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(1.) The series are longer or shorter. In order to
bring this comparison back to a definite point of view,
let us take the series a, 5, e?, . . . q^ so that a remainder
from a may be blended with j9, but none with g, then
a will work so as to reproduce j9 ; on the other hand, h
or c may be combined with q or r\ in this way the
series may be prolonged indefinitely, but there is no
immediate connection between the beginning and the
end.

(2.) The degree of union among the terms is
stronger or weaker.

(3.) The series are throughout similar or not, as
well in regard to the strength of their terms as to their
degree of combination. The strongest terms or com-
binations are either at the beginning, in the middle, or
at the end.

(4.) Often several series serve for one — e. g., after
frequent repetition. By this the dissimilarities may
be lessened, but often the beginnings only are strength-
ened. If this should not happen, then the series must
not receive additions at the end, but at the beginning
— e. g.^c d^i c d^ah c d.

(5.) Many series return into themselves when either
the beginning or one of the later members is repeated.

(6.) In the case of dissimil3r series the stronger
terms often form a series among themselves. It is



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DIFFERENCES OF SERIES. I39

then in the power of reflection to reproduce the series
either in the form of a summary or synopsis or more
in detail.

(7.) In complicated series often a term (or several
terms) has a side series — i, e., a series whose course
does not lead into the principal series ; also one term
may have several side series, so that either one series
or another ma^ proceed from it.

(8.) The side series may progress simultaneously,
in which case, however, provided they are not to coin-
cide, a third series must be interposed between them,
just as several radii of a circle have between them the
surface of the sector (which contains innumerable pos-
sible lines).

(9.) In the case of complexes of characteristics (of
which kind are all notions of objects that appeal to
the senses) each element of the complex (every sen-
suous characteristic) may be the beginning point of a
series — e. g., a series of changes.

(10.) Series which begin simply may later on flow
together into a complex.

This discussion may be sufficient here to indicate
the number of possibilities which must be kept con-
stantly in mind at one time in order to. study the
psychical mechanism accurately.

In this we must not overlook the fact that the re-
production fluctuates between two kinds of opposed
possible influences. Either reflection may be added
(this proceeds from a more powerful mass of concepts,
generally from free-rising concepts, section 32), or there
is present an arrest by which either the reproduction
of the principal series or side series is stopped. In the
latter case, in dreaming (or in feigning) we combine



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140 RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

series which when we are fully awake require many se-
ries between them if they do not even neutralize each
other, as, for example, in a dialogue of the dead, in
which Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and Napoleon con-
verse with one another. In regard to what concerns
free-rising concepts, the latter can not be considered
to be such absolutely, but only in relation to the men-
tal state and the surroundings. Observations of this
kind require a practical experience which can not be
taught.



CHAPTER IL

THE DEVELOPMElsrr OF NOTIOKS.

179. All our concepts without exception are sub-
jected to the laws of arrest, of blending, etc. They may
constitute the source of the feelings or they may strug-
gle for realization as desires, etc. Then where do no-
tions {Begriffe) have their seat or whence do they come ?

At the beginning of Logic (Introd. to Phil., section
34) it has been said that our concepts collectively are no-
tions in regard to that which is represented by them.
Hence notions exist as such only in our abstraction ;
they are in reality quite as little a particular kind of
concepts as the understanding is a special faculty, out-
side, and by the side of the imagination, memory, etc.
From this it may be remarked furthermore that, be-
cause all concepts without exception may be expressed
as desires and feelings, the union of the so-called prac-
tical with the theoretical understanding is no mystery,



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DEVELOPMENT OF NOTIONS. 141

but self-evident, inasmuch as here two kinds which
must first be combined are present, rather the practi-
cal understanding and the theoretical understanding
are two imaginary objects which we have first created
through our abstractions and then considered to be
something real.

180. The delusion, however, that notions are a pe-
culiar class of concepts has its source principally in
general notions. (In his Logic, Kant posits the es-
sence of notions directly in their generality.) It might
occur to one that perhaps under certain circumstances
the laws of arrest between concepts might effect a sep-
aration of the dissimilar from the common character-
istics of concepts, such as logicians unhesitatingly
ascribe to the faculty of abstraction ; but investigation
teaches that such a faculty belongs not merely to the
creations of fancy, but to impossibilities. From com-
plexes and blendings which have once been formed
nothing can be separated. Partial concepts in a com-
plex or blending carry every arrest in common, and
hence remain constantly together; and from simple
sensations one can not even in thought separate any-
thing and leave anything else remaining. How is the
general notion of color to arise from red, blue, and
yellow? What are the specific differences here from
which abstraction is made ? No one can give them.

General notions which are thought merely through
their content without the introduction of the products
of representation for the sake of applications are, as
already remarked (78), logical ideals, just as logic as
a whole is, so to speak, the ethics of thinking, but not
a natural history of the undei*standing.

Hence we can only ask, How is it that we construct



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142 RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

such ideals and approach nearer and nearer to them?
The answer, by means of the judgment, has been
given already, and we must now develop it. In this
certain total impressions of similar objects are presup-
posed as raw material from which general notions are
gradually constructed. These total impressions are,
however, nothing but complexes in which the similar
characteristics of the partial concepts have a prepon-
derance over the difEerent characteristics. Such ex-
cess becomes gradually stronger and more decisive.
At first the repeated apprehensions of similar objects
form a time series (we remember when and where and
in what order we have seen such objects). K the se-
ries becomes too long, however, it ceases to develope
further ; but the frequently recurring becomes a per-
manent concept which remains in a condition of in-
volution (31). The arrest among the concepts of dif-
ferent characteristics has caused their permanent
obscuration, although they have not been entirely sep-
arated from the concept of what is of the same kind.

181. What happens to concepts when they unite
into judgments, and why do they so often occur in
this form ?

Judgments can not be mere complexes or Mend-
ings ; otherwise subject and predicate could not be sep-
arated, rather they would flow together in such a way
that they would be represented as an undivided unit,
without a trace of the union. The subject, as such,
must fluctuate between several conditions, inasmuch
as it must stand opposed to the predicate as the one
capable of being determined by the latter. If this re-
quirement can be complied with in more than one
way, then there is more than one source of judgments.



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DEVELOPMENT OF NOTIONS. 143

182. First, those collective impressions from simi-
lar perceptions flit from one to another of the several
characteristics. He who has seen a man often in vari-
ous attitudes, now standing, now sitting, now working,
now resting, has such a wavering collective concept ;
he who sees him now again, decides, by aid of the col-
lective concept, as to his present attitude, and thus
a judgment is formed. A multitude of negatives (in-
dicating the conditions in which he does not find him)
are contained in this, though hardly observable, but
they will become perceptible in cases where the ex-
pectation is contradicted. He who to-day sees a tree
from which the storm of last night broke a branch,
judges first negatively : the tree has not its branch ; it
is broken, splintered in this or that place, etc.

183. Secondly, a multitude of concepts are aroused
in a person looking upon an object new to him, which
concepts are reproduced, to a limited extent, on ac-
count of a partial similarity to the object mentioned.
The new concept, as the one to be determined, fluctu-
ates between the old concepts, which constitute the
determining characteristics. And from this arises the
question. What is this object?

184. Thirdly, those collective concepts in which
series lie infolded (31) are to be regarded as subjects
whose predicates appear one after the other in the un-
folding.

185. Fourthly, the fluctuation between different
mental states gives to the concept to which the fluctu-
ation is attached the place of the subject.

186. Fifthly, and principally, on account of its
fluctuating among several significations, each word in
the language is fitted to be the subject of a judgment.



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144 RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

A sign that was repeatedly aflSxed to the objects indi-
cated, with their changeable accompanying conditions,
carries the total impression of the latter with it ; now,
if with it a more definite object is to be designated,
then the total impression must be corrected ; this cor-
rection occurs through the predicates, which, however,
in a developed language are often changed into adjec-
tives, or are clothed in other kindred forms of speech,
so that only the most important among the corrections
are expressed in the form of predicate. Children, on
the contrary, speak in short sentences ; they know no
full, rounded sentences as yet. Their concepts arrange
themselves in the form of judgments shortly after they
have learned the words.

187. When one hears a judgment expressed, there
are for him two cases possible : either the predicate is
found among the several characteristics between which
his concept of the subject fluctuates, or it is not. In
the first case, there is no doubt but he will understand
the judgment as such. We must make further dis-
tinctions in the second case. The predicate either
agrees with these characteristics or it does not. If
the former is the case, then with the act of appre-
hending arises a combination of concepts which is no
judgment, but plainly a new complex or blending.
Thus when something is related to us, we, unperceived,
arrange the individual features presented together in
a picture, without thinking that the narrator has made
use of those forms of speech which are employed to
unite the subject with the predicate. If the predicate,
however, is opposed to those characteristics, then still
another distinction must be made — viz., it is either m
contrast or in complete opposition to them. The first



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DEVELOPMENT OP NOTIONS. I45

requires a certain kind of complexes which were defi-
nitely given in the foregoing (35), and the result is that
the judgment as such is to be perceived as a paradox
or as false. In the case of complete opposition, how-
ever, the judgment appears not so much false as
senseless.*

188. On the contrary, intelligible speech, above
everything else, must be connected ; it must hold fast
a significant portion of the concepts present, and he
who holds fast the whole connection will understand
best, and will perceive all the reciprocal influences
that prevail with it. Hence the understanding ranks

* [The first edition of Herbart's Manual of Psychology dis-
cusses as an example :] " Psychology has need of the differ-
ential and integral calculus." This statement should appear
acceptable to those who have considered before that all objects
of inner experience are presented as changeable magnitudes,
and who, besides, know how important it is to be acquainted
with the general laws according to which changeable mag-
nitudes depend upon one another. Others who have never
thought of mathematical calculations in connection with psy-
chology will consider this sentence historically, perhaps, indeed,
as a literary peculiarity. Those, however, will name it wrongly
who have elaborated the differential and integral calculus con-
stantly with a view to an application which requires magnitudes
that may be measured and sharply observed, which it is true may
succeed in the outer but not in the inner experience. Finally,
many will find the foregoing sentence quite senseless, because
they do not know in the least how to compare mathematics and
psychology, but regard the two as opposites, like death and life.

(188) The senseless, inasmuch as it fixes the limits for that
which is intelligible, teaches us to know the understanding and
its operation more accurately. Mere opposition without contrast
only causes the opposed concepts to sink, and this is just the
Influence of the senseless — it expels, it kills thought, while con-
trast elevates at least some thoughts.
13



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146 RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

as a finer sense. We say a discourse has sense and
intelligence, it is full of meaning, etc.

Note. — ^It is a very important fact that in music also the
distinction between the senseless and the intelligible is made.
Those musical composers who strive after contrasts sometimes
touch upon the former condition. The intelligible, however, is
not for this reason by any means also the beautif uL Besides,
music is so like discourse (with its periods, its premises, and
conclusions) that ignorant or enthusiastic people very easily
imagine that music says something to which only words are
lacking. Thus, in its highest eloquence, music is held to be a
dumb creature. What it wishes to say, however, that it expresses
perfectly and completely, and translations of its meaning into
another language are extremely poor. Music has its understand-
ing in itself, and by this it teaches us that the understanding
is not to be sought in any kind of category whatever, but in the
connection of concepts with one another (of whatever kind the
latter may be).

189. The development of ideas is then the slow,
gradual result of continuous judgment. It may be
observed here that poor languages appear to use many
metaphors, which indicates that remote similarities
suffice to reproduce old concepts and blend them, to-
gether with their names, with the new. From this
condition human thought passes to an ever greater
and finer division of thoughts. At one time the com-
plex A may serve as subject for the predicate a^ at
another time for the predicate J, then in bringing to-
gether the two judgments, the contrasts between a and
b will not only be felt (section 35), but will also be
expressed or clearly thought in the judgments ; this
-4 is a, and that A is J. Here, in the representation
occurs an intentional discrimination, by which, how-
ever, the representation is in no way divided into two



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DEVELOPMENT OF NOTIONS. I47

separate acts, but the psychical mechanism always
holds together the separate parts.

190. A multitude of such judgments as -4 is a,
Aiaby A is Cy A is rf, etc., by which not one and the
same .i is to be taken, but several, with the opposed
a, by Cy dy of thcmselvcs form a series ; since the a, J,
Cy dy blend in different degrees according to their
lesser or greater contrasts (e. g., the three judgments —
this fruit is green, that yellow, a third yellowish green —
blend in such a way as to bring with them the colors
in their orders — ^green, yellowish green, and yellow;
for between yellow and green the opposition is the
strongest, consequently the blending the least). From
this arises the relation between tlie genus A and its
species {A which is a, A which is by etc.). At the
same time between these species, on account of their
differences a, J, c, rf, there is a variety of reproduction
laws, and from this arise the vaguely comprehended
series, such as the gamut in music and the spectrum in
color. The same A will coincide with a, /?, y, 8, as here
with tty by Cy dy lu casc the species differ from A not
merely in one but in several characteristics.

Note. — The construction of a series, pedagogically consid-
ered, is of the ^eate«t importance, as upon it, depends clear
thinking, as well as construction of every kind.

191. The more the series of characteristics form
and separate in this way, through the comparison of
similarities, and in part of differences, so much the
sooner will it be possible, by means of them, to deter-
mine the content of the complexes, or to approach the
definitions of ideas. For now every element of a com-
plex — i. e., every characteristic of a notion — has its



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148 RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

place in one of the series of characteristics. The la-
bor of finding this place is indicated among others in
such questions as: How does the object look? How
.large is it ? What is its smell and taste ? But, in order
to find the place of all characteristics in the correspond-
ing series, a number of reproductions of different series
is necessary, which the psychical mechanism will not
furnish otherwise than by virtue of a dominating con-
cept mass. The Platonic dialogues show what labor
this costs, and how many partly positive, partly nega-
tive judgments are necessary to accomplish it, espe-
cially with ideas of the higher kinds; and we may per-
ceive in the limited development of the notions of the
majority to what a limited extent this labor can be
considered as finished.

192. Thus it is shown in every way that the defi-
nition and separation of general notions, clear and
distinct thinking, are problems which the psychical
mechanism does not solve by really separating its com-
plexes, but by allowing each individual element of the
same to remain connected with some series of charac-
teristics already formed. General notions are never
really thought through their content, but with regard
to their extent, though with intentional distinction
from it.

193. The attempt, however, to think the notions
merely or at least principally through their content,
consequently through a summary of the characteristics
of the series (which characteristics are no longer gath-
ered directly from experience but from the series of
signs already established) — ^this attempt, I say, effects
a remarkable change. It gives rise to philosophizing,
and this causes notions to become objects of thought



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DEVELOPMENT OP NOTIONS. 1^9

The first notions which philosophy discovered were
numbers and geometrical figures. Later, the same
proceeding extended to all logical general notions. In
this province, Plato, who carried out what the Pytha-
goreans and Socrates had begun, stands at the head of
philosophers. The next step is the philosophy of lan-
guage, inasmuch as the notions are shown as objects
associated with the words' found in the languages.
Aristotle, following a Pythagorean track, sought the
categories — ^i. e., the most general notions in language.
The influence of this is threefold :

(a.) The great majority of educated people to
whom philosophy at least in part belongs, refer the ab-
stracted notions back again to things. Experience is ar-
ranged, scientifically treated, and in the sciences are to
be found firmly fixed points of dispute, where it is asked
how things are to be correctly thought through no-
tions and indicated through words.

(b.) Philosophers, through the effort, partly in
themselves, but in greater part in others, to hold notions
fast as objects of thought, are led to overdo the matter
by placing notions among the number of real objects.
By this the peculiarity of sensuous things (by virtue of
which they contain metaphysical problems) aids them
in such a way that they are supposed to be real in a
much higher sense than the objects of experience.
Tliis is a characteristic of the Platonic doctrine of
ideas which has its influence even now. Hence the
embarrassment of Aristotle, who found sensuous ob-
jects, mathematical figures, together with numbers
and notions, side by side with one another, and seems
never to have succeeded in making their relations
clear.



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150 RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

(c.) Another delusion is the one peculiar to the
school of Kant, which regards the categories as the
fundamental notions of understanding taken as a men-
tal faculty. Traces of this belief appear in Plato and
later in Descartes and Leibnitz.

By this the relationship of the categories with the
forms of series is obscured, which relationship, never-
theless, is recognized analytically. The categories of
the inner apperception are thereby forgotten.

We may observe the principal categories — things
property, relation, negative — ^at the bottom of which lie
the form of judgment and the form of series. The
notion of the negative, the rw in general, is the clear-
est proof of the existence of such a notion, which in
judging arises from experience, although in experience
it has no given object.



CHAPTER IIL

OUR APPREHEl^rSION OF THIN^GS Al^TD OF OUR-
SELVES.

194. Entirely of themselves, and without the
slightest action which could be called an action of syn-
thesis (63), our concepts become combined so far as
they are not hindered by an arrest. Hence, for a child
of tenderest years, there are no individual objects as
yet, but entire surroundings which, even as regards
space relations, only become separated in successive
representations (174).

The first chaos of concepts, while it constantly re-



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THING AND PROPERTIES. 151

ceives new additions, is, at the same time, subjected to
a continuous separation. Not that combinations once
completed would ever be broken up (180) ; on the con-
trary the number of concepts is constantly increased and
their inner contents augmented. But, on the one hand,
if the number of distinctions increases (189), on the
other hand there are more frequent spatial separations
of that which in the beginning was seen or in some
way perceived as a whole. The objects move, and
chiefly because of this the environment is broken up
into distinctions ; in this manner a plurality of things
originates for man's power of conception. At first the
table seems one with the floor, also the table-leaf is one
with the table-legs. The table, however, is moved
from its place, while the leaf is not separated from the
legs. All things that are not removed from one an-
other preserve their original unity in the conception.

195. As the surroundings are gradually separated
into individual things, so the things again become
separated into their properties (191). If it be asked
here to which subject the properties really belong, the
answer is : The subject is always the total complex of
these properties, provided the physical mechanism rep-
resents them in one single undivided act. In this
there is no difficulty whatever, so long as not all the
judgments through which all its properties are ascribed
to one and the same thing are united.

But when the thought once reaches this degree of
maturity (which never happens with most men), then
the case is different. The judgments have now quite
dissolved the complex and have separated its properties
from one another as a manifold, and hence one subject
will always be presupposed for the many predicates.



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152 RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

This notion has lost its content, however, and here a
metaphysical abyss yawns, viz., the question concerning
substance (86) as an unknown something, the presup-
position of which is so much the more necessary, as it
is to be not merely that subject, which never becomes
predicate while really the judgments have changed
their subject into pure predicates ; but the persistent
thing which through all change remains self -identical
while, in fact, the complex which serves for the ob-


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