« НазадПродовжити »
call particular ideas, or ideas of particular objects, are of the nature of mental images, or memories of such objects—as when the sound of a friend's voice brings before my mind the idea of that particular man. Psychologists are further agreed that what they term general ideas arise out of an assemblage of particular ideas, as when from my repeated observation of numerous individual men I form the idea of Man.” In this passage there is an ambiguity against which it is necessary to be on our guard if we would avoid confusion of thought. It is, of course, quite true that general ideas, or "universals,” only arise in our mind after we have experienced corresponding groups of sense-impressions. The ideas “camel,” “ triangle,” etc., cannot arise in us before we have had visual or auditory impressions related to one or the other. We must first have seen, felt, or heard descriptions of such things. Therefore, in a certain loose and inaccurate way of speaking, such ideas may be said to arise "out of” such sense-impressions. But this by no means implies that they consist of them, and “are” but assemblages of such impressions further aggregated or otherwise modified. Nevertheless, to use the expression “arise out of them," does lend itself to and favour this latter meaning, which we shall see directly is the meaning of Mr. Romanes himself. He continues as follows: “ Hence, particular ideas answer to percepts, while general ideas answer to concepts : An individual perception (or its repetition) gives rise to its mnemonic equivalent as a particular idea ; while a group of similar, though not altogether similar perceptions, gives rise to its mne
monic equivalent as a conception, which, therefore, is but another name for a general idea, thus generated by an assemblage of particular ideas."* Here again the word "generated” is an equivocal expression. What follows, however, is clear and unequivocal. He says, “Just as Mr. Galton's method of superimposing on the same sensitive plate a number of individual images gives rise to a blended photograph, wherein each of the individual constituents is partially and proportionally represented; so in the sensitive tablet of the memory, numerous images of previous perceptions are fused together into a single conception, which then stands as a composite picture, or class-representation, of these its constituent images.”
These superimposed images we have elsewhere carefully referred to,t and have distinguished such affections
* p. 23.
† See “On Truth,” pp. 103, 191, 206. In addition to the power we have through each sense-organ to apprehend its own special object (e.g. colour through the eye, tone through the ear, etc.), our consentience (and therefore that of animals also), is affected in an analogous and to a certain degree similar manner, by the same object felt through different sense-organs (e.g. a triangle as seen or felt, or a fox as seen or smelt), owing to previous associations of sensations, and which object thus comes to be apprehended by this internal feeling. Similarly the several synchronous impressions which have been received from different objects all of the same kind, give rise to a corresponding, more or less vague or blurred, internal impression (analogous to a Galton photograph). Such a photograph, however, whatever may be the number of individuals from which it is constructed, remains, after all, a strictly individual thing—a single particular impression. It is the same with the image of the imagination, which is only called “sensuous universal” by analogy, and which, of course, is not truly general or “universal” at all. It is only a particular image, which, from the mode of its production and the purposes it serves, has an analogy with true universals.
sensuous universals” from true "universals,” and pointed out how utterly distinct they are in nature from “ideas.” That the idea of any object-e.g., a horse—is not a mere amalgam of modified imaginations, or a generalized mental image, is plain from the fact that the imaginations which have helped to call it forth may persist in the mind side by side with it, which they evidently could never do if the idea was made up of such imaginations. Neither can
our idea of a horse be an imagination generated by antecedent impressions and imaginations, for the notions implicitly contained within it show it to be something of an altogether different kind. The notions we refer to are those of “existence,” “similarity," " distinction,” “unity,” “truth,” “materiality,” “life,” and “animal existence of a certain kind.” Such things are beyond the domain of the senses, and cannot be contained in any mere images or senseimpressions. For a proof that these notions are really contained in the idea, the reader is referred to our previous work, wherein the fundamental differences between “ideas” and “groups of feelings ” are more fully drawn out-in a way which cannot here be repeated at length for lack of space.
We claim to have shown that ideas differ from such feelings by their simplicity ; * by the same idea being capable of elicitation by different senses,f while different ideas may accompany a single set of sensations. Ideas are abstract, I reflective, $ and self-perceptive, while they cannot be too intense. Ideas may remain the same, while the sensations which accompany them change.* They are apprehensions of abstract qualities grouped round a unity, † and can perceive the "whatness ” of things. $ Ideas are not tied down to sense and imagination, $ but can exceed sensuous experience, || while they can perceive existence, which sense cannot.IT There is one idea, “ being,” at the root of all,** while there is no corresponding one fundamental sensation. Ideas are relatively multitudinous ft compared with sensations. Sensations become associated according to the proximity in place or time of their occurrence, but ideas may be associated according to their logical relations.ft The intellect, unlike feeling, can recognize the truth, goodness, beauty, or objective necessity of its acts,$$ as well as its own supremacy,|||| while it can recognize itself as the energy of a unity 1 which is essentially inorganic.***.
See On Truth,” p. 106. | Ibid, pp. 207, 212.
Ibid., pp. 107, 116. § Ibid., pp. 207, 216.
It has been said that ideas are only groups of feelings to which names have been assigned, and that the only unity and distinctness about them is the unity and distinctness of the name. “A name," it is objected, “is of course very different from a group of feelings, but there is nothing which is one and distinct, beyond such feelings, save only the word or name.” This objection we have already met, ttt and have shown that mental conceptions are both logically and historically. * See “On Truth,” p. 106.
† Ibid., p. 207. | Ibid., p. 211.
§ Ibid., pp. 89-101. || Ibid., pp. 109, 110, 217.
q Ibid., p. 208. ** Ibid., p. 209. ff Ibid., p. 210. 1 Ibid., p. 217. $$ Ibid., p. 217. |||| Ibid., p. 113. IT Ibid., p. 387. *** Ibid., pp. 317, 388.
ttt Ibid., pp. 224-234.
prior to the terms which denote them. Rational conceptions can exist without words, but rational words cannot exist without conceptions or abstract ideas, and new terms are continually invented to denote ideas which have been freshly conceived. We may suddenly come to apprehend not only an idea, but a whole argument, far too rapidly for oral expression, and it may cost us very perceptible efforts and an appreciable period of time to put it even into mental words. These relations between thought and speech will come before us again and again in our examination of Mr. Romanes's work, so that it does not seem needful to say more at present on the subject.
Having thus referred to the leading distinctions between ideas and feelings,* and having cautioned our readers against the implications of Mr. Romanes as to the “generation”. of ideas, we will next proceed to notice some of his remarks about "abstraction." + He says, truly enough, that our power of forming "general ideas," or "universals," depends upon this faculty as a sine quâ non. But the nature of this faculty he, in our judgment, misapprehends and misrepresents, while in connection therewith he introduces some very misleading implications. He tells us, “I desire only to remark two things in connection with it. The first is
* In our work “On Truth," p. 203, we have, we may again remind the reader, specially called attention to the great importance of the distinction between our higher and our lower mental faculties. It is a distinction which has been strangely ignored, while it is probably the most important one in the whole range of psychology
† See “ On Truth,” pp. 12, 211, 213, 214, 345, 409. I p. 25.