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Hermann Marcus Kottinger.

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and its senses are blunt. Brain diseases often cause insanity. Spirituous liquors
affect our thoughts, and increase their activity, because the alcohol the liquors
contain raises the activity of brain ; but when it is too much excited, the mind
finally grows slack. Inversely, mental occupation increases the strength and
magnitude of brain. (49.)

Does this mutual action take place, too, between special faculties of mind and
brain ?

Yes, e. g., between brain and memory. " In the brain the organic records of
memory are never forgotten, but they last as long as life ; a fever, a dream, a
blow on the head sometimes recalls them unawares." (50.)

How do the em.otions of the mind affect the organism of the body, especially
the muscles of the face ?

Lively joy or hope is manifested by the brightness of the eyes, by a quick
pulse and breathing, by laughing and singing, jumping and dancing. We turn
pale from fear, and blush from shame or anger. Some tremble from wrath; it
can also cause cramps and epilepsy. Grief dims the eyes, slackens the veins,
weakens heart and liver, hinders digestion, elicits sighs and tears. Sudden fright
can palsy the tongue, nay, all limbs, can turn the hair gray or white, can effect
swooning, epilepsy, insanity, and even instantaneous death.

Is the last cause of the mental functions known ?

No ; we do not know more about it than about the last cause of electricity,
gravitation, and other forces ; it seems to be inscrutable. The essence of brain,
too, has been thus far but little investigated, and the last cause of the mutual re-
lations existing between mind and brain, will be yet a long time, if not forever,
a mystery.

What important principle follows from the fact that the perception through the
senses is the foundation of all human knowledge ?

From it the principle follows that man ought to acquire many and correct
perceptions by means of the senses. This principle is the first and most import-
ant for the promotion of education and instruction. Nature ought to be man's
Bible.

By what is our faculty of perception limited?
By the bounds of our senses.

What follows from this fact ?

That we never shall be able to know the last causes of. objects ; e. g.; as far as



140

we do not yet know the cause of gravitation. Still, with the progress of science
are also more remote causes discovered.

Is it wise to despise the body, or to estimate it less than the mind ?

No ; for we owe all our knowledge to the senses and nerves of the body, and
in particular to the brain, its most considerable part; our existence and welfare
depends generally on the body ; it is of equal birth with the mind. They are
from each other inseparable ; the former is matter, the latter is force and attri-
bute which arises from it. All natural and mental forces are in matter.

How long is the weight of the brain increasing ?

Until to the 25th year; from this time it remains the same till to the 50th ;
thereafter it gradually decreases.

Is human will absolutely free ?

No, for man is a creature of nature ; therefore also his will and actions de-
pend on the same necessity as the whole fabric of the Universe. (51.)

To what aim does man, conforming to his nature, necessarily exert his facul-
ties ?

For his welfare. Our nature urges us to search for that which is pleasing, and
to shun that which is noxious to us.

Wherein, then, does human liberty consist?

In the faculty of endeavor for welfare.

"What are the conditions that influence and determine man's will ?

The qualities of his body, his innate faculties, his sex, temperament, educa-
tion, company, the climate of the country in which he lives, etc.

Has the doctrine of a limited volition not a tendency to destroy the welfare of
civil society ?

Not at all ; for if the individual man is necessitated to feel, think and act, as
he does, it must not be overlooked'} on the other hand, that the society is neces-
sitated to feel, think and act likewise, and that, if the individual is necessitated
by the laws of his nature to do wrong, the social body is also necessitated by
the laws of their nature to restrain him from or to punish him for doing wrong.

By what means does man increase his welfare ?

By improving himself.

Does the history of mankind prove that this view holds true ?

Yes, for we know that man, from his original state of rudeness, has gradually
arisen to higher civilization, and that he has thereby increased his welfare. (52.)

What science rests on this view ?
The science of morals.

In what kind of association can the welfare and civilization of man best be
effected ?

In the State, while its members afford each other mutual assistance.

What ought to be the aim of the State ?
The common welfare of all its citizens.



§ 13. The Soul of Animals.

H o\v does the human soul differ from that of animals ?

It differs from the animal soul not in kind, but only in degi'ee. (53.) The
animals are also capable of love, faith, gratitude, pity, pride, vindictiveness, etc
The hen warnsher chickens, if any danger threatens them, and even fights and
dies for their safety. The spider carries her eggs in a little bag, and rather
suffers to be caught and killed than to give them up. The animals reflect, gather
experience, provide for the future, like man. They build houses, nests, dams and
paths ; they understand each other by peculiar signs and sounds. Some ones
form also States, e. g., the bees. As examples of the faculties which animals
enjoy, the dog, the ape, the elephant, the bee, the ant and the beaver may be
mentioned. With the stories of the ingenuity of these animals whole volumes
are filled ; in this place only some intimations of them can be admitted. The
dog varies the sounds of his voice in diftcrent ways, according as he gives notice
of strangers, is angry or cheerful, playing or fighting, asking for food or suffering
pain. His faithfulness towards his master has become proverbial ; he has often
sacrificed even his life for him. Admirable is his faculty to trace the tracks of
of the game, and to find again his lost home, even in the night time and in the
greatest distance. The wood-bee, in order to provide for its brood, bores a hole,
in which it lays the eggs, and then carries pollen, dead caterpillars and spiders
to them, in order that the maggots, when they creep forth, may find food. The
paper-wasps build their dwellings of wooden filamentiseveral stories high, while
they knead them with water, form balls of the pap, and with the mouth and feet
build thereof hexagonal cells. The most intellect is manifested by the honey-
bees. Their queen's destination is to lay eggs. If she dies during the time the
hive has got a young brood, the working bees break off several work-cells, build
thereof a cell for a new queen, feed there maggots with the food of the queen-
bee, and keep one of the hatched young queens, and the others are expelled and
killed. The ants carry their eggs, if the sun shines, in the open air, and, if
rain impends, back again to their cells. If the young ants creep out, they feed
them in the manner of birds. The white ants (termites) of Hindoostan, Africa
and South America, build their houses of clay like ovens, which are 8 — 20 feet
high, and so firm that they can bear ten men standing upon them. Part of these
ants are laborers, part warriors. The royal chamber is in the centre of the house,
and has two small openings, through which only the working ants are fitted to
pass. The king and the queen are kept prisoners therein. It is surrounded by
many cells of servants, to which the storerooms adjoin. These animals are
working below covered galleries. If their house has been destroyed, they restore
it. If a hole is broken, the warriors make their appearance, biting around. If
the enemy retreats, the working ants come with mortar in their mouths, and fill
up the breaches.

Do animals always act by instinct ?



142

No, it is not always blind necessity which forces them to activity ; they have
feeling and perception, often also retlection and choice ; still the liberty of their
choice is often almost equal to nothing. They can be drilled. Not by instinct
are older animals smarter than the young ones, but by experience. Not pushed
by instinct does the fox steal the chickens, when master and servant, as he knows
well, are at the table, liut from conviction of need. Apes (and other animals)
put out sentinels, when foraging; from time to time they call each other; at the
first sign of alaim all make a halt and listen, till a second call of a different tone
follows ; thereafter all set out marching. If some of them are off on the retreat,
other ones return and begin the fighting anew, in order to free their w-eaker
fellows from the demands of their enemies. Baboons are used to build huts,
and to shelter themselves by screens against the sun and rain. A swallow which
having returned in spring, was looking for its old nest, but found it occupied by
a sparrow. It began to close up the opening, and thereby forced the intruder to
evacuate the nest.

By perception and experience animals, too, form habits which in part are
propagated. In this way some species of ants establish slave States, by catching
in war other species of ants, which they subject to their service. It is known
that young spaniels frequently the first time, while they are taken along a-hunting,
announce the nearness of the game. In other dog-races the disposition of
saving those who are in danger, is a hereditary quality ; as it is also the habit of
the shepherd's dog to run always round the flock.

In order to prove that some species of apes possess higher faculties which in
the intercourse with men easily can be developed, the history of two Chimpan-
zees, reported by the renowned naturalist, Dr. A. E. Brehm, is here recited.

" When I showed the Chimpanzee my child, she presented him kindly the
hand. She played with another child, without ever using her teeth. She knew
the ducks, after they had been shown to her twice. If she would raise her whip
against girls, it sufficed to say: 'Fie, Molly! these are girls,' and she imme-
diately dropped it and offered them her hand."

" Another Chimpanzee behaved like the most obedient child towards his
waiter, who during his disease had carefully nursed him. In a short time he
contracted human manners and habits, e. g., he ate with knife and fork, used the
spoon like us, stirred up the sugar in tea, and took with the spoon every morsel,
because] he was forbidden to take it out with his fingers. One day, being in
company with my friends, he behaved in a manner which will be forever to the
credit of his race. First he took a bottle in order to pour wine in his glass ; then
he seized the glass, and hobbed and nobbed the glass of his neighber to the
right and left. Now he drew near a plate, and when he was helped to food, he
used knife and fork very cleverly, according to the manner he had been taught.
He performed gymnastics with an admirable ability, and not after the manner of
apes, but the way we were used to do them. Every day he devised a new exer-
cise, and knew to apply every tool of gymnastics in the best way ; in so much,



143

that it was a pleasure to look at him. Besides he was very sensible of praise
and blame. If some of us came, he practiced as zealously as a scholar during
the examination : he liked to show what he knew. He knew the parrots prettv
well, and could not help quizzing them sometimes. He stole quietly to their
cage in order to raise up suddenly the hand. But because the waiter resented
this wantonness by saying repeatedly: ' Stop 1 ' — it did not take much time till
the parrots learnt the word, and then said themselves : ' Stop I ' — and now he
drew the hand down quickly. When he fell sick, and ought to take medicines,
the single word of the waiter : ' You must take this ! ' was sufficient to induce
him to comply with the order."

How differs the human from the animal mind ?

It is the inventor of arts and sciences ; it represents its thoughts and feelings
by language ; it is able to admire nature, to muse upon the cause of all things,
and to exhibit a love which is sacrificing for others' benefit. " Its distance from
the animal soul is infinite." (54.)

§ 14. The Law of Evolution in the Universe. (55-)

By what law are all phenomena of the Universe bound?

By the laws of successive evolution.

What dominions of the Universe are especially ruled by this law ?

The celestial bodies, the earth, the organic life and the social state of man.

By how many principal directions does it manifest itself in each of these do-
minions ?

By three directions.

I . In all dominions of the Universe there prevails a progress frojn a diffused
to a more contracted state.

Science supposes that all celestial bodies (the earth too) originally were
gaseous, then liquid, and gradually grew solid. We observe stars of all degrees
of solidity, misty forms of stars in all degrees of condensation, and solid masses
up to the thinne-st clouds which by the most powerful telescopes hardly can be
discerned. And if another hypothesis of science be correct, namely, that the
matter of the astral system is attracted by the force of gravitation, then it must
be more concentrated by degrees.

In particular, as long as the earth mostly existed in a liquid condition, and
only had a thin crust, it could not contain but small tracts of land and water,
large mountains presuppose a solid earth crust, and only when this one grew
enough condensated, continents and oceans could start into existence.

Organic life develops, if parts of matter which before were scattered in a larger
space, aggregate in one body. So e, g., the plant grows by absorption from the
surrounding gases. In the child the parts of the same bone grow by degrees to-
gether, and, even in the adult, bones join which before were separated from each
other. The sections existing in the body of the caterpillar, disappear in the



144

butterfly, and are then so closely joined that they cannot be distinguished Irum
each other. In general, all organisms depend mutually upon each other, and so
far integrate one another ; e. g., all animals indirectly or directly live on plants,
and plants on the carbonic gas which those evolve; the carniverous animals can-
not subsist without the plant-eaters. Some plants and animals of one district ol'
nature even die away, if transposed among the plants and animals of another.

In the rude state of nature man roves restless in woods and deserts ; in the civil-
ized state many are joined together by the ties of common government and laws.
Towns are founded, in which men form different ranks according to their pro-
fessions. Manufacturing towns draw the laborers from afar to a center. The
social connections are growing firmer and closer. Nations form alliances; the
barriers to commerce are broken down, and the mutual intercourse is more and
more enlarged. Finally, States, animals, and plants, all depend upon the light
and heat of the sun.

2. To the first general formula must a second be added : With passage from
incoherent to coherent there goes on a progress from ziniform to multiform.

Where once gaseous matter filled the celestial space, there we see now an im-
m«.nse quantity of suns, planets, and moons, so different in circumference and
gravity, mass and solidity, heat and illumination, inclination of their orbits and
axes, and in their physical constitution. Some stars (e, g., Mars) have a red,
other ones a green or yellow (e. g., the polar star), or a whitish light. There
are astral groups, the stars of which are dispersed, and again such ones, the
stars of which are in every degree more or less closely concentrated. There are
groups, consisting only of two, others of i,ooo or still more stars. In some
places of the sky they are in crowds, in others they are missing entirely. How
heterogeneous are 'the star mists ! Some having a regular, others an irregular
form ; and those are arranged in the shape of a spiral-line, or of a rmg, or an
ellipse, etc.

On our earth from century to century layers of rocks were deposited, one
above the other, the parts of which are so diversified, and through the fissures of
which frequently pass metallic-veins. From mile to mile it assumes another as-
pect. Its surface has partly grown higher ; the oldest mountains are the lowest ;
the highest, as the Andes and the Himalayas, are the youngest. Since it has
grown cool, it has changed climate in many countries ; thus now icy coldness
rules towards its poles. The climate changes sometnnes in a short distance of
one place to another ; thus on the southern side of the Alps prevails the warmth
of spring, on the northern the coldness of winter.

Almost all plants are in their germ similar to each o:her, but the more ihcy
grow, the greater becomes their difference, both in their general aspect and in
their parts. Some cells are changed to marrow, others to wood or bark. How
diverse are the plants according to their height and duration of life, to their
leaves, fruits, stems and trunks !



145

V/ith animals the same law holds good. Thus e. g., the cells of different
animals first resemble each other in their eggs ; but soon they grow dissimilar.
The feet and wings of the same bird are in the beginning also of the same size.
It is known that all the different classes, families and species of animals develop
from similar cells.

Man, too, has in the course of time experienced manifold changes. Proof for
this assertion are the different races. I'he bones of the skull of the civilized
man are larger, and the jaw-bones smaller than those of the savage. Quite as
considerable is the variety of the degrees of civilization to which men have risen.
The more they were civilized, the more arts and sciences were improved since
the rudest begmning which we notice among savages. Languages branched off"
in principal and secondary ones, in innumerable dialects ; the stock of vocables
increased from generation to generation. The art of writing was invented ;
first they formed images, by and by letters. The sculptor cut his gods, men and
animals^ at first in walls, then in a block, finally he chiseled them in stone. The
art of painting, which in beginning formed only outlines, comprises now divers
branches, and has divers names, according as it represents historical objects, or
landscapes, or flcwers and fruits, or real persons, animals, etc. In the musical
department various instruments were invented; in song the three other parts
were added to the first ; from the battle song of the savage music advanced to
the hymm, to the social song, as far as to the opera. In social life, too, the law
of the multiform prevails. The chieftain of a wild tribe hardly differs from its
members in dignity and in the way of life. In well organized States the Gov-
ernment enjoys power and authority. The citizens divide the labor, and perform
mutually various actions for each other. According to their vocation they are
joined in divers classes, and start religious, scientific, economical and other asso-
ciations. Some people, especially, practice agriculture, some commerce and
navigation, other trades, fabrication and arts.

§ 15. Concluded.

3. Evolution advances frotn an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity , to a definite,
coherent hete? ogeneity.

The system of stars, and of the earth, too, must (according to the hypothesis
of natural science) first have an irregular shape, and by degrees get more
regular forms ; for a gaseous body of ovale figure has not so definite limits as a
fluid or solid one. The movements of the solar system must also originally
have been indefinite, and in the lapse of time become regular. Now-a-days the
time is determined in which the planets and their moons revolve around the sun
and on their own axis. As long as earth, surrounded with a thin crust, had only
small lakes and seas, water could make but short rotations. After the formation
of the continents and oceans, water also commenced to move from the hot to the
frigid degrees of latitude (e. g., in the Gulf Stream of Mexico) ; and this move-
ment grew mcjii.- definite, as the expansion of the surface of the land increased.



^ "^ 146

If we consider the organic creation, we see that, the higher one of its classes
stands, its functions also are the more definite and perfect. The simplest animal
forms have only an alimentary canal ; the well organized ones possess organs for
the mastication of the food, a stomach and intestines ; in that the chyle moves
irregularly to and fro; by the latter it is conducted into the viens and mingled
with the blood, which flows through the heart, lungs and vems, and in this way
diffuses in all parts of the body. Animalcules which we only see with the aid of
the microscope, move in the water by means of trembling eyelashes which cover
their surface ; the more perfect animals, to this end. enjoy one or several pairs of
feet. The heart is first only a wide blood-vessel, later a partition is formed in it,
by which it is divided in two halves (ventricles).

The functions of the human organism also gradually are getting more definite.
The infant hrst stammers inarticulate sounds, by degrees it learns to pronounce the
easier consonants, then the more difficult and the compound ones ; at first mono-
syllables, after these dissyllables and polysyllables. In such a degree as the
functions of the organs of speech grow more perfect, the mental evolution
becomes more definite too. The child is yet poor with regard to ideas ;
its observations are volatile and superficial ; it makes always mistakes in speak
ing, reading, ciphering. If we compare with it a public orator, a Demosthenes,
a Newton, or Humboldt : what a difference ! Likewise the savage has only
a narrow sphere of conceptions ; his language is veiy poor ; he is not
acquainted with the exact sciences, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, etc.

The same effect of the evolution is also conspicuous in the civil association.
A rambling tribe of savages has no pennanent home, their public relations are
confused, the affairs of the individuals not defined. On the contrary, men living
in a State, build residences; the rights and duties of the citizens are defined, and
the laws which at first are rude, rendered more distinct. If there be resistance
and defense wanted, the savages fight in disorder, every one for himself. But the
organized army of a State is divided in batallions, regiments, and companies ;
some fight on foot, others on horse-back; others discharge the cannons; the duties
of the private soldiers, of the officers, and the General are defined ; during the
batfle ench occupies a definite place, and executes definite actions. Whereas
barbarians only trade in the way of barter, in the State daily millions of dol-
lars are circulated by purchase and sale ; the articles of the trade, and their
value are of endless variety, and every enterprise which refers to commerce, is
exactly computed.

What direction must the further evolution of mankind mainly take ?

The direction of a higher intellectual and emotional development.

Does the evolution of the Universe alternatively succeed in one of these four
dominions after the other?

No, it takes place simultaneously in them all. While the individual man de-
velops, the evolution of the whole society, too, is going on, because it is com-
posed of individuals ; and with the metamorphosis of the earth and the solar



147

systems, the human association also changes. The evolution of the Universe
effects simultaneously the general change of things.

What is the last result of the evolution of the Universe ?

Mankind is by and by so transformed by it that it will be able to adapt itself
more and more to the relations of nature and life.

To what will man finally attain in this way ?

To the highest accomplishment and happiness.

Is nature's evolution boundless ?

There are limits it cannot overstep. The rolling stone comes at last to rest.
Water pouring from the clouds in the form of rain, gathers in rivers, where it is
stopped by the resistance of other particles of water. The string which by the
bow or hammer has been set swinging, comes again to rest. Every development
finally arrives to a state of equipoise.

By what influence is it then controlled ?

By the influence of its environs.

What's the necessary consequence of this influence ?

The dissolution of the object, the evolution of which is finished. The disso-
lution can already happen in a few days, or it can be postponed for millions of


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Online LibraryHermann Marcus KottingerThe youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment → online text (page 24 of 28)