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BAIN’S PSYCHOLOGY 1859 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XI - Essays on Philosophy and the Classics 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XI - Essays on Philosophy and the Classics, ed. John M. Robson, Introduction by F.E. Sparshott (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978).
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Dissertations and Discussions, III (1867), 97-152, where the title is footnoted: “Edinburgh Review, October 1859.—1. ‘The Senses and the Intellect.’ By Alexander Bain, A.M. [London: Parker,] 1855. 2. ‘The Emotions and the Will.’ By the same Author. [London: Parker,] 1859.” Reprinted from the Edinburgh Review, CX (Oct., 1859), 287-321, where the article (unsigned) is headed: “Art. I.—1. The Senses and the Intellect. By Alexander Bain, A.M. London: [Parker,] 1855. 2. The Emotions and the Will. By Alexander Bain, A.M., Examiner in Logic and Moral Philosophy in the University of London. London: [Parker,] 1859”; the running heads are “Bain’s Psychology.” Identified in JSM’s bibliography as “A review of Bain’s two treatises on the Mind, in the Edinburgh Review for October 1859” (MacMinn, 92). An unsigned offprint of the article in the Somerville College Library, paged 1-35, titled “Bain’s Psychology,” with “[From theEdinburgh Reviewof October 1859]” printed under the title, has no corrections or alterations in the text; the bibliographic information in the headings is slightly expanded.
In the footnoted variants, “59” indicates Edinburgh Review (not, as is normally the case, D&D, 1st ed., because this article appeared after the publication of that edition); “67” indicates D&D, III (1st ed., 1867, the copy-text). For comment on the composition of the essay and related matters, see the Introduction and the Textual Introduction, lviii-lxvii and lxxxix-xc above.
the sceptre of psychology has decidedly returned to this island. The scientific study of mind, which for two generations, in many other respects distinguished for intellectual activity, had, while brilliantly cultivated elsewhere, been neglected by our countrymen, is now nowhere prosecuted with so much vigour and success as in Great Britain. Nor are the achievements of our thinkers in this obstinately-contested portion of the field of thought, merely one-sided and sectarian triumphs. The two conflicting schools, or modes of thought, which have divided metaphysicians from the very beginning of speculation—the à posteriori and à priori schools, or, as they are popularly rather than accurately designated, the Aristotelian and the Platonic—are both flourishing in this country; and we venture to affirm that the best extant examples of both have been produced within a recent period by Englishmen, or (it should, perhaps, rather be said) by Scotchmen.
Of these two varieties of psychological speculation, the à posteriori mode, or that which resolves the whole contents of the mind into experience, is the one which belongs most emphatically to Great Britain, as might be expected from the country which gave birth to Bacon. The foundation of the à posteriori psychology was laid by Hobbes (to be followed by the masterly developments of Locke and Hartley), at the very time when Descartes, on the other side of the Channel, was creating the rival philosophical system; for the French, who are so often ill-naturedly charged with having invented nothing, at least invented German philosophy. But after having initiated this mode of metaphysical investigation, they left it to the systematic German thinkers to be followed up; themselves descending to the rank of disciples and commentators, first on Locke, and more recently on Kant and Schelling. In England, the philosophy of Locke reigned supreme, until a Scotchman, Hume, while making some capital improvements in its theory, carried out one line of its apparent consequences to the extreme which always provokes a reaction; and of this reaction, another Scotchman, Reid, was the originator, and, with his eminent pupil, Stewart, also a Scotchman, introduced as much of the à priori philosophy as could in any way be made reconcilable with Baconian principles. These were succeeded by Dr. Thomas Brown (still a Scotchman), who drew largely and not unskilfully from both sources, though, for want of a patience and perseverance on a level with his great powers, he failed to effect a synthesis, and only produced an eclecticism. Meanwhile, the more elaborate form of the à priori philosophy which the whole speculative energy of Germany had been employed in building up, and which the French had expounded with all the lucidity which it admitted of, was in time studied also among us; and, according to what now seems to be the opinion of the most competent judges, this philosophy has found in a Scotchman, Sir William Hamilton, its best and profoundest representative. But the great European philosophical reaction, was to have its counterreaction, which has now reached a great height in Germany itself, and is taking place here also; and of this, too, in our island, the principal organs have been Scotchmen. Mr. James Mill, in his Analysis of the Human Mind,[*] followed up the deepest vein of the Lockian philosophy, that which was opened by Hartley, to still greater depths: and now, in the work at the head of this article (we say work, not works, for the second volume, though bearing a different title, is in every sense a continuation of the first), a new aspirant to philosophical eminence, Mr. Alexander Bain, has stepped beyond all his predecessors, and has produced an exposition of the mind, of the school of Locke and Hartley, equally remarkable in what it has successfully done, and in what it has wisely refrained from—an exposition which deserves to take rank as the foremost of its class, and as marking the most advanced point which the à posteriori psychology has reached.*
We have no intention to profess ourselves partisans of either of these schools of philosophy. Both have done great things for mankind. No one whose studies have not extended to both, can be considered in any way competent to deal with the great questions of philosophy in their present state. And though one of the two must be fundamentally the superior, there can be no doubt that, whichever this is, it has been greatly benefited by the searching criticisms which it has sustained from the other. But as the Lockian, or à posteriori, psychology has for some time been under a cloud throughout Europe, from which it is now decidedly emerging, and giving signs that it is likely soon again to have its turn of ascendency, there may be use in making some observations on the general pretensions of this philosophy, its method, and the evidence on which it relies, and in helping to make generally known a work which is the most careful, the most complete, and the most genuinely scientific analytical exposition of the human mind which the à posteriori psychology has up to this time produced.
In these remarks no complete comparison between the two modes of philosophizing is to be looked for. Psychology, with which we are here concerned, is but the first stage in this great controversy—the arena of the initial conflict. The account which the two schools respectively render of the human mind is the foundation of their doctrines; but the crowning peculiarity of each resides in the superstructure. That the constitution of the mind is the key to the constitution of external nature—that the laws of the human intellect have a necessary correspondence with the objective laws of the universe, such that these may be inferred from those—is the grand doctrine which the one school affirms and the other denies; and the difference between this doctrine and its negation, is the great practical distinction between the two philosophies. But this question is beyond the compass of psychology. The à priori philosophers, when they inculcate this doctrine, do so not as psychologists, but as ontologists; and some distinguished thinkers, who, so far as psychology is concerned, belong essentially to the à priori school, have not thought it necessary to enter, except to a very limited extent, on the ground of ontology. Among these may be counted Reid and Stewart, as well as other more recent names of eminence. Indeed, the grand pretension of the à priori school in its extreme development, that of arriving at a knowledge of the Absolute, has received its most elaborate and crushing refutation from two philosophers of that same school—Sir William Hamilton and Mr. Ferrier: the à posteriori metaphysicians having in general thought that the essential relativity of our knowledge could dispense with direct proof, and might be left to rest on the general evidence of their analysis of the mental phenomena. Yet the philosophers whom we have named are not the less, up to a certain point, ontologists. They all hold, that some knowledge, more or less, of objective existences and their laws, is attainable by man, and that it is obtained by way of inference from the constitution of the human mind. Reid, for example, is decidedly of opinion that Matter—not the set of phenomena so called, but the actual Thing, of which these are effects and manifestations—is cognizable by us as a reality in the universe; and that extension, solidity, and other fundamental attributes of visible and tangible Nature, known to us by experience, are really and unequivocally qualities inherent in this actual thing; the evidence of which doctrine is, that we have, ineradicable from our minds, conceptions or perceptions of these various objects of thought, of which conceptions or perceptions the existence is inexplicable, save from the reality of the things which they represent.[*] Thus far Reid: who is therefore in principle as much an ontologist as Hegel, though he does not lay claim to as minute a knowledge of the constitution of “Things in themselves.” On the legitimacy of this mode of reasoning, the other school is at issue with them. The possibility of ontology is one of the points in dispute between the two. It is one into which we do not here enter.
On the ground of simple psychology, the distinction between the two philosophies consists in the different theories they give of the more complex phenomena of the human mind. When we call the one philosophy à priori, the other à posteriori, or of experience, the terms must not be misunderstood. It is not meant that experience belongs only to one, and is appealed to as evidence by one and not by the other. Both depend on experience for their materials. Both require as the basis of their systems, that the actual facts of the human mind should be ascertained by observation. It is true they differ to some extent in their notion of facts; the à priori philosophers cataloguing some things as facts, which the others contend are inferences. The fundamental difference relates, however, not to the facts themselves, but to their origin. Speaking briefly and loosely, we may say that the one theory considers the more complex phenomena of the mind to be products of experience, the other believes them to be original. In more precise language, the à priori thinkers hold, that in every act of thought, down to the most elementary, there is an ingredient which is not given to the mind, but contributed by the mind in virtue of its inherent powers. The simplest phenomenon of all, an external sensation, requires, according to them, a mental element to become a perception, and be thus converted from a passive and merely fugitive state of our own being, into the recognition of a durable object external to the mind. The notions of Extension, Solidity, Number, Magnitude, Force, though it is through our senses that we acquire them, are not copies of any impressions on our senses, but creations of the mind’s own laws set in action by our sensations; and the properties of these ideal creations are not proved by experience, but deduced à priori from the ideas themselves, constituting the demonstrative sciences of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statics, and dynamics. Experience, instead of being the source and prototype of our ideas, is itself a product of the mind’s own forces working on the impressions we receive from without, and has always a mental as well as an external element. Experience is only rendered possible by those mental laws which it is vainly invoked to explain and account for. A fortiori do all our ideas of supersensual things, and all our moral and spiritual judgments and perceptions, proceed from our inherent mental constitution. Experience is the occasion, not the prototype, of our mental ideas, and is neither the source nor the evidence of our knowledge, but its test; for as what we call experience is the outward manifestation of laws which are not to be found in experience, but which may be known à priori, and as the effects cannot be in contradiction to the cause, it is a necessary condition of our knowledge that experience shall not conflict with it.
We are now touching the real point of separation between the à priori and the à posteriori psychologists. These last also for the most part acknowledge the existence of a mental element in our ideas. They admit that the notions of Extension, Solidity, Time, Space, Duty, Virtue, are not exact copies of any impressions on our senses. They grant them to be ideas constructed by the mind itself, the materials alone being supplied to it. But they do not think that this ideal construction takes place by peculiar and inscrutable laws of the mind, of which no further account can be given. They think that a further account can be given. They admit the mental element as a fact, but not as an ultimate fact. They think it may be resolved into simpler laws and more general facts; that the process by which the mind constructs these great ideas may be traced, and shown to be but a more recondite case of the operation of well-known and familiar principles.
From this opinion, which ascribes an ascertainable genesis to that part of the more complex mental phenomena which derives its origin from the mind itself, instead of regarding it, with the à priori psychologists, as something ultimate and inscrutable, there arises necessarily a wide difference between the two as to what are called by the à priori philosophers necessary elements of thought. M. Cousin, one of the ablest, and (Fichte excepted) quite the most eloquent teacher of the à priori school, deems it the radical error of Locke and his followers to have raised the question of the origin of our ideas at the opening of the inquiry, without first making a complete descriptive survey of the ideas themselves; which if they had done, he thinks they must have recognised, as involved in all our thoughts, certain necessary assumptions, inconsistent with the origin which Locke ascribes to them.[*] The difference, however, between the two theories, is not as to the fact that these assumptions are made, but as to their being necessary assumptions. The Lockians think they are able to show how and why the mind is led to make these assumptions. They believe that it is not obliged by any necessity of its nature to make them. They think that the cause of our making the assumptions lies in the conditions of our experience; that those conditions are often accidental and modifiable, and might be so modified that we should no longer be led to make these assumptions; and even when the assumptions depend upon conditions of our experience which do not, so far as our faculties can judge, admit of actual modification, yet if by an exercise of thought we imagine them modified, the supposed necessity of the assumptions will disappear. For example: the transcendentalist examines our ideas of Space and Time, and finds that each of them contains inseparably within itself the idea of Infinity. We can of course have no experimental evidence of infinity: all our experiences, and therefore, in his opinion, all our ideas derived from experience, are of things finite. Yet to conceive Time or Space otherwise than as things infinite is impossible. The infinity of Space and Time he therefore sets down as a necessary assumption: and if his philosophy leads him (which Kant’s did not) to regard Space and Time as having any existence at all external to the mind, he proceeds, as an ontologist, to infer from the necessity of the assumption, the infinity of the things themselves. The à posteriori psychologist, on his part, also perceives that we cannot think of Space or of Time otherwise than as infinite; but he does not consider this as an ultimate fact, or as requiring any peculiar law of mind or properties of the objects for its explanation. He sees in it an ordinary manifestation of one of the laws of the association of ideas,—the law, that the idea of a thing irresistibly suggests the idea of any other thing which has been often experienced in close conjunction with it, and not otherwise. As we have never had experience of any point of space without other points beyond it, nor of any point of time without others following it, the law ofainseparablea association makes it impossible for us to think of any point of space or time, however distant, without having the idea irresistibly realized in imagination, of other points still more remote. And thus the supposed original and inherent property of these two ideas is completely explained and accounted for by the law of association; and we are enabled to see, that if Space or Time were really susceptible of termination, we should be just as unable as we now are to conceive the idea. This being once seen, although the mental element, Infinity, still remains attached to the ideas, we are no longer prompted to make a “necessary assumption” of a corresponding objective fact. We are enabled to acknowledge our ignorance, and our inability to judge whether the course of Things, in this respect, corresponds with our necessities of Thought. Space or Time may, for aught we know, be inherently terminable, though in our present condition we are totally incapable of conceiving a termination to them. Could we arrive at the end of space, we should, no doubt, be apprised of it by some new and strange impression upon our senses, of which it is not at present in our power to form the faintest idea. But under all other circumstances the association is indissoluble, since every moment’s experience is constantly renewing it.
In this example, which is the more significant as the case is generally considered one of the main strongholds of the à priori school, the two leading doctrines of the most advanced à posteriori psychology are very clearly brought to view: first, that the more recondite phenomena of the mind are formed out of the more simple and elementary; and, secondly, that the mental law, by means of which this formation takes place, is the Law of Association. Though not the first who pointed out this law, Locke was the author of its first great application to the explanation of the mental phenomena, by his doctrine of Complex Ideas. The idea of an orange, for example, is compounded of certain simple ideas of colour, of visible and tangible shape, of taste, of smell, of a certain consistence, weight, internal structure, and so forth: yetbourb idea of an orange is to our feelings and conceptions one single idea, not a plurality of ideas; thus showing that when any number of sensations have been often experienced simultaneously or in very rapid succession, the ideas of those sensations not only raise up one another, but do this so certainly and instantaneously as to run together, and seem melted into one. In this example, however, the original elements may still, by an ordinary effort of consciousness, be distinguished in the compound. It was reserved for Hartley to show that mental phenomena, joined together by association, may form a still more intimate, and as it were chemical union—may merge into a compound, in which the separate elements are no more distinguishable as such, than hydrogen and oxygen in water; the compound having all the appearance of a phenomenon sui generis, as simple and elementary as the ingredients, and with properties different from any of them: a truth which, once ascertained, evidently opens a new and wider range of possibilities for the generation of mental phenomena by means of association.
The most complete and scientific form of the à posteriori psychology, is that which considers the law of association as the governing principle, by means of which the more complex and recondite mental phenomena shape themselves, or are shaped, out of the simpler mental elements. The great problem of this form of psychology is to ascertain, not how far this law extends, for it extends to everything; ideas of sensation, intellectual ideas, emotions, desires, volitions, any or all of these may become connected by association under the two laws of Contiguity and Resemblance, and when so connected, acquire the power of calling up one another. Not, therefore, how far the law extends, is the problem, but how much of the apparent variety of the mental phenomena it is capable of explaining; what ultimate elements of the mind remain, when all are subtracted, the formation of which can be in this way accounted for; and how, out of those elements, and the law, or rather laws, of association, the remainder of the mental phenomena are built up. On this part of the subject there are, as might be expected, many differences of doctrine; and the theory, like all theories of an uncompleted science, is in a state of progressive improvement.
This mode of interpreting the phenomena of the mind is not unfrequently stigmatised as materialistic; how far justly, may be seen when it is remembered that the Idealism of Berkeley is one of the developments of this theory. With materialism in the obnoxious sense, this view of the mind has no necessary connexion, though doubtless not so directly exclusive of it as is the rival theory. But if it be materialism to endeavour to ascertain the material conditions of our mental operations, all theories of the mind which have any pretension to comprehensiveness must be materialistic. Whether organisation alone could produce life and thought, we probably shall never certainly know, unless we could repeat Frankenstein’s experiment;[*] but that our mental operations have material conditions, can be denied by no one who acknowledges, what all now admit, that the mind employs the brain as its material organ. And this being granted, there is nothing more materialistic in endeavouring, so far as our means of physiological explanation allow, to trace out the detailed connexions between mental manifestations and cerebral or nervous states. Unhappily, the knowledge hitherto obtainable on this subject has been very limited in amount; but when we consider, for example, the case of all our stronger emotions, and the disturbance of almost every part of our physical frame, which is occasioned in these cases by a mere mental idea, no rational person can doubt the closeness of the connexion between the functions of the nervous system and the phenomena of mind, norccanc think any exposition of the mind satisfactory, into which that connexion does not enter as a prominent feature.
It is undoubtedly true that the Association Psychology doesdrepresent many ofd the higher mental states as in a certain sense the outgrowth and offspring of the lower. But in other cases, philosophers have not considered as degrading, the formation of noble products out of base materials, and have rather been disposed to celebrate this, as one of the exemplifications of wisdom and contrivance in the arrangements of Nature. Without undertaking to determine what portion of truth lies in this philosophy, and how far any of the nobler phenomena of mind are really constructed from the materials of our animal nature, it is certain that, to whatever extent this is the fact, it ought to be known and recognised. If these nobler parts of our nature are not self-sown and original, but are built or build themselves up, out of no matter what materials, it must be highly important to the work of the education and improvement of human character, to understand as much as possible of the process by which the materials are put together. These composite parts of our constitution (granting them to be such) are not for that reason factitious and unnatural. The products are not less a part of human nature than their component elements. Water is as truly one of the substances in external nature, as hydrogen or oxygen; and to suppose it non-existent would imply as great a change in all we know of the order of things in which we live. It is only to a very vulgar type of mind, that a grand or beautiful object loses its charm when it loses some of its mystery, through the unveiling of a part of the process by which it is created in the secret recesses of Nature.
The aim, then, which the Association Psychology proposes to itself, is one which both schools of mental philosophy should equally desire to see vigorously prosecuted. It is important, even from the point of view of transcendentalists, that all which can be done by this system for the explanation of the mental phenomena should be brought to light. For, in the first place, all admit that there is much which can be so explained. The law of association, every one allows, is real, and a large number of mental facts are explicable thereby. But further, the sole ground upon which the transcendental mode of speculation in psychology can possibly stand, is the failure of the other. The evidence of the à priori theory must always be negative. There can be no positive proof that oxygen, or any other body, is a simple substance. The sole proof that can be given is, that no one has hitherto succeeded in decomposing it. And nothing can positively prove that any particular one of the constituents of the mind is ultimate. We can only presume it to be such, from the ill success of every attempt to resolve it into simpler elements. If, indeed, the phenomena alleged to be complex manifested themselves chronologically at an earlier period than those from which they are said to be compounded, this would be a complete disproof, at least of that origin. But the fact is not so: on the contrary, the higher mental phenomena are so well known to unfold themselves after the lower, that sensational experience, which is so violently repudiated as their origin and source, is, from the necessity of the case, admitted as the occasion which calls into action the mental laws that develop them. The first question, therefore, in analytical psychology ought to be, how much of the furniture of the mind will experience and association account for? The residuum which cannot be so explained, must be provisionally set down as ultimate, and handed over to observation to determine its conditions and laws.
On the other hand, it is necessary to be exigeant as to the evidence for the validity of the analysis by which a mental phenomenon is resolved into association. Much has been tendered on this subject, even by powerful thinkers, as proved truth, to which it is impossible soberly to assign any higher value than that of philosophical conjecture. The rules of inductive logic must be duly applied to the case. When the elements can be recognised by our consciousness as distinguishably existing in the compound, there is no difficulty. When they are not thus distinguishable, the gradual growth and building up of the complex phenomenon may be a fact amenable to direct observation. In the case of the higher intellectual and moral phenomena of our being, the observation may be practised on ourselves. In the case of those of our acquisitions which are made too early to be remembered, the observation may be of children, of the young of other animals, or of persons who are, or were during a part of life, shut out from some of the ordinary sources of experience; persons like Caspar Hauser, brought up in confinement and solitude; persons destitute of sight or hearing; especially those born blind and suddenly restored to sight. This last is a precious source of information, which unfortunately has been very scantily made use of. In the case of children and young animals, our power is very limited of ascertaining what actually passes within them. But in so far as we are able to interpret their outward manifestations, we have some means of ascertaining what, in their minds, precedesewhat. Wee can often, by sufficiently close observation, perceive a mental faculty forming itself by gradual growth; and in some cases we can, to a certain extent, ascertain the conditions of its formation, which are often such as to bring it within the known laws of association. Though the product may, to our consciousness, appear sui generis, not identical in its nature with any or with all of the elements, yet if the mode of its production be invariably found to consist in bringing certain sensations or ideas to pass through the mind simultaneously, or in immediate succession, and if the effect is produced pari passu with the number of repetitions of this conjunction, we may conclude with considerable assurance that the apparently simple phenomenon is a compound of those ideas, united by association. For we know that it is the effect of repetition to knit all conjunctions of ideas closer and closer, until they so coalesce as to leave no trace in our consciousness of their separate existence. One of the most familiar cases of this remarkable law, is the case of what are called the acquired perceptions of sight. It is admitted by nearly all psychologists, that when we appear to see distance and magnitude by the eye, we do not really see them, but see only certain signs, from which, by a process of reasoning, rendered so rapid by practice as to have become entirely unconscious, we infer the distance or magnitude which we fancy we see. No alleged transformation of mental phenomena by association can be more complete, or more extraordinary, than this. Yet it is one of the few results of psychological analysis which can be brought to the test of a complete Baconian induction: for the case admits of an ample range of experiments; and the result of them is, that wherever the signs are the same, our impressions of distance and magnitude are the same, and wherever the signs are different, our impressions are different, although the real distance and magnitude of the object looked at remain all the while exactly as they were. Hardly any theory of the formation of a mental phenomenon by association can deserve, after this, to be rejected in limine, for inherent incredibility, or inconsistency with our consciousness. There is hardly any mental phenomenon (except those which association itself presupposes) of which we can say that, from its own nature, it could not possibly have been produced by association. But, from the intrinsic possibility of its having been so produced, to its actually being so, is a wide step; and unless the case admits of actual experiment, or unless there be something in the observed development of the individual mind to bear out the conjecture, it can be ranked only as an hypothesis, of no present value except to suggest points for further verification.
There is, however, a large class of cases—and these are among the most important of all—in which the explanation by way of association is not attended with any of these difficulties and uncertainties. The mental fact which is the subject of dispute may be, not any one mental phenomenon, but a conjunction between phenomena. The thing to be explained often is no other than the fact that some one idea is suggested by, and apparently involved in, another; and the point to be decided is, whether this happens necessarily, and by an inherent law; as infinity is said to be inherently involved in our ideas of time and space, and externality in our ideas of tangible objects. In such cases the evidence of origin in association may often be complete; and it is in such that the greatest triumphs of the Association Psychology have been achieved. A conjunction, however close and apparently indissoluble, between two ideas, is not only an effect which association is able to produce, but one which it is certain to produce, if the necessary conditions are sufficiently often repeated without the intervention of any fact tending to produce a counter-association. It is, therefore, in these cases, sufficient if we can show, that there has really existed the invariable conjunction of sensible phenomena in experience, which is necessary for the formation of an inseparable association between the corresponding ideas. If, as in the case of Time and Space, already examined, this can be shown to be the fact, then that conjunction of sensible experiences is the real cause: formation by association is the true theory of the phenomenon, and it is in the highest degree unphilosophical to demand any other.
These few observations on the nature and scope of the Association Psychology generally, were necessary for fixing the position of Mr. Bain’s treatise in mental science. Belonging essentially to the association school, he has not only, with great clearness and copiousness, illustrated, popularised, and enforced by fresh arguments, all which that school had already done towards the explanation of the phenomena of mind, but he has added so largely to it, that those who have the highest appreciation and the warmest admiration of his predecessors, are likely to be the most struck with the great advance which this treatise constitutes over what those predecessors had done, and the improved position in which it places their psychological theory. Mr. Bain possesses, indeed, an union of qualifications peculiarly fitting him for what, in the language of Dr. Brown, may be called the physical investigation of mind.[*] With analytic powers comparable to those of his most distinguished predecessors, he combines a range of appropriate knowledge still wider than theirs; having made a more accurate study than perhaps any previous psychologist, of the whole round of the physical sciences, on which the mental depend both for their methods, and for the necessary material substratum of their theories: while those sciences, also, are themselves in a far higher state of advancement than in any former age. This is especially true of the science most nearly allied, both in subject and method, with psychological investigations, the science of Physiology: which Hartley, Brown, and Mill had unquestionably studied, and knew perhaps as well as it was known by any one at the time when they studied it, but in a superficial manner compared with Mr. Bain; the science having in the meanwhile assumed almost a new aspect, from the important discoveries which had been made in all its branches, and especially in the functions of the nervous system, since even the latest of those authors wrote.
Mr. Bain commences his work with a full and luminous exposition of what is known of the structure and functions of the nervous system. What may be called the outward action of the nervous system is twofold,—sensation and muscular motion; and one of the great physiological discoveries of the present age is, that these two functions are performed by means of two distinct sets of nerves, in close juxtaposition; one of which, if separately severed or paralysed, puts an end to sensation in the part of the body which it supplies, but leaves the power of motion unimpaired; the other destroys the power of motion, but does not affect sensation. That the central organ of the nervous system, the brain, must in some way or other co-operate in all sensation, and in all muscular motion except that which is actually automatic and mechanical, is also certain; for if the nervous continuity between any part of the body and the brain is interrupted, either by the division of the nerve, or by pressure on any intermediate portion, unfitting it to perform its functions, sensation and voluntary motion in that part cease to exist. That the memory or thought of a sensation formerly experienced has also for its necessary condition a state of the brain, and of the same nerves which transmit the sensation itself, does not admit of the same direct proof by experiment; but is, at least, a highly probable hypothesis. When we consider that in dreams, hallucinations, and some highly excited states of the nervous system, the idea or remembrance of a sensation is actually mistaken for the sensation itself; and also that the idea, when vividly excited, not unfrequently produces the same effects on the whole bodily frame which the sensation would produce, it is hardly possible, in the face of all this resemblance, to suppose any fundamentally different machinery for their production, or any real difference in their physical conditions, except one of degree. The instrumentality of the brain in thought is a more mysterious subject; the evidence is less direct, and its interpretation has given rise to some of the keenest controversies of our era, controversies yet far from being conclusively decided. But the general connexion is attested by many indisputable pathological facts: such as the effect of cerebral inflammation in producing delirium; the relation between idiocy and cerebral malformation or disease; and is confirmed by the entire range of comparative anatomy, which shows the intellectual faculties of the various species of animals bearing, if not an exact ratio, yet a very unequivocal relation, to the development in proportional size, and complexity of structure, of the cerebral hemispheres.
However imperfect our knowledge may still be in regard to this part of the functions of the nervous system, it is certain that all our sensations depend upon the transmission of some sort of nervous influence inward, from the senses to the brain, and that our voluntary motions take place by the transmission of some sort of nervous influence outward, from the brain to the muscular system; these two nervous operations being, as already observed, the functions of two distinct systems of nerves, called respectively the nerves of sensation and those of motion. It is now necessary to notice another physiological truth, brought to light only within the present generation, viz. the different functions of the two kinds of matter of which the nervous system is compounded. The nerves consist partly of grey vesicular or cell-like matter, partly of white fibrous matter. Physiologists are now of opinion that the function of the grewy matter is that of originating power, while the white fibrous matter is simply a conductor, which conveys the influence to and from the brain, and between one part of the brain and another. With this physiological discovery is connected the first capital improvement which Mr. Bain has made in the Association Psychology as left by his predecessors; the nature of which we now proceed to indicate.
Those who have studied the writings of the Association Psychologists, must often have been unfavourably impressed by the almost total absence, in their analytical expositions, of the recognition of any active element, or spontaneity, in the mind itself. Sensation, and the memory of sensation, are passive phenomena; the mind, in them, does not act, but is acted upon; it is a mere recipient of impressions; and though adhesion by association may enable one of these passive impressions to recall another, yet when recalled, it is but passive still. A theory of association which stops here, seems adequate to account for our dreams, our reveries, our casual thoughts, and states of mere contemplation, but for no other part of our nature. The mind, however, is active as well as passive; and the apparent insufficiency of the theory to account for the mind’s activity, is probably the circumstance which has oftenest operated to alienate from the Association Psychology any of those who had really studied it. Coleridge, who was one of these, and in the early part of his life a decided Hartleian, has left on record, in his Biographia Literaria, that such was the fact in his own case.[*] Yet, no Hartleian could overlook the necessity, incumbent on any theory of the mind, of accounting for our voluntary powers. Activity cannot possibly be generated from passive elements; a primitive active element must be found somewhere; and Hartley found it in the stimulative power of sensation over the muscles. All our muscular motions, according to him, were originally automatic, and excited by the stimulus of sensations; as, no doubt, many of them were and are. After a muscular contraction has been sufficiently often excited by a sensation, then, in Hartley’s opinion, the idea or remembrance of the sensation acquires a similar power of exciting that same muscular contraction. Here is the first germ of volition: a muscular action excited by an idea. After this, every combination of associated ideas into which that idea or remembrance enters, and which, therefore, cannot be recalled without recalling it, obtains the power of recalling also the muscular motion which has come under its control. This is Hartley’s notion of the point of junction between our intellectual states and our muscular actions, which is the foundation of the theory of Volition. It involves two assumptions, both of which are merely hypothetical. One is, that all muscular action is originally excited by sensations; which has never been proved, and which there is much evidence to contradict. The other is, that between the primitive automatic character of a muscular contraction, and its ultimate state of amenability to the will, an intermediate condition is passed through, of excitability by the idea of the sensation by which the motion was at first excited: that the intervention of this idea is necessary in all cases of voluntary power; and that the recalling of it is the indispensable machinery of voluntary action. This is a mere hypothesis, which consciousness does not vouch for, and which no evidence has been brought to substantiate.
Mr. Bain has made a great advance on this theory. Those who are acquainted with the French metaphysical writers of this century, or even with the first paper of M. Cousin’s Fragments Philosophiques,[*] will remember the important modification made by M. Laromiguière in Condillac’s psychological system. M. Laromiguière had noted in Condillac the same defect which has been pointed out in the Association philosophers; and as Condillac had placed the passive phenomenon, Sensation, at the centre of his system, M. Laromiguière corrected him by putting instead of it the active phenomenon, Attention, as the fundamental fact by which to explain the active half of the mental phenomena.[†] Mr. Bain’s theory (the germ of which is in a passage cited by him from the eminent physiologist, Müller),[‡] stands in nearly the same relation to Hartley’s as Laromiguière’s to that of Condillac. He has widened his basis by the admission of a second primitive element. He holds that the brain does not act solely in obedience to impulses, but is also a self-acting instrument; that the nervous influence which, being conveyed through the motory nerves, excites the muscles into action, is generated automatically in the brain itself, not, of course, lawlessly and without a cause, but under the organic stimulus of nutrition; and manifests itself in the general rush of bodily activity, which all healthy animals exhibit after food and repose, and in the random motions which we see constantly made without apparent end or purpose by infants. This doctrine, of which the accumulated proofs will be found in Mr. Bain’s first volume (The Senses and the Intellect, pp. 73-80), supplies him with a simple explanation of the origin of voluntary power. Among the numerous motions given forth indiscriminately by the spontaneous energy of the nervous centre, some are accidentally hit on, which are found to be followed by a pleasure, or by the relief of a pain. In this case, the child is able, to a certain extent, to prolong that particular motion, or to abate it; and this, in our author’s opinion, is the sole original power which we possess over our bodily motions, and the ultimate basis of voluntary action. The pleasure which the motion produces, or the pain which it relieves, determines the detention or relinquishment of that particular muscular movement. Why there is this natural tendency to detain or to get rid of a muscular contraction which influences our sensations, as well as why that tendency is towards pleasure and from pain, instead of being the reverse, cannot be explained. The author’s reason for considering this to be our only original power over our bodily movements, is not that the supposition affords any help in clearing up the mystery, or possesses any superiority of antecedent probability; for it is just as likely à priori that we should be able, by a wish, to select and originate a bodily movement, as that we should merely be able to prolong one which has already been excited by the spontaneous energies of our organisation. Mr. Bain’s reason for preferring the latter theory, is merely that the evidence is in its favour; that no other is consistent with observation of children and young animals. We will exhibit a part of the exposition in his own words.
Dr. Reid has no hesitation in classing the voluntary command of an organ, that is, the sequence of feeling and action implied in all acts of will, among instincts.[*] The power of lifting a morsel of food to the mouth is, according to him, an instinctive or pre-established conjunction of the wish and the deed; that is to say, the emotional state of hunger coupled with the sight of a piece of bread, is associated through a primitive link of the mental constitution with the several movements of the hand, arm, and mouth concerned in the act of eating. This assertion of Dr. Reid’s may be simply met by appealing to the facts. It is not true that human beings possess at birth any voluntary command of their limbs whatsoever. A babe of two months old cannot use its hands in obedience to its desires. The infant can grasp nothing, hold nothing, can scarcely fix its eyes on anything. Dr. Reid might just as easily assert that the movements of a ballet-dancer are instinctive, or that we are born with an already established link of causation in our minds between the wish to paint a landscape and the movements of a painter’s arm. If the more perfect command of our voluntary movements implied in every art be an acquisition, so is the less perfect command of these movements, that grows upon a child during the first years of life. . . .
But the acquisition must needs repose upon some fundamental property of our nature that may properly be styled an instinct. It is this initial germ or rudiment that I am now anxious to fasten upon and make apparent. There certainly does exist in the depths of our constitution a property, whereby certain of our feelings, especially the painful class, impel to action of some kind or other. This, which I have termed the volitional property of feeling, is not an acquired property. From the earliest infancy a pain has a tendency to excite the active organs, as well as the emotional expression, although as yet there is no channel prepared whereby the stimulus may flow towards the appropriate members. The child whose foot is pricked by a needle in its dress is undoubtedly impelled by an active stimulus, but as no primitive link exists between an irritation in the foot and the movement of the hand towards the part affected, the stimulus is wasted on vain efforts, and there is nothing to be done but to drown the pain by the outburst of pure emotion. It is the property of almost every feeling of pain to stimulate some action for the extinction or abatement of that pain; it is likewise the property of many emotions of pleasure to stimulate an action for the continuance and increase of the pleasure; but the primitive impulse does not in either case determine which action . . . .
If at the moment of some acute pain, there should accidentally occur a spontaneous movement, and if that movement sensibly alleviates the pain, then it is that the volitional impulse belonging to the feeling will show itself. The movement accidentally begun through some other influence, will be sustained through this influence of the painful emotion. In the original situation of things, the acute feeling is unable of itself to bring on the precise movement that would modify the suffering; there is no primordial link between a state of suffering and a train of alleviating movements. But should the proper movement be once actually begun, and cause a felt diminution of the acute agony, the spur that belongs to states of pain would suffice to sustain this movement. . . . The emotion cannot invite, or suggest, or waken up the appropriate action; nevertheless, the appropriate action, once there, and sensibly telling upon the irritation, is thereupon kept going by the active influence, the volitional spur of the irritated consciousness. In short, if the state of pain cannot awaken a dormant action, a present feeling can at least maintain a present action. This, so far as I can make out, is the original position of things in the matter of volition. It may be that the start and the movements resulting from an acute smart, may relieve the smart, but that would not be a volition. In volition there are actions quite distinct from the manifested movements due to the emotion itself; these other actions rise at first independently and spontaneously, and are clutched in the embrace of the feeling when the two are found to suit one another in the alleviation of pain or the effusion of pleasure.
An example will perhaps place this speculation in a clearer light. An infant lying in bed has the painful sensation of chillness. This feeling produces the usual emotional display—namely, movements, and perhaps cries and tears. Besides these emotional elements there is a latent spur of volition, but with nothing to lay hold of as yet, owing to the disconnected condition of the mental arrangements at our birth. The child’s spontaneity, however, may be awake, and the pained condition will act so as to irritate the spontaneous centres, and make their central stimulus flow more copiously. In the course of a variety of spontaneous movements of arms, legs, and body, there occurs an action that brings the child in contact with the nurse lying beside it; instantly warmth is felt, and this alleviation of the painful feeling becomes immediately the stimulus to sustain the movement going on at that moment. That movement, when discovered, is kept up in preference to the others occurring in the course of the random spontaneity. . . .
By a process of cohesion or acquisition, coming under the law of association, the movement and the feeling become so linked together, that the feeling can at after times waken the movement out of dormancy; this is the state of matters in the maturity of volition. The infant of twelve months, under the stimulus of cold, can hitch nearer the side of the nurse, although no spontaneous movements to that effect happen at the moment; past repetition has established a connexion that did not exist at the beginning, whereby the feeling and action have become linked together as cause and effect.
(The Senses and the Intellect, pp. 292-6.)
In confirmation and illustration of thesef remarks, we quote from another part of the same volume the following “notes of observation made upon the earliest movements of two lambs seen during the first hour of their birth, and at subsequent stages of their development.”
One of the lambs, on being dropped, was taken hold of by the shepherd and laid on the ground so as to rest on its four knees. For a very short time, perhaps not much above a minute, it kept still in this attitude; a certain force was doubtless exerted to enable it to retain this position; but the first decided exertion of the creature’s own energy was shown in standing up on its legs, which it did after the pause of little more than a minute. The power thus put forth I can only describe as a spontaneous burst of the locomotive energy, under this condition—namely, that as all the four limbs were actuated at the same instant, the innate power must have been guided into this quadruple channel in consequence of that nervous organisation that constitutes the four limbs one related group. The animal now stood on its legs, the feet being considerably apart, so as to widen the base of support. The energy that raised it up continued flowing in order to maintain the standing posture, and the animal doubtless had the consciousness of such a flow of energy, as its earliest mental experience. This standing posture was continued for a minute or two in perfect stillness. Next followed the beginnings of locomotive movement. At first a limb was raised and set down again, then came a second movement that widened the animal’s base without altering its position. When a more complex movement of its limbs came on, the effect seemed to be to go sideways; another complex movement led forwards; but at the outset there appeared to be nothing to decide one direction rather than another, for the earliest movements were a jumble of side, forward, and backward. Still, the alternation of limb that any consecutive advance required, seemed within the power of the creature during the first ten minutes of life. Sensation as yet could be of very little avail, and it was evident that action took the start in the animal’s history. The eyes were wide open, and light must needs have entered to stimulate the brain. The contact with the solid earth, and the feelings of weight and movement, were the earliest feelings. In this state of uncertain wandering with little change of place, the lamb was seized hold of and carried up to the side of the mother. This made no difference till its nose was brought into contact with the woolly skin of the dam, which originated a new sensation. Then came a conjunction manifestly of the volitional kind. There was clearly a tendency to sustain this contact, to keep the nose rubbing upon the side and belly of the ewe. Finding a certain movement to have this effect, that movement was sustained; exemplifying what I considered the primitive or fundamental fact of volition. Losing the contact, there was yet no power to recover it by a direct action, for the indications of sight at this stage had no meaning. The animal’s spontaneous irregular movements were continued; for a time they were quite fruitless, until a chance contact came about again, and this contact could evidently sustain the posture or movement that was causing it. The whole of the first hour was spent in these various movements about the mother, there being in that short time an evident increase of facility in the various acts of locomotion, and in commanding the head in such a way as to keep up the agreeable touch. A second hour was spent much in the same manner, and in the course of the third hour the animal, which had been entirely left to itself, came upon the teat, and got this into its mouth. The spontaneous workings of the mouth now yielded a new sensation, whereby they were animated and sustained, and unexpectedly the creature found itself in the possession of a new pleasure; the satisfaction first of mouthing the object—next, by-and-by, the pleasure of drawing milk; the intensity of this last feeling would doubtless give an intense spur to the coexisting movements, and keep them energetically at work. A new and grand impression was thus produced, remaining after the fact, and stimulating exertion and pursuit in order to recover it.
Six or seven hours after birth the animal had made notable progress, and locomotion was easy, the forward movement being preferred but not predominant. The sensations of sight began to have a meaning. In less than twenty-four hours the animal could, at the sight of the mother ahead, move in the forward direction at once to come up to her, showing that a particular visible image had now been associated with a definite movement; the absence of any such association being most manifest in the early movements of life. It could proceed at once to the teat and suck, guided only by its desire and the sight of the object. It was now in the full exercise of the locomotive faculty; and very soon we could see it moving with the nose along the ground in contact with the grass, the preliminary of seizing the blades in the mouth. . . .
The observations proved distinctly three several points—namely, first the existence of spontaneous action as the earliest fact in the creature’s history; second, the absence of any definite bent prior to experienced sensation; and third, the power of a sensation actually experienced to keep up the coinciding movement of the time, thereby constituting a voluntary act in the initial form. What was also very remarkable, was the rate of acquisition, or the rapidity with which all the associations between sensations and actions became fixed. A power that the creature did not at all possess naturally, got itself matured as an acquisition in a few hours; before the end of a week the lamb was capable of almost anything belonging to its sphere of existence; and at the lapse of a fortnight, no difference could be seen between it and the aged members of the flock.
The larger half of Mr. Bain’s first volume is occupied by the exposition of Association. His exemplification and illustration of this fundamental phenomenon of mind, in its two varieties—adhesive association by contiguity in time or place, and suggestion by resemblance—are quite unexampled in richness, clearness, and comprehensiveness. The whole of the intellectual phenomena, as distinguished from the emotional, he considers as explicable by that law. But to render this possible, the law must be conceived in its utmost generality. Association is not between ideas of sensation alone. The following is the author’s statement of the two laws of association, the law of Contiguity, and that of Similarity:
Actions, sensations, and states of feeling, occurring together or in close succession, tend to grow together or cohere in such a way that when any one of them is afterwards presented to the mind, the others are apt to be brought up in idea. (P. 318.)
Present actions, sensations, thoughts, or emotions, tend to revive their like among previous impressions.
One of the leading features in Mr. Bain’s application of these laws to the analysis of phenomena, is the great use he makes of the muscular sensations, in explaining our impressions of, and judgments respecting, things physically external to us. The distinction between these sensations and those of touch, in the legitimate sense of the word, and the prominent part they take in the composition of our ideas of resistance or solidity, and extension, were first pointed out by Brown,[*] and were the principal addition which he made to the analytical exposition of the mind. Mr. Bain carries out the idea to a still greater length, and his developments of it are highly instructive, though he sometimes, perhaps, insists too much upon it, to the prejudice of other elements equally or more influential. Thus, in his explanation of the acquired perception of distance and magnitude by sight, he lays almost exclusive stress on the sensations accompanying the muscular movements by which the eyes are adapted to different distances from us, or are made to pass along the lengths and breadths of visible objects. That this is one of the sources of the acquired perceptions of sight, cannot be doubted; but that it is the principal one, no one will believe, who considers that all the impression of unequal distances from us that a picture can give, is produced not only without this particular indication, but in contradiction to it. The signs by which we mainly judge are the effects of perspective, both linear and aerial; in other words, the differences in the actual picture made on the retina: the imitation of which constitutes the illusion of the painter’s art, and which we should have been glad to see illustrated by Mr. Bain, as he is so well able to do, instead of being merely acknowledged by a quotation in a note (pp. 380n-382n). We regret that our limits forbid us to quote (pp. 372-6) his explanation of the mode whereby, in his opinion, the feeling of resistance, a result of our muscular sensations, generates the notion, often supposed to be instinctive, of an external world.
Respecting the law of Association by Contiguity, so much had been done, with such eminent ability, by former writers, that this part of Mr. Bain’s exposition is chiefly original in the profuseness and minuteness of his illustrations. To bring up the theory of the law of Similarity to the same level, much more remained to do, that law having been rather unaccountably sacrificed to the other by some of the Association psychologists; among whom Mr. James Mill, in his Analysis, even endeavoured to resolve it into contiguity;[*] an attempt which is perhaps the most inconclusive part of that generally acute and penetrating performance, association by resemblance being, as Mr. Bain observes, presupposed by, and indispensable to the conception of, association by contiguity. The two kinds of association are indeed so different, that the predominance of each gives rise to a different type of intellectual character; an eminent degree of the former constituting the inductive philosopher, the poet and artist, and the inventor and originator generally; while adhesive association gives memory, mechanical skill, facility of acquisition in science or business, and practical talent so far as unconnected with invention.
To the long chapters on Contiguity and Similarity, Mr. Bain subjoins a third on what he terms Compound Association; “where several threads, or a plurality of links or bonds of connexion, concur in reviving some previous thought or mental state” (ibid., p. 544); which they consequently recall more vividly: a part of the subject too little illustrated by former writers, and which includes, among many others, the important heads of “the singling out of one among many trains,” [p. 562,] and what our author aptly terms “obstructive association.” [P. 564.] The subject is concluded by a chapter on “Constructive Association,” analysing the process by which the mind forms “combinations or aggregates different from any that have been presented to it in the course of experience,” and showing this to depend on the same laws [p. 571]. We are unable to find room for the smallest specimen of these chapters, which are marked with our author’s usual ability, and fill up what is partially a hiatus in most treatises on Association.
Mr. Bain’s exposition of the Emotions is not of so analytical a character as that of the intellectual phenomena. He considers it necessary, in this department, to allow a much greater range to the instinctive portion of our nature; and has exhibited what may be termed the natural history of the emotions, rather than attempted to construct their philosophy. It is certain that the attempts of the Association psychologists to resolve the emotions by association, have been on the whole the least successful part of their efforts. One fatal imperfection is obvious at first sight: the only part of the phenomenon which their theory explains, is the suggestion of an idea or ideas, either pleasurable or painful—that is, the merely intellectual part of the emotion; while there is evidently in all our emotions an animal part, over and above any which naturally attends on the ideas considered separately, and which these philosophers have passed without any attempt at explanation. It is a wholly insufficient account of Fear, for example, to resolve it into the calling up, by association, of the idea of the dreaded evil; since, were this all, the physical manifestations that would follow would be the same in kind, and mostly less in degree, than those which the evil would itself produce if actually experienced; whereas, in truth, they are generically distinct; the screams, groans, contortions, &c., which (for example) intense bodily suffering produces, being altogether different phenomena from the well-known physical effects and manifestations of the passion of terror. It is conceivable that a scientific theory of Fear may one day be constructed, but it must evidently be the work of physiologists, not of metaphysicians. The proper office of the law of association in connexion with it, is to account for the transfer of the passion to objects which do not naturally excite it. We all know how easily any object may be rendered dreadful by association, as exemplified by the tremendous effect of nurses’ stories in generating artificial terrors.
We must not, therefore, expect to find in the half volume which Mr. Bain has dedicated to this subject, any attempt at a general analysis of the emotions. He has not even (except in one important case, to which we shall presently advert) entered, with the fulness which belongs to his plan, and which marks the execution of every other part of it, into the important inquiry, how far some emotions are compounded out of others. He gives a general indication of his opinion on the point; but his illustrations of it are scattered, and mostly incidental. He has, however, written the natural history of the emotions with great felicity, in a manner at once scientific and popular; insomuch that this part of his work presents attractions even to the unscientific reader. Mr. Bain’s classification of the emotions is different from, and more comprehensive than, any other which we have met with. He begins with “the feelings connected with the free vent of emotion in general, and with the opposite case of restrained or obstructed outburst;”[*] the feelings, in short, of liberty or restraint in the utterance of emotion; which he regards as themselves emotions, and entitled, on account of their superior generality, to be placed at the head of the catalogue. He next proceeds to one of the simplest as well as most universal of our emotions—Wonder. The third on his list is Terror. The fourth is “the extensive group of feelings implied under the title of the Tender Affections.”[†] The consideration of these feelings is by most writers blended with that of Sympathy; which is carefully distinguished from them by our author, and treated separately, not as an emotion, but as the capacity of taking on the emotions, or mental states generally, of others. A character may possess tenderness without being at all sympathetic, as is the case with many selfish sentimentalists; and the converse, though not equally common, is equally in human nature. From these he passes to a group which he designates by the title, Emotions of Self: including Self-esteem, or Self-complacency, in its various forms of Conceit, Pride, Vanity, &c., which he regards as cases of the emotions of tenderness directed towards self, and has largely illustrated this view of them. The sixth class is the emotions connected with Power. The seventh is the Irascible Emotions. The eighth is a group not hitherto brought forward into sufficient prominence, the emotions connected with Action. “Besides the pleasures and pains of Exercise, and the gratification of succeeding in an end, with the opposite mortification of missing what is laboured for, there is in the attitude of pursuit, a peculiar state of mind, so far agreeable in itself, that factitious occupations are instituted to bring it into play. When I use the term plot-interest, the character of the situation alluded to will be suggested with tolerable distinctness.”[*] This grouping together of the emotions of hunting, of games, of intrigue of all sorts, and of novel-reading, with those of an active career in life, seems to us equally original and philosophical. The ninth class consists of the emotions caused by the operations of the Intellect. The tenth is the group of feelings connected with the Beautiful. Eleventh and last, comes the Moral Sense.
Of these, the four first are regarded by Mr. Bain as original elements of our nature, having their root in the constitution of the nervous system, and not explicable psychologically. The remaining seven he considers as generated by association from these four, with the aid of certain combinations of circumstances. Though, as already remarked, he does not discuss this question in the express and systematic manner which his general scheme would appear to require, he has said many things which throw a valuable light on it, together with some which we consider questionable. But we still desiderate an analytical philosophy of the emotional, like that which he has furnished of the intellectual, part of our constitution. Much of the material is ready to his hand, and only requires co-ordination under the universal law of mind which he has so well expounded. For example, the most complicated of all his eleven classes, the æsthetic group of emotions, has been analysed to within a single step of the ultimate principle, by thinkers who did not see, and would not have accepted, the one step which remained. Mr. Ruskin would probably be much astonished were he to find himself held up as one of the principal apostles of the Association Philosophy in Art. Yet, in one of the most remarkable of his writings, the second volume of Modern Painters, he aims at establishing, by a large induction and a searching analysis, that all things are beautiful (or sublime) which powerfully recall, and none but those which recall, one or more of a certain series of elevating or delightful thoughts.[*] It is true that in this coincidence Mr. Ruskin does not recognise causation, but regards it as a pre-established harmony, ordained by the Creator, between our feelings of the Beautiful and certain grand or lovely ideas. Others, however, will be inclined to see in this phenomenon, not an arbitrary dispensation of Providence, which might have been other than it is, but a case of the mental chemistry so often spoken of; and will think it more in accordance with sound methods of philosophizing to believe, that the great ideas so well recognised by Mr. Ruskin, when they have sunk sufficiently deep into our nervous sensibility, actually generate, by composition with one another and with other elements, the æsthetic feelings which so nicely correspond to them.
The last of our author’s eleven classes, that of Moral Emotion, is the only one on which, in relation to the problem of its composition, he puts forth his whole strength. The question whether the moral feelings are intuitive or acquired—a point so often and so warmly contested between the rival schools of Psychology—has never before, we think, been so well or so fully argued on the anti-intuitive side. This masterly chapter would serve better than any other to give a correct idea of Mr. Bain’s philosophical capacity and turn of mind; but, unfortunately, either extracts or an abridgment would do it injustice, as they would impair the argument by mutilating it. Mr. Bain’s theory is, that the moral emotions are of an extremely complicated character; a compound, into which the social affections, and sympathy (which is a different thing from the social affections), enter largely, as well as, in many cases, the almost equally common fact of disinterested antipathy. But the peculiar feeling of obligation included in the moral sentiment, Mr. Bain regards as wholly created by external authority. He considers this character as impressed upon the feeling entirely by the idea of punishment. The purely disinterested character which the feeling assumes after appropriate cultivation, he holds to be one of the numerous instances of a feeling transferred by association to objects not containing in themselves that which originally excited it. This general conception of the origin of the moral sentiment is nothing new; but there is considerable novelty, as well as ability, in the mode in which it is worked out: and without, on the present occasion, expressing any opinion on this vexata quæstio, we can safely recommend Mr. Bain’s dissertation to the special study of those who wish to know the theory entertained on this subject by the Association school, and the best which they have to say in its support.
From the Emotions, Mr. Bain proceeds to the Will; and if, on the former subject, the reader who has previously gone through Mr. Bain’s first volume finds less of psychological analysis than he probably expected, such a complaint will not be made on the topic which succeeds. By no previous psychologist has the Volitional part of our nature been gone into with such minute detail, and the whole of the phenomena connected with it set forth and analysed with such fulness and such grasp of the subject. We have already stated the view taken by our author of the origin, or first germ, of our voluntary powers, which he conceives to be grounded, first, on “the existence of a spontaneous tendency to execute movements independent of the stimulus of sensations or feelings;”[*] and, secondly, of a power to detain and prolong, or to abate and discontinue, a present movement, under the stimulus of a present pleasure or pain. If this be correct, the original power of the will over our muscles is much the same in extent, as it is and always remains over our thoughts and feelings; for over them, the only direct power we have is that of detaining them before the mind, or (it would perhaps be more correct to say) of producing any number of immediate mental repetitions of them, which is the meaning of what we call Attention. Through ten successive chapters Mr. Bain expands and applies this idea, showing how, in his belief, all the phenomena of volition are erected by Association on this original basis. The titles of some of the chapters and sections will show the comprehensiveness of the scheme:—The Spontaneity of Movement; Link of Feeling and Action; Growth of Voluntary Power; Control of Feelings and Thoughts; Motives or Ends; the Conflict of Motives; Deliberation, Resolution, Effort; Desire; the Moral Habits; Prudence, Duty, Moral Inability. It is only in the eleventh chapter, after the analysis of the phenomena is completed, that the author encounters the question which usually, in the writings of metaphysicians, usurps nearly all the space devoted to the phenomena of Will: we need hardly say that we refer to the Free-Will controversy. Mr. Bain is of opinion that the terms Freedom and Necessity are both equally inappropriate, equally calculated to give a false view of the phenomena. He thinks the word Necessity “nothing short of an incumbrance” in the sciences generally.[†] But he adheres, in an unqualified manner, to the universality of the law of Cause and Effect, or the uniformity of sequence in natural phenomena, to which he does not think that the determinations of the will are in any manner an exception. He holds that men’s volitions and voluntary actions might be as certainly predicted, by any one who was aware of the state of the psychological agencies operating in the case, as any class of physical phenomena may be predicted from causes in operation. We quote, not as the best passage, but as the one which best admits of extraction, a portion of the controversial part of this chapter, being that in which the author examines the appeal made to consciousness as an infallible criterion in all psychological difficulties:
A bold appeal is made by some writers to our consciousness, as testifying in a manner not to be disputed the liberty of the will. Consciousness, it is said, is our ultimate and infallible criterion of truth. To affirm it erring, or mendacious, would be to destroy the very possibility of certain knowledge, and even to impugn the character of the Deity. Now this infallible witness, we are told, attests that man is free, wherefore the thing must be so. The respectability and number of those that have made use of this argument compel me to examine it. I confess that I find no cogency in it. As usual, there is a double sense in the principal term, giving origin to a potent fallacy. . . . For the purpose now in view, the word [consciousness] implies the knowledge that we have of the successive phases of our own mind. We feel, think, and act, and know that we do so; we can remember a whole train of mental phenomena mixed up of these various elements. The order of succession of our feelings, thoughts, and actions is a part of our information respecting ourselves, and we can possess a larger or a smaller amount of such information, and, as is the case with other matters, we may have it in a very loose or in a very strict and accurate shape. The mass of people are exceedingly careless about the study of mental co-existences and successions; the laws of mind are not understood by them with anything like accuracy. Consciousness, in this sense, resembles observation as regards the world. By means of the senses, we take in, and store up, impressions of natural objects,—stars, mountains, rivers, plants, animals, cities, and the works and ways of human beings,—and according to our opportunities, ability, and disposition, we have in our memory a greater or less number of those impressions, and in greater or less precision. Clearly, however, there is no infallibility in what we know by either of these modes, by consciousness as regards thoughts and feelings, or by observation as regards external nature; on the contrary, there is a very large amount of fallibility, fallacy, and falsehood in both the one and the other. Discrepancy between the observations of different men upon the same matter of fact, is a frequent circumstance, the rule rather than the exception. . . . If such be the case with the objects of the external senses, what reason is there to suppose that the cognizance of the mental operations should have a special and exceptional accuracy? Is it true that this cognizance has the definiteness belonging to the property of extension in the outer world? Very far from it; the discrepancy of different men’s renderings of the human mind is so pronounced, that we cannot attribute it to the difference of the thing looked at, we must refer it to the imperfection in the manner of taking cognizance. If there were any infallible introspective faculty of consciousness, we ought at least to have had some one region of mental facts where all men were perfectly agreed. The region so favoured must of necessity be the part of mind that could not belong to metaphysics; there being nothing from the beginning to controvert or to look at in two ways, there could be no scope for metaphysical disquisition. The existence of metaphysics, as an embarrassing study, or field of inquiry, is incompatible with an unerring consciousness.
(The Emotions and the Will, pp. 555-7.)
Mr. Bain then proceeds to show, but at too much length for quotation, that the only fact testified to by any person’s consciousness is an instantaneous fact—“the state of his or her own feelings at any one moment:”[*] that when the person proceeds to speak of a past, and merely remembered feeling, fallibility begins: that when he speaks of sequences, and the law of a feeling, even in himself, much more in mankind generally, he transcends the dominion of consciousness altogether, and enters on that of observation, which, whether introspective or external, is subject to a thousand errors. Now the free-will question is emphatically one ofglawg , and can be determined only by deep philosophizing, not by a brief appeal to the fancies of an individual concerning himself. A man’s consciousness can no more inform him what laws his volitions secretly obey, than his senses, when he beholds falling bodies, furnish him with the corresponding information respecting the law of gravitation.
The work concludes with two chapters on special subjects, the one on Belief, the other on Consciousness; subjects discussed separately, and in the last stage of the exposition, in consequence of the peculiar view taken of them by Mr. Bain, which differs from that of all previous metaphysicians.
Belief is, of all the phenomena usually classed as intellectual, that which the Association psychologists have hitherto been the least successful in analysing; though it has given occasion to some able and highly instructive illustrations, by Mr. James Mill and Mr. Herbert Spencer, of the power of indissoluble association.[†] But the opinion which these authors have advanced, that belief is nothing but an indissoluble association between two ideas, seems an inadequate solution of the problem; because, in the first place, if the fact were so, belief itself must always be indissoluble; which, evidently, it is not; and, in the second place, one does not see what, on this theory, is the difference between believing the affirmative and the negative of a proposition, since in either case (if the theory be true), the idea expressed by the subject of the proposition must inseparably and irresistibly recall the idea expressed by the predicate. The doctrine of these philosophers would have been irrefragable, had they limited it to affirming that an indissoluble association (or let us rather say, an association for the present irresistible), usually commands belief; that when such an association exists between two ideas, the mind, especially if destitute of scientific culture, has great difficulty in not believing that there is a constancy of connexion between the corresponding phenomena, considered as facts in nature. But, even in the strongest cases of this description, a mind exercised in abstract speculation can reject the belief, though unable to get over the association. A Berkeleian, for example, does not believe in the real existence of matter, though the idea is excited in his mind by his muscular sensations as irresistibly as in other people.
Mr. Bain’s opinion is, that the difficulty experienced by the Association psychologists in giving an account of Belief, and the insufficient analysis with which they have contented themselves, arise from their looking at Belief too exclusively as an intellectual phenomenon, and disregarding the existence in it of an active element. His doctrine is, that Belief has no meaning, except in reference to our actions; that the distinctive characteristic of Belief is that it commands our will.
An intellectual notion or conception is indispensable to the act of believing; but no mere conception that does not directly or indirectly implicate our voluntary exertions, can ever amount to the state in question. (Ibid., p. 568.)
The primordial form of belief is expectation of some contingent future, about to follow on an action. Wherever any creature is found performing an action, indifferent in itself, with a view to some end, and adhering to that action with the same energy that would be manifested under the actual fruition of the end, we say that the animal possesses confidence, or belief, in the sequence of two different things, or in a certain arrangement of nature, whereby one phenomenon succeeds to another. The glistening surface of a pool or rivulet, appearing to the eye, can give no satisfaction to the agonies of thirst; but such is the firm connexion established in the mind of man and beast between the two properties of the same object, that the appearance to the eye fires the energies of pursuit no less strongly than the actual contact with the alimentary surface. An alliance so formed is a genuine example of the condition of belief.
(Ibid., pp. 569-70.)
No one will dispute that “the genuineness of the state of belief is tested by the control of the actions” (pp. 570-1). If we really believe a statement, we are willing to commit ourselves in conduct, on the prospect of finding the result accord with our belief. And there is no doubt that it is this command over the actions, which gives all its importance to that particular state of mind, and leads to its being named and classed separately. Yet the question remains, what is that state of mind? The action which follows is not the belief itself, but a consequence of the belief. Where there is an effect to be accounted for, there must be something in the cause to account for it. Since the willingness to commit ourselves in conduct occurs in some cases, and does not occur in others, there must be some difference between the former set of cases and the latter, as regards the antecedent phenomena. What is this difference? According to Mr. Bain, it does not lie in the strength of the tie of association between the ideas of the facts conceived.
I can imagine the mind receiving an impression of co-existence or sequence, such as the coincidence of relish with an apple, or other object of food; and this impression repeated until, on the principle of association, the one shall, without fail, at any time suggest the other; and yet nothing done in consequence, no practical effect given to the coincidence. I do not know any purely intellectual property that would give to an associated couple the character of an article of belief; but there is that in the volitional promptings which seizes hold of any indication leading to an end, and abides by such instrumentality if it is found to answer. Nay more, there is a tendency to go beyond the actual experience, and not to desist until the occurrence of a positive failure or check. So that the mere repetition of an intellectual impress would not amount to a conviction without this active element, which, although the source of many errors, is indispensable to the mental condition of belief. The legitimate course is to let experience be the corrector of all the primitive impulses; to take warning by every failure, and to recognise no other canon of validity. . . . We find after trials, that there is such a uniformity in nature as enables us to presume that an event happening to-day will happen also to-morrow, if we can only be sure that all the circumstances are exactly the same. . . . It is part of the intuitive tendencies of the mind to generalize in this way; but these tendencies, being as often wrong as right, have no validity in themselves; and the real authority is experience. The long series of trials made since the beginning of observation, has shown how far such inferences can safely be carried; and we are now in possession of a body of rules, in harmony with the actual course of nature, for guiding us in carrying on these operations.
(Ibid., pp. 585-6.)
So that, after all, Mr. Bain regards belief as a case of “intuitive tendency;” but not a case sui generis. He considers it as included under the general law of Volition. The spontaneous activity of the brain, combined with the original property inherent in a painful or pleasurable stimulus, makes us seize and detain all muscular actions which of themselves, and directly, bring pleasure or relief; those actions, in consequence, become, through the law of association, producible by means of our ideas of pleasure or pain; and it is, in the author’s view, by an extension of the same general phenomenon, that actions which only remotely, and after a certain delay, attain our ends, come similarly under the command of our ideas of those ends. When this command is established, then, according to him, the phenomenon, Belief, has taken place; namely, belief in the efficacy of the action to promote the end. This is our author’s theory of Belief. An obvious objection to it is, that we entertain beliefs respecting matters in regard to which we have no wishes, and which have no connexion with any of our ends. But to this Mr. Bain answers (and his answer is just), that in such cases there is always a latent imagination that we might have some object at stake on the reality of the fact we believe, and a feeling that if we had, we should go forward confidently in the pursuit of any such object. We quote the following passage for the practical lesson conveyed in it:
A single trial, that nothing has ever happened to impugn, is able of itself to leave a conviction sufficient to induce reliance under ordinary circumstances. It is the active prompting of the mind itself that instigates, and in fact constitutes, the believing temper; unbelief is an after product, and not the primitive tendency. Indeed, we may say, that the inborn energy of the brain gives faith, and experience scepticism. . . . We must treat it [belief] as a strong primitive manifestation, derived from the natural activity of the system, and taking its direction and rectification from experience. The “anticipation of nature,” so strenuously repudiated by Bacon,[*] is the offspring of this characteristic of the mental system. In the haste to act, while the indications imbibed from contact with the world are still scanty, we are sure to extend the application of actual trials a great deal too far, producing such results as have just been named. With the active tendency at its maximum, and the exercise of intelligence and acquired knowledge at the minimum, there can issue nothing but a quantity of rash enterprises. That these are believed in, we know from the very fact that they are undertaken. . . . The respectable name “generalization,” implying the best products of enlightened scientific research, has also a different meaning, expressing one of the most erroneous impulses and crudest determinations of untutored human nature. To extend some familiar and narrow experience, so as to comprehend cases most distant, is a piece of mere reckless instinct, demanding the severest discipline for its correction. . . . Sound belief, instead of being a pacific and gentle growth, is in reality the battering of a series of strongholds, the conquering of a country in hostile occupation. This is a fact common both to the individual and to the race. . . . The only thing for mental philosophy to do on such a subject, is to represent, as simply and clearly as possible, those original properties of our constitution that are chargeable with such wide-spread phenomena. It will probably be long ere the last of the delusions attributable to this method of believing first and proving afterwards can be eradicated from humanity. For although all those primitive impressions that find a speedy contradiction in realities from which we cannot escape, cease to exercise their sway after a time, there are other cases less open to correction, and remaining to the last as portions of our creed.
(Ibid., pp. 582-4.)
It is assuredly a strange anomaly, that so many authors, after having applied the whole force of their intellects to prove the existence in the human mind of intellectual or moral instincts, proceed, without any argument at all, to legitimate and consecrate everything which those instincts prompt, as if an instinct never could go astray; a consecration not usually extended to our physical instincts, though even there we often notice a certain tendency in the same direction, not sufficient to persuade when there is no predisposition to believe, but amounting to a considerable makeweight to weak arguments on the side of an existing prepossession. This grave philosophical, leading to still graver practical error, is always (as in the passage quoted) duly rebuked by the author. As a portion, however, of the theory of Belief, we desiderate a more complete analysis of the psychological process by which ulterior experience, or a more correct interpretation of experience, modifies the original tendency so powerfully described by the author, and subdues belief into subordination and due proportion to evidence.
It only remains to speak of Mr. Bain’s theory of Consciousness, which is the subject of his final chapter. He regards it as being simply the same thing with discrimination of difference. Consciousness is only awakened by the shock of the transition from one physical or mental state to another. Hobbes had remarked, that if any one mode of sensation or feeling were always present, we should probably be unconscious of its existence.[*]
There are notable examples to show that one unvarying action upon the senses fails to give any perception whatever. Take the motion of the earth about its axis, and through space, whereby we are whirled with immense velocity, but at a uniform pace, being utterly insensible of the circumstance. So in a ship at sea, we may be under the same insensibility, whereas in a carriage we never lose the feeling of being moved. The explanation is obvious. It is the change from rest to motion that awakens our sensibility, and conversely from motion to rest. A uniform condition as respects either state is devoid of any quickening influence on the mind. Another illustration is supplied by the pressure of the air on the surface of the body. Here we have an exceedingly powerful effect upon one of the special senses. The skin is under an influence exactly of that nature that wakens the feeling of touch, but no feeling comes. Withdraw any portion of the pressure, as in mounting in a balloon, and sensibility is developed. A constant impression is thus to the mind the same as a blank. Our partial unconsciousness as to our clothing is connected with the constancy of the object. The smallest change at any time makes us sensible or awake to the contact. If there were some one sound, of unvarying tone and unremitted continuance, falling on the ear from the first moment of life to the last, we should be as unconscious of the existence of that influence as we are of the pressure of the air. Such a sonorous agency would utterly escape the knowledge of mankind, until, as in the other case, some accident, or some discovery in experimental philosophy, had enabled them to suspend or change the degree of the impression made by it. Except under special circumstances, we are unconscious of our own weight, which fact nevertheless can never be absent. It is thus that agencies might exist without being perceived; remission or change being a primary condition of our sensibility. It might seem somewhat difficult to imagine us altogether insensitive to such an influence as light and colour; and yet if some one hue had been present on the retina from the commencement of life, we should incontestably have been utterly blind as far as that was concerned.
(Ibid., pp. 615-16.)
We perceive (in short) or are conscious of, nothing but changes, or events. Consciousness partakes always of the nature of surprise.
Following out this line of thought, Mr. Bain regards knowledge as virtually synonymous with consciousness, and points out that we never have knowledge of one thing by itself. Knowing a thing, means recognising the differences or agreements between that thing and another or others.
To know a thing, is to feel it in juxtaposition with some other thing differing from it or agreeing with it. To be simply impressed with a sight, sound, or touch, is not to know anything in the proper sense of the word; knowledge begins when we recognise other things in the way of comparison with the one. My knowledge of redness is my comparison of this one sensation with a number of others differing from or agreeing with it; and as I extend those comparisons, I extend that knowledge. An absolute redness per se, like an unvarying pressure, would escape cognition; for supposing it possible that we were conscious of it, we could not be said to have any knowledge. Why is it that the same sensation is so differently felt by different persons—the sensation of red or green to an artist and an optician—if not that knowledge relates not to the single sensation itself, but to the others brought into relation with it in the mind? When I say I know a certain plant, I indicate nothing, until I inform my hearer what things stand related to it in my mind as contrasting or agreeing. I may know it as a garden weed, that is, under difference from the flowers, fruits, and vegetables cultivated in the garden, and under agreement with the other plants that spring up unsought. I may know it botanically, that is, under difference and agreement with the other members of the order, genus, and species. I may know it artistically, or as compared with other plants on the point of beauty of form and colour. As an isolated object in my mind, I may have a sensation or a perception, although not even that in strict truth, but I can have no knowledge regarding it at all. Thus it is that in the multifarious scene and chaos of distinguishable impressions, not only do different minds fasten upon different individual parts, but fastening on the same parts, arrive at totally different cognitions. Like the two electricities, which cannot exist the one without the other, or the two poles of the magnet, which rise and fall together, no mental impression can exist and be called knowledge, unless in company with some other, as a foil wherewith to compare it. Left to a single unit of consciousness, the mental excitement vanishes. In the intellect, as in the emotions, we live by setting off contrasted states, and consequently no impression can be defined or characterized, except with reference to its accompanying foil. We see how difficult it is in language to make a meaning explicit by a brief announcement; interpretation, as applied to laws, contracts, testaments, as well as to writing generally, consists in determining what things the writer excluded as opposites to, and looked at as agreements with, the thing named. It is thus everywhere in cognition. A simple impression is tantamount to no impression at all. Quality, in the last resort, implies relation; although, in logic, the two are distinguished. Red and blue together in the mind, actuating it differently, keep one another alive as mental excitement, and the one is really knowledge of the other. So with the red of to-day and the red of yesterday, an interval of blank sensation, or of other sensations, coming between. These two will sustain one another in the cerebral system, and will mutually be raised to the rank of knowledge. Increase the comparisons of difference and agreement, and you increase the knowledge, the character of it being settled by the direction wherein the foils are sought.
(Ibid., pp. 638-40.)
Such is a brief account of a remarkable book; which, once known and read by those who are competent judges of it, is sure to take its place in the very first rank of the order of philosophical speculation to which it belongs. Of the execution, a very insufficient judgment can be formed from our extracts. The book is, indeed, a most difficult one to extract from; for as scarcely any treatise which we know proceeds so much by the way of cumulative proof and illustration, any extract of moderate dimensions is much the same sort of specimen as, we will not say a single stone, but a single row of stones, might be of a completed edifice. We hope that we may have assisted in directing the attention of those who are interested in the subject, to the structure itself; assuring those who belong to the opposite party in philosophical speculation, that so massive a pile, so rich in the quantity and quality of its materials, even if they are not disposed to take up their abode in it, cannot be used even as a quarry without abundant profit.
[[*] ]2 vols. (London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1829).
[* ]To these writers may be added another, of kindred merit, Mr. Herbert Spencer; of whose able and various writings, his Principles of Psychology [London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1855] is one of the ablest. Though the dissertation prefixed to that work is the very essence of the à priori philosophy, the work itself is wholly of the opposite school: but Mr. Spencer, though possessing great analytic power, is a less sober thinker than Mr. Bain, and, in the more original portion of his speculations, is likely to obtain a much less unqualified adhesion from the best minds trained in the same general mode of thought. We have therefore chosen Mr. Bain’s work rather than Mr. Spencer’s as the subject of this article, though the latter deserves, and would well repay, a complete critical examination.
[[*] ]See Thomas Reid, Essays on the Powers of the Human Mind, Vol. I, Essay II, Chaps. xix ff.
[[*] ]See Victor Cousin, Cours de philosophie: Histoire de la philosophie du dixhuitième siècle, 2 vols. (Brussels: Hauman, 1836), Vol. II, pp. 114ff. (17me leçon).
[[*] ]See Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, 3 vols. (London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, 1818).
[d-d]59 in many cases represent
[e-e]59 what; we
[[*] ]See Thomas Brown, Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Vol. I, pp. 2-3, and 8.
[[*] ]See Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, 2 vols. in 1 (London: Rest Fenner, 1817), Vol. I, pp. 178, 117ff.
[[*] ]Paris: Sautelet, 1826.
[[†] ]See Pierre Laromiguière, Leçons de philosophie sur les principes de l’intelligence, 6th ed., 2 vols. (Paris: Fournier, 1844), Vol. I, pp. 93-113 (5me leçon).
[[‡] ]Bain, The Senses and the Intellect, pp. 289-91; Bain is quoting from Johannes Peter Müller, Elements of Physiology, trans. William Baly, 2 vols. (London: Taylor and Walton, 1837, 1842), Vol. II, pp. 935-7.
[[*] ]See Thomas Reid, Essays on the Powers of the Human Mind, Vol. III, pp. 133ff. (Essay III, Pt. 1, Chap. ii).
[[*] ]See Thomas Brown, Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Vol. I, Chap. xxii, esp. pp. 496ff.
[[*] ]See Vol. I, pp. 79-81.
[[*] ]Bain, The Emotions and the Will, p. 58.
[[*] ]Ibid., p. 60.
[[*] ]John Ruskin, Modern Painters, 5 vols. (London: Smith, Elder, 1851-60), Vol. II, Pt. III, “Of Ideas of Beauty,” passim.
[[*] ]The Emotions and the Will, p. 327.
[[†] ]Ibid., p. 549.
[[*] ]Ibid., p. 558.
[[†] ]See James Mill, Analysis, Vol. I, pp. 254-308; Herbert Spencer, Principles of Psychology, esp. Pt. IV, e.g., pp. 517, 529, 580.
[[*] ]See Novum Organum, Works, Vol. I, p. 161 (Bk. I, Aph. 26-30); cf. ibid. (English version), Vol. IV, pp. 51-2.
[[*] ]See Thomas Hobbes, “Physics, or the Phenomena of Nature,” in The English Works of Thomas Hobbes, ed. William Molesworth, 11 vols. (London: Bohn, 1839-45), Vol. I, p. 394.