this we fully agree. We have no objection to say also that such distinction lies more in the nature of an organism than in its origin. The distinction between a living man and a brute does, perhaps, lie rather in the distinctness of his nature from theirs than in his origin. For it is conceivable that the immaterial, psychical principle of any brute might have been formed by a distinct kind of action, as has been that of man; but this similarity of origin would be of small account compared to the difference between these principles as regards their potentiality. On the other hand, had the human body been formed separately, but not endowed with a rational, but merely with a sentient nature, such a diversity of origin from the mode of origin of a brute would be of no account compared with the diversity between their innermost natures as revealed by their divergent capacities. This, however, cannot have been Mr. Romanes's meaning in the sentence quoted, which is certainly a very obscure one.
(B) His second supplementary consideration refers * to the fact "that even in the case of a fully developed self-conscious intelligence, both receptual and preconceptual ideation continue to play an important part.” But this is what his opponents have ever distinctly affirmed, and we have reaffirmed it in our introductory chapter. Man is a sensitive organism ; an organism possessing vegetative powers; a theatre of chemical changes, and a material substance manifesting physical properties—man is all this—as well as an intellectual being. Moreover, as we have also pointed out again and again, we have both consentience and simple, or direct, consciousness, as well as reflex consciousness. Mr. Romanes says, “When I say, 'A negro is black,' I do not require to think all the formidable array of things that Mr. Mivart says I affirm.” Certainly not! Nevertheless, whoever so affirms, affirms these things implicitly,and a very little examination suffices to show they were, and must have been latent, and to make their existence patent. I
Certainly there is no need that we should "examine our own ideas” whenever we use rational language -direct knowledge, or consciousness, is enough to
* p. 234.
t p. 235. # See “On Truth,” p. 103, for implications contained in the assertion, “ That is a horse.”
constitute it such. It is also true that what we have learned with many an effort, may come afterwards to be done automatically, and it is lucky indeed for us that such is the case.* Were it not so, our time and labour would be incessantly occupied with the lowest stages of mental growth. Fortunately for us, after acquiring habitual images of objects, we acquire habitual recognitions of past mental acts, and so on, and thus the intellect is left free for higher activity, as we become able to do automatically, that which at first could only be done with much effort and great attention.
Here Mr. Romanes's psychological examination “comes to an end.” † We think he has conspicuously failed to show that intellectual action (conceptual, pre-conceptual, or higher receptual) is “but a higher development” of the language of brutes. À fortiori, then, has he failed to show that such a development is, as he has said, † “ inevitable.” But he has also failed to put before us any rational system of psychology, because he does not address himself to the real problem, having mistaken the true indication of self-consciousness. He has also failed because he does not distinguish between direct and reflex consciousness; because he attributes to brutes “ideas," and deems that perceptions generate recepts [!] (sensuous universals)—instead of being themselves intellectual acts of an intelligence which, with the aid of sense-impressions, perceives the actual presence of objects conceptually apprehended. He fails also, finally, because he ever greatly exaggerates the psychical faculties of brutes.
* See “ On Truth,” pp. 363, 364. – p. 237. I p. 213.