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absolute strength of the assimilation of brain-substance is con-
siderably greater in the child than in the adult. The greater
content of water, and the decidedly softer constitution of the brain-
substance, likewise favour assimilation, the preponderance of which
may in some measure account for the greater excitability of a
child's nervous system." Where adults merely tremble, children
fall into convulsions. The purely involuntary and instantaneous
character of the transition from stimulus to movement is especially
manifest from the small importance of the cerebrum in the earliest
period of life. Its removal or disease has not the same con-
sequences for infants as for older persons.^ If the connection
between the functions of the cerebrum and the higher activities of
consciousness is considered, the psychological significance of these
facts will be realised.

Even where there is not only instinct, but also impulse in the
narrower sense, namely, as ^ motor-impulse directed by an idea
of the end, the relations are still too simple for the difference in the
psychological elements to be clearly and definitely apparent. The
idea plays in impulse only the part of disposing the mind to
move in a certain direction, as the idea of water in a thirsty
person. Now to the painter who thinks of the play of light on the
surface of water, or to the chemist who thinks of its composition,
the idea of water is to a certain extent separated off from the rest
of the conscious state, and has become in some measure inde-
pendent of it.

Just as consciousness is slowly evolved out of vegetative life, so
is it, through the infirmities of old age, the gradual approach of
death, and in advanced mental disease, again resolved into it.
The highest, most differentiated phenomena of consciousness are
the first to give way ; impulse, instinct, and reflex movements be-
come again predominant. The phrase " to grow childish " ex-
presses the resemblance between the first stage and the stage of

Thus consciousness describes a curve from the fcetus state to
death. The two points in which this curve terminates are com-

1 Vierordt, Physiologie des Kindesalters, pp. 133—137'. I^arwin, The Expression of
the Amotions, London, 1872, p. 67 (2nd edition 1890, p. 70).


paratively simple states, but little differentiated or articulate. Only
in the middle and on the highest point do ideas, feelings and
expressions of will come into effect in their specific character.

5. What in this way applies to the development of the in-
dividual, is valid also for that of the race. A definite distinction
between intellection, feeling and will presupposes a stage of
civilization where perpetual and instantaneous reaction upon the
external world is not required. Directly or indirectly the whole
conscious life is determined by the position of the individual in
the univetse, and by his need to make acquaintance with his
surroundings and either bring them into harmony with him, or
himself with them. Even in the thoughts and feelings apparently
most independent of practical considerations, practical motives of
this kind may be traced. But it is a condition of any independent
development of the life of thought and feeling, that the elementary
practical requirements of life should be satisfied. Science and art,
which are the forms taken by this life of thought and feeling when
it is emancipated from immediate practical motives, do not develop
during a state of general warfare. Nor are the shady sides and
degenerate features of psychological differentiation, such phenomena
as morbidness and sentimentality, possible under these conditions.
Where life is an immediate struggle for existence, thought does not
become isolated from feeling, nor feeling from will. Threatening
dangers and hoped-for benefits fully engage consciousness, and set
the will immediately in motion. The content of thought is that
which impulse (Schopenhauer's Wtlle znm Leben) demands, and
feeling is one with desire.

6. The forming of an interval between aflection and reaction
presupposes adequate energy as well as an adequate organization
and adequate time.— There must be sufficient energy to resist the
impression ; its immediate influence must be checked, that more
extensive inner activities may be called out and developed. And
these inner processes lay claim to an energy which would other-
wise be at the immediate disposal of the re-acting activity.
Starting from the supposition that a conscious being at every stage
of development has at its disposal a certain sum of energy, the
limits of which are also the limits of the individual (so far as intensity
is concerned), it is clear that this sum must be greater if it has to be
divided among different complicated functions, than if it is employed
in the execution of a single simple function. If this energy does
not augment with increasing differentiation, the latter leads to a


weakening or to a morbid one-sidedness of conscious life. — That
these inner activities presuppose a richer organization, needs no
special proof. Even if no thoroughgoing localization of the various
psychological elements is admitted, it is yet probable that the
cerebral processes are the more complex, the greater the advance in
psychological differentiation. — In like manner it is clear that longer
time is required for the reaction to take place, if several different
activities are called into play. A certain independence of the
requirements of the moment is therefore, as already observed, a
condition of higher mental development. A simple and clear
proof of this is given in the investigations into physiological time,
i.e. the time which elapses before a stimulus is perceived and
responded to. Even reflex movement takes more time than mere
transmission along a nerve fibre ; the difference (the so-called reflex
time) is about one-twentieth of a second. Still greater is the
difference between a voluntary movement and the contraction of a
muscle due to the direct stimulation of the motor-nerve ; experi-
ments made with the forefinger of the right hand gave the
difference as o'i3 of a second. Stimulation of the grey substance
of the cerebrum, in the region where the motor-centres are located,
takes o'oi5 of a second longer to arrive at the muscle, than stimu-
lation of the immediately underlying white substance. The
stronger and more distinct the excitation, and the more natural or
practised the voluntary movement which it calls forth, the shorter is
the physiological time (or, as it is also called, the re-action time), and
the nearer the approach to the sureness and quickness of reflex
movement and of instinct. The more the individual is prepared
for the nature and strength of the excitation and for the movement
by which it is to be answered, the quicker will the re-action take
place. Even with doubt as to which of two possible excitations
w^ill be given, physiological time increases ; there is then interpo-
lated a " discrimination-time", which is spent in determining the
nature of the excitation. And if at the same time each of the possible
stimuli is to be answered by a special movement, so that the move-
ment to be made has first to be decided, then a special " will-time "
is required.'

7. It must not be forgotten that differentiation implies only

1 Exner, Physiologie der Grosshirnrinde (Hermann ii., 2), pp. 278-281. — Panum,
Servevdvets j'-j'.s/o/t'g^? (" Physiology of the Nervous Tissue"), pp. 115-207. — Wundt,
Physiol. Fsyc/iolog-ie, i., p. 259, ii., p. 206-279 (3rd edition, i. p. 277, ii. pp. 263-330.)
And yet, according to later experiments (Cattell, Fsychomctrische Untersiichiinjr^n,
Wundt's Studien iii., p. 472) physiological time is not extended in llie more complicated
transactions as much as might be expected.


preponderance of diiTerent elements in different states, not their
complete separation.

a. In spite of all independence of practical need and of the
wants of the moment, thoujjht is always accompanied by a certain
mood. Elements of feeling are present, and are overlooked
so easily only when, instead of coming to the front, they sub-
ordinate themselves to the play of thought and are determined
by it. An activity of thought entirely free from feeling (as so
often postulated by speculative philosophy) does not exist. It is
because of the movements of feeling accompanying all ideas and
thoughts, that knowledge becomes a power in the mind. When the
conflict of reason with passion is talked of, what is really meant is
a conflict between the feelings accompanying reasonable consider-
ations and the more violent feelings associated with fewer elements
of thought, which are denoted by the expression passion. A feeling
may be very strong and deeply rooted without being violent, but is
then more easily overlooked. The feelings accompanying ideal
aims and relations are far less in a position to produce momentary
effects and sudden ebullitions than are the primitive feelings, ac-
companying the physical vital functions. In the passions asso-
ciated with self-preservation and the propagation of the race there
lies an animal ardour, which is often beyond the control of all
other influence. Ideal feelings are spread over a longer space of
time, and take effect more secretly. And yet they are capable of
possessing themselves step by step of the central position in the
mind, and of employing in their service the accumulated energy
originally under the control of those primitive impulses.

b. Just as little is cognition ever completely emancipated from
will. In all memory and synthesis there is manifested an activity,
of which we become specially conscious and which we call atten-
tion, when for internal or external reasons it is brought strongly into
play, but which in reality plays a part even in the simplest sensuous
perception. We must will to see, in order to see aright. But it is
true of this effort, as of the stirrings of feeling, that unless raised by
opposition or in some other way to a higher degree of strength, it
is as a rule overlooked. This element of activity in all intellection
has been dwelt upon chiefly in modern psychology, at first espe-
cially as a reaction against the attempts of Condillac and of the
one-sided " association psychology " to reduce all knowledge to
mechanical interaction between purely passive sensations and their


c. While for a long time there was a disposition, overcome
only through the influence of Rousseau on modern thought,
to overestimate intellection at the expense of feeling, attempts have
since been made, and especially in later times, to conceive
feeling as the primitive form of consciousness, so that conscious
life at its lowest stage would be a life of pure feeling, and the other
elements would only gradually develop out of it. Such attempts
are explicable partly from the close connection of the life of feeling
with the conditions of existence, while the cognitive elements
seem to move rather in the periphery of our being ; partly and
principally from the fact that the feeling elements are found
more distinctly and strongly, and play a much greater part as
compared with the cognitive elements, the farther we descend
from the higher to the more primitive forms of consciousness. But
this view is at once proved untenable by the fact that memory is
concerned so soon as a state of pleasure or pain persists — and it
must persist in order to be really felt ; ' and so soon as a pulsation
takes place — the intensity of states of feeling is always subject to
oscillations — there will at once be involuntary comparison. Here,
then, already are elements of cognition which may serve as the
starting-point of a further development, so that cognition does not
arise by a sort of generatio cequivoca out of mere formless and
blind states of feeling.

A conception of this kind was formulated not long ago by
Ad. Horwicz.* According to this writer's very interesting expo-
sition, the movement stirred up by feeling clears the path for
cognition. Pleasure and pain lead to certain movements, which
are tested until the most suitable is found ; this is then practised
and so obtains a special mark, by means of which it is made an
object of consciousness.— But then there is something else besides
the element of feeling, the motor-sensation namely ; and there is
no ground for supposing that this latter is always derivative, for
involuntary movement makes an appearance as early as con-

1 Patients under chloroform often utter cries during the operation, without being able
on awaking to remember that they had felt pain. "A vrai dire," says Richet in this
connection, "cette douleur si rapide qu'on n'en conserve pas de souvenir, n'est rieii, et
c'est un moment presque mathematique dont il n'y a guere a tenir compte. Ce qui fait
la cruaute de la douleur, c'est moins la douleur elle-meme, si intense qu'elle soit, que le
retentissement penible qu'elle laisse apres elle." — Recherckes stir la Sensibilite, p. 256.
Maudsley considers that these cries of pain are purely reflex. He quotes a case of a
lady, who had her breast amputated, and who remembered on waking that she had
heard herself shriek, although she declared she had felt no' 'pain (Mental Physiology,
p. 209).

'^ Psychologische Analysen anf physiologischer Gritndlage (" Psychological Analyses
on a Physiological Basis,") i., Halle, 1872, p. 350, seq. [For criticism of this view see
Ency. Brit. vol. xx. Art. "Psychology," p. 40. (Tr.j.


sciousness itself. In primitive consciousness there are, then,
probably not only the feelings of pleasure and pain, but also motor-
sensations. (I. 4, and IV. 4.)

Even in the monera, the lowest forms of animal life, expansive
and contractile movements have been found ; the former serve to
take in food, the latter as a protection against attack. Even at this
stage it seems necessary to suppose elements in consciousness
other than mere feelings of pleasure and pain, namely, sensation of
touch and movement, and perhaps sensations arising from chemical
stimulation, something analogous to sensations of taste. " In the
search made by the creatures {i.e. the protozoa) for food, it is plainly
seen that they are capable of making certain distinctions, a capacity
without which touch would have no object, could scarcely be called
touch. Hand in hand with locomotion in search of food goes of
necessity the formation of a discrimination among different direc-
tions, i.e., a discrimination of the pleasant direction (that in which
the object of food is found) from the relatively less pleasant ; and
this distinction once present, the direction whence danger comes
is readily discriminated from the contrary one."^ Although it
might be supposed that the sensations experienced by these slightly
developed beings, in whom no nervous system has yet been de-
tected, could have no clearness and distinctness, yet the facts
mentioned show that the creatures must be able to apprehend a
difference between the stimuli. Pleasure and pain, moreover, would
be of very little service to them if they were impelled thereby to
execute movements, without being able to determine more closely
from the character of the stimulus the kind and direction of the

In higher and fully developed animals also there is an approxima-
tion to a state of pure feeling, namely, in the vital or general feeling
— -the fundamental frame of mind which results from the general
state of the organism, from the normal or abnormal course of the
vital processes, in particular of the vegetative functions. It is but
rarely and imperfectly possible to localize the stimuli which produce
this feeling. They do not make their appearance separatelv, or
with the special qualitative character of the stimuli received through
the senses. Even differences of degree are not so readily appre-
hended here as in the special senses. The vital feeling consists in

' G. H. Schneider, Ziir Enf.ukkelting; der M'ilUnsdiisserungtn ini Tierreich ("On
the Development of the Kxpressions of \V ill in the .Animal Kingdom " (I'ierteljahrssihrift
/ilr ■wisstnscha/tliche Philosophit, 3. Jahrg.), pp. 183, 301. Cf. Romanes, .Mental Evo-
lution in .Anitnali, London, 1S83, p. 55, seq.^ So, aq.



an obscure mood, of the cause of which we arc not, at any
rate not at once, conscious. Diseases of the heart and of the mind
may cause disquiet and melancholy, without the sufferer discover-
ing the causes of these frames of mind. In the years of puberty
there is aroused with the growth of the sexual organs a vague desire
and longing, an obscure impulse, that, in a way incomprehensible
to the individual, takes him out of himself. The temperament is
especially shown in the fundamental mood which prevails in the
vital feeling. — Few as are the cognitive elements which can
be indicated in these states, they yet stand out, each with such a
special character, that the transition from the one to the other,
together with the difference between them, must be more or less
plainly felt in consciousness, and they can none of them be as
simple as a state of pure feeling must needs be.

That the higher feelings contain cognitive elements requires
no farther proof. Feeling acquires a content or an object only
when it is linked with memories and thoughts.

Self-observation reveals at most only an approximation to a
state in which all cognitive elements have vanished. Such an
approximation is reached, the more the strength of the feeling
element increases. Cognition and feeling must thus stand in inverse
relation to one another ; the more strongly the one is manifested,
the less the strength at the command of the other. An overwhelm-
ing joy or sorrow may drive out almost all ideation, all recollection ;
but an ecstatic condition of this kind stands on the margin of

d. The close relation between feeling and will appears from the
fact that only a strong and lively feeling serves as a motive to the
will. Cognitive elements do not in themselves lead to voluntary
movement. Sibbern calls attention to the fact that feeling and will
have this in common, that in both "the ideas involved have a
personal hold and effect, so that we yield ourselves up to them
and are incited to act and strive for their realisation." ^ The close
connection with movement is common to both. Movements caused
by feeling are, indeed, in part such as are beyond the direct control
of the will, and arise from the propagation of the strong movement
of the brain to larger or smaller regions of the organism. Heart
and lungs, alimentary canal, vascular system and other internal
organs, show in this way traces of the effect of emotion. But also
organs and muscles which are usually under the control of the

1 Fsychologie, Copenhagen, 1856, p. 150, icq.


will, may be set in motion by strong fcelin;^^, and it may be dinicult,
if not impossible, to distinguish between emotional and voluntary
movement. Feeling finds a natural vent through those movements
which have been frequently (in the same individual and in earlier
generations) employed in the service of the will. I'vcn monads
execute movements of contraction and shrinking to protect them-
selves from enemies ; and when the same contraction and shrinking
is found in beings on a higher level as a consequence of sudden
fear, it is probable that this is an old instinct still obscurely stirring
in the expression of the emotions. The Greek word (jjdlios, fear
originally signified (as frequently in Homer) flight. Similarly
anger finds a vent in movements of attack, strong sympathy in
extending the arms, as though to embrace the object, etc.
According to the evolution-hypothesis, these phenomena find their
natural explanation in the fact that the involuntary emotional
movements were originally i)urposive voluntary movements.'

It is only in the course of psychological development that differ-
entiation between feeling and will makes its appearance. There
comes to be an ever greater contrast between the two ways in
which inner movement finds a vent. The psychological import-
ance of the law of persistence of energy is here seen plainly. P'or
the more energy an individual expends on the one kind of reaction,
the less can he expend on the other. This truth is strikingly illus-
trated in Saxo's well-known tale of the different effect which the
news of the murder of Regner Lodbrog produced on his sons : he
in whom the emotion was weakest had the greatest energy for

Feeling, like cognition, has at first a distinctly practical character.
It is only after a long period of development that feeling is severed
from practical impulse and can move freely (as in aesthetic and
religious dispositions) without direct regard to outward action.

e. If any one of the three species of conscious elements is
to be regarded as the original form of consciousness, it must
evidently be the will. In the instinct but slightly raised above
reflex movement, is given the primitive form of consciousness, and
in this the element of will is evidently the strongest ; the intellec-
tual and emotional elements acquire significance only as links in
the chain that leads to action. Afterwards, too, the will forms at
all stages the constant basis. Activity is a fundamental property of

1 Darwin, T/ie Expression of the Emotions, chap. i. ; Spencer, PrincipUs of Psyifio-
logy, ii., p. 545, stq.\ Wundt, Physiologischt Psychologit, ii., p. 4i7(3rJed., ii., p. 510, seg.),

H 2


conscious life, since always a force must be presupposed, which
holds together the manifold elements of consciousness and unites
them into the content of one and the same consciousness (III. 5).
Independently of this, the most fundamental form of the will, the
word will is used in two different senses, a narrower and a wider.
In the narrower sense, as the power of choosing between different
possibilities, the will is only the product of a mental development,
not an original factor. But if will is understood in the wider sense,
as all activity determined by feeling and cognition, it may be said
that the whole conscious life is gathered up in the will as its fullest
expression. Although conscious life reaches a higher development
only by the inhibition of the involuntary impulse to movement, still
the transition to movement is always the final step of all that
takes place in the world of consciousness. The development of
the conscious individual proceeds from will (in the wider sense) to
will (in the narrower sense). This development may be very
sporadic, may progress one-sidedly and by way of oppositions ; but
there will always be present (if not in the individual, in the race)
an obscure impulse leading beyond what is scattered, one-sided,
and conflicting, to an inner harmony of the deepest mental
currents. Ethics and testhetics are quite right when they recognise
in such a harmony the highest type of human life.



A. Sensation

I. In considering the cognitive elements apart from other
phenomena, we make, as we saw in the last chapter, an abstraction,
since in every actually experienced state of consciousness elements
of feeling and will are undoubtedly present also. Such an abstrac-
tion is, however, necessary ; in every scientific inquiry the subject-
matter must be to some extent withdrawn from its complex
conditions. And this abstraction must be carried yet farther,
for the cognitive elements are themselves in a high degree
complex. They can, it is true, be roughly divided into two groups,
into sensuous perception and thought, but, as will be seen, these
two groups are not distinct, but most closely connected. Con-
sciousness — at any rate in the forms in which wc know it at first
hand — never makes its appearance as a perfectly simple series.
Numerous series of thoughts and memories, sensations and
ideas interlock in every individual experience, every individual
judgment. But in order to get a clear view of relations and laws,
we must, so far aS possible, think of consciousness as forming a
simple series. And not only so ; we must begin by thinking of this
series as composed of sensations only. The distinction between
sensuous perception and thought rests upon the distinction between

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