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Title: Mental Philosophy: Including the Intellect, Sensibilities, and Will
Author: Haven, Joseph
Language: English
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Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).




Late Prof. of Systematic Theology in the Theological
Seminary, Chicago, Ill., and Late Prof. of Intellectual
and Moral Philosophy in Amherst College.

Improved Edition.

New York:
Sheldon and Company, 8 Murray Street.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Dr. Haven's Valuable Series of School and
  College Text-Books.

  MENTAL PHILOSOPHY                              $2.00

  MORAL PHILOSOPHY                                1.75


       *       *       *       *       *

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
Gould and Lincoln,
In the Clerk's office of the District Court Of the
District of Massachusetts.


If any apology were necessary for adding yet another to the numerous
works on Mental Philosophy which have recently appeared, the
circumstances that led to the preparation of the present volume may,
perhaps, constitute that apology.

When called, several years since, to the chair of Mental and Moral
Philosophy, in this Institution, the text-books, then in use, seemed to
me not well adapted to the wants of College students. Nor was it easy
to make a change for the better. Of the works in this department, then
generally in use in our Colleges, some presumed on a more extensive
acquaintance with the science than most young men at this stage of
education are likely to possess; others, again, erring on the opposite
extreme, were deficient in thorough and scientific treatment; while
most, if not all, were, at the best, incomplete, presenting but a
partial survey of the entire field. In none of them was the science
of mind presented in its completeness and symmetry, in a manner at
once simple, yet scientific; in none of them, moreover, was it brought
down to the present time. Something more complete, more simple, more
thorough, seemed desirable.

Every year of subsequent experience as a teacher has but confirmed this
impression, and made the want of a book better adapted to the purposes
of instruction, in our American Colleges, more deeply felt. The works
on mental science, which have recently appeared in this country,
while they are certainly a valuable contribution to the department of
philosophy, seem to meet this deficiency in part, but _only_ in part.
They traverse usually but a portion of the ground which Psychology
legitimately occupies, confining their attention, for the most part, to
the _Intellectual_ Faculties, to the exclusion of the _Sensibilities_,
and the _Will_.

Feeling deeply the want which has been spoken of, it seemed to me,
early in my course, that something might be done toward remedying the
deficiency, by preparing with care, and delivering to the classes,
lectures upon the topics presented in the books, as they passed along.
This course was adopted--a method devolving much labor upon the
instructor, but rewarding him by the increased interest and more rapid
progress of the pupils. Little by little the present work thus grew
up, as the result of my studies, in connection with my classes, and of
my experience in the daily routine of the recitation and lecture room.
Gradually the lectures, thus prepared, came to take the place more and
more of a textbook, until there seemed to be no longer any reason why
they should not be put into the hands of the student as such.

It is much easier to decide what a work on mental science ought to be,
than to produce such a work. It should be comprehensive and complete,
treating of all that properly pertains to Psychology, giving to every
part its due proportion and development. It should treat the various
topics presented, in a thorough and scientific manner. It should be
conversant with the literature of the department, placing the student
in possession, not only of the true doctrines, but, to some extent
also, of the _history_ of those doctrines, showing him what has been
held and taught by others upon the points in question. In style it
should be clear, perspicuous, concise, yet not so barren of ornament as
to be destitute of interest to the reader.

At these qualities the writer has aimed in the present treatise; with
what success, others must determine.

All science, in proportion as it is complete and true, becomes simple.
In proportion as this result is attained, the labor bestowed upon it
disappears from view, and the writer seems, perhaps, to others, to have
said but a very plain and common thing. This is peculiarly the case
with mental science. The difficulty of discussing with clearness and
simplicity, and, at the same time, in a complete and thorough manner,
the difficult problems of Psychology, will be understood only by those
who make the attempt.

J. H.






  SECTION   I.--NATURE OF THE SCIENCE                   15




  SECTION   I.--GENERAL ANALYSIS                        29


   OF THE MENTAL FACULTIES                              35





  CONSCIOUSNESS                                         39


  ATTENTION                                             46


  CONCEPTION                                            53



  SENSE, OR PERCEPTION BY THE SENSES                    58

  SECTION  I.--GENERAL OBSERVATIONS                     59


   QUALITIES OF BODIES                                  65

   SEVERAL FUNCTIONS                                    68

   THE RESPECTIVE SENSES                                72

   PERCEPTIONS                                          81

  SECTION VII.--HISTORICAL SKETCH                       84

      OF BODIES                                         84




  GENERAL OBSERVATIONS                                  94


  MEMORY                                                96

  SECTION   I.--MENTAL REPRODUCTION                     96

     I. NATURE                                          96

    II. LAWS                                           101

   FROM MENTAL REPRODUCTION                            113

     I. GENERAL CHARACTER                              113


   III. QUALITIES OF MEMORY                            118


     V. CULTIVATION OF MEMORY                          125

    VI. EFFECTS OF DISEASE ON MEMORY                   128


   OF MEMORY                                           133


  IMAGINATION                                          137







  SECTION VII.--LIMITED TO NEW RESULTS                 148

  SECTION VIII.--A VOLUNTARY POWER                     149


  SECTION   X.--CULTURE OF IMAGINATION                 154




  GENERAL OSERVATIONS                                  162




   THIS POWER OF THE MIND                              177

   NOMINALIST CONTROVERSY                              177


  THE ANALYTIC PROCESS--REASONING                      180

  SECTION   I.--THE NATURE OF THE PROCESS              181



  I.  DEMONSTRATIVE                                    189

   (2.) FROM EXPERIENCE; (3.) FROM ANALOGY             192

   IN REASONING                                        199


     I. ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSITION                    203

    II. ANALYSIS OF THE SYLLOGISM                      205

   III. LAWS OF SYLLOGISM                              207

    IV. DIFFERENT KINDS OF SYLLOGISM                   209

     V. DIFFERENT FORMS OF SYLLOGISM                   210


   VII. USE AND VALUE OF THE SYLLOGISM                 213








  SECTION  I.--PRIMARY TRUTHS                          238

  SECTION II.--INTUITIVE CONCEPTIONS                   241

    I. SPACE                                           241

   II. TIME                                            244

  III. IDENTITY                                        249

   IV. CAUSE                                           257







  IDEA AND COGNIZANCE OF THE RIGHT                     303





   INTELLIGENCE IN THE BRUTE                           329


   AND NERVOUS SYSTEM                                  342

  SECTION   I.--SLEEP                                  343

  SECTION  II.--DREAMS                                 351

  SECTION III.--SOMNAMBULISM                           360

  SECTION  IV.--INSANITY                               368





   DEPARTMENT OF THE SCIENCE                           377






  INSTINCTIVE EMOTIONS                                 395



   SORROW OF OTHERS                                    402


  RATIONAL EMOTIONS                                    409

   OR THE REVERSE                                      409



   THE SUBLIME                                         427





  BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS                                441

  SECTION   I.--LOVE OF KINDRED                        442

  SECTION  II.--LOVE OF FRIENDS                        447

  SECTION III.--LOVE OF BENEFACTORS                    451

  SECTION  IV.--LOVE OF HOME AND COUNTRY               454


  MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS                                458

   JEALOUSY, REVENGE                               458-469









  SECTION   I.--DESIRE OF HAPPINESS                    481

  SECTION  II.--DESIRE OF KNOWLEDGE                    487

  SECTION III.--DESIRE OF POWER                        490

   OF POSSESSION                                       493

  SECTION   V.--DESIRE OF SOCIETY                      501

  SECTION  VI.--DESIRE OF ESTEEM                       505


  HOPE AND FEAR                                        510





  NATURE OF THE WILL                                   520



    I. MOTIVE                                          523

   II. CHOICE                                          526

  III. EXECUTIVE VOLITION                              530




  FREEDOM OF THE WILL                                  538


  SECTION II.--DIRECT ARGUMENT                         544



  SECTION   I.--CONTRARY CHOICE                        549

   DISPOSED TO DO                                      551

  SECTION III.--INFLUENCE OF MOTIVES                   554

      GOOD                                             554

      MOTIVE                                           555

     EFFECT                                            556


   WITH CERTAIN TRUTHS OF RELIGION                     560

   THE HUMAN MIND AND WILL                             561

  SECTION II.--MAN'S POWER OVER HIMSELF                566


  STRENGTH OF WILL                                     569


   RESPECTING FREEDOM OF THE WILL                      573

  REFERENCES                                           584





_Mental Philosophy, what._--What is Mental Philosophy, as distinguished
from other branches of science?

Philosophy, in the wide sense usually given it, denotes the
investigation and explanation of the causes of things; it seeks to
discover, and scientifically to state, the general laws both of matter
and mind; its object is to ascertain facts, and their relation to each
other. Mental Philosophy has for its object to ascertain the facts and
laws of mental operation.

_Metaphysics, what._--Of the two grand departments of human
knowledge--the science of matter and the science of mind--the former,
comprising whatever relates to material phenomena, the science of
nature, is known under the general name of _Physics_; the latter, the
science of mind, is often designated by the corresponding term, neither
very correct nor very fortunate, _Metaphysics_. This term is often
used to include whatever does not properly fall under the class of
Physics. In its strict sense, it does not include so much, but denotes
properly the science of abstract truth; the science of being, in itself
considered--apart from its particular accidents and properties--that
which we now call Ontology. The term is commonly ascribed to
Aristotle, but incorrectly. It originated with his followers. Several
treatises of his relating to natural science having been collected and
published, under the title [Greek: ta physika], other treatises on
philosophical subjects were afterward arranged under the title [Greek:
ta metaphysika], indicating their relation to the former, as proper to
be read after the perusal of those. Hence the term came into use in the
general sense, already spoken of, to denote whatever is not included
under physics although originally employed with a much more limited

_Mental Philosophy not properly Metaphysics._--Neither in its wider
nor in its stricter sense does this term properly designate the
science of mind. Mental Philosophy neither embraces every thing not
included under physics, nor is it the science of abstract being. As
one of the intellectual, in distinction from the physical sciences,
it holds a place along with Logic--the science of the laws of human
thought and reasoning; Ethics--the science of morals; Politics--the
science of human organization and government; to which should be added
Ontology--the science of pure being; all which are properly embraced
under the term Metaphysics in its wider and popular sense. To designate
the science of mind in distinction from these other sciences, some more
definite term is required. The word _Psychology_ is now coming into use
as such a term.

_Mental Philosophy a Natural Science._--The science of mind, indeed,
deserves in one aspect to be ranked among the _natural_ sciences. It is
a science resting on experience, observation, and induction--a science
of facts, phenomena and laws which regulate the same. That which is
specifically its object of investigation--the human mind--is strictly
a part, and most important part of _nature_, unless we exclude man
himself from the world to which he belongs, and of which he is lord.

_Possibility of such a Science._--The possibility of the science of
the human mind has been denied by some; but without good reason. If
we can observe and classify the phenomena of nature, in her varied
forms, animate and inanimate, and ascertain in this way the laws to
which she is subject; if it is possible thus to construct a science
of plants, of animals, of the elements that compose the substance of
the earth, of the strata that lie arranged beneath its surface, of
the forces and agencies that at any time, recent or remote, have been
at work to produce the changes which have taken place upon and within
our globe--nay, more, if leaving our own planet we may, by careful
observation of the heavenly bodies, learn their places, movements,
distances, estimate their magnitude and density, measure their speed,
and thus construct a science of the stars, surely the phenomena of our
own minds, the data of our own consciousness, must be at least equally
within our reach, and equally capable of observation, classification,
and scientific statement. If we can observe the habits of animals and
plants, we can observe also the habits of men, and the phenomena of
human thought and passion. If the careful induction of general truths
and principles from observed facts form the basis and method of true
science in the one case, so in the other.

_Science of Matter and of Mind analogous._--The science of matter,
and the science of mind agree perfectly in this, that all we know of
either is simply the phenomena which they exhibit. We know not matter
as it is in itself, but only as it affects our senses. We perceive
certain qualities or properties of it, and these we embody in our
definition, and beyond these we say nothing, because we know nothing.
Equally relative is our knowledge of mind. What it is in itself we
know not, but only its phenomena as presented to our observation and
consciousness. It thinks and feels, it perceives, remembers, reasons,
it loves, hates, desires, determines; these exercises are matter of
experience and observation; they constitute our knowledge and our
definition of mind, and beyond we cannot go.

_Modes and Sources of Information the same in both._--This being the
case, it is evident that both our sources of information, and our mode
of investigation, must be essentially the same in the two departments
of science. In either case our knowledge must be limited to phenomena
merely, and these must be learned by observation and experience. A
careful induction of particulars will place us in possession of general
principles, or laws, and these, correctly ascertained and stated, will
constitute our science, whether of matter or mind.

_They differ in one Respect._--In one respect, indeed, our means of
information with regard to the two branches of science differ. While
both matter and mind can be known only by the observation of the
phenomena which they present, in mental science the field of such
observation lies in great part within ourselves--the phenomena are
those of our own present or former consciousness--the mind is at once
both the observer and the object observed. This circumstance, which at
first seems to present a difficulty, is in reality a great advantage
which this science possesses over all others.

_Apparent Difficulty._--The difficulty which it seems to present is
this: How can the eye perceive itself? How can the mind, as employed,
for example, in remembering, or judging, or willing, inspect its own
operations, since the moment its attention is turned to itself it is
no longer engaged in that operation which it seeks to inspect--is no
longer remembering, or judging, or willing, but is employed only in
self-observation? We admit that the mind, in the very instant of its
exercising any given faculty, cannot make itself, as thus engaged,
the object of attention. But the operations of the mind, as given in
consciousness, at any moment, may be retained or replaced by memory
the next moment, and as thus replaced and attested, may stand before
us the proper objects of our investigation, so long as we please. This
puts it in the power of the mind to observe and to know itself.

_Real Advantage._--The advantage accruing from the circumstance that
the phenomena to be observed are those of our own present or former
consciousness, is this: that those phenomena are fully within our
reach, and also are capable of being known with greater certainty. In
physical science the facts may be scattered over the globe, and over
centuries of time, not personally accessible to any one observer in
their completeness, and yet that completeness of observation may be
essential to correct science. In psychology, the observer has within
himself the essential elements of the science which he explores; the
data which he seeks, are the data of his own consciousness; the science
which he constructs is the science of himself.

_Comparative Value of this kind of Knowledge._--The knowledge thus
given in conscious experience is more correct and reliable than any
other. It has this peculiarity that it cannot be disputed. I may be
mistaken in regard to the properties of a piece of matter which I
hold in my hand, and which seems to me to be square or round, of such
or such a color, and of such or such figure, size, and density; but
I cannot be mistaken as to the fact, that it _seems_ to me to be of
such color, figure, etc. The former are results of perception and
judgment; the latter is an immediate datum of consciousness, and cannot
be called in question. To doubt our own consciousness is to call in
question our very doubt, since the only evidence of our doubting is
the consciousness that we doubt. As to the phenomena of the external
world--the things that are passing without--I may be mistaken; as to
what is passing in my own mind--the thoughts, feelings, volitions of my
own conscious self--there is no room for doubt or mistake.

_Not limited to Consciousness._--I do not mean, by what has been
said, to imply that in our own observation of mental phenomena we
are limited to the experience of our own minds, but only that this
is the principal source of our information. The mental operations of
others, so far as we have access to their minds, are also legitimate
data. These we may observe for ourselves in the daily intercourse of
life, may notice how, under given circumstances, men will think, feel,
and act, and the knowledge thus acquired will constitute a valuable
addition to our self-knowledge. We may receive also, in this science,
as in any other, the testimony of others as to their own mental states
and operations. In so far as psychology relies upon these sources, it
stands on a footing with other sciences.


_Comparative Neglect._--That the science of the mind has not hitherto
held that high place in the public regard and estimation, at least
in our own country, to which it is justly entitled, as compared with
other branches of knowledge, can hardly be denied. The cause of this
comparative neglect is to be found partly in the nature of the science
itself, partly in the exclusively practical tendencies of the age.

_The first Cause considered._--The _nature of the science_ is such
that its benefits are not immediately apparent. The dullest mind can
perceive some use in chemistry, or botany, or natural philosophy. They
are of service in the analysis of soils, the rotation of crops, the
comprehension of the laws of mechanical and chemical forces. But mental
science has no such application, no such practical results patent and
obvious to the careless eye. Its dwelling-place and sphere of action
lie removed somewhat from the observations of men. It has no splendid
cabinets or museums to throw open to the gaze of the multitude. It
cannot arrange in magnificent collection all the varieties of mental
action, all the complications of thought and feeling as yet observed,
nor illustrate by curious instruments, and nice experiments, the
wonderful laws of association, the subtle changes and swift flashes
of wit and fancy, and quick strong emotion, the impulses of desire,
the curious play of volition, the unexplained mystery of thought, the
lights and shadows that come and go upon the field of consciousness.
For these curious and wonderful phenomena of the inner life there are
no philosophic instruments or experiments, no charts or diagrams. Nor
are there yet brilliant discoveries to be made, nor splendid rewards to
be gained by the votaries of this science. "Four or five new metals,"
says Sydney Smith, "have been discovered within as many years, of the
existence of which no human being could have had any suspicion; but no
man that I know of pretends to discover four or five new passions."

_The second Cause._--But the chief obstacle, as I suppose, to the more
general cultivation of mental science is to be found in the exclusively
practical tendencies of the age. We are a people given more to action
than to thought, to enterprise than to speculation. This is perhaps
inseparable from the condition of a new state. An age of action is
seldom an age of reflection. External life demands the energies of
a new people. The elements are to be subdued, mountains levelled,
graded, tunnelled, roads constructed, cities built, and many useful,
necessary works to be wrought with toil and cost, before that period
comes of golden affluence, and leisure, and genial taste, and elegant
culture, that can at once appreciate and reward the higher efforts of
philosophic investigation.

_Relation to other Sciences._--The _importance_ of mental science
appears from its relation to other sciences. We find in nature a
gradually ascending series. As we pass from the observation and study
of the mineral to the forms of vegetable life, from the plant to the
insect--and thence to the animal, and from the animal, in his various
orders and classes, to man, the highest type of animated existence on
the earth, we are conscious of a progression in the rank and dignity
of that which we contemplate. But it is only when we turn our attention
from all these to the intelligence that dwells within the man, and
makes him master and lord of this lower world, that we stand upon the
summit of elevation and overlook the wide field of previous inquiry.
Toward this all other sciences lead, as paths along the mountain side,
starting from different points, and running in different directions,
converge toward a common terminus at the summit. As the mineral, the
plant, the insect, the animal, in all their curious and wonderful
organizations, are necessarily inferior to man, so is the science of
them, however important and useful, subordinate to the science of man
himself; and as the human body, curious and wonderful in its organism
and its laws, is nevertheless inferior in dignity and worth to the
spirit that dwells within, and is the true lord of this fair castle
and this wide and beautiful domain, so is the science of the body,
its mechanism, its chemistry, its anatomy, its laws, inferior to the
science of the mind, the divinity within.

_Other Sciences Creations of the Mind._--Many of the sciences justly
regarded as the most noble, are themselves the creations of the mind.
Such, for example, is the science of number and quantity--a science
leading to the most sublime results, as in the calculations of the
astronomer, yet a pure product of the human intellect. Indeed what is
all science but the work of mind? The creations of art are wonderful,
but the mind that can conceive and execute those creations is still
more to be admired. Language is wonderful, but chiefly as a production
and expression of mind. The richness, the affluence, the eloquence, the
exactness, the beauty, for example, of the Greek tongue, of what are
these the qualities, and where did they dwell--in the Greek language,
or in the Greek mind? Which is really the more noble and wonderful
then, the language itself, or the mind that called into being such a
language, and employed it as an instrument of expression; and of which
is the science most noble and worthy of regard?

We admire the genius of a Kepler and a Copernicus, we sympathize with
their enthusiasm as they observe the movements and develop the laws
of the heavenly bodies; we look through the telescope, not without a
feeling of awe, as it seems to lift us up, and bear us away into the
unknown and the infinite, revealing to us what it would almost seem had
never been intended for the human eye to see; but one thing is even
more wonderful than the telescope--that is the mind that contrived
it. One thing is more awe-inspiring than the stars, and that is the
mind that discovers their hidden laws, and unlocks their complicated
movements; and when we would observe the most curious and wonderful
thing of all, we must leave the tubes and the tables, the calculations
and the diagrams with which the man works, and study the man himself,
the workman.

_Relation of this Science to the practical Arts and Sciences._--But
aside from the view now presented, the connection of mental science
with other and practical arts and sciences is much more intimate
than is usually supposed. Take for example the very noblest of all
sciences--theology; we find it, in an important sense, based upon and
receiving its shape and character from the views which we entertain,
and the philosophy which we adopt of the human mind. Our philosophy
underlies our theology, even as the solid strata that lie unseen
beneath the surface give shape and contour and direction to the lofty
mountain range.

_Psychology as related to Theology._--Not to speak of the very idea
which we form of the divine Being, borrowed as it must be, in a
sense, from our previous conception of the human mind, and our own
spiritual existence, not to speak of the arguments by which we seek to
establish the existence of the divine Being, involving as they do some
of the nicest and most important of the laws of human thought, what
problems, we may ask, go deeper into the groundwork of any theological
system than those pertaining to human ability, and the freedom of the
will--the government of the affections and desires--the power of a man
over himself, to be other and better than he is, and to do what God
requires. But these are questions purely psychological. You cannot
stir a step in the application of theology to practical life, till you
have settled in some way these questions, and that view, whatever it
be, crude or profound, intelligible or absurd, is, for the time, your
science, your philosophy of the mind.

_Psychology as related to the healing Art._--Scarcely less intimate is
the connection of psychology with the science of life. The physician
finds in the practice of his profession, that in order to success,
the laws of the human mind must constitute an important part of his
study--how to avoid, and how to touch, the secret springs of human
action. A word rightly spoken is often better than a medicine. In order
to comprehend the nature of disease he must understand the effect on
the bodily organization of the due, and also of the undue, exertion
of each of the mental faculties; in fine, the whole relation of the
mind to the bodily functions, and its influence over them--a field
of inquiry as yet but imperfectly understood, if indeed adequately
appreciated by the medical profession.

_As related to Oratory._--To the public speaker, whether at the bar, in
the public assembly, in the halls of legislation, or in the pulpit, it
need hardly be said that a knowledge of this science, and the ability
to make practical use of it, is indispensable. Success in oratory
depends, doubtless, in a measure, upon other things; but he who best
understands the laws and operations of the human mind, how to touch the
sensibilities, how to awaken the passions, how to excite the fears and
the hopes, how to rouse the resentment of his hearers, how to soothe
the troubled spirits, and allay the excitement of feeling, and disarm
prejudice, and call into play the sober reason and calm judgment of
man, will best be able to accomplish his purpose. He will be able to
turn to his own account the circumstances of the occasion, and like
a skillful organist, touch with ease, yet with precision and effect,
what key he will. No man can do this who does not well understand the

_As related to the Art of Education._--Especially is this science of
use to the _teacher_ in the knowledge which it gives him of the mind
of his pupil, and the skill in dealing with that mind. The mind of
the pupil is to him the instrument on which he is required to play--a
curious instrument of many and strange keys and stops--capable of being
touched to wonderful harmony, and to fearful discord;--and to handle
this instrument well is no ordinary acquirement. What shall we say of
the man who knows nothing of the instrument, but only the music to be
performed, nothing of the mind to be taught, but only the knowledge
to be communicated? To know the mind that is to be taught, how to
stimulate, how to control, how to encourage, how to restrain, how to
guide and direct its every movement and impulse, is not this the very
first and chief thing to be known?

_Connection of this Science with our own personal Interests._--The
importance of mental science is evident not only from its relation
to other sciences, but from the relation it sustains to man and his
higher interests. Some sciences interest us as abstractions--merely
speculative systems of truth; others as realities, but of such a
nature, and so remote from the personal interests and wants of the race
to which we belong, that they make little appeal to our sensibilities.
Thus it is with mathematical and astronomical truth. The heavenly
bodies, whose movements we observe, hold on their swift silent way, in
the calmness of their own eternity, regardless of man and his destiny,
even as they rolled ages ago, and as they will ages hence. What have
we to do with them or they with us? We watch them as they hold their
course through the deep firmament, as children, standing on the
sea-side, watch the distant snowy sail that glides silently along the
horizon, afar off, beautiful, unknown. So sail those swift ships of the
firmament, and only he who made them knows their history.

_Psychology in contrast with other Sciences in this respect._--But
when we come to the study of ourselves, and the laws of our own
intelligence, our inquiries assume a practical importance which
attaches to no other departments of truth. It is no longer the sail
dimly visible on the far horizon, but our own conscious being that is
the object of thought. The question no longer is, Whence comes that
swift ship, and whither goes it, but, What am I, and whither going;
what my history, and my destiny? This mysterious soul which animates
me, and is the presiding divinity over all my actions, what is it, with
all its wondrous faculties--sense, imagination, reason, will--those
powers of my being? What is that change which passes upon me, which men
call sleep, and that more mysterious and fearful change that must soon
pass upon me, and that men call death? How is it that events of former
years come back to mind, with all the freshness and reality of passing
scenes? What is that principle of my nature that ever assumes to itself
the right of command, saying to all my inclinations and passions, thou
shalt, and thou shalt not, and when I disobey that mandate, filling my
whole soul with misery, my whole future existence with remorse? And
what and whence that word _ought_, that has so much to do with me and
my pursuits: ought what, and why ought, and to whom?--Am I free, or am
I subject to inevitable necessity; if free, then how are all my actions
controlled, and predetermined by a divine Providence? If not free,
then how am I responsible? Who shall solve this problem; who shall
read me this strange inexplicable riddle of human life? Such are the
questions and themes which mental philosophy discusses, and we perceive
at a glance their intimate connection with the highest interests and
personal wants of man as an individual.

_Connection of this Science with mental Discipline._--The importance
of mental science may be further apparent in its effect on the culture
and discipline of the mind. It is the peculiar effect of this science
to sharpen and quicken the mental powers, to teach precision and
exactness of thought and expression, to train the mind to habits of
close attention and concentration of thought, to lead it to inquire
into the causes and relations of things; in a word, to render it
familiar with the great art of distinguishing things that differ. It
would hardly be possible to name another branch of study that tends so
directly to produce these results in the cultivation of the mind.



_Importance of such a preliminary Investigation._--It is of the highest
importance, as we approach a science like the one before us, to obtain,
if possible, at the outset, a clear and comprehensive view of the
field about to be explored. It is desirable that the traveller, before
entering a new country, should learn something respecting its extent,
its political and geographical divisions, its manners, its laws, its
history. Even more necessary is it, in entering upon a new science,
to know its boundaries and divisions, to obtain a clear idea, at the
very commencement of our inquiries, of the number, nature, extent, and
arrangement of the subject we are about to investigate. Otherwise we
shall be liable to confusion and error, shall not know where, at any
moment, in the wide field of investigation, we may chance to be, or
what relation the topic of our immediate inquiry holds to the whole
science before us; as a ship on the ocean, without observation and
reckoning, loses her latitude and longitude. We shall be liable to
confound those distinctions which are of less, with those which are of
more importance, and to mistake the relation which the several topics
of inquiry bear to each other. Especially is this previous survey and
comprehension of the subject essential in a science like this, where so
much depends on the clearness and accuracy with which we distinguish
differences often minute, and on the definiteness with which we mark
off and lay out the several divisions of our work. A thorough analysis
and classification of the various faculties of the mind is necessary,
in the first place, before we enter upon the special investigation of
any one of them. Such a classification must serve as our guide-book and
chart in all further inquiries.

_Difficulty of such an Investigation._--The importance of such a
preliminary investigation is scarcely greater than its difficulty. It
would be easy, indeed, to mention, almost at random, a considerable
number of mental operations, with whose names we are familiar; and a
little thought would enable us to enlarge the list almost indefinitely.
But such a list, even though it might chance to be complete, would be
neither an analysis nor a classification of these several powers. It
would neither teach us their relations to each other and to the whole,
nor enable us to understand the precise nature and office of each
faculty. We could not be sure that we had not included under a common
name operations essentially different, or assigned distinct places and
offices to powers essentially the same. Much depends, moreover, on the
order in which we take up the several faculties.

It is evident at a glance that to form a clear, correct, and
comprehensive arrangement of the powers of the mind, is no slight
undertaking. A complete understanding of the whole science of the
mind is requisite. It is one of the last things which the student is
prepared to undertake, yet one of the first which he requires to know.
Unfortunately for the science, perhaps no topic in the whole circle of
intellectual investigation has been more generally neglected, by those
who have undertaken to unfold the philosophy of the mind, than the one
now under consideration.


_A mental Faculty, what._--In making out any scheme of classification,
the question at once arises, how are we to know what are, and what are
not distinct faculties? In order to this, we must first determine what
constitutes a mental faculty.

What, then, is a faculty of the mind? I understand by this term simply
the mind's power of acting, of doing something, of putting forth some
energy, and performing some operation. The mind has as many distinct
faculties, as it has distinct powers of action, distinct functions,
distinct modes and spheres of activity. As its capabilities of action
and operation differ, so its faculties differ.

_The Mind not complex._--Now mental activity is, strictly speaking,
one and indivisible. The mind is not a complex substance, composed of
parts, but single and one. Its activity may, however, be exercised
in various ways, and upon widely different classes of objects; and
as these modes of action vary, we may assign them different names,
and treat of them in distinction from each other. So distinguished
and named, they present themselves to us as so many distinct powers
or faculties of the mind. But when this is done, and we make out,
for purposes of science, our complete list and classification of
these powers, we are not to forget that it is, after all, one and
the same indivisible spiritual principle that is putting forth
its activity under these diverse forms, one and the same force
exerting itself--whether as thinking, feeling, or acting--whether
as remembering, imagining, judging, perceiving, reasoning, loving,
fearing, hating, desiring, choosing. And while we may designate these
as so many faculties of the mind, we are not to conceive of them as
so many constituent parts of a complex whole, which, taken together,
compose this mysterious entity called the mind, as the different limbs
and organs of the physical frame compose the structure called the body.
Such is not the nature of the mind, nor of its faculties.

_The Question before us._--In inquiring, then, what are the faculties
of the mind, we have simply to inquire what are the distinct modes of
its activity, what states and operations of the mind so far resemble
each other as to admit of being classed together under the same general
description and name. Our work, thus understood, becomes in reality a
very simple one.

_The more important Distinctions to be first ascertained._--What, then,
are the clearly distinct modes of mental activity? And first let us
endeavor to ascertain the wider and more important distinctions. We
shall find that, innumerable as the forms of mental activity may at
first sight appear, they are all capable of being reduced to a few
general and comprehensive classes.

_The first Form of mental Activity._--I sit at my table. Books are
before me. I open a volume, and peruse its pages. My mind is occupied,
its activity is awakened; the thoughts of the author are transferred
to my mind, and engage my thoughts. Here, then, is one form of mental
activity. This one thing I can do; this one power I have--the faculty
of thought.

_The second Form._--But not this alone: I am presently conscious of
something beside simple thought. The writer, whose pages I peruse,
interests me, excites me; I am amused by his wit, moved by his
eloquence, affected by his pathos; I become indignant at the scenes
and characters which he portrays, or, on the contrary, they command
my admiration. All this by turns passes over me as the fitful shadows
play upon the waters, coming and going with the changing cloud. This
is not pure thought. It is thought accompanied with another and quite
distinct element, that is, _feeling_. This power also I have;--I can

_A third Form._--And not this alone. The process does not end here.
Thought and feeling lead to action. I resolve what to do. I lay down my
book, and go forth to perform some act prompted by the emotion awakened
within me. This power also I have;--the faculty of voluntary action, or

_These three Forms comprehensive._--Here, then, are three grand
divisions or forms of mental activity--thought, feeling, volition.
These powers we are constantly exerting. Every moment of my intelligent
existence I am exercising one or another, or all of these faculties.
And, what is more, of all the forms of mental activity, there is
not one which does not fall under one or another of these three
divisions--thought--feeling--volition. Every possible mental operation
may be reduced to one of these three things.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have, then, these grand departments or modes of mental activity,
comprehensive of all others: Intellect, or the faculty of simple
thought; Sensibility, or the faculty of feeling; Will, or the faculty
of voluntary action.

Under these leading powers are comprehended subordinate modes of mental
activity, known as faculties of the Intellect, or of the Sensibility,
or of the Will.

We have at present to do only with those of the Intellect.


_Sense-perception._--Observing closely the intellectual operations of
the mind, we find a large class of them relating to objects within the
sphere of sense, external objects, as perceived by the senses. The
mind, through the medium of sense, takes direct cognizance of these
objects. This class of operations we may call Sense-perception, and
the faculty thus employed, in distinction from other leading divisions
of the intellectual powers, we may call _Sense_, or the _Presentative_
faculty. Its distinctive office is to _present_ to the mind, through
the senses, objects external, sensible, as now and here present.

_The Representative Power._--But the mind not only receives impressions
of external objects, as present, and acting on the organs of sense; it
has also the faculty of _conceiving_ of them in their _absence_, and
_representing_ them to itself. This faculty, as distinguished from the
receptive power, or sense, we may call the _Representative_ Power.

_Mental Reproduction, and mental Recognition as distinguished._--This
power operates in various forms. There may be the simple representation
of the absent object, without reference to the act of former
perception, as when I think of the Strasburg tower, without recalling
any particular instance of its perception. Or there may be such
recalling of the former act and instance of perception. The thought
of the tower, as it presents itself to my mind, may stand connected
definitely with the idea of the time, and place, and attending
circumstances in which, on some occasion, I saw that object. It is then
_recognized_ as the object which was seen at such or such a time. The
former is an instance of _mental reproduction_ simply--the latter, of
_mental recognition_. We have in common language but one name for the
two--although the term mare strictly belongs only to the latter--and
that is, _Memory_.

_Representation of the Ideal in distinction from the Actual._--Again,
unlike either of these, there may be a conception and representation of
the object, not at all as it is in reality, and as it was perceived,
but varied in essential particulars, to suit our own taste and fancy--a
tower not of ordinary stone, but of some rare and costly marble--not of
ordinary height, but reaching to the skies, etc., etc. In the former
cases we conceived only of the _actual_, now of the _ideal_. This
faculty is called _Imagination_. Both are forms of the representative
power, not _presenting_, but only _representing_ objects.

_Conception of the Abstract._--_The Discursive or Reflective
Power._--In the cases thus far described we have conceived of some
sensible object, considered in and by itself, capable of being
represented to thought. We may, however, conceive not of an object in
itself considered, but of the properties and relations of objects in
the abstract. Thus we compare and class together those objects which
we perceive to possess certain properties in common; as books bound in
cloth, or in leather, octavos, or duodecimos. In so doing we exercise
the faculty of _generalization_, which involves comparison, and also
what is usually termed abstraction. Or we may reverse the process,
and instead of classing together objects possessing certain elements
in common, we may analyze a complex idea, or a comprehensive term, in
order to derive from it whatever is specifically included in it. Thus
from the general proposition, "All men are mortal," inasmuch as the
term "all men" includes Socrates, I infer that Socrates is mortal. The
process last named is called _reasoning_.

In either case, both in the synthetic and the analytic process now
described, we are dealing not with the _concrete_ but the _abstract_.
The properties and relations of things, rather than things themselves,
are the objects of our thoughts. Still they are the properties and
relations primarily of _sensible objects_, and of these objects as
_conceived_, and not as presented to sense. To distinguish this class
of conceptions from those previously considered, and also from that
presently to be noticed, we may designate this power of the mind as
the _Discursive_ or _Reflective_ Power. Its results are notions of the
_understanding_ rather than impressions of sense, or ideas of reason.

_Conceptions not furnished by Sense._--_The Intuitive Power._--We have
considered thus far those intellectual operations which fall within
three leading departments of mental activity;--the Presentative,
Representative, and Discursive Powers. These operations all have
reference directly or indirectly to _sensible_ objects. The first
regards them as _present_; the second represents them as _absent_; the
third considers their properties and relations in the _abstract_.

But the mind has also the faculty of forming ideas and conceptions
not furnished by the senses. It departs from the sphere of sense, and
deals with the _super_-sensible, with those primary ideas and first
principles presupposed in all knowledge of the sensible. Such are
the ideas of time, space, cause, the right, the beautiful. These are
suggested by the objects of sense, but not directly derived from nor
given by those objects. They are _ideas_ of _reason_, rather than
notions of understanding. They are awakened in the mind on occasions of
sensible perception, but not conveyed to the mind through the senses,
as in perception, nor directly derived from the object as in the case
of the representative and discursive powers. This faculty we may call
the _Originative_ or _Intuitive_ Power, in distinction from those
previously considered.

_Summary of leading Divisions._--We have then four grand divisions of
intellectual operations, under which the several specific faculties
arrange themselves; viz., the Presentative, the Representative, the
Discursive, and the Originative or Intuitive faculty. The first has to
do with sensible objects, as present; the second has to do with the
same class of objects as absent; the third deals with their abstract
properties and relations; and the fourth has to do not with the
sensible, in any form, but with the super-sensible.

I believe the faculties of the intellect, in pure thinking, may all
be reduced to those forms now specified, under these four leading



    I.  PRESENTATIVE,                           _Perception_.

   II.  REPRESENTATIVE, {1. Of the Actual,      _Memory_.
                        {2. Of the Ideal,       _Imagination_.
  III.  REFLECTIVE,     {1. Synthetic,          _Generalization_.
                        {2. Analytic,           _Reasoning_.

   IV.  INTUITIVE,                             _Original Conception_.


_The earlier Division._--The general division of the powers of the
mind, for a long time prevalent among the earlier modern philosophers,
was into _two_ chief departments, known under different names, but
including under the one what we now term the intellect, under the
other what we designate as the sensibilities and the will, which
were not then, as now, distinguished from each other in the general
division, but thrown into one department. Under the first of these
departments, they included the thinking and reasoning powers, the
strictly intellectual part of our nature; under the second, whatever
brings the mind into action--the impelling and controlling power or
principle--the affections, emotions, desires, volitions, etc. The names
given to these two divisions varied with different writers, but the
difference was chiefly in the name, the principle of division being
the same. By some authors they were designated as the _contemplative_
and the _active_ powers, by others _cognitive_ and _motive_. The
latter was the nomenclature proposed by Hobbes. Others again adopted
the terms understanding and will, by which to mark the two divisions;
Locke, Reid, some of the French philosophers, and, in our own country,
Edwards, followed this division. Stewart designates them, the one class
as the _intellectual_, and the other as the _active_ and _moral_
powers. Brown objects to this phraseology on the ground that the
intellectual powers are no less active than the other. He divides the
mental powers or states primarily into what he calls _external_ and
_internal_ affections of the mind, comprehending under the former all
those mental states which are immediately preceded by and connected
with the presence of some external object; under the latter, those
states which are not thus immediately preceded. The latter class he
divides into intellectual states and emotions, a division corresponding
essentially to those of the authors previously mentioned, the emotions
of Brown comprehending essentially the powers which others had termed
motive, or active and moral.

_Prevalence of this Method._--This twofold division of the mental
powers, under different names, as now stated, has been the one
generally prevalent until a comparatively recent date. It may doubtless
be traced, as Sir William Hamilton suggests, to a distinction made by
Aristotle, into _cognitive_ and _appetent_ powers.

_The more recent Method._--The threefold division of the mental
faculties very early came into use among philosophical and theological
writers in this country, and is now very generally adopted by the more
recent European writers of note, especially in France and Germany.
According to this division the various affections and emotions
constitute a department by themselves, distinct from the will or the
voluntary principle. There are many reasons for such a distinction;
they have been well stated by Professor Upham Cousin adopts and defends
the threefold division, and previously still, Kant, in Germany,
had distinguished the mental powers under the leading divisions of
intelligence, sensibility, and desire.







_General Statement._--Before proceeding to investigate the several
specific faculties of the intellect, as already classified, there are
certain preliminary topics to be considered, certain mental phenomena,
or mental states, involved more or less fully in all mental activity,
and on that account hardly to be classed as specific faculties, yet
requiring distinct consideration. Such are the mental states which we
denominate as _consciousness_ and _attention_.

_Definitions._--Consciousness is defined by Webster as the knowledge of
sensations and mental operations, or of what passes in our own minds;
by Wayland, as that condition of the mind in which it is cognizant of
its own operations; by Cousin, as that function of the intelligence
which gives us information of every thing which takes place in the
interior of our minds; by Dr. Henry, translator of Cousin, as the being
aware of the phenomena of the mind--of that which is present to the
mind; by Professor Tappan, as the necessary knowledge which the mind
has of its own operations. These general definitions substantially
agree. The mind is aware of its own operations, its sensations,
perceptions, emotions, choices, etc., and the state or act of being
thus cognizant of its own phenomena we designate by the general term

_Reasons for regarding Consciousness as not a distinct Faculty._--Is
this, however, a distinct faculty of the mind? The mind, it is said,
is always cognizant of its own operations: when it perceives, it is
conscious of perceiving; when it reasons, it is conscious of reasoning;
when it feels, it is conscious of feeling; and not to be conscious
of any particular mental act, is not to perform that act. To have a
sensation, and to be conscious of that sensation, it is said, are not
two things, but one and the same, the difference being only in name.
A perception is indivisible, cannot be analyzed into a fact, and the
consciousness of the fact, for the perception is an act of knowing,
and does not take place if it be not known to take place. This is the
view taken by Sir William Hamilton, Professor Bowen, and others of
high authority. It was maintained by Dr. Brown with much force as an
objection to the doctrine of Reid, who had recognized consciousness as
a distinct faculty.

_Reasons for the opposite View._--On the other hand, the claims of
this form of mental activity to be regarded as a faculty of the mind,
distinct from and coördinate with the other mental powers, are admitted
and maintained by writers of authority, among whom are Dr. Wayland and
President Mahan. They maintain that the office of consciousness being
to give us knowledge of our own mental states, and this function being
quite distinct from that of any other mental faculty, the capacity or
power of performing this function deserves to be regarded as itself
a faculty of the mind. It is maintained also by Dr. Wayland that
consciousness does not necessarily invariably accompany all mental
action, but that there may be, and are, acts of which we are not at the
time conscious.

_Instances in proof of this Position._--In support of this position
he refers to certain cases as instances of unconscious perception;
as when, for example, a clock strikes within a few feet of us, while
we are busily engaged, and we do not notice it, or know that it has
struck, yet if questioned afterward, are conscious of an impression
that we have heard it; as when also while reading aloud to another
person, some thought arrests our attention, and yet by a sort of
mechanical process, we continue the reading, our mind, meanwhile,
wholly occupied with another subject, until presently we are startled
to find that we have not the remotest conception of what we have
just been reading; yet we read every word correctly, and must, it
would seem, have perceived every word and letter. He refers also to
the case of the short-hand writer to the House of Lords in England,
who, on a certain occasion, while engaged in taking the depositions
of witnesses in an important case, after many hours of continued
exertion and fatigue, fell, for a few moments, into a state of entire
unconsciousness, yet kept on writing down, and that with perfect
accuracy, the depositions of the witness. Of the last few lines, when
he came to read them, he had no recollection whatever, yet they were
written as legibly and accurately as the rest. From these and similar
cases it is inferred that there may be mental activity of which we have
at the time no consciousness.

_The Evidence examined._--With regard to the cases now cited, it
seems to me that they do not fully establish the point in question.
For in the first place, it may be doubted whether they really involve
any mental activity--whether they are properly mental acts, and not
merely mechanical or automatic. It is well known that many processes
which ordinarily require more or less attention may, when they have
become perfectly familiar, be carried on for a time almost without
thought. The senses, so far as they are required to act at all, seem
in such cases to act mechanically or automatically, somewhat as a
wheel when once set in motion continues for a time to revolve by its
own momentum, after the propelling force is withdrawn. The mental
activity exerted in such cases, if there be any, is so very slight
as to escape attention, and we are unconscious of it simply because
there was little or nothing to be conscious of. We have an illustration
of this in the act of walking, while busily engaged in conversation
with a friend, or in our own meditations. We are not conscious of any
mental act preceding or directing each step and movement of the limbs,
but having at the outset decided what direction to take, the mind
gives itself to other matters, while the process of walking goes on
by a sort of mechanical impulse, until presently something occurs to
arrest our attention and direct it to the physical movement in which
we are engaged. The muscular contractions tend to follow each other in
a certain regular succession; a certain law of association seems to
govern their movements, as is seen in the rapid motions of the pianist,
the flute player, the type distributor, and in many similar cases; and
so long as the regular succession, and accustomed order of movement,
is undisturbed, the process goes on with little or no interference of
the intellectual principle. In such cases the act can hardly be said to
involve mental activity.

_A further Question._--But aside from this, even admitting that the
acts under consideration are such as to involve mental activity, what
evidence is there, it may still be asked, that there was at the moment
no consciousness of that activity? That there was _subsequently_ no
consciousness of it, does not make it certain that there was none
at the time. The subsequent consciousness of an act is neither more
nor less than memory, and is not properly consciousness at all.
Consciousness takes cognizance, properly speaking, only of the present,
not of the past. The absence of subsequent consciousness is simply
absence of memory, and this may be accounted for in other ways than
by supposing a total absence of consciousness in the first instance.
Whatever mental activity was really exerted by the short-hand reporter
in the case referred to, he was, doubtless, conscious of exerting
at the time, but it may have been so slight, and the mind so little
impressed by it, in the state of physical weariness and prostration,
that it was not remembered a moment afterward. We remember not every
thing that occurs, but only that to which we attend, and which makes
some impression upon us.

_The true Explanation._--In the other cases referred to, the
explanation now given is still more evidently the true one. What is
called an absence of consciousness is simply an absence of attention
at the time, and consequently of memory afterward. The person who
is reading aloud, in the case supposed, is mentally occupied with
something else than the sentiments of the author, is not attending,
in a word, to what he is reading, and hence does not, a moment after,
remember what it was that he read. So of the striking of the clock.
The sound fell upon the ear, the auditory nerve performed its office,
the usual change, whatever it may be, was produced in the brain, but
the process of hearing went no further; either no mental activity
was awakened by that sound, or, if any, but the slightest, for the
mind was otherwise occupied, in a word, did not attend to the summons
of the messenger that waited at the portal, and hence there was no
subsequent remembrance of the message, or at most a vague impression
that something of the kind was heard.

On the whole, it does not appear from the cases cited, that mental
activity is ever, at the moment of its exertion, unaccompanied with

_Summary of the Argument._--I hesitate then to assign consciousness a
place among the faculties of the mind, as distinct from and coördinate
with them, for the following reasons:

1. It seems to me to be involved in all mental acts. We cannot, as it
has been already said, suppose an act of perception, for example, or of
sensation, without the consciousness of that perception or sensation.
Whatever the mind does, it knows that it does, and the knowing is
involved in and given along with the doing. Not to know that I see
a book, or hear a sound, is in reality not to see and not to hear
it. Not to know that I have a sensation is not to have it. But what
is involved in all mental action cannot be set down by itself as a
specific mental act. This were much the same as to reckon the whole
among the parts.

2. Consciousness, while involved in, cannot be, either psychologically
or chronologically, distinguished from the mental acts which it
accompanies. The act and the consciousness of the act are inseparable
in time, and they are incapable of being distinguished as distinct
states of mind. We cannot break up the sensation or perception
into a fact, and the consciousness of that fact. Logically we may
distinguish them as different objects of thought and attention, but not
psychologically as distinct acts of mind.

3. Consciousness is not under the control of the will, and is not
therefore a faculty of the mind. It is not a power of doing something,
but an inseparable concomitant of all doing. What has been termed
by some writers voluntary consciousness, or _reflection_, is simply
attention directed to our own mental acts.

_Distinction of Consciousness and Self-Consciousness._--Others again
distinguish between consciousness and self-consciousness; but all
consciousness, properly so called, involves the idea of self or the
subjective element. To know that I have a sensation is virtually to
know myself as having it.

_Cases of abnormal or suspended Consciousness._--In certain disordered
and abnormal states of the nervous organism, the knowledge of what has
transpired previously to that state seems to be lost; and then again,
on passing out of that condition into the normal one, all knowledge
of what took place while in the abnormal state is wanting. Instances
are on record where persons have alternated in this manner from one to
the other condition, carrying on, as it were, by turns, two separate
and independent lines of mental activity. An instance of this nature
is related by Dr. Wayland. It has been usual to speak of these as
instances of disordered or suspended consciousness. Strictly speaking,
however, it is not consciousness but memory that is in such cases
disordered. It is not the knowledge of the present, but of the _past_,
that is disturbed and deficient. While the abnormal state continues,
the individual is conscious of what transpires in that state. When it
ceases, the patient wakes as from a reverie or dream, and retains no
_recollection_ of any thing that took place during its continuance. It
is the _memory_ that fails, and not the consciousness. We are never
_conscious_ of the _past_.

_Objects of Consciousness._--1. Consciousness deals only with reality.
We are conscious only of that which is, not of that which may be. The
poet is conscious indeed of his fiction, the builder of air-castles is
conscious of his reverie, but the fiction and the reverie, regarded as
mental acts, are _realities_, and it is only as mental acts that they
are objects of consciousness.

2. Not every thing real is an object of consciousness, but only that
which is _present_ and in _immediate relation_ to us. The destruction
of Pompeii, and the existence of an Antarctic continent are realities,
but not objects of my consciousness.

3. Primarily and directly we are conscious of our own mental states and
operations; of whatever passes over the field of our mental vision,
our thoughts, feelings, actions, physical sensations, moral sentiments
and purposes: mediately and indirectly we are conscious of whatever,
through the medium of sense, comes into direct relation to us. For
instance, when I put forth my hand and it strikes this table, I am
conscious not only of the movement, and the effort to move, but of
the sensation of resistance also, and indirectly I may be said to be
conscious not of the resistance only, but of something--to wit, the
table--as resisting. This something I know, as really as I know the
sensation and the fact of resistance. To this immediate perception of
the external world in direct relation to our physical organism, Sir W.
Hamilton would extend the sphere of consciousness. Usually, however,
the term has been employed in a more restricted sense--to denote the
knowledge of what passes within, rather than of what lies without the
mind itself.



_General Character of this Power._--It has not been usual to treat of
Attention as one of the distinct faculties of the mind. It is doubtless
a power which the mind possesses, but like the power of conception,
or more generally the power of thought and mental apprehension, it
is involved in and underlies the exercise of all the specific mental
faculties. Nor is it, like consciousness, confined to a distinct
department of knowledge, viz., the knowledge of our own mental states.
It is subsidiary to the other mental powers, rather than a faculty of
original and independent knowledge. It originates nothing--teaches
nothing--puts us in possession of no new truth--has no distinct field
and province of its own. And yet without it other faculties would be of
little avail.

_Definitions._--If it were necessary to define a term so well
understood, we might describe it as the power which the mind has of
directing its thoughts, purposely and voluntarily, to some one object,
to the exclusion of others. It is described by Dr. Wayland as a sort of
voluntary consciousness, a condition of mind in which our consciousness
is excited and directed by an act of the will. He speaks also of
an involuntary attention, a state of mind in which our thoughts,
without effort or purpose of our own, are engrossed by objects of
an exciting nature. It may be questioned, perhaps, whether this is
properly attention. Only in so far as attention is a voluntary act is
it properly a power of the mind, and only in so far does it differ
from the simple activity of thought, or of consciousness. The latter is
always involuntary, and in this it differs from attention.

_Instances in Illustration._--It can hardly be necessary to illustrate
by example the nature of a faculty so constantly in exercise. Every one
perceives, for instance, the difference between the careless perusal
of an author--the eye passing listlessly over the pages, and the
mind receiving little or no impression from its statements--and the
reading of the same volume with fixed and careful attention, every word
observed, every sentiment weighed, and the whole mental energy directed
to the subject in hand. We pass, in the streets of a crowded and
busy city, many persons whom we do not stop to observe, and of whose
appearance we could afterward give no account whatever. Presently,
some one in the crowd attracts our notice. We observe his appearance,
we watch his movements, we notice his peculiarities of dress, gait,
manners, etc., and are able afterward to describe them with some degree
of minuteness. In the former case we perceive, but do not attend. In
the latter, we attend, in order to perceive.

_Sometimes the sole Occupation._--Attention seems to be at times
the sole occupation of the mind for the moment, as when we have
heard some sound that attracts our notice, and are listening for its
repetition. In this case the other faculties are for the time held in
suspense, and we are, as we say, all attention. The posture naturally
assumed in such a case is that indicated by the etymology of the
word, and may have suggested its use to designate this faculty, viz.,
attention--ad-tendo--a _bending to_, a _stretching toward_, the object
of interest.

_Analysis of the mental Process in Attention._--If we closely analyze
the process of our minds in the exercise of this power, we shall find,
I think, that it consists chiefly in this--the arresting and detaining
the thoughts, excluding thus the exercise of other forms of mental
activity, in consequence of which the mind is left free to direct its
whole energy to the one object in view. The process may be compared
to the operation of the detent in machinery, which checks the wheels
that are in rapid motion, and gives opportunity for any desired change;
while it may be compared, as regards the result of its action, to the
helm that directs the motion of the ship, now this way, now that, as
the helmsman wills.

_Objects of Attention._--The objects of attention are of course as
various as the objects of thought. Like consciousness, it may confine
itself to our own mental states; and, unlike consciousness, it may
comprehend also the entire range of objective reality. In the former
case it is more commonly designated by the term reflection, in the
latter, observation.

_Importance of Habits of Attention._--The importance of habits of
attention, of the due exercise and development of this faculty of
the mind, is too obvious to require special comment. The power of
controlling one's own mental activity, of directing it at will into
whatever channels the occasion may demand, of excluding for this
purpose all other and irrelevant ideas, and concentrating the energies
of the mind on the one object of thought before it, is a power of
the highest value, an attainment worth any effort, and which, in the
different degrees in which it is possessed, goes far to make the
difference between one mind and another in the realm of thought and
intellectual greatness. While the attention is divided and the mind
distracted among a variety of objects, it can apprehend nothing clearly
and definitely; the rays are not brought to a focus, and the mental
eye, instead of a clear and well-defined image, perceives nothing but
a shadowy and confused outline. The mind while in this state acts to
little purpose. It is shorn of its strength.

The power of commanding the attention and concentrating the mental
energy upon a given object, is, however, a power not easily acquired
nor always possessed. The difficulty of the attainment is hardly less
than its importance. It can be made only by earnest effort, resolute
purpose, diligent culture and training. There must be strength of will
to take command of the mental faculties, and make them subservient
to its purpose. There must be determination to succeed, and a wise
discipline and exercise of the mind with reference to the end in view.
This faculty, like every other, requires education in order to its due

_Whether certain Acts are performed without any Degree of
Attention._--It is a question somewhat discussed among philosophers,
whether those acts which from habit we have learned to perform with
great facility, and, as we say, almost without thinking, are strictly
voluntary; whether they do or do not involve an exercise of attention.
Every one is aware of the facility acquired by practice in many
manual and mechanical operations, as well as in those more properly
intellectual. A musician sits at his instrument, scarcely conscious
of what he is doing, his attention absorbed, it may be, with some
engrossing topic of thought or conversation, while his fingers wander
_ad libitum_ among the keys and strike the notes of some familiar
tune. Is there in such a case a special act of volition and attention
preceding each movement of the fingers as they glide over the keys? And
in more rapid playing, even when the attention is in general directed
to the act performed, _i. e._, the execution of the piece, is there
still a special act of attention to the production of each note as they
follow each other with almost inconceivable rapidity? Dr. Stahl, Dr.
Reid and others, especially many able physiologists, have answered this
question in the negative, pronouncing the acts in question to be merely
automatic and mechanical, and not properly involving any activity of
mind. The mind, they would say, forms the general purpose to execute
the given piece, but the particular movements and muscular contractions
requisite to produce the individual notes, are, for the most part,
involuntary, the result of habit, not of special attention or volition.

_The opposite View._--On the other hand, Mr. Stewart maintains that
all such acts, however easily and rapidly performed, do involve
mental activity, some degree of attention, some special volition to
produce them, although we may not be able to recollect those volitions
afterward. The different steps of the process are, by the association
of ideas, so connected, that they present themselves successively to
the mind without any effort to recall them, without any hesitation
or reflection on our part, and with a rapidity proportioned to our
experience. The attention and the volition are instantaneous, and
therefore not subsequently recollected. Still, he would say, the fact
that we do not recollect them is no proof that we did not exercise
them. The musician can, at will, perform the piece so slowly, as to be
able to observe and recall the special act of attention to each note,
and of volition to produce it. The difference in the two cases lies in
the rapidity of the movement, not in the nature of the operation.

_Objection to this View._--The only objection to this view, of much
weight, is the extreme rapidity of mental action, which this view
supposes. An accomplished speaker will pronounce, it is said, from two
to four hundred words, or from one to two thousand letters in a minute,
and each letter requires a distinct contraction of the muscles, many
of them, indeed, several contractions. Shall we suppose then so many
thousand acts of attention and volition in a minute?

_Reply to this Objection._--To this it may be replied that the very
objection carries with it its own answer, since if it be true that the
muscles of the body move with such wonderful rapidity, it is surely
not incredible that the mind should be at least equally rapid in its
movements with the body. To show that both mind and body often do act
with great rapidity, Mr. Stewart cites the case of the equilibrist,
who balances himself on the slack rope, and at the same time balances
a number of rods or balls upon his chin, his position every instant
changing, according to the accidental and ever varying motions of the
several objects whose equilibrium he is to preserve, which motions
he must therefore constantly and closely watch. Now to do this, the
closest attention, both of the eye and of the mind, to each of these
instantaneous movements, is absolutely necessary, since the movements
do not follow each other in any regular order, as do the notes of the
musician, and cannot, therefore, by any association of ideas, be linked
together, or laid up in the mind.

_The Question undecided._--The question is a curious one, and with the
arguments on either side, as now presented, I leave it to the reader's
individual judgment and decision. Mr. Stewart is doubtless correct as
to the rapidity of mental and muscular action. At the same time it
seems to me _there are_ actions, whatever may be true in the cases
supposed, that are purely _automatic_ and _mechanical_.

_Whether we attend to more than one thing at once._--Analogous to
the question already discussed, is the inquiry whether the mind ever
attends or can attend to more than one thing at one and the same time;
as when I read an author, my attention meanwhile being directed to
some other object than the train of thought presented by the page
before me, so that at the end of a paragraph or a chapter I find that
I have no idea of what I have been reading, and yet I have followed
with the eye, and perhaps pronounced aloud, every word and line of the
entire passage. To do this must have required some attention. Have
I then the power of attending to two things at once? So, when the
musician carelessly strikes up a familiar air while engaged in animated
conversation, and when the equilibrist balances both his own body upon
the rope, and also a number of bodies upon different parts of his body,
each movement of each requiring constant and instant attention, the
same question arises.

_Opinion of Mr. Stewart._--Mr. Stewart, in accordance with the view
already expressed of the rapidity of the mind's action, maintains
that we do not under any circumstances attend at one and the same
time to two objects of thought, but that the mind passes with such
rapidity from one to another object in the cases supposed, that we are
unconscious of the transition, and seem to ourselves to be attending to
both objects at once.

_Illustration of this View._--An illustration of this we find in the
case of vision. Only one point of the surface of any external object is
at any one instant in the direct line of vision, yet so rapidly does
the eye pass from point to point, that we seem to perceive at a glance
the whole surface.

_How it is possible to compare different Objects._--It may be asked,
How is it that we are able to compare one object with another, if
we are unable to bring both before the mind at once? If, while I am
thinking of A, I have no longer any thought whatever of B, how is
it possible ever to bring together A and B before the mind so as to
compare them?

The answer I conceive to be this, that the mind passes with such
rapidity from the one to the other object, as to produce the same
effect that would be produced were both objects actually before
it at the same instant. The transition is not usually a matter of
consciousness; yet if any one will observe closely the action of his
own mind in the exercise of comparison, he will detect the passing of
his thoughts back and forth from one object to the other many times
before the conclusion is reached, and the comparison is complete.



_Character of this Power._--This term has been employed in various
senses by different writers. It does not denote properly a distinct
faculty of the mind. I conceive of a thing when I make it a distinct
object of thought, when I apprehend it, when I construe it to myself
as a possible thing, and as being thus and thus. This form of mental
activity enters more or less into all our mental operations; it is
involved in perception, memory, imagination, abstraction, judgment,
reasoning, etc. For this reason it is not to be ranked as one of, and
correlate with, these several specific faculties. Like the power of
thought, and hardly even more limited than that, it underlies all the
special faculties, and is essential to them all. Such at least is the
ordinary acceptation of the term; and when we employ it to denote some
specific form of mental activity, we employ it in a sense aside from
its usual and established meaning.

_Objects of Conception._--I conceive of an absent object of sight, as,
_e. g._, the appearance of an absent friend, or of a foreign city, of
the march of an army, or the eruption of a volcano. I conceive also of
a mathematical truth, or a problem in astronomy. My conceptions are
not limited to former perceptions or sensations, nor even to objects
of sensible perception. They are not limited to material and sensible
objects. They embrace the past and the future, the actual and the
ideal, the sensible and the super-sensible.

_Conceptions neither true nor false._--Our conceptions are neither true
nor false, in themselves considered; they become so only when attended
with some exercise of judgment or of belief. We conceive of a mountain
of gold or of glass, and this simple conception has nothing to do with
truth or error. When we conceive of it, however, as actually existing,
and in this or that place, or when we simply judge that such a mountain
is somewhere to be found, then such judgment or belief is either true
or false; but it is no longer simple conception.

_Not always Possibilities; nor possible Things always
conceivable._--Our conceptions are not always possibilities. We can
conceive of some things not within the limits of possibility. On the
other hand, not every thing possible even is conceivable. Existence
without beginning or end is possible, but it is not in the power of the
human mind, strictly speaking, to conceive of such a thing. I know that
Deity thus exists. I understand what is meant by such a proposition,
and I believe it. But I cannot construe it to myself as a definite
intellection, an apprehension, as I can conceive of the existence of a
city or a continent, or of the truth of a mathematical proposition.

The same may be said of the ideas of the infinite and the absolute.
They are not properly within the limits of thought, of apprehension,
to the human mind. Thought in its very nature imposes a limitation
on the object which is thought of--fathoms it--passes around it with
its measuring line--apprehends it: only so far as this is done is the
thing actually thought; only so far as it can be done is the thing
really thinkable. But the infinite, the unconditioned, the absolute, in
their very nature unlimited, cannot be shut up thus within the narrow
lines of human thought. They are inconceivable. They are not, however,
contradictory to thought. They may be true; they are true and real,
though we cannot properly conceive them.

_The Inconceivable becomes Impossible, when._--Not every thing then
which is inconceivable is impossible, nor, on the other hand, is
every thing which is impossible inconceivable. The inconceivable
is impossible, at least it can be known to be so, only when it is
either self-contradictory--as that a thing should be and not be at
the same time--that a part is equal to the whole, etc.; or when it
is contradictory of the laws of thought, as that two straight lines
should enclose a space--that an event may occur without a cause--that
space is not necessary to the existence of matter, or time to the
succession of events. These things are unthinkable but they are more
than that, contradictory of the established laws of thought; and they
are impossible, because thus contradictory, and not merely because
inconceivable. It is hardly true, as is sometimes affirmed, and as Dr.
Wayland has stated, that our conceptions are the limits of possibility.

_Mr. Stewart's use of the term Conception._--Mr. Stewart has employed
the term Conception in a somewhat peculiar manner, and has assigned
it a definite place among the faculties of the mind. He uses it to
denote "that power of the mind which enables it to form a notion of an
absent object of perception, or of a sensation which we have formerly
felt." It is the office of this faculty "to present us with an exact
transcript of what we have felt or perceived." In this respect it
differs from imagination, which gives not an exact transcript, but one
more or less altered or modified, combining our conceptions so as to
form new results. It differs from memory in that it involves no idea
of time, no recognition of the thing conceived, as a thing formerly

_Objection to this use._--This use of the term is, on some accounts,
objectionable. It is certainly not the ordinary sense of the word,
but a departure from established usage. It is an arbitrary limitation
of a word to denote a part only instead of the whole of that which
it properly signifies There is no reason, in the nature of the case,
why the notion we form of an absent object of perception, or of a
sensation, should be called a conception, rather than our notion of
an abstract truth, a proposition in morals, or a mathematical problem.
I am not aware that any special importance attaches to the former
more than to the latter class of conceptions. Indeed, Sir W. Hamilton
limits the term to the latter. But this again is not in accordance with
established usage.







_This Faculty the Foundation of our Knowledge._--Of the cognitive
powers of the mind, the first to be noticed, according to the analysis
and distribution already given, is the Presentative Power--the power
of cognizing external objects through the senses. This claims our
first attention, inasmuch as it lies, chronologically at least, at the
foundation of all our cognitive powers, and in truth, of our entire
mental activity. We can, perhaps, conceive of a being so constituted as
to be independent of sense, and yet possess mental activity; and we can
even conceive such a mind as taking cognizance, in some mysterious way,
of objects external to itself. But not such a being is man--not such
the nature of the human mind. Its activity is first awakened through
sense; from sense it derives its knowledge of the external world,
of whatever lies without and beyond the charmed circle of self; and
whether _all_ our knowledge is, strictly speaking, derived from sense,
or not--a question so much disputed, and which we will not here stay
to discuss--there can be no doubt that the activity of sense, and the
knowledge thus acquired, is at least the beginning and foundation of
all our mental acquisitions. We are constantly receiving impressions
from without through the senses. In this way the mind is first awakened
to activity, and from this source we derive our knowledge of the
external world.

_General Character of this Faculty._--In its general character
the faculty now under consideration, as the name indicates, is
_presentative_ and _intuitive_. It presents rather than represents
objects, and what the mind thus perceives it perceives intuitively,
rather than as the result of reflection. The knowledge which it gives
is _immediate_ knowledge, the knowledge of that which is now and here
present, in time and space.

_Involves a twofold Element._--Looking more closely at the character
of this faculty, we find it to involve a twofold element, which we
cannot better indicate than by the terms _subjective_ and _objective_.
There is, in the first place, the knowledge or consciousness of our
own sentient organism as affected, and there is also the knowledge of
something external to, and independent of the mind itself, or the me,
as the producing cause of this affection of the organism. We know, by
one and the same act, ourselves as affected, and the existence and
presence of an external something affecting us. This presupposes,
of course, the distinct independent existence of the _me_ and the
_not-me_--of ourselves as thinking and sentient beings, and of objects
external to ourselves, and material,--a distinction which lies at
the foundation of all sense-perception. All perception by the senses
involves, and presupposes, the existence of a sentient being capable of
perceiving, and of an object capable of being perceived. It supposes,
also, such a relation between the two, that the former is affected by
the presence of the latter. From this results perception in its twofold
aspect, or the knowledge, on the part of the sentient mind, at once
of itself as affected, and of the object as affecting it. According
as one or the other of these elements is more directly the object of
attention, so the subjective and the objective character predominate in
the act of perception. If the former, then we think chiefly of the me
as affected, and are scarcely conscious of the external object as the
source or the producing cause; if the latter, the reverse is true.


_Simple Sensation._--The nature of the presentative power may be better
understood by observing closely the different steps of the process.
As we come into contact with the external world, the first thing of
which we are conscious, the first step in the process of cognition, is
doubtless simple sensation. Something touches me, my bodily organism
is thereby affected, and I am conscious, at once, of a certain feeling
or sensation. I do not know as yet what has produced the sensation,
or whether any thing produced it. I do not as yet recognize it as the
result of an affection of the bodily organism, or even as pertaining
to that organism in distinction from the spiritual principle. I am
conscious only of a certain feeling. This is simple _sensation_--a
purely subjective process.

_Recognition of it as such._--We do not, however, stop here. The mind
is at once aroused by the occurrence of the phenomenon supposed, the
attention is directed to it. I cognize it as sensation, as feeling.
If it be not the first instance of the kind in my experience, I
distinguish it from other sensations which I have felt.

_Distribution of it to the Parts affected._--More than this; I am
conscious not only of the given sensation, but of its being an
affection of my bodily organism, and of this or that part of the
organism; I distinguish the body as the seat of the sensation, and
this or that part of the body as the part affected. The organism as
thus affected becomes itself an object of thought as distinct from
the thinking mind that animates and pervades it. It becomes to me an
externality, having extension and parts out of and distinct from each
other. As thus viewed, and brought now for the first time under the
eye of consciousness, it becomes known to me as the _non-ego_, still
connected, however, by sensation with the ego, the sentient principle
and as thus viewed, I become aware that the sensation which I feel
is an affection of that organism, and of a certain portion of it, as
the hand, or the foot. This cognizance of the sensation as such, as
pertaining to the organism, and to this or that part of the same, and
the consequent cognizance of the organism as such, as distinct from
the sentient mind, and as thus and thus affected, is no longer simple
_sensation_, it is _perception_.

_Cognition of something external to the Organism itself._--This is
the most simple form of immediate perception. The process does not,
however, necessarily stop here. I am conscious not only of this or
that part of my organism as affected, but of something external to the
organism itself, in contact with and affecting it. This organism with
which I find myself connected, the seat of sensation, the object of
perception, is capable of self-movement in obedience to my volitions.
I am conscious of the effort to move my person, and conscious also
of being resisted in those movements by something external in
contact with my organism. This yet unknown something becomes now the
object of attention and perception--this new phenomenon--resistance,
something resisting. To perceive that I am resisted, is to perceive
that something resists, and to perceive this is to perceive the
object itself which offers such resistance. I may not know every
thing pertaining to it, what sort of thing it may be, but I know this
respecting it, that it exists, that it is external to my organism,
that it resists my movements. Thus the outer world becomes directly an
object of perception--passes under the immediate eye of consciousness.

_In what Sense these several Steps distinct._--In the preceding
analysis, in order more clearly to illustrate the nature of the
process, we have regarded the act of perception as broken into several
distinct parts, or steps of progress. This, however, is not strictly
correct as regards the psychology of the matter. Logically, we may
distinguish the simple sensation as mere feeling, from the reference
of the same to this or that part of the bodily organism as affected,
and each of these again, from the cognizance of the external object,
which by contact or resistance produces the sensation. Chronologically,
the act is one and indivisible. The sensation and the perception are
synchronous. We cannot separate the act of sense-perception into the
consciousness of a sensation, the consciousness of the bodily organism
as affected by that sensation, and the consciousness of an external
something as the proximate cause of that affection. To experience
a sensation, is to experience it as here or there in the sentient
organism, and to perceive contact or resistance, is to perceive
something in contact or resisting. There may, however, be sensation
without cognizance of the external producing cause.

_Restricted Sense of the term Perception._--According to the view now
advanced, perception is _immediate_; not a matter of inference, not a
roundabout reflective process. It is a cognizance direct and intuitive
of the bodily organization as thus and thus affected, and of an
external something in correlation with it, affecting and limiting that
organism in its movements.

Usually, however, a wider range has been given to the term, and the
faculty thereby denoted. It has been made to comprehend any mental
process by which we refer a specific sensation to something external as
its producing cause. It is thus employed by Reid and Stewart, and such
has been in fact the prevalent use of the term. According to this, when
we experience the sensation of fragrance, and refer that sensation to
the presence of a rose, or the sensation of sound, and refer it to the
stroke of a bell, or a passing carriage, we exercise the faculty of
perception. Evidently, however, our knowledge in these cases is merely
a matter of inference, of judgment, not of immediate direct perception,
not in fact of perception at all. All that we properly perceive in
such a case, all that we are directly conscious of is the fragrance
or the sound. That these are produced by the rose and the bell is not
perceived, but only _conceived_, inferred--known, if at all, only by
the aid of previous experience.

_Sensation as distinguished from Perception._--According to the view
now presented, _sensation_, as distinguished from _perception_, is
the _simple feeling_ which results from a certain affection of the
organism. It is known to us merely as feeling. Perception takes
cognizance of the feeling _as an affection of the organism_, and also
of the organism as thus affected, and consequently as external to the
me, extended, having parts, etc. It apprehends also objects external to
the organism itself limiting and affecting its movements. Sensation is
the indispensable condition of perception. If there were no sensation,
there would be no perception. The one does not precede, however, and
the other follow in order of time, but the one being given, the other
is given along with it. The two do not, however, coexist in equal
strength, but in the relation, as stated by Hamilton, of _inverse
ratio_; that is, beyond a certain point, the stronger the sensation,
the weaker the perception, and _vice versâ_.

_Sensation as an Affection of the Mind._--It has been common to speak
of sensation as lying wholly in the mind. Primarily, however, it is
an affection of the nervous organism, and through that organism, as
thus affected, an impression is made on the mind. If it were not for
the mind present with the organism, and susceptible of impression from
it, and thus cognizant of changes in it, the same changes might be
produced in the organism as now, but we should be entirely unconscious
of and insensible to them. In certain states of the system this
actually happens, as in sound sleep, the magnetic state, the state
produced by certain medicinal agents as ether, chloroform, opium, and
the intoxicating drugs of the East. In those cases, the connection
between the mind and the nervous organism seems to be in some manner
interrupted or suspended, and consequently there is for the time no
sensation. The nerves may be irritated, divided even, and still no pain
is felt.

It is not true, however, that the sensation is wholly in the mind.
It is in the living animated organism, as pervaded by the mind or
spiritual principle, mysteriously present in every part of that
organism, and cognizant of its changes; and neither the body alone, nor
the mind alone, can be said to possess this faculty, but the two united
in that complex mysterious unity which constitutes our present being.


_Difference of Qualities._--The qualities of bodies as known to us
through sensation and perception are many and various. On examination,
a difference strikes us as existing among these qualities, which admits
of being made the basis of classification. Some of them are qualities
which strike us at once as essential to the very existence of matter,
at least in our notion of it, so that we cannot in thought divest it of
these qualities, and still retain our conception of matter. Others are
not of this nature. Extension, divisibility, size, figure, situation,
and some others, are of the former class. If matter exists at all, it
must, according to our own conceptions, possess these qualities. We
cannot think them away from it, and leave matter still existing. But
we can conceive of matter as destitute of color, flavor, savor, heat,
cold, weight, sound, hardness, etc. These are contingent and accidental
properties not necessary to its existence.

_How named and distinguished._--Philosophers have called the former
class _primary_, the latter _secondary_ qualities. The former are
known _à priori_, the latter by experience. The former are known as
qualities, in themselves, the latter only through the affections of our

The primary qualities then have these characteristics:

 1. They are essential to the very existence of matter, at least in our

 2. They are to be known _à priori_.

 3. They are known as such, or in themselves.

The secondary, on the contrary, are:

 1. Accidental, not essential to the notion of matter.

 2. To be known only by experience.

 3. To be learned only through the affection of the senses.

_Further Division of secondary Qualities._--A further division,
however, is capable of being made. The secondary qualities, as now
defined, comprise, in reality, two classes. There are some, which,
while known to us only through the senses, have still an existence as
qualities of external objects, independent of our senses. As such they
are objects of direct perception. Others, again, are known, not as
qualities of bodies, but only as affections of sense, not as objective,
but only as subjective, not as perceptions, but only as sensations.
Thus I distinguish the smell, the taste, and the color of an orange.
What I distinguish, however, is after all only certain sensations,
certain affections of my own organism. What may be the peculiar
properties or qualities in the object itself which are the exciting
cause of these sensations in me, I know not. My perception does not
extend to them at all. It is quite otherwise with the qualities of
weight, hardness, compressibility, fluidity, elasticity, and others of
that class. They are objects of perception, and not of sensation merely.

_These Classes, how distinguished._--The class first named, are
qualities of bodies as related to other bodies. The other class are
qualities of bodies as related only to our nervous organization. The
former all relate to bodies as occupying and moving in _space_, and
come under the category of _resistance_. The latter relate to bodies
only as capable of producing certain sensations in us. We may call the
former _mechanical_, the latter _physiological_.

_Connection of Sensation with the external Object._--From long habit
of connecting the sensation with the external body which produces it,
we find it difficult to persuade ourselves that taste and smell are
mere affections of our senses, or that color is really and simply an
affection of the optic nerve of the beholder, and that what is actually
perceived in these instances is not properly a quality of the external
object. A little reflection, however, will convince us that all which
comes to our knowledge in these cases, all that we are properly
cognizant of, is the affection of our own nervous organism, and that
whatever may be the nature of the qualities in the object which are the
producing cause of these sensations in us, they are to us occult and
wholly unknown.

_Power of producing these Sensations._--It is not to be denied, of
course, that there is in external objects the power of producing these
sensations in us, under given circumstances; but to what that power is
owing, in what peculiarity of constitution or condition it consists, we
know not. We have but one name, moreover, for the power of producing,
and the effect produced. Thus the color, taste, smell, etc., of an
object may denote either the sensation in us, or the unknown property
of matter by virtue of which the sensation is awakened. It is only in
the sense last mentioned, that the qualities under consideration may
properly be called qualities of bodies.

_Enumeration of the several Qualities as now classed._--According
to the classification now made, the qualities of bodies may be thus

I. _Primary._--Extension, divisibility, size, density, figure, absolute
incompressibility, mobility, situation.

II. _Secondary._--A. _Objective_, or _mechanical_--as heavy or
light, hard or soft, firm or fluid, rough or smooth, compressible or
incompressible, resilient or irresilient, and any other qualities of
this general nature resulting from attraction, repulsion, etc.

B. _Subjective_ or _physiological_--as color, sound, flavor, savor,
temperature, tactual sensation, and certain other affections of the
senses of this nature.


_Number of the Senses._--The different senses are usually reckoned as
five in number. They may all be regarded, however, as modifications
of one general sense, that of touch--or, in other words, the
susceptibility of the nervous system to be excited by foreign
substances brought into contact with it. This is the essential
condition of sensation in any case, and the several senses, so
called, are but so many variations in the mode of manifesting this
excitability. There is a reason, nevertheless, for assigning five of
these modifications and no more, and that is, that the anatomical
structure indicates either a distinct organ, as the ear, the eye, etc.,
or at least a distinct branch of the nervous apparatus, as in the case
of smell and taste, while the whole nervous expansion as spread out
over the surface of the body contributes to the general sense of touch.

_The Senses related to each other.--Distinct Office of each._--It is
evident enough that these several senses sustain a certain relation to
each other. They are so many and no more, not merely by accident; not
merely because so many could find room in the bodily organization; not
merely because it might be convenient to have so many. Let us look at
the office performed by each, and we shall see that while each has its
distinct function, not interchangeable with that of any other, it is a
function more or less necessary to the animal economy. Remembering that
the design and use of the several senses is to put us in possession of
data, by means of which, directly or indirectly, we may gain correct
knowledge of the external world, let us suppose the inquiry to be
raised, What senses ought man to have for this purpose? What does he
need, the material universe remaining what it is?

_Function of the Sense of Touch._--Things exist about us in space,
having certain properties and relations. We need a sense then, first
and chiefly, that shall acquaint us with objects thus existing, taking
cognizance of what lies immediately about us in space. This we have in
the general sense of touch, making us acquainted with certain objective
or mechanical qualities of external objects.

_This Sense, how limited._--This, however, avails only for objects
within a short distance, and capable of being brought into contact. It
operates also synthetically and slowly, part after part of the object
being given as we are brought into contact with different portions of
it successively until the process is so far complete that, from the
ensemble of these different parts, our understanding can construct the

_Possibility of a Sense that shall meet these Limitations._--We can
conceive of a sense that should differ in both these respects--that
should take cognizance of distant objects, not capable perhaps of
being brought into contact--and that should also operate analytically,
or work from a given whole to the parts, and not from the parts to a
whole, thus giving us possession at once of a complete object or series
of objects. Such a sense, it is easy to see, would possess decided
advantages, and in connection with the one already considered, would
seem to bring within the sphere of our cognizance almost the complete
range of external nature. This we have, and this exactly, in the sense
of _vision_. It takes in objects at a distance, and takes in the whole
at a glance.

_This new Sense still limited._--This new sense, however convenient
and useful as it is, has evidently its limitations. It is available
only through a given medium, the light. Strictly speaking, it is the
light only that we see, and not the distant object; that is known
indirectly by means of the light that variously modified, travels from
it to the eye. When this fails, as it does during several hours of the
twenty-four, or when it is intercepted by objects coming between and
shutting out the forms on which the eye seeks in vain to rest, then our
knowledge from this source is cut off.

_Still another Sense desirable._--Under these circumstances, might it
not be well, were there given an additional sense, of the same general
nature and design, but operating through a different medium, sure to
be present wherever animal life exists, so that even in the darkness
of the night, or the gloom of the dungeon, we might still have means
of knowing something of the surrounding objects. And what of this
medium, or avenue of sense, were of such a nature as to be capable of
modification, and control, to some extent, on our part, and at our
pleasure, so as to form a means of voluntary communication with our
fellow-beings. Would not such an arrangement be of great service?
Exactly these things are wanted; exactly these wants are met, and these
objects accomplished, by a new sense answering to these conditions--the
sense of _hearing_--the cognizance of sound. This we produce when we
please by the spoken word, the vocal utterance, whether of speech, or
musical note, or inarticulate cry, varied as we please, high, low,
loud, soft--a complete alphabet of expression, conveying thus by
signals, at once rapid and significant, the varying moods and phases of
our inner life to other beings that had else been strangers, for the
most part, to the thoughts and feelings which agitate our bosoms.

_Senses for another Class of Qualities._--The senses, as thus far
analyzed, have reference primarily to the number magnitude, and
distance of objects as occupying space--to quantities rather than
qualities. Were it possible now to add to these a sense, or senses
that should take cognizance of quality, as well as existence and
quantity--that should detect, to some extent at least, the _chemical_
properties of bodies as connected especially with the functions
of respiration and nutrition--the list of senses would seem to be
complete. This addition is made, this knowledge given, in the senses of
_smell_ and _taste_.

_Possibility of additional Senses._--To those already named, other
senses might doubtless have been added by the Creator, which would
have revealed, it may be, properties of matter of which we have now
no conception. It is not to be supposed that we know every thing
respecting the nature and qualities of even the most familiar and
common objects. Many things there may be, actual, real, in the world
about us, of which we know nothing, because they come not within the
range of any of our senses. But all that is essential to life, and
happiness, and highest welfare is doubtless imparted by the present
arrangement; and when closely studied, no one of these senses will be
found superfluous, no one overlapping the province of another, but
working each its specific end, and all in harmony.

_The proper Office of Psychology in respect to the Senses._--It is
the province of the anatomist and the physiologist to explain the
mechanical structure of the several organs of sense, and their value as
parts of the physical system. The psychologist has to do with them only
as instruments of the mind, and it is for him to show their connection
and proper office as such. This has been attempted in the preceding

_The kind of Knowledge afforded by the Senses._--It is to be noticed,
in addition, that with the exception of the tactual sense, and possibly
of sight, these senses give us no direct, immediate knowledge of
external things. They simply furnish data, signs, intimations, by the
help of which the understanding forms its conclusions of the world
with out. They are the _receiving_ agents of the mind. This is, in
fact, the chief office of sense, to receive through its various avenues
the materials from which the understanding shall frame conceptions
of things without; to convey, as it were, a series of telegraphic
despatches along those curious and slender filaments that compose the
nervous organization, by means of which the soul, keeping her hidden
seat and chamber within, may receive communication from the distant
provinces of her empire. These signs the understanding interprets;
and in so far as this is the true nature of the process, it is not
a process of immediate and proper perception. I hear, for example, a
noise. All that I really perceive in this case is the sensation of
sound. I refer it, however, to an external cause, to a carriage passing
in the street. I specify, moreover, the kind of carriage, perhaps
a coach, or a wagon with iron axles. I have observed, have learned
by experience, that sounds of this nature are produced in this way,
that is, by carriages passing, and by such carriages. Hence I judge
that the sound which I now hear is produced in the same way. It is an
_inference_, a conception merely. All that sense does is to receive and
transmit the sign, which the understanding interprets by the aid of
former experience. And the same is true of the other senses, with the
exceptions named.

_Not therefore of little Value._--We are not to infer, however, that
these senses are on this account of no special value or importance to
us. They do precisely what is needed. They put us in possession of
just the data wanted in order to the necessary information concerning
external things. It is only the theorist who undervalues the senses,
and he only in his closet. No man, in the full possession of his
reason, and his right mind, can go forth into this fair and goodly
world, and not thank God for every one of those senses--sight, hearing,
taste, touch, and smell. Their true and full value, however, we never
learn till we come to be deprived of their use; till with Milton we

    "Seasons return; but not to me returns
    Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn."


_A further Question as to one Class of the Senses._--The relations and
specific functions of the several senses have been already described.
Some further questions arise, however, respecting the precise amount
and kind of information afforded by that class of the senses which;
as we have seen, relates to the spatial properties of bodies, in
distinction from the chemical, viz.: hearing, sight, and touch.

_What is given in Hearing._--And first, as to the sense of _hearing_.
What is it precisely that we hear? When we listen to a sound, we speak
of hearing the object that produces the sound; we say, I hear a bell,
a bird, a gun, etc. Strictly speaking, we do not hear the object, but
only the sound. It is not the bell or the bird that we hear, but the
vibration of the air produced by bell and bird. This has been already
illustrated by reference to a carriage passing in the street. It is
only by experience, aided by other senses, that we learn to refer the
sound to its producing cause.

_Hearing not properly Perception._--Is hearing then a sensation merely,
or is it a perception? If by perception we mean a direct knowledge of
the external object--which is the proper sense of the word--hearing
certainly is not perception. It gives us no such immediate knowledge.
What we perceive in hearing is merely the sensation of sound. It may be
doubted whether by this sense alone we should ever get the idea that
what we hear is any thing external to ourselves.

_Affords the means of Judging._--As it is, however, we judge, not only
of the existence and nature, but of the distance and direction of the
external object whence the sound proceeds. We learn to do this with
great correctness, and with great facility. No sooner do we hear a
sound, in most instances, than we form an opinion at once, from what
direction it comes, and what produces it; nor are we often mistaken in
our judgment. The faculty of judging by the ear as to the direction of
the sound, and the nature of the object producing it, may be cultivated
by care and practice to a remarkable degree of accuracy. Napoleon was
seldom mistaken as to the direction and distance of a cannonade. It
is said that the Indian of the north-western prairies by applying his
ear to the ground, will detect the approach of a body of cavalry at a
distance beyond the reach of vision, and distinguish their tread from
that of a herd of buffaloes.

_Number of Sounds._--The number of sounds which the ear can distinguish
is almost without limit. There are, it is said, five hundred distinct
tones which an ear of usual accuracy can recognize, and each of these
tones admits of five hundred variations of loudness, giving, in all,
two hundred and fifty thousand different sounds.

_Power of Sound over the Mind._--The power of sound to affect the mind,
and especially the feelings, is too well known to require specific
statement. The note of an instrument, the tone of a human voice, the
wild warbling of a bird, the tinkling of a bell, the variations of
speech and of song, from the high and shrill to the low and heavy
intonation, from the quick and impetuous to the slow and plaintive
movement, these simple varieties of tone affect powerfully the heart,
and find their way at once and irresistibly to the feelings. Hence
the power of music over even the uncultivated mind; hence too in no
small degree the power of the skilful orator over the feelings of
his audience. It is not merely, nor so much, the thing said, in many
cases, as the way of saying it, that touches and sways the assembled
multitude. Tones and sounds have a natural meaning. They are the
natural language of the heart. They express emotion, and hence awaken
emotions in others.

_The Question as to Sight._--Turning now from the sense of _hearing_
to that of _sight_, the question arises, What is it precisely that
we perceive by the eye? When we fix the eye upon any object, more or
less remote, what is it, strictly speaking, that we see, extension and
figure, or only color? Is it by vision that we learn primarily the
distance of objects and their locality? These are points requiring

_Does Sight give Extension and Figure._--As to the first of these
questions, whether extension and figure are objects of direct visual
perception. No doubt they are associated in our minds with the act of
vision, so that the moment we see an object we obtain an idea of it
as extended, and of such and such dimensions and figure. The question
is, whether it is really through the sense of sight that we obtain
this idea, or in some other way. Had we no other means of information,
would sight alone give us this? When we first open our eyes on external
objects, do we receive the idea of extension and figure, or only of
color? The fact that as matters are, we cannot in our experience
separate the notion of some surface extension from the sensation of
color, is not decisive of these questions. We cannot, as Dr. Brown
observes, separate the color from the convexity and magnitude of an
oak before us, but this does not prove that convexity and magnitude
are objects of immediate and original perception. If every surface in
nature had been convex, suggests the same writer, we should probably
have found the same difficulty in attempting to conceive of color as
separate from convexity, that we now find in attempting to conceive
of it as separate from length and breadth. As it is, however, our
sensation of color has not always been associated with convexity, while
it has been always associated with surface extension. Hence it is,
he maintains, that we seem to perceive, by the eye, the length, and
breadth, and objects along with their color.

_Argument from the Affection of a Portion of the Retina._--The fact
that in vision a certain portion of the retina in length and breadth is
actually affected by the light falling on it, has been supposed by some
to be conclusive of the fact that we perceive the length and breadth
of the external object by the eye. This does not necessarily follow.
As Dr. Brown contends, it is equally true that a certain part of the
organ of smell is affected by odors, and a certain part of the auditory
nerve is affected by sounds, yet we are not conscious of any perception
of extension by either of these organs; we neither smell nor hear the
length, and breadth, and magnitude of objects; nor is there any reason
to suppose that the particular portion of the retina affected has any
thing to do with the original sensation of sight.

_Amount of the preceding Arguments._--These arguments however, do
not strike me as conclusive. They merely show the _possibility_
that extension and figure _may be_ acquired rather than original
perceptions. They do not amount to positive evidence that they _are_ so.

_An Argument to the Contrary._--On the other hand, there is one
consideration of a positive character, which to most minds will be
likely to outweigh the merely negative arguments already adduced. Color
is a property of light, and light comes to us reflected from objects
occupying space; we perceive it only as we perceive it spread over and
reflected from some surface. Extension, then, surface expansion of the
reflecting object, is the indispensable condition of the visibility of
light itself, and so of color, as reflected from the object. Now it is
difficult to persuade ourselves that what we know to be an essential
condition of the perception of color, and what we seem to perceive
along with the color, and cannot, even in thought, wholly separate from
it, is not, after all, really perceived by the eye.

_Argument from recent Discoveries._--Indeed, recent discoveries in
science seem to vindicate that not only surface extension, but trinal
extension, or _solidity_, may be an object of direct perception
by the eye. I refer to the researches of Wheatstone, in binocular
vision, which go to show, that in consequence of the difference of the
images formed upon the right and the left eye, as occupying different
positions with reference to the object seen, we are enabled by the
eye to cognize the solidity as well as the extension of objects. The
difference of figure in the two images gives us this. That such is
the case is shown by an instrument, the stereoscope, so constructed
as to present separately the image as formed on each eye, which, when
separately viewed, appear as mere plane surfaces, but when viewed
together, the right image with the right eye, and the left one with
the left eye, at the same time, present no longer the appearance of
plane surfaces, but the two images combine to form one distinct figure,
and that a solid, having length, breadth, thickness, and standing out
with all the semblance of the real object.

It is hardly necessary to say that if extension is an object of
perception by the eye, so also is figure, which is merely the
_limitation_ of extension in different directions.

_Second Question--Does Sight give Distance?_--Is it also by vision that
we obtain the idea of the _distance_ of objects and their externality?
Does vision alone give the idea that what we see is numerically
distinct from ourselves, and that it occupies this or that particular
locality? So it would seem, judging from the impression left upon
the mind in the act of vision. We seem to see the object as here or
there, external, more or less distant in space. We distinguish it from

_The negative View._--This is denied by some. All that we see, they
contend, is merely the light coming from the object, and from the
variations and modifications which this exhibits we learn to judge by
experience of the distance and locality of the object. It is a matter
of judgment and not of perception. We have learned to associate the two
things, the visual appearance and the distance.

_Argument in the Negative._--In proof of this they adduce the fact that
we are frequently mistaken in our estimate of the distance of objects.
If there be more or fewer intervening objects than usual, if the
atmosphere be more or less clear than usual, or any like circumstance
affords a variation from our ordinary experience, we are misled as to
the distance of the object. Hence we mistake the distance of ships at
sea, or of objects on a prairie or a desert, the width of rivers, the
height of steeples, towers, etc.

_Further Argument in the Negative._--It is further contended that facts
show that the impressions of sight alone, uncorrected by experience, do
not convey the idea of distance at all, but that what we see seems to
be in connection with the eye itself, until we learn the contrary by
the aid of other senses. This, it is said, is the experience of persons
who have been operated upon for cataract, particularly of a patient
whose case is described by Cheselden, and who thought every thing which
he saw, touched his eyes. It is said also to have been the same with
Caspar Hauser, when first liberated from the long confinement of his
dungeon, and permitted to look out upon the external world. The goodly
landscape seemed to him to be a group of figures, drawn upon the window.

_Force of this Argument._--This, however, is not inconsistent with
the perception of externality by vision, since even what seems to be
in contact with the eye, nay, what is known to be so, may still be
known as external. Contact implies externality. It is very much to be
doubted, moreover, whether the cases now referred to, coincide with
the usual experience of those who are learning to see. The little
child seems to recognize the externality and remoteness from his own
person of the objects which attract his attention, as soon as he learns
to observe surrounding objects at all, and, though he may not judge
correctly of their relative distance from himself, never seems by his
movements to suppose that they are in contact with his eye or with any
part of his person. The young of animals, also, as soon as they are
born, seem to perceive by the eye, the externality, the direction, and
the distance of objects, and govern their movements accordingly. It is
not, in these cases, a matter of experience, but of direct perception.
These facts render it doubtful, to say the least, whether the common
impression--that which in spite of all arguments to the contrary, is,
and always will be made upon the mind in the act of vision, viz., that
we see objects as external, as having locality, and as more or less
remote from us--is not, after all, the correct impression.

_Learning to judge of Distance not inconsistent with this View._---
Nor does it conflict with this view that we learn to judge of the
true distance of objects, and are often deceived in regard to it. The
_measurement_ of distance, the more or less of it, is of course a
matter of experience, a thing to be learned by practice. It does not
follow, however, that we may not by the eye directly, and at first,
perceive an object to be external, and removed from us, in other words
distant, though we may not know at first _how_ distant. The rays of
light that come to us from this external object, may give us direct
perception of the object as external, as extended, and as occupying
apparently a given locality in space more or less remote, while at the
same time it may be left to other senses and to experience to determine
how great that distance is.

_Questions as to Touch._--Passing now from the sense of sight to that
of _touch_, we find similar questions discussed among philosophers
respecting the precise information afforded by this sense. Does
touch give us immediate perception of externality, extension, form,
hardness, softness, etc., including the various mechanical properties
of bodies? To this sense it has been common to ascribe these faculties
of perception. They are so attributed by Reid, Upham, Wayland, and, I
believe, by modern writers generally, with the exception of Brown and

_Probability of another Source of Information._--It may be questioned,
I think, whether, as regards some of these qualities at least, it is
not rather the consciousness of resistance to muscular effort, than
the sense of touch, properly speaking, that is the informing source.
So, for example, as to hardness; the application of an external body
lightly to the hand awakens the sense of touch, but conveys no idea
of hardness. Let the same object be allowed to rest with gradually
increasing weight upon the hand until it becomes painful, and we
get the idea of weight, gravitation, but not of the hardness or
impenetrability of the object. It is only when our muscular effort to
move or penetrate the external body is met and resisted by the same,
that we learn the impenetrability of the opposing body.

_Other Perceptions attributable to the same Source._--So with regard to
externality, extension, and form. When an external object, a cube, for
example, or an ivory ball, is placed on the palm of the hand, sensation
is awakened, but is that sensation necessarily accompanied with the
perception of the external object as such? Does the mere tactual
sensation, in the first instance, and of itself, inform us that there
is something external to ourselves, that what we feel is not a part
of our own organism? We are conscious of a change in the sensation of
the part affected, but are we immediately conscious that this change
is produced by something external? Let there be given, however, the
consciousness of resistance to our muscular movements, as when the cube
or ball, for instance, prevents the effort to close the hand, or when
our locomotion is impeded by the presence of some obstacle, and will
not the same resistance inform us of the extension of the resisting
body, and so of its form and figure? We learn whereabout in space
this resistance occurs, and where it ceases. The tactual sensation
would indeed very soon come to our aid in this cognition, and serve
as a guiding sense, even in the absence of the former. The question
is, whether this alone would, in the first instance, give us such

_Our first Ideas of Extension, how derived._--We have had reference in
this discussion only to the qualities of _external_ bodies. There can
be little question that our _first_ ideas of extension are derived from
our own sentient organism, the consciousness of sensations in different
parts of the body, distinct from, and out of each other, thus affording
the knowledge of an extended sentient organization. The idea of
externality, or outness, and extension, thus acquired, the transition
is easy from the perception of our own bodies as possessing these
qualities, to the cognizance of the same qualities in external objects.


_Denied by some._--There have always been those who were disposed to
call in question the testimony of the senses. Such were the Eleatics
and the Skeptics among the Greek philosophers, and there have not been
wanting among the moderns minds of acuteness and ingenuity that have
followed in the same path. While admitting the _phenomena_ of sense,
the _appearance_ of things as being so and so, they have called in
question the corresponding objective reality. Things appear to me to be
thus and thus--such and such impressions are made on my senses--that
I cannot deny; but how do I know that the reality corresponds to my
impressions, or, in fact, that there is any reality? How know we
our senses to be reliable? What evidence have we that they do not
habitually deceive us?

_Evidence demanded._--It were perhaps a sufficient answer to this
question to reply, What _evidence_ have we, or can we have, that they
_do_ deceive us? In the absence of all evidence to the contrary, is
it not more reasonable to suppose that our perceptions correspond to
realities, than that they are without foundation, uncaused, or caused
by something not at all answering to the apparent object of perception;
more reasonable to suppose that there is a real table or book answering
to my perception of one, than that I have the perception while there
is no such reality? It remains with those, then, who question and deny
the validity of sense-perception, to show reasons for such denial. And
this becomes the more imperative on them, inasmuch as they contradict
the common belief and universal opinion of mankind--nay, what, in spite
of all their arguments, is still, by their own confession, their own
practical conviction and belief.

_Evidence impossible._--But whence is this evidence to come? Where is
it to be sought? How are we to prove that sense deceives us, except by
arguments drawn from sense? And if sense is not reliable in the first
instance, why rely upon it in the second, to prove that it is not
reliable? If the senses do habitually deceive us, manifestly it can
never be shown that they do. And, even if this could be shown, it would
be impossible to find any thing better to rely upon in their stead. We
have these guides or none. We have these instruments of observation
provided for the voyage of life. We may pronounce them worthless and
throw them into the sea, but we cannot replace them.

_Inconsistent and contradictory Testimony of Sense._--But it may be
replied that the testimony of sense is often inconsistent with itself,
and contradictory of itself. What is sweet to one is sour and bitter
to another. What seems a round tower in the distance becomes a square
one as you approach; and the straight stick that you hold in your
hand appears crooked when thrust into the water. There is in reality,
however, no contradiction or inconsistency in the cases supposed. The
change of circumstances accounts in every instance for the change
of appearance. In the case of the stick, for example, the different
density of the water accounts for the refraction of the rays of light
that pass through it, and this accounts for the crooked appearance of
the stick that is only partially submerged. So in the other cases; it
is no contradiction that an object which appears round at a distance
of ten miles, should appear square at the distance of so many rods--or
that the taste of two persons should not agree as to the savor of a
given object.

_Deceptions of Sense._--It may be further objected that in certain
states of the physical organism, sensations are experienced which
seem to be of external origin, but are really produced by internal
changes; and that in such cases we have the same perceptions, see the
same objects, hear the same things, that we should if there were a
corresponding external reality, while nevertheless there is no such
reality, and it can be proved that there is none. If this may happen in
some cases, why not in others, or in all?

_Reply._--I reply, the simple fact, that in the case supposed the
deception can be detected and proved, shows the difference between that
and ordinary perception. If the senses were not habitually reliable,
we could not detect the mistake in this particular instance. If all
coin were counterfeit, how could we detect a counterfeit coin? We know,
moreover, how to account for the mistake in the case before us. It
occurs, by the supposition, only in a certain state of the organism,
that is, only in a diseased, abnormal condition of the system. The
exception proves the rule.

_Distinction of direct and indirect Testimony._--A distinction is to
be made, in the discussion of this subject, between the direct and
indirect testimony of the senses, between that which is strictly and
properly perception, and that which is only conception, judgment,
inference. What I really perceive, for example, in the case of the
distant tower, or the stick partially under water, is only a given
appearance; I _infer_ from that appearance that the tower is round and
the stick crooked, and in that inference I am mistaken. My judgment is
at fault here, and not my senses. They testified truly and correctly.
They gave the real appearance, and this was all they could give, all
they ever give. This has been well stated by Dr. Reid, and, long before
him, the same ground was taken, in reply to the same objection, by
Aristotle and also by Epicurus.

_Direct Perception gives what._--In regard to direct and immediate
perception, the case is different. Here the testimony is positive
to the existence of the object. When something resists my voluntary
movement, I am conscious of that resistance, conscious of something
external and resisting. I cannot deny the fact of that consciousness.
I may, however, deny the correctness, the truthfulness of what
consciousness affirms. To do this, however, is to put an end to all
reasoning on the subject, for, when we give up consciousness as no
longer reliable, there is nothing left to fall back upon. If any one
chooses to leap from this precipice, we can only say _finis_.



_The Greek Philosophers._--The distinction of the qualities of
bodies into two classes, differing in important respects, is by no
means a modern one. It was recognized by some of the earlier Greek
philosophers, who held that the sweet, bitter, hot, cold, etc., are
rather affections of our own senses than proper qualities of matter,
having independent existence. Subsequently the view was adopted by
Protagoras, and by the Cyrenean and Epicurean schools. Plato held it,
and especially and very fully, Aristotle, who calls the qualities to
which we have referred, and which are usually denominated secondary,
_affective_ qualities, because they have the power of affecting the
senses, while the qualities now usually termed primary, as extension,
figure, motion, number, etc., he regards as not properly objects of
sense. The former class he calls proper sensibles, the latter, common.

_The Schoolmen._--The _schoolmen_ made much of this distinction, and
held, with Aristotle, that the qualities now called primary, require,
for their cognition, other faculties than those of sense.

_Doctrine of Galileo._--_Galileo_ points out the true ground and
philosophy of this distinction, and also gives the name _primary_ to
the class referred to, viz., _those qualities which are necessary to
our conception of body_, as for example, figure, size, place, etc.,
while, on the contrary, colors, tastes, etc., are not inherent in
bodies, but only in us, and we can conceive of body without them.
The former are real qualities of bodies, while the latter are only
conceptions which give us no real knowledge of any thing external, but
only of the affections of our own minds.

_The Moderns._--_Descartes_ and _Locke_ merely adopted these
distinctions as they found them, without essential modification. So
also did _Reid_ and _Stewart_, although both included among the
primary qualities some which are properly secondary, as roughness,
smoothness, hardness, softness. Indeed Stewart restricted the primary
qualities to those and such as those just named.

_Hamilton._--No writer has so fully elaborated this matter as Sir
William Hamilton, to whom we are indebted mainly for the historical
facts now stated, and whose dissertations are and must ever remain an
invaluable thesaurus on the philosophy of perception. So complete and
elaborate is his classification of the qualities of matter, that I
shall be pardoned for giving a synopsis of its principal points in this

_Hamilton's Scheme--General Divisions._--He divides the qualities of
bodies into three classes, which he calls primary, secundo-primary, and
secondary. The primary are thought as essential to the very notion of
matter, and may be deduced _à priori_, the bare notion of matter being
given; while the secundo-primary and the secondary, being accidental
and contingent, must be deduced _à posteriori_, learned by experience.
His deduction of the primary qualities is as follows:

_Primary Qualities._--We can conceive of body only as, I. Occupying
space; II. Contained in space. Space is a necessary form of thought,
but we are not obliged to conceive of space as occupied, that is, to
conceive of matter. When conceived it must be under the conditions now

I. The property of occupying space is _Simple Solidity_, which implies,
_a._ Trinal extension, or length, breadth, and thickness; _b._
Impenetrability, or the property of not being reduced to non-extension.
Trinal extension involves, 1. Number, or Divisibility; 2. Size,
including Density; 3. Shape.

II. The attribute of being contained in space, affords the notion, 1.
Of Mobility; 2. Of Position.

The essential and necessary constituents then of our notion of matter
are, 1. Extension (comprising under it, 2. Divisibility; 3. Size; 4.
Density; 5. Figure); 6. Ultimate Incompressibility; 7. Mobility; 8.
Situation. These are the primary qualities, products, in a sort, of the
understanding, developing themselves with rigid necessity out of the
given notion of substance occupying space.

_Secundo-Primary Qualities._--The secundo-primary are contingent
modifications of the primary, all have relation to space, and motion
in space, _all are contained under the category of resistance_, or
_pressure_, all are learned or included as results of experience, all
have both an objective and subjective phase, being at once qualities of
matter, and also affections of our senses.

Considered as to the _sources_ of resistance, there is, I. That of
_Co-attraction_, under the forms of _a_, Gravity, _b_, Cohesion; II.
That of Repulsion; III. Inertia; all which are capable of minute
subdivision. Thus from cohesion follow the hard and soft, firm and
fluid, tough and brittle, rigid and flexible, rough and smooth, etc.,
etc. From repulsion are derived compressible and incompressible,
resilient and irresilient.

_Secondary Qualities._--The secondary qualities are, as apprehended
by us, not properly attributes of body at all, but only affections
of our nervous organism. They belong to bodies only so far as these
are furnished with the power of exciting our nervous organism to the
specific action thus designated. To this class belong color, sound,
flavor, savor, tactile sensation, feeling of heat, electricity, etc.
Such also are titillation, sneezing, shuddering, and the various
sensations, pleasurable or painful, resulting from the action of
external stimuli.

_These Classes further distinguished._--Of the qualities thus derived,
the primary are known immediately in themselves, the secondary only
mediately in their effects on us, the secundo-primary both immediately
in themselves, and mediately in their effects on us. The primary are
qualities of body in relation to body simply, and to our organism as
such; the secundo-primary are qualities of body in relation to our
organism, not as body in general, but as body of a particular sort,
viz.: propelling, resisting, cohesive; the secondary are qualities of
body in relation to our organism as excitable and sentient. The primary
may be roundly characterized as mathematical, the secundo-primary as
mechanical, the secondary as physiological.

_Reasons for retaining the twofold Division._--Such, in brief outline,
are the principal points of Hamilton's classification. While following
in the main the distinctions here indicated, I have preferred to
retain the old division into primary and secondary, as at once more
simple, and sufficiently accurate, merely dividing the secondary
into two classes, the mechanical (secundo-primary of Hamilton), and
physiological. We are thus enabled, not merely to retain a division and
nomenclature which have antiquity and authority in their favor, and
are well-nigh universally received, but we avoid the almost barbarous
terminology of Sir William's classification--while, at the same time,
we indicate with sufficient precision the important distinction between
the so-called secundo-primary and secondary qualities.


_Realists and Idealists._--There are two leading theories, quite
distinct from each other, which have widely prevailed, and divided the
thinking world, as to the philosophy of perception. The one maintains
that in perception we have _direct cognizance_ of a real external
world. This is the view taken in the preceding pages, and now generally
held by psychologists in this country, and to some extent in Europe
But for a long period, the prevalent, and in fact, until the time of
Reid in Scotland, and Kant in Germany, the almost universally-received
opinion was the reverse of this--that in perception, as in any and
all other mental acts, the mind is conscious only of its own ideas,
cognizant of itself and its own states only, incapable, in fact, of
knowing any thing external to itself. Those who hold the former view
are termed _Realists_, the latter _Idealists_.

_Further division of the latter._--The latter, however, are of two
classes. The _Absolute Idealists_ hold that the notion we have of
external things is purely subjective, having no external counterpart,
no corresponding outward reality. In distinction from this the greater
part maintain that while we are cognizant, directly and strictly, of
nothing beyond our own minds, nevertheless there is an external reality
corresponding to the idea in our minds, and which that idea represents.
Hence they have been designated _Representative Idealists_, or, as Sir
William Hamilton terms them, Cosmothetic Idealists.

_Further Distinction._--Of these latter, again, some hold the idea
which we have of an external world to be merely a state or modification
of the mind itself; others regard it as a sort of intermediate
connecting link between mind and matter. The former may be called
egoistic, and the latter non-egoistic.

_Summary of Classes._--We have then these three great classes--the
_Natural Realists_, the _Absolute Idealists_, and the _Representative
Idealists_ comprising the Egoistic and Non-Egoistic divisions.

_Distinguished Writers of the different Classes._--On the roll of
absolute idealism are names of no small distinction: Berkley and
Hume, in England, Fichte and Hegel, in Germany, are of the number;
while among the representative idealists one finds Descartes,
Arnauld, Malebranche, Leibnitz, Locke, in fine, the greater number
of philosophic writers from Descartes onward to the time of Reid.
Subsequently even, we find a writer of no less repute than Dr. Brown
assuming, as the basis of his philosophy of perception, the exploded
theory of representative idealism, under the egoistic form. Of
natural realists since the time of Reid, Sir W. Hamilton is the most

_Origin of Representative Idealism._--The doctrine of representative
perception doubtless originated in the difficulty of conceiving how a
purely spiritual existence, the human mind, can, by any possibility,
take cognizance of, or be affected by, a purely material substance, the
external world. The soul seated in its presence-chamber, the brain, can
cognize nothing beyond and without, for nothing can get except where it
is present. It must be, then, said the philosophers, that in order to
the mind's perceiving any thing of that which lies beyond and without
its own immediate locality, there must come to the mind from that outer
world certain little images bearing some resemblance to the things
without, and _representing_ to the soul that external world. These
images--more refined than matter, less spiritual than mind itself, of
an intermediate nature between the two--they termed ideas.

_Tendency of Representative to Absolute Idealism._--It is easy to
see how such a doctrine would lead almost inevitably to _absolute
idealism_. If we do not in perception take cognizance directly of
matter external, but only of certain images or ideas in our own minds,
then how do we know that these images _correctly represent_ the
external reality, which we have never cognized, and never shall? How
do we know, in fact, that there _is_ any such external reality? What
evidence have we, in a word, of the existence of any thing beyond and
without our own minds? This was the actual result to which Berkley and
Hume drove the then prevalent philosophy of Europe, as to a legitimate
and inevitable result.

_Relation of Dr. Reid to this Controversy._--To Dr. Reid belongs
the credit of rescuing philosophy from this dangerous extreme, by
showing the utter falsity of the ideal theory. He took the ground
that the existence of any such representative images in the mind
is wholly without proof, nay more, is inconceivable; that while we
can conceive of an image of form or figure, we cannot conceive of
an image of sound, or of taste or smell. The hypothesis is wholly
without foundation. But even if it were conceivable and established by
sufficient evidence, still it would explain nothing as to the manner in
which the mind perceives external objects. It relieves no difficulty.
If the representative image be itself material, how can the mind take
cognizance of it? If not material, how can it represent matter, and how
can the mind know that it does represent correctly the external object?

_State of the Matter since Reid._--Since the time of Dr. Reid, this
theory of representative perception, at least in this non-egoistic
form, has been for the most part abandoned, and philosophers have been
content to take the ground indicated by consciousness, and the common
sense of mankind, that in perception we take direct cognizance of the
external object.

_Position of Hamilton._--It remained for Sir W. Hamilton to complete
the work which Dr. Reid began, by showing that the representative
theory, in its finer or egoistic form, as held by Dr. Brown and others,
is equally untenable or unsound; that it makes little difference
whether we regard the image or idea, which we take to represent the
external object, as something distinct from the mind itself, or whether
we view it as a mere modification or state of the mind, so long as we
make any thing of the sort the direct object of perception instead of
the real external thing. Idealism is the result in either case, and
philosophical skepticism the goal. In place of any and all such views,
Hamilton maintains, with great power and earnestness, the doctrine of
natural realism--that in perception we are cognizant immediately and
directly of the external object.

As no other writer has so fully elaborated this department of science,
it may be of service to present in this connection the chief points of
his theory.

_Chief Points of Hamilton's Theory of Perception._--All perception is
immediate cognition; we perceive only what we apprehend as now and here
existent; and hence what we perceive is either in our own organism,
viewed as material, extended, etc., or else is in immediate correlation
to it. The organism is, in perception, viewed as not-me; in sensation,
as of the me.

_What is given in Perception proper._--What we apprehend in perception
proper is: 1. The primary qualities of body as pertaining to our own
organism; 2. The secundo-primary qualities of bodies in correlation to
it. (See Hamilton's division of qualities of bodies, as above.)

_Primary Qualities of external Objects, how known._--The primary
qualities of things external to our organism we do not perceive
immediately, but only infer, from the effects produced on us by them.
Neither in perception nor sensation do we apprehend immediately, or
in itself, the external cause of our affection or sensation. That is
always unknown to consciousness, known only by inference or conjecture.

_External Existence, how learned._--The existence of the world without
is apprehended not in a perception of the primary qualities of things
external, but of the secundo-primary--_i. e._, in the consciousness
that our movements are resisted by something external to our organism.
This involves the consciousness of something external, resisting. The
two things are conjunctly apprehended.

_This presupposes what._--This experience presupposes the notion of
space, and motion in space. These are inherent, instinctive native
elements of thought, and it is idle to inquire how we come by them.
Every perception of sensations _out of_, and distinct from, other
sensations gives occasion for conceiving the idea of space. _Outness_
involves it.

_Points of Difference between this Theory and Reid's._--The system,
as thus stated, differs in some respects materially from the doctrine
of perception advanced by Dr. Reid, and generally adopted since his
time by the English and Scotch philosophers. According to Hamilton,
perception is not, as held by Reid and others, the _conception_ of
an object _suggested_ by sensation, but the direct cognition of
something. We do not merely _conceive_ of the object as existing, and
_believe_ it to exist, we _know_ it and _perceive_ it to exist. Nor
does sensation precede, and perception follow, as generally stated,
but the two are, in time, conjunct, coëxistent. Nor do we perceive the
secondary qualities of bodies, as such, but only _infer_ them from our
sensations. Neither do we perceive distant objects through a medium,
as usually held, but what we perceive is either the organism itself,
as affected thus and thus, or what is directly in contact with it, as
affecting and resisting it. Extension and externality, again, are not
first learned by _touch_, as Reid holds, and most subsequent writers,
both English and American, but in other ways; the former, by the
perception of the primary qualities of our own organism, as the seat
of sensations distinct from other sensations elsewhere localized; the
latter, by the resistance which we experience to our own locomotive
force. Finally, sensation proper is not, as with Reid and others, an
affection purely of the mind, but of mind and body as complex. Its
subject is as much one as the other.






_Nature of this Power--Its various Forms._--It is in the mind's power
to conceive or represent to itself an object not at the time present
to the senses. This may take place in several forms. There may be the
simple reproduction in thought of the absent object of sense. There
may be, along with the reproduction or recurrence of the object, the
_recognition_ of it as a former object of sensation or perception.
There may be the reproduction of the object not as it is, or was,
when formerly perceived, but with variations, the different elements
arranged and combined not according to the actual and original, but
according to the mind's own ideals, and at its will. This latter
form of conception is what is usually termed imagination--while the
general term memory, as ordinarily employed, is made to include
the two former. While using the term in this general sense, we may
properly distinguish, however, between mental reproduction, and mental
recognition, the latter being strictly the office of memory.

All these are but so many forms of the representative power. We may
designate them respectively as the _reproductive_, _recognitive_, and
_creative_ faculties. The mind's activity is essentially the same
under each of these forms. The object is not _given_ but _thought_,
not presented to sense, but _represented_ to the mind. The process is
reflective rather than intuitive. It is a matter of _understanding_
rather than of _sense_ or of _reason_. It is a conception, not a
perception or an intuition, and it is a simple conception of the object
as it is or is conceived to be, in itself considered, and not in
relation to other objects.





_General Character._--As now defined, this is that form of mental
activity in which the mind's former perceptions and sensations are
reproduced in thought. The external objects are no longer present--the
original sensations and perceptions have vanished--but by the
mind's own power are reproduced to thought, giving, as it were, a
representation or image of the original.

_Example._--Suppose, for instance, that I have seen Strasburg minster,
or the cathedral of Milan. Months, perhaps years pass away. By-and-by,
in some other and remote part of the world, something reminds me of
that splendid structure; I see again its imposing front, its lofty
towers, its airy pinnacles and turrets. The solemn pile rises complete,
as by magic, to the mind's eye, and, regardless of time or distance,
the faculty of simple conception reproduces the object as it is.

_Conceptions of Sound._--In like manner I form a conception, more
or less distinct, of sounds once heard. The chanting of the evening
service in the Church of the Madeleine at Paris, and the prolonged note
of a shepherd's horn among the Alps, are instances of musical sound
that frequently recur with startling distinctness to the mind. The
same is to some extent true of the sensations and perceptions derived
from the other senses. With more or less vividness the objects of all
such sensations and perceptions are capable of being reproduced in

_The Conceptions not of Necessity connected with the Recollection of
Self as the Percipient._--In these cases there may or may not be a
connection of the object, as it lies before our minds, with our own
personal history as the former percipients of that object. The time,
place, circumstance, of that perception may not be distinctly before
us; even the fact that we have ourselves seen, heard, felt, what we
now conceive, may not, at the moment, be an object of thought. These
are the elements of memory or mental recognition, and are certainly
very likely to stand associated in our minds with the conception of the
object itself. But not always nor of necessity is it so. There may be
simple conception of the object, mental reproduction, where there is,
for the time being, no recognition of any thing further. The Strasburg
minster, the chanting of the choir, the note of the mountain horn, the
snowy peak of Jungfrau, may stand out by themselves before the mind,
abstracted from all thought of the time, the place, the circumstances
in which they were originally perceived, or even from all thought of
the fact that we have at some former time actually perceived these very
objects. They may present themselves as pure conceptions.

_Conceptions vary in some Respects._--Our conceptions vary in respect
to definiteness and clearness. The objects of some of the senses are
more readily and also more distinctly conceived than those of others.
The sense of sight is peculiar in this respect. A visible object is
more easily and more distinctly conceived than a particular sound or
taste. The sense of hearing is, perhaps, next to that of sight in this
respect; while the sensations of taste and smell are so seldom the
objects of distinct conception, that some have even denied the power
of conceiving them. Dr. Wayland maintains this view. That we do form
conceptions more or less distinct of the objects both of taste and
smell, as, _e. g._ of the taste of a melon, or the smell of an orange,
hardly admits of question; while, at the same time, it is doubtless
true that we have less occasion to reproduce in thought the objects now
referred to than those of sight and hearing, that they are recalled
with less facility, and also with less distinctness.

_Stewart's Theory._--Dugald Stewart has ingeniously suggested that the
reason why a sound or a taste is less readily conceived than an object
of sight, may be that the former are single detached sensations, while
visible objects are complex, presenting a series of connected points
of observation, and our conception of them as a whole is the result of
many single conceptions, a result to which the association of ideas
largely contributes. We more readily conceive two things in connection
than either of them separately. On the same principle a series of
sounds in a strain of music is more readily conceived than a single
detached note.

_Importance of this Power._--The value of this power to the mind
is inestimable. Without it, the passing moment, the impression or
sensation of the instant, would be the sum total of our intellectual
life, of our conscious being. The horizon of our mental vision would
extend no further than our immediate present perceptions. The past
would be a blank as dark and uncertain even as the future. Conception
lights up the otherwise dreary waste of past existence, and reproducing
the former scenes and objects, gives us mental possession of all
that we have been, as well as of the present moment, and lays at our
feet the objects of all former knowledge. The mind thus becomes in a
measure independent of sense and the external world. What it has once
seen, heard, felt, becomes its permanent acquisition, even when the
original object of perception is for ever removed. I may have seen the
grand and stately minster, or the snowy Alp but once in all my life,
but ever after it dwells among my conceptions, and in after years,
on other continents, and amid far other scenes, that vision of beauty
and grandeur passes before me as an angelic vision; that succession of
sweet sounds traverses again the silent chambers of the brain, with all
the freshness of first reality. It is only a conception now, but who
shall estimate the worth of that simple power of conception?

_The Talent for Description as affected by this Power._--The following
remarks of Mr. Stewart illustrate happily one of the many uses to which
this power is subservient:

"A talent for lively description, at least in the case of sensible
objects, depends chiefly on the degree in which the describer possesses
the power of conception. We may remark, even in common conversation,
a striking difference among individuals in this respect. One man, in
attempting to convey a notion of any object he has seen, seems to place
it before him, and to paint from actual perception; another, although
not deficient in a ready elocution, finds himself, in such a situation,
confused and embarrassed among a number of particulars imperfectly
apprehended, which crowd into his mind without any just order and
connection. Nor is it merely to the accuracy of our descriptions
that this power is subservient; it contributes, more than any thing
else, to render them striking and expressive to others, by guiding
us to a selection of such circumstances as are most prominent and
characteristic; insomuch that I think it may reasonably be doubted if
a person would not write a happier description of an object from the
conception than from the perception of it. It has often been remarked,
that the perfection of description does not consist in a minute
specification of circumstances, but in a judicious selection of them
and that the best rule for making the selection is to attend to the
particulars that make the deepest impression on our own minds. When
the object is actually before us, it is extremely difficult to compare
the impressions which different circumstances produce; and the very
thought of writing a description, would prevent the impressions which
would otherwise take place. When we afterward conceive the object, the
representation of it we form to ourselves, however lively, is merely an
outline, and is made up of those circumstances which really struck us
most at the moment, while others of less importance are obliterated."

_Conceptions often Complex._--It is to be further remarked respecting
the power now under consideration, that the notion, or conception which
we form of an object, by means of this faculty, is frequently complex.
The particular perceptions and sensations formerly experienced, and
now represented, are combined, forming thus a notion of the object as
a whole. The figure, magnitude, color, and various other properties,
of any object, as, _e. g._, a table, are objects each of distinct and
separate cognition, and as such are mentally reproduced, distinctly,
and separately; but when thus reproduced, are combined to form the
complete conception of the table, as it lies in my mind. The notion or
conception of the object as a whole being thus once formed, any single
perception as, _e. g._, of color, figure, etc., is afterward sufficient
to recall and represent the whole.

_Often passes for Perception._--It was remarked, in treating of
perception, that very much which passes under that name is in reality
only conception. I hear, for example, a carriage passing in the street.
All that I really perceive is the sound; but that single perception
recalls at once the various perceptions that have formerly been
associated with it, and so there is at once reproduced in my mind the
_conception_ of the passing carriage. Our conviction of the existence
and reality of the object thus conceived, is hardly inferior to that
produced by actual and complete perception.

_Correctness of our Conceptions._--In general it may be remarked, that
our conceptions are more or less adequate and correct representations
of the objects to which they relate, according as they combine the
reports of more or fewer different senses, respecting more or fewer
different qualities, and as these reports are more or less clear and


_Conceptions not uncaused._--It is evident that our conceptions arise
not uncaused and at hap-hazard, but according to some law. There is a
method about the phenomena of mental reproduction. There is a reason
why any particular scene or event of former experience, any perception
or sensation, is brought again to mind, when it is, and as it is,
rather than some other in its place. A careful observation and study
of the laws which regulate in general the succession of thought, will
furnish the explanation and true philosophy of mental reproduction.

_Principle of Suggestion._--Every thought which passes through the mind
is directly or indirectly connected with, and suggested by something
which preceded; and that something may be either a sensation, a
perception, a conception, or an emotion. The precedence may be either
immediate or remote. Some connection there always is between any given
thought or feeling at any moment before the mind, and some preceding
thought or feeling, which gives rise to, occasions, suggests, the
latter. These suggestions follow certain general rules or laws, which
are usually called the _laws of association_. These laws, so called,
are only the different circumstances under which the suggestions
take place, and are termed laws only to indicate the regularity and
uniformity with which, under given circumstances given thoughts and
feelings are awakened in the mind.

_This the Basis of mental Reproduction._--It is to this general
principle of suggestion or association that we are indebted for all
mental reproduction. It is only as one idea or feeling is suggested by
some other which has gone before, and with which it is in some way, and
for some reason, associated in our minds, that any former thought or
sensation is recalled, that any object which we have perceived or any
scene through which we have passed, is mentally reproduced. It is thus
that the sight of an object brings to mind occurrences connected with
it in our history, that the same recalls the thing, that the words of a
language bring to mind the ideas which they denote, or the characters
on the musical staff, the tones which they represent.

_Not a distinct Faculty._--It has been customary to speak of
association of ideas as a distinct faculty of the mind. It is not
properly so ranked. It is a law of the mind rather than a faculty of
it--a rule or method of its action in certain cases; and the particular
power of mind to which this rule applies is that form of simple
conception which we term mental reproduction.

_The Term Suggestion preferred by Brown._--In place of the term
association, Dr. Brown would prefer the term suggestion as more
correct. To speak of the association of ideas implies that they have
previously coëxisted in the mind, and that the one now recalls the
other in consequence of that previous coëxistence. That this is often
the case is doubtless true, but it is also true that in many cases one
idea suggests another with which it has not previously been associated
in our minds. It is not necessary to the suggestion that there should
be any prior association. An object seen _for the first time_ suggests
many relative conceptions. The sight of a giant suggests the idea of a
friend of diminutive stature, not because the two ideas have previously
been associated, or the two objects have coëxisted, either in
perception or conception, but because it is a law of the mind that one
conception shall suggest another, either as similar, or as opposite,
or in some other way related to it. This may be as truly a law of the
mind, independent of association, as that light falling on the retina
shall produce vision. It may seem mysterious that this should be so.
Is it not equally mysterious that ideas which have formerly coëxisted
should recall each other? The real mystery is the recurrence in any
mode, and from any source, of the idea, without the recurrence of the
external producing cause. For these reasons, Dr. Brown prefers the term
_suggestion_ to _association_.

_The Term Conception preferable to either._--As regards the activity
of _the mind itself_, in the process of mental reproduction, the term
conception seems to me to express more nearly the exact state of the
case than either association or suggestion. An idea is _suggested to_
the mind by some external object; the mind _conceives_ the idea thus
suggested. The flute which I perceive lying on the table in the room
of my friend suggests at once to my mind the idea of that friend. The
action of the mind in this case is simply an act of conception. All
that the flute does--all that we mean when we say the flute suggests
the idea of the friend--is simply to place the mind in such a state
that the conception follows. Whether we speak then of the laws of
_association_, laws of _suggestion_, or laws of mental _conception_, is
immaterial, provided we bear in mind the real nature of the process as
now defined.

_Question stated._--But what are the laws of association, or
suggestion, so-called--in other words, of mental conception? Under
what circumstances is a given conception awakened in the mind by some
preceding conception or perception? This is an important subject of
inquiry, and one which has not escaped the attention of philosophers.

_Primary Laws._--It has been usual to enumerate as primary laws of
suggestion, the following: _resemblance_, _contrast_, _contiguity in
time or place_; to which has sometimes been added _cause and effect_.
There can be little doubt that these are important laws of suggestion;
that given object of thought is likely to suggest to the mind that
which is like itself, that which is unlike, that which is connected
with itself in time and place, that of which it is the cause or the
effect. Whether these principles are exhaustive, and whether they may
not be reduced to some one general principle comprehensive of them all,
may admit of question.

_Law of Similars._--To begin with _resemblance_. It seems to be a law
of our nature, that like shall remind us of like. The mountain, the
forest, the river, that I see in my morning walk to-day, remind me of
similar objects that were familiar to my childhood. Nor is it necessary
that the resemblance should be complete. A single point of similarity
is sufficient to awaken the conception of objects the most remote, and,
in other respects, dissimilar. I pass in the street a person with blue
eyes, or dark hair, or having some peculiarity of expression in the
countenance, and am at once reminded of a very different person whom
I knew years ago, or whom I met perhaps in another land; yet the two
may be as unlike, except in the one point which attracts my attention,
as any two persons in the world. An article of dress peculiar to the
Elizabethan age, or to the court of Louis XIV. reminds us of the lordly
dames and courtiers, or gallant warriors of those periods. A single
feature in the landscape, perhaps a single tree, or projecting crag,
on the mountain side, brings before us the picture of a scene widely
different in most respects, but presenting only this one point of
resemblance to the scene before us.

_Not confined to Objects of Sight._--Nor is it the objects of sight
alone that are suggestive of similar objects. The other senses follow
the same law. Sounds suggest similar sounds; tastes, similar tastes;
and along with the sounds, tastes, etc., thus recalled, are awakened
conceptions of many things having no resemblance to the suggesting
object, but associated in our previous perceptions with the object
suggested. A certain succession of musical sounds, for example, recalls
to the Swiss his native valley, and the mountains that shut it in, and
brings back to his mind the scene of his childhood, and the peculiar
customs of his father-land where he heard in former years that simple
melody. With what a train of associations is a single name often
fraught; what power of magic lies often in a single word!

_Illustrations of other Laws._--Of the other principles of suggestion
or association which have been named, it is not necessary to speak
minutely. Their operation is obvious and indisputable. Illustrations
will occur to every one. The palace of the king reminds us by contrast
of the hovel of the peasant. The splendor of wealth and luxury suggests
the wretchedness of poverty and want. The giant reminds us of the
dwarf, and the dwarf of the giant. On the principle of contiguity in
time and place, the sight of an object reminds us of events that have
occurred in connection with it; the name Napoleon suggests Waterloo,
and Wellington, and the marshals of the empire; St. Peter's and the
Vatican suggest Raphael and his Transfiguration; a book, casually lying
on my table, reminds me of the volume that formerly stood by its side
on the shelf, and so carries me back to other scenes, and other days.

In like manner, if it be not indeed the operation of the same
principle, cause suggests the effect, and effect its cause. The wound
reminds me of the instrument, and the instrument awakens the unpleasant
conception of the wound which it once inflicted.

_Why one Conception rather than another._--Inasmuch as any one
conception may awaken in the mind a great variety of other
conceptions--since a picture, for example, may recall the person
whose likeness it is, or the artist who painted it, or the friend who
possesses it, or the time and place in which it was sketched, or the
room in which it formerly hung, or any circumstance or event connected
with it--the question arises, why, in any given instance, is _one_ of
these conceptions awakened in the mind rather than any _other_ in its
stead? It is evident that the action of the associating principle is
not uniform, sometimes one conception being awakened, sometimes another.

_Secondary Laws._--In answer to this, Dr. Brown has shown that the
action of these general and primary laws of suggestion, now named,
is modified by a variety of circumstances, which may be called
_secondary_ laws of suggestion, and which will account for the
variety in question. These modifying circumstances are: 1. Continuance
of attention. 2. Vividness of feeling. 3. Frequency of repetition.
4. Lapse of time. 5. Exclusiveness of association. 6. Original
constitutional differences. 7. State of mind at the time. 8. State
of body. 9. Professional habits. Any one of these circumstances may
so modify the action of the primary laws of suggestion, that one
conception shall be awakened in the mind rather than another, by that
which has preceded.

_Correctness of this View._--There can be little doubt as to the
correctness of this view. The attention, for example, which a given
object or event excites at the time of its occurrence, and the strength
and liveliness of feeling which it awakened in us, have very much to
do, as every one knows, with our subsequent remembrance of that object
or event. So also has the frequency with which the train of thought
has been repeated--a fact illustrated in the process of committing to

The more frequently two things come together before the mind, the more
likely will it be, when one is again presented, to think of the other.
In the process of learning a thing by rote, we repeat the lines over
and over, until they become so associated, and linked together, that
the suggestion of one recalls the whole. Frequently, however, we find
it difficult to pass from one sentence to another, or from one stanza
or paragraph to another, while we find no difficulty in completing the
sentence or paragraph once commenced. The reason is, we have repeated
each sentence or stanza by itself in the process of learning, and have
not connected one with another. The last words of one sentence, and
the first words of another, have not been repeatedly conjoined in the
mind--have not frequently _coëxisted_.

Sometimes, however, a more than usual vividness of conception will make
up for the want of this frequent coëxistence. When, for any reason,
as excited feeling, or extraordinary interest in what we perceive,
we grasp with peculiar clearness and force the idea presented, this
vividness of mental conception will, of itself, insure the remembrance
of the object contemplated. A man, on trial for his life, will be
likely to recollect the faces and tones of each of the different
witnesses on the stand, and the different judges and advocates, even if
he never sees them afterward.

We all know, also, that the lapse of time weakens the impression of any
object or event upon the mind, and so lessens the probability of its
recurrence to the thoughts. We more readily recall places and objects
seen in a recent tour, than those seen a year ago. The exclusiveness
of the connection is also an important circumstance. An air of music,
which I have heard played or sung only on one occasion, and by one
musician only, is much more likely, when heard again, to bring to mind
the former player, than if it had also been associated with other
occasions and other performers. Much depends, moreover, on native
differences of temperament, on the habitual joyousness, or habitual
gloom, which may pervade the spirits, on the lights and shadows which
passing events may cast, in quick succession, on the mind, as good or
bad news, the arrival of a friend, the failure of an enterprise, a
slight derangement of any of the bodily functions, or even the state
of the atmosphere. All these circumstances have much to do with the
question, whether one conception or another shall be awakened in the
mind by any object presented to its thoughts.

_These Laws distinguished as Objective and Subjective._--It will be
observed that the primary laws of suggestion, so called, are such as
arise from the relations which our thoughts sustain to each other,
while the secondary are such as arise from the relations which they
sustain to ourselves, the thinking subjects. Hence the former have been
called _objective_, the latter, _subjective_ laws.

_Possibility of reducing the primary Laws to one comprehensive
Principle._--I have already suggested that possibly the primary
laws admit of being reduced to some one general and comprehensive
principle. This is a point deserving attention. Were we required to
name some one principle which should comprehend these several specific
laws of association, it would be that of the prior existence in the
mind of the suggesting and the suggested idea. The two conceptions
have, for some reason, and at some time, stood together before the
mind, and hence the one recalls the other. _It seems to be a general
law of thought_, _that whatever has been perceived or conceived
in connection with some other object of perception or thought, is
afterward suggestive of that other._ The relation may be that of
part to whole, of resemblance, of contiguity, or contrast, or cause;
it may be a natural or an artificial relation; whatever it is that
serves as the connecting link between one thought and another, as they
come before the mind at first, that will also serve as the ground of
subsequent connection, when either of these thoughts shall present
itself again to the mind. The one will suggest the other.

_Application of this Principle to the several Laws of Suggestion._--Why
is it, for example, that things contiguous in time and place suggest
each other? In consequence of that contiguity they were viewed by the
mind in connection with each other; as, _e. g._, the handle, and the
door to which it belongs, the book, and its neighbor on the shelf.
It is because Napoleon and his marshals, Wellington and Waterloo,
have been presented together to the thoughts, that one now recalls
the other. For the same reason the light hair and blue eyes of the
person passing in the street recall the friend of former years; that
peculiarity of hair and of eyes has been, in my mind, previously
connected with the conception of my friend. So also a part suggests the
whole with which it has been ordinarily connected, as, for example, the
crystal and the watch.

_Further Application of the same Principle._--On the same principle
cause and effect are naturally suggestive. We have been accustomed
to observe the elision of a spark in connection with the forcible
collision of flint and steel and whenever we have observed the
application of fire to gunpowder, certain consequences have uniformly
attracted our attention; hence the one of these things awakens
immediately in our minds the conception of the other, with which it
has previously coëxisted. For the same reason the instrument suggests
the idea of the wound, and the wound of the instrument. The sight of
a rose, and the sensation of fragrance, have usually coëxisted; hence
either recalls the other.

The connection in this case is natural. Let us suppose a case in which
it shall be arbitrary, or artificial. Suppose I happen to hold a rose
in my hand, at the same moment a certain unusual noise is heard in the
street, or at the moment when an eclipse of the sun becomes visible; on
seeing the rose the next day I am instantly reminded of the noise, or
of the eclipse, that was connected with it in my previous perception.

_Application to the Law of Opposites._--On the same principle opposites
also suggest each other. They sustain a certain relation to each other
in our thoughts, and are in a sense necessary to each other in thought,
as, _e. g._, white and black, crooked and straight, tall and short;
which are _relative_ ideas, neither of which is complete by itself
without the other; the one the complement of the other; each, so to
speak, the extreme term of a comparison. As such they stand together
before the mind, in its ordinary perceptions, and hence the one almost
of necessity recalls the other.

_The same Principle suggested by Dr. Brown._--The possibility of
reducing the laws of association to one common principle, as now
attempted, namely that of prior coëxistence in the mind, has not
altogether escaped the notice of philosophers. Dr. Brown, in more than
one passage, advances the idea, that on a sufficiently minute analysis
"all suggestion may be found to depend on prior coëxistence, or, at
least, on such immediate proximity, as is itself, very probably, a
modification of coëxistence." In order to this nice reduction, however,
he adds, we must take into account "the influence of emotions, and
other feelings that are very different from ideas; as when an analogous
object suggests an analogous object by the influence of an emotion or
sentiment, which each separately may have produced before, and which
is therefore common to both." As illustrative of this, he refers,
among others, to cases of remote resemblance; as when, "for example,
the whiteness of untrodden snow brings to our mind the innocence of an
unpolluted heart; or a fine morning of spring, the cheerful freshness
of youth." In such cases, he says, "though there may never have been
in the mind any proximity of the very images compared, there may have
been a proximity of each to an emotion of some sort, which, as common
to both, might render each capable, indirectly, of suggesting the
other." The same principle he applies to suggestion by contrast, as
when the sight of a person with a remarkably long nose brings to mind
some one whom we have seen with a nose as remarkable for brevity; the
common feeling in the two cases being that of surprise or wonder at the
peculiarity of this feature of the countenance.

_Theory of Mahan._--Mahan, in his Intellectual Philosophy, carries out
the suggestion of Dr. Brown, and makes the emotion awakened in common
by two or more objects, the sole law, or ground of association. One
object recalls an other only by means of the feeling or state of mind
common to both.

_This View questionable._--That this is the philosophy of the
suggesting principle in those cases in which two objects have not
previously coëxisted in the mind--that is, in cases of suggestion, and
not of _association_ properly--I am disposed to admit, but that it is
the philosophy of _association_, strictly speaking, that it is the
reason why objects which have been viewed together by the mind should
afterward recall each other, is to be questioned. It seems to be an
established law of mental action that objects once viewed in connection
by the mind, afterward retain that connection. This is a grand and
simple law of thought. I doubt whether any explanation can make it
more simple, whether any thing is gained by calling in the influence
of emotion to account for it. The emotion may, or may not, be the
cause why objects, once coëxistent in the mind, recall each other. It
is enough that the simple law of previous coëxistence, as now stated,
covers the whole ground, and accounts for all the phenomena of mental

_The same Rule given by Aristotle._--Long before the days of Brown
and his successors, this same law had suggested itself to one of
the closest thinkers, and most acute observers of mental phenomena,
whom the world has ever seen, as a principle comprehensive of
all the specific laws of association. _Aristotle_--as quoted by
Hamilton--expresses the rule in the following terms: _Thoughts,
which have at any time, recent or remote, stood to each other in the
relation of coëxistence, or immediate consecution, do, when severally
reproduced, tend to reproduce each other._ Under this general law he
includes the specific ones of similars, contraries, and coädjacents, as
comprehending all the possible relations of things to each other.

_Further Question.--View of Rosenkranz._--It may still be questioned
whether the specific laws of association, as usually given, viz.,
resemblance, contrast, contiguity, and cause, are a complete and
exhaustive list. Are there not relations of things to each other, and
so relations of thought, which do not fall under any of the categories
now named? A distinguished psychologist of the Hegelian school,
Rosenkranz, denies even that there are any laws of association. Law
is found, he says, where the manifoldness still evinces unity, to
which the manifold and accidental are subject. But association is not
subject to any such unity. It is a free process. There are indeed
certain limitations or categories of thought, but these so-called laws
of association are not to be confounded with those categories; they
are not exhaustive of them. Why not also introduce the law by which
we pass from quality to quantity, being to appearance, the universal
to the particular, the end to the means, etc., etc.? In short, all
metaphysical and logical categories lay claim to be included in the
list of such laws. No one can calculate the possible connections of
one conception with another. Each is, for us, the middle point of a
universe from which we can go forth on all sides. What diverse trains
of thought, for example, may the Strasburg minster awaken in my mind:
the material of which it is built, the architect, the middle ages, the
gothic style, etc., etc. There is, in a word, no law of association.

_Objections to this View._--Such, in substance, is the view maintained
by this able writer. We cannot altogether coincide with it. That the
specific laws of Aristotle, Hume, and Brown, are not exhaustive, may
very likely be true; that there is no law, no unity to which this
manifoldness of conception is subject, is yet to be shown. Take the
very case supposed. The gothic minster of Strasburg reminds me of the
gothic style of architecture. What is that but an instance under the
law of similarity? It reminds me of the middle ages. What is that but
the operation of the law of contiguity in time? It brings to mind the
architect. What is that but the relation of cause to effect? Or, if I
think of the material of which the building is composed, the marble of
this minster reminding me of the class, marble, does not that again
fall under the relation of a part to the whole, which is comprehended
under the general law of coadjacence, or contiguity in space? So
quality and quantity, matter and form, being and appearance, as parts
of a comprehensive whole, recall each other. The instances given, then,
so far from proving that there is no law of association actually fall
under the specific laws enumerated.

_The Law of Contiguity includes what._--It is contended that this
gives a wider extension to the law of contiguity in time and space
than properly belongs to it. I reply, not wider than is intended by
those who make use of this expression. Aristotle, the earliest writer
who attempts any classification of the laws of suggestion, distinctly
includes under the law of _coadjacence_ whatever stand as parts of the
same whole, as, _e. g._, parts of the same building, traits of the same
character, species of the same genus, the sign and the thing signified,
different wholes of the same part, correlate terms, as the abstract and
concrete, etc., etc.

_Reference to the subjective Laws._--If it still is asked why does
the minster of Strasburg, or any given object, suggest one of these
several conceptions, and not some other in its place? the reason for
this must doubtless be sought in the state of the mind at the time; in
other words, in those subjective or secondary laws of suggestion, of
which we have already spoken, as given by Brown and others. Aristotle
has more concisely answered the question in the important rule which he
adds as supplementary of his general law; viz., that, of two thoughts,
one tends to suggest the other, in proportion, 1. To its comparative
importance; 2. Its comparative interest. For the first reason, the foot
is more likely to suggest the head than the head the foot. For the
second reason, the dog is more likely to suggest the master than the
master the dog.



_The Faculty as thus far considered._--Thus far we have considered the
faculty of mental representation only under one of its forms, viz., as
_reproductive_. By the operation of this power, the intuitions of sense
are replaced before the mind, in the absence of the original objects;
images, so to speak, of the former objects of perception are brought
out from the dark background of the past, and thrown in relief upon
the mental canvas. Picture after picture thus comes up, and passes
away. The mind has the power of thus reproducing for itself, according
to laws of suggestion already considered, the objects of its former
perception. This it is constantly doing. No small part of our thinking
is the simple reproduction of what has been already, in some form,
before the mind.

_An additional Element._--The intuitions of sense, thus replaced in
the absence of the external objects, present themselves to the mind as
mere conceptions, involving no reference to ourselves as the perceiving
subject, nor to the time, place, and circumstances of the original
perception. But suppose now this latter element to be superadded to
the former; that along with the conception or recalling of the object,
there is also the conception of ourselves as perceiving, and of the
circumstances under which it was perceived; in a word, the recalling
of the _subjective_ along with the _objective_ element of the original
perception, and we have now that form of mental representation which we
term _recognitive_, or mental recognition.

_The two Forms compared and distinguished._--The two taken together,
the reproduction, and the recognition, constitute what is ordinarily
called memory, which involves, when closely considered, not only the
reproduction, in thought, of the former object of perception, but
also the consciousness of having ourselves perceived the same. The
conception is given as before, but it is no longer mere conception
in the abstract, standing by itself; it is connected now by links of
time, place, and circumstance, with our own personal history. It is
this _subjective_ element that constitutes the essential characteristic
of memory proper, or mental recognition, as distinguished from mere
conception, or mental reproduction.

_Specification of Time and Place._--It is not necessary that the
_specific time_ and _place_ when and where we previously perceived the
object, or received the impression, should be recalled along with the
object or impression; this may or may not be. More frequently, perhaps,
these do recur to the mind, and the object itself is recalled or
suggested by means of these specific momenta; but this is not essential
to the act of memory. It is enough that we recognize the representation
or conception, now before the mind, as, in general, an object of former
cognition, a previous possession of the mind, and not a new acquisition.

_Not of necessity voluntary._--Nor is it necessary to the fact of
memory, that this recurrence and recognition of former perceptions and
sensations, as objects of thought, should be the result of special
volition on our part. It may be quite involuntary. It may take place
unbidden and unsought, the result of casual suggestion.

_Distinction of Terms._--Memory is usually distinguished from
_remembrance_, and also from _recollection_. Memory is, more properly,
the power or faculty, remembrance the exercise of that power in
respect to particular objects and events. When this exercise is
voluntary--when we set ourselves to recall what has nearly or quite
escaped us, to _re-collect_, as it were, the scattered materials of our
former consciousness--we designate this voluntary process by the term
_recollection_. We recollect only what is at the moment out of mind,
and what we _wish_ to recall.

_Possibility of recalling._--But here the question arises how it is
possible, by a voluntary effort, to recall what is once gone from the
mind. Does not the very fact of a volition imply that we have already
in mind the thing willed and wished for? How else could we will to
recall it? This is a philosophical puzzle with which any one, who
chooses, may amuse himself. I have forgotten, for instance, the name of
a person: I seek to recall it; to recall what? you may ask. That name.
_What_ name? Now I do not know what name; if I did, I should have no
occasion to recall it. And yet, in another sense, I do know what it is
that I have forgotten. I know that it is a name, and I know whose name
it is; the name, viz., of this particular person. And this is all I
need to know in order to have a distinct, definite object of volition
before my mind.

_The Mode of Operation._--The process through which the mind passes in
such a case, is, to dwell upon some circumstances not forgotten, that
are intimately connected with the missing idea, and through these,
as so many connecting links, to pass over, if possible, to the thing
sought. I cannot, for example, recall the name, but I remember the
names of other persons of the same family, class, or profession, or I
remember that it begins with the letter B, and then think over all the
names I know that begin with that letter; and, in this way, seek to
recall, by association, the name that has escaped.

_Memory not an immediate Knowledge._--It has been held by some that
memory gives us an _immediate_ knowledge of the past. This is the view
of Dr. Reid. If, by immediate knowledge, we mean knowledge of a thing
as existing, and as it is in itself--nothing intervening between it as
a present reality, and our direct cognizance of it--then not in this
sense is memory an immediate knowledge; for a past event is no longer
existent, and cannot be known as such, or as it is in itself; it no
longer _is_, but only _was_. Hence an immediate knowledge of it, is,
as Sir William Hamilton affirms, a contradiction. Still, we may know
the past _as it was_, not less really and positively than we know the
present as it is. I as really know that I sat at this table yesterday
as I know that I sit here now. I am conscious of being here now. I was
conscious of being here then. That consciousness is not to be impeached
in either case. If the senses deceived me yesterday, they may deceive
me to-day. If consciousness testified falsely then, it may now. But
if I was indeed here yesterday, and if I knew then that I was here,
and that knowledge was certain and positive, then I know _now_ that I
was here yesterday, for memory recognizes what would otherwise be the
mere conception of to-day, as identical with the positive knowledge
of yesterday. Memory may possibly be mistaken as to the so-called
positive knowledge of yesterday; and so sense may be mistaken as to the
so-called positive knowledge of the present moment.

_Belief attending Memory._--The remarks of Dr. Reid on this point are
worthy of note. "Memory is always accompanied with the belief of that
which we remember, as perception is accompanied with the belief of that
which we perceive, and consciousness with the belief of that whereof
we are conscious. Perhaps in infancy, or in disorder of mind, things
remembered may be confounded with those which are merely imagined; but
in mature years, and in a sound state of mind, every man feels that he
must believe what he distinctly remembers, though he can give no other
reason for his belief, but that he remembers the thing distinctly;
whereas, when he merely imagines a thing ever so distinctly he has no
belief of it upon that account.

"This belief, which we have from distinct memory, we account real
knowledge, no less certain than if it was grounded on demonstration;
no man, in his wits, calls it in question, or will hear any argument
against it. The testimony of witnesses in causes of life and death
depends upon it, and all the knowledge of mankind of past events is
built on this foundation. There are cases in which a man's memory is
less distinct and determinate, and where he is ready to allow that it
may have failed him; but this does not in the least weaken its credit,
when it is perfectly distinct."

_Importance of this Faculty._--The importance of memory as a power of
the mind, is shown by the simple fact, that, but for it, there could be
no consciousness of _continued existence_, none of _personal identity_,
for memory is our only voucher for the fact that we existed at all at
any previous moment. Without this faculty, each separate instant of
life would be a new existence, isolated, disconnected with aught before
or after; nay, there would, in that case, scarcely be any consciousness
of even the present existence, for we are conscious only as we are
_cognizant of change_, says Hamilton, and there is involved in it
the idea of the _latest past_ along with the present. Memory, then,
is essential to all intelligent mental action, whether intellectual,
sensational, or voluntary. The ancients seem to have been aware of
this, when they gave it the name [Greek: mnêmê] (from [Greek: mnêmos],
[Greek: mnaomai]), appellations of the _mind itself_, as being, in
fact, the chief characteristic faculty of the mind.


_Several Conditions._--Every act of memory involves these several
conditions: 1. Present existence. 2. Past existence. 3. Mental activity
at some moment of that past existence. 4. The recurrence to the mind
of something thus thought, perceived, or felt. 5. Its recognition as a
past or former thought or impression, and that our own. These last, the
recurrence and the recognition, are strictly the essential elements of
memory, yet the others are implied in it. In order to my remembering,
for example, an occurrence of yesterday, I must exist at the present
time, else I cannot remember at the present time; I must have existed
yesterday, else there can be no memory of yesterday; my mind must have
been active then, else there will be nothing to remember; the thoughts,
perceptions, sensations, then occupying the mind, must now recur, else
it is the same as if they had never been; they must recur, not as new
thoughts and impressions, but as old ones, else I no longer remember,
but only conceive or perceive.


_Distinctions of Stewart and Wayland._--It has been customary
to designate certain qualities as essential to a good memory.
Susceptibility, retentiveness, and readiness, are thus distinguished
by Mr. Stewart; the first denoting the facility with which the mind
acquires; the second, the permanence with which it retains; and the
third, the quickness with which it recalls and applies its original
acquisitions. And these qualities are rarely united, he adds, in the
same person. The memory which is susceptible and ready, is not commonly
very retentive. Dr. Wayland makes the same distinction. Some men, he
says, retain their knowledge more perfectly than they recall it. Others
have their knowledge always at command. Some men acquire with great
rapidity, but soon forget what they have learned. Others acquire with
difficulty, but retain tenaciously.

_Objections to this View._--Although supported by such authority, it
admits of question whether this distinction is strictly valid. Facility
of acquisition, the readiness with which the mind perceives truth, is
hardly to be reckoned as an attribute of memory. It is a quality of
mind, a quality possessed in diverse degrees by different persons,
doubtless, but not a quality of mind in its distinctive capacity and
office of _remembering_. It is no part, psychologically considered,
of the function of _mental reproduction_. It is essential, indeed,
to the act of memory that there should be something to remember, but
the acquisition of the thing remembered, and the remembering, are two
distinct and different mental acts; nor is it of any consequence to the
mind, in remembering, whether the original acquisition was made with
more or less facility. Indeed, so far as that bears upon the case at
all, facility of acquisition, as even these writers admit, is likely to
be rather a hindrance than a help to subsequent remembrance, since what
is most readily acquired is not most readily recalled.

_The Mind retentive in what Sense._--Nor is it altogether proper to
speak of retentiveness as a _quality_ of memory--a quality which may
pertain to it in a greater or less degree in different cases. The truth
is, _all_ memory is retentive, or, more properly, retentiveness _is
itself_ memory. It is a quality of mind; a power or faculty possessed
in different degrees by different persons; and the power which the
mind possesses of retaining thus, wholly, or in part, what passes
before it, is the faculty of memory. But in what sense does the mind
retain anything which has once occupied its thoughts? Not, of course,
in the sense in which a hook retains the hat and coat that are hung
upon it, ready to be taken down when wanted. We are not to conceive of
the mind as a convenient receptacle, in which may be stowed away all
manner of old thoughts, sensations, impressions, as old clothes are put
by in a press, or guns in an armory. Not in any such sense is the mind
retentive. What we mean, when we say the mind is retentive, is simply
this, that it is in its power to repossess itself of what has once
passed before it, to regain a thought or impression it has once had.
And this is done by the operation of those laws of suggestion already
considered. That, and that only is _retained_ by the mind, which
under the appropriate circumstances is by the principle of suggestion
_recalled_ to the mind. We are not to distinguish, then, the power to
retain and the power to recall, as two separate things; nor, for the
same reason, can we conceive of a memory that is other than retentive,
or that is retentive but not ready. So far as these expressions denote
any real distinction, it amounts simply to this, that some minds are
more retentive than others; in other words, more susceptible of the
influence of the suggesting principle in recalling ideas that have once
been before them. Such a difference undoubtedly exists. Some remember
much more readily and extensively than others. This may be owing,
partly, to some difference of mental constitution and endowment; but
more frequently to differences of mental habit and culture. It is not
necessary to refer again to the laws of mental reproduction which have
been already discussed. It is sufficient to say, that _the more clearly
any fact or truth is originally apprehended, and the more deeply it
interests the mind_, the more readily will it subsequently recur and
the longer will it be retained.


_The common Opinion._--The question has arisen, how far the power of
memory may be regarded as a test of intellectual ability. The opinion
has been somewhat prevalent, that a more than usual development of
this faculty is likely to be attended with a corresponding deficiency
in some other mental power, and especially that it is incompatible
with a sound judgment. To this opinion I cannot subscribe. Doubtless
it is true that many persons, deficient in the power of accurate
discrimination, have possessed wonderful power of memory. The mind,
in such cases, undisciplined, uncultivated, with little inventive and
self-moving power, lies passive and open to the influence of every
chance suggestion from without, as the lyre is put in vibration by the
stray winds that sweep across its strings. Facts and incidents of no
value, without number, and without order, are thrown into relief upon
the confused background of the past, as sea-weed, sand, and shells are
heaped by the unmeaning waves upon the shore.

But if a weak mind may possess a good memory, it is equally true, that
a strong and well disciplined mind is seldom deficient in it. Men of
most active and commanding intellect have been men also of tenacious
and accurate memory. Napoleon was a remarkable instance of this. So
also was the philosopher Leibnitz. While, then, we cannot regard the
memory as a test of intellectual capacity, neither can it be considered
incompatible with, or unfavorable to, mental strength. On the contrary,
we can hardly look for any considerable degree of mental vigor and
power where this faculty is essentially deficient.

_Memory as affected by the Art of Printing._--It is remarked by Miss
Edgeworth, and the remark is noticed with approval by Dugald Stewart,
that the invention of printing, by placing books within the reach of
all classes of people, has lowered the value of those extraordinary
powers of memory which some of the learned were accustomed to display
in former times. A man who had read, and who could repeat, a few
manuscripts, was then not merely a remarkable, but a very useful man.
It is quite otherwise now. There is no occasion now for any such
exercise of memory. Hence instances of extraordinary memory are of
unfrequent occurrence.

_Failure of Memory accompanies failure of mental Power._--A decline of
mental vigor, whether produced by disease or age, is usually attended
with loss of memory to some extent. The first symptoms of this failure
are usually forgetfulness of proper names and dates, and sometimes of
words in general. A stroke of palsy frequently produces this result,
and in such cases the name sometimes suggests the object, while the
object no longer recalls the name. This is probably owing to the fact
that the sign, being of less consequence than the thing signified, and
making less impression on the mind, is more readily forgotten; hence
the name, if suggested, recalls the thing, while, at the same time, the
thing may not recall the name. In general, we pass more readily from
the sign to the thing signified, than the reverse, and for the reason
now given. Mr. Steward remarks, that this loss of proper names incident
to old men, is chiefly observable in men of science, or those much
occupied with important affairs--a fact resulting, he thinks, partly
from their habits of general thought, and partly from their want of
constant practice in that trivial conversation which is every moment
recalling particulars to the mind.

_The Memory of the Aged._--In the principles which have been advanced,
we find an explanation, I think, of some facts respecting memory, which
every one has noticed, but of which the philosophy may not be at first
sight apparent, Why is it that aged people forget? that, as we grow
old, while perhaps other powers of the mind are still vigorous, the
memory begins to lose its tenacity? Not, I suspect, from any special
change which the brain undergoes, for why should such changes affect
_this_ faculty more than any other? I should seek the explanation
in a failure of one or other of the conditions already mentioned as
essential to a good memory; either in the want of a sufficiently
frequent coëxistence of associated ideas, or else in the want of a
sufficiently vivid conception of them when presented; or, more likely,
in both. And so the facts would indicate. Age involves usually the
gradual failure and decay of the powers of perception; the ear fails to
report what is said, the eye what is passing in space; and as memory
is dependent on prior perception, of course a diminished activity of
the one brings about a diminished activity of the other. In proportion
as this ensues, the mind's interest in passing events is likely to
fail, for what is no longer clearly apprehended no longer awakens the
same interest and attention as formerly. This directly affects the
vividness of conception, and indirectly also reacts upon the frequency
of coëxistence, for what we do not clearly apprehend, nor feel much
interest in, will not be likely often to recur to mind, nor shall we
dwell upon it when presented. There is thus brought about, by the
mutual action and reaction of the causes now specified, a failure more
or less complete of the essential conditions of a retentive memory.

The old man dwells accordingly much in the _past_. His life is behind
him, and not in advance. He is unobservant of passing events, because
he neither clearly apprehends them, now that his connection with the
outer world is in a measure interrupted by the decay of sense, nor
does he much care about them, for the same reason. His attention and
interest, withdrawn in a manner from these, revert to the past. Those
things he remembers, the sports and companions of his youth, and the
stirring events of his best and most active years, for those things
_have_ been frequently associated in his mind, linked with each other,
and with all the past of his life, and they _have_ deeply interested
him. Hence they are remembered while yesterday is forgotten.

_Varieties of Memory._--Why is it, you ask, that memory seems to
select for itself now one and now another field of operation, one man
remembering dates, another events or facts in history, another words
or pages of a book, while in each case the memory of other things, of
every thing that lies beyond or without the favorite range of topics,
is defective? Manifestly for much the same reason already given.
The mind has its favorite subjects of investigation and thought;
to these it frequently recurs, and dwells on them with interest;
there is, consequently, frequency of coëxistence, and vividness of
conception--the very conditions of retentiveness--while, at the same
time, the mind being preöccupied with the given subjects, and the
attention and interest withdrawn from other things, the memory of other
things is proportionably deficient. We remember, in other words, just
those things best, in which we are most interested, and with which we
have most to do.

This explains why we forget names so readily. We have more _to do
with_, and are more interested in, _persons_, than their names; the
latter we have occasion to think of much less often than the former.
The _sign_ occurs less frequently than the _thing signified_.


The principles already advanced furnish a clue to the proper and
successful cultivation of the memory. Like all other powers, this may
be cultivated, and to a wonderful degree; and, like all other powers,
it gains strength by _use_, by exercise. The first and chief direction,
then, if you would cultivate and strengthen this faculty of the mind,
is, _exercise_ it; train it to do its work--to do it quickly, easily,
accurately, and well--as you train yourself to handle the keys of
an instrument, or to add up a column of figures with promptness and

To be more specific.--As regards any particular thing which you wish to
remember: 1. Grasp it fully, clearly, definitely in the mind; be sure
you have it exactly--_it_, and not something like it or something about
it. 2. Connect it with other things that are known; suffer it to link
itself with other ideas and impressions already in the mind, that you
may have something to recall it by. 3. Frequently revert to it, until
you are sure that it has become a permanent possession, and one which
you can at any time recall by any one of numerous connecting links. In
this way you secure the two conditions already specified as essential,
viz., frequency of coëxistence, and vividness of conception.

_Systems of artificial Memory._--A thing is recalled by the suggestion
of any _coëxisting_ thought or feeling. Observing this, ingenious men
have availed themselves of the principle of association to construct
various mechanical or artificial systems of memory, usually termed
_mnemonics_. The principle of the construction is this: should you
see an elm or an oak-tree, or hear a particular tune whistled, at the
same time that you were going through a demonstration in Euclid, you
would be likely to think of the tree or the tune whenever next you
had occasion to repeat that demonstration. The sight of the diagram
would recall the associated object. They _stand together_ in your
mind afterward. This we have already found to be the groundwork and
chief element of all association of ideas and feelings, viz., _prior
coëxistence_ in the mind. Suppose, now, you wish to fix in the mind the
list of English kings. Make out a corresponding list of simple figures,
or images of objects, giving each its invariable place in relation
to the series: No. 1. a pump; No. 2. a goose, etc., till you reach a
sufficient number, say a hundred. These are committed to memory, fixed
indelibly in the mind. You then associate with those figures your
English kings; Charles I. stands by the pump; Charles II. pursues the
goose; James hugs the bear, and so on. These things thus once firmly
linked together, remain afterward associated, and the figure serves
at once to recall the associate monarch and to fix his place in the
series. The same series of figures, of course, will serve for any
number of different series of events, personages, etc., which are to be

_Utility questioned._--It may be seriously questioned, I think, whether
such systems are of real value; whether they do not really weaken
the memory and throw it into disuse, by departing from the ordinary
laws and methods of suggestion, and substituting a purely artificial,
arbitrary and mechanical process; whether, moreover, they really
accomplish what they propose; whether, since the signs or figures have
no natural relation to each other, and none to the things signified,
but only the arbitrary relation imposed by the system, it is not really
as difficult to fix the connection of the two things in your mind, _e.
g._, to remember that Charles the Second is represented by a dog or by
a goose, as it would be simply, and in the natural way, to remember the
things themselves without any _such_ association.

_Extent to which the Memory may be cultivated._--The extent to which
the cultivation of the memory may be carried by due training and care,
is a topic worthy of some attention. Men of reflection and thought, and
generally men of studious habits, literary men and authors, do not, for
the most part, rely so much upon the memory as men of a more practical
cast and of business pursuits; for this reason, viz., the want of due
exercise, this faculty of their minds is not in the most favorable
circumstances for development. Some striking exceptions, however, we
shall have occasion presently to mention.

It has been already remarked, that prior to the art of printing, the
cultivation of the memory was an object of far greater importance,
to those who were destined for public life, than it is in modern
times, and consequently instances of remarkable memory are much more
frequently to be met with among the ancients than among the men of our
times. The same remark will apply to men of different pursuits in any
age: the more one has occasion to employ the memory, the more striking
will be its development.

_Instances of extraordinary Memory._--Cyrus, it is said, knew the name
of every officer, Pliny has it of every soldier, that served under
him. Themistocles could call by name each one of the twenty thousand
citizens of Athens. Hortensius could sit all day at an auction, and at
evening give an account from memory of every thing sold, the purchaser,
and the price. Muretus saw at Padua a young Corsican, says Mr. Stewart,
who could repeat, without hesitation, thirty-six thousand names in the
order in which he heard them, and then reverse the order and proceed
backward to the first.

Dr. Wallis of Oxford, on one occasion, at night, in bed, proposed to
himself a number of fifty-three places, and found its square root
to twenty-seven places, and, without writing down numbers at all,
dictated the result from memory twenty days afterward. It was not
unusual with him to perform arithmetical operations in the dark, as
the extraction of roots, _e. g._, _to_ forty _decimal_ places. The
distinguished Euler, blind from early life, had always in his memory a
table of the first six powers of all numbers, from one to one hundred.
On one occasion two of his pupils, calculating a converging series,
on reaching the seventeenth term, found their results differing by
one unit at the fiftieth figure, and in order to decide which was
correct, Euler went over the whole in his head, and his decision was
found afterward to be correct. Pascal forgot nothing of what he had
read, or heard, or seen. Menage, at seventy-seven, commemorates, in
Latin verses, the favor of the gods, in restoring to him, after partial
eclipse, the full powers of memory which had adorned his earlier life.

The instances now given are mentioned by Mr. Stewart but perhaps the
most remarkable instance of great memory in modern times, is the case
of the celebrated _Magliabechi_, librarian of the Duke of Tuscany.
He would inform any one who consulted him, not only who had directly
treated of any particular subject, but who had indirectly touched
upon it in treating of other subjects, to the number of perhaps one
hundred different authors, giving the name of the author, the name
of the book, the words, often the page, where they were to be found,
and with the greatest exactness. To test his memory, a gentleman of
Florence lent him at one time a manuscript he had prepared for the
press, and, some time afterward, went to him with a sorrowful face,
and pretended to have lost his manuscript by accident. The poor author
seemed inconsolable, and begged Magliabechi to recollect what he could,
and write it down. He assured the unfortunate man that he would, and
setting about it, wrote out the entire manuscript without missing
a word. He had a _local_ memory also, knew where every book stood.
One day the Grand Duke sent for him to inquire if he could procure
a book which was very scarce. "No, sir," answered Magliabechi; "it
is impossible: there is but _one_ in the world; that is in the Grand
Seignior's library at Constantinople, and is the _seventh book, on the
seventh shelf, on the right hand as you go in_."


_Forgetfulness of certain Objects._--Of the effect of certain forms
of disease, and also of age, in weakening the power of remembering
names, I have already spoken. There are other effects, occasionally
produced by disease upon this faculty of the mind, which are not so
readily explained. In some cases, a certain class of objects, or the
knowledge of certain persons, or of a particular language or some
part of a language, as substantives, _e. g._, seems to be lost to the
mind; in other cases, a certain portion of life is obliterated from
the recollection. In cases of severe injury to the head, persons have
forgotten some particular language; others have been unable to recall
afterward the names of the most common objects, while the memory was at
no loss for adjectives. A surgeon mentioned by Dr. Abercrombie, so far
recovered from a fall as to give special directions respecting his own
treatment, yet, for several days, lost all idea of having either a wife
or children. The case of Mr. Tennent, who on recovering from apparent
death, lost all knowledge of his past life, and was obliged to commence
again the study of the alphabet, until after considerable time his
knowledge suddenly returned to him, is too well known to require minute

_Former Objects recalled._--In other instances, precisely the reverse
occurs. Disease brings back to mind what has been long forgotten.
Thus, persons in extreme sickness, or at the point of death, not
unfrequently converse in languages which they have known only in youth.
The case cited by Coleridge, and so frequently quoted, of the German
servant girl, who in sickness was heard repeating passages of Greek,
Latin, and Hebrew, which she had formerly heard her master repeat, as
he walked in his study, but of whose meaning she had no idea, is in
point in this connection. So also is the case of the Italian mentioned
by Dr. Rush, who died in New York, and who, in the beginning of his
sickness, spoke English, in the middle of it, French, but on the day of
his death, nothing but Italian. A Lutheran clergyman of Philadelphia
told Dr. Rush that it was not uncommon for the Germans and Swedes of
his congregation, when near death, to speak and pray in their native
languages, which some of them had probably not spoken for fifty
years. These facts are sufficiently numerous to constitute a class by
themselves; they seem to fall under some law of the physical system not
yet clearly understood, and are, therefore, in the present state of our
knowledge, incapable of explanation.

_Inference often drawn from these Facts._--Certain writers have
inferred, from the recurrence of things long forgotten, as in the cases
now cited, that all knowledge is indestructible and that all which is
necessary to the entire reproduction of the past life is the quickened
activity of the mental powers an effect which is produced in the
delirium of disease. From this they have derived an argument for future
retribution Coleridge has made such use of it, and has been followed
by Upham, and in part, at least, though with more caution, by Wayland.

_The true Inference._--It may be doubted, perhaps, whether the absolute
indestructibility of all human knowledge is a legitimate inference
from these facts. The most that can with certainty be concluded from
them, is, not that all our past thoughts and consciousness _must_ or
_will_ return, but that much of it _may_--perhaps all of it; and this
is all we need to know in order to perceive the _possibility_ of a
future retribution. It is enough to know, that in the constitution of
the mind _means exist_ for recalling, in some way to us mysterious, and
under certain conditions not by us fully understood, the objects of our
former consciousness, in all the freshness and vividness of their past
cognizance, long after they seem to have passed finally from the memory.

_Importance of a well-spent Life._--This simple fact, together with
the well-known tendency of the mind in advancing age to revert to the
scenes and incidents of early life, certainly presents in the clearest
light the importance of a well-spent life, of a mind stored with such
recollections as shall cast a cheerful radiance over the past, and
brighten the uncertain future in those hours of gloom and despondency
when the shadows lengthen upon the path of earthly pilgrimage, and life
is drawing to a close. If the thoughts and impressions of the passing
moment are liable, by some casual association, by some mysterious law
of our being, under conditions which may at any moment be fulfilled, to
recur at any time to subsequent consciousness, with all the minuteness
and power of present reality, it becomes us, as we regard our own
highest interests, to guard well the avenues of thought and feeling
against the first approach of that which we shall not be pleased to
meet again, when it will not be in our power to escape its _presence_,
or avoid its recognition.


_The Pleasures of the Past thus retained._--Of the importance of this
faculty as related to other intellectual powers, I have already spoken.
I refer now to its value as connected with human happiness, as the
source of some of the purest pleasures of life. The present, however
joyous, is fleeting and evanescent. Memory seizes the passing moment,
fixes it upon the canvas, and hangs the picture on the soul's inner
chambers for her to look upon when she will. Thus, in an important
sense, the former years are past, but not gone. We live them over again
in memory.

_Instance of Niebuhr._--It is related of Carsten Niebuhr, the Oriental
traveller, that "when old and blind, and so feeble that he had barely
strength to be borne from his bed to his chair, the dim remembrance of
his early adventures thronged before his memory with such vividness
that they presented themselves as pictures upon his sightless
eye-balls. As he lay upon his bed, pictures of the gorgeous Orient
flashed upon his darkness as distinctly as though he had just closed
his eyes to shut them out for an instant. The cloudless blue of the
eastern heavens bending by day over the broad deserts, and studded
by night with southern constellations, shone as vividly before him,
after the lapse of half a century, as they did upon the first Chaldean
shepherds whom they won to the worship of the host of heaven; and he
discoursed with strange and thrilling eloquence upon those scenes which
thus, in the hours of stillness and darkness, were reflected upon his
inmost soul."

_The same Thing occurs often in old Age._--Something of this kind not
unfrequently occurs in advanced life. Picture to yourself an old man
of many winters. The world in which his young life began has grown old
with him and around him, and its brightest colors have faded from his
vision. The life and stir, the whirl and tumult of the busy world, the
world of to-day and yesterday, move him not. He heeds but slightly
the events of the passing hour. He lives in a past world. The scenes
of his childhood, the sports and companions of his youth, the hills
and streams, the bright eyes and laughing faces on which his young
eyes rested, in which his young heart delighted--these visit him again
in his solitude, as he sits in his chair by the quiet fireside. He
lives over again the past. He wanders again by the old hills, and over
the old meadows. He feels again the vigor of youth. He leads again
his bride to the altar. He brings home toys for his children, and
enters again into their sports. And so the extremes of life meet. Age
completes the circuit, and brings us back to the starting-point. We
close where we began. Life is a magic ring.

_The recollection of past Sorrow not always painful._--But life is not
all joyous. Mingled with the brighter hues of every life are also much
sadness and sorrow, and these, too, are to be remembered. It might be
supposed that, while memory, by recalling the pleasing incidents of the
past, might contribute much to our happiness, she would add, in perhaps
an equal degree, to our sorrow, by recalling much that is painful
to the thoughts. Such, however, I am convinced, is not the fact.
The benevolence of the Creator has ordered it otherwise. To no one,
perhaps, is memory the source of greater pleasure, strange as it may
seem, than to the mourner. The very circumstances that tend to renew
our grief, and keep alive our sorrow, in case of some severe calamity
or bereavement, are still cherished with a melancholy satisfaction of
which we would not be deprived. There is a luxury in our very grief,
and in the remembrance of that for which we grieve. We would not forget
what we have lost. Every recollection and association connected with
it are sacred. Time assuages our grief, but impairs not the strength
and sacredness of those associations, nor diminishes the pleasure with
which we recall the forms we shall see no more, and the scenes that are
gone forever. Every memento of the departed one is sacred; the books,
the flowers, the favorite walks, the tree in whose shadow he was wont
to recline, all have a significance and a value which the stricken
heart only can interpret, and which memory only can afford.

_We recollect the Past as it was._--It is to be noticed, also, that, in
such cases, the picture which memory furnishes is a transcript of the
past as it was; the image is stereotyped and unchangeable. Other things
change, we change; that changes not. It has a fixed value. A mother,
for instance, loses a child of three years. It ever remains to her a
child of three years. She remembers it as it was. She grows old; twenty
summers and winters pass; yet as often as she visits the little mound,
now scarce to be distinguished from the level surface, there comes to
her recollection that little child as he was, when she hung, for the
last time, over that pale, sweet face that she should see no more. She
still thinks of him, dreams of him, as a child, for it is as such only
that she remembers him.

Blessed boon, that gives us just the past; when all things change,
fortunes vary, friends depart, the world grows unkind, and we grow old,
the former things remain treasured in our memory, and we can stand as
mourners at the grave of what we once were.


_Ancient Theory._--The idea formerly, and almost universally
entertained respecting the _modus operandi_ of the faculty we call
memory, was, that in perception and the various operations of the
senses, certain impressions are made on the sensorium--certain forms
and types of things without, certain _images_ of them--which remain
when the external object is no longer present, and become imprinted
thus on the mind. Such, certainly, was the doctrine of the earliest
Greek commentators on Aristotle. Such, I must think, is substantially
the doctrine of Aristotle himself.

_Theory of Aristotle._--His idea is, that memory, as well as
imagination, primarily and directly, relates only to sensible objects,
and gives us only _images_ of these objects, and even when it gives
us strictly intellectual objects, gives us these only by images. One
cannot _think_, he says, without images. Its source and origin, then,
he concludes, is the sensibility, and so it pertains to _animals_, as
well as men; only to those, however, which have the perception of time,
since memory is a modification of sensation or intellectual conception,
under the condition of _time past_. Such being, in his view, the
nature and source of memory, he goes on to ask how it is that only
a modification (or state) of the mind being present, and the object
itself absent, one recalls that absent object?

"Manifestly," he replies, "we must believe that the impression which
is produced, in consequence of the sensation, in the soul, and in
that part of the body which perceives the sensation, is analogous to
a species of painting, and that the perception of that impression
constitutes precisely what we call memory. The movement which then
takes place in the mind _imprints there a sort of type of the
sensation_ analogous to the _seal which one imprints on wax with a
ring_. Hence it is that those who by the violence of the impression,
or by the ardor of age are in a great excitement (movement) have not
the memory of things, as if the movement and seal had been applied to
running water. In the case of others, however, who are in a sort cold,
as the plaster of old edifices, the very _hardness_ of the part which
receives the impression prevents the image from leaving the least
trace. Hence it is that young children and old men have so little
memory. It is the same with those who are too lively, and those who are
too slow. Neither remember well. The one class are too _humid_, the
other too hard. The image dwells not in the soul of the one, makes no
impression whatever on that of the other.

"How is it now," he goes on to ask, "that this stamp, impression,
image, or painting, in us, a mere mode of the mind, can recall the
absent object?" His answer is, that the impression or image is a _copy_
of that object, while, at the same time, it is, in itself considered,
only a modification of our mind, just as a painting is a mere picture,
and yet a _copy_ from nature. (Parva Naturalia: Memory, ch. 1.)

_Defence of Aristotle._--Sir W. Hamilton defends Aristotle against the
strictures of Dr. Reid, upon this subject, by the supposition that
he used these expressions not in a literal, but in a figurative or
analogical sense. The figure, however, if it be one, is very clearly
and boldly sustained, and constitutes, in fact, the whole explanation
given of the process of memory--the entire theory. Take away these
expressions, and you take away the whole substance of his argument, the
whole solution of the problem. Sensation, or intellectual conception,
produces an _impression_ on the soul, and _imprints there a type_ of
itself, not unlike a painting or the stamp of a seal on wax, and the
_perception_ of this is _memory_. Such is in brief his theory.

_Theory of Hobbes._--Not far remote from this was the theory of Hobbes,
who regarded memory as a decaying or vanishing sense; that of Hume, who
represents it as merely a somewhat weaker impression than that which we
designate as perception; and that of the celebrated Malebranche, who
accounted for memory by making it to depend entirely on the changes
which take place in the fibres of the brain. "For even as the branches
of a tree which have continued some time bent in a certain form, still
preserve an aptitude to be bent anew after the same manner, so the
fibres of the brain having once received certain impressions by the
course of the animal spirits, and by the action of objects, retain a
long time some facility to receive these same dispositions. Now the
memory consists only in this faculty, since we think on the same things
when the brain receives the same impressions."

He goes on to explain how, as the brain undergoes a change in different
periods of life, the mind is affected accordingly. "The fibres of
the brain in children are soft, flexible, and delicate; a riper age
dries, hardens, and strengthens them; but in old age they become wholly
inflexible." ... "For as we see the fibres which compose the flesh
harden by time, and that the flesh of a young partridge is, without
dispute, more tender than that of an old one, so the fibres of the
brain of a child or youth will be much more soft and delicate than
those of persons more advanced in years."

_Strictures upon this Theory._--Without disputing what is here stated
as to the difference in the fibres of the brain at different periods of
life, it remains to be proved that all this has any thing to do with
the differences of memory in different persons, or with the phenomena
of memory in general.

These theories, it will be observed, all assume that in perception
and sensation some physical effect is produced on the system, which
remains after the original sensation or perception has ceased to
act, and that memory is the _result_ of that remaining effect, the
perception, or conscious cognizance of it by the mind. The process is
a purely physiological one. Without insisting on the expressions made
use of to represent this process, all which convey the idea strongly
of a mechanical effect--type imprinted on the soul, impression made
on it as of a seal on wax, image, picture, copy, etc.; allowing these
to be mere metaphors; allowing, moreover, that the essential fact all
along assumed, is a fact, viz., that in sensation, perception, etc.,
some physical effect is produced on the sensorium; there are still two
essential propositions to be established before we can admit any of
these theories: 1. That this physical effect _remains_ any time after
the cause ceases to operate; 2. That if so, it is in any way concerned
in the production of memory; and even if these points could be made
out, it would still be an open question, in WHAT way, possible or
conceivable, this effect or impression on the sensorium gives rise to
the phenomenon of memory; for this is, after all, the chief thing to be




_The Point at which we have arrived._--We have thus far treated of
those forms of mental representation which are concerned in the
reproduction of what has once been perceived or felt, and in the
recognition of it as such. It remains still to investigate that form
of the representative power, which has for its office something quite
distinct from either of these, and which we may term the _creative_

_Office of this Faculty._--By the operation of this power, the former
perceptions and sensations are replaced in thought, and combined as
in mental reproduction, but not, as in mental reproduction, according
to the _original_ and _actual_, so that the past is simply repeated,
but rather according to the mind's own _ideal_, and at its own will
and fancy; so that while the groundwork of the representation is
something which has been, at some time, an object of perception, the
picture itself, as it stands before the mind in its completeness, is
not the copy of any thing actually perceived, but a creation of the
mind's own. This power the mind has, and it is a power distinct from
either of those already mentioned, and not less wonderful than either.
The details of the original perception are omitted; time, place,
circumstance fall out, or are varied to suit the fancy; the scene is
laid when and where we like; the incidents follow each other no longer
in their actual order; the original, in a word, is no longer faithfully
transcribed, but the picture is conformed to the taste and pleasure of
the artist. The conception becomes IDEAL. This is imagination in its
true and proper sphere--the creative power of the mind.


The true province of imagination may be more definitely distinguished
by comparing it with other powers of the mind.

_Imagination as related to Memory._--How, then, does imagination differ
from _memory_? In this, first and chiefly, that memory gives us the
actual, imagination, the ideal; in this also, that memory deals only
with the past, while imagination, not confined to such limits, sweeps
on bolder wing, and without bound, alike through the future and the
past. In one respect they agree. Both give the _absent_--that which is
not now and here present to sense. Both are representative rather than
presentative. Both also are forms of conception.

_To Perception._--In what respect does it differ from _perception_?
In perception the object is given, presented; in imagination it is
thought, conceived; in the former case it is given as _actual_, in the
latter, conceived not as actual but as ideal.

_To Judgment._--Imagination differs from _judgment_, in that the latter
deals, not like the former, with things in themselves considered, but
rather with the relations of things--is, in other words, a form not
of _simple_, but of _relative_ conception; and also in that it deals
with these relations as _actual_, not as ideal. It has always specific
reference to truth, and is concerned in the formation of opinion and
belief, as resting on the evidence of truth, and the perception of the
actual relations of things.

_To Reasoning._--In like manner it differs from _reasoning_, which also
has to do with truths, facts--has for its object to ascertain and state
those facts or principles; its sole and simple inquiry being, what is
_true_? Imagination concerns itself with no such inquiry, admits of
no such limitation. Its thought is not what _did_ actually occur, but
what in given circumstances _might_ occur. Its question is not what
really _was_, or _is_, or _will be_, but what _may_ be; what may be
_conceived_ as possible or probable under such or such contingencies.

Reasoning, moreover, reaches only such truths as are involved in its
premises, and may fairly be deduced as conclusions from those premises.
It furnishes no new material, but merely evolves and unfolds what lies
wrapped up in the admitted premises. Imagination lies under no such
restriction. There is no necessary connection between the wrath of
Achilles, and the consequences that are made to result from it in the
unfolding of the epic.

_To Taste._--Imagination and _taste_ are by no means identical. The
former may exist in a high degree where the latter is essentially
defective. In such a case the conceptions of the imagination are, it
may be, too bold, passing the limits of probability, or, it may be,
offensive to delicacy, wanting in refinement and beauty, or in some
way deficient in the qualities that please a cultivated mind. This
is not unfrequently the case with the productions of the poet, the
painter, the orator. There is no lack of imagination in their works,
while, at the same time, they strike us as deficient in taste. Taste
is the regulating principle, whose office is to guide and direct the
imagination, sustaining to it much the same relation that conscience
does to free moral action. It is a lawgiver and a judge.

_To Knowledge._--Still more widely does imagination differ from simple
knowledge. There may be great learning and no imagination, and the
reverse is equally true. We know that which is--the actual; we imagine
that which is not--the ideal. Learning enlarges and quickens the mind,
extends the field of its vision, augments its resources, expands its
sphere of thought and action; in this way its powers are strengthened,
its conceptions multiplied and vivified. There is furnished,
consequently, both more and better material for the creative faculty
to work upon. Further than this, the imagination is little indebted to

_Illustration of these Differences._--To illustrate the differences
already indicated: I stand at my window and look out on the landscape.
My eye rests on the form and dark outline of a mountain, pictured
against the sky. Perception, this. I go back to my desk, I shut my
eyes. That form and figure, pencilled darkly against the blue sky,
are still in my mind. I seem to see them still. That heavy mass, that
undulating outline, that bold rugged summit--the whole stands before
me as distinctly as when my eye rested upon it. Conception, this,
replacing the absent object. I not only in my thoughts seem to see the
mountain thus reproduced, but I _know_ it when seen; I recognize it
as the mountain which a moment before I saw from my window. Memory,
this, connecting the conception with something in my past experience.
The picture fades perhaps from my view, and I begin to estimate the
probable distance of the mountain, or its relative height, as compared
with other mountains. Judgment, this, or the conception of relations.
I proceed to calculate the number of square miles of surface on a
mountain of that height and extent. Reasoning, this. And now I sweep
away, in thought, the actual mountain, and replace it with one vastly
more imposing and grand. Eternal snows rest upon its summits; glaciers
hold their slow and stately march down its sides; the avalanche
thunders from its precipices. _Imagination_ now has the field to


_View of Dr. Wayland._--"If we regard the several act of this faculty,"
says Dr. Wayland, "we may, I think, observe a difference between them.
We have the power to originate images or pictures for ourselves, and
we have the power to form them as they are presented in language. The
former may be called active, and the latter passive imagination. The
active, I believe, always includes the passive power, but the passive
does not always include the active. Thus we frequently observe
persons who delight in poetry and romance, who are utterly incapable
of creating a scene or composing a stanza. They can form the pictures
dictated by language, but are destitute of the power of original

_Correctness of this View questioned._--That many who enjoy the
creations of the poet and the splendid fictions of the dramatist and
novelist, are themselves incapable of producing like creations, is
doubtless true. The same is true in other departments of the creative
art. Many persons enjoy a fine painting or statue, good music, or a
noble architectural design, who cannot themselves produce these works
of art. This does not prove them deficient, however, in imagination,
for the inability may be owing to other causes, as want of training;
nor, on the other hand, does the simple enjoyment of ideal creations
involve a different kind of imagination from that exercised in
creating. Imagination is, as it seems to me, always active, never
passive. Where it exists, and whenever it is called into exercise, it
acts, and its action is, in some sense, creative. It conceives the
ideal, that which, as conceived, does not exist, or at least is not
known to the senses as existing. It matters not in what way these ideal
conceptions are suggested, whether by the signs of language written or
spoken, or by those characters which the painter, the sculptor, or the
architect presents, each in his own way, and with his own material,
or by one's own previous conceptions. _Every_ ideal conception is
suggested by _something_ antecedent to itself. All active imagination
is, in other words, passive, in the sense here intended, and all
passive imagination, so called, is in reality active, so far as it
is, properly speaking, imagination at all. The difference between the
faculty that produces and that which merely enjoys, is a difference
of _degree_ rather than of kind. The one is an imagination peculiarly
active; the other slightly so; or, more properly, the one mind has
_much_, the other _little_ imagination.

_Philosophic Imagination._--The term _philosophic_ imagination, in
distinction from _poetic_, is employed by the same distinguished writer
to denote the faculty, possessed by some minds of a high order, of
discovering new truths in science; of so classifying and arranging
known facts as to bring to light the laws which govern them, or, by
a happy conjecture, assigning to phenomena hitherto unexplained, a
theory which will account for them. Whether the faculty now intended
is properly imagination, admits of question. Its field is that of
conjecture, supposition, theory, invention. It involves the exercise
of judgment and reason. It seeks after truth. It is a process of
discovering what is. Imagination deals with the ideal only--inquires
not for the true.


_Common Theory._--The view which has been very generally entertained of
the faculty now under consideration, both in this country, and by the
Scotch philosophers, resolves it partially or wholly into other powers
of the mind, as abstraction, association, judgment, taste. In this
view, it is no longer a simple faculty, if indeed it can with propriety
be called a faculty at all, inasmuch as the effects ascribed to it can
be accounted for by the agency of the other powers now named.

_A different View._--It seems to me that imagination, while doubtless
it presupposes and involves the exercise of the suggestive and
associative principle, of the analytic or divisive principle by which
compounds are broken up into their distinct elements, and also, to
some extent, of judgment, or the principle which perceives relations,
is, nevertheless, itself a power distinct from each of these, and
from all of them in combination. Memory _presupposes_ perception, or
something to be reproduced and remembered. It is not, therefore, to be
regarded as a complex faculty, comprising the perceptive power as one
of its factors. The power to combine, in like manner, _presupposes_
the previous separation of elements capable of being reunited, but is
not to be resolved into that power which produces such separation. It
_involves_ some exercise of judgment along with its own proper and
distinctive activity, but is not to be confounded with, or resolved
into the power of perceiving relations.

The faculty of ideal conception is really a power of the mind, and
it is a simple power, a thing of itself, although it may involve
and presuppose the activity of other faculties along with its own.
Abstraction, association, judgment, taste--none of them singly, nor all
of them combined, are what we mean by it.

_Theory of Brown._--Dr. Brown resolves the faculty now in question into
simple suggestion, accompanied, in the case of _voluntary_ imagination,
with desire, and with judgment. There is nothing in the process
different from what occurs in any case of the suggestion of one thought
by another, he would say. We think of a mountain, we think of gold,
and some analogy, or common property of the two, serves to suggest the
complex conception, mountain of gold. Even where the process is not
purely spontaneous, but accompanied with desire on our part, it is
still essentially the same process. We think of something, and this
suggests other related conceptions, some of which we approve as fit
for our purpose, others we reject as unfit. Here is simple suggestion
accompanied with desire and judgment; and these are all the factors
that enter into the process. "We may term this state, or series of
states, imagination or fancy, and the term may be convenient for its
brevity. But in using it we must not forget that the term, however
brief and simple, is still the name of a state that is complex, or
of a succession of states, that the phenomena comprehended under it
being the same in nature, are not rendered, by the use of a mere word,
different from those to which we have already given peculiar names
expressive of them as they exist separately, and that it is to the
classes of these elementary phenomena, therefore, that we must refer
the whole process of imagination in our philosophic analysis."

_Strictures on this Theory._--This view, it will be perceived, in
reality sweeps the faculty of imagination entirely from the field. To
this I cannot yield my assent. Is not this state, or affection of the
mind, as Dr. Brown calls it, quite a distinct thing from other mental
states and affections? Has it not a character _sui generis_? Is not the
operation, the thing done, a _different_ thing from what is done in
other cases, and by other faculties; and has not the mind the _power_
of doing this new and different thing; and is not that power of doing
a given thing what we mean in any case by a _faculty_ of the mind? Is
there not an element in this process under consideration which is _not_
involved in other mental processes, viz.: the _ideal_ element; the
conception, not of the actual and the real, as in the case of the other
faculties, but of the purely ideal? And if the mind has the faculty of
forming a class of conceptions so entirely distinct from the others,
why not give that faculty a name, and its own proper name, and allow it
a place, its own proper place, among the mental powers?


_The prevalent View._--This question is closely connected with
that just discussed. The usual definitions make the faculty under
consideration a mere process of combining and arranging ideas
previously in the mind, so as to form new compounds. You have
certain conceptions. These you combine one with another, as a child
puts together blocks that lie before him, to suit himself, now this
uppermost, now that, and the result is a world of imagination. It is
the mere arrangement of previous conceptions, and not itself a power of
producing or connecting any thing. And even this arrangement of former
conceptions is itself a _spontaneous_ casual process, according to Dr.
Brown, not properly a _power_ of the mind.

_Makes Imagination little else than Invention._--According to this
view, imagination is hardly to be distinguished from mere _invention_
in the mechanic arts, which is the result of some new combination of
previously existing materials. The construction of a steam-pump with
a new kind of valve, is as really a work of imagination, as Paradise
Lost. The man who contrives a carding-machine, and the man who
conceives the Transfiguration, the Apollo Belvidere, or the Iliad, are
exercising both the same faculty--merely combining in new forms the
previous possessions of the mind.

_This View inadequate._--This is a very meagre and inadequate view, as
it seems to me, of the faculty of imagination. It fixes the attention
upon, and elevates into the importance of a definition, a circumstance
in itself unimportant, while it overlooks the essential characteristic
of the faculty to be defined. The _creative activity_ of the mind is
lost sight of in attending to the _materials_ on which it works.

_The Distinctive Element of Imagination overlooked._--Imagination
I take to be the power of conceiving the ideal. The elements which
enter into and compose that ideal conception, are, indeed, elements
previously existing, not themselves the mind's creations; but the
conception itself is the mind's own creation, and this creative
activity, this power of conceiving the purely ideal, is the very
essence of that which we are seeking to define. True, the separate
conceptions which enter into the composition of Paradise Lost--trees,
flowers, rivers, mountains, angels, deities--were already in the poet's
mind before he began to meditate the sublime epic. They were but the
material on which he wrought. Has he then created nothing, conceived
nothing? Have we truly and adequately described that immortal poem
when we say that it is a mere combination of trees, rivers, hills, and
angels, in certain proportions and relations not previously attempted?

_Illustration drawn from the Arts._--The artist makes use of colors
previously existing when he would produce a painting, and of marble
already in the block, when he would chisel a statue or a temple.
In reality he only combines. Yet it would be but a poor definition
of any one of these sublime arts to say that painting, sculpture,
architecture, is merely the putting together of previous materials to
form new wholes. We object to such a definition, not because it affirms
what is not true, but because it does not affirm the chief and most
important truth; not because of what it states, but because of what it
omits to state. These are creative arts. They give us indeed not new
substances, but new forms, new products, new ideas. So is imagination a
creative faculty. The individual elements may not be new, but the grand
product and result is new, a creation of the mind's own. And this is
of more consequence than the fact that the elementary conceptions were
already in the mind. The one is the essential characteristic, the other
a comparatively unimportant circumstance; the one describes the thing
itself, the other the mere _modus operandi_ of the thing.

_Illustration drawn from the Creation of the material World._--What
is _creation_ in its higher and more proper sense, as applied to the
formation, by divine power, of the world in which we dwell? There was
a moment, in the eternity of the past, when the omnipotent builder
divided the light from the darkness, and the evening and the morning
were the first day. The elements may have existed before--heat, air,
earth, water, the various material and diffused substance of the world
about to be--but latent, confused, chaotic those elements, not called
forth and appointed each to its own proper sphere. Light slumbers
amid the chaotic elements unseen. He speaks the word, and it comes
forth from its hiding-place, and stands revealed in its own beauty
and splendor. Has God made nothing, in so doing? Has he conceived
nothing, _created_ nothing? And when the work goes on, and is at length
complete, and the fair new world hangs poised and trembling on its
axis, perfect in every part, and rejoicing the heart of the builder, is
there no new power displayed in all this, no creation here? And do we
well and adequately express the sublime mystery when we say that the
deity has merely arranged and combined materials previously existing,
to form a new whole?

_Art essentially creative._--So when the poet, the painter, the
skillful architect, the mighty orator, call forth from the slumbering
elements new forms of beauty and power, are not they, too, in their
humble way, creators? True, they have in so doing combined conceptions
previously existing in the mind. The writer combines in new forms
the existing letters of the alphabet, the painter combines existing
colors, the architect puts together previously-existing stones. But is
this all he does? Is it the chief thing? Is this the soul and spirit
of his divine art? No; there is a new power, a new element, not thus
expressed--the power of conceiving, and calling into existence, in the
realm of thought, that which has no actual existence in the world of
sober reality. He who has this power is a _maker_--[Greek: poiêtês]. It
is a power conferred, in some degree, on all, in its highest degree, on
few. The poet, painter, orator, the gifted creative man, whoever he is,
belongs to this class.


_Law of the Imagination._--It is a law of the imagination, that
whatever it represents, it realizes, clothes in sensible forms,
conceives as visible, audible, tangible, or in some way within the
sphere and cognizance of sense. Whatever it has to do with, whatever
object it seizes and presents, it brings within this sphere, invests
with sensible drapery. Now, strictly speaking, there are no objects,
save those of sense, which admit of this process, which can be, even
in conception, thus invested with sensible forms, pictured to the eye,
or represented to the other senses as objects of their cognizance.
If I conceive of objects strictly immaterial as thus presented, I
make them, by the very conception, to depart from their proper nature
and to become sensible. Imagination has nothing to do, then, strictly
speaking, with abstract truths and conceptions, with spiritual and
immaterial existences, with ideas and feelings as such, for none of
these can be represented under sensible forms, or brought within
the sphere and cognizance of the senses. Sensible objects are the
groundwork, therefore, of its operation--the materials of its art.

_But not to visible Objects._--It is not limited, however, to _visible_
objects merely--is not a mere picture-forming, image-making power. It
more frequently, indeed, fashions its creations after the conceptions
which sight affords than those of the other senses; but it deals also
with conceptions of sound, as in music, and the play of storm and
tempest, and with other objects of sense, as the taste, the touch,
pressure, etc. Thus the _gelidi fontes_ of Virgil is an appeal to
the sense of delicious coolness not less than to that of sparkling
beauty. A careful analysis of every act of the imagination will show,
I think, a _sensible basis_ as the groundwork of the fabric--something
seen, or heard, or felt--something said or done--some sensible
reality--something which, however ideal and transcendental in itself
and in reality, yet admits of expression in and through the senses;
otherwise it were a mere conception or _abstraction_--a mere idea--not
an imagination.


The simple reproduction of the _past_, whether an object or perception,
or sensation, or conception merely, the simple reproduction or bringing
back of that to the mind, we have assigned as the office of another
faculty. Imagination, we have said, departs from the reality, and gives
you not what you have had before, but something new, other, different.
It is not the simple image-making power, then, for mental reproduction
gives you an image or picture of any former object of perception, _as_
you have seen it--a portrait of the past, true and faithful to the

Some writers would differ from the view now expressed. Some of the
Germans assign to imagination the double office of producing the new
and reproducing the old; the latter they call imaginative reproduction.
In what respect this latter differs from the faculty of mental
reproduction in general, it is difficult to perceive. When I remember a
word spoken, or a song, I have the conception of a _sound_, or a series
of sounds. When I remember an object in nature, as a mountain, a house,
etc., I have the conception of a material object, having some definite
form, and figure, outline, proportion, magnitude, etc. The conception
of the absent object presents itself in such a case, of course, as an
image or picture of the object to the mental eye. It is as really the
work of conception reproductive, however, to replace, in this case, the
absent object as once perceived, as it is to bring back to mind any
thing else that has once been before it; _e. g._, a spoken word or a
date in history. We may, if we please, term this faculty, as employed
on objects of sight, conception _imaginative_ and distinguish it from
the same faculty as employed in reproducing other objects; but it were
certainly better to appropriate the term imagination to the single and
far higher province of creation--the office of conceiving the ideal
under the form of the sensible.


Is it an act which the mind puts forth when it will, and withholds
when it will? Or is it a mere passive susceptibility of the mind to be
impressed in this particular way? As the harp lies passive to the wind,
which comes and goes we know not how or whither, so does the mind lie
open to such thoughts and fancies as flit over it and call forth its
hidden harmonies as they pass by? Those who, with Dr. Brown, resolve
imagination into mere suggestion, of course take the latter view.

_Often spontaneous._--Undoubtedly, the greater part of our ideal
conceptions are spontaneous--the thoughts that rise at the instant,
unpremeditated, uncalled, the suggestions of the passing moment or
event. This is true of our daily reveries, and all the little romances
we construct, when we give the reins to fancy, and a "varied scene
of thought"--to use the beautiful expression of Cudworth--passes
before us, peopled with forms unreal and illusive. There is no special
volition to call up these conceptions, or _such_ as these. They take
their rise and hue from the complexion of the mind at the time, and
the character of the preceding conceptions, in the ever moving, ever
varying series and procession of thought. They are like the shifting
figures on the curtain in a darkened room, shadows coming and going,
as the forms of those without move hither and thither. So far, all
is spontaneous. Nay, more: It is, doubtless, impossible, by direct
volition, to call up any conception, ideal or otherwise; since this,
as Dr. Brown has well argued, would be "either to will without knowing
what we will, which is absurd," or else to have already the conception
which we wished to have, which is not less absurd.

_If no intentional Activity, then Imagination not a Faculty._--Is there
then no intentional creation of new and ideal conceptions, of images,
similes, metaphors, and other like material of a lively and awakened
fancy, but merely a _casual_ suggestion of such and such thoughts,
quite beyond any control and volition or even purpose of ours? If so,
then, after all, is it proper to speak of a faculty of imagination,
since we have not, in this case, the _power_ of _doing_ the thing under
consideration? We merely sit still in the darkened room, and watch the
figures as they come and go, with some desire that the thing may go on,
some appreciation of it, some critical judgment of the different forms
and movements.

_The Mind not wholly passive in the Process._--I reply this is not
altogether so. The mind is not altogether _passive_ in this thing;
there is an _activity_ involved in the process, and that of the mind's
own. There is a power, either original or acquired, of conceiving
such thoughts as are now under consideration, a readiness for them,
a proneness to them, a bias, propensity, inclination, more powerful
in some than in others, by virtue of which this process occurs.
We may call this a faculty, though, more strictly, perhaps, _a
susceptibility_, but it is, in truth, one of the endowments of the
mind, part of its furniture, one form of its activity.

_A more direct voluntary Element._--But there is, further than this,
and more directly, a voluntary element in the process. It is in our
power to yield, or not, to this propensity, this inclination to the
ideal; to put forth the mental activity in this direction, or to
withhold it; to say whether or not the imagination shall have its free,
full play, and with liberated wing soar aloft through her native skies;
whether our speech shall be simple argument, unadorned stout logic, or
logic not less stout, clothed with the pleasing, rustling drapery which
a lively imagination is able to throw, like a splendid robe, over the
naked form of truth.

There is, then, really a mental activity, and an activity in some
degree under control of the will, in the process we are considering.

_Same Difficulty lies elsewhere._--The same difficulty which meets us
here, meets us elsewhere, and lies equally against other mental powers.
We cannot, by direct volition, remember a past event, for this implies,
as in the case of the volition to imagine a given scene, either that
the thing is already in view, or else that we will we know not what.
Yet, as every one knows, there is a way of recalling past events; a
faculty or power of doing this thing; a faculty which we exercise when
we please.

The same may be said of the power of thought in general. We cannot,
by direct volition, _think_ of any given thing, for to will to think
of it is already to have thought of it, yet there is mental activity
involved in every process of thought a mental power exercised, a
faculty of some sort exercised. Nor is it a power altogether beyond
our own control. We can direct our thoughts, can govern them, can turn
them, as we do a water course, that _will_ flow somewhere, but whose
channel we may lead this way or that.


_Influence upon the Mind._--As to the benefits arising from the due
use and exercise of this faculty, not much, perhaps, is requisite to
be said. It gives vividness to our conceptions, it raises the tone of
our entire mental activity, it adds force to our reasoning, casts the
light of fancy over the sombre plodding steps of judgment, gilds the
recollections of the past, and the anticipations of the future, with a
coloring not their own. It lights up the whole horizon of thought, as
the sunrise flashes along the mountain tops, and lights up the world.
It would be but a dreary world without that light.

_Influence on the Orator._--By its aid the orator presents his clear,
strong argument in its own simple strength and beauty, or commands
those skillful touches, that, by a magic spell, thrill all hearts in
unison. There floats before his mind, ever as he proceeds, the _beau
ideal_ of what his argument should be; toward this he aspires, and
those aspirations make him what he is. No man is eloquent who has not
the imagination requisite to form and keep vividly before him such an

_On the Artist._--By its aid the artist breathes into the inanimate
marble the breath of life, and it becomes a living soul. By its
aid, deaf old Beethoven, at his stringless instrument, calls up the
richest harmony of sound, and blind old Milton, in his darkness and
desolateness, takes his magician's wand, and lo! there rises before
him the vision of that Paradise where man, in his primeval innocence,
walked with God.

_On other Minds._--Nor is it the poet, the orator, the artist, alone,
that derive benefit from the exercise of this faculty, or have occasion
to make use of it. It is of inestimable value to us all. It opens for
us new worlds, enlarges the sphere of our mental vision, releases us
from the bonds and bounds of the actual, and gives us, as a bird let
loose, the wide firmament of thought for our domain. It gilds the bald,
sullen actualities, and stern realities of life, as the morning reddens
the chill, snowy summits of the Alps, till they glow in resplendent

_On the Spectator and Observer._--It is of service, not to him who
writes alone, but to him who reads; not to him who speaks alone, but
to him who hears; not to the artist alone, but to the _observer_ of
art; for neither poet, nor orator, nor artist, can convey the full
meaning, the _soul_, the inspiration of his work, to one who has not
the imagination to appreciate and feel the beauty, and the power,
that lie hidden there. There is just as much meaning in their works,
to us, as there is soul in us to receive that meaning. The man of no
imagination sees no meaning, no beauty, no power, in the Paradise Lost,
the symphonies of Beethoven and Mozart, the Transfiguration of Raphael,
the Aurora of Guido, or the master-pieces of Canova and Thorwalsden.

_Errors of Imagination._--Undoubtedly there are errors, mistakes,
prejudices, illusions of the imagination; mistakes in judgment, in
reasoning, in the affairs of practical life, the source of which is to
be found in some undue influence, some wrong use, of the imagination.
We mistake its conceptions for realities. We dwell upon its pleasing
visions till we forget the sober face of truth. We fancy pleasures,
benefits, results which will never be realized, or we look upon the
dark and dreary side of things till all nature wears the sombre hue of
our disordered fancy.

_Not, therefore, to set aside its due Culture._--All this we are
liable to do. All these abuses of the imagination are possible, likely
enough to occur. Against them we must guard. But to cry out against the
culture and due exercise of the imagination, because of these abuses to
which it is liable, is not the part of wisdom or highest benevolence.
To hinder its fair and full development, and to preclude its use, is to
cut ourselves off, and shut ourselves out, from the source of some of
the highest, purest, noblest, pleasures of this our mortal life.

_No Faculty perhaps of more Value._--It is not too much to say, that
there is, perhaps, no faculty of the mind which, under due cultivation,
and within proper bounds, is of more real service to man, or is more
worthy of his regard, than this. Especially, is it of value in forming
and holding before the mind an ideal of excellence in whatever we
pursue, a standard of attainment, practicable and desirable, but
loftier far than any thing we have yet reached. To present such an
ideal, is the work of the imagination, which looks not upon the actual,
but the possible, and conceives that which is more perfect than the
human eye hath seen, or the human hand wrought. No man ever yet
attained excellence, in any art or profession, who had not floating
before his mind, by day and by night, such an ideal and vision of what
he might and ought to be and to do. It hovers before him, and hangs
over him, like the bow of promise and of hope, advancing with his
progress, ever rising as he rises, and moving onward as he moves; he
will never reach it, but without it he would never be what he is.


_Strengthened by Use._--In what way, it is sometimes asked, may the
faculty under consideration be improved and strengthened? To this it
may be replied, in general, that the ideal faculty, like every other,
is developed and strengthened by exercise, weakened and impaired by
neglect. There is no surer way to secure its growth than to call its
present powers, whatever they may be, into frequent exercise. The
mental faculties, like the thews and muscles of the physical frame,
develop by use. Imagination follows the same general law.

_Study of the Works of others._--I do not mean by this exclusively
the direct exercise of the imagination in ideal creations of our own,
although its frequent employment in this way, is of course necessary
to its full development. But the imagination is also exercised by the
study of the ideal creations of others, especially of those highly
gifted minds which have adorned and enriched their age with productions
of rarest value, which bear the stamp and seal of immortality. With
these, in whatever department of letters or art, in poetry, oratory,
music, painting, sculpture, architecture--whatever is grand, and
lofty, and full of inspiration, whatever is beautiful and pleasing,
whatever is of choicest worth and excellence in its own proper sphere;
with these let him become familiar who seeks to cultivate in himself
the faculty of the ideal. Every work of the imagination appeals to
the imagination of the observer, and thus develops the faculty which
it calls into exercise. No one can be familiar with the creations of
Shakspeare and Milton, of Mozart and Beethoven, of Raphael and Michael
Angelo, and not catch something of their inspiration.

_Study of Nature._--Even more indispensable is the study of nature; and
it has this advantage, that it is open to those who may not have access
to the sublime works of the highest masters of art. Nature, in all
her moods and phases--in her wonderful variety of elements--the grand
and the lowly, the sublime and the beautiful, the terrible and the
pleasing--nature in her mildest and most fearful displays of power, and
also in her softest and sweetest attractions, is open to every man's
observation, and he must be a close observer and a diligent student of
her who would cultivate in himself the ideal element. The most gifted
sons of genius, the minds most richly endowed with the power of ideal
creation, have been remarkable for their love and careful study of

_Mistake on this Point._--I must notice in this connection, however,
a mistake into which some have fallen in regard to this matter. The
simple description of a scene in nature, just as it is, is not properly
a work of the imagination. It is simply perception or memory that is
thus exercised, along with judgment and artistic power of expression.
Imagination gives not the actual, but the ideal. She never satisfies
herself with an exact copy. The mere portrait painter, however
skillful, is not in the highest sense an artist. The painter, mentioned
by Wayland, who copied the wing of the butterfly for the wing of the
Sylph, was not, in so doing, exercising his imagination, but only his
power of imitation. So, too, when Walter Scott gives us, in the cave
of Denzel, a precise description of some spot which he has seen, even
to the very plants and flowers that grow among the rocks, that scene,
however pleasing and life-like, is not properly a creation of his own
imagination; it is a description of the actual, and not a conception of
the ideal. Much that is included under the general title of works of
the imagination is not properly the production of that faculty.

Coleridge has made essentially the same remark, that in what is called
a work of imagination, much is simple narration, much the filling up of
the outline, and not to be attributed to that faculty.

_The Student of Nature not a mere Copyist._--The true study of nature,
is not to observe simply that we may copy what she presents, but rather
to gather materials on which our own conceptive power may work, and
which it may fashion after its own designs into new combinations and
results of beauty. Nature, too, is full of hints and suggestions which
a discerning mind, and an eye practised to the beautiful, will not fail
to catch and improve. It is only when we do this, when we begin, in
fact, to depart from, and go beyond the actual, that we exercise the

_Difference illustrated by an Example._--The difference between simple
description, and the creations of the conceptive faculty, may be shown
by reference to a single example:

    "The twilight hours, like birds, flew by,
      As lightly and as free;
    Ten thousand stars were in the sky,
      Ten thousand in the sea;
    For every wave, with dimpled cheek
      That leaped upon the air,
    Had caught a star in its embrace,
      And held it trembling there."

The quiet stillness of the evening, the reflection of the stars in the
sea, are the two simple ideas which enter into this beautiful stanza.
They would have been faithfully and fully expressed, so far as regards
all the perfections of exact description, by the simple propositions
which follow: "The evening hours passed swiftly and silently; many
stars appeared in the sky, and each was reflected in the sea."

The poet is not content with this description. The swiftness and
silentness of those passing hours remind him of the flight of birds
along the sky. The resemblance strikes him as beautiful. He embodies it
in his description. It is an ideal conception. He goes further. He sees
in the water, not the reflection merely of the stars, but the stars
themselves, as many in the sea as in the sky. Here is a departure from
the truth, from the actual, an advance into the region of the ideal.
Imagination, thus set free, takes still further liberties: attributes
to the inanimate wave the _dimpled cheek_ of beauty, ascribes its
restlessness not to the laws of gravitation, but to the force of a
strictly human passion, under the influence of which it leaps into
the air toward the object of its affection, seizes it, and holds it,
trembling, in its embrace.



_Definition of Dr. Reid._--_Reid_ makes it nearly synonymous with
simple apprehension. "I take imagination, in its most proper sense, to
signify a lively conception of _objects of sight_," the conception of
things as they appear to the eye. _Addison_ employs the term with the
same limitation, that is, as confined to objects of sight.

_Of Stewart._--_Stewart_ regards this as incorrect, holds that
imagination is not confined to _visible_ or even _sensible_ objects.
He regards it as a complex, not a simple power, including simple
apprehension, abstraction, judgment, or taste, and association of
ideas; its province being to select, from different objects, a variety
of qualities and circumstances, and combine and arrange them so as to
form a new creation of its own.

_Of Brown._--_Brown_ differs not essentially from the view of Stewart.
He also makes imagination a complex operation, involving conception,
abstraction, judgment, association. He distinguishes between the
_spontaneous_ and the _voluntary_ operation of the imaginative power;
in the former case, there is no voluntary effort of selection,
combination, etc., but images arise independently of any desire or
choice of ours, by the laws of suggestion; and this he holds to be
the most frequent operation of the faculty. In the case of voluntary
imagination, which is attended with desire, this desire is the
prominent thing, and serves to keep the conception of the subject
before the mind, in consequence of which, a variety of associated
conceptions follow, by the laws of suggestion, in regular train. Of
these suggested conceptions and images, some, we approve, others, we
do not; the former, by virtue of our approval, become more lively and
permanent, while the latter pass away. Thus, without any direct effort
or power of the will to combine and separate these various conceptions,
they shape themselves according to our approval and desire, in
obedience to the ordinary laws of suggestion.

_Of Smith._--_Sydney Smith_ regards imagination in much the same
light--a faculty in which association plays the principal part,
assisted by judgment, taste, etc., amounting, in fact, to much the same
thing that we call invention; the process by which a poet constructs a
drama, or a machinist a steam-engine, being essentially the same.

_Of Wayland and Upham._--_Wayland_, in common with most of the
authors already cited, makes imagination a complex faculty, involving
abstraction, and association; "the power by which, from simple
conceptions already existing in the mind, we form complex wholes or
images." Some form of abstraction necessarily precedes the exercise
of this power. The different elements of a conception must be first
mentally severed before we can reunite them in a new conception. "It is
this power of reuniting the several elements of a conception at will,
that is, properly, imagination. Imagination may then be designated the
power of combination." _Upham_ takes the same view. The same view,
essentially, is also given by _Amandè Jacques_, a French writer of

_View of Tissot._--_Tissot_, as also many of the German philosophers,
gives imagination the double province of recalling sensible intuitions,
objects of sight, such as we have known them, and also of conceiving
objects altogether differently disposed from our original perceptions
of them, varied from the reality. The former they call imagination
_reproductive_, the latter, _creative_. That form of the imagination
which is purely spontaneous, in distinction from the voluntary, they
term fancy.

_Of Coleridge and Mahan._--_Coleridge_, followed by _Mahan_, regards
imagination as the power which recombines the several elements of
thought into conceptions, which conform not to _mere existences_,
but to _certain fundamental ideas in the mind itself_, ideas of the
beautiful, sublime, etc.

_These Definitions agree in what._--These definitions, it will be
perceived, with scarcely an exception make imagination to be a complex
faculty, and regard it as merely _the power of combining_, in new
forms, the various elements of thought already in the mind. The
correctness of each of these ideas has been already discussed.





_Office of this Power._--We have thus far treated of that power of the
mind by which it takes cognizance of objects as directly presented to
sense, and also of that by which it represents to itself former objects
of cognition in their absence. But a large portion of our knowledge and
of our mental activity does not fall under either of these divisions.
There is a class of mental operations which differs from the former, in
that they do not give us directly sensations or perceptions of things,
do not present objects themselves; and from the latter, in that they
do not represent to the thought absent objects of perception; which
differ from both, in that they deal not with the things themselves, but
with the properties and relations of things--not with the concrete, but
with the abstract and general. This class of operations, to distinguish
it from the preceding classes, we have named, in our analysis, the
_reflective power_ of the mind. It comprises a large part of our mental

_Specific Character._--The form of mental activity which is
characteristic of this faculty, is the perception of relations, that
which Dr. Brown calls _relative suggestion_, but which we should
prefer to term _relative conception_. The mind is so constituted
that when distinct objects of thought are presented, it conceives at
once the notion of certain relations existing between those objects.
One is larger, one smaller, one is here, the other there, one is
a part in relation to a whole, some are like, others unlike each
other. The several relations that may exist and fall under the notice
of this power of the mind are too many to be easily enumerated.
The more important are, position, resemblance, proportion, degree,
comprehension. All these may, perhaps, by a sufficiently minute
analysis, be resolved into one--that of comprehension, or the relation
of a whole to its parts.

_Comprehensive of several Processes._--The faculty now under
consideration will, on careful investigation, be found to underlie
and comprehend several mental processes usually ranked as distinct
operations and faculties of the mind, but which are at most only so
many forms of the general power of relative conception. Such are
the mental operations usually known as _judgment_, _abstraction_,
_generalization_, and _reasoning_. Of these, and their relation to the
general faculty comprehensive of all, we shall have occasion to speak
further as we proceed.

_Two Modes of Operation._--As the relations of object to object may all
be comprised under the general category of comprehension, or the whole
and its parts, there are manifestly two modes or processes in which
the reflective faculty may put forth its activity. It may combine the
several parts or elements to form a complex whole, or it may divide the
complex whole into its several parts and elements. In the one case, it
works from the parts, as already resolved, to the whole; in the other,
from the whole, as already combined, to the parts. The one is the
compositive or synthetic, the other, the analytic or divisive process.
Each will claim our attention.




_Our Conceptions often Complex._--If we examine attentively the various
notions or conceptions of the mind, we find that a large part of them
are in a sense complex--comprising, in a word, a certain aggregate of
properties, which, taken together, constitute our conception of the
object. Thus, my notion of table, or chair, or desk, is made up of
several conceptions, of form, size, material, color, hardness, weight,
use, etc., etc., all which, taken together, constitute my notion of the
object thus designated.

_Originally given as discrete._--These several elements that enter into
the composition of our conceptions of objects, it is further to be
noticed, are, in the first instance, given us in perception, not as a
complex whole, but as discrete elements. Thus, sight gives us form and
color; touch gives us extension, hardness, smoothness, etc.; muscular
resistance gives us weight, and so, by the various senses, we gather
the several properties which make up our cognizance of the object, and
which, taken together, constitute our conception of it.

_Conceptions of Classes._--But a large part of our conceptions, if we
carefully observe the operations of our own minds, are not particular,
but general, not of individual objects, but of classes of objects. Of
this, any one may satisfy himself on a little reflection. How are these
conceptions formed?

_Such Conceptions, how formed._--The process of forming a general
conception, I take to be this: The several elements that compose our
conception of an individual object, being originally presented, as
we have already said, one by one, in the discrete, and not in the
concrete, it is of course in our power to conceive of any one of these
elements by itself. No new power or faculty is needed for this. By the
usual laws of suggestion any one of these elements may be presented
to the mind, distinct from those with which, in perception, it is
associated, and as such it may be the object of attention and thought.
I may thus conceive of the color, the form, the size, or the fragrance
of a flower.

_Extension of the Process to other Objects._--It is of the form, color,
etc., of some particular flower, as yet, however, and not of form and
color in general, that I conceive. Suppose, now, that other flowers
are presented to my notice, possessing the same form and color, for
example, red. Presently I observe other objects, besides flowers, that
are of the same color--horses, cows, tables, books, cloths. As the
field of observation enlarges, still other objects are added to the
list, until that which I first conceived of as the peculiar property
of a single flower, the rose, and of a single specimen, no longer
is appropriated in my thoughts to any individual object or class of
objects, but becomes a general conception. It is an abstraction and
also a generalization; an abstraction because it no longer denotes or
connotes any individual object, but stands before the mind as simple,
pure quality, red, or redness; a generalization inasmuch as it is a
quality pertaining equally to a great variety of objects.

_The Process carried still further._--Having thus obtained the general
conception of red, and, in like manner, of blue, violet, yellow,
indigo, orange, etc., etc., I may carry the process still further, and
form a conception more general than either, and which shall include
all these. These are all varieties denoting the certain peculiarity of
appearance which external objects present to the eye. Fixing my thought
upon this, their common characteristic, I no longer conceive of red, or
blue, or violet, as such, but of color in general.

In like manner, I observe the properties of different
triangles--right-angled, obtuse-angled, acute-angled, equilateral,
isosceles. I leave out of view whatever is peculiar to each of these
varieties, retaining only what is common to them all--the property of
three-sidedness; and my conception is now a general one--triangle.

It is in this manner that we form the conceptions expressed by such
terms as animal, man, virtue, form, beauty, and the like. A large
proportion of the words in ordinary use, are of this sort. They are the
names or expressions of abstract, general, conceptions: abstract, in
that they do not relate to any individual object; general, in that they
comprehend, and are equally applicable to a great variety of objects.

_Process of Classification._--The process of _classification_ is
essentially the same with that by which we form general abstract
conceptions. Observing different objects, I find that they resemble
each other in certain respects, while in others they differ. Objects
A, B, and C, differ, for instance, in form, and size, and weight, and
fragrance, but agree in some other respect, as in color. On the ground
of this resemblance, I class them together in my conceptions. In so
doing, I leave out of view all other peculiarities, the points in which
they differ, and take into account only the one circumstance in which
they agree. In the very act of forming a class, I have formed a general
conception, which lies at the basis of that classification.

_Tendency of the Mind._--The tendency of the mind to group individual
objects together on the ground of perceived resemblances, is very
strong, and must be regarded as one of the universal and instinctive
propensities of our nature, one of the laws of mental action. As
we have already remarked, respecting general abstract terms, a
large portion of the language of ordinary life is the language of
classification. The words which constitute by far the greater part of
the names of things, are common nouns, that is, names of classes.
The names of individual objects are comparatively few. Adjectives,
specifying the qualities of objects, denote groups or classes
possessing that common quality. Adverbs qualifying verbs or adjectives,
designate varieties or classes of action and of quality. Indeed, the
very existence of language as a medium of communication, and means of
expression, involves and depends upon this tendency of the mind to
class together, and then to designate by a common noun, objects diverse
in reality, but agreeing in some prominent points of resemblance. In no
other way would language be possible to man, since, to designate each
individual object by a name peculiar to itself, would be an undertaking
altogether impracticable.

_Rudeness of the earlier Attempts._--The first efforts of the mind
at the process of classification are, doubtless, rude and imperfect.
The infancy of the individual, and the infancy of nations and races,
are, in this respect, alike; objects are grouped roughly and in the
mass, specific differences are overlooked, and individuals differing
widely and essentially are thrown into the same class, on the ground
of some observed and striking resemblance. As observation becomes more
minute, and the mind advances in culture and power of discrimination,
these ruder generalizations are either abandoned or subdivided into
genera and species, and the process assumes a scientific form. What
was at first mere classification, becomes now, in the strictest sense,

_Scientific Classification._--Classification, however scientific, is
still essentially the process already described. We observe a number of
individuals, for example, of our own species. Certain resemblances and
differences strike us. Some have straight hair, and copper complexion,
others, woolly hair, and black complexion, others, again, differ from
the preceding in both these respects. Neglecting minor and specific
differences, we fix our attention on the grand points of resemblance,
and thus form a general conception, which embraces whatever
characteristics belong, in common, to the several individuals which
thus resemble each other. To this general conception we appropriate the
name Indian, Negro, Caucasian, etc., which henceforth represent to us
so many classes or varieties of the human race. Bringing these classes
again into comparison with each other, we observe certain points of
resemblance between them, and form a conception still more general,
that of man.

_Further Illustration of the same Process._--In this way the genera
and species of science are formed. On grounds of observed resemblance,
we class together, for example, certain animals. They differ from
each other in color, size, and many other respects, but agree in
certain characteristics which we find invariable, as, for example, the
form of the skeleton, number of vertebræ, number and form of teeth,
arrangement of organs of digestion. We give a name to the class thus
formed--carnivora, rodentia, etc. The class thus formed and named,
we term the genus, while the minor differences mark the subordinate
varieties or species included under the genus. In the same way,
comparing other animals, we form other genera. Bringing the several
genera also into comparison, we find them likewise agreeing in certain
broad resemblances. These points of agreement, in turn, constitute
the elements of a conception and classification still wider and more
comprehensive than the former. Under this new conception I unite the
previous genera, and term them all mammalia. And so on to the highest
and widest generalizations of science.

Having formed our classification we refer any new specimen to some
one of the classes already formed, and the more complete our original
survey, the more correct is this process of individual arrangement.
It is remarked by Mr. Stewart, that the islanders of the Pacific, who
had never seen any species of quadruped, except the hog and the goat,
naturally inferred, when they saw a cow, that she must belong to one
or the other of these classes. The limitations of human knowledge may
lead the wisest philosopher into essentially the same error.

It is in the way now described that we form genera, and species, and
the various classes into which, for purposes of science, we divide
the multitude of objects which are presented in nature, and which,
but for this faculty, would appear to us but a confused and chaotic
assemblage without number, order, or arrangement. The individuals
exist in nature--not the classes, and orders, and species: these are
the creations of the human mind, conceptions of the brain, results of
that process of thought now described as the reflective faculty in its
synthetic form.

_Importance of this Process._--It is evident at a glance that this
process lies at the foundation of all science. Had we no power of
generalization--had we no power of separating, in our thoughts, the
quality from the substance to which it pertains, of going beyond the
concrete to the abstract, beyond the particular to the general--could
we deal only with individual existences, neither comparison nor
classification would be possible; each particular individual object
would be a study to us by itself, nor would any amount of diligence
ever carry us beyond the very alphabet of knowledge.

_Existence of general Conceptions questioned._--Important as this
faculty may seem when thus regarded, it has been questioned by some
whether, after all, we have, in fact, or can have, any general abstract
ideas; whether triangle, man, animal, etc., suggest in reality any
thing more to the mind than simply some particular man, or triangle,
or animal, which we take to represent the whole class to which the
individual belongs.

There can be no question, however, that we do distinguish in our minds
the thought of some particular man, as Mr. A, or some particular sort
of man, as black man, white man, from the thought suggested by the term
man; and the thought of an isosceles or right-angled triangle, from
the thought suggested by the unqualified term triangle. They do not
mean the same thing; they have not the same value to our minds. Now
there are a great multitude of such general terms in every language,
they have a definite meaning and value, and we know _what_ they mean.
It must be then that we have general abstract ideas, or general

_Argument of the Nominalist._--But the nominalist replies. The term
man, or triangle, awakens in your mind, in reality and directly, only
the idea of some particular individual or triangle, and this stands as
a sort of _type_ or _representation_ of other like individuals of whom
you do not definitely think as such and so many. I reply, this cannot
be shown; but even if it were so, the very language of the objection
implies the power of having general conceptions. If the individual man
or triangle thought of stands as a type or representation, as it is
said, of a great number of similar men and triangles, then is there
not already in my mind, prior to this act of representation, the _idea
of a class of objects_, arranged according to the law of resemblance,
in other words, a _general abstract idea_ or _conception_? If I had
not already formed such an idea, the particular object presented to my
thoughts could not stand as type or representation of any such thing,
or of any thing beyond itself, for the simple reason that there would
be nothing of the sort to represent.

_Further Reply._--Besides, there is a large class of general terms to
which this reasoning of the nominalist would not at all apply--such
terms as virtue, vice, knowledge, wisdom, truth, time, space--which
manifestly do not awaken in the mind the thought of any particular
virtue or vice, any particular truth, any definite time, any definite
space, but a general notion under which all particular instances may be
included. To this the nominalist will perhaps reply, that in such cases
we are really thinking, after all, of mere _names_ or _signs_, as when
we use the algebraic formula _x-y_, a mere term of convenience, having
indeed some value, we do not know precisely what, _itself_ the terminus
and object of our thought for the time being. In such cases the mind
stops, he would say, with the term itself, and does not go beyond it
to conjure up a general conception for it. So it is with the terms
virtue, vice; so with the general terms, class, species, genus, man,
animal, triangle; they are mere collective terms, _signs_, formulas of
convenience, to which you attach no more meaning than to the expression
_x-y_. If you would find their meaning and attach any definite idea
to them, you must resolve them into the _particular_ objects, the
particular vices, virtues, etc., which go to make up the class.

I reply to all this, you are still classifying, still forming a general
conception, the expression of which is your so called formula, _x-y_,
alias virtue, man, and the like.


We are now prepared to consider the proper province and relation of
several terms frequently employed, with considerable latitude and
diversity of meaning, to denote, in part, or as a whole, the process
now described. Such are the terms _abstraction_, _generalization_,
_classification_, and _judgment_.


_Term often used in a Wide Sense._--This term is frequently employed
to denote the entire synthetic process as now described--the power
of forming abstract general conceptions, and of classifying objects
according to those conceptions. It is thus employed by Stewart,
Wayland, Mahan, and others. There is, perhaps, no objection to this use
of the word, except that it is manifestly a departure from the strict
and proper sense of the term.

_More limited Sense._--There is another and more common use of the term
abstraction, which gives it a more limited sense. As thus employed,
it denotes that act of the mind by which we fix our attention on some
one of the several parts, properties, or qualities of an object, to
the exclusion of all the other parts or properties which go to make up
the complex whole. In consequence of this exclusive direction of the
thoughts to that one element, the other elements or properties are lost
sight of, drop out of the account, and there remains in our present
conception only that one item which we have singled out from the rest.
This is denominated, in common language, _abstraction_. Such is the
common idea and definition of that term. It is Mr. Upham's definition.

_This not really Abstraction._--Whether this, again, is the true idea
of abstraction, is, to say the least, questionable. When I think of
the cover of a book, the handle of a door, the spring of a watch,
in distinction from the other parts which make up a complex whole,
I am hardly exercising the power of abstract thought; certainly no
new, distinct faculty is requisite for this, but simply attention to
one among several items or objects of perception. Hardly ever can it
be called analysis, with Wayland. It is the simple direction of the
thought to some one out of several objects presented. A red rose is
before me. I may think of its color exclusively, in distinction from
its form and fragrance; that is, of the redness of this particular
rose, this given surface before me. The object of my thought is
purely a sensible object. I have not abstracted it from the sensible
individual object to which it belongs. It is in no sense an abstract
idea, a pure conception. There has been nothing done which is not
done in any case where one thing, rather than another of a group or
assemblage of objects, is made the object of attention.

_The true Nature of Abstraction._--But suppose now that instead of
thinking of the redness of this rose in particular, I think of the
color red in general, without reference to the rose or any other
substance; or, to carry the process further, of color in general,
without specifying in my thought any particular color, evidently I
am dealing now with abstractions. I have in my thought _drawn away_
(abstraho) the color from the substance to which it belongs, from
all substance, and it stands forth by itself a pure conception, an
_abstraction_, having, as such, no existence save in my mind, but
there it does exist a definite object of contemplation. The form of
mental activity now described, I should call _abstraction_. It is not
necessary, perhaps, to assign it a place as a distinct faculty of
the mind. It is, in reality, a part, and an important part, of the
synthetic process already described. But it is not the whole of that
process, and the term abstraction should not, therefore, in strict
propriety, at least as now defined, be applied as a general term to
designate that class of mental operations. The synthetic process
involves something more than mere abstraction; viz.:


_Classification._--When the general idea or conception has been formed
in the mind, we proceed to bring together and arrange, on the basis of
that general conception, whatever individual objects seem to us to fall
under that general rule. This we call classification. Thus, forming
first the abstract, or general conception red, we bring together in our
thought a variety of objects to which this conception is applicable,
as red horses, red flowers, red books, red tables, etc., etc., thus
forming classes of objects on the ground of this common property. The
difference between _classification_ and _generalization_, in so far as
they are not synonymous, I take to be simply this, that in the former
we group and arrange objects according to no general law, but mere
appearance or resemblance, often, therefore, on fanciful or arbitrary
grounds while in the latter case, we proceed according to some general
and scientific principle or law of classification, making only those
distinctions the basis of our arrangement which are founded in nature,
and are at once invariable and essential.


_Judgment._--We have already spoken of that specific process by which,
having formed a given conception, or a given rule, we bring the
individual objects of perception and thought under that rule, or reject
them from it, according as they agree or disagree with the conception
we have formed. The process itself we have called classification. The
mental activity thus employed is technically termed _judgment_--the
power of subsuming, under a given notion or conception, the particular
objects which properly belong there. Thus, the botanist, as he meets
with new plants, and the ornithologist, as he discovers new varieties
of birds, refers them at once to the family, the genus, the species to
which they belong. His mind runs over the generic types of the several
classes and orders into which all plants and birds are divided, he
perceives that his new specimen answers to the characteristic features
of one of these families, or classes, and not to those of the others,
and he accordingly assigns it a place under one, and excludes it from
the rest. So doing, he exercises judgment. All classification involves
and depends upon this power; closely viewed, the action of the mind, in
the exercise of this power, amounts simply to this, the perception of
agreement or disagreement between two objects of thought. In the case
supposed, the genus or species, as described by those who have treated
of the particular science, is one of the objects contemplated; the next
specimen of plant or bird, as carefully observed and studied, is the
other. These two objects of thought are compared; the one is perceived
to agree or not to agree with the other; and on the ground of this
agreement or disagreement, the classification is made. This perception
of agreement in such a case is an act of judgment, so called.

_Not a distinct Faculty._--The form of mental activity now described,
is hardly to be ranked as a distinct faculty of the mind, although it
has been not unfrequently so treated by writers on mental science.
It enters more or less fully into all mental operations; like
consciousness and attention, it is, to some extent, involved in the
exercise of all the faculties, and cannot, therefore, be ranked,
with propriety, as coördinate with them. It is not confined to the
investigations of science, but is an activity constantly exercised
by all men. We have in our minds a multitude of general conceptions,
the result of previous observation and thought. Every moment some new
object presents itself. With the quickness of thought, we find its
place among the conceptions already in the mind: it agrees with this,
it is incompatible with that, it belongs with the one, it is excluded
from the other. This is the form of most of our thinking; indeed,
no small part of our mental activity consists in this perception of
agreements and disagreements, and in the referring of some particular
object of experience, some individual conception, to the class or
general conception under which it properly belongs. The expression of
such a judgment is a proposition. We think in propositions, which are
only judgments mentally expressed. We discourse in propositions, which
are judgments orally expressed. We cannot frame a proposition which
does not affirm, or deny, or call in question, something of something.

_Judgment in relation to Knowledge._--Are judgment and knowledge
identical? Is all knowledge only some form of judgment? So Kant,
Tissot, and other writers of that school, would affirm. "Judgment is
the principal operation of the mind, since it is concerned in all
knowledge properly so called." "All our knowledges are judgments. To
know, is to distinguish, and to distinguish, is at once to affirm,
and to deny." Such was also Dr. Reid's doctrine, in opposition to
Locke, who distinguished between knowledge and judgment. Reid, on the
contrary, regards knowledge as only one class of judgments, namely,
those about which we are most positive and certain. According to this
view, judgment seems to cover the whole field of mental activity.
Sir William Hamilton thus regards it. We cannot even experience a
sensation, he maintains, without the mental affirmation or judgment
that we are thus and thus affected.

_Common Speech distinguishes them._--It must be admitted, however, that
in common use there is a distinction between knowing and judging, the
one implying the comparative certainty of the thing known, the other
implying some room and ground for doubt, the existence of opinion and
belief, rather than of positive knowledge. The word itself, both in its
primitive signification, and its derivation, indicating, as it does,
the decision by legal tribunal of doubtful cases, favors this usage.
That an exercise of judgment is, strictly speaking, involved in all
knowledge, is, nevertheless true, since, to know that a thing is thus
and thus, and not otherwise, is to distinguish it from other things,
and that is to judge.


_The Realist and Nominalist Controversy._

_The Question at Issue._--No question has been more earnestly and even
more bitterly discussed, in the whole history of philosophical inquiry,
than the point at issue between the Realist and Nominalist, as to what
is the precise object of thought when we form an abstract general
conception. When I use the term _man_, for example, is it a mere
_name_, and nothing more, or is there a _real existence_ corresponding
to that name, or is it neither a mere name on the one hand, nor, on
the other, a real existence, but a conception of my own mind, which
is the object of thought? These three answers can be made, these
three doctrines held, and essentially only these three. Each has been
actually maintained with great ability and acuteness. The names by
which the three doctrines are respectively designated are, Realism,
Nominalism, and Conceptualism.

_Early History of Realism._--Of these doctrines, the former, Realism,
was the first to develop itself. To say nothing of the ancients,
we find traces of it in modern philosophy, as early as the ninth
century. Indeed, it would seem to have been the prevalent doctrine,
though not clearly and sharply defined; a belief, as Tissot has well
expressed it, "spontaneous, blind, and without self-consciousness."
John Scotus Erigena, and St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, both
philosophers of note, together with many others of less distinction,
in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, were prominent Realists.
The Platonic view may, in fact, be said to have prevailed down to that
period. The early fathers of the Christian Church were strongly tinged
with Platonism, and the Realistic theory accordingly very naturally
engrafted itself upon the philosophy of the middle ages. The logical
and the ontological, existence as mere thought of the mind, and
existence as reality, were not distinguished by the leading minds of
those centuries. The reality of the thought as thought, and the reality
of an actual existence, corresponding to that thought, were confounded
the one with the other. As the rose of which I conceive has existence
apart from my conception, so man, plant, tree, animal, are realities,
and not mere conceptions of the mind.

_Rise of Nominalism._--It was not till nearly the close of the
eleventh century, that the announcement of the opposite doctrine was
distinctly made, in opposition to the prevalent views. This was done
by Roscelinus, who maintained that universal and general ideas have no
objective reality; that the only reality is that of the individuals
comprised under these genera; that there are no such existences as
man, animal, beauty, virtue, etc.; that generality is only a pure form
given by the mind to the matter of its ideas, a pure abstraction, a
mere name.

In this we have the opposite extreme of Realism. If the Realist went
too far in affirming the objective reality of his conception, the
Nominalist erred on the other in overlooking its subjective reality as
a mode or state of the mind, and reducing it to a mere name.

_Dispute becomes theological._--The dispute now, unfortunately,
but almost inevitably, became theological. The Realist accused the
Nominalist of virtually denying the doctrine of the Trinity, inasmuch
as, according to him, the idea of Trinity is only an abstraction, and
there is no Being corresponding to that idea. To this, Roscelinus
replied, with at least equal force and truth, that on the same ground
the Realist denied the doctrine of divine unity, by holding a doctrine
utterly incompatible with it. Roscelinus, however was defeated, if not
in argument, at least by numbers and authority, and was condemned by
council at the close of the eleventh century.

_Rise of Conceptualism._--It was about this time, that Abelard, pupil
of Roscelinus, proposed a modified view of the matter, avoiding the
extreme position both of the Realist and the Nominalist party, and
allowing the _subjective_, but not the _objective_ reality, of general
ideas. This is substantially the doctrine of Conceptualism. The general
abstract idea of man, rose, mountain, etc., has indeed no existence or
reality as an external object, nor is there among external objects any
thing corresponding to this idea; but it has, nevertheless, a reality
and existence as a thought, a conception of my mind.

_Prevalence of Realism during the twelfth and thirteenth
Centuries._--The doctrine, as thus modified, gained some prevalence,
but was condemned by successive councils and by the Pope. Sustained by
such authority, as well as by the names of men greatly distinguished
for learning and philosophy, Realism prevailed over its antagonists
during the latter part of the twelfth and the whole of the thirteenth
century. The fourteenth witnessed again the rise and spread of the
Conceptualist theory, under the leadership of Occam. The dispute was
bitter, leading to strife and even blood.

_Later History of the Discussion._--In the seventeenth century we find
Hobbes, Hume, and Berkley advocating the doctrine of the Nominalists,
while Price maintains the side of Realism. Locke and Reid were
Conceptualists, Stewart a Nominalist.



_Relation to the Synthetic Process._--We have thus far considered that
form or process of the reflective faculty, by which we combine the
elements of individual complex conceptions, to form general conceptions
and classes, on the basis of perceived agreements and differences.
This we have termed the synthetic process. The divisive or analytic
process remains to be considered. This, as the name denotes, is, so
far as regards the method of procedure, the opposite of the former.
We no longer put together, but take apart, no longer combine the many
to form one, but from the general complex whole, as already formed
and announced, we evolve the particular which lies included in it.
This process comprehends what is generally called analysis, and also

In discussing this most important mental process, we shall have
occasion to treat more particularly of its _nature_, its _forms_, and
its _modes_.


_Conceptions often Complex._--It was remarked, in speaking of our
conceptions, that many of them are complex. My notion of a table, for
example, is that of an object possessing certain qualities, as form,
size, weight, color, hardness, each of which qualities is known to me
by a distinct act of perception, if not by a distinct sense, and each
of which is capable, accordingly, of being distinctly, and by itself,
an object of thought or conception. The understanding combines these
several conceptions, and thus forms the complex notion of a table. The
notion thus formed, is neither more nor less than the aggregate, or
combination of the several elementary conceptions already indicated.
When I am called on to define my complex conception, I can only specify
these several elementary notions which go to make up my idea of the
table. I can say it is an object round, or square, of such or such
magnitude, that it is of such or such material, of this or that color,
and designed for such and such uses.

_Virtual Analysis of complex Conceptions._--Now when I affirm that the
table is round, I state one of the several qualities of the object so
called, one of the several parts of the complex notion. It is a partial
analysis of that complex conception. I separate from the whole, one of
its component parts, and then affirm that it sustains the relation of a
part to the comprehensive whole. The separation is a virtual analysis.
The affirmation is an act of judgment expressed in the form of a
proposition. Every proposition is, in fact, a species of synthesis,
and implies the previous analysis of the conception, or comprehensive
whole, whose component parts are thus brought together. Thus, when I
say snow is white, man is mortal, the earth is round, I simply affirm
of the object designated, one of the qualities which go to make up my
conception of that object. Every such statement or proposition involves
an analysis of the complex conception which forms the subject of
the proposition, while the thing predicated or affirmed is, that the
quality designated--the result of such analysis--is one of the parts
constituting that complex whole.

_Reasoning, what._--Reasoning is simply a series of such propositions
following in consecutive order, in which this analysis is carried
out more or less minutely. Thus, when I affirm that man is mortal,
I resolve my complex notion of man into its component parts, among
which I find the attribute of mortality, and this attribute I then
proceed to affirm of the subject, man. I simply evolve, and distinctly
announce, what was involved in the term man. But this term expresses
not merely a complex, but a general notion. Resolving it as such into
its individual elements, I find it to comprehend among the rest, a
certain person, Socrates, _e. g._, and the result of this analysis I
state in the proposition, Socrates is a man. But on the principle that
what is true of a class must be true of the individuals composing it,
it follows that the mortality already predicated of the class, man, is
an attribute of the individual, Socrates. When I affirm, then, that
Socrates is mortal, I announce, in reality, only what was virtually
implied in the first proposition--man is mortal. I have analyzed
the complex general conception, man, have found involved in it the
particular conception, mortal, and the individual conception, Socrates,
and by a subsequent synthesis have brought together these results in
the proposition, Socrates is mortal, a proposition which sustains to
the affirmation, man is mortal, the simple relation of a part to the

_Reasoning and Analysis, how related._--This analytic process, as
applied to propositions, for the purpose of evolving from a complex
general statement, whatever is involved or virtually contained in it,
is called reasoning; as applied not to propositions, but to simple
conceptions merely, it is known as simple analysis. The psychological
process is, in either case, one and the same.

_Illustration by Dr. Brown._--Dr. Brown has well illustrated the nature
of the reasoning process in its relation to the general proposition
with which we set out, by reference to the germ enclosed in the bulb
of the plant. "The truths at which we arrive, by repeated intellectual
analysis, may be said to resemble the premature plant which is to
be found enclosed in that which is itself enclosed in the bulb, or
seed which we dissect. We must carry on our dissection more and more
minutely to arrive at each new germ; but we do arrive at one after
the other, and when our dissection is obliged to stop, we have reason
to suppose that still finer instruments, and still finer eyes, might
prosecute the discovery almost to infinity. It is the same in the
discovery of the truths of reasoning. The stage at which one inquirer
stops is not the limit of analysis in reference to the object, but the
limit of the analytic power of the individual. Inquirer after inquirer
discovers truths which were involved in truths formerly admitted by
us, without our being able to perceive what was comprehended in our
admission.... There may be races of beings, at least we can conceive
of races of beings, whose senses would enable them to perceive the
ultimate embryo plant enclosed in its innumerable series of preceding
germs; and there may, perhaps, be created powers of some higher order,
as we know that there is one Eternal Power, able to feel, in a single
comprehensive thought, all those truths, of which the generations of
mankind are able, by successive analyses, to discover only a few, that
are, perhaps, to the great truths which they contain, only as the
flower, which is blossoming before us, is to that infinity of future
blossoms enveloped in it, with which, in ever renovated beauty, it is
to adorn the summers of other ages."

_Inquiry suggested._--But here the inquiry may arise. How happens it
that, if the reasonings which conduct to the profoundest and most
important truths, are but successive and continued analyses of our
previous conceptions, we should have admitted those preceding truths
and conceptions without a suspicion of the results involved in them?
The reason is probably to be found, as Dr. Brown suggests, in the fact
that in the process of generalizing we form classes and orders before
distinguishing the minuter varieties; we are struck with some obvious
points of agreement which lead us to give a common place and a common
term to the objects of such resemblance, and this very circumstance
of agreement which we perceive, may involve other circumstances which
we do not at the time perceive, but which are disclosed on minute and
subsequent attention. "It is as if we knew the situations and bearings
of all the great cities in Europe, and could lay down, with most
accurate precision, their longitude and latitude. To know thus much,
is to know that a certain space must intervene between them, but it
is not to know what that space contains. The process of reasoning, in
the discoveries which it gives, is like that topographic inquiry which
fills up the intervals of our map, placing here a forest, there a long
extent of plains, and beyond them a still longer range of mountains,
till we see, at last, innumerable objects connected with each other in
that space which before presented to us only a few points of mutual

_The Position further argued from the Nature of the Syllogism._--That
all deductive reasoning, at least, is essentially what has now been
described, an analytic process, is evident from the fact that the
syllogism to which all such argument may be reduced, is based upon
the admitted principle that whatever is true of the class, is true of
all the individuals comprehended under it. Something is affirmed of a
given class; an individual or individuals are then affirmed to belong
to that class; and on the strength of the principle just stated, it is
thereupon affirmed that what was predicated of the class is also true
of the individual. Nothing can be plainer than that in this process we
are working from the given whole to the comprehended parts, from the
complex conception stated at the outset, to the truths that lie hidden
and involved in it. In other words, it is a process of analysis which
we thus perform, and as all reasoning, when scientifically stated, is
brought under this form, it follows that all reasoning is essentially
analytic in its nature.

_Inductive Reasoning no Exception._--It may be supposed that the
inductive method of reasoning is an exception to this rule, inasmuch
as we proceed, in that case, not from the general to the particular,
but the reverse. Whatever may be true of deduction, is not induction
essentially a synthetic process? So it might, at first, appear. I have
observed, for example, that several animals of a particular species,
sheep, for instance, chew the cud. Having observed this in several
instances, I presently conclude that the same is true of the whole
class to which these several individuals belong, in other words, that
all sheep are ruminant. Extending my observation further, I find other
species of animals likewise chewing the cud. I observe, moreover,
that every animal, possessing this characteristic, is distinguished
by the circumstance of having horns and cloven hoofs; I find, so far
as my observation goes, the two things always associated, and hence
am led, on observing the one, immediately to infer the other. The
proposition that was at the outset particular, now becomes general,
viz., all animals that have horns and cloven hoofs are ruminant. Is
the conclusion at which I thus arrive, involved in the premiss with
which I start? Is the fact that all horned and cloven-footed animals
are ruminant, implied and contained in the fact that _some_ horned and
cloven-footed animals, that is, so many as I have observed, are so?

_Even here the Evidence of the Conclusion lies in the Premiss._--A
little reflection will convince us that these questions are to be
answered in the affirmative. If the conclusion be itself correct and
true, then it is a truth involved in the previous proposition; for
whatever evidence I have of the truth of my conclusion, that all
animals of this sort are ruminant, is manifestly derived from, and
therefore contained in, the fact that such as I have observed are
so. I have no other evidence in the case supposed. If this evidence
is insufficient, then the conclusion is not established. If it be
sufficient, then the conclusion which it establishes, is derived from
and involved in it.

The argument fully and scientifically stated, runs thus:

A, B, C, animals observed, are ruminant. But A, B, C, represent the
class Z to which they belong.

Therefore, class Z is ruminant.

Admitting now the correctness of my observation in respect to A, B, C,
that they are ruminant, the argument turns entirely upon the second
proposition that A, B, C, represent the class Z, so that what is true
of them in this respect, is true of the whole class. If A, B, C, _do_
represent the class Z, then to say that A, B, C, are ruminant, is to
say that Z is so. The one is contained in the other. If they do _not_,
then the conclusion is itself groundless, and there is no occasion to
inquire in what it is contained, or whether it is contained in any
thing. It is no longer a valid argument and therefore cannot be brought
in evidence that some reasoning is not analytic.

_What sort of Propositions constitute Reasoning._--It is hardly
necessary to state that not any and every series of propositions
constitute reasoning. The propositions must be consecutive, following
in a certain order, and not only so, but must be in such a manner
connected with and related to each other, that the truth of the final
proposition shall be manifest from the propositions which precede. To
affirm that snow is white, that gold is more valuable than silver, and
that virtue is the only sure road to happiness, is to state a series
of propositions, each one of which is true, but which have no such
relation to each other as to constitute an argument. The truth of the
last proposition does not follow from the truth of the preceding ones.


_Judgment Synthetic, Reasoning Analytic._--The relation of judgment and
reasoning to each other becomes evident from what has been said of the
nature of the reasoning process. Judgment is essentially synthetic.
Reasoning, essentially analytic. The former combines, affirms one thing
to be true of another; the latter divides, declares one truth to be
contained in another. All reasoning involves judgment, but all judgment
is not reasoning. The several propositions that constitute a chain of
reasoning, are so many distinct judgments. Reasoning is the evolution
or derivation of one of these judgments, viz., the conclusion, from
another, viz., the premiss. It is the process by which we arrive at
some of our judgments.

_Mr. Stewart's View._--Reasoning is frequently defined as a combination
of judgments, in order to reach a result not otherwise obvious. Mr.
Stewart compares our several judgments to the separate blocks of stone
which the builder has prepared, and which lie upon the ground, upon any
one of which a person may elevate himself a slight distance from the
ground; while these same judgments, combined in a process of reasoning,
he likens to those same blocks converted now, by the builder's art,
into a grand staircase leading to the summit of some lofty tower. It is
a simple combination of separate judgments, nor is there any thing in
the last step of the series differing at all in its nature, says Mr.
Stewart, from the first step. Each step is precisely like every other,
and the process of reaching the top is simply a repetition of the act
by which the first step is reached.

_This View called in Question._--It is evident that this position is
not in accordance with the general view which we have maintained of the
nature of the reasoning process. According to this view, reasoning is
not so much a combination as an analysis of judgments; nor is the last
of the several propositions in a chain of argument of the same nature
precisely as the first. It is, like the first, a judgment, but unlike
the first, it is a particular sort of judgment, viz., an inference or
conclusion, a judgment involved in and derived from the former.

In the series of propositions, A is B, B is C, therefore A is C, the
act of mind by which I perceive that A is B, or that B is C, is not
of the same nature with that by which I perceive the consequent truth
that A is C; no mere repetition of the former act would amount to the
latter. There is a new sort of judgment in the latter case, a deduction
from the former. In order to reach it, I must not merely perceive that
A is B, and that B is C, but must also perceive the connection of the
two propositions, and what is involved in them. It is only by bringing
together in the mind these two propositions, that I perceive the new
truth, not otherwise obvious, that A is C, and the state or act of mind
involved in this latter step seems to me a different one from that by
which I reach the former judgments.


_Two Kinds of Truth._--The most natural division is that according to
the subject-matter, or the materials of the work. The truths which
constitute the material of our reasoning process are of two kinds,
_necessary_, and _contingent_. That two straight lines cannot enclose
a space, that the whole is greater than any one of its parts, are
examples of the former. That the earth is an oblate spheroid, moves in
an elliptical orbit, and is attended by one satellite, are examples of
the latter.

_The Difference lies in what._--The difference is not that one is any
_less certain_ than the other, but of the one you cannot conceive the
opposite, of the other you can. That three times three are nine, is no
more true and certain, than that Cæsar invaded Britain, or that the
sun will rise to-morrow a few minutes earlier or later than to-day.
But the one admits of the contrary supposition without absurdity,
the other does not; the one is contingent, the other necessary. Now
these two classes of truths, differing as they do, in this important
particular, admit of, and require, very different methods of reasoning.
The one class is susceptible of _demonstration_, the other admits only
that species of reasoning called _probable_ or _moral_. It must be
remembered, however that when we thus speak we do not mean that this
latter class of truths is deficient in proof; the word probable is not,
as thus used, opposed to _certainty_, but only to _demonstration_. That
there is such a city as Rome, or London, is just as _certain_ as that
the several angles of a triangle are equal to two right-angles; but
the evidence which substantiates the one is of a very different nature
from that of the other. The one can be demonstrated, the other cannot.
The one is an eternal and necessary truth, subject to no contingence,
no possibility of the opposite. The other is of the nature of an event
taking place in time, and dependent on the will of man, and might,
without any absurdity, be supposed not to be as it is.


_Field of Demonstrative Reasoning._--Its field, as we have seen, is
necessary truth. It is limited, therefore, in its range, takes in only
things abstract, conceptions rather than realities, the relations of
things rather than things themselves, as existences. It is confined
principally, if not entirely, to mathematical truths.

_No degrees of Evidence._--There are no _degrees_ of evidence or
certainty in truths of this nature. Every step follows irresistibly
from the preceding. Every conclusion is inevitable. One demonstration
is as good as another, so far as regards the certainty of the
conclusion, and one is as good as a thousand. It is quite otherwise in
probable reasoning.

_Two Modes of Procedure._--In demonstration, we may proceed directly,
or indirectly; as, _e. g._, in case of two triangles to be proved
equal. I may, by super-position, prove this directly; or I may suppose
them unequal, and proceed to show the absurdity of such a supposition;
or I may make a number of suppositions, one or the other of which
_must_ be true, and then show that all but the one which I wish to
establish are false.

_Force of Mathematical reasoning._--The question arises whence the
peculiar force of mathematical, in distinction from other reasoning?--a
fact observed by every one, but not easily explained: how happens
this, and on what does it depend, this irresistible cogency which
compels our assent? Is it owing to the pains taken to define the terms
employed, and the strict adherence to those definitions? I think not;
for other sciences approximate to mathematics in this, but not to the
cogency of its reasoning. The explanation given by Stewart is certainly
plausible. He ascribes the peculiar force of demonstrative reasoning
to the fact, that the first principles from which it sets out, _i.
e._, its definitions, are _purely hypothetical_, involving no basis or
admixture of facts, and that by simply reasoning strictly upon these
assumed hypotheses the conclusions follow irresistibly. The same thing
would happen in any other science, could we (as we cannot) construct
our definitions to suit ourselves, instead of proceeding upon _facts_
as our data. The same view is ably maintained by other writers.

If this be so, the superior certainty of mathematical, over all other
modes of reasoning, if it does not quite vanish, becomes of much less
consequence than is generally supposed. Its truths are necessary in
no other sense than that certain definitions being assumed, certain
_suppositions_ made, then the certain other things follow, which is no
more than may be said of any science.

_Confirmation of this View._--It may be argued, as a confirmation of
this view, that whenever mathematical reasoning comes to be applied
to sciences involving facts either as the data, or as objects of
investigation, where it is no longer possible to proceed entirely
upon hypothesis, as, _e. g._, when you apply it to mechanics,
physics, astronomy, practical geometry, etc., then it ceases to be
demonstrative, and becomes merely probable reasoning.

_Mathematical reasoning supposed by some to be identical._--It has been
much discussed whether all mathematical reasoning is merely identical,
asserting, in fact, nothing more than that _a=a_; that a given thing
is equivalent to itself, capable of being resolved at last into merely
this. This view has been maintained by Leibnitz, himself one of the
greatest mathematicians, and by many others. It was for a long time the
prevalent doctrine on the Continent. Condillac applies the same to all
reasoning, and Hobbes seems to have had a similar view, _i. e._, that
all reasoning is only so much addition or subtraction. Against this
view Stewart contends that even if the propositions themselves might be
represented by the formula _a=a_, it does not follow that the various
steps of reasoning leading to the conclusion amount merely to that.
A paper written in cipher may be said to be identical with the same
paper as interpreted; but the evidence on which the act of deciphering
proceeds, amounts to something more than the perception of identity.
And further, he denies that the propositions are identical, _e. g._,
even the simple proposition 2×2=4. 2×2 express one set of quantities,
and 4 expresses another, and the proposition that asserts their
equivalence is not identical; it is not saying that the same quantity
is equal to itself, but that two different quantities are equivalent.


_Not opposed to Certainty._--It must be borne in mind, as already
stated, that the probability now intended is not opposed to certainty.
That Cæsar invaded Britain is _certain_, but the reasoning which goes
to establish it, is only probable reasoning, because the thing to be
proved is an event in history, contingent therefore, and not capable
of demonstration.

_Sources of Evidence._--Evidence of this kind of truths is derived from
three sources: 1. Testimony; 2. Experience; 3. Analogy.

1. _Evidence of Testimony._

_In itself probable._--This is, à priori, _probable_. We are so
constituted as to be inclined to believe testimony, and it is only when
the incredibility of the witness has been ascertained by sufficient
evidence, that we refuse our assent. The child believes whatever is
told him. The man, long conversant with human affairs, becomes wary,
cautious, suspicious, incredulous. It is remarked by Reid that the
evidence of testimony does not depend altogether on the character of
the witness. If there be no _motive_ for deception, especially if there
be weighty reasons why he should speak truth, or if the narrative be
in itself probable and consistent, and tallies with circumstances, it
is in such cases to be received even from those not of unimpeachable

_Limits of Belief._--What are the limits of belief in testimony?
Suppose the character of witnesses to be good, the narrative
self-consistent, the testimony concurrent of various witnesses,
explicit, positive, full, no motive for deception; are we to believe
in that case whatever may be testified? One thing is certain, we do in
fact believe in such cases; we are so constituted. Such is the law of
our nature. Nor can it be shown irrational to yield such assent. It has
been shown by an eminent mathematician that it is always possible to
assign a number of independent witnesses, so great that the falsity of
their concurrent testimony shall be mathematically more improbable, and
so more incredible, than the truth of their statement, _be it what it

_Case supposed._--Suppose a considerable number of men of undoubted
veracity, should, without concert, and agreeing in the main as to
particulars, all testify, one by one, that they witnessed, on a given
day and hour, some very strange occurrence, as, _e. g._, a ball of
fire, or a form of angelic brightness, hovering in the air, over this
building, or any like unwonted and inexplicable phenomenon. Are we to
withhold or yield our assent? I reply, if the number of witnesses is
large, and the testimony concurrent, and without concert, and no motive
exists for deception, and they are men of known integrity, especially
if they are sane and sober men, not easily imposed upon, I see not
how we can reasonably withhold assent. Their testimony is to be taken
as true testimony, _i. e._, they did really witness the phenomenon
described. The proof becomes stronger or weaker in proportion as the
circumstances now mentioned coexist to a greater or less extent, _i.
e.._, in proportion as there are more or fewer of these concurring and
corroborating circumstances. If there was but a single witness, or if
a number of the witnesses were not of the best character, or if there
were some possible motive for deception, or if they were not altogether
agreed as to important features of the case, so far the testimony would
of course be weakened. But we may always suppose a case so strong that
the falsity of the witnesses would be a greater miracle than the truth
of the story. This is the case with the testimony of the witnesses to
our Saviour's miracles.

_Distinction to be made._--An important distinction is here to be
noticed between the falsity, and the incorrectness, of the witness,
between his intention to deceive, and his being himself deceived.
He may have seen precisely what he describes; he may be mistaken in
thinking it to have been an angel, or a spirit, or a ball of fire.
Just as in the case of certain illusions of sense--an oar in the
water--the eye correctly reports what it sees, but the judgment is in
error, in thinking the oar to be crooked. So the witness may be true,
and the testimony true in the case of a supposed miracle or other
strange phenomenon; the _appearance_ may have been just as stated,
but the question may still be raised, were the witnesses correct, in
their inference, or judgment, as to what was the cause of the said
appearance, as to _what it was_ that they saw or heard?

This must be decided by the rules that govern the proceedings of
sensible men in common affairs of life.

2. _Reasoning from Experience._

_Induction as distinguished from Deduction._--This is called
_induction_, the peculiar characteristic of which, in distinction from
deductive reasoning, is that it begins with individual cases, and from
them infers a general conclusion, whereas, the deductive method starts
with a general proposition, and infers a particular one. From the
proposition all men are mortal, the syllogism infers that Socrates is
mortal. From the fact that Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pliny, Cæsar,
Cicero, and any number of other individuals, are mortal, induction
leads you to conclude that all men are so. The premises here are
facts occurring within the range of observation and experience, and
the reasoning proceeds on the principle of the general uniformity of
nature and her laws. Induction, then, is, in other words, the process
of inferring that what we know to be true in certain observed cases is
also true, and will be found to be true, in other like cases which have
not fallen under our observation.

_Basis of this Mode of reasoning._--The groundwork of induction, as
I have already said, is the axiom or universal proposition of the
uniformity of nature. Take this away, and all reasoning from induction
or experience fails at once. This is a truth which the human mind is,
by its nature and constitution, always disposed to proceed upon. It
may not be embodied in the shape of a definite proposition, but it is
tacitly assumed and acted upon by all men. How came we by this general
truth. Is it _intuitive_? So say the disciples of certain schools, so
says Cousin, and so say the Scotch metaphysicians, and the German.
Others, however, contend that it is itself an induction, as truly as
any other, a truth learned from experience and observation, and by no
means the first, but rather among the latest of our inductions. Without
stopping to discuss this question, it is sufficient for our purpose to
notice the fact, that this simple truth is universally admitted, and
constitutes the basis of all reasoning from experience.

_Incorrect Mode of Statement._--The proposition is sometimes
incorrectly stated, as, _e. g._, that the future will resemble the
past. This is not an adequate expression of the great truth to which we
refer. It is not that the future merely will resemble the past merely,
but that the unknown will resemble the known. The idea of time is not
properly connected with the subject. That which is unknown may lie in
the future, it may lie in the present or the past.

_Limits of this Belief._--An important question here arises. What are
the limits, if limits there are, to this belief of the uniformity of
nature, and to the reasoning based on that belief? Are we warranted,
in all cases, in inferring that the unknown will be, in similar
circumstances, like the known--that what we have found to be true in
five, ten, or fifty cases, and without exception, will be universally
true? We do reason thus very generally. Such is the tendency of the
mind, its nature. Is it correct procedure? Is it certain that our
experience, though it be uniform and unvaried, is the universal
experience? If not, if limits there are to this method of reasoning,
what are they?

_Erroneous Induction._--The inhabitants of Siam have never seen water
in any other than a liquid or gaseous form. They conclude that water
is never solid. The inhabitants of central Africa may be supposed
never to have seen or heard of a white man. They infer that all men
are black. Are these correct inductions? No; for they lead to false
conclusions. They are built on insufficient foundations. There was
not a sufficiently wide observation of facts to justify so wide a
conclusion. Evidently, we cannot infer from our own non-observation
of exceptions, that exceptions do not exist. We must first know that
if there were exceptions we should have known them. In both the cases
now supposed, this was overlooked. The African has only seen men who
were natives of Africa. There may be in other countries, races that he
has not seen, and has had no opportunity to see. The world may be full
of exceptions to this general rule, and yet he not know it. Correct
induction in his case would be this: I have seen many men, natives of
central Africa, and they have all been black men, without exception.
I conclude, therefore, that _all_ the natives of central Africa are
black. In a word, it is only _under like circumstances_ that we can
infer the uniformity of nature, and so reason inductively from the
known to the unknown.

_Superstitious Belief of the Ancients._--The tendency of men to
believe in the universal permanence of nature, and, on that ground, to
generalize from insufficient data, is illustrated in the superstitious
and widely prevalent idea among the ancients, and some of the moderns
also, of grand cycles of events extending both to the natural and the
_moral_ world. According to this idea, the changes of the atmosphere,
and all other natural phenomena, as observed at any time, would, after
a period, return again in the same order of succession as before;
storms, and seasons, and times, being subject to some regular law.
It was supposed, in fact, "that all the events"--to use the language
of one of these theorists--"within the immeasurable circuit of the
universe, are the successive evolutions of an extended series, which,
at the return of some vast period, repeats its eternal round during
the endless flux of time." This is a sufficiently grand induction,
startling in its sweep and range of thought, but requiring for its
data a somewhat wider observation of facts than can fall to the lot of
short-lived and short-sighted man, during the few years of his narrow
sojourn, and pilgrimage, in a world like this.

3. _Reasoning from Analogy._

_Meaning of the term Analogy._--This word, analogy, is used with great
variety of meaning, and with much vagueness, therefore. It properly
denotes any sort of resemblance, whether of relation or otherwise; and
the argument from analogy is an argument from resemblance, an argument
of an inductive nature, but not amounting to complete induction. A
resembles B in certain respects; therefore it probably resembles it,
also, in a certain other respect: such is the argument from _analogy_.
A resembles B in such and such properties, but these are always found
connected with a certain other property; therefore A resembles B also
in regard to that property: such is the argument from _induction_.
Every resemblance which can be pointed out between A and B creates a
further and increased probability that the resemblance holds also in
respect to the property which is the object of inquiry. If the two
resembled each other in all their properties, there would be no longer
any doubt as to this one, but a positive certainty, and the more
resemblances in other respects so much the nearer we come to certainty
respecting the one that happens to be in question.

_Illustration of this Principle._--It was observed by Newton, that
the diamond possessed a very high refractive power compared with its
density. The same thing he knew to be true of combustible substances.
Hence, he conjectured that the diamond was combustible. He conjectured
the same thing, and for the same reason, of water, _i. e._, that it
contains a combustible ingredient. In both instances, he guessed
right--reasoning from analogy.

_Further Illustration of Reasoning from Analogy._--Reasoning from
analogy, I might infer that the moon is inhabited, thus: The earth is
inhabited--land, sea, and air, are all occupied with life. But the
moon resembles the earth in figure, relation to the sun, movement,
opacity, etc.; moreover, it has volcanoes as the earth has; therefore,
it is _probably_ like the earth in this other respect, that of being
inhabited. To make this out by induction, I must show that the moon
not only resembles the earth in these several respects, but that these
circumstances are in other cases observed to be connected with the one
in question; thus, in other cases, bodies that are opaque, spherical,
and moving in elliptical orbits, are known to be inhabited. The same
thing is probably true then in all cases, and inasmuch as the moon has
these marks, it is therefore inhabited.

_Counter Probability._--On the other hand, the points of dissimilarity
create a counter probability, as, _e. g._, the moon has no atmosphere,
no clouds, and therefore no water; but air and water are, on our
planet, essential to life; the presumption is, then, looking at these
circumstances merely, that the moon is uninhabited. Nay, more: if
life exists, then it must be under very different conditions from
those under which it exists here. Evidently, then, the greater the
resemblance in other respects between the two planets, the less
probability that they differ in this respect (_i. e._, the mode of
sustaining life), so that the resemblances already proved, become,
themselves, presumptions _against_ the supposition that the moon is

_Amount of Probability._--The analogy and diversity, when they come
thus into competition and the arguments from the one conflict with
those of the other, must be weighed against each other. The extent of
the resemblance, compared with the extent of the difference, gives
the amount of probability on one side or the other, so _far as these
elements are known_. If any region lies unexplored, we can infer
nothing with certainty or probability as to that. Suppose then, that so
far as we have had the means of observing, the resemblances are to the
differences as four to one; we conclude with a probability of four to
one, that any given property of the one will be found to belong to the
other. The chances are four out of five.

_Value of Analogical Reasoning._--The chief value of analogy,
as regards science, however, is as a guide to conjecture and to
experiment; and even a faint degree of analogical evidence may be of
great service in this way, by directing further inquiries into that
channel, and so conducting to eventual probability, or even certainty.

It is well remarked by Stewart, that the tendency of our nature is so
to reason from analogy, that we naturally confide in it, as we do in
the evidence of testimony.

_Liable to mislead._--It must be confessed, however, that it is a
species of reasoning likely to mislead in many cases. Its chief value
lies not in proving a position, but in rebutting objections; it is
good, not for assault, but defence. As thus used it is a powerful
weapon in the hands of a skilful master. Such it was in Butler's hands.


_Theory, what._--The terms hypothesis and theory are often used
interchangeably and loosely. Confusion is the result. It is difficult
to define them accurately.

_Theory_ (from the Greek, [Greek: Theôria]; Latin, theoria; French,
théorie; Italian, teoria; from [Greek: Theôreô], to perceive, see,
contemplate) denotes properly any philosophical explanation of
phenomena, any connected arrangement and statement of facts according
to their bearing on some real or imaginary law. The facts, the
phenomena, once known, proved, rest on independent evidence. Theory
takes survey of them as such, with special reference to the law which
governs and connects them, whether that law be also known or merely

_Hypothesis, what._--_Hypothesis_ ([Greek: hypo-tithêmi]) denotes a
gratuitous supposition or conjecture, in _the absence_ of all positive
knowledge as to what the law is that governs and connects the observed
phenomena, or as to the cause which will account for them.

_Theory may or may not be Hypothesis._--Hypothesis is, in its
nature, conjectural, and therefore uncertain; has its degrees of
probability--no certainty. The moment the thing supposed is proved
true, or verified, if it ever is, it ceases to be hypothesis. Theory,
however, is not necessarily a matter of uncertainty. After the law or
the cause is ascertained, fully known, and no longer a hypothesis at
all, there may be still a theory about it; a survey of the facts and
phenomena, as they stand affected by that law, or as accounted for
by that cause. The motion of the planets in elliptical orbits, was
originally matter of conjecture, of hypothesis. It is still matter of

_Probability of Hypothesis._--The probability of a hypothesis is in
proportion to the number of facts or phenomena, in the given case,
which it will satisfactorily explain, in other words, account for.
Of several hypotheses, that is the most probable which will account
for the greatest number of the given phenomena--those which, if the
hypothesis be true, ought to fall under it as their law. If it accounts
for all the phenomena in the case, it is generally regarded as having
established its claim to certainty. So Whewell maintains. This,
however, is not exactly the case. The hypothesis can be verified only
by showing that the facts or phenomena in the case cannot possibly be
accounted for on any _other_ supposition, or result from any _other_
cause; not simply that they can be accounted for, or can result from
this. This is well stated by Mill in his System of Philosophy. The
hypothesis of the undulating movement of a subtle and all-pervading
ether will account for many of the known phenomena of light; but it has
never been shown, and in the nature of the case never can be, probably,
that no _other_ hypothesis possible or supposable will also account for

_Use of Hypotheses._--As to the _use_ of hypotheses in science,
Reid's remarks are altogether too sweeping, and quite incorrect. It
is not true that hypotheses lead to no valuable result in philosophy.
Almost all discoveries were at first hypotheses, suppositions, lucky
guesses, if you please to call them so. The Copernican theory that
the earth revolves on its axis was a mere hypothesis at the outset.
Kepler's theory of the elliptical orbits of the planets was such;
he made and abandoned nineteen false ones before he hit the right.
This discovery led to another--that planets describe equal areas in
equal times. Newton never framed hypotheses, if we may believe him.
But his own grand discovery of the law of gravity as the central
force of the system, depends for one of its steps of evidence on his
previous discovery that the force of attraction varies as the inverse
square of the distance, and this was suggested by him at first as a
mere hypothesis; he was able to verify it only by calling in the aid
of Kepler's discovery of equal areas in equal times, which latter,
as already stated, was itself the result of hypothesis. Had it not
been for one hypothesis of Newton, verified by the results of another
hypothesis of Kepler Newton could never have made his own discovery.

A hypothesis, it must be remembered, is any supposition, with or
without evidence, made in order to deduce from it conclusions agreeable
to known facts. If we succeed in doing this, we verify our hypothesis
(unless, indeed, it can be shown that some other hypothesis will
equally well suit these facts), and our hypothesis, when verified,
ceases to be longer a hypothesis, takes its place as known truth, and
in turn serves to explain those facts which would, on the supposition
of its truth, follow from it as a cause. It is simply a short-hand
process of arriving at conclusions in science. Suppose the problem to
be the one already named--to prove that the central force of the solar
system is one and the same with _gravity_. Now it may not be easy, or
even possible in some cases, to establish the first step or premiss
in such a chain of reasoning. The inductions leading to it may not
be forthcoming. Hypothesis steps in and supplies the deficiency, by
substituting in place of the induction a supposition. Assuming that
distant bodies attract each other with a power inversely as the square
of the distance, it proceeds on that supposition, and arrives at the
desired conclusion.

_In what Cases admissible._--Now this method is always allowable, and
strictly scientific, whenever it is possible to verify our hypothesis,
_i. e._, in every case in which it is possible to show that no law
but the one assumed can lead to these same results; that no _other_
hypothesis can accord with the facts.

In the case supposed, it would not be possible to prove that the same
movements might not follow from some other law than the one supposed.
It is not certain, therefore, that the moving force of the solar system
is identical with gravitation, _merely because_ the latter would, if
extended so far, produce the same results. In many other cases it
_is_ practicable; indeed, _in all cases where the inquiry is not to
ascertain the cause, but, the cause being already known, to ascertain
the law of its action_.

Even in cases where the inquiry is not of this nature, hypothesis is
of use in the suggestion of future investigations, and, as such, is
frequently indispensable.

_View of Mr. Mill._--Nearly every thing which is now theory, was once
hypothesis, says Mill. "The process of tracing regularity in any
complicated, and, at first sight, confused set of appearances, is
necessarily tentative: we begin by making any supposition, even a false
one, to see what consequences will follow from it; and by observing
how these differ from the real phenomena we learn what corrections to
make in our assumption. The simplest supposition which accords with
any of the most obvious facts, is the best to begin with, because its
consequences are the most easily traced. This rude hypothesis is then
rudely corrected, and the operation repeated, until the deductive
results are at last made to tally with the phenomena. Let any one
watch the manner in which he himself unravels any complicated mass
of evidence; let him observe how, for instance, he elicits the true
history of any occurrence from the involved statements of one or of
many witnesses. He will find that he does not take all the items of
evidence into his mind at once, and attempt to weave them together; the
human faculties are not equal to such an undertaking; he extemporizes,
from a few of the particulars, a first rude theory of the mode in which
the facts took place, and then looks at the other statements, one by
one, to try whether they can be reconciled with the provisional theory,
or what corrections or additions it requires to make it square with
them. In this way, which, as M. Comte remarks, has some resemblance to
the methods of approximation of mathematicians, we arrive by means of
hypothesis at conclusions not hypothetical."


It remains to treat briefly of the _different forms_ of reasoning, as
founded in the laws of thought.

_How far these Forms fall within the Province of Psychology._--As there
are different kinds or modes of reasoning, according to the difference
of the subject-matter or material about which our reasoning is
employed, so there are certain general forms into which all reasoning
may be cast, and which, according to the laws of thought, it naturally
assumes. To treat specifically of these forms, their nature, use,
and value, is the business of _logic_; but, in so far as they depend
upon the laws of thought, and are merely modes of mental activity as
exercised in reasoning, they are to be considered, in connection with
other phenomena of the mind, by the psychologist. Briefly to describe
these forms, and then to consider their value, is all that I now
propose. I begin with the proposition, as the starting point in every
process of reasoning.


_What constitutes a Proposition._--All reasoning deals with
propositions, which are judgments expressed. Every proposition involves
two distinct conceptions, and expresses the relation between them;
affirms the agreement or disagreement of the one with the other. As
when I say, Snow is white, the conception of snow is before my mind,
and also of whiteness; I perceive that the latter element enters
into my notion of snow, and constitutes one of the qualities of the
substance so called; I affirm the relation of the two, accordingly,
and this gives the proposition enunciated. Every proposition then
consists of these several parts, a word or words expressing some
conception, a word or words expressing some other conception, a word
or words expressing the relation of the two. The words which designate
these two conceptions are called the _terms_ of the proposition, and,
according to the above analysis, there are, in every proposition,
always two terms. That term or conception of which something is
affirmed, is called the _subject_, that which is affirmed of the same,
the _predicate_, and the word which expresses the relation of the two,
the _copula_. In the above proposition, snow is the subject, white, the
predicate, and is, the copula.

_Quality and Quantity._--Propositions are distinguished as to _quality_
and _quantity_. The former has reference to the affirmative or negative
character of the proposition, the latter to its comprehensiveness.
Every proposition is either affirmative or negative, which is called
its quality. As to quantity, every proposition is either _universal_,
affirming something of the whole of the subject--as, All men are
mortal; or else _particular_, affirming something of only a part of the
subject--as, Some tyrants are miserable.

_Four kinds of categorical Propositions._--We have, then, four kinds
of categorical propositions, viz., universal affirmative, universal
negative, particular affirmative, particular negative. That is, with
the same subject and predicate, it is always possible to state four
distinct propositions; as, every A is B, no A is B, some A is B, some
A is not B. For the sake of convenience, logicians designate these
different kinds of propositions severally by the letters A, E, I,
O. Propositions that thus differ in quantity and quality are said
to be opposed to each other. Of these, the two universals, A and E,
are called contraries; the two particulars, I and O, sub-contraries;
the universal affirmative, and the particular affirmative, A and I,
also the universal negative and the particular negative, E and O,
are respectively subalterns; while the universal affirmative and the
particular negative, A and O, as also the universal negative and
particular affirmative, E and I, are contradictories.

_Rules of Opposition._--The following rules will be found universally
applicable to propositions as opposed to each other. If the universal
is true, so is the particular. If the particular is false, so is
the universal. Contraries are never both true, but may be both
false. Sub-contraries are never both false, but may be both true.
Contradictories are never both true, or both false, but always one is
true, the other false. The truth of these maxims will be evident on
applying them to any proposition and its opposites, as for example, to
the affirmation, Every man is mortal.

_Categorical and hypothetical Propositions._--Propositions may be
further distinguished as categorical or hypothetical; the one asserting
or denying directly, as, _e. g._, The earth is round; the other
conditionally,--as, If the earth is round, it is not oblong.

_Pure, and Modal._--The proposition, moreover, may be either pure or
modal, the former asserting or denying without qualification,--as, Man
is liable to err; the latter qualifying the statement,--as, Man is
extremely or unquestionably liable to err.


_Proposition the Link, Syllogism the Chain._--All reasoning admits
of being reduced to the form of a syllogism. Having discussed the
proposition which forms the material or groundwork of every connected
chain of argument, we are prepared now to examine the syllogism, or
chain itself, into which the several propositions, as so many links,
are wrought.

_Syllogism defined._--A syllogism is an argument so expressed that the
conclusiveness of it is manifest from the mere form of expression.
When, for example, I affirm that all A is B, that all B is C, and
that, consequently, all A is C, it is impossible that any one who is
able to reason at all, and who comprehends the force of these several
propositions taken singly, should fail to perceive that the conclusion
follows inevitably from the premises. That which is affirmed, may or
may not be _true_, but it is _conclusive_. If the premises are true, so
is the conclusion; but whether they are true or not, the argument, as
such, is conclusive; nay, even if they are false, the conclusion may
possibly be true. For example, Every tyrant is a good man; Washington
was a tyrant; therefore, Washington was a good man, Both the premises
are false, but the argument, as regards the form, is valid, and the
conclusion is not only correctly drawn, but is, moreover, a true
proposition. In a word, the syllogism concerns itself not at all with
the truth or falsity of the thing stated, but only with the form of
stating, and that form must be such, that the premises being conceded,
the conclusion shall be obvious and inevitable. All valid reasoning
admits of such statement.

_Composition of a Syllogism._--Every syllogism contains three
propositions, of which two state the grounds or reasons, and are called
the premises, the other states the inference from those positions, and
is called the conclusion. These three propositions contain three, and
only three, distinct terms, of which one is common to both premises,
and is called the _middle_ term; the others are the extremes, one of
which is the subject of the conclusion, and is called the _minor_
term; the other the predicate of the conclusion, and is called the
_major_ term, from the fact that it denotes the class to which the
subject or minor term belongs. In the syllogism,--Every man is mortal;
Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal,--the three terms are,
man, mortal, and Socrates: of these, Socrates, or the subject of the
conclusion, is the minor; mortal, or the predicate of the conclusion,
is the major; and man, with which both the others are compared, is the
middle term.

_Major and minor Premiss._--The premiss which contains the _major_
term, and compares it with the middle, is called the _major premiss_;
that which, in like manner, compares the _minor_ term with the middle,
is called the _minor premiss_. In the syllogism already given, 'Every
man is mortal' is the major premiss; 'Socrates is a man' is the minor

_The Order variable._--The order of the terms in the respective
propositions, and even the order of the propositions themselves, is not
invariable, but depends on circumstances. In the above proposition, it
is immaterial whether I say, Every man is mortal, or, Mortal is every
man; it is immaterial whether I state first the major or the minor
premiss; nay, it is allowable even to state the conclusion first, and
then the grounds and reasons for the same.


The following rules or maxims will be found applicable to all cases,
and may be regarded as laws of the syllogism.

_Middle Term unequivocal._--_The middle term must not be
equivocal._--This rule is violated in the following syllogism. Nothing
is heavier than lead; feathers are heavier than nothing; therefore,
feathers are heavier than lead. The middle term, nothing, is here used
in different senses in the two premises.

_Middle Term to be distributed._--Essentially the same thing occurs
when the middle term is not, at least once, in the premises, used in
its most complete and comprehensive sense, or, as the logicians express
it, _distributed_. As, for example, when I say, White is a color, the
term color is not here distributed, for it properly includes many
things besides white. If now I introduce into another proposition the
same term in a similar manner, as Black is a color, I evidently include
under the term, as now used, some part of the class of things denoted
by the general word color, which was not included under the same term
as first used. The color which is affirmed to agree with black, is
not the same color which is affirmed to agree with white. The term,
in fact, denotes one thing in the one proposition, and another in the
other. A syllogism thus constructed, is invalid. Hence the rule, that
the _middle term must be distributed_, or taken in its completeness,
to include the whole class which it properly denotes, _at least once
in the premises_. This is done either by making it the _subject of an
affirmative_, or the _predicate of a negative proposition_; as, All
men are mortal, or, No vice is useful. Here the term man in the one
case, and the term useful in the other, are each distributed or taken
in their completeness. There is no individual to whom the term man can
properly be applied, who is not included in the expression, all men,
nor is there any useful thing which is not here denied of vice.

_What distributed in the Conclusion._--On the same principle, _no term
must be distributed in the conclusion which was not distributed in one
of the premises_. This rule is violated in the following syllogism, All
birds are bipeds; no man is a bird; therefore, no man is a biped. Here
the term biped, in the major premiss, is not taken in its completeness,
since many creatures besides birds are bipeds. Birds are only one
sort of bipeds. In the conclusion, however, the term biped, being the
predicate of a negative proposition, is distributed, the whole class
of bipeds is spoken of, and man is excluded from the whole class. The
syllogism is, of course, invalid.

_Law of negative Premiss._--It is further a law of the syllogism, that
_from negative premises nothing can be inferred_. Also, that _if one
premiss is negative, the conclusion will be negative_.

_Law of particular Premiss._--_From two particular premises nothing
follows, but if one premiss is particular, the conclusion will be so._

These rules are too obvious, and too easily verified, to require


_Syllogisms differ._--We have mentioned as yet only those properties of
the syllogism which universally belong to it. There are differences,
however, which require to be noticed, and which constitute a
distinction of some importance, presenting, in fact, two distinct kinds
of syllogism.

_Two Modes of procedure._--There are manifestly two entirely distinct
modes of procedure in reasoning. We may infer from the whole to the
parts, or from the parts to the whole. The former is called deductive,
the latter inductive reasoning. The one is precisely the reverse of
the other in method of procedure. Each is a perfectly valid method
of reasoning, and each is, in itself, a distinct and valid kind of
syllogism. Each requires the other. The deductive is wholly dependent
on the inductive for its major premiss, which is only the conclusion
of a previous induction, while, on the other hand, the induction is
valuable chiefly as preparing the way for subsequent deduction. Each
has equal claims with the other to be regarded as a distinct and
independent form of syllogism. They have not, however, been so treated
by logicians, but, on the contrary, the inductive method has been
regarded, almost universally, as a mere appendage of the deductive,
an imperfect form of one or another of the several figures of the
syllogism deductive. Of this we shall have occasion to speak more fully
in the historical sketch.

_The two Modes compared._--The precise relation of the two modes
will best appear by the comparison of the following syllogisms. The
inductive syllogism runs thus: _x, y, z_, are A; _x, y, z_, constitute
B; therefore, B is A.

The deductive runs thus: B is A; _x, y, z_, constitute B; therefore,
_x, y, z_, are A.

The latter, it will be seen at a glance, is the precise counterpart of
the other, beginning where the former ends, and exactly reversing the
several steps in their order.

_The Law of each._--The general law or rule which governs the former,
is, What belongs (or does not belong) to all the constituent parts,
belongs (or does not belong) to the constituted whole. The law of the
latter is, What belongs (or not) to the containing whole, belongs (or
not) to all the contained parts.

_Application of the inductive Method._--Applying the inductive method
to a particular case, we reason thus: Magnets _x, y, z_, etc.,
including so many as I have observed, attract iron. But it is fair to
presume that what I have observed as true of _x, y, z_, is equally
true of _e, f, g_, and all other magnets; in other words, _x, y, z_,
do represent, and may fairly be taken as constituting the whole class
of magnets; consequently, I conclude that all magnets attract iron.
Thus stated, the truth which was at first observed and affirmed only of
particular instances, becomes a general proposition, and may, in turn,
become the premiss of a process of deduction. Thus, from the general
proposition, obtained as now explained by the inductive mode, that
all horned animals ruminate, I may proceed, by the deductive mode, to
infer that this is true of deer or goats, or any particular species or
individual whose habits I have not as yet observed.


_The Form of Statement not invariable._--As there are different kinds
of syllogism, so also there are different forms in which any kind of
syllogism may be stated. These forms are not essential, pertaining to
the nature of the syllogism itself, but accidental, pertaining merely
to the order of announcing the several propositions. It has already
been remarked, in speaking of the general structure of the syllogism,
that the order of propositions is not essential. Either premiss may
precede, either follow. Nay, we may state _first the conclusion_, and
_then the reasons_, _or grounds_. This latter method, as Hamilton has
shown in his _New Analytic of Logical forms_, is perfectly valid,
though usually neglected by writers on logic. It is not only valid,
but the more natural of the two methods. When asked if Socrates is
mortal, it is more natural to say, He is mortal, for he is a man, and
all men are mortal, than to say, All men are mortal, he is a man, and
therefore, he is mortal. In fact, most of our reasoning takes the first
of these forms. The two are designated by Hamilton, respectively, as
the _analytic_ and _synthetic_ syllogism.

_Order of Premises may vary._--As to the order of the premises,
which shall precede the other, this, too, is quite unessential and
accidental. The earlier method, practised by Greek, Arabian, Jewish
and Latin schools, was to state first the minor premiss, precisely the
reverse of our modern custom.

_Order of Terms not essential._--The order of the _terms_, in the
several propositions, is also accidental rather than essential. There
are several possible and allowable arrangements of these terms with
reference to the order of precedence and succession, giving rise to
what are called _figures_ of the syllogism. These arrangements and
figures have usually been reckoned as four; three only are admitted
by Hamilton, the fourth being abolished. The first figure occurs when
the middle term is the subject of one premiss and the predicate of the
other. The second figure gives the middle term the place of predicate
in both premises. The third makes it the subject of both.

_A further Variation._--There is still another form of statement, in
which the terms compared are not, as above, severally subject and
predicate, but, in the same proposition, are both subject, or both
predicate, as when we say, A and B are equal; B and C are equal;
therefore, A and C are equal. This is a valid synthetic syllogism,
though not recognized by logicians previously to the _New Analytic_ of
Hamilton. It is termed by him the unfigured syllogism.

_Hypothetical reasoning not syllogistic._--It has been customary to
treat of _hypothetical_ reasoning, in its two forms of conditional and
disjunctive, as forms or kinds of syllogism. As when we say, if A is B,
C is D; but A is B, therefore C is D; or, disjunctively, either A is B,
or C is D; but A is not B, therefore C is D. These, however, are not
properly syllogisms. The inference is not mediate, through comparison
with a common or middle term, but _immediate_, whereas the syllogism
is, in all its forms, a process of mediate inference.

_Summary of Distinctions._--To sum up the distinctions now pointed
out. All inference is either immediate, as in the case of hypothetical
reasoning, whether conjunctive or disjunctive, or else mediate, as in
the syllogism. The latter may be inductive or deductive; and, as to
form, analytic or synthetic, figured or unfigured.


_Statement._--There are certain universal laws of thought on which
all reasoning, and, of course, all syllogisms, depend. These
laws, according to Hamilton, are the principles of _identity_, of
_contradiction_, and of _excluded middle_; from which primary laws
results a fourth, that of _reason and consequent_.

_Law of Identity, what._--The principle of _identity_ compels us to
recognize the equivalence of a whole and its several parts taken
together, as applied to any conception and its distinctive characters.
As, for example, the sameness or equivalence of the notion man with the
aggregate of qualities or characters that constitute that notion.

_Law of Contradiction, what_.--The law of contradiction is the
principle that what is contradictory is unthinkable: as, for example,
that A has, and yet has not, a given quality, B.

_Law of excluded Middle._--The principle of _excluded middle_ is this,
that of two contradictory notions, we must think one or the other to be
true; as, that A either has or has not the quality B.

_Law of Reason and Consequent._--From these primary principles results
the law of _reason and consequent_. All logical inference is based on
that law of our nature, that one notion shall always depend on another.
This inference is of two kinds, from the whole to the parts, or from
the parts to the whole, respectively called deductive and inductive, as
already explained.

_Certain Points not included in the preceding Synopsis._--I have
presented, as was proposed, in brief outline, a synopsis of the forms
of reasoning. For a full treatment of these forms, and the laws which
govern them, the treatises on logic must be consulted.

Some things usually considered essential to logical forms, as the
_modality_ of propositions and syllogisms, and the _conversion_ of the
other figures of the syllogism into the first, I have not included in
the above outline, for the reason that the former does not properly
fall within the province of logic, which has to do only with the _form_
and not with the _matter_ of a proposition or an argument, while,
as to the latter, it is only an accidental, and not an essential
circumstance, what may be the figure of a syllogism, and it is,
therefore, of no importance to reduce the second and third figures to
the first.


Having considered the various forms which the syllogism may assume,
as also the laws or canons which govern it, we proceed to inquire,
finally, as to its _use_ and _value_ in reasoning.

_All mediate reasoning syllogistic._--It must be conceded, I think,
that all _mediate_ reasoning, all inference, which is not immediate
and direct, but which, in order to reach its conclusion, compares one
thing with another, is essentially syllogistic. The greater part of our
reasoning processes are of this sort. When fully and explicitly stated,
such reasoning resolves itself into some form of syllogism. It is not,
as sometimes stated, _a_ mode of reasoning, but _the_ mode which all
reasoning, except such as is direct and immediate, tends to assume.
Not always, indeed, is this reasoning fully drawn out and explicitly
stated, but all valid reasoning admits of being thus stated; nay, it is
not, as to form at least, complete until it is so expressed.

_Not always syllogistically expressed._--In ordinary conversation, and
even in public address, we omit many intermediate steps in the trains
and processes of our arguments, for the reason that their statement is
not essential to our being understood, the hearer's mind supplying,
for itself, the connecting links as we proceed; just as in speaking
or writing, we make many abbreviations, drop out some letters and
syllables here and there, in our hasty utterance, and yet all such
short-hand processes imply and are based upon the full form; and it
would be as correct and as reasonable to say that the fully written or
fully spoken word is merely _a_ mode of speaking and writing, which,
when the grammarian and rhetorician come into contact with common
people, they lay aside for the ordinary forms of speech, as to say that
syllogism is merely _a_ mode of reasoning, which the logician lays
aside when he comes out of his study, and reasons with other men.

_Chief Value of the Syllogism._--The chief use of the syllogism, I
apprehend, however, to be, not in presenting a train of argument for
the purpose of convincing and persuading others; for the laws of
thought do not require us in such a case to state every thing that
is even essential to the argument, but only so much as shall clearly
indicate our meaning, and enable the hearer or reader to follow us;
but rather in testing the soundness or detecting the unsoundness of an
argument, whether our own, or that of an opponent. For this purpose,
an acquaintance with the forms and laws of syllogism may be of great
service to the writer and to the orator.

_Objection to the Syllogism._--But it is objected to the syllogism
that it is of no value in the discovery and establishment of truth,
inasmuch as, by the very laws of the syllogism, there can be nothing
more in the conclusion than was assumed in the premises. There is,
and can be, in this way, no progress from the known to the unknown.
The very construction of the syllogism, it is said, involves a
_petitio principii_. When I say, All men are mortal; Socrates is a
man; therefore, Socrates is mortal; the major premiss, it is said,
affirms the very thing to be proved; that Socrates is mortal is
virtually affirmed in the proposition that _all_ men are so. Either,
then, the syllogism proves nothing which was not known before, or
else the general proposition, with which it sets out, is unwarranted,
as asserting more than we know to be true, and, in that case, the
conclusion is equally unreliable; in either case nothing is gained by
the process; the syllogism is worthless.

_Lies equally against all reasoning._--This objection, if valid against
the syllogism, is valid against and overthrows not the syllogism
merely, but all reasoning of whatever kind, and in whatever form. It is
an objection which really applies, not to the form which an argument
may happen to assume, but to the essential nature of reasoning itself.
As was shown in discussing the nature of the reasoning process, all
reasoning is, in its nature, essentially analytic. It is the evolution
of a truth that lies involved in some already admitted truth. It simply
develops, draws out, what was therein contained. Its starting-point
must always be some admitted position, its conclusions must always be
some inevitable necessary consequence of that admission. The mortality
of Socrates is, indeed, involved and contained in the general
proposition which affirms the mortality of all men, and so, also, is
every inferred truth contained in that from which it is inferred.

_Conclusion not affirmed in the Premiss._--But while _contained_, it
is not _affirmed_, in the premiss. To say that all men are mortal, is
not to say that Socrates is so, but only to say what implies that.
The conclusion which draws out and affirms what was involved, but not
affirmed, in the premiss, is an advance in the order of thought, a step
of progress, and not merely an idle repetition, and the syllogism, as a
whole, moves the mind onward from the starting-point to a position not
otherwise explicitly and positively reached. It is a movement onward,
and not merely a rotation of the wheel about its own axis.

_The Form accidental._--In so far as the objection of _petitio
principii_ relates, not to the _nature_ of reasoning, but only to its
_form_, this is entirely a matter of accident, and does not pertain to
the syllogism as such. As was shown in treating of the different forms
of syllogism, the order of the propositions is not essential. We may,
if we like, state the conclusion first, and then the reasons, as, All A
is C, for all A is B, and all B is C; or we may state the same thing in
a different form, as, A and B are equal; B and C are equal; therefore,
A and C are equal. Both are syllogisms, the former _analytic_, the
latter _unfigured_, but to neither does the objection of _petitio
principii_ apply so far as regards the mere form of statement. Nor
does it apply to that form of syllogism in which the major premiss is
a singular proposition, as, _e. g._, Cæsar was fortunate; Cæsar was a
tyrant; therefore, a tyrant may be fortunate. Here the subject of the
conclusion is not formally contained in that of the major premiss, as
Socrates is contained in the expression, all men, a part of the whole.

_Objection inapplicable to the inductive Syllogism._--Nor does the
objection apply again to the _inductive_ syllogism, in which the
conclusion is more comprehensive than the premiss. The objection
applies, in fact, only to the deductive syllogism, and to that only in
its synthetic form, and to that only as figured, and as presenting, in
its major premiss, other than a singular proposition.

_Major Premiss, whence derived._--But whence, it may still be asked,
comes the general proposition which every deductive syllogism contains,
whether analytic or synthetic, the proposition _e. g._, that all men
are mortal? Whether this be stated before or after the conclusion is
a mere matter of form; but what is our authority for stating such a
proposition at all? How do we know that which is here affirmed?

I reply, it is a truth reached by previous induction. Every deduction
implies previous induction. I observe the mortality of individuals,
_x_, _y_, _z_. I find no exceptions. My observation extends to a great
number of cases, insomuch that I am authorized to take those cases as
fairly representing the whole class to which they belong. I conclude,
therefore, that what I have observed of the many is true of the whole.
So comes the general proposition, All men are mortal.

_Authority for this Belief._--But what reason have I to believe that
what is true of the many is true of the whole, and how do I know this?
I reply, I do not know it by observation, nor by demonstration; my
belief of it rests upon, and resolves itself into, that general law or
constitution of the mind according to which I am led to expect, under
like circumstances, like results, in other words, that nature acts
uniformly. This is my warrant, and my only warrant, for the inference,
that what I have observed in many cases is true in others that I have
not observed.

_A Difficulty suggested._--But in what manner, now, shall this mere
belief of mine, for it is nothing more, come to take its place as
a general proposition, as positive categorical affirmation in the
syllogism whose major premiss reads, All men are mortal?

A law of the mind may be a sufficient explanation of my belief; but the
science of syllogisms cannot take cognizance of laws of the mind, as
such, and has nothing to do with beliefs, but is concerned only with
the _forms_ in which an argument shall be presented. Those forms must
be conclusive. How shall I convert, then, my conjecture, my plausible
belief, in the present case, into that general positive affirmation
which alone will answer the demands of the syllogism?

_The Process explained._--The process is this: The precise result of
my observation stands thus--_x_, _y_, _z_, are mortal. But I know
that _x_, _y_, _z_, are so numerous as fairly to represent the class
to which they belong. On the strength of this position, the inductive
syllogism takes its stand, and overlooking the fact that there are some
cases which have not fallen under my observation, _positively affirms_
what I only _believe_ and _presume_ to be true, and the argument then
reads, _x_, _y_, _z_, are mortal. But _x_, _y_, _z_, are all men,
therefore, all men are mortal.

The general proposition thus reached by induction becomes, in turn, the
major premiss of the deductive syllogism, which concludes, from the
mortality of all men, that of Socrates in particular.

_Position of Mill._--An able and ingenious writer, Mr. Mill, in his
treatise on logic, takes the ground that we have no need to embody
the result of our observations in the form of a general proposition,
from which again to descend to the particular conclusion, but that,
dispensing with the general proposition altogether, and with the
syllogism of every kind and form, we may, and virtually do, reason
directly from one particular instance to another, as, _e. g._, _x_,
_y_, _z_, are mortal; therefore, _f_, _g_, _h_, are so. "If from our
experience of John, Thomas, etc., who were once living, but are now
dead, we are entitled to conclude that all human beings are mortal,
we might surely, without any logical inconsequence, have concluded at
once, from those instances, that the Duke of Wellington is mortal.
The mortality of John, Thomas, and company, is, after all, the whole
evidence we have of the mortality of the Duke of Wellington. Not one
iota is added to the proof by interpolating a general proposition."
Our earliest inferences, he contends, are precisely of this sort. The
child burning his fingers, reasons thus: "That fire burnt me, therefore
this will." He does not generalize, "All fire burns; this is fire;
therefore, this will burn." The only use of a general proposition, Mill
contends, is simply to furnish collateral security for the correctness
of our inference.

_Remarks upon this View._--This view sweeps away at once, and forever,
all mediate reasoning, and shuts us up to the narrow limits of such
inference alone as proceeds from a given instance directly to a
conclusion therefrom. No doubt we do sometimes reason thus. But it is
a reasoning, the conclusiveness of which is not, and cannot be made,
apparent by any form of statement. If called in question, we can only
say, I think so, or, I believe so. The mortality of John does not prove
the mortality of Thomas. It may not even render it probable; it is only
when I have observed such and so many cases as to leave no reasonable
doubt that the property in question _is a law of the class as such_,
and _not a mere accident of the individual_, that I am really warranted
in the belief that any individual, not as yet observed, will come under
the same law, because belonging to the same class. To reason in this
way is to generalize; whatever process stops short of this, stops so
far short of any and all conclusive evidence of the truth of what it


_Indian Logic earlier than that of Aristotle._--It is of the Greek
logic, that of Aristotle, that we usually speak when we have occasion
to refer to this science. It is usually attributed to Aristotle,
indeed, as his peculiar glory, that he should at once have originated,
and brought to perfection, a science which, for more than two thousand
years, has received few alterations, found few minds capable of
suggesting improvements. Recent labors of Orientalists have, however,
brought to light the fact that in India, long before the palmy days
of Grecian philosophy, logic was pursued with vigor as a study
and science. The Nyàya of Gotama holds, in the Indian systems of
philosophy, much the same place that the Organon of Aristotle holds
with us. The two, however, are quite independent of each other.
Aristotle was no disciple of Gotama.

_Aristotle's Logic not perfect._--Nor, on the other hand, was the logic
of Aristotle by any means perfect, as it is often represented. Its
imperfections are many, and have been, for the most part, faithfully
copied by his disciples.

_Aristotle the first Greek Logician._--Previous to Aristotle there
had been nothing worthy the name of science in this department of
philosophy. The Sophists had made some attempts at logic, but of no
great value. Plato had not devoted much attention to it. Aristotle
himself says, in the close of his Organon, that he had worked without
models or predecessors to guide him.

_Subsequent Writers._--The work of Aristotle is in six parts, the first
four treating of logic pure, the remaining two of its application.
The school of Aristotle carried the cultivation and study of logic
to a high degree. Theophrastus and Eudemus labored assiduously as
commentators on their master, but made no change in the essential
principles of the system. The Stoics, however, gave logic more
attention and honor, more time and care, than did any other of the
rival schools of philosophy. They sought to enlarge its boundaries and
make it an instrument for the discovery of truth. It held the first
place in their system, ethics and physics ranking after it.

St. Hilaire is wrong in saying that with Epicurus logic was of little
consideration, that sensation was the source and criterion of thought
with that school. The Epicurean logic was a peculiar system, differing
from the Aristotelian, and very little known in the subsequent

In Alexandria the logic of Aristotle was in great honor, and had
numerous commentators in the first centuries of the Christian era.

_Introduced into Rome._--For a time the original works of Aristotle
were lost. They lay buried in an obscure retreat whither they had been
carried for safe preservation, and no one knew what they were. Sylla,
capturing the city, brought them to Rome, where they were discovered
to be the works of the great master, and Cicero gives them, with some
labor and learning, to the public. But the Roman mind never mastered
the logic of Aristotle. In all Roman philosophy, says St. Hilaire,
there is scarcely a logician worthy of the name.

For several centuries, if not in Rome, yet in Alexandria and Athens, in
Greece and in Egypt, the logic of Aristotle continued to be assiduously

_Logic in the Middle Ages._--It was in the middle ages, however, that
logic received its chief cultivation and its highest honors. Aristotle
was for some six centuries almost the only teacher of the human mind,
and the Organon was the foundation of his knowledge. Nor during the
irruption of the northern hordes, and the revolutions of society, and
empire, and human manners, which followed, did the philosophy and logic
of Aristotle pass out of sight or out of mind. It seemed impossible
for any revolution of empire or of time to shake its foundations or
break its sceptre over the human mind. In the seventh century, Isidore
of Seville, and Bede the Venerable, gave it their labors and renown.
In the eighth, Alcuin introduced it into the court of Charlemagne. In
the twelfth, Abelard, and the controversy between the Realists and
Nominalists, gave this science still more importance.

_Logic in the Arabian Schools._--Meanwhile, the Mohammedans had been in
advance of the Christians in the study of this science. The Arabs had
inherited the learning of antiquity, and had carried the cultivation
of the peripatetic philosophy to a high degree of perfection more than
a century before it had received the homage of the West. From Arabia it
passed, with the march of conquest, into Spain, and some of the ablest
commentators Europe has produced, on the works of Aristotle, have been
the Moors of Spain.

_Continuance of Aristotle's Dominion._--The Crusades tended only to
enlarge the sphere of this influence. Such men as Albert the Great,
and Thomas Aquinas, became, in the thirteenth century, expounders of
Aristotle. Not till the sixteenth century did this long dominion over
the human mind show symptoms of decadence.

_The Reformers._--Luther, among the Protestant reformers, sought
to banish logic from the schools; but it was retained, and in the
Protestant universities was still professed.

_Attacks upon Aristotle._--It now became the fashion, however, in
certain quarters, especially among the mystics in the Catholic
communion, to decry Aristotle, and each original genius took this way
to show his independence. Ramus is noted among these. Bacon followed
in this track, and did little more than repeat the invectives of his
predecessors. He attempted to set aside the syllogism, and put in its
place induction.

Induction, however, in some form, is as old as the syllogism. From
Plato and Aristotle downward, a thousand philosophers had availed
themselves of this method of reasoning and had also stated and defended

_The Moderns._--From Bacon and Descartes till our day logic has been
in process of decadence. Locke condemns it. Reid and the Scotch school
ridicule its pretensions. Kant and Hegel, on the other hand, give it
a due place in their systems--the latter especially; while in France,
it has admirers in St. Hilaire, Cousin, and others of like genius;
and in Edinburgh, the great Hamilton devoted to it the powers of his
unrivalled intellect.

_Logic of Hamilton._--As no writer, since the days of Aristotle, has
done more to complete and perfect the science of reasoning, than Sir
William Hamilton, it seems due that even so brief a sketch of the
history of logic as the present, should indicate, at least, the more
important changes which his system introduces. Whatever may be thought
of some of his views and proposed reforms in this ancient science
and sanctuary of past learning, it is not too much to say, that no
writer on logic can henceforth present a claim to be considered, who
has not, at least, thoroughly mastered and carefully weighed these
views and proposed changes, even if he do not adopt them. They are,
moreover, for the most part, changes so obviously demanded in order to
the completeness of the science, and so thorough-going withal, that
they are destined, it would seem, to be sooner or later adopted, and
if adopted, to work a radical change in the whole structure of this
ancient and time-honored science.

I shall attempt nothing more, in this connection, than, in the briefest
manner, to enumerate some of the more important of these improvements.

_Assigns Induction its true Place._--Hamilton is the first, so far as I
know, to elevate to its true place the inductive method of reasoning,
making it coördinate with the deductive, and assigning its true
character and value as a form of syllogism.

_Recognizes the analytic Syllogism._--He is the first to bring to
notice the claims of the _analytic_ syllogism to a distinctive place
and recognition in logic; a form of reasoning, which, however natural
and necessary, and in use almost universal, had been strangely
overlooked by logicians from Aristotle down.

_Rejects Modality._--He strenuously and consistently rejects the
modality of the proposition and the syllogism, on the ground that logic
is not concerned with the character of the matter, whether it be true
or false, necessary or contingent, but only with the form of statement,
and consequently, all distinctions founded on the truth or falsity,
the necessity or contingence of the matter, are utterly irrelevant to
the science--a principle admitted by others, but not previously carried
out to its true results.

_Doctrine of Figure._--He shows that the figure of the syllogism is a
matter accidental, rather than essential, that it may be even entirely
_unfigured_; abolishes the fourth figure as superfluous; and sets
aside, as quite useless and unnecessary, the old laborious processes of
reducing and connecting the several figures to the first.

_Rejects hypothetical Syllogism._--He throws out of the syllogism
entirely, the so-called _hypothetical_ forms, both conjunctive and
disjunctive, as reducible to _immediate_ inference, and not, therefore,
to be included under syllogistic reasoning, which is always mediate.

_The single Canon._--He reduces the several laws and canons of the
figured syllogism to a single comprehensive canon.

_Quantification of the Predicate._--But the most important discovery
made by Hamilton in this science, is the quantification of the
predicate. The predicate is always a given quantity in relation to
the subject, and that quantity should be stated. This, logicians have
always overlooked, quantifying only the subject, as, All men, Some
men, etc., but never the predicate. Fully quantified, the proposition
reads, All man is _some_ animal, no animal, etc., _i. e._, some sort or
species of animal. This doubles the number of possible propositions,
giving eight in place of four, and gives a corresponding increase in
the number of words. These eight propositions are shown to be, not only
possible, but admissible and valid. They are thus enumerated and named:

                           AFFIRMATIVE.        NEGATIVE.

    I. _Toto-total_:     All A is all B.    Any A is not any B.

   II. _Toto-partial_:   All A is some B.   Any A is not some B.

  III. _Parti-total_:    Some A is all B.   Some A is not any B.

   IV. _Parti-partial_:  Some A is some B.  Some A is not some B.

_Reference._--For a more full and exact account of Hamilton's system,
the reader is referred to the article on logic in the volume of
_Discussions on Philosophy and Literature_, by Sir W. Hamilton; also,
to "_An Essay on the New Analytic of Logical Forms_," by Thomas Spencer
Baynes, L. L. B. On the history of logic in general, see _Dictionnaire
des Sciences Philosophiques_--Article _Logique_, by Barthèleme St.
Hilaire, Professor of Philosophy to the College of France, member of
the Institute, etc., etc.; also, Blakey's _History of Logic_. The
_Memoir_ of St. Hilaire, on the logic of Aristotle, is one of the best
works of modern times on the subject of which it treats.






_Office of this Power._--In our analysis of the powers of the mind,
one was described as having for its office the conception of truths
that lie apart from the region and domain of sense--first principles
and primary ideas, fundamental to, and presupposed in, the operations
of the understanding, yet not directly furnished by sense. They are
awakened in the mind on occasion of sensible experience, but it is
not sensible experience which produces them. On the contrary, they
spring up in the mind as by intuition, whenever the fitting occasion
is presented. We must attribute their origin to a special power of the
mind by virtue of which, under appropriate circumstances, it conceives
the truths and ideas to which we refer. This power we have termed the
_originative_ or _intuitive_ faculty.

_Specific Character._--In its specific character and function it
is quite distinct from any of the faculties as yet considered. It
does not, like the presentative power, bring before us, in direct
cognizance, sensible objects; nor does it, like the representative
faculty, replace those objects to thought, in their absence. It neither
presents, nor represents, any object whatever. It forms no picture of
any thing to the mind's eye. It is a power of simple conception; and
yet it differs in an important sense from the other conceptive powers
and that is, that it is not _reflective_ but intuitive in its action.
Its data are conceptions, but conceptions necessary and intuitive,
seen at a glance, not the results of the reflective and discursive
process. These data are ideas of reason, rather than notions of the
understanding, or processes of reflection. There is no sensible object
corresponding to these ideas. We do not see, or hear, or feel, or by
any means cognize, any thing of the sort; nor can we form a picture, or
represent to ourselves any such thing as, _e. g._, time, or space, or
substance, or cause, and the like. They are conceptions of the mind,
and yet we conceive of them as _realities_. We cannot think them the
mere creations and figments of the brain. And in this respect, again,
they differ from the notions of the understanding--those classes and
genera which we know to be the mere creations of the mind.

_Existence of such a Faculty._--If any are disposed to doubt the
existence of the faculty under consideration, as a distinct power
of the mind, we have only to ask, whence come these ideas? They are
given, not by perception, evidently, nor by memory, nor by imagination,
for they fall not within the sphere of any of these faculties, that
is the sphere of sense. They relate not to the sensible, but to the

Nor are they the result of abstraction, as might at first appear.
Particular instances being given, certain times, certain spaces,
certain substances, certain instances of right and wrong conduct--it
is the province of the faculty now named, to form, from these concrete
ideas, the abstract notions of time, space, etc. But whence comes, in
the first instance, the concrete idea? Whence comes the notion of a
time, a space, a substance, a cause, a right or wrong act? Abstraction
cannot give these. Manifestly, however, we have a faculty of forming
such conceptions, of perceiving such truths and realities; and as
manifestly, it is a faculty distinct from any hitherto considered.
There are such realities as time, space, substance, cause, right and
wrong, etc.,

The mind takes cognizance of them as such, knows them, and knows them
to be realities; has, therefore, the faculty of knowing such truths.
We may call it, if we please, the faculty of original and intuitive

_Generally admitted._--The existence of ideas not directly furnished
by sense or experience, and not given by the faculties whose office it
is to deal with objects of sense, is a doctrine now generally admitted
by the most eminent philosophers. Nor is it a doctrine peculiar to any
one school. Under different names it is the doctrine substantially of
Reid, Stewart, Brown, Price, among English metaphysicians; Kant and
his disciples in Germany; Cousin, Jouffroy and others in France. It is
denied by Hobbes, Condillac, Gassendi, and others of that class who
trace all our ideas to sense as their ultimate source and parentage.

_Opinion of Locke._--The position of Locke respecting this matter, has
been the subject of much controversy. By a certain class of writers he
has been regarded as denying the existence of any and all ideas not
derived from sense, and has been classed with the school of Hobbes,
Condillac, etc. His philosophy has been regarded by many as of doubtful
and dangerous tendency, as leading to the denial of all truth and
knowledge not within the narrow domain of sense, and so conducting to
materialism and skepticism. This can by no means be fairly charged
upon him, nor upon his philosophy. He held no such views, nor are they
implied or contained in his doctrine. Locke, indeed, takes the ground
that all our ideas may be traced ultimately to one of two sources,
sensation or reflection; the one taking cognizance of external objects,
the other of our own mental operations: and that, whatever other
knowledge we have not given directly by these faculties, is produced
by adding, repeating, and variously combining, in our own minds, the
simple ideas derived from these sources. In this process, however,
of adding, combining, etc., he really includes what we prefer to
designate as a separate faculty of the mind, and by another name. He
distinctly recognizes the existence of the ideas which we attribute
to this faculty--ideas of space, power, etc.--and gives a clear, and
for the most part correct account of their origin. The mind, he says,
observes what passes without--the changes there occurring; it reflects
also on what passes within--the changes of its own ideas and purposes;
it concludes that like changes will be produced in the same things,
under the same circumstances, in future; it considers the possibility
of effecting such changes, and so comes by the idea of _power_. In
this Locke really includes essentially what we mean by suggestion or
original conception. Experience, it is universally admitted, furnishes
the occasion, suggests the idea, must precede as the indispensable
condition of the mind's having that idea, and is, at least in this
sense, the source of it, that it suggests the idea to the mind. All
this, Locke fully admits, while, at the same time, he fails to draw the
dividing line clearly between the ideas of sense and those in question.

_Objections to the term Suggestion._--The name original suggestion
has been commonly applied, of late, especially in this country, to
designate the faculty now under consideration. It is so used by
Professor Upham, and by Dr. Wayland. It is liable, however, to serious
objections. The term suggestion does not seem to me to express the
peculiar characteristic, the distinctive element and office of this
faculty. It is not peculiar to the ideas now in question, that they
are _suggested_ to the mind; many other ideas, all ideas, in fact,
are suggested by something. This class of our thoughts, therefore,
is no more entitled to that name than any other class. Nor is it
peculiar to this class that they are _original_ suggestions. The mind
has many other equally original ideas that are likewise suggestions
from things without, or from its own operations--mere fancies many of
them, imaginations. We need to distinguish, in this case, the merely
fanciful, the ideal, from the real. The terms intuitive and intuition,
while they imply the reality of the thing perceived, indicate, also,
the immediateness of the process.

_More serious Objection._--But there is a still further and more
serious objection to the term suggestion as thus employed. The word
does not, and cannot, with propriety, be made to denote what is now
intended. It has a transitive significance, and cannot be made to
denote a purely subjective process. Objects external suggest certain
ideas to my mind. I suggest ideas to other minds. The faculty of
suggestion lies, properly, not with the mind that receives the
suggestion, but with the mind or object that gives it. But when we say
the mind has the faculty of original suggestion, we do not mean that
it has the power of suggesting original ideas to other minds; we refer
to that power of the mind by which, in virtue of its constitution,
certain ideas, not strictly derived from sense, are awakened in it when
the occasion presents itself. We intend not a power of suggesting, but
rather of receiving suggestions, a power of _conceiving_ ideas, a power
of original and intuitive conceptions. To say that the mind suggests
to itself ideas of space, time, etc., is a singular use of terms. I
understand what is meant by suggesting ideas to others, and what it
is to receive suggestions from others, and to have ideas suggested by
events, occurrences and objects without, and how one thought may, by
some law of association, suggest another. But how the mind suggests
ideas to _itself_, is not so clear. A man, in a fit of abstraction,
talks to himself, but whether he suggests ideas to himself in that way,
so that he finds his own conversation instructive and profitable, may
admit of question. The truth is, the idea is suggested, not _by_ the
mind, but _to_ the mind--suggested from without. The mind has the power
of conceiving certain ideas, which are awakened or excited in it by
the occasion which presents itself. To call this faculty a faculty of
suggestion, is simply a misnomer.

_The true Doctrine._--All we can truly say, is, that the idea is
awakened or called up in the mind when the occasion presents, is
suggested _to_ it, not by it, suggested by the occasion, and not by the
mind itself. The mind has the idea within, has, moreover, the faculty
of _conceiving_ the idea, is so constituted, that, under certain
circumstances, in view of what it observes without, or is conscious of
within, the given idea is naturally and universally awakened in it; but
the _source_ of the suggestion lies not within the mind itself, and is
not to be confounded with the mind's faculty of conception.

_Use of the term by Reid and others._--Dr. Reid has been referred to
as authority for the use of the word suggestion to denote the faculty
in question. Dr. Reid makes use of the word, but not in the sense now
intended, not to denote a specific faculty of the mind, coördinate
with perception, memory, imagination, etc., not, in fact, as a faculty
at all. He refers to the well known fact, that ideas are suggested to
the mind by objects and events without, and by the sensations thus
awakened; as, _e. g._, a certain sound suggests the passing of a coach
in the street. So, also, one idea or sensation will suggest another.
He uses the term to denote the suggestion of one thing _to_ the mind
_by_ another thing, and not to denote a power in the mind of suggesting
things to itself. This is the correct use, and was not original with
Reid. Berkley had used the term in the same way before him. Locke had
used the word _excited_ in the same sense. The idea expressed by these
terms, and the use of the same or similar terms by which to express it,
may be traced back as far, at least, as to the Christian Fathers. St.
Augustine so uses it. Reid expressly applies the term to the perception
of external objects, as, _e. g._, certain sensations suggest the notion
of extension and space. This is correct use.

_The Facts in the Case._--The truth is, things exist thus and thus,
and we are constituted with reference to them as thus existing. Sense
and experience inform us of these existences and realities. Some of
them are objects of direct perception by the senses, as matter and its
qualities. Some of them are not directly objects of perception, but are
suggested to the mind by the operations of sense, and are intuitively
perceived by the mind, and recognized as truths and realities when thus
suggested, as time, space, substance, cause, the right, the wrong, the
beautiful, etc.

The mind has the faculty of receiving and recognizing such truths and
realities as thus suggested; and this faculty we call the power of
_original and intuitive conception_.

_These Ideas of internal Origin, in what Sense._--It has been customary
of late, especially in our country, to speak of the class of ideas now
referred to as of _internal origin_, in distinction from other ideas,
derived more directly from sense, and which are consequently designated
as of external origin. As it is desirable to be exact in our use of
terms, it may be well to inquire in what sense any of our ideas are of
external, and in what sense of internal origin, and wherein the ideas,
now under consideration, differ from any others in respect to their

_Ideas of external Origin._--A large class of our ideas evidently
relate to objects of sense, objects external and material, of which
we take cognizance through the senses. Such ideas may be said to be
of external origin, inasmuch as they relate to things without, and
are dependent on the external object as the indispensable condition
of their development. Were it not for the external object producing
the sensation of color or of hardness, I should not have the idea of
redness or of hardness; were it not for the external object resisting
my movements, I should not get the idea of externality. The idea is,
in these cases, dependent on, and limited by, the sensation or the
perception. They correspond as shadow and substance. The idea of
resistance, and the perception of it, the idea of sound or color, and
the sensation of it, are coëxtensive, synchronous, and, as to contents,

_These, in a Sense, internal._--In another sense, however, even these
ideas are of internal origin, that is, they are the mind's own ideas;
they spring up in the mind, and not out of it; they are, as ideas,
strictly internal states, affections, acts of the mind itself. Take
away intelligence, reason, the light divine, from the soul of man, and
the external objects may exist as before, and produce the same effect
on the organs of sense, but the ideas no longer follow. The physical
organs of the idiot are affected in the same way by external objects as
those of any other person, but he gets not the same ideas. These, it
is the office of the mind to produce and fashion for itself out of the
occasion and material furnished by sense. And this is as true of ideas
relating to external objects as to any other.

_Sensation an internal Affection._--It may even be said of this class
of ideas, that their _suggestion_ is of internal origin. The immediate
occasion of the mind's having the idea of extension, weight, hardness,
color, etc., is not the existence of the object itself, possessing such
and such qualities, but the impression produced by the object and its
qualities on the sense; in other words, the sensation awakened in us.
This it is which awakens and calls forth in the mind the idea of the
external object. Were there, for any reason, no sensation, then the
objects might exist as now, but we should have no idea of them. But
sensation is an internal affection, revealed by consciousness, and the
ideas awakened by it and dependent on it, are immediately of internal
origin, though mediately dependent on some preceding external condition
and occasion.

_Ideas of internal Origin._--If we examine, now, the ideas of
internal origin, so called, furnished by the faculty of original
and intuitive conception, we find that, while they do not directly
relate to objects of sense external and material, they nevertheless
depend, in like manner, on some preceding operation of sense as the
occasion of their development. Observation of what goes on without, or
consciousness of what goes on within furnishes the occasion, as all
admit, on which these ideas are awakened in the mind. The idea of
time, _e. g._, is connected with the succession of events, external or
internal--things without and thought and feeling within following each
other--which succession is matter of observation or of consciousness.
The idea of space is connected with the observation or sensation of
body as extended. The idea of beauty and deformity is awakened by
the perception of external objects as possessing certain qualities
which we thus designate. The idea of right and wrong in like manner
connects with something observed in human conduct. So of all ideas of
this class. They are not disconnected with, nor independent of, the
appropriate objects of observation and consciousness. These objects
must exist, these occasions must be furnished, as the _indispensable
condition_ of the existence of the idea in the mind. Dispense with the
succession of events or the observation of it, and you dispense with
the idea of time in the human mind.

_Conclusion._--So far as regards the origin of the ideas in question,
it is not easy to draw a dividing line, then, between the two classes,
marking the one as _external_, the other as _internal_. Both are of
external origin, and equally so, in this sense--that they both depend,
and equally depend, on some previous exercise of sense as the occasion
and condition of their development. Both are of internal origin, in
another sense--that they are both awakened in the mind--are both the
product of its own activity.

_Difference lies in what._--The difference is not so much that of
externality or internality of origin, as it is a difference of
character. The one relates to objects of sense, which can be seen,
heard, felt; the other to matters not less real, not less obvious,
but of which sense does not take direct cognizance. In either case
they spring from the constitution and laws of the mind. Such is my
constitution that external and material objects, affecting my senses,
furnish me ideas relating to such objects. And such is my constitution
that certain relations and qualities of things not directly cognizable
by sense, and certain realities and facts of an æsthetic and moral
nature, likewise impress my mind, and thus awaken in me the idea
of such relations and realities. The objects, the relations, the
realities, exist, they are perceived by the mind, and thus the first
idea of them is obtained. Color exists, and the eye is so constituted
as to be able to perceive it, and thus the idea of color is awakened in
the mind. So right and wrong exist, and the mind is so constituted as
to be able to perceive and recognize their existence, and thus the idea
of right is awakened in the mind. The faculty we call perception in the
one case, original conception in the other.




_Primary Truths and Primary Ideas as distinguished._--The faculty in
question may be regarded as the source of primary beliefs, truths,
cognitions, intuitively _perceived_, and also of primary and original
conceptions, notions, ideas, also intuitively _conceived_.

The difference between a conception or idea, and a belief or truth, is
obvious. The notion of existence, and the knowledge or belief that I,
myself, exist, are clearly distinguishable. The idea of cause, and the
conviction that every event has a cause, are distinct mental states.
The one is a primitive and intuitive conception, the other a primitive
and intuitive truth. Every primary truth involves a primitive and
original conception.

_Existence of first Truths._--All science and all reasoning depend
ultimately on certain first truths or principles, not learned by
experience, but prior to it, the evidence and certainty of which lie
back of all reasoning and all experience. Take away these elementary
truths, and neither science nor reasoning are longer possible, for want
of a beginning and foundation. Every proposition which carries evidence
with it, either contains that evidence in itself, or derives it from
some other proposition on which it depends. And the same is true of
this other proposition, and so on forever, until we come, at last, to
some proposition which depends on no other, but is self-evident, a
first truth or principle. Whence come these first principles? Not of
course from experience, for they are involved in and essential to all
experience. They are native or _à priori_ convictions of the mind,
instinctive and intuitive judgments.

_Existence of first Truths admitted._--The existence of first truths
or principles, as the basis of all acquired knowledge, has been
very generally admitted by philosophers. They have designated these
elementary principles, however, by widely different appellations.
By some, they have been termed _instinctive_ beliefs, cognitions,
judgments, etc., an appellation mentioned by Hamilton as employed
by a very great number of writers from Cicero downward, including,
among the rest, Scaliger, Bacon, Descartes, Pascal, Leibnitz, Hume,
Reid, Stewart, Jacobi. Others, again, have termed them _à priori_ or
_transcendental_ principles, cognitions, judgments, etc., as being
prior to experience, and transcending the knowledge derived from sense.
So Kant and his school termed them. By the Scotch writers they have
been termed, also, principles of _common sense_, in place of which
expression Stewart prefers the title, _fundamental laws of human

_Criteria of primary Truths._--It becomes an important inquiry, in
what manner we may recognize and distinguish first truths from all
others. Besides common consent, or universality of belief on the part
of those who have arrived at years of discretion, _Buffier_ relies,
also, upon the following, as criteria of first principles; that
they are such truths as can neither be defended nor attacked by any
propositions, either more manifest or more certain than themselves;
and that their practical influence extends even to those who would
deny them. Reid gives, among other criteria, the following: consent of
ages and nations; the absurdity of the opposite; early appearance in
the mind, prior to education and reasoning; practical necessity to the
conduct and concerns of life. _Hamilton_ gives the following as tests
or criteria of first truths: 1. _Incomprehensibilty._--We comprehend
that the thing is, but not _how_ or _why_ it is. 2. _Simplicity._--If
the cognition or belief can be resolved into several cognitions or
beliefs, it is complex, and so, no longer original. 3. _Necessity,
and consequent universality._--If necessary, it is universal, and
if absolutely universal, then it must be necessary. 4. _Comparative
evidence and certainty._

_Summary of Criteria._--The following may be regarded as a summary of
the more important criteria by which to distinguish primary truths from
all others.

_a._ As first truths, or primary data of intelligence, they are, of
course, not derived from observation or experience, but are prior and
necessary to such experience.

_b._ They are _simple_ truths, not resolvable into some prior and
comprehending truth from which they may be deduced.

_c._ As simple truths, they _do not admit of proof_, there being
nothing more certain which can be brought in evidence of them.

_d._ While they do not admit of proof, _the denial of them involves us
in absurdity_.

_e._ Accordingly, as simple, and as self-evident, they are universally

_Enumeration of some of the Truths usually regarded as
primary._--Different writers have included some more, some fewer, of
these first principles in their list; while no one has professed,
so far as I am aware, to give a complete enumeration of them. Such
an enumeration, if it were possible, would be of great service in
philosophy. The following have been generally included among primary
truths by those who have attempted any specification, viz.; our
personal existence, our personal identity, the existence of efficient
causes, the existence of the material world, the uniformity of nature;
to which would be added, by others, the reliability of memory, and of
our natural faculties generally, and personal freedom or power over our
own actions and volitions.

_Correctness of this Enumeration._--That the truths now specified are
in some sense primary, that they are generally admitted and acted
upon, among men, without process of reasoning, and that, when stated,
they command the universal and instant assent of even the untaught and
unreflecting mind, there can be little doubt. Whether, in all cases,
however, they come strictly under the rules and criteria now given;
whether, for example, our own existence and identity are primary
data of consciousness; or whether, on the contrary, they are not
_inferred_ from the existence of those thoughts and feelings of which
we are directly conscious, as, for example, in the famous argument of
Descartes, _Cogito, ergo sum_, may admit of question.


Of the results or operations of the faculty under consideration, we
have considered, as yet, only that class which may be designated
as primary _truths_, in distinction from primitive or intuitive
_conceptions_. To this latter class let us now direct our attention.

_Proposed consideration of some of the more important._--Without
undertaking to give a complete list of our original or intuitive
conceptions, there are certain of the more important, which seem
to require specific consideration. Such are the ideas of space,
time, identity, cause, the beautiful, the right--ideas difficult to
define and explain, but, on that account, requiring the more careful
investigation. Let us, then, take up these conceptions one by one, and
inquire more particularly into their nature.

I. _Space._

_Subjective View._--What is space? Is it a mere idea, a mere conception
of the mind, or has it reality? This is a question which has much
perplexed philosophers. Kant and his school regard both time and space
as merely subjective, mere conceptions or forms which the mind imposes
upon outward things, having no reality, save as conceptions, or laws of

_Opposite View._--On the other hand, if we make space a reality, and
not a mere conception, what is it, and where is it? Not matter, and
yet real, a something which exists, distinct from matter, and yet not
mind. Pressed with these difficulties, some distinguished and acute
writers have resolved time and space into qualities of the one infinite
and absolute Being, the divine mind. Such was the view of Clarke and
Newton, a view favored also by a recent French writer of some note--C.
H. Bernard, Professor of Philosophy in the Lycée Bonaparte.

_A middle Ground._--These must be regarded as, on either hand, extreme
views. But is there a middle ground possible or conceivable? Let us
see. What, then, is the simple idea of space? What mean we by that word?

_Idea of Space._--When we contemplate any material object, any
existence of which the senses can take cognizance, we are cognizant
of it as _extended_, _i. e._, _occupying space_, nor can we possibly
conceive of it as otherwise. The idea of space, then, is involved in
the very idea of extended substance, or material existence, given
along with it, impossible to be separated from it. We may regard it,
therefore, as _the condition or postulate of being, considered as
material existence, possessing extension_, etc. The idea of it is
essential to the idea of matter, the reality of it to the reality of
matter; for if there were no space, there could be no extension in
space, and, without extension, no matter.

_Not a mere Conception._--Is space, then, a mere conception of the
mind, merely subjective? Unquestionably not. It is not, indeed, a
_substance_ or _entity_, it has no _being_. It is not matter, for it
is, itself, the _condition_ of matter; it is not spirit, for then it
were intelligent. It is not an _existence_, then, strictly speaking,
not a thing created, nor is it in the power of deity either to create
or to annihilate it, for creation and annihilation relate only to
_existence_. And yet space is a _reality_, and not a _mere conception_
of the mind. For, if so, then were there no longer any mind to conceive
it, there would be no longer any space; if no mind to think, then no
thought. Were the whole race of intelligent beings, then, to be blotted
out of existence, and all things else to remain as now, space would be
gone, while, yet, matter would exist, extension--worlds moving on as
before. Extension in what, motion in what? Not in space, for that is
no longer extant; defunct, rather, with the last mind whose expiring
torch went out in the gloom of night. Unless we make _matter_, then, to
be also a mere conception of the mind, space is not so. If the one is
real, the other is. If one is a mere conception, so is the other; and
to this result the school of Kant actually come. Matter, itself, is a
subjective phenomenon, a mode of mind, or, rather, if it be any thing
more, we have no means of knowing it to be so.

If, on the contrary, as we hold, matter _exists_, and is an object
of immediate perception by the senses, then there is such a thing as
space also, the _condition_ of its existence, a _reality_, though
not an _entity_, the idea of it given along with that of matter, the
reality of it implied in the reality of matter. Matter _presupposes_
it, depends on it as its _sine quâ non_. It depends on nothing. Were
there no matter, there would be none the less space, but only space
unoccupied. In that case, the idea of space might never occur to any
mind, but the reality would exist just as now. Were all matter and all
mind to be blotted out of being, space would still be what it is now.

_The Idea, how awakened_--_How come we by our Idea of Space?_--Sense
gives us our first knowledge of matter, as extended, etc., and so
furnishes the _occasion_ on which the idea of space is first awakened
in the mind. In this sense, and no other, does it originate in
sensation or experience. It is a simple idea, _logically_ prior to
experience, because the very notion of matter _presupposes_ space; yet,
_chronologically_, as regards the matter of development in the mind,
subsequent to experience and cognizance of matter.


_Idea and Definition._--What we have said of space will enable
us better to understand what is the nature of that analogous and
kindred conception of the mind, in itself so simple, yet so difficult
of definition and explanation--_Time._ The remarks already made,
respecting space, will almost equally apply to this subject also.

Space, we defined as the _condition of being, regarded as extended,
material_. Time is the _condition of being, regarded as in action,
movement, change_.

Sense informs us not only of magnitudes, extensions, material objects,
and existences, as around us in nature, but of movements and changes
continually taking place among these various existences; as _extension_
is essential to those material forms, so _succession_ is essential to
these movements and changes; they cannot take place, nor be conceived
to take place, without it; and as space is involved in, and given
along with, the very idea of _extension_, so time is involved in, and
given along with, the very idea of _succession_. Time, then, is the
condition of action, movement, change, event, as space is of extended
and material existence. It is that which is required in order that
something should _take place_ or occur, just as space is that which
is required in order that something should exist as material and
having form. As space gives us the question _where_, time gives us the
question _when_. It is the place of events, as space is of forms.

_Brown's View._--Dr. Brown defines time to be the mere relation of
one event to another, as prior and subsequent. It follows, from this
view, that if there were no _events_, then no _time_, since the latter
is a mere relation subsisting among the former. Is this so? No doubt
we derive our _idea_ of time from the succession of events; but is
time merely an idea, merely a conception, merely a relation, or has it
reality out of and aside from our mind's conceiving it, and independent
of the series of events that take place in it?

_Not a mere Conception._--Like space, it is a law of thought, a
conception, and like space it is not a _mere_ law of thought, not a
mere conception of the mind, not altogether subjective. Nor is it a
mere relation of one event to another in succession. It is, on the
contrary, _necessary to_, and prior to, all succession and all events.
It does not depend on the occurrence of events, but the occurrence
of events depends on _it_. As space would still exist were matter
annihilated, so time would continue were events to cease. But were
time blotted out there could be no succession, no occurrence or event.
Time is essential, not to the mere thought or _conception_ of events,
but to the _possibility_ of the thing itself. It is not, then, a mere
idea, or conception of the mind, nor a mere relation. It has, in a
sense, objectivity and reality, since it is the ground and condition
of all continuous active existence, as space is of all extended formal
existence, the _sine quâ non_, without which not merely our idea and
conception of such existence would vanish, but the thing itself. There
could be no such thing as active continuous existence, either of mind
or matter, since mind and spirit, as continuous and persistent in
any of its moods and phases, much more as passing from one to another
of those moods, implies succession. Time is to mind what space is to
matter. _Matter_ protends in _space_, _mind_ in _time_. Time is even
less purely subjective than space, for should we say that both matter
and space are mere subjective phenomena, mere conceptions, yet even to
those very conceptions, to those subjective phenomena, as states of
mind, time is essential.

_Whence our Idea of Time._--It is with the idea of time as with that of
space. _Logically_, time is the condition, à priori, of all experience,
because of all continuous existence and all consciousness; but
_chronologically_ it is à posteriori, _i. e._, it is, to us, a matter
of sensible experience. Sense is the occasion on which the idea of time
is first awakened in our minds. We first exist, continue to exist,
are conscious of that existence, conscious of succession, thoughts,
feelings, sensations, and so we get the idea of time.

Time is necessary to _succession_; yet had there been no succession
known to us, we should have had no _idea_ of time. We are to
distinguish, of course, between our _idea_ of time and the thing
itself. Locke is incorrect in making the idea of succession prior to
that of duration, _in itself considered_, and not merely as regards our
knowledge. In this respect, Cousin has ably and justly criticised the
philosophy of Locke.

_Time a relative Idea._--Looking at time merely as an idea or
conception of our own minds, it is simply the perception of _relation_;
the relation of passing events to each other, the relation of our
various modes and states of being, our thoughts, feelings, etc., to
each other, as successive, or to external objects and events, as also
successive; the whereabouts, in a word, of one's self, one's present
consciousness, in relation to what passes, or has passed, within or
without, the relation of the present me to the former me, as regards
both the succession of internal or external events. Hence the mind has
only to withdraw itself completely from the consciousness of its former
states and of events passing without, and it _loses_ altogether its
idea of time.

_Thus in Sleep._--This we find to be the case in sleep. The thinking
goes on; the idea of present self is kept up, but not of self in
relation to the objects that are really about us, or to the actual part
of its own existence. Whatever relation seems to exist, is imaginary
and untrue. We no longer know where we are, nor exactly who we are.
The avenues of communication with the external world are shut up,
the eye, the ear, etc., are inactive, the spirit withdraws from the
outward into itself, as far as this is possible, while the connection
of body and mind still continues; its relations to former things and
to present things are forgotten and unknown. What is the consequence?
We lose all idea of _time_; the moment of falling asleep and of our
beginning to awake, if the sleep have been sound, is apparently one
and the same moment. The first effect of returning consciousness is
to resume the broken thread of time, to find your place again in the
series of things, whether it is morning or night, what morning or what
night it is; to find yourself, in fact. You had _forgotten yourself_,
to use a familiar phrase exactly descriptive of the present case. What
of yourself had you forgotten? Simply your _relation_ to the order and
succession of things without, and of thoughts and feelings within--your
place in the series. In sleep, your existence, so far as it is an
object of consciousness at all, is simply that of each passing moment
by itself.

_Thus in absorbing Pursuits._--You have only, in your waking moments,
to lose sight as completely of that relation and succession of the
present self to the past self, of the me to the not me, and you lose as
completely all idea of time. Does this ever occur? Partially, whenever
the attention is absorbed in any intensely interesting pursuit or
study. Time passes insensibly then. We are abstracted from the series,
our attention is withdrawn from surrounding objects and events, and
even from our own thoughts, _as such_. We lose sight of the me, and,
of course, of the relation of the me, to passing events, and therefore
lose the sense of time. When the spell is at last broken we must go to
seek ourselves again, as we would seek a child, that, in its play, had
wandered from our side.

_Also in Disease._--Something of the same sort occurs in severe and
protracted sickness. The mind loses its reckoning, so to speak, as a
ship in a storm loses latitude and longitude, and wanders from its
course, unable longer to take its daily observations.

_Idea of Time in Children._--You have doubtless noticed that children
have little idea of time. It is much the same to them, one day with
another, one week with another; it is morning, or afternoon, or night
indifferently. The distinction and recognition of time, and of one time
as different from another, is slowly acquired, and with difficulty.
They have not that self-consciousness, that apprehension of the present
and of the past, as related to each other in the series of events,
which is involved in the idea of time. They are more like one in sleep,
like one dreaming, like one in reverie, wholly absorbed with the
present moment, the present consciousness.

_Time longer to a Child than an Adult._--What has been said explains,
also, the well-known fact, that time seems longer to a child than to
an adult person. It is, as we have seen, the relation of the present
self, as affected by changes internal and external, to the past self
as thus affected, that gives us the idea and the standard of time. Of
course, the shorter the line that represents the past, the longer, in
comparison, that present duration which is measured by it. Now the
child has fewer past thoughts and events with which to compare the
present ones; hence, they hold a greater comparative magnitude to
him than to us, who have a greater range of past existence and past
consciousness with which to connect the passing moments. Hence, the
longer we live, the more quickly pass our years, the shorter appears
any given period of duration.

_Applied to eternal Duration._--You have but to apply this thought to
Him whose going forth is from of old, who _inhabiteth eternity_, and
you have a new meaning in the beautiful thought of the Hebrew poet,
that with Him a thousand years are but as a day. To that eternal mind,
the remoteness of the period when the first star lighted up the vault
of night at his bidding, may be recent as an event of yesterday.


_Difficult of Explanation._--Perhaps no subject, in the whole range
of intellectual philosophy, has been the occasion of more perplexity
and embarrassment than this. It is, in itself, a difficult subject
to comprehend and explain. We know what we mean by identity, but to
tell what that meaning is, to state the thing lucidly, and explain it
philosophically, is another matter. It becomes necessary to examine
the subject, therefore, with some care, in order to avoid confusion of
ideas, and positively erroneous opinions. The subject is one of some
importance in its theological, as well as its strictly philosophical

_Not Similarity._--Identity is _not similarity_, not mere
resemblance--_similar_ things are not the _same_ thing. We may suppose
two globes or spheres precisely alike in every respect--of the
same size, color, form, of the same material, of the same chemical
composition and substance, presenting to the eye and the touch, and
every other sense, the very same appearance and qualities, so that,
if viewed successively, we should not recognize the difference; yet
they are not identical; they are, by the very supposition, _two_
distinct globes, two entities, two substances, and to say that they are
identical, is to say that two things are only one. _Similarity_ is not
identity, so far from it, as Archbishop Whately has well remarked,
it is not even implied of necessity in identity. A person may so far
change as to be quite unlike his former self in appearance, size, etc.,
and yet be the same person. Not only are the two ideas quite distinct,
but the one may be, and in fact is, in most cases, the virtual
_negation_ of the other. Resemblance, in most cases, implies difference
of objects, the opposite of identity. To say that A and B resemble each
other, is to say that, as known to us, they are _not_ one and the same,
not identical. It is only when one and the same object falls under
cognizance at diverse times, so that we compare the object, as now
known, with the same object as previously known, that resemblance and
identity can possibly be predicated of the same thing.

Identity is only another term for _sameness_ (_idem_); any one who
knows what that means, knows what identity means, and that it does not
mean mere similarity or resemblance.

_Not sameness of chemical Composition._--Nor does sameness of chemical
composition constitute identity. This is merely similarity. Two
bodies may be composed of the same chemical elements, in the same
proportion, and possessing the same general form and structure, yet
they are not the same body. A given piece of wood or iron may be
divided into a number of parts, each closely resembling the others,
of the same appearance, size, figure, color, weight, and of the same
chemical components; yet no one of these is identical with any other.
When we say, in such a case, that the different pieces are of the
same material, we use the word _same_ with some latitude, to denote,
not that they are composed of strictly the same particles, that the
substance of the one is the very identical substance of the other,
but only that they consist of the same _sort_ or _kind_ of substance,
that they are, _e. g._, both wood, or both iron. But this does not
constitute identity.

There is no limit to the number of identical bodies which it is
possible to conceive on this theory of identity. The same power that
constructs one body of given chemical elements, and of given form
and structure, may make two such, or ten, and if the first two are
identical, the ten are, and they may exist at one and the same time,
beside each other, identical with each other, yet ten, every one of
which is itself, and yet every one is each of the others!

_A relative Term._--Identity is a relative term, like most others that
are expressive of quality. The term straight implies the idea of that
which is not straight; beauty, the idea of deformity; greatness, its
opposite; and so of others. Identity stands related to _diversity_
as its opposite. To have the idea of identity, is to have that of
diversity also. To affirm the former, is to deny the latter, and to
deny is to have the idea of that which is denied. I do not say there
can be no _identity_ without diversity, but only that there can be no
_idea_ of the one without the idea, also, of the other, any more than
there can be the idea of a tall man without the idea of short men.

_Opposite of Diversity._--To affirm identity, then, is simply to deny
_diversity_, to predicate unity, sameness, oneness. Other objects
there are, like this, it may be, similar in every respect, capable of
being confounded with it, and mistaken for it, but they are _other_
and not _it_. This we affirm when we affirm identity, _non-diversity_,
_non-otherness_. Whatever it be that marks off and distinguishes a
thing from all other like or unlike objects--whatever constitutes its
_individuality_, its _essence_--_in that consists its identity_.

_Different applications of the Term._--Evidently, then, the word has
somewhat different senses as applied to different classes of objects,
whose individuality or essence varies. There are three distinct classes
of objects to which the term is applicable. 1. Spiritual existence. 2.
Organic and animate material existence. 3. Inorganic matter.

_As applied to the first Class._--As regards the first class,
_spiritual existences_, their identity consists in simple oneness and
continuity of existence. It is enough that the soul or spirit exist,
and continue to exist. So long as this is the case, identity is
predicable of it. Should that existence cease, the identity ceases,
since the object no longer exists of which identity can be affirmed.
Should another spirit be created in its place, and even, _if the thing
be supposable_, should it be endowed, not only with the same qualities,
but the same _consciousness_, so as to be conscious of all that of
which the former was conscious, still it would not be identical with
the former. It is, by the very supposition, _another_ spirit, and not
the same. To be identical with it, it must be the very same essence,
being, or existence, and not some other in its place.

It is only of spiritual immaterial existence that identity, in its
strict and complete sense, is properly predicable, since it is only
this class of existences that retains, unimpaired, its simple oneness,
sameness, continuity of essence.

_Personal Identity._--When we speak of _personal_ identity, we mean
that of the spirit, the soul, the ego, in distinction from the
corporeal material part. The _evidence_ of personal identity is
_consciousness_. We know that the thinking conscious existence of
to-day, which we call _self_, _me_, is one and the same with the
thinking conscious self or me of yesterday, and not some other personal
existence of like attributes and condition.

_Locke's Idea._--Mr. Locke strangely mistook the _evidence_ of personal
identity for identity _itself_, and affirmed that our identity
_consists_ in our consciousness. If this were so, then, whenever our
consciousness were interrupted, as in sound sleep, or in fainting, or
delirium, our identity would be gone. This error has been pointed out,
and fully explained, by Dr. Reid, and Bishop Butler, the former of
whom makes this supposition: that the same individual is, at different
periods of life, a boy at school, a private in the army, and a military
commander; while a boy, he is whipped for robbing an orchard; when
a soldier, he takes a standard from the enemy, and at that time
recollects, perfectly, the whipping when a boy; when commander, he
remembers taking the standard but not the whipping. It follows,
according to Mr. Locke, that the soldier is identical with the boy, and
the general with the soldier, because conscious of the same things, but
the general is not identical with the boy, because not conscious of the
same things, that is, _a_ is _b_, and _b_ is _c_, yet _a_ is not _c_.
The truth is, _identity_, and the _evidence_ of it, are two things.
Were there no consciousness of any thing past, there would still be
identity so long as unity and continuity of existence remained.

_2. Identity as applied to the second Class._--As regards _organic
material_ existence, whether animal or vegetable, the identity consists
in that which constitutes the essence or being of the thing, which
constitutes it an animal or vegetable existence. It is not mere body,
not mere particles of matter, of such number and nature, or even of
such arrangement and structure, but along with this, there is a higher
principle involved--that of life. The continuity of this mysterious
principle of life, under the same general structure and organization
of material parts, making throughout one complex unity, one entity,
one being, though with many changes, it may be, of separate parts and
particles composing the organization; this constitutes the identity of
the object.

The identity is no longer complete, no longer absolute, because there
is no longer, as in the case of spiritual existence, absolute sameness
of essence. Of the complex being under consideration, animal or
vegetable, the life-principle is, indeed, one and the same throughout
all periods of its existence, but the material organization retains not
the same absolute essence, only the same general structure, and form,
and adaptation of parts, while the parts and particles themselves are
continually changing. It is only in a modified and partial sense, then,
not in strict philosophical use of language, that we can predicate
identity of any material organic existence. We mean by it, simply,
_continuity of life_ under the same general structure and organization;
for so far as it has unity at all, this is it. This enables us to
distinguish such an object from any and all other like objects of the
same kind or sort.

_3. Identity as applied to the third Class._--As regards mere inorganic
matter, its identity consists, again, in its absolute oneness and
sameness. There must be no change of particles, for the essence of
the thing now considered lies not in any peculiarity of form, or
structure, or life-principle, all which are wanting, but simply in the
number and nature of the particles that make up the mass or substance
of the thing, and if these change in the least, it is no longer the
same essence. There is, properly, then, no such thing as identity in
the cases now under consideration, since the particles of any material
substance are liable to constant changes. It is only in a secondary
and popular sense that we speak of the identity of merely inorganic
material substance; strictly speaking, it has no identity, and
continues not the same for any two moments.

We say, however, of two pieces of paper, that they are of the _same_
color, meaning that they are both white or both red; of two coins,
that they are of the same fineness, the same size, and weight, etc.,
meaning, thereby, only that the two things are of the same _sort_ of
color, the same degree of fineness, etc., and not that the color of the
one or the fineness and size of the one is absolutely the essential and
identical color, size, fineness of the other. It is by a similar use
of terms, not in their strict and proper, but in a loose and secondary
sense, that we speak of the identity or sameness of any material
substance in itself considered. Strictly, it has no identity unless
its substance is absolutely unchanged, which is not true of most, if,
indeed, of any material existence, for any successive periods of time.

_Popular Use._--There is a popular use of this term which requires
further notice. We speak of the identity of a mountain, a river, a
tree, or any like object in nature. It is the same mountain, we say,
that we looked upon in childhood, the same tree under which we sat
when a boy, the same river in which we bathed or fished in youth.
Now there is a sense in which this is true and correct. There has
been change of substance unquestionably, and therefore there is not
_absolute_ identity; but there is, after all, _numerical_ sameness,
and this is what we mean when we speak of the sameness or identity of
the object. It constitutes a sufficient ground for such use of terms.
You recognize the book, the mountain, the river, as one you have seen
before. The tree that you pass in your morning walk you recognize as
the very tree under which you sat ten years ago. Leaves have changed,
bark and fibres have changed; branches are larger and more numerous;
boughs, perhaps, have fallen by time and by tempest; it has changed
as you have changed, it has grown old like yourself, with changing
seasons; its verdure and foliage, like your hopes and plans, lie
scattered around it, and yet it is _to you_ the same tree. How so? It
is the same numerical unity. Of a thousand or ten thousand _similar_
trees, similar in species, in growth, and form, and adaptation of
parts, in size, color, general appearance, etc., it is this individual
one, and not some other of the same sort or species growing elsewhere,
that you refer to. It is the same numerical unity and not some other
one of the series. Still there must be continuity of existence in order
to identity even in this popular sense of the term. Were the parts
entirely changed and new ones substituted, as in the puzzle of the
knife with several successive handles and blades, or the ship whose
original timbers, planks, cordage, and entire substance, had, in course
of time, by continued repairs, been removed and replaced by new; in
such a case, we do not ordinarily speak or think of the object as being
any longer the same.

_This not absolute Identity._--In the cases now under consideration, in
which, in popular language, objects are termed "same" and "identical,"
which are not strictly so, there is _comparative_ rather than
_absolute_ unity and identity. There is reference always in such cases
to other objects of the same kind, sort, and description, a series of
which the object of present cognition is one, and to which series it
holds the same relation now that it held formerly. As when, of several
books on a table, you touch _one_, and after the interval of some
moments or hours touch the same again; you say, The book I last touched
is the same I touched before, the _identical_ one; you do not mean that
its _substance_ is absolutely unchanged, that it has the same precise
number of particles in its composition as before--this is not in your
mind at all--but only that the unity thus designated is the same unity
previously designated, that, and not some other one of the series of
similar objects. It is a _comparative_ idea, a comparative identity, in
which numerical unity is the element chiefly regarded.

_Possible Plurality implied._--In all cases where the idea of identity
arises in the mind, there is implied a _possible_ plurality of
objects of the same general character; the idea of such diversity or
plurality is before the mind, and the foundation of that idea is the
difference of cognition. The same object is viewed by the same person
at _different times_ or by _different persons_ at the same time, and
in that case, though the object itself should be absolutely one and
the same, yet there have been distinct, separate cognitions of it, and
this plurality or difference of cognition is a sufficient foundation
for the idea of a possible diversity of object. The book _as known_
to-day and the book _as known_ yesterday, are two distinct objects of
thought. The cognition now, and the cognition then, are two separate
acts of the mind; and the question arises, Are the _objects_ distinct,
as well as the cognitions? This is the question of identity. You have
an immediate, irresistible conviction that the object of these several
cognitions is one and the same. You affirm its identity, absolute or
comparative, as the case may be.

_The Conception of Identity amounts to what._--In every case of
affirmed identity, then, there is implied a possible plurality of
objects; a difference of cognition of a given object, whether one
person cognizant at different times, or different persons at the same
time; a question whether the possible plurality, as regards the object
of these different cognitions, is an _actual_ plurality; a conviction
and decision that it is not, that the object is one and the same; and
this sameness and unity are _absolute_ or _comparative_, according as
we use the language in its strict, primitive, philosophical meaning,
or in its loose and popular sense. In the one case, it is sameness of
absolute essence, in the other, sameness of nominal relation to others
of a series or class.


_Meaning of the Term._--The idea of cause is one with which every mind
is familiar. It is not easy, however, to explain precisely what we mean
by it, nor to fix its limits, nor to unfold its origin.

We mean by this term, I think, as ordinarily employed, that on which
some consequence depends, that but for which some event or phenomenon
would not occur. In order to affirm that one thing is the cause of
another, I must know, not merely that they are connected, but that the
existence of the one depends on that of the other. This is more than
mere antecedence, however invariable. The approach of a storm may be
invariably indicated by the changes of the barometer. These changes
precede the storm, but are not the cause of it.

_Origin of the Idea._--_Whence do we derive_ the idea of cause?--a
question of some importance, and much discussed.

Evidently not from sense. I observe, for example, the melting of snow
before the fire, or wax before the flame of a taper. What is it that I
see in this case? Merely the phenomenon, nothing more. All that sense
conveys, all that the eye reports, is simply the melting of the one
substance in the presence and vicinity of the other. I _see_ no cause,
no form transmitted from the one to the other, no action of the one on
the other, but simply the vicinity of the two, and the change taking
place in one. I _infer_ that the change takes place in consequence of
the vicinity. I believe it; and if the experiment is often repeated
with the same results, I cannot doubt that it is so. The idea of
causality is, indeed, _suggested_ by what I have seen, but is not
given by sense. I have not seen the cause; that lies hidden, occult,
its nature wholly unknown, and its very existence known, not by what
I have actually seen, but by that law of the mind which leads me to
believe that every event must have a cause, and to look for that cause
in whatever circumstance is known to be invariably connected with the
given change or event.

_Constitution of the Mind._--That such is the constitution of the mind,
such the law of its action, admits of no reasonable doubt. No sooner is
an event or phenomenon observed, than we conclude, at once, that it is
an effect, and begin to inquire the cause. We cannot, by any effort of
conception, persuade ourselves that there is absolutely no cause.

_Not derived from Sense._--But is not this principle of causality
derived from experience? We have already said that sense does not give
it. I do not see with the eye the cause of the melting of the wax, much
less does what I see contain the general principle, that _every_ event
must have a cause. Sense does not give me this.

_Whether from Consciousness._--Still, may it not be a matter of
experience in another way, given by _consciousness_, though not by
_sense_. For example, I am conscious of certain volitions. These
volitions are accompanied with certain muscular movements, and these,
again, are followed by certain sensible effects upon surrounding
objects. These changes produced on objects without are directly
connected thus with my own mental states and changes, with the
volitions of which I am directly conscious. Given, the volition on my
part, with the corresponding muscular effort, and the external change
is produced. I never observe it taking place without such preceding
volition. I learn to regard my will as the _cause_, and the external
change as the _effect_. I observe that it is in the power of others
to produce changes in like manner. Thus I obtain the general idea of
cause. It is given by consciousness and experience.

_Notion of Causality not thus derived._--It is to this source that
a very able and ingenious French philosopher would attribute our
first idea of cause. I refer to Maine de Biran. I should agree with
M. de Biran, that consciousness of our own voluntary efforts, and of
the effects thus produced, may give us our first notion of cause.
But it does not give us the law of causality. It extends to a given
instance only, explains that, explains nothing further than that,
cannot go beyond. I am conscious that in this given instance I have
set in operation a train of antecedents and sequences which results
in the given effect. I am not conscious that _every_ event has, in
like manner, a cause. My experience warrants no such assumption. No
induction of facts and cases can possibly amount to this. Induction
can multiply and generalize, but cannot stamp on that which is merely
empirical and contingent, the character of universality and necessity.
The law of causality, in a word, is to be distinguished from any given
instance, or number of instances, of actually observed causation. The
latter fall within the range of consciousness and experience, the
former is given, if at all, as a law of the mind, a primary truth, an
idea of reason.

_Remarks of Professor Bowen._--As Professor Bowen has well observed,
"The maxim, '_Every event must have a cause_,' is not, like the
so-called laws of nature, a mere induction founded on experience, and
holding good only until an instance is discovered to the contrary; it
is a necessary and immutable truth. It is not derived from observation
of natural phenomena, but is super-imposed upon such observation by a
necessity of the human intellect. It is not made known through the
senses; and its falsity, under any circumstances, is not possible, is
not even conceivable. The _cause_ to which it points us, is not to
be found in nature. The mere physicist, after vainly searching, ever
since the world began, for a single instance of it, has, at length,
abandoned the attempt as hopeless, and now confines himself to the mere
_description_ of natural phenomena. The _true cause_ of these phenomena
must be sought for in the realm, not of _matter_, but of _mind_."

_What constitutes Cause._--In this last remark, the author quoted
touches upon a question of no little moment. What constitutes a cause?
We cannot here enter into the discussion of this question. It is
sufficient to remark, that in the ordinary use of the word, as denoting
that, but for which a given result will not be, many things beside mind
are included as causes. A hammer, or some like instrument, is essential
to the driving of a nail. The hammer may be called the cause of the
nail being driven; the blow struck by means of the hammer may also be
so designated. More properly, the arm which gave the blow, and, more
correctly still, the mind which willed the movement of the arm, and not
the consequent blow of the hammer, may be said to be the cause. If we
seek for _ultimate_ and _efficient_ causes, we must, doubtless, come
back to the realm of mind. It is mind that is, in every case, the first
mover, the originator of any effect, and it may, therefore, be called
the true and prime cause, the cause of causes.

_History of the Doctrine._--_Aristotle's View._--The history of the
doctrine of causality presents a number of widely different theories, a
brief outline of which is all that we can here give. The most ancient
division and classification of causes is that of Aristotle, which is
based on the following analysis: Every work brought to completion
implies four things: an agent by whom it is done, an element or
material of which it is wrought, a plan or idea according to which
it is fashioned, and an end for which it is produced. Thus, to the
production of a statue there must be a statuary, a block of marble,
a plan in the mind of the artist, and a motive for the execution of
the work. The first of these is termed the _efficient_ cause, the
second the _material_ cause, the third the _formal_, and the fourth
the _final_ cause. This classification was universally adopted by the
scholastic philosophers, and, to some extent, is still prevalent. We
still speak of _efficient_ and of _final_ causes.

_Locke's Derivation of Cause._--With regard to the origin of the idea
of cause, there has been the greatest diversity of opinion. Locke
derives it from sense; so do the philosophers of the sensationalist
school. We perceive bodies modifying each other, and hence the notion
of causality.

_Theory of Hume and of Brown._--Hume denies the existence of what we
call cause, or power of one object over another. He resolves it into
succession or sequence of objects in regular order, and consequent
association of them in our thoughts. Essentially the same is the theory
of Brown, who resolves cause and effect into simple antecedence and
sequence, beyond which we know nothing, and can affirm nothing.

_Theory of Leibnitz._--The theory of Leibnitz verges upon the opposite
extreme, and assigns the element of power or causal efficiency to every
form of existence; every substance is a force, a cause, in itself.

_Of Kant._--Kant and his school make cause a merely subjective notion,
a law of the understanding, which it impresses upon outward things, a
condition of our thought. We observe external phenomena, and, according
to this law of our intelligence, are under the necessity of arranging
them as cause and effect; but we do not know that, independent of our
conception, there exists in reality any thing corresponding to this
idea. The tendency of this theory, as well as that of Hume and Brown,
to a thorough-going skepticism, is obvious at a glance. The theory of
Maine de Biran has been already noticed.


_These Ideas Intuitive._--- Among the primary ideas awakened in the
mind by the faculty of original or intuitive conception, ideas of
reason, as some writers would prefer to call them, must be included
the notion of the _beautiful_, and also that of _right_--ideas more
important in themselves, and in their bearing on human happiness, than
almost any others which the mind entertains. That these ideas are to
be traced, ultimately, to the originative or intuitive faculty, there
can be little doubt. They are simple and primary ideas. They have
the characteristics of universality and necessity. They are awakened
intuitively and instantaneously in the mind, when the appropriate
occasion is presented by sense. There are certain objects in nature
and art, which, so soon as perceived, strike us as beautiful. There
are certain traits of character and courses of conduct, which, so soon
as observed, strike us as morally right and wrong. The ideas of the
beautiful and the right are thus awakened in the mind on the perception
of the corresponding objects.

_Things to be considered respecting them._--Viewed as notions of the
intuitive faculty, or original conceptions, it would be in place
to consider more particularly the _circumstances_ under which each
of these ideas originates, and the _characteristics_ of each; also
what _constitutes_, in either case, the object, what constitutes the
beautiful and the right.

_These Topics reserved for separate Discussion._--These matters
deserve a wider and fuller discussion, however, than would here be
in place. The ideas under consideration are to be viewed, not merely
as conceptions of the reason or intuition, but as constituting the
material of two distinct and important departments of mental activity,
two distinct classes of judgments, viz., the _æsthetic_ and the
_moral_. The conceptions of the beautiful and the right, furnished
by the originative or intuitive power of the mind, constitute the
material and basis on which the reflective power works, and as thus
employed, the mental activity assumes the form, and is known under the
familiar names of _taste_ and _conscience_, or, as we may term them,
the æsthetic and moral faculties. As such, we reserve them for distinct
consideration in the following pages, bearing in mind, as we proceed,
that these faculties, so called, are not properly new powers of the
mind, but merely forms of the reflective faculty, as exercised upon
this particular class of ideas.




_The Science which treats of this._--The investigation of this topic
brings us upon the domain of a science as yet comparatively new,
and which, in fact, has scarcely yet assumed its place among the
philosophic sciences--_Æsthetics_, the science of the beautiful.

_Difficulty of defining._--What, then, is the beautiful?--A question
that meets us at the threshold, and that has received, from different
sources, answers almost as many and diverse as the writers that have
undertaken its discussion. It is easy to specify instances of the
beautiful without number, and of endless variety; but that is not
defining it. On the contrary, it is only increasing the difficulty;
for, where so many things are beautiful, and so diverse from each
other, how are we to decide what is that one property which they all
have in common, viz., beauty? The difficulty is to fix upon any one
quality or attribute that shall pertain alike to all the objects that
seem to us beautiful. A figure of speech, a statue, a star, an air from
an opera, all strike us as beautiful, all awaken in us the emotion
which beauty alone can excite. But what have they in common? It were
easy to fix upon something in the case of the statue, or of the star,
which should account, perhaps, for the pleasure those objects afford
us; but the same thing might not apply to the figure of speech, or to
the musical air. It would seem almost hopeless to attempt the solution
of the problem in this method. And yet there _must be_, it would seem,
some principle or attribute in which these various objects that we call
beautiful agree, which is the secret and substance of their beauty,
and the cause of that uniform effect which they all produce upon
us. Philosophers have accordingly proposed various solutions of the
problem, some fixing upon one thing, some upon another; and it may be
instructive to glance at some of these definitions.

_Some make it a Sensation._--Of those who have undertaken to define
what beauty is, there are some who make it a mere _feeling_ or
sensation of the mind, and not an objective reality of any sort. It
is not this, that, or the other quality of the external object, but
simply a subjective emotion. It lies within us, and not without. Thus,
Sir George Mackenzie describes it as "a certain degree of a certain
species of pleasurable effect impressed on the mind." So also Grohman,
Professor of Philosophy at Hamburg, in his treatise on æsthetic as
science, defines the beautiful to be "the infinite consciousness of the
reason as _feeling_." As the true is the activity of reason at work
as _intellect_ or knowledge, and as the good is its province when it
appears as _will_, so the beautiful is its activity in the domain of
_sensibility_. Brown, Upham, and others, among English and American
writers, frequently speak of the emotion of beauty, as if beauty itself
were an emotion.

_Others an Association._--Closely agreeing with this class of writers,
and hardly to be distinguished from it, is that which makes beauty
consist in certain _associations of idea and feeling_ with the
object contemplated. This is the favorite doctrine with the Scotch
metaphysicians. Thus Lord Jeffrey, who has written with great clearness
and force on this subject, regards beauty as dependent entirely on
association, "the reflection of our own inward sensations." It is not,
according to this view, a quality of the object external, but only a
feeling in our own minds. Its seat is within and not without.

_Theory that Beauty consists in Expression._--Of the same general
class, also, are those who, with Alison, Reid, and Cousin, regard
beauty as the _sign_ or _expression_ of some quality fitted to awaken
pleasing emotions in us. Nothing is beautiful, say these writers, which
is not thus expressive of some mental or moral quality or attribute.
It is not an original and independent quality of any peculiar forms or
colors, says Alison, for then we should have a definite rule for the
creation of beauty. It lies ultimately in the mind, not in matter, and
matter becomes beautiful only as it becomes, by analogy or association,
suggestive of mental qualities. The same is substantially the ancient
Platonic view. Kant, also, followed in the main by Schiller and
Fichte, takes the subjective view, and makes beauty a mere play of the

_All these Theories make it subjective._--Whether we regard beauty,
then, as a mere emotion, or as an association of thought and feeling
with the external object, or as the sign and expression of mental
qualities, in either case we make it ultimately subjective, and deny
its external objective reality.

_Different Forms of the objective Theory._--Of those who take the
opposite view, some seek for the hidden principle of beauty in
_novelty_; others, as Galen and Marmontel, in _utility_; others,
as Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hogarth, in the principle of _unity in
variety_; others, in that of _order and proportion_, as Aristotle,
Augustine, Crousez.

All these writers, while they admit the existence of beauty in the
external object, make it to consist in some quality or conformation of
matter, as such.

_The spiritual Theory._--There is still another theory of the
beautiful, which, while admitting its external objective reality, seeks
to divest it of that material nature in which the writers last named
present it, and searches for its essence among principles ethereal
and spiritual. According to this view beauty is the _spiritual life
in its immediate sensible manifestation_; the hidden, invisible
principle--spirit in distinction from matter, animating, manifesting
itself in, looking out through, the material form. It is not matter
as such, it is not spirit as such, much less a mere mental quality or
mental feeling; it is the expression of the invisible and spiritual
under sensible material forms. This view was first fully developed
by Schelling and Hegel, and is adopted, in the main, by Jouffroy in
his Cours d'Esthetique, by Dr. August Ruhlert, of the university
of Breslau, in his able system of æsthetics, and by many other
philosophical writers of distinction in Europe.

_Questions for Consideration._--The following questions grow out of
these various and conflicting definitions, as presenting the real
points at issue, and, as such, requiring investigation.

I. Is beauty something objective, or merely subjective and emotional?

II. If the former, then what is it in the object that constitutes its

I. _Question stated._--Is beauty merely subjective, an emotion of our
own minds, or is it a quality of objects? When we speak, _e. g._,
of the beauty of a landscape, or of a painting, do we mean merely a
certain excitement of our sensitive nature, a certain feeling awakened
by the object, or do we mean some quality or property belonging to that
object? If the latter, then are we _correct_ in attributing any such
quality to the object?

_Emotion admitted._--Unquestionably, certain pleasing emotions
are awakened in the mind in view of certain objects which we term
beautiful; unquestionably those objects are the cause or occasion of
such emotions; they have, under favorable circumstances, the power
of producing them; unquestionably they have this power by virtue,
moreover, of some quality or property pertaining to them. All this will
be admitted by those who deny the objective reality of beauty. The
question is not, whether there is in the object any quality which is
the occasion or cause of our emotion, but whether the term beauty is
properly the name of that cause, or of the emotion it produces.

_Beauty not an Emotion._--The question would seem a very plain one
if submitted to common sense. It would seem strange that any one
should deliberately and intelligently take the position that beauty
and sublimity are merely emotions of our minds, and not qualities of
objects: when we hear men speaking in this way, we are half inclined
to suspect that we misunderstand them, or that they misunderstand
themselves. I look upon a gorgeous sunset, and call it beautiful. What
is it that is beautiful? That sky, that cloud, that coloring, those
tints that fade into each other and change even as I behold them, those
lines of fire that lie in brilliant relief upon the darker background,
as if some radiant angel had thrown aside his robe of light as he
flew, or had left his smile upon the cloud as he passed through the
golden gates of Hesperus, these, these, are beautiful; _there_ lies
the beauty, and surely not in me, the beholder. An emotion is in my
mind, but that emotion is not beauty; it is simple _admiration_, _i.
e._, wonder and delight. There is no such emotion as beauty, common as
is the ambiguous expression "emotion of beauty." There are emotions of
fear, hope, joy, sorrow, and the like, and these emotions I experience;
I know what they mean; but I am not conscious of having ever
experienced an emotion of _beauty_, though I have often been filled
with wonder and delight at the sight of the beautiful in nature or art.
When I experience an emotion of fear, of hope, of joy, or of sorrow,
what is it that is joyful or sorrowful, hopeful or fearful? My mind,
of course, that is, I, myself. The object that occasions the emotion
on my part, is in no other sense fearful or joyful than as it is the
occasion of my being so. If, in like manner, beauty is an emotion, and
I experience that emotion, it is, of course, my mind that is beautiful,
and not the object contemplated. It is I, myself, that am beautiful,
not the sunset, the painting, the landscape, or any thing of that sort,
whatever. These things are merely the occasion of _my_ being beautiful.
Could any doctrine be more consoling to those who are conscious of any
serious deficiency on the score of personal attractions! Can any thing
be more absurd?

_The common View correct._--I beg leave to take the common sense
view of this question, which I cannot but think is, in the present
instance, the most correct, and still to think and speak of the beauty
of _objects_, and not of our own minds. Such is certainly the ordinary
acceptation and use of the term, nor can any reason be shown why, in
strictest philosophy, we should depart from it. There is no need of
applying the term to denote the emotion awakened in the mind, for that
emotion is not, in itself, either a new or a nameless one, but simply
that mingled feeling of wonder and delight which we call admiration,
and which passes, it may be, into love. To make beauty itself an
emotion, is to be guilty of a double absurdity. It is to leave the
quality of the object which gives rise to the emotion altogether
without a name, and bestow that name where it is not needed, on that
which has already a name of its own.

_Beauty still objective, though reflected from the Mind._--If to this
it be replied, that the beauty which we admire and which _seems_ to
be a property of the external object, is, nevertheless, of internal
origin, being merely a transfer to the object, and association with it,
of certain thoughts and feelings of our own minds, a reflection of our
own consciousness gilding and lighting up the objects around us, which
objects are then viewed by us as having a light and beauty of their
own, I answer, that even on this supposition, the external object, as
thus illumined, has the power of awakening the pleasing emotion within
us, and that power is its beauty, a property or quality of the object
still, although borrowed originally from the mind; just as the moon,
though it give but a reflected light, still shines, and with a beauty
of its own. So long as those thoughts and feelings lay hidden in the
mind, untransferred, unassociated with the external object, they were
not _beauty_. Not until the object is invested with them, and they have
become a property of that object, do they assume, to the mental eye,
the quality of beauty. So, then, beauty is even still an objective
reality, something that lies without us, and not within us.

_The Power of expressing an objective Quality, likewise._--In like
manner, if it be contended that beauty is only the sign and expression
of mental qualities, I reply, that power of signifying or expressing is
certainly a property of the object, and that property is its beauty,
and is certainly a thing objective, and not a mere emotion.

_All Beauty not Reflection, nor Expression._--I am far from conceding,
however, that all beauty is either the reflection or expression of
what passes within the mind. There are objects which no play of the
fancy, no transfer or association of the mental states, can ever render
beautiful; while, on the other hand, there are others which require no
such association, but of themselves shine forth upon us with their own
clear and lustrous beauty. Suppose a child of lively sensibility, and
with that true love of the beautiful, wherever discerned, which is one
of the finest traits of the child's nature, to look for the first time
upon the broad expanse of the ocean; it lies spread out before him a
new and sudden revelation of beauty; its extent of surface, unbroken
by the petty lines and boundaries that divide and mark off the lands
upon the shore; its wonderful deep blue, a color he has seen hitherto
only in the firmament above him, and not there as here--that deep blue
relieved by the white sails, that, like birds of snowy wing, flit
across its peaceful bosom, or lie motionless in the morning light on
its calm expanse; its peculiar convexity of surface, as it stretches
far out to the horizon, and lifts up its broad shoulders against the
sky;--these things he beholds for the first time, they are associated
with nothing in his past experience; he has never seen, never dreamed
of such a vision; it is not the reflection of his own thoughts or
fancies; but it is, nevertheless, to him a scene of rare and wondrous
beauty, the recollection and first impression of which shall haunt him
while he lives. If, in after life, he came to philosophize upon the
matter, it would be difficult to convince him that what he thus admired
was but the play of his own imagination, the transfer of his own mental
state, the association of his own thought and feeling with the object
before him; in a word, that the beauty which so charmed him lay not at
all in the object contemplated, but only in his own mind.

_A further Question._--That the beauty which we perceive is a quality
of objects, and not merely a subjective emotion, that there is in the
object something which, call it what we will, is the producing cause of
the emotion in us, and that this objective cause, whatever it be, is,
in the proper use of terms, to be recognized as beauty, this we have
now sufficiently discussed. Admitting, however, these positions, the
question may still arise, whether that which we call beauty in objects
has, after all, an absolute existence, independent of the mind that
is impressed by it? The beauty that I admire in yonder landscape, or
in the wild flower that blooms at my feet, is, indeed, the beauty of
the landscape or the flower, and not of my mind; it pertains to, and
dwells in, the object, and not in me; but dwells it there independently
of me, the observer, and when I do not behold it? If there were no
intelligent, observing mind, to behold and feel that beauty, would the
object still be beautiful, even as now? This admits of question. Is the
beauty a fixed, absolute quality, inherent in the object as such, and
_per se_, or is it something springing out of the relation between the
mind of the observer and the object observed.

_No Evidence of its Existence except its Effect._--That it is relative,
and not absolute, may be argued from the fact that we have no evidence
of any such quality or cause, save as in operation, save as producing
effects in us; and as we could never have inferred the existence of the
cause, had it not been for the effect produced, so we have no reason
to suppose its existence when and where it does not manifest itself
in operation, that is to say, when and where it is not observed. As
the spark from the smitten steel is not strictly to be regarded as
itself a property of the steel, nor yet of the flint, but as a relative
phenomenon arising from the collision of the two, so beauty, it may
be said, dwells not absolutely in the object _per se_, nor yet in the
intelligent subject, but is a phenomenon resulting from the relation of
the two.

_Further Argument from diversity of Effects._--The same may be argued
from the diversity of the effects produced. If beauty is a fixed,
absolute quality of objects, it may be said, then the effects ought to
be uniformly the same; whereas there is, in fact, no such uniformity,
no standard of beauty, none of taste, but what seems to one man
exceedingly fine, excites only the aversion and disgust of another,
and even the same person is at different times differently affected by
the same object. Hence it may be inferred that the beauty is merely a
relation between the mind and the object contemplated, varying as the
mind varies.

_Reply to the first Argument._--To these arguments I reply, in the
first place, that it is not necessary that a cause should be in actual
operation, under our immediate eye, in order that we should conclude
its independent and constant existence. If, whenever the occasion
returns, the effects are observed, we conclude that the cause exists
_per se_, and not merely in relation to us. Otherwise we could never
believe the absolute existence of any thing, but should, with Berkley
and Hume, call in question the existence of matter itself, save as
phenomenal and relative to our senses. The same argument that makes the
beauty of a rose relative merely to the observer, makes the rose itself
merely a relative existence. How do I know that it exists? I see it,
feel it, smell it; it lies upon my table; it affects my senses. I turn
away now. I leave the room. How do I know _now_ that the rose exists?
It no longer affects my senses; the cause no longer operates; the
effect is no longer produced. I have just as much reason to say it no
longer exists, as to say it is no longer beautiful.

_Reply to the second Argument._--To the argument from the diversity
of effect, I reply, that admitting the fact to be as stated, viz.,
that the same object is differently regarded by different minds, the
diversity may arise from either of two sources. The want of uniformity
may lie in the cause, or it may lie in the minds affected by it. The
exciting cause may vary, and the effects produced by it will then be
diverse; or the minds on which it operates may differ, and in that
case, also, the effects will be diverse. We are not to conclude, then,
from diversity of effect that the cause is not uniform. A beautiful
object, it is true, affects different observers differently, but the
reason of the diversity may be in _them_ and not in the object.

What then is the fact? Are the minds of all observers equally
susceptible of impression from the beautiful? By no means. They differ
in education, habit of thought, culture, taste, native sensibility, and
many other things. Hardly two minds can be found that are not diverse
in these respects. Ought we then to expect absolute uniformity of

_Not to be conceded that there is no Agreement._--It is by no means
to be conceded, however, that there is no such thing as a standard of
beauty or of taste, no general agreement among men as to what is or
is not beautiful, no general agreement as to the emotions produced.
There is such agreement in both respects. Within certain limits it
is uniform and complete. Certain aspects of nature, and certain works
of art, are, in all ages, and by all men, regarded as beautiful. The
Apollo Belvidere, and the Venus of the Capitol, are to us what they
were to the ancients; the perfection of the beautiful. The great work
of Raphael, scarcely finished at his death, the last touches still
fresh from his hand--that work which, as it hung above his bier, drew
tears from all eyes, and filled with admiration all hearts--is still
the wonder and admiration of men. And so it will be in centuries to
come. And so of the emotions produced by the contemplation of the
beautiful. Making due allowance for habits of association, mental
culture, and differences of native sensibility, we shall find men
affected much in the same way by the beautiful in nature or art. The
men of the same class and condition as to these matters--the peasant
of one age or country, and the peasant of another, the philosopher of
one time, and of another, the wealthy, uneducated citizen, and the
fashionable fool, of one period and nation, and of another--experience
much the same effects in view of one and the same object. The same
general laws, too, preside over and regulate the different arts which
have relation to the beautiful, in all ages of the world.

_Consequences of the Theory that Beauty is merely relative._--If beauty
be not absolute but relative only, it follows, 1. That, if there were
no observers of nature or art, neither would be longer beautiful. 2.
If, for any reason any thing is for the time unseen, as, _e. g._, a
pearl in the sea, a precious stone in the mine, or a rich jewel in the
casket, it has no beauty so long as it is there and thus. 3. As minds
vary in susceptibility of impression, the same thing is beautiful to
one person and not to another; at one time and not at another; nay,
at one and the same moment it is both beautiful and not beautiful,
according as the minds of the observers vary. I cannot say with truth,
that the Mosaics of St. Peter's, or the great diamond of the East,
are, at this moment, really beautiful, because I do not know who, or
whether any one, may, at this moment, be looking at them.

_Intimate Relation between the Mind and the Object._--While I maintain,
however, the existence of beauty as an absolute and independent quality
of objects, and not merely as relative to the mind that perceives and
enjoys it, I would, by no means, overlook the very intimate relation
which subsists, in the present case, between the perceiving mind
and the object perceived. Beauty makes its appeal primarily to the
senses. It pleases and charms us, because we are endowed with senses
and a nature fitted to receive pleasure from such objects. In the
_adaptation_ of our physical and mental constitution to the order and
constitution of material things as they exist without, lies the secret
of that power which the beautiful exerts over us.

_Might have been otherwise constituted._--We might have been so
constituted, doubtless, that the most beautiful objects should have
been disgusting, rather than pleasing: the violet should have seemed
an ugly thing, and the sweetest strains of music harsh and discordant.
There are disordered senses, and disordered minds, to which, even
now, those things, which we call beautiful, may so appear. For that
adaptation of our sensitive nature to external objects, and of these
objects to our sensitive nature, by virtue of which, the percipient
mind recognizes and feels the beauty of the object perceived, and takes
delight in it, we are indebted wholly to the wisdom and benevolence of
the great Creator.

_The Doctrine maintained._--Still, _given_, the present constitution
and mutual adaptation of mind and matter, and we affirm the independent
existence of the beautiful as an object _per se_, and not merely as an
affection of the percipient mind. The perception and enjoyment of the
beauty are subjective, relative, dependent; the beauty itself not so.

_The second Question._--If beauty be, then, as we find reason to
believe, not wholly a subjective affair, but a quality or property of
external objects, the question now arises,

II. What is it in the object, that constitutes its beauty?

_Theory of Novelty._--And first, is it the _novelty_ of the thing? Is
the novel the beautiful? Doubtless, novelty pleases us. It has this in
common with the beautiful. Yet some things that are novel, are by no
means beautiful. A mill for grinding corn is a great curiosity to one
who has never seen such a machine before, but it might not strike him
as particularly beautiful.

Every thing, when first beheld, is novel; but every thing is not
beautiful. Let us look more closely at the element of novelty. That
is novel which is new to _us_ merely, which appears to us for the
first time. It may be new to the intellect, a new idea, or to the
sensibility, a new feeling, or to the will, a new act. As a new idea it
satisfies our curiosity, as a new feeling it developes our nature, as a
new volition it enlarges the sphere of our activity. In these respects,
and for these reasons, novelty pleases, but in all this we discover no
resemblance to the beautiful.

_Novelty heightens Beauty._--It is not to be denied that novelty, in
many cases, heightens the beauty of an object. By familiarity, we
become, in a measure, insensible to the charms of that which, as first
beheld, filled us with delight. The sensibility receives no further
excitement from that to which it has become accustomed. To enjoy
mountain scenery most highly, one must not always dwell among the
mountains. To enjoy Niagara most highly, one must not live in the sight
of it all his days. But beauty, and the _enjoyment_ of the beautiful,
are surely different things, and while novelty is accessory to the full
effect of the beautiful on our minds, and even indispensable to it, it
is not, itself, the element of beauty, not the ground and substance of

_Not always pleasing._--Jouffroy even denies that novelty is always
pleasing. Some things, he contends, _displease_ us, simply because they
are new. We become accustomed to them, and our dislike ceases. Thus it
is, to some extent, with difference of color in the races.

_Theory of the Useful._--Is, then, the _useful_ the beautiful? This
theory next claims our attention. The foundation of the emotions
awakened in us by the beautiful in nature or art, is the perception
of utility. We perceive in the object a fitness to conduce, in some
way, to our welfare, to serve, in some way, our purposes, and for this
reason, we are pleased. The utility is the beauty.

_The most useful not the most beautiful._--That the beauty of an object
may, in our perception, be heightened by the discovery of its fitness
to produce some desirable end, or rather, that this may add somewhat
to the pleasure we feel in view of the object, is quite possible; that
this is the main element and grand secret, either of that emotion on
our part, or of the beauty which gives rise to it, is not possible. It
is sufficient to say, that, if this were so, the most useful things
ought, of course, to be the most beautiful. Is this the case? A stream
of water conducted along a ship canal is more useful than the same
stream tumbling over the rapids, or plunging over a perpendicular
precipice. Is it also more beautiful? A swine's snout, to use a homely
but forcible illustration of Burke, is admirably fitted to serve the
purpose for which it was intended; useful exceedingly for rooting and
grubbing, but not, on the whole, very beautiful.

_Dissimilarity of the two._--Indeed, few things can be more unlike, in
their effect upon the mind, in the nature of the emotions they excite,
than the useful and the beautiful. This has been well shown by Jouffroy
in his analysis of the beautiful. Kant has also clearly pointed out the
same thing. Both please us, but not in the same way, not for the same
reason. We love the one for its advantage to us, the other _for its own
sake_. The one is a purely selfish, the other a purely disinterested
love, a noble, elevated emotion. The two are heaven-wide asunder. The
glorious sunset is of no earthly use to us, otherwise than mere beauty
and pleasure are in themselves of use. The gorgeous spectacle becomes
at once degraded in our own estimation by the very question of its
possible utility. We love it not for the benefit it confers, the use
we can make of it, but for its own sake, its own sweet beauty, because
it is what it is. There it lies, pencilled on the clouds, evanescent,
momentarily changing. There it is, afar off. You cannot reach it,
cannot command its stay, have no wish to appropriate it to yourself,
no desire to turn it to your own account, or reap any benefit from
it, other than the mere enjoyment; still you admire it, still it is
beautiful to you. Of what use to the beholder is the ruddy glow and
flash of sunrise on the Alpine summits as seen from the Rhigi or Mount
Blanc? Of what use, in fact, is beauty in any case, other than as it
may be the means of refining the taste, and elevating the mind? That
it has this advantage we are free to admit; and it is certainly one of
the noblest uses to which any thing can be made subservient; but surely
this cannot be what is meant when we are told that beauty _consists_
in utility, for this would be simply affirming that the cause consists
in the effect produced. Beauty refines and elevates the mind, is a
means of æsthetic and moral culture; as such it is of use, and in
that use lies the secret and the subtle essence of beauty itself. In
other words, a given cause produces a given effect, and that effect
_constitutes_ the cause!

_The utility of Beauty an incidental Circumstance._--The truth is, that
while the beautiful does elevate and ennoble the mind, and thus furnish
the means of the highest æsthetic and moral culture, this advantage is
wholly incidental to the existence of beauty, not even a necessary or
invariable effect, much less the constituting element. This is not the
reason why we admire the beautiful. It does not enter into our thoughts
at the moment. As on the summit of Rhigi, I watch the play of the first
rosy light on the snowy peaks that lift themselves in stately grandeur
along the opposite horizon, I am not thinking, at that moment, of the
effect produced on my own mind, by the spectacle before me; I am wholly
absorbed in the magnificence of the scene itself. It is beautiful, not
because it is useful, not because it elevates my mind, and cultivates
my taste, and contributes, in various ways, to my development, but it
produces these effects because it is beautiful. The very thought of the
useful is almost enough, in such cases, to extinguish the sentiment of
the beautiful.

_Beauty cannot be appropriated._--That only is useful which can be
_appropriated_, and turned to account. But the beautiful, in its very
nature, cannot be appropriated or possessed. You may appropriate the
picture, the statue, the mountain, the waterfall, but not their beauty.
These do not belong to you, and never can. They are the property of
every beholder. Hence, as Jouffroy has well observed, the possession
of a beautiful object never fully satisfies. The beauty is ideal, and
cannot be possessed. It is an ethereal spirit that floats away as a
silver cloud, ever near, yet ever beyond your grasp. It is a bow,
spanning the blue arch, many-colored, wonderful; yonder, just yonder,
is its base, where the rosy light seems to hover over the wood, and
touch gently the earth; but you cannot, by any flight or speed of
travel, come up with it. It is here, there, everywhere, except where
you are. It is given you to behold, not to possess it.

_Theory of Unity in Variety._--Evidently we must seek elsewhere than in
utility the dwelling-place of beauty. The secret of her tabernacle is
not there. Let us see, then, if _unity in variety_ may not be, as some
affirm, the principle of the beautiful. The intellect demands a general
unity, as, _e. g._, in a piece of music, a painting, or a play, and
is not satisfied unless it can perceive such unity. The parts must be
not only connected but related, and that relation must be obvious. At
the same time the sensibility demands variety, as _e. g._, of tone and
time in the music, of color and shade in the painting, of expression
in both. The same note of a musical instrument continuously produced,
or the same color unvaried in the painting, would be intolerable. The
due combination of these two principles, unity and variety, say these
writers, constitutes what we call beauty in an object. The waving line
of Hogarth may be taken as an illustration of this principle.

_Objection to this View._--Without entering fully into the discussion
of this theory, it may be sufficient to say, that while the principle
now named does enter, in some degree into our conception of the
beautiful, it can hardly be admitted as the ground and cause, or even
as the chief element of beauty. Not every thing is beautiful which
presents both unity and variety. Some things, on the other hand, are
beautiful which lack this combination. Some colors are beautiful,
taken by themselves, and the same is true of certain forms, which,
nevertheless, lack the element of variety. In the construction of
certain mathematical figures, which please the eye by their symmetry
and exactness, we may detect, perhaps, the operation of this principle.
On the other hand, it will not account for the pleasure we feel when
the eye rests upon a particular color that is agreeable. A bright red
pebble, or a bit of stained glass, appears to a child very beautiful.
It is the color that is the object of his admiration. We have simple
unity but no variety there. On the other hand, in a beautiful sunset we
have the greatest variety, but not unity, other than simply a numerical

We cannot, on the whole, accept this theory as a complete and
satisfactory resolution of the problem of the beautiful, although it is
supported by the eminent authority of Cousin, who, while he regards all
beauty as ultimately pertaining to the spiritual nature, still finds in
the principle, now under consideration, its chief characteristic so far
as it assumes external form.

_Order and Proportion._--Shall we then, with Aristotle. Augustine,
Andrè, and others, ancient and modern, seek the hidden principle
of beauty in the elements of _order and proportion_? What are order
and proportion? Order is the arrangement of the several parts of a
composite body. Proportion is the relation of the several parts to
each other in space and time. Not every possible arrangement is order,
but only that which appears conducive to the end designed, and not
every possible arrangement of parts is proportion, but only that which
furthers the end to be accomplished. To place the human eye in the
back part of the head, the limbs remaining as they now are, would be
_disorder_, for motion must in that case, as now, be forward, while the
eye, looking backward, could no longer survey the path we tread. The
limbs of the Arabian steed, designed for swiftness of locomotion, bear
a proportion to the other parts of the body, somewhat different from
that which the limbs of the swine, designed chiefly for support, and
for movements slower, and over shorter distances, bear to his general
frame. The proportion of each, however, is perfect as it is. Exchange
each for each, and they are quite out of proportion.

_Only another Form of the Useful._--Since order and proportion, then,
have always reference to the end proposed to be accomplished, we have,
in fact, in these elements, only another form of the useful, which, as
we have already seen, is not the principle of beauty.

_Not always Beautiful._--Accordingly, we find that order and proportion
do not, in themselves, and when unassociated with other elements,
invariably strike us as beautiful. The leg of the swine is as fine a
specimen of order and proportion as that of the Arab courser, but is
not so much admired for its beauty. It must be admitted, however, that
these elements in combination, do with others, enter more or less fully
into the formation of the beautiful, are intimately associated with its
external forms. The absence or violation of these principles would mar
the beauty of the object.

_The spiritual Theory._--The only theory of beauty remaining to be
noticed is the spiritual theory, which makes beauty consist, not
in matter as such, nor in any mere arrangement of matter in itself
considered, but in the manifestation or expression, under these
sensible material forms, of the higher, the _hidden spiritual nature_,
or element, appealing thus to our own spiritual nature, which is
thereby awakened to sympathy. In the sensible world about us we find
two elements diverse and distinct each from the other, the idea and the
form, spirit and matter, the invisible and the visible. In objects that
are beautiful we find these two elements united in such a way, that the
one expresses or manifests the other, the form expresses the idea, the
body expresses the spirit, the visible manifests the invisible, and our
own spiritual nature recognizing its like, holds communion and sympathy
with it as thus expressed. That which constitutes the beautiful, then,
is this manifestation, under sensible forms, and so to our senses, of
the higher and spiritual principle which is the life and soul of things.

_Relation of the Beautiful to the True and the Good._--It differs from
the true in that the true is not, like the beautiful, expressed under
sensible forms, but is isolated, pure, abstract, not addressed to the
senses, but to reason. It differs from the good, in that the good
always proposes an end to be accomplished, and involves the idea of
obligation, while the beautiful, on the contrary, proposes no end to be
accomplished, acknowledges no obligation or necessity, but is purely
free and spontaneous. Yet, though differing in these aspects, the good,
the true, and the beautiful, are at basis essentially the same, even as
old Plato taught, differing rather in their mode of expression, and the
relations which they sustain to us, than in essence.

_Relation of the Beautiful to the Sublime._--The relation of the
beautiful to the _sublime_, according to this theory, is simply this:
In the beautiful, the invisible and the visible, the finite and the
infinite, are harmoniously blended. In the sublime, the spiritual
element predominates, the harmony is disturbed, the sensible is
overborne by the infinite, and our spirits are agitated by the
presence, in an unwonted degree, of the higher element of our own
being. Hence, while the one pleases, the other awes and subdues us.

_Application of this Theory._--Such, in brief outline, is the theory.
Let us see now whether it is applicable to the different forms of
beauty, and whether it furnishes a satisfactory explanation and account
of them.

Surveying the different forms of being, we find among them different
degrees of beauty. Does, then, every thing which is beautiful express
or manifest, through the medium, and, as it were, under the veil, of
the material form, the presence of the invisible spiritual element? and
the more beautiful it is, does it so much the more plainly and directly
manifest this element?

_The Theory applied to inorganic Forms._--And first, to begin with
the lowest, how is it with the inanimate, inorganic, merely chemical
forms of matter? Here we have certain lines, certain figures, certain
colors, that we call beautiful. What do they express of the higher or
spiritual element of being? In themselves, and directly, they express
nothing, perhaps. Yet are they not, after all, suggestive, symbolical
of an idea and spirit dwelling, not in them, but in him who made
them, of the Creator's idea and spirit, inarticulate expressions,
mere natural signs, of a higher principle than dwells in these poor
forms? Do they not suggest and express to us ideas of grace, elegance,
delicacy, and the like? Do we not find ourselves attracted by, and,
in a sort, in sympathy with these forms, as thus significant and
expressive? Is it not thus that lines, and figures, and mathematical
forms, the regular and sharply cut angles of the crystal, the light
that flashes on its polished surface, or lies hid in beautiful color
within it, the order, proportion, and movement, by fixed laws, of the
various forms of matter, appear beautiful to us? For what are order,
proportion, regularity, harmony, and movement, by fixed laws, and what
are elegance, and grace of outline and figure, but so many signs and
expressions of a higher intelligence?

_Theory applied to vegetable Forms._--Passing onward and upward in the
scale of being, taking into view, now, the organic forms of vegetable
life, do we not find a more definite articulate expression of the
spiritual and invisible under the material form? The flower that blooms
in our path, the sturdy tree that throws out its branches against the
sky, or droops pensively, as if weighed down by some hidden sorrow,
address us more directly, speak more intimately to our spirits, than
the mere crystal can do, however elegant its form, or definite its
outline. They express sentiments, not ideas merely. They respond to
the sensibilities, they appeal to the inner life of the soul. They are
strong or weak, timid or bold, joyous or melancholy. It requires no
vigorous exercise of fancy to attribute to them the sensibilities which
they awaken in us. When in lively communion and sympathy with nature,
we can hardly resist the conviction that the emotions which she calls
into play in our own bosoms are, somehow, her own emotions also; that
under these forms so expressive, so full of meaning to us, there lurks
an intelligence, a soul.

_To the animal Kingdom._--In the animal kingdom, this invisible
spiritual principle, the energy that lies hidden under all forms
of animate and organized substance, becomes yet more strongly and
obviously developed. The approach is nearer, and the appeal is more
direct, to our own spiritual nature. We perceive signs, not to be
mistaken, of intelligence and of feeling; passion betrays itself,
love, hate, fear, the very principles of our own spiritual being, the
very image of our own higher nature. Beauty and deformity are now more
strongly marked than in the lower degrees of the scale of being.

_To Man._--In man we reach the highest stage of animal existence with
which we are conversant, the highest degree of life, intelligence,
soul--the being in whom the spiritual shines forth most clearly
through the material veil--and, shall we not say also, the being
most beautiful of all? The highest style of beauty to be found in
nature pertains to the human form, as animated and lighted up by the
intelligence within. It is the expression of the soul that constitutes
this superior beauty. It is that which looks out at the eye which sits
in calm majesty on the brow, lurks in the lip, smiles on the cheek,
is set forth in the chiselled lines and features of the countenance,
in the general contour of figure and form, and the particular shading
and expression of the several parts, in the movement, and gesture,
and tone; it is this looking out of the invisible spirit that dwells
within, through the portals of the visible, this manifestation of
the higher nature, that we admire and love; this constitutes to us
the beauty of our species. Hence it is that certain features, not in
themselves, perhaps, particularly attractive, wanting, it may be, in
certain regularity of outline, or in certain delicacy and softness, are
still invested with a peculiar charm and radiance of beauty from their
peculiar expressiveness and animation. The light of genius, or the
superior glow of sympathy, and a noble heart, play upon those plain,
and, it may be, homely features, and light them up with a brilliant and
regal beauty. Those, as every artist knows, are precisely the features
most difficult to portray. The expression changes with the instant. The
beauty flashes, and is gone, or gives place to a still higher beauty,
as the light that plays in fitful corruscations along the northern sky,
coming and going, but never still.

_Man not the highest Type of Beauty._--Is then the human form the
highest expression of the principle of beauty? It can hardly be; for in
man, as in all things on the earth, is mingled along with the beauty
much that is deformed, with the excellence much imperfection. We can
conceive forms superior to his, faces radiant with a beauty that sin
has never darkened, nor passion nor sorrow dimmed. We can conceive
forms of beauty more perfect, purer, brighter, loftier than any thing
that human eye hath seen or human ear heard. We conceive them, however,
as existing only under some sensible form, as manifest in some way
to sense, and the beauty with which we invest them is the beauty of
the spiritual expressing itself in the outward and visible. It is the
province of imagination to fashion these conceptions, and of art to
attempt their realization. This, the poet, the painter, the sculptor,
the architect, the orator, each in his way, is ever striving to do, to
present under sensible forms, the ideal of a more perfect loveliness
and excellence than the actual world affords.

This ideal can never be adequately and fully represented. The
perfection of beauty dwells alone with God.

_Consideration in favor of the Theory now explained._--It is in favor
of the theory now under consideration, that it seems thus more nearly
to meet and account for the various phenomena of beauty, than any other
of those which have passed under our review, and that it accounts for
them, withal, on a principle so simple and obvious. The crystal, the
violet, the graceful spreading elm, the drooping willow, the statue,
the painting, the musical composition, the grand cathedral, whatever
in nature, whatever in art is beautiful, all mean something, all
express something, and in this lies their beauty; and we are moved by
them, because we, who have a soul, and in whom the spiritual nature
predominates, can understand and sympathize with that which these forms
of nature and art, in their semi-articulate way, seem all striving to

_The Ideas thus expressed pertain not to Nature but to the divine
Mind._--It is not necessary that, with the ancient Greeks, we should
conceive of nature, as having herself an intelligent soul of these
forms as themselves conscious of their own meaning and beauty. It is
enough that we recognize them as conveying a sentiment and meaning not
their own, but his who made them, and made them representative and
expressive of his own beautiful thought. Words are not the only modes
of expression. The soul speaks more earnestly and eloquently often in
signs than in words. And when God speaks to men, he does it not always
in the barren forms of human speech, but in the flower that he places
by my path, in the tree, the mountain, the rolling ocean, the azure
firmament. These are his _words_, and they are beautiful, and, when he
will, they are terrible. Happy he who, in all these manifestations,
recognizes the voice of God.


_Beauty an Object of Cognition._--We have treated, in the preceding
section, of the idea of the beautiful, in itself considered. We proceed
to investigate the action of the mind as cognizant of the beautiful in
its actual manifestations, whether in nature or art. Beauty, as we have
found reason to believe, is not a conception merely, existing only in
the mind, but a quality of certain objects. As such it has objective
value and existence, and the mind is cognizant of it as such, perceives
it, observes it, compares it and the object to which it pertains
with other like and unlike objects, judges and decides respecting
it. This quality of objects makes its appeal, as do all objects of
perception, first to the senses, and through them to the mind. There
is thus awakened in the mind, or suggested to it, the original and
intuitive conception of the beautiful; there is also, and beside this,
the cognizance by the mind of the beautiful as an actual and present
reality manifest in the object before it. As it perceives other
objects of a like nature, it classes them with the preceding, compares
them severally, judges of their respective merits, their respective
degrees and kinds of beauty. This discriminating power of the mind, as
exercised upon the various objects of beauty and sublimity, whether in
nature or art, we may designate by the general name of _taste_.

_Nature of this Power._--There has been much difference of opinion as
to the precise nature of this power, whether it is a distinct faculty
of the mind, or the simple exercise of some faculty already known and
described, whether it is of the nature of intellect, or of emotion, or
the combination of both. Hence the various definitions of taste which
have been given by different writers, some regarding it as strictly an
intellectual faculty, others as an emotion, while the greater number
regard it as including the action both of the intellect in perceiving,
and of the sensibility in feeling, whatever is beautiful and sublime.

What has been already said, sufficiently indicates with which of these
general views our own most nearly accords. We use the term taste
to denote the mind's power of cognizing the beautiful, a power of
knowing, of discriminating, rather than of feeling, an exercise of
judgment and the reflective power, directed to one particular class
of objects, rather than any distinct faculty of the mind. Feeling is
doubtless awakened on the perception of the beautiful; it may even
precede the judgment by which we decide that the object before us is
truly beautiful; but the feeling is not _itself_ the perception, or the
judgment; is not itself _taste_, whatever may be its relation to taste.

_Proposed Investigation._--As this is a matter of some importance to a
correct psychology, and also of much difference of opinion, it seems
necessary, for purposes of science, to investigate somewhat carefully
the nature of this form of mental activity. It is not a matter to be
settled by authority, by arbitrary definition, or dogmatic assertion.
We must look at the views and opinions of others, and at the reasons
for those opinions.

_Definitions._--As preliminary to such investigation, I shall present
some of the definitions of taste, given by the more prominent writers,
representing each of the leading views already indicated.

Blair defines it "a power of receiving pleasure from the beauties of
nature and art." Montesquieu, a French author of distinction, defines
it "something which attaches us to certain objects by the power of an
internal sense or feeling." Gerard, author of an Essay on Taste, makes
it consist in the improvement of the internal senses, viz., sense of
novelty, sublimity, beauty, imitation, harmony, etc. Accordant with
this are the lines of Akenside:

    "What, then, is taste but those internal powers,
    Active and strong, and feelingly alive
    To each fine impulse?"

_Nature of these Definitions._--The definitions now given, it will be
perceived, make taste a matter of _sensibility_, of mere _feeling_,
a sensation or sense, a passive faculty of being pleased with the
beauties of nature and art.

_Another Class of Definitions._--Differing from this, others have
carefully distinguished between the rational and emotional elements,
the power of _discriminating_ and the power of _feeling_, and have
made taste to consist properly in the former. Of this class is Brown.
McDermot also takes the same view. This author, in his critical
dissertation on the nature and principles of taste, defines it as the
_power of discriminating_ those qualities of sensible and intellectual
being, which, from the invisible harmony that exists between them and
our nature, excite in us pleasant emotions. The emotion, however,
though it may be the parent of taste, he would not regard as a
constituent element of it.

_Definitions combining both Elements._--The greater number, however,
of those who have written on this subject, have combined in their
definitions of taste both these elements, the power of perceiving and
the power of feeling. So Burke: "That faculty, or those faculties of
the mind which _are affected with_, or which _form a judgment of_, the
works of imagination and the elegant arts." Alison: "That faculty of
the mind by which we _perceive_ and _enjoy_ whatever is beautiful or
sublime in the works of nature and art." Reid also makes it consist in
"the power of discerning and relishing" these objects. Voltaire makes
the feeling quite as essential as the perception. Benard, Professor of
Philosophy in the College Royal at Rouen, in the excellent article on
taste, in the Dictionnaire des Sciences Philosophiques, defines taste
as "that faculty of the mind which makes us to discern and feel the
beauties of nature, and whatever is excellent in works of art." It
is a compound faculty, according to this author, inhabiting at once
both worlds, that of sense and that of reason. Beauty reveals itself
to us only under sensible forms, the faculty which contemplates the
beautiful, therefore, seizes it only in its sensible manifestation. The
pure idea, on the other hand, in its abstract nature, addresses not the
taste but the understanding; it appears to us, not as the beautiful,
but as the true. Taste, then, has to do with sense. Still, says Benard,
"the essential element which constitutes it, pertains to the reason;
it is, in truth, only one of the forms of this sovereign power, which
takes different names according to the objects which it deals with;
_reason_, properly speaking, when it employs itself in the sphere of
speculative truth; _conscience_, when it reveals to us truths moral or
practical; _taste_, when it appreciates the beauty and suitableness of
objects in the real world, or of works of art."

_These three Classes comprehensive._--Other authorities and
definitions, almost without number, might be added, but they fall
essentially under the three classes now specified. Which of these
views, then, is the correct and true one? is the question now before
us. Is taste a matter of feeling, or is it an intellectual discernment,
or is it both? Evidently we cannot depend on authority for the decision
of this question, since authorities differ. We must examine for

_Etymology of the Term._--To some extent the word itself may guide us.
Borrowed, as are most if not all words expressing mental states and
acts, from the sphere of sense, there was doubtless some reason why
this word in particular was selected to denote the power of the mind
now under consideration. Some close analogy, doubtless, was supposed to
exist between the physical state denoted by this word in its primary
sense, and the mental faculty to which we refer, so that, in seeking
for a term by which to designate that intellectual faculty, none would
more readily present itself, as appropriate and suggestive of the
mental state intended, than the one in question. This analogy, whatever
it be, while it cannot be taken as decisive of the question before us,
is still an element not to be overlooked by the psychologist. What,
then, is the analogy? How comes this word--_taste_--to be used, rather
than any other, to denote the idea and power now under consideration?

_Taste as a Sense._--In the domain of sense, certain objects brought
in contact with the appropriate physical organ, affect us as sweet,
sour, bitter, etc. This is purely an affection of the sensibility,
mere feeling. We say the thing _tastes_ so and so. The power of
distinguishing such qualities we call the power or sense of taste.
Primarily mere sensation, mere feeling, we transfer the word to denote
the power of judging by means of that sensation. There is, in the
first instance, an affection of the organ by the object brought in
contact with it, of which affection we are cognizant; then follows an
intellectual perception or judgment that the object thus affecting us,
possesses such and such qualities, is sweet, sour, bitter, salt, etc..
The sensation affords the ground of the judgment. The latter is based
upon the former. The sensation, the simple feeling, affords the means
of discriminating, judging, distinguishing, and to this latter power
or process the word taste, in the physical sense, is more frequently
appropriated. We say of such or such a man, his taste is acute, or his
taste is impaired, or dull, etc., meaning his power of perceiving and
distinguishing the various properties of objects which affect his sense
of taste.

_Analogy of this to the mental Process called Taste._--It is easy to
perceive, now, the analogy between the physical power and process thus
described, and the psychological faculty under consideration, to which
the name primarily denoting the former has been transferred. Objects
in nature and art present themselves to the observation, and awaken
pleasure as beautiful, or excite disgust as the opposite. A mere matter
of sensibility, of feeling, this. Presently, however, we begin to
notice, not the mere feeling of pleasure or aversion, but the character
of the object that awakens it, we discriminate, we attribute to the
object such and such qualities, take cognizance of it as possessing
those qualities. This discriminating power, this judgment of the mind
that the object possesses such properties, we call taste. As, in the
sphere of sense, the feeling awakened affords the means of judging
and distinguishing, as to the qualities of the object, so here. The
beautiful awakens sensation--a vivid feeling of pleasure, delight,
admiration; deformity awakens the reverse; and this feeling enables
us to judge of the object, as regards the property in question, viz.,
beauty or deformity, whether, and how far, as compared with other
objects of the mind, it possesses this quality. In either case--the
physical and the psychological--the process begins with sensation
or feeling, but passes on at once into the domain of intellect, the
sphere of understanding or judgment; and while, in either case, the
word taste may, without impropriety, be used to denote the feeling
or susceptibility of impression which lies at the foundation of the
intellectual process, it is more strictly appropriate to the faculty of
discriminating the objects, and the qualities of objects, which awaken
in us the given emotions.

So far as the word itself can guide us, then, it would seem to be in
the direction now indicated.

_Appeal to Consciousness._--Analogy, however, may mislead us. We must
not base a doctrine or decide a question in psychology upon the meaning
of a single term. Upon observation and consciousness of what actually
passes in our own minds, in view of the beautiful, we must, after all,
rely. Let us place ourselves, then, in the presence of the beautiful in
nature or art, and observe the various mental phenomena that present
themselves to our consciousness.

I stand before a statue of Thorwalsden or Canova. The spell and
inspiration of high art are upon me. What passes now in my mind?

_The first Element._--First of all, I am conscious of almost instant
emotion in view of the object, an emotion of pleasure and delight.
No sooner do my eyes rest upon the chiselled form that stands in
faultless and wondrous beauty before me, than this emotion awakens. It
springs into play, as a fountain springs out of the earth by its own
spontaneous energy, or, as the light plays on the mountain tops, and
flushes their snowy summits, when the sun rises on the Alps. It is by
no volition of mine that this takes place.

_A second Element._--Along with the emotion, there is another thing
of which, also, I am conscious. Scarcely have my eyes taken in the
form and proportions on which they rest with delight, scarcely has
the first thrill of emotion, thus awakened, made itself known to the
consciousness, when I find myself exclaiming, "How beautiful!" The soul
says it; perhaps the lips utter it. If not an oral, it is, at least, a
mental affirmation. The mind perceives, at a glance, the presence of
beauty, recognizes its divinity, and pays homage at its shrine; not now
the blind homage of feeling, merely, but the clear-sighted perception
of the intellect, the sure decision of the understanding affirming,
with authority 'That which thou perceivest and admirest is beautiful.'
This is an act of judgment, based, however, on the previous awakening
of the sensibility. I know, because I feel.

_A third Element._--In addition to these, there may, or may not be,
another phase of mental action. I may begin, presently, to observe,
with a more careful eye, the work before me, and form a critical
estimate of it, scan its outline, its several parts, its effect as
a whole, ascertain its merits, and its defects as a work of art,
study its design, its idea, and how well it expresses that idea, and
fulfills that design. I seek to know what it is in the piece that
pleases me, and why it pleases me. This may, or may not, take place.
Whether it shall occur, or not, will depend on the state of the mind
at the moment, the circumstances in which it is placed, its previous
training and culture, its habits of thought. This, too, is an exercise
of judgment, comparing, distinguishing, deciding; a purely intellectual
process. It is not so much a new element, as a distinct phase of that
last named. It is the mind deciding and affirming now, not merely that
the object is beautiful, but _in what_ and _why_ it is so.

_Uniformity of Results._--I change now the experiment. I repeat it. I
place myself before other works, before works of other artists--works
of the painter, the architect, the musician, the poet, the orator.
Whatever is beautiful, in art or nature, I observe. I perceive, in
all cases, the same results, the occurrence of essentially the same
mental phenomena. I conclude that these effects are produced, not
fortuitously, but according to the constitution of my nature; that they
are not specific instances, but general laws of mental action; in other
words, that the mind possesses a susceptibility of being impressed
in this manner by such objects, and also a faculty of judging and
discriminating as above described. To these two elements, essentially,
then, do the mental phenomena occasioned by the presence of the
beautiful, reduce themselves.

_The Question._--Which, then, of these elements is it that answers
to the idea of taste, as used to denote a power of the mind? Is it
the susceptibility of emotion in view of the beautiful, the power of
feeling; or is it the faculty of judging and discriminating; or is it
both combined? Our definitions, as we have seen, include both; the
word, itself, may denote either; both are comprised in our analysis of
the mental phenomena in view of the beautiful.

_Not the first._--Is it the first? I think not. Taste is not mere
emotion, nor mere susceptibility of emotion. A child or a savage may
be deficient in taste, yet they may be as deeply moved in view of
the beautiful, in nature or art, as the man of cultivated mind; nay,
their emotion may exceed his. They may regard, with great delight and
admiration, what he will view with entire indifference. So far from
indicating a high degree of taste, the very susceptibility of emotion,
in such cases, may be the sure indication of a want of taste. They are
pleased with that which a cultivated and correct taste would condemn.
The power of being moved is simply sensibility, and sensibility is not
taste, however closely they may be related.

_Taste the intellectual Element._--Is taste, then, the power of mental
discrimination which enables me to say that such and such things are,
or are not, beautiful, and which, in some cases, perhaps, enables me
to decide why, or wherein they are so? Does it, in a word, denote the
_intellectual_ rather than the _emotional_ element of the process? I am
inclined to think this the more correct view. Susceptibility of emotion
is, doubtless, concerned in the matter. It has to do with taste. It
may be even the ground and foundation of its exercise, nay, of its
existence. But it is not, itself, taste, and should not be included,
therefore, in the definition.

_Reason for distinguishing the two._--As we distinguish, in
philosophical investigation, between an emotion and the intellectual
perception that precedes and gives rise to it, or between the
perception and the sensation on which it is founded, so I would
distinguish _taste_, or the intellectual perception of the beautiful,
from the _sensation_ or _feeling_ awakened in view of the object. The
fact that both elements exist, and enter into the series of mental
phenomena in view of the beautiful, is no reason why they should both
be designated by the same term, or included in the same definition,
but, rather, it is a reason why they should be carefully distinguished.

The precise nature of this faculty may be more distinctly perceived,
if we consider, more particularly, its relation to the _judgment_, and
also to the _sensibility_.

_Taste, as related to Judgment._--According to the view now taken,
taste is only a modification, or rather a particular direction of that
general power of the mind which we call _judgment_; it is judgment
exercised about the beautiful. It is the office of the judgment to
form opinions and beliefs, to inform us of relations, to decide
that things are thus and thus, that this is this, and that is that.
As employed in different departments of thought, it appears under
different forms, and is known under diverse names. As employed about
the actual and sensible, we call it understanding; in the sphere of
abstract truth it works under the cognomen of reason; in the sphere
of practical truth, the thing that is good and right to be done by
me, it is known as conscience; in the sphere of the ideal and the
beautiful it is taste. In all these departments of mental activity
it is exercised, employs itself upon all these subjects, giving us
opinion, belief, knowledge, as to them all. The judgment as thus
exercised in relation to the beautiful, that is to say, the mind
observing, comparing, discriminating, deciding, forming the opinion,
or reaching it may be the positive knowledge that this thing is, or
is not, beautiful--for this is simply what we mean by judgment in any
particular instance--judgment, as thus exercised, is known by the name
of _taste_. More strictly speaking, it is not so much the _exercise_
of the judgment in this particular way in given instances, as the
_foundation_ or _ground_ of that exercise, the _discriminating faculty_
or _power_ of the mind by virtue of which it thus operates.

_Judgment does not furnish the Ideas._--Does, then, the judgment, it
may be asked, give us originally the ideas of the true, the beautiful,
and the good? This we do not affirm. Judgment is not the source of
ideas, certainly not of those now mentioned. It does not originate
them. Their origin and awakening in the human mind is we should say,
on this wise. The beautiful, the true, the good, exist as simple,
absolute, eternal principles. They are in the divine mind. They are in
the divine works. In a sense they are independent of Deity. He does not
create them. He cannot reverse them or change their nature. He works
according to them. They are not created by, but only _manifested in_,
what God does. We are created with a nature so formed and endowed as
to be capable of recognizing these principles and being impressed by
them. The consequence is, that no sooner do we open the eye of reason
and intelligence upon that which lies around and passes before us, in
the world, than the idea of the true, the beautiful, the morally good,
is awakened in the mind. We instinctively perceive and feel their
presence in the objects presented to our notice. They are the product
of our rational intelligence, brought into contact, through sense, with
the world in which we dwell. The idea of beauty or of the right, thus
once awakened in the mind, when afterward examples, or, it may be,
violations, of these principles occur, the judgment is exercised in
deciding that the cases presented do or do not properly fall under the
class thus designated; and the judgment thus exercised in respect to
the beautiful, we call _taste_, in respect to the right, _conscience_.

_Taste as now defined._--As now defined, taste is, as to its principle,
_the discriminating power of the mind with respect to the beautiful or
sublime in nature or art_; that certain state, quality, or condition
of the mental powers and the mental culture, the result partly of
native difference and endowment, partly of education and habit, by
virtue of which we are able to judge more or less correctly as to the
beauty or deformity, the merit or demerit of whatever presents itself
in nature or art as an object of admiration, whether and how far it is
in reality beautiful, and of its fitness to awaken in us the emotions
that we experience in view thereof. If we are able to observe, compare,
discriminate, form opinions and conclusions well and correctly, on
these matters, our taste is good; otherwise bad. Whether it be the
one or the other, will depend not entirely on native endowment, not
altogether on the degree to which the judgment is cultivated and
developed in respect to other matters, but quite as much on the culture
and training of the mind with respect to the specific objects of
taste, viz., the beauties of nature and art. Men of strong minds, good
understanding, and sound judgment in other matters, are not necessarily
men of good taste. Like every other faculty of the mind, taste requires

_Taste and good Taste._--It is necessary to distinguish between taste,
and good taste. Many writers use the terms indifferently, as when we
say such a one is a man of taste, meaning of good taste, or such a one
has no taste whatever, meaning that he is a man of bad taste. Strictly
speaking, the savage who rejoices in the disfigurement of his person
by tattooing, paint, and feathers, is a man of _taste_, as really as
the Broadway dandy, or the Parisian exquisite. He has his faculty of
judging in such matters, and exercises it--his standard of judging, and
comes up to it. He is a man of taste, but not of correct taste. He has
his own notions, but they do not agree with ours. He violates all the
rules and principles by which well-informed minds are guided in such
matters. He shocks our notions of fitness and propriety, excites in us
emotions of disgust, or of the ludicrous, and, on the whole, we vote
him down as a man of no authority in such matters.

_As related to Sensibility._--Thus far we have spoken of taste only as
related to the judgment. It is necessary to consider also its relation
to the _sensibility_. Taste and sensibility are very often confounded.
They are, in reality, quite distinct. Sensibility, so far as we are at
present concerned with it, is the mind's _capability of emotion_ in
view of the beautiful or sublime. Taste is its _capability of judging_,
in view of the same. Viewed as acts, rather than as states or powers of
the mind, sensibility is the feeling awakened in view of a beautiful
object; taste is the judgment or opinion formed respecting it. In the
case already supposed, I stand before a fine statue or painting. It
moves me, attracts me, fills me with delight and admiration. In this,
it is not directly and immediately my taste, but my sensibility, that
is affected and brought into play. I begin to judge of the object
before me as a work of art, to form an opinion respecting its merits
and demerits; and, in so doing, my taste is exercised.

_The two not always proportional._--Not only are the two principles
distinct, but not always do they exist in equal proportion and
development in the same mind. Persons of the liveliest sensibility
are not always, perhaps not generally, persons of the nicest taste.
The child, the uneducated peasant, the negro, are as highly delighted
with beautiful forms and beautiful colors as the philosopher, but
could not tell you so well why they were moved, or what it was, in the
object, that pleased them; neither would they discriminate so well
the truly beautiful from that which is not worthy of admiration. If
there may be sensibility without taste, so, on the other hand, a high
degree of taste is not always accompanied with a corresponding degree
of sensibility. The practised connoisseur is not always the man who
enjoys the most at sight of a fine picture. The skillful musician has
much better taste in music than the child that listens, with mingled
wonder and delight, to his playing; but we have only to glance at the
countenance of each, to see at once which feels the most.

_Sensibility not inconsistent with Taste._--I should not, however,
infer from this, that a high degree of sensibility is inconsistent with
a high degree of taste. This was Mr. Stewart's opinion. The feeling,
he would say, will be likely to interfere with the judgment, in such a
case. Doubtless; where the feeling is highly wrought upon and excited,
it may, for the time, interfere with the cool and deliberate exercise
of the judgment. Yet, nevertheless, if sensibility be wanting, there
will not be likely to be much taste. If I feel no pleasure at sight of
a beautiful landscape or painting, I shall not be likely to trouble
myself much about its comparative merits or defects. It is useless, in
such a case, to inquire what pleases me, or why I am pleased, when,
in truth, nothing pleases me. There is no motive for the exercise
of judgment in such a case, neither is there an opportunity for its
action. The very foundation for such an exercise is wanting. A lively
sensibility is the basis of a correct taste, the ground on which it
must rest, the spring and life of its action. The two are related
somewhat as genius and learning which are not always found in equal
degree, yet are by no means inconsistent with each other. There may be
a high degree of mental strength and activity, without corresponding
acquisitions; yet there can hardly be learning without some degree
of mental power and activity. There may be sensibility without much
taste, but hardly much taste without sensibility. Taste is, in a great
measure, acquired, cultivated, an art; sensibility, a native endowment.
It may be developed, strengthened, educated, but not acquired. Genius
produces, sensibility admires, taste judges or decides. Their action
is reciprocal. If taste corrects and restrains the too ready or too
extravagant sensibility, the latter, on the other hand, furnishes the
ground and data upon which, after all, taste must rely in its decisions.

_Cultivation of Taste._--We have investigated, with some care, as was
proposed, the nature of that power of the mind which takes cognizance
of the beautiful. On the cultivation of this power, a few words must be
said in this connection. Taste is an intellectual faculty, a perceptive
power, a matter of judgment, and, as such, both admits and requires
cultivation. No forms of mental activity depend more on education and
exercise, for their full development, than that class to which we give
the general name of judgment, and no form of judgment more than that
which we call taste. The mind uncultivated, untrained, unused to the
nice perception of the beautiful, can no more judge correctly, in
matters of taste, than the mind unaccustomed to judge of the distance,
magnitude, or chemical properties of bodies, can form correct decisions
upon these subjects. It must be trained by art, and strengthened by
exercise. It must be made familiar with the laws, and conversant
with the forms of beauty. It must be taught to observe and study the
beautiful, in nature and in art, to discriminate, to compare, to judge.
The works in literature and in art which have received the approbation
of time, and the honorable verdict of mankind, as well as the objects
in nature which have commanded the admiration of the race, must become
familiar, not by observation only, but by careful study. Thus may taste
be cultivated.


_View of Plato._--Among the ancients, _Plato_ was, perhaps, the first
to distinguish the idea of the beautiful from other kindred ideas, and
to point out its affinity with the true and the good, thus recognizing
in it something immutable and eternal. In making the good and the
beautiful identical, however, he mistakes the true character and end of
art, Previously to Plato, and even by him, art and the beautiful were
treated only in connection with ethics and politics' æsthetics, as a
distinct department of science, was not known to the ancients.

_Of Aristotle._--_Aristotle_ has not treated of the beautiful but
only of dramatic art. Poetry, he thinks, originates in the tendency
to imitate, and the desire to know. Tragedy is the imitation of _the
better_. Painting should represent, in like manner, not _what is_,
but what _ought to be_. In this sense, may be understood his profound
remark, that _poetry is more true than history_.

_Plotinus and Augustine._--After Aristotle, _Plotinus_ and _Augustine_
alone, among the ancients, have treated of the beautiful. The work of
Augustine is not extant. It is known that he made beauty consist in
unity and fitness of parts, as in music. The treatise of Plotinus is
regarded as at once beautiful and profound. Material beauty is, with
him, only the expression or reflection of spiritual beauty. The soul
alone, the mind, is beautiful, and in loving the beautiful, the soul
loves its own image as there expressed. Hence, the soul must, itself,
be beautiful, in order to comprehend and feel beauty. The tendency of
this theory is to mysticism.

_Longinus and Quintilian._--Longinus, and Quintilian, treat of the
sublime, only with reference to eloquence and oratory; so, also,
Horace, of art, as having to do with poetry.

_Bacon._--Among the moderns, _Bacon_ recognizes the fine arts as among
the sciences, and poetry as one of the three chief branches of human
knowledge, but nowhere, that I am aware, treats of the beautiful,
distinctly, as such.

_School of Leibnitz._--It was the school of _Leibnitz_ and _Wolf_ in
Germany that first made the beautiful a distinct science. Baumgarten,
disciple of Wolf, first conceived this idea. Like Plato, however, he
makes the beautiful too nearly identical with the good and with morals.

_School of Locke._--In England, the school of _Locke_ have much to
say of beauty. Shaftesbury and Hutcheson, while they do not clearly
distinguish between the beautiful and the good, adopt the theory of
unity in variety, as already explained. Hogarth falls into the same
class, his idea of beauty being represented by the waving line. Burke
does not distinguish sufficiently between the sublime and the terrible.

_French Encyclopedists._--In France, the _Encyclopedists_ coincide,
essentially, with the school of Locke, and treat of the beautiful,
chiefly in its moral aspect.

_The later Germans._--In Germany, again, _Winckelman_, an artist, and
not a philosopher, seizing the spirit of the Greek art, ascribes, as
Plato had done, the idea of beauty to God, from whom it passes into
sensible things, as his manifestations.

In opposition to this ideal and divine aspect, _Lessing_ takes a more
practical view, regarding the beautiful from the stand-point of the
_real_. _Herder_ and _Goethe_ contribute, also, much to the science of
æsthetics. All these do little more than prepare the way for _Kant_,
who goes more profoundly into the philosophy of the matter. He makes
beauty a _subjective_ affair, a play of the imagination.

_Schiller_ makes it the joint product of the reason and the
sensibility, but still a _subjective_ matter, as Kant.

_Schelling and Hegel._--_Schelling_ develops the spiritual or ideal
theory of beauty. _Hegel_ carries out this theory and makes a complete
science of it, classifies and analyzes the arts. His work is regarded
as the first complete discussion of the philosophy of the fine arts.
It is characterized by strength, clearness, depth, power of analysis,
richness of imagination.

_Theory of Jouffroy._--_Jouffroy_, in France, among the later writers,
has treated fully, and in an admirable manner, of the philosophy
of the beautiful. His theory is derived from that of Hegel, with
some modifications. It is essentially the theory last presented in
the discussion of the subject in the preceding section, viz., the
expression of the spiritual or invisible element under sensible forms.
No writer is more worthy of study than Jouffroy. His work is clear,
strong, and of admirable power of analysis.

_Cousin._--Among the eclectics, _Cousin_, in his treatise on the true,
the beautiful, and the good, has many just observations, with much
beauty and philosophic clearness of expression.

_McDermot._--In English, beside the works already referred to, must be
noticed the treatise of _McDermot_ on Taste, in which the nature and
objects of taste are fully and well discussed.




_The Idea of Right a Conception of the Mind._--Among the conceptions
which constitute the furniture of the mind, there is one, which, in
many respects, is unlike all others, while, at the same time, it is
more important than all others; that is, the notion or idea of _right_.

_Universally prevalent._--When we direct our attention to any given
instance of the voluntary action of any intelligent rational being,
we find ourselves not unfrequently pronouncing upon its character as
a _right_ or _wrong_ act. Especially is this the case when the act
contemplated is of a marked and unusual character. The question at once
arises, is it right? Or, it may be, without the consciousness of even a
question respecting it, our decision follows instantly upon the mental
apprehension of the act itself--this thing is right, that thing is
wrong. Our decision may be correct or incorrect; our perception of the
real nature of the act may be clear or obscure; it may make a stronger
or weaker impression on the mind, according to our mental habits, the
tone of our mental nature, and the degree to which we have cultivated
the moral faculty. There may be minds so degraded, and natures so
perverted, that the moral character of an act shall be quite mistaken,
or quite overlooked in many cases; or, when perceived, it shall make
little impression on them. Even in such minds, however, the _idea_ of
right and wrong still finds a place, and the understanding applies
it, though not perhaps always correctly, to particular instances of
human conduct. There is no reason to believe that any mind possessing
ordinary endowments, that degree of reason and intelligence which
nature usually bestows, is destitute of this idea, or fails altogether
to apply it to its own acts, and those of others.

_The Question and its different Answers._--But here an important
question presents itself: _Whence come_ these ideas and perceptions;
their origin? How is it, why is it, that we pronounce an act right or
wrong, when once fairly apprehended? How come we by these notions? The
fact is admitted; the explanations vary. By one class of writers our
ideas of this nature have been ascribed to _education_ and _fashion_;
by another, to _legal restriction_, human or divine. Others, again,
viewing these ideas as the offspring of nature, have assigned them
either to the operation of a _special sense_, given for this specific
purpose, as the eye for vision; or to the joint action of certain
associated emotions; while others regard them as originating in an
exercise of _judgment_, and others still, as _natural intuitions_ of
the mind, or reason exercised on subjects of a moral nature.

_Main Question._--The main question is, are these ideas _natural_,
or _artificial and acquired_? If the latter, are they the result
of education, or of legal restraint? If the former, are they to be
referred to the _sensibilities_, as the result of a special sense or
of association, or to the _intellect_, as the result of the faculty of
judgment or as intuitions of reason?

1. _Education._--Come they from _Education and Imitation?_--So Locke,
Paley, and others, have supposed. Locke was led to take this view, by
tracing, as he did, all simple ideas, except those of our own mental
operations, to sensation, as their source. This allows, of course,
no place for the ideas of right and wrong, which, accordingly, he
concluded, cannot be natural ideas, but must be the result of education.

_Objection to this View._--Now it is to be conceded that education
and fashion are powerful instruments in the culture of the mind.
Their influence is not to be overlooked in estimating the causes that
shape and direct the opinions of men, and the tendencies of an age.
But they do not account for the _origin_ of any thing. This has been
ably and clearly shown by Dugald Stewart, in answer to Locke; and it
is a sufficient answer. Education and imitation both _presuppose_
the existence of moral ideas and distinctions; the very things to be
accounted for. How came they who first taught these distinctions, and
they who first set the example of making such distinctions, to be
themselves in possession of these ideas? Whence did _they_ derive them?
Who taught _them_, and set _them_ the example? This is a question not
answered by the theory now under consideration. It gives us, therefore,
and can give us, no account of the origin of the ideas in question.

2. _Legal Enactment._--Do we then derive these ideas from legal
_restriction and enactment_? So teach some able writers. Laws are made,
human and divine, requiring us to do thus and thus, and forbidding such
and such things, and hence we get our ideas originally of right and

_Presupposes Right._--If this be so, then, previous to all law, there
could have been no such ideas, of course. But does not law _presuppose_
the idea of right and wrong? Is it not built on that idea as its basis?
How, then, can it originate that on which itself depends, and which it
presupposes? The first law ever promulgated must have been either a
just or an unjust law, or else of no moral character. If the latter,
how could a law which was neither just nor unjust, have suggested to
the subjects of it any such ideas? If the former, then these qualities,
and the ideas of them, must have existed _prior_ to the law itself; and
whoever made the law and conferred on it its character, must have had
already, in his own mind, the idea of the right and its opposite. It is
evident that we cannot, in this way, account for the _origin_ of the
ideas in question. We are no nearer the solution of the problem than

In opposition to the views now considered, we must regard the ideas
in question, as, directly or indirectly, the work of nature, and the
result of our constitution. The question still remains, however, in
which of the several ways indicated, does this result take place?

3. _Special Sense._--Shall we attribute these ideas to a _special
sense_? This is the view taken by Hutcheson and his followers.
Ascribing, with Locke, all our simple ideas to sensation, but not
content with Locke's theory of moral distinctions as the result of
education, he sought to account for them by enlarging the sphere of
sensation, and introducing a new sense, whose specific office is to
take cognizance of such distinctions. The tendency of this theory is
evident. While it derives the idea of right and its opposite from
our natural constitution, and is, so far, preferable to either of
the preceding theories, still, in assigning them a place among the
sensibilities, it seems to make morality a mere _sentiment_, a matter
of feeling merely, an impression made on our sentient nature--a
mere subjective affair--as color and taste are impressions made on
our organs of sense, and not properly qualities of bodies. As these
affections of the sense do not exist independently, but only relatively
to us, so moral distinctions, according to this view, are merely
subjective affections of our minds, and not independent realities.

_Hume and the Sophists._--Hume accedes to this general view, and
carries it out to its legitimate results, making morality a mere
relation between our nature and certain objects, and not an independent
quality of actions. Virtue and vice, like color and taste, the bright
and the dull, the sweet and the bitter, lie merely in our sensations.

These skeptical views had been advanced long previously by the
Sophists, who taught that man is the measure of all things, that things
are only what they seem to us.

_Ambiguity of the term Sense._--It is true, as Stewart has observed,
that these views do not necessarily result from Hutcheson's theory,
nor were they, probably, held by him; but such is the natural tendency
of his doctrine. The term _sense_, as employed by him, is, in itself,
ambiguous, and may be used to denote a _mental perception_; but when
we speak of _a_ sense, we are understood to refer to that part of
our constitution which, when affected from without, gives us certain
sensations. Thus the sense of hearing, the sense of vision, the sense
of taste, of smell, etc. It is in this way that Hutcheson seems to have
employed the term, and his illustrations all point in this direction.
He was unfortunate, to say the least, in his use of terms, and in his
illustrations; unfortunate, also, in having such a disciple as Hume, to
push his theory to its legitimate results.

If, by a special sense, he meant only a direct perceptive power of
the mind, then, doubtless, Hutcheson is right in recognizing such a
faculty, and attributing to it the ideas under consideration. But
that is not the proper meaning of the word _sense_, nor is that the
signification attached to it by his followers.

_No Evidence of such a Faculty._--But if he means, by sense, what the
word itself would indicate, some adaptation of the sensibilities to
receive impressions from things without, analogous to that by which we
are affected through the organs of sense, then, in the first place,
it is not true that we have any such special faculty. There is no
evidence of it; nay, facts contradict it. There is no such _uniformity_
of moral impression or sensation as ought to manifest itself on this
supposition. Men's eyes and ears are much alike, in their activity,
the world over. That which is white, or red, to one, is not black to
another, or green to a third; that which is sweet to one, is not sour,
or bitter, to another. At least, if such variations occur, they are
the result only of some unnatural and unusual condition of the organs.
But it is otherwise with the operation of the so-called special sense.
While all men have probably, some idea of right and wrong, there
is the greatest possible variety in its application to particular
instances of conduct. What one approves as a virtue, another condemns
as a crime.

_No Need of it._--Nor, secondly, have we any need to call in the aid
of a special sense to give us ideas of this kind. It is not true, as
Locke and Hutcheson believed, that all our ideas, except those of our
own mental operations, or consciousness, are derived ultimately from
sensation. We have ideas of the true and the beautiful, ideas of cause
and effect, of geometrical and arithmetical relations, and various
other ideas, which it would be difficult to trace to the senses as
their source; and which, equally with the ideas of right and wrong,
would require, in that case, a special sense for their production.

4. _Association._--Shall we, then, adopt the view of that class of
ethical writers who account for the origin of these ideas by _the
principle of association_? Such men as Hartley, Mill, Mackintosh, and
others of that stamp, are not lightly to be set aside in the discussion
of such a question. Their view is, that the moral perceptions are the
result of certain combined antecedent emotions, such as gratitude,
pity, resentment, etc., which relate to the dispositions and actions
of voluntary agents, and which very easily and naturally come to
be transferred, from the agent himself, to the action in itself
considered, or to the disposition which prompted it; forming, when
thus transferred and associated, what we call the moral feelings and
perceptions. Just as avarice arises from the original desire, not of
money, but of the things which money can procure--which desire comes,
eventually, to be transferred, from the objects themselves, to the
means and instrument of procuring them--and, as sympathy arises from
the transfer to others of the feelings which, in like circumstances,
agitate our own bosoms, so, in like manner, by the principle of
association, the feelings which naturally arise in view of the conduct
of others, are transferred from the agent to the act, from the enemy
or the benefactor, to the injury or the benefaction, which acts stand
afterward, by themselves, as objects of approval or condemnation. Hence
the disposition to approve all benevolent acts, and to condemn the
opposite; which disposition, thus formed and transferred, is a part of
conscience. So of other elementary emotions.

_Makes Conscience a mere Sentiment._--It will be perceived that this
theory, which is indebted chiefly to Mackintosh for its completeness,
and scientific form, makes conscience wholly a matter of sentiment
and feeling; standing in this respect, on the same ground with the
theory of a special sense, and liable, in part, to the same objections.
Hence the name _sentimental_ school, often employed to designate,
collectively, the adherents of each of these views. While the theory,
now proposed, might seem then to offer a plausible account of the
manner in which our moral _sentiments_ arise, it does not account for
the origin of our _ideas_ and _perceptions_ of moral rectitude. Now
the moral faculty is not a mere sentiment. There is an intellectual
perception of one thing as right, and another as wrong; and the
question now before us is, Whence comes that perception, and the
idea on which it is based? To resolve the whole matter into certain
transferred and associated emotions, is to give up the inherent
distinction of right and wrong as qualities of actions, and make virtue
and vice creations of the sensibility, the play and product of the
excited feelings. To admit the perception and idea of the right, and
ascribe their origin to antecedent emotion, is, moreover, to reverse
the natural order and law of psychological operation, which bases
emotion on perception, and not perception on emotion. We do not first
admire, love, hate, and then perceive, but the reverse.

_Further Objections._--The view now under consideration, while it seems
to resolve the moral faculty into mere feeling, thus making morality
wholly a relative affair, makes conscience, itself, an acquired,
rather than a natural faculty, a secondary process, a transformation
of emotions, rather than itself an original principle. It does it,
moreover, the further injustice of deriving its origin from the purely
_selfish_ principles of our nature. I receive a favor, or an injury;
hence I regard, with certain feelings of complacency, or the opposite,
the man who has thus treated me. These feelings I come gradually to
transfer to, and associate with, the act in itself considered, and this
with other acts of the same nature; and so, at last, I come to have a
moral faculty, and pronounce one thing right, and another wrong.

_At Variance with Facts._--This view is quite inadmissible; at
variance with facts, and the well-known laws of the human mind. The
moral faculty is one of the earliest to develop itself. It appears
in childhood, manifesting itself, not as an acquired and secondary
principle, the result of a complicated process of associated and
transferred emotion, requiring time for its gradual formation and
growth, but rather as an original instinctive principle of nature.

_Sympathy._--Adam Smith, in his "Theory of Moral Sentiments," has
proposed a view which falls properly under the general theory of
association, and may be regarded as a modification of it. He attributes
our moral perceptions to the feeling of _sympathy_. To adopt the
feelings of another is to approve them. If those feelings are such as
would naturally be awakened in us by the same objects, we approve them
as morally proper. Sympathy with the gratitude of one who has received
a favor, leads us to regard the benefaction as meritorious. Sympathy
with the resentment of an injured man, leads us to regard the injurer
as worthy of punishment, and so the sense of demerit originates;
sympathy with the feelings of others respecting our own conduct gives
rise to self-approval and sense of duty. Rules of morality are merely a
summary of these sentiments.

_This View not sustained by Consciousness._--Whatever credit may be
due to this ingenious writer, for calling attention to a principle
which had not been sufficiently taken into account by preceding
philosophers, we cannot but regard it as an insufficient explanation
of the present case. In the first place, we are not _conscious_ of
the element of sympathy in the decisions and perceptions of the moral
faculty. We look at a given action of right or wrong, and approve of
it, or condemn it _on that ground_, because it _is_ right or wrong,
not because we sympathize with the feelings awakened by the act in the
minds of others. If the process now supposed intervened between our
knowledge of the act, and our judgment of its morality, we should know
it and recognize it as a distinct element.

_No imperative Character._--Furthermore, sympathy, like other emotions,
has no _imperative_ character, and, even if it might be supposed to
suggest to the mind some idea of moral distinctions, cannot of itself
furnish a foundation for those feelings of _obligation_ which accompany
and characterize the decisions of the moral faculty.

_The Standard of Right._--But more than this, the view now taken
makes the standard of right and wrong _variable_, and dependent on
the feelings of men. We must know how others think and feel, how the
thing affects them, before we can know whether a given act is right or
wrong, to be performed or avoided. And then, furthermore, our feelings
must agree with theirs; there must be sympathy and harmony of views
and feelings, else the result will not follow. If any thing prevents
us from knowing what are the feelings of others with respect to a
given course of conduct, or if for any reason we fail to sympathize
with those feelings, we can have no conscience in the matter. As those
feelings vary, so will our moral perceptions vary. We have no fixed
standard. There is no place left for right, as such, and absolutely. If
no sympathy, then no duty, no right, no morality.

_Result of the preceding Inquiries._--We have, as yet, found no
satisfactory explanation of the origin of our moral ideas and
perceptions. They seem not to be the result of education and
imitation, nor yet of legal enactment. They seem to be natural, rather
than artificial and acquired. Yet we cannot trace them to the action
of the sensitive part of our nature. They are not the product of a
special sense, nor yet of the combined and associated action of certain
natural emotions, much less of any one emotion, as sympathy. And yet
they are a part of our nature. Place man where you will, surround him
with what influences you will, you still find in him, to some extent
at least, indications of a moral nature; a nature modified, indeed, by
circumstances, but never wholly obliterated. Evidently we must refer
the ideas in question, then, to the intellectual, since they do not
belong to the sensitive part of our nature.

5. _Judgment._--Are they then the product and operation of the faculty
of judgment? But the judgment does not _originate_ ideas. It compares,
distributes, estimates, decides to what class and category a thing
belongs, but creates nothing. I have in mind the idea of a triangle,
a circle, etc. So soon as certain figures are presented to the eye,
I refer them at once, by an act of judgment, to the class to which
they belong. I affirm that to be a triangle, this, a circle, etc.;
the judgment does this. But judgment does not furnish my mind with
the primary idea of a circle, etc. It deals with this idea already in
the mind. So in our judgment of the beauty and deformity of objects.
The perception that a landscape or painting is beautiful, is, in one
sense, an act of judgment; but it is an act which presupposes the idea
of the beautiful already in the mind that so judges. So also of moral
distinctions. Whence comes the _idea_ of right and wrong which lies at
the foundation of every particular judgment as to the moral character
of actions? This is the question before us, still unanswered; and to
this there remains but one reply.

6. _These Ideas intuitive._--The ideas in question are _intuitive_;
suggestions or perceptions of _reason_. The view now proposed may be
thus stated: It is the office of reason to discern the right and
the wrong, as well as the true and the false, the beautiful and the
reverse. Regarded subjectively, as conceptions of the human mind,
right and wrong, as well as beauty and its opposite, truth and its
opposite, are simple ideas, incapable of analysis or definition;
_intuitions of reason_. Regarded as objective, right and wrong are
realities, qualities absolute, and inherent in the nature of things,
not fictitious, not the play of human fancy or human feeling, not
relative merely to the human mind, but independent, essential,
universal, absolute. As such, reason recognizes their existence.
Judgment decides that such and such actions do possess the one or the
other of these qualities; are right or wrong actions. There follows
the sense of obligation to do or not to do, and the consciousness of
merit or demerit as we comply, or fail to comply, with the same. In
view of these perceptions emotions arise, but only as based upon them.
The emotions do not, as the sentimental school affirm, originate the
idea, the perception; but the idea, the perception, gives rise to the
emotion. We are so constituted as to feel certain emotions in view of
the moral quality of actions, but the idea and perception of that moral
quality must _precede_, and it is the office of reason to produce this.

_First Truths._--There are certain simple ideas which must be regarded
as first truths, or first principles, of the human understanding,
essential to its operations, ideas universal, absolute, necessary. Such
are the ideas of personal existence, and identity, of time and space,
as conditions of material existence; of number, cause, and mathematical
relation. Into this class fall the ideas of the true, the beautiful,
the right, and their opposites. The fundamental maxims of reasoning and
morals find here their place.

_How awakened._--These are, in a sense, intuitive perceptions; not
strictly innate, yet connate; the foundation for them being laid in our
nature and constitution. So soon as the mind reaches a certain stage
of development they present themselves. Circumstances may promote
or retard their appearance. They depend on opportunity to furnish
the occasion of their springing up, yet they are, nevertheless, the
natural, spontaneous development of the human soul, as really a part
of our nature as are any of our instinctive impulses, or our mental
attributes. They are a part of that native intelligence with which we
are endowed by the author of our being. These intuitions of ours, are
not themselves the foundation of right and wrong; they do not make one
thing right and another wrong; but they are simply the reason why we so
regard them. Such we believe to be the true account of the origin of
our moral perceptions.


_The Cognition distinguished from the Idea of Right._--Having, in
the preceding section, discussed the _idea_ of the right, in itself
considered, as a conception of the mind, we proceed now to consider
_the action of the mind as cognizant of right_. The theme is one of no
little difficulty, but, at the same time, of highest importance.

_Existence of this Power._--After what has been already said, it
is hardly necessary to raise the preliminary inquiry, as to the
_existence_ of a moral faculty in man. That we do possess the power of
making moral distinctions, that we do discriminate between the right
and the wrong in human conduct, is an obvious fact in the history
and psychology of the race. Consciousness, observation, the form of
language, the literature of the world, the usages of society, all
attest and confirm this truth. We are conscious of the operation of
this principle in ourselves, whenever we contemplate our own conduct,
or that of others. We find ourselves, involuntarily, and as by
instinct, pronouncing this act to be right, that, wrong. We recognize
the obligation to do, or to have done, otherwise. We approve, or
condemn. We are sustained by the calm sense of that self-approval,
or cast down by the fearful strength and bitterness of that remorse.
And what we find in ourselves, we observe, also, in others. In like
circumstances, they recognize the same distinctions, and exhibit the
same emotions. At the story or the sight of some flagrant injustice
and wrong, the child and the savage are not less indignant than the
philosopher. Nor is this a matter peculiar to one age or people. The
languages and the literature of the world indicate, that, at all
times, and among all nations, the distinction between right and wrong
has been recognized and felt. The [Greek: to dikaion] and [Greek: to
kalon] of the Greeks, the _honestum_ and the _pulchrum_ of the Latins,
are specimens of a class of words, to be found in all languages, the
proper use and significance of which is to express the distinctions in

Since, then, we do unquestionably recognize moral distinctions, it is
clear that we have a moral faculty.

_Questions which present themselves._--Without further consideration of
this point, we pass at once to the investigation of the subject itself.
Our inquiries relate principally to the _nature_ and _authority_ of
this faculty. On these points, it is hardly necessary to say, great
difference of opinion has existed among philosophers and theologians,
and grave questions have arisen. What _is_ this faculty as exercised; a
judgment, a process of reasoning, or an emotion? Does it belong to the
rational or sensitive part of our nature: to the domain of intellect,
or of feeling, or both? What is the value and correctness of our
moral perceptions, and especially of that verdict of _approbation_ or
_censure_, which we pass upon ourselves and others, according as the
conduct conforms to, or violates, recognized obligation? Such are some
of the questions which have arisen respecting the nature and authority
of conscience.

I. _The Nature of Conscience._--What is it? A matter of _intellect_, or
of _feeling_; a _judgment_, or an _emotion_?

A careful analysis of the phenomena of conscience, with a view to
determine the several elements, or mental processes, that constitute
its operation, may aid us in the solution of this question.


_Cognition of Right._--Whenever the conduct of intelligent and rational
beings is made the subject of contemplation, whether the act thus
contemplated be our own or another's, and whether it be an act already
performed, or only proposed, we are cognizant of certain ideas awakened
in the mind, and of certain impressions made upon it. First of all,
the act contemplated strikes us as _right_ or _wrong_. This involves
a double element, an _idea_, and a _perception_ or _judgment_. The
_idea_ of right and its opposite are, in the mind, simple ideas, and,
therefore, indefinable. In the act contemplated, we _recognize_ the one
or the other of these simple elements, and pronounce it, accordingly,
a right or wrong act. This is simply a _judgment_, a perception, an
exercise of the understanding.

_Of Obligation._--No sooner is this idea, this cognition, of the
rightness or wrongness of the given act, fairly entertained by
the mind, than another idea, another cognition, presents itself,
given along with the former, and inseparable from it, viz., that of
_obligation_ to do, or not to do, the given act: the _ought_, and
the _ought not_--also simple ideas, and indefinable. This applies
equally to the future and to the past, to ourselves and to others:
I ought to do this thing. I ought to _have done_ it yesterday. He
ought, or ought not to do, or to have done it. This, like the former,
is an intellectual act, a perception or cognition of a truth, of a
reality for which we have the same voucher as for any other reality
or apprehended fact, viz., the reliability of our mental faculties
in general, and the correctness of their operation in the specific
instance. It is a conviction of the mind inseparable from the
perception of right. Given, a clear perception of the one, and we
cannot escape the other.

_Of Merit and Demerit._--There follows a third element, logically
distinct, but chronologically inseparable, from the preceding: the
cognition of merit or demerit in connection with the deed, of good
or ill desert, and the consequent approval or disapproval of the
deed and the doer. No sooner do we perceive an action to be right
or wrong, and to involve, therefore, an obligation on the part of
the doer, than, there arises, also, in the mind, the idea of merit
or demerit, in connection with the doing; we regard the agent as
deserving of praise or blame, and in our own minds do approve or
condemn him and his course, accordingly. This approval of ourselves
and others, according to the apprehended desert of the act and the
actor, constitutes a process of trial, an inner tribunal, at whose bar
are constantly arraigned the deeds of men, and whose verdict it is no
easy matter to set aside. This mental approval may be regarded by some
as a matter of feeling, rather than an intellectual act. We speak of
_feelings_ of approval and of condemnation. To approve and condemn,
however, are, properly, acts of the judgment. The feelings consequent
upon such approval or disapproval are usually of such a nature, and
of such strength, as to attract the principal attention of the mind
to themselves, and, hence, we naturally come to think and speak of
the whole process as a matter of feeling. Strictly viewed, it is an
intellectual perception, an exercise of judgment, giving sentence that
the contemplated act is, or is not, meritorious, and awarding praise or
blame accordingly.

This completes the process. I can discover nothing in the operation of
my mind, in view of moral action, which does not resolve itself into
some one of these elements.

_These Elements intellectual._--Viewed in themselves, these are,
strictly, intellectual operations; the recognition of the right, the
recognition of obligation, the perception of good or ill desert, are
all, properly, acts of the intellect. Each of these cognitive acts,
however, _involves a corresponding action of the sensibilities_. The
perception of the right awakens, in the pure and virtuous mind,
feelings of pleasure, admiration, love. The idea of obligation becomes,
in its turn, through the awakened sensibilities, an impulse and motive
to action. The recognition of good or ill desert awakens feelings of
esteem and complacency, or the reverse; fills the soul with sweet
peace, or stings it with sharp remorse. All these things must be
recognized and included by the psychologist among the phenomena of
conscience. These emotions, however, are based on, and grow out of, the
intellectual acts already named, and are to be viewed as an incidental
and subordinate, though by no means unimportant, part of the whole
process. When we speak of conscience, or the moral faculty, we speak of
a _power_, a faculty and not _merely_ a feeling or susceptibility of
being affected. It is a cognitive power, having to do with realities,
recognizing real distinctions, and not merely a passive play of the
sensibilities. It is simply the mind's power of recognizing a certain
class of truths and relations. As such, we claim for it a place among
the strictly cognitive powers of the mind, among the faculties that
have to do with the perception of truth and reality.

_Importance of this Position._--This is a point of some importance.
If, with certain writers, we make the moral faculty a matter of mere
feeling, overlooking the intellectual perceptions on which this
feeling is based, we overlook and leave out of the account, the chief
elements of the process. The moral faculty is no longer a cognitive
power, no longer, in truth, a faculty. The distinctions which it
seems to recognize are merely _subjective_; impressions, feelings,
to which there may, or may not, be a corresponding reality. We have
at least no evidence of any such reality. Such a view subtracts the
very foundation of morals. Our feelings vary; but right and wrong do
not vary with our feelings. They are objective realities, and not
subjective phenomena. As such, the mind, by virtue of the natural
powers with which it is endowed by the Creator, recognizes them. The
power by which it gives this, we call the _moral faculty_; just as
we call its power to take cognizance of another class of truths and
relations, viz., the beautiful, its _æsthetic_ faculty. In view of
these truths and relations, as thus perceived, certain feelings are,
in either case, awakened, and these emotions may, with propriety, be
regarded as pertaining to, and a part of, the phenomena of conscience,
and of taste; the full discussion of either of these faculties will
include the action of the sensibilities; but in neither case will a
true psychology resolve the faculty into the feeling. The mathematician
experiences a certain feeling of delight in perceiving the relation
of lines and angles, but the power of perceiving that relation, the
faculty by which the mind takes cognizance of such truth, is not to be
resolved into the feeling that results from it.

_Result of Analysis._--As the result of our analysis, we obtain the
following elements as involved in, and constituting, an operation of
the moral faculty:

(1.) The mental perception that a given act is right or wrong.

(2.) The perception of obligation with respect to the same, as right or

(3.) The perception of merit or demerit, and the consequent approbation
or censure of the agent, as doing the right or the wrong thus perceived.

(4.) Accompanying these intellectual perceptions, and based upon them,
certain corresponding emotions, varying in intensity according to the
clearness of the mental perceptions, and the purity of the moral nature.

II. _Authority of Conscience._--Thus far we have considered
the _nature_ of conscience. The question arises now as to its
_authority_--the reliableness of its decisions.

If conscience correctly discerns the right and the wrong and the
consequent obligation, it will be likely to judge correctly as to the
deserts of the doer. If it mistake these points, it may approve what is
not worthy of approval, and condemn what is good.

_What Evidence of Correctness._--How are we to know, then, whether
conscience judges right? What voucher have we for its correctness?
How far is it to be trusted in its perceptions and decisions? Perhaps
we are so constituted, it may be said, as invariably to judge that to
be right which is wrong, and the reverse, and so to approve where we
should condemn. True, we reply, this may be so. It may be that I am so
constituted, that two and two shall _seem_ to be four, when in reality
they are five; and that the three angles of a triangle shall _seem_ to
be equal to two right angles, when in reality they are equal to three.
This may be so. Still it is a presumption in favor of the correctness
of all our natural perceptions, that they are the operation of original
principles of our constitution. It is not probable, to say the least,
that we are so constituted by the great Author of our being, as to be
habitually deceived. It may be that the organs of vision and hearing
are absolutely false; that the things which we see, and hear, and
feel, through the medium of the senses, have no correspondence to our
supposed perceptions. But this is not a probable supposition. He who
denies the validity of the natural faculties, has the burden of proof;
and proof is of course impossible; for the simple reason, that, in
order to prove them false, you must make use of these very faculties;
and if their testimony is not reliable in the one case, certainly it
is not in the other. We must then take their veracity for granted; and
we have the right to do so. And so of our moral nature. It comes from
the Author of our being, and if it is uniformly and originally wrong,
then he is wrong. It is an error, which, in the nature of the case, can
never be detected or corrected. We cannot get beyond our constitution,
back of our natural endowments, to judge, _à priori_, and from an
external position, whether they are correct or not. Right and wrong are
not, indeed, the creations of the divine will; but the faculties by
which we perceive and approve the right, and condemn the wrong, are
from him; and we must presume upon their general correctness.

_Not infallible._--It does not follow from this, however, nor do we
affirm, that conscience is infallible, that she never errs. It does
not follow that our moral perceptions and judgments are invariably
correct, because they spring from our native constitution. This is not
so. There is not one of the faculties of the human mind that is not
liable to err. Not one of its activities is infallible. The reasoning
power sometimes errs; the judgment errs; the memory errs. The moral
faculty is on the same footing, in this respect, with any and all other

_Its Value not thus destroyed._--But of what use, it will be said, is
a moral faculty, on which, after all, we cannot rely? Of what use, we
reply, is _any_ mental faculty, that is not absolutely and universally
correct? Of what use is a memory or a judgment, that sometimes errs?
We do not wholly distrust these faculties, or cast them aside as
worthless. A time-keeper may be of great value, though not absolutely
perfect. Its authorship and original construction may be a strong
presumption in favor of its general correctness; nevertheless its hands
may have been accidentally set to the wrong hour of the day.

_Actual Occurrence of such Cases._--This is a spectacle that not
unfrequently presents itself in the moral world--a man with his
conscience pointing to the wrong hour; a strictly conscientious man,
fully and firmly persuaded that he is right, yet by no means agreeing
with the general convictions of mankind; an hour or two before, or, it
may be, as much behind the age. Such men are the hardest of all mortals
to be set right, for the simple reason, that they are conscientious.
"Here is my watch; it points to such an hour; and my watch is from the
very best maker. I cannot be mistaken." And yet he is mistaken, and
egregiously so. The truth is, conscience is no more infallible than
any other mental faculty. It is simply, as we have seen, a power of
perceiving and judging, and its operations, like all other perceptions
and judgments, are liable to error.

_Diversity of Moral Judgment._--And this which we have just said, goes
far to account for the great diversity that has long been known to
exist in the moral judgments and opinions of men. It has often been
urged, and with great force, against the supposed existence of a moral
faculty in man, as a part of his original nature, that men think and
act so differently with respect to these matters. Nature, it is said,
ought to act uniformly; thus eyes and ears do not give essentially
conflicting testimony, at different times, and in different countries,
with respect to the same objects. Certain colors are universally
pleasing, and certain sounds disagreeable. But not so, it is said,
with respect to the moral judgments of men. What one approves, another
condemns. If these distinctions are universal, absolute, essential; and
if the power of perceiving them is inherent in our nature, men ought to
agree in their perception of them. Yet you will find nothing approved
by one age and people, which is not condemned by some other; nay, the
very crimes of one age and nation, are the religious acts of another.
If the perception of right and wrong is intuitive, how happens this

_This Diversity accounted for._--To which I reply, the thing has been
already accounted for. Our ideas of right and wrong, it was stated,
in discussing their origin, depend on circumstances for their time
and degree of development. They are not irrespective of opportunity.
Education, habits, laws, customs, while they do not originate, still
have much to do with the development and modification of these
ideas. They may be by these influences aided or retarded in their
growth, or even quite misdirected, just as a tree may, by unfavorable
influences, be hindered and thwarted in its growth, be made to turn and
twist, and put forth abnormal and monstrous developments. Yet nature
works there, nevertheless, and in spite of all such obstacles, and
unfavorable circumstances, seeks to put forth, according to her laws,
her perfect and finished work. All that we contend is, that nature,
under favorable circumstances, develops in the human mind, the idea of
moral distinctions, while, at the same time, _men may differ much in
their estimate of what is right, and what is wrong_, according to the
circumstances and influences right and wrong to particular cases, and
decide as to the morality of given actions, is an office of judgment,
and the judgment may err in this, as in any other of its operations.
It may be biassed by unfavorable influences, by wrong education, wrong
habits, and the like.

_Analogy of other Faculties._--The same is true, substantially, of
all other natural faculties and their operations. They depend on
circumstances for the degree of their development, and the mode of
their action. Hence they are liable to great diversity and frequent
error. Perception misleads us as to sensible objects, not seldom; even
in their mathematical reasonings, men do not always agree. There is
the greatest possible diversity among men, as to the retentiveness of
the memory, and as to the extent and power of the reasoning faculties.
The savage that thinks it no wrong to scalp his enemy, or even to
roast and eat him, is utterly unable to count twenty upon his fingers;
while the philosopher, who recognizes the duty of loving his neighbor
as himself, calculates, with precision, the motions of the heavenly
bodies, and predicts their place in the heaven, for ages to come. Shall
we conclude, because of this diversity, that these several faculties
are not parts of our nature?

_General Uniformity._--We are by no means disposed to admit, however,
that the diversity in men's moral judgments is so great, as might, at
first, appear. There is, on the contrary, a general uniformity. As to
the great essential principles of morals, men, after all, do judge much
alike, in different ages and different countries. In details, they
differ, in general principles, they agree. In the application of the
rules of morality to particular actions, they differ widely, according
to circumstances; in the recognition of the right and the wrong, as
distinctive principles, and of obligation to do the right as known, and
avoid the wrong as known, in this they agree. It must be remembered,
moreover, that men do not always act according to their own ideas of
right. From the general neglect of virtue, in any age or community, and
the prevalence of great and revolting crimes, we cannot safely infer
the absence, or even the perversion, of the moral faculty.

_Precisely in what the Diversity consists._--It is important to bear in
mind, throughout this discussion, the distinction between the _idea_
of right, in itself considered, and the _perception_ of a given act
as right; the one a simple conception, the other an act of judgment;
the one an idea derived from the very constitution of the mind,
connate, if not innate, the other an application of that idea, by the
understanding, to particular instances of conduct. The former, the
_idea_ of moral distinctions, may be universal, necessary, absolute,
unerring; the latter, the _application_ of the idea to particular
instances, and the decision that such and such acts are, or are not,
right, may be altogether an incorrect and mistaken judgment. Now it is
precisely at this point that the diversity in the moral judgments of
mankind makes its appearance. In recognizing the distinction of right
and wrong, they agree; in the application of the same to particular
instances in deciding _what_ is right and _what_ is wrong--a simple act
of the judgment, an exercise of the understanding, as we have seen--in
this it is that they differ. And the difference is no greater, and no
more inexplicable, with respect to this, than in any other class of

_Conscience not always a safe Guide._--I have admitted that conscience
is not infallible. Is it, then, a safe guide? Are we, in all cases to
follow its decisions? Since liable to err, it cannot be, in itself, I
reply, in all cases, a safe guide. We cannot conclude, with certainty,
that a given course is right, simply because conscience approves it.
This does not, of necessity, follow. The decision that a given act is
right, or not, is simply a matter of judgment; and the judgment may,
or may not, be correct. That depends on circumstances, on education
partly, on the light we have, be it more or less. Conscientious men
are not always in the right. We may do wrong conscientiously. Saul of
Tarsus was a conscientious persecutor, and verily thought he was doing
God service. No doubt, many of the most intolerant and relentless
bigots have been equally conscientious, and equally mistaken. Such men
are all the more dangerous, because doing what they believe to be right.

_It is, nevertheless, to be followed._--What, then, are we to do? Shall
we follow a guide thus liable to err? Yes, I reply, follow conscience;
but see that it be a right and well-informed conscience, forming its
judgments, not from impulse, passion, prejudice, the bias of habit,
or of unreflecting custom, but from the clearest light of reason, and
especially of the divine word. We are responsible for the judgments we
form in morals, as much as for any class of our judgments; responsible,
in other words, for the sort of conscience we have. Saul's mistake lay,
not in acting according to his conscientious convictions of duty, but
in not having a more enlightened conscience. He should have formed a
more careful judgment; have inquired more diligently after the right
way. To say, however, that a man ought not to do what conscience
approves, is to say that he ought not to do what he sincerely believes
to be right. This would be a very strange rule in morals.

_Conscience not exclusively intellectual._--I have discussed, as
I proposed, the _nature_ and _authority_ of conscience. In this
discussion I have treated of the moral faculty as an intellectual,
rather than an emotional power I would not be understood, however, as
implying that conscience has not also an emotional character. Every
intellectual act, and faculty of action, partakes more or less of this
character, is accompanied by feeling, and these feelings are in some
degree peculiar, it may be, to the particular faculty or act of mind
to which they relate. The exercise of imagination involves some degree
of feeling, either pleasurable or painful, and that often in a high
degree; so also the æsthetic faculty. It is peculiarly so with the
exercise of the moral faculty. As already stated, in our analysis of an
act of conscience, it is impossible to view our past conduct as right
or wrong, and to approve or condemn ourselves accordingly, without
emotion; and these emotions will vary in intensity, according to the
clearness and force of our intellectual conception of the merit or
demerit of our conduct.

These feelings constitute an important part of the phenomena of moral
action, and consequently of psychology; as they belong, however, to the
department of _sensibility_, rather than of _intellect_, their further
discussion is not here in place. They will be considered in connection
with other emotions in the subsequent division of the work.





Closely connected with the philosophy of human intelligence is the
science of _instinct_, or the intelligence of the brute--a subject of
interest not merely in its relations to psychology, but to some other
sciences, as natural history, and theology.

_We work at a Disadvantage in such Inquiries._--With regard to this
matter, it must be confessed, at the outset, that we work, in some
respects, in the dark, in our inquiries and speculations concerning it.
It lies wholly removed from the sphere of consciousness. We can only
observe, compare, and infer, and our conclusions thus derived must be
liable, after all, to error. The operations of our own minds we know
by the clearest and surest of all sources of knowledge, viz., our own
consciousness; the operation of brute intelligence must ever be in
great measure unknown and a mystery to us. How far the two resemble
each other, and how far they differ, it is not easy to determine, not
easy to draw the dividing line, and say where brute intelligence stops
and human intelligence begins.

_Method proposed._--Let us first define instinct, the term usually
applied to denote brute intelligence, and ascertain, if possible, what
are its peculiar characteristics; we may then be able to determine
wherein it differs from intelligence in man.

_Definition._--I understand, by instinct, a law of action, governing
and directing the movement of sentient beings--distinct, on the
one hand, from the mere blind forces of matter, as attraction,
etc., and from reason on the other; a law working to a given end by
impulse, yet blindly--the subject not knowing why he thus works;
a law innate, inherent in the constitution of the animal, not
acquired but transmitted, the origin of which is to be found in the
intelligent author of the universe. These I take to be the principal
characteristics of that which we term instinct.

_Instinct a Law._--It is a _law of action_. In obedience to it the bee
constructs her comb, and the ant her chambers, and the bird her nest;
and in obedience to it, the animal, of whatever species, seeks that
particular kind of food which is intended and provided for it. These
are merely instances of the operation of that law. The uniformity and
universality which characterize the operations of this principle, show
it to be a law of action, and not a merely casual occurrence.

_Works by Impulse._--It is a law _working by impulse_, not mechanical
or automatic, on the one hand, nor yet rational on the other. The
impelling or motive force, in the case supposed, is not that of a
weight acting upon machinery, or any like mechanical principle, nor yet
the reflex action of a nerve when irritated, or the spasmodic action of
a muscle. It is not analogous to the influence of gravitation on the
purely passive forms of matter. Nor yet is it that higher principle
which we term reason in man. The bird constructs her nest as she does,
and the bee her cell, in obedience to some blind yet powerful and
unfailing _impulse_ of her nature, guiding and directing her movements,
prompting to action, and to this specific form of action, with a
restless yearning, unsatisfied until the end is accomplished. Yet the
creature does not herself understand the law by which she works. The
bee does not know that she constructs her comb at that precise angle
which will afford the greatest content in the least space, does not
know why she constructs it at that precise angle, could give no reason
for her procedure, even were she capable of understanding our question.
It is not with her a matter of reflection, nor of reason, at all, but
merely of blind, unthinking, yet unerring impulse.

_As innate._--This law is _innate_, _inherent_ in the constitution of
the animal, _not acquired_. It is not the result of education. The
bird does not learn to build her nest, nor the bee her comb, nor the
ant her subterranean chambers, by observing how the parent works and
builds. Removed from all opportunities of observation or instruction,
the untaught animal still performs its mission, constructs its nest or
cell, and does it as perfectly in solitude as among its fellows, as
perfectly on the first attempt as ever after. Whatever intelligence
there is involved in these labors and constructions, and certainly
the very highest intelligence would seem, in many instances, to be
concerned in them, is an intelligence transmitted, and not acquired,
the origin of which is to be sought, ultimately, not in the creature
itself, but in the Author of all intelligence, the Creator of the
universe. The intelligence is that not of the creature, but of the

_Manifests itself irrespective of Circumstance._--It is to be further
observed, with respect to the principle under consideration, that it
often manifests its peculiar tendencies prior to the development of
the appropriate organs. The young calf butts with its head before its
horns are grown. The instinctive impulse manifests itself, also, under
circumstances which render its action no longer needful. The beaver
caught and confined in a room, constructs its dam, as aforetime,
with whatsoever materials it can command, although, in its present
circumstances, such a structure is of no possible use. These facts
evidently indicate the presence and action of an impulse working
blindly, without reflection, without reason, without intelligence, on
the part of the animal.

_Indications of Contrivance._--On the other hand, there are instances
of brute action which seem to indicate contrivance and adaptation to
circumstances. The bee compelled to construct her comb in an unusual
and unsafe position, steadies it by constructing a brace of wax-work
between the side that inclines and the nearest wall of the hive. The
spider, in like manner, whose web is in danger, runs a line, from
the part exposed to the severest strain or pressure, to the nearest
point of support, in such a manner as to secure the slender fabric. A
bird has been known, in like manner, to support a bough, which proved
too frail to sustain the weight of the nest, and of her young, by
connecting it, with a thread, to a stronger branch above.

_These Facts do not prove Reason._--Facts of this nature, however
interesting, and well authenticated, must be regarded rather as
exceptions to the ordinary rule, the nearest approach which mere
instinct has been known to make toward the dividing line that separates
the brute from the human intelligence. They do not, in themselves,
prove the existence of reason, of a discriminating and reflecting
intelligence, on the part of the animal; for the same law of nature
that impels the creature to build its nest or its comb, under ordinary
circumstances, in the ordinary manner, may certainly be supposed
to be capable of inducing a change of operation to meet a sudden
exigency, and one liable at any time to occur. It is certainly not
more wonderful, nor so wonderful, that the bee should be induced to
brace her comb, or the spider her web, when in danger, as that either
should be able to construct her edifice originally, at the precise
angle employed. It must be remembered, moreover, that, in the great
majority of cases, brute instinct shows no such capacity of adaptation
to circumstances.

_The Question before us._--We are ready now to inquire how far that
which we call instinct in the brute, differs from that which we call
intelligence in man. Is it a difference in _kind_, or only in _degree_?
A glance at the history of the doctrine may aid us here.

_Early Views._--From Aristotle to Descartes, philosophers took
the latter view. They ascribed to the brute a degree of reason,
such as would be requisite in man, were he to do the same things,
and proceeding on this principle, they attributed to animals
an intelligence proportioned to the wants of their nature and
organization. This principle, it need hardly be said, is an assumption.
It is not certain that the same action proceeds from the same principle
in man, and in the brute; that whatever indicates and involves
intelligence and reason, in the one case, as its source, involves the
same in the other. This is a virtual _petitio principii_. It assumes
the very point in question. It may be that what man does by virtue of
an intelligent, reflecting, rational soul, looking before and after,
the brute does by virtue of entirely a different principle, a mere
unintelligent impulse of his nature, a blind sensation, prompting him
to a given course. This is the question to be settled, the thing to be
proved or disproved. And if the view already given of the character of
brute instinct, is correct, the position now stated as possible, may be
regarded as virtually established.

_View of Descartes._--Descartes, perceiving the error of previous
philosophers, went to the opposite extreme, and resolved the instinct
and action of the brute into mere mechanism, a principle little
different from that by which the weight moves the hands of the clock.
The brute performs the functions of his nature and organization, just
as the puppet moves hither and thither by springs hidden within, of
which itself knows nothing. The bird, the bee, the ant, the spider,
are so organized, such is the hidden mechanism of their curious
nature, that at the proper times, and under the requisite conditions,
they shall build, each its own proper structure; and perform, each,
its own proper work and office. So doing, each moves automatically,

_Locke and his Disciples._--Differing, again, from this view, which
certainly ascribes too little, as the opposite theory ascribes too
much to the brute, Locke, Condillac, and their disciples in France
and England, took the ground that the actions of the brute which seem
to indicate intelligence, are to be ascribed to the power of habit,
and to the law of association. The faculties of the brute, as indeed
of man, resolve themselves ultimately into impressions from without.
Nothing is innate. The dog scents his prey, and the beaver builds his
dam, and the bird migrates to a warmer clime, from the mere force of
habit, unreflecting, unintelligent. But how, it may occur to some one
to ask, happens such a habit to be formed in the first place? How
happens the poor insect, just emerging from the egg, to find in himself
all requisite appliances and instruments for capturing his prey? How
happens the bee always, throughout all its generations, to hit upon the
same contrivance for storing its honey, and not only so, but to select
out of a thousand different forms, and different possible angles,
always the same one? And so of the ant, the spider, etc. And if this is
a matter of education, as it certainly is not, then how came the first
bee, the first ant, spider, or other insect, to hit upon so admirable
an expedient?

_The Scotch Philosophers._--On the other hand, Reid, Stewart, and
the Scotch philosophers generally, departing widely from the merely
mechanical view, have ascribed to instinct some actions which are
properly automatic and involuntary, as the shutting of the eyelid on
the approach of a foreign body, the action of the infant in obtaining
its food from the mother's breast, and certain other like movements
of the animal organization, which, according to recent discoveries in
physiology, are to be attributed, rather to the simple reflex action of
the nerves and muscles. This is not properly instinct.

_Question returns._--Among these several views, where then, lies
the truth? Unable to coincide with the merely mechanical theory of
Descartes, or with the view which resolves all into mere habit and
association, with Locke and Condillac, shall we fall back upon the
ancient, and for a long time universally prevalent, view which
makes instinct only a lower degree of that intelligence which, in
man becomes reason and reflection? This we are hardly prepared to
do. The well-known phenomena and laws of instinct, its essential
characteristics as developed in the preceding pages, seem to point to a
difference in kind and not merely in degree.

_Reasons for this Opinion._--_1. The Brute incapable of high
Cultivation._--To recapitulate briefly the points of difference: If
instinct in the brute were of the same nature with intelligence in
man, if it were, properly speaking, _intelligence_, the same in kind,
differing only in degree, then, it ought, as in man, to be capable of
cultivation to an indefinite extent, capable of being elevated, by due
process of training, to a degree very much superior to that in which it
first presents itself. Now, with certain insignificant exceptions, such
is certainly not the case. No amount of training or culture ever brings
the animal essentially above the ordinary range of brute capacity, or
approximates him to the level of the human species.

_2. Brute does not improve by Practice._--On this theory the brute
ought, moreover, to improve by practice, which, for the most part,
certainly he does not. The spider lays out its lines as accurately and
constructs its web as well, and the bee her comb, and the bird her
nest, on the first attempt, as after the twentieth or the fiftieth
trial. There is no progress, no improvement. Its skill, if such it may
be called, is a fixture. There is nothing of the nature of _science_
about it, for it is of the essential nature of all intelligent action
to improve.

_3. Does not adapt itself to Circumstances._--If it were of the nature
of intelligence, it ought uniformly and invariably to adapt itself to
changing circumstances, and not to keep on working blindly in the old
way, when such procedure is no longer of use. It is not intelligence,
but mere blind impulse, in the beaver, that leads him to build his dam
on a dry floor or the pavement of a court-yard.

_4. Opposite View proves too much._--It is furthermore to be noticed,
that the theory under consideration, while it ascribes to the brute
only a lower degree of intelligence, in reality places him, in some
respects, far beyond man in point of intellect. If the instinct of
the brute be intelligence at all, it is intelligence which leaves his
prouder rival, man, in many cases, quite in the shade. No science of
man can vie with the mathematical precision of the spider or the bee
in the practical construction of lines and planes that shall enclose
a given angle. The engineer must take lessons of the ant in the art
of running lines and parallels. To the same humble insect belongs
the invention of the arch and of the dome in architecture. Many of
the profoundest questions and problems of science are in like manner
virtually solved by those creatures that possess, it is claimed, only
a _lower degree_ of intelligence than man. The facts are inconsistent
with the theory. The theory either goes too far, or not far enough. If
instinct is intelligence at all, it is intelligence, in some respects
at least, _superior_ to man's.

For reasons now stated, we must conclude that the intelligence of the
brute differs in _kind_, and not in _degree_ merely, from that of man.

_Faculties wanting in the Brute._--If now the inquiry be raised,
what are the specific faculties which are wanting in the brute, but
possessed by man, in other words, where runs the dividing line which
marks off the domain of instinct from that of intellect, we reply,
beginning with the differences which are most obvious, the brute is,
in the first place, not a _moral_ and _religious_ being. He has no
moral nature, no ideas of right and justice, none of accountability,
and of a higher power. He is, moreover, not an _æsthetic_ being. He has
no taste for beauty, nor appreciation of it. The horse, with all his
apparent intelligence, looks out upon the most enchanting landscape as
unmoved by its beauty as the carriage which he draws. He has no idea,
no cognizance of the beautiful. The faculty of original conception,
which furnishes man with ideas of this nature, seems to be wanting
in the brute. He is, furthermore, not a _scientific_ being. He does
not understand the principles by which he himself works. He makes no
progress or improvement, accordingly, in the application of those
principles, but works as well first as last. He learns nothing by
experience. Certain grand rules and principles do indeed lie at the
foundation of his work, but they have no _subjective_ existence in the
brute himself. Now the faculties which constitute man a scientific
being are those which, in the present treatise, we have grouped
together under the title of _reflective_. These seem to be wanting in
the brute. He never classifies, nor analyzes, never forms abstract
conceptions, never generalizes, judges, nor reasons, never reflects
on what is passing around him; never, in the true sense of the word,

_Further Deficiency._--Here many, perhaps most, who have reflected
upon the matter at all, would place the dividing line between man and
the brute, denying him the possession of reason and reflection, the
higher intellectual powers, but allowing him the other faculties which
man enjoys. We must go further, however, and exclude imagination from
the list of brute faculties. Having no idea of the beautiful, nor any
power of forming abstract conceptions, the _ideals_, according to which
imagination shapes its creations, are wholly wanting, and imagination
itself, the faculty of the ideal, must also be wanting.

_The Power to perceive and remember._--But has the brute the power
of perception and memory, the only two distinct remaining faculties
of the human mind? If we distinguish, as we must, the physical from
the strictly intellectual element, in perception by the senses,
the capacity to receive impressions of sense, from the capacity to
_understand_ and _know_ the object, as such, from which the impressions
proceed, while we must admit the former, we should question the
existence of the latter in the brute. To know or understand the objects
of sense, to distinguish them as such, from each other, and from self
as the perceiving subject, is an attribute of intelligence in its
strict and proper sense, an attribute of mind. If the brute possesses
it, he possesses as really a mind, though not of so high an order, as

_The dividing Line._--Now it is just here that we are compelled to
place the line of division between the brute and man, between instinct
and intellect. The brute has senses, as man; in some respects, indeed,
more perfect than his. Objects external make impressions upon his
senses; his eye, his ear, his various organs of sense, respond to these
impressions. In a word, he has sensations, and those sensations are
accompanied, as all sensations in their nature are, and must be, with
consciousness, that is, they are felt. But this does not necessarily
involve what we understand by consciousness in its higher sense, or
_self-consciousness_. The brute has, we believe, no knowledge of
himself as such, no _self-consciousness_, properly speaking; does not
distinguish between self as perceiving, and the object as perceived,
has no conception of self as a separate existence distinct from the
objects around him, has, strictly speaking, no ideas, no thoughts,
no intelligent comprehension of objects about him; has _sensations_,
but no _perceptions_ in the true sense of the word, since perception
involves the distinction of subject and object, or self-consciousness.
These distinctions are lost to the brute, blindly merged in the one
simple consciousness of physical sensation. He feels, but does not
think, does not understand. Sensation takes the place of understanding
and reason with him. It is his guide. To the impressions thus received,
his nature blindly responds, he knows not how or why. He is so
constituted by his wise and benevolent Maker, that sensation being
awakened, the impulses of his nature at once spring into play, and
prompt irresistibly to action, and to such action as shall meet the
wants of the being. There is no need for intelligence to supervene, as
with man. The brute feels and _acts_. Man feels, _thinks_, and acts.
The Creator has provided, for, the former, a substitute which takes
the place of intellect, and secures by blind, yet unerring impulse,
the simple ends which correspond to his simpler necessities, and his
humbler sphere.

_Man's Superiority._--Herein lies man's mastership and dominion over
the brute. He has what the brute has not, intellect, mind, the power of
thought, the power to understand and know. Just so far as he fails to
grasp this high prerogative, just so far as he is governed by sensation
and its corresponding impulses, rather than by intelligence and reason,
just in such degree he lays aside his superiority, and sinks to the
sphere of the brute. Thus, in infancy and early life, there is little
difference. Thus, many savage and uneducated races never rise far above
the brute capacity, are mere creatures of sensation, impulse, instinct.

_In one Respect inferior._--In one respect, indeed, man, destitute
of intelligence or failing to govern himself by its precepts, sinks
_below_ the brute. He has not the substitute for intelligence which the
brute has, has not instinct to guide him, and teach him the true and
proper bounds of indulgence, but giving way to passion and inclination,
without restraint, presents that most melancholy spectacle on which the
sun, in all his course, ever looks down, a man under the dominion of
his own appetites, incapable of self-government, lost to all nobleness,
all virtue, all self-respect.

_Memory in the Brute._--It may still be asked, does not the brute
_remember_? It is the office of memory to replace or represent what
has been once felt or perceived. It simply reproduces, in thought,
what has once passed before the mind. It originates nothing. Whatever,
then, of intelligence was involved in the original act of perception
and sensation, so much and no more is involved in the replacing
those sensations and perceptions. If in the original act there was
nothing but simple sensation, without intellectual apprehension of
the object, without self-consciousness or distinction of subject from
object, then, of course, nothing more than this will be subsequently
reproduced. Mere images or phantasms of sensible objects may reappear,
as shadows flicker and dance upon the wall, or as such images flit
before us in our dreams. The memory of the brute is, probably, of this
nature, rather a sort of dream than a distinct conception of past
events. What was not clearly apprehended at first, will not be better
understood now. Failing, in the first instance, to distinguish self
from the object external, as the source of impressions, there can be no
_recognition_ of that distinction when the object reappears, if it ever
should, in conception. The essential element of memory, which connects
the object or event of former perception with _self_ as the percipient,
must, in such a case, be wanting.

_The Brute associates rather than remembers._--What is usually
called memory in the brute, is not, however, so much his capacity of
conceiving of an absent object of sense, as his recognition of the
object when again actually present to his senses. The dog manifests
pleasure at the appearance of his master, and the horse chooses the
road that leads to his former home. This is not so much memory as
association of ideas or rather of feelings. Certain feelings and
sensations are associated, confusedly blended, with certain objects.
The reappearance of the objects, of course, reawakens the former
feelings. Thus, the whip is associated with the sensation experienced
in connection with it. So, too, a horse which has once been frightened
by some object beside the road, will manifest fear on subsequently
approaching the same place, although the same object may no longer
be there. The surrounding objects which still remain, and which
were associated with the more immediate object of fear in the first
instance, are sufficient to awaken, on their reappearance, the former
unpleasant sensations.

A being endowed with intelligence and reason would connect the
recurring object, in such a case, with his own former experience as the
perceiving subject, would recall the time and the circumstances of the
event and its connection with his personal history. This would be,
properly, an act of memory.

But there is no reason to suppose that such a process takes place with
the brute. We have no evidence of any thing more, in his case, than the
recurrence of the associated conception or sensation, along with the
recurrence of the object which formerly produced it. Given, the object
_a_, accompanied with surrounding objects _b, c, d_, and there is
produced a given sensation, _y_. Given, again, at some subsequent time,
the same object _a_, or any one of the associate objects _b, c, d_, and
there is at once awakened a lively conception of the same sensation _y_.

_Summary of Results._--This is, I think, all we can, with any
certainty, attribute to the brute. He has sensations, and so far as
mere sense is concerned, perceptions of objects, as connected with
those sensations, but not perception in the true sense as involving
intellectual apprehension. These sensations and confused perceptions
recur, perhaps, as images or conceptions, in the absence of the
objects that gave rise to them, and as thus reappearing, constitute
what we may call the memory of the brute; but not, as with us, a
memory which connects the object or event with his own former history,
and the idea of a personal self as the percipient. Let the object,
however, reappear, and the previous sensation associated therewith, is

This, I am aware, is not the view most commonly entertained of brute
intelligence. We naturally conceive of the brute as possessing
faculties similar to our own. The brute, in turn, were he capable
of forming such a conception, would, probably, conceive of man, as
endowed with capacities like his own. In neither case is this the right



_Statement._--There are certain mental phenomena connected with the
relation which the mind sustains to the nervous organism, and depending
intimately on the state of that organism, which seem to require the
notice of the psychologist, though often overlooked by him; I refer
to the phenomena of sleep, dreams, somnambulism, and insanity. So far
as the activity of the mind is involved in these states or phenomena,
they become proper objects of psychological inquiry. They present
many problems difficult of solution, yet not the less curious and
interesting, as phases of mental activity hitherto little understood.

_View sometimes taken by Physiologists._--It becomes the more important
for the psychologist to investigate these phenomena, inasmuch as
views and theories little accordant with the true philosophy of the
mind have sometimes been put forth by physiologists, in attempting
to explain the phenomena in question. They have viewed the cerebral
apparatus as competent of itself to produce the phenomena of
thought, as _self-acting_, in the absence of the higher principle of
intelligence which usually governs its operations, carrying on by a
sort of automatic action, the processes usually ascribed to the mind
or spiritual principle, while consciousness and volition are entirely
suspended. Consciousness, in fact, is nothing but sensation, and
thought a mere function of the brain. This is downright materialism,
a doctrine utterly subversive of the very existence of that which we
call mind or soul in man. If the cerebral organization is competent
of itself during sleep to carry on those operations which in waking
moments are ascribed to the spiritual element of our being, if thought
is a function of the brain, as digestion is of the stomach, what need
and what evidence of any thing more than merely cerebral action at any
time? What, in fact, is the mind itself but cerebral activity, and what
is man, with all his higher powers, but a mere animated organism?

It becomes important, then, to account for the phenomena under
consideration in some way more consistent with all just and true
notions of the nature and philosophy of mind.

_Distinction of normal and abnormal States._--Of these phenomena, while
all may be regarded as intimately connected with and dependent on the
state of the brain and nervous system, some seem to proceed from a
normal, others from an abnormal and disordered state of the nervous and
particularly the cerebral organism. Of the former class, are sleep and
dreams; of the latter, somnambulism, the mesmeric state, so called, and
the various forms of disordered mental action, or insanity.

§ I.--SLEEP.

_Meaning of the Term._--What is sleep? Will the name itself afford any
solution of this problem? Like most names of familiar things, we find
the word descriptive of some particular circumstance or phase, some
one prominent characteristic of the thing in question, rather than a
_definition_--much less an explanation--of the thing itself.

The word sleep, from _schlafen_, as the Latin _somnus_ from _supinus_,
refers to the supine condition and appearance of the body when in this
state; the relaxing of the muscles the falling back or sinking down of
the frame, if unsupported. This is the first and most obvious effect to
the eye of an observer, of the condition of sleep as regards the body.
Further than this the word gives us no light.

1. _Sleep involves primarily Loss of Consciousness._--What then,
further than this, is sleep? If we observe somewhat closely, and with a
view to scientific arrangement, the different aspects or phenomena that
present themselves as constituting that state of body and mind which we
call sleep, the primary and most obvious fact, I apprehend, is _loss of
consciousness_, of _the me_. Not perhaps of all consciousness, for we
seem still to exist, but of self-consciousness, of the me as related to
time, and place, and external circumstance We _lose ourselves_, as a
common but most exact expression describes it.

_We are not at the Time aware of this Loss._--Of course, sleep
consisting primarily in loss of consciousness, we are not conscious
of the fact that we sleep, for this would be a _consciousness_ that
we were unconscious. Illustrations of this fact are of frequent
occurrence. You are of an evening getting weary over your book. You are
vaguely conscious of that weariness, amounting even to drowsiness; you
find it difficult to follow the course of thought, or even to keep the
line, but have no idea that you are at length actually asleep for the
moment, till the sudden fall of the book awakens you. Nay, one who has
been vigorously nodding for five minutes will, on recovering himself,
stoutly deny that he has really been asleep at all; the truth is, he
was not _conscious_ of it; we never are, directly.

_This results from what?_--This loss of consciousness results from the
inactivity of the bodily senses. It is these that afford us the data
for a knowledge of self in relation to external things. In sleep these
avenues of communication with the external world are shut up, and we
silently drop off, and, as it were, float away from all _conscious_
connection with it. We no longer recognize our relations to time and
space, nor even to our own bodies, which, as material, come under those
relations; for it is by the senses alone that we get these ideas. So
far as consciousness of these relations is concerned, we exist in
sleep as in death, out of the laws and limits of time and space, and
irrespective of the body and of all material existence. Mental action,
however, doubtless goes on, and we are conscious of thought and of the
feeling of the moment, but of nothing further. All self-consciousness
is gone.

_An Affection primarily of the nervous System._--Sleep, then, would
seem to be primarily an affection of the nervous system; not of the
reproductive--that goes on as usual, and even with increased vigor; nor
yet of the muscular--that is still capable of action; but only of the
nervous. That gets weary; by continued use, its vital active force is
exhausted, it needs rest, becomes inactive, gradually drops off, and so
there results this loss of consciousness, of which I have spoken. It is
strictly, then, the nervous system, and not the whole body that sleeps.

_Different Senses fall Asleep successively._--The different senses
become inactive and fall asleep, not all at once, but successively.
First, sight goes. The eye-lids droop, and close. Taste and smell
probably next. Touch, and hearing, are among the last to give way.
Hence, noises so easily disturb us, when falling asleep. Hence, too, we
are most easily awaked by some one repeating our name, or by some one
touching us. These senses are also the first to waken. One sense may be
asleep and another awake. You may still hear what one is saying that
sits near you, when already the eye is asleep. So in death, one _hears_
when no longer able to see or to speak.

2. _Loss of personal Control._--Accompanying this loss of
self-consciousness is the loss of _personal control_, _i. e._, the
control of the will over the bodily organization. This follows from
the inactivity of the senses and of the nervous system, for it is only
through that, and not by direct agency of the will, that we, at any
time, exert voluntary power over the body. When that system becomes
exhausted, and its force is spent, so that it can no longer furnish the
motive power, nor execute the commands of the higher intelligence the
will no longer maintains its empire over the physical organization, its
little realm of matter, its control is suspended, its sceptre falls,
and it realizes for the time the story of the enchanted palace on which
a magic spell had fallen, suddenly arresting the busy tide of life,
and sealing up, on the instant, the senses of king, courtiers, and
attendants, in the unbroken sleep of ages.

_Indications of approaching Sleep._--One of the first indications,
accordingly, of the approach of sleep, is the relaxing of the muscles,
the drooping of the eye-lid, the dropping of the head and of the arm,
the sinking down of the body from an erect to a supine position. If
in church, the head seeks the friendly support of the pew in front,
fortunate if it can secure itself there from the still further demands
of gravitation.

_Analogous Cases._--In respect to the point now under consideration,
the loss of control over the physical frame, the phenomena of sleep
closely resemble those of intoxication, and of fainting; and for the
same reason, in either case, _i. e._, the inactivity of the nervous
system, which is the medium of voluntary power over the body. That
inactivity of the nervous system is produced in the one case by
natural, in the other by unnatural causes, but the direct effect is the
same as regards the loss of voluntary power. The same effects are also
produced in certain diseases, and eventually by death.

3. _Loss of Control over the Mind._--Analogous to this is the loss of
voluntary control over the mental operations, which is in fact, so far
as the mind is concerned, the essential feature and characteristic
of sleep. Mental action still goes on, there is reason to suppose;
in many cases we know that it does; but the thoughts come and go at
their own pleasure, without regulation or control. It is not in our
power to arrest a certain thought, and fix our minds upon it for the
time, to the exclusion of others, as we can do in the waking moments,
and which constitutes, in fact, the chief control and power we have
over our thoughts, nor can we dismiss, and throw off, an unpleasant
train of thought, a disagreeable impression, however much we may
desire to be rid of it. We are at the mercy of our own thoughts and
casual associations, which, in the ungoverned, spontaneous play of the
mind's own inherent energy, and guided only by its own native laws,
produce the wildest and strangest phantasmagoria, having to us all the
semblance of reality, while we are, in truth, mere passive spectators
of the scene.

_Faculties of Mind not suspended in Sleep._--It has been supposed by
some that the faculties of the mind are, in part or wholly, suspended
in sleep, especially the higher faculties more immediately dependent
on the will. So long as mental activity goes on, however,--and there
is no evidence that it ever entirely ceases in sleep--so long there is
thought, and so long must that thought and activity be exerted in some
particular direction, and on some particular object. We cannot conceive
of the mind as acting or thinking, and not exercising any of its
faculties, for what is a faculty of the mind but its capacity of acting
in this or that way or mode, and on this or that class of subjects.
It may be perception, or conception, or memory, or imagination, or
judgment, or reasoning, or any other faculty that is for the moment
active; it _must_ be some one of the known faculties of the mind,
unless, indeed, we suppose some new faculties to be then developed, of
whose existence we are at other times unconscious.

_Mental Action modified by certain Causes in Sleep._--The faculties
will, however, be materially modified in their action during sleep,
by the causes already named; chiefly these two: 1st. the entire
suspension of voluntary control over the train of thought; 2d. the
loss of personal consciousness as regards especially the bodily
organization, and its present relations to time, and space, and all
sensible objects. In consequence of the _former_ our thoughts will come
and go all unregulated and disconnected; there will be no coherence;
the slightest analysis will suffice for the associating principle; we
shall be hurried on and borne away on the rushing tide of thought, as
a frail passive leaf swept on the bosom of the rapids; we shall whirl
hither and thither as in the dance of the witches; we shall waken in
confusion, and seek to recover the reins of self-control, only to lose
them again and be swept on in the fearful dance.

_Want of Congruity owing to what._--In consequence of the _latter_
cause--the loss of sensational consciousness and of our relations to
sensible objects--there will be an entire want of fitness and congruity
in our mental operations. The laws of time, and space, and personal
identity, will be altogether disregarded, and we shall not be conscious
of the incongruity, nor wonder at the strangest and most contradictory
combinations. Here, there, everywhere, now this and now that. The scene
is in the valley of the Connecticut, and anon on the Ural mountains,
or the desert of Arabia, and we do not notice the change as any thing
at all remarkable. Now we are walking up the aisle of the church, in
garments all too scanty for the proprieties of the occasion, and now
it is a wild bull that is racing after us, and the transition from
one to the other is instantaneous. Why should it not be, for it is by
the senses alone that we are brought into conscious relation to the
external world, and so made cognizant of the laws of time and space,
and those senses being now locked in oblivion, what are time and space
to us?

_The Causes now named a sufficient Explanation of the Phenomena._--The
causes already named will sufficiently account for the strange and
distorted action of the various mental faculties as exercised in sleep.
Memory, _e. g._, will give us the past with _variations_ ad libitum;
things will appear to us, and events will seem to transpire, and forms
and faces familiar will look out upon us, not as they really are, or
ever were. We talk with a former friend, without the thought once
occurring to us that he has been dead these many years. Impression
there is, feeling, idea, fancy, association of all these, but hardly
memory, or even imagination, much less judgment or reasoning. So it
would seem at first. A closer inspection, however, will show us that
there is in reality, in this spontaneous play of the mind, the exercise
of all these faculties, only so modified by causes now named as to
present strange and uncouth results.

_Mental Faculties not immediately dependent on the Will._--If any of
the mental faculties can be shown to be entirely dependent on the will
for their activity and operation, so as to have no power to act except
by its order or permission, then it would follow that when the will is
no longer in possession of the throne, when its sway is for the time
suspended as in sleep, the faculties thus dependent on it must lie
inactive. But with regard to most if not all mental operations, we know
the reverse to be true. They are capable of _spontaneous_, as well as
voluntary action. Nay, some of them, it would seem, are not subject, in
any case, directly to its control. It is not at our option whether to
remember or forget, whether to perceive surrounding objects, whether
such or such a thought shall, by the laws of association, follow next
in the train of ideas and impressions. Some mental operations are more
closely connected with and admit of a more direct interference on the
part of the will than others, but it cannot be shown, I think, that any
faculty is so far dependent on the will as not to be capable of action,
irrespective of its demands. Indeed, facts seem to show that where once
a train of mental action has been set in operation by the will, that
action goes on, for a time, even when the will is withdrawn, or held in
abeyance, as in sleep, or profound reverie.

_Whence this Suspension of Power of the Will._--The question may occur,
whence arises this suspension of the power of the will over the mental
operations in sleep? What produces it? Does it, like the loss of
voluntary power over the physical frame, result from the inactivity of
the nervous apparatus? The fact that it always accompanies this, and is
found in connection with it, that whatever produces the latter seems
to be the occasion, also, of the former, as in the case of disease,
delirium, mesmeric influence, stupefying drugs, inebriation, etc.,
and that the degree of the one, whether partial or complete, is in
proportion to the degree of the other--these facts seem to me to favor
the idea now suggested.

_Summary of Results._--These, then, seem to be the principal phenomena
of sleep: loss of sensational consciousness, loss of voluntary power
over the body, loss of voluntary power over the operations of the mind.

_Exhaustion of the nervous System._--Sleep, then, appears to be
primarily an affection of the nervous system, the result of its
exhaustion. By the law of nature, it cannot continue always active;
repose must succeed to effort. Hence, the more rapid the exhaustion of
the nervous system, from any cause, the more sleep is demanded. This we
know to be the fact. The more sensitive the system, as in childhood,
or with the gentler sex, as in men of great sensibility also, poets,
artists, and others, the more sleep. On the other hand, those sluggish
natures which allow nothing to excite or call into action the nervous
system, sleep from precisely the opposite cause; not the exhaustion of
nervous activity, but its absolute non-existence. If both our systems,
the animal and the vegetative or nutritive, should sleep at once,
says Rauch, there would be nothing to awaken us. That would be death.
"In sleep, every man has a world of his own," says Heraclitus; "when
awake, all men have one in common." Sleeping and waking, it has been
beautifully said by another, are the ebb and flood of mind and matter
on the ocean of our life.


_Resumè of previous Investigation._--It has been shown in the preceding
section, that sleep is primarily and chiefly an affection of the
nervous system, in which, through exhaustion, the senses become
inactive, and, as it were, dead, while, at the same, the nutritive
system and the functions essential to life go on; that in consequence
of this inactivity of the sensorium, there results, 1. Loss of
consciousness, so far, at least, as regards all connection with, and
relation to, external things; 2. Loss of voluntary power over the
physical and muscular frame; 3. Loss of voluntary control over the
operations of the mind; the mind still remaining active, however, and
its operations going on, uncontrolled by the will.

We are now prepared to take up, more particularly, that specific form
of mental activity in sleep, called dreaming; a state which admits of
easy explanation on principles already laid down.

_A Dream, what._--What, then, is a _dream_? I reply, it is any
mental action in sleep, of which, for any reason, we are afterward
_conscious_. This is not the case with all, perhaps, with most mental
action during sleep. Senses and the will are inactive, then, for the
most part, and whatever thoughts and impressions may be wrought out
in the laboratory of the mind, whatever play of forces and wondrous
alchemy may there be going on, when the controlling principle that
presides over and directs its operations is withdrawn, are, for
the most part, never subsequently reported. Let the sensitivity be
partially aroused, however, let some disturbing cause come in to
prevent entire loss of sensibility, or let the conceptions of the
mind present themselves with more than usual vividness and force of
impression, and what we then think may afterward be remembered. This
is the philosophy of dreams. What is thus remembered of our thoughts
in sleep, we call a dream, more especially applying the term to such
of our thoughts and conceptions in sleep, as have some degree of
coherence and connection between themselves, so as to constitute a sort
of unity.

_Sources of our Dreams._--Our dreams take shape and character from
a variety of circumstances. They are not altogether accidental nor
unaccountable; and even when we cannot trace the connection, there
is reason to suppose that such connection exists between the dream,
and the state of the body, or of the mind, at the time, as, if known,
would account for the shape and complexion of the dream. The principal
sources, or, perhaps, it were more correct to say, modifying influences
of our dreams are, 1, Our present bodily sensations, and especially
the internal state of the physical system, and, 2, Our previous waking
thoughts, dispositions, and prevalent states of mind.

_Illustrations of the first._--As to the first of these modifying
causes, instances of its operation will probably occur to every one
from his own experience. You find yourself on a hard bed, or, it may
be, have thrown yourself into some uncomfortable position, and you
dream of broken bones or of the rack. The band of your robe buttons
tightly about the neck, and you dream of hanging. You have taken a late
supper of food highly seasoned and indigestible, and in your dreams a
black bear very heavy and huge, quietly seats himself on your chest,
or, as a military officer once dreamed, under similar circumstances,
the prince of darkness sits cross-legged over your stomach, with the
Bunker Hill monument in his lap. The instance related by Mr. Stewart,
of the gentleman, who, sleeping with bottles of hot water at his feet,
dreamed that he was walking along the burning crater of Mount Ætna, is
in point here. Here the bodily sensation of heat upon the soles of the
feet suggests the idea of a situation in which such a sensation would
be likely to occur, and this idea blending with the sensation which
is permanent and real, assumes, also, the character of reality, and
the dream shapes itself accordingly. So when a window falls, or some
sudden noise is heard, if it do not positively awaken you so far as to
make known the real cause, you hear the sound, the sensorium partially
aroused, mistakes it, perhaps, for the sound of a gun, and instantly
you are in the midst of a battle at sea, or a fight with robbers. To
such an extent are our dreams modified by sensible impressions of
this sort, that it is possible, by skillful management, to shape and
direct, to some extent, at least, the dreams of another as you will.
An instance is related of an officer who was made, in this way, in his
sleep, to go through with all the minutia of a duel, even to the firing
of the pistol which was placed in his hand, at the proper moment, the
noise of which awoke him. This was simply an _acted_ dream.

_Latent Disease._--Not unfrequently, some physical disorder, incipient
or latent, of which we may not be aware in our waking moments, makes
itself felt in the state of sleep, when the system is more susceptible
of internal impressions, and thus modifies the dreams. In such cases,
the dreams may serve as a sort of _index_ of the state of the physical
system, and somewhat, doubtless, of the apparently prophetic character
of certain dreams may be accounted for in this way.

_The second Source._--A second source, if not of our dreams themselves,
at least of the peculiar shape and character which they assume, is to
be found in our previous thoughts, and prevalent mental occupations
and dispositions. We fall asleep, and mental action goes on much as
before, in whatever direction and channel it had already received an
impulse. Whatever has made the deepest impression on us through the
day, has longest or most intently occupied us, _repeats_ itself the
moment we lose our consciousness of surrounding objects. The mind
goes on with the new and strange spectacle, or with the unfinished
problem, and unsolved intricate study of the day or of the night
hour; and not seldom is the train of thought resumed and pursued to
some purpose. On waking in the morning, we find little difficulty in
completing a demonstration or solving a difficulty which had appeared
insurmountable when we left it the previous night. Now the truth is, we
did not leave it the previous night. It occupied us in our sleep. The
brain was busy with it, it may be, all the night. It is solved in the
morning, not because the mind is fresher then, but because it has been
at work upon it through the night. Sometimes we are conscious of this
on waking, and can dimly recall the severe continuous mental toil which
went on while we slept. Usually, I suppose, we have no consciousness
of it, and our only evidence of it is the well-known law and habit of
the mind, to run in its worn and latest channels, together with the
often observed fact that the difficulty previously felt is, somehow,
strangely solved.

_Further Illustration of the same Principle._--Condorcet is not the
only mathematician who has received, in sleep, suggestions which
led to the right solution of a problem that he had been obliged to
leave unfinished on retiring for the night; nor is Franklin the only
statesman who has, in dreams, reached a satisfactory conclusion
respecting some intricate political movement. However this may be,
there can be no reasonable doubt that our previous mental occupation,
our prevalent state and disposition of mind, our habits of thought and
habits of feeling, determine and shape the complexion of our dreams.
They have a _subjective_ connection, are by no means so disconnected
with us and our real history, so much a matter of hap-hazard, as one
may suppose. It was not without reason that President Edwards took
notice of his dreams as affording an index of the state of his heart,
and his real native propensities. They are the vane that shows which
way the mind is set. Who will say that the dreams of Lady Macbeth,
those dreams of a guilty conscience, are not among the most truthful of
the portraitures of the great master dramatist?

_Native Talent then shows itself._--Not only our native disposition
and prevalent cast of thought betray themselves in dreams, but,
as a certain writer has remarked, our native talents show out in
those moments of spontaneous mental action. Talents which have had
no opportunity to develop themselves, owing to our education and
professional pursuits, take their chance and their time when we sleep,
and we are poets, artists, orators, whatever nature designed, whatever
the trammelled mind longs, but longs in vain, to be in our waking

_Incoherency of Dreams._--The _incoherency_ of our dreams has been
sufficiently accounted for in what I have previously said. It is not,
I think, owing chiefly, as Upham supposes, to our loss of voluntary
power and control over our thoughts during sleep, though it is quite
true that we have no such control. The truth is, we are not at the time
_aware_ of any such incoherency. It cannot, of course, be owing then
to our loss of voluntary power, since no increase of such power would
enable us to repair a defect which we are unconscious of, but is owing
entirely to another cause already mentioned, viz., that in sleep we
lose our _relation_ to things around us, lose our place, and our time,
and hence, retain no standard of judging as to what is, and what is
not, consentaneous and fit, self-consistent and coherent.

_Apparent Reality._--Nothing is more remarkable in dreams than their
apparent _reality_. The scenes, actions, and incidents, all stand out
with peculiar distinctness, are projected as images into the air before
us, and have not at all the semblance of any thing merely subjective.
This has been, by some, ascribed to the fact that there is nothing to
distract or call off the attention from the conceptions of the mind
in dreams; we are wholly in them, and hence they appear as realities.
I do not find, however, that in proportion as my attention in waking
moments is wholly absorbed in any train of thought, those conceptions
manifest any such tendency to project themselves, so to speak, into
objective reality. They are still mere conceptions, only more vivid.
I am inclined, therefore, to attribute the seeming reality of dreams
to another source. We are accustomed to regard every thing as
_objective_, which is out of the reach and control of our will, which
comes and goes irrespective of us and our volition. Now, such we find
to be the prime law of cerebral action in sleep. Of course, then, we
are deceived into the belief that these conceptions over which we have
no control, are not conceptions, but _perceptions_, realities.

_Estimate of Time._--Nothing has seemed to some writers more mysterious
than the entire disproportion between the _real_ and _apparent_ time
of a dream. I refer to the fact that our dreams occupy frequently such
very minute portions of time, while they seem to us to stretch over
such long continued periods. An instance is related of an officer
confined in the prisons of the French Revolution, who was awakened by
the call of the sentry changing guard, fell asleep again, witnessed,
as he supposed, a very long and very horrible procession of armed and
bloody warriors, defiling on horseback down a certain street of Paris,
occupying some hours in their passage, then awoke in terror in season
to hear distinctly the response of the sentry to the challenge given
before the dream began. The mind in such cases, say some, operates more
rapidly than at other times. There is no evidence of that. Mr. Stewart
has suggested, I think, the right explanation. As our dreams seem to
us real, and we have no means of estimating time otherwise than by the
apparent succession of events, the conceptions of the brain, that is,
our dreams, seem to us to take up just so much time in passing as the
_events themselves_ would occupy were they real. This is perfectly
a natural result, and it fully accounts for the apparent anomaly in

_Prophetic Aspect._--Are dreams sometimes _prophetic_, and how are such
to be accounted for? Cicero narrates a remarkable instance of what
would seem to be a prophetic dream. I refer to the account of the two
Arcadians who came to Megara and occupied different lodgings. The one
imploring help, then murdered, and informing his comrade that his body
would be taken out of the city early in the morning, by a certain gate,
in a covered wagon. Agitated by the dream, the other repairs at the
designed time to the appointed place, meets the wagon, discovers the
body, arrests the murderer, and delivers him to justice.

_Other Instances of the like Nature._--Another instance, perhaps
equally striking, is narrated in the London _Times_. A Mr. Williams,
residing in Cornwall, dreamed thrice in the same night that he saw the
Chancellor of England killed, in the vestibule of the House of Commons.
The dream so deeply impressed him that he narrated it to several of his
acquaintance. It was subsequently ascertained that on the evening of
that day the Chancellor, Mr. Perceval, was assassinated according to
the dream. Now, this was certainly a remarkable coincidence. Was it any
thing more? Was it merely an accidental thing--a matter of chance--that
the dream should occur as it did, and should tally so closely with the
facts? But these are not singular instances. Many such are on record.

_Case related by Dr. Moore._--Dr. Moore, author of an interesting work
on the use of the body in relation to the mind, narrates the following,
as coming under his own observation. A friend of his dreamed that he
was amusing himself, as he was in the habit of doing, by reading the
epitaphs in a country church-yard, when a newly made grave attracted
his attention. He was surprised to find on the stone the name, and date
of death, of an intimate friend of his, with whom he had passed that
very evening in conversation. Nothing more was thought of the dream,
however, nor, perhaps, would it ever have recurred to mind, had he not
received intelligence, some months afterward, of the death of this
friend, which took place at the very date he had, in his dream, seen
recorded on the tombstone.

_Case related by Dr. Abercrombie._--The case mentioned by Dr.
Abercrombie is another of these remarkable coincidences. Two sisters
sleeping in the same room adjoining that of a sick brother, the one
awakens in affright, having dreamed that the watch had stopped, and
that on mentioning it to her sister, the latter replied, "Worse than
that has happened, for ----'s breath has stopped also." On examination
the watch was found going and the brother in a sound sleep. The next
night the dream was repeated precisely as before with the same result.
The next morning as one of the sisters had occasion to take the watch
from the writing-desk she was surprised to find it had stopped, and at
the same moment was startled by a scream from the other sister in the
chamber of the sick man, who had, at that moment, expired.

_Additional Cases._--Another instance of a similar nature is related,
but I know not on how good authority. The sister of Major Andrè, it
is said, dreamed of her absent brother, one night, as arrested and
on trial before a court martial. The appearance of the officers,
their dress, etc., was distinctly impressed on her mind; the room,
the relative position of the prisoner and his judges, were noticed;
the general nature of the trial, and its result, the condemnation
of her brother. She woke deeply impressed. Her fears were shortly
afterward confirmed by the sad intelligence of her brother's arrest,
trial, and execution, and, what is remarkable, the facts corresponded
to her dream, both as respects the time of occurrence, the place,
the appearance of the room, position, and dress of the judges, etc.
Washington and Knox were particularly designated, though she had never
seen them.

Another instance is related of a man who dreamed that the vessel in
which his brother was an officer, and, in part, owner of the cargo,
was wrecked on a certain island, and the vessel lost, but the hands
saved. He was so impressed that he went directly and procured an extra
insurance of five thousand dollars on his brother's portion of the
property. By the next arrival news came that the vessel was wrecked,
at the time and place of which the man had dreamed, and the mariners

_Coincidences._--Now it is perfectly easy to call all these things
_coincidences_. They certainly are. But is it certain, or it is
probable, that they are _mere_ coincidences? To call them coincidences,
and pass them off as if they were easily and fully accounted for in
that way, is but a shallow concealment of our ignorance under a certain
show of philosophy. It is but a conjecture at the best; a conjecture,
moreover, which explains nothing, but leaves the mystery just as great
as before; a conjecture which is by no means the most probable of all
that might be made, but, on the contrary, one of the most improbable
of all, as it seems to me. Mark, the cases I have now mentioned do
not come under any of the laws or conditions laid down as giving rise
or modification to our dreams. They are not suggested, so far as it
appears, by any present bodily sensation on the part of the dreamer,
nor was there any reason in the nature of the case why any such event,
much less conjunction of events, should be apprehended by the dreamer
in his waking moments. It was not the simple carrying out of his waking
thoughts. Doubtless many dreams regarded as prophetic, may be explained
on these principles. They are the result of our present sensations or
impressions, or of the excited and anxious state of mind and train of
thought during the day. But not so in the cases now cited.

_Not necessary to suppose them Supernatural._--Shall we believe, then,
that dreams are sometimes prophetic? We have no reason to doubt that
they _may_ be so. Are they, in that case, _supernatural_ events? No
doubt the future may be supernaturally communicated in dreams. No doubt
it has been, and that not in a few cases, as every believer in the
sacred Scriptures must admit. But this is not a necessary supposition.
A dream may be prophetic, yet not supernatural. Some law, not fully
known to us, may exist, by virtue of which the nervous system, when
in a highly excited state, becomes susceptible of impressions not
ordinarily received, and is put in communication, in some way to us
mysterious, with scenes, places, and events, far distant, so as to
become strangely cognizant of the coming future. Can any one show that
this is impossible? Is it more improbable than that the cases recorded
are mere chance coincidences? Is it not quite as likely to be so, as
that the event should correspond, in so many cases and so striking a
manner, with the previous dream, and yet there be _no cause, whatever_,
for the correspondence? Is it not as reasonable, even, as to suppose
direct divine interposition to reveal the future, the possibility of
which interposition I by no means deny, but the reason for which does
not become apparent? Is it not possible that there may be some natural
law or agent of the sort now intimated, some as yet unexplained, but
partially known, condition of the physical system, when in a peculiarly
sensitive state, of which the _modus operandi_ is not yet understood,
but the existence of which is indicated in cases like those now
described? That this is the true explanation, I by no means affirm; I
make the suggestion merely to indicate what, it seems to me, may be a
_possible_ solution of the problem.

_Possible Modes of accounting for the Facts._--Evidently there are
only these four possible solutions. 1. To deny the facts themselves,
_i. e._, that any such dreams occurred, or at least, that they were
verified in actual result. 2. To call them accidental coincidences.
3. To admit a supernatural agency. 4. To explain them in the way
suggested. Our choice lies, as it seems to me, between the second and
the last of these suppositions.


_Relation to the magnetic State._--Somnambulism or sleep-walking, is
called, by some writers, _natural magnetic sleep_. They suppose it to
differ from the state ordinarily called mesmeric, chiefly in this,
that the former is a natural, and the latter an artificial process.

_Resemblance of this to other cognate Phenomena._--We shall have
occasion, as we proceed, to notice the very close resemblance between
dreaming, somnambulism, mesmerism, and insanity, all, in fact, closely
related to each other, characterized each and all by one and the
same great law, and passing into each other by almost imperceptible

_Method proposed._--It will be to the purpose, first to describe
the phenomena of somnambulism, then to inquire whether they can be
accounted for.

_Description._--The principal phenomena of somnambulism are the
following: The subject, while in a state of sound sleep, and perfectly
unconscious of what he does, rises, walks about, finds his way over
dangerous, and, at other times, inaccessible places, speaks and acts
as if awake, performs in the dark, and with the eyes closed, or even
bandaged, operations which require the closest attention and the
best vision, perceives, indeed, things not visible to the eye in its
ordinary waking state, perhaps even things absent and future, and
when awakened from this state, is perfectly unconscious of what has
happened, and astonished to find himself in some strange and unnatural

_An Instance narrated._--A case which fell under the observation of the
Archbishop of Bordeaux, when a student in the seminary, is narrated
in the French Encyclopedia. A young minister, resident there, was a
somnambulist, and to satisfy himself as to the nature of this strange
disease, the Archbishop went every night into his room, after the young
man was asleep. He would arise, take paper, pen, and ink, and proceed
to the composition of sermons. Having written a page in a clear legible
hand, he would read it aloud from top to bottom, with a clear voice and
proper emphasis. If a passage did not please him, he would erase it,
and write the correction, plainly, in its proper place, over the erased
line or word. All this was done without any assistance from the eye,
which was evidently asleep; a piece of pasteboard interposed between
the eye and the paper produced no interruption or inconvenience. When
his paper was exchanged for another of the same size, he was not aware
of the change, but when a paper of a different size was substituted, he
at once detected the difference. This shows that the sense of tact or
feeling was active, and served as a guiding sense.

_Other Cases of a similar Nature._--Similar cases, almost without
number, are on record, in which much the same phenomena are observed.
In some instances it is remarked that the subject, having written a
sentence on a page, returns, and carefully dots the i's, and crosses
the t's. These phenomena are not confined to the night. Persons have
fallen into the magnetic state, while in church, during divine service,
have gone home with their eyes closed, carefully avoiding obstacles in
their way, as persons or carriages passing; and have been sent, in this
state, of errands to places several miles distant, going and returning
in safety.

An amusing incident is on record of a gentleman who found that his
hen-roost was the scene of nightly and alarming depredations, which
threatened the entire devastation of the premises, and what was
strange, a large and faithful watch-dog gave no alarm. Determined to
ascertain the true state of the case, he employed his servants to
watch. During the night the thief made his appearance, was caught,
after much resistance, and proved to be the _gentleman himself_, in a
state of sound sleep, the author of all the mischief.

_A remarkable Instance._--Another case is also related, which presents
some features quite remarkable. In a certain school for young ladies,
I think in France, prizes had been offered for the best paintings.
Among the competitors was a young and timid girl who was conscious
of her inferiority in the art, yet strongly desirous of success. For
a time she was quite dissatisfied with the progress of her work, but
by and by began to notice, as she resumed her pencil in the morning,
that something had been added to the work since she last touched it.
This was noticed for some time, and quite excited her curiosity. The
additions were evidently by a superior hand, far excelling her own in
skill and workmanship. Her companions denied, each, and severally, all
knowledge of the matter. She placed articles of furniture against her
door in such a way that any one entering would be sure to awaken her.
They were undisturbed, but still the mysterious additions continued to
be made. At last, her companions concluded to watch without, and make
sure that no one entered her apartment during the night, but still the
work went on. At length it occurred to them to watch her movements, and
now the mystery was explained. They saw her, evidently in sound sleep,
rise, dress, take her place at the table, and commence her work. It
was her own hand that, unconsciously to herself, had executed the work
in a style which, in her waking moments, she could not approach, and
which quite surpassed all competition. The picture, notwithstanding her
protestations that it was not her painting, took the prize.

_The Question._--How is it now, that in a state of sleep, with the eye,
probably, fast closed, and the room in darkness, this girl can use the
pencil in a manner so superior to any thing that she can do in the day
time, with her eyes open, and in the full possession and employment of
her senses and her will?

_Several Things to be accounted for._--Here are, in fact, several
things to be accounted for. How is it that the somnambulist rises and
moves about in a state of apparently sound sleep? How is it that she
performs actions requiring often a high degree of intelligence, and yet
without apparent consciousness? How is it that she moves fearlessly and
safely, as is often the case, over places where she could not stand
for a moment, in her waking state, without the greatest danger? How
is it that she can see without the eye, and perform actions in utter
darkness, requiring the nicest attention, and the best vision, and
not only do them, but in such a manner as even to surpass what can be
done by the same person in any other state, under the most favorable

_First, the Movement._--As to the first thing--the movement and
locomotion in sleep--it may be accounted for in two ways. We may
suppose it to be wholly automatic. This is the view of some eminent
physiologists. The conscious soul, they say, has nothing to do with
it, no knowledge of it. The will has nothing more to do with it, than
it has with the contraction of a muscle, or irritation in an amputated

_Objection to this View._--For reasons intimated already, we cannot
adopt the automatic theory. It seems to us subversive of all true
science of the mind. The body is self-moved in obedience to the active
energy of the nervous organism, and this organism again, acts only as
it is acted upon by the mind that animates, pervades, and controls that
organism. In the waking state, this mental action, and the consequent
nervous and muscular activity, are under the control of the will. In
sleep, this control is, for the time, suspended, and the thoughts come
and go as it may chance, subject to no law but that of the associative
principle. The mind, however, is still active, and the thoughts are
busy in their own spontaneous movement. To this movement, the brain
and nervous system respond. That the brain itself thinks, that the
nerves and muscles act, and the limbs move automatically, without the
energizing activity of the mind, is a supposition purely gratuitous,
inconsistent with all the known facts and evident indications of the
case, and at war with all just notions of the relation of body and mind.

_Another Theory._--Another, and much more reasonable supposition is,
that the will, which ordinarily in sleep loses control both over the
mind and the body, in the state of somnambulism regains, in some
way, and to some extent, its power over the latter, so that the body
rises and moves about in accordance with the thought and feeling
that happen, at the moment, to be predominant in the mind. There is
no control of the will over those thoughts and suggestions: they are
spontaneous, undirected, casual, subject only to the ordinary laws of
association; but for the time, whether owing to the greater vividness
and force of these suggestions and impressions, or to the disturbed and
partially aroused state of the sensorial organism, the will, acting in
accordance with these suggestions of the mind, so far regains its power
over the bodily organism, that locomotion ensues. The dream is then
simply acted out. The body rises, the hand resumes the pen, and the
appropriate movements and actions corresponding to the conceptions of
the mind in its dream, are duly performed.

_The second Point of Inquiry._--This virtually answers the second
question, how the somnambulist can perform actions requiring
intelligence, yet without apparent consciousness.

There is, doubtless, consciousness at the time--there must be; the
thought and feeling of the moment are known to us at the moment. Not to
be conscious of thought and feeling, is, not to think and feel. That
the acts thus performed are not subsequently remembered, is no evidence
that they were not objects of consciousness at the time of their
occurrence. This is absence of memory, and not of consciousness.

_Not remembered._--Why they are not subsequently remembered, we may,
or may not, be able to explain. Not improbably, it may be owing to
the partial inactivity of the senses, and the consequent failure to
perceive the actual relations of the person to surrounding objects. But
to whatever it may be owing, it does not prove that the mind is, for
the time, unconscious of its own activity, for that is impossible.

_Third Question._--As to the third question, how the somnambulist
can safely move where the waking person cannot, as along the edge of
precipices, and on the roofs of houses, the explanation is simple and
easy. The eye is closed. The sense of touch is the only guide. Now
the foot requires but a space of a few inches for its support, that,
given it knows nothing further, asks nothing beyond. It is the eye that
informs us at other times of the danger beyond, and so creates, in
fact, the present danger. You walk safely on a two-inch plank one foot
from the ground. The same effort of the muscles will enable you to walk
the same plank one hundred feet from the ground, if you do not know the
difference. This the somnambulist, with closed eye, and trusting to the
sense of feeling alone, does not recognize.

_A Question still to be answered._--But the most difficult question
remains. How is it that the sleep-walker in utter darkness, reads,
writes, paints, runs, etc., better even than others can do, or even
than he himself can do at other times and with open eyes. How can he
do these things without seeing? and how see in the dark and with the
organs of vision fast locked in sleep. The facts are manifest. Not
so ready the explanation. I can see how the body can move and with
comparative safety, and even how the cerebral action may go on in
sleep, without subsequent remembrance. But to read, to write, to paint,
to run swiftly when pursued through a dark cellar, without coming in
contact with surrounding objects, are operations requiring the nicest
power of vision, and how there can be vision without the use of the
proper organ of vision, is not to me apparent. It does not answer this
question to say that the action is automatic. That would account for
one's seeing, but not _without eyes_. The movement from place to place,
according to the same theory, is also automatic; that accounts for a
person's walking in sleep, but not for his walking _without legs_. Nor
does it solve the difficulty to say that in sleep the life of the soul
is merged in that of the body; doubtless, but how can the body see
without the eye, or the eye without light?

_Theory of a general Sense._--The only theory that seems to offer even
a plausible solution is that advanced by some German psychologists, and
by Rauch in this country, of a _general sense_. The several special
senses, they say, are all resolvable into one general sense as their
source, viz., that of feeling. They refer us in illustration to the
ear of the crab, to the eye of the fly and the snail, to the scent of
flies, in which cases, respectively, we find no _organ_ of hearing,
or vision, or smell, but simply an expansion of the general nerve of
sensation, or some filament from it, connecting with a somewhat thinner
and more delicate membrane than the ordinary skin. This shows that our
ordinary way of perceiving things is not the only way; that special
organs of vision, etc., are not needed in order to all perception, much
less to sensation. It has been found by experiment that bats, after
their eyes have been entirely removed, will fly about as before, and
avoid all obstacles just as before. In these cases, it is contended,
perception is merely _feeling heightened_, the exercise of the general
sense into which the special senses are severally merged. And this, it
is said, may be the case with the somnambulist.

_Remarks on this Theory._--There is doubtless truth in the general
statement now advanced. I do not see, however, that it accounts for
all that requires explanation in the case. It explains, perhaps,
how, without the organ of vision, a certain dim, confused perception
of objects might be furnished by the general sense, but not for a
_clearer_ vision and a _nicer_ operation than the waking eye can give.
This, to me, remains yet unexplained. Is there an inner consciousness,
a hidden soul-life not dependent on the bodily organization, which at
times comes forth into development and manifests itself when the usual
relations of body and soul are disturbed and suspended? So some have
supposed, and so it may be for aught we know to the contrary, but this
is only to solve one mystery by supposing another yet greater.

_Must admit what._--Whatever theory we adopt, or even if we adopt
none, we must admit, I think, in view of the facts in the case, that
in certain disordered and highly excited states of the nervous system,
as, _e. g._, when weakened by disease, so that ordinary causes affect
it more powerfully than usual, _it can, and does sometimes, perceive
what, under ordinary circumstances, is not perceptible to the eye, or
to the ear; nay, even dispenses with the use of eye and ear, and the
several organs of special sense_. This occurs, as we have seen, in
somnambulism, or natural magnetic sleep. We meet with the same thing
also in even stranger forms, in the mesmeric state, and in some species
of insanity.

_The mental Process obvious._--So far as regards the purely mental part
of the phenomena, the operations of the mind in somnambulism, there
is nothing which is not easily explained. In somnambulism, as indeed
in all these states so closely connected--sleep, dreams, the mesmeric
process, and even insanity--_the will loses its controlling power over
the train of thought, and, consequently, the thought or feeling that
happens to be dominant gives rise to, and entirely shapes, the actions
that may in that state be performed_. This dominant thought or feeling,
in the case of the somnambulist, is, for the most part, probably, the
result of previous causes; a continuation of the former mental action,
which, when the influence of the will is suspended and the senses
closed, by a sort of inherent activity keeps on in the same channel as
before. Of such action, the soul is itself probably conscious at the
moment, but afterward no recollection of it lingers in the mind.


_Relation to other mental Phenomena._--Closely allied to somnambulism,
dreaming, etc., are certain forms of disordered mental condition
commonly termed insanity; having this one element in common with the
former, the loss or suspension of all voluntary control over the train
of thought. This must be regarded as the characteristic feature and
essential ground-work of the various phenomena in all these various

_Classification._--The forms of disordered mental action are various,
and admit of some classification. Some are transient, others
permanent, arising from some settled disorder of the intellect, or the

I. _Transient Forms._--Of these, some are artificially produced, as
by exciting drugs, stimulants, intoxicating drinks, etc., others by
physical and natural causes, as disease, etc.

_Delirium, artificial._--The most common of these forms of disordered
mental action is that transient and artificial state produced by
intoxicating drugs and drinks. This is properly called delirium, and
takes place whenever total or even partial inebriation occurs, whether
from alcoholic or narcotic stimulants, as the opium of the Chinese,
and the Indian hemp or _hachish_ of the Hindoos. The same effects,
substantially, are produced, also, by certain plants, as the deadly
night-shade and others, and also by aconite. In all these cases the
effect is wrought primarily, it would seem, upon the blood, which is
brought into a poisonous state, and thus deranges the action of the
nerves and the brain. The _hachish_ or Indian hemp, which, in the
East, is used for purposes of intoxication more generally, perhaps,
than even opium, or alcoholic drinks, may serve as an illustration of
the manner in which these various stimulants affect the senses. At
first the subject perceives an increased activity of mind; thoughts
come and go in swift succession and pleasing variety; the imagination
is active--memory, fancy, reason, all awake. Gradually this mental
activity increases and _frees itself from voluntary control_; attention
to any special subject becomes difficult or even impossible; ideas,
strange and wonderful, come and go at random with no apparent cause
and by no known law of suggestion; these absorb the attention until
the mind is at last given up to them, and there is no further
consciousness of the external things, while, at the same time, the
patient is susceptible, as in the magnetic state, of influence and
impression from without. How closely, in many respects, this resembles
the state of the mind in somnambulism, mesmerism, and ordinary
dreaming, I need not point out. The mental excitement produced by opium
is perhaps greater, and the images that throng the brain, and assume
the semblance of reality, are more numerous and real. The subsequent
exhaustion and reaction in either case are fearful. For illustration of
this the reader is referred to the Confessions of an Opium Eater, by
the accomplished De Quincey.

_Delirium of Disease._--The ordinary _delirium of disease_ is
essentially of the same nature with that now described, differing
rather in its origin, or producing cause, than in its effects. It
comes on often in much the same way; increased mental activity shows
itself; attention is fixed with difficulty; strange images, and trains
of thought at once singular and uncontrolled by the will, come and go;
the mind at last is possessed by them and loses all control over its
own movements. Every thing now, which the mind conceives, assumes the
form of reality. It has no longer conceptions but perceptions. Figures
move along the walls and occupy the room. They are as really _seen_,
that is, the _sensation_ is the same, as in any case of healthy and
actual vision; only the effect is wrought from within outward, from the
sensorium to the optic nerve and retina, instead of the reverse, as in
actual vision. Voices are heard also, and various sounds, in the same
manner; the producing cause acting from within outward, and not from
without inward.

_Differs from Dreaming._--This state differs from dreaming in that
the subject is not necessarily asleep, and that it involves a greater
and more serious disorder of the faculties, as well as of longer
continuance. The illusions are perhaps also more decided, and more
vividly conceived as external and real entities. Like dreams, and
unlike the conceptions of the magnetic state, these ideas and
illusions may be subsequently recalled, and in many cases are so; the
mind, however, finding it difficult still to believe that they were
_fictions_, and not actual occurrences.

In dreaming, the things which we seem to see and hear are changes
produced in the sensorium by cerebral or other influences. In delirium,
the sensorium itself is disordered and produces false appearances,
spectres, etc.

_Mania._--That form of disordered mental action termed _mania_, differs
from that already described in that, along with the derangement of
the intellect, there is more or less emotional disorder. The patient
is strongly excited on any thing that at all rouses the feelings.
There may be much or little intellectual derangement accompanying this
excitement. The two forms, in fact, pass into each by a succession of
almost indefinable links. The main element is the same in each, _i.
e._, loss of voluntary control over the thoughts and feelings. Each is
produced by physical causes, and is of transient duration.

_Power of Suggestion._--In all these forms of delirium now described,
whether artificial or natural, the mind is open to suggestions from
without, and these become often controlling ideas. Hence it is of
imperative necessity that the attendant should be on his guard as to
what he says or does in the presence of the patient. An instance in
point is related by Dr. Carpenter, in which a certain eminent physician
lost a number of his patients in fever by their jumping from the
window, a fact accounted for at once, when we come to hear that he
was stupid enough to caution the attendants, _in the hearing of his
patients_, against the possibility of such an event.

II. _Permanent Forms._--I proceed next to notice those more permanent
forms of mental disorder, commonly termed _insanity_, a term properly
applied to designate those cases of abnormal mental activity in which
there seems to be either some settled disorder of the intellect, as,
_e. g._, when the brain has been weakened by successive attacks of
mania, epilepsy, etc., or else some permanent tendency to disordered
emotional excitement.

_Disorder of the Intellect._--Where the intellectual faculties are
disordered, the chief elementary feature of the case is the same as in
those already noticed, viz., _Loss of voluntary control over the mental
operations_--the psychological ground-work, as we have seen, of all the
various forms of abnormal mental action which have as yet come under
our notice.

_Memory affected._--In the cases now under consideration, the memory
is the faculty that in most cases gives the first signs of failure,
particularly that form of memory which is strictly voluntary, viz.,
recollection. In consequence of this, past experience is placed out of
reach, cannot be made available, and therefore reasoning and judgment
are deficient. The thoughts lose their coherency and connection, as
they are thus cut loose from the fixtures of the past, to which the
laws of association no longer bind them; they come and go with a
strange automatic sort of movement, over which the mind feels that it
has little power. Gradually this little fades away; the will no longer
exercises its former and rightful control over the mental activities;
its sway is broken, its authority gone; the mind loses control of
itself, and, like a vessel broken from her moorings, swings sadly and
hopelessly away into the swift stream of settled insanity. The mind
still retains its full measure of activity, perhaps greatly increased;
but it acts as in a _dream_. All its conceptions are realities to it,
and the actually real world, as it mingles with the dream and shapes
it, is but vaguely and imperfectly apprehended through the confused
media of the mind's own conceptions. All this may be, and often is,
realized, where there is entire absence of all emotional excitement.

_Not easily cured._--The condition now described is much less open to
medical treatment than the mental states previously mentioned. Indeed,
where there is insanity resulting from settled cerebral disorder, there
is very little hope of cure. Nature may in time recover herself; she
may not. This depends on age, constitution, predisposing causes, and a
variety of circumstances not altogether under human control.

_Disordered Action of the Sensibilities._--Another form of insanity is
that which consists in, or arises from, not any primary disorder of
the intellectual faculties, but a tendency to disordered _emotional_
excitement. Sometimes this is general, extending to all the emotions.
These cases require careful treatment. The patient is like a child, and
must be governed mildly and wisely, is open to argument and motives
of self-control. In other cases, some one emotion is particularly the
seat and centre of the disturbance, while the others are comparatively
tranquil. In such cases the exaggerated emotion may prompt to some
specific action, as suicide, or murder, etc. This is termed _impulsive_
insanity. The predominant idea or impulse tyrannizes over the mind,
and, by a sort of irresistible fatality, drives it on to the commission
of crime. The patient may be conscious of this impulse, and revolt from
it with horror; there may be no pleasure or desire associated with the
deed, but he is unable to resist. He is like a boat in the rapids of
Niagara. So fearful the condition of man when reason is dethroned, and
the will no longer master.







_Previous Analysis._--In entering upon the investigation of a new
department of our science, it may be well to recur, for a moment,
to the analysis and classification of the powers of the mind which
has been already given in the introduction to the present volume.
The faculties of the mind were divided in that analysis, it will
be remembered, into three grand departments, the Intellect, the
Sensibilities, and the Will; the first comprising the various powers
of _thinking_ and _knowing_, the second of _feeling_, the third of
_willing_. The first of these main divisions has been already discussed
in the preceding pages. Upon the second we now enter.

_Difference of the two Departments._--This department of mental
activity differs from the former, as feeling differs from thinking. The
distinction is broad and obvious. No one can mistake it who knows any
thing of his own mental operations. Every one knows the difference,
though not every one may be able to explain it, or tell precisely in
what it consists. But whether able to define our meaning or not, we
are perfectly conscious that to think and to feel are different acts,
and involve entirely different states of mind. The common language of
life recognizes the distinction, alike that of the educated and of the
uneducated, the peasant and the man of science. The literature of the
world recognizes it.

_Relation of the two._--As regards the relation of the two departments
to each other, the intellect properly precedes the sensibility.
The latter implies the former, and depends upon it. There can be
no feeling--I speak, of course, of mental feeling, and not of mere
physical sensation--without previous cognizance of some object, in
view of which the feeling is awakened. Affection always implies an
object of affection, desire, an object of desire; and the object is
first apprehended by the intellect before the emotion is awakened in
the mind. When we love, we love something, when we desire, we desire
something, when we fear, or hope, or hate, there is always some
object, more or less clearly defined, that awakens these feelings,
and in proportion to the clearness and vividness of the intellectual
conception or perception of the object, will be the strength of the

_Strength of Feelings as related to Strength of Intellect._--The range
and power of the sensibilities, then, in other words, the mind's
capacity of feeling, depends essentially upon the range and vigor of
the intellectual powers. Within certain limits, the one varies as the
other. The man of strong and vigorous mind is capable of stronger
emotion than the man of dwarfed and puny intellect. Milton, Cromwell,
Napoleon, Webster, surpassed other men, not more in clearness and
strength of intellectual perception, than in energy of feeling. In
this, indeed, lay, in no small degree, the secret of their superior
power. In the most eloquent passages of the great orators of ancient
or modern times, it is not so much the irresistible cogency and
unrelenting grasp of the terrible logic, that holds our attention, and
casts its spell over us, as it is the burning indignation that exposes
the sophistries, and tears to shreds the fallacies of an opponent, and
sweeps all argument and all opposition before it like a devouring
fire. The orations of Demosthenes, of Burke, of Webster, furnish
numerous examples of this.

_Influence of the Feelings on the Intellect._--On the other hand, it
is equally true that the state of the intellect in any case depends
not a little on the nature and strength of the mind's capacities of
feeling. A quick and lively sensibility is more likely to be attended
with quickness and strength of intellectual conception; imagination,
perception, fancy, and even reasoning, are quickened, and set in active
play, by its electric touch.

A man with sluggish and torpid sensibilities, is almost of necessity a
man of dull and sluggish intellect. A man without feeling, if we can
conceive so strange a phenomenon, would be a man, the measure of whose
intellectual capacity would be little above that of the brutes.

_Importance of this Department of the mental Faculties._--Such being
the nature of the sensibilities, the _importance_ of this department
of mental activity becomes obvious at a glance. The springs of human
action lie here. We find here a clue to the study of human nature
and of ourselves. To understand the complicated and curious problem
of human life and action, to understand history, society, nations,
ourselves, we must understand well the nature and philosophy of the
sensibilities. Here we find the motives which set the busy world in
action, the causes which go to make men what they are in the busy and
ever changing scene of life's great drama. It is the emotions and
passions of men which give, at once, the impulse, and the direction,
to their energies, constitute their character, shape their history and
their destiny. A knowledge of man and of the world is emphatically a
knowledge of the human heart.

_Extract from Brown._--The importance of this part of our nature is
well set forth in the following passage from Dr. Thomas Brown:

"We might, perhaps, have been so constituted, with respect to our
intellectual states of mind, as to have had all the varieties of
these, our remembrances, judgments, and creations of fancy, without
our emotions. But without the emotions which accompany them, of how
little value would the mere intellectual functions have been! It is to
our vivid feelings of this class we must look for those tender regards
which make our remembrances sacred, for that love of truth and glory,
and mankind, without which to animate and reward us in our discovery
and diffusion of knowledge, the continued exercise of judgment would
be a fatigue rather than a satisfaction, and for all that delightful
wonder which we feel when we contemplate the admirable creations of
fancy, or the still more admirable beauties of the unfading model, that
model which is ever before us, and the imitation of which, as has been
truly said, is the only _imitation_ that is itself _originality_. By
our other mental functions, we are mere spectators of the machinery of
the universe, living and inanimate; by our _emotions_, we are admirers
of nature, lovers of man, adorers of God....

_Less attractive Aspects._--"In this picture of our emotions, however,
I have presented them in their fairest aspects; there are aspects
which they assume, as terrible as these are attractive; but even
terrible as they are, they are not the less interesting objects of our
contemplation. They are the enemies with which our mortal combat, in
the warfare of life, is to be carried on; and of these enemies that are
to assail us, it is good for us to know all the arms and all the arts
with which we are to be assailed; as it is good for us to know all the
misery which would await our defeat, as well as all the happiness which
would crown our success, that our conflict may be the stronger, and our
victory, therefore, the more sure.

"In the list of our emotions of this formidable class, is to be found
every passion which can render life guilty and miserable; a single hour
of which, if that hour be an hour of uncontrolled dominion, may destroy
happiness forever, and leave little more of virtue than is necessary
for giving all its horror to remorse. There are feelings as blasting
to every desire of good that may still linger in the heart of the frail
victim who is not yet wholly corrupted, as those poisonous gales of the
desert, which not merely lift in whirlwinds the sands that have often
been tossed before, but wither even the few fresh leaves, which on some
spot of scanty verdure, have still been flourishing amid the general

_Difficulty of the Study._--With regard to the difficulty attending
the study of this part of our nature, a word seems necessary in
passing. It has been supposed to constitute a peculiar difficulty in
the way of the successful investigation of this department of mental
activity, that the sensibilities are, in their very nature, of such an
exciting character, as to preclude the calm, dispassionate observation
and reflection so necessary to correct judgment. At the moment of
exercising any lively emotion, as hope, fear, anger, etc., the mind
is in too great perturbation to be in any condition for accurate
self-observation, and when the excitement has subsided, the important
moment has already passed. Mr. Stewart has particularly noticed this
difficulty in his Introduction to the Active and Moral Powers, and
quotes Hume to the same effect.

_Not peculiar to this Department of the Science._--The difficulty in
question, however, is one which, in reality, pertains to all mental
science, and not to this department of it alone; and so Hume, in the
passage cited by Mr. Stewart, seems to intend. It is true that while
we are under the influence of any exciting emotion, we are in no mood,
and in no suitable state to observe, with critical eye, the workings of
our own minds; neither are we in any condition to do so when engaged in
the less exciting, but not less absorbing _intellectual_ occupation of
reasoning, or imagining, or remembering. The moment we begin to observe
ourselves as thus engaged, the mind is no longer employed as before,
the experiment which we wish to observe is interrupted, and instead of
reasoning, imagining, or remembering, we are only observing ourselves.
Our only resource, in either case, is to turn back and gather up, as
well as we can from _memory_, the data of our mental activity and
condition while thus and thus employed. And this we can do with regard
to the action of the sensibilities, as well as of the intellect,
provided only the degree of emotion and excitement is not so great as
to interfere with the present consciousness, and so with the subsequent
recollection of what was passing in our own minds.

_Sources of Information._--Nor are we dependent entirely on
self-observation. Our sources of information are twofold, the
observation of our own minds, and of others. From the latter source
we may learn much of the nature of this department of mental action.
The sensibilities of others are more open to our inspection, and less
readily mistaken, than their intellectual states. Nor do we meet, in
this case, with the same difficulty; for however excited and incapable
of self-inspection, at the moment, the subject of any strong emotion or
passion may be, the spectator, at least, is able to observe the effect
of that passion, and note its phenomena, with calm and careful eye.



_Certain Distinctions may be noticed._--Including, under the term
sensibility, according to the definition already given, whatever is of
the nature of _feeling_, in distinction from thought or cognition, and
limiting the term also to feelings strictly _mental_, in distinction
from merely physical sensation, it is obvious that there are certain
leading distinctions still to be observed in this class of our mental
states, certain great and strongly marked divisions or differences,
by which we shall do well to be guided in our arrangement and
classification of them. Our feelings are many and various; it is
impossible to enumerate or classify them with perfect precision; yet
there are certain points of resemblance and difference among them,
certain groups or classes into which they naturally divide themselves.

_A general Distinction indicated._--One general distinction lies at
the outset, patent and obvious, running through all forms and modes of
sensibility, namely, the difference of _agreeable_ and _disagreeable_.
Every feeling is, in its very nature, and of necessity, one or the
other, either pleasing or painful. In some cases the distinction is
much more strongly marked than in others; sometimes it may be hardly
perceptible, and it may be difficult to determine, so slight is the
degree of either, whether the feeling under consideration partakes of
the character of pleasure or pain; sometimes there is a blending of the
two elements, and the same emotion is at once pleasing and painful to
the mind that experiences it. But I cannot conceive of a feeling that
is neither agreeable or disagreeable, but positively indifferent. The
state of indifference is not an exercise of sensibility, but a simple
_want_ of it, as the very name denotes by which we most appropriately
express this state of mind, _i. e._, _apathy_ ([Greek: a pathos]).

_Simple Emotions._--Passing this general and obvious distinction, we
find among our sensibilities a large class which we may denominate
_simple emotions_. These comprise the joys and sorrows of life in all
their varieties of modification and degree, according as the objects
which awaken them differ. Under this class fall those general states of
the mind which, without assuming a definite and obvious form, impart a
tinge and coloring of joyousness or sadness to all our activity. Under
this class, also, must be included the more specific forms of feeling,
such as the grief or sorrow we feel at the loss of friends, sympathy
with the happiness or sorrow of others, the enjoyment arising from the
contemplation or persuasion of our own superiority, and the chagrin of
the reverse, the enjoyment of the ludicrous, of the new and wonderful,
of the beautiful, to which must be added the satisfaction resulting
from the consciousness of right action, and those vivid feelings of
regret in view of the wrong, which, in their higher degree, assume
the name of remorse, and fall like a chill and fearful shadow over
the troubled path of earthly life. These all are simple emotions, and
all, moreover, are but so many forms of joy and sorrow, varying as the
objects vary which give rise to them.

_Further Difference of instinctive and rational Emotion._--It will
be observed, however, that of these several specific forms of simple
emotion, some are of a higher order than the others. Such are those
last named in the series, the feelings awakened in view of the
ludicrous, in view of the new and wonderful, in view of the beautiful,
and in view of the right, or, in general, the æsthetic and moral
emotions. These, as seeming to possess a higher dignity, and to involve
a higher degree of intellectual development, we may denominate the
_rational_, in distinction from the other simple emotions, which, to
mark the difference, we may term _instinctive_.

_Emotions of a complex Character._--Passing on in our analysis, we come
next to a class of emotions differing from that already considered,
in being of a complex character. It is no longer a simple feeling of
delight and satisfaction in the object, or the reverse, but along with
this is blended the wish, more or less definite and intense, of good
or ill, to the object which awakens the emotion. The feeling assumes
an active form, becomes objective, and travels out from itself and
the bosom that cherishes it, to the object which calls it forth. In
this desire of good or ill to the object, the simple element of joy or
sorrow, the subjective feeling, is often merged and lost sight of; yet
it ever exists as an essential element of the complex emotion.

_Further Subdivision of this Class._--Of this class are the feelings
usually denominated _affections_, which may be further subdivided into
_benevolent_ and _malevolent_, according as they seek the good or the
ill of their respective objects. As the _simple emotions_ are all but
so many modes and forms of the feeling of _joy_, and its opposite,
_sorrow_, so the _affections_ are but so many different modifications
of the one comprehensive principle of _love_, and its opposite, _hate_.

_Various Objects of Affection._--The affections vary as the objects
vary on which they rest. Of the benevolent class, the more prominent
are, love of kindred, of friends, of benefactors, of home and country.
Of the malevolent affections, so called, the more important are the
feeling of resentment in view of personal injury, of indignation at the
wrongs of others, the feeling of jealousy, and the like.

_The Passions._--These various affections, both malevolent and
benevolent, when they rise above the ordinary degree, and become
impatient of restraint, imperious, no longer under the control of
reason and sober reflection, but themselves assuming the command of
the whole man, and impelling him toward the desired end, regardless of
other and higher interests, become the _passions_ of our nature, with
which no small part of the self-conflict and self-discipline of this
our mortal life is to be maintained.

_The Desires._--There is still another class of emotions, differing
essentially in their nature from each of the two leading divisions
already mentioned, that is, our _desires_. These are of two sorts.
Those which are founded in the physical nature and constitution of
man--as the desire of food, of muscular exertion, of repose, of
whatever is adapted to the animal nature and wants--are usually
denominated _appetites_: those, on the other hand, which take their
rise from the nature and wants of the mind, rather than of the body,
may be termed _rational_, in distinction from _animal_ desires or
appetites. Of these the more important are the desire of happiness, of
knowledge, of power, of society, of the esteem of others.

As joy has its opposite, sorrow, and love its opposite, hate, so also
desire has its opposite, aversion; and the objects of aversion are
as numerous as the objects of desire. The desire of wealth has its
counterpart, the aversion to poverty and want; the desire of life and
happiness stands over against the aversion to suffering and death. The
two are so to speak, the positive and negative poles of feeling.

_Hope and Fear._--There is yet another and important class of our
emotions, having not a little to do with the happiness or misery of
life, casting its lights and shadows over no small part of our little
path from the cradle to the grave, our _hopes_ and our _fears_. These,
however important in themselves, are, nevertheless, but modifications
of the principles of desire and aversion, and are, therefore, to be
referred to the same general division of the sensibilities. Hope is the
desire of some expected good, fear the aversion to some anticipated

_Summary of Classes._--To the three comprehensive classes now named,
_Simple Emotions_, _Affections_, and _Desires_ may be referred, if
I mistake not, the various sensibilities of our nature; or, if the
analysis and classification be not complete and exhaustive, it is at
least sufficiently minute for our present purpose.


_Important to know the Principles of Division adopted by others._--The
discussion of the present topic would be incomplete without a glance
at the _history_ of the same. It is of service, having obtained some
definite results and conclusions of our own, to know also what have
been the views and conclusions of others upon the same matter. As
with regard to the intellectual powers, so also with respect to the
sensibilities, different principles of division and classification have
been adopted by different writers. Our limits will allow us to glance
only at the more important of these.

_General Principles of Classification._--Of those who have written upon
the sensibilities, some have placed them in contrast to each other,
as hope and fear, love and hate, etc., making this the principle of
division; others have classed them as personal, social, etc.; others
as relating to time, the past, the present, and the future; others as
instinctive and rational; while most who have had occasion to treat of
this part of our mental constitution, have considered it with reference
solely or mainly to the science of ethics or morals, and have adopted
such a division and arrangement as best suited that end, without
special regard to the psychology of the matter.

_Of the Greek Schools._--Among the Greeks, the Academicians included
the various emotions under the four principal ones, fear, desire, joy,
and grief, classing despair and aversion under grief, while hope,
courage, and anger were comprised under desire.

To denote the _passivity_ of the mind, as acted upon, and under the
influence of emotion, the Greeks named the passions in general, [Greek:
pathos], suffering, whence our terms pathos, pathetic, etc., whence
also the Latin _passio_ and _patior_, from which our word _passion_.
The Stoics, in particular, designated all emotions as [Greek: pathê],
diseases, regarding them as disorders of the mind.

_Hartley's Division._--Among the moderns, _Hartley_ divides the
sensibilities into the two leading classes of _grateful_ and
_ungrateful_ ones; under the former, including love, desire, hope, joy,
and pleasing recollection; under the latter, the opposites of these
emotions, hatred, aversion, fear, grief displeasing recollection.

_Distinction of primitive and derivative._--Certain other English
writers, as _Watts_ and _Grove_, derive all the emotions ultimately
from the three principal ones, admiration, love, and hatred, which they
term the _primitive_ passions, all others being _derivative_.

_Division of Cogan._--_Cogan_, whose treatise on the passions is a
work of much interest, divides the sensibilities into _passions_,
_emotions_, and _affections_; by the first of these terms designating
the first impression which the mind receives from some impulsive cause;
by the second, the more permanent feeling which succeeds, and which
betrays itself by visible signs in the expressions of the countenance
and the motions of the body; while by affections, he denotes the less
intense and more durable influence exerted upon the mind by the objects
of its regard. The passions and affections are, by this author, further
divided into those which spring from _self-love_ and those which are
derived from the _social principle_.

_Classification of Dr. Reid._--_Dr. Reid_ divides the active
principles, as he terms them, into three classes, the _mechanical_, the
_animal_, and the _rational_, including, under the first, our instincts
and habits, under the second, our appetites, under the third, our
higher principles of action.

_Of Stewart._--_Dugald Stewart_ makes two classes, the _instinctive_
or _implanted_, and the _rational_ or _governing_ principles, under
the former including _appetites_, _desires_, and _affections_, under
the latter, _self-love_ and the _moral faculty_. The desires are
distinguished from the appetites, in that they do not, like the former,
take their rise from the body, nor do they operate, periodically, after
certain intervals, and cease after the attainment of their object.
Under the title of affections, are comprehended all those principles of
our nature that have for their object the communication of good or of
ill to others.

_Of Brown._--_Dr. Brown_ divides the sensibilities, to which he gives
the general name of _emotions_, with reference to their relation
to _time_, as _immediate_, _retrospective_, and _prospective_.
Under the former, he includes, as involving no moral feeling,
cheerfulness and melancholy, wonder and its opposite, feelings of
beauty and the opposite, feelings of sublimity and of the ludicrous;
as involving moral feeling, the emotions distinctive of vice and
virtue, emotions of love and hate, of sympathy, of pride and humility.
Under _retrospective_ emotion he includes anger, gratitude, regret,
satisfaction; under _prospective_ emotion, all our desires and fears.

_Of Upham._--Prof. Upham divides the sensibilities into the two leading
departments, the _natural_ and the _moral_, the former comprehending
the _emotions_ and the _desires_, the latter, the _moral sentiments_ or
_conscience_. Under the class of desires, he includes our instincts,
appetites, propensities, and affections.

_Of Hickok._--Dr. Hickok classes the sensibilities under the
departments of _animal_, _rational_, and _spiritual_ susceptibility;
the former comprehending instincts, appetites, natural affections,
self-interested feelings, and disinterested feelings; the second,
æsthetic, scientific, ethic, and theistic emotions; while the latter
or spiritual susceptibility differs from each of the others, in not
being, like them, constitutional, but arising rather from the personal
disposition and character.

_Remarks on the foregoing Divisions._--Our limits forbid, nor does the
object of the present work require, a critical discussion of these
several plans of arrangement.

It is but justice to say, however, that no one of these several
methods of arrangement is altogether satisfactory. They are not
strictly scientific. The method of Cogan, for example, derives all
our sensibilities ultimately from the two principles of self-love, or
desire for our own happiness, and the social principle, or regard for
the condition and character of others; which again resolve themselves,
according to this author, into the two cardinal and primitive
affections of _love_ and _hate_. This division strikes us at once as
arbitrary, and, therefore, questionable; and, also, as _ethical_ rather
than _psychological_. There are many simple emotions which cannot
properly be resolved into either of these two principles. On the other
hand, the psychological distinction between the emotions and desires is
overlooked in this arrangement. The same remarks apply substantially to
several of the other methods noticed.

_Objection to Stewart's Division._--The arrangement of Mr. Stewart
is liable to this objection, that the principle of self-love, and
also the moral faculty, which he classes by themselves as _rational_
principles, in distinction from the other emotions as _implanted_ or
_instinctive_ principles, are as really implanted in our nature, as
really constitutional or instinctive, as any other. Appetite, moreover,
is but one form or class of desires; self-love is but another, _i. e._,
the desire of our own happiness.

_To Upham's Division._--The division of Mr. Upham is still more
objectionable on the same ground. The _natural_ and the _moral_
sentiments, into which two great classes he divides the sensibilities,
are distinct neither in fact nor in name; the moral sentiments, so
called, are as really and truly _natural_, founded in our constitution,
as are our desires and affections; nor is the term natural properly
opposed to the term moral as designating distinct and opposite things.
The terms instinctive and rational, which Mr. Stewart employs, though
not free from objection, much more accurately express the distinction
in view, could such a distinction be shown to exist.

_Difference of ethical and psychological Inquiry._--In a work, the
main object of which is to unfold the principles of ethical science,
it may be desirable to single out from the other emotions, and place
by themselves, the principle of self-love, together with the social
principle and the moral sentiments, as having more direct reference to
the moral character and conduct. In a strictly psychological treatise,
however, in which the aim is simply to unfold, and arrange in their
natural order, the phenomena of the human mind, such a principle of
classification is evidently inadmissible. The different operations
and emotions of the mind must be studied and arranged, not with
reference to their _logical_ or _ethical_ distinctions, but solely
their _psychological_ differences. Viewed in this light, the moral
sentiments, so far as they are of the nature of feeling or sensibility
at all, and not rather of intellectual perception, are simple emotions,
and do not inherently differ from any other feelings of the same
class. The satisfaction we feel in view of right, and the pain in view
of wrong past conduct, differ from the pain and pleasure we derive
from other sources, only as the _objects_ differ which call forth the
feelings. They are essentially of the same class, the difference is
specific rather than generic. They are modifications of the one generic
principle of joy and sorrow, and differ from each other not so much as
each differs from a _desire_, or an affection of love or hate.

_Objection to Brown's Arrangement._--The classification of Dr. Brown,
if not ethical, is, perhaps, equally far from being psychological. The
relation of the different emotions to _time_ is an accidental, and not
an essential difference, and it is, moreover, a distinction wholly
inapplicable to far the larger portion of the sensibilities, viz.,
those which he calls immediate emotions, or "those which arise without
involving necessarily _any notion_ of time." This is surely _lucus a
non lucendo_.






_Previous Analysis._--It will be recollected that in the analysis which
has been given of the sensibilities, they were arranged under three
generic classes, viz., Simple Emotions, Affections, and Desires, all,
however, having this in common, that they are in themselves agreeable
or disagreeable, as states of mind, according as the object which
awakens them is viewed as either good or evil.

_Nature of simple Emotions._--Of these, the _simple emotions_, which
are first to be considered, comprise, it will be remembered, that large
class of feelings which, in their various modifications and degrees,
constitute the joys and sorrows of life. They may be comprised, with
some latitude of meaning, under the general terms joy and sorrow,
as modifications of that comprehensive principle or phase of human
experience. They are awakened in view of an object regarded as good
or as evil; an object, moreover, of present possession and present
enjoyment or suffering; in which last respect they differ from
_desires_, which have respect always to some good, or apparent good,
_not_ in present possession, but viewed as attainable.

_Division of simple Emotions._--Of these simple emotions, again, some
may be called _instinctive_, as belonging to the _animal_ nature, and,
to some extent, common to man with the brutes, in distinction from
others of a higher order, involving or presupposing the exercise of
reason and the reflective powers.

It is of the former class that we are to treat in the present chapter.


_Nature of this Feeling._--There is a state of mind, of which every
one is at times conscious, in which, without any immediately exciting
cause, a general liveliness and joyousness of spirit, seldom rising
to the definiteness of a distinct emotion, a subdued under-current of
gladness, seems to fill the soul, and flow on through all its channels.
It is not so much itself joy, as a disposition to be joyful; not so
much itself a visible sun in the heavens, as a mild, gently-diffused
light filling the sky, and bathing all objects in its serene loveliness
and beauty. It has been well termed "a sort of perpetual gladness."

_Prevalence at different Periods of Life._--There are those, of
fortunate temperament, with whom this seems to be the prevailing
disposition, to whom every thing wears a cheerful and sunny aspect. Of
others, the reverse is true. In early life this habitual joyousness
of spirit is more commonly prevalent; in advanced years, more rarely
met with. Whether it be that age has chilled the blood, or that the
sober experience of life has saddened the heart, and corrected the
more romantic visions of earlier years, as life passes on we are less
habitually under the influence of this disposition. It is no longer the
prevailing frame of the mind. In the beautiful language of another,
"We are not happy, without knowing why we are happy, and though we may
still be susceptible of joy, perhaps as intense, or even more intense,
than in our years of unreflecting merriment, our joy must arise from
a cause of corresponding importance; yet even down to the close of
extreme old age there still recur occasionally some gleams of this
almost instinctive happiness, like a vision of other years, or like
those brilliant and unexpected corruscations which sometimes flash
along the midnight of a wintry sky, and of which we are too ignorant
of the circumstances that produce them, to know when to predict their

_The opposite Feeling._--Corresponding to this general state of mind
now described, is one of quite the opposite character--that habitual
disposition to sadness which is usually called melancholy. Like its
opposite, cheerfulness, it is rather a frame of mind than a positive
emotion, and, like its opposite, it exists, often, without any marked
and definite cause to which we can attribute it. It is that state in
which subsiding grief, or the pressure of any severe calamity now
passing away, leaves the mind, the grey and solemn twilight that
succeeds a partial or total eclipse. It is, with many persons, the
habitual state of mind, through long periods, perhaps even the greater
part, of life. Not unfrequently it occurs that minds, of the rarest
genius and most delicate sensibility, are subject to that extreme
and habitual depression of spirits which casts a deep gloom over the
brightest objects, and renders life itself a burden. This state of
habitual gloom and despondency, itself usually a form of disease, the
result of some physical derangement, deepens sometimes into a fixed
and permanent disorder of the mind, and constitutes one of the most
pitiable and hopeless forms of insanity. Such was the case with the
melancholy, but most amiable and gentle Cowper.

_Element of poetic Sensibility._--In its milder forms, the state of
mind which I describe, constitutes, not unfrequently, an element of
what is termed poetic genius, a melancholy arising from some sad
experience of the troubles and conflicts of life, and from sympathy
with the suffering and sorrowing world, the great sad heart of
humanity--a melancholy that, like the plaint of the Æolian harp, lends
sweetness and richness to the music of its strain. Such are many
of the strains of Tennyson; such the deep under-current of Milton's
poetry; such, preëminently, the spirit and tone of John Foster, one
of the truest and noblest specimens of poetic genius, although a
writer of prose. A quick and lively sensibility, itself an inseparable
concomitant of true genius, is not unfrequently accompanied with this
gentler form of melancholy. The truly great soul that communes with
itself, with nature, and with eternal truth, is no stranger to this
subdued yet pleasing sadness. It is this to which Milton pays beautiful
tribute in the _Il Penseroso_, and which he thus invokes:

    "But hail, thou goddess, sage and holy,
    Hail, divinest Melancholy!
    Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
    Sober, steadfast, and demure,
    All in a robe of darkest grain
    Flowing with majestic train,
    And sable stole of Cyprus lawn
    Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
    Come, but keep thy wonted state,
    With even step and musing gait,
    And looks commercing with the skies,
    Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes."

_Not inconsistent with Wit._--It should be remarked that the
disposition of which we speak is not inconsistent with the occasional
and even frequent prevalence of feelings of directly the opposite
nature. A prevailing tendency to sadness is not unfrequently
associated with an almost equally prevailing tendency to emotions
of the ludicrous. The same liveliness of sensibility which prepares
the soul to feel keenly whatever in life is adapted to awaken sad
and sober reflections, also disposes it to notice quickly the little
incongruities of character, the foibles and follies of mankind, in
which a duller eye would detect nothing absurd or comical. It is,
moreover, the natural tendency of the mind to spring back, like the
bow unstrung, from one extreme of feeling to its opposite, and seek
relief from its sadness in the lighter sallies of wit. And so we have
the melancholy Cowper singing John Gilpin, and the author of the Night
Thoughts, in conversation, a jovial and witty man.


_Differs from Melancholy._--Beside the general states of mind already
described, and which can hardly be called distinct emotions, there are
certain specific forms of joy and sorrow which claim our attention.
Prominent among these is the grief we feel at any great and sudden
bereavement or calamity, as, for example, the loss of friends. This is
a state of mind closely allied, indeed, to the melancholy of which I
have spoken, but differs from it in that it springs from a more obvious
and immediate cause, and is at once more definite and more intense.
After a time, when the first bitterness of anguish is past, and the
mind recovers itself in a measure from the violence of the shock it
has received, and which, for the time, like a sudden blow, seemed to
stagger all its energies, when other causes begin to operate, and other
scenes and cares demand its attention, its sorrow, at first violent and
irrepressible, gradually subsides into that calmer but more permanent
form which we have already described as melancholy.

_Effects of Grief upon the Mind in the first Shock of any
Calamity._--When the loss is very great, especially if it comes
suddenly to us--and what bereavement, however long anticipated and
feared, does not at last overtake us suddenly?--the mind is at first,
in a manner, stupefied and amazed, unable to realize its loss, and
looks helplessly about it for relief. To this succeeds a state of
mental anguish, more or less intense, in proportion to the liveliness
of the sensibilities, and the strength of the previous attachment. In
many cases the sorrow is uncontrollable, and finds relief in tears, or
in those more violent expressions of anguish in which the burdened
heart of man in all ages has been wont to indicate its grief, as the
rending of the garments, the beating of the breast, the tearing of
the hair, and other like demonstrations of utter and hopeless sorrow.
The mind in such a state resigns itself passively to the violence of
its emotion, and is swept on by the rushing current that overflows
its banks. It is Rachel mourning for her children, and refusing to
be comforted. It is David going to the chamber over the gate, and
exclaiming, as he goes, "O Absalom, my son! my son!"

_Subsequent State of Mind._--When the first violence of grief has
subsided, and reflection succeeds to passion, the mind begins to recall
the circumstances of its loss, and sets itself to comprehend the
greatness and reality of the calamity that has befallen it. It dwells
with interest and satisfaction on all the worth and virtues of the
departed, magnifies all that was good, excuses or overlooks all that
was faulty, recalls the words, the tones, the looks, and gathers up the
slightest memento of the former history, with the same sacred regard
and reverence with which it treasures in the funeral urn the ashes of
the dead. A sacredness and dignity invest the character, and the life,
when once the angel death has set his seal upon them.

_Silence of deep Grief._--The deepest sorrow is not always, perhaps
not usually, the most violent and demonstrative. It is when the first
sudden passion of grief is passed and the soul retires within herself
to meditate upon her loss, calmly gathering her mantle about her to
hide from the observation of others those tears and that sorrow which
are sacred, it is then that the deepest sorrow, and the heaviest
darkness gather about the burdened spirit. The truest, deepest grief
is ever silent. It shrinks from human observation. It finds no words
for expression, wishes none. It is a veiled and silent goddess, whose
rites and altars are hidden from the eye of day. It is the nature of
joy to communicate itself. It is the nature of sorrow, whatever may be
the occasion whence it springs, to retire within itself. It seeks its
chamber that it may weep there.

_Effect of Time in assuaging Sorrow._--The effect of time in softening
and allaying the violence of grief, is known to every one. The manner
in which this effect is produced is worthy of attention. A recurrence
to the laws of suggestion may explain this. It will be recollected that
among the secondary or subjective laws which regulate the suggestion
of our thoughts, the interval of time which has elapsed since the
occurrence of any event holds an important place. That which has
taken place but recently is more likely to recur again to mind than
events of remoter date. On the first occurrence of any calamity, or
bereavement, every thing tends to remind us of our loss, and this
constant suggestion of it has a powerful effect in keeping alive our
sorrow. As time passes on, however, the objects which once suggested
only that which we had lost, become associated with, and so suggest
other objects and occurrences; or, if they still remind us of our loss,
the remembrance is mingled with that of other scenes and events which
have since transpired, and other feelings which have since agitated our
hearts. Thus time is constantly mingling other ingredients in the cup
of our grief. The law of _the most recent_ still holds in suggestion,
and thus the very principle that formerly reminded us continually of
our loss, now shuts it out, by interposing between it and us what has
since transpired. The thought of the past comes up less frequently, and
when it recurs, is mingled with so many other associated objects, and
experiences, that it no longer awakens emotions of unmitigated grief.
Gradually other objects interest us, other plans and duties engage us,
other emotions agitate the heart, as successive waves beat on the same
troubled shore, and render fainter, at each return, the traces which
former billows had impressed upon its sands.

Thus time, the _great consoler_, assuages our sorrows, and the unbroken
darkness that once hung over the mind, and shrouded all its thoughts
and purposes, gives place, at length, to a chastened and subdued
sadness, that suffuses the past with a soft and mellow radiance. We
are ever moving on, swiftly, steadily, in the current of events, and
objects whose fearful magnitude, once, from their very nearness,
engrossed our whole attention as we passed into their deep shadow,
gradually diminish as they recede, until their dark outline is barely
discernible on the distant horizon.


_In what Manner awakened._--Closely allied to the emotions of joy
and sorrow awakened by our own personal experience of good and of
evil, is the sympathy we feel with the joys and sorrows of others in
similar circumstances. Joy is contagious. So also is grief. We cannot
behold the emotions of others, without, in some degree, experiencing a
corresponding emotion. Nor is it necessary to be eye-witnesses of that
happiness, or sorrow. The simple description of any scene of happiness
or of misery affects the heart, and touches the chords of sympathetic
emotion. We picture the scene to ourselves, we fancy ourselves the
spectators, or, it may be, the actors and the sufferers; we imagine
what would be our own emotions in such a case, and in proportion to
the liveliness of our power of conception, and also of our power
of feeling, will be our sympathy with the real scene and the real

_Nature of this Principle._--The sympathy thus awakened, whether with
the joy or the sorrow of others, is a simple emotion, distinct in its
nature from both the affections and the desires, and it is, moreover,
instinctive, rather than rational--a matter of impulse, a principle
implanted in our nature, and springing into exercise, as by instinct,
whenever the occasion presents itself, rather than the result of
reason and reflection. It is a susceptibility which we possess, to
some extent, at least, in common with the brutes, who are by no means
insensible to the distresses or to the happiness of their fellows. It
is a susceptibility which manifests itself in early life, before habits
of reflection are formed, and under circumstances which preclude the
supposition that it may be the result of education, or in any manner
an acquired and not an original and implanted principle. So far from
being the result of reflection, reason and reflection are often needed
to check the emotion, and keep it within due bounds. There are times
when sympathy, for example, with the distresses of others, would stand
in the way of efficient and necessary action, and when it is needful
to summon all the resources of reason to our aid, in the stern and
resolute performance of a duty which brings us into conflict with
this instinctive principle of our nature. The judge is not at liberty
to regard the tears of the heart-broken wife or child, when he rises
to pronounce the stern sentence of violated law upon the wretched
criminal. The kind-hearted surgeon must for the time be deaf to the
outcries of his patient, and insensible to his sufferings, or his
ministrations are at an end.

_Usual Limitation of the Term._--The term sympathy is more frequently
used to denote the emotion awakened by the sufferings of others, than
our participation in their joys. There can be no doubt, however, of the
tendency of our nature to each of these results, and that it is, in
fact, but one and the same principle under a twofold aspect. Nor does
the word itself more properly belong to, and more truly express, the
one, than the other of these aspects. We as readily rejoice with those
who do rejoice, as we weep with those who weep, and in either case our
feeling is _sympathy_ ([Greek: sunpathos]).

_This Limitation accounted for._--The reason why the term is more
frequently applied to denote participation in the sorrows of others,
is obvious on a little reflection. Such, and so benevolent, are the
arrangements of a kind Providence, that happiness is the prevalent law
of being, and sorrow the exception to that general rule. It is diffused
as the sunshine, and the gentle air over all things that breathe, and
even inanimate objects, by a sort of sympathetic gladness, reflected
from our own minds, seem to share in the general joy. Calamity and
sorrow, at least in their more marked and definite forms, come, like
storm and tempest in nature, more seldom, and, when they do occur, are
the more remarkable and stand out more impressively from the common
experience of life, from their very rarity.

_More Need of Sympathy with Sorrow._--There is doubtless, also, more
occasion for sympathy with the sorrows of others, when those sorrows
do occur, than with their joys, and this may be another reason for
the more frequent use of the term in this connection. Sorrow _needs_
sympathy, as joy does not. It leans for support on some helping and
friendly arm. Joy is, in its nature, strong and self-sustaining, sorrow
the reverse. It is a wise and kind provision of the Author of our
nature, by which there is implanted in our constitution an instinctive
sympathy with sorrow and suffering in all their forms, even when we
ourselves are not directly the objects on which the calamity falls.

_Remark of Dr. Brown._--It is well remarked by Dr. Brown that "we
seem to sympathize less with the pleasures of others than we truly
do, because the real sympathy is lost in that constant air of
cheerfulness which it is the part of good manners to assume. If the
laws of politeness required of us to assume, in society, an appearance
of sadness, as they now require from us an appearance of some slight
degree of gayety, or, at least, of a disposition to be gay, it is
probable that we should then remark any sympathy with gladness, as
we now remark particularly any sympathy with sorrow; and we should
certainly, then, use the general name to express the former of
these, as the more extraordinary, in the same way as we now use it
particularly to express the feelings of commiseration. Joy," remarks
the same writer, "may be regarded as the common dress of society, and
real complacency is thus as little remarkable as a well-fashioned coat
in a drawing-room. Let us conceive a single ragged coat to appear in
the brilliant circle, and all eyes will be instantly fixed on it. Even
beauty itself, till the buzz of astonishment is over, will, for the
moment, scarcely attract a single gaze, or wit a single listener. Such,
with respect to the general dress of the social mind, is _grief_. It is
something for the very appearance of which we are not prepared."

_Not true that we sympathize only with Sorrow._--These reasons
sufficiently account for the almost exclusive attention paid by
moralists to this part of our sympathetic nature, as well as for the
almost exclusive use of the term itself to denote participation in the
sorrows, rather than in the joys of others. It is not necessary to
infer from this circumstance, as some have done, that our sympathies
are only with sorrow, that we do not experience a corresponding emotion
in view of the happiness of others, a view as unfavorable to our nature
as it is remote from truth.

_Distinction of Terms._--Sympathy, as usually employed, to denote a
fellowship with the sufferings of others, is synonymous with the more
specific term _commiseration_, and this again is interchangeable with
the terms pity and compassion. So far as use establishes a difference
between these terms, it is perhaps this: we more frequently employ the
word compassion where there is an ability and a disposition to relieve
the suffering; we pity and we commiserate what it is out of our power
to remedy.

_Strength of this Feeling._--The emotion of sympathy, especially in
that form more specially under consideration, is probably one of the
strongest and most marked in its effects upon the mind, of any of the
feelings of which we are susceptible. When fully aroused, it amounts
even to a passion, When the object that awakens it is exposed to
imminent danger and there is need of instant and efficient exertion
to avert the danger, and bring that relief which, if it comes at
all, must come speedily, then there is no prudent calculation of
consequences, no deliberation, no hesitation, no fear, but, regardless
of every danger, the sympathizer, forgetful of himself, and thinking
only of the object to be accomplished, plunges into the sea or into the
flames, faces the wild beast, or the more savage human foe, seizes the
assassin's arm, or rushes desperately between the murderous weapon and
its victim. This boldness and energy of action are, indeed, the result
of sympathy, rather than the direct exercise of the emotion itself, but
they show how powerful is the feeling from which they spring.

_Irrespective of moral Qualities._--It is worthy of note, moreover,
that the emotion of which we speak, is, in great measure, irrespective
of the moral qualities of the sufferer. He may be a criminal on the
rack or the gallows, the most hardened and abandoned of men, and the
suffering to which he is exposed may be the just punishment of his
crimes, still it is impossible for any one whose heart is not itself
hardened against all human suffering, to regard the miserable victim
with other than feelings of compassion. That must be a hard heart
that could witness the agony of even its worst enemy, in such a case,
without pity for the sufferer.

_Design of this Principle._--If we inquire, now, for what end this
feeling was implanted in our nature, its final cause is obvious. It
is a benevolent arrangement, the design of which is twofold:--first,
to prevent undue suffering, by keeping in check the excited passions
that would otherwise prompt to the infliction of immoderate and unjust
punishment when the object of our resentment is in our power; secondly,
to secure that relief to the sufferer which, in circumstances of peril,
might fail to be afforded were it not for the pressure and impulse of
so strong and sudden an emotion.

_Adaptation to Circumstances._--A further and incidental benefit
insulting from the possession of a lively sensibility to the joys and
sorrows of others, has been noticed by Cogan, in his treatise on the
passions, viz., that it disposes the mind to accommodate itself readily
to the tastes, manners, and dispositions of those with whom we have
occasion to associate. A mind of quick and ready sympathy easily enters
into the feelings and understands the conduct of others under given
circumstances, and is able to adapt itself to the same, easily, and by
a sort of instinct. It places itself at once in the same position, and
governs itself accordingly.

_Sympathy not to be traced to Self-love as its Origin._--The question
has arisen, whether sympathy, which, of all the sensibilities, would
seem to lie at the furthest remove from all admixture of selfishness,
is not, after all, to be traced ultimately to the principle of
self-love. Those philosophers who regard this principle as the
main-spring of all human action, and the parent source of all the
various emotions that agitate the human heart, are at some pains to
show that even the feeling of pity may be traced to the same origin. It
was the theory of Hobbes, that the sentiment of pity at the calamities
of others springs from the imagination, or fiction as he terms it, of
a similar calamity befalling ourselves. Adam Smith also maintains that
it is only from our own experience that we can form any idea of the
sufferings of others, and that the way in which we form such an idea
is by supposing ourselves in the same circumstances with the sufferer,
and then conceiving how we should be affected. All this is very true.
It is in this way, doubtless, that we get the idea of what another is
suffering. But the _idea_ of what he suffers is one thing, and our
_sympathy_ with that suffering is another. One is a conception, and the
other is the feeling awakened by that conception. Moreover, it does
not follow, as Mr. Stewart has well shown in his criticism upon this
theory, that the sympathy in this case arises from our conceiving or
believing, for the moment, those sufferings to be really our own. The
feeling which arises on the contemplation of our own real or fancied
distress, is quite another feeling in its character, from that of
pity or compassion. The two emotions are readily distinguished. The
mere uneasiness which we feel at the sight of another's suffering,
and the desire which we naturally feel to be rid of that uneasiness,
are not the chief elements in compassion. If they were, the sure and
simple remedy would be to run away from the distress which occasions
the uneasiness, to put it as quickly as possible out of sight and out
of mind. Such an emotion; prompting to such a course, might well be
termed selfish. But this is not the true nature of sympathy. It is not
a mere unpleasant sensation produced by observing the sufferings of
another, though such a sensation, doubtless, is produced in a sensitive
mind, and accompanies, or may even be said to form a part of, the
emotion which we term sympathy; there is, over and above this feeling
of uneasiness, a _fellowship_ of sorrow and of suffering, a bearing
of that suffering with him, as _his_, and not as our own, a pain
_for him_, and not for ourselves, the result and urgent prompting of
which is the impulse, the strong irrepressible desire to relieve, not
ourselves from uneasiness, but the sufferer from that which occasions
his distress.

_What follows from this Theory._--If compassion for others were the
offspring of fear for ourselves, then, as Butler has well said, the
most fearful natures ought to be the most compassionate, which is far
from being the case. It may be added, also, that if sympathy is, in
any respect, a _selfish_ principle, then they who are most completely
and habitually governed by selfish considerations ought, for the same
reason, to be the most keenly alive to the sufferings of others, which
is little less than a contradiction in terms.




_Nature and Objects of this Emotion._--Among those susceptibilities
which, while implanted in our nature, and springing into exercise by
their own spontaneous energy, imply in their operation the exercise
of the reflective powers, and in general, of the higher intellectual
faculties, and which on that account, we designate as _rational_,
in distinction from the _instinctive_ emotions, a prominent place
is due to those vivid feelings of pleasure, and pain, with which we
contemplate any real or supposed excellence, or defect, in ourselves.
The direct object of the emotions now under consideration, is self in
some form or aspect. The immediate cause of these emotions is some real
or fancied excellence which we possess, or, on the other hand, some
real or imagined deficiency. This excellence or deficiency may pertain
to our intellectual or to our moral qualities and attainments, or even
to our circumstances and condition in life, to any thing, in short,
which is _ours_, and which distinguishes us from our fellows. The
quality contemplated may be a real possession and attainment, or it may
exist only in our imagination and conceit. And so, also, of the defect;
that, too, may be real, or imaginary. In either case, vivid feelings
are awakened in the mind. It is impossible to contemplate ourselves
either as possessing or as lacking any desirable quality without
emotion, pleasing or painful, and that in a high degree.

_In what Manner awakened._--These emotions are awakened in either
of two ways: by the simple contemplation of the supposed excellence,
or defect, in _themselves_ considered as pertaining to us; or, more
frequently, by _the comparison of ourselves with others_ in these
respects. It is to the feelings awakened, in the latter case, by the
perceived superiority or inferiority of ourselves to others, as the
result of such comparison, that the terms pride and humility are
ordinarily applied. These terms are relative, and imply, always, some
process of comparison. There may be, however, the painful consciousness
of defect, or the pleasing consciousness of some high and noble
attainment, when the relation which we sustain to others, as regards
these points, forms no part of the object of contemplation. The
comparison is not of ourselves with others, but only of our present
with our former selves. We are satisfied and delighted at our own
progress and improvement, or humbled and cast down at our repeated
failure, and manifest deficiency.

_Not the same with moral Emotion._--The emotions now under
consideration must not be confounded with the satisfaction which arises
in view of moral worthiness, and the regret and disapprobation with
which we view our past conduct as morally wrong. The emotions of which
we now speak, are not of the nature of moral emotion, however closely
allied in some respects. It is not the verdict of an approving or
condemning conscience that awakens them. They have no reference to the
right as such. The object is viewed, not in the light of obligation or
duty, but merely as a _good_, a thing agreeable and desirable. Thus
viewed, its possession gives us pleasure, its absence, pain.

_Not blame-worthy in itself._--In the simple emotion thus awakened, the
satisfaction and pleasure with which we regard our own intellectual and
moral attainments, or even our external circumstances, there is nothing
blamable or unworthy of the true man. It is simply the working of
nature. The susceptibility to such emotion is part of our constitution,
implanted and inherent. As Dr. Brown has well remarked, it is
impossible to desire excellence, and not to rejoice at its attainment;
and if it is culpable to feel pleasure at attainments which have made
us nobler than we were before, it must, of course, have been culpable
to desire such excellence.

_In what Cases the Emotion becomes culpable._--It is only when the
emotion exists in an undue degree, or with regard to unworthy objects,
when the supposed excellence upon which we congratulate ourselves
really does not exist, or, when existing, we are disposed to set
ourselves up above others on account of it, and perhaps to look down
upon others for the lack of it, or even to make them feel by our manner
and bearing what and how great the difference is between them and us;
it is only under such forms and modifications, that the feeling becomes
culpable and odious. These it not unfrequently assumes. They are the
states of mind commonly denoted by the term _pride_, as the word is
used in common speech; and the censure usually and very justly attached
to the state of mind designated by that term, must be understood as
applicable to the disposition and feelings now described, and not to
the simple emotion of pleasure in view of our own real or supposed
attainments. That which we condemn in the proud man is not that he
excels others, or is conscious of thus excelling, or takes pleasure
even in that consciousness, but that, comparing himself with others,
and feeling his superiority, he is disposed to think more highly of
himself than he ought, on account of it, and more contemptuously of
others than he ought, and especially if he seeks to impress others with
the sense of that superiority.

_Different Forms which this Disposition assumes._--This he may do in
several ways. He may be fond of displaying his superiority, and of
courting the applause and distinction which it brings. Then he is the
_vain_ man. He may make much of that which really is worth little,
and plume himself on what he does not really possess. Then he is
the _conceited_ man. He may look with contempt upon and treat with
arrogance his inferiors. Then he is the _haughty_ man. Or he may have
too much pride to show in this way his own pride; too much self-respect
to put on airs, and court attention by display; too much sense to rate
himself very far above his real worth; too much good breeding to treat
others with arrogance and hauteur. In that case he contents himself
with his own high opinion and estimate of himself, and the enjoyment
of his own conscious superiority to those around him. He is simply
the proud man then, not the vain, the conceited, or the arrogant. The
difference, however, is not so much that he thinks less highly of
himself, and less contemptuously of others in comparison, but that he
does not so fully show what he thinks. The superiority is felt, but it
is not so plainly manifested.

_The Disposition, as thus manifested, reprehensible._--Of this
disposition and state of mind in any of its manifestations as now
described, it is not too much to say that it is worthy of the
censure which it commonly receives. It is not merely unamiable and
odious, but morally reprehensible. Especially is this the case where
the superiority consists, not in mental or moral endowments and
attainments, but in adventitious circumstances, such as beauty or
strength of person, station in society, wealth, or the accident of
birth--circumstances which imply no necessary worth in the possessor,
no real and inherent superiority to those on whom he looks down. In
such a case, pride is purely contemptible.

_Incompatible with the highest Excellence._--The highest excellence is
ever incompatible with the disposition to think highly of our present
attainments and excellence, and to place ourselves above others in
comparison. Emotions of pleasure may indeed arise in our minds, as
we view the unmistakable evidences of our own improvement. But the
noblest nature is that which looks neither at itself, to mark its
own acquirements, nor yet at others below itself, to mark its own
superiority, but whose earnest gaze is fixed only on that which is
above and superior to itself--the beau ideal ever floating before it of
an excellence not yet attained--in comparison with which all present
attainments seem of little moment. The truly great and noble mind is
ever humble, and conscious of its own deficiencies.


_Properly an Emotion._--Among the sources of rational enjoyment which
the constitution of our nature affords, must be reckoned the feeling
awakened by the perception of the _ludicrous_. We class this among the
emotions, inasmuch as it is a matter of feeling, and of pleasurable
feeling, differing in its nature not more from the intellectual
faculties, on the one hand, than from the affections and desires, on
the other. It is a species of joy or gladness, a pleasurable excitement
of feeling, awakened by a particular class of objects. Whatever else
may be true of the feeling in question, the character of agreeableness
is inseparable from it. It falls, therefore, properly into that class
of feelings which comprises the various modifications of joy and
sorrow, and which we have denominated simple emotions.

_Why rational._--We term it _rational_, rather than instinctive,
inasmuch as it implies, if I mistake not, the exercise of the higher
intellectual faculties. It is the prerogative of reason. The brute
nature has no perception, and of course no enjoyment, of the ludicrous.
The idiot has none. The uncultivated savage nature has it only in a
slight degree. In this respect the feeling under consideration is quite
analogous to the enjoyment of the beautiful and sublime, and also to
the feeling awakened in view of right or wrong action, the approbation
or disapprobation of our past conduct. All these, though founded in
our nature and constitution, are rational rather than instinctive,
as implying the exercise of those faculties which more peculiarly
distinguish man from the lower orders of being.

_In what Way to be defined._--To define precisely the emotion of the
ludicrous would be as difficult as to give an exact definition of any
other feeling. We must content ourselves, as in all such cases, by
determining the circumstances or conditions which give occasion for the
feeling. Though we cannot define the emotion itself, we can carefully
observe and specify the various objects and occasions that give rise to

_The Question stated._--_Views of Locke and Dryden._--Under what
circumstances, then, is the feeling of the ludicrous awakened? What is
that certain peculiarity, or quality, of a certain class of objects,
which constitutes what we call _the ludicrous_, objectively considered?
Various answers have been given to this question, by writers not
unaccustomed to the careful observation of mental phenomena. Mr.
Locke's definition of wit is to this effect, that it consists in
"putting those ideas together with quickness and variety, wherein can
be found any resemblance or congruity, whereby to make up pleasant
pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy." This, it has been justly
remarked, is too comprehensive, since it includes the entire range
of eloquence and poetry. It comprends the sublime and the beautiful
as well as the witty. It applies to the most facetious passages of
Hudibras; it applies equally well to the most eloquent passages of
Burke or Webster, and to many of the finest passages of Paradise Lost.
Still more comprehensive is Dryden's definition, who says of wit,
that it is a propriety of thoughts and words, or thoughts and words
eloquently adapted to the subject, a definition which, it has been
jocosely remarked, would include at once Blair's Sermons, Campbell's
Pleasures of Hope, Cæsar's Commentaries, the Philippics of Cicero, and
the funeral orations of Bossuet, as peculiarly witty productions. It
should in justice be remarked, however, that neither Dryden nor Locke,
in their use of the term wit, seem to have had in mind what we now
understand by it, viz., facetiousness, or the mirth-provoking power,
but rather to have employed the word in that more general sense, in
which it was formerly almost exclusively used, to denote smartness and
vigor of the intellectual powers, good sense, sound judgment, quickness
of the apprehension, more particularly as these qualities are exhibited
in discourse or in writing.

_Definition of Johnson._--Johnson comes nearer the mark when he defines
wit as "a kind of _concordia discors_, a combination of dissimilar
images, a discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently
unlike." Not much removed from this, if not indeed derived from it,
is the definition of wit given by Campbell, in his Philosophy of
Rhetoric--"that which excites agreeable surprise in the mind, by the
strange assemblage of related images presented to it." To this, also,
applies the same objection as to the preceding definitions, that
it includes too much, the beautiful and sublime not less than the
ludicrous, eloquence as well as wit.

_Of Hobbes._--Hobbes defines laughter, which, so far as relates to the
mind, is merely the expression of the feeling of the ludicrous, to be
"a sudden glory, arising from a sudden conception of some eminency
in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or our own
former infirmity." There can be little doubt, I think, that the object
which excites laughter, always present itself to the mind as in some
sense its inferior; and in so far, the definition involves an essential
element of the ludicrous. The person laughing is always, for the time
being, superior, in his own estimation at least, to the person or thing
laughed at. It is some awkwardness, some blunder, some defect of body,
mind, or manner, some lack of sharpness and sense, or of courage, or
of dignity, some perceived incongruity between the true character or
position of the individual and his present circumstances, that excites
our laughter and constitutes the ludicrous.

_Objections to this Theory._--It is not true, however, that the
laughter, or the disposition to laugh, arises from the simple
conception of our own superiority, or the inferiority of the object
contemplated, even in the cases supposed; for if that were so, then
wherever and whenever we discover such superiority, the feeling of
the ludicrous ought to be awakened, and the greater the superiority,
the stronger the tendency to mirth; which is far from being the case.
We are not disposed to laugh at the misfortunes of others, however
superior our own condition may be to theirs in that very respect. My
estate may be better than my neighbor's, or my health superior to
his, but I am not disposed to laugh at him on that account. On the
theory of Hobbes, no persons ought to be so full of merriment, even to
overflowing, as the proud, self-conceited, and supercilious, who are
most deeply impressed with the idea of their own vast superiority to
people and things in general. The fact is precisely the reverse. Such
persons seldom laugh, and when they do, the smile that plays for a
moment on the face is of that cold and disdainful nature which is far
removed from genuine and hearty merriment. It has little in it, as it
has been well said, "of the _full glorying and eminency_ of laughter,"
but is rather like the smile of Cassius.

                      "He loves no plays,
    As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
    Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
    As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit,
    That could be moved to smile at any thing."

We cannot then resolve the ludicrous into the simple perception of some
inferiority of the object or person thus regarded, to ourselves, since
there are many kinds of inferiority which do not, in the least, awaken
the sense of the ludicrous, while, at the same time, those who are most
impressed by the consciousness of their superiority are not usually
most disposed to mirth.

_Incongruity the essential Element._--If we are required now to
specify in what consists the essential character of the ludicrous,
and of wit which may be regarded as the exciting or producing cause
of the same, we should detect it in _the grouping_, _or bringing
together in a sudden and unexpected manner_, _ideas or things that are
in their nature incongruous_. The _incongruity_ of the objects thus
brought into juxtaposition, and the _surprise_ felt at the _novel_ and
_unexpected_ relation thus discovered, are, it seems to me, the true
essential elements in the idea of the ludicrous. If we examine closely
the different objects that give rise to this emotion, we shall find,
I think, always something incongruous, and consequently unusual and
unexpected, in the relations presented, whether of ideas or of things.
It may be the result of accident, or of awkwardness, or of mental
obtuseness, or of design; it matters not in what mode or from what
source the thing proceeds; whenever these conditions are answered, the
sense of the ludicrous is awakened.

_Relation of Surprise to the ludicrous._--Surprise is an essential
concomitant of the ludicrous. This is the state of mind into which we
are thrown by the occurrence of any thing new, strange, out of the
usual course, and, therefore, unexpected. Whatever is incongruous,
is likely to be unusual, and of course unexpected, and hence strikes
the mind with more or less surprise. Not every thing that surprises
us, however, is witty. The sudden fall of a window near which we are
sitting, or the unexpected discharge of a musket within a few paces
of us, may cause us to start with surprise, but would not strike us
probably as particularly facetious. We are surprised to hear of the
death of a friend, or of some fearful accident, attended with loss
of life to many, but there is no mirthfulness in such surprise. It
is only that form of surprise which is awakened by the perception of
the incongruous, and not the surprise we feel in general at any thing
new and strange, that is related to the ludicrous. It is rather a
concomitant, therefore, than strictly an element of the emotion we are
now considering.

_Novelty as related to Wit._--How much novelty and suddenness add to
the effect of wit, every one knows. A story however witty, once heard,
loses its freshness and zest, and, often repeated, becomes not merely
uninteresting, but irksome, and at length intolerable. In the same
manner, and for the same reason, a witticism which we know to have
been premeditated produces little effect, as compared with the same
thing said in sudden repartee, and on the spur of the moment. That a
man should have studied out some curious relations and combinations of
things in his closet, does not surprise us so much, as that he should
happen to conceive of these relations at the very moment when they
would meet the exigency of the occasion. The epithets which we most
commonly apply to any witty production or facetious remark, indicate
the same thing; we call it lively, fresh, sparkling, full of vivacity
and zest--terms borrowed, perhaps, from the choicer wines, which will
not bear exposure but lose their flavor and life when once brought to
the air.

_Even the Incongruous not always ludicrous._--We come to this result,
then, in our own attempted analysis, that the incongruity of the ideas
or objects brought into relation with each other constitutes the
essential characteristic, the invariable element of the ludicrous, the
effect being always greatly heightened by the surprise we feel at the
novel and unexpected combinations thus presented. It must be remarked,
however, that even the incongruous and unexpected fail to awaken the
sense of the ludicrous, when the object or event contemplated is of
such a nature as to give rise to other and more serious emotions.
When the occurrence, however novel and surprising in itself, or even
ludicrous, is of such a nature as to endanger the life, or seriously
injure the well-being of ourselves or of others, in the one case fear,
in the other compassion, are at once awakened, and all sense of the
ludicrous is completely at an end. The graver passion is at variance
with the lighter, and banishes it from the mind. Should we see a well
dressed and portly man, of some pretension and bearing, accidentally
lose his footing and sprawl ingloriously in the gutter, our first
impulse undoubtedly would be to laugh. The incongruity of his present
position and appearance with his general neatness of person and dignity
of manner would appeal strongly to the sense of the ridiculous. Should
we learn, however, that in the fall he had broken his leg, or otherwise
seriously injured himself, our mirthfulness at once gives place to pity.

_Discovery of Truth not allied to the ludicrous._--It is for a
similar reason that the discovery of any new and important truth in
science, however strange and unexpected, never awakens the feeling of
the ludicrous. Its importance carries it over into a higher sphere
of thought and feeling. Kepler's law of planetary motion must have
been at first a strange and wonderful announcement; the chemical
identity of charcoal and the diamond presents, in a new and strange
relation, objects apparently most unlike and incongruous; yet, in all
probability, neither the astronomer, nor the chemist, who made and
announced these discoveries, were regarded by the men of the time as
having done any thing peculiarly witty. We look at the importance of
the results in such cases, and whatever of oddity or incongruity there
may be in the ideas or objects thus related, fails to impress the mind
in the presence of graver emotions.

_Various Forms of the ludicrous._--The incongruity that awakens the
feeling of the ludicrous may present itself in many diverse forms. It
may relate to _objects_, or to _ideas_. In either case, the grouping
or bringing together of the incongruous elements may be _accidental_,
or it may be _intentional_. If accidental, it passes for a blunder; if
intentional, it takes the name of wit.

_Accidental and intentional grouping of Objects incongruous._--Of
the _accidental_ grouping of _objects_ that are incongruous, we have
an instance in the case already supposed, of the well dressed and
dignified gentleman unexpectedly prostrate in the mud. If in place of
the dignified gentleman we have the dandy, or the Broadway exquisite,
fresh from the toilet, the incongruity is so much the greater, and so
much the greater our mirth. Let the hero of the scene, for instance, be
such a one as Hotspur so contemptuously describes as coming to parley
with him after battle:--

    "When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
    Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
    Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dressed,
    Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new-reaped,
    Showed like a stubble-land at harvest home.
    He was perfumed like a milliner;
    And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
    A pouncet box, which ever and anon
    He gave his nose, and took't away again;"

--imagine such a character, with all his finery, floundering in the
mud, and the ludicrousness of the scene would be such as to set at
naught all attempts at gravity, even on the part of those who seldom

When the incongruous objects are purposely brought into relation for
the sake of exciting mirth, the wit may be _at the expense of others_,
in which case we have either the practical joke, or simple buffoonery,
imitating the peculiarities and incongruities of others; or the joker
may play off his wit _at his own expense_, and act the clown or the
fool for the amusement of observers.

_Accidental grouping of incongruous Ideas._--When the incongruity is
that not of _objects_, but of _ideas_ brought into new and unexpected
relation, and when this is the result of accident or awkwardness,
rather than of design, we have what is termed a _blunder_ or a _bull_.
In such a case there is always involved some inconsistency between
the thing meant, and the thing said or done. There is an apparent
congruity, but a real incongruity of the related ideas. An instance of
this occurs in the anecdote related by Sydney Smith, of a physician,
who, being present where the conversation turned upon an English
nobleman of rank and fortune, but without children, remarked, with
great seriousness, that to be childless was a misfortune, but he
thought he had observed that it was _hereditary_ in some families.
Of this nature is most of the wit which we call Irish; the result of
accident rather than design--a blunder, a bull. It is said that during
the late rebellion in Ireland, the enraged populace, on a certain
occasion, vented their wrath against a famous banker, by solemnly
resolving to burn all his bank-notes which they could lay hands on;
forgetting, in their rage, that this was only to make themselves so
much the poorer, and him so much the richer. The instance given by Mr.
Mahan is also in point, of two Irishmen walking together through the
woods, the foremost of whom seizing a branch, as he passed along, and
holding it for a while, suddenly let it fly back, whereby his companion
behind was suddenly reduced to a horizontal position, but on recovering
himself, congratulated his associate on having held back the branch as
long as he did, since it must otherwise have killed him.

_Intentional grouping of incongruous Ideas._--The _intentional_
grouping of incongruous ideas, for the purpose of exciting the feeling
of the ludicrous, is more properly denominated _wit_. This, again,
may assume diverse forms. Where the ideas are entirely dissimilar,
but have a name or sound in common, which similarity of mere sound or
name is seized upon as the basis of comparison, the wit takes the name
of a _pun_. The more complete the incongruity of the two ideas, thus
brought into strange and unexpected relation, under cover of a word,
the more perfect the pun, and the more ludicrous the effect. This kind
of wit is deservedly reckoned as inferior. "By unremitting exertions,"
says a quaint writer, "it has been at last put under, and driven into
cloisters, from whence it must never again be suffered to emerge into
the light of the world." One invaluable blessing, adds the same author,
produced by the banishment of punning is, an immediate reduction of the
number of wits.

_The Burlesque._--When the wit is employed in debasing what is great
and imposing, by applying thereto figures and phrases that are mean and
contemptible, it takes the name of _burlesque_. The pages of Hudibras
afford abundant illustrations of this form of the ludicrous. The
battle of Don Quixote and the wind-mills is a burlesque on the ancient

_The Mock-Heroic._--The mock-heroic, by a contrary process, provokes
the sense of the ridiculous by investing what is inconsiderable and
mean with high-sounding epithets and dignified description. The battle
of the mice and frogs is an instance of this.

_The double Meaning._--Beside the varieties of intentional incongruity
of ideas already mentioned, there are certain less important forms
of witticism, which can perhaps hardly be classed under any of the
foregoing divisions. The whole tribe of _double entendres_, or double
meanings, where one thing is said and another thing is meant, or
at least where the apparent and honest is not the only or the real
meaning; _satire_, which is only a modification of the same principle,
drawn out into somewhat more extended and dignified discourse, and
which, under the form of apparent praise, hides the shafts of ridicule
and invective; _sarcasm_, which conveys the intended censure and
invective in a somewhat more indirect and oblique manner;--these are
all but various modes of what we have called intentional incongruity of

_This Principle, in what Respects of dangerous Tendency._--Of the
value of this principle of our nature, I have as yet said nothing. To
estimate it at its true worth, is not altogether an easy thing. On
the one hand, there can be little doubt that, carried to excess, it
becomes a dangerous principle. The tendency to view all things, even
perhaps the most sacred, in a ludicrous light, and to discover fanciful
and remote relations between objects and ideas the most diverse and
incongruous, must exert an unhappy influence on the general tone and
character of both the mind and the heart. Where wit, or the disposition
to the ludicrous, becomes the predominant quality of the mind,
impressing the other and nobler faculties into its lawless service, it
must be to the detriment of the mind's highest energies and capacities;
to the detriment especially of that sincerity and honesty of purpose,
and that earnest love of truth, which are the foundation of all true
greatness. I speak in this of the excess and abuse of wit; I speak of
the _mere_ wit.

_Of use to the Mind._--On the other hand, the tendency to the ludicrous
has its uses in the economy and constitution of our nature, and they
are by no means to be overlooked. It gives a lightness and buoyancy, a
freshness and life, to the faculties that would otherwise be jaded in
the weary march and routine of life. It is to the mind what music is
to the soldier on the march. It enlivens and refreshes the spirits. A
hearty laugh doeth good like a medicine. A quick and keen perception
of the ludicrous, when not permitted to usurp undue control, but made
the servitor of the higher powers and propensities, and keeping its
true place, not in the fore-front, but in the background of the varied
and busy scene, is to be regarded as one of the most fortunate mental

_Wit often associated with noble Qualities._--There is no necessary
connection, no connection of any sort, perhaps, between wisdom and
dullness, although a great part of mankind have always persisted in the
contrary opinion. The laughter-loving and laughter-provoking man is by
no means a fool. He who goes through the world, such as it is, and sees
in all its caprices, and inconsistencies, and follies, and absurdities,
nothing to laugh at, much more justly deserves the suspicion of a
lack of sense. "Wit," it has been justly remarked, "is seldom the
only eminent quality which resides in the mind of any man; it is
commonly accompanied by many other talents of every description, and
ought to be considered as a strong evidence of a fertile and superior
understanding. Almost all the great poets, orators, and statesmen of
all times, have been witty."

_Wit as an Instrument for correcting Folly._--There is one important
use of the faculty under consideration, to which I have not as yet
alluded. I refer to its power as an instrument for keeping in check
the follies and vices of those who are governed by no higher principle
than a regard to the good opinion of society, and a fear of incurring
the ridicule of an observing and sharp-sighted world. To such, and such
there are in multitudes, "_the world's dread laugh_" is more potent
and formidable than any law of God or man. There are, moreover, many
lighter foibles and inconsistencies of even good men, for which the
true and most effective weapon is ridicule.

_Remarks of Sydney Smith._--I cannot better conclude my remarks upon
this part of our mental constitution, than by citing some very just
observations of Sydney Smith--himself one of the keenest wits of the

"I have talked of the _danger_ of wit; I do not mean by that to enter
into common-place declamation against faculties, because they _are_
dangerous; wit is dangerous, eloquence is dangerous, a talent for
observation is dangerous, every thing is dangerous that has energy and
vigor for its characteristics; nothing is safe but mediocrity.... But
when wit is combined with sense and information; where it is softened
by benevolence, and restrained by strong principle; when it is in the
hands of a man who can use it and despise it, who can be witty and
something much _better_ than witty, who loves honor, justice, decency,
good nature, morality, and religion, ten thousand times better than
wit; wit is _then_ a beautiful and delightful part of our nature."


_Surprise and Ennui._--Of that form of surprise which arises in view of
the incongruous, and which accompanies the feeling of the ludicrous, I
have already had occasion to speak, in treating of that emotion. Of the
feeling of surprise in general, its nature, and occasions, and also of
that feeling to which it stands opposed, and which for want of a better
term we may call _ennui_, I am now to speak.

_Definition and nature of Surprise._--Surprise may be defined as the
feeling awakened by the perception of whatever is new and wonderful. It
is, in itself considered, an agreeable emotion, rather than otherwise.
Variety and novelty are usually pleasing; our nature demands them,
and is gratified at their occurrence. Monotony, the unbroken thread,
and ever-recurring routine of ordinary life and duty, weary, and,
after a time, disgust us. Upon this listlessness and lethargy of the
mind, a new and unexpected event, as the arrival of a friend, or
the reception of some unlooked-for intelligence, breaks in with an
agreeable surprise. Hence the eagerness of men, in all ages and all
nations, to hear or see some new thing. It is only when the new event
or intelligence is of the nature of positive evil, when the news is
of some misfortune, real or imagined, when the experience of present,
or the fear of future suffering, is the direct and natural result of
the occurrence, that the surprise becomes a painful emotion. And even
in such cases, I am not quite sure that there is not in the first
excitement of the mind upon the reception of bad news, as of the death
of a friend, or the calamity of a neighbor, something for the moment,
of the nature of pleasure mingling with the pain. We deeply regret the
occurrence, but are pleased to have heard the news. The thing grieves
us, but not the hearing of it. It is not the surprise that pains us,
but the thing at which we are surprised. Surprise, like every other
form of mental excitement, is not, in itself, and within due bounds,
disagreeable, but the reverse.

_How awakened._--This emotion is awakened, as already stated, in view
of any thing unforeseen and unexpected. We naturally anticipate,
to some extent, the course of the future. We presume it will be
substantially as the past. We expect the recurrence of what has often
and usually occurred, and whenever any thing breaks in on this
established order of events, we are surprised at the interruption in
the ordinary train of sequences. Hence the new and the strange always
excite surprise.

_Differs from Wonder._--Surprise differs from wonder, in that the
latter involves an _intellectual_ element, the effort of the mind to
satisfy itself of the cause and proper explanation of the new and
strange phenomenon. Surprise is purely a matter of sensibility, of
feeling, and not of intellect. The mind is wholly passive under this
emotion. It may lead to action, as may any other emotion, but, like
every other emotion, it is, in itself, an influence exerted upon the
mind, and not by it, something passively received, and not actively put

_From Astonishment._--It differs from astonishment in that the latter
expresses a higher degree of mental excitement, as in view of some
occurrence exceedingly remarkable and strange, or of some object whose
magnitude and importance fills the mind.

_Design of this Principle._--The end to be accomplished by this
provision of our nature is sufficiently obvious. Our attention is
thereby called to whatever is out of the ordinary course, and which,
from the circumstance that it is something unusual, may be supposed to
require attention, and we are put on our guard against the approaching
danger, or roused to meet the present emergency. Surprise is the
alarm-bell that calls all our energies into action, or at least warns
them to be in present readiness for whatever service may be needed. The
same principle operates also as a stimulus to exertion in the ordinary
affairs of life. We seek new things, we are weary with the old, and
this simple law of our nature is often one of the strongest incitements
to effort.

_The opposite Feeling._--The opposite of surprise is that uneasy
feeling, of which we are conscious, from the constant recurrence of
the same objects in unvaried sequence; as, for instance, from the
continued repetition of the same sound, or series of sounds, the
uniform succession of the same or similar objects in the landscape,
and the like. Every one knows how tedious becomes a perfectly straight
and level road, with the same objects occurring at regular intervals,
and with nothing to break the dead monotony of the scene. The most
rugged passes of the Alps would be a relief in exchange, both to body
and mind. The repetition of the same song, or the same succession of
musical sounds, however pleasing in themselves, becomes in like manner,
after a time, intolerable. For want of a better term, for I am not sure
that we have in our own language any one word that exactly expresses
the feeling now under consideration, we may borrow of the French the
somewhat expressive term _ennui_, by which to designate this form of
the sensibility.

_Use of Ennui._--There can be little doubt that this feeling subserves
a valuable purpose in the constitution and economy of our nature. It
is the needed motive and stimulus to action, without which we should
settle down often into a sluggish indifference and contentment with
things as they are, instead of pressing forward to something worthier
and better.


_The Enjoyment, as distinguished from the intellectual Perception of
the Beautiful._--Of the _idea_ of the beautiful, and of the action of
the mind as _cognizant_ of it, in so far as regards the intellectual
faculties, I have already treated in another connection. But it is not
the intellect alone that comes under the influence of the beautiful.
What the sense perceives, what the taste and judgment recognize and
approve, the sensibility is quick to feel. Emotion is awakened. No
sooner is a beautiful object perceived in nature or art, than we are
conscious of lively sensations of pleasure. So strong and so universal
are these feelings, that many writers have been led to speak of beauty
itself, as if it were an emotion, a merely subjective matter, an
affair of feeling merely. The incorrectness of this view has been
already shown, and we need not enter upon the discussion anew.

_The term Admiration._--The feeling awakened by the perception of the
beautiful, like some other feelings of which we are conscious, has not
a name that precisely designates it; hence the expression--ambiguous,
and, therefore, objectionable--emotions of beauty, employed by certain
writers to denote the feeling in question. The word _admiration_,
though often used in a somewhat wider sense, perhaps more nearly
expresses the emotion to which I refer, than any other word in our
language. We are surprised at what is new and strange. We admire what
is beautiful and sublime. The feeling is one of pure and unalloyed
pleasure, mingled with more or less of wonder or surprise, in case
the object contemplated is one which is new to us, or one of rare and
surpassing beauty. As the beautiful has its opposite--the deformed
or ugly--so the feeling which it awakens stands contrasted with an
opposite emotion, viz., _disgust_.

In connection with this form of sensibility, there are some questions
requiring consideration.

_Whether the Emotion is immediate._--It is a question somewhat debated,
whether the emotions awakened by the beautiful and sublime are
immediate, or reflective; whether they spring up at once on perception
of the object, or only as the result of reflection and reasoning.
Those who maintain that beauty consists in utility, or in order and
proportion, fitness, unity with variety, etc., must, of course, regard
the emotions awakened by it as not immediate, since, according to their
theory, time must be allowed for the understanding to convince itself,
in the first place, that the object _is_ useful, etc. The qualities
constituting the beauty must be first apprehended by the mind as
existing in the object, before there can be emotion, and to do this is
the work of reflection. If, however, beauty is but the expression of
the invisible under the visible and sensible forms, then all that is
necessary to produce emotion is simply the perception of the object
thus expressive, since the moment it is perceived, it is perceived as
expressing something, and thus, appealing to our own spiritual nature,
awakens immediate emotion.

_How to be decided._--The question must be decided by the observation
of facts, and the result will constitute an additional argument in
favor of one, or the other, of the general views of the beautiful now
named. What then are the facts in the case, as given by consciousness,
and observation?

_Testimony of Consciousness._--So far as I can judge, no sooner do we
find ourselves in presence of a beautiful object than we are conscious
of emotions of pleasure. There is no previous cross-questioning of
the object to find out whether it is adapted to this or that useful
end, or whether the rules of order, and proportion, are observed in
its construction. Before we have time to think of these things, the
sensibility has already responded to the appeal which beauty ever makes
to our sensitive nature, and the first distinct fact of which we are
conscious is an emotion of pleasure.

_Effect of Repetition._--Consciousness assures us, more over, that the
pleasure is usually quite as vivid at the first sight of a beautiful
object as ever after, which would indicate that it is not the result of
reflection. In truth, repetition is found, in most cases, to weaken the
emotion, and familiarity may even destroy it. Yet every repetition adds
to our opportunity for observation and reflection, and strengthens our
conviction of the utility, the order, the fitness, the proportion, of
that which we observe.

_Critical Reflection subsequent to Emotion._--It seems evident,
moreover, that whatever reflections of this nature we may choose to
indulge, are uniformly subsequent to the first emotion of pleasure
and delight, to the first impression made upon us by the beauty of
the object--after-thoughts readily to be distinguished from those
first impressions--and that they are usually the result of a special
volition to inform ourselves as to these matters; whereas the emotion
is spontaneous and involuntary. Doubtless a pleasure arises from the
perception of the qualities referred to, but it is a pleasure of
another kind from that which arises in view of the beautiful, as such.
We must think, then, that the emotions awakened by the beautiful are
immediate, not reflective.

_Further Question._--Closely allied to the preceding is the question,
Which precedes the other, the emotion which a beautiful object awakens,
or the judgment of the mind that the object is beautiful. Logically,
doubtless, the two things may be distinguished, but not, perhaps, in
order of time. No sooner is the object perceived, than it is both
perceived and felt to be beautiful. The emotion awakened and the mental
affirmation, "That is beautiful," are both immediate on the perception
of the object, synchronous events, so far as concerns at least our
ability to distinguish between them in point of time.

_Logically, Emotion precedes._--In point of logical relation, the
emotion, I think, must be allowed the precedence, although so high an
authority as Kant decides otherwise. Had we no emotion in view of the
beautiful, we should not know that it was beautiful. As, universally,
sensation is the indispensable condition of perception, and logically,
at least, its antecedent, so here the feeling of the beautiful is
the condition and source of the perception of the beautiful. The
object strikes us as being so, moves us, affects us, produces on us
the impression, and hence we say, "That is beautiful." Had we no
susceptibility of emotion in view of the beautiful, it may be seriously
questioned whether we should ever have the perception or impression
that any given object is beautiful.

_The Beautiful as distinguished from the Sublime._--There is still
another point deserving attention. In discussing the æsthetic emotions,
we have spoken as yet only of the feeling awakened by the _beautiful_.
How do these emotions differ--in degree merely--or in nature?

_The Opinion that they differ only in Degree._--Some have maintained
that sublimity is only a higher _degree_ of what we call beauty. A
little stream playing among the hills and tumbling over the rocks
is beautiful; a little further on, as it grows larger, and swifter,
and stronger, it becomes sublime. If this be so, it is a very simple
matter: the surveyor's chain, or a ten foot pole, will, at any time,
give us the difference, and enable us to determine at once whether a
river or a mountain is merely pretty, or sublime.

_Different Emotions excited by each._--If they differ in _kind_,
however, and not merely in quantity, it may not be so easy to tell just
what the difference is. We can best detect it, perhaps, by observing
carefully the difference of the emotions excited in us by the two
classes of objects. I contemplate an object, which, in common with all
the world, I call beautiful. What emotion does that object awaken in
me? An emotion of pleasure and delight, for which I can find, perhaps,
no better name than admiration. I contemplate now another object
which men call sublime. What now are my emotions? Admiration there
may be, but not, as before, a calm, placid delight; far otherwise. An
admiration mingled with awe, a sense of greatness and of power in the
object now oppresses me, and I stand as before some superior being,
or element, in whose presence I feel my comparative feebleness and

_The Sublime conveys the Idea of superior Power._--Accordingly we
find that the objects which men call sublime are invariably such as
are fitted to awaken such emotions. They are objects which convey the
idea of superior force and power--something grand in its dimensions
or in its strength--something vast and illimitable, beyond our
comprehension and control. The boundless expanse of the ocean, the
prairie, or the pathless desert, the huge mass of some lofty mountain,
the resistless cataract, the awful crash of the thunder, as it rolls
along the trembling firmament, the roar of the sea in a storm when
it lifteth up its waves on high, the movements of an army on the
battle-field--these, and such as these, are the objects we call
sublime. The little may be beautiful, it is never sublime. Nor is the
merely great always so, but only when it conveys the idea of superior
power. Montmorenci is beautiful, Niagara is sublime. A Swiss valley,
nestling among the hills, is beautiful; the mountains that tower above
it through the overhanging clouds into the pure upper sky, and in the
calm, serene majesty of their strength stand looking down upon the
slumbering world at their feet, and all the insignificance of man and
his little affairs, are sublime.

_The Sublime and the Beautiful associated._--Nor is the sublime always
unassociated with the beautiful. Niagara is not more sublime than
beautiful. The deep emerald hue of the waters as they plunge, the bow
on the mist, the foam sparkling in the abyss below, are each among
the most beautiful objects in nature. The sublime and the beautiful
are often mingled thus, distinct elements, but conjoined in the same
object. The highest æsthetic effect is produced by this combination.
The beauty tempers the sublimity; the sublimity elevates and ennobles
the beauty. It is thus at Niagara. It is thus when the sunrise flashes
along the summits of the snowy Alps.

_The Beautiful tranquilizes, the Sublime agitates._--The beautiful
pleases us; so, in a sense, does the sublime. Both produce agreeable
emotions. Yet they differ. In the enjoyment of the beautiful there
is a calm, quiet pleasure; the mind is at rest, undisturbed, can at
its leisure and sweet will admire the delicacy and elegance of that
which fills it with delight. But in the perception of the sublime it
is otherwise. The mind is agitated, is in sympathy with the stir, and
strife, and play of the fierce elements, or is oppressed with the
feeling of its own insignificance, as contrasted with the stern majesty
and strength of what it contemplates. Hence the sublime takes a deeper
hold on the mind than the merely beautiful, awes it, elevates it,
rouses its slumbering energies, quickens the slow course of thought,
and makes it live, in brief moments, whole hours and days of ordinary
life. The beautiful charms and soothes us; the sublime subdues us and
leads us captive. The one awakens our sympathy and love, the other
rouses in us all that is noble, serious, and great in our nature.

_Relation of the Sublime to Fear._--The relation of the sublime to
fear has been noticed by several writers. Memdelssohn, Ancillon, Kant,
Jouffroy, Blair, have spoken of it, as well as Burke. The latter was
not far from right in his theory of fear as an element of the sublime.
It were better to say _awe_ than fear, for the boldest and stoutest
hearts are fully susceptible of it; and it were better to speak of it
as an element of our emotion in view of the sublime, than as an element
of the sublime itself.

_Cultivation of æsthetic Sensibility._--I cannot, in this connection,
entirety pass without notice a topic requiring much more careful
consideration than my present limits will permit--the cultivation of
the æsthetic sensibility--of a love for the beautiful.

_This Culture neglected._--The love of the beautiful is merely one of
the manifold forms of the sensibility, and, in common with every other
feeling and propensity of our nature, it may be augmented, quickened,
strengthened to a very great degree by due culture and exercise. It
is an endowment of nature, but, like other native endowments, it may
be neglected and suffered to die out. This, unfortunately, is too
frequently the case with those especially who are engaged in the active
pursuits of life. The time and the attention are demanded for other
and more important matters, and so the merely beautiful is passed by
unheeded. It admits of question, whether it is not a serious defect
in our systems of education, that so little attention is paid to
the culture of the taste, and of a true love for the beautiful. The
means of such a culture are ever at hand. The great works and the
most perfect models in art are not, indeed, accessible to all. Not
every one can cross the seas to study the frescoes of Raphael and
Michael Angelo. But around us in nature, along our daily paths, are
the works of a greater Artist, and no intelligent and thoughtful mind
need be unobservant of their beauty. Nor is there danger, as some may
apprehend, that we shall carry this matter to excess. The tendencies of
our age and of our country are wholly the reverse. The danger is rather
that in the activity and energy of our new life, the higher culture
will be overlooked, and the love of the beautiful die out.

_Value of this Principle._--The love of the beautiful is the source
of some of the purest and most exquisite pleasures of life. It is the
gift of God in the creation and endowment of the human soul. Nature
lays the foundation for it among her earliest developments. The child
is, by nature, a lover of the beautiful. Nor is it in early life alone
that this principle has its natural and normal developments. On the
contrary, under favorable circumstances, it grows stronger and more
active as the mind matures, and the years pass on. Happy he who, even
in old age, keeps fresh in his heart this pure and beautiful fountain
of his youth; who, as days advance, and shadows lengthen, and sense
grows dull, can still look, with all the admiration and delight of his
childish years, on whatever is truly beautiful in the works of God or


_The Feeling, as distinguished from the Perception of Right._--In the
chapter on the Idea and Cognizance of the Right, the notion of right,
in itself considered, and also the mind's action as cognizant of the
right, so far at least as concerns the _intellectual_ faculties thus
employed, were fully discussed. It is not necessary now to enter again
upon the investigation of these topics. But, as in the cognizance of
the beautiful, so in the cognizance of the right, not only is the
intellect exercised, but the sensibility also is aroused. As consequent
upon the perceptions of the intellect, _emotion_ is awakened; and
that emotion is both definite and strong. It is peculiar in its
operation. No emotion that stirs the human bosom is more uniform in
its development, more strongly marked in its character, or exerts a
deeper and more permanent influence on the happiness and destiny of
man, than the satisfaction with which he views the virtuous conduct
of a well-spent hour or a well-spent life, and the regret, amounting
sometimes to remorse, with which, on the contrary, he looks back upon
the misdeeds and follies of the past. Of all the forms of joy and
sorrow that cast their lights and shadows over the checkered scene and
pathway of human existence, there are none which, aside from their
ethical relations, are of deeper interest to the psychologist, or more
worthy his careful study, than the emotions to which I now refer.

_The moral Faculty not resolvable into moral Feeling._--So deeply have
certain writers been impressed with the importance of this part of
our nature, that they have not hesitated to resolve the moral faculty
itself into the emotions now under consideration, and to make the
recognition of moral distinctions ultimately a mere matter of feeling.
This, whether regarded ethically, or psychologically, is certainly a
great mistake, fatal in either case to the true science whether of
morals or of mind. Right and wrong, as also the beautiful and its
opposite, are not mere conceptions of the human mind. They have an
actual objective existence and reality and, as such, are cognized by
the mind, which perceives a given act to be right or wrong, and, as
such, obligatory or the opposite, and approves or condemns the deed,
and the doer accordingly. So far the intellect is concerned. But the
process does not stop here. Sensibility is awakened. The verdict and
calm decisions of the judgment are taken up by the feelings, and made
the basis and occasion of a new form of mental activity. It is with
this excitement of the sensibility in view of conduct as right or
wrong, that we are now concerned, and while we can by no means resolve
all our moral perceptions and judgments into this class of emotions,
we would still assign it an important place among the various forms of
mental activity.

_Not limited to our own Conduct._--The emotion of which we speak is
not limited to the occasions of our own moral conduct; it arises,
also, in view of the moral actions of others. A good deed, an act of
generosity, magnanimity, courage, by whomsoever performed, meets our
approbation, and awakens in our bosoms feelings of pleasure. If the act
is one of more than ordinary heroism and self-sacrifice, we are filled
with admiration. Instances of the opposite excite our displeasure and
disgust. No small part of the interest with which we trace the records
of history, or the pages of romance, arises from that constant play
of the feelings with which we watch the course of events, and the
development of character, as corresponding to or at variance with the
demands of our moral nature.

_A good Conscience an Object of universal Desire._--But it is chiefly
when we become ourselves the actors, and the decisions of conscience
respect our own good or evil deeds that we learn the true nature and
power of the moral emotions. A good conscience, it has been said, is
the only object of universal desire, since even bad men wish, though
in vain, for the happiness which it confers. It would perhaps be more
correct to say that an accusing conscience is an object of universal
dread. But in either case, whether for approval or condemnation, very
great is its power over the human mind.

_Sustaining Power of a good Conscience._--We all know something of
it, not only by the observation of others, but by the consciousness
of our own inner life. In the testimony of a good conscience, in its
calm, deliberate approval of our conduct, lies one of the sweetest and
purest of the pleasures of life; a source of enjoyment whose springs
are beyond the reach of accident or envy; a fountain in the desert
making glad the wilderness and the solitary place. It has, moreover, a
sustaining power. The consciousness of rectitude, the approval of the
still small voice within, that whispers in the moment of danger and
weakness, "_You are right_," imparts to the fainting soul a courage
and a strength that can come from no other source. Under its influence
the soul is elevated above the violence of pain, and the pressure of
outward calamity. The timid become bold, the weak are made strong.
Here lies the secret of much of the heroism that adorns the annals
of martyrdom and of the church. Women and children, frail and feeble
by nature, ill fitted to withstand the force of public opinion, and
shrinking from the very thought of pain and suffering, have calmly
faced the angry reproaches of the multitude, and resolutely met death
in its most terrific forms, sustained by the power of an approving
conscience, whose decisions were, to them, of more consequence than the
applause or censure of the world, and whose sustaining power bore them,
as on a prophet's chariot of fire, above the pains of torture and the
rage of infuriated men.

_Power of Remorse._--Not less is the power of an accusing conscience.
Its disapprobation and censure, though clothed with no external
authority, are more to be dreaded than the frowns of kings or the
approach of armies. It is a silent constant presence that cannot be
escaped, and will not be pacified. It embitters the happiness of life,
cuts the sinews of the soul's inherent strength. It is a fire in the
bones, burning when no man suspects but he only who is doomed to its
endurance; a girdle of thorns worn next the heart, concealed, it
may be, from the eye of man, but giving the wearer no rest, day nor
night. Its accusations are not loud, but to the guilty soul they are
terrible, penetrating her inmost recesses, and making her to tremble as
the forest trembles at the roar of the enraged lion, as the deep sea
trembles in her silent depths, when her Creator goeth by on the wings
of the tempest, and the God of glory thundereth. The bold bad man
hears that accusing voice, and his strength departs from him. The heart
that is inured to all evil, and grown hard in sin, and fears not the
face of man, nor the law of God, hears it, and becomes as the heart of
a child.

How terrible is remorse! that worm that never dies, that fire that
never goes out. We cannot follow the human soul beyond the confines of
its present existence. But it is an opinion entertained by some, and in
itself not improbable, that, in the future, conscience will act with
greatly increased power. When the causes that now conspire to prevent
its full development and perfect action, shall operate no longer; when
the tumult of the march and the battle are over; when the cares, the
pleasures, the temptations, the vain pursuits, that now distract the
mind with their confused uproar, shall die away in the distance, and
cease to be heard, in the stillness of eternity, in the silence of a
purely spiritual existence, the still small voice of conscience may
perhaps be heard as never before. In the busy day-time we catch, at
intervals, the sound of the distant ocean, as a low and gentle murmur.
In the still night, when all is hushed, we hear it beating, in heavy
and constant surges, on the shore. And thus it may be with the power of
conscience in the future.






_Character of the Affections as a Class._--Of the three generic classes
into which the sensibilities were divided, viz., Simple Emotions,
Affections, and Desires, the first alone has, thus far, engaged our
attention. We now approach the second. It will be remembered that, in
our analysis of the sensibilities, the Affections were distinguished
from the Simple Emotions, as being of a complex character, involving,
along with the feeling of delight and satisfaction in the object, or
the reverse, the wish, more or less definite and intense, of good or
ill to the object that awakens the emotion. The feeling thus assumes
an active and transitive form, going forth from itself, and even
forgetting itself, in its care for the object.

_How divided._--The affections, it will also be remembered, were
further divided into the _benevolent_ and _malevolent_, according as
they seek the good or the ill of the object on which they fasten. As
the simple emotions are but so many forms of _joy_ and _sorrow_, so,
likewise, the affections are but so many modifications of the principle
of _love_ and its opposite, _hate_.

_Effects upon the Character in their marked Development._--When these
give tone to the general character of an individual, he becomes
the philanthropist or misanthropist, the man of kind and gentle
disposition, or the hater of his race, according as the one or the
other principle predominates.

Roused to more than ordinary activity, breaking away from the
restraints of reason, and the dictates of sober judgment, assuming
the command of the soul, and urging it on to a given end, regardless
of other and higher interests, these affections assume the name of
_passions_, and the spectacle is presented of a man driven blindly and
madly to the accomplishment of his wishes, as the ship, dismantled,
drives before the storm; or else, in stern conflict with himself and
the feelings that nature has implanted in his bosom, controlling with
steady hand his own restless and fiery spirit.

_Relation to the simple Emotions._--The relation which the affections,
as a class, bear to the simple emotions, deserves a moment's attention.
The one class naturally follows and grows out of the other. What we
enjoy, we come naturally to regard with feelings of affection, while
that which causes pain, naturally awakens feelings of dislike and
aversion. So love and hate succeed to joy and sorrow in our hearts, as
regards the objects contemplated. The simple emotions precede and give
rise to the affections.

_Enumeration._--The benevolent affections, to which we confine our
attention in the present chapter, assume different forms, according to
their respective objects.

The more prominent are, _love of kindred_, _love of friends_, _love of
benefactors_, _love of home and country_. Of these we shall treat in
their order.


_Includes what._--Under this head we may include the _parental_, the
_filial_, and the _fraternal_ affection, as modifications of the same
principle, varying according to the varying relations of the parties

_Does not grow out of the Relations of the Parties._--That the
affection _grows out_ of the relations sustained by the parties to
each other, I am not prepared to affirm, although some have taken
this view; I should be disposed rather to regard it as an implanted
and original principle of our nature; still, that it is very much
influenced and augmented by those relations, and that it is manifestly
adapted to them, no one, I think, can deny.

_But adapted to that Relation._--How intimate and how peculiar the
relation, for example, that subsists between parent and child, and
how deep and strong the affection that binds the heart of the parent
to the person and well-being of his offspring. The one corresponds to
the other; the affection to the relation; and the duties which that
relation imposes, and all the kind offices, the care, and attention
which it demands, how cheerfully are they met and fulfilled, as
prompted by the strength and constancy of that affection. Without
that affection, the relation might still exist, requiring the same
kind offices, and the same assiduous care, and reason might point out
the propriety and necessity of their performance, but how inadequate,
as motives to action, would be the dictates of reason, the sense of
propriety, or even the indispensable necessity of the case, as compared
with that strong and tender parental affection which makes all those
labors pleasant, and all those sacrifices light, which are endured for
the sake of the helpless ones confided to its care. There was need of
just this principle of our nature to meet the demands and manifold
duties arising from the relation to which we refer; and in no part of
the constitution of the mind is the benevolence of the great Designer
more manifest. What but love could sustain the weary mother during
the long and anxious nights of watching by the couch of her suffering
child? What but love could prompt to the many sacrifices and privations
cheerfully endured for its welfare? Herself famished with hunger, she
divides the last morsel among those who cry to her for bread. Herself
perishing with cold, she draws the mantle from her own shoulders
to protect the little one at her side from the fury of the blast.
She freely perils her own life for the safety of her child. These
instances, while they show the strength of that affection which can
prompt to such privation and self-sacrifice, show, also, the end which
it was designed to subserve, and its adaptation to that end.

_This Affection universal._--The parental affection is universal, not
peculiar to any nation, or any age, or any condition of society. Nor is
it strong in one case, and weak in another, but everywhere and always
one of the strongest and most active principles of our nature. Nor is
it peculiar to our race. It is an emotion shared by man in common with
the lower orders of intelligence. The brute-beast manifests as strong
an affection for her offspring, as man under the like circumstances
exhibits. The white bear of the arctic glaciers, pursued by the hunter,
throws herself between him and her cub, and dies in its defence.

All these circumstances, the precise adaptation of the sensibility
in question to the peculiar exigencies it seemed designed to meet,
the strength and constancy of that affection, the universality of its
operation, and the fact that is common to man with the brute, all go to
show that the principle now under consideration must be regarded as an
instinctive and original principle, implanted in our nature by the hand
that formed us.

_Strengthened by Circumstances._--But though an original principle,
and, therefore, not derived from habit or circumstance, there can be
no doubt that the affection of which we speak is greatly modified, and
strengthened, by the circumstances in which the parent and child are
placed with respect to each other, and also by the power of habit.
Like most of our active principles, it finds, in its own use and
exercise, the law of its growth. So true is this, that when the care
and guardianship of the child are transferred to other hands, there
springs up something of the parent's love, in the heart to which has
been confided this new trust. It seems to be a law of our nature that
we love those who are dependent on us, who confide in us, and for whom
we are required to exert ourselves. The more dependent and helpless
the object of our solicitude, and the greater the sacrifice we make,
or the toil we endure, in its behalf, the greater our regard and
affection for it. If in the little group that gathers around the poor
man's scanty board, or evening fireside, there is one more tenderly
loved than another, one on whom his eye more frequently rests, or
with more tender solicitude than on the others, it is that one over
whose sick-bed he has most frequently bent with anxiety, and for whose
benefit he has so often denied himself the comforts of life. By every
sacrifice thus made, by every hour of toil and privation cheerfully
endured, by every watchful, anxious night, and every day of unremitting
care and devotion, is the parental affection strengthened. And to the
operation of the same law of our nature is doubtless to be attributed
the regard which is felt, under similar circumstances, by those who
are not parents, for the objects of their care. But it may reasonably
be doubted whether, in such case, the affection, although of the same
nature, ever equals, in intensity and fervor, the depth and strength of
a parent's love.

_Strongest in the Mother._--The parental affection, though common to
both sexes, finds its most perfect development in the heart of the
mother. Whether this is the natural result of the principle already
referred to, the care and effort that devolve in greater degree upon
the mother, and awaken a love proportionably stronger, or whether it
is an original provision of nature to meet the necessity of the case,
we can but see in the fact referred to a beautiful adaptation of our
nature to the circumstances that surround us.

_Stronger in the Parent than in the Child._--The love of the parent
for the child is stronger than that of the child for the parent. There
was need that it should be so. Yet is there no affection, of all those
that find a place in the human heart, more beautiful and touching than
filial love. Nor, on the contrary, is there any one aspect of human
nature, imperfect as it is, so sad and revolting as the spectacle
sometimes presented, of filial ingratitude, a spectacle sure to awaken
the indignation and abhorrence of every generous heart. When the son,
grown to manhood, forgets the aged mother that bore him, and is ashamed
to support her tottering steps, or leaves to loneliness and want the
father whose whole life has been one of care and toil for him, he
receives, as he deserves, the contempt of even the thoughtless world,
and the scorn of every man whose opinion is worth regarding.

There have not been wanting noble instances of the strength of the
filial affection. If parents have voluntarily incurred death to save
their children, so, also, though perhaps less frequently, have children
met death to save a parent.

_Value of these Affections._--The parental and filial affections lie at
the foundation of the social virtues. They form the heart to all that
is most noble and elevating, and constitute the foundation of all that
is truly great and valuable in character. Deprived of these influences,
men may, indeed, become useful and honorable members of society--such
cases have occurred--but rather as exceptions to the rule. It is
under the genial influences of home, and parental care and love, that
the better qualities of mind and heart are most favorably and surely
developed, and the character most successfully formed for the conflicts
and temptations of future life.

_Not inconsistent with the manly Virtues._--Nor is the gentleness
implied in the domestic affections inconsistent with those sterner
qualities of character, which history admires in her truly great and
heroic lives. Poets have known this, painters have seized upon it,
critics have pointed it out in the best ideal delineations, both of
ancient and of modern times. It softens the gloomy and otherwise
forbidding character of stern Achilles; it invests with superior
beauty, and almost sacredness, the aged Priam suing for the dead body
of Hector; it constitutes one of the brightest ornaments with which
Virgil knew how to adorn the character of the hero of the Æneid, while
in the affection of Napoleon for his son, and in the grief of Cromwell
for the death of his daughter, the domestic affection shines forth in
contrast with the strong and troubled scenes of eventful public life,
as a gentle star glitters on the brow of night.


_Much said in Praise of Friendship._--Among the benevolent affections
that find a place in the human heart, friendship has ever been regarded
as one of the purest and noblest. Poets and moralists have vied with
each other in its praise. Even those philosophers who have derived all
our active principles from self-love have admitted this to a place
among the least selfish of our emotions. There can be no doubt that it
is a demand of our nature, a part of our original constitution. The man
who, among all his fellows, finds no one in whom he delights, and whom
he calls his friend, must be wanting in some of the best traits and
qualities of our common humanity, while, on the other hand, pure and
elevated friendship is a mark of a generous and noble mind.

_On what Circumstances it depends._--If we inquire whence arises this
emotion in any given case, on what principles or circumstances it is
founded, we shall find that, while other causes have much to do with
it, it depends chiefly on the _more or less intimate acquaintance_ of
the parties. There must, indeed, be on our part some perception of
high and noble qualities belonging to him whom we call our friend,
and some appreciation, also, of those qualities. We must admire his
genius, or his courage, or his manly strength and prowess, or his
moral virtues, or, at least, his position and success. All these
things come in to modify our estimate and opinion of the man, and may
be said to underlie our friendship for him. Still, it is not so much
from these circumstances, as from personal and intimate acquaintance,
that friendship most directly springs. Admiration and respect for the
high qualities and noble character of another, are not themselves
friendship, however closely related to it. They may be, and doubtless
are, to some extent, the foundation on which that affection rests, but
they are not its immediately producing cause. They may exist where no
opportunity for personal acquaintance is afforded, while, on the other
hand, a simple and long-continued acquaintance, with one whom we,
perhaps, should not, in our own candid judgment, pronounce superior to
other men, either in genius, or fortune, or the nobler qualities of the
soul, may, nevertheless, ripen into strong and lasting friendship.

_How Acquaintance leads to Friendship._--To what is this owing? Not
so much, I suspect, to the fact that acquaintance reveals always
something to admire, even in those whom we had not previously regarded
with special deference--although this, I am willing to admit, may be
the case--but rather to that simple law of mental activity which we
call association. The friend whom we have long and intimately known,
the friend of other, and earlier, and, it may be, happier years, is
intimately connected with our own history. His life and our own have
run side by side, on rather, like vines springing from separate roots,
have intertwined their branches until they present themselves as one
to the eye. It is this close connection of my friend with whatever
pertains to myself, of his history with my history, and his life with
my life, that contributes in great measure to the regard and interest I
feel for him. He has become, as it were, a part of myself. The thought
of him awakens in my mind pleasing remembrances, and is associated with
agreeable conceptions of the walks, the studies, the sports, the varied
enjoyments and the varied sorrows that we have shared together.

_Regard for inanimate Objects._--The same principle extends also to
inanimate objects, as places and scenes with which we have become
familiar, the meadows through which we roamed in childhood, the books
we read, the rooms we inhabited, even the instruments of our daily
toil. These all become associated with ourselves, we form a sort
of friendship for them. The prisoner who has spent long years of
confinement in his solitary cell, forms a species of attachment for
the very walls that have shut him in, and looks upon them for the last
time, when at length the hour of deliverance arrives, not without a
measure of regret. The sword that has been often used in battle is
thenceforth, to the old soldier, the visible representative of many a
hard-fought field, and many a perilous adventure. Uncouth and rusty
it may be, ill-formed, and unadorned, in its plain and clumsy iron
scabbard, but its owner would not exchange it for one of solid gold. It
is not strange that the principle of association, which attaches us so
closely even to inanimate objects, should enter largely as an element
into the friendships we form with our own species.

_Other Causes auxiliary._--I would by no means deny, however, that
other causes may, and usually do, contribute to the same result. Mere
acquaintance and companionship do not, of necessity, nor invariably,
amount to friendship. There must be some degree of sympathy, and
congeniality of thought and feeling, some community of interests,
pursuits, desires, hopes, something in common between the two minds,
or no friendship will spring up between them. Acquaintance, and
participation in the same scenes and pursuits, furnish, to some extent,
this common ground. But even where this previous companionship is
wanting, there may exist such congeniality and sympathy between two
minds, the tastes and feelings, the aims and aspirations of each may
be so fully in unison, that each shall feel itself drawn to the other,
with a regard which needs only time and opportunity to ripen into
strong and lasting friendship.

_Dissimilarity not inconsistent with Friendship._--Nor is it necessary,
in order to true friendship, that there should be complete similarity
or agreement. The greatest diversity even may exist in many respects,
whether as to qualities of mind, or traits of character. Indeed, such
diversity, to some extent, must be regarded as favorable to friendship,
rather than otherwise. We admire, often, in others, the very qualities
which we perceive to be lacking in ourselves, and choose for our
friends those whose richer endowments in these respects may compensate
in a measure for our own deficiencies. The strongest friendships are
often formed in this way by persons whose characters present striking
points of contrast. Such diversity, in respect to natural gifts and
traits of character, is not inconsistent with the closest sympathy
of views and feelings in regard to other matters, and therefore not
inconsistent with the warmest friendship.

_Limitation of the Number of Friends._--It was, perhaps, an idle
question, discussed in the ancient schools of philosophy, whether true
friendship can subsist between more than two persons. No reason can
be shown why this affection should be thus exclusive, nor do facts
seem to justify such a limitation. The addition of a new friend to the
circle of my acquaintance does not necessarily detract aught from the
affection I bear to my former friends, nor does it awaken suspicion or
jealousy on their part. In this respect, friendship is unlike the love
which exists between the sexes, and which is exclusive in its nature.

It must be admitted, at the same time, that there are limits to this
extension, and that he who numbers a large circle of friends is not
likely to form a very strong attachment for any one of them. Not
unfrequently, indeed, a friendship thus unlimited is the mark, as Mr.
Stewart suggests, of a cold and selfish character, prompted to seek
the acquaintance of others by a regard to his own advantage, and a
desire for society, rather than by any real attachment to those whose
companionship he solicits. True and genuine friendship is usually more
select in its choice, and is wholly disinterested in its character. A
cold and calculating policy forms no part of its nature. It springs
from no selfish or even prudential considerations. It burns with a pure
and steady flame in the heart that cherishes it, and burns on even when
the object of its regard is no longer on earth. Our friendships are not
all with the living. We cherish the memory of those whom we no longer
see, and welcome to the heart those whom we no longer welcome to our
home and fireside.

_Effect of adventitious Circumstances._--Reverses in life, changes in
fortune, the accidents of health and sickness, of wealth and poverty,
of station and influence, have little power to weaken the ties of true
friendship once formed. They test, but do not impair its strength.
True friendship only makes us cling the closer to our friend in his
adversity; and when fortune frowns, and the sunshine of popular favor
passes away, and "there is none so poor to do him reverence," whom once
all men courted and admired, we still love him, who, in better days,
showed himself worthy of our love and who, we feel, is none the less
worthy of it, now that we must love him for what he _is_, and not for
what he has. That is not worthy the name of friendship, which will not
endure this test.

_Changes in moral Character._--Much more seriously is friendship
endangered by any change of moral character and principle, on the part
of either of the friends. So long as the change affects merely the
person, the wealth, the social position, the power, the good name even,
we feel that these are but the external circumstances, the accidents,
the surroundings, and not the man himself, and however these things
may vary, our friend remains the same. But when the change is in the
heart and character of the man himself, when he whose sympathies and
moral sentiments were once in unison with our own, shows himself to
be no longer what he once was, or what we fondly thought him to be,
there is no longer that community of thought and feeling between us
that is essential to true and lasting friendship. Yet, even in such a
case, we continue to cherish for the friend of former years a regard
and affection which subsequent changes do not wholly efface. We think
of him _as he was_, and not as he is; as he was in those earlier and
better days, when the heart was fresh and unspoiled, and the feet had
not as yet turned aside from the paths of rectitude and honor.


_As related to Friendship._--Closely allied to the affections we feel
for our friends is the emotion we cherish towards our benefactors. Like
the former, it is one of the forms of that principle into which all
kindly affection ultimately resolves itself, namely, love, differing as
the object differs on which it rests, but one in nature under all these
varieties of form. The love which we feel for a benefactor, differs
from that which we feel for a friend, as the latter again differs from
that which we feel for a parent or a child. It differs from friendship,
in that the motive which prompted the benefaction, on the part of the
giver, may be simple benevolence, and not personal regard; while, on
our part, the emotion awakened may be simple gratitude to the generous
donor, a gratitude which, though it may lead to friendship, is not
itself the result of personal attachment.

_Nature of this Affection._--If we inquire more closely into the
nature of this affection, we find that it involves, as do all the
benevolent affections, a feeling of pleasure or delight, together with
a benevolent regard for the object on which the affection rests. The
pleasure, in this case, results from the reception of a favor. It is
not, however, merely a pleasure in the favor received, as in itself
valuable, or as meeting our necessities; it is, over and beyond this, a
pleasure in the giver as a noble and generous person, and as standing
in friendly relations to us. Such conceptions are always agreeable to
the mind, and that in a high degree. The benevolent regard which we
cherish for such a person, the disposition and wish to do him good in
turn, are the natural result of this agreeable conception of him; and
the two together, the pleasure, and the benevolent regard, constitute
the complex emotion which we call gratitude.

_Regards the Giver rather than the Gift._--If this be the correct
analysis of the affection now under consideration, it is not so much
the _gift_, as the _giver_, that awakens the emotion; and this view is
confirmed by the fact that when, from any circumstances, we are led to
suspect a selfish motive on the part of the donor, that the gift was
prompted, not so much by regard to us, as by regard to his own personal
ends, for favors thus conferred we feel very little gratitude. The gift
may be the same in either case, but not the giver.

_Modes of manifesting Gratitude._--Philosophers have noticed the
different manner in which persons of different character, and mental
constitution, are affected by the reception of kindness from others,
and the different modes in which their gratitude expresses itself.
Some are much more sensibly affected than others by the same acts of
kindness; and even when gratitude may exist in equal degree, it is
not always equally manifested. We naturally look, however, for some
exhibition of it, in all cases, where favors have been conferred; its
due exhibition satisfies and pleases us; its absence gives us pain, and
we set it down as indicative of a cold and selfish nature.

_A disordered Sensibility indicated by the Absence of this
Principle._--One of the most painful forms of disordered
sensibility--the insanity, not of the intellect, but of the
feelings--is that which manifests itself in the entire indifference and
apathy with which the kindest attentions are received, or even worse,
the ill-concealed and hardly-suppressed hatred which is felt even for
the generous benefactor. A case of this sort is mentioned by Dr. Bell,
the accomplished superintendent of the MacLean Asylum for the insane,
as coming under his notice, in which the patient, a lady, by no means
wanting in mental endowments, seemed utterly destitute and incapable
of natural affection. Having, on one occasion, received some mark of
kindness from a devoted friend, she exclaimed, "I suppose I ought to
love that person, and I should, if it were possible for me to love any
one; but it is not. I do not know what that feeling is." A more sad
and wretched existence can hardly be conceived than that which is thus
indicated--the deep night and winter of the soul, a gloom unbroken by
one ray of kindly feeling for any living thing, one gleam of sunshine
on the darkened heart. Happily such cases are of rare occurrence. The
kindness of men awakens a grateful response, in every human heart,
whose right and normal action is not hindered by disorder, or prevented
by crime.

_Disorder of the moral Nature._--Is it not an indication of the
imperfect and disordered condition of our moral nature, that while
the little kindnesses of our fellow men awaken in our breasts lively
emotions of gratitude, we receive, unmoved, the thousand benefits which
the great Author of our being is daily and hourly conferring, with
little gratitude to the giver of every good and perfect gift?


_Its proper Place._--Among the emotions which constitute our sensitive
nature, the love of home and of country, or the patriotic emotion,
holds a prominent rank. It falls into that class of feelings which
we term affections, inasmuch as it involves not only an emotion of
pleasure, but a desire of good towards the object which awakens the

_Founded on the Separation of the Race._--The affection now to be
considered implies, as its condition, the separation of the human
race into families, tribes, and nations, and of its dwelling-places
into corresponding divisions of territory and country, a division
founded not more in human nature, than in the physical conditions and
distributions of the globe, broken as it is into different countries,
by mountain, river, and sea. No one can fail to perceive, in this
arrangement, a design and provision for the distribution of the race
into distinct states and nations. To this arrangement and design the
nature of man corresponds. To him, in all his wanderings, there is no
place like home, no land like his native land. It may be barren and
rugged, swept by the storms, and overshadowed by the frozen hills, of
narrow boundary, and poor in resources, where life is but one continued
struggle for existence with an inhospitable climate, unpropitious
seasons, and an unwilling soil; but it is his own land, it is his
father-land, and sooner than he will see its soil invaded, or its name
dishonored, he will shed the last drop of blood in its defence.

_Other Causes auxiliary._--The strong tendency to rivalry and war,
between different tribes, tends, doubtless, to keep alive the patriotic
sentiment, by binding each more closely to the soil, which it finds
obliged to defend at the sacrifice of treasure, and of life. The great
diversity of language, manners, and customs, which prevails among
different nations, must also tend very strongly to separate nations
still more widely from each other, and bind them more closely to their
own soil, and their own institutions.

_Effect of Civilization._--Such are some of the causes which give
rise to the patriotic sentiment. Civilization tends, in a measure,
doubtless, to diminish the activity of these causes. In proportion
as society advances, as national jealousies and rivalries diminish,
as wars become less frequent, as nations come to understand better
each other's manners, laws, and languages, and to learn that their
interests, apparently diverse, are really identical, this progress of
civilization and culture, removing, as it does, in great measure, the
barriers that have hitherto kept nations asunder, must tend, it would
seem, to weaken the influence of those causes which contribute to keep
alive the patriotic feeling. And such we believe to be the fact. It
is in the early period of a nation's existence, the period of its
origin and growth, of its weakness and danger, that the love of country
most strongly developes itself. It is then that sacrifices are most
cheerfully made, and danger and toil most readily met, and life most
freely given, for the state whose foundations can no other way be laid.
As the state, thus founded in treasure and in blood, and vigilantly
guarded in its infancy, gains maturity and strength, becomes rich, and
great, and powerful, comes into honorable relation with the surrounding
states and nations, the love of country seems not to keep pace with its
growth in the hearts of the people, but rather to diminish, as there is
less frequent and less urgent occasion for its exercise.

_National Pride._--There is, however, a counteracting tendency to
be found in the national pride which is awakened by the prosperity
and power of a country, and especially by its historic greatness.
The citizen of England, or of France, at the present day, has more
to defend, and more to love, than merely his own home and fireside,
the soil that he cultivates, and the institutions that guarantee his
freedom and his rights. The past is intrusted to him, as well as
the present. The land whose honor and integrity he is determined to
maintain, at all hazard and personal sacrifice, is not the England,
or the France, of to-day merely, but of the centuries. He remembers
the glories of the empire, the armies, and the illustrious leaders
that have carried his country's flag with honor into all lands, the
monarchs that, in succession, from Clovis and Charlemagne, from Alfred
and Harold the dauntless, have sat in state upon the throne that claims
his present allegiance, the generations that have contributed to make
his country what it now is; and he feels that not merely the present
greatness and power of his country, but all its former greatness and
glory, are intrusted to his present care and keeping.

_Depends upon Association._--If we inquire more closely into the
philosophy of the matter, we shall find, I think, that the principle
of _association_ is largely concerned as the immediately producing
cause of the emotion now under consideration. We connect with the idea
of any country the history and fortunes, the virtues and vices of its
inhabitants, of those who, at any time, recent or remote, have passed
their brief day, and acted their brief part, within its borders, and
whose unknown dust mingles with its soil. They have long since passed
away, but the same hills stand, the same rivers flow along the same
channels, the same ocean washes the ancient shores, the same skies look
down upon those fields and waters, and with these aspects and objects
of nature we associate all that is great and heroic in the history of
the people that once dwelt among those hills, and along those shores.
Every lofty mountain, every majestic river, every craggy cliff and
frowning headland along the coast, stand as _representative_ objects,
sacred to the memory of the past, and the great deeds that have been
there performed. How much this must add to the force and power of the
patriotic emotion is obvious at a glance.

_Same Principle concerned in the Love of Home._--In like manner, by the
same principle of association, we connect our own personal history with
the places where we dwell, and the country we inhabit. They become,
in a measure, identified with ourselves. To love the home of our
childhood, and our native land, is but to love our former selves, since
it is here that our little history lies, and whatever we have wrought
of good or ill.

_An original Principle._--With respect to the character of this
emotion, while it is doubtless awakened and strengthened by the law
of association, still I cannot but regard it as an original provision
and principle of our nature, springing up instinctively in the bosom,
showing itself essentially the same under all conditions of society,
and in all ages and countries. It waits not for education to call it
forth, nor for reason and reflection to give it birth; while at the
same time, reason and reflection doubtless contribute largely to its
development and strength.

_Strongest where it might be least expected._--It has been frequently
observed, by those who have made human nature their study, that the
patriotic feeling is not confined to the inhabitants of the most
favored climes and countries, but, on the contrary, is often most
strongly developed in nations less populous, and in countries little
favored by nature. The inhabitants of wild, mountainous regions, of
sterile shores, of barren plains, manifest as strong a love of home and
country, as any people on the globe. It is thus with the Swiss among
their mountain fastnesses, and with the poor Esquimaux of northern
Greenland, where, beyond the arctic circle, cold and darkness reign
undisturbed the greater part of the year. Even in those dreary realms,
and in those bosoms little refined, the voice of nature is heard, and
the love of home and of country is strong. Even beggars have been known
to die of nostalgia, or home-sickness.



_As distinguished from the Benevolent._--The affections have already
been distinguished from other forms of the sensibility, by the
circumstance that they involve, along with the feeling of pleasure or
pain, some feeling of kindness or the opposite, toward the object;
in the one case we term them benevolent, in the other, malevolent
affections. Of the former, I have treated in the preceding chapter; of
the latter, I am now to speak.

_Resentment the generic Name._--These affections may be comprised under
the general name _resentment_, as that which underlies and constitutes
the basis of them all. Envy, jealousy, revenge, etc., may be regarded
as but so many modifications, or perversions, of this general
principle. As the benevolent affections are all so many forms of love,
going forth toward diverse objects, and varying as the objects vary, so
the malevolent affections are so many forms of the opposite principle,
_i. e._, aversion, varying, likewise, with the objects.

_Founded in Nature._--As the benevolent, so likewise the malevolent
or irascible feelings are, as to their principle, instinctive; they
have their foundation in our nature. They are, as such, universally
exhibited under the appropriate circumstances; they are early in their
development, showing themselves often prior to the exercise of the
reflecting and reasoning powers; they are, also, to some extent, common
to man with the brutes.

_Capable, however, of rational Exercise and Control._--While we
pronounce them instinctive, however, we would by no means imply that
they are not capable of being deliberately and intelligently exercised,
or that they are not in fact, frequently so exercised. What instinct
originally teaches, reason and reflection, when, at a later date, they
come into play, may sanction and confirm. On the other hand, they may
repress and forbid what instinct prompts. In the former case, the
emotion, affection, passion, is none the less an instinctive principle
in its nature and origin, although it has now passed from the domain
of mere instinct to the higher sphere of reason and intelligence. What
was done in the first instance from sudden impulse, blindly, without
thought, is now done deliberately and intelligently. This may be the
case with all our instinctive principles of action, as well as with
those now particularly under consideration. Instinct and reason,
or intelligence, though _distinguished_ from, are not necessarily
_opposed_ to each other, in the sense that one and the same mental act
may not proceed, now from one, now from the other, of these principles.
The love which I cherish for my friends, or my kindred, may be purely
instinctive, it may be strictly rational, a matter of reflection, the
result of deliberate purpose.

_Existence of such a Principle denied by some._--The existence of
such a principle as resentment, among the original and constitutional
elements of our nature, has been called in question by some writers. It
has been thought derogatory to the divine character, that the Creator
should implant the principle of resentment in the human heart. He
commands us to love, and not to hate, and what he expressly forbids, he
cannot have made provision for in the very constitution of the mind.
Such a principle, it is also maintained, is altogether unnecessary.
This is the ground taken by Mr. Winslow, in his work on moral

_The Question at Issue._--There is certainly much force in the view
thus presented. The question before us, however, is not, what we might,
à priori, have _supposed_ the nature of man to be, nor, what it _ought_
to be, but simply, what _is_ that nature as a matter of fact? Whether
such a principle as resentment is _necessary_ in a well-constituted
mind, is not now the question; nor yet whether the Creator could
consistently implant such a principle within us; nor, again, what may
be the moral character of such a principle; but simply, Is there such a
principle among the native elements of human character? If it be found
there, we may conclude, either, that the Creator has placed it there
for some wise purpose, or else, that the nature with which man comes
into the world is no longer an adequate expression of the will of the
Creator concerning him, but has, in some way, lost its original purity
and integrity.

_Existence of such a Principle._--Now that there are certain irascible
feelings which find a place, under certain circumstances, in the human
bosom, whenever the fitting occasion calls them forth, can hardly be
denied; nor yet that they have their foundation in the nature of man.
We have the same evidence of this, that we have of the existence of any
other original and native principle. It manifests itself universally,
uniformly, under all the varieties of social condition, among all
nations, in all ages of the world. It developes itself at an early
period of life, before education or example can have come in to account
for its existence. Reason may subsequently control and restrain it,
or it may fail to do so; but the principle exists before it can be
either indulged or restrained. When the occasion which calls it forth
is some injury or evil inflicted upon ourselves, the feeling takes the
name of _resentment_; when others are the objects of that injustice,
the feeling awakened is more properly termed _indignation_. We resent
our own wrongs, we are indignant at those of others. The principle
is, in either case, the same, and is as truly a part of our nature,
as gratitude for favors received, or sympathy with the sorrows of the

_Term Malevolent, how employed._--The term _malevolent_, as used to
designate this class of affections, is, it must be confessed, liable to
serious objection. It has come into use as a convenient term, in place
of, and for the want of, something better, to mark the distinction
between the feelings now under consideration, and those of the opposite
character, already considered; and as we call those _benevolent_, so we
call these _malevolent_, merely by way of contrast, and not as implying
any thing _criminal_ in the character of the emotions themselves. The
term, however, is unfortunate, as seeming to involve a meaning not
intended. The moral character of the affections thus designated, is
an open question, to be decided upon its own merits, and not to be
considered as settled, one way or the other, by the use of the term now
under consideration. This question we shall presently discuss. For the
present, we have to consider, more particularly, the several forms in
which the malevolent or irascible feeling presents itself.

_Nature of Resentment._--_Resentment_ is the feeling awakened in view
of injury received. It is precisely the opposite of gratitude, which is
the feeling awakened by benefits conferred. As, in the latter case,
there springs up at once in the heart an affectionate regard for the
generous donor, so, in the former there is awakened, at once a feeling
of resentment against those who have done us the wrong. It is an
instinctive emotion. No sooner are we conscious of the injury than we
are conscious also of the feeling of resentment.

_Design of this Principle._--The design of this principle of our nature
is evident. It arms us against those sudden dangers and assaults, which
no foresight can anticipate, nor prudence prevent, and which, when
they occur, require instant action, and prompt redress. In such cases,
reason and reflection would come to our aid too late; were we left to
their counsels, however wise those counsels might be, we should already
have suffered the injury from which they would seek to protect us.
Something is needed that shall prompt to speedier action; some watchman
vigilant and armed, ready on the first approach of danger to strike
his alarm-bell, and summon the garrison to action. This we have in the
principle of resentment. Were it not for this principle, moreover,
a cautious and timid policy might often prevail over the sense of
justice, and honor, and right, or a selfish policy might keep us back
from interfering, at our own peril, for the protection of the injured,
and the punishment of the aggressor. Instinct sets us right in such
matters, before reason has time to act.

_Necessary to the Punishment of Crime._--The malevolent feeling, at
least in the form now under consideration, seems to be, in some degree,
necessary for the punishment of crime, and the protection of society.
It may be doubted whether, without it, we should act with sufficient
energy, and promptness, for the redress of wrong, when that wrong is
not inflicted upon ourselves. Nature has guarded against this danger,
by planting in the human bosom an innate sense of justice, a hatred of
wrong and injury wantonly inflicted, and a quick resentment against
the perpetrator, which leads us to seek his detection and punishment,
silences the pleadings of compassion in his behalf, and arms us
to inflict the merited blow. That is but a weak and short-sighted
benevolence, that is incapable of hatred of crime, and criminals; and
that, under the flimsy pretence of compassion for the unfortunate,
and humanity, would shield from justice, and due punishment, those
who strike at the highest interests of society, and put in jeopardy
all that is most dear and sacred to man. There are cases, in which
compassion becomes malice aforethought, and stern resentment is the
only true benevolence. It is one of the sublimest and most glorious
attributes of deity, as portrayed in the Scriptures, that with the
highest benevolence he combines the stern, inflexible hatred of wrong,
so that, while it can with truth be said, "God is love," it can with
equal truth be affirmed, "our God is a consuming fire."

_Liable to abuse._--While, however, the principle now considered has
its uses, and must be regarded as a most important provision of nature
for the necessities of our race, it must also be conceded that it is a
principle liable to abuse, and requiring to be kept in careful check.
Especially in its sudden and instinctive action, upon the reception of
personal harm or danger, are we liable to be carried to extremes, and
indulge a resentment out of proportion to the merits of the case.

_A Check on excessive Resentment._--Against this excessive resentment
of injuries, real or imaginary, nature has provided a check needful
and salutary, in the indignation with which any such manifestation
is sure to be regarded by others, and the loss of that sympathy,
otherwise on our side, but now turned in favor of the object of our
too great resentment. The wise and prudent man will carefully avoid
such a result, and this prudence will act as a powerful curb on his
anger. To the man of virtuous and honorable sentiments there is also
another restraint, hardly less powerful, upon the exercise of the
malevolent feeling in any undue degree, and that is, the feeling of
self-degradation and humiliation which such a man must feel, in
consequence of his excessive resentment, when the heat of passion
cools, and the moments of calmer reflection ensue. Even as exercised
within due bounds, the malevolent affection is, from its very nature, a
painful one. Not only the first emotion on the reception of injury or
insult is one of a disagreeable nature, but the wish or desire, which
instantly follows and accompanies it, of inflicting in return some ill
upon the aggressor, is also a feeling which disturbs and disquiets the
mind, and inflicts a species of suffering upon the mind that cherishes
it, that may not improperly be termed its own punishment. And this
again may be regarded, and doubtless is, to some extent, a check upon
the indulgence of the malevolent affection.

_Violent Exhibitions of this Feeling, where found._--It is accordingly
in natures uncultivated and rude, little accustomed to self control,
and the restraints of reason and religion, that we naturally look
for the violent and excessive outbursts of passion. A regard for our
own happiness, a due sense of our own dignity and moral worth, and a
decent respect for the opinions of those about us, whose approbation
and sympathy we desire, contribute, if not to diminish the strength,
at least to repress the manifestation, in any considerable degree,
of the feeling of resentment, in those who have arrived at years of
discretion, and have profited by the lessons of experience. The child
is angry with the stone against which he strikes his foot, and vents
his resentment for any injury upon the unconscious instrument, which
was the means of its infliction. The savage tears from his flesh the
arrow that has wounded him, and breaks it into fragments. This is
undoubtedly the instinct of nature, untaught by reason and reflection.
It is probably the first impulse of every man, on the reception of
any injury, and before he has time to reflect on the folly of such a
course, to express in some manner his resentment against the immediate
instrument of his suffering.

_Deliberate Form of Resentment._--When the first impulse has passed,
and time gives opportunity for reflection, this instinctive resentment
dies away, or gives place to a deliberate and rational form of the same
emotion. Thus affected, the mind casts about it to ascertain the real
extent of its injury, and the best means of redress; it distinguishes
between the conscious agent, and the unconscious instrument of its
wrong, between the intentional injury and the unintentional, and,
it may be, accidental harm; it takes into view the circumstances of
the case, and the probable motives of the doer, and graduates its
resentment accordingly.

_Illustration of deliberate Resentment._--The law of retaliation which
prevails among savage tribes, and which demands blood for blood, life
for life, and exacts the fearful penalty with a justice inexorable
and sure, though often long delayed, and which never loses sight of
its victim, though years, and broad lands, and wide waters intervene,
affords an illustration of deliberate in distinction from instinctive
resentment. The law of honor, so called, as it exists among civilized
nations, also illustrates the same principle.

_Pointed out by Butler and others._--The distinction which we have
indicated between the instinctive and deliberate form of this emotion,
was clearly pointed out by Butler, though by no means original with
him, as some writers have supposed; it is quite too obvious and
important a distinction to have escaped the notice of earlier, and
even of ancient philosophers, nor is it at all peculiar to this one
affection, but common to all the sensibilities as I have already said.

_Modifications of the general Principle._--There are certain
modifications of the malevolent affection, which require a passing
notice in this connection. I refer to those emotions commonly known as
_envy_, _jealousy_, and _revenge_. These are all but different forms of
the same general principle, varying as the different circumstances and
objects vary which call them forth.

_Nature of Envy._--_Envy_ is that form of resentment which too often,
and too easily, finds a place in the human bosom, when another is more
fortunate, more successful, more honored and esteemed, than ourselves.
Especially is this the case, when the fortunate one is from our own
circle of companionship, and our own rank in life, and when the honors
and distinctions, or the wealth and power, that fall to his lot are
such as we might ourselves have aspired to reach. We never, I suspect,
envy those whose condition is, and originally was, very far removed
from our own. The peasant envies not the lord of the realm, nor the
beggar the king, but rather his fellow-peasant, or fellow-beggar, whose
hut is warmer, and whose ragged garment not so ragged, as his own. It
is the passion of a weak and narrow mind, a mean and degrading emotion,
the opposite of every thing noble and generous.

_Nature of Jealousy._--_Jealousy_ is that form of the malevolent
affection which has relation more particularly, though not exclusively,
to the attachment which exists between the sexes, and which is awakened
by the supposed rivalry of another. It is one of the most painful
of the malevolent affections, and, when thoroughly roused, one of
the strongest and most powerful principles of our nature. It is the
peculiarity of this passion, that the object of its suspicion, and
resentment, is, at the same time, the object of the heart's deepest
love, and, it may be, adoration; the strength and bitterness of the
passion being in proportion to the fervor and earnestness of that
affection. In the character of Othello, we have a fine delineation of
the working and development of this trait of human character, as in
Cassius we have a portraiture of the corresponding affection of envy.

_Nature of Revenge._--_Revenge_ is resentment in its most deliberate
form, planned and carried into execution, not for the prevention of
crime or injury, nor yet with reference to the ends of justice, but for
the simple gratification of personal hatred. As such, and springing
from such a motive, it is usually excessive in degree, and malicious
in character. It is a dark and deadly passion, not more dangerous to
society than degrading to the bosom that harbors it. It has not one
redeeming quality to recommend it. It is neither the mark of a noble
and generous, nor yet of a manly and brave spirit. It is the offspring
of fear, rather than of courage. It usually seeks to accomplish, by
secret and unlawful means, what it is ashamed or afraid to do openly,
and by fair and honorable measures. It is a passion closely allied to
those which may be supposed to reign in the bosom of a fiend.

_Qualifying Remark._--I have spoken of envy, jealousy, and revenge,
as modifications or different forms of the general principle of
resentment, or the irascible propensity. There is, however, one
important respect in which they all differ from the parent principle
from which they spring. The latter, resentment, while founded in our
nature, may, in exercise, be either instinctive or deliberate, as
already shown; the former imply, I suspect, always some degree of
deliberation, some element of choice. They are natural, in so far as
there is a tendency in our nature to the exercise of these feelings
under given circumstances, and, inasmuch as the principle from which
they spring is founded in our nature, as one of its original elements;
but they are not, like that principle, sometimes instinctive in their
operation, but always, on the contrary, involve, as it seems to me,
some process of thought, reflection, deliberation, choice.

_Moral Character of the malevolent Affections._--It has been a
question, much discussed, whether the class of feelings under
consideration, in the present chapter, has _any moral character_, and
if so, _what_? The question pertains, perhaps, more properly, to moral
than to mental science, but we cannot pass it entirely without notice
in this connection. So far as regards those forms of the malevolent
emotion last considered, envy, jealousy, and revenge, there can be
little doubt. Their exercise involves, as already stated, something of
reflection and choice. They are not instinctive, but voluntary in their
operation, capable, therefore, of control, and if not subjected to the
stern dominion of reason, if not checked and subdued by the higher
principles that should ever govern our conduct, we are reprehensible.
Their indulgence in any form, and to any degree, must be regarded as
blameworthy. They are _perversions_ of that principle of resentment,
which, for wise reasons, nature has implanted in our bosoms. Their
tendency is evil, and only evil. They are _malevolent_ in the full and
proper sense of that term.

_Of simple Resentment._--As to the primary principle of resentment in
its simple and proper form, in so far as its operation is deliberate
and voluntary, rather than purely instinctive, implying the exercise of
reflection and reason, it must possess, in common with all other mental
acts of that nature, some moral character. Within due limits, and on
just occasions, it is a virtue; when it passes those limits, when it
becomes excessive, or is uncalled for, by the circumstances of the
case, it becomes a vice.

_Of Resentment as instinctive._--The question before us properly
relates to that form of resentment which is purely instinctive,
unaccompanied by the exercise of reason and the reflective powers.
Has such an emotion, strictly speaking, any moral character? How far
are we responsible for its exercise? It seems to be a principle of
manifest justice, and accordant with the common sense of mankind, that
a man should be held responsible only for his rational and voluntary
acts, for such things as it lies in his power to do, or not to do,
according as he chooses. But that which is purely instinctive, is
certainly not of this character. It may be in my power to repress the
feeling of resentment that arises in my bosom on the reception of
manifest injustice and wrong; I may refuse to harbor such a feeling; I
may struggle to rise above it; but the feeling itself is instinctive,
and I can no more prevent its first awakening and impulse, than I can
prevent the involuntary contraction of the muscles upon the incision of
the surgeon's knife.

_Views of others--Upham, Reid, Chalmers._--Such is the view now
generally entertained, we believe, by psychologists. "Instinctive
resentment," says Mr. Upham, "has no moral character." "A moral
character attaches only to the voluntary form of resentment." The same
may be said of other affections, and of the sensibilities generally. In
so far as they are purely instinctive, they have no moral character.

Dr. Reid, in his Active Powers of the Human Mind, holds this language,
"Nothing in which the will is not concerned can justly be accounted
either virtuous or immoral." The practice of all criminal courts, and
all enlightened nations, he adds, is founded upon this principle;
insomuch, "that if any judicature in any nation should find a man
guilty, and the object of punishment, for what they allow to be
altogether involuntary, all the world would condemn them as men who
knew nothing of the first and most fundamental rules of justice."

Dr. Chalmers claims for the principle now under consideration a place
among the primary and universal moral judgments of mankind. "It is in
attending to these popular, or rather universal decisions, that we
learn the real principles of moral science. And the first, certainly,
of these popular, or rather universal decisions is, that nothing is
moral or immoral that is not voluntary.

"That an action, then, be the rightful object either of moral censure
or approval, it must have had the consent of the will to go along with
it. It must be the fruit of a volition, else it is utterly beyond the
scope, either of praise for its virtuousness, or of blame for its
criminality. If an action be involuntary, it is as unfit a subject for
any moral reckoning, as are the pulsations of the wrist."

(Sketches of Moral and Mental Philosophy, Chapter V. _On the Morality
of the Emotions_.)






_General Character of Desire._--What we enjoy we love, and what we
enjoy and love, becomes, when no longer present, or when, although
yet present, its future absence is regarded as probable, an object
of _desire_. In the latter case it is perhaps more properly the
continuance of the loved object, rather than the object itself, that
is desired. Strictly speaking, we desire only that which is not
in possession, and which is regarded as good and agreeable. More
frequently the objects of desire are those things which, in some
measure, we have actually enjoyed, and learned by experience how to
prize. In many cases, however, we learn in other ways than by our own
experience the value of an object; we gather it from observation,
from the testimony of others, partly, perhaps, from imagination; and
in such cases what is known or supposed to be agreeable and a good
thing, though never, perhaps, actually enjoyed by ourselves, may be an
object of desire. Thus I may desire wealth, or power, long before they
come into my possession to be enjoyed. The felicities which await the
righteous in the future may be distinct and definite objects of desire,
while yet we are pilgrims on the earth, and have not seen "the land
that is very far off." Even in the cases supposed, however, we have
enjoyed, to some extent, if not the very same, yet similar objects; we
have experienced something, though it may be on a small scale, of the
advantages which wealth and power confer, while in our enjoyment of
earthly happiness there is doubtless something on which the imagination
can build its more glorious anticipations of the future, and it is this
enjoyment and realization of a present or a past good, that constitutes
the foundation of our desires. If we had never enjoyed aught, it may be
doubted whether we should ever desire aught.

_Law of the Sensibility._--The great law of the sensibility, then,
may be thus stated, as regards the order and relation of the several
classes of emotion to each other: I _enjoy_, I _love_, I _desire_; and
the reverse, I _suffer_, I _dislike_, I cherish _aversion_. That such
is the order or law of mental operation has been ably shown by Damiron
in his Cours de Philosophie, and also, before him, by Jouffroy.

_Conditions of Desire._--Desire is a feeling simple and indefinable.
We can merely specify the conditions which it observes, and the
occasions on which it is awakened. These conditions or occasions are
the two already mentioned; the previous enjoyment, in some degree, of
an agreeable object, and the present or contemplated absence of that
object. Where these conditions are fulfilled, desire springs up at
once in the mind, a desire proportioned to the degree of that previous
enjoyment, and the strength of the affection thereby awakened in our
minds for the object of our regard.

_Opposite of Desire, Aversion._--The opposite of desire is aversion,
the feeling that arises in view of an object not as agreeable but as
disagreeable, not as a good but as an ill. This, too, like desire,
is based upon some measure of experience; we have suffered somewhat
of real or imagined ill, which, while it continues, is an object of
dislike or hatred, and regarded as something which, though now absent,
may possibly be realized in the future, becomes an object of aversion.
Aversion, as well as its opposite, desire, finds its object in the
future, while its basis lies in the past.

It will not be necessary to treat particularly of our aversions as a
distinct class of emotions, since they are, for the most part, simply
the counterparts of our desires, the desire of life, or happiness,
having its equivalent in the aversion which we feel to suffering, and
to death; so of other desires.

_Desire always preceded by Emotion._--With regard to the nature of
desires, it may further be remarked that while they imply always an
object, an agreeable object, and that an absent one; while they imply,
also, some previous enjoyment of that now absent object, or, at least,
some knowledge of its existence and adaptation to our wants, as the
foundation on which they rest, they do not take their rise immediately
from the simple perception or intellectual contemplation of that
absent object, as presented again merely to thought or imagination,
but always some emotion or affection is first awakened by such thought
or perception, and the desire succeeds to, and springs out of, that
emotion. The mere perception of the object which formerly pleased me,
does not, of itself, awaken in me immediately a desire for the object,
but first an emotion or affection, and from that arises the desire.

_Permanence of the Desires._--The greater permanence which our
desires seem to possess, as compared with other simple emotions and
affections, and which has been sometimes regarded as a distinguishing
characteristic of this class of feelings, is owing, probably, not so
much to the nature of desire, in itself considered, as to the fact
that the object desired is always an absent object, and so long as it
so remains, the desire for it is likely to continue. Were our desires
always gratified as soon as they are definitely known, they would be no
more permanent than any other state of mind.

_Desire a motive Power._--The desires, it is to be noticed, moreover,
are, in their nature, motive powers, springs of action to the mind.
They are, if not the only, at least the chief source of mental
activity. They prompt and excite the mind to action. The faculties,
both physical and mental, are, in a manner, subject to their control.
The intellect itself leads not to action; nor do the emotions; they
agitate the mind, but it is only as they awaken desire, and that desire
fixes upon a definite object, possible, but not in possession, that
mind and body are both aroused to go forth for the attainment of the
absent object of desire.

_Classification of Desires._--Our desires may be classed according to
their objects. These are of two sorts or classes: those which pertain
to the physical nature and constitution, and those which relate to the
wants of the mind rather than of the body. The desires, accordingly,
may be classed as twofold--the _animal_, and the _rational_; the former
having their source in the physical constitution of man, the latter
in the nature and wants of the mind, rather than of the body. Of the
former class are the desire of food, of sex, of exertion, of repose,
of whatever, in a word, is adapted to the animal nature and wants. Of
the latter class, the more prominent are the desire of happiness, of
knowledge, of power, of society, of the esteem of others.

In connection with our desires are to be considered also those emotions
which are known under the name of hope and fear, and which, as was
stated in our previous analysis of the sensibilities, are to be
regarded rather as modifications of desire, than as distinct principles
or modes of mental activity.



_Nature of Appetite as compared with other Forms of Desire._--These are
usually called _appetites_, in distinction from those desires which
are founded in the nature of the mind. They are, however, properly, a
class of desires though not always so ranked by philosophical writers.
They are feelings which arise always in view of some good, real, or
supposed, which has its adaptation to the wants of our nature, but
which is not in present possession. This absence creates a longing for
the object, which longing, so far as it relates to the mind at all, and
not merely to the muscular sensation--as of hunger, etc.--is purely a
_desire_. It differs from the other desires, in the respect mentioned,
that it takes its rise from the constitution and wants of the body,
rather than of the mind. It is not, however, on this account, the less
a mental state, a psychological phenomenon.

_Ambiguity of the Term._--The term _appetite_ is ambiguous; sometimes
denoting the uneasy physical sensations, as hunger, thirst, etc., which
are conditions of the muscular and nervous systems, and not states
of the mind; sometimes the mental condition which results from this,
and which is properly called desire. It is only with the latter that
psychology has to do; the former fall within the province of physiology.

_Enumeration of the more important, and the End accomplished by
each._--The desires, of the class to which we now refer, are various,
comprehending all those which immediately relate to, and arise from,
the various bodily wants. The more important are the desire of food,
and of sex, to which may be added the desire of action, and of
repose. The constitution of our physical system is such as to lay
the foundation of these desires. They pertain to our animal nature,
and, as such, have a most important part to perform in the economy of
life. They all relate, directly or indirectly, to the continuance of
life, whether that of the individual, or of the species. Each of the
appetites, or animal desires, as we prefer to call them, has its own
specific object to accomplish, with reference to this general end.
The desire of food looks to the preservation of individual life and
vigor, by repairing the waste which the physical system is continually
undergoing. The desire of muscular exertion and repose has the same
general design. The desire of sex has for its object the preservation
of the species.

_Importance of these Principles._--Not only has each of these desires
a specific end to accomplish, but it is an end which, so far as we
can see, would not otherwise be accomplished. Reason might suggest
the expediency of taking food to sustain the system, or of resting at
intervals from exertion, in order to recruit our exhausted energies;
but were it not for the desires that nature has implanted in us
demanding positive gratification, and reminding us when we transgress
those laws which govern our physical being, how often, in the pressure
of business, should we neglect the due care of the body, and deprive
ourselves of needed food, or needed rest, or needed muscular exertion.
Were it not for the demands of appetite, how imperfectly should we
judge either as to the proper proportion, or the proper quantity, and
quality, of that refreshment which the body needs, and which food, and
rest, and muscular exercise supply. And the same may be said of the
other animal desires. They are necessary to the economy of life, by
supplying a motive which would not otherwise exist, and thus securing
a result not otherwise obtained. The principles to which we refer, are
not, therefore, to be regarded as of little importance because relating
to the wants of the body, and common to man with the animal races,
generally; or the contrary, they are of the highest importance and
value; a due regard to them is essential to the highest well-being, and
the neglect or abuse of them brings its own sure and speedy punishment.
To be ashamed of our animal nature, is to be ashamed of ourselves,
and of the constitution that God gave us; to think lightly of it, is
to despise the divine wisdom and benevolence. It is no part of an
intelligent and rational nature to contemn the casket that contains
all its treasure. Even were that casket worthless in itself, it would
be valuable for the office it performs; much more when it is itself a
piece of rare workmanship, curiously and wonderfully wrought.

_Not selfish._--The appetites are not to be regarded as essentially
selfish, in their nature. They relate, indeed, to our own personal
wants; so do all our desires, and, in some measure, all our
sensibilities. But when exercised within due bounds, they are not
inconsistent with the rights and happiness of others, but the rather
promotive of these results; and, therefore, not in the proper sense of
the term are they _selfish_ propensities. Their ultimate aim is not
the securing of a certain amount of enjoyment to the individual by
their gratification, but the securing of a certain end, not otherwise
reached, by means of that enjoyment. They are to be set down as
original and implanted principles of our nature, rather than as selfish
and acquired propensities.

_Dangerous Tendency._--I would, by no means, however overlook the fact
that the animal desires are of dangerous tendency when permitted to
gain any considerable control over the mind, and that they require to
be kept within careful bounds. They are liable to abuse. When suffered
to become predominant over other and higher principles of action,
when, from subjection and restraint, they rise to the mastery, and
govern the man, then sinks the man to the level of the brute, and
there is presented that saddest spectacle of all that the sun beholds
in his course about the earth, a mind endowed with capacity of reason
and intelligence, but enslaved to its own base passions. There is no
slavery so degrading as that, none so hopeless. The most earnest
efforts, the best and most sincere purposes and resolutions are too
often made in vain, and the mind, struggling, to little purpose, with
its own propensities, and its own vitiated nature, is swept on by the
fearful current of its ungoverned, and now ungovernable, appetites, as
the ship over which neither sail nor helm have any further power, is
swept along in swift and ever lessening circles by the fatal maëlstrom.

_Curious Law of our Nature._--It seems to be the law of our nature,
that while our active principles gain strength by exercise, the degree
of enjoyment or of suffering which they are capable of affording,
diminishes by repetition. This has been clearly stated by Mr. Stewart.
It follows from this, that while by long and undue indulgence of any
of the animal desires, the gratification originally derived from such
indulgence is no longer capable of being enjoyed, the desire itself
may be greatly increased, and constantly increasing, in its demands.
It is hardly possible to conceive a condition more wretched and
miserable, than that of a mind compelled thus to drain the bitter dregs
of its cup of pleasure, long since quaffed, and to repeat, in endless
round, the follies that no longer have power to satisfy, even for the
brief moment, the poor victim of their enchantment. The drunkard, the
glutton, the debauchee, afford illustrations of this principle.

_Acquired Appetites._--Beside the natural appetites of which I have
hitherto spoken, and which are founded in the constitution of the
physical system, there are certain appetites which must be regarded
as artificial and acquired, such as the desire, so widely and almost
universally prevalent, in countries both savage and civilized, for
narcotic and stimulating drugs of various kinds, and for intoxicating




_Propriety of the Designation Self-love._--Among that class of desires
that have their foundation in the mental rather than in the physical
constitution, one of the most important is the _desire of happiness_,
or, as it is frequently called, _self-love_. The propriety of this
designation has been called in question. "The expression," says Mr.
Stewart, "is exceptionable, for it suggests an analogy (where there
is none, in fact) between that regard which every rational being must
necessarily have to his own happiness, and those benevolent affections
which attach us to our fellow-creatures. There is surely nothing in
the former of these principles analogous to the affection of _love_;
and, therefore, to call it by the appellation of _self-love_, is to
suggest a theory with respect to its nature, and a theory which has no
foundation in truth."

_This Position questionable._--I apprehend that in this remark, Mr.
Stewart may have gone too far. The regard which we have for our own
happiness certainly differs from that which we entertain for the
happiness of others, as the objects differ on which, in either case,
the regard is fixed. That the emotion is not essentially of the same
_nature_, however, psychologically considered, is not so clear. Love
or affection, as it has been defined in the preceding chapters, is
the enjoyment of an object, mingled with a wish or desire of good to
the same. Love of friends is the pleasure felt in, and the benevolent
regard for, them. Love of self, in like manner, is the enjoyment of,
and the desire of, good to self. Whoever, then, enjoys himself, and
wishes his own good, exercises self-love; and the essential ingredient
of this affection is the desire for his own happiness. Not only, then,
is there an _analogy_ between the two principles, the desire of our
own happiness, and the regard which we feel for others, but _something
more_ than an analogy; they are essentially of the same nature so far
as regards the mental activity exercised in either case, and the term
love as properly designates the one, as the other, of these states of
mind. I may love myself, as truly as I love my friend, nor is it the
part of a rational nature to be destitute of the principle of self-love.

_Not to be confounded with Selfishness._--There is more force in the
objection, also urged by Mr. Stewart, against the phrase _self-love_,
used to denote the desire of happiness, that it is, from its etymology,
liable to be confounded, and in fact, often is confounded, with the
word _selfishness_, which denotes a very different state of mind. The
word selfishness is always used in an unfavorable sense, to denote
some disregard of the happiness and rights of others; but no such idea
properly attaches to self-love, or the desire of happiness, which, as
Mr. Stewart justly remarks, is inseparable from our nature as rational
and sensitive beings.

_Views of Theologians._--Misled, perhaps, by the resemblance of the
words, many theological writers, both ancient and modern, have not only
represented self-love as essentially sinful, but even as the root and
origin of evil, the principle of original sin.

So Barrow expressly affirms, citing Zuingle as authority. English
moralists have sometimes taken the same view, and the earlier American
divines very generally held it.

_Self-love not criminal._--It can hardly be that a principle, which
seems to belong to our nature as intelligent and rational beings,
should be essentially criminal in it nature. The mistake, doubtless,
arises from overlooking the distinction, already indicated, between
self-love and selfishness The love of self, carried to the extreme of
disregarding the happiness of others, and trespassing upon the rights
of others, in the way to self-gratification, is indeed a violation of
the principles of right, and is equally condemned by nature, speaking
in the common sense and reason of man, and by divine revelation. But
neither reason, nor the divine law, forbid that regard to our own
happiness which self-love, in its true and proper sense, implies,
and which exists, it may safely be affirmed, in every human bosom in
which the light of intelligence and reason has not gone out in utter
darkness. The sacred Scriptures nowhere forbid this principle. They
enjoin upon us, indeed, the love of our neighbor; but the very command
to love him as myself, so far from forbidding self-love, implies its
existence as a matter of course, and presents that as a standard by
which to measure the love I ought to bear to others.

_Opinion of Aristotle._--Much more correct than the opinions to which
I have referred, is the view taken by Aristotle in his Ethics, who
speaks of the good man as necessarily a lover of himself, and, in _the
true sense, preëminently_ so. "Should a man assume a preëminence in
exercising justice, temperance, and other virtues, though such a man
has really _more true self-love_ than the multitude, yet nobody would
impute his affection to him as a crime. Yet he takes to himself the
fairest and greatest of all goods, and those the most acceptable to
the ruling principle in his nature, which is, properly, himself, in
the same manner as the sovereignty in every community is that which
most properly constitutes the state. He is said, also, to have, or
not to have, the command of himself, just as this principle bears
sway, or as it is subject to control; and those acts are considered
as most voluntary which proceed from this legislative or sovereign
power. Whoever cherishes and gratifies this ruling part of his nature,
is _strictly and peculiarly a lover of himself_, but in quite a
different sense from that in which self-love is regarded as a matter of
reproach." (Ethic. Nic., lib. ix., cap. viii.) This view appears to me
eminently just.

That man is not, in the true and proper sense, a self-lover who seeks
his present at the expense of his future and permanent well-being, or
who tramples upon the rights and happiness of others, intent only upon
his gratification. The glutton, the drunkard, the debauchee, are not
the truest lovers of self. They stand fairly chargeable, not with too
much, but _too little_ regard for their own happiness and well-being.

_Not the only original Principle._--But while the desire of happiness
is a principle which has its foundation in the constitution of the
mind, and which is characteristic of reason and intelligence, it is by
no means to be regarded as the only original principle of our nature.
Certain moralists have sought to resolve all other active principles
into self-love, making this the source and spring of all human conduct,
so that, directly or indirectly, whatever we do finds its origin and
motive in the love of self. According to this view, I love my friends,
my kindred, my country, only because of the intimate connection between
their well-being and my own; I pity and relieve the unfortunate only
to relieve myself of the unpleasant feelings their condition awakens;
I sacrifice treasure, comfort, health, life itself, only for the sake
of some greater good that is to be thus and only thus procured; even
the sense of right, and the obligations of a religious nature, which
bind and control me, find their chief strength, as principles of
action, in that regard for my own happiness which underlies all other

_Such a View indefensible._--This is a view not more derogatory to
human nature than inconsistent with all true psychology. That the
principle under consideration is one of the most powerful springs of
human conduct, that it enters more largely than we may ourselves,
at the time, be aware, into those motives and actions that wear the
appearance of entire disinterestedness, I am disposed to admit, nor
would I deny that our sense of right, and of religious obligation,
finds a strong support in that intimate and inseparable connection
which exists between duty and happiness. The Scriptures constantly
appeal to our love of happiness as a motive to right action. Their
rewards and promises on the one hand, and their warnings and
threatenings on the other, all rest on this assumed law of human
nature, that man everywhere and always desires his own well-being. But
that this is the only and ultimate ground of human action, that all the
benevolent affections, all honor, and virtue, all sense of duty and
right, all religious emotion and religious principle resolves itself
into this, neither reason, nor revelation, nor the closest observation
of the human mind, do either teach or imply.

_This Desire, in what Sense rational._--_Stewart's View._--We have
spoken, thus far, of the desire of happiness as a rational principle.
Is it, in such a sense, peculiar to a rational and intelligent nature?
Does it so imply and involve the exercise of reason, that it is not
to be found except in connection with, and as the result of, that
principle? If so, it can hardly be called an original and implanted,
or, at least, an _instinctive_ principle. And such is the view taken
by Mr. Stewart, in his Philosophy of the Active and Moral Powers.
The desire of happiness implies, in his estimation, a deliberate and
intelligent survey of the various sources of enjoyment, a looking
before and after, to ascertain what will, and what will not, contribute
to ultimate and permanent well-being; and this it is the part of reason
to perform.

_Not exclusively so._--That the desire of happiness, as exercised by
a rational nature, involves something of this process, some general
idea of what constitutes happiness, or what is good on the whole
and not merely for the present, some perception of consequences,
some comprehensive view and comparison of the various principles of
action and courses of conduct, as means to this general end, may,
indeed, be admitted. And, so far as the exercise of self-love is of
the nature now indicated, it is certainly a rational rather than an
instinctive act. But I see no reason why one and the same emotion,
or mental activity of any sort, may not be, at one time, the result
of reflection, at another, of impulse; now deliberate and rational,
and now, instinctive in its character. We know this to be the case,
for example, with the affections, both benevolent and malevolent. A
principle of action may be none the less instinctive, and originally
implanted in man's nature, from the fact that, when he arrives at
years of discretion, his reason confirms and strengthens what nature
had already taught, or even adopts it as one of its own cardinal
principles. It is not necessary, in order to _all_ desire of good, that
I should know, completely and comprehensively, in what good consists,
and I may still desire my own happiness, according to the measure of
my knowledge and capacity, when I simply know that I am happy at the
present moment.

_Desire of continued Existence._--Closely analogous to the principle
now under consideration, if not, indeed, properly a form or
modification of it, is the desire of _continued existence_. No desire
that finds a place in the human bosom, perhaps, is stronger or more
universal than this. Life is valued above all other possessions;
riches, honors, place, power, ease, are counted as of little worth
in comparison. There are, indeed, occasions when life is willingly
sacrificed, rather than to incur dishonor and reproach, or for the
defence of the innocent and helpless who depend on us for protection,
or for some great and good cause that demands of the good and true man
such service as may cost life. Even in such cases, the importance of
the interests which demand and receive such a sacrifice, show the value
we attach to that which is laid upon the altar.

_Increases with Age._--The desire of continued existence seems to
increase, as age advances, and life wears away. We always value that
the more of which we have but little. It is a striking proof of the
divine benevolence, that, in a world so full of care, and toil,
and sorrow, as the present is, and must be, to the multitude of its
inhabitants, there are few so miserable as not to regard continued
existence as a boon to be purchased at any price.


_An original Principle._--Among the various principles that enter
into the composition of our nature, and are the motive powers of the
human mind, awakening and calling forth its energies, and impelling
it to action, the desire of knowledge holds an important place. From
its early manifestation, before reason and reflection have as yet, to
any extent, come into play, and from its general, if not universal
existence, we infer that it is one of those principles originally
implanted in our nature by the great Author of our being.

_Not Curiosity._--The desire of knowledge, though often spoken of as
synonymous with _curiosity_, is not altogether identical with it.
Curiosity has reference rather to the novelty and strangeness of that
which comes before the mind. It is the feeling awakened by these
qualities, rather than the general desire to know what is yet unknown.
It is of more limited application, and while it implies a desire to
understand the object in view of which it is awakened, implies also
some degree of wonder, at the unusual and unexpected character of the
object as thus presented. While, then, curiosity is certainly a most
powerful auxiliary to the desire of learning, and stimulates the mind
to exertions it might not otherwise put forth, it is hardly to be
viewed as identical with the principle under consideration.

_Manifested in early Life._--The desire of knowledge is never, perhaps,
more strongly developed than in early life, and never partakes more
fully of the character of curiosity than then. To the child, all things
are new and strange. He looks about him upon a world as unknown to him
as he is to it, and every different object that meets his eye is a new
study, and a new mystery to him. The desire to acquaint himself with
the new and unknown world around him, keeps him constantly employed,
constantly learning.

_In later Years._--As he grows up, and the sphere of his intellectual
vision enlarges, every step of his progress only opens new and
wider fields to be explored, beyond the limits of his previous
investigations. If there is less of childish curiosity, there is more
of earnest, manly, irrepressible desire and determination to know. His
studies assume this or that direction, according to native taste and
temperament, early associations, or the force of circumstances; he
becomes a student of science, or a student of letters, or of art, or
of the practical professions and pursuits of life; but turn in what
direction and to what pursuits he will, the desire to know still lives
within him, as a sacred lamp ever burning before the shrine of truth.

_Explains the Love of Narrative._--Every one has remarked the eagerness
with which children listen to stories, histories, and fables. This is
owing not more to the love of the ideal, which is usually very strongly
developed in early life, than to the desire of knowing what presents
itself to the mind as something new and unknown, yet with the semblance
of reality. Nor does this love of narrative forsake us as we grow
older. We have still our romances, our histories, our poems, epic and
tragic, to divert us amid the graver cares of life; and the old man
is, perhaps, as impatient as the child, to go on with the story, and
comprehend the plot, when once his interest and curiosity are awakened.

_A benevolent Provision._--We cannot but regard it as a benevolent
provision of the Creator, so to constitute the human mind, that not
only knowledge itself, but the very process of its acquisition, should
be a pleasure. And when we consider how great is the importance to
man of this desire of knowledge, and how great is the progress of
even the humblest mind, from the dawn of its intelligence, on to the
period of its full maturity and strength; how, under the influence
of this desire, the mind of a Newton, a Kepler, a Bacon, a Descartes,
a Leibnitz, moves on, from the slow and feeble acquisitions of the
nursery, to the great and sublime discoveries that are to shed a light
and glory, not only on the name of the discoverer, but on the path of
all who come after him, we can hardly attach too high an importance to
this part of our mental constitution.

_A rational, though an instinctive Principle._--The desire of
knowledge, like many of the active principles which have already fallen
under our notice, is capable of rational exercise and control, while,
at the same time, an implanted and instinctive principle. It operates,
at first, rather as a blind impulse, impelling the mind to a given end;
when reason assumes her sway of the mind and its restless energies,
what was before a mere impulse and instinct of nature, now becomes a
deliberate and rational purpose.

_Moral Character._--As to moral character, it may, or may not, pertain
to the exercise of the principle under consideration. The desire
of knowledge is not of necessity a virtuous affection of the mind.
Characteristic as it is of a noble and superior nature, more elevated
and excellent, as it certainly is, than the merely animal desires and
impulses, it is not inseparably connected with moral excellence.

As rationally exercised it is laudable and virtuous, provided we seek
knowledge with proper motives, and for right ends; otherwise, the
reverse. Inasmuch, however, as we are under obligation to act in this,
as in all other matters, from pure motives, and for right ends, the
mere absence of such a motive, the desire and pursuit of knowledge in
another manner, and from other motives, becomes blameworthy.


_A native Principle._--The desire of power must be regarded as an
original principle of our nature. Like the desire of happiness, and of
knowledge, it is both early in its development, and powerful in its
influence over the mind. It is also universally manifest.

_In what Manner awakened._--Of the idea of power or cause, and of the
manner in which the mind comes, in the first instance, to form that
idea, I have already spoken, under the head of original conception.
We see changes taking place in the external world. We observe these
changes immediately and invariably preceded by certain antecedents. The
idea of cause is thus suggested to the mind, and cause implies power of
one thing over another to produce given effects. We find, also, our own
volitions attended with corresponding effects upon objects external,
and thus learn, still further, that we ourselves possess power over
other objects. The idea thus awakened in the mind, there springs up,
also, in connection with the idea, an activity of the sensibilities.
The power which we find ourselves to have over objects about us affords
us pleasure; what we enjoy we love, and what we love we desire; and
so there is awakened in the mind a strong and growing desire for the
possession of power.

_Pleasure of exerting Power._--The pleasure which we derive from
producing, in any instance, a manifest effect, and from the
consciousness that we have in ourselves the power to produce like
effects whenever we will, is one of the highest sources of enjoyment of
which nature has made as capable. It is, to a great extent, the spring
and secret of the constant activity of which the world is full. It
shows itself in the sports of childhood, and in the graver pursuits of
maturer years. The infant, when it finds that it can move and control
its own little limbs, the boy learning the art of such athletic sports
as he perceives his fellows practise, the man when he finds that he
can control the action of his fellow-man, and bend the will of others
to his own, are each, and perhaps equally, delighted at the acquisition
of this new power; and the pleasure is generally in proportion to the
novelty of the acquisition, and the apparent greatness of the effect

_Strength and Influence of this Principle._--The love of power is one
of the strongest of the ruling principles of the human mind. It has its
seat in the deepest foundations of our nature. I can _do_ something;
I can do what others do; I can do more than they; such is the natural
order and progression of our endeavors, and such also the measure and
increase of our delight. What, but the love of power, leads to those
competitions of strength with strength, which mark the athletic games
and contests of all nations, civilized and savage? What, but the love
of power, impels the hunter over the pathless mountains, and deserts,
in quest of those savage denizens and lords of nature, whose strength
is so far superior to his own? What, but the love of power, leads the
warrior forth, at the head of conquering armies, to devastate and
subdue new realms?

_Seen also in other Pursuits._--And in the peaceful pursuits of life,
how largely does the same impulse mingle with the other, and perhaps
more apparent, motives of human action? The man of science, as he
watches the nightly courses of the stars, or resolves the stubborn
compounds of nature into their simple and subtle elements, as he
discovers new laws, and unlocks the secrets that have long baffled
human inquiry, derives no small part of his gratification from the
consciousness of that power which he thus exercises over the realm of
matter subjected to his will. And when, in like manner, the orator, on
whose words depend the lives of men, and the fate of nations, stands
forth to accuse or defend, to arouse the slumbering passions, and
inflame the patriotism, the courage, the resentment of his audience,
or to soothe their anger, allay their prejudice, awaken their pity or
their fears, how does the consciousness of his power over the swaying,
agitated multitude before him, mingle with the emotions that swell his
bosom, and augment the fierce delight of victory?

_Auxiliary to desire of knowledge._--The desire of power is accessory
to, and in some cases, perhaps, the foundation of certain other
principles of action. It is especially auxiliary to the desire of
knowledge, inasmuch as every new acquisition of truth is an accession
of power to the mind, and is, therefore, on that account, as well as
for its own sake, desirable. As a general thing, the more we know, the
more and the better we can do. Every mental acquisition becomes, in
some sense, an instrument to aid us in further and larger acquisitions.
We are enabled to call to our aid the very forces and elements of
nature which our discoveries have, in a manner, subjected to our sway,
and to conform our own conduct to those established laws which science
reveals. The mind is thus stimulated, in all its investigations, and
toilsome search for truth, by the assurance that every increase of
knowledge is, in some sense, an increase, also, of power. Hence the
aphorism so current, and generally attributed to Bacon, which affirms
that knowledge _is_ power.

_Auxiliary also to love of Liberty._--The _love of liberty_, according
to some writers, proceeds also, in part, at least, from the desire
of power, the desire of being able to do whatever we like. Whatever
deprives us of liberty trenches upon our power. In like manner, writers
upon morals have noticed the fact that the _pleasure of virtue_ is in
a measure due to the same source. When evil habits predominate and
acquire the mastery, we lose the power of self-control, the mind is
subjected to the baser passions, and this loss of power is attended
with the painful consciousness of degradation. On the other hand, to
the mind that is bent on maintaining its integrity, though it be by
stern and determined conflict with the evil influences that surround
it, and its own natural propensities to a course of sinful indulgence,
every fresh struggle with those adverse influences becomes a pledge of
final success, and the hour of victory, when it comes at last, as come
it will, is an hour of triumph and of joy.


_General Statement._--There are certain desires to which the human
mind is subject, and which seem to have a foundation in nature, which,
though frequently regarded as distinct principles of action, are more
properly, perhaps, to be viewed as but modifications of the principle
last considered. I refer to the _desire of superiority_, and _the
desire of possession_; or, as they are more succinctly termed, ambition
and avarice.

_The Desire to excel, universal._--The desire to excel is almost
universal among men. It shows itself in every condition of society, and
under all varieties of character and pursuit. It animates the sports of
childhood, and gives a zest to the sober duties and realities of life.
It penetrates the camp, the court, the halls of legislation, and of
justice; it enters alike into the peaceful rivalries of the school, the
college, the learned professions, and into those more fearful contests
for superiority which engage nations in hostile encounter on the field
of strife and carnage. What have we, under all these manifestations,
but the desire of superiority, and what is that but the desire of power
in one of its most common forms?

_Not peculiar to Man._--This is a principle not peculiar to human
nature, but common to man with the brute. The lower animals have also
their rivalries, their jealousies, their contests for superiority in
swiftness, and in strength, and he is the acknowledged leader who
proves himself superior in these respects to his fellows.

_Not the same with Envy._--The desire to excel, or the principle of
emulation, is not to be confounded with envy with which it is too
frequently, but not necessarily, associated. Envy is pained at the
success of a rival; a just and honorable emulation, without seeking
to detract from the well-merited honors of another, strives only
to equal and surpass them. This distinction is an important one,
and has been very clearly pointed out by _Mr. Stewart_, and also by
_Bp. Butler_, and, still earlier, by _Aristotle_. "Emulation," says
Butler, "is merely the desire of superiority over others, with whom we
compare ourselves. To desire the attainment of this superiority by the
particular means of others being brought down below our own level, is
the distinct notion of envy." To the same effect, Aristotle, as quoted
by Stewart: "Emulation is a good thing, and belongs to good men; envy
is bad, and belongs to bad men. What a man is emulous of he strives to
attain, that he may really possess the desired object; the envious are
satisfied if nobody has it."

_Not malevolent of Necessity._--Dr. Reid has classed emulation with the
malevolent affections, as involving a sentiment of ill-will toward the
rival; but, as Mr. Stewart very justly remarks, this sentiment is not
a _necessary_ concomitant of the desire of superiority, though often
found in connection with it; nor ought emulation to be classed with the
affections, but with the desires, for it is the desire which is the
active principle, and the affection is only a concomitant circumstance.

_View maintained by Mr. Upham._--Mr. Upham denies emulation a place
among the original and implanted principles of our nature, on this
ground. All our active principles, he maintains, from instinct upward,
are subordinate to the authority and decisions of conscience, as a
faculty paramount to every other. But the desire of superiority he
supposes to be utterly inconsistent with the law of subordination.
Whenever man perceives a superior, he perceives one with whom, by this
law of his nature, if such it be, he is brought into direct conflict
and collision, and as he is surrounded by those who, in some respect,
are his superiors, he is really placed in a state of perpetual warfare
and misery; nor can he regard even the Supreme Being with other
feelings than those of unhallowed rivalry. A principle that would lead
to such results, he concludes, cannot be founded in the constitution of
our nature. He accordingly resolves the desire of superiority into the
principle of imitativeness.

_The Correctness of this View called in Question._--It is difficult
to perceive the force of this reasoning. The desire of superiority,
it is sufficient to say, whatever be its origin, leads to no such
results. As actually manifest in human character and conduct, it does
not show itself to be inconsistent with due subordination to authority,
nor does it involve man in necessary and perpetual conflict with
his fellows, nor does it present the Supreme Being as an object of
unhallowed rivalry. We have only to do with facts, with the phenomena
actually presented by human nature; and we do not find the facts to
correspond with the view now given. Nor can we perceive any reason, in
the nature of the case, why the desire in question _should_ lead, or be
supposed to lead, to such results. The desire of superiority does not
necessarily imply the desire to be superior to every body, and every
thing, in the universe. It may have its natural and proper limits; and
such we find to be the fact.

_Actual Limitations of this Principle._--We desire to excel not,
usually, those who are far above us in rank and fortune, but our
fellows and companions; our rivals are mostly those who move in the
same sphere with ourselves. The artist vies with his brother artist,
the student with his fellow student, and even where envy and ill-will
mingle, as they too often do, with the desire, still, the object of
that envy is not every one, indiscriminately, who may happen to be
superior to ourselves, but only our particular rival in the race
before us. The child at school does not envy Sir Isaac Newton, or the
illustrious Humboldt, but the urchin that is next above himself in
the class. The desire of superiority, like every other desire of the
human mind, looks only at what is possible to be accomplished, at what
is probable, even; it aims not at the clouds, but at things within our
reach, things to be had for the asking and the striving. But whatever
view we take of the matter, the desire of superiority certainly exists
as an active principle in the human mind; nor do we see any reason
why it should not be admitted as an original principle founded in the
constitution of our nature, or, at least, as one of the forms and
modifications of such a principle, viz., the love of power.

_This Principle requires Restraint._--I would by no means deny,
however, that the desire now under consideration is one which is liable
to abuse, and which requires the careful and constant restraints
of reason and of religious principle. The danger is, that envy and
ill-will, toward those whom we regard as rivals and competitors with
us, for those honors and rewards which lie in our path, shall be
permitted to mingle with the desire to excel. Indeed, so frequently
are the two conjoined, that to the reflecting and sensitive mind,
superiority itself almost ceases to be desirable, since it is but too
likely to be purchased at the price of the good-will, and kind feeling,
of those less fortunate, or less gifted, than ourselves.

_Another Form of the same Desire._--_The desire of possession_ may
be regarded, also, as a modification of the desire of power. That
influence over others which power implies, and which is, to some
extent, commanded by superiority of personal strength or prowess, by
genius, by skill, by the various arts and address of life, or by the
accident of birth and hereditary station, is still more directly and
generally attainable, by another, and perhaps a shorter route--the
possession of wealth. This, as the world goes, is the key that unlocks,
the sceptre that controls, all things. Personal prowess, genius,
address, station, the throne itself, are, in no inconsiderable degree,
dependent upon its strength, and at its command. He who has this can
well afford to dispense with most other goods and gifts of fortune; so
far, at least, as concerns the possession of power. He may be neither
great, nor learned, nor of noble birth; neither elegant in person,
nor accomplished in manners, distinguished neither for science, nor
virtue; he may command no armies, he may sit upon no throne; yet with
all his deficiencies, and even his vices, if so he have wealth, he has
power. Unnumbered hands are ready to task their skill at his bidding,
unnumbered arms, to move and toil and strive in his service, unnumbered
feet hasten to and fro upon his errands. He commands the skill and
labor of multitudes whom he has never seen, and who know him not. In
distant quarters of the globe, the natives of other zones and climes
hasten upon his errands; swift ships traverse the seas for him; the
furs of the extreme North, the rich woods and spices of the tropics,
the silks of India, the pearls and gems of the East--whatever is
costly, and curious, and rare, whatever can contribute to the luxury
and the pride of man--these are his, and for him. No wonder that he who
desires power, should desire that which is one of the chief avenues and
means to the attainment of power, and that what is valued, at first,
rather as an instrument than as an end, should presently come to be
regarded and valued for its own sake.

_A twofold Aspect--Covetousness, Avarice._--There are, if I mistake
not, two forms which the desire of possession assumes. The one is the
simple desire of acquiring, that there may be the more to spend; the
other of accumulating, adding to the heaps already obtained--which may
be done by keeping fast what is already gotten, as well as by getting
more. The one is the desire of getting, which is not inconsistent with
the desire of spending, but, in fact, grows out of that in the first
instance; the other is the desire of increasing, and the corresponding
dread of diminishing, what is gotten, which, when it prevails to
any considerable degree, effectually prevents all enjoyment of the
accumulated treasure, and becomes one of the most remarkable and most
odious passions of our perverted nature. The term _covetousness_
answers somewhat nearly to the one, _avarice_ to the other, of these
forms of desire. It must be added, also, that it seems to be the
natural tendency of the primitive and milder form of this principle,
to pass into the other and more repulsive manifestation. He who begins
with desiring wealth as a means of gratifying his various wants, too
frequently ends with desiring it for its own sake, and becomes that
poorest and most miserable of all men, the miser.

_The inordinate love of Money not owing wholly to Association._--Whence
arises that inordinate value which the miser attaches to money, which,
in reality, is but the mere representative of enjoyment, the mere
means to an end? Why is he so loth to part with the smallest portion
of the representative medium, in order to secure the reality, the end
for which alone the means is valuable? Is it that, by the laws of
association, the varied enjoyments which gold has so often procured,
and which have a fixed value in our minds, are transferred with all
their value to the gold which procured them? Doubtless this is, in
some measure, the case, and it may, therefore, in part, account for
the phenomenon in question. The gold piece which I take from my
drawer for the purchase of some needful commodity, has, it may be,
an increased value in my estimation, from the recollection of the
advantages previously derived from the possession of just such a sum.
But why should such associations operate more powerfully upon the
miser, than upon any other person? Why are we not _all_ misers, if such
associations are the true cause and explanation of avarice? Nay, why
is not the spendthrift the most avaricious of all men, since he has
more frequently exchanged the representative medium for the enjoyment
which it would procure, and has, therefore, greater store of such
associations connected with his gold?

_The true Explanation._--Dr. Brown, who has admirably treated this
part of our mental constitution, has suggested, I think, the true
explanation of this phenomenon.

So long as the gold itself is in the miser's grasp, it is, and is felt
to be, a permanent possession; when it is expended, it is usually
for something of a transient nature, which perishes with the using.
It seems to him afterward as so much utter loss, and is regretted as
such. Every such regretted expenditure increases the reluctance to
part with another portion of the treasure. There is, moreover, another
circumstance which heightens this feeling of reluctance. The enjoyment
purchased is one and simple. The gold with which it was purchased is
the representative, not of that particular form of enjoyment alone, but
of a thousand others as well, any one of which might have been procured
with the same money. All these possible advantages are now no longer
possible. Very great seems the loss. Add to this the circumstance
that the miser, in most cases, probably, has accumulated, or set his
heart upon accumulating, a certain round sum, say so many thousands
or hundreds of thousands. The spending a single dollar breaks that
sum, and, therewith, the charm is broken, and he who was a millionaire
before that unlucky expenditure, is a millionaire no longer. It is
mainly in these feelings of regret, which attend the necessary expenses
of the man who has once learned to set a high value upon wealth, that
avarice finds, if not its source, at least its chief strength and

_Odiousness of this Vice._--There is, perhaps, no passion or vice
to which poor human nature is subject, that is, in some respects,
more odious and repulsive than this. There is about it no redeeming
feature. It is pure and unmingled selfishness, without even the poor
apology that most other vices can offer, of contributing to the present
enjoyment and sensual gratification of the criminal. The miser is
denied even this. He covets, not that he may enjoy, but that he may
refrain from enjoying.

_Strongest in old Age._--"In the contemplation of many of the passions
that rage in the heart with greatest fierceness," says Dr. Brown,
"there is some comfort in the thought that, violent as they may be for
a time, they are not to rage through the whole course of life, at least
if life be prolonged to old age; that the agitation which at every
period will have some intermissions, will grow gradually less as the
body grows more weak, and that the mind will at last derive from this
very feebleness a repose which it could not enjoy when the vigor of
the bodily frame seemed to give to the passion a corresponding vigor.
It is not in avarice, however, that this soothing influence of age is
to be found. It grows with our growth and with our strength, but it
strengthens also with our very weakness. There are no intermissions
in the anxieties which it keeps awake; and every year, instead of
lessening its hold, seems to fix it more deeply within the soul itself,
as the bodily covering around it slowly moulders away.... The heart
which is weary of every thing else is not weary of coveting more gold;
the memory which has forgotten every thing else, continues still, as
Cato says in Cicero's dialogue, to remember where its gold is stored;
the eye is not dim to gold that is dim to every thing beside; the hand
which it seems an effort to stretch out and fix upon any thing, appears
to gather new strength from the very touch of the gold which it grasps,
and has still vigor enough to lift once more, and count once more,
though a little more slowly, what it has been its chief and happiest
occupation thus to lift and count for a period of years far longer than
the ordinary life of man. When the relations or other expectant heirs
gather around his couch, not to comfort, nor even to seem to comfort,
but to await, in decent mimicry of solemn attendance, that moment
which they rejoice to view approaching; the dying eye can still send
a jealous glance to the coffer near which it trembles to see, though
it scarcely sees, so many human forms assembled; and that feeling
of jealous agony, which follows and outlasts the obscure vision of
floating forms that are scarcely remembered, is at once the last misery
and the last consciousness of life."


_A natural Principle._--There can be little doubt that the desire of
society is one of the original principles of our nature. It shows
itself at a very early period of life, and under all the diverse
conditions of existence. Its universal manifestation, and that under
circumstances which preclude the idea of education or imitation in
the matter, proves it an implanted principle, having its seat in the
constitution of the mind.

_Manifested by Animals of every Species._--The child rejoices in the
company of its fellows. The lower animals manifest the same regard for
each other's society, and are unhappy when separated from their kind.
Much of the attachment of the dog to his master may, not improbably, be
owing to the same source. The beast of labor is cheered and animated by
his master's presence, and the patient ox as he toils along the furrow,
or the highway, moves more willingly when he hears the well-known step
and voice of his owner trudging by his side. Every one knows how much
the horse is inspirited by the chance companionship, upon the way, of a
fellow-laborer of his own species. Horses that have been accustomed to
each other's society on the road, or in the stall, frequently manifest
the greatest uneasiness and dejection when separated; and it has been
observed by those acquainted with the habits of animals, that cattle
do not thrive as well, even in good pasture, when solitary, as when
feeding in herds.

_Social Organizations of Animals._--Accordingly we find most animals,
when left to the instinct of nature, associating in herds, and tribes,
larger or smaller, according to the habits of the animal. They form
their little communities, have their leaders, and, to some extent,
their laws, acknowledged and obeyed by all, their established customs
and modes of procedure--in which associations, thus regulated, it is
impossible not to recognize the essential feature and principle of
what man, in his political associations of the same nature, calls the
_state_. What else are the little communities of the bee, and the ant,
and the beaver, but so many busy cities, and states, of the insect and
animal tribes?

_The social State not adopted because of its Advantages merely._--It
may be said that man derives advantages from the social state, and
adopts it for that reason. Unquestionably he does derive immense
advantages from it; but is that the reason he desires it? Is the desire
of society consequent upon the advantages, experienced or foreseen,
which accrue from it, or are the advantages consequent upon the desire
and the adoption of the state in question? Is it matter of expediency
and calculation, of policy and necessity, or of native instinct and
implanted constitutional desire? What is it with the lower animals? Has
not nature provided in their very constitution for their prospective
wants, and, by implanting in them the desire for each other's society,
laid the foundation for their congregating in tribes and communities?
Is it not reasonable to suppose that the same may be true of man? The
analogy of nature, the early manifestation of the principle prior
to education and experience, the universality and uniformity of its
operation, and the fact that it shows itself often in all its strength
under circumstances in which very little benefit would seem to result
from the social condition, as with the savage races of the extreme
North, and with many rude and uncultivated tribes of the forest and
the desert--all these circumstances go to show that the desire of
society is founded in the nature of man, and is not a mere matter of
calculation and policy.

_Man's Nature deficient without this Principle._--And this is a
sufficient answer to the theory of those who, with Hobbes, regard the
social condition of man as the result of his perception of what is for
his own interest, the dictate of prudence and necessity. The very fact
that it is for his interest would lead us to expect that some provision
should be made for it in his nature; and this is precisely what we
find to be the case. Were it otherwise, we should feel that, in one
important respect, the nature of man was deficient, inferior even to
that of the brute. But the truth is, the whole history of the race is
one complete and compact contradiction of the theory of Hobbes, and
shows with the clearness of demonstration, that the _natural_ condition
of man is not that of seclusion, and isolation from his fellows, but of
society and companionship.

_Strength of this Principle._--So strongly is this principle rooted in
the very depths of our nature, that when man is for a length of time
shut out from the society of his fellow men, he seeks the acquaintance
and companionship of brutes, and even of insects, and those animals
for whom, in his usual condition, he has a marked repugnance, as a
relief from utter loneliness and absolute solitude. Mr. Stewart relates
the instance of a French nobleman, shut up for several years a close
prisoner in the Castle of Pignerol, during the reign of Louis XIV.,
who amused himself, in his solitude, by watching the movements of
a spider, to which he at length became so much attached, that when
the jailor, discovering his amusement, killed the spider, he was
afflicted with the deepest grief. Silvio Pellico, in his imprisonment,
amused himself in like manner. Baron Trench sought to alleviate the
wretchedness of his long imprisonment, by cultivating the acquaintance
or friendship of a mouse, which in turn manifested a strong attachment
to him, played about his person, and took its food from his hand. The
fact having been discovered by the officers, the mouse was removed to
the guard-room, but managed to find its way back to the prison door,
and, at the hour of visitation, when the door was opened, ran into the
dungeon, and manifested the greatest delight at finding its master.
Being subsequently removed and placed in a cage, it pined, refused all
sustenance, and in a few days died. "The loss of this little companion
made me for some time quite melancholy," adds the narrator.

_Case of Silvio Pellico._--How strongly is the desire for society
manifested in these words of Silvio Pellico, when forbidden to converse
with his fellow-prisoner. "I shall do no such thing. I shall speak as
long as I have breath, and invite my neighbor to talk to me. If he
refuse, I will talk to my window-bars. I will talk to the hills before
me. I will talk to the birds as they fly about. I _will_ talk."

Facts of this nature clearly indicate that the love of society is
originally implanted in the human mind.

_Illustrated from the History of Prison Discipline._--The same thing is
further evident from the effects of entire seclusion from all society,
as shown in the history of prison discipline. For the facts which
follow, as well as for some of the preceding, I am indebted to Mr.

The legislature of New York some years since, by way of experiment,
directed a number of the most hardened criminals in the State prison at
Auburn, to be confined in solitary cells, without labor, and without
intermission of their solitude. The result is thus stated by Messrs.
Beaumont and Tocqueville, who were subsequently appointed commissioners
by the French government to examine and report on the American system
of prison discipline. "This, trial from which so happy a result had
been anticipated, was fatal to the greater part of the convicts; in
order to reform them, they had been subjected to complete isolation;
but this absolute solitude, if nothing interrupts it, is beyond the
strength of man; it destroys the criminal, without intermission, and
without pity; it does not reform, it kills. The unfortunates on whom
this experiment was made, fell into a state of depression so manifest
that their keepers were struck with it; their lives seemed in danger
if they remained longer in this situation; five of them had already
succumbed during a single year; their moral state was no less alarming;
one of them had become insane; another, in a fit of despair, had
embraced the opportunity, when the keeper brought him something, to
precipitate himself from his cell, running the almost certain chance
of a mortal fall. Upon those, and similar effects, the system was
finally judged." The same results substantially have followed similar
experiments in other prisons. It is stated by Lieber, that in the
penitentiary of New Jersey, ten persons are mentioned as having been
killed by solitary confinement. Facts like these show how deeply-rooted
in our nature is the desire of society, and how essential to our
happiness is the companionship of our fellow-beings.


_An important and original Principle._--Of the active principles of our
nature, few exert a more important influence over human conduct, few
certainly deserve a more careful consideration, than the regard which
we feel for the approbation of others. The early period at which this
manifests itself, as well as the strength which it displays, indicate,
with sufficient clearness, that it is an original principle, founded in
the constitution of the mind.

_Cannot be regarded as an acquired Habit._--When we see children of
tender age manifesting a sensitive regard for the good opinion of their
associates, shrinking with evident pain from the censure of those
around them, and delighted with the approbation which they may receive;
when, in maturer years, we find them--children no longer--ready to
sacrifice pleasure and advantage in every form, and to almost any
amount, and even to lay down life itself to maintain an honorable
place in the esteem of men, and to preserve a name and reputation
unsullied--and these things we do see continually--we cannot believe
that what shows itself so early, and so uniformly, and operates
with such strength, is only some acquired principle, the result of
association, or the mere calculation of advantage, and a prudential
regard to self-interest. In many cases we know it cannot be so. It
is not the dictate of prudence, or the calculation of advantage, that
influences the little child; nor is it the force of such considerations
that induces the man of mature years to give up ease, fortune,
and life itself, for the sake of honor and a name. Even where the
approbation or censure of those who may pass an opinion, favorable,
or unfavorable, upon our conduct, can be of no benefit or injury to
us, that approbation is still desired, that censure is still feared.
We prefer the good opinion of even a weak man, or a bad man, to his
disesteem; and even if the odium which, in that case, we may chance to
incur in the discharge of duty, is felt to be unjust and undeserved,
and our consciousness of right intention and right endeavor sustains
us under all the pressure of opinion from without, it is impossible,
nevertheless, not to be pained with even that unjust and undeserved
reproach. We feel that, in losing the confidence and esteem of others,
we incur a heavy loss.

Want and wretchedness may drive a man to desperate and reckless
courses; yet few, probably, can be found, so wretched and desperate,
who, in all their misery, would not prefer the good opinion and the
good offices of their fellow-man.

_Accounted for neither by the selfish nor the associative
Principle._--It can hardly be, then, a _selfish_ and prudential
principle--this strong desire of esteem; nor yet can it be the result
of association, as some have inferred; since it shows itself under
circumstances where a selfish regard for one's own interests could not
be supposed to operate, and with a power which no laws of association
can explain.

_Hume's Theory._--Hardly better is it accounted for on the principle
which Hume suggests, that the good opinion of others confirms our good
opinion of ourselves, and hence is felt to be desirable. Doubtless
there is need enough, in many cases, perhaps in most, of some such
confirmation. Nor would I deny that this may be one element of the
pleasure which we derive from the esteem of others. Dr. Brown, in his
analysis of the principle under consideration, has very justly included
this among the components of the pleasure thus derived. But it by no
means accounts for the origin, nor explains the nature, of this desire.
It is rather an incidental circumstance than the producing cause.

_This Principle as it relates to the Future._--Perhaps in no one of its
aspects is the desire of esteem more remarkable, than when it relates
to the future--the desire to leave a good name behind us, when we are
no longer concerned with the affairs of time. It would seem as if the
good or ill opinion of men would be of no moment whatever to us, when
once we have taken our final departure from the stage of life. We
pass to a higher tribunal, and the verdict of approving or reproving
millions, the applause of nations, the condemnation of a world in arms
against us, will hardly break the silence or disturb the deep repose of
the tomb. These approving and condemning voices will die away in the
distance, or be heard but as the faint echo of the wave that lashes
some far-off shore.

Yet, though the honors that may then await our names will be of as
little moment to us, personally, as the perishing garlands that the
hand of affection may place upon our tombs, we still desire to leave
a name unsullied at least, if not distinguished, even as we desire to
live in the memory and affections of those who survive us.

_How to be explained._--To what, then, can be owing this desire of
the good opinion and esteem of those who are to come after us, and
whose opinion, be it good or ill, can in no way affect our happiness?
Philosophers have been sadly at a loss to account for it, especially
those who trace the desire of esteem to a selfish origin. Some,
with Wollaston and Smith, have referred it to the illusions of the
imagination, by which we seem, to ourselves, to be present, and to
witness the honors, and listen to the praises, which the future is to
bestow. Such an illusion may possibly arise in some hour of reverie,
some day-dream of the mind; but it is impossible to suppose that any
one of sound mind should be permanently influenced by such an illusion,
or fail to perceive, when reason resumes her sway, that it _is_ an
illusion, and that only.

_Admits of Explanation in another Way._--If, however we regard the
desire of the good opinion of others as an original principle of our
nature, and not as springing from selfish considerations, it is easy to
see how the same principle may extend to the future. If, irrespective
of personal advantage, we desire the esteem of our fellow-men while we
live, so, also, without regard to such advantage, we may desire their
good opinion when we are no longer among them.

True, it is only a name that is transmitted and honored, as Wollaston
says, and not the man himself. _He_ does not live because his _name_
does, nor is _he_ known because his name is known. As in those lines of
Cowley, quoted by Stewart:

    "'Tis true the two immortal syllables remain,
    But, O! ye learned men, explain
    What essence, substance, what hypostasis
    In five poor letters is?
    In these alone does the great Cæsar live--
    'Tis all the conquered world could give."

Yet reason as we may, it is no trait of a noble and ingenuous mind to
be regardless of the opinions of the future. The common sentiment of
men, even the wisest and the best, finds itself, after all, much more
influenced by such considerations than by any reasoning to the contrary.

_Not unworthy of a noble Mind._--Nor is it altogether unworthy of the
ambition of a noble and generous mind to leave a good name as a legacy
to the future; in the language of Mr. Stewart, "to be able to entail on
the casual combination of letters which compose our name, the respect
of distant ages, and the blessings of generations yet unborn. Nor is it
an unworthy object of the most rational benevolence to render these
letters a sort of magical spell for kindling the emulation of the wise
and good whenever they shall reach the human ear."

_Desire of Esteem not a safe Rule of Conduct._--I would by no means be
understood, however, to present the desire of esteem as, on the whole,
a safe and suitable rule of conduct, or to justify that inordinate
ambition which too frequently seeks distinction regardless of the means
by which it is acquired, or of any useful end to be accomplished.
The mere love of fame is by no means the highest principle of action
by which man is guided--by no means the noblest or the safest. It is
ever liable to abuse. Its tendencies are questionable. The man who
has no higher principle than a regard to the opinions of others is
not likely to accomplish any thing great or noble. He will lack that
prime element of greatness, _consistency_ of character and purpose.
His conduct and his principles will vary to suit the changing aspect
of the times. He will, almost of necessity, also lack firmness and
strength of character. It is necessary, sometimes, for the wise and
good man to resist the force and pressure of public opinion. He must
do that, or abandon his principles, and prove false at once to duty,
and to himself. To do this costs much. It requires, and, at the same
time, imparts, true strength. Such strength comes in no other way. That
mind is essentially weak that depends for its point of support on the
applause of man. In the noble language of Cicero, "To me, indeed, those
actions seem all the more praiseworthy which we perform without regard
to public favor, and without observation of man.. The true theatre for
virtue is conscience; there is none greater." The praise of man confers
no solid happiness, unless it is felt to be deserved; and if it _be_
so, that very consciousness is sufficient.

_Disregard of public Opinion equally unsafe._--It must be confessed,
however, that if a regard to the opinions of others is not to be
adopted as a wise and safe rule of conduct, an entire disregard of
public opinion is, on the other hand, a mark neither of a well ordered
mind, nor of a virtuous character. "Contempta fama," says Tacitus,
"contemnantur virtutes."

Accordingly we find that those who, from any cause, have lost their
character and standing in society, and forfeited the good opinion of
their fellow-men, are apt to become desperate and reckless, and ready
for any crime.



_Nature of these Emotions._--In the analysis of the sensibilities,
which was given in a preceding chapter, _hope and fear_ were classed
as modifications of _desire and aversion_, having reference to the
probability that the object which is desired or feared may be realized.
Desire always relates to something in the future, and something that
is agreeable, or viewed as such, and also something possible, or that
is so regarded. Add to this future agreeable something the idea or
element of _probability_, let it be not only something possible to be
attained, but not unlikely to be, and what was before but mere desire,
more or less earnest, now becomes _hope_, more or less definite or
strong, according as the object is more or less desirable, and more or
less likely to be realized. And the same is true of fear; an emotion
awakened in view of any object regarded as disagreeable, in the future,
and as more or less likely to be met.

As desire and aversion do not necessarily relate to different objects,
but are simply counterparts of each other, the desire of any good
implying always an aversion to its loss, so, also, hope and fear may
both be awakened by the same object, according as the gaining or losing
of the object becomes the more probable. What we hope to gain we fear
to lose. What we fear to meet, we hope to escape.

_The Strength of the Feeling dependent, in part, on the Importance of
the Object._--The _degree_ of the emotion, however, in either case,
the readiness with which it is awakened, and the force and liveliness
with which it affects the mind, are not altogether in proportion to
the probability merely that the thing will, or will not, be as we
hope or fear, but somewhat in proportion, also, to the importance of
the object itself. That which is quite essential to our happiness is
more ardently desired, than what is of much less consequence, though,
perhaps, much more likely to be attained; and because it is more
important and desirable, even a slight prospect of its attainment, or
a slight reason to apprehend its loss, more readily awakens our hopes,
and our fears, and more deeply impresses and agitates the mind, than
even a much stronger probability would do in cases of less importance.
What we very much desire, we are inclined to hope for, what we are
strongly averse to, we are readily disposed to fear. Nothing is more
desirable to the victim of disease than recovery, and hence his hope
and almost confident expectation that he shall recover, when, perhaps,
to every eye but his own, the case is hopeless. Nothing could be more
dreadful to the miser than the loss of his treasure, and nothing,
accordingly, does he so much fear. Poverty would be to him the greatest
of possible calamities, and of this, accordingly, he lives in constant
apprehension. Yet nothing is really more unlikely to occur. It is the
tendency of the mind, in such cases, to magnify both the danger of the
evil, on the one hand, and the prospect of good on the other.

_Illustration from the case of a Traveller._--"There can be no
question," says Dr. Brown, "that he who travels in the same carriage,
with the same external appearances of every kind, by which a robber
could be tempted or terrified, will be in equal danger of attack,
whether he carry with him little of which he can be plundered, or
such a booty as would impoverish him if it were lost. But there can
be no question, also, that though the probabilities of danger be the
same, the fear of attack would, in these two cases, be very different;
that, in the one case, he would laugh at the ridiculous terror of any
one who journeyed with him, and expressed much alarm at the approach
of evening;--and that, in the other case, his own eye would watch,
suspiciously, every horseman who approached, and would feel a sort of
relief when he observed him pass carelessly and quietly along, at a
considerable distance behind."

_Uneasiness attending the sudden Acquisition of Wealth._--This tendency
of the imagination to exaggerate the real, and conjure up a thousand
unreal dangers, when any thing of peculiar value is in possession,
which it is certainly possible, and it may be slightly probable, that
we may lose, may, perhaps, account for the uneasiness, amounting often
to extreme anxiety, that frequently accompanies the sudden acquisition
of wealth. The poor cobbler, at his last, is a merry man, whistling at
his work, from morning till night. Bequeath him a fortune, and he quits
at once his last and his music; he is no longer the light-hearted man
that he was; his step is cautious, his look anxious and suspicious; he
grows care-worn and old. He that was never so happy in his life as when
a poor man, now dreads nothing so much as poverty. While he was poor,
there was nothing to fear, but every thing to hope, from the future;
now that he is rich, there is nothing further to hope, but much to
fear, since if the future brings any change in his condition, as it
is not unlikely to do, it will, in all probability, be a change, not
from wealth to still greater wealth, but from present affluence to his
former penury.

_The Pleasure of Hope surpasses the Pleasure of Reality._--It will,
doubtless, be found generally true, that the pleasure of hope surpasses
the pleasure derived from the realization of the object wished and
hoped for. The imagination invests with ideal excellence the good that
is still future, and when the hour of possession and enjoyment comes,
the reality does not fully answer the expectation. Or, as in the case,
already supposed, of the acquisition of wealth, there come along with
the desired and expected treasure, a thousand cares and anxieties that
were not anticipated, and that go far to diminish the enjoyment of the
acquisition. From these, and other causes, it happens, I believe, not
unfrequently, that those enjoy the most, who have really the least,
whether of wealth, or of any other good which the mind naturally
desires as a means of happiness; nor can we fail to see in this a
beautiful provision of divine benevolence for the happiness of the
great human family.

_Influence on the Mind._--The influence of hope, upon the human mind,
is universally felt, and recognized, as one of the most powerful and
permanent of those varied influences, and laws of being, that make us
what we are. It is limited to no period of life, no clime and country,
no age of the world, no condition of society, or of individual fortune.
It cheers us, alike, in the childhood of our being, in the maturity of
our riper years, and in the second childhood of advancing age. There is
no good which it cannot promise, no evil for which it cannot suggest a
remedy and a way of escape, no sorrow which it cannot assuage. It is
strength to the weary, courage to the desponding, life to the dying,
joy to the desolate. It lingers with gentle step about the couch of
the suffering, when human skill can do no more; and, upon the tombs
of those whose departure we mourn, it hangs the unfading garland of a
blessed immortality.

    "Angel of life! thy glittering wings explore
    Earth's loveliest bounds, and ocean's widest shore."

The same poet who sang so well the pleasures of hope, has depicted the
influence of this emotion, on the mind which some great calamity has
bereft of reason.

        "Hark, the wild maniac sings to chide the gale
        That wafts so slow her lover's distant sail;

               *       *       *       *       *

        Oft when yon moon has climbed the midnight sky
        And the lone sea-bird wakes its wildest cry,
        Piled on the steep, her blazing fagots burn
        To hail the bark that never can return;
        And still she waits, but scarce forbears to weep,
        That constant love can linger on the deep."

It is, indeed, a touching incident, illustrative not more of the
strength of this principle of our nature, than of the benevolence which
framed our mental and moral constitution, that when, under the heavy
pressure of earthly ills, reason deserts her empire, and leaves the
throne of the human mind vacant, _Hope_ still lingers to cheer even
the poor maniac, and calmly takes her seat upon that vacant throne,
even as the radiant angels sat upon the stone by the door of the empty





_Leading Divisions._--In our analysis and distribution of the powers
of the mind, they were divided into three generic classes, viz.,
Intellect, Sensibility, and Will. Of these, the two former have been
discussed in the preceding pages; it now remains to enter upon the
examination of the third.

_Importance and Difficulty of this Department._--This is, in many
respects, at once the most important and the most difficult of
the three. Its difficulty becomes apparent when we consider what
questions arise respecting this power of the mind, and what diverse
and conflicting views have been entertained, not among philosophers
only, but among all classes of men, and in all ages of the world,
concerning these matters. Its importance is evident from the relation
which this faculty sustains to the other powers of the mind, and from
its direct and intimate connection with some of the most practical
and personal duties of life. Whatever control we have over ourselves,
whether as regards the bodily or the mental powers, whatever use and
disposition it is in our power to make of the intellectual faculties
with which we are endowed, and of the sensibilities which accompany
or give rise to those intellectual activities, and of the physical
organization which obeys the behests of the sovereign mind, whatever
separates and distinguishes us from the mere inanimate and mechanical
forces of nature on the one hand, or the blind impulses of irrational
brute instinct on the other; for all this, be it more or less, we are
indebted to that faculty which we call the Will. And hence it happens
that in this, as in many other cases, the most abstract questions of
philosophy become the most practical and important questions of life.
In every system of mental philosophy the Will holds a cardinal place.
The system can no more be complete without it, than a steamship without
the engines that are to propel her. As is the view taken of the Will,
such is essentially the system.

_Relation to Theology._--Nor is it to be overlooked that the doctrine
of the Will is a cardinal doctrine of theology, as well as of
psychology. Inasmuch as it has a direct and practical bearing upon the
formation of character, and upon the moral and religious duties of
life, it comes properly within the sphere of that science which treats
of these duties, and of man's relation to his Maker. Hence every system
of theology has to do with the Will; and according to the view taken of
this faculty, such essentially is the system. If in psychology, still
more in theology, is this the stand-point of the science.

_Not, therefore, to be treated as a theological Doctrine._--Not,
however, on this account, is the matter to be treated as theological
and not strictly psychological. It is a matter which pertains properly
and purely to psychology. It is for that science which treats of the
laws and powers of the human mind to unfold and explain the activity
of this most important of all the mental faculties. To this science
theology must come for her data, so far as she has occasion to refer to
the phenomena of the Will. The same may be said of ethical, as well as
of theological science. In so far as they are concerned with the moral
powers, and with the human will, they must both depend on psychology.
With in her proper sphere they stand, not as teachers, but as learners.

_The more Care requisite on this Account._--For this reason all the
more care is necessary, in the study and explanation of the present
theme. An error in this part of the investigation is likely to extend
beyond the bounds of the science itself, into other and kindred
sciences. The most serious consequences may flow from it, in other and
wider fields of thought.

_Sources of Information._--The sources of our information are
essentially the same in this as in the preceding divisions of the
science. They are twofold; the consciousness of what passes in our
own minds, and the observation of others. Our single business is to
ascertain facts, actual phenomena; not to inquire what might be, or
what _ought_ to be, according to preconceived notions and theories,
but what _is_. This is to be learned, not by reasoning and logical
argument, but by simple observation of phenomena. Having once
ascertained these, we may infer, and conclude, and reason from them,
as far as we please, and our conclusions will be correct, provided
the data are correct from which we set forth, and provided we reason
correctly from these principles.

_Method to be pursued._--In treating of this department of mental
activity, it will be our first business, then, to point out the well
established and evident facts pertaining to the matter in hand, viewed
simply as psychological phenomena, as modes in which the human mind
manifests itself in action, according to the laws of its constitution.
These being ascertained, we shall be prepared to consider some of the
more difficult and doubtful matters respecting the will, on which the
world has long been divided, and which can never be intelligently
discussed, much less settled, without a clear understanding, in the
first place, of the psychological facts in the case, about which there
need be, and should be, no dispute.



_What the Will is._--I understand, by the will, that power which the
mind has of determining or deciding what it will do, and of putting
forth volitions accordingly. The will is the _power_ of doing this;
willing, is the exercise of the power; volition, is the deed, the thing
done. The will is but another name for the executive power of the mind.
Whatever we do intelligently and intentionally, whether it implies an
exercise of the intellect, or of the feelings, or of both, that is an
act of the will. All our voluntary, in distinction from our involuntary
movements of the body, and movements of mind, are the immediate results
of the activity of the Will.

_Condition of a Being destitute of Will._--We can, perhaps, conceive of
a being endowed with intellect and sensibility, but without the faculty
of will. Such a being, however superior he might be to the brutes in
point of intelligence, would, so far as regards the capacities of
action, be even their inferior, since his actions must be, as theirs,
the result of mere sensational impulse, without even that unerring
instinct to guide him, which the brute possesses, and which supplies
the place of reason and intelligent will. To this wretched condition
man virtually approximates when, by any means, the will becomes so far
enfeebled, or brought under the dominion of appetite and passion, as
to lose the actual control of the mental and physical powers. _Will
not distinct from the Mind._--It must be borne in mind, of course, as
we proceed, that the will is nothing but the mind itself willing, or
having power to will, and not something distinct from the mind, or even
a _part_ of the mind, as the handle and the blade are distinct parts
of the knife. The power to think, the power to feel, the power to will,
are distinct powers, but the mind is one and indivisible, exercising
now one, now another, of these powers.


_Proposed Analysis._--In order to the better understanding of the
nature of this faculty, let us first analyze its operations, with a
view to ascertain the several distinct stages or elements of the mental
process which takes place. We will then take up these several elements,
one by one, for special investigation.

_Observation of an Act of Will._--What, then, are the essential
phenomena of an act of the will? Let us arrest ourselves in the process
of putting forth an act of this kind, and observe precisely what it is
that we do, and what are the essential data in the case. I am sitting
at my table. I reach forth my hand to take a book. Here is an act of
my will. My arm went not forth self-moved and spontaneously, it was
sent, was bidden to go; the soul seated within, animating this physical
organism, and making it subservient to her will, moved that arm. Here,
then, is clearly an act of will. Let us subject it to the test of

_The first Element._--First of all, then, there was evidently, in this
case, _something to be done_--an end to be accomplished--a book to be
reached. The action, both of body and of mind, was directed to that
end, and but for that the volition would not have been put forth. It
is to be observed, moreover, that the end to be accomplished, in this
case, was a _possible_ one--the book was, or was supposed to be, within
my reach. Otherwise I should not have attempted to reach it.

_A second Element._--I observe, furthermore, in the case under
consideration, a motive, impelling or inducing to that end; a _reason
why_ I willed the act. It was curiosity, perhaps, to see what the
book was, or it may have been some other principle of my nature, which
induced me to put forth the volition.

_A further Step in the Process._--But the motive does not, itself,
produce the act. It is merely the _reason why_ I produce it. It has
to do not directly with the action, but with me. Its immediate effect
terminates on me, and it is only indirectly that it affects the final
act. The next step in the process, then, is to be sought, not in the
final act, but in my mind as influenced by motive; and that step is my
_choice_. Previous to my putting forth the volition to move my arm,
there was a choice or decision to do so. In view of the end to be
accomplished, and influenced by the motive, I _made up my mind_--to use
a common but not inapt expression--to perform the act. The question
arose, for the instant, Shall I do it? The very occurrence of a thing
to be done, a possible thing, and of a motive for doing it, raises, of
itself, the question, Shall it be done? The question may be at once
decided in the affirmative, in the absence of reasons to the contrary,
or, in the absence of reflection, so quickly decided, that, afterward,
we shall hardly be conscious that it was ever before the mind. Or it
may be otherwise. Reasons to the contrary suggest themselves--counter
influences and motives--in view of which we hesitate, deliberate,
decide; and that decision, in view of all the circumstances, is our
_preference_, or _choice_. In most cases the process is so rapid as to
escape attention; but subsequent reflection can hardly fail to detect
such a process, more or less distinctly marked.

_The final Stage of the Act._--We have reached now the point at which
it is decided, in our own minds, what course to pursue. In the case
supposed, I have decided to take up the book. The volition is not yet
put forth. Nothing now remains, however, but to put forth the volition,
and at once the muscular organism, if unimpeded and in health, obeys
the will. The thing is done, and the experiment concluded.

_Summary of Results._--I repeat now the experiment ten or a hundred
times, but always with like results. I find always, where there is an
act of the will, some end to be obtained, some motive, a choice, an
executive volition. I conclude that these are the essential phenomena
of all voluntary action.

Of these, the two former, viz., the end to be accomplished, and the
motive, may be regarded as more properly _conditions_ of volition,
than constituent elements of it. Still, so intimately is the volition
connected with one, at least, of these conditions, viz., the motive,
that it claims special consideration. The ends to be accomplished by
volition are as numerous as the infinite variety of human purposes
and actions, and, of course, admit of no complete enumeration or
classification. We confine our further attention, then, to these
elements--the motive, the choice, the executive volition--and proceed
to their more careful investigation as phenomena of the will.


_The first of these Elements, Motive, always implied in Action._--I.
THE MOTIVE--that which incites the mind to action--the reason why it
acts, and acts as it does. We never act without some such incitement,
some reason for acting; at least this is true of all our intelligent
and voluntary actions, of which, alone, we now speak. It may be nothing
more than mere present impulse, mere animal appetite or passion, even
that is a motive, a reason why we act. We cannot conceive of any being
having the power of voluntary action, and exerting that power without
_any reason whatever_ why he did it. The reason may, or may not, be
clearly apprehended by his own mind--that is another question; but
whether distinctly and clearly recognized as such, or not, by our own
minds, a reason there always is for what we do.

_In what Sense this Term employed._--Strictly speaking, the motive
is not any and every influence which may bear upon the mind as an
inducement to action, but only the _prevailing_ inducement, that which
_actually moves_ or induces us to perform the proposed act. In this
sense, there may be many different inducements, but only one motive.
Such, however, is not the ordinary use of the term. That is usually
called a motive which is of a nature to influence the mind, and induce
volition, whether it is, in the given case, effective, or not. To avoid
confusion, I adopt the general use.

_Nature of Motives._--As to the nature of the motives from which we
act, they are manifestly of two kinds, and widely distinct. There
is desire, and there is the sense of moral obligation or duty;--the
agreeable, and the right; each of these constitutes a powerful motive
to action. We find ourselves, under the influence of these motives,
acting, now from desire, now from sense of duty, now in view of what is
in itself agreeable, and now in view of what is right; and the various
motives which influence us and result in action, may be resolved into
one or the other of these powerful elements.

_These Elements distinguished._--These are quite _distinct_ elements,
never to be confounded with, nor resolved into each other. _Desire_
is the feeling which arises in view of some good not in present
possession, something agreeable, and to be obtained; it looks forward
to that; its root and spring is that grand principle of our nature, the
love of happiness. Its appeal is to that. Its strength lies in that
_Duty_, as we have already shown--that sense of obligation which is
implied in the very idea of _right_--is quite another principle than
that, not founded in that; springs not from self-love, or the desire of
happiness; is, on the contrary, a simple, primitive, fundamental idea
of the human mind, based in the inherent, essential, eternal nature of
things. Given the right, the perception of right, and there is given,
also along with it, the sense of _obligation_.

_Their Action not always in Unison._--These two motives may act
in different directions; they frequently do so. Desire impels me
one way, duty another. Conflict then arises. Which shall prevail,
desire or duty, depends on circumstances, on my character already
formed, my habits of thought and feeling, my degree of self-control,
my conscientiousness, the strength of my native propensities, the
clearness with which, at the time, I apprehend the different courses
of conduct proposed, their character and their consequences. Desire
may prevail, and then I go counter to my sense of obligation. Remorse
follows. I am wretched. I suffer penalty. Duty prevails, and I do that
which I believe to be right, regardless of consequences. I suffer
in property, health, life, external good, but am sustained by that
approving voice within, which more than compensates for all such losses.

That there are these two springs or motives of human action, and that
they are _distinct_ from each other, is what I affirm, and what no one,
I think, who reflects on what consciousness reveals, will be disposed
to deny.

_Motives of Duty not resolvable into Motives of Interest._--Should any
still contend that this very approval of conscience, this peace and
happiness which result from doing right, are, themselves, the motive to
action, in the case supposed, and so, self-love, a desire of happiness,
is, after all, the _only motive_, I reply, this is an assumption
utterly without proof. Consciousness contradicts it. The history of the
human race contradicts it. There is such a thing as doing right for its
own sake, irrespective of good to ourselves. Every man is conscious
of such distinction, and of its force as a motive of conduct. Every
_virtuous_ man is conscious of acting, at times, at least, from such a

_Coincidence of Desire and Duty._--It is only when desire and duty
coincide, that the highest happiness can be reached, when we no longer
desire and long for, because we no longer view as agreeable, that which
is not strictly right. This is a state never fully realized in this
life. It implies perfection of character, and a perfect world.

_Desires, as Motives of Action, further distinguished._--Desire, and
the feeling of obligation, I have spoken of as motives of conduct. The
former, again, is not always of one sort. Desire is, indeed, in itself,
a simple element, springing from one source, but not always directed
to the same object. We desire now one thing, now another. There are
two classes, at least, of desires quite easy to be distinguished,
the physical and the psychical, the one relating to the wants of the
body, the other to the craving of the higher nature; the mere animal
instincts, propensities, passions, looking to animal gratification;
and the higher rational self-love, which seeks the true and permanent
well-being, under the guidance of reason. Each of these furnishes a
powerful motive, or class of motives, to human action. They are each,
however, but different forms of _desire_.

_The second Element, Choice, always involved in Volition._--II.
CHOICE.--This is an essential element in volition, and next in order.
As, setting aside such acts as are purely spontaneous and mechanical,
we never, intelligently and purposely, do any thing without a volition
to do it, so we never put forth volition without exercising _choice_.
The act performed is not a _voluntary_ act, unless it is something
which I _choose_ to do. True, my choice may be influenced by extraneous
causes--may even be constrained--circumstances may virtually compel
me to choose as I do, by shutting me up to this one course, as being
either the only right, or the only desirable course. And these
circumstances, that thus influence my decisions, may be essentially
beyond my control, as they not unfrequently are. Yet, all things
considered, it is my _choice_ to do thus and not otherwise, and so long
as I do choose, and am free to act accordingly, the act is voluntary.

_The Position illustrated._--This may be illustrated by the case of
the soldier who, in the bombardment of his native city, is ordered to
point his piece in the direction of his own dwelling. To disobey, is
death. To obey, is to put in jeopardy those who are dear to him. He
hesitates, but finally chooses to obey orders. He aims his piece as
directed, sadly against his inclination; yet, on the whole, it is his
_choice_ to do it. He prefers that to the certainty of dishonorable
death, a death which would in no way benefit or protect those whom he
wishes to save. A man, of his own accord, lies down upon the surgeon's
operating table, and stretches out his arm to the knife. It is his
choice--a hard choice, indeed, but, nevertheless, decidedly his choice.
He prefers that to still greater suffering, or even death. In these
cases--and they are only instances and illustrations of what, in a less
marked and decided way, is continually occurring--we see the utmost
strain and pressure of circumstances upon a man's choice, making it
morally certain that he will decide as he does, shutting him up to that
decision, in fact, yet his choice remaining unimpaired, and his act a
_free_ act; free, because he does as he, on the whole, and under the
circumstances, chooses to do. He does the thing voluntarily.

_Another Case supposed._--Suppose, now, the man were forcibly seized,
and borne by sheer strength to the table, and placed upon it, and held
there while the operation was performed. In that case, he no longer
acts, is only acted upon, no longer chooses and wills to go there, nay,
chooses and wills directly the contrary. The difference in the two
cases, is the difference between a voluntary act, chosen reluctantly,
indeed, and under the pressure of an exigency, but still _chosen_, and
the passive suffering of an action which, so far from being voluntary,
was, in no sense, an act of his own.

_Choice always influenced by Circumstances._--Now, as regards
the actual operation of things, our choices are, in fact, always
influenced by circumstances, and these circumstances are various and
innumerable; a thousand seen and unseen influences are at work upon
us, to affect our decisions Were it possible to estimate aright all
these influences, to calculate, with precision, their exact weight
and effect, then our choice, under any given circumstances, might be
predicted with unerring certainty. This can never be exactly known
to man. Sagacity may approximate to it, and may, so far, be able to
read the future, and predict the probable conduct of men in given
circumstances. To the omniscient, these things _are_ fully known, and
to his eye, therefore, the whole future of our lives, our free choices
and voluntary acts, lie open before they are yet known to ourselves.

_Conclusion stated._--From what has been said, it appears that it is
not inconsistent with the nature of choice, to be influenced, nay,
decided by circumstances, even when circumstances are beyond our

_Diversity of Objects essential to Choice._--What is _implied_ in
an act of choice? Several things. In order to choice, there must,
of course, be _diversity of objects_ from which to choose. If there
were but one possible course to be pursued, it were absurd to speak
of choice. Hence, even in the cases just now supposed, there was a
diversity of objects from which to choose--death, or obedience to
orders, suffering from the surgery, or greater suffering and danger
without it, and between these the man made his choice.

_Liberty of Selection also essential._--As a further condition of
choice, there is implied _liberty_ of selection from among the
different objects proposed. It were of no use that there should be
different courses of conduct--different ends, or different means of
attaining an end--proposed to our understanding, if it were not in our
power to select which we pleased, if we were not free to go which way
we will. Choice always implies that different actions and volitions are
possible, and are, as such, submitted to our decision and preference.
There can be no volition without choice, and no choice without liberty
to choose. Whatever interferes, then, with that liberty, and diminishes
or takes it away, interferes, also, with my choice, and diminishes or
destroys that. The very _essence_ of a voluntary act consists in its
being an act of choice, or a free-will act. No tyranny can take this
away, except such as destroys, also, all voluntary and responsible
action. You may command me to burn incense on a heathen altar. The very
command leaves it optional with me whether to obey. If I do not, the
penalty is death. Very well--I may _choose_ the penalty, rather than
the crime, and no power on earth can _compel_ me to choose otherwise. I
die, but I die a _free_ man. True, you may bind me, and by mechanical
force urge me to the altar, and by superior strength of other arms, may
cause my hand to put incense there, but it is not _my_ act then; it is
the act of those who use me as a mere passive instrument; it is no more
my act, than it would be the act of so much iron, or wood, or other

_Deliberation implied._--Choice, moreover, implies deliberation, the
balancing and weighing of inducements, the comparison and estimate of
the several goods proposed, the several ends and objects, the various
means to those ends; the exercise of reason and; judgment in this
process. I see before me different courses, different ends proposed to
my understanding, am conscious of diverse inducements and reasons, some
urging me in one direction, some in another. Native propensities impel
me toward this line of conduct. Rational self-love puts in a claim for
quite another procedure. Benevolence, and a sense of duty, it may be,
conspire to urge me in still another direction. I am at liberty to
choose I must choose. I can go this way or that, must go in one or the
other. I hesitate, deliberate, am at a loss.

Now there is no choice which does not virtually involve some process of
this kind. It may be very rapid; so rapid as to escape detection, in
many cases, so that we are hardly conscious of the process. In other
cases, we are painfully conscious of the whole scene; we hesitate long,
are in doubt and suspense between conflicting motives and interests.
Desire and duty wage a fierce contest within us. Shall we choose the
agreeable? Shall we choose the right? And then, again, which is really
the agreeable, and which is truly the right?

_Final Decision._--As the result of this deliberation, we finally
decide, one way, or the other. This decision is our _preference_, our
choice. Our minds, as we say, are made up what to do, what course
to pursue. When the time comes, we shall act. Something may prevent
our having our way; opportunity may not offer, or we may see fit,
subsequently to reconsider and revoke our decision. Otherwise, our
choice is carried out in action.

Choice implies, then, these things: diversity of objects, liberty of
selection, deliberation, decision, or preference.

_The final Element._--III. EXECUTIVE VOLITION.--In our investigation
of the several elements or momenta of an act of the Will, we have as
yet considered but two, viz., _motive_ and _choice_--the first, more
properly a _condition_ of voluntary action, than itself a constituent
part of it, yet still, a condition so indispensably connected with
volition, as to require investigation in connection with the latter.
It only remains now to notice the last stage of the process, the final
element, which added, the process is complete--that is, the _executive
act of the mind_, _volition_ properly so called. When the objects to be
attained have been presented, when the motives or inducements to action
have been considered, when, in view of all, the choice or preference
has been made, it still remains to put forth the volition, or the act
will not be performed. This may never happen. Opportunity may never
offer. But suppose it does. We _will_. This done, the bodily mechanism
springs into play, obedient to the call and command of the soul.

Even now, the action does not of necessity correspond to the volition.
Even now, we may be disappointed. Other wills may be in action in
opposition to ours. Other arms may move in obedience to those other
wills. Or we may find the thing too much for us to do, impracticable,
beyond our strength and means, or disease may palsy the frame,
so that it shall not obey the mandate of the spirit. Nevertheless
the _volition_ is complete. That depends not on the success of the
exertion. We have _willed_, and with that our mental action ceases.
What remains is physical, not psychological. If we succeed, if the
volition finds itself answered in execution, then, also, the act once
performed is thenceforth out of our power. It is done, and stands a
permanent historic event, beyond our control, beyond our decision or
revocation. Our power over it ceases in the moment of volition. Our
connection with it may never cease. It moves on in its inevitable
career of consequences, and, like a swift river, bears us along with
it. We have no more to do with it, but it has to do with us; it may be
to our sorrow, it may be, forever.

Such are, in brief, the main psychological facts, relating to the will,
as they offer themselves to our consciousness and careful inspection.



_Activity of the Intellect in Volition._--It is a matter of some
importance to ascertain the relation which the will sustains to the
other mental powers. There can be no doubt that the activity of the
will is preceded, in all cases by that of the intellect. I must first
perceive some object presented to my understanding, before I can will
its attainment. In the case already supposed, the book lying on my
table is an object within the cognizance of sense, and to perceive
it is an act of intellect. Until perceived, the will puts not forth
any volition respecting it. Nor does the mere perception occasion
volition. In connection with the perception of the book, ideas present
themselves to the mind, curiosity is awakened, the mind is set upon
a train of thought, which results in the desire and the volition
to take the book. In all this the intellect is active. In a word,
whatever comes in as a motive to influence the mind in favor of, or
against a given course, must in the first instance address itself to
the understanding, and be comprehended by that power, before it can
influence the mental decisions. A motive which I do not comprehend is
no motive; a reason which I do not perceive, or understand, is, to me,
no reason.

_Activity of the Sensibilities also involved._--But does volition
immediately follow the action of the intellect in the case supposed? Do
we first understand, and then will; or does something else intervene
between the intellectual perception and the volition? Were there no
_feeling_ awakened by the intellectual perception, would there be any
volition with regard to the object perceived? I think, I _feel_, I
will; is not that the order of the mental processes? "We can easily
imagine," says Mackintosh, "a percipient and thinking being without a
capacity of receiving pleasure or pain. Such a being might perceive
what we do; if we could conceive him to reason, he might reason justly;
and if he were to judge at all, there seems no reason why he should not
judge truly. But what could induce such a being to _will_ or to _act_?
It seems evident that his existence could only be a state of passive
contemplation. Reason, as reason, can never be a motive to action. It
is only when we superadd to such a being sensibility, or the capacity
of emotion, or sentiment of desire and aversion, that we introduce him
into the world of action."

_Opinion of Locke._--To the same effect, Locke: "Good and evil, present
and absent, it is true, work upon the mind, but that which immediately
determines the will from time to time, to every voluntary action, is
the uneasiness of _desire_, fixed on some absent good, either negative,
as indolence to one in pain, or positive, as enjoyment of pleasure.
That it is this uneasiness that determines the will to the successive
voluntary actions, whereof the greatest part of our lives is made up,
and by which we are conducted through different courses to different
ends, I shall endeavor to show both from experience and the reason of
the thing." Elsewhere again: "For good, though appearing and allowed
ever so great, yet till it has raised desires in our minds, and thereby
made us uneasy in its want, it reaches not our wills; we are not within
the sphere of its activity."

_Testimony of Consciousness._--The general opinion of philosophical
writers is now in accordance with the views thus expressed. The
intellect they regard as acting upon the will not directly, but through
the medium of the sensibilities, the various emotions and desires which
are awakened by the perceptions of the intellect. That this is the
correct view, admits of little doubt. The question is best settled by
an appeal to consciousness. In the case supposed, the perception of the
book upon the table does not, of itself, directly influence my will. It
is not until some feeling is aroused, my curiosity excited, or desire,
in some form, awakened, that my will acts. The object must not only be
perceived, but perceived as agreeable, and the wish to possess it be
entertained, before the volition is put forth.

_Whether this Rule applies in all Cases._--That this is so as regards
a large class of our volitions, will hardly be denied. When the motive
to action is of the nature of _desire_, it is the sensibility, and not
the intellect, that is directly, concerned in shaping the action of
the will. I first perceive the object to be agreeable; I next desire
its possession, as such; then I will its attainment. The intellectual
activity gives rise to emotion, and the latter leads to volition.

It may be supposed, however, that when the motive which influences
the will is not of the nature of desire, but rather of a sense of
obligation or duty, then the case is otherwise, the intellectual
perception of the right, and of the obligation to do the right,
being sufficient of themselves to lead the mind to action. But as
the intellectual perception of the agreeable is followed by emotion
or desire in view of the same, so the intellectual perception of the
right is followed, in like manner, by a certain class of feelings or
emotions, usually called moral sensibilities; and it is the _feeling_,
in either case, and not the _knowing_, the sensibility, and not the
intellect, that is directly in contact with the will. I know that I
ought, and I feel that I ought, are states of mind closely connected,
indeed, but not identical; and it is the latter which leads directly to

_Desire and Volition not always distinguished._--Another point
requiring investigation, is the precise relation between volition and
_desire_. Are they the same thing, and if not, wherein do they differ?
It has been the custom of certain writers not to distinguish between
desire and volition, as states of mind, or to regard them as differing,
if at all, only in degree. Thus Condillac, and writers of the French
school, as also Brown, Mill, and others, in Great Britain, have treated
of volition as only a stronger degree of desire, which, again, is only
a form of emotion. Even McCosh, in his treatise on moral government,
while insisting on the distinction between emotions and desires,
regards wishes, desires, and volitions, as belonging essentially to
the same class of mental states. "Appealing to consciousness," says
that able and elegant writer, "we assert that there is a class of
mental states embracing wishes, desires, volitions, which cannot be
analyzed into anything else. These mental states or affections are
very numerous, and occupy a place in the human mind second to no
other. They differ from each other in degree, and possibly even in
some minor qualities but they all agree in other and more important
respects and so are capable of being arranged under one head." And in
a subsequent paragraph he remarks to the same effect, "Later mental
inquirers are generally disposed to admit that the volition the
positive determination to take a particular step, the resolution, for
instance, to give a sum of money to take our friend to a warmer climate
for the restoration of his health, is more than a mere emotion. But
if we are thus to constitute a separate attribute to which to refer
volition, it is worthy of being inquired whether we should not arrange,
under the same head, wishes, desires, and the cognate states, as being
more closely allied in their nature to volitions than to the common

_The Difference generic._--It is on this latter point that we are
compelled to join issue with the writer just quoted. A wish, a desire,
are forms of _feeling_; a volition is not. The difference is generic,
and not one of degree merely. A desire differs from any other form of
feeling, not so much, not so radically, as it differs from a volition.
A wish or desire may _lead_ to volition, or it may not. We often wish
or desire what we do not will. The object of our desires may not be
within the sphere of our volitions, may not be possible of attainment,
may not depend, in any sense, upon our wills. Or it may be something
which reason and the law of right forbid, yet, nevertheless, an object
of natural desire. And so, on the other hand, we may, from a sense
of duty, or from the dictates of reason and prudence, will what is
contrary to our natural inclinations, and our volitions, so far from
representing our desires, in that case, may be directly contrary to

_Opinion of Reid._--Accordant with the view now expressed, are the
following remarks of Dr Reid: "With regard to our actions, we may
desire what we do not will, and will what we do not desire, nay, what
we have a great aversion to. A man a-thirst has a strong desire to
drink, but, for some particular reason, he determines not to gratify
his desire. A judge, from a regard to justice and the duty of his
office, dooms a criminal to die, while, from humanity and particular
affection, he desires that he should live. A man, for health, may take
a nauseous draught for which he has no desire, but a great aversion.
Desire, therefore, even when its object is some action of our own, is
only an excitement to the will, but is not volition. The determination
of the mind may be not to do what we desire to do."

_Opinion of Locke._--To the same effect is the following from Locke:
"This caution, of being careful not to be misled by expressions that
do not enough keep up the difference between the _will_ and several
acts of the mind that are quite distinct from it, I think the more
necessary, because I find the will often confounded with several of the
affections, especially _desire_, and one put for the other, and that by
men who would not willingly be thought not to have had very distinct
notions of things, and not to have writ very clearly about them. This,
I imagine, has been no small occasion of obscurity and mistake in
this matter; and therefore is, as much as may be, to be avoided. For,
he that shall turn his thoughts inward upon what passes in his mind
when he _wills_, shall see that the _will_ or power of _volition_ is
conversant about nothing, but that particular determination of the
mind, whereby, barely by a thought, the mind endeavors to give rise,
continuation, or stop to any action which it takes to be in its power.
This well considered, plainly shows that the _will_ is perfectly
distinguished from _desire_, which, in the very same action may have
quite a contrary tendency from that which our will sets us upon. A man
whom I cannot deny, may oblige me to use persuasions to another, which,
at the same time I am speaking, I may wish may not prevail on him. In
this case, it is plain, the _will_ and _desire_ run counter. I will
the action that tends one way, while my desire tends another, and that
right contrary. Whence it is evident," he adds, "that _desiring_ and
_willing_ are two distinct acts of the mind; and, consequently, that
the _will_, which is but the power of _volition_, is much more distinct
from _desire_."

_Testimony of Consciousness._--The testimony of consciousness seems
to be clearly in accordance with the views now expressed. We readily
distinguish between our desires and our volitions. We are conscious of
willing, often, what is contrary to our desires; the course which honor
and duty approve, and which we resolutely carry out, is in disregard
of many fond and cherished desires which still agitate the bosom. And
even when our desires and volitions coincide, it requires but little
reflection to discover the difference between them. It is a difference
recognized in the common language of life, and in the writings and
conversation of men who are by no means theorists or metaphysicians.

_Further Illustrations of the Distinction._--Mr. Upham, who has very
clearly and ably maintained the distinction now in question, refers us,
in illustration, to the case of Abraham offering his son upon the altar
of sacrifice, sternly, resolutely willing, in obedience to the divine
command, what must have been repugnant to every feeling of the father's
heart; to the memorable instance of Brutus ordering and witnessing
the execution of his own sons, as conspirators against the State,
the struggle between the strong will and the strong paternal feeling
evidently visible in his countenance, as he stood at the dreadful
scene; and the case of Virginius, plunging the knife into the bosom of
a beloved daughter, whose dishonor could in no other way be averted.
In all these, and many other similar cases, private interests and
personal affections are freely and nobly sacrificed, in favor of high
public interests, and moral ends; yet, to do this, the will must act in
opposition to the current of natural feeling and desire.



_Problems respecting the Will._--Our attention has thus far been
directed to the psychological facts respecting the will, in itself
considered, and also in its relations to the other mental powers. It
becomes necessary now, in order to the more complete understanding
of the matter, to look at some of the disputed points, the grand
problems, respecting the human will, which have for ages excited and
divided the reflecting world. The way is prepared for these more
difficult questions, when once the simple facts, to which our attention
has already been directed, are well understood. These questions are
numerous, but, if I mistake not, they all resolve themselves virtually
into the one general problem of the _freedom_ of the will, or, at
least, so link themselves with that as to admit of discussion in the
same connection.

_Freedom, what._--In approaching this much-disputed question, it is
necessary to ascertain, in the first place, what is _meant_ by freedom,
and what by _freedom of the will_, else we may discuss the matter to
no purpose. Various definitions of freedom have been given. It is a
word in very common use, and, in its general application, not liable
to be misunderstood. Every one who understands the ordinary language
of life, knows well enough what freedom is. It denotes the opposite of
restraint; the power to do what one likes, pleases, is inclined to do.
My person is free, when it can come and go, do this or that, as suits
my inclination. Any faculty of the mind, or organ of the body, is free,
_when its own specific and proper action is not hindered_. Freedom of
motion, is power to move when and where we please Freedom of speech,
is power to say what we like. Freedom of action, is power to do what we

_Freedom of the Will, what._--What, then, is freedom of the _will_?
What can it be but the power of exercising, without restraint or
hindrance, its own specific and proper function, viz., the putting
forth volitions, just such volitions as we please. This as we have
seen, is the proper office of the will, its specific and appropriate
action. If nothing prevents or restrains me from forming and putting
forth such volitions as I please, then my will is free; and not

Freedom of the will, then, is _not_ power to _do what one wills_, in
the sense of executing volitions when formed that is simple freedom of
the limbs, and muscular apparatus, not of will--a freedom which may
be destroyed by a stroke of paralysis, or an iron chain;--it is not a
freedom of walking, if one wills to walk, or of singing, or flying,
or moving the right arm, if one is so disposed. That is freedom, but
not freedom of the _will_. My will is free, not when I can _do_ what I
_will_ to do, but _when I can will to do_ just what I please. Whatever
freedom the will has, must lie within its own proper sphere of action,
and not without it; must relate to that, and not to something else.
This distinction, so very obvious, has, nevertheless, been sometimes
strangely overlooked.

Is, then, the human will free, in the sense now defined? Let us first
notice some presumptions in favor of its freedom then the more direct


_The general Conviction of Freedom a Presumption in its Favor._--1.
It is a presumption in favor of freedom that there is among men, a
very general, not to say universal conviction of freedom. It is a
prevalent idea, an established conviction and belief of the mind. We
are conscious of this belief ourselves, we observe it in others. When
we perform any act, or choose any course of conduct, we are impressed
with the belief that we could have done or chosen differently,
had we been so disposed. We never doubt or call in question this
ability, in regard to the practical matters of life. The languages
and the literature of the world bear witness to the universality of
this belief. Now this general conviction and firm belief of freedom
constitute, to say the least, a presumption, and a strong one, in favor
of the doctrine. If men are free to do as they like, then they are free
to _will_ as they like, for the willing precedes the doing; and if they
are not thus free, how happens this so general conviction of a freedom
which they do not possess?

_The Appeal to Consciousness._--The argument is sometimes stated, by
the advocates of freedom, in a form which is liable to objection.
The appeal is made directly to consciousness. We are _conscious_, it
is said, of freedom, conscious of a power, when we do any thing, to
do otherwise, to take some other course instead. Strictly speaking,
we are conscious only of our present state of mind. I may _know_
the past; but it is not a matter of consciousness; I may also know,
perhaps, what _might have_ been, in place of the actual past, but of
this I am not conscious. When I experience a sensation, or put forth
a volition, I am conscious of that sensation or volition; but I am
not conscious of what never occurred, that is, of some other feeling
or volition instead of an actual one. I may have a firm conviction,
amounting even to knowledge, that at the moment of experiencing that
feeling, or exercising that volition, it was possible for me to have
exercised a different one; but it is a conviction, a belief, at most
a knowledge, and not, properly, consciousness. I am conscious of the
_conviction_ that I am free, and that I can do otherwise than as I do;
and this, in itself, is a presumption, that I have such a power; but
I am not conscious of the power itself. It may be said, that if there
were any restraint upon my will, to prevent my putting forth such
volitions as I please, or to prevent my acting otherwise than I do,
I _should be_ conscious of such restraint; and this may be very true;
and from the absence of any such consciousness of restraint, I may
justly infer that I am free; but this, again, is an _inference_, and
not a _consciousness_. One thing, however, I am conscious of, that my
_actual_ volitions are such, and only such, as I please to put forth;
and this leads to the conviction that it is in my power to put forth
any volition that I may please.

_Our moral Nature a Presumption in Favor of Freedom._--2. It is a
further presumption in favor of the entire freedom of the will, that
man's moral nature seems to imply it. We approve or condemn the conduct
of others. It is with the understanding that they acted freely, and
could have done otherwise. We should never think of praising a man
for doing what he could not help doing, or of blaming him for what
it was utterly out of his power to avoid. So, also, we approve and
condemn our own actions, and always with the understanding that these
actions and volitions were free. There may be regret for that which
was unavoidable, but never a sense of _guilt_, never _remorse_. The
existence of these feelings always implies freedom of the will, the
power to have done otherwise. Let any man select that period of his
history, that act of his whole life, for which he blames himself most,
and of which the recollection casts the deepest gloom and sadness over
all his subsequent years, and let him ask himself why it is that he so
blames himself for that course, and he will find, in every case, that
it is because he knows that he might have done differently. Take away
this conviction, and you take away the foundation of all his remorse,
and of self-condemnation. The same thing is implied, also, in the
feeling of obligation. It is impossible to feel under moral obligation
to do what it is utterly and absolutely out of our power to do.

_This View maintained by Mr. Upham._--"There are some truths," says Mr.
Upham, "which are so deeply based in the human constitution, that all
men of all classes receive them, and act upon them. They are planted
deeply and immutably in the soul, and no reasoning, however plausible,
can shake them. And, if we are not mistaken, the doctrine of the
freedom of the will, as a condition of even the possibility of a moral
nature, is one of these first truths. It seems to be regarded, by all
persons, without any exception, as a dictate of common sense, and as a
first principle of our nature, that men are morally accountable, and
are the subjects of a moral responsibility in any respect, whatever,
only so far as they possess freedom, both of the outward action, and of
the will. They hold to this position, as an elementary truth, and would
no sooner think of letting it go than of abandoning the conviction of
their personal existence and identity. They do not profess to go into
particulars, but they assert it in the mass, that man is a moral being
only so far as he is free. And such a unanimous and decided testimony,
bearing, as it absolutely does, the seal and superscription of nature
herself, is entitled to serious consideration."

_Also by Dr. Reid._--Dr. Reid, also, takes essentially the same view.
He regards it as a first principle, to be ranked in the same class
with the conviction of our personal existence and identity, and the
existence of a material world, "that we have some degree of power over
our actions, and the determinations of our will." It is implied, he
maintains, in every act of volition, in all deliberation, and in every
resolution or purpose formed in consequence of deliberation. "It is
not more evident," he says, "that mankind have a conviction of the
existence of a material world, than that they have the conviction of
some degree of power in themselves, and in others, every one over his
own actions, and the determinations of his will--a conviction so early,
so general, and so interwoven with the whole of human conduct, that it
must be the natural effect of our constitution, and intended by the
Author of our being to guide our actions."

_Consequences of the Opposite._--3. The consequences of the opposite
view afford a presumption in favor of freedom.

If the will is not free, if all our liberty is merely a liberty to
do what we will to do, or to execute the volitions which we form,
but we have no power over the volitions themselves, then we have no
power whatever to will or to act differently from what we do. This is
_fatalism_. All that the fatalist maintains is, that we are governed
by circumstances out of our own control, so that, situated as we are,
it is impossible for us to act otherwise than as we do. From this
follows, as a natural and inevitable consequence, the absence of all
accountability and obligation. The foundation of these, as we have
already seen, is freedom. Take this away, and you strike a fatal blow
at man's moral nature. It is no longer possible for me to feel under
obligation to do what I have absolutely no power to do, or to believe
myself accountable for doing what I could not possibly avoid. Morality,
duty, accountability, become mere chimeras, idle fancies of the brain,
devices of the priest and the despot, to frighten men into obedience
and subjection.

_This View sustained by Facts._--These are not random statements.
It is a significant fact, that those who have undertaken to deny
accountability, and moral obligation, have, almost without exception,
I believe, been advocates of the doctrine of necessity. Indeed, it
seems impossible to maintain such views upon any other ground; while,
on the other hand, the denial of the freedom of the will leads almost
of necessity to such conclusions. "Remorse," says Mr. Belsham, "is
the exquisitely painful feeling which arises from the belief that,
in circumstances precisely the same, we might have chosen and acted
differently. This _fallacious_ feeling is superseded by the doctrine of

Equally plain, and to the same effect, are the following passages from
the correspondence of Diderot, as quoted by Mr. Stewart: "Examine it
narrowly, and you will see that the word liberty is a word devoid of
meaning; that there are not, and that there cannot be, free beings;
that we are only what accords with the general order, with our
organization, our education, and the chain of events. These dispose
of us invincibly. We can no more conceive of a being acting without a
motive, than we can of one of the arms of a balance acting without a
weight. The motive is always exterior and foreign, fastened upon us by
some cause distinct from ourselves.... We have been so often praised
and blamed, and have so often praised and blamed others, that we
contract an inveterate prejudice of believing that we and they will and
act freely. But if there is no liberty, there is no action that merits
either praise or blame; neither vice nor virtue; nothing that ought
either to be rewarded or punished.... The doer of good is lucky, not
virtuous.... _Reproach others for nothing, and repent of nothing; this
is the first step to wisdom._"

_These Opinions not to be charged upon all Necessitarians._--It is
not to be supposed, of course, that all who deny the freedom of the
will, adopt the views above expressed. Whether such denial, however,
consistently followed out to its just and legitimate conclusions, does
not lead to such results, is another question.


_Another Mode of Argument._--Thus far we have considered only the
presumptions in favor of the freedom of the will. We find them numerous
and strong. The question is, however, to be decided not by presumptions
for or against, but by direct argument based upon a careful inquiry
into the psychological facts of the case. To this let us now proceed,
bearing in mind, as we advance, what are the essential phenomena of the
will, as already ascertained, and what is meant by freedom of the will
as already defined.

_The Will free unless its appropriate Action is hindered._--It is
evident that, if we are right in our ideas of what freedom is, the
will is strictly and properly free, provided nothing interferes with,
and prevents, our putting forth such volitions as we please and choose
to put forth. The specific and appropriate action of the will, as we
have seen, is simply to put forth volitions. Whatever freedom it has,
then, must lie within that sphere, and not without it, must relate to
_that_, and not to _something else_; whatever restraint or want of
freedom it has, must also be found within these limits. My will is
free, when I can _will to do_ just what I _please_.

_Strength of Inclination, no Impediment._--If this be so, then it is
clear, 1. That mere _strength of inclination_ can by no means impair
the freedom of the will. Be the inclination never so strong, it matters
not. Nay, so far from interfering with freedom, it is an essential
element of it. Freedom presupposes and implies inclination. One is
surely none the less free because very strongly inclined to do as he
likes, provided he _can do_ what he wishes or prefers. This is as true
of the action of the will as of any other action.

_The Source of Inclination, of no Consequence to the present
Inquiry._--2. It is evident, furthermore, that freedom has nothing
to do with the _source_ of my inclinations, any more than with their
strength. It makes no difference what causes my preference, or
whether any thing causes it. I _have_ a preference, an inclination, a
disposition to do a given thing, and put forth a given volition--am
disposed to do it, and _can_ do it--then I am free, my will is free. It
is of no consequence _how I came_ by that inclination or disposition.
The simple question is, Am I at liberty to follow it?

_The Interference must be from without, and must affect the
Choice._--It is evident, moreover, according to what has now been said,
that if there be really any restraint upon the will, or lack of freedom
in its movements, it must proceed from something extraneous, outside
the will itself, something which comes in from without, and that in
such a way as to _interfere, in some way with my choice_; for it is
there that the element of freedom lies. But whatever interferes with
my choice, _interferes with my willing at all_; the act is no longer a
_voluntary_ act. Choice is essential to volition, the very element of
it. In order to an act of will as we have seen, there must be liberty
to choose, deliberation, actual preference. Volition presupposes them,
and is based on them. Whatever prevents them, prevents volition.
Whatever places me in such a state of mind that I have no preference at
all, no choice, as to any given thing, places me in such a state that
I have also no volition as to that thing. The question of freedom is
forestalled in such a case, becomes absurd. Where there is no volition,
there is of course no freedom of volition, nor yet any want of freedom.
Freedom of will is power to will as I like, but now I _have_ no liking,
no preference.

_The Supposition varied._--But suppose now that I am not prevented from
choosing, but only from carrying out my choice in actual volition;
from willing, according to my choice. Then, also, the act is no longer
properly a _volition_, an act of will, for one essential element of
every such act, viz., _choice_, is wanting. I _have_ a choice, indeed,
but it is not here, not represented in this so-called volition, lies
in another direction, is, in fact, altogether opposed to this, my
so-called volition. There _can be_ no such volition. The human mind is
a stranger to any such phenomenon, and if it did occur, it would not
be volition, not an act of the will, not a _voluntary_ act. Whatever,
then, comes in, either to prevent my choosing, or to prevent my
exercising volition _according_ to my choice, does, in fact, prevent my
willing at all. If there _be_ an act of the will, it is, in its very
nature, a _free_ act, and cannot be otherwise. Allow me to choose, and
to put forth volition according to my choice, and you leave me _free_.
Prevent this, and you prevent my willing at all.

_The Limitation, as usually regarded, not really one._--Those who
contend that the will is not free, _place the limitation back of
the choice_. Choice is governed by _inclination_, they say, and
inclination depends on _circumstances_, on education, habits, fashion,
etc., things, in great measure, _beyond our control_; and while these
circumstances remain the same, a man cannot choose otherwise than
he does. To this I reply, that, as we have already seen, the will
is strictly and properly free, _provided_ nothing interferes with,
and prevents, our putting forth such volitions as we _choose_ to put
forth. Is there, then, any thing in these circumstances which are
supposed to control our choice, and to be so fatal to our freedom, is
there in them any thing which really interferes with, or prevents our
willing as we _choose_? Does the fact that I am inclined, and strongly
so, to a given choice, prevent me from putting forth that choice in
the shape of executive volition? So far from this, that inclination
is the very circumstance that leads to my doing it. All that could
_possibly_ be contended, is that the supposed inclination to a given
choice is likely to prevent my having some _other_ and _different_
choice. But that has nothing to do with the question of the freedom of
my will, which depends, as we have seen, not on the power to choose
_otherwise_ than one is inclined, or than one likes, but _as_ he likes.
What force, I ask again, is there in any circumstance, or combination
of circumstances, which go to mould and shape my inclinations and my
disposition, and have no further power over me, what force in them, or
what tendency, to prevent my _willing as I choose_, _as_ I like, _as_ I
am inclined? Nay, if my will acts at all, it must, as I have shown, act
in this way, and therefore act freely.

_Freedom of Inclination not Freedom of Will._--But suppose I have
no power to _like_, or to be inclined, differently from what I do
like, and am now inclined? I reply, it matters not as to the present
question. The supposition now made, takes away or limits, not the
freedom of the will, it does not touch that; but the freedom of the
_affections_. Can I like what I do not like--and can I put forth such
volitions as I please or choose--are two distinct questions, and again
I repeat that the freedom of our will depends, _not_ on our having this
or that particular choice, but on our being able to carry out whatever
choice we do make into our volitions; _not_ on our being able to will
otherwise than we choose, nor yet on our ability to choose otherwise
than we do, but simply on our being able to will _as_ we choose,
whatever that choice may be.

_Are the Sensibilities Free._--Have I, in reality, however, any freedom
of the affections, any power _under given circumstances_, to be
affected otherwise than I am, to feel otherwise than I do? I reply, the
affections are not _elements_ of the will, are not under its immediate
control; are not strictly voluntary. It depends on a great variety of
circumstances, what, in any given case, your affections or inclinations
may be. You have no power of will _directly_ over them. You can modify
and shape them, only by shaping your own voluntary action so far as
that bears upon their formation. _By shaping your_ CHARACTER _which_
IS _under your control_, you may, in a manner, at least, determine
the nature and degree of the emotions which will arise, under given
circumstances, in your bosom.

_The two Questions entirely distinct._--But, however that may be, it
has nothing to do, I repeat, with the question now under discussion.
The freedom of the affections, and the freedom of the will, are by no
means the same thing. We have already seen that there may be a fixed
and positive connection between my inclinations and my choice, and so
my will, and yet my will be perfectly free. This is the main thing
to be settled; and there seems to be no need of further argument to
establish this point; and if this be so, it decides the question as to
the freedom of the will.

_Bearing of this View upon the divine Government._--The view now taken,
leaves it open and quite in the power of Providence, so to shape
circumstances, guide events, and so to array, and bring to bear on the
mind of man, motives and inducements to any given course, as virtually
to control and determine his conduct, by controlling and determining
his _inclinations_, and so his choice; while, at the same time, the man
is left perfectly free to put forth such volitions as he pleases, and
to do as he _likes_. There can be no higher liberty than this. To this
point I shall again revert, when the question comes up respecting the
divine agency in connection with human freedom.




_The Question stated._--In the preceding chapters our attention has
been directed to the psychological facts respecting the will, and also
to the general question respecting the freedom of the will. Closely
connected with this main question, and involved in its discussion, are
certain inquiries of a like nature, which cannot wholly be passed by,
and for the consideration of which the way is now prepared. One of
these respects _the power of contrary choice_. Have we any such power?
Is the freedom, which, as we have seen, belongs to the very nature
of the will, _such_ a freedom as allows of our choosing, under given
circumstances, any otherwise than we do? When I put forth a volition,
all other things being as they are, _can_ I, at that moment, in place
of that volition, put forth a different one in its stead?

_Not identical with the preceding._--This question is not identical
with that respecting the freedom of the will, for it has been already
shown that there may be true freedom without any such power as that now
in question. My will is free, provided I can put forth such volitions
as I please, irrespective of the power to substitute other volitions
and choices in place of the actual ones.

_Such Power not likely to be exercised._--The question, however, is one
of some importance, whether we have any such power or not. And whether
we have it or not, one thing is certain--we are not likely to exercise
it. If among the fixed and given things, which are to remain as they
are, we include whatever inclines or induces the mind to choose and
act as it does, then, power or no power to the contrary, the choice
_will_ be as it is, and would be so, if we were to try the experiment
a thousand times; for choice depends on these preceding circumstances
and inducements--the inclination of the mind--and if this is given,
and made certain, the choice to which it will lead becomes certain
also. A choice opposed to the existing inclination, to the sum total
of the existing inducements to action, is not a choice at all; it is
a contradiction in terms. The power of contrary choice, then, is one
which, from the nature of the case, will never be put in requisition,
unless something lying back of the choice, viz., inclination, be
changed also.

_But does such Power exist._--The question is not, however, whether
such a power is likely to be employed, but whether it _exists_; not
whether the choice _will be_ thus and thus, but whether it _can be_
otherwise. When, from various courses of procedure, all practicable,
and at my option, I select or choose one which, on the whole, I will
pursue, have I no _power_, under those very circumstances, and at that
very moment, to choose some other course instead of that? _Can_ my
choice be otherwise than it is?

_In what Sense there is such Power._--Abstractly, I suppose, i