Microcosmus: An Essay Concerning Man and His Relation to the World  

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{{Template}} Microcosmus: An Essay Concerning Man and His Relation to the World[1] (1885) is a book by Rudolf Hermann Lotze.

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{Translates trom tbe German




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THIS translation of the Mikrokosmus was begun by Miss Hamilton, daughter of the late Sir William Hamilton of Edinburgh, the distinguished metaphysician. Unhappily Miss Hamilton did not live to finish the work she had under- taken, and her translation ends at p. 659 of this volume.

The rest of the book, including the Introduction, has been translated by me ; and I have also revised Miss Hamilton's work.

The Mikrokosmus was originally published in three volumes  : vol. I. containing Books I.-IIL, vol. II. Books IV.-VL, and vol. III. Books VII.- IX. In the original the sections are not numbered, and the Table of Contents consists merely of the headings of chapters collected together, without any refer- ence of headings to pages. In the translation I have numbered the sections, and in the Table of Contents referred the head- ings to sections, and the sections to pages, and supplied a few headings where they seemed to be required. The small number of footnotes which occur in the translation have been added by me.

I wish to express my thanks to Dr. Henry Sidgwick, Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge, for advice which he has given me in reference to my part in this work. I am also indebted to the kindness of Mr. James Ward, Fellow of Trinity College, for suggestions, and help in some cases of difficulty. The proofs have been corrected by Mr. Jacobs of St. John's College, to whom many improvements and emendations are due. For the substantial correctness of the translation throughout I alone am responsible.




BETWEEN spiritual needs and the results of human science there is an unsettled dispute of long standing. In every age the first necessary step towards truth has been the renunciation of those soaring dreams of the human heart which strive to picture the cosmic frame as other and fairer than it appears to the eye of the impartial observer. And no doubt that which men are so ready to set in opposition to common knowledge as being a higher view of things, is but a kind of prophetic yearning, which, though well aware of the limits that it seeks to transcend, knows but little of the goal that it would reach. Such views, indeed, though they have their source in the best part of our nature, receive their dis- tinctive character and colouring from very various influences. Fed by many doubts and reflections concerning the destinies of life and drawn from a range of experience that at the best is limited, they neither escape the influences of transmitted culture and temporary tendencies, nor are they even inde- pendent of those natural changes of mental mood which take place in men, and are different in youth from what they are after the accumulation of manifold experiences. It cannot be seriously hoped that such an obscure and unquiet move- ment of men's spirits should furnish a juster delineation of the connection of things than the careful investigations of science, in which that power of thought which all share in is brought into action. Though we cannot command the heart to suppress its questionings and longings, we yet hold that it can expect a response to them only as an incidental result of knowledge which starts from a less emotional and therefore a clearer point of view.



But the growing sense of its own importance possessed by science, which after centuries of doubt sees different depart- ments of phenomena brought into subjection to unquestionable laws, threatens to distort this juster relation between cognition and spiritual needs in a new way. For not content with avoid- ing, at the beginning of scientific inquiries, the importunate questions with which our wishes, dreams, and hopes are but too ready to confuse the work in its initial stage, men go further, and deny that there is any obligation to return to these questions at all in the course of investigation. Science being, it is said, a pure service of truth for truth's sake, is not called upon to consider whether the selfish wishes of men's souls are satisfied or not. Thus here, too, men pass from timidity to presumptuous boldness. Having once tasted the delight of impartial and wholly unfettered investigation, they rush into a sham and puerile kind of heroism that glories in having renounced that which no one has ever any right to renounce ; and reposing boundless confidence in assumptions which are by no means incontestable, estimate the truth of their new philosophic views in direct proportion to the degree of offensive hostility which these exhibit towards everything — except science — that is held sacred by the living soul of man.

This deification of truth is, it seems to me, neither just, regarded as an independent estimation of its value, nor calculated to create conviction, at which science must always aim.

If the object of all human investigation were but to pro- duce in cognition a reflection of the world as it exists, of what value would be all its labour and pains, which could result only in vain repetition, in an imitation within the soul of that which exists without it  ? What significance could there be in this barren rehearsal — what should oblige think- ing minds to be mere mirrors of that which does not think, unless the discovery of truth were in all cases likewise the production of some good, valuable enough to justify the pains expended in attaining it  ? The individual, ensnared


by that division of intellectual labour that inevitably results from the widening compass of knowledge, may at times forget the connection of his narrow sphere of work with the great ends of human life ; it may at times seem to him as though the furtherance of knowledge for the sake of knowledge were an intelligible and worthy aim of human effort. But all his endeavours have in the last resort but this one meaning, that they, in connection with those of countless others, should combine to trace an image of the world from which we may learn what we have to reverence as the true significance of \ existence, what we have to do and what to hope. That strictly disinterested investigation which, without any reference to these questions, co-operates in the building up of knowledge, exhibits wise self-restraint in awaiting a late but full answer from the combined results of many lines of inquiry, preferring this to those premature and one-sided elucidations from sub- ordinate and accidental standpoints which do indeed set our questionings at rest but only very imperfectly. Hence to the disconnected impatient questions to which the stress of human existence gives rise, science may withhold an immediate answer, and may refer men to the progress of investigation, which will dissipate many difficulties, without introducing those new perplexities in which isolated answers to pressing doubts are always apt to entangle us. But taking truth as a whole, we are not justified in regarding it as a mere self-centred splen- dour, having no necessary connection with those stirrings of the soul from which, indeed, the impulse to seek it first pro- ceeded. On the contrary, whenever any scientific revolution has driven out old modes of thought, the new views that take their place must justify themselves by the permanent or increasing satisfaction which they are capable of affording to those spiritual demands, which cannot be put off or ignored.

The very aims of science itself must equally determine it to seek this ground of acceptance. For where does science itself exist but in the convictions of those who are wholly persuaded of its truth  ? And it will never produce such convictions if it forget that every region which it investi-


gates, all the departments of the mental and the physical world, had been explored and taken possession of by our hopes and wishes and anticipations long before any systematic investigation was thought of. Science comes everywhere too late to meet with a thoroughly impartial reception ; it finds already established in all quarters that Philosophy of the Feelings which will hinder the course of scientific proof with all the force due to the intense mental longing from which it arose. And where reluctant conviction can be forced upon men in detail, it can be as easily made useless on the whole by the remembrance that in the last resort the authority even of those first principles by deductions from which science would compel our assent, rests upon nothing better than immediate belief in their truth. Men think, too, that they are even more justified in clinging with a like immediate belief to that view of the world which seems to have its truth corroborated by its consonance with our wishes. Thus it comes to pass that science as a whole is put on one side, and regarded as a maze in which cognition, detached from its connection with the whole living mind, has become entangled in a way impossible to follow in detail.

. Though a man may revel in this faith in the world of feeling, he cannot avoid making use of the advantages of science at every step in practical life, and thus tacitly acknowledging its truth  ; just as little can a man live for science without experiencing the joy and the burden of existence, and feeling himself everywhere surrounded by a cosmic order of another kind, on which science sheds at best but scanty enlightenment. Can the difficulty be evaded more easily than by trying to take part in both worlds, to belong to both, yet without uniting the two  ? To follow — in science — the principles of cognition to their most extreme results, and to allow oneself — in practical life — to be impelled in quite other directions by traditional habits of belief and action  ?

That this twofold and inconsistent conviction is often the only solution that men arrive at need not surprise us ; but it


would be a pity to commend it as the right view of our relation to the world. It is true that the imperfection of human knowledge may compel us, when we have used our utmost endeavours, to confess that we cannot build up the results of cognition and of faith so as to form a complete and perfect structure ; but we can never look on indifferently when we see cognition undermining the foundations of faith, or faith calmly putting aside as a whole that which scientific zeal has built up in detail. On the contrary, we must be ever consciously endeavouring to maintain the rights of each, and to show how far from insoluble is the contradiction in which they appear to be inextricably involved.

The pride of philosophic inquiry, and the ceaseless advance ' of physical science, have attacked from different sides that cosmic view in which the human soul found its longings satisfied. But the disturbances caused by the assaults of philosophy have in our time been avoided in a most effi- cacious manner, namely by the complete indifference with which the age turns away from and disregards the labours of speculation. It has not been so easy to escape the far more importunate persuasiveness of the natural sciences, the assertions of which are confirmed at every step by the experiences of daily life. The excessive influence which the really magnificent development of these sciences exerts upon all the tendencies of our age infallibly calls forth a pro- portionally increasing resistance to the injuries which it is supposed will be inflicted by it upon that which is of supreme importance in human culture. Thus it comes to pass that the old contradictions rise again to battle; on the one hand knowledge of the world of sense with its ever-growing wealth of exact science and the persuasive force of intuitable facts ; on the other hand those vague convictions regarding the supersensuous world, which — not having an absolutely fixed and certain content — are hardly susceptible of proof, but — being sustained by an ever-renewed consciousness of their necessary truth — are still less susceptible of refutation. That this contest between the two is an unnecessary torment which


we inflict upon ourselves by terminating investigation pre- maturely, is the conclusion that I desire to establish.

Physical science is certainly wrong in turning away altogether from the sesthetic and religious regions of thought which are customarily regarded as affording a higher view of things. It fears — needlessly — that its sharply -defined notions and its solid fabric of method would be disturbed by the admission of elements which — being themselves incalculable — > would necessarily communicate their own indefiniteness and mistiness to all that comes into contact with them ; and it forgets that its own fundamental elements, the ideas of forces and natural laws, are not the ultimate components of the threads that weave the texture of reality. On the contrary, when we exercise keener insight, they too lead us back to that same supersensuous region of which we cannot compass the boundaries.

But not less baseless is that which, on the other hand, opposes and hinders the recognition of the mechanical view of Nature — the anxious fear lest its results should cause all life and freedom and poetry to disappear from the world. How often has this fear been expressed, and how often has the irresistible progress of discoveries opened new sources of poetry in the place of those which had to be filled up ! The strong sense of home, with its nearness and sacredness, which could enable an isolated people, ignorant of the boundless human life beyond, to regard itself as making up the whole of humanity, and every hill and fountain of the land as being under the guardian care of some special divinity — this unifying of the divine and human has everywhere disappeared with the advance of geographical knowledge consequent on growing intercourse between different nations. But the enlarged prospect thus gained has not spoiled, but only changed and enhanced the poetical charm of the world. Astronomy by its discoveries upset men's notions both of the heavens and of the earth ; it resolved the former, which had been regarded as the visible dwelling-place of the gods, into the immensity of an airy firmament in which imagination could no longer


fix the home of supersensuous beings; it transformed the earth, the sole stage of life and history, into one of the small* of the boundless universe. And step by step this disturbance of traditional views pursued its further course. The earth became, instead of a motionless centre, a wandering planet, circling round a sun which formerly seemed to exist only to beautify and serve it; even the music of the spheres was hushed, and men generally have come to agree that the all- embracing world in which we, with our hopes and wishes and endeavours, dwell, is a voiceless system of countless heavenly bodies, obeying universal laws.

That this transformation of cosmographic views has in the course of history changed popular imagination in the most important manner, no one can deny. When the earth was regarded as a disc, and the familiar boundaries of a man's native land were held to comprise all the highest and deepest secrets of the cosmic order — the visible summit of Olympus and the gates of the underworld, at a distance that was within men's reach — human life was certainly different from what it is now — now that the earth is held to be a revolving sphere that seems to have neither within it nor around it in the empty immensity of the atmosphere, place for that mystery through a sense of which alone human life is so fertilized as to produce its fairest fruit. Past ages, guided by a thread of sacred tradition, could trace back the crowd of nations that fill the motley mart of life to the quiet groves of Paradise, in the shades of which the manifold variety of human races found the unifying consciousness of a common origin. The discovery of new regions of the earth disturbed this belief; other nations came into sight, ignorant of the old traditions, and the common cradle of mankind came to be placed far beyond the extremest limits of historical remembrance. And finally, even the inflexible rind of the planet of which men believed that they had held possession from the time of its creation opened its closed mouth and told of countless ages of exist- ence in which this human life, with all its presumption and its doubt, did not yet exist, and creative Nature, self-sufficing


gave birth to numerous species of living creatures, which arose and passed away one after the other.

Thus all the familiar boundaries which used to fence in our life with grateful certainty are done away ; the outlook around us has become immeasurable, unlimited, and cold. But all these enlargements of knowledge have neither driven poetry out of the world, nor affected our religious convictions otherwise than beneficially ; they have driven us to seek for and to find with greater intellectual effort, in a supersensuous world, that which we can no longer regard as near and directly intuitable. The satisfaction which our souls used to find in cherished views, has always become possible under different forms when these views had to be sacrificed to the progress of science. As in the life of the individual, so in the history of the human race, unavoidable changes take place in the definite outlines of the picture in which man's inalienable and highest aspira- tions are represented. Vain is every endeavour to resist the clear light of science, and to hold fast any view of which we have a haunting secret conviction that it is but an evanescent dream ; but equally ill-advised is the despair that gives up that which must ever remain the immoveable centre of human civilization, whatever change of form it may undergo. Eather let us admit that in the obscure impulse to that higher aspect of things which we sometimes glory in, and sometimes feel incapable of rising to, there is yet a dim consciousness of the right path, and that every objection of science to which we attend does but disperse some deceptive light cast upon the one immutable goal of our longings by the changing stand- points of growing experience.

That undeifying of the whole cosmic frame which the discoveries of past times have irrevocably accomplished in overthrowing mythology, is an event which cannot, we may hope, be any longer a source of pain; and the last lament over it, poured forth in Schiller's Gotter Griechenlands, will never be followed by any attempt to re-establish this lost faith, in opposition to the teachings of science. Great revolutions of religious views have made men forget the loss, and furnished


far more than adequate compensation for it. But as the growing farsightedness of astronomy dissipated the idea that the great theatre of human life was in direct connection with divinity, so the further advance of mechanical science begins to threaten with similar disintegration the smaller world, the Microcosm of man. In saying this, I do not intend to allude more than incidentally to the increasing diffusion of materialistic views which strive to trace back all mental life to the blind working of material mechanism. Broad and confident as the current of these views flows on, yet it by no means has its source in inevitable assumptions, bound up inseparably with the spirit of a mechanical investigation of Nature. But even within the limits in which this has a better right to move, the disintegrating and destructive activity of such investigation is plain enough and begins to dispute that pervading unity of body and soul upon which seemed to depend all the beauty and living activity of animate creatures, and all the significance and worth of their intercourse with the external world. The assaults of physiological science have been directed against the truth of sensuous cognition, against the unfettered exercise of will in movement, against the creative spontaneous development of material life generally, and have thus called in question all those characteristics which for unsophisticated feeling contain the very core of life's poetry. We cannot therefore be surprised at the stead- fastness with which the Philosophy of the Feelings here seeks to oppose itself as a higher view of things, to the convincing representations of the Mechanical view of Nature. On the other hand, there seems all the more necessity for an attempt to show the innocuousness of this view, which where it forces us to sacrifice opinions that seem to be a part of our very selves, yet by what it gives back, makes it possible for us to regain the satisfaction we had lost.

And the more I myself have laboured to prepare the way for acceptance of the mechanical view of Nature in the region of organic life — in which region this view seemed to advance more timidly than the nature of the thing required — the more


do I now feel impelled to bring into prominence the other aspect which was equally near to my heart during all those endeavours. I can hardly hope that the result of this attempt will meet with a very favourable reception, for the amount of acquiescence that happened to fall to the lot of my earlier representations was probably due for the most part to the ease with which any mediating view may be interpreted so as to seem favourable to either of the one - sided extreme views which it was designed to avoid. But all the same it is in such mediation alone that the true source of the life of science is to be found ; not indeed in admitting now a fragment of the one view and now a fragment of the other, but in showing how absolutely universal is the extent and at the same time how completely subordinate the significance, of the mission which mechanism has to fulfil in the structure of the world.

It is not the comprehensive cosmos of the whole great universe that we shall here attempt to describe — in imitation of the example set before us as Germans — even in that circum- scribed sense of the task which we have above indicated. The more deeply the features of that great world-picture impress the general consciousness, the more vividly will they point us back to ourselves, and stir up anew the question — What significance have man, and human life with its constant phenomena, and the changing course of history, in the great whole of Nature, to the steady influence of which the results of modern science have made us feel more than ever in sub- jection ? In seeking to bring together the reflections on these points which press themselves upon the thoughtful soul, not only within the limits of any philosophic school but every- where in life, we — with the changed points of view to which the present age has attained — attempt here a repetition of the undertaking of which we have so brilliant an example in Herder's Ideen zur Geschichte der Menschheit





1. Mythology and Common Reality — Personal Spirits in Nature

and the Realm of Things, ..... 1-7

2. The World-Soul and Animating Impulses, . . . 7-17

3. Forces and their Universal Laws, .... 17-23

4. Relation of Man to Nature, . . • . . . 23-26



1. Universality of Law, ...... 27-29

2. Determination of Effects  ; Places of Efficient Activity in Nature

— Atoms and the Sense in which they are accepted, . . 29-36

3. Physical Forces, ...... 36-41

4. Laws of Effects and of their Composition — General Inferences

with respect to the Explanation of Natural Phaenomena, . 41-49



1. Mechanical Conception of Life, and Vital Force, . . 50-51

2. The Transitoriness of the Body chemically considered— Change

of its Constituents, ...... 51-56

3. Propagation and Conservation of its Energy, . . . 56-60

4. Harmony of its Processes, ..... 61-63




5. The Efficient Idea (Idee) l — Purposive Self-Conservation,

6. Capacity of Excitation— Machines produced by Human Skill,


63-68 68-74



1. Constant and Periodic Operations — Progressive Development

— Anomalous Disturbances, ..... 75-80

2. The Application of Chemical Forces and their Results as regards

Life— The Development of Forms from Formless Germs, . 80-86

3. Change of Material and its Significance, . . , 86-92

4. Its Mode, ....... 92-97

5. Its Organs, ....... 97-98



1. The Bony Framework, ....

2. The Muscles and the Motor Nerves,

3. The Vascular System and Circulation of the Blood,

4. Respiration, .....

5. 6. Nutrition and Excretion,

99-102 102-106 106-110 110-112 113-120



1. Physical, Organic, and Psychical Compensation of Disturbances, 121-124

2. Examples of the Establishment of Equilibrium, . . 124-128

3. The Sympathetic System — Ceaseless Activity of all that is

Organic, ....... 128-135

4. General Sketch of Life, ..... 136-139




1. Reasons for believing that there are Souls, . . . 143-144

2. Freedom of the Will — Incomparability of Physical and Psychical

Processes, and Necessity of two diverse Grounds of Explana- tion, 144-150

1 I have followed the Clarendon Press Translation of Lotze in writing this throughout with a capital to distinguish it from idea = Vorstellung.



. Hypothesis of their Union in the same Being, .

4. The Unity of Consciousness— What it is not, anil what it n -ally


5. Impossibility of explaining it aa a Combination of a Hurality

of Effects, .......

6. Relating Knowledge contrasted with the Composition of Physi-

cal Results, .......

7. Supersensuous Nature of the Soul, ....


150-152 152-158 158-163

163-168 166-167



1. Plurality of Faculties in the Soul— Defects of this View, . 168-172

2. Possibility of combining it with the Unity of the Soul —

Original and Acquired Facilities, .... 172-177

3. Impossibility of a Single Primitive Faculty — Ideation (or

Cognition, Vorstellen), Feeling, and Will— Constant Activity

of the whole Nature of the Soul, .... 177-181

4. Lower and Higher Reactions, ..... 181-184

5. Mutability of the Soul and its Limits, .... 184-188

6. The Known Nature and the Unknown Nature of the Soul, . 188-190

7. Use of knowing the Unknown Nature of the Soul, and the

Reason why we seek to know it, . . . 190-19?


1. Comparison of Mental Life with Bodily Life and with

Physical Nature, ...... 193-196

2. How Ideas persist, and how they are forgotten — Of their

Interaction, and of the Narrowness of Consciousness, . 196-202

3. Differences in the Strength of Sensations— Degrees of Clearness

in Memory- Images— Contrast of Ideas, . . . 202-211

4. The Inner Sense — 5. Guidance of the Train of Ideas by the

Laws of Association and Reproduction, . . . 211-219



1. Relations between Individual Ideas ( Vorstellungen) as Objects

of New Ideas— Change of Knowledge, and Knowledge of Change, .......

2. Innate Ideas (Ideen), ......

3. Apprehension of the World in Space and Time by Means of

Sense, .......

220-226 226-228



4. Apprehension of the World in Thought by the Understanding

—Concept, Judgment, and Syllogism, . . 232-236

5. The Effort of Reason after Unifying Comprehension, . ." 236-239



1. Origin of the Feelings, ...... 240-242

2. Their Forms and their Connection with Knowledge — Reason's

Determinations of Worth, ..... 242-248

3. Self-Consciousness, ...... 248-251

4. The Empiric Ego and the Pure Ego, . . . . 251-254

5. Impulses and Efforts— Will and Freedom of Will, . . 254-261

6. Concluding Remark, ...... 261-263




1. Different Stages of Apprehension of the World— True and

Derivative Standpoints, ..... 267-273

2. The Universal Bond between Mind and Matter, . . 273-275

3. Possibility and Inexplicableness of Reciprocal Action between

the Homogeneous and the Heterogeneous, . . . 275-281

4. How Sensations arise — Guidance of Movements, . . 281-287

5. Influence of the Soul on Bodily Form, .... 287-289



1. Meaning of the Question, ..... 290-295

2. Limited Sphere of the Soul's Operation — Structure of the

Brain, ....... 295-301

3. The Way in which Movements arise, .... 301-306

4. Conditions of Space-Perception, .... 306-310

5. Significance of the Unbranched Nerve -Fibres, . . . 310-313

6. Omnipresence of the Soul in the Body, . , . 313-315





1. Organ of the Soul, 316-318

2. Origin of Space-Perception, ..... 318-321

3. Corporeal Basis of the Feelings, .... 321-323

4. Higher Intelligence, Moral and ^Esthetic Judgment, . . 323-324 f>. ( M^an of Memory — Sleep and Unconsciousness — Influence of

Bodily States upon the Train of Ideas, . . . 324-332

6. Central Organ of Movement — Reflex Movements — Acquired

Forms of Reaction— Divisibility of the Soul, . . 332-338

7. Phrenology — Obstruction to the Mind caused by its Union with

the Body, .... . 338-343



1. The Constant Illusion of Sense — Impossibility of Things being

copied in our Perception, ..... 344-349

2. The Special and Higher Worth of Sense— The Inner Activity of

Things — Matter the Manifestation of something Super-,/ sensuous — Concerning the Possibility of Extended Beings, . 349-360

3. Animation of the whole World, .... 360-363

4. Contrast between Body and Soul not retracted— Justification

of Plurality as against Unity, .... 364-369



1. Limitations of Knowledge — Questions concerning Primeval

History, ....... 370-375

2. Dependent Nature of all Mechanism, .... 375-378

3. Natural Necessity and the Infinite Substance, . . . 378-382

4. General Possibility of Action— Source of Definite Laws of

Action, ..... ' . 382-387

5. Immortality— Origin of Souls, ..... 387-392 CONCLUSION, ....... 393-401





1. Mechanical Explanation and Ideal Interpretation of Nature, . 405-409

2. Mutual Independence of these Conceptions, and Necessity of

combining them, ..... . 409-412



3. Purposive Creation— The Ideal in the Real,

4. Nature as Fact, ....


412-417 417-418



1. Doubt as to the Supremacy of Ends — Created Beings as Ends

in themselves, ...... 419-423

2. Ends and Results, ....... 423-425

3. Development of Things from Chaos — Spontaneous Growth of

Order from Unorder, ...... 425-431

4. The Elements of Chaos — inherent Purposiveness in Things and

in their Operations, ...... 431-439

5. The Unity of Nature considered as a Product of Manifold

Actions and Reactions, ..... 439-442



1. Unity of the Basis of Things, ..... 443-445

2. And its Results — The System of Material Elements and their

Distribution — Preservation of Unity in the Course of Events — Notion of Miracles — Plan of Development in the World and in Man — Cosmic Periods, .... 445-455

3. Limitation of our Knowledge and Being, . . . 455-456

4. Universal and Terrestrial Nature, .... 456-458

5. Grades of Natural Products — The Animal Kingdom and its

Typical Forms, ...... 459-464



1. The Grades of Animals and their Significance, . . . 465-467

2. Structure and Life— Bodily Size— Bodily Strength— Length of

Life — Requirements as to Food — Capacities of Acclimatization — Erect Form — Its Causes and Results — Symbolism and Beauty of Form, ...... 467-494



1. Conditions of Individual Development — Inheritance of Race-

Characteristics and of Individual Traits— Resemblances to Brutes, .......

2. Varieties (Verschiedenheit) of Race— Hypotheses as to the

Origin of these Varieties, .....

3. Negroes, American-Indians, Malays, Mongols, Caucasians,

4. Notions of Kind (Art) and Variety (Spielart), .

5. Transition to Book V.— Darwinian Theory,


505-516 516-520 520-525 525-527







1. The Animal Soul and the Rational Mind— Reciprocal Relation

between the two, ......

2. Abolition of this Duality— The General Concept of Soul and the

Individual Soul — Soul a Phamomenologic Designation of Heterogeneous Subjects— Transference of this Designation to Homogeneous Subjects — Original Nature and Development of the Soul, .......

3. What is meant by Nature of the Soul— Can. we regard as the

Original Content of any Nature the Idea of its Development  ? —The Reality of the Idea and the Unreality of Simple Quality, .......

4. Unity of the Idea, ......

5. General Attributes of Souls — The Realm of Souls and its

Members, .......




543-551 551-556




1. Different Explanations of the Senses — The Indifferent Content

of Sense and the Feeling of Pain or Pleasure that accom- panies it— Intrinsic Worth of Sense- Impressions, . . 563-573

2. Consonance of their Nature with the Stimuli to which they

correspond — Examples  : Light and Sound, . . . 573-578

3. ^Esthetic Judgment— Symmetry in Space and Time— Mathema-

tical Aspect of Sense-Imagination — Understanding and

Sympathetic Enjoyment of Alien Forms of Existence, . 578-586

4. Of the Use of Implements— Of Dress and Ornament, . . 586-595

5. Of Ceremonies, ....... 596-600



1. Carrying off of Excitation by Movement generally, . . 601-604

2. By Change of the Respiratory Movements — The Voice — Articu-

late Sound, and the Organization of Sounds — Corporeal Basis

of the Capacity of Speech, ..... 604-614

3. The Meaning of Words, ..... 614-617

4. Thought— The Parts of Speech — Syntactical Forms of Language

— The National Logic of Language, .... 618-626



5. Dependence of Thought on Speech — Importance of Names —

Substantive Forms to which no Things correspond, .

6. Order of Thought and Order of Construction in a Sentence —

Silent Speech— Intuition and Discursive Thought — Con- versation, .......


626-631 631-639


KNOWLEDGE (die ErTcenntuiss] AND TRUTH.

1. Progressiveness of Human Nature, . . . . 640-645

2. The Ideal Nature of Mind and its Mechanical Equivalent, . 645-651

3. The Nature of Human Intelligence— The Stages of Reflection —

The Universal Impulse to Volition and Action, . . 652-661

4. The Genesis of Special and of General Notions — Place of Generic

Notions in Men's Conception of the Cosmos, . . 661-668

5. Innate Notions of the Understanding and their Impossibility —

The Origin of Universal and of Necessarily Valid Notions —

The Notion of Truth, ... . 668-675

6. Laws of Identity and Causation — The Natural Metaphysics of

Life and its Development, . . . . 675-681



1. The Philosophy of the Feelings, . . . . 682-684

2. The Meaning of Conscience, . . . 684-687

3. Pleasure and Pain as Actual Motives to Action — Pleasure and

the Good — The Notion of Worth and its Connection with the

Notion of Pleasure, 687-694

4. Pleasure as an Ethical Principle, . . 694-696

5. Emotions of Sense — Emotions of Self— Egoism and Univer-

salism, ..... . 696-706

6. Development of Morality, . . . 706-710

7. Basis and Content of Morality, ..... 710-713

8. Capacity of Becoming Conscious of the Infinite the Distin-

guishing Characteristic of the Human Mind, . . 713-714


In ft fur /vrsv.s- *<•»/, >/r< * in ///< /,< m/itii/.i of <•//<//,/. /•.-; '//'/•/' //••»/// ///' •

N/>oti</i>i<i snit, an ft In thf Tuhl, of ( ',,/itt ///.-•. Tin- former are to be corrects/ in accordance with the latt< / .

1'. -t. 1. 8 from foot  ; p. 9, 1. 5  ; p. ID, 1. r, an.l 1. 16  ; p. 13, 1. 12 from f.,,,t  ; p. 15, 1. 4  ; ]). 24, 1. 18  ; p. 25, 1. 4  ; p. 26, 1. 5 from foot  ; p. 30, 1. 11  ; p. 45, I. 5  ; p. 46, 1. 15  ; p. 67, 1. 16  ; p. 73, 1. 11  ; p. 137, 1. 17  ; p. 252, 1. 11 from foot  ; p. 354, 1. 19  ; niul p. 545, 1. 13 from foot, for intellectual read mental

P. 35, 1. 19  ; p. 36, 1. 14  ; p. 50, 1. 14  ; p. 51, 1. 9  ; p. 56, 1. 12 from foot  ; p. 60, 1. 8 from foot  ; p. 83, 1. 4 from foot  ; and p. 284, 1. 8, for nature read

P. 53, 1. 14 from foot, for which should keep . . . lawn read which, in direct opposition to universal chemical laws, should keep its constituents in a combina- tion antagonistic to their natural tendencies

P. 61, 1. 5, for elements in the individual read individual elements

P. 66, 1. 6, delete Even  ; 1. 8, delete yet

P. 67, 1. 13, fornow again read in turn; and 1. 7, 5 from foot, for thought read ideas

P. 89, last line, for stimuli— their after-effects read stimuli and their after- effects,

P. 94, 1. 15, for axiscylinder read axis cylinder  ; 1. 20, for mixture read structure

P. 95, 1. 8 from foot, for separable, read soluble.

P. 100, 1. 14 from foot, for strands read strand  ; 1. 10 from foot, for sheatlis read cushions

P. 101, 1. 3, for or read I.e.; 1. 15 from foot, for that read those; 1. 7 from foot, delete likewise  ; 1. 7 from foot and last line, for stomach read abdomen

P. 102, 1. 11, for attacheb read attached

P. 104, 1. 7, delete therefore

P. 109, 1. 13  ; p. Ill, 1. 13, for light read bright

P. 112, 1. 9, delete , after air; 1. 14, for exhalation read diffusion

P. 113, 1. 2, insert the before heart

P. 115, 1. 16 from foot, for The yellow . . . end, read The yellow bitter gall is secreted into the minutest branches of the gall-ducts out of the cells of the parenchyme of the liver in which these end.

P. 124, 1. 8, after present insert by a few examples

P. 125, 1. 3, after activities insert only  ; after but insert also

P. 129, 1. 1, for experiments . . . made read expedients actually used

P. 133, 1. 13 from foot, after another insert will  ; 1. 11 from foot, delete will

P. 150, 1. 16 from foot, for presence of read opposition to  ; 1. 15 from foot, delete of

P. 151, 1. 3 from foot, delete the

P. 152, 1. 4, for intellectuality read mentality

P. 180, 1. 17 from foot, for thinking read ideation

P. 188, 1. 7 from foot, for section read chapter

P. 194, 1. 9, for exciting read exerting

P. 196, 1. 15 and 17, and p. 197, 1. 10 from foot, for thoughts read ideas  ; p. 196, 1. 8 from foot, for Thought read Ideation

P. 201, 1. 5, after eye insert should have.

P. 229, 1. 15 from foot, for the glance read this glance

P. 238, 1. 8, delete equally

P. 245, 1. 13, for with read by

P. 249, 1. 3 and 2 from foot, for a read any

P. 256, 1. 14, insert , after mind

P. 268, 1. 16, and p. 416, 1. 15, 30, for intellectual read spiritual

P. 269, last line, delete as , P. 282, 1. 7, insert For before Supposing

P. 301, 1. 15 from foot, for other read others

P. 305, 1. 18 from foot, for general corporeal read organic

P. 308, 1. 4, insert material before sulwtance

P. 309, 1. 17, delete chief; 1. 25, for Nay, read But

P. 319, 1. 9 from foot, for impression read image


P. 329, 1. 11, for take read takes

P. 345, etc., in running title of chapter for The Lift of Matter read Life in Matter.

P. 350, 1. 3, for occasional read occasioning

P. 356, 1. 3 from foot, insert but before when

P. 364, 1. 19 for intellectual read psychical

P. 365, 1. 1, for intellectualized read spiritualized

P. 367, 1. 13 from foot, for half -stifled read diffused

P. 369, 1. 7, for pecular read peculiar

P 381 1. 6, 17, 25, 31, for infinite read Infinite; 1. 17, for substance read Substance; 1. 25, 36, for 6em0 read .Beiwgr; 1. 36, for universal read Universal.

P. 387, 1. 11, for e/ecte read operations

P. 394, 1. 17, delete , after and, insert , after longer  ; 1. 18, insert does befo: tfAi.9, for shows read sAow

P. 398, 1. 15, for among read in; 1. 17, for tofefei read awd

P. 400, 1. 10, for ideas read Ideas

P. 420, 1. 17, for , after purposeless read  ;

P. 422, 1. 3, delete , after only

P. 429, 1. 13, insert , after preservation and ends

P. 442, 1. 12 from foot, after substance for  ; read ,

P. 446, 1. 16 from foot, for ac£mJ ezisfercce read the reality; 1. 2 from foot,

delete then

P. 447, 1. 6 from foot, for an accidentally read a somehow P. 458, 1. 7, for wliereas read w/i^e P. 462, 1. 15, for chitine read chitin P. 477, 1. 17, for does read do P. 479, 1. 15 from foot, for ever read then P. 480, 1. 4 from foot, delete an P. 482, 1. 18, 14 from foot, delete upper

P. 484, 1. 1, for thigh read/emom  ; 1. 12, for upper thigh read/emwr P. 488, 1. 7 from foot, insert , after multiplied  ; 1. 6 from foot, delete , atter itself

P. 548, 1. 10, for deposit read precipitate P. 551, L 2 from foot, for comparative read comparing P. 553, 1. 9, after mobility for , read  ;

P. 562, 1. 7 from foot, for connected . . . education read exercising reciprocal educative influence.

P. 566, 1. 2 from foot, for a subject read an object.

P. 568, 1. 12 from foot, for Allgemeingefuhl read Gemeingefuhl

P. 569, 1. 11 from foot, for loosely read closely

P. 570, 1. 9, for cannot but read does

P. 571, 1. 13, for brutal read brutish

P. 584, 1. 21, after two insert £/iiw#s

P. 585, 1. 8, delete in

P. 587, 1. 2 from foot, for lines read line

P. 591, 1. 3 from foot, for each read any

P. 604, 1. 11, for So read E.g. . .

P 619 1 14, for articulation . . . significance read articulation ana significance of the sound; 1. 3 from foot, for/ow; of thoughts read tram o/ ideas

P. 620, 1. 13, delete even

P. 623, 1. 10, for conceptions read ideas

P. 634, 1. 6, for that it read which

P. 643, last line, for on the contrary, read but

P. 647, 1. 19, for condition read state

P. 655, 1. 19, delete therein

P. 656, 1. 5, 4 from foot, for perceive, recognise, read perceives, recognises

P. 680, 1. 8, for show read shows

P. 684, 1. 2 from foot, after; for but read and

P. 685, 1. 6, 7, for these discussions read £/iis Book.

P. 694, 1. 6, for utilitarian system read system for the production of general happiness;

P. 698, 1. 2, delete pleasant society

P. 710, 1. 5, for theoretical read speculative

P. 711, 1. 14, for stand read stands; 1. 16, for de/?ewd read depends






Mythology and Common Reality — Personal Souls in Nature, and the Realm of Things — The World-soul and Animating Impulses — Forces and their Universal Laws.

§ 1. FTlHEItE are times when our thoughts turn regret- •*• fully back to the primitive age of our race. Then, in mankind's fair youth, — so our musings run, — mutual understanding brought Nature nigh to Mind, so that of her own accord she unveiled her inner kindred life, which now she guards from the intrusion of our scrutiny. Our weary glance, as it strays over the outside of phenomena, meets nothing else than the whirl of impersonal substances, the blind conflict of unconscious forces, the drear necessity of inevitable predetermination. Whereas we figure the youthful human race, with clearer eye piercing directly to the depths and knowing nothing of this painful experience. Then with a sense of kinship the mind apprehended the eternal self-conscious Ideas that are the living essence of things, it understood because it felt as its own the stirrings of desire that form the motives of their working. The orderly connection of things must have stood before the world's youth — at least so runs our thought — as something more than a fact of inexplicable origin, for it found reflected within the creative purpose from whose blissful unity Nature, unshackled by restraints from without, evolves the multitude of its phenomena.



I will not stop to inquire into the justice of this charge against the present, but go on to show that the human conception of the universe has at no time been exclusively governed by the idea of such a universal vitality of Nature as is extolled in these passionate expressions. , It is true that all that activity which fills our own soul, the diversified train of thought, the secret play of feeling, the living force of effort, whose spontaneous freedom seems our noblest endowment, — that each individual in childhood, and Thought when it was young, believed it could recognise all this under apparently the most unlike forms of the outer world. Yet it is only the child whom the narrow sphere and imperfect cohesion of his experience permits for a while to enjoy this illusion. The youth of the human race, on the other hand, embraced the old age of many individuals ; it must therefore at an early period have been in possession of the rich variety of experience that fills a whole human life, and along with it of a degree of intelligent insight sufficient to make the thought of a boundlessly animated Nature but as it were a holiday-dream, which on the working morrow will be dispelled.

For only in idle contemplation could men undisturbed cling to the idea of a vitality pervading the whole realm of Nature with a free voluntary activity. Active life, on the other hand, must, for the satisfaction of its needs and for all the ends of its working, be able to build on a certain constancy and trustworthiness in events, and on a necessity in their connection that admits of being calculated on before- hand. The ordinary occurrences of everyday life are enough to convince us of the reality of this trustworthiness in things, independent of arbitrary will, and it cannot have been long ere through them the human mind became accustomed to look on this earthly scene of human activity as a realm of things to be used, in which the play of forces depends entirely on the lifeless regularity of universal laws. Through the commonest occurrences of life men could not fail to become acquainted with the effects of


gravity  ; the rudest attempt to build a shelter called forth ideas of the equilibrium of bodies, of the distribution of pressure, of the advantages of the lever, experiences these which, as a matter of fact, we find the least civilised peoples turning to manifold account. Primitive hunters, when using bow and arrows, had to calculate on the propelling force of the tightened string ; nay, they must tacitly have relied on the regularity with which, under varying conditions, that property increases and diminishes. Even the yet simpler dexterity of bringing down game by means of a hurled stone would never have been attained, had there not dwelt, as it were in the flesh and blood of the arm, the intuitive conviction that the direction and velocity of the flight of the thrown body would be wholly determined by sensible differences in the kind and degree of our exertion.

By no mythology have these phsenomena, and the connec- tion in virtue of universal laws which they reveal, been deliberately made part of its representation of the cosmos. And yet all these things — weight, equilibrium of bodies, impact and communication of movement — lay daily before the eyes of all ; and it is through nothing else than the deliberate employment of these that man establishes around him that artificial course of things, that second world of art and comfort, to which, as civilisation advances, his life comes to be far more closely related than to the original untutored force and beauty of creation. But, though these facts lie too close at hand to allow of their having been overlooked, it yet is not surprising that the mythological imagination should have wholly set aside the thoughts which they could not fail to awaken. For it is not the negro alone whom we see alter- nately belabour and worship his fetish : our own civilisation sometimes repeats this absurdity, though perhaps with better grace. Only too readily do the most diverse conceptions dwell peaceably side by side in the same human soul, without their antagonism being so distinctly realized that the need of recon- ciliation is felt. Hence it was quite possible for the poetic


imagination with far-reaching glance to overlook what lay at its feet, and to sketch the dazzling image of a vitally animated >Iature, while practical life for its own ends continued simply to take for granted and make use of the lifelessness of common things. With the blindness of him who will not see, the mythological conception of Nature early turned away from all those phenomena which are either artificially produced by ourselves, or obviously regulated in their manifestation by external determining causes. It confined its poetic interpre- tation to such processes as either by their unchanging regu- larity— as the motion of the heavenly bodies, the succession of the seasons, and the cycle of vegetable life— or by an absence of order that defies calculation, like the capricious variations of the atmosphere, are wholly beyond the modifying influ- ences of our volition. The imagination of those generations, plunging into these extracts from selected parts of Nature, was disturbed in its idealizing activity by no remembrance of the everyday reality, that nevertheless lay before its eyes as palpable evidence for blind necessity in the connection of things. We cannot help here noticing in particular, what we might have expected in general, that even this distinction between a superior and a common Nature could not be thoroughly carried out; that even on the narrower field chosen by it, mythology by no means succeeded in wholly idealizing the external world of sense ; that even here it could at most push back and hide the obscure and stubborn core of reality and of blind connection which it tried to avoid, without being able to explain or even to do without it.

For, first of all, in any other form than that of human life, and the animal existence to which it is akin, intellectual activity does not so obviously appeal to our powers of per- ception as to beget full unquestioning belief. The Teutonic tribes might indeed pay homage, as to a living being, to the sprouting corn-blade coming up out of the ground ; yet the mythic expression of this pretty fancy was hardly other than an image tacitly distinguished from that which it represented. The Greek cannot have really looked on


Demeter as herself the budding green, the soul of the corn  ; she remained the goddess in human form, exerting her shield- ing and quickening influence on behalf of a germ, which after all held its power of development hidden within the recesses of its own being. Every step by which agriculture advanced must have thrown fresh light on the conditions favourable to that development, till the reverence of the faithful came to have nothing left for which to thank the goddess other than the first inexplicable creation of the germ, which, once in existence, was brought to perfection by the revolving course of Nature. Though in poetic phraseology it was the river-god himself who flowed, yet evidently the imagination falls back on the conception of him in human shape, as a ruling personality, to whom the watery element does indeed inseparably belong, yet who always remains some- thing foreign and different. The thunderbolt is but a weapon in the hand of Jupiter ; the winds are held in check, and sent forth by their celestial rulers : everywhere the elemental world falls back into its old relation of contrast to the realm of spirits, and, never awaking to mental life of its own, remains a substance capable of being moulded at their bidding. There may have been a poetic conception of Nature, that, as the poet sings, heard from among the reeds the plaintive notes of Syrinx, or detected in the stone the silence of Tantalus' daughter ; but these and countless similar myths convince us after all only that mythology failed to get to the heart of Nature and to endow her with a soul of her own. For the only way in which it could animate stones and reeds was to conceive of both as transformed human life, and to leave it to fancy to connect the remembrance of that former intelligible existence with the stubborn unintelligibility of the form into which it had passed.

In a charming poem by Eiickert, the illusory glory of autumn colours, in which each leaf seems to be turned into a blossom, is contrasted with the genuine vivifying energy of spring, that amid all its blossoming never conceals the full dark green growth beneath. It was on this autumnal show


that mythology, for the second time, made shipwreck ; as it had been unable to spiritualize matter, so also it failed to lend to events the higher bloom of freedom : the dark, irrepressible growth of an original inevitable necessity again came to the front. It was of no avail that mythology shunned the sight of it, and attended exclusively to the splendour of the world of gods, and to its dominion over the realm of matter. For even here, in order that this dominion should be possible, it had to acknowledge a circle of eternal and universal laws, in harmony with which alone any will can obtain power over the states of things. The adoration of an inscrutable fate, holding even the gods in its bonds, was the expression of this thought in its relation to the course of the moral world ; less explicitly, but yet intelligibly enough, it is repeated in every representation of the mutual intercourse between divine beings and the elements of Nature. Helios might in tranquil majesty guide the golden car, where now the inanimate globe of fire revolves ; but the wheel of that divine car turned, and its axle exerted and received pressure, according to no other laws than those by which on earth at all times the wheels of every vehicle will turn round their loaded axle. Poetry could, at most, relieve the gods of the laborious setting of their hands to work, — it could never wholly dispense with the idea of a universal order, according to whose laws alone the living will imparts motion to the world of matter. While Zeus hurls the thunderbolt only by the force of his hands, the knitting of his eyebrows, does, without effort, stir Olympus to its depths ; yet this second impressive image of godlike might only repeats more obscurely the same process of mediate efficiency expressed with lucid explicitness by the first. Even in the Mosaic history of the creation, sub- limer than any other, because it represents as forthwith existing what the Deity willed to be, without weakening the impression of omnipotence by any mention of intervening physical agencies, — even here the silent thought is still not deemed to be sufficient for the beginning of creation. God


is made at least to utter the word, — a very slight yet all thrj same a distinct condition, which, it seemed, had to be fulfilled in order that, through its operation, the eternal necessity of things might bring to pass the rise of existence at the word of command.

Thus then mythology really comes far short of what it seemed to promise; and the discord in the beginnings of things which it sought to reconcile, it scarcely succeeded in concealing. It could not animate the world of things, it could only conjure up beside it a second world, those godlike forms that, hovering around or above the dark core of things, within themselves exalt every accident of the blind course of Nature into consciousness and enjoyment ; but they are not the Real of which they partake. As little could it banish the fundamental rights of reality, the regulated necessity in the connection of things; it did nothing more than dream of the blissful freedom of a celestial life, that stands out in bright relief against that dark background ; yet only in that background does this life at every step find firm soil beneath its tread.

§ 2. The renewal of the unsuccessful attempt was left for another line of thought. Were it our purpose to state historically the course of these shiftings of view, we should not of course speak thus. For the fact is, that the thought of a universal life of Nature seems to have arisen much earlier and to have been followed out into the most hetero- geneous forms of existence ; not till later did the fancy retreat from these upon a narrower range of individual forms, whose ideal beauty remained intelligible, long after all remembrance of their original significance had passed away. But while, like a dream that is past, the mytho- logical view of things is retreating before us to a greater distance, on the contrary that other conception, of which we are now about in the second place to speak, as it was perhaps the earliest blossom of the spirit of inquiry, so has remained alive through all time, and prevails hardly less in the present than it did in the past.


That increasing experience had destroyed belief in the visible forms of gods seemed to be no loss, since it had never made them visible. Tor to the new mode of thought it was no longer necessary to behold the animating intelligences of Nature as distinct beings beside the forms of dead matter; it rather sought to unite what mythology was always seeing fall within its hands into two separate worlds; as directly endowed with life, the body of natural forms was now to carry within itself the animating principle of its development. But when with this view the attempt was made to track living activity beyond the confines of organized existence into the most formless constituents of the external world, the archetype of human psychic life could not, any more than the outline of the human figure, prove sufficient for the delinea- tion of the animation sought. For but few of the products of Nature present themselves to such a degree as isolate, wholes, that it is easy to assign them as abodes to personal spirits. And even though we may ascribe to other things the capacity of receiving impressions and being affected by them, yet the absence of that system of organs on which, in our experience the possibility of sense-perceptions, the combination of these into an orderly view of things, and the reaction of will depends, prevents us from discerning them any form of mental life such as shall allow them to develop self -consciousness in the same way as we Finally, the further we advance in the process of resolving composite forms into simple elements, the more do we los( sight of seemingly incalculable freedom of action; the more distinctly is each type of Nature seen to be limited to a uniform mode of operation that under like conditions is always alike, to present no signs of internal development, and to be destitute of that power of collecting and rating impressions which gives to every soul in the c of its life an idiosyncrasy that defies comparison, by such observations, the new conception which we are trasting with the mythological view of things, speaks longer of animating principles which impel things, b


impulses that animate them.1 And yet with the new direc- tion of thought, which I have tried briefly to indicate by this contrast, we seem to lose more than we are at first in a position to gain.

For above all, the full, conscious, intellectual life, of which we have experience in ourselves, is alone to us thoroughly intelligible. If we have to give up its universal presence in Nature, the opposite thought of a wholly blind necessity of working may also be intelligible to us, — in so far at least as we no longer profess to throw ourselves into this complete antithesis of our own nature. But just on this account this idea can only suffice for us so long as we are content with calculating natural events and with controlling them for the satisfaction of our wants ; to the perpetual craving for insight into the heart of things it yields no satisfaction. Hence, in order to escape from this threatened absence of personality in all things, we create the notion of Impulse ; for by that term we seek to express not only that no external force with arbitrary necessity compels things to produce their effects, but that this compelling power cannot merely be in their own nature, it must be known by them as their own, be by them known, possessed, willed, and per- petually produced anew within, — or however else we may describe the desire to take impulse as the peculiar living nature of things, as their selfhood. The clear sun of Personal Consciousness, that shone in the forms of the mythic world, has been therefore replaced at least by the moonlight of an Unconscious Eeason in things, in order that what they do should not merely seem to spring from them, but in some manner should further exist for themselves and be recognised by them as their own life and action.

The many circumlocutions and figurative expressions which have been required, and which will always be required, in order to bring home what we are here in search of, show clearly how between the two extremes of the belief in Personal

^"Spricht nicht mehr von Seelen welche die Dinge treiben sondera von Trieben welclie sie beseelen."]


Spirits in Nature and the notion of a blind necessity of work- ing, this idea of an Unconscious Reason stands as an exceed- ingly indistinct via media. Yet, as the human mind is wont under the guidance of a decided preference to return once and again — and that in the most diverse ways — to this idea, it must meet a deep-seated intellectual need. And in fact, when we seek to account for this, we find even in our ordinary moods many traces of a tendency to prefer a some- what dim murky twilight to the broad light of intelligent life, and to efface the boundary between conscious action and unconscious operation.

"Net that we do not prize, as the two essential attributes by which mind is distinguished from things, the deliberate thought by which our mental states are bound together, and the volition which ascribes to itself their determination. But the noblest part of intellectual life does not always seem to us to lie in these, not every spoken word is to be regarded as the result of a train of thought which we can retrace; we rather rejoice in the spontaneousness with which from unconscious depths the expression of the soul's life wells up inexplicable and yet intelligible. We admire the lucid cogency with which an unbroken chain of inferences leads from the starting-point of an investigation to its conclusion  ; yet often we prize more highly that other kind of consistent sequence in virtue of which in works of art thought grows out of thought, without our being able to make a demonstra- tion of the connecting links, whose connecting efficacy we yet feel. Similarly we can only look on ourselves as creatures with a will of our own when, sitting in judgment on ourselves, we lay to our own account the moral excellence or worthless- ness of a particular action. Yet at the same time we regard it as the problem which education has to solve, that not merely the trifling movements to which the incidents of every- day life give rise, but further our whole moral conduct should appear as the involuntary expression of a noble nature, free from the melancholy seriousness of deliberate purpose, and therefore free from any thought of being able to be different.


Even mythology, when it explained the phenomena of Nature from intelligent motives, did not think differently as to this. Not every sunrise is preceded by a renewed resolve of the god  ; the original volition having as it were become faint at the distance to which it has retreated, continues to work with the unconscious power of a graceful habit. Nature manifests herself as Nature just because she seems to act under the influence of motives, of which she has ceased to be conscious, and of whose power she is now but dreamily aware, as some- thing persisting involuntarily. And in this twilight condition we love to merge even our own existence, — however highly we may prize distinctness of thought and freedom of will, far from denying the presence even in ourselves of a Nature that works unconsciously and involuntarily, we rather dwell with partiality on its constant quiet activity.

As yet we have hardly made clear the reasons that confirm us in this tendency, and I cannot hope to treat them exhaus- tively here. But first of all it appears to me as if we were sometimes overpowered by the feeling how much all investiga- tion and demonstration, all pondering and resolution, belong to the laborious processes of that life which is still engaged in the toilsome search after a distant mmmum bonum. Then we faintly feel the fascination that in so many enthusiastic souls has begotten longing after the absorption of their personal life in the all-embracing ocean of a universal spirit. That self-absorbed contemplation before which the loosened ties of a methodical train of thought are dissolved, and ego and non-ego — their limits effaced — blend in dreamy identity, that vegetative existence which has given up all volition and all effort after the distant, — these seem to us, in the undiscriminated vague emotion with which they fill us, to possess as something actually present that veritable highest good towards whose far-off reflection tends the unresting labour of our thoughts and our will. We prefer the tran- quillity of this finite fulfilment to the infinite restlessness of longing. But perhaps we are no less fascinated by the vista into something infinite which opens up before us as


soon as we come to perceive a Nature working within us unconsciously. In fact, a pleasure from mingled self-com- placency and humility seems to lie for us in the conviction that within ourselves lurks a world, whose form we but imperfectly apprehend, and whose working — when in par- ticular phases it comes under our observation — surprises us with foreshadowings of unknown depths in our own being. Any one who could see quite through himself would seem to us to have come to an end of himself; he alone who is gradually discovering himself is entitled to take an interest in his own existence. Hence we would not be without this dark core of our being, so assuredly do we count it as part of our own personality, thus expanded for us to the dimensions of a world in which we ourselves have still discoveries to make, and so clearly do we recognise it as something in us, yet not we ourselves. Then we retreat in confusion before this mysterious recess of our being, thinking we behold in it that Infinite which is the eternal foundation of all finite phenomena.

I add but cursorily one last consideration. As in ourselves we love to obscure the boundary between consciousness and unconsciousness, so also we are not wont to set our inner nature itself in sharp contrast to its bodily external form. Hardly ever, save when the idea of death awakens thoughts of a remote future, do we think of regarding the body as but a covering to be rent asunder, which the spirit occupies with- out blending with it. This view is little familiar to simple minds, and, even when we grasp it by reflection, we yet fail to raise it from the condition of a derived conviction into the clearness of an immediate vital feeling. We never can think of our hands and feet, of the surface of our bodies that feels pressure, except as a part of our very self — in no wise as an adjacent tract of the outer world which has been brought under the dominion of the soul only more completely than further outlying parts of the same. The mind invariably resists the giving up of that close union of soul and body, the feeling of which comes to us all, as a pleasing illusion, from


tlw knitting together of our organi/;ition. Tin1, spirit sc-. to t'ullil its destiny only wln-n, instead of moving a foreign body from without, it takes its place within it as the spring of action ; only then does the existence even of matter seem fully justified, when it not only confronts spirit as something to be used, but is inwardly penetrated by its glow. Here it is the artistic impulse, the aesthetic craving, that grows strong within us. As in all beauty we seek a mysterious blending of the ideal essence with the real form, so of science also we above all require recognition of the animated form in that charm of wholeness with which it floats before us in life as the visible fulfilment of our longing after unity, and we will rather admire it as an uncomprehended reality than suffer the understanding to dissolve it.

From these and other similar causes springs indeed the power of attraction ever exerted over us by the idea of an unconscious reason pervading all Nature  ; I have purposely spoken of those alone which give the conception in question its fascination for every human mind, passing over the argu- ments by which philosophical speculators seek to commend them within the sphere of the schools, though they cannot bring them home to living feeling. At the same time, I suspect that even such recommendations would not remove the reproach of indistinctness to be brought against the funda- mental thought of this conception. For, in appealing to actual experience of unconscious intellectual operations in ourselves, not only do we appeal to that within us which most stands in need of explanation, but investigation would after a few steps show that all those states on which we were laying stress- — in so far at least as they were connected with enjoyment — were cases belonging to a margin, and to be approached only by a personal and individual life of intelli- gence with the organs of its nature ; with this condition left out, they become inexplicable instead of more easy to explain.

But this view is at a disadvantage as compared with the belief in personal spirits in Nature not only from the indis- tinctness of its principle, for it is further open to the charge


that even under the application of this principle we do not readily regain an advantage which the mythological view of things certainly afforded. For the lively ever - recurring satisfaction with which we follow the latter in its inter- pretations of Nature, arises in great part from the fact that it traces back phenomena to motives- whose cogency is directly intelligible to feeling. If day by day Helios drives the sun-car across the heavens, it is not because he is urged by the blind natural necessity of an inexplicable instinct, but "that he may give light to the immortals" and contribute his share to the blissful order of the celestial world, that he daily repeats the monotonous task. And how frequently elsewhere in the legends of widely differing peoples are the movements of the heavenly bodies, their mutual attractions and repulsions, represented as the con- sequences of deeds and destinies whence spring everywhere poetic motives of love, duty, longing, and remembrance to keep the monotonous round going on ! Thus Nature in fact becomes the reflection of a world of thought; the external displays of force have no greater significance than belongs to the gestures of living beings ; they exist not for their own sake, but in order to point back to an essence which is expressed without being exhausted in them. If we give up the belief in personal spirits of Nature, this support, offered by a spirit-world to Nature, is in the first place only weakened. Even should the outward deportment of things now spring from a dream-like internal impulse, yet no analogy leads us to form any notion of a wider background of their psychic life, whence that dreamy impulse and the individual activity excited by it could proceed, as one among a plurality of manifestations. A single impulse, immediately directed towards a single kind of operation, has become the whole essence of things, their one and all, and they appear forced to make the outward signs of activity, without any inner experience of a higher kind by expressing which these would be alone justifiable. In like manner as it explains the turning of flowers towards the sun, mythology would have


traced back the mutual attraction of bodies to a conscious longing, and explained that longing itself from the past course of destiny. Movement in space would thus have been to it the momentary expression of a manifold intellectual life, into which in its manifoldness we could still enter, which in the fulness of its import reaches far beyond this single expression, and on that very account can truly explain it from itself. To us, on the other hand, an impulse of attraction that we suppose to lie in the nature of matter repeats properly but the uncomprehended fact of movement, adding thereto, instead of the explanatory motive, merely the thought of an equally incomprehensible necessity by which things are compelled to execute it. In fact, in this light the processes of Nature appear to us only as the silent gesticula- tions of forms whose images we discern on the horizon, while their voices are lost in the distance.

But this was not the whole meaning of this view of things ; at all times therefore we find it striving, by a wider develop- ment of its thoughts, to counteract this lowering of the conception of Nature. Above all, it carried back the divided multiplicity of phenomena to an all-embracing Cause, to an Infinite Reason. In the centre of this dreaming and creating World-soul it placed an original Impelling Cause of deep import which, assuming an inexhaustible variety of shapes, gives rise to this actual frame of things. Attaining in individuals to full self - consciousness, the action of this perpetual force is guided throughout by the same motives, even in forms where it but dreamily and unconsciously stirs, and each single product of Nature expresses in visible corporeality one of those thoughts by which the living essence of the Highest is interpreted. These thoughts, springing from the same original source, and therein com- bining to form the whole of an inexhaustible Idea, establish between the things whose moving-springs they are, an intimate connection of meaning and of community of nature. And in this community of their ground and aim, of which they perhaps retain some obscure remem-


brance, things get back again that deeper support of their being which we missed. The utterances in which the individual, yielding to the necessity of its impulse, indulges, are no longer made for their own sake ; they are the contribution which each in its place is bound to make to the realization of the universal cosmic meaning. And if the creatures pass in changeful development through a series of states, or in various fashions react on external forces, they are not even here under the compulsion of an unconnected multi- tude of separate impulses from without. On the contrary, from the unity of the Idea which is their animating principle, arise as with poetic necessity all the manifold varieties of existence and of deportment to be observed in them. Thus each individual is a living self-contained unity, and yet at the same time each has, in the mighty entirety of things, the explaining background of the particular dream by which it is moved.

On account of the truth which it unquestionably contains, this conception will never cease to produce its impression on the human mind  ; yet manifold difficulties start up as soon as it seriously sets about the interpretation of phenomena. No one has yet found an expression for that infinitely high essence of the world-soul whose individual emanations the productions of Nature are ; no one has yet found an expression to satisfy our raised expectations, or make up to us for the congenial life with which mythology had filled Nature. For all those efforts after growth and development, after plurality in unity and unity in plurality, after contrariety and the conciliation of opposites, by which men have tried to render intelligible the essence of the world-soul, must to the un- biassed judgment appear but miserable tasks, scarce worthy even of the sportive activity of childhood, far less fitted to express the serious creative tendencies of the cause of the world. Did such efforts exhaust the fulness of its content, we could not deny that any single moment, taken at random out of the life of a human spirit has infinitely more soul than the depths of the world- soul.


Nevertheless the shortcomings of our attempts to fathom these depths would not disprove the truth of the view itself; even should the Highest continue to float before us but as an unutterable idea, we might yet, by holding fast this idea, at least gain the advantage of securing a living conception of Nature. But the same reproach which we had to bring against mythology, lies at the door of this view and its results. For it too, expressly as it promises to embrace the whole of Nature, has yet hitherto in all its performances really had in view only those selected main outlines of the course of Nature to which the mythological imagination confined itself; like that, it overlooks the treasures of the trivial common- place actual world that — less poetic, but all the more inevitable — spreads around us. In the mobility of the animal body, in the growth of plants, nay, in the crystalline forms of solid matter and the revolution of the heavenly bodies, in short, wherever the isolated effects of the elements have already coalesced into a permanent, self-maintaining form of existence and of motion, there we can easily find the reflection of JIdgas which we assume in the essence of the world-soul as the type of its working. But the achievements of the lever and the screw, the laws of equilibrium and of impact, the effects of pressure and of tension, all these have ever seemed to lie far apart from the progressive manifesta- tion of the world-soul, and have for the most part remained wholly outside the speculations of those who have philo- sophized about it. The open-air landscape beauty of creation may foster the tendency to this lofty view of Nature  ; the homely activity of the workshop, teaching us not to admire what lies before us finished, but to consider the possibility of its coming to pass, necessarily leads to other thoughts; by it the doctrine of creative animating natural impulses is inevitably forced to give place to a third view, — the last which forms a chapter in the history of human thought.

§ 3. We are now daily surrounded by a multitude of artificial contrivances, far more varied than those of earlier times, in which, by means of a complicated series of movements, lifeless

VOL. i. B


materials successfully imitate the activity of living organisms. Our eyes cannot rest repeatedly and continuously on this remarkable borderland of self-acting instruments, which derive their material from Nature but the form of their operation from human volition, without our whole mode of conceiv- ing Nature being affected by these observations. In the materials of which it is constructed there was no internal predisposition to the formation of the machine which moves before us ; no inherent vital end brought about its present mode of connection, no animating impulse inspired the rhythm of its movements. We know in fact that not from within, by a spontaneous effort at development, but under extraneous compulsion have the combined bodies acquired this admirable play of mutually adjusted states. Tar simpler properties and effects belonged in themselves to the particular substances which we combined, varying according to universal laws with the alteration of definite conditions. These invisible forces our mechanical skill has compelled (by the cunning combina- tions into which it has beguiled that which holds them) to work, under such conditions that their conformity to universal laws must, without any purpose of their own, realize the ends that are our purposes. If this be so, then the elements of Nature suffer themselves to be applied and adjusted by our hands to the most remarkable performances, to which they were impelled by no innate tendency craving for expression, and why should it be otherwise with Nature herself  ? Perhaps, too, the forms of her creatures — full of significance as they are — spring up but from without, as part of the world's course, which combines the elements sometimes in one way, some- times in another, and in each of these groups inexorably initiates the system of movements and operations that, accord- ing to general laws, corresponds to the actual mode of their connection. Thus all organisms would be made what they are by the concurrence of many external conditions, and would just as little possess an inner vital spring of action as the products of our hands, of whose want of personality we are convinced.


The more widely and effectively the practical dominion of human skill extends over Nature, the more confidently do we find this inference drawn. And results seem to confirm this confidence even where we are not constructing anything new out of serviceable materials, but merely seeking to modify what Nature offers of her own accord. By combining sub- stances presented to us by the earth, the hand of the chemist has produced countless others, which never existed until they had been created by art, and many of which by their per- manence and strength, by the brilliancy of their sensible properties, by the variety of their modes of action, vie with the most remarkable of those offered to us by Nature as her own products. From having been subjected to artificial fertilization and lengthened careful nurture, plants have developed a heightened beauty of blossom and of fruit, and our gardens are filled with a flora such as, in the form in which it delights us, has no natural habitat. Animals show even in their shape the modifying and improving effect of domestication ; hardly anywhere do we meet with the original features of Nature ; in all its departments the deliberate in- terference of man has succeeded in making alterations full of importance. The impression produced by these observations necessarily strengthens the conjecture that Nature brings forth her products not through animating impulses from within, to which we have nothing parallel to show, but through the composition of the same separate forces, by whose application we succeed in transforming her creatures.

A further consideration would seern to make this conjecture a certainty. If each single natural product depended entirely on itself, and were developed out of itself without needing an external world or being accessible to its encroachments, then we might conceive of each as resting on a single animating Idea peculiar to itself, by which should be determined, with provident sagacious consistency, every detail of its future development. It was thus that the view which believed in the animating impulses of things, loved to conceive of Nature  ; it thought of the actual. world as a great picture of still life,


and sought to give to each figure in this picture its own peculiar meaning. What had been overlooked by this mode of thought, came home the more forcibly to the new, which had become accustomed, in practical intercourse with things, to inquire as to the ways in which each product can come into existence. It was to it clear that the actual world is a picture of life in movement, whose separate parts, in constant action and reaction, bring forth, preserve, alter, and destroy one another. But whatever grows and lives, not isolated in a world of its own, but as part of a connected actual whole by which it is influenced, whatever thus has needs and conditions of development, must, in acting and being acted upon, obey the universal laws of a cosmic economy which, extending impartially over all that actually is, can alone afford to the individual the satisfaction of his needs. Every form of mutual action necessarily involves this capacity of being reciprocally affected in the things that mutually act, and presupposes some universally binding system of law, whereby the amount and the form of their reciprocal operations are determined. Now it is no longer possible for the most important single phenomenon to behave as an independent and indivisible unity intelligible only in itself; how it is developed, what it actively performs, and what it passively receives, depends no longer on its own arbitrary fancy, but has from eternity been decided for it from outside  ; and all its operations, all its states, are assigned to it by the general laws of the world's order and the particular circumstances under which it enters into that order.

Hardly ever has any serious attempt been made to with- draw inorganic Nature from this mechanical mode of concep- tion; a longer resistance was made to bringing organized beings also under it. But the same reasons compel us to admit it here too. Animals and plants produce neither from themselves nor from nothing the substances through whose aggregation their outward form grows ; they borrow them from the common storehouse of Nature. In a continuous cycle the soil and the atmosphere supply to the vegetable, and


tin's again to the animal, kingdom, tln^c indestructible elements which serve now one, and now another form of life, then for  ;i time return to the formless condition of unorganized bodies, applicable to everything, but of themselves inclined neither to one nor to another mode of their application. This necessity to draw from the general store and to detach the required elements from already existing combinations, in order to bring them into its own service, sets narrow bounds to the free play of vital force in each several organism. That force, for its part disposed to transgress those laws which hold good for the rest of the world, would perhaps willingly, with pre- vision of the whole course of its future evolution, direct the development of life from a single impetus and with the unity of a single purpose. But this disposition will not be shared by the materials that are to it indispensable  ; they will imperatively demand to be directed here by the same laws to which in all other cases they are subject. The plant can never decompose the carbonic acid of the atmosphere unless it counteracts the chemical affinity which holds its constituents together, by another affinity in a definite degree stronger, and carbonic acid only recognises the separating power of such an attraction as is attached to a definite quantum of material mass. And where the acquired material has, within the living body, to be brought into the forms required by the plan of the organization, it will just as little spontaneously accommodate itself to this conformation. On the contrary, like every weight to be moved, it will expect to see its par- ticles pushed into the required position by means of definite amounts of propelling force exerted by definite masses, accord- ing to the same universal mechanical laws that likewise regulate the movements of inorganic substances.

Whatever living impulse therefore may animate organisms from within, this does not cause their persistence in spite of assaults from without, and the execution of their predestined functions. Both are at all times due to the forces inherent in their elementary particles, which, coming into contact with the outside world, are capable of receiving stimuli and


responding to them efficiently. And whatever ingenious sequence may bind the life-phsenomena of an organism into a systematically developed whole, that too is bestowed on it both oy the original arrangement of its parts, from which the total result of the single operations receives a definite form, as well as by the progressive alteration which these parts make for themselves in the course of their activity.

So long as the investigation of Nature started from the unity of the living impulse, and sought in it a sufficient source of explanation for the changeful development of an organism, it had little success in the interpretation of phenomena. It took the most decided step in advance when it began to take note of the activity of the smallest parts, and, at various points combining the single operations, to trace back the whole to the united efforts of countless con- stituents. It still for a time allowed something internal, the one vital force of every organism, to remain an object of traditional belief and veneration, and theoretically granted that the Idea of the whole precedes the efficiency of the parts long after it had practically decided to seek really fruitful explanation only in the common workingjrf the parts. This last aversion the presenTTia^lovefcome; and, tired of rever- encing an essence that never expressed itself in action, it has extended the clear and definite mode of conception of mechanical physical science over the whole domain of Nature, as much to the advantage of inquiry as undeniably to the disquieting of the mind.

In place of the vital impulse, animating as with a breath the composite and variously formed whole, it put the simple and indestructible forces which perpetually inhere in the elements. The impulse had been regarded as developing with changeful energy now one, now another mode of operation, here holding its power in reserve, there hurrying and striving to express itself ; equalizing and supplying what was deficient, it was bound not by an immutable rule of action, but solely by regard to the end towards which all the details of the development were to converge. Force, on the other hand,


inheres in the elements of the body with an unvarying, ever- i'icntical mode of operation, at each moment of necessity performing all that, according to general laws, present circum- stances dictate, and capable neither of deducting anything from their possible effect, nor of supplying what the un- favourable character of circumstances denies. Not guided by any aim in view, but driven forward by the pressure of the course of Nature behind, it does not of itself work towards the realization of a plan, but each connected chain of diverse effects depends on the peculiar conditions under which a number of elements are compelled by the actual form of their connection to work together.

While physical science thus divides the unity of the animating power into an indefinite multitude of elemental forces, and believes the final form of the organism to be determined by the manner in which these are combined, it leaves open the question as to the origin of these combina- tions, which are so happily chosen that what is fairest and most significant in Nature is necessarily evolved as their result. Addressing itself exclusively to the explanation of the conservation of the already existing universe, it may in fact shut out this question from the narrower range of its inquiries. If sometimes inclined to ascribe the origin of this order to a chance for which no special reasons can be found, it is yet just as likely to refer it to the wisdom of a divine spirit. But in any case it is wont to maintain — and in so doing perhaps to go beyond its province — that of the creative freedom of this spirit no breath has passed into the creation, and that Nature once in existence continues to exist, like every product of art, according to those inexorable laws whose immutability testifies alike to the wisdom of the maker and to the complete impersonality of that which has been made.

§ 4. And in this wonderful machine of Nature, by whose ceaseless movement we are everywhere surrounded, what place do we ourselves occupy  ? We, who once believed we could discern kindred godlike forms behind the veil of phenomena "? we, in whom the Universal Reason of the World-soul became


at least dreamily conscious of great ends, and of an eternal Impulse binding us along with Nature into one great universal fabric  ? With the yearnings of our spirit, with the demands of our moral nature, with the general fervour of our inner life, we feel out of place in this realm of Things to which consciousness is unknown. Yet perhaps this feeling of discord also is but the survival of an error which we must lay aside.

For not alone have our views of Nature in process of time undergone the alterations described, — along with them our self-knowledge has at the same time assumed new forms. Youthful humanity could innocently rejoice in its vivid consciousness, which, like the plant evolved wholly from its own germ and oppressed by no feeling of extraneous com- pulsion, did not even feel needful the recognition of its own freedom. Growing experience and gradually widening surveys of human existence showed that the development even of intellectual life was governed by general laws valid for al1, and less and less to be attributed to any special desert of the individual. The mind resigned itself with equanimity to this kind of necessity, so long as it saw in it the gently constraining power of the one eternal Idea in which we live and are ; a sense of oppression arose when that too had to give place to the divided plurality of determining and moulding forces. How much of that which we had looked on as an essential part of our personality did we find to be the result of influences that cross, confirm, or resist one another within us ! Within narrower and narrower proportions shrank that in us which we could call really our own ; the bodily organs claimed one part as their contribution, another came imder the general forces of psychic life, which by no merit of their own work according to identical laws in all individuals ; one small sphere alone, that which is ruled and shaped by the freedom of our moral action, seemed to afford an asylum to our real self. To this last vestige of genuinely inner life science has left but an ambiguous existence, as a possible object of belief; and even this she seems on the point of giving up altogether.


As soon as we know that the general economy of the universe apparently requires yearly a certain average of crime just as much as a certain average of temperature, we can hardly help seeing even in intellectual life the unbroken sequence of a blind mechanism. Like the outer world in its perpetual revolution, our mental life too must be but a vortex of move- ments kept going by the incessant action and reaction of the countless atoms of our nervous system. We have advanced far beyond the childlike ingenuousness of mythological con- ceptions ; we have not only given up personal nature-spirits, but made the possibility of any sort of personal existence one of the darkest of problems. Enclosed within the great machine of Nature stands the smaller machine of the human mind, more cunningly framed than any other, inasmuch as it is aware of its own movements, and watches with admiration those of the other toy  ; — yet some day its parts, too, will fall asunder, and it will be all over with the jest and the earnest, the love and the hatred, by which this strange world was moved  ! Even these final conclusions men have not shrunk from drawing, now in an exulting, now in a despairing spirit. At the same time, they have not been universally drawn ; at various points on the way thither multitudes have stopped, trying in different directions to escape from the uninviting goal. And all along, through all shif tings of view, one simple faith has yet preserved itself unshaken, the faith in an eternal First Cause, who bestowed on the world of spirits living freedom for the combat on behalf of a sacred aim, and denied it to the world of things, that under a blind necessity was to be a stage and a weapon for the efforts of the combatants. With this clear line of demarcation the mind gained power to establish itself in the circle of things, building on their unvarying conformity to law and on its own freedom. But that left still another platform to be reached from which to answer the many questions as to the respective boundaries of the two contiguous spheres of freedom and necessity, ever and anon raised by attentive observation of the details of the course of Nature.


By such problems we feel ourselves beset, — not as if they had not existed and been felt at all times ; but more than ever they have now been brought into the foreground of thought by the growing diffusion of physical science. Too long, no doubt, did the human mind, when forming its view of the universe, overlook that obscure uncompromising element of necessity, the world of things ; as experience advanced, this has advanced with increasing power, and vainly should we now strive to conceal the fact that its dominion is firmly established over the world of sense. If, however, we would anew attempt to withdraw from it what we believe we cannot yield without the sacrifice of our own beingj we must not begin by disputing what all experience unites in ever afresh confirming. On the contrary we must admit, even for our own bodily life, the complete validity of the principles on which the world of sense is interpreted by the mechanical system of inquiry into Nature. Meanwhile we may, perhaps, clearly distinguish that which in the passion of conflict is, in many quarters, laid down as an unquestionable principle of physical science, from that which science itself — here more tolerant than certain of its votaries — claims to know cer- tainly, and is entitled everywhere and inexorably to require. Perhaps also it will at last appear that mechanism as a whole, far from being antagonistic to the true tasks of intellectual life, has itself been taken as a necessary working element in the great totality of things of which only partial glimpses of separate sides are afforded to the human mind by the fluctuations of the spirit of the age.



Universality of Law— The Place of Efficient Activity in Nature— Atoms, and the sense in which, they are accepted — Physical Forces — Laws of Kli'<;<:ts and of their Combination — General Inferences with respect to the Explana- tion of Natural Phenomena.

§ 1. CJOME necessary connection in things has, in some ^ sense, been sought in every age, and under every mode of thought ; it is not this which is distinctive of the mechanical attitude of contemporary science, but the further speculations as to the meaning and origin of this necessity. Even the darkest superstition, thinking by futile magic to determine the destiny of the distant in space, appealed to an incomprehensible connection, according to which the desired effect was to follow its incantations. In a twofold sense the thought of science is different. The several states of things, instead of being supposed to be assigned to them merely in succession, by this incomprehensible necessity, are held to proceed intelligibly one out of another, so that each prior state contains in itself the reason why, by a universal and comprehensible law, the posterior is necessarily required as its consequence. And similarly each actual form of existence is not supposed to evolve state out of state according to a law peculiar to itself ; on the contrary, the necessity that is dominant in one organism, owes its compelling power to the same universal laws which in every other also assign like to like and diverse to diverse. Thus the various spheres of contrasted phenomena that make up the universe, do not separately rest on special predispositions, having nothing in common ; they are only examples of what the power of uni- versal law establishes, under the different circumstances, which



bring phenomena under its rule in ways varying according to conditions of time and place. It is on this conception of a system of law controlling all nature, whence alone things derive their obligations and their capabilities of working, that the mechanical view of nature has based the extensive superstructure of its doctrines.

But from the phEenomena by which alone we are sur- rounded, we can reach this universal system of law only through inferences that transcend the region of perception. And here the steps that have been taken are not all alike unquestionable. The principles of our knowledge, certain in themselves, are not everywhere sufficient for the attain- ment of useful results ; frequently a happy intuition has had to divine fruitful points of view. The progress of science has not, of course, invariably confirmed the correctness of such conjectures, which when made, excited surprise by the opening up of great prospects; further, it has not always been found practicable to trace back to their special inner necessity even such conjectures as have been abundantly verified by experience. The sceptical inquirer may therefore be beset by many doubts, and the hope of escaping from par- ticular corollaries of the mechanical view of Nature will be secretly derived from the fact of its foundation not being in all points completed. But it would be of small avail to think one could shake the great fabric of this view by hastily collect- ing together objections suggested by a cursory consideration of many of its particular propositions. Besting, as it does, on a boundless store of consentient facts, it deserves, like a natural phsenomenon, to be regarded in the belief that future insight into the connection of its parts will dispel present doubts as to particular points. In fact, like a product of [Nature, this view of Nature is itself capable of a full, transforming development. None but one very imperfectly acquainted with its spirit, could look on the principles which it has hitherto applied as a fixed number of possible points of view which cannot be increased. On the contrary, physical science knows very well that the fields, which have as yet been com-


pletely covered by its investigations, are but few compared with the infinite variety of phenomena which Nature daily sets before us. It is aware that the general principles of which it makes use, are partly derived from the particular forms in which operating Nature manifests itself in the few best-known departments, and that as, one after another, new spheres of experience enter the circle of objects of investigation and become more fully known, a more general and comprehensive statement of the prior basis of its reasonings becomes indis- pensable. In this process of self-development it will rarely have to pull down what it had previously built up ; more frequently it will find that laws, whose validity this progress leaves unimpaired, are but special cases of more comprehensive formulae Thus true physical science will not show that narrow-minded haste with which men so often try to explain all phenomena on the same pattern as those which chance, or the point temporarily reached by observation, has brought most conspicuously before them. In view of this pliability of science we have to bring into relief the few points which it does hold as necessary and universal, while of the others we must ascertain the degree of probability which alone it claims for them.

§ 2. Now there is one feature, in addition to the conviction of a universal bond of law, that is essentially characteristic of the spirit of the mechanical view of Nature, namely, the unremitting care with which, in regard to every effect with which it deals, it seeks accurately to determine the elements by which this effect is produced. This caution has not always been practised. In earlier times men spoke of effects in general without saying by what they were produced ; of operations, without stating whence they proceeded and where they ended. Compound products, in which a multitude of parts might be distinguished, were connected by them in a general way with forces, evolutions, and operations, that seemed to take place within these structures in as indefinite a way as electric discharges in clouds, which one sees flash, without discerning the outline of that from which they proceed. To



its strict avoidance of this fault modern science owes all that it has accomplished. Seeking carefully to define each element from which an effect proceeds, in reference to other elements, and to all the conditions surrounding it when active, it has not only made itself familiar with effects in their general appearances and deportment, but has connected their magni- tude, direction, and duration, as well as the influence exerted by them in any given direction, with definite quantitative laws.

In this way science has made its way to a point beyond which for the most part the investigation of intellectual de- velopments has not as yet advanced. Following on weak attempts to interpret the course of history, and all that is important in its events, from the mere volition of individuals, we are glad once more to find nowadays an inclination to derive human social conditions, religious aspirations, and the variable tendencies of art from the unconsciously organic operation of a universal spirit. Nothing is taken away from the brilliant results due to these efforts by the con- fession that, after all, history is not made without personal intelligences, and that more exact observation will discover in that universal spirit only the uniform tendency impressed on individuals under the influence of universal conditions and by their mutual action and reaction. We need not there- fore grant that all fair and significant phenomena in Nature and history were but after-results of the circumstances that as a matter of fact went before ; on the contrary, what we meet with as the ideal element in the world of reality, may well have given the first impulse to that definite order of things from which we are continually seeing it arise as a necessary result. But, wherever the subject of our inquiry is, not the worth of that which has come into being, but the possibility of its coming into being and the process of its realization, our search will be necessarily directed towards the single real elements, whose normal action and reaction on one another is the sole instrumentality whereby everything comes into existence. And thus history and physical science will


derive the origin of all new conditions, the persistence of all prior ones, from the mutually exercised influence of many separate individual points, in which exclusively the Idea has become materialized into energetic existence.

Having perforce entered on this line of investigation, science could not but try to discover those first starting-points of all effects, which, absolutely simple and immutable, con- tribute to form the heterogeneous course of Nature in pro- portions which are unchanging, and therefore calculable. That which presents itself at first to direct observation as an isolated unity, e.g. the moving animal body or the clearly outlined form of the plant, ultimately shows during the course of its life that its existence in time and place and capability of action are dependent on a certain combination of parts, and cease along with that. Unorganized bodies, by their divisibility into homogeneous constituents, or by the manifest occurrence in them of heterogeneous ingredients, still more forcibly suggested that they were composite substances with properties dependent on the nature, the number, and the forces of their component elements. But the attempt to discover these elements soon brought the conviction that the simple and unvarying constituents of things are wholly beyond the reach of sense-perception. For what appears to the senses, in a very small space, as a homogeneous and persistent element, is found to be after all variable during the progress of inquiry, or becomes split up, before the assisted eye, into a world of variety, and once more we see indefinite congeries of particles engaged in building up, by their action and reaction, those minute forms that cheat us with the appearance of a uniform and inwardly motionless existence. Hence it was necessary to take for granted that which perception did not reveal, because going on in a region to it inaccessible, and to seek the final constituents of the physical world in countless atoms, invisible from their minuteness, persistent in their duration, and unchangeable in their properties. These atoms, now coalescing in most manifold fashion, now withdrawing unaltered from these fluctuating combinations, produce by the variety


of their positions and motions the different kinds of natural products and their changeful development.

Microscopic investigation, which so often converts the appa- rently homogeneous into a cunningly-framed fabric of manifold parts, seems most naturally to foster the tendency to think of the efficient elements of physical nature as distributed among particular points of space, and of the properties of the larger perceptible bodies as dependent on the mode in which these parts are combined. But this thought was elaborated by the ancients long ago under the guidance of considerations that partly still retain undiminished force. Yet by the want of connected observations expressly directed towards this end, they were prevented from giving mathematical precision to this conception, and in their hands it remained rather a general thought about a possible explanation of Nature than a means of elucidating to any considerable degree a definite group of pheenomena. While, however, the ancients did not turn to much account the fruitfulness of their principle, in another direction they went much further than the atomists among modern men of science. They believed they had found in atoms the ultimate and inscrutable elements of all reality, and what we now hold to be only the constant element in the course of the created world, they held to be the unconditioned and truly existing, before which nothing was, while, itself preceding all, it is the essentially necessary and independent foundation of every possible creation. Now that a countless multitude of separate and unconnected points should form the commencement of the universe, and that from their aimless movements the complicated whole of phenomena should arise: this theory will always have against it the mind's earnest longing to see Nature developed as a unity from one source and on one plan. But this objection, which has force against the view of the ancients, would be wrongly urged against the atomistic foundations of our physical science, with whose spirit and requirements the resuscitation of that view is not necessarily connected. When we speak of inde- structible atoms, varying in form and size, we believe we have,


l>y a happy conjecture, added to the series of facts which we actually observe a new and pre-eminently suggestive fact, which, however, does not directly fall under our observation. This fact is, that all changes in the course of Nature stop at these smallest particles, and under all alterations of their external relations leave these as unmodified starting-points of unceasing activity. In this fact we believe we have, under the guidance of innumerable indications of experience, happily divined a characteristic trait of Nature. Like other facts, this too may well suggest prior questions as to its meaning and origin. But physical science itself, intent solely on the explanation of what is going on within the world as it exists, has a right to stop at some ultimate fact, such as indicates a universal and irreversible trait of that world in such a manner as to shed light on the meaning of phenomena. Thus atoms, unaltered and undivided, not on account of any absolute indestructibility on their part, but because the actual course of Nature yields no opportunities for their dissolution, form immoveably fixed points for the construction of phenomena. On whatever higher conditions their own existence may depend, these conditions we may leave undetermined when seeking to interpret Nature as actually existing, because they are invariably fulfilled, are never lost, and therefore never need to be re-established.

"What further conceptions we have to form in regard to the nature of atoms, can be decided only by means of those indica- tions of experience which compel us to admit them, and here much remains in store for the future. It is natural to naive reflec- tion to account for the various properties of the visible world by the various natures of the smallest elements ; science, on the other hand, is naturally desirous of reducing the divergent variety of phenomena to the smallest possible number of originally differing principles. In fact, experience very soon teaches that many distinctions in things that at first seem essential, are the result only of varieties in the size and combination of constituents in themselves homogeneous. Yet the persistence with which many natural products retain their

VOL. i. c


characteristically distinctive attributes under much variation in their conditions, would seem to increase the difficulty of explaining all the different forms of bodies and their varieties in deportment exclusively from the different modes in which absolutely similar and homogeneous atoms are connected. Besides, no higher point of view requires this similarity of atoms ; for what constitutes the unity of the cosmic whole is not that all its original elements are similar, but that, while differing, they conform to the requirements of a comprehensive plan.

The atomic theory of the ancients was governed by this idea of the identity of nature of the minutest constituent parts ; and, at the same time, differences in them which had to be recognised in order to explain Nature were sought for ex- clusively in the diversities of form and size proper to the atoms. But perfect identity of substance seemed rather to imply everywhere identity of form and size  ; thus the belief came to prevail that the atoms themselves are composed of still more minute particles homogeneous and of equal size, and that their forms are determined by the space-relations of these. The atoms were thus not properly simple elements, but indivisible systems of many particles. Nevertheless the atoms, and not their particles, were the elements of the course of Nature. For the combinations of these smallest primitive particles into the larger and more diversely-shaped atoms were looked on as eternal and irreversible facts, having their foundation before the creation of the existing world, and consequently outside the sphere of scientific inquiry. Now that the created world is in existence, all that the action and reaction of the process of Nature that still goes on in it can accomplish, is to break up composite palpable bodies into their atoms ; it cannot further analyse these into their primitive constituents.

The acceptance of an inexplicable primary construction is, however, forced on this remarkable mode of thought solely by its hypothesis of perfect homogeneity in the minutest particles. Certainly no other reason could be found why it should not


be possible for some one of the forces arising in the course of Nature to alter the combination of those particles in one atom into the different combination which they hold in a second, for this new combination, seeing it is there realized, cannot in itself be antagonistic to the nature of those particles. It would be different if we were to revive the theory of the ancients so as to hold that the atomic particles are formed not of homo- geneous, but on the contrary of essentially heterogeneous primary constituents. Each of these might then be in- divisible, because the constituents of each would be held together by an elective affinity such as could be surpassed by no other, and at the same time each would have a definite size and form, because only on condition of a limited number and fixed situation of the parts would their mutual cohesion be strong enough to resist the severance of any one. Such molecules, while by their indestructibility deserving the name of atoms, would consequently not be indeed the ultimate and simplest elements of the material world, but they would be the last to which the changes in nature carry us, those which in all syntheses and analyses remain the invariable constituent units.

But it is easy to see that at the same time this theory allows us wholly to divert our attention from any extension in space of these primitive parts, and to regard them as immaterial existences that from fixed points of space control by their forces a definite extent without in the strict sense occupying it. The mutual action and reaction of these un- extended points would mark out their distances from one another and their relative position, and thus they would describe the outline of an extended figure just as definitely and certainly as if by permanent extension they occupied the space contained within it. If we further conceive of forces of external attraction and repulsion as attached to these individual real points, considerable aggregates of them would by resistance to penetrative force present the appearance of palpable materiality or by reflection of the light waves the aspect of a coloured surface, just as much as if the operating


beings themselves filled the space with permanent extension of their own. There is nothing contrary to physical science (in whose eyes particles are of importance only as centres of radiating force) in attributing this semblance of extended matter to simple immaterial forms of being ; the philosophic study of Nature finds itself forced to make an attempt in this direction, seeing that here alone the idea of the simplicity of the really ultimate elements is combined with the equally indispensable diversity in form of the atoms which we must assume as the immediate component parts of matter.

§ 3. Whatever idea, however, we may form to ourselves of the nature of atoms, it will always be the most essential require- ment for the explanation of nature to find general points of view from which the results of their activity may be connected with definite laws. By its distinct comprehension of these foundations of its judgments modern science is widely separated from the atomism of the ancients, which in its efforts to explain phenomena from varying combinations of elements, always silently took for granted the laws of action to which the daily spectacle of physical events has accustomed us, yet without deliberately and expressly stating these principles, and investigating the limits of their validity. And it will be well for us to admit that in this respect even our science also is incomplete, and that, as it derives many of its principles only from dicta of experience, and may consequently with fresh experience receive different lessons, it cannot beforehand hold itself exempt from, all modification.

First of all, we are in the dark as to the inner nature of atoms. Still, whatever internal states and efforts we might ascribe to them, these will never suffice to set any single thing in motion apart from its being compelled thereto by its relations to other things. Tor pure space surrounds each atom uniformly on all sides, and no one point of this homo- geneous extension possesses advantages over any other, on account of which the atom at rest should be drawn to leave its place, or the atom in motion to change its direction ; no


point suits the nature of the atom better than any other, so that it should hasten to approach or delay to leave it. Hence each atom at rest will remain at rest, so long as external influences do not intervene, and each one in motion will continue its motion with the same direction and velocity, until newly operating causes effect a stoppage or a diversion.

This Law of Persistence — the foundation of our whole theory of motion — nevertheless states a case which as stated never occurs. For motion in reality is never found apart from pre- cisely those external causes that alter its direction and velocity. The individual atom is surrounded not by empty space, but by space occupied at innumerable points by other atoms the same or different in nature. We may assume that among them all, as constituents of the same world, there is a connec- tion of mutual correspondence whence arises a direct action on one another of their internal states. But this internal experience of the atoms is wholly beyond our observation ; it does not therefore form the subject of physical science, which deals only with the movements in space which are its external expression and effect. In the case of two unchangeable atoms in empty space this expression of their internal action on one another can only consist in the lessening or increasing of the distance between them. Which of these two results shall in a given case follow, i.e. whether the phenomenon of attraction or of repulsion shall arise, depends on the unknown internal relations of the related atoms, and can therefore be ascertained only by experience. Further, it is solely on the concurrent results of experience that we can — as yet at least — base the rule that the operating elements affect one another less powerfully as the interval between them becomes greater, more powerfully as it decreases. At what particular rate, too, the variation follows the changing amount of interval, can be decided in each case simply by the dictate of experience  ; lastly, it is this alone which informs us with what amount of force two atoms of a given nature will repel or attract one another.

It appears from the foregoing that the capacity or the


necessity to produce a given effect never potentially exists in the nature of a single atom or a single body. As, on the contrary, the necessity of any operation arises simply from the mutual relation of two elements, the decision whether one shall exert attraction or repulsion on another has its source equally in the nature of that other. Further, the amount of the influence exerted by each will be assigned to it partly by this relation to the peculiar nature of its antagonist, and partly by the distance between them, i.e. by the circumstances prevailing at the moment. But though in this way the definite operative force does not properly p.ccrue to each atom till the very moment of its action, yet physical science is wont to describe the power as perpetually inherent in the atom. It thereby no doubt occasions misunderstanding on the part of those who do not follow the meaning of this language in its applications. For there is a strong temptation to conceive of the power perpetually inhering in the substance as a new and unsubstantial substance, as a property, yet a hidden property, as a potential activity, or as an effort devoid alike of a conscious aim, of spontaneous action and of actual exertion. No one would feel the same difficulty, were we to speak of our soul's power to love or to hate. We know that love and hatred do not as such lie & priori developed within us, waiting for objects to which they may be directed ; but are awakened to a definite degree -at the moment when our personality comes into contact with another, Nevertheless, we let pass the expression, that the power of love and hatred is inherent in our soul ; we know we mean by it nothing more than that our permanent mental nature, as it now is, will necessarily develop the one or the other of these manifestations under the influence of certain conditions. With the same licence of speech physical science regards any capacity of operation acquired by a material element in virtue of certain conditions as a power of attraction or repulsion existing & priori and complete in the nature of the element. It need not fear to be led into practical errors by this abbreviation  ; for the notion of force can never be applied without reference in every case


to a different form of the actual condition of things upon which the use of the notion is based. We speak of the atom.-, so far as they are in operation, not so far as they are inactive ; l)ii t we can speak of no operation of one atom without mentioning a second by which it is undergone; and we can suppose no attraction or repulsion between these two without at the same time conceiving them as at the initial moment of the operation at a fixed distance the one from the other, and without from this inferring the amount of the force developed according to a law established by experience. It is therefore practically indifferent whether we affirm that the necessity of a given kind and amount of operation arises for each element from the internal relations of the elements to one another at the moment when the influence of the actual circumstances comes into play, or whether we say that of a number of powers slumbering prepared but latent in the atom, that power comes into exercise at each moment which finds in the present circumstances the conditions of its excitation and expression. Science, however, has certainly had reason to prefer the latter form of expression as practically the more convenient.

If the internal states, of which perhaps each atom has experience at the moment of its action, left its nature so altered that it reacted differently to a later stimulus from what it had done to an absolutely identical earlier one, we could not speak of its powers as perpetually inherent. Experience has on the whole showed us no such mutability. A chemical element, after having entered into, and again passed out of, various combinations, now with one, now with another, appears at the end of these vicissitudes with pro- perties nowise differing from those with which it entered into the first of these combinations. Where there is some appearance of the opposite, the explanation of the temporarily altered properties is to be found in the still- continued opera- tion of the events accompanying its last disengagement. Thus, however many and various may have been the states of the atom, it always comes out of these shifting colloca- tions wholly unaltered, — it acquires no new habits, such as


are developed in organized beings, — nor does it betray a trace of memory, through which the past states might come to determine those of the future. Its mode of operation can therefore be determined beforehand, when we know its original nature, and the sum of all the still operant condi- tions, without its being necessary to take account of the course of the history through which, between two points of time, it has passed. This continual return to the same character, under the same conditions, is strictly that wherein what we call the immutability of material atoms consists. For it would be too much to affirm that their nature never undergoes alterations in its internal states ; but these alterations vanish — at least as regards outward relations — with the cessation of their external conditions ; and, wherever the latter return into a prior combination, the atom also returns with perfect elasticity to its correspondent state, and once more takes part in the farther play of action as the same force or as the same mass as formerly.

Our knowledge of phenomena is not sufficiently com- prehensive to allow of our setting down this unchaugeableness as an absolutely universal property of all the elements of Nature. It is just possible that in departments in which investigation is as yet in its infancy, indications may appear of a progressive inner development of atoms. But, as experi- ence has not hitherto made such a supposition necessary, so it is easy in general to be assured, that, at least to a limited extent, the immutability of elements must always hold good. For it is not possible to conceive a structure of Nature, in which the living species shall always retain the same shapes and the same arrangement of their mutual relations, and the course of events present always the same main outlines, if the elements themselves, whence this varied fabric is always produced anew, on their side also undergo constant change. Perhaps all Nature is now actually going through a progressive course of development; yet, on the evidence of all experi- ence, so great is at the same time its constancy that we can only understand all the periods of its existence whose history


we can trace, on the assumption of unchanging elements, that after each revolution of external conditions return to their primitive state of being, and thus afford the original starting-point for the renewal of the same cycle.

§ 4. Now, if this hypothesis supplies the broadest basis for the predetermination of occurring effects, experience has equally confirmed the extensive validity of another, which enables us to estimate the results arising from the joint influence of several conditions on the same simple element. That an atom is already engaged in one movement does not prevent us from supposing it to take on a second ; the atom in motion obeys the second impetus, not reluctantly or merely partially, but as fully as if it had no prior movement, and its total velocity is the sum of the separate velocities in one direction communicated to it by these different forces. Now, if we suppose these forces to be exactly like one another, combining them in such amounts as we please, we can arrive at the notion of resultant forces, whose magnitude we then estimate according to the number of simple and like units of force contained in each. From this we can easily draw the inference, that the velocities communicated by different forces to the same element are directly proportional to the magni- tudes of these forces. Further, if a force continuously acting repeats at each moment the same shock which it gave in the preceding, the velocity produced will increase in course of time by the constant addition of the later impulses to the prior ones which, by the Law of Persistence, are still operating, and the motion will receive an acceleration such as we see exemplified in the fall of bodies through the constant attraction of the earth. Lastly, if different forces having different velocities and directions, try to move the same ele- ment simultaneously, this too will, instead of obeying one and disobeying others, yield to the impulses of all at once. Hence, at the end of a given space of time, the element is by the joint operation of two forces at the same point which it would have reached if, obeying both successively, it had moved first in the direction of the one, and then, during a


second equal time, and from the point attained, had moved in the direction of the other force. If, on the same hypothesis, we seek to find the places of the moving atom at the end of the first, the second, and every succeeding infinitesimal section of that space of time, the line that connects these points will describe the straight or curved course followed by the element under the resultant influence of both forces. It ends in a point, and the atom is at rest, when the sums of the forces propelling it in opposite directions are equal.

Finally, if the necessity of mutual action and reaction be granted in the case of two elements, it must equally be granted when one is confronted no longer by one, but by a plurality of elements of the same kind, whether separate or combined into a mass. Here, too, the capability of being acted on is not so easily exhausted that the one element must extend its influence over only a limited number of others, or distribute the amount among these. On the contrary, whatever be the number of its antagonists, the action and reaction between it and each of them takes place precisely as it would do if all the others were absent. From each, therefore, the one element receives, and to each it imparts the velocity corresponding to the mutual action between atoms of such a kind. It thus concentrates in itself this velocity multiplied by the number of like elements contained in the antagonistic mass, to each of which it com- municates a single unit of this velocity. If, therefore, we call quantity of motion the product of the velocity into the number of homogeneous moving parts, or into their mass, each one of a mutually acting couple will receive a quantity of motion, therefore a velocity, that increases in proportion as its antagonist is greater and its own mass smaller. This law of the equality of action and reaction, along with the foregoing, gives a determination of the course impressed by unequal masses on one another, in consequence of their common forces, whether they may have been originally at rest or in motion.

All these rules of calculation imply the general assump- tion that the action and reaction between one element and a


second exerts no influence on the law by which one can simultaneously enter into  ;i similar relation with a third. It is not the mode of operation of the force, but only its result which is altered by its meeting with others acting at the sum; time ; for the result must be of course that the impulses in opposite directions, of different forces, which the same element cannot simultaneously obey, neutralize each other, and that the others give rise to a mean resultant. This assumption is the simplest and best for the determination of effects produced by the joint operation of several conditions; for it permits of the action of each single force being in the first place estimated separately, and without regard to the others, and of the single results obtained being afterwards combined into a final resultant. And it would be natural to be guided by such a fundamental thought, even on the hypothesis that forces differing not merely in amount, but also in nature, met simul- taneously in' the same atom. Here, too, we should suppose that their crossing did not alter the particular laws by which the element reacts on each one separately, or is acted on by it ; only here, too, the result would be the neutralization of the opposite actions which are required at the same time by the different forces from their common object. And yet we cannot actually determine how far this conception holds good. For there is nothing necessary in the supposition of the indifference with which different forces act side by side in the same element without occasioning any mutual dis- turbance ; on the contrary, it may be regarded as the most unlikely of several possible suppositions.

If two persons are bound together by mutual affection, and if each separately enters into equally friendly relations with a third person, the advent of this last will not in all cases leave unchanged the feelings of the two first towards one another; it is just as likely to convert their former friendship into strife ; or it may be that persons previously estranged become united in common aversion of the third. This example, taken from a totally different sphere, has per- haps no profound analogy with the simple case with which


we are now concerned, but it is a concrete illustration of what we can now express without any simile in abstract terms. If we conceive, as we must, of the mutual action and reaction of things not as attached to them externally, but as either dependent on, or accompanied by, alterations of their internal states, then each element is at the moment of its action radically different from what it was before or will afterwards be. Now it may well be that the law according to which ex hypotliesi it has passed out of its inactive state into one of mutual action and reaction with a second element, holds good also for it when active  ; for the alteration of the internal state connected with its action may not necessarily affect those of its attributes on which its subordination under this law depended. And then, • on the before-mentioned assumption, each new stage of action will take place just as if no other had preceded it. But certainly it is, on the whole, quite as conceivable that a prior activity alters the internal state of the operant element too essentially to allow of its still reacting upon another element, according to the former law of its efficiency. For, as we have seen, forces are not indestructible peculiarities that without respect to relations inhere perpetually in the nature of an element; they and their laws are but expressions of those necessities of action and reaction which always proceed primarily from the mutual relations of things. If the internal states of things are altered, these relations may change along with them, and thus impulses to new effects of a different character, i.e. new forces or new laws thereof, be developed. We may therefore without hesitation hold it to be possible that the very law of work of a simple force may — and that in regular wise — alter with altered states in its subject.

Experience has of course, in the spheres where it has hitherto been possible to form a precise theory, hardly as yet given any indication of the practical importance of this general view ; nevertheless we must consider the unchangeableness of laws of action — so far as we find it — simply as one of those facts of experience which are instructive in regard to funda-


mental features of the actual constitution of the universe ; we must not look on it as in itself a necessary arrangement, that must occur in every possible system of Nature, or even unre- strictedly in Nature as we find it. Still less are we entitled to transfer it tacitly to the sphere of intellectual life, as if it could claim, without the special confirmation of experience, to hold good as a universal rule in all cases. Lastly, it is scarcely needful to add that it can come into question only with reference to those simple forces which we invariably attribute to the nature of a single element in its relation to a second. The joint operations of larger groups of elements, on the other hand, are of course dependent en the mode in which these constituents are combined, and no universal rule could be laid down in regard to the changes which such forces may undergo in consequence of the many possible rearrangements of the combined elements. In so complicated a system much may be irrecoverably displaced by impres- sions from without, and the return of the same external conditions would not restore the same capacity for reaction which was formerly developed under similar conditions. Such degradation of the simple elements, on the other hand, we cannot suppose possible, and even should there be the above-mentioned mutability in their mode of action, we would yet always take for granted that along with each repetition of the same combination of external conditions the same laws of action must also come into play.

Starting from such premises, science has elaborated the explanation of natural processes, by assigning to these pro- cesses general principles, by supposing, for situations actually occurring in experience, combinations of circumstances which seem to correspond to them, and calculating the results which existing forces must produce under such circumstances. In this way it has succeeded partly in throwing full light on particular spheres of phsenomena, partly (where the great number of concurrent conditions makes the calculation of them difficult) in at least reaching general points of view by which the results to be expected are circumscribed within


fixed limits. Thus from the equality of action and reaction the corollary may easily be drawn that the internal actions of a connected mass may alter its form but not its situation in space, or that under all internal alterations of a system its centre of gravity remains at rest, if it was at rest, or continues a motion in which it was formerly engaged without change of direction and velocity. Every change of place initiated by the forces inherent in a body therefore presupposes action and reaction between it and something external, that supplies a point of support, or of resistance to determine direction. For the study of life, to which we are hastening on, it is unnecessary to enter into the details of physical dynamics  ; on the other hand, it is desirable to add some further remarks on modes of conceiving them.

In our intellectual life we find the amount of many activities dependent on time ; the strength of our feeling about objects, the clearness of our ideas, the force of our will, all seem, in the absence of fresh stimuli, to diminish in course of time. In the ordinary opinion, therefore, it must be most probable that all effects whatever, consequently also the ex- pression of every force of Nature, are subject to such a gradual relaxation and exhaustion. Hence it was long commonly assumed that communicated motion at last ceases of itself, and the Law of Persistence on the other hand was regarded as a strange discovery of science. Even in mental life it is of course not time itself that wastes the force of the activity, but the many processes constantly crossing each other hinder by their mutual influences the unslackened continuance of any one. In the simple elements of Nature either this multiplicity of internal conditions does not obtain, or it does not exert an influence of the same kind  ; for, so far as we can survey the history of phsenomena, the forces of equal masses have at all times been the same. They do not increase or diminish because they have been in operation for a time, and as they undergo no exhaustion, so neither do they by repeated exercise acquire any habit of more perfect action. We have hence to seek the ground of every new capacity for operation that we


see arising anywhere, in a new conformation of the variable circumstances by which obstacles in the way of the unchang- ing forces have been removed or lacking conditions of their operation have been supplied. Similarly we have to explain every apparent dissipation of a force by changes in the mutual relations of the masses concerned, such as either put a stop to further action by resistance, or carry it beyond reach of our observation by distributing it over an increas- ing circle of objects. Every posterior state must therefore be explained, firstly, by the continuance of a prior state at the value which it retains for the moment ; and secondly, by the sum of all the newly-occurring circumstances, as joint conditions of the new result.

It will be seen how by these considerations we are neces- sarily led to refer all changes in the mode of work, all variety of development, and all variations in expression which we meet with in any natural organism, partly to internal move- ments by which the relations of its own parts are incessantly being modified, partly to changes in the circumstances by which it is connected with the outside world. But almost everything in Nature that engages our most eager interest belongs to this region of variable phenomena, our attention being above all attracted by organic life and by the com- plicated scheme of events looked at in wholesale. Science must perforce apply the principles of its investigation to these phenomena also, and as inevitably will it have temporarily at least to submit to appear in the invidious character of conceding to the search of imagination neither an inner nature nor true vitality. For if the unprejudiced mind reverences the image of life just because it beholds in all its inamfoldness the harmonious fulness of one being, in all the changeful variety of its development the gradual unfolding of one and the same imperishable type, we cannot deny that science certainly does destroy the value of this fair image, inasmuch as it shows its individual features to consist of many separate conditions knowing nothing of one another. Things no longer live from themselves, but through changing


circumstances a changing succession of action is produced in them which we indeed call their life, yet without being able to explain by what unity this vortex of events going on side by side is internally fused into a wrhole. This reproach — of putting together externally as in a mosaic pattern that which seems to have value for us only as proceeding from a single cast — has been constantly brought against the attempts at explanation of physical science, and we are far from asking that it should not be made. For it has ever been these voices that reminded investigation, when it was laboriously toiling through the perplexities of individual phenomena, of the great ends on account of which alone its efforts have a human interest ; they have everywhere opened up uno\\* a vista into a boundless field of vision, where the satis- faction which we experience from the partial removal of the nearest difficulties would have led us to a premature contraction of our views. But while acknowledging most expressly the perfect justice of these charges, we must yet add that none of the modes of conception by which they are usually most vehemently urged has hitherto succeeded in obtaining, without the principles of physical science, results equally indisputable and fruitful with those that have been already won by these axioms in every depart- ment of physical explanation. We have therefore reason to hope, that not by deviating from the path which wo have hitherto taken, but by following it to the end, wo shall meet that mental craving, to baffle which is in nowiso intended by the mechanical conception of Nature.

For it is unjust to add to the one reproach, of obscuring the unity of life, the other reproach of necessarily regarding the simple elements, from whose combination it deduces all things, as lifeless points devoid of any internal nature, to which forces of various kinds are but externally attached. On the contrary, physical science merely rids itself of such assertions as are unnecessary for its immediate ends ; and for its ends the hypothesis is certainly sufficient according to which the atoms are merely centres and points of junction for


(•[fluent and influent oj>i-r;itions. For, after experience has

lit, M.; thill 111'1 infi-nial status of atoms if Such tllity 1.

— exert no niodiiX iiiLr nillm-nci- on the, n"_m];irity of their working, we can leave them out of account as regards ph;« no- nirna, without having at the same time to banish them altogether from our view of the universe. On the contrary, further M.n-idcration would soon l-rin'_r us hack to the idea on which we have directly based the foregoing view, i.e. that forces do not attach themselves to a lifeless inner nature of things, but must arise out of them, and that nothing can take place between the individual elements until some- thing has taken place within them. All external incidents of union and separation must hence rest on or find their reflection in an inner life of things ; and, even if physical science breaks up the unity of compound substances, each single part of the mosaic which she puts instead is a living point inwardly in a state of movement. No doubt this com- pensation— the only one which we seem at present in a position to offer — will be deemed by many not only as trifling, but also as impossible. Let us leave for the future the task alike of proving its possibility and of showing that its import- ance is far greater than it seems. Perhaps we shall then find that in a different sense we too can admit the comprehensive unity of divergent forces, without being compelled to deny the validity of physical science, to the recognition of which the total result of our observations will always force us, whether we will or no, to return.

VOL. 1.



The Transitoriness of the Body, chemically considered— Change of its Con- stituents— Propagation and Maintenance of its Strength— Harmony of its Processes— The Efficient Idea — Purposive Self-preservation — Irritability — Machines produced by Human Skill.

§ 1. TT has been but slowly that the principles now set •*- forth have found recognition in the study of life. The systematically growing figure of the plant and the incal- culable activity of the animal were separated by too wide a chasm from the rigidity and absence of system of their unorganized dwelling-place, to allow of direct observation sug- gesting even a conjecture of an essential community between the two departments of real existence. The manifestation of life took the imagination captive with the complexity of its internal arrangements, from which a series of the most various states unrolled themselves in fixed order ; no ground remained — it seemed — to doubt that a cycle of processes, in meaning and importance so incomparably surpassing all else produced by nature or by art, must in its origin also be un- paralleled. Thus was formed that idea of a peculiar vital force of which we have already stated the essential import, and the special details of which, set up, as it appears to us, in unjustifiable opposition to the advancing claims of the mechanical conception of Nature, we are now about to discuss. However great be the difference between the spheres of life and of inanimate existence in regard to the ideas which the two may be called on to embody in the world of phenomena, it is yet but little in the power of science to refer the causal con- nection of the embodiment and conservation of life to laws and forces differing from those prevailing in the rest of Nature, out



of which life also is evolved  ;nul into which it again passes. As long as that connection holds on which we formerly dwelt as the determining point for our view, as long as life must draw all its sustenance from tlie common store of Nature, and can be developed only from the eubstances therein contained, so long will the peculiarities of its evolution be due wholly to the complete obedience with which it submits to the laws of the universal course of Nature. The realm of life is divided from that of inorganic nature not by a higher force peculiar to itself, setting itself as something alien above other modes of action, not by wholly dissimilar laws of working, but simply by the peculiar kind of connection, into which its manifold constituents are woven in such wise that their native forces, under the influence of ^external conditions., must give rise to a connected series of phenomena,, under the same general laws that elsewhere also are wont to determine the sequence of state on state. Little as we are at present in a position fully to explain the whole complexity of vital processes in the spirit of this conception, we can yet easily see that its main outline and the peculiar habits of working, by which living beings at first seemed to be absolutely distinguished from other forms of existence, are not inexplicable from this point of view, and that the theories still opposed to it lack many of the advantages which we already actually possess in the more precise estimation of the individual rendered possible by the principles of a mechankal conception of life.

§ 2. Hardly any other phenomenon makes to the eye so significant a distinction between life and its absence, as the corruption that consumes the dead body. Here we seem most palpably to be taught that nothing but the predominance of a higher force during life, keeps the constituent elements duly mixed, and prevents the action of the mutual affinities by which after death they pass into far other and simpler kinds of composition. And yet it needs but slight considera- tion to see the groundlessness of such an inference. For why should we not from this phenomenon rather draw the other conclusion, that the activity of life can last only so long


as the chemical composition of the body yields the necessary conditions, and that the corruption of death is nothing else than a disturbance of that composition which has now become visible, but by which perhaps long since, though less obviously, the conditions of life have been affected? This reasoning will seem forcible in cases where a distinct disease, originating within the body, has consumed its vitality; but corruption invades, though more slowly, even the body that has been struck down in the fulness of health by a violent death ; and so we return to the idea that the blending of the elements, main- tained during life by a special force, comes under the general laws of chemical processes only when this force ceases to exist. But closer observation discloses in the living body a scarcely less remarkable shifting of elements. We find that constantly, by manifold kinds of separation, particles are removed from it, which in their chemical composition do not indeed resemble the products of corruption, yet come much nearer to them than does the mode in which the elements of the healthy body are combined. Again, oft- repeated observations teach us that a great part of the textures of which the living body consists, are going through an uninterrupted process of decomposition and redintegration, and that the substances leaving the body in the most various forms, are in part the fragments into which this decom- position has converted what was formerly capable of life. There is no necessary ground to suppose that the process of this decomposition obeys different laws during life from those which even after death control the decay of the body. For the accessory circumstances conditioning both processes are too diverse not to make it easy to refer to them the great diversity observable in the character of their results. The continual circulation of fluids occasions the decomposed elements to flow in the living body in small and imper- ceptible quantities towards the excretory organs, by means of which they are restored to the surrounding world, and the mischievous effects are prevented which their longer retention in the body would have on the mingling of the other elements.


Moreover, many regulated functions of the living body bring together those elements which by their action and reaction tend to strengthen its fabric and accelerate the repair of its waste  ; while they separate those whose meeting might set up chemical processes of far-reaching destruction. Thus from decomposition and redintegration arises that slow change of elements which, imperceptibly distributed over long intervals of time, makes the living body appear to us a persistent unity. All these favourable circumstances are absent in the dead body. With the ceasing of all functions the paths become closed by which wasted tissue might be removed and fresh obtained  ; the already decaying substances, collected together without motion, work longer on each other and wear away the partition-walls that formerly kept them apart ; spreading around and no longer under the check of any order, the chemical processes together bring about the repulsive spec- tacle of putrefaction. We may further convince ourselves of the great importance (for the processes of organic chemistry) of this abnormal grouping of the accessory determining circumstances, from observations made on various diseases, where symptoms of partial corruption follow the cessation or weakening of certain of these motive and regulative arrange- ments. These facts in no wise compel us to seek in the living body a peculiar and special force, which should keep its constituents in a combination antagonistic to their natural tendencies in direct opposition to universal chemical laws. On the contrary, it attains this result when in complete accordance with these laws it allows the decomposition of that which under actual conditions cannot retain its com- position, and by means of a well-arranged series of complex movements, prevents the injurious effects of processes which it has no power to hinder, and supplies the losses due to the destructive influence of those processes. Doubtless, therefore, the same laws of chemical affinity govern the decay of the dead and the vigour of the living body; but in contrast to the painful putrefaction of the former, life is an organized decomposition, dependent upon the order in


which incessantly continued operations allow the substances to act upon one another.

I would remark in conclusion, that we ought perhaps to have begun by pointing out the exaggeration with which the perishableness of organic bodies is described. Is it true, for instance, that the wood which we use in our buildings, furniture, and ships, the quills taken from the wings of birds and with which the strange assertions we refer to are penned, and the skins of animals that protect our bodies against inclemencies of weather, do really perish so very rapidly  ? The contrary is true, for they are among the most durable of all structures, and succumb but slowly to the hostile influence of external circumstances, whilst many products of inorganic chemistry are abruptly resolved into their constituents by slight changes of temperature, or by contact with air or water. Hence it appears that among organic materials it is only those in which the plan of life requires facility of change that are very easily decomposable ; and even of these it remains doubtful to what extent they are perishable, and whether the force which dissolves the connection between their constituents is not primarily constituted by the action of other living organisms which strive to develop themselves at the expense of the former.

This peculiar play of changes in substance, which we have here made use of simply as a fact for the explanation of a remarkable phenomenon, we shall afterwards study in its bearing on the establishment of life ; in the first place, we find it used by the advocates of the opposite view as a fresh proof of the peculiar nature of the vital force. For, say they, while in the inorganic world each force is inherent in a particular mass, and changes according as this increases or diminishes, the vital force lasts beyond the flux of the constituents of the body, and in contrast to their perishableness manifests itself as a power, not chained to matter, but higher and more permanent. This opinion, however, would hardly deserve an articulate refutation, if it did not present an opportunity of throwing additional light on the real peculiarity of life. For it is


evidently too much to assert in general that the vital force endures longer than the perishable constituents of the body. On the contrary, there are but few parts of the body that at any moment can be given up to decomposition without a disturbance of the course of life, which finds a sufficiently secure foundation for its preservation in the disproportionately larger quantity of constituents continuing during this time in undisturbed cohesion and combination. The most ordinary experiments show that these conditions are too simple to form a mark of essential distinction between vital organic and inorganic processes. The coherence of parts in any structure is usually firm enough to allow of a loose stone being now and then, without danger to the form of the structure, taken away to be replaced by another. But such observations show at the same time that, while repair is going on, the parts of the building cannot bear the same strain as they could previously when it was perfect. Therefore, while the removal of one element does not alter the external figure of an adjusted system of molecules, or perhaps even visibly affect the course of its internal movements, it may yet most essentially diminish the power of the system to resist extraneous disturbance and the amount of work which it can accomplish. We have no reason to believe that in this respect it is otherwise with life. For what we directly observe is no more than this, that the velocity with which the change of material usually goes on in a healthy body does not strikingly modify the character of its vital operations and their natural sequence ; and the phenomena yield no basis for the affirmation, that the amount of power of resist- ance to external influences and the capacity of vital action are also unaffected by fluctuations in the molecular constitu- tion of the body. Of course, so long as parallel currents of decomposition and repair neutralize one another, the bodily force will remain at the same level ; on the other hand, where within given periods there is increase or diminution in the change of material, there we shall find periods of greater or less capacity of resistance to disturbance. Finally, the


universal mortality of living beings proves that the vital force does not always go on beyond the constant change of the constituents, but that the latter, even without the occurrence of outside accidents, leads to new relations between the constituent parts, incompatible with the continuance of the earlier play of movements. It is not, therefore, as a spirit brooding over the waters that the vital force persists in the transformation of masses, but the fixed mode of combination of the parts (which do not all disappear at the same rate of velocity, a more slowly altering trunk being always there to form a pattern nucleus for the aggregation of the new matter) makes it possible for the vital phenomena to go on for a long time, without, however, being able to ward off their final termination.

§ 3. But the new life developing itself with exhaustless energy out of that which is passing away, suggests new doubts; in propagation the vital force is without any impairment of its strength distributed over the newly-produced organisms, while inorganic forces, diffused over an increasing quantity of matter, display everywhere only that fraction of their power which answers to the quantity of matter. As a matter of fact, we perceive in children, along with whose life that of the parents goes on, not only no weakening, but an evident increase of vital force. But it is merely first impressions, not closer examination, that make us see here anything more perplexing than in lifeless nature. Does not the magnet also impart its energy to many iron rods, without thereby losing any itself  ? And does not the burning body set an indefinite number of others on fire without thereby cooling  ? Forces are never and nowhere transferred by one substance to another like divisible fluids that can change their place ; on the contrary, in every case of mutual action, the one agent brings the other into altered outer and inner states, in which new capacities of action are acquired, or former ones are set free from obstacles to their manifestation. A blow struck upon a rigid mass, whose internal connection it cannot alter, will merely communicate to it a motion, the velocity of which varies inversely as the


mass over which the effect of the blow lias to be dis- tributed The effect will be different if the same blow is given to a small quantity of fulminating silver, whose violent explosion will occasion a far greater disturbance among contiguous objects than could have been occasioned by the blow itself, if it had fallen directly upon those objects. Unquestionably a great increase of force has here taken place by the intervention of the explosive substance. The original shock indeed communicated directly to the parts of that substance only the trifling velocity which it would have communicated to any body of equal mass  ; but here this insignificant primary impetus encountered particles that had only to be quickly moved nearer one another in order that the chemical affinities long existing between, them should receive the final requisite to their bursting into noisy activity. Thus in this case a slight impetus is sufficient to bring about a great effect instantaneously ; it will even suffice to produce a long and enduring series of processes evolved one out of another and increasing to great results, when the forces which it has released from their equilibrium are, by the natural relations of the particles to which they belong, made capable of only gradually unrolling their results.

Therefore, however much the propagation of life, by means of the careful arrangement of harmonious activities which it presupposes, may always excite our admiration, it does not give rise to the same difficulties that we have already found to favour the assumption of a peculiar vital force. For its real process consists simply in this — that a very insignificant portion is detached from the maternal organism, with whose vital processes it stood in no- important connection, and becomes the germ of a new being. Even were we to assume that to it was transferred part of the vital force of its parents, this part could only be an infinitesimal quantity ; for the vital energy / of the germ we find to be at first very slight, and it attains the capacity of a considerable amount of work only after a long course of growth, during which it adds to its strength by the assimilation of material from the outer world. Thus even


in that case the organism producing it would lose but little, and certainly observation will not justify the assertion that this trifling loss is not accompanied by a correspondingly trifling diminution of the parental vital energy. But it is of little use to pursue a train of thought, the general impracticability of which we have already recognised; forces are not communicated by one thing to another, only movements can be communicated ; or substances may be set free from a larger group to carry on an independent ^existence. All propagation must therefore depend on its being possible for the parent to set up a germ, which, trifling in mass, is distinguished only by the carefully arranged combination and mixture of its constituents, and only by this means is made capable of developing into a living being, with increasing strength, under external favouring conditions. The original production of a new being is therefore not an effort, from which it were natural to expect a diminution of the parents' energy; though it may well be that the many exertions which in many instances the maternal organism has to make for the early invigoration and development of the germ, seriously imperil its vital powers.

But do we not forthwith again meet the same problem from which we have been trying to free the mystery of propagation, in the mystery of growth, of the continual increase of energy and mass in the newly produced organism  ? As the frame increases which it has to control, we see the vital energy increase, whereas in general every capacity dwindles as its tasks become heavier. But this difficulty, too, is cleared up by closer examination of the real process, and it deserves mention only on account of a common pre- judice associated with it. When the growing body absorbs the substances of the outer world and presses them into its service, we too often imagine this acquired material as so indifferent and so devoid of activity that it would seem to need a special cohesive force to retain it in the same combination when it has once been brought together. Our ideas of the connection of organic parts are too much modelled on that of a bundle of objects, which being indifferent


to one another and totally destitute of cohesive power, need to be tied together by a band external to them all. That is the meaning of the common craving to know the bond that holds together the body and the soul, or the constituents of the body, or lastly the mental elements. For the connecting principle of these last, though probably conceived as higher in its nature than a material bond, is yet not thought of as essentially different from a cord ; for it seems to be regarded as something which, while itself one and indivisible, fastens together a plurality of hitherto unrelated parts by very much the same folds and knots as a cord. The reality is different. To obtain the materials by which the organic body grows, may require peculiar exertions, of which we shall elsewhere speak  ; but their retention in the particular positions which they have once taken up relatively to one another, is no act of violence which they resist, so that a special vital force, stronger than the forces of all the parts, would be necessary to carry it out ; the elements are not even indifferent to this task, but carry it out themselves. For, in entering the region of the living body, they do not divest themselves of the forces that were before peculiar to their nature ; but by means of these forces they cohere with one another, and thus conform in common and in accordance with the needs of the organism to the same laws which formerly they obeyed when separated, outside the organism. Hence, instead of one band enclosing with surface coils the innumerable parts, we find innumerable ligaments each uniting two single elements of the body, and these are nothing else than the peculiar forces of the elements themselves, which do not need to be impelled by any superior mandate to the discharge of a function congenial to their nature, and which would not submit to be impelled to one alien to it. Every individual atom by which the mass of the body is increased, enters the system by virtue of the attractive force exerted on it by some one part : kept in its place by the same force, whose exercise involves no effort to the body, it now sets at the body's disposal its own mass with all the forces mechanical and chemical belonging to it, and thus


the body acquires a greater power of acting on the external world, and consequently increased energy. The work of vitality consists only in this — that the already existing stock of corporeal constituents be at all times so arranged and in such wise come into contact with the material of the outer world, that the action originated and consequently the fresh supply of particles may be adapted to the needs of life.

This task also can be so regarded as to revive the old diffi- culties. As before a bond was sought for the inert elements, so now perhaps a bridle is desired, by which their activities might be now permitted, now checked, at one time hastened, at another retarded. This would indeed be a nearly impracticable task if it had to be committed to a single force, by which the plan of the organization should be carried on at each moment by special help. But this work also is performed of itself, so long as external disturbances do not derange the relations beyond calculation. A group of particles forming the germ of an organic being, can easily be so arranged that in the course of its development only particular spots are left for future action and reaction ; others become so rigid that the substances of the outer world pass by them without producing any effect, in order to diffuse themselves by paths which are organized exclusively for the progress of the organism, and which render possible a steady course of growth according to a permanent model. Even in the crystal the new accretion of the same substance does not settle anywhere, but the forces of the existing form prescribe to the later additions the place and manner of their aggregation, and during their accretion preserve the original figure or at least the original law of its formation. What inorganic nature here executes, is performed with incalculably greater delicacy and complexity by the living body, but not on different principles of working, and a closer examination of its structure and its operations will show how much that seems difficult is easily and automatically performed, because gradually in the long course of development each prior state limits the number of indefinite possibilities of further work, and confines later events to lines more strictly marked out.


§ 4. Thus also the maintenance of order in the changeful multiplicity of vital processes would be caused not by the ever renewed assaults of a special regulative power, but by the arrangement of a system of particles once for all established, and then realized through the usual operations of these elements in the individual. We have already added that this result presupposes the warding off of external disturbances. But here we meet with a new peculiarity of life, viz. that with appropriately reacting remedial energy it survives and removes even these disturbing causes. All its other phenomena may be looked on as the gradually and regularly succeeding movements of a machine, whose structure once there and set in motion gives rise to a variety of effects which follow one another; but the adjusting activity that accommodates itself to circumstances, and always seeks with the choice of the best instruments to keep to the original plan, seems to be possible only for a vital force, guided not like the other physical forces by a monotonous law of working, but by a modifiable regard to the end of the work. But then how much — alike observation and reflection — concurs to render questionable this illusory conclusion ! For illusory it is, first in that it presents the facts in a far too favourable light, and keeps back the deep shadows. Death, that brings so much life to an end before the natural close of its evolution, proceeding from disturbances so slight as to elude our obser- vation, first of all convinces us that the body's recuperative power is not absolute, and the multitude of diseases that, but partially overcome, embitter future years, show further that it is exceedingly limited. Even healthy life, seeing it is not a play of self-caused movements, but flows on in constant action and reaction with the outer world, includes a great multitude of bodily changes which are primarily to be regarded as disturbances of its system, for whose counter- action a variety of ever-continued operations are provided in the original plan of the body. Now a system of parts having relations so suitably arranged that within certain limits its activity can subdue the lawless influences of the outer


world, does not lose this capacity at the very moment when these limits are transgressed under unusual circumstances. With the various ingenious contrivances which it before possessed, it often succeeds in overcoming even amounts and kinds of disturbance for which it was not adapted, either wholly or at least so far that the injury received does not conspicuously affect the character of its movements. But, of course, it is irrecoverably damaged so soon as there is in its structure and its organs no favourable circumstance to bring the disturbance to an end by means of the reaction produced in the system by its stimulation. We see from a host of examples how far this problem can be solved even by human skill, with the imperfect means at its command. Machines can be constructed so that the unequal expansion of different metals at the same degree of temperature does away with the injurious effects which variations in temperature might have on the precision of their operations ; the steam-engine can be compelled, while in motion, itself to set going a con- trivance by which the lubricating oil is supplied to the wheels in just such measure as is required by the actual velocity of the train. If we look on these achievements with a certain pride, it shows, the narrow tether of human power that we can be proud of such results; they certainly are exceedingly trifling in comparison with the infinite delicacy and versatility with which the living body resists innumerable minute disturbances all at once ; but this difference in value does not entitle us to infer an equally wide difference in the method of working.

In the organism also the curative reaction is connected with the purposive character of its internal arrangement, and extends only so far as external assaults leave this arrange- ment unaltered in its essential character. We shall vainly expect it to act, when the violence of the disturbance has deranged these favouring circumstances, though even then the after-effects of the original adaptability are so great that health, now become impossible, is not at once succeeded by complete dissolution, but by a state which is endurable,


capable of some duration, and conservative of at least the main outlines of the vital plan. On the other hand, we never see a curative reaction of such a new and quite unusual character occur, that healthy life has not already made con- stant use of it. Only sometimes with heightened impetuosity and in a different combination external disturbances excite these always already existing activities, and this very agitation, while sometimes causing unusual results, in quite as many cases entails complete dissolution. Did a peculiar curative energy animate the body, dealing with the physical and chemical forces of masses with any freedom of choice what- ever, and at all independently, it would be difficult to explain why it could ever fail in the execution of its designs, when once raised above natural necessity. We understand the necessity of its limitation, when we take it as the sum of that which the living body with activities adjusted to the usual circumstances of life, can accomplish even under such as are unusual.

§ 5. So great, however, is the admiration extorted by the complicated structure of life even from those who hold the mechanical conception of it, that we do not become impatient with our adversaries even when they are always pressing on us their idea of a peculiar vital force in fresh forms. " We do not ask" say they "a new force, a healing activity that should all at once begin to work, and, without any foundation in the constant arrangements of life, should only intervene in case of disturbance ; but we only can understand the whole course of the phenomena of life if the vital Idea of the whole is ever binding the parts together as the ruling principle ; it is the activity of this which, while less obtrusive in health, to whose perpetual wonders we are accustomed, becomes more evident in its heightened reaction against the violence of any disturbances of it. Only in unorganized structures does the whole arise out of the composition of the parts — in living beings it precedes the parts." It is clear that this last assertion can have no other meaning than that the form of the whole is already present in the developing body as an animating and regulating power, even before the whole sum of parts, by which its out-


line is one day to be filled, are yet in existence or in their right places. In fact, several processes in the first develop- ment of the germ show that in the places afterwards to be occupied by definite organs shapeless-looking masses are at first deposited, in which the division into parts pertaining to the perfect organ is afterwards developed. Circumstances of this sort may temporarily favour the view under discussion ; but these regular developments adapted to a common plan of the whole;and going on simultaneously at different spots in the germ, lose their harmony when the mechanical connection of the parts of the germ is disturbed by derangement or lesion. This fact shows that the disconnected formative processes are maintained not solely by an Idea hovering above them, but by the definite arrangement of the reciprocal actions taking place between all the single parts in virtue of their fixed position relatively to one another. By these reactions the material capable of being formed is deposited at prescribed places, and through their further operations, which subsequently acquire new conditions in consequence of this first result, the gradual articulation of infinitesimal constituent parts takes place. Would it be less marvellous if the organism, starting from a single centre, produced the immediately adjacent parts at once in their final form, — would we not consider this still more mysterious  ? The formation of every organic part thus depends on its being developed in constant association with all the others belonging to the same whole ; but this consists not in their all being em- braced by an active Idea, but in all being woven into a system of physical actions and reactions, from which each receives the form and velocity of its development and movement.1

The facts at least permit this view ; a more general con- sideration shows it to be necessary. For the expression Idea of the whole has a twofold meaning. We may denote by it, in the first place, the pattern and the plan which we perceive to be embodied in the complete organic structure, or persistently followed out in its gradual development. But no pattern, no plan, regarded as the end of a natural process, is 1 Eiitwicklungsbewegung.


realized of its own accord ; it will be realized only when the substances in whose grouping it is to be manifested are compelled by an original arrangement of their relations to produce by their forces what it prescribes according to the universal laws of the course of Nature. Thus it constantly exerts but an apparent power, and as little as we look upon the Idea of disorder as an active and moving principle in a random series of changes, so little can we consider the Idea of any order as the efficient and sustaining cause of a regular cycle. In both cases what takes place is that which must occur in the given state of things, and the superiority of the latter consists not in a constantly maintained purposive activity, but in the persistent after-effects due to the purposiveness of the first arrangement. " But " it will be objected " whence proceeds this original arrangement  ? " We know not, and this is not the place to set forth the conjectures which we may form in regard to it. It is not our intention to deny in the organic world the traces of a wisdom that point us beyond the mechanical concatenation of mere events to an imcompre- heuded, creative Power  ; but neither is it our task to seek the first origin of life  ; we are simply investigating the laws by which within the limits of our observation the mysterious creation is maintained. And we find that within these limits no new life arises, that the maintenance of life is on the con- trary dependent on the uninterrupted transmission of certain substances with their particles in a certain conformation, as in propagation they are unceasingly transferred from one organism to another. Here we find a proof that Ideas are no longer capable of being embodied in substances unless their internal distribution is already most carefully so arranged that from this alone, without any further assistance from Ideas, nay, even in opposition to them, the form prescribed by them must of itself arise. Ideas may indeed at the beginning of the world have been the determinants of the first connections of things ; in their maintenance, on the other hand, it is the activities of the parts that realize the content of the Ideas.

We are indeed aware that the advocates of the view against VOL. i. E


which we are contending do not conceive the Idea of the whole as an unreal pattern, powerlessly confronting the reality of substances. Yet, holding the Idea to be itself a living and efficacious power, they are constrained to go over to the other definite signification that may be given to this much misused term. Even should the efficacy of the indi- vidual parts not suffice for the harmonious evolution of the whole, yet the higher bond that is to be the complement must everywhere receive an impression from the situation of things with which it is to interfere, in order at the right moment to bring about that which is adapted to the actual situation. Such impressions may be viewed as alterations of the state of the bond, which excite a definite reaction from it with regular necessity. It is obvious that on this hypothesis the bond plays no higher part than each of the material substances, which, receiving impressions from one another, on our view also produce the formation of the organism by the mutual influence of their reactions. The only peculiarity of this view would be that, instead of making all the parts contribute equally to the establishment of life, it puts par excellence as the focus in the middle of the others a single one, in which the concurrent effects of all produce a plurality of harmonious activities. Now, no doubt it is the case that the various parts are of very various importance for the establishment and maintenance of a definite form of life ; yet we shall look in vain within experience for any fact entitling us to consider one of these as exclusively representing the Idea of the whole. But then that view does not wish to see in the higher bond which it seeks the same lifeless necessity of working that it desired to banish from the organism altogether. It will require that this bond react on the impressions which it receives in such a manner as to be in accordance with, but not necessarily depen- dent on physical laws. And such reaction being required by the scheme of the organization, the bond itself is supposed to give rise to it, and in this way complete the circle of natural causes, otherwise not absolutely closed.

Now, if we will not stray into vagueness, and choose for


our basis of explanation something of whose nature and essence we cannot form the remotest idea, we must be fain to confess that this kind of purposive working belongs exclusively to a soul and not to an Idea, and we must convert the shifting conception of the Idea into this more distinct notion. The soul alone, endowed with the capacity of recalling past impressions, can fill up this chasm in natural causation. Acted on by a variety of stimuli, in which never- theless the complete conditions of the desired result are not to be found, it evolves in addition a representation of that which is temporarily lacking in the reality. From this, which is substituted for the actual impression, it arrives at the pur- posive resolution, which now again begins to exert an active influence on external reality. Thus the connection, after having been severed in the physical sphere, is restored by a series of effects in the intellectual sphere that join together two events, of which the first did not contain the whole ground of the second.

Accordingly, the further hypothesis has not been absent from the history of science, that it is the soul whose activity controls the order and fitness of organic development. But if this view contains a part of truth on which we shall subsequently have occasion to enlarge, yet experience is not in favour of the attempt to set it up as a more satisfactory explanation, in opposition to the mechanical conception of life. It may be otherwise in the souls of the lower animals, into which we cannot transport ourselves : in our soul at all events we find no consciousness of this formative activity. And yet this capacity of the soul to perform more than the mere course of Nature depends on consciousness and the peculiar laws of the train of thought. It is only where, in consequence of former exercise, a habit of purposive working has become confirmed as a second nature in the soul, that the train of thought that underlies it may no longer come into consciousness in each particular case. On the other hand, the supposition that the soul from the first organizes the body with unconscious activity, would only lead us to regard it as well as all the material parts of the latter


as an element without freedom, which, stimulated by circum- stances, develops necessary effects according to universal laws. Perhaps on account of this suggestion the view in question has value  ; among the many constituents that make up the fabric of life, there is perhaps one separated from the rest by a special difference in its nature ; nevertheless, its presence would not alter the fact that all purposive operations in the vital organism necessarily depend on the mode of combination of the parts among which it exists. On the other hand, to require that the soul should effect what has not an adequate foundation in this, and that it should uncon- sciously bring about such an effect, would be to require it to perform a task, and at the same time to deny the one condi- tion on which it could be performed.

§ G. We have pursued the doctrine of a special vital force into the various forms in which it has successively sought acceptance  ; directly or indirectly all arose either from observ- ing that the reactions of living beings on the impressions to which they are liable, seemed not to have their entire foundation in these stimulations, or from noticing that the successive forms into which they are developed without any apparent impetus from without are not completely explained by their antecedents. This excitability through which the external influence is followed by unexpected re- actions, corresponding to it neither in strength nor in duration nor yet in form, seemed to divide the region of life from that of lifelessness  ; for the actions of the latter, it was believed, could be completely developed from the sum of all the given conditions as obviously necessary consequents. There is some self-delusion as regards both clauses of this proposition. "Where any external shock falls on a compact whole of many parts, the magnitude, duration, and form of the final effect produced never depend on it alone, but conjointly, and generally in a far higher degree, on the internal connection of the parts struck. Through their mutual relations the amount of the impression received can be diminished, increased, or distributed in the most diverse


manner over a given number of points, or directed in its (i illusion so as to be enabled to set free fettered energies, or convert kinetic into potential energy. These manifold inter- nu'diating circumstances finally lead to a result by no menus resembling the original shock by \vhicli they are produced. Kvi>ry machine has this capacity of excitation. While the workman is turning an outer wheel with a constant rate of velocity, the internal machinery on which the blow falls is worked by the alternate upward and downward movement of a piston, which itself, according to the mode in which it is combined with external objects, can in very various ways transmit further the force of its movement. Precisely in the same manner the infinite variety of the parts of the body, with their perpetual internal movements, stand midway between the impressions which we see made from without on the living body, and the final reaction. If we are entitled in general to refer to this intermediate link the phenomena of vital excit- ability, without, however, being able to trace the chain of intermediate links completely in the great complexity of vital processes, we can see in it not a peculiar operative vital force, but merely a kind of operation common to the living body along with every mechanism.

But we would be wrong to limit this excitability to composite systems, to which the name is chiefly applied. It is no less characteristic of the simplest substratum. Or can we prove how in the heightened temperature and the mutual approximation of two elements the necessity of their chemical union is already fully established  ? On the con- trary, we must suppose that a qualitative peculiarity of their nature is only stimulated by these external circumstances to an effect such as the circumstances themselves would not produce if they worked on other substances. The result taking place, everywhere depends not only on the external conditions with which it is associated, but also on the nature of that on which these work. The reaction of inorganic substances is only simpler, owing to the fact that it usually follows on similar stimulations in identical kind and amount, because it


starts from a persistent excitability unalterable in its con- stitution. Organisms, on the other hand, internally in constant motion, present to the same stimuli at different times a different excitability, and their reactions thereby assume the appearance of arbitrariness in a higher degree than the more uniform ones of lifeless matter, from which, however, they in no wise differ as regards the ultimate laws of their origin.

Thus from these considerations also we return to that mechanical conception which in life, as everywhere, makes the possibility, the kind, and the concatenation of compound results dependent on the harmonious efficacy of the parts, and the idea is given up of a single force with fluctuating energy, guided solely by regard to the attainment of an end. But we will endeavour by some further remarks to obviate the unfavourable light in which, as contrasted with the opposite views, ours must appear. We cannot indeed promise to offer the same advantage as is contained in the fundamental idea of the view which we reject. We cannot ascribe the origin of the fair unity and subjectivity of life that is wont to chain our admiration, to the mutual action of parts which in even their closest relations to one another yet remain and must remain different, if they are to form that plurality of active and passive points on whose manifold connection the very advantages of our own view depend. Nevertheless, it would hardly be fair to reproach us with regarding the living body simply as a machine. For ready as we are to acknow- ledge that we really do assume the same universal laws of action for both, yet in the manner in which these laws are applied in the products of our skill there is a certain pettiness that we should be reluctant to see ascribed to the voluntary automata of Nature.

Our machines work with second-hand forces  ; they are founded on the solidity, the cohesiveness, the elasticity of certain substances  ; but, instead of producing any of these properties afresh, they presuppose that they are already formed by the elemental forces in the material supplied by external


Nature. A fixed invariable degree of these properties is what is required to make the machine work ; every alteration of this degree acts as a disturbance or a waste of the proper rela- tions. Further, the rhythm according to which the trans- mitted impelling movement is propagated is based on an ingenious interlacing of single parts  ; but this mode of com- bination is not produced by the active living attraction of the constituents themselves  ; here we see firm cohesion produced by nails, bolts, rings, and screws, moveability of parts related to one another secured by revolution round fixed axes  ; every- where we find the immediate attractions and repulsions of the elements not applied at first hand, but their static products, rigidity and impenetrability, made use of to attain by external composition the end of the machine. Just so the active element in it is hardly ever a newly-evolved force or movement, but all its operations depend on the communica- tion or propagation of an impetus received from without. But then in our time this impetus itself is most frequently produced by the use of elemental forces, the vivid elasticity of steam being developed by heightened temperature. Yet even that vivid force serves only in general to excite a motion in itself formless  ; and the impetus given receives its definite conformation and consequently its adaptability for the purpose of the machine solely from the position of the rigid wheels or springs on which it strikes.

It is different with the voluntary agencies of Nature. No material band connects the planet with the sun, but the direct efficacy of an elemental force, universal attraction, invisibly holds the two together with an elasticity in their interaction that no artificial construction can imitate. No fixed axis, no screw-worm, no winding and unwinding rope, compels the planet to leave its motion in a straight line for a curved path, but the perpetually continued and perpetually varying conflict between its original velocity and the attraction that impels it towards the sun, leads it invisibly but surely to and fro on a fixed path, and no wear of the means of locomotion mars the continuance of this admirable adjustment. Yet this rests on


no other universal laws of action than those which hold good as well for our machines. The same kind of activity is again exemplified, and with infinitely greater variety, in the living organism. This, too, works with no merely external combina- tions of means indifferent to one another ; in it too the springs of action everywhere disappear below the current of immediate effects  ; each of its elements, while developing, retro- grading, and changing, displays towards its neighbours the whole store of those primary forces which belong peculiarly to it, and here these effects are not interruptions of the progress of the whole, but form the conditions which are always afresh giving rise to its reality as well as to all the marvellous delicacy of its form. And even where, for the fulfilment of certain of its tasks, the living body does make use of the machine's mode of working, as in the movement of the limbs, whose rigid bones it draws according to the laws of the lever by the ropes of the muscles, even there it forms and maintains lever and ropes by an unremitting activity consisting in a compli- cated chain of direct working of atom upon atom.

It is the limitation to rigid instruments already prepared, and to an external connection between them, that gives me- chanical work that uncanny appearance which causes us to feel most repugnance to a comparison of it with life. We often see two parts of some mechanism out of relation with one another, perhaps the one motionless, the other in a state of motion to which all around is indifferent ; suddenly, when a particular position has at last been reached, a shock takes place, and the single parts are at once drawn into mutual action, without having shown any signs of a gradually advancing prepara- tion, and they next moment relapse into their indifferent repose. In consequence of the uninterrupted stream of action that is ever flowing from one atom to another through their immediate forces, and thus at each moment bringing about a complete connection of the whole, living beings escape from this inequality of development. Each infinitesimal part seems to have a knowledge of what is going on in another, and the reciprocal action of all, kept up unremittingly and


not distributed in shocks over distinct moments, gives the development that admirable apprarance of softness and mild grace which sets anything living in such triumphant contrast to the spectral disjointedness of the movements of artificial automata.

Thus in our opinion also there is in organized beings a real life, in sufficiently sharp contrast with the apparent activity of machinery to distinguish its divine origin from the poor productions of human art. Yet we would once more revert to the grounds of the obstinacy with which we hold fast this view in apparent opposition to many intellectual cravings, whose rights we yet fully acknowledge. It is not from an inclination to look on life as the result of an accidental assemblage of parts ; on the contrary, we provisionally forbear to discuss its origin, as a mystery ; it is only its maintenance which we believe to be committed to the connection of the course of Nature without the intervention of new forces. And, just as the laws according to which our planetary system revolves were laid down in a hitherto uncontroverted science, before a credible conjecture had yet been made as to the origin of its present arrangement, so an independent theory of the main- tenance of life may precede any views as to its origination  ; nay, it will be from the complete elaboration of the former that we shall learn in what direction we may hope for the elucidation of the latter. We are actuated solely by the conviction that Nature, not only in its import, but also in the laws of its economy, necessarily forms a whole, whose various products are distinguished from one another, not by different laws, but by a different mode of applying the same system of laws. On this assumption rest all the hopes which we cherish for the progress of science, and all the habits of our practical life. The feeling of those who recoil from the stupendous task of actually tracing back to these beginnings the infinite variety of life, is one which we fully share. But the magnitude of the required problem must not induce us to choose for its easier, but only apparent, solution principles of which we do not clearly discern even the possibility. Of such prin-


ciples the idea of a single operative vital force is one. It is not obvious where such a force could be inherent, unless in the sum of living parts and their systematic combinations  ; it is not obvious how it should come to alter its mode of operation and at each moment to effect what is necessary, so long as we do not suppose that, by regular necessity, it becomes different, and works differently, under altered circumstances, like every force which is the result of a variety of changeable parts. That it is associated with these parts and dependent on the manner in which they are combined, that it only effects anything by constant action and reaction with the inorganic world, is the universal testimony of experience. We have no right to neglect this testimony and to conceive that which we see only as dependent on fixed conditions, as a power rising superior to these conditions in an independence and freedom which it is impossible accurately to define. How little the characteristics that have been dwelt on as distinctive attributes of the vital force necessitate any such assumption, we have shown at more length. We should be as much at a loss to give any further reason for making the assumption, as to point to any use which science has hitherto derived from it.



Constant and Periodic Operations and Progressive Development — Anomalous Disturbances— The Application of Chemical Forces and their Results as regards Life— The Development of Forms from formless Germs — Change of Material  ; its Significance, Mode, and Organs.

§ l.TN our survey of the transformations which the general -•- conception of Nature has undergone in the course of human history, we remarked how vain it would be to seek to apply the attractive idea of animating impulses to the explana- tion of the embodiment and conservation of individual phseno- mena in the economy of Nature. We saw, further, how from the nature of its problems, physical investigation has necessarily been driven to regard every composite being that developes itself in a course of changing evolution as the result of many forces, whose total effect receives its definite form from the mode in which the subjects of those forces are combined. Finally, the consideration of the phenomena familiar to all as the leading traits of life, served to confirm our conviction that even life, however immeasurably it may surpass all other existence in value and in significance, yet does not require us to go back, for an explanation of its connection and its performances, to the hypothesis of a vital force of a special nature. The more imperatively are we now required to render an account of those peculiar arrangements by which the constituent parts of the living body are enabled without the continual intervention of a higher force to carry out this complex process of development. The more accurately, however, we compare the variety of the phenomena presented to us with the knowledge we have as yet acquired of their conditions, the less shall we cherish the presumptuous hope of



ever reaching a full solution of this problem. Over-confident attempts to answer decisively every question with the exceed- ingly insufficient means now at our command, can but confirm the opposite opinion when it infers from the difficulties, which it more justly estimates, that the end is impracticable, which in spite of being unattainable must yet determine the line of our inquiries. At the same time our ignorance is not so great but that in the description of particular vital processes we can trace the mechanical concatenation of effects for a long way, and our survey of the whole is not so limited but that we can distinguish some of the fundamental features by which the application of Nature's general means to the ends of life is distinguished from the other ways in which we find these made use of.

We see various modes of occurrence of processes cross one another in the living organism. Some operations last through long intervals unaltered and with a uniform force; others traverse in unequal periods complete cycles, and return almost to the same state from which they for a time deviated. But these constant or recurring motions are everywhere attended by another progressive evolution, owing to which the living body, by an inherent law of gradual development, has its outward figure and the internal connection of its processes transformed, in order to end with the dissolution that forms not only the inevitable, but the naturally predestined close of its phaenomenal existence. But even this progressive evolu- tion and the regular sequence of its stages are interrupted at every moment of life by the variety of external impressions and an equal variety of reactions, in which the living organism sometimes with transient excitement, sometimes with persistent effort, moves both itself and the objects of the outside world. Neither impressions nor movements are governed by a fixed law as to their times of recurrence or their rotation; set at work or in motion with arbitrary casualness, they may at first be looked on merely as disturb- ances of the body and of those arrangements which form the basis of the invariably connected course of its definitely


shaped development. Nevertheless, the essential characteristic of animal life lies not in quiet steady development, but just in the capacity of action which at every moment is able to direct an excess of vital energy against chance impressions. Hence at least the general possibility of these reactions, which could not be singly foreseen and calculated, must be regarded as an essential feature of animal economy.

We may easily ascertain in the inorganic world examples both of the persistent continuance of one and the same event and of the complete cycle of a recurring development. In fact, for the persistence of every simple motion of a body no further agency would be required than the keeping away of disturbing causes ; again the occurrence of a single disturb- ance— say, of that attraction which draws one moving body to another — would be sufficient to make its path a curve, and but a few more special conditions would be needful to convert that into the elliptical orbit in which the planet revolves round its central body. This regular interchange of movements between two bodies would be endlessly continued and repeated, so long as they remained withdrawn from all internal alterations in their mass and forces, as well as from all impressions from the surrounding world. But it would be a delusion were we to adduce these examples of constantly uniform or recurrent evolution as evidence of the ease with which life also must succeed in producing actions of a similar character. For, though its activity also ultimately rests on the application of the simple laws of the conservation and composition of forces, yet on closer inspection we find that the operations carried on unremittingly within the living body, as well as the constant assimilation and conservation in the particles, are effected by far more complicated processes than could be divined from the apparent simplicity of the result.

They resemble the quiet light of a wax-candle, whose uniform radiance tells nothing of the series of complicated operations by which it is sustained. When the first-lighted part of the wick entered into combination with the oxygen of


the atmosphere, it produced while burning more heat than, was needful sufficiently to warm the contiguous part to enable it to enter into the same combination with the oxygen. Thus the flame spread from this second part to the third and over the whole, each point, by a part of its released heat, setting free the confined forces of another so as to bring it into a similar blaze. But the flame would too quickly have consumed the delicate texture of the threads, if another part of the dis- engaged heat had not liquefied the wax whose office is to feed the fire. In consequence of the capillary attraction of the wick the fluid mass mounts upward, and, after having by saturation prevented the texture of the wick from being too quickly destroyed, it reaches a point through whose high temperature it is itself kindled  ; while the mounting current of heated air, rising from the flame, is at this point followed by a fresh draught from below, that keeps up the blaze. Thus the molten fluid, now itself volatilized by the fire, is again emptied from the filled threads of the wick, affording to the new material, to whose melting it has contributed, free space to continue the same series of processes as it moves upward.

The apparently simple and uniform operations of the living organism depend on similar arrangements. Only, while the flame goes out so soon as its fuel is consumed, in the organism the connection of the whole makes it possible for the vital activities to be resumed afresh. They thus manifest themselves not so much as elemental processes which by their uniform persistence form an abiding basis for the variations of the others, but rather as operations which the unity of a wider and more complicated plan brings about, simple indeed in their course, but refined and highly intricate in their antecedents. Equally inadequate would be an explanation from the analogies of the planetary revolution, of the periodical cycles which we see completed by other movements of the living organism. The pulsations of the heart, the rhythmical contractions of the intestines, the cycle of respiration, are all processes having no resemblance to the simple motions of detached bodies. We see here a great number of firmly connected parts co-operating


in joint movements that necessarily imply for their execution a change in the combination of the parts, and a sacrifice of some of the conditions on which their individual efficacy depends. Hence these actions are subordinated to a more general and comprehensive scheme, which secures the repair of exhausted powers and the regular recurrence of the needful stimulations. We should look in vain in the inorganic world for the third of the above - mentioned modes in which complex processes run their course, — progressive development through a gradation of predetermined states. It belongs exclusively to life, and appears in the full beauty and purity of its significance in the development of plants. Nevertheless it is not wholly useless to trace the comparatively im- perfect anticipations of it which we may find in unorganized existence. Only between two bodies, as we have already indicated, could the reciprocal action of a circular planetary motion go on with unceasing regularity ; the addition of a third would alter the mutual relations of the two, and compel them to move in orbits that revealed the influence of external disturbance. Only in periods of considerable length, if at all, would this system of bodies succeed in returning once more to exactly the original relative positions, and in thence repeating its completed motion without any modifica- tion. With the number of the active members the difficulty of a rhythmically recurrent course of changes will increase, and it will require particularly favourable conditions to limit the mutual disturbances to such a minimum amount that they shall not on the whole materially affect the character of the system and of its motions. Such conditions actually obtain in our solar system, and chief among them is the fact, that, with all its variety of internal motions, it forms an independent and isolated whole, not reached in any perceptible degree by the influences of those parts cf the universe that lie beyond it, the more distant fixed stars. The results would be different if this system, like the body of the plant, were exposed to influences from without, and like it had all the move- ments which it naturally executes influenced and changed


by a regular or irregular recurrence of external impres- sions. Let us suppose that a system of heavenly bodies moved through a space in which it met with masses (dis- tributed according to any law) on which its power of attrac- tion could act ; now not only would it grow, from drawing these into the sphere of its own movements and henceforth attaching them to itself, but further, by the accession of these new constituents the mutual relations of the prior ones would be altered, and the motion of the whole would constantly assume new forms, each one necessarily evolved from that immediately preceding, and from the effect of the new conditions of the moment. Thus a regular gradation of states would arise, comparable to the single successive phases of vital evolution. For the living body is just such a system of parts, not secluded from external influences, but open to them and needing them for its development. The ground of that into which it develops is not wholly contained in itself ; it requires not only the afflux of the materials which are to make up its increasing figure, but also stimulating impressions, which shall determine for its own forces the direction and order of their manifestations. Though apparently isolated, the body is yet but one half of the basis of life, while its complement lies still without form in the universal current of the course of Nature that is surging up around it.

§ 2. The development of life is not, however, exclusively thus determined  ; we must add a further peculiarity, which would serve broadly to distinguish it from such an evolutionary planetary system as we have pictured. The extensive application of chemical affinities and of attractions at imperceptible distances takes the place of gravitation, which pervades the universe and binds together its most distant parts. The ordinary view, in regarding only the body of the plant and the animal as a living connected whole, while it considers the planetary system as a congeries of separate units, is not without grounds for this distinction ; it coincides with that difference of powers, which in both cases has the most important part in the production of the varying development. Even the planetary bodies are


formed and held together by attractions which are efficacious only in close contiguity, and disappear at finite distances, and incessant chemical changes are always transforming at least their surfaces ; but these- internal fluctuations are of no consequence as regards the attraction in virtue of which eacli holds its place as a whole in the circle of the heavenly bodies. In the living body, on the other hand, weight tells everywhere, so far as is compatible with universal laws  ; but however important and significant these effects may be in individual cases, they have no pervading influence on the character of the vital phenomena. In consequence of that attraction at a distance, whose efficacy extends through un- measured regions of space, the planetary system possesses that apparently so slight, and yet really so firm union of parts, the amount of which decreases in proportion to the distance between them  ; the living body, on the other hand, through forces that no longer act at a short distance from their starting- point, but overcome great resistance when the parts acting on each other are in immediate contact, acquires that firm, compact structure by which it invariably stands out, as a separate whole, from its surroundings. And this distinction is not merely apparent. The connection of a planetary system, left to itself, may be firm ; but as it is the result of forces acting at a distance, so also it can be shaken by such as come from a distance, and will show by corresponding fluctuations the influence of the slightest alterations in the adjustment of the world external to it. On the other hand, the peculiar nature of its forces serves to protect the living organism, which is destined to be continually in action and reaction with the outer world ; from the shortness of the distance at which chemical affinity and cohesion cease to be efficacious, it is surrounded by a neutral zone, while these same forces hold together its own contiguous parts so strongly as to resist even actual violence. While, therefore, the loosely compacted structure of a planetary system would with admir- able susceptibility reflect in its own variations the variations of the rest of the universe, the living organism — herein of VOL. L y


tougher nature— returns to the former disposition of its parts, even after great fluctuations, and thereby presents the spec- tacle of an unchanging and yet not rigid, but moveable figure. We would fain mention here yet another advantage that accrues to the living organism from the same circumstance, though it may at first sight appear a disadvantage. We have become so accustomed to see in the exceedingly intimate mutual connection of the parts one of the most essential and wonderful prerogatives of life, that it may seem strange when we lay stress on the absence of such in a certain sense as its real attribute. Nevertheless this absence is real, and we may easily convince ourselves that there lies in this fact, which for particular ends is again neutralized by special provisions, a better warrant for the continuance of life than would lie in the excess of pervading connection, which we do not find. Were all the parts of the living body directly connected by reciprocal actions, so that every slight change of the one must be reflected on all the rest, there would be here an abundant source of endless disturbances of the whole, which would •require equally complex arrangements for their counteraction. For it would not always be possible to discharge the disturbance by means of its own results, and, even where this was done, the very instability thereby introduced into the whole would be an evil, if it could not be incidentally applied to the attainment of other ends. In the planetary system we see the result of this pervading reciprocal action, seeing that no single planet can describe its orbit as it would describe it but for the disturbances produced by the attraction of the others. The living body, by the peculiar structure of its nervous system, establishes a closer connection of the greatest fineness where and as it is best adapted to the operations of life  ; but each single part, from the narrow working sphere of the forces which are chiefly active in it, coheres with but few of its next neighbours so closely that every state of the one must be communicated to the other with perceptible effect. Hence single groups of parts are left free to develop their form, their texture, and their composition with a certain tenacious

Tin: Mi'ciiAMs.M or I.IFM. 83

independence, and, undisturbed by pns.-iug fluctuations of tin- rest, to execute operations on whose regular course the coher- ence of the whole depends.

It is now hardly needful to enlarge on the peculiar results that are brought about for life by the application of chemical processes. The celestial motions are those of uniformly existing masses  ; mechanical skill does indeed make use of chemical forces to bring about the moving impetus, but it at the same time allows the kind of action to be determined by a rigid framework of unvarying parts  ; life alone presents a development, the subjects of which not only increase in bulk, but during their activity undergo a previously determined alteration of nature. In this case therefore, far more properly than in the other, every subsequent result is conditioned by the immediately preceding state. In the machine too the subsequent operation is successful only in virtue of the prior one, that moved the parts of the fabric into the required posi- tion ; but there remain alike in the one case and in the other the same efficient masses and the same forces ; the action of the whole is hence limited to a perhaps highly complex, but a recurring and not increasing series of results. In the living- body every chemical change that takes place sets to work forces not before in existence and brings others to a pause ; thus at each moment there is laid for subsequent development a new foundation, such as gives occasion sometimes for a continuance of prior states, sometimes for an evolution into new ones, sometimes by a combination of both, for expansion into a far fuller manifestation of character and activity.

We must keep in view this gradual laying again of founda- tions, if we will understand the way in which the organism originates from its germ, without requiring the continual inter- vention of a fashioning power. Experience indeed makes it so highly probable as to be almost certain that in the present course of nature no organism is the direct product of a combination of elementary substances  ; only in propagation by means of what is similar is the chain of life carried on, holding together con- tinuously in the seed and the egg the definitely adjusted sum


of parts from whose excitation by external stimuli the series of vital phenomena may be again evolved. Even this tradi- tion, however, often seems to us too faint, this point of view too simple, to let us suppose that in it alone are contained the conditions of the subsequently renewed development. Then we forget that it is really a long process that leads through countless agencies from the invisible germ to the perfect flower and fruit, and that at each stage of this course possibilities arise, which were absent in the preceding one. We are very far from being in a position to write a history of these transformations and of the laws according to which they actually succeed one another in a definite series in the development of life  ; but we are able in some measure to take account of the resources of which Nature can here avail herself, and through whose agency the great chasm between the commencement and the termination of the development is lessened by division into a number of intermediate stages.

Even if nothing at first lay before us but a fluid with its ingredients mixed in accurately fixed proportions, without any solid germ being yet distinguishable as the basis of the infant organism, the first chemical influences of the environ- ment might yet be sufficient to produce this germ. One constituent would become detached by coagulation, and not only is there a definite form corresponding to the nature of each substance, which it assumes when left to itself, but, under certain circumstances, the maximum size of the figure may be determined which its forces will allow of its holding together. Accordingly this solidifying substance could fall into a fixed number of parts, occupying the relative position which sets them in equilibrium with all the actual conditions. Whether, however, the first solid germ of the subsequent development be given thus or through the existing structure of the seed, — we need nothing more than a slight difference of its arrangement in different directions to enable us, to see how the development of the next stage, bringing to bear identical external stimuli on these variously constructed parts, increases their dissimilarity, and thus prepares for the rise of


various and widely differing forms from an apparently similir U'Lji lining. Each chemical transmutation that takes place will, first of all, involve the arrangement in space correspond- ing to the alteration in the substance  ; but every change of conformation thus brought about will likewise help to con- dition the subsequent effects of the stimuli, by preventing them from reaching parts now rendered inaccessible, con- centrating them upon others left open, and so prescribing tolerably well marked lines to the subsequent development.

As, however, every chemical composition entails a fixed shape, so also the acquired shape brings about new habits of chemical action. In our workshops we seek to prevent the vessel from sharing in the chemical vicissitudes of its contents  ; in the living body the tissues do not form merely an uncon- cerned stage on which other substances come into reciprocal action, but, by their degree of density, their form, and the forces of attraction or repulsion which they bring to bear on their content, they exert their share of influence on the course of the transmutation of substances. By means of this gradually advancing development of the vessel in which they are contained, the nutritive fluids are elaborated for the pro- duction of more delicate compounds, and a more and more definitely marked field is opened up for the action of external vital stimuli. We must not despise any of these co-operating elements, and, fully as we are convinced that none of all these processes of vital evolution can escape from the universal laws of physical and chemical action, we can have but little expectation of explaining with these laws as hitherto ascertained the immense complexity with which the constant changes in the form, the blending, and the mode of access of the external stimuli here act on one another. Least of all can we venture to hope that human art will ever succeed in producing by imitation any essential constituent of a living body. For, while it is certain that no living product could have come into being by means of any other forces than those of the general course of Nature, no less necessary to its origin was the fixed adjustment of these


forces and their subjects, which could alone determine the character of the subsequent product. This adjustment we never see spontaneously reproduced  ; Nature has entrusted its maintenance to continual transmission by propagation. Any hope of artificially creating life anew, would imply the presumptuous belief that with fewer and more insufficient means and in shorter time we could produce that which Nature herself can execute only by means of a long course of development and the introduction of forces already organically systematized.

Now the growing capacities of the different parts of a system thus developed come to an end at different times; some have gone through the series of transformations of which, under existing circumstances, they were capable, while others are still in the middle of their course of development. Thus the stem of the plant, as it turns to wood, gradually with- draws from participation in its further development, but it continues to serve the whole with its physical properties of solidity and rigidity, assigning to the parts that have remained mobile the stage of their activity. Thus in endlessly various ways the development, as it goes on, makes for itself new supports, from which it extends further  ; but at the same time it thereby creates for itself limits which confine the possibility of action to definite forms, and thus bring about either the persistence of a prevailing type of growth, or the final expiry of life and the complete extinction of all oppor- tunities of further work. We find all these characteristics, that compose for us the image of a self-contained development, connected with the employment of chemical affinities, and the application of molecular forces that act only under condition of contact.

§ 3. The life of the plant, the most distinct example of this development, has as its sole task the perfecting of its own form. Did the outer world yield it substances all ready to be made use of for that structure, it would have nothing to do but to absorb them, and there would be no necessity that in return it should before its total destruction


render back substances to tlic mih-r world  ; tliose once absorbed would form its abiding constituents. But it dms not find this ready material, and is compelled to produce it from its elements. During this process one part of the used up material may drop out as an unprofitable incidental product and be restored to the outer world. Other substances, such as the great bulk of the water absorbed, circulate through the vegetable structure, not to become part of it as con- stituents, but, as means of detachment, to secure the mobility of the more active parts  ; they too return to the outer world after they have done their work; lastly, much that was valuable at certain periods of growth, by becom- ing dried up or withered, is detached from the whole after the fulfilment of its office. But we have no reason to suppose that substances which have once entered the solid structure of the plant, are subjected to a repeated renewal. The animal body, as is well known, is different in this respect, and, though all doubts as to the extent of its transmutation of substance are not removed, it is yet certain that a great part of its bulk is constantly engaged in decomposition and renovation by fresh accretions. This fact, into the extent of which we shall hereafter inquire, we have meanwhile to consider in its significance with regard to that feature of animal life with which it unquestionably stands in the closest connection, namely, with the operations executed by the animal body without any fixed law of recurrence and suc- cession, in addition to the development and preservation of its own form.

None of the countless impressions with which the outer world is continually besieging the senses at random, and the conversion of which into sensation is the task of the animal soul, can be received by the body without the receptive organs undergoing a change of the state in which their active parts are at the moment of rest. None of the equally numerous movements by which the internal life of the animal reacts on these stimulations, can be performed without the great change in the position of the limbs being


prepared for by a countless multitude of changes in the relative situation of their minutest particles. All these processes, seeing that they take place not like predetermined states of development in a systematic sequence, but outside of all mathematical laws, can be regarded as nothing else than disturbances of the relations imposed on the constituents of the body by the type of its species. Did we choose to indulge in speculations that have no demonstrable connection with reality, we might perhaps imagine the bodily structure so designed that its organs, after each of these disturbances, returned with perfect elasticity to its former state. But we find this supposition but slightly justified by experience. The cohesive forces of the parts of solid tissues are indeed strong enough to overcome temporary displacements. The exhaustion of the senses, on the other hand, the fatigue of the muscles, which after a certain duration of uninterrupted labour inevitably supervenes, are enough to convince us that this, though perhaps conceivable, does not at any rate actually occur, and that, with such means as are supplied by the ordi- nary course of Nature, life could not form any organs that would not be gradually worn out by the reciprocal action involved in the stimulations designed for it. But it is one of the ends of life to obliterate almost everywhere the traces of prior impressions, and to bring back the organs to a state in which they shall undertake newly -imposed tasks quite unshackled and unweakened by the kind and amount of the operations which they have already performed. The question is, how this need of a constant repair of capacities can be most simply satisfied.

Instead, however, of imagining remote possibilities, such as some overlooked circumstance would too easily convert into impossibilities, we proceed to point out in the unremitting change of material the simplest means of satisfying this need, and of its actual employment we are, moreover, informed by experience. For life to take perishable materials into its service, and embody its phenomena in ever-changing masses, was the means by which it was most easy to maintain a


normal condition in the struggle with incalculahle disturhances. Should slight and delicate impressions of the outer world possess a power of stimulating the organs of the body, in particular should minute distinctions of external stimuli be separated for our apprehension by perceptible differences in their effects, or movements in every possible gradation of strength, duration, and velocity be capable of being executed, the internal states of the instruments adapted for all these operations would be strongly susceptible of injury. This necessary property was bound up with the transient nature of the chemical composition, and living Nature escaped from this consequence not by withholding through higher forces the disturbed substances from the decomposition to which, by the universal laws of chemical processes, they would naturally fall a prey ; it allowed the disordered to perish, while holding fast the necessary foundations for the restoration of that which had been used up.

But not only that which has been destroyed by its activity, also that which has remained inert beyond the period during which its composition could subsist, is left to its fate, and advances towards decomposition only less swiftly than the former. Through this proceeding Nature avoids the necessity of meeting each single disturbance with a remedial reaction suited to its nature and degree, and thereby it escapes nume- rous disadvantages, that seem hardly separable from any other procedure. Besides, it could display reactions of such a kind only if the disturbance itself brought them on with mechanical necessity, and were thus counteracted by a part of its own consequences. But such a reaction, bursting forth only at the moment of need, would recur as irregularly as the disturbance by which it was excited ; it would therefore itself be a new disturbance, such as would not occur, except under especially favourable conditions, without injury to the connection of the whole. The case would be similar, if the constituents of the body were in themselves unchangeable, and only became decomposed when shattered by the impressions of external stimuli — their after-effects requiring restoration immediately


after such stimuli, but needing none during the intervals between them. If, on the other hand, the sum of the effective parts is engaged in a perpetual motion of flux and reflux, this current is always carrying off the debris of decomposition, and constantly laying new foundations for further action, and thus guards the vital whole against the sudden and violent con- vulsions that any defence improvised at the moment of need would entail. It even ceases to be needful to produce for every disturbance the remedy corresponding to its kind and degree ; instead of the open conflict against the very various effects of impressions, life practises the stratagem of perpetual retreat, for by working from the first with varying instru- mentality it gives up everything which, shaken by external assaults, only rushes more quickly towards the decomposition for which it was at any rate destined. Of course we now find in the living body express provisions for causing reactions to succeed impressions at particular moments, which apparently are adjusted to the duration, the kind, and the degree of these stimulations ; but even the efficacy of these means, of which we shall have occasion later to speak, is after all only rendered possible by this continual and general flux of the change of substance.

On closer consideration, however, we have no demonstrable right to call this flux quite general, and it is to exaggerate the perishableness of the animal body to suppose that we can assign periods within which its whole bulk has undergone transformation by change of material. The substances produced by organic chemical processes are not all so easily disturbed in their composition as (misled by the striking sight of the decay of some) we are apt to imagine. We are familiar with the durability of wood, bones, sinews, and skin, and make manifold use of it ; we are familiar, on the other hand, with the often speedy effect of weather on stone, which, it seemed, would have been much more durable. It is not quite decided whether the constituents whose coherence is strong undergo and require during life any considerable amount of repair  : it is even doubtful whether many others, which we see


rajmlly decomposed after death, would not be preserved for a long time during life in virtue of the more favourable cir- cumstances under which they then exist. Lastly, in regard to many substances we know not the kind of renewal which they undergo, and are ignorant whether individual and complete elements of form, such as the fibres of the nerves and muscles, are preserved as wholes and undergo perpetual renovation only in their infinitesimal particles, or whether they too under certain circumstances fall to pieces and are replaced by perfect ones. Least of all, finally, can we determine the amount and velocity of the waste and renewal undergone by particular structures under the ordinary circumstances of healthy life. In spite of this defectiveness of our knowledge we can, however, fill up the picture of the change of substance by the certainly correct supposition that the decay and inter- change of the constituents, should it be universal, at any rate proceeds with very various degrees of velocity, and that at every moment a considerable stock of constituents maintains itself with a fixed or but slowly changing mass in permanent modes of combination, and uninterruptedly presents a regula- tive nucleus for the new formation of the other constituents which circulate around it with greater capacity of decomposi- tion and more rapid changes.

It remains for the future to decide whether this current has a perfectly motionless ground, and to what extent. Our ordinary idea is, of course, that the parts of the body are like the stones of a building, which, by their unceasing forces and their adjustment given once for all, perform their function in a state of rest, and need motion only in order to overcome the disturbances which threaten the whole, by an elastic return to their former positions. But it may very well be that the change of material serves life not only by continually restoring the old fabric, so that it might be dropped if there were any means of preserving the organic form without it ; that, on the contrary, the processes of constant forming and reforming, themselves yield those motive shocks which life requires for the fulfilment of its development — just as the burning coal —


not through what it was or through what it is to be, but through the motion of the transition itself, the burning — generates the heat that affords the first impelling agency for the action of the machine. But we are very far from being able to carry out this thought further. So accustomed are we in processes of nutrition and excretion to think only of the acquisition or getting rid of useful or pernicious material, that the question has as yet been little raised whether here the process itself and the excitation of. forces effected by it is not sometimes of greater value than the shifting of the substances themselves, which here and there perhaps form only the indifferent material, in whose elaborations those excitations arise, and can be main- tained. Only in one case has even science as yet adopted this mode of thinking ; it has indicated the temporary appro- priation of a great multitude of substances by the organism as means to the production of heat, which originates in their chemical alteration, and through the communication of which to the tissues of the body the essential task of the absorbed masses is discharged.

§ 4. After we have thus undertaken to indicate the signifi- cance for the general ends of life of this perpetual trans- formation of the body, we would fain complete the picture by a description of the definite chemical processes from whose systematic interaction the regular change of material proceeds. The spirit of inquiry has, with the utmost ingenuity and industry, in recent times applied itself to these questions ; but the complexity of the phenomena and the difficulty of investigating them is so great, that from the multitude of valuable individual discoveries that must be overlooked in our general survey, hardly more than a few more compre- hensive results have been gained, which can defy any fear of repeated alteration from the farther advance of investi- gation.

So far as we are acquainted with organic life, we find figured masses everywhere composed of various chemical combinations of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. None of these peculiar combinations can be proved to be pro-


duced spoil taneously, without an organic germ or some remnant of decomposing matter forming the first nucleus through whose assimilative power the substances everywhere .present in the atmosphere might be condensed into a new growing structure. The plant is able, with the means afforded by its organization, to combine oxygen and hydrogen in the pro- portions in which they form water, with various quantities of carbon, and thereby to produce a series of substances, the carbo-hydrates, from one of which, cellulose, are composed the delicate walls of its cells and the whole framework of its structure, while others, as sugar and starch, are contained in it in solution or deposit, as means of further growth. The conversions of these substances and the increase to which they minister, seem, however, to be possible only with the co-operation of another group of chemical combinations, which add nitrogen to the former ingredients, and, on account of the resemblance of their character to animal albumen, are com- prehended under the name of albuminous bodies or protein. These occur, like the fatty ingredients of oils, widely diffused in the vegetable kingdom, and by means of the vegetable nutrition to which, directly or indirectly, all animal organiza- tion is limited, they pass over into the animal body, whose vital processes are incapable of condensing the simple elements which external Nature affords into organically available com- binations. Thus the vegetable kingdom, in this too a pre- paratory stage for the animal world, offers to the latter its constituents in all essential particulars already formed, leaving to the peculiar activities of each species to elaborate them according to its' needs.

The bird about to be hatched must have produced out of the albumen, and the albuminous and oily ingredients of the yolk, all the tissues as yet contained in its body ; from milk, which, along with albuminous and fatty substances, contains further a considerable quantity of sugar, the young mammal, long limited solely to this form of nourishment, must be able to produce the various structures required by the plan of its species; finally, the blood, in which all these sub-


stances recur, must be the source of supply of the continual reparation of all the parts of the tissues that are consumed by use. Hence the albuminous substances are undoubtedly to be regarded as the foundation of all those nitrogenous compounds which we find approaching one another in the quantitative proportions of their composition in flesh, cellular tissue, cartilage, hair, feathers, horns, while in appearance, hardness, solidity, and ductility they differ widely from one another. But it would be vain, in the present state of the investigation, to attempt to trace the chemical processes by which the common material is worked up into each of these peculiar forms. Those parts retain with least alteration the original character of albumen, which most energetically serve the ends of the organism by their own activity, — the axiscylinder of the nerves, the substance of the brain. In respect of composition the fibrous substance of the muscles is also similar, but its destination for vital contractile power seems to have necessitated a different dis- position of the infinitesimal particles, or an alteration of the mixture which is still inscrutable by us. A further trans- formation is to be seen in the tissues which become glutinous by steady boiling, and which are used to form the cartilagi- nous and dermic bases, partition- walls, and ligaments, which support, enclose, and unite the vitally active parts. The last and most distant links in this chain of substances are the tougher, drier, horny and feathery fabrics, which develop themselves with the utmost variety of form especi- ally in outer coverings. None of the carbo-hydrates, which, by vegetable nutrition, are conveyed to the animal body, has any share in the formation of the tissues in the higher species of the animal kingdom; their office may consist in the generation of heat, which they effect by means of their slow combustion, with the inhaled oxygen, and in a number of subsidiary operations, with which they take part in the chemical transformations of the other substances. Of greater importance seem to be the fatty elements, which are not merely useful from their physical -properties in keeping up


heat «ind diminishing friction, but necessary as essential elements of the chemical composition of some structures and the interaction of others. Many other inorganic substances — metals and salts of the alkalis and earths — are along with the albuminous bodies used by the organism to establish particular physical properties of its tissues ; others seem only to traverse it, in order to exert favourable influences of various kinds on the course of the change of substance. If we are little acquainted with the progressive formation of the con- stituent parts of the body, we are equally in the dark as to the retrogressive conversion by which they are gradually pre- pared for death. A very large number early attain a stable equilibrium of internal composition, and these structures, drying up, are thrown off by the body in largish masses, and without decomposition of form, e.g. the hair, the nails, and the covering of the epidermis, which is constantly scaling off. Others, through the activity of peculiar organs, undergo a transfor- mation still little understood, after which they leave the body as complex structures, such as mucus and gall, and the organic constituents of urine, partly as they are, partly dis- solved in watery media ; another very considerable residuum of this decomposition, so little known in detail, is carbonic acid, which is ejected by expiration in the form of a gas, united with aqueous vapour. Among all the individual sub- stances that circulate through the body, oxygen, perhaps, has most to do in gradually dissolving the union of the elements in the organic constituents by its preponderant affinity, and bringing back their originally varied composition to simpler forms, more resembling those of inorganic matter, in which the substances, having become more separable, as they fall to pieces, at last quit the limits of the body. If in former times oxygen was looked on as the special awakener and bringer of life, we may now, without denying that its powerful interference, even as a generative force, can set up conditions of vital activities, find another and an equally important part of its functions in the power of slow de- struction with which it removes the obstacles to life, dis-


missing, by more complete decomposition, the masses that have become unfit for use from among those which are still vigorous.

Lastly, a peculiar importance for the sum of the vital operations is possessed by water, which we find circulating in extraordinary quantities through plants and the animal body. The great proportion of chemical interactions are determined by it as a solvent; on its fluidity depends the possibility of the circulation and of the uninterrupted distribu- tion of nutritive material ; on its capacity to absorb, to conduct, and by evaporation to limit heat, depends the equilibrium of temperature requisite for the continuance of the opera- tions of the living body. No less essentially does it enter into the compounding of the organic constituents ; from its presence, and its peculiar affinity with them, the animal tissues acquire that moisture, and consequently that pliability, elasticity, and ductility, by which they are distinguished alike from inorganic matter, and from their own friability and rigidity after they have become dried. In no inorganic sub- stance is the relation of water to the solid part of quite the same peculiar kind which we find here, and which allows us to speak of juices in the living, but never in the lifeless body. The crystallizing salt, after having made over the greater part of its solvent to evaporation, and absorbed a smaller quantity of the water into its chemical composition, appears dry, and its particles have taken up fixed relative positions. A part of the surrounding atmospheric moisture may, indeed, become hygroscopically condensed in it; but this absorption of water only disturbs its adjustment, without the separated parts having passed through that state of tough softness and elastic ductility acquired by all the substances used for the proper structure of the animal body through their peculiar affinity for water. In this way, doubtless, are deter- mined the special shaping impulses of organic Nature, which are so widely different from the rigidity of crystallization, that on the whole but few organic substances are capable of this kind of form, and those which do actually exhibit it are


by their very receptivity rendered unfit for the constructive nerds of the living body.

§ 5. We are acquainted with no organic juice capable of growth that presents an absolutely homogeneous Huidity, and is without microscopically small punctiform granules, the forma- tion and composition of which cannot be traced further. They can have originated only from the coagulation of the fluid elements, and they increase either by the continued accretion of homogeneous coagulating masses, or from the already detached granule collecting about itself through chemical elective affinity other substances different from it. The in- crease of this nucleus, whether homogeneous or consisting of different chemical combinations, never exceeds very small microscopic dimensions, but even within these limits a second formative process takes place, that of the delicate, transparent structureless skin, that forms round the nucleus, and with it produces the closed figure of a cell, with its interior filled with fluid round the nucleus. In what manner this delicate membrane is formed by the forces of the nucleus itself is not clear ; but the cell itself, — in plants frequently the scene of vigorous movements, in the course of which its granular con- tents are carried about, — though presenting in the animal no yuch striking phenomena, remains a living centre of chemical reciprocal action with the surrounding fluid, by whose dis- solved constituents its enclosing membrane is permeated. In consequence of this mutual action a gradual alteration takes place in the composition, the internal adjustment, and in the shape of the cell, and instead of its original round form it comes to have that of a number of longish, unequal, ramify- ing bodies, the manner of whose origination is still as obscure as their value for the vital operations. The plant retains the original cellular form to a greater extent than the animal organism  ; in the organs, mostly glandular in structure, that serve for nutrition and transmutation of elements, the cellular form of the infinitesimal particles of the tissues is still dis- tinctly perceptible, and their perpetual dissolution and renova- tion are partly certain, partly probable ; but the peculiar needs of



animal life have brought about a new form with its numerous applications, that of the fibre, which does not everywhere originate even secondarily from a series of cells. We find the fibres partly arranged in parallel lines without ramification, as in the nerve trunks and the muscles, the bundles being then united by commissures and sheaths, partly woven together into solid and firm twists, among which appears as specially important the form of the hollow tube of circular section.

Lastly, from combinations of these relatively simple forms of tissue proceed those composite formations which we are wont to comprehend under the name of organs, and which unite the physical and organic operations of the single tissues into the whole of a definite function. In most organs we find, besides a number of membranous sheaths and ligaments, that secure the connection of the whole and the relative situation of the particular constituents, vessels and nerves traversing, in very various proportions of quantity, a mass fundamentally consisting of cells. The name of parenchyme (poured between) applied to this must not blind us to the fact that it is properly the efficacious element of the whole compound, while the vesicular channels and the nerves merely convey to it the material that is to be worked up and the stimuli to work, or carry off to the rest of the organism the material product of its operations and the serviceable excitations proceeding from its activity.



The bony Skeleton — The Muscles and the Motor Nerves — The Vascular System and the Circulation of the Blood — Respiration and Nutrition — Excretions.

§ 1. TTTHILE laying down the general points of view which

  • ' we desire to fix for the investigation of vital pheno-

mena, we were at liberty to assume that natural familiarity with these and with the structure of the living body would mean- while supply the place of concrete descriptions. Even now, in attempting to give a description of the particular processes and operations with which the various instruments of life work on one another, it is not our intention to follow out all the trains of thought suggested by the consideration of the human body, the proper subject of our inquiries. We shall contemplate it neither in the beauty of its shape nor in the peculiar significance of its forms, which present in absolute perfection a type of structure carried through half of the animal series. Leaving all this to future occasions, we shall content ourselves with bringing into exclusive promi- nence, in the connection of our present reflections, the instru- ments by which the body of man — in this respect identical with the higher species of animals — executes the rotation of its vital operations.

Concealed everywhere beneath covering sheaths of greater or less strength, the bony framework forms the firm outline of the bodily shape. Nature has formed from a basis of trans- parent elastic cartilage and of the phosphate of lime which is imbedded in a peculiar manner in its tissue, those durable supports which, in the moist state which is theirs during life, offer the advantages of rigidity without too great brittleness,



On the outer surface smooth and hard, within in some places of denser, in others of more delicate and spongier texture, according to the end to be attained, this bony structure presents the most various forms, here hollow tubes of consider- able length, there flat plates, again variously curved and bent blades, all so arranged in couples that a vertical section of the body through its median plane would divide the bony framework into two quite symmetrical halves. With their indented edges fitting into one another, mussel-shaped curved bones combine to form the firm arch of the skull, the strong covering of the brain, immoveabiy fastened to one another or permitting only imperceptible deviations, which can at most somewhat break the violence of rude shocks. To these adjoin, firmly growing to them in front and below, the bones of the middle of the face, the lower part of which is completed by the moveable under-jaw. From the interior of the arch of the skull to its outer surface lead both open cavities between the edges of several bones, and also closed channels of greater or less width, that traverse the substance of particular bones, and allow free passage to the vessels and nerves. Through a larger opening on its lower surface, the occipital foramen, the cavity of the skull is connected with the long, broadish channel of the spine, which is loosely filled almost to its lower extremity by the thick strands of the spinal cord, as an immediate continuation of the brain. A good many single bones, of somewhat the form of a short cylinder, are here superposed so as to form a long column, and bound together very firmly and durably by flat elastic sheaths inserted between the adjacent surfaces of each two. Hence only a very slight movement is possible between two adjoining links of this chain, but yet the considerable number of them allows* to the whole of the column, by the summing up of these small movements, considerable curvatures in wide and large arcs. By this construction of the whole from a multi- tude of smaller parts, strength of connection is united with sufficient mobility, and at the same time the injurious effect is avoided which sharp angles in this bony framework would


luivc on the delicate tissues, whose protecting receptacle it is intriidi'd to be. For from the bony cylinder just described, or from each single vertebra of the spine, proceed towards the sides two bony arches, which meet behind like a ring, leaving between them an open space of a roundish heart shape. With these openings superimposed on one another like the vertebra from which they spring, these single rings consequently circumscribe a long hollow channel, without wholly enclosing it. For, as they are of less height than the vertebrae, two adjacent rings do not every- where touch one another, but leave free intervals, and only at three points are united together by connecting projections in a manner that admits indeed of movement, but of movement limited by firm ligatory flaps to a very narrow range. Thus the vertebral column presents the appearance of a long cavity, whose front and far thicker wall is undivided, while the thinner side and back walls are interrupted by many openings. In the interior of this space, which is lined by smooth membranes, the spinal marrow is attached in a float- ing manner such as best wards off injury from the frequent curves and distortions of its bony walls.

In front no bony structure joins on to the highest of the vertebrae, that of the neck ; the twelve following, those of the chest, support in front, corresponding to the vertebrae at the back, the much wider bony arch of the ribs, that, with their posterior extremity attached (to some extent moveably) to the vertebrae, meet in front in the flat breast-bone. They thus form the side limits of the thorax, whose upper opening is contracted only by the less width of the first vaultings of the ribs, and whose lower and wider expanse is likewise separated from the cavity of the stomach only by the muscular diaphragm, and not by any osseous formation. The five next, the lumbar vertebrae, like those of the neck support no ribs, and only, from their especially strong and massive structure, fix, at the back only, the height of the abdominal cavity, whose side-walls are formed entirely of soft textures. The lower wall of the stomach, on


the other hand, designed to support the weight of the bowels, is formed of the great osseous round of the pelvis, which, starting from the lowest spinal vertebrae that grow together into the broad os sacrum, sends out broad wings on both sides, which, sloped off from above and without downwards and towards the inside, and united in front by lower bones, leave between them a pretty considerable space closed only by soft tissues.

Finally, to this framework, which, from the slight mobility of its Parts, is liable to but slight alterations of form, are attacheb the osseous tubes of the limbs, for which the mode of their ligature affords the greatest facilities for changes in situation and shape. The shoulder-blade, kept in its place at the back merely by soft tissues, in front moveably connected through the collar-bone with the breast-bone, supports at its upper and outer extremity, in a flat joint-cavity, the head of the upper arm, while the outer surface of the pelvis supports below, in a deep round joint-cavity, the head of the thigh. The nature of their joints permits to both bones movements in every direction, the extent of which is limited only by collision with the environment ; both, on the other hand, are so connected with the bones of the lower arm and lower leg that the latter, in respect of them, can move only in a single plane. But both these relations and the further structure of the hands and feet, by the delicate organization of which the human frame is distinguished from that of all the lower species, we defer for later consideration. Let us merely add that numerous sinewy ligaments unite all the bones, moveably fitted into one another, that at the joints special cuticular capsules surround their heads, which are turned towards one another and lubricate the surfaces of the joints with a slimy secretion, and we shall have before us a complete picture of the rigid framework, whose parts are then singly moved by the vital activity of the muscles.

§ 2. The numerous gaps and intervals left between the par- ticular bones, are filled up or covered over for the most part with the flesh of the muscles, and the skeleton, clothed in its


muscular sheaths, tlms almost completely fills the external outline of tho bodily form. Extremely thin and delicate fibres, invisible to the naked eye, unite, running parallel to each other, into the finest threads, which, again in like manner massed into thicker bundles, are familiar to us as the con- stituents of the flesh. United groups of these flesh-fibres, co-operating in one and the same operation, traversed by numerous capillary blood-vessels, and divided from homo- geneous or dissimilar adjacent tracts by tolerably distinct envelopes of cellular structure, form the individual muscles, which, without closer mutual connection, and solely in con- sequence of their position adapted to common ends, become combined in larger groups and systems.

Under the influence of various stimuli the muscles are capable of contracting longitudinally in the direction of their fibres. While each one of the latter contracts by a part of its length, frequently very considerable, in consequence of an approximation of the particles still little understood, the transverse section of the muscle is correspondingly enlarged and its density at the same time slightly increased. If we suppose a bundle of fibres fastened by its two extre- mities to two moveable parts, it will seek by its vital contraction to bring both nearer each other in a straight line, and the force with which it executes this operation will depend on the number of efficient fibres, i.e. on the thickness of the bundle or muscle, while the amount of the approximation or extent of the produced movement depends on the other hand on its length. Where, therefore, the limbs, without describing great arcs, have to execute vigorous movements, or retain positions in which they must resist a considerable weight, we usually find short, thick muscles, consisting of a number of fibres, applied ; on the other hand, where a movement through a considerable space, but without the exhibition of any particular force, is intended, longer and often thinner muscles are stretched between the moveable points. Yet there are exceptions to this simple practical rule. For only a few muscles extend between


points whose approximation in a straight line is possible ; most adhere at both ends to bones that are united together by a joint, and can move towards each other only by turning round that joint. The muscle, running beyond this, and as is required by the laws of the lever for the greatest possible effect, applied as far as may be from the fulcrum, would therefore, as it contracted, considerably diminish the angle formed by the two bones at the joint, but at the same time fill up the opening of the joint with its condensed mass. The form of the limbs would thus undergo an alteration such as even in the arm, in which the simplest example of it would be found, but much more in other cases would be anything but favourable to the end in view in the movement made. Great variety is introduced into the application of muscular activity alike by this regard to the avoidance of changes of contour contrary to the end in view, and by other circum- stances ; but to trace these relations farther, even were it here possible, would yield no further advantage to our inquiry than is to be drawn from what has been already said.

It is not only here and there, in the structure of the move- able framework of the body and in the provision for its move- ments just described, that we find analogies with the modes of procedure made use of by mechanical skill. But the total of these operations is altogether and with the utmost variety and delicacy of execution founded on the instrumentality, means, and laws of which we avail ourselves in our daily attempts to invent instruments for moving masses, only with less complete success. The same rigid rods, the same junc- tion and fastening by various ligaments, the same turning of the moveable parts by means of connecting flaps that exactly determine the possible directions of the turning, the same draw-lines together with rollers and braces, which alter the direction of their working according to necessity and con- venience : all these expedients we find equally in machines and the living body  ; and we find them nowhere else in Nature. Forces traversing space guide the stars in their courses by invisible threads  ; mutual pressure of particles, tension of


masses evaporating or increasing by suction, lastly chemical attractions and the immediate counteractions of the substances in contact in space, are the forces at work in meteoric phenomena and vegetable life. The orderly arid harmonious system of mechanical arrangements under the law of the lever lirst appears in animal life, and just where its special dis- tinctive task has to be accomplished, — change of figure and place. Thus so little is life averse from the use of means that we are wont to term contemptuously artificial or mechani- cal contrivances, that on the contrary its articulation may be held to be the prototype of the machine, given by Nature herself as the most perfect type, yet only given here in this her most perfect product. There is, however, one point in which life surpasses all that we can do to copy it, viz. the fact that the spring of this whole array of means lies in the peculiar inherent contractility of the muscles, while our mechanical skill can only shorten the draw-lines by rolling them round cylinders and wheels, which again require other instruments to move them.

The muscles receive the impetus to contract from the nerves extending between them and the brain and spinal marrow. The microscopically fine nerve-fibres, spun out to a great length and consisting of a delicate transparent sheath and viscous medullary content, are, on the way from the central organs to the moveable limbs, formed within a common case into largish bundles, without being divided or blending together on their passage. From these thicker trunks smaller bundles proceed, according as they are required for conve- nience of distribution in the neighbourhood of the muscles, till the single threads are finally lost in the fibres of the muscles, and separate now for the first time into fine rami- fications. In newly killed animals pressure and pulling, chemical agencies, and the influence of electric currents applied at any point in the course of a nerve, excite contraction in the muscle to which it runs, — a proof that the equilibrium of the minutest elements of the nerve-substance is so unstable as to be disturbed by many kinds of shocks, and easily to


propagate its disturbances from point to point. Eecent minute investigations have made it credible that an alteration in its electric state running quickly, though not instantaneously through the nerve, is the process by whose effect on the muscles the contraction of the fibres is effected. While important in regard to the special inquiries of physiology, the decision of this question would yet add nothing essential to the general sketch which we have here in view ; it is enough that some change in its physical condition, advancing from point to point in the nerve, occasions either a temporary twitching or a permanent tension of the muscles dependent on it.

§ 3. The irritability of the nerves and muscles is per- manently maintained only so long as both are acted upon in their natural positions by the circulating blood. In order that this stimulating nourishment may extend everywhere, all the limbs are traversed by the vascular system, resembling a finely ramified network of radicles. Its strong main branches, distributed through the larger cavities of the body, are divided by an oft-repeated dismemberment into a closely intertwined network of the finest tubes, running more or less abundantly round the minutest elements of the tissues, and conveying to all in a ceaseless current the nutritive blood-fluid. This motion also has been ascribed by fanciful theorists, in open contradiction to facts easily observed, to a peculiar mysterious power of the fluid, which seeks and chooses its paths in the service of life; we shall, on the contrary, find that it, like the motion of the limbs, is based on the finest adaptation of the very means, which in such theories are regarded only as coarse and wretched aids to human craft.

If in a circular channel, filled with fluid contents and enclosed by elastically dilatable walls, a single spot were surrounded by fibres that could be contracted, each contraction of this spot (which we shall forthwith designate as the heart) would drive the fluid to both sides, and two waves would spread on the right and left by means of the momentarily expanding and then elastically contracting arms of the circular vessel. If a valve were placed in the interior of the vessel on


the one side of the heart, so that it would be closed by a current from the one side and opened by one from the other, this would permit instead of the double wave only a flow of blood in one direction through the whole circuit of the vessel, and this returning to the heart from the other side, would open the valve in order to be again propelled in the same direction as before by a second contraction. If we suppose that the circular simple vessel divides at some distance from the heart into several branches, which by fresh ramification part again into an indistinguishable multitude of the finest tubes, that further, these very fine channels collect again into somewhat larger trunks, before finally discharging themselves into the heart in two main currents, we have set forth in this simple repre- sentation the changes which we must bear in mind in order to have an idea of the nutritive vascular system. The heart does really consist of a strong muscular bag, whose energetic contractions drive the contained blood into the main artery of the body, the aorta, one of the arms of the large vascular ring, which is at first undivided. A cuticular valve in the heart, closed during its contraction by the pressure of the blood against it, prevents the escape of the blood on the other side of the way, and forces it to take its course in one direction through the large trunk into the farther ramifications of the arterial system. The blood always finds the vessels into which it is driven already filled  ; but on its way from the heart, while it is pouring in at the entrance to the aorta, it pushes back the wall of it breadthwise and lengthwise, and for a moment finds room in this greater extent of the dilated vessel. But the elastic wall of the vessel, formed of strong and tough circular and longitudinal fibres, struggles with great force to contract to its former dimensions, and thereby drives on along the same path the excess of blood by which it is expanded, the proximate part of the vessel undergoing a similar expan- sion, from which it immediately rebounds. Thus, advancing quickly along the whole length of the vessel, a wave of expansion arises — as can easily be made perceptible by filling the intestine of an animal with water so as to


dilate its walls sufficiently, then closing both ends, and exerting on the one a sudden pressure. We know this undulatory movement of the arteries under the name of the pulse ; it becomes less distinct in . the smaller branches, and disappears entirely in the widely extended network of the capillary vessels. The blood flows through these in a quietly even current, in order to return without pulsation to the heart by the again collected larger trunks, the veins. Since in the aorta fluid meets fluid after each heart-beat, various inter- mixtures will take place, and a. part of the newly entering blood may be driven to a greater or less distance by that already there, while another part of the new blood pushes before it a part of the old. The path described by a single particle of blood may therefore be very various ; only in the middle part of the vascular passage will it be uniformly progressive; at the entrance to the aorta the circumstances already stated may make it very irregular, in the capillary vessels many little accidental shocks from without and other incidents may convert it for a long time into a fluctuating progression and retrogression through the variously communicating paths of this labyrinth. Hence the estimates according to which the blood is supposed to circulate through the whole system of the vessels in about a minute, while the heart makes from sixty to eighty beats, may indicate the average result of the whole circulation, but not the motion of each single particle.

The larger vessels, arteries and veins, divided by thick impenetrable layers of skin from the substance of the parts through which they run, are merely channels in which the flux and reflux of the blood take place ; the capillary vessels alone, with their thin delicate walls, passing through and twining round the minute elements of the tissues in an exceedingly fine and multiplex ramification, form the scene of the trans- formation of substance. From these, by a perpetual process of osmosis, the fluid constituents of the blood pass into the intervals of the texture, and in exchange the dissolved remains of the used-up and decomposed corporeal substance press into them, in order to be carried away to the various organs of


excretion in the current of the blood. We are very slightly acquainted with the kind of chemical transformation undergone by the tissues in course of time from these operations, and just as slightly with the order of succession of the forms into which they are converted by advancing decomposition, till the final process when, having become perfectly soluble and more similar in their chemical composition to the simpler inorganic substances, they are ready to be dismissed from the body. We observe only one more definite result of this activity continually proceeding in all parts of the body, viz. the forma- tion of carbonic acid, from whose entrance into the capillary vessels the blood receives on its return through the veins that dark-red colouring which now distinguishes it from the light- red arterial blood flowing from the heart. The larger amount of absorbed oxygen, by which the latter is distinguished, disappears mostly in the capillary vessels, and is used for the constitution of the carbonic acid collecting in the venous blood. Now in whatever manner the necessary carbon may be extracted from the constituents of the body, and by whatever intermediate agencies the carbonic acid may finally be formed, we must at all events consider this slow process of combustion going on constantly in all parts as the source of animal heat. A certain height of temperature is an indispensable condition for the possibility of vital operations. But not every part that needs for its action a definite degree of heat, is permitted by the nature of its own action to satisfy that need by vigorous change of substance. The vessels form the channels through which the heat generated elsewhere, communicated to the blood, is equally diffused over the body ; and from this second use of the blood, — to be an apparatus for the distribution of heat, — particular refinements of its organization are more easily understood than from the first — to minister to the diffusion of the nutritive juices. Thus the superfluity of parts in which there is active change of substance is of advantage even to those which, on account of their smaller transformation or their less favourable situa- tion, are not themselves capable of generating and maintaining


the requisite height of temperature; thus in particular the external surface of the body receives compensation for the considerable radiation of heat, owing to which it is constantly growing cold from its contact with the atmosphere.

§ 4. We have hitherto regarded the vascular system filled with blood as the store-room from which alike nutritious com- pensation and necessary heat are conveyed to the bodily tissues. This store would, however, soon be exhausted if oxygen was not continually supplied anew by means of respiration, if the existence of the parts capable of growth was not maintained by digestion, and if the remains of decomposition that have become unfit for use were not removed from the blood by excretion. Of these operations respiration first of all deter- mines in the higher animals the development of a particular department of the vascular system, designed to free from its carbonic acid the venous blood, altered by the absorption of substances unfit for further use. This freeing is effected by means of a successful interaction with the outer air, which fills it anew with oxygen. Instead of the one heart, from which, as we formerly supposed, the arterial current proceeds, and into which the venous blood immediately returns, let us now suppose two hearts similarly constructed ; on its way back from the capillary tubes the venous current first enters into the one, is driven out from it into a less extended arc of the vascular ring, and only when it flows back from that reaches the second heart, in order to be conveyed thence into the already familiar path of the main circulation of the body. The shorter arc between the two hearts forms the path of the lesser circulation, in which the blood is subjected to the influence of the air ; the heart into which the venous current discharges itself is the right, the other, from which that which has become arterial issues, the left heart ; both lie in the body close beside one another, though always with cavities completely separated from each other, and the blood, flowing from the right to the left one through the vascular extension of the minor circula- tion, returns at the end of this movement almost to the same


of space, divided from the place of its exit only by the muscular partition-wall that sunders the two hearts that have -n>\vn together. The vascular passages along which it goes between the two points resemble in their structure those of the main circulation. A large trunk, the pulmonary artery, comparable to the aorta, first receives the venous blood, driven out by the beat of the right heart, taking place simultaneously witli that of the left; it soon divides into two great branches, each of which fills one-half of the chest cavity by means of a tree - like ramification of finer and finer channels. These capillary vessels also join together into larger trunks, the pul- monary veins, in which the blood (which in the meanwhile has become of a light red in consequence of the respiration) flows back into the left heart, to begin once more the main circula- tion. Through the intervals left in the fine network of the capillary tubes a second system of channels grows everywhere for the conveyance of air. The windpipe, at first simple, begins in the back part of the cavity of the mouth as a wide opening, protected against being crushed together by cartila- ginous rings, and capable of being closed above by the epiglottis ; descending under the skin of the throat and a thin covering of muscles, it divides, below the beginning of the sternum, into two main trunks, that, separated on the right and the left into smaller and smaller branches covered with a thin membrane, form those two great trees whose twigs are lost in the fine network of the blood-vessels, which have like- wise developed into two intricate systems ramifying in various directions. A general membranous envelope, carried into but a few of the larger sections of this intimately connected double organ, is spread over each of the two ramifications, the two lungs, of which the larger on the right occupies its half of the chest cavity, while on the left the smaller encloses the heart behind, above, and partly in front, with a flap extend- ing downwards — the heart lying in the middle to the left. The middle part of the cavity of the chest, the fissure sepa- rating the two lungs, is the space into which the aorta extends, making a curve upwards and then descending


behind, and it is from tins cavity that the blood-vessels enter the texture of the lungs sideways and the two trunks of the windpipe from above.

The finest ramifications of the air and blood vessels, which are intricately intertwined, are in this case also the special scene of activity. The extremities of the delicate air-tubes spread out into little bulbs along whose sides the capillary vessels run, and are divided only by an exceedingly thin covering from the air, filling the interior of these little lung- cells. By means of equally delicate moist membranes an interchange of different gases takes place outside the living body, in obedience to laws not yet fully elucidated in their details. The carbonic acid of the venous blood, which in these partition-walls is carried past the air, passes by exhalation from the vessels into the cavity of the lung-cells ; the oxygen of the atmospheric air therein contained pushes its way, on the other hand, through the walls of the capillary vessels, and along with the blood become arterial from having absorbed it, is now conveyed to the left heart, and through that to the main course of circulation. The perpetual continuance of this process is finally secured by the movements of the chest, the alternations of inhalation and exhalation. In inspiration the muscles raise the moveable ribs upwards, and seek in this way to expand the cavity of the chest ; but closed on all sides as it is, it cannot conform to this effort unless the atmospheric air, forcing its way through the larynx and wind- pipe into the lung- cells, fill the vacuum thus caused. These vigorous movements of the chest-muscles cease when inspira- tion has been completed, and the peculiar elasticity of the texture of the lungs expanded by the air introduced is sufficient by its efforts at contraction to effect exhalation of the air, and the letting down of the raised ribs then follows of itself. Hence only inspiration necessarily brings the vital activity of the muscles into play ; expiration takes place in the ordinary course of respiration without its co- operation, though it may assist to empty the lungs as completely as possible.


§ 5. The interior of the cavity of the chest is filled by heart, the lungs, and the great vascular trunks. ]5d»>w it is divided by the diaphragm from the cavity of the abdomen, the seat of the alimentary canal and its dependencies. Flat muscular plates, whose fibres cross each other in various directions, spring from the spine, from the lowest rib, and from tin', lower extremity of the breast-bone, and, uniting, form the partition-wall that, extending downwards further behind than in front, and arching upwards, projects into the cavity of the chest. On it rest heart and lungs, and through a fissure left between them at the spine by their bundles of fibres, the aorta passes close beside the vertebral column into the abdominal cavity, in order soon to divide into the two great vascular trunks of the legs. The contraction of the muscles of the diaphragm flattens the vaulting of it which arches upwards, and thereby assists the expansion of the cavity of the chest for inspiration ; the contraction of the muscular walls of the abdominal cavity, on the other hand, pressing upwards the contained intestines, increases that vaulting, and, by narrowing the chest, assists deep expiration.

At the back of the cavity of the mouth begins the muscular tube of the oesophagus, passing first between the vertebral column and the windpipe, then within the chest to the front and left side of the aorta, to descend to the abdominal cavity, into which it makes its way through an opening in the diaphragm. Solid food ground down by mastication and also fluids are driven between the walls of this passage by the muscles of the mouth and throat ; while behind it the muscular wall contracts, the bolus opens its way step by step through this tube, whose walls, not kept asunder like those of the air- passages by elastic cartilages, are in their normal condition superimposed on one another without any interval. Helped in this manner as far as to the abdominal cavity, nutriment arrives at that section of the alimentary canal in which the chemical activity of assimilation begins. In many windings, the situation of which is determined only for particular segments, the intestinal canal passes through the abdominal

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cavity, everywhere composed of an external muscular slieatli and an internal velvety shining mucous membrane, both pierced by many blood-vessels, and both generally similar in structure, yet in different sections of the whole differently organized in minute details to suit different ends. Immediately after its entrance into the abdominal cavity the oesophagus extends into a spacious sack-shaped organ, the extension of which in a rounded-off bag is prolonged, without any opening, to the left of the place of its entrance, while the other longer part is continued in the prolongation of the intestinal canal. The muscular membrane of this organ, the stomach, consisting of various flat bundles of fibres, can carry backwards and forwards the chyme brought thus far, by means of its undula- tory slight contractions, and thus bring it into manifold contact with the internal mucous membrane. Eich in blood- vessels, that receive an increased supply during digestion, this membrane secretes (from peculiar microscopic glandules, which, imbedded in it, run along the greater downward curve of the stomach) a product designated by the name of pepsine, the composition of which is little known, but which, in com- bination with the watery gastric juice containing muriatic and lactic acid, exerts the first powerfully solvent and chemically transforming influence on the nutritive contents. Here the starchy constituents of the latter are converted into sugar; the albuminous and fibrous parts of meat lose in disintegra tion some of their properties ; the fatty substances seem to pass through unmodified. Of liquids and the liquefied parts of the food much is here absorbed by the blood-vessels of the stomach ; the substances that have not become completely soluble pass by degrees, for further elaboration, through the opposite aperture in the stomach into the next division of the alimentary canal, the duodenum.

Here they are subjected to the influence of two organs, the liver and the pancreas, to be most briefly described for our purpose as appendages of the alimentary canal turned inside out. Let us imagine a hollow fold outwards of the alimentary canal gradually growing into a long and thin canal, with its


vi-ry narrow cavity opening into the much wider one of the alimentary canal This canal, which is called the gall-duct, then parts into two branches, of which the one very soon ends in a bulbous-shaped swelling, the gall-bladder, while the other, like the windpipe, ramifies into a network of fine branches. Into this network another double one forces its way as in the lungs. Not only does the main circulation send arteries out from the aorta, which spread here into a network of capillary vessels, but the venous blood also, returning from the intestines of the abdomen, gathers into a great trunk, the vena portce, and this, again dividing into a network of capillary veins, likewise accompanies with its fine ramification the branchings of the gall-ducts. Thus, in combination with the cellular mass, this threefold twist forms the liver ; formed by an enveloping membrane into a compact, bulky organ, and extending from the right side of the abdomen across its line of bisection, it hangs below the diaphragm, fastened in a fold of a closed membranous bag, the peritoneum, whose surface in front extends over the inside of the muscular-wall of the abdomen, and at the back, with several folds inwards into the interior of the bag, receives and holds firm the most important segments of the alimentary canal. The yellow bitter gall is secreted into these out of the cells of the parenchyme of the liver, in which the minutest branches of the gall-ducts end. That this fluid exerts an important influence on digestion seems to be proved by the constancy with which in the higher classes of animals the liver is everywhere so constituted that from it and from the gall-bladder, in which is collected the always prepared product, the gall is conveyed to the alimentary canal, through the above-mentioned means of exit, in proportion to the food which enters it from the stomach. But I naturally avoid entering into the more special theories which physiologists have tried to establish in regard to the nature of this effect. Enough that exceedingly laborious and meritorious investiga- tions have hitherto done very little to make us thoroughly acquainted with the working into each other of the vegetative operations, and that our views of the chemical processes of


digestion and assimilation are still undergoing perpetual modification. Instead of dwelling on such details, I refer to a conception in which chemical investigators have given expression to their view of the general purport of the reci- procal actions here observed. The animal body, of course, is nourished only by substances brought to it from outside, which on the whole have already the same composition as its own constituents ; the complete assimilation of the absorbed material seems, however, only possible through the effect of substances already belonging to the organism and supplied by it as corrective ferments in order to guide the chemical reactions of the absorbed foreign material in a direction favourable for the ends of assimilation. A great number of such substances — pepsin e, gall, and the juices of the pancreas and of the many glands of the alimentary canal — are in this way constantly introduced by the organism among the chemical reciprocal actions to which the elements of the nutritive matter would be liable by their own nature. We are ignorant what particular operations are incumbent on these single agents, and even the pathological phenomena due to the disturbance of the one or the other do not enable us inductively to distinguish their several functions ; we must thus content ourselves with this general conception, and leave to the future its verification in detail.

§ 6. The function of conveying the prepared chyme to the blood, and from it to the constituents of the body, is divided between two systems of vessels. The blood-vessels that in fine meshes traverse the whole extent of the alimentary canal seem to absorb only the dissolved inorganic con- stituents, such as the salts, and of the organic compounds those which, after being completely diluted, are not needed in the formation of tissues, but are intended to perform other offices in the body. This absorption is so rapid that fluid poisons, a few minutes after they have been swallowed, make themselves perceptible in the blood and the secretions by their reactions, in the rest of the body by their effects. The reception of the tissue-forming nutritive substances — of albuminous arid


along with them of fatty elements — falls to the otln-i- system, the lymphatic. The velvety appearance by which from the stomach downwards the inner surface of the mucous membrane is more and more marked, when looked at under the microscope is found to be produced by fine villous formations projecting into the intestinal cavity. In the upper part of the alimentary canal conical elevations with a broad base, they become, in the lower part, tongue-shaped organs, pressed together to the number of 40 to 90 to a square line of the mucous membrane. The light-coloured indefinitely fibrous base of their texture is surrounded on the outside with a covering of cylindrical cells, under which on two sides its blood-vessels mount upwards connected by an intervening network  ; the middle is occupied by the beginning of a lacteal with a knotty or blunt end. These lacteals, which gradually run together into larger trunks, are after- wards united with the branches of the lymphatic vessels, that absorb from the other parts of the body the superfluous discharged blood-fluid, and the two canal systems which greatly resemble one another in structure and action finally convey their fluid contents through a common outlet into one of the main trunks of the venous system of vessels, the vena cava.

Neither in the lacteals nor in the blood-vessels are open- ings for the passage of the substances to be conducted by them perceptible ; in them too, therefore, absorption must take place through the walls, and must be confined to fluids or to solid parts of such minuteness that they can penetrate the invisible intervals which we may suppose occur between even the smallest particles of these walls. Even on this supposition, however, the mechanism of this absorption pre- sents peculiar difficulties, hardly to be removed except by supposing a chemical attraction of the inside of the closed vessels, which determines the entrance of the fluid, and prevents its regress through the coat. On this hypothesis the considerable amount of elasticity possessed by the walls of the vessels would sufficiently explain the onward pressure of the contents by which they are distended, in the free


direction towards the circulating channels of the blood ; moreover, the action of this propelling force is aided by a number of valves, which the current opens when running this way, but would shut were it to flow backwards.

Up to the time when they enter the blood, chyle and lymph are subjected in numerous glands, with which their vessels become entwined, to the transforming influence of the blood itself, to whose composition theirs is always more and more approaching. Peculiar granular bodies, of microscopic minuteness, formed from albuminous matter, occur in both. They are apparently the first beginnings of a formation by which blood is distinguished from other juices — i.e. the red blood corpuscles. As disc-shaped smooth cells these swim in immense numbers in the blood ; they are formed from a viscous clear fluid without any solid nucleus, and enveloped in a very elastic transparent outer membrane, whose con- stituents are an albuminous body, globuline, and a red pigment containing iron, hematine, likewise albuminous. We are not as yet free from doubts in regard to the mode of their origination, or the way in which they perish as they grow old, or the services rendered by them to life, which we have much reason to look on as highly important. Their function is supposed to consist partly in their being appli- cable to nutrition and the formation of tissue, partly in their actively promoting the transmutation of substances by absorbing alternately oxygen and carbonic acid, under whose influence they bring about the difference in colour of arterial and venous blood. In disease the fluctuations of their quantity in the blood are found to influence considerably the vividness of the operations of the nerves.

Chyle and lymph are the only sources of fresh supply for the blood ; the modes in which it gives out its constituents are far more varied. Probably only a comparatively small part of what is given out is applied to the reparation of the textures worn out with their operations  ; perhaps one more considerable contributes to the production of a variety of parts such as hair, nails, epidermis, which are perpetually growing, and


ilrt arli themselves in solid form from the, l»>dy l>y or peeling dt'i'; still more considerable apparently is the amount of the secretions from the blood, which, like the numerous juices of the alimentary canal and its associated glandular organs, are again made use of as subsidiary means to the ends of assimilation, before being removed from the body. The bulkiest of all excretions, however, takes place through evaporation from the skin and lungs, and through the secretion of urine. Both processes are designed merely for the removal of masses become unfit for use, though the first perhaps serves to neutralize many disturbances of the bodily mechanism by means of the accessory effects that attend or follow the activity of the excretion. The nitrogenous con- stituents of urine, sometimes dissolved in a large variable quantity of water, sometimes deposited from it in solid form, make it unquestionable that it is mostly in this way that the residuum of the albuminous substances is got rid of when chemically decomposed. One of them, urea, has been found already formed in the blood, and to it at least the kidneys are related not as a productive organ, but only as a peculiarly fashioned filter, whose texture lets its watery solution pass through into the cavity of the passages of exit, while it forces the other dissolved and still service- able constituents of the blood to remain behind.

The exhalation of carbonic acid from the lungs is attended by an abundant development of watery vapour, which makes the breath visible at a low temperature, and contains the car- bonic acid as it passes into the outer world. Again, from the moist, thick mucous coat, abundantly pierced with vessels, and lying under the epidermis, water is constantly forcing its way to the outside, and escaping in the form of vapour through the horny, thin layer of the epidermis, which every- where forms the outmost covering of the body. The greater part of the whole perspiration from the skin seems to take place in this way, a smaller part being the product of peculiar, small glandules, that, imbedded in the mucous network of the dermis, send outwards a spirally-winding fine outlet, from


whose aperture the detached fluid evaporates, but does not appear as a liquid, in the form of sweat, except where the production is too abundant, or the external atmosphere does not sufficiently absorb it. Besides the ordinary salts of the blood and very small quantities of organic constituents, sweat contains only water, lactic acid, and ammonia; its com- position therefore does not seem to justify the importance ascribed to the activity of the skin, or the many bad effects which result from its suppression. But it is quite possible that its more important function is not the removal of these unimportant substances, but the labour of the removal, or that, in other words, the constant carrying on of this process of evaporation occasions, for the extremities of the nerves lying on the surface of the body, in the skin itself, conditions that are indispensable to the due fulfilment of their functions. While we cannot pursue this branch of the advantage afforded by the secretion from the skin, we may further merely note that it serves as an efficacious means of moderating the heat of the body (apt to be increased by many causes), and in particular of the blood. A large quantity of heat is laid hold of and removed from the body in the abundant evaporation, whether sensible or insensible, constantly going on from its surface, and the same takes place without interruption through the exhalation of the


Not all the constituents of the body have been mentioned in this sketch of its structure and operations. We have left many of the greatest importance to be dealt with later, as our present purpose is only to illustrate the great extent to which life employs, for the execution of its functions, the same means by which human mechanical skill produces its works.



Physical, Organic, and Psychical Compensation of Disturbances — Examples of the Establishment of Equilibrium — The Sympathetic System — Ceaseless Activity of all that is Organic — General Sketch of Life.

§ 1. TT is on the direct interaction of infinitesimal par- -*• tides that the preservation of the bodily form and the capacity of vital operations everywhere depend. Of these nothing is disclosed either by the aspect of the living body, or by our internal observation; quietly and unawares to ourselves there go on all the chemical transmutations of substances, all the stages of their formation, the regular addition of some, the gradual removal of others. What forces itself on our observation as evidence of life — the constant alter- nation of breathing, the unceasing pulsation of the heart, the heat that pervades all parts of the body, — all this is but the manifestation of mediating activities, by means of which the organism seeks each moment to re-establish the conditions necessary for the continuance of the invisible play. But even from this point of view these preliminary operations are of great importance  ; in fact it is the very peculiarity of life that, by means of the fixed modes of connection in which it combines the elementary substances into mutual relations, it directs and compels their inherent forces to unwonted results. It is therefore well worth the pains, after having described the mutual effect of these activities, further to inquire what are the forces and the laws by which, according to varying requirements, the amount and the vivacity of each individually is at each moment determined, as well as the manner in which it usefully co-operates with all the others. While presenting a wide field still left open for future



investigations, this inquiry concerning the general plan and order of animal economy furnishes for our purpose only the indication of a few points, that we may be able once more to make use of the general view by which we have been hitherto guided, and thus to complete our picture of life.

As it appears from our former observations that the removal of disturbances can be successfully carried out only where these somehow set in motion compensatory activities of the body antagonistic to themselves, so also cravings of all kinds can only be satisfied by the state requiring modi- fication itself exciting the reactions essential to its alteration. This general condition may be fulfilled in various ways. The structure of the single parts itself, when once established, may, as in every case of elasticity, develop an effort to return to its prior condition, and this effort (at least within certain limits) may increase in direct proportion to the amount of deviation from it. Here the disturbance is removed, in the most direct way, by the forces inherent in the particles whose relations it had altered, whether because the remedial reaction steadily grew along with the disturbance, or because the disturbance compels the internal relations of the parts in question to a suddenly exhibited reaction, after it has reached a certain height. Did the body consist of parts of which each had to care merely for its own preserva- tion, we would find this simplest form of neutralization more frequently applied, or rather the parts so constructed that its application would invariably be possible. But it is one of the ends of life to use the needs and disturbances of one part in order to excite the operations of others, and to adjust commotion in one part, not in the shortest way, but in that which admits of necessary and useful incidental effects being gained for the advantage of the whole. We therefore find a second form of adjustment largely applied  ; the disturbance of one part diffuses its consequences over a considerable section of the organism, and, not content with exciting the resisting forces of the spot directly affected, on the contrary, by its communicated


impetus, rouses remote parts to a more extended and v, reaction. Starting from constituents by which this impetus was received in regular mutual combination, and connected by a variety of relations, the reaction may also be far more intense and complex than would have been that of the simple resisting force of the separate parts originally subjected to dis- turbance ; it will not merely remove the single disturbance, but at the same time evolve from it, in different directions, impulses favourable to the further continuance of the vital operations. As the ingenious machine restores to the outer world the simple, almost formless, impetus which it received, transformed into a variety of movements, which are intricately adjusted to one another, so the not less ingeniously adapted connections of living parts intervene between the single disturbance and the whole of the organism, and satisfy special needs with due regard to the wellbeing of the latter. In the nervous system we shall meet with provision for binding the states of locally separated particles into re- ciprocal action, which their situation and structure would not of themselves allow, and by which at the same time the disconnected and fragmentary satisfaction of particular necessities is converted into the harmonious carrying on of a general economy. If we call this new kind of adjust- ment organic, in contrast to the simpler physical one, we do not mean thereby to imply any difference in the efficient forces, except that difference in their application by which our conception everywhere distinguishes systematically ordered life from the substances of the inorganic world which are isolated or accidentally thrown together. Even this kind of adjustment and preservation is not the last and highest ; beyond the limits of our present inquiry, but yet requiring mention here, lies the co-operation of the soul. The dis- turbed part cannot always find the means of remedy in itself; often it does not find them even in the resources of the nervous system, to which it turns for aid ; but its disturbance becomes converted into feeling and sensation of the soul, and, quitting the too confined physical region, the excitement is


carried on in that of the mind, in order to summon all the resources of insight, to finally react on the bodily organs, with the acquired help of a resolution, and to thus open up to them ways of satisfaction which they would not have discovered for themselves.

"We reserve for future occasions the consideration of this supplementing of the bodily by the mental life ; meanwhile let us try to present a sufficient sketch of the simple physical, and of the organically prepared adjustment.

§ 2. In so far as it is possible, Nature has preferred the direct settlement of disturbances and the satisfaction of needs by forces proper to the parts, to the employment of peculiar organic means ; she frequently turns to account in this way properties belonging to the tissues either permanently or, at least, without interruption for a long time, and keeps in reserve those other energies which it does not seem possible to exert, without using up the matter in which they inhere. Even muscular movement we see in many cases replaced by the physical elasticity of the tissues. The contraction of the heart is indeed carried out by means of the vital drawing up of its muscular fibres, but its expansion is effected by means not of an opposite vital energy, but partly of the slight elasticity of its texture, partly of its retreat before the advancing current of venous blood. Each muscle of itself regains its former length after the moment of contraction, without requiring a special expansive force. The distension of the lungs is effected by means of the vital energy of the muscles of respiration, expiration by the voluntary elastic drawing in of the stretched tissue. Much work is saved in the most ordinary operations of the limbs by favourable relations in their structure. An oscillatory movement, initiated, without the exertion of vital force, by mere gravity, carries the leg that is behind in walking, past the one in front to the point whence the new step forward can be taken ; the body itself acquires in walking a tendency for- ward that leaves nothing to be done by the vital exertion of the muscles but to support it and to stretch out firmly


the advancing leg. At the same time the top of the tlii-li is kept firm yet moveable in its deep socket, not by special activities, but by the pressure of the atmosphere, an-1 similar examples of the economizing of vital energy would he furnished in abundance by a more detailed consideration of bodily movements. Even the regularity of the circulation of the blood is, within wide limits, self-maintained, the amount of possible divergence from it being at the same time fixed. Should the arterial system be for the moment overfilled with blood, the tension of its walls thereby increased would tend with the greater force and rapidity to remove the excess, and the diminished current conveyed to the heart by the proportionally less filled venous tract would of itself prevent that organ from keeping the arteries in their flooded state.

The comparative constancy with which, under the most various influences of food and mode of life, the blood main- tains or restores its normal composition, gives probability to the conjecture that its separate constituents, like the elements of a stable chemical combination, cleave to one another more firmly in the proportions forming its normal composi- tion than in other reciprocal proportions, temporarily determined by chance. This, however, would not prevent the blood from continually absorbing new ingredients through attraction from the tissues, from dissolving them, and causing them to take part in its circulation ; only these superfluous additions would remain outside of its regular combination, and very soon fall a prey to the forces determining the separation and conversion of substances, while, after their special office had been performed, the blood would once more return to its normal constitution. This would be a process the same as that which takes place when an aqueous crystal is separated from a watery solution ; the water belong- ing to its chemical composition resists the evaporation by which the rest is detached ; nevertheless the crystal remains soluble in water ; thus, although its chemical formula con- tains only a fixed quantity of it, this does not prevent it


from further being able to attract greater quantities, only that it cannot retain the latter so firmly as the former in face of unfavourable circumstances. On such a hypothesis it would be intelligible how the blood can itself, by its actual condition, direct the amount of absorption and removal. If it comes into contact with the thinly fluid gastric juice or the plastic lymph everywhere diffused, in a degree of concentration at which it contains only the necessary con- stituents of its normal constitution, it will be able to absorb large quantities of both; but this absorption will diminish, the more material the blood has taken in beyond its neces- sary supply. It is thus prevented from becoming overloaded by reaching a condition of satiety such as exhausts the powers of absorption or attraction, and of itself determines a certain proportion between the fresh supply and the demand which it meets.

Now the blood is being perpetually conveyed to the secretory organs, under a certain pressure of its walls, after the modifications which it may have undergone in its course. This pressure will hardly alone suffice for the production of any, certainly not of every, secretion ; the organs to which this operation is assigned cannot be regarded as mere filters, through whose pores fluids are forced by the pressure of the blood ; their office is often, as we have already seen, more varied and complicated. Nevertheless, at least the water and the salts which it holds in solution, will undergo no further elaboration in secretion ; we may apply our general considerations to their removal. If the blood becomes so diluted that its aqueous content exceeds that of its normal formula, the secretory forces of the organ — whatever these may be — will, under the pressure of the blood, be more favourable to the passage of the surplus than to the further separation of any of that amount of water required by the composition of blood. For that is subjected to the action of the secretory forces not uncombined, but in association alike with the albumen which it holds in solution and with the other ingredients of the blood, and, in virtue of these detain-


ing conditions, can resist those forces, — as can likewi.so the salts which enter in iixed quantities into the composition of the lilood.

Again, we can further apply the same reasoning to the organic ingredients that are discharged from tho blood alike in nutritive and excretory secretion, sometimes not without having undergone some chemically transforming influence of the secretory organs. A part of the tissue whose formation is absolutely normal, and which therefore has no need of repair, will have no particular attraction for the nutritive material circulating around it ; one whose constitution has been altered, and which on this very account has become more dissimilar to that material, will attract it more powerfully, and thus bring to bear a new condition favourable to its exit from the vessels. Here too, then, the demand would directly determine the adequate amount of the supply. If blood richer in sub- stances offers to the secretory organs larger quantities of that which they are always working up by their energy, the mere presence of the more abundant material may suffice to cause an increase of this energy, at least where the latter does not depend on internal changes in the organ, that have themselves a fixed maximum of intensity and velocity. It is more evident that the secretory activity will invariably meet with a growing resistance when its material is conveyed to it only in such quantity as per- tains to the stable constitution of the blood and is kept back by the latter. If, further, any obstacle checks the secretory activity of one organ, the molecules obstructed here will seek egress wherever else it is under these altered circumstances possible or easiest for them. The suppression of skin-evapo- ration throws the body of water that should escape from the surface back into the interior, and, as no organ is imper- vious to it, we find the inactivity of the skin followed by augmented watery secretions from all the separatory surfaces, first and chiefly from that one which, in the sum of the given circumstances, offers least resistance to the exit. It is equally well known that excessive skin evaporation reduces


the quantity of the other secretions and increases their con- centration,— a result to be explained, apart from any particular expenditure of compensatory activity, by the absence of proper solvents. Many means of egress are not, however, open to all excretions  ; the suppression of a given secretion may either wholly prevent the formation of the substance to be removed, — this having perhaps been possible only through the peculiar energy of the organ now in repose, — or, "where the substance is already as such present in the blood, its exit may be prevented in the form which it has there, and in which it could have found a free passage only through the now blocked-up organ. In this case substitutory processes will develop themselves ; either the material from which the sub- stance to be removed was to be formed, or that already formed, will have to undergo still further transformations and divisions, and finally to assume forms in which its removal is possible through the other still open organs. As the substances in process of being re-formed undergo in the blood an ever continued reaction with oxygen, such as seems favourable to their reduction to a simpler and looser combination, it is conceivable that this change also, in the direction of secretory energy, is self-determined, without the interference of a special regulating force. Nevertheless the evil consequences for the health of the whole which result from the stoppage of important secretions, show us that this substitution of one activity for another involves difficulties, and is hardly calculated to serve as a means of adjusting disturbances to any large extent.

§ 3. Our purpose has only been to make clear, from the examples cited, the possibility of a purely physical com- pensation of disturbances, but we cannot be by any means certain that in them a beginning of organic compensation is not involved by the application of a system of organs or energies expressly designed for this end. So much in the deeper connection of vital phenomena is still obscure, that an operation often seems to us simpler than it is in reality, and that we can often explain what we know of it with


few means of explanation, whereas from the greater experiment actually made by Natuiv we must conclude then; are difficulties unknown to us lying in the way. I have above stated the general grounds which include the inadequacy of merely physi- cal compensations. They would all finally aim at the re- establishment of the former equilibrium  ; but Nature does not al ways care about that equilibrium  ; she even sometimes would have it altered for the sake of the ends of development. With this purpose she must bring into mutual vital action even such parts as could not directly transfer their states to one another.

The nervous system is designed for the performance of this task. We have already mentioned the motor nerve-fibres that, proceeding from the brain and the spine, convey to the muscles of the body the impulses to motion there arising from the mental life, and occasion in them contractions some- times momentary, sometimes continuous. In like manner the sensory fibres, which in outward appearance are identical with the others, and differ only in the results of their opera- tion, connect all the sensitive points of the body from which they run with the central organs to which all impressions must be transmitted, in order that they may exist for con- sciousness. On these two kinds of fibres and on the masses of the brain and spinal marrow, in which they end or from which they start, depend all the services that have to be rendered by the corporeal life to the ends of the mental. A more precise description of them may be deferred to a future opportunity. Besides these organs, which we com- prehend under the name of the cerebro-spinal system, there is the other system of the sympathetic nerves, which, from the many glomerate or twisted protuberances (the ganglia) into which its far finer fibres are knotted, has received the name of the ganglionic system  : to it is for the most part committed the maintenance of the internal order of the bodily operations.

The less any part of the body is designed for volun- tary movement, the less its capacity to convey to con- sciousness impressions of its states and the more energetic its

VOL. i. I


change of substance or plastic activity — the more frequently do we find in the nerve-bundles which it contains the delicate fibres of the sympathetic along with the thicker ones of the cerebro-spinal system. Observation and experiment unite in confirming the conclusion to be drawn from this cir- cumstance in itself, that this second nervous system has to minister to the sum of the vegetative operations, the chemical transformation of substances, their sustenance and reproduction, the construction of particles, finally, the pur- posive harmony between the amounts and kinds of the separate actions. This mutual adaptation of the operations of various parts presupposes that the impressions received by the single fibres of the states of the place to which they run, are brought into reciprocal relation and accord, and that there are centres in which their various excitations come into con- tact, and thus, by their effect on one another, yield the impetus to a definite reaction, adapted to the actual situation. There can be no doubt that the ganglia found in great num- bers in the different vegetative organs, are the instrumental points of this mutual influence  ; but we are not yet suffi- ciently acquainted with the conditions under which a transfer- ence of the states of one fibre to another takes place, which is not met with elsewhere. For not even here can we observe a direct confluence of several fibres to form a common trunk  ; but scattered between the fibres there are peculiar elements, roundish vesicles containing a nucleus, the so-called ganglionic cells, from which not only do single fibres proceed, but of which several are sometimes uninterruptedly connected with each other by fibrous prolongations which they send out in different directions. It is reserved for the future to decide finally as to the functions of these parts, many like to which occur also in the brain and spine, and to determine their utility for the mutual action of the individual fibres. Sup- posing such reciprocal action somehow originated, each ganglion will, in the first place, be an intermediate link through which the impression travelling from any part of the body is enabled to exert an influence on states of


another part with which tho former is not in direct con- nection ; and at the same time it will also act as a central organ, inasmuch as it will not henceforth allow to this im- pression the amount and kind of further work that correspond to its nature and strength by themselves, but will fix its effect in accordance with the simultaneous demands of the other parts with which it is also connected. There is no difficulty in supposing that the small ganglia (directly con- trolling the internal relations of a limited symmetrical region of parts again united to each other by commissures or con- nected with larger ganglia as central organs of a higher order) bring the operations of more extensive organs and systems of organs into mutual harmony, till finally, by their close inter- lacement, all the vegetative processes of the body are brought into the unity of regular progress, encircling support, and adjusting reciprocal action. These connections of the central organs do in fact exist, and from the neck through the cavities of the chest and abdomen there runs down on both sides of the spine the chain of the chief ganglia, which, united by nerve-fibres, send out other fibres to join the numerous tissues that are associated with the separate divisions of the intestines. In former times, the sympathy by which the disturbances of one organ so frequently affect others, even those locally at a distance, was supposed to be dependent on the efficiency of this system, and not inaptly it has received from these sympathies its name of the sympathetic system, though, according to the results of recent investigations, many of them spring, without its participation, from the reciprocal action of the cerebro-spinal nerves. Observation and experiment have in part informed us in what form of energy it carries out its functions, while, however, we are unable exhaustively to determine the extent of its effects. What has been certainly established is in the first place its influence on the move- ments of the intestines, whose muscular coatings contract after the irritation of the ganglia that control them. Not at once, like the muscles of voluntary motion, but some time after the application of the stimulus, the intestinal canal


contracts by the drawing up of the thin muscular sheath by which it is circularly surrounded, and this shrinking, lasting longer than the applied stimulus, gradually advances in undulations, after the re-expansion of one part the contiguous portion contracting without any fresh external impulsion. Similar signs of a slow contraction are observed in the larger vascular trunks, into whose coatings, consisting not merely of elastic but also of vitally contractile muscular fibres, sympa- thetic filaments run. The periodical pulsations of the heart depend on a system of microscopically small ganglia, imbedded in its peculiar muscular substance. In cold-blooded animals the pulsations of the heart go on regularly for a good while, even after its removal from the body ; even the single parts of the mutilated organ still contract, only those, however, which contain the ganglia. These facts prove that both excitation to movement in general, and the ground of the rhythmical alternation of tension and relaxation, lie in these nervous central organs ; but we know neither whence they themselves draw their excitative force, nor in what precise manner the periodicity of their activity is brought about.

The sympathetic nerves do not seem to be capable of giving rise to sensations. In the ordinary course of things we have no impression of the states of the parts that they mainly control, of the condition of digestion, assimilation, and secretion, of the distension of the vessels ; we come to know them only when their influence is more widely extended to other parts, whose sensitive nerves convey to us these indirect stimulations, or when very important changes and anomalous states occur in them. It is uncertain whether in the latter case the sympathetic fibre takes on itself the conducting of impressions to consciousness, of which it is usually incapable, or whether the cerebro-spinal filaments, which, though few in number, are never wholly absent in its train, here as elsewhere perform this office. Perhaps also the sympathetic fibre is not generally quite destitute of the capacity for producing sensations, only those produced are lacking in the delicacy and sharpness necessary to their being distinctly separated


from the general sense (or organic feelings, Gemeingefuhl}. Without doubt, on the other hand, these fibres fulfil for tlm ganglia partly the same office which the sensory fibres of the cerebro-spinal system fulfil for the brain; they serve as carriers and messengers, to make known to the ganglion the states of the parts from which they Come, that as the central organ it may resolve on the necessary reaction.

The important influence unquestionably exerted by the sympathetic system on the changes of composition of the corporeal juices, is very little known as regards the manner in which these are brought about, yet various possibilities may easily be conceived, among which the future perhaps will decide. The contractions caused by the energy of the sympathetic fibres in the muscles make it probable that also other tissues may under the same influence undergo altera- tions in the situation of their infinitesimal particles. As the chemical composition of the juices unquestionably depends to a great degree on the nature of the coatings through which they react, exude, or are absorbed, a change in the physical condition of the membranes would easily explain the manifold deviations of the secretions, which are found to occur under the influence of violent nervous irrita- tion, and which certainly go on all through life, though less obtrusively and with less abrupt alternations. A membrane through which two fluids strive to act upon one another, with different degrees of tension and a different collocation of its infinitesimal particles, will not always bring together in the same manner the substances seeking to act ; it will be able sometimes to prevent the passage of the one, and to facilitate that of the other. In thus hindering the occurrence of a single customary chemical process, it can easily impart new and widely diverse forms to the total result of its activity. But the other possibility also remains open, that the nerve- fibre, at the moment of its activity, directly causes a chemical reciprocal action, inasmuch as (like the electric current, that causes the already present but still delaying constituents of a future combination to realize it at once, or as swiftly dissolves


other combinations) it introduces into the play of the sub- stances a condition, which gives new directions to the chemical affinity between them. We have least evidence of any direct formative action of the nerves, and we may suppose that their function is fulfilled in the establishment of the chemical nature of the substances, and that these then under the direction of their own forces and of the united impression of the already organized environment, assume the forms adapted to them.

By means of contraction of the vessels the nervous force would increase the pressure of the blood on its walls, and thereby alter the conditions of all the activities of absorption and secretion. By means of the shrinking of particular parts of the tissues it would determine in a peculiar manner the afflux and reflux of the blood for these parts, and be able to bring together accumulations of efficient matters flowing past with less velocity where they were rendered necessary by more vigorous growth and more rapid change. By acceleration of the muscular movements, which, on the whole, introduce and carry out the locomotion of the matters, it would guide and complete the draining away of the excreted, the reception of the newly -acquired material. Finally, through altered tension of the membranes, it would be able to determine the amount of the change of substances in the whole, and the fluctuations of ,its activity in particular parts. And the nervous system would be determined to alt these manifestations of its energy, partly by means of the im- pression of the disturbances to be neutralized, while at the same time the normal processes in the body would be continually conveying to it stimulations, which, accumulating at particular moments, exert a suitable effect when they have reached a definite strength. Thus would occur at one place varying fluctuations, at another regularly and rhythmically recurring periods of activity and rest. It is needless further to describe these events, whose forms of manifestation are known to all, while their definite conditions are grasped by none; let us rather supplement this mention of them by the remark that,


though displaying this abundance of operations, the system of tins M in pathetic nerves does not nevertheless depend in total isola- tion on its own resources, but that it is connected by numerous filaments with the cerebro-spinal system. These were long re- garded as the real roots of the ganglionic nerves, which were held to be not an independent system, but the dependent extension and intertwining of many cerebral and spinal nerves. Now many grounds have at present given preponderance to the idea of an independent ganglionic nervous system ; yet its numerous connections with brain and spine cannot have exclusively the object of guiding in these organs also the reparation which, worn out by their operations, they may need ; on the contrary, they seem just as much at least to admit of these foci of proper animal life having a certain influence on the course of the forming and preserving processes. The plant alone preserves its life — as long as it does preserve it — exclusively through the harmonious action of its material constituents. The animal organism, though infinitely more complex in its arrangement, yet forms within itself no independent cycle of operations. Anywhere and in any form, however subordinate, we may see elements of mental life intervening between the operations of the corporeal organs, and filling gaps left between the single links of the chain of vital processes. The plant, immersed in its elements of life, air and water, finds itself by no effort of its own in perpetual action and reaction with the supplies which it needs; the animal has to seek its food, and cannot perform this part of its vital round without having recourse to various means of mental activity. If we rooted out all those instincts by which the animal seeks for its states of sensation remedies, with all of which the course of Nature does not of itself supply it, its organism would be capable of nothing more than restricted and quickly terminated self-preservation ; and far from being the spontaneously-acting machine, which an inaccurate analysis of facts has so often taken it to be, it is but one half of a whole, unable to live without the other, the outer world and the soul.


§ 4. How entirely in fact has the course of our inquiry over- turned the prejudices suggested to us by the immediate sight of life, the dreams of unity, independence, and constancy in the living form ! We can as yet hardly say what are even the local boundaries that divide the organism from its environment. When does the air in our lungs begin to belong to us, and when does it cease to be a constituent of the body  ? Has it become ours when it is absorbed by the blood, and was it not ours when it was still in the cells of the lungs  ? Is the chyle a part of our body after it has made its way into the chyle-vessels, or are not it and the blood but a piece of the outer world drawn into the circuit of the body, superficially altered by the vital forces, but still with only an approach to participation in life  ? And do not many substances, such as the soluble salts of the terrestrial crust, circulate through our body, through blood and organs, and yet always remain foreign ingredients? At no one moment does the body contain only what properly belongs to its constitution  : we always find in it substances that are about to become, others that have ceased to be, its own ; materials for the future and ruins of the past are associated in it with the living stem of the present and with fragments accidentally detached from the outer world.

Just as little in the course of its development in time as in space is the body rounded off into strict unity. Since its supplies, its growth, and its evolution are not effected from its own resources, it must, on the contrary, everywhere have recourse to the favourable assistance of the outer world. Its life is like an eddy produced in the bed of a stream by a peculiarly shaped obstacle. The general course of Nature is the stream, the organized body the obstacle against which this breaks, and its peculiar shape converts the uniform and straight current of the water into the strange windings and crossings of the whirlpool. So long as the form of the river-bed remains the same, and as the waves flow on, this play of movement will be continually repeated, with always the same apparently unchanged figure, though from moment


to moment the stream is diff'fivnt that produces it coming, and going leaves it. I»ut tlie form of the river-bed will not remain the same; the force of the torrent will be always dumping it, and what that cannot do will be accomplished by the native force of the eddy itself, still more destructive. As a sea current by the dash of its waves, which is caused by the special form of the shore, levels the shore, and thus itself removes the cause of its peculiar movement, so also do the exerted energies of life, all the manifestations and opera- tions of its organization, turn back with slow but sure force to disturb the foundation on which they rest. The eddy of to-day is not that of yesterday ; the continual reconstitution is bringing back always similar, never identical, states.

We shall not leave this comparison without borrowing from it a final comprehensive view of vital processes. According to a widespread delusion, the highest and noblest phenomena of Nature as well as of the intellectual world are distinguished by unconstrainedness in the strict sense, and have secured to them, by the immovable stability of their nucleus, immunity against all assaults of the external world, and steadiness of development by the simplicity of their internal structure. But, in truth, the higher forms of being have more conditions than the lower, and the strength of their existence consists only in the ingenious calculation with which they meet the increased variety of their wants. Living bodies are not animated by a simple moulding impulse, independent and powerful from its intensity; their constituents do not com- bine with extraordinary unconquerable forces to a more solid unity, as might be possible for the unorganized ; depending on a constant flux of their mass, they are, as compared with these, frail and perishable structures. Yet the advancing current of countless physical events is broken by the favourable conditions under which the parts of these, united together, meet the course of Nature, and assumes the shape of a stable figure, that draws into itself the substances of the outer world, holds them fast for a time, and then restores them to the more chaotic vortex of inorganic Nature. This manifold play of


events is not attached to a rigid substratum, but, like the many- coloured radiance of the rainbow, moves and flutters above a ceaselessly changing scene below. Nay, so little do we find in organic bodies any inherent self-sufficient vital force, that we can, on the contrary, regard them only as the places in space where the matter, the forces, and the motions of the general course of Nature meet each other in relations so favourable that variable masses can be solidified into a form that is nevertheless ere long to perish, and their reciprocal actions go through a course of flourishing and decaying development. However much we may be tempted to admire, as stable units and as self-contained wholes, the form of the plant with its tranquil growth, and the figure of the animal with its power of locomotion — finally, however urgently we may be impelled by ethical motives to look on ourselves in the same way in contrast to the rest of the universe, within which is contained the material that we can mould by our actions : nevertheless science, seeking the physical basis of our existence, cannot view the rest of Nature as a foreign, formless chaos extending around the individual living being, and waiting to receive connection, form, and development from its vital energy. The focus of a lens condenses the heating force of light or renders the graceful outline of a figure by no merit of its own, but derives from the convergence of the rays the privilege of being the scene of these remarkable phsenomena : almost as little by its own exertions does the living body collect the substances and motions of the environment to compose the detached figure of its own form. It is indeed partly the refractive power of the lens that collects the rays, but even this element of efficacy it owes to a transmission in which" the forces of the outer world actively co-operate. Thus it is what it is by virtue of the circumstances from which it sprang; selected for harmonious evolution, if they concur favourably in its production, condemned to a sickly and wretched existence if discordant conditions cross each other in its beginning. The ceaseless universal motion of Nature is the all-embracing tide, in whose most agitated part — not


indeed like steady islands, l.ut only like whirling eddies — living beings cim-rui- and disappear, as the masses in their onward course experience momentarily a common impetus into a new path, a concentration into a definite shape, before being ere long again cast headlong and in fragments into the formless, universal tide, by the same forces that brought them to this point of intersection.






Reasons for believing that there are Souls — Freedom of the Will — Incomparability of Physical and Psychical Processes— Necessity of two diverse Grounds of Explanation — Hypothesis of their Union in the same Being — The Unity of Consciousness — What it is not, and what it really is — Impossibility of explaining it as a Combination of a Plurality of Effects — Relating Know- ledge contrasted with the Composition of Physical Results — Supersensuous Nature of the SouL

§ 1. IVTOW in this perpetual flux of elements, attracted to -f-^ and repelled from one another, what is our own place  ? To whom belongs our manifold inner life, with its play of knowledge, its pain and pleasure, its ever-varying energy of volition  ? May all this be after all but a subtle form of illusion, but a reflection of the inner movements of the eddy, like the play of colour that flickers in the light spray above the heavier surging of the waters  ? Or is there within all this externality a genuine stable point, to which all cor- poreal growth is but a home and an environment, and all the unrest of the change pervading the visible form but a varying/ incentive to the many-sided development of the unity of its own life  ?

In opposition to what experience sets before our eyes, the natural reflection of the human race has always decided in favour of this belief. We have no opportunity of observing mental life except in constant connection with the bodily form and its development; we see the two unfold together, and as the bodily frame falls to pieces, the fulness and energy of the mind that animated it also disappear wholly from our ken, leaving no trace behind. Experience endeavours, with what would seem to be the most distinct intimations, to persuade us that all internal activity springs from the corn-



bination of materials, and vanishes with their separation, and 1 yet the living intelligence of all nations has in the name \Soul expressed the conviction that not merely a difference 'of outward appearance distinguishes internal phsenomena from corporeal life, but that an element of peculiar nature, differ- ently constituted from the materials of the frame, lies at the base of the world of sensations, of emotions, of volitions, and by its own unity binds them into the whole of a rounded-off \ development. So universal a prejudice never can arise \without strong grounds contained in the nature of the thing, /and yet we must preliminarily regard it as but a prejudice, the examination and proof or disproof of which is reserved for an express inquiry. For, as surely as the universal instinct of human intelligence does not proceed to such conceptions without the deeper justification of irresistible cravings, so little can we take for granted that it is invariably fortunate in its results, and that it is not seeking satisfaction in a wrong path, the illusoriness of which must in the end be detected by the practised eye of science. And, in fact, when we come to test the reasons tacitly underlying the opinion of the multitude when it seeks to withdraw mental life from the domain of Nature, we shall find that its opinion does not rest on all with the same amount of justification, and that in but a small circle of phsenoinena are contained the determining grounds for explaining internal events by peculiarity of nature.

§ 2. By three characteristics above all does psychic life seem to be differentiated most unquestionably from the whole course of Nature. On none of these is more stress laid in the ordinary view than on the most equivocal of all — namely, the , Freedom of internal Self-determination, of which we think we 1 have in ourselves direct and indubitable experience, in contrast to the unbroken chain of necessity with which the states of unorganized matter are evolved out of one another. All that distinguishes our spiritual existence, all the dignity with which we think it necessary to surround it, all the worth of our personality and of our actions, seems to us to depend on


this setting our being free from the constraint of the mechanical succession of whose dominion we are aware, not only over what is lifeless, but also over the development of our bodily life. And yet a little reflection is sufficient to show that neither does that freedom form an observable fact of our inner life, nor is our own opinion of the value to be attached to it always the same. It is true that self-observation very frequently indicates no determining motives on which our resolutions and other internal motions may be recognised as depending ; but then our attention is reflected back on ourselves in so unconnected and fragmentary a fashion, that to its imperfect survey an act may readily appear free, self-determi- nation, for which it would perhaps find constraining grounds, did it go back a step further in the analysis of our internal states. It is true that impressions made on us call forth reactions corresponding to them neither in amount nor in kind, and that at various moments the most various mani- festations answer to the same impulse experienced from without. But yet, with all this incalculableness of conduct, we have but repeated in our intellectual life the universal phenomenon of excitability, which, common alike to bodily and to inanimate existence, is no release from the thraldom of activity according to law, but is, on the contrary, the true idea of that activity itself. For nowhere does even an active cause transfer the effect complete to the element which it affects, so as to receive back the mere echo of its own action ; everywhere the impression made moves to utterance the peculiar nature of that on which it was made, and the form of the event to come is determined equally by this and by the peculiar energies which its presence awakens in that which is affected by it. Sometimes we are acquainted with the internal structure of the objects on whiefc the stimulation falls, and able to trace its path and the chain of the reactions that it calls forth as it advances. But oftener the internal relations of what is stimulated are obscure to us, and only the first external shock and the final form of the last reaction fall under our observation ; the multitude of intermediate links VOL. i. K


that necessarily connect the end with the beginning lie unknown between. Thus in numerous gradations the series of phenomena presents to us here events the sum of whose conditions falls within our range of vision, and which therefore stand before us as fully determined consequents of their antecedents; there, results whose form, having been most essentially modified by the hidden nature of complex intermediate links, no longer stands in any conceivable relation to the simple stimulus that originally caused it. In such cases we are always inclined to think that the chain of neces- sary connection has been broken; this we found to be the case in the explanation of corporeal life ; the same thing meets us again here, where the far greater complexity of coefficient and yet for the most part hidden conditions makes the reaction still more unlike the excitation, and persuades us the more strongly of the freedom of uncaused self-determination. Now, if we become convinced of the erroneous nature of the reasoning that denies the thorough- going determinedness of mental life, because it cannot invari- ably be proved, we may perhaps try to retain freedom as a necessary consequence of ethical truths or an imperative condition of the fulfilment of moral obligations. In fact, we would allow to such a proof, were it unquestionable, fully as much value as a basis for our opinions, as we attach to an observed fact. But, as we have already mentioned, the universal judgment is not agreed as to this ; we often doubt whether at all, or in what definite form, this unconditioned freedom is helpful or needful to the satisfaction of moral cravings ; it has not appeared to all indispensable, and the attempt to make it more definite leads to questions the answer to which, whatever it may be, is at any rate far from having the clearness necessary to a thought fitted to form the basis of an important view. Finally, we must add, this opinion can speak and means to speak not of a freedom of the inner life generally, but of a Freedom of Will in particular ; in the train of our ideas, our feelings, and our desires the traces of a universal regularity of laws are so distinct and


obtrusive that no philosophy has ever ventured to withdraw these phenomena from the domain of mechanical necessity. Further investigation would perhaps remove these scruples, and show us how little ground we have to dread this com- bination of freedom and mechanism in the nature of the soul ; but certainly at the beginning of the inquiry the evident prevalence of universal law in the greater part of our inner life can only be adverse to belief in the freedom in a smaller part, which we cannot observe.

But just as little, on the other hand, does experience con- vince us of its non-existence, and those who, with confident urgency, call our attention to the unbroken connection between mental phenomena and corporeal changes, arbitrarily and erroneously interpret a familiar fact, when they think to find in it a proof that everything in mind is explicable from properties of the matter with which it is united. It is indeed matter of universal and incessant experience that the changes of our mental states are dependent on external impressions and the reciprocal action between them and the material constituents of our bodies. Our sensations vary as our sense- organs are variously affected, different feelings and volitions arise when external influences or the transformations of vital energies perpetually going on within have altered our bodily conditions ; to the fullest extent do we find the vividness and activity of our train of thought connected with fluctuations in our corporeal states, by which they are sometimes favoured, sometimes lessened and hindered. And after careful inquiry we shall have to confess that in even the highest phenomena of mental life, as they have been produced by the historical sequence of human development, there are still traces of the influence exerted on mental progress by frames of body not the same in all ages. But after all, these facts prove only that the changes of physical elements represent a set of con- ditions on which the existence and character of our internal states necessarily depend ; they do not prove that such changes are the single and sufficient cause from which, in virtue of its own energy and without the co-operation of a quite different


principle, the manifold variety of psychic life is exclusively evolved.

A second glance at the nature of this connection will suffice to show the chasm between this apparently sufficient reason and its alleged consequent. All that happens to the material constituents of external Nature or to those of our own body, whether singly or in combination, the sum-total of all deter- minations of extension, composition, density, and motion, — all this it is wholly impossible to compare with the peculiar character of the mental states, with the sensations, the feelings, the volitions, which as a matter of fact we find succeeding to them, and erroneously believe to arise from them. No com- parative analysis would discover in the chemical composition of a nerve, in the tension, the collocation, and the mobility of its infinitesimal parts, the reason why a wave of sound, reaching and affecting it, should produce in it more than an alteration of physical states. However far we pursue the course of the sense-excitation through the nerve, in however many ways we suppose its form changed, and converted into ever finer and more delicate movements, we can never prove that it is in the nature of any movement so produced to cease as movement of its own accord, and to reappear as a bright colour, as a tone, as a sweet taste. The chasm is never bridged over between the last state of the material elements within our reach and the first rise of the sensation, and scarce any one will cherish the vain hope that at a higher stage of development science will find a mysterious bridge in a case where it is the impossibility of any sure crossing-over that forces itself on us with the most evident distinctness. On the recognition of this absolute incompar- cibility with one another of physical events and conscious states, has always rested the conviction of the necessity of finding a special ground of explanation for psychic life.

It is doubtless the interest of science to group a multi- tude of different phenomena under a single principle, but yet the greater and more essential interest of all knowledge is no other than to trace back that which happens to the


conditions on whirh it is really dependent, and the craving i'»r unity must give way to the recognition of a plurality of different sources where the facts of experience do not entitle us to derive different things from one and the same origin. No general scruple must therefore hinder us from accepting for the two great distinct groups of physical and of psychical phenomena grounds of explanation equally distinct and independent ; moreover, the search for unity would involve merely the demand that in the whole of the cosmos those elements should finally be combined which to our immediate observation appear separated ; we might require that the different branches should spring from one root, but not that the branches themselves should coalesce or the one sprout from the other instead of independently beside it from the root. Let us therefore leave this question for subsequent consideration, and at present content ourselves with the right of insisting on requiring distinct grounds of explanation for phenomena that cannot be compared.

This right we claim not otherwise than as it has always been conceded for the phenomena of the domain of Nature itself. Wherever we see an element produce results such as neither its ordinary nature nor the motion in which it is for the moment engaged enables us to understand, we seek the complementary ground of this effect in the different constitu- tion of a second element, which, acted on by that movement, evolves from itself the part or the form of the result which we would in vain try to derive from the former. It is not the spark of fire that imparts explosive energy to the gun- powder, for when it falls on other objects it produces no similar effect ; neither in its temperature, nor in its kind of motion, nor in any other of its properties, could we find that which enabled it to evolve this destroying force from itself alone  ; this it finds in the powder on which it falls, or more correctly it does not even here find it all ready, but it finds several substances in a combination that under the influence of the heightened temperature which it brings, must suddenly and with violence expand into the form of a gas. The cause


of the form of the effect produced thus lies solely in the mixture of the powder, the glowing heat of the spark adds the final necessary completing condition. We are enabled to draw the same conclusions by the difference of category of material states and their mental results. However indissolubly the latter are associated with the former as their conditions, they must yet have the ground of their form in another prin- ciple, and anything that we can conceive as an energy or efficacy of matter, instead of producing mental life from itself, only occasions its manifestation by stimulating to expression a differently constituted element.

§ 3. But we must still more narrowly define the inference which we venture to draw from these considerations. We were entitled to seek different grounds of explanation for the two diverse groups of phenomena, but we are not on that account yet entitled to distribute these grounds to different kinds of beings. If we cannot account for the appearance of a mental state by those properties in virtue of which we call matter matter, what hinders us from supposing that besides those properties there is a store of inner life which usually escapes our attention, and finds no other opportunity of manifestation than in what we call mental life  ? Why, in presence of matter as of an ever dead substance, should all mental activity be condensed into the special nature of a soul, destitute on its side of the properties by means of which the physical elements make themselves of account in Nature  ? Might not the visible substance have directly a double life, appearing outwardly as matter, and as such manifesting no property other than those mechanical ones with which we are familiar, — internally on the other hand moved mentally, aware of the changes in its states, and accompanying with efforts the activity, whose general subjection to law it is certainly not in its power arbitrarily to alter  ?

Only by degrees, in the course of these inquiries, shall we be able to return a full answer to these questions  ; at present it must be sufficient to point out how little at this their initial stage an affirmative reply to them would alter the


position of matters. For still this feeling and willing sub- stance would remain a double bc.ing ; however intimately it combined in the unity of its nature the properties of materiality and those of mental life, they would never- theless always remain incompatible, and we would never be able to infer from an alteration of its material states, as a consequent necessity, that on its mental side it must undergo a corresponding alteration. It would go through two courses of development, from neither of which can there be conceived a transition to the other; as externally adjusted, the stages of the one course would indeed as a matter of fact correspond to those of the other, but here too the material change would draw after it a mental one only because it found on the other side of this twofold being the mental nature that it could stir to action. Here it is that we find at once the justification and the source of the barrenness of this view. Its justification : — for the evil materialism that is the real destroyer of all cosmic conceptions consists exclusively in the wealth of mind being held to spring spontaneously as a mere addition from the reciprocal action of material substances as substances, from impact and pressure, from tension and expansion, from composition and decomposition, in its being supposed as self-evident that the endless variety of the inner life arises from the mutual crossing of physical processes, as that the resultant of two equal forces tending in opposite directions is rest, or of two that are different, motion in a third and intermediate direction. This it is that must ever be repugnant to serious reflection, — the inaccuracy of thought that takes the forms of mechanical procedure, which have everywhere the function of acting merely as means of communication between the inner natures of indivi- dual beings, for the original stock whence, as an incidental and subsidiary result, is evolved all the energy and activity of these minds themselves.

This error is of course avoided in that form of the con- ception which ascribes to matter a secret, mental life ; for according to it, the mental element springs not from


its physical properties, but from that which makes matter really better than it seems. But we find here no advantage to be turned to account for the benefit of the first form of our views. If the properties of materiality and intellectuality are actually united in the same substance, yet so that the one cannot be derived from the other, any investigation of the particular phenomena can apprehend the changes of the physical side of this twofold being only as occasions of the manifestation of the mental states. It could not explain how it happens that a physical change draws after it a dis- similar mental one only because both have the same subject, and it could develop the universal laws by which the alterations of the one of these series of states depend on the alterations of the other, no better from the unity of the substance acting on itself than would be possible on the supposition of a reciprocal action between two different subjects. It may be that neverthless in this uniting of all internal and external phenomena into the same reality there is a truth that in another place and a different application will become impor- tant ; here it appears unfruitful. Not merely unfruitful ; for, in fact, a third consideration is already claiming attention, which will prevent us from here making such use as was proposed to us of the view.

§ 4. We must single out as the decisive fact of experience, that compels us in the explanation of mental life to put in the place of matter an immaterial form of being as the subject of the phsenomena, that Unity of Consciousness without which the sum-total of our internal states could not even become the object of our self-observation. So many misconceptions have gathered round the simple name under which we have spoken of this fact, that we are forced to point out more explicitly what we mean by it. So long as particular causes do not drive us to other conjectures, we are in the habit of supposing for each separate living form only one soul, to whose inner life the former yields an enclosing envelope and an array of efficient organs. Everyday life does not suggest the idea that besides the soul that forms our peculiar ego,


other beings exist within our bodies, which in like manner, as meeting-points of innint and exeunt actions, elaborate the excitations which reach them into a world of conscious states. Observations on all the highrr animals confirm us in this hul >it, or at least only isolated phenomena more patent to the observation of science than to that of daily life, cast doubt on that unity of consciousness according to which there is one soul to each living form. It is not till we direct our attention to the lower classes of animals that we are first reminded that we are too much inclined to consider this actual relation as universally necessary. The severed parts of the mutilated polyp become wholes by growing into perfect animal forms, in each of which is fully evolved the sum of psychic capacities that belong to the original uninjured creature. But this effect would not follow on any mutila- tion which we chose to make  ; the possibility of completion seerns to be dependent on the severed part retaining a per- haps insignificant, yet definite amount of internal organization as a germ to be developed. We observe these noteworthy phenomena not merely after artificial section  ; in many animal species propagation takes place by means of spontaneous severance of the body, the fragments of which, partly in connection with it, partly after their detachment, develop the perfect form and organization of the species. Finally, we see that in other species single individuals are evolved, like the buds of trees, from a common and continuous stem, isolated in the scanty exercise of vital activity within their power, and yet by their mutual connection subject in common to many external influences. These groups of animals show distinctly that the corporeal mass, in which the vitality of the individual soul can manifest itself is not everywhere finished off into a circumscribed whole ; at particular points of a con- nected organic mass there are here several independent beings, whose operations may cross each other in the common stem, and afford to each only a limited sphere for the exercise of its spontaneous energy. What here appears as a persistent vital form, may be exhibited in the animals whose species is pro-


pagated by means of division, only in that process, while in those which can be severed into several individuals by artificial section, the majority of the single beings capable of vitality that are united within the limits of one and the same corporeal form, perhaps never find an opportunity of independent development, unless it is procured for them by chance or by arbitrary interference. Section would have cleft in two not the soul of the polyp, but the corporeal bond that held together a number of souls so as to hinder the individual development of each. Though we may be entitled to regard these processes thus, we cannot certainly determine before- hand how far this allotment of a plurality of souls to one common corporeal mass may extend in higher species of animals also. Without here settling a question, the answer to which, in so far as possible, is more fitly reserved for a later part of this work, we must mention that the unity of consciousness does not mean that the number of beings animating an organic form is limited, and that it is far from being invalidated by an appeal to the phaenomena of which we have spoken. On the contrary, we would maintain, in regard to each of the severed parts of the polyp, that if a soul is in any sense its moving principle, the unity of con- sciousness must hold good of that in the same sense in which we ascribe it to our own personality.

This sense we now proceed more precisely to define. We " come to understand the connection of our inner life only by referring all its events to the one ego, lying unchanged alike beneath its simultaneous variety and its temporal succession. Every retrospect of the past brings with it this image of the ego as the combining centre  ; our ideas, our feelings, our efforts are comprehensible to us only as its states or energies, not as events floating unattached in a void. And yet we are not incessantly making this reference of the internal manifold to the unity of the ego. It becomes distinct only in the backward look which we cast over our life with a certain concentration of collective attention. On the other hand, the single sensation at the moment when it is produced by the


rnal stimulus, tlu> single feeling springing from tho bune- lirial or hurtful interference of the external world, even tlic desires and efforts often suddenly awakened within us by a passing cause, are by no means universally accompanied to any perceptible degree by this reference to the unity of our nature, by which they are mutually related. Of many im- pressions we remain unconscious when they come into being, and we sometimes detect them in ourselves as if accidentally, after their efficient causes have again disappeared; others remain forgotten during long intervals, and even the express attention which is set to seek them fails to get possession of them ; of the manifold contents of our consciousness at one time, many fragments remain disconnected side by side, neither fused into the whole of one identical round of thought, nor placed in a distinct relation to our indivisible personality. Hence the unity of consciousness spoken of can not mean that we have a persistent consciousness of the unity of our being, and the inferences which it has been attempted to draw from this assumption are for us inept.

On the other hand, however, there lies in the body of facts which we have recognised, no such difficulty as to • render it impossible to infer from the nature of our con- sciousness the unity of a being conscious of itself. ForJ it is not necessary and imperative that at every moment and in respect to all its states a being should exercise the unifying efficiency put within its power by the unity of its nature ; the work done by any power depends on conditions, and may be prevented by such as are unfavourable, without on that account the power being neutralized in virtue of which under more propitious circumstances it would have come to pass. Therefore, even if many of the soul's states remain unconnected, and never are realized in its conscious- ness as mere states of its substance, no conclusion can be drawn from these facts against the unity of its being. If, on the other hand, the soul, even if but rarely, but to a limited extent, nay but once, be capable of bringing together variety into the unity of consciousness, this slender fact is


sufficient to render imperative an inference to the indivisi- bility of the being by which this operation can be performed. For the moment I leave this simple idea to its own persuasive power, and reserve the illustration of it till later ; but I here add further, that even our knowledge of the above acknow- ledged fact of the unconnectedness of many internal states is comprehensible only on the supposition of the unity of the cognitive being. It may be that at the moment of sense- perception the relation of the rising sensation to the unity of the ego does not obtrude itself on us, that, on the contrary, we are merged without a sense of self in the matter of sensation  ; ^but the very fact of this relation could never afterwards become to us an object of apprehension and astonishment, if, at the very moment of its rise, the sensation had not belonged to the unity of our being, and been retained by it, in order afterwards to be recognised as having always been in cohesion with our ego. Grant that many impressions remain isolated at the moment of their rise, and grant that it is only after- reflection which brings a judgment as to their relation with ourselves, there is yet in that primitive distraction no argument against the unity of our mental being, nay, in the possibility of subsequent concentration, there is constraining ground for holding it to be real.

I would fain, lastly, remove once for all a remaining mis- conception, from which the train of thought pursued in the preceding observations may perhaps not be secure. For I do not mean that our consciousness of the unity of our being is in itself, by what it directly reports, a guarantee of that unity. Certainly it might, at least plausibly, be objected to that conception, that in the course of our internal development many convictions present themselves with almost irresistible persuasive force, that, in spite of the triumphant clearness with which they take possession of the unsophisticated mind, yet appear fallacies to riper reflection, in contrast to the laws of thought, which alone must remain beyond doubt as to us the inevitable standard of all truth. So too this unity of the ego may be merely the form in which our own being appears


to itself, and just as we do not oUnin directly an in.-i-lit into tlui true nature of other tilings from tin; manner in which they appear to us, so our own being is not necessarily an indi- visible unity, because such we seem to ourselves. I will not inquire whether this thought is not one of those over-refine- ments of accurate discrimination which secretly revolve round the fallacies they would fain avoid ; in the form in which it is usually expressed, it does not touch what we here wish to prove. For our belief in the soul's unity rests not on our appearing to ourselves such a unity, but on our being able to appear to ourselves at all. Did we appear to ourselves something quite different, nay, did we seem to ourselves to be an unconnected plurality, we would from this very fact, from the bare possibility of appearing anything to ourselves, deduce the necessary unity of our being, this time in open contradiction with what self-observation set before us as our own image. What a being appears to itself to be is not the important point ; if it can appear anyhow to itself, or other things to it, it must be capable of unifying manifold phas- nomena in an absolute indivisibility of its nature.

What is apt to perplex us in this question is the some- what thoughtless way in which we so often allow ourselves to play fast and loose with the notion of appearance. We are content with setting in contrast to it the being that appears, and we forget that the appearance is impossible without another being that sees it. We fancy that appear- ance comes forth from the hidden depths of being-in-itself, like a lustre existing before there is any eye for it to arise in, extending into reality, present to and apprehensible by him who will grasp it, but none the less continuing to exist even if known by none. We here overlook that even in the region of sensation, from which this image is borrowed, the lustre emitted by objects only seems to be emitted by them, and that it can even seem to come from them, only because our eyes are there, the receptive organs of a cognitive soul, to which appearances are possible. The lustre of light does not spread itself around us, but like all phenomena dwells only


in the consciousness of him for whom it exists. And of this

consciousness, of this general capacity that makes the appear-

j ance of anything possible, we maintain that it can be an

I attribute only of the indivisible unity of one being, and that

\every attempt to ascribe it to a plurality, however bound

together, will, by its failure, but confirm our conviction of

the supersensible unity of the soul.

§ 5. This simple thought would seem to me hardly to need further proof, were there not so many attempts to evade it. For still we hear sometimes repeated the confident assertion that the comprehensive unity of consciousness may be under- stood as the natural result of the reciprocal action of many elements and their states. Let us therefore try to discover how far such a production of the one out of the many is possible.

The composition of several motions in space into a common resultant has always been the example on which has more or less directly rested any hope for the success of these attempts. Just as, then, two motions of different directions and velocities unite to produce a third simple motion in which is preserved no trace of the diversity that gave it birth, so (it is said) the unity of consciousness is derived as a resultant from the variety of mental elemental motions going on in the dif- ferent constituents of the living body. But the plausibility of this analogy rests on an inaccuracy in its expression, and wholly disappears when that is removed. For this unques- tionable law of physical mechanics refers not to any two movements, but merely to two movements of one and the same indivisible molecule at one and the same moment, the execution of which is required by any forces. The simple validity of the law ceases, and gives place to a more complex calculation of the result to be reached, so soon as we put in the room of the indivisible point a system of several masses, however firmly compacted, and suppose the different forces to act on different points of this united plurality. And just as little is the simple resultant itself, which comes into being in the former, more favourable case, simply some movement having its direction and velocity


subject to law, while tho mass remains undetermined by which it is executed ; it is of course to be conceived only as a movement of the same indivisible point on which tin: different forces were simultaneously acting. If one supplies those few complementary ideas which are never forgotten in stating the elements of mechanics, but not usually repeated at length in short references to this fundamental law, one takes in at a glance the hopelessness of all attempts to commend the derivation of conscious unity from the mutual action of a number of parts by means of the trustworthiness of the indisputable mechanical theorem. For in this deriva- tion it is just the essential point of the theorem that is commonly missed ; the cohesion of the different states of different elements is dwelt on at length, but nothing is said of the indivisible subject in which they cohere, through whose unity it is alone that they are compelled to produce a resultant, and, lastly, as whose state exclusively that resultant can be conceived to become actual. Consciousness floats, like a new being evolved out of nothing, above the mutual actions of the many elements, in unsupported isolation, — a consciousness without any being whose consciousness it can be.

Now let us try to get rid of this defect, and to fix the results to which we may be brought on this path. Let us first suppose that each one of the numerous elements whose reciprocal action we take for granted, fuses within itself the impressions which it receives from others into the unity of a resultant final state, — then the sum of these resultants might indeed in a certain sense be regarded as the total state of the united plurality of elements, but not in the sense of resem- bling the unity of consciousness of which we are in search. For at bottom that holds good of all active or passive states which we maintain in regard to consciousness : they can with strict accuracy be predicated only of indivisible units. If we imagine a number of atoms immutably combined in whatever way, so that they can only in concert obey any impetus to motion : then, if this whole body moves forward in a straight


line, its motion will still be merely the sum of the absolutely identical motions of its several parts. Nay, it is even going too far to speak of a sum of motions : in reality only the same process is repeated as often as there are atoms in which it can be exhibited, and these processes being in themselves apart from each other, form neither a sum nor a whole. They become such only under one of two conditions. In the first place, if we suppose all the particular movements of these atoms transferred to one and the same indivisible element, they will there gather into the unity of a state, whose subject is the element ; but simultaneously the character of the event will have altered, and in place of a total motion of many, there will be only one effect of that, the motion of a unit. Without that alteration the total movement of a combined plurality takes place only under the second con- dition, which occurs when the one indivisible consciousness of an observer sets in relation to one another the ideas of the several movements, without confounding them, but yet bring- ing together their abiding plurality under the notion of unity. If we further conceive another system of atoms more loosely connected together and engaged in motions of varying velocities and directions, we should still have to speak of a total motion of the system only in this second sense. We might, of course, fix the amount of motion, which the whole system has at its disposal for transference to an element outside itself, after deduction of the contrary actions that would neutralize each other. But it is still more evident in this example than in the former that the unity of this producible result is not convertible with the total motion of the system itself, for into the latter undoubtedly entered the manifold movements in which its parts met one another, and which have disappeared in the simplicity of the result. There is indeed but one ^ point where this manifold whole is an actual unit, and that is the concentrating thought of the observer. There alone does the past cohere with the present and the future, in reality the one is when the other is not ; only in that thought does any beauty of form, any fulness, and any significance of


development truly exist, for only in it properly consist those relations of the one to the other, on which all such merits depend ; in reality each part is working as if in the dark, and does not see its position in respect of the other parts, although it may perhaps fuse the influences which it receives from them into the feeling of a state into which it enters. Thus all the operations of a joint plurality either remain a plurality of separate operations, or become truly fused into one only when transferred to the unity of a being as its states. Of consciousness we can say that, as the energy of an indivisible being, it does render possible the composition of the many into the one, but that the unity of consciousness never can spring solely from the mutual action of the many.

From these general discussions we return once more to our peculiar subject. We once again take for granted in the multitudinous connected atoms of the body that internal psychic life which, according to the view from which we started, must be attributed to all matter. Now let a common sensory stimulus, as before a motor impulse, act on all at once, we can yet seek the rising sensation nowhere else than in the interior of each single atom. It will be present as many times as there are indivisible beings in this united multitude, but these many sensations will ne.ver coalesce into a joint sensation, unless we suppose in addition to them a favoured being to which all transfer their states ; and then that will be the soul of such a body. If again we suppose, as before various movements, so now various sensations, to arise in the several elements of this total, and further, each element to have it in its power somehow to convert its own stimulation into the excitation of another, here too every unit, according to its peculiar position in regard to the rest, will undergo influences from these in its own fashion, and fuse or combine in itself the impressions streaming in all around. Yet the new sensation or cognition proceeding from these reciprocal actions will always have its existence only in the several elements, each of which brings the manifold impressions together to a focus in its unity. There was a



repetition of homogeneous cognition when each element underwent in identical fashion the influences of all the others ; here cognitions manifoldly different will have arisen, if the various relations in which the several elements stand to one another bring about in each a particular blending of the impressions that succeed in reaching it. But in the latter case none of them will survey the variety of all the states that have arisen  ; the sum-total of sensation or of knowledge will as such exist only for a new observer outside, who again collects the scattered facts, in the unity of his indivisible being, into a total image present to himself alone. Just as the spirit of the age, public opinion, does not hover beside and among personal beings, but exists only in the consciousness of individuals, incomplete and fragmentary in those who, without taking any general view, are as it were interwoven with the reciprocal actions among which they find them- selves placed, more complete in those who, with critical eye, compare the multitude of characters falling beneath their observation : so here the various mental elements com- posing this vital system will evolve various views of the whole of which they form part, but the most complete will arise in that element which, in virtue of some original advantage of its nature, or of a favourable position towards (the rest, like that of the ruling monad, most effectually collects all the mutual actionsoF~the~parts of the whole in itself, and is able most effectually to react upon the im- pressions thus communicated to it.

To this conception we are in truth carried back by the attempt to derive the unity of consciousness from the mutual action of a multitude. Even on the hypothesis of a psychic life in all matter, we come on this path to an alteration indeed, but not an abolition, of the contrast between body and soul. Of course on that hypothesis they are distinguished by no qualitative difference in their natures, but still less do they blend into one ; the one individual ruling soul always remains facing, in an attitude of complete isolation, the homogeneous but ministrant monads, the joint multitude of



which forms the living body. It may for the present remain undecided whether this conception of life, as a recip action of souls, does or does not offer greater advantages in the explanation of phenomena than the contrast of mind and corporeal matter, which we have made the basis of our considerations. If the ruling monad is that soul which forms our ego, and whose internal motions we are seeking to understand, the interior of the other monads at least to us inquirers remains absolutely closed ; we are acquainted only with the reciprocal actions in virtue of which they appear to us as matter, and only under that designation and with the claims founded upon it can we make use of them in the investigation of particular processes.

§ 6. We did not conclude that the soul is one, because we appear to ourselves a unity ; but we were convinced of the indivisibility of our being by the fact that anything can appear to us. My arguments will perhaps be found more cogent if I bring into prominence the distinctive character of consciousness, which I have hitherto tacitly assumed. The idea of the fusion of several states into one blended state of resultant forces or results springing from the meeting of particular activities, has had a far from beneficial effect on the explanation of internal phenomena ; it is worth while to point out how absolutely different is the nature of thought, and how utterly in this sphere are we deserted by the ordinary conceptions of physical science, which we have hitherto seemed to treat as directly applicable to the case in point.

Consciousness nowhere shows anything resembling what we see in Nature, viz. the resultant of two forces producing at one time a state of rest, at another a third intermediate motion, in which they have become merged beyond recognition. Our ideas preserve through all the vicissitudes through which they pass the same content as formerly, and we never find that in our recollection the images of two colours blend into the compound image of a third, or the sensations of two tones mingle into that of a simple intermediate tone, or the


impressions of pain and of pleasure neutralize each other so as to form the rest of an indifferent state. Only when different stimuli, proceeding from the outer world, produce according to physical laws a medium state within the corporeal nervous tract, through whose instrumentality they act upon the soul, does this state (conveyed to the mind as a simple impulse) develope one compound sensation instead of the two several sensations which we should have had, if the stimuli could have reached us separately. Thus to our sense colours are indeed blended at the edges at which they are in direct contact in space; but the images of colours, coexisting in our remembrance without extension and without lines of demarcation, do not run together into the uniform grey, that would be the inevitable result did different impressions blend into one in our souls. On the contrary, consciousness keeps those which are different asunder at the very moment when it seeks to combine them ; it does not indistinguishably merge the various impressions, but leaves to each its peculiar character, moves comparing among them, and at the same time is aware of the amount and kind of the transition by which it passes from the one to the other. It is in this act of relating and comparing, the rudiments of all judging, that we have what answers in the wholly different mental sphere to the composition of results in the material world ; here, at the same time, lies the true meaning of the unity of consciousness.

When a louder and a softer tone, the same in pitch and timbre, strike on our ear, we hear only the same tone louder, not two tones separately ; their effects are coincident in the auricular nerve, and the soul can find in the simple stimulus which reaches it, no reason for a separation into two percep- tions. But if the two tones sounded successively, so that the organ of sense could convey their impressions separately, there would no longer arise from the ideas of them, preserved in memory and brought back to consciousness both at the same moment for the purpose of comparison, the idea of a third tone of greater strength, but both would remain distinct


and in mutual contrast, though present without division in the onextendedneai of conception. If a third middle tone did arise, it would not be a comparison of both, 1ml only an increase of the materials of comparison for a con- sciousness that knew how to compare. The comparison really effected consists in our becoming conscious of the peculiar change that takes place in our state, as we pass in thought from the one tone to the other, and in it we gain, instead of a third similar tone, a far greater advantage — the idea of an intensive more or less. Red and yellow mingle when, blending already in the eye, they are conveyed to our soul only as a simple blended stimulus ; in our memory those which were separately received remain separate, and there does not arise from them the impression of orange ; if it did arise, the effect would be merely to increase the materials for comparison, not to complete the process of comparison. This is completed when we become conscious of the kind of change that passes over our state in the transition from red to yellow, and through that we acquire the new idea of qualitative resemblance and difference. Finally, if we com- pare an impression with itself, the result is not that from having been doubly thought its strength becomes simply doubled, but that by perceiving the energy of the transi- tion, without observing any difference in its results, we arrive at the notion of identity. There is no reason why these examples should be multiplied; the inner life is sufficiently familiar to inspire all wilh the conviction that all the higher problems of our knowledge and of our whole intellectual training depend on the forbearance with which consciousness leaves to the multitude of impressions their variety and all the distinctions of their colouring, and that nothing can be so far removed from the necessary habitudes of the soul as that forming of resultant mixed states by means of which we so often and so heedlessly think we can explain the higher advance or even the primitive stages of our internal energies.

These acts of a relating and comparing knowledge hardly


any one will be inclined to regard as performed by an aggregate plurality. So long as the matter under discussion was only that all ideas are collected in the same consciousness, that all exert a mutual influence, driving back or bringing forward one another, one might, at least to some extent, be under the delusion that these phenomena themselves render necessary the unity of their subject. Consciousness might be viewed as the space in which this motley play goes ou, and it might be left undecided what is the precise origin of the illumination of dawning knowledge in which it moves. But that most peculiar bond of the multitudinous, the active element that, passing from one to another, leaves both in existence, while it is aware of the kind and direction of its transition, cannot itself be multitudinous ; as all actions are united only in the unity of an indivisible being in which they meet, so a fortiori does this special method of combining plurality require strict unity in the combining principle. Any attempt to substitute for it a plurality casually combined, could here again only bring us back to the consequences of which we have already spoken, and on which we need not again dwell.

§ 7. The necessity of first of all seeking two distinct principles of explanation for two wholly dissimilar cycles of phenomena, shuts us off from any attempt to derive the inner life, as a self-evident result, from operations of material sub- stances, in so far as material. The other necessity — recognition of the fact of the unity of consciousness, and our discernment of the impossibility of producing that unity from the reciprocal action of any plurality whatever — left us no ground for expecting any help in the explanation of particular phenomena, even from the assumption of a secret psychic life in all that we call matter. We may therefore most simply state the result reached as yet in the traditional form of a separation of the supersensuous soul from the material body, no matter on what the existence or the phenomenal appearance of the latter may itself depend. Our way will still be a long one, and many of its turns may perhaps open up to us new views


in regard to what we can now see only in the outline just mentioned. But we should regard as mistaken any craving for unity that would at once hastily merge this sharp contrast in something higher, for in reality it would only confuse the distinct and necessary conception of it. We do not deny that there may be a point of view so elevated that to those occupying it the distinction between the mental and the corporeal fades away, or may even be held to be a delusion. But there is less advantage to be won for our speculations from the attainment of this point of view, than risk to be apprehended from a premature anticipation of it. Even the toils and struggles of life seem, on a final general survey, as exercises, the value of which does not properly lie in the attainment of an end ; earthly aims may shrink into infini- tesimal proportions in comparison with the final destiny which we dimly discern ; jarring discords of our existence lose their harshness and importance measured by the eternal and infinite towards which our longing eyes are turned. And yet we must continue these exercises, devote to these contracted aims all the ardour of our souls, painfully feel these discords, and again and again renew the conflict concerning them ; — our life would not be ennobled by depreciation of its condi- tions, and of the stage which it offers to our struggling energy. Thus even the contrast between corporeal and mental existence may not be final and irreconcilable, — only our present life is passed in a world where it has not yet been resolved, but yawning underlies all the relations of our thinking and acting. And, even as it will always be indispensable to life, it is, at present at least, indispensable to science. Things that appear to us incompatible, we must first establish separately each on its own foundation. If we have made ourselves acquainted with the natural growth and the ramification of each one of the groups of phenomena which we have thus discriminated, we shall afterwards find it possible to speak of their common root. To try prematurely to unite them would only mean to obscure the survey of them, and to lower the value which every distinction possesses even when it may be done away with.



Plurality of Faculties in the Soul — Defects of this Yiew — Possibility of combin- ing it with the Unity of the Soul— Original and acquired Faculties — • Impossibility of a single Primitive Faculty — Ideation, Feeling, and Will — Constant Activity of the whole Nature of the Soul — Lower and higher Reactions — Mutability of the Soul and its Limits — The known Nature and the unknown Nature of the Soul.

§ 1. fTHHE phsenomena which we have hitherto been con- •*- sidering have only entitled us to see in the soul that unknown being whose undivided unity holds together the variety of the inner life  : they have not yet thrown any light on the essential nature with which the soul fills up the bare outline of unity, and develops the motley multitude of its states. The only means of solving this question, however, will be to make a more complete survey of internal experience ; we have no other insight into the nature of the soul than that which is afforded by inferences from the observed facts of our con- sciousness. We have thus to conceive its nature as it must be in order that it should pass through what we know in ourselves as its states, and perform what we find in ourselves as its actions. Hence we must start from a comparison between mental phenomena; putting together the like, and separating the unlike, we shall sort the heterogeneous multi- tude into groups, each of which includes all that have one common stamp, and excludes whatever is of a divergent kind. Mental phsenomena differ sufficiently among themselves to make it probable that this comparison, if made steadily from one point of view, will end in discovering several separate groups, for whose peculiar distinctions no common expression can be found. Such slighter distinctions as divide in each department the phsenomena that fall within it while


leaving untouched their more ^-in-ml similarity of char are indeed to be conceived as dependent on the variable external conditions by which the soul's energy is brought into play. But for the whole of each department of phenomena we must attribute to the soul a peculiar faculty to energize in that manner which predominates uniformly throughout all its component parts. Accordingly we must suppose the soul to possess as many separate faculties as there are groups of phenomena left unresolvable by observation  ; but we shall at the same time be left with the conviction that they are not imprinted in its nature as an unconnected assemblage of faculties, but that there is between them an affinity by which, as various manifestations of one and the same being, they are harmonized into the whole of its rational development.

Thus has grown up the familiar doctrine of the mental faculties, in its initial stage forming part of the ordinary view of everyday life. Long cherished as a favourite subject of speculation, and repeatedly expanded into elaborate systems, it has gradually fallen into disrepute, and is now hardly looked on as more than a first and preliminary review of the facts pre- paring the way for an investigation by which it is to be followed. And in fact we must acknowledge that it does not suffice to explain the phsenomena. It would be a delusion to suppose that we possess in the notion of mental faculties a means of investigation as efficacious as that won by physical science in the notion of energy. What makes the latter fruitful is lacking to the former, which nevertheless repeats all the faults owing to which the kindred notion of vital energy exhausts itself in vain efforts to explain the phenomena of life. Where physics applies its notion of energy, it is not content with defining it by the character and appearance of its result  ; it does not speak generally of powers of attraction and repulsion, but adds a law according to which the amount of its efficacy alters, when precisely definable conditions to which it is attached undergo an equally measurable alteration of valua Only thus can it calculate the exact amount of work which under given circumstances each force will perform  ; only thus


does it succeed in linking to the unvarying energy of the same force the most various effects, at first distinguished only by their difference of amount, but leading, as they meet with other effects determined in the same manner, to a countless multitude of the most dissimilar events. These advantages are not yielded by the notion of mental faculties. While it is exclusively derived from the general form common to a number of heterogeneous processes, each of these again reciprocally determines of course only, in general, the form proper to its own manifestations. Thus unquestionably the ideational faculty will give rise to ideas, the faculty of feeling to feelings; but there is a lack of rules going beyond this idle certainty, and guiding to a conclusion as to what idea will arise under what circumstances, or what will take place when several manifestations of the same faculty meet.

Even physical science has not everywhere been able to define the laws of action of its forces  ; but, where this is the case, men of science freely confess that they have not yet advanced so far as to be able really to explain the phenomena. Yet even here the notion of energy offers advantages not to be found in that of mental faculties. The actions of natural forces are always comparable with each other  ; for, however marvellously different may be the internal states of elements, the external changes in which they become apparent may always be ultimately reduced to motions in space, differing only in velocity and direction. Hence it is possible to apply to them the universal rules of mathematical calculation, and definitely to formulate the result produced by the meeting of several forces in the same element ; from two simple motions in a straight line we see sometimes the equilibrium of rest, sometimes a uniform velocity in an intermediate direction, sometimes continued revolution in curved lines. And from this comparability of the forces it is always possible, even when their laws are not known in detail, to draw from the character of their action at least a probable conjecture as to the result of their conjoint working, and to fix its presumable value within definite limits. The mental faculties, however, seem


incapable of comparison with one another; for eacli of tln-m was bused only on the peculiar character of its manifestations, which it seemed hopeless to bring under a common category with the distinctive stamp of the others. Thus how an act of the ideational faculty will act on the faculty of feeling, how, further, the latter will promote or hinder efforts, we can guess pretty well without science, by simply following the instinct of our inner experience  ; but there is in the notion of these faculties nothing to enable us to raise the tact of sound judgment to a clear scientific insight into the mutual depend- ence of these processes.

One further remark we must add. Physical science states precisely the conditions under which exclusively the assumed forces can exhibit efficiency. It distinguishes those funda- mental forces which are conceivable as perpetually inherent in bodies, because their conditions are perpetually realized, and which therefore, ever ready, seem to wait only for an object in which their influence can become visible ; it sets over against them those other capacities of action which an element does not originally possess, but under certain circumstances acquires, and which therefore, as they now appear and now again are lost sight of, have a history that can be scientifically traced. Even here the psychological doctrine finds itself at a dis- advantage. It could not represent any of its faculties as an energy constantly exercised by the soul ; a perception that had not yet found its object, a feeling of no particular quality, a volition without a purpose, seemed too glaringly preposterous notions  ; it was felt that they are all operations, the perform- ance of which the soul requires to be incited to and qualified for by definite impressions  ; on this very account they were, under the name of faculties, put in contrast to forces. But the history of their genesis from the reciprocal influence of such impressions and the nature of the soul, has been too little investigated, and the want of such information is not to be supplied by an arrangement of the different faculties as super- ordinate and subordinate, according to the comparative uni- versality or particularity of their manifestations. For in this


way much always presented itself as original, that is really acquired only by means of the progressive growth of life, — much as simultaneous, that in the actual development of intelligence occurs at various successive points. Finally, the vague notion of a slumber and subsequent awakening of particular faculties was not fitted to make up for the general absence of insight into the simultaneous action and mutual co-operation of their effects.

Thus the proper end of scientific investigation was lost sight of — that search for causal connection, by which each event of mental life is shown rising out of its antecedents and again modifying that which is its immediate consequent. But every science that values its future applications must be careful to secure for itself the possibility of conjecturing the past and the future from the present state. Where, as in the case of mental life, the bewildering complexity of the con- ditions concerned must make the complete solution of this problem impossible, we must at least strive to gain such a view of the causal connection as may teach us to discern the outlines of the future and the bases of the present in the past with more precision than belongs to the indefinite estimate of a natural instinct. Such knowledge alone would enable us in education to set in motion the counter-forces that are fitted to alter undesirable results for the better. But of this problem the doctrine of the mental faculties offers no solution  ; it really does no more than repeat faintly and from afar that general image of phenomena which we observe directly within ourselves in all the variety of its vivid local colour- ing, while having nothing to say about the agencies beyond our observation that produce this scene of manifold activity no less secretly than the imperceptible vibrations of the ether give rise to the world of light and its marvellous refractions.

§ 2. Now one might be inclined to ascribe this deficiency not to the fundamental idea, but to the imperfect elaboration of the doctrine. Perhaps, after careful observation has dis- criminated from the original mental faculties those which


seem to be merely capabilities acquired in the course of • li'Vi-lopment, it will succeed in discovering the laws regu- lating the activity and mutual influence of those fundamental powers. But, before allowing ourselves to cherish this hope any further, we must refer to an objection by which its exist- ence is threatened.

Any plurality of original faculties, it is urged, is opposed to the soul's unity ; to start with the assumption of such is as incompatible with accuracy of thought as unfruitful for the purpose of explanation, the satisfaction of which would be curtailed by assuming that a variety of operations (which it must be the task of science to show proceeding from a single source) are co-ordinate and require no light thrown on their origin. People have become so much accustomed to regard this as the most decisive objection to the doctrine of the mental faculties, that we almost hesitate to advocate an opposite opinion. Those faculties have no doubt been often spoken of as if they were ready-made dispositions, impressed one alongside of another on the soul, but without any further mutual connection ; and over against this incomplete descrip- tion is set the rightful demand to regard the various properties of a being as so many different manifestations of its one and identical nature, wrung from it by the reciprocal action evolved between it and other elements. But perhaps, in opposition to this slovenly mode of speech, the novelty and value of the objection in question have been too highly rated. That bodies are coloured only in light, hard only when their resisting force has been called forth by the pressure of a weight, fluid at one degree of temperature, solid at another, — all these are reflections suggested by the most ordinary experience. It was easy to pass from them to the conviction that at least the sensible properties of things are not fixed determinations stamped upon them, but changeful appear- ances, coming into being and passing away, which we see their nature successively assume under altering conditions. But it was much more natural still to apply the same view to the faculties of the soul, whose very name suggested that


they were to be regarded not as actualities, but merely as the different potentialities of expression standing at the disposal of the one nature of the soul, when it is roused into activity by various stimuli, — the necessity of whose co-operation was not forgotten. Thus it will perhaps be well to leave out of view many awkwardnesses of expression that have been allowed to slip into the question, and to allow to this violently assailed doctrine that it arose naturally out of the very conviction which is opposed to it by the objection referred to. The first part of it at all events it does not deserve ; it too looked on all faculties as results of the soul's one nature, only it did not believe that their interdependence is so close that from one all the rest proceed. Now, whether it was right here, and whether it did not unduly curtail the claims of science, in being too easily satisfied with the assump- tion of original capacities and neglecting to trace them actually back to one source, is another question still to be determined. But even as to the second part of the above-mentioned charge we cannot fully share the opinion now widely diffused.

Assuredly our science can go no further than our means of knowledge, and it must accept as a series of given facts what it finds itself unable to deduce from a single principle. To seek completeness here at any price only leads to the temptation of unconsciously curtailing somewhat the matter of fact, in order more easily to explain the more manageable remainder. Even in this psychological problem there is such a temptation. We recognise the justice of the requirement that all the manifestations of a being shall be regarded but as various results of its single nature, but we are impotent actually to carry it out in science. Given a few points in the heavens occupied at different times by a comet, we hence infer the path on which it must farther travel ; the laws of the celestial motions do not permit of its occupying these points without of necessity subsequently also passing through the others that form along with them a regularly determined curve. The like consistency we take for granted in the nature of the soul. If its nature manifests itself in response to one stimulation in


a given manner, the other manifestation by which it will iv>l'i>ml to a second is no lon-cr indefinite or arbitrary; the one step decides all the others, and by whatever impressions of various kinds it may be affected, its conduct in regard to each of these is determined by that which it followed in regard to the first. Thus in it too the manifold reaction drawn forth by stimulations of various kinds will not be mutually uncon- nected, but form the harmonious whole of a nature expressing itself in consistent manysidedness. But this assumption, no less imperative here than in the former case, is not as fruitful here as there. We know that for the comet the laws of Attraction and Persistence are the bond by which all the parts of its course are brought into demonstrable connection  ; for the soul we would need a far more deeply grounded law, that should enable us to conceive of different energies, unlike in their forms of manifestation, as nevertheless parts of one and the same course of development. We ought to be able to say why a being that in consequence of the undulations of the ether sees light and colours, cannot but hear tones when atmospheric vibrations act on its organs of sense, or why its nature, while evolving intuitive but indifferent perceptions under certain impressions, must under others experience feel- ings of pleasure and pain. We hardly venture on the express assertion that this extraordinary problem has never yet been solved, and that we see no prospect of even the possibility of its solution ; every system of psychology acknowledges that there must be in the nature of the soul this unbroken consistency, but none can formulate its law. The requirement of such unity in the soul will therefore always remain a guiding con- sideration by which the general sequence and conduct of our inquiries is controlled, but in carrying out our explanations we must be content to accept as a matter of fact the variety of psychic manifestations.

The theories set up in opposition to the doctrine of faculties have in fact ended in the recognition of this variety. But they have made a distinction between the plurality of the simple and as it were original energies, that proceed not one


out of another, but all alike from the nature of the soul, and those higher activities which, not belonging to it originally, proceed from concatenations of the simple states, and to refer which directly to peculiar faculties is to curtail science of their explanation. The doctrine of the mental faculties can- not in all cases vindicate itself against this charge. When, for instance, we find judgment and imagination placed among them alongside of one another, we must unhesitatingly grant that these two do not form part of the original mental stock, but are capabilities developed ir the advance of life, the one slowly, the other quickly. We must at the same time acknowledge that to explain their growth nothing is needed beyond the laws of association, according to which every percept may remain in memory, and, after having been lost to consciousness, may be restored to remembrance by the resuscitation of others with which it was formerly associated. We do not seek in the soul, before it has had experience, the capacity of readily and accurately apprehending resemblances and differences in impressions, and at once ranging each in the general category answering to its character. But every percept retained in memory, when it is recalled by a new and similar one, brings back to consciousness the others with which it was connected, but which are strange to the new impression, and thus invites to discriminating and associating comparisons. The repetition of this simple process increases the number of points of view, the subsequent remembrance of which meets new observations and assists their collocation in the circle of kindred ideas. Thus soundness of judgment is gradually and progressively developed, all newly acquired knowledge being by degrees added to the stock of discernment, by means of whose advancing ramification the task, which was at first difficult, and often fruitless, comes at last to be performed with the ease of a seemingly innate faculty. Still more erroneous would it be to refer the operations of the imagina- tion to an innate power, — operations so endlessly varied in appearance that for their performance the consistency of a single energy regulated in its exercise by a constant law


might be deemed far less favourable than a general arbitrari- ness of action. The ground of this power really lies, not indeed in any such absence of law, but in the fact that its results are not brought about by any special faculty. A happy variety of experiences has put at the disposal of the train of ideas an abundant store of impressions ; other favourable circumstances, connected with the bodily develop- ment and the disposition of mind, concur to leave to its action all that mobility with which it spontaneously evolves the most diverse combinations of ideas, brings together those which are akin, sets in contrast those which are dissimilar, and carries on trains of ideas already begun. Thus both these faculties have their history ; we can trace their advance by means of increasing experience, their deterioration in con- sequence of the poverty of the impressions received, their perversion from a one-sided conduct of life and from the influence of morbid obstacles, and in order to explain these results we need not assume special capacities appropriated to these operations. Both presuppose the energy of other powers for the performance of their functions ; but from these their peculiar tasks can be fully explained.

§ 3. Now, can we carry further this speculation, so that finally there should be left only a single primitive mode of mental manifestation, from which, as from a common root, the other apparent faculties should proceed  ? Can the latter resemble leaves, blossoms, and fruit, which, all alike products of the same power of growth, owe their diverse forms partly to the variety of external influences, partly to the propitious effect of circumstances, whence it comes that the higher product can start from the completion of the next lower  ? To this [uestion the older psychology returned a negative answer ; it was confident that Feeling and Will contain peculiar elements, arising neither from the nature of Ideation nor from the general character of Consciousness, in which all three take part ; they were accordingly co-ordinated with the faculty of Cognition (or Ideation) as two equally original capacities, and more recent conceptions do not seem to be successful in



refuting the grounds on which this triad of original faculties was based. We could not indeed wish to maintain that ideation, feeling, and will share between them the realm of the soul, as three independent series of development springing from distinct roots, each growing on unconnected with the others, and coming in contact with the others in varied action and reaction only in the final ramifications of their branching growth. It is too obvious from observation that, in general, incidents in the train of ideas form the points of junction of the feelings, and that from these, from pain and pleasure, are evolved motions of desire and aversion. And yet this evident connection does not dispose of the question whether here the preceding event does indeed give rise by its own energy to that which immediately succeeds, as its full and complete efficient cause, or whether it only draws the latter after it, as an exciting occasion, from acting partly with the ex- traneous force of a silently co-operative condition that eludes our notice. This doubt must be set at rest by a more accurate analysis of the actual data. Where we find actually given each several germ and constituent of that which is to be, and these germs further in a state of motion, from which, if prolonged, the new form of the subsequent result must of itself emerge, we may regard what preceded as the sufficient cause of the latter. Where, on the contrary, there is a residuum that cannot have been produced by the conditioning circumstances, but has been added to them as a foreign accretion, we shall conclude that those circumstances did not form the entire ground of the succeeding phenomenon, but that, unnoticed by us, a condition lying outside, which we have now to seek, came in to make them complete.

A comparison of these mental phenomena forces us, if we are not mistaken, to adopt the latter hypothesis. If we look on the soul as a merely cognitive existence, we shall, in no situation — however peculiar — into which it may be brought by the exercise of that activity, discover any sufficient reason why it should depart from that mode of manifesting itself and develop feelings of pain and pleasure. Of course it may


seem, on the contrary, that there is nothing so self-evident as that unreconciled antagonism between different ideas, whose contrariety does violence to the soul, causes it pain, from which must spring an effort after recovery and improve- ment. But this seems so to us only because we are more than cognitive beings; the necessity of this sequence is apparent not in itself, but from the invariable use and wont of our internal experience, where we have long been accustomed to it as an inevitable matter of fact. This alone makes it possible for us to overlook that in truth between each pre- ceding and each subsequent link in the series there is a gap, which we can fill up only by bringing in some as yet unobserved condition. Apart from this experience, the merely cognitive soul would find in itself no reason for regarding an internal change — even were it one fraught with risk to the continuance of its existence — otherwise than with the indifferent keenness of scrutiny with which it would look upon any other conflict of forces ; further, should a feeling, arising from other sources, set itself alongside of the percep- tion, the merely feeling soul would yet even in the intensest pain find in itself neither reason nor capacity for going on to an effort after alteration ; it would suffer, without being roused to will. Now this is not so, and in order that it should not be so, the capacity of feeling pleasure and pain must be originally inherent in the soul ; also the separate events of the train of ideas, reacting on the nature of the soul, do not produce the capacity, but only rouse it to utterance ; moreover, whatever feelings may sway the soul, they do not beget effort, they only become motives for a power of volition which they find exist- ing in the soul, but which, were it absent, they could never inspire. We should be by no means content to accept in place of this conviction the concession with which we might be met, — that to be sure any actual state of the train of ideas is not itself the feeling of pain or pleasure or the effort flowing from it, but yet that feeling and effort are nothing else than the forms under which that state is apprehended by conscious- ness. .We should have, on the other side, to add that these


forms of apprehension are themselves not unimportant accessories, to be referred to by the way, as merely occurring along with the facts of the train of ideas, in which alone the kernel of the matter lay ; on the contrary, the essential part of the phsenomenon is just this mode of manifestation. It is as feelings and efforts that feelings and efforts are of consequence in mental life, the significance of which lies not in the fact that all kinds of complications of ideas occur, of which men may incidentally become conscious under the form of feeling and effort, but in the fact that the nature of the soul renders it capable of bringing anything before itself as feeling and effort.

These three primitive powers would thus stand as progressive grades of capacity, and the manifestation of the one set free the energy of the next. Yet in this representation we would acquiesce only while it is clearly kept in mind that what we know as three is nevertheless but one in the being of the soul. The soul does not enter even into its own manifestations in so fragmentary a fashion that one of its parts can be awake while the others are dormant ; on the contrary, in every mode of its action the whole soul energizes ; nay, even in thinking not merely one side of it is active, the whole expresses itself in a one-sided way, because it cannot respond to a definite excita- tion save by a definite power of expression. When we com- pare four with five, it is at once apparent that the former is a unit less than the latter, but not that four is also the half of eight and twice two ; further comparisons are required in order that these relations may be recalled; yet in each the whole nature of four is displayed, only one-sidedly, in that direction alone for which occasion was given to it. Or let us return once more to a comparison already made use of. If we look at a moving body at a single point of its course, we cannot tell with what direction and velocity it is passing through this point, and nevertheless at this very moment it exhibits in full force the motion which at the next will deter- mine the continuance of its course. When we observe the soul only in the act of cognition, its whole nature is not uttered for us


in this one clement of its life, from which at the next moment a transition to feeling and effort may take place; novel t. in this mere fragment of its course of development the whole nature is active. Divine intuition would not need to see a body move through a considerable part of its course, in order to know its motion, — it would immediately be cognizant of it at any indivisible point ; even so, in each several manifesta- tion of the soul it would see its whole nature present, and discern the inherent necessity that under different conditions must lead to different modes of activity. Our human minds must be content to exhaust this fulness gradually, and to remember that while we see a plurality of capabilities, unity of being is a fundamental attribute of the soul. At the same time, we have no ground for regarding this hypothesis of different faculties merely as an expedient suited to the weak- ness of the human intellect; on the contrary, it does in a certain sense correspond to reality. It may be that even divine intuition would find in the notion of cognition alone no necessity why feeling must spring from it ; it would only, with greater clearness than we, see in the whole rationale of psychic life the principle in obedience to which the two phenomena coexist and succeed one another, even as in a poem the pervading Idea binds together firmly and with constraining power constituent parts, no one of which could have spontaneously evolved the other from itself.

§ 4. Perhaps we have lingered too long over these reflections, but they so directly concern our most fundamental concep- tions of the life of the soul that we must still devote a moment's consideration to the general view of mental phse- nomena flowing from them as a direct consequence. We have said that on any theory we must conclude by recognising a plurality of modes of psychic manifestation not reducible to one another. One system, however, to which psychology is indebted for great advances, limits this recognition to the reactions developed by the soul in direct correspondence with external stimuli, that is, to simple sensations. It, too, regards these primitive manirestations with which psychic life com-


mences, as not reducible to one another, and it does not profess to be able to say why a being susceptible to light and colours must apprehend other impressions as tones. All other higher energies, on the other hand, arising in the elaboration and mutual action and reaction of these internal states, it supposes to spring wholly out of them; after the soul has once produced from its own nature the original material, the world of sensation, its creative activity ebbs ; it leaves these products of its working to themselves and to the universal, laws of their reciprocal action, without further interfering with its whole nature, or giving to the relations brought into play new applications not naturally arising from them in virtue of the logical sequence of their mechanical course. Thus the soul is but a stage for the mutual action of sen- sations and ideas, of course one that accompanies with consciousness all that takes place on it, but that does not exert on it much influence beyond the enclosing and keeping together possessed by every frame with regard to the picture within. This is the point where our view diverges. Not only once for all, not only in the development of the simple sensations is the soul active after this creative fashion ; even if these first products are to be ascribed to an orderly mechanism, and if the train of ideas, with its associations and separations, its forgetting and recollecting, arises spontane- ously, without any fresh impetus given by the soul, yet that is not the whole of the mental life, and the higher energies, which constitute its true worth, do not proceed spontaneously from this mechanical working. The determined course of these internal events brings merely occasions which, solely from reacting on the whole and ever present nature of the soul, draw forth from it new forms of action, which by itself it could not have produced. The position of the soul in respect of each one of its internal states is the same as it was in respect of the external stimuli to sensation ; to each it can respond with a form of energy which it is impossible to derive from those states, because in fact it does not reside in them alone, but which on the contrary can be connected with


those states only after experience has taught that this new form of action is the very thing that has been awakened in the soul's being by them as stimuli of a superior order.

We will not shrink from repeating the same thought once more as suggested by a natural and yet hazardous comparison of mental life with the development of an organism. The soul does not grow as does a plant. The form of the latter comes forth from a number of essentially distinct and inde- pendent parts, united externally in a definite form, which, according to universal laws of Nature, produce the gradually advancing conformation ; nay further, the life of the perfected plant is a sum of actions going on between different parts that retain their independence, and, as in the life of a society, assume definite modes of procedure in virtue of the position and the activity of their co-operant members. A comparison of the several elements of psychic life with these parts must be made with cautious limitation ; for these elements are not independent atoms, but mere states of a single being from which they cannot detach themselves. Hence they have not an indifferent stage, on which to give themselves up undis- turbed to their reciprocal actions, subject to nought save the might of a universal mechanism. On the contrary, the very field of their action is even itself capable of stimulation with reference to their subsequent relations. The nature of the soul does not, after having once for all produced them, thence- forth serve merely as a passive stage for their free motions, as in fable the earth does in respect of the animals brought forth by it ; on the contrary, it feels every movement of the train of ideas, and is roused by this now and then to act itself, and to introduce into its apparently arbitrary play new elements, which cannot be explained from itself alone. This is not absence of order, but that order of a more complicated kind, which we have already indicated as possible in general, and which only experience could assure us does not in this form occur in the material world. Hence in the development of an organism the effect to be produced by the reciprocal action of two elements is wholly determined by the universal


laws of Nature and the actual circumstances of the moment ; in mental life, on the other hand, to every pair of states and to the laws governing their reciprocal action the nature of the soul has to be added as a constant fourth element, by which the coming effect is conditioned and modified, somewhat as the calculation of a motion made for a vacuum would be modified by taking account of a resisting medium. There may certainly be series of changes within us, the course of which is not affected by any interference of this fourth element, and these will seem to unroll themselves one out of another in a mechanical course ; but only accurate internal observation can inform us as to the extent of this mode of procedure, which we are not entitled to assume as universal.

§ 5. We quit these considerations, leaving for a future occa- sion the drawing of certain inferences from them, and apply ourselves to a long-foreseen difficulty, which is associated with an assumption tacitly made by us. It is clear that we have placed the soul under the category of beings capable of excitation. Its nature does not struggle into activity spontaneously and without foreign excitation, nor can it thus determine the end and direction of its action, but impressions from without rouse it to reactions, from whose further operation springs the variety of the inner life. Here the peculiar form of the manifestation flows from the peculiar nature of the soul, which is the abiding source of sensation, of feeling, of effort ; the stimuli are nothing more than the motive influences determining the definite sequence of its manifestations, and directing its capa- bilities undecided in themselves. But we cannot hold this view, it would seem, without ascribing to the soul a muta- bility surely antagonistic to that strict unity which appears to have no room for variation. This reasoning we cannot gainsay ; unquestionably an external stimulus compels a reaction to develop itself only when it produces a real impression on the soul so as to affect its nature. The mere threat of disturbance cannot rouse the soul to defensive activity ; for that which is threatened, so long as not experienced, is for the object of the threat nothing; so soon


as he is aware of it, it lias already elected a change in him. If it is contrary to the laws of our thinking to suppose that impulses to a variety of actions are spontaneously evolved from the unchanging unity of a being, we must acknowledge that the soul in action is different from what it was when at rest, for nothing but its alteration can be sufficient reason for an altered procedure.

It is impossible to evade this charge, and to vindicate the soul from mutability by an expedient similar to that which enables physical science to look on material atoms as absolutely rigid and immutable subjects of the most diverse phenomena. As objects of vision at a distance, coalescing in space, unite to form a single impression, and as they come nearer fall asunder once more into a plurality of separate parts, so may the course of Nature consist for us, its observers, of a multitude of apparent changes, which, nevertheless, have really left external objects what they were. Inasmuch as the atoms, internally absolutely invariable, enter into changing and manifold relations to one another, and are continually altering in their situation, distances, and motions, they produce on us impressions of a like changeful nature, and, while in fact rigid and impenetrable, seem to our undiscriminating observa- tion sometimes to be fused together, sometimes to be detached, sometimes to assume quite different properties. But if we thus refer the changes in the outer world to an illusion produced merely in ourselves, while in reality nothing more than unessential relations change in the immutable elements, we cannot further hold that the rise in us of this illusion is also merely an illusion, which, to a second observer, would apparently involve an alteration in our being, but does not really do so. On the contrary, the observer does really undergo alteration, not of his external position, but of his internal state, when he apprehends in cognition the changes of the external world, and passes from one idea to another. If, then, we could succeed in wholly eliminating variability from the external world, the more inevitably would it adhere to the nature of the soul. Let us then grant this variability,


and give up the vain attempt to discover some expedient by which the property of immovable invariability may become compatible with the character of a being destined to internal development. We do not think we shall by this conces- sion lose anything that in the interest of investigation we ought to retain. When we seek the subject of a cycle of phenomena, we must indeed conceive it as stable and strong enough to offer in itself a sufficient point of support to the various events of the cycle, but we have no ground to attribute to it the rigidity of absolute immobility ; on the contrary, to do so would be to render the conception of it useless. In one- sidedly guarding its stability, we would have disqualified it for performing the much more important function of acting as a centre for the exeunt and ineunt actions of which the cycle of phenomena to be explained consists. We need add but a few words, in order to dispel the apprehensions that may be awakened by this idea of a variable soul.

First and foremost it does not involve any risk of a meaningless variation, of a perpetual succession of new states in whose flux the unity of the original being must wholly disappear. Nothing in the world is so indifferent and impotent as to receive its character merely from external impressions, and itself to serve simply as the means of fixing the stream of content in the actual world by its hard reality, like the hook that holds firmly yet indifferently the most various garments. Nothing allows itself to be forced from one form to another by a series of external influences in such a way that at the end of a number of metamorphoses no trace of its former nature can be found. What a being seems to be sub- jected to from without, is in reality always a manifestation of its own active nature, called forth indeed but not made by the foreign impetus. Hence at every moment of its series of changes the present state of a being is a concurrent — perhaps the most influential — condition determining the effect of the next impression. Now there is nothing to hinder us from conceiving the original nature of a being powerful enough to make its influence felt as the most effective through all the links


of a prolonged chain of changes, and thereby to bring them ,ill into a consistent sequence, as little destitute of internal unity as the melody that is expanded into a number of successive variations. I know not what could induce us to require of a substance forming the ground of fluctuating phenomena more than this kind of unity ; the soul, however, offers more. It is not only the subject of its phenomena, but also knows itself as such ; and, inasmuch as it retains a remembrance of its past experience along with the impressions of the present, it not only presents to an external observer the spectacle of a consistent series of changes, but itself gathers the different developments of its mutable nature into a unity of higher significance than could ever belong to the unyielding rigidity of an impassive substance.

Here we have done nothing more than indicate the general form in which we would take up this question. An accurate review of the actual phenomena of psychic life would show that it is far from manifesting the large amount of varia- bility that might be vindicated on this line of thought. In Nature, as we have already seen, no permanent alteration takes place in the atoms, at least none of such a nature as to manifest itself by new modes of external action; when the altering conditions cease to act, the old properties exhibit themselves afresh. This certainly is not always the case in psychic life, whose capacity of development, on the contrary, depends on perfecting the reactions by habitual exercise. But we are about to meet with an extensive sphere in which its uniformity of demeanour approaches to that of physical effects. Sense-impressions, however often they may have already been experienced, always excite the same sensations ; red remains always red, pressure and heat are always painful, and the same corporeal necessities call forth always the same efforts. All this is so self-evident that to mention it may seem strange. And yet, as a matter of fact, every single sensation is an alteration in the soul's being ; that its nature should be capable of so adjusting the disturbances perpetually caused in it by countless impressions


that it can encounter each subsequent one with undiminishecl composure, is a fact easy of comprehension as regards its adaptation to the ends of mental growth, but the mechanical effectuation of which — if we may say so — is not at once to be understood. We may remark the same steadiness in the laws according to which memory and recollection retain, associate, and recall ideas ; moreover, the modes of procedure of the understanding in associating and forming judgments on impressions received remain unaltered. Everywhere we see that the numberless influences exerted on the soul, while they cannot but produce some change in it, yet do not affect the steady and consistent exercise of the energies with which it reacts on and modifies these impressions ; these energies seem only to gain greater dexterity with growing exercise by which they have become familiar with the com- plexities of the objects on which they have to act. So little do we see the alteration of the soul passing into indefinite- ness and chaos, so conspicuously, on the contrary, do we see the continual moulding reaction of its fundamental nature manifested, that we need hardly have spoken of its alteration except for the logical interest that would not allow us to associate its development with the contradictory notion of internal immobility. But, in truth, so great, in respect of its significance and its value, is the consistency of the internal development, that it ever presents the spectacle rather of unbroken identity than of progressive transformation.

§ 6. In what, then, does that consist which remains identical in this development  ? In what that primitive being and TO TL of the soul the more precise delineation of which seemed to be promised at the beginning of this section  ? We would answer, As every being becomes known only through the consequences by which our observation finds it attended, so also of the soul we can say no more than that it contains the capacity for this development. This answer will satisfy no one. All cognitions of ideas, all thoughts, feelings, and efforts, it would be urged


us, are but actions of the soul, by whatever agency drawn from it; but we seek to know not how the soul acts, but what it is in itself in order to be able so to act, and what must be its fundamental nature since such csijaliilities lie latent in it. In reply to this pointed query it would be simplest to confess our conviction that what the soul is we never shall know ; but by such a confession we should create the impres- sion that through this ignorance we must lose much that is of importance for our investigation, and that in regard to the soul a difficulty is to us insoluble, which is easily removed in regard to all other things.

How little the latter is the case appears on a hasty review of the knowledge which we think we have as to the nature of material things. If we complain that we never come to discern the essence of the soul as it is in itself, and apart from all the special conditions that determine it to special manifestations, we must include in the same complaint our ideas of all other things. We think we know what water is, what mercury is, and yet we can assign to neither constant properties belonging to it, apart from all external conditions. Both at an average temperature are fluid, both at an elevated temperature gaseous, both at a low temperature solid ; but, apart altogether from temperature, what are they  ? We do not know, we do not even feel any need to know, since we perceive that nowhere in the universe can either of the two substances escape from the influence of these con- ditions ; we are therefore content to regard water as the body which at one particular degree of temperature becomes solid, at another boils, and which further proves its own identity by the unvarying character of its reactions under like conditions. The same holds true of all that we observe by means of our senses. We become acquainted with every- thing first in one of its single possible states, and this we look on as its complete and permanent character, till experi- ence shows us that different conditions determine different states. Then we group together the various phenomena as the manifold varying forms of one and the same being,


which we continue to call by the same name, although we no longer distinguish it by a single definite property, but conceive it as the unknown something which is capable of assuming successively various forms within this cycle, while never passing out of it, and becoming something different. There is nothing so stable and immutable that it can escape this destiny; all our definitions of real objects are hypo- thetical, and they never denote the thing but as that which, under different conditions, will appear in different cha- racters. In granting, then, that the essence of the soul is unknown, we do so only in a sense that includes the impossibility of saying what would be the essence of any- thing in the entire absence of the conditions that are the exciting occasions of its manifestations. Just as impossible as to tell how things look in the dark, is it to know what the soul is before it enters on any of the situations in which alone its life unfolds.

§ *7. Here, however, we seem to have gained nothing beyond a qualification of the reproach of ignorance against psychology from its being shown to share it with all the rest of human knowledge. But if it be true that the essence of things in this sense is to us unknown, is it also true that we lose much by this ignorance, and is it in this essence which eludes our grasp that we must seek the essential that we would not willingly fail to find  ? I do not think this question need be answered affirmatively, — indeed we treat it differently in life from what in science we sometimes think we must do. In the sum of another man's knowledge, the tone of his mind, the dispositions of his character, and the peculiar action and reaction of these elements on one another, we think we have presented to us his entire personality. If our acquaintance with him is such that we have mastered these items, we do not fancy that we should gain insight into the innermost core of his being, by his being set before us as he was originally, before in the process of growth he had acquired his present highly developed internal existence, or as he is now at bottom, and


would even now show himself to be, if all the results of his past life, as well as all the conditions by which lie might still be inlhiL'iuvd, were removed. We acknowledge, indeed, that this mental life could not have developed itself, had there not been previously a primitive soul as yet unexpressed for the influence of the vital conditions to act upon as they came into being ; but this, which in other cases we look on as the peculiar and fundamental essence of the thing, we here regard as an indispensable, yet in itself worthless pre- requisite, as a necessary means of that development which itself contains all value and all essential significance. It seems to us that the true essence lies in that which the subject of the development has become, and no more than we believe we possess in the unfolded and blossoming plant something inferior to the simple and shapeless germ from which it sprang, do we here feel any inclination to look with regret on the ideas in which we share, on the feelings and efforts in which, with all the ardour of our sympathy, we take part, as a poor substitute for the vision of the undeveloped, primitive TO ri of the soul.

If, however, we find it so hard utterly to relinquish the search after this object which we can never find, this arises from another demand that lurks in the inquiry concerning the essence of a thing. The essence is held to be not merely the germ out of which the being as it subsequently appears is evolved, and in which it is potentially contained ; it must likewise be that which makes the potentiality actual, which gives to it — in itself a mere object of thought — that unyielding and vigorous reality in virtue of which it takes its place in the world of things as capable of acting and being acted on. The essence is at the same time the bond which by its unchanging nature gathers into itself the several phenomena, and makes it possible for our ideas and all our internal states to be maintained, to endure, and to come together into fruitful mutual action. It thus appears that in the soul's essence we seek not only the basis of the form and content of internal evolution, but still more perhaps


the cause that makes both actual. What we desire to know is how it comes about that there can le this inner life, by what talisman the creative world-spirit succeeds in forming at the centre of these changeful phenomena some- thing firm and stable, that nurtures them, bears them up and gives them support, like the skeleton to whose rigid frame- work the outer form with its bloom and beauty is attached. This problem of course no cogitation can solve; we shall never discover how existence and its modes originate, or what it is of which things consist. But then this question could be of moment to us only if our knowledge were to be applied to the creation of the universe. Its allotted task, however, is simply to apprehend what already exists, and it is ready to acknowledge that all existence is a mystery to be recognised by it as a fact, but never to be unveiled in the manner of its coming to pass. In this sense the mode of existence of all things is for us unfathomable ; but what it is not given to us to know, forms not the core of things, but rather a husk, not the content of their being, but the nature of the ordering through which they become what they are. What things are is thus not incomprehensible to us, for that which is in them they exhibit in their outer mani- festation; how they can exist and can manifest themselves anyhow, is the universal enigma.



How Ideas persist, and how they are forgotten— Of their Reciprocal Pressure and of the Narrowness of Consciousness — Differences in the Strength of Sensations— Degrees of Clearness in Memory Images — Contrast of Ideas— The Inner Sense— Guidance of the Train of Ideas by the Laws of Association and Reproduction.

§ 1. A S in the bodily life there comes first a time of unob- -*"*- served activity filled with astonishing new forma- tions and modifications, while after birth hardly anything more remains than to carry on quietly and uniformly the growth of already fixed forms, so also in our soul we find abiding habits of working presented to us as facts, so soon as we begin with deliberate attention to make its development the subject of our reflection. "What goes on before us seems to be nothing but a continual exercise of powers long since formed, an ever enlarging accretion of knowledge cast in moulds made ready for it by previous mental labour that has remained unknown ; lastly, an expansion of our feelings and volitions over the widening sphere of points of contact offered to them by our experience as it advances day by day. In all these processes lie doubtless other very decisive reasons determining the peculiar form and the value of the higher human develop- ment; but where we are dealing, not with the origin of humanity, but with the nature and development of the general psychic capacities, from whose special application that proceeds, internal observation seems to promise us little information. Most of what we would fain know lies anterior to experience, like the first and chief great formative periods of our terrestrial globe, and only conjecturally can we infer from the comparatively uniform and limited processes still



going on within us those by which in our soul's earliest stage a solid foundation was prepared for its subsequent development.

Nay, far more than in geology are we oppressed by these difficulties ; for obscurity hangs over even the laws which regulate what still takes place within us, and by whose help alone we can attempt to divine the prior state of things. Countless impressions have already poured in upon us, and their abiding force is at every moment exciting on the course of their successors an operative influence that we can hardly discriminate from the exclusive results of the unalterable universal laws of mental life. And here it is not possible as in physical science by experiment artificially to separate the various forces, in order to determine the amount contributed by each to the compound result. For, unable as we are to do away with our past life, we can never free ourselves from the dark unanalyzable pressure by which it operates to determine the whole subsequent history of consciousness ; and no opportunity ever occurs for us to observe those simple and elementary processes from which our present infinitely complex state must have been evolved. Thus we have scarcely any choice but to keep meanwhile to those main outlines of what our inner experience presents which cannot easily be mistaken. By experimentally making more distinct the general conjectures to be gathered from such a review, and testing the greater or less agreement of their results with observed facts, we may perhaps by a circuitous route attain to a more definite insight into the laws of psychic life.

Now, endlessly varied as is the tenor of that life in different individuals, the concordant result of self-observation has long and generally been the conception of a mechanism by which the course of internal pheenomena is directed perhaps universally, certainly to a great extent, — having other forms, indeed, and governed by laws of its own differ- ing from those of external Nature, but exhibiting a like thoroughgoing dependence of each several event on its preceding conditions. Distinctly, however, as this psychic


mechanism shows itself in tin1 ].li;i'ii<>iiirn;i of memory and recollection, and in the dependence of our feelings and volitions on certain impressions by which they are regularly evoked, securely and with accurate instinct as we ourselves reckon in daily life on its unfailing efficiency, we are yet unable to state precisely — as we can laws of Nature — the rules which it obeys. For the difficulties of internal observa- tion, already alluded to, are increased by the fact that we have here the aid of no general intrinsically certain doctrine in regard to the relations of reciprocal action necessarily obtaining between the states of each individual being. Most of the principles which we observe prevailing in mental life may be regarded merely as actual arrangements, and, while we often perfectly discern their importance for higher develop- ment, we yet cannot prove that these precise forms of action are the necessary consequences of the nature of every im- material being open to an indefinite multitude of impressions from without. It is easy to see how prejudicial such a state of matters is to the interests of explanation. When we are referred to a collection of facts of experience, we must not go beyond what experience itself teaches; could we trace back the facts to their necessary origin in the nature of the soul, we might easily give them a more accurate and profound expression, that would give us access to a whole multitude of inferences from which we are now shut off. These difficulties we are very apt to underestimate ; spoiled by the successes of physical science, we too often regard maxims, unquestionably valid for the explanation of physical processes, as universal and necessary truths, and forget that the unprejudiced observation of mental life finds altogether peculiar forms of existence and action, hardly to be compared with physical phenomena. Concerning the motion of matter we possess a body of scientifically precise laws ; concerning psychic mani- festations a number of empiric observations ; but we still lack a third and higher requisite, — a universal science exhibiting the laws that govern the states of beings in general, from which the science of physical Nature and that of mental life


should flow as two different applications of a common under- lying principle.

§ 2. One of the simplest facts in which we become aware of the psychic mechanism is the familiar experience that, of the numberless ideas which we owe to impressions from without, but a few are at any moment present to us; the greater number have disappeared from consciousness, without on that account being altogether lost to the soul; for without repe- tition of the impression from without these forgotten ideas are recalled to memory. One interpretation of these facts that has been made, is that the perpetual duration of every thought once called forth is only what was naturally to be expected ; of forgetfulness alone was an explanation sought, and this it seemed easy to find in the mutual pressure of a multitude of thoughts meeting and striving to jostle one another out of consciousness. But it were vain to attempt to represent this imperishableness of thoughts as the self- evident result of a universal Law of Persistence, according to which every state of a being, if left to itself, must continue until a new action comes in to alter or annul it. The analogy with physical science, which in the theory of the motions of bodies makes use of that law as one of its most serviceable instruments, is not sufficient to guarantee its applicability to the processes of mental life, on account of a palpable dis- tinction between the two cases. For a body has no experience in connection with its motions, which are to it merely a change of place, and of which no one motion is of more con- sequence to it than another ; its own nature therefore con- tains neither ground nor capability to resist this change, Thought, on the other hand, as an internal event necessary for the being in which it takes place, is a disturbance of its original condition ; now, it would seem that, if we are entitled to expect an idea, once presented, to go on for ever, we are equally entitled to apply the same law to the nature of the soul ; we might suppose in it an effort to retain its previous condition, which would lead it to seek the abrogation of every several impression imposed on it, after the constraint


of external power had ceased. Without entering into the indecisive discussion to \vliich the  ;int;i_;<>iiism of these vi< \\ould lead, \ve will content ourselves with the more simple acknowledgment that the facts of consciousness necessit the assumption of this persistence of impressions, and defer for the present any attempt to comprehend this matter of fact as an inevitable result of the soul's nature. We need not regard it as a strange and peculiar anomaly, seeing it is on this retention of impressions that depends the fulfilment of the vocation of mental life, — to unite what in space and time falls into unconnected fragments, and to secure to the past, through its surviving image, a co-operative influence on the present, long after it has itself ceased to form part of the actual course of things.

No more than we deny the persistence of ideas can we hesitate to recognise in their mutual influence the ground of their expulsion from consciousness. But, while the evidence of experience is uniformly in favour of this influence, we can hardly give any reason for its presence. It is not sufficient to point to the soul's essential unity, as not permitting of its different states running on alongside of one another, uncon- nected and ineffective. For, in the first place, that unity would lead us to expect nothing more than an effort to fuse all the dissimilarities of the mental states into one uniform total state. But we know that such a tendency is neither present in the conscious train of ideas, — for all the variety of impressions is preserved in it, — nor can occur in those unconscious states into which vanishing thoughts are con- verted, for they come back from forgetfulness with the contrasts which distinguished them in consciousness in un- dimmed distinctness. We should thus have found ourselves wholly deceived had we attempted to base such an expecta- tion on the unity of the soul, and the perception of this calls our attention to the fact, that while the unity of a being may, as a rule, lead to reciprocal action between its various states, the particular form or sense in which such action takes place depends on the special nature of each individual. For the


fact that ideas do not blend into one modified resultant idea, but only affect each other's degree of illumination by consciousness, we must seek an explanation in what makes the soul such, or in what distinguishes consciousness from other manifestations of its energy.

In everyday life we console ourselves with such imperfect ideas in regard to the difficulties presented by the nature of consciousness, that there had been hardly any reason for recurring to these vulgar conceptions, did not the obtrusive- ness of their shortcomings tend to set distinctly before us the problems which they leave unsolved. We are wont to regard consciousness as a space of limited extent, within which the impressions struggle for their places  ; we concern ourselves little as to the reason why this space is limited, and equally little as to the cause of the impressions thronging into it ; finally, as we are swayed by the comparison with material forms from whose impenetrability it arises that each one withdraws from another the place which it fills itself, it appears to us self-evident that within the limited extent of consciousness only a finite number of thoughts can coexist. We thus smuggle in by the way, under shelter of a wholly unauthorized image, the idea of a mutual incompatibility of ideas, and of a pressure which they of necessity exert on one another. Or we speak of consciousness as a light whose brightness may indeed fluctuate, but only within finite limits, and then take it as a matter of course that its store of luminous energy is distributed over the actual number of impressions, weakened by dispersion among many, intensified by concentration upon a few. In this comparison we are in fact deserted by the image that we fain would follow. Tor every light, diffusing its radiance around, illuminates many things no less strongly than a few, and we -do not find its rays turning round in a curve from the point at which they had found nothing more to illuminate, in order to fall with greater intensity on the smaller number of actual objects. The larger number are more feebly illuminated only when, by one covering another, the light is withdrawn from some;


and here is the very point requiring explanation — how lu'Lween ideas relations can come to hold, owing to which the one makes it impossible for the other to become known. We should gain but little if, quitting these spatial com- parisons, we designated consciousness generally as an ex- haustible force, having but a limited stock of energy at its command. For we should still have no reason to give why only certain ideas are seized vividly by it, others allowed to drop out of existence  ; we would not know why, instead of a twilight diffused with constantly diminishing clearness over a constantly increasing number of impressions, there should be this alternation of full light and utter dark- ness, in which ideas emerge and again disappear.

To this query too, however, ordinary opinion has an answer, which, as it goes somewhat deeper, constrains us also to go deeper. All the stimuli reaching the soul from without are supposed to create in it first of all impressions, which as such are not yet either sensations or ideas, but as an accumu- lated store of internal states await a consciousness that will apprehend them, and by its apprehension first raise them to the rank of sensations. Of the special nature of these impressions we can of course form no conception, because by their nature they remain permanently out of consciousness, and cease to be themselves as soon as they are apprehended by it ; but in their infinite multitude they appear to us as a diminished and approximate repetition of the outer world, transported indeed into the interior of the soul, yet to con- sciousness no less foreign than distant external objects with which we are connected by no bond of reciprocal action. Of these impressions the Law of Persistence, it is supposed, holds good ; when they have once come into being, they do not again pass away  ; but they stand in no constant relation to the mind's cognitive energy, which, like an unsteady light shining now on one, now on another, at one moment takes them up, at another lets them relapse into the unconscious existence of latent impressions.

There is a certain interest in tracking out the tacit assump-


tions on which this conception rests. Where we find some element, under the influence of an external stimulus, undergo a change, the particular form of which is derived solely from its own nature, not from that of the stimulus, we can in thought regard the whole process in the element as a sequence of two events, — an impression and a vital reaction to it. Now in ordinary life the objects of our observation are usually composite forms of being, and here some time must elapse before the disturbance of the part first affected by the impression is propagated over the whole, and, by stimulating the other parts, calls forth a reaction to the original dis- turbance. We thus become accustomed to the idea of a chasm between a passive state and the activity corresponding to it. Now, when we turn to consider the simple nature of the soul, this conception no longer appears equally imperative. No doubt, any external stimulus will determine action in it only by first making it feel, for otherwise — were it not thus affected — the stimulus would not exist for it ; no doubt also its internal changes, its passivity as well as its reaction, will be developed only after an interval of time ; but it is at least not necessary that these two parts of the whole process, which to our intelligence are quite distinguishable, should succeed one another in different sections of time, or that in addition to the impression of the external stimulus another complementary condition should come into play in order to direct the attention of consciousness to it, while it is itself unconscious. On the contrary, we may regard both as at every indivisible moment simultaneous, as so blended together that the different names which we give them denote no longer two processes, but different phases of one process, in itself indi- visible. For even what we call a passive state is no ready- made change wrought in its subject, by which the subject is merely affected, without feeling affected in definite form and manner. The same impression produces different states in different subjects ; thus, then, suffering in some one particular way is itself a reaction in which the essential nature of each subject vitally manifests itself.


If we now consider Liu: sensation directly produced in us by an external stimulus, we must acknowledge that the whole aspect of this simple process is far more in favour of the con- ception of union than of that of division. We do not know why the wave of light that strikes our eye had first by its action on the soul to produce an indescribable unconscious impression, which was succeeded as a reaction by the sensation to which it appeared as blue or red. The sight of a particular colour, the hearing of a particular tone, may unquestionably be conceived as the single, undivided state into which the soul passes, and we call it impression when we think of its being caused by an external stimulus, but vital reaction when we call to mind that the same stimulus would have excited other states in other natures — that consequently the form of the state here present depends on the nature of the soul. We have, apparently, to conceive these processes in the same manner in which we calculate the distribution of motion among inelastic material points. We do not suppose that a body when struck, at first merely receives the velocity and direction which the impact strives to impart to it, and that only afterwards reacting on that impression by means of the motion which it has acquired, does it strike the middle resultant line which is to be that of its actual course. On the contrary, from the first moment of impact we find nothing exhibited but the single and undivided motion in which are indistinguishably blended together the imparted impression and the efficacy of the original condition. Guided by such considerations, we might decline to suppose conscious sensa- tion preceded by unconscious psychic stimulations  ; it might seem not merely idle but even preposterous to seek in th3 mind, the seat of consciousness and of light, for a dark back- ground of night, out of which the lucidity of thought is developed as a subsequent phcenomenon. And in fact a psychological theory has been formed, on which con- scious sensations are viewed as primitive processes of psychic life, all other phenomena being derived from their reciprocal action.


This position of matters is in some measure altered by the regard necessarily had to forgotten ideas. We certainly cannot find fault if in everyday speech that which was once an idea still continues to be so called long after it has lost the essential attribute on account of which it received that name. At the same time, the philosophical inquirer must bear in mind the inaccuracy of such a mode of statement ; he must recognise that the names of forgotten or unconscious ideas denote something that is no longer in any sense an idea, and that these self-contradictory appellations are merely to be tolerated as reminders of the origin of the states to which they refer, not to be accepted as affirmations in regard to their present nature. However much it may remain customary to trace all unconscious processes within us exclusively to the mutual interference of ideas, that con- ception must imply the acknowledgment that besides con- sciousness there are other mental states into which conscious- ness can be converted. But if we once have to allow this, it will be hard to fix the limits of the conclusions to be drawn from it. We shall have recognised once for all a constant reciprocal action between the clear life of consciousness and the dark background of the unconscious, and thereby given an advantage to the already-mentioned theory according to which thought in general is a fluctuating activity, now operating upon and now turning away from the accumulated wealth of unconscious impressions.

§ 3. The antagonism of these two doctrines is undeniably one of the chief reasons why the psychological theories even of the present day diverge so widely. The fundamental problem for both must be to account for the fixed sequence and order exhibited in the train of ideas. This problem will so pre- sent itself to them respectively that the one will seek for the laws of the mechanism that makes one conscious state expel another ; while the other will have to inquire into the reasons why certain unconscious impressions draw the attention of presentative activity to themselves and divert it from others. The two will often coincide in their results, both being perforce


guiik'd by the consideration of one and the same body of facts; nevertheless the discrepancy in their mode of procedure remains sufficiently distinct to make it worth our while to dwell on it for a little.

The first theory of course finds in the greater or less strength of ideas the standard of the amount of expul- sive influence exerted by them on one another. Yet ideas are not originally endowed with repellent force ; their action and reaction on one another become necessary only when the soul's unity operates to combine them, but their own mutual antagonism resists combination. Hence in general the amount of contrast between two ideas will determine the force of their action on one another, — their strength, on the other hand, will determine the amount of the influence from one another which they will severally undergo. Now that this conflict, though occasioned by the contrasts between ideas, does not end with their adjustment, and that only the force of the contending ideas is diminished, while their opposite characters remain unaltered — this is a fact which the theory in question will do best to treat as equally unexpected and inexplicable, which we are compelled by observation to recognise. Only after this point has been con- ceded does it become possible to trace back to it the more complex phenomena ; we are wholly unable to discern any inherent necessity in the relation itself, and gain nothing by the attempt to bridge over the chasm with delusive words.

Nay, even those notions of force and of resistance to which we are accustomed in the calculation of physical events, offer manifold difficulties when we seek to apply them to the explanation of the train of ideas. The sensations, i.e. those ideas awakened within us by the present action of an external stimulus, are doubtless distinguished by various gradations of intensity, for none of them is a pure and in- different representation of its content ; on the contrary, each is felt by us as a greater or less disturbance, a more or less keen affection of our own being. Not only in itself is dazzling light stronger than soft radiance, but, moreover, our


sight encounters more in the one than in the other ; not only in itself is the louder sound something greater for our appre- hension, but also the apprehension of it is in us a stronger impression than that of the softer tone. Nor is it only the sensations of the same sense that may be thus compared ; the excitations of one may also be set alongside those of another as disturbances which are greater or less for our souls. If, therefore, we conceive a soul, whose consciousness is not yet controlled by any remembrance of previous experiences, exposed for the first time to a variety of external stimulations, we shall find it probable that the sensation of stronger character will overpower that of weaker. In the matured soul that has been trained by experience the forms of phsenomena are no longer so simple ; we know that a faint noise can distract our attention from loud din, and that in general the power exerted by presentations over the direction of our course of thought is no longer in proportion to the intensity of their sensible content. During the advance of life, on the contrary, the impressions have acquired a preponderant interest according to their value as premonitory, attendant, or following signs of other events. Thus experience — in each individual case different — determines differently also, for the future, the values of the several presentations, and does not always decide them in the same way even for the same individual. The constant nature of the mind and the no less constant principles of the bodily organization alone provide against this variability extending beyond certain bounds, while the preponderant force with which certain impressions of sense and intelligence lay hold of all men alike, is certain in the end to reduce the value of what is presented to some common measure of comparison and measurement.

It thus appears as if we must make a threefold distinction, first of the greater or less amount of the presented content, then of the intensity of the stimulation which it produces in us, lastly, of the influence which its impression exerts on our train of ideas ; nowhere but in the sensation of a soul still destitute of experience would these various


characteristics quite coincide. But in memory the second disappears. AVliilc. it faithfully repeats the content of previous sensations as regards their character and intensity, it does not repeat the disturbance which we underwent from them, — or, where it seems to do this, it really adds to the repro- duced perception of the previous content a mere image of the former disturbance as a second presentation. The rolling of thunder, in our remembrance, however distinctly its peculiar character and its intensity may be recalled, is yet accom- panied by no more powerful excitement than the equally distinct idea of the softest tone ; we may indeed at the same time remember the stronger disturbance occasioned in us by the louder sound, but even this idea of the more lively excitement is now no stronger agitation within us than that — equally distinct — of a feebler disturbance. We distinguish in memory the diverse weights of two objects, but the accurate representation of the greater exertion caused us by the one now no more sensibly affects us than the not less accurate remembrance of the lighter burden. The idea of pain is not pain, of pleasure not pleasure ; without pain and without pleasure consciousness, as from a secure elevation, reproduces the content of past impressions with all the variety of its internal relations, even with images of the feelings that attached themselves to it, but it never confuses the fulfilment of its task by bringing back the impression itself instead of the images. That which it presents, it presents expressly as absent, and, without being affected by the greater more than by the less, repeats both with like ease, like two shadows of which neither is heavier than the other, however diverse be the weight of the bodies to which they correspond.

In reminiscence, accordingly, the train of thought recalls to consciousness its former contents alike great and small, strong and feeble, but the presentative activity thus employed remains unvaryingly the same. And yet, as their respective contents do not blend together, the reciprocal action of presentations would be dependent solely on distinctions in the presentative activity, for only in the immediate direct sensation will the


magnitude of the object presented, coinciding with the intensity of the excitement, decide the victory in favour of the one or the other. If, then, we speak of strength of presentations, on the supposition that the fate of presentations is thereby decided in their conflict with one another, this can be only in the third sense — that of the influence exerted by each presenta- tion on the direction of the train of thought. This influence, however, is not a property already clear, by which we may explain what further happens, but is itself the capacity of whose grounds we are in search. To account for the opera- tions of ideas by strength in this sense, would have no more meaning than to say that in a contest he usually wins who for unknown reasons gets the upper hand. But, before seeking these unknown reasons elsewhere, we must refer to certain other relationships that apparently give some support to the notion of a variable or various strength in ideas.

We are quite familiar with the opinion, that the content of every perception, without itself undergoing any alteration, can be conceived in numberless degrees of clearness or strength, and that, as ideas run down the scale of these degrees, they become gradually and steadily more obscure, till they finally disappear from consciousness. But this is the description of an event that no one can have observed, seeing that observation of the process would make its occur- rence impossible. Only afterwards, when we notice that an idea has been for a time absent from our consciousness, do we answer our own question as to the mode of its disappear- ance by this conjecture of a gradual extinction, of whose reality actual observation, so far as it can reach the matter, affords no evidence whatever. If we recall our mental state when a strongly aroused idea was for a considerable time vividly present and seemed gradually to disappear, we always find that it did not steadily become obscure, but with many and abrupt pauses was sometimes in conscious- ness, sometimes not. Any new impression whose content was somehow connected with the idea in question, re-


called it for a iimim-nt to memory, any one which was alien and made conspicuous by its novelty, overpowered it momentarily ; it thus resembled a floating body, that, as shilling waves now suddenly engulf it, now as suddenly cast it up, is at one moment quite visible, at another wholly invisible. What has to us the semblance of gradual obscura- tion is partly the lengthening pauses between the reappear- ances of the idea, partly another characteristic of which we shall speak later.

Now, were we to divide the motley multitude of ideas into the simple impressions of sensation and the compound images formed from these by manifold combinations, we could not say in what the difference of strength in the former must consist, did we not unwittingly alter the content presented. We cannot have a more or less distinct idea of the same tone, with the same pitch and loudness, and the same harmonic character ; we either have an idea of it or we have none, or else we violate our own hypothesis, and put the idea of a stronger or feebler, i.e. of another tone, in the place of a stronger or feebler idea of the same tone. In like manner we cannot have a more or less distinct idea of the same shade of the same colour in the same degree of light, but, when it is indicated by a name or description, we may very well, in trying to recall it, hesitate uncertain between several allied images of colour that present themselves, not knowing which .of them is the one we seek. Then we falsely interpret oar mental state and think that we really have the idea, only not very clearly, whereas in fact we have it not, and are only seeking it among a crowd, with whose number our uncertainty, and so the apparent indistinctness of the idea, increases.

Still less do our compound perceptions perish by a gradual obscuration that makes their whole image grow dim under a gradually failing light ; but they become indistinct by a dissolution as if of decay. Of an object once seen certain less noticed parts fall away in our remembrance, and the parti- cular mode in which they were combined with others is wholly


forgotten  ; in the effort to paint the object in memory \ve stray helplessly among the possible ways of filling up gaps or connecting the details still clearly present to us. Thus here too arises an apparent indistinctness in the idea, which increases in direct proportion to the extent of the space within which our imagination is left free to make its additions. On the other hand, every idea is perfectly distinct whose parts are conceived completely and at the same time with unhesitating precision as to their mutual rela- tions, and this distinctness is in itself capable neither of increase nor of diminution. Nevertheless it often seems to us as if even a presented content that has been long complete could still increase in its strength of presentation ; but in such cases it is increased by a fresh element. As it becomes indistinct through hiatuses that diminish its amount, so it seems to gain in distinctness when over and above its own sum the manifold links by which on all sides it is bound to other ideas enter into consciousness. It is impossible for a circle or a triangle to be more or less presented ; one either has or has not a correct image of them ; nevertheless the conception of both seems to become more distinct when our geometrical training enables us to recall simultaneously the many important relations belonging to the two figures. This is clearness such as admits of gradations of difference, i.e. a power in the idea, springing not from its own strength, but from its connections. Hence a previously vivid idea seems to us to become more indistinct in consciousness when from any cause it gradually ceases to bring to remembrance with itself all the others which were associated with it at the first moment, when it was most vivid, or whose pre- sence it was that caused it to be vivid. Thus, as we said above, an idea awakened within us dies away, as, sometimes arising, sometimes disappearing, it brings back on each resuscitation a smaller fragment of the thoughts by which it was previously accompanied. And hence it appears to us, when we afterwards look back on a past train of ideas, that a single impression has passed through our


consciousness, with less distinctness or elevation, when in I'M. -i it entered with tho unvarying distinctness common to all alike, but called up too few accessory ideas to be able to maintain itself for any length of time and exert any influence on the direction of our thoughts.

Thus we, after all, return to the affirmation that the power with which the various ideas contend against one another, does not depend on a particular degree of strength, at which each originally stood, or which, as it now increases, now diminishes, it reaches at any moment for any reason. What we have been accustomed to think of as the strength of ideas consists not in a gradationally determinable intensity of knowledge about them, but in an extensively measurable completeness of their necessary content, and in the fluctuating store of countless elements that associate themselves with the essential content of each one. Perhaps, however, more accurate investigation may still discover some fact that we have hitherto overlooked; but before setting about such a search, we must briefly notice the other element usually referred to in discussions on the course of ideas — the mutual contrast of the several impressions.

So long as we thus take note of present external impres- sions, we see our consciousness open to the greatest possible variety of sensations. Our eye distinguishes at a glance numberless points of colour, and when these different impressions seem to disturb one another, we have reason to account for this result, not by a reciprocal action of the already formed ideas of colour, but by disturbances caused to one another by the bodily stimulations in the elements of the sense-organ, before their final action gives rise to sensation in the soul. Least of all may we suppose that at some earlier stage of life points of colours yielded to the eye and tones to the ear only an undiscriminated mixture, from which growing attention selected the several elements. For attention would have neither a motive nor a rule for its selection, did not the impression, with some distinctness, pre- sent different constituents, between which it can deepen and

VOL. i. o


sharpen the boundary lines, though it cannot draw them where they are not first indicated. Unquestionably, therefore, con- sciousness neither is too limited for a multitude of sensa- tions, nor has it any tendency to blend heterogeneous ideas that have once been formed into anything intermediate. Now this repeatedly-mentioned characteristic does indeed make us distrustful of the conjecture that the contrast in content of ideas determines the force with which they seek to expel one another from consciousness ; but yet it does not make this influence so impossible as to free us from the necessity of consulting experience. Now our self- observation is not in this point very distinct ; nevertheless, it seems by no means to favour the above conjecture. It is always very difficult to grasp together two unconnected ideas ; so far, however, as it can be done, we do not find it more difficult to have simultaneous ideas of white and black than of red and orange, or that the effort to think sweet and sour at once is greater than the effort to com- bine two similar sweet tastes. On the contrary, it appears to us as if the extremest contrasts possible for the con- tent of presentations were thought together with greater ease than differences separated from each other by a de- finitely measurable interval. The ideas of light and darkness, of great and small, of positive and negative, and numberless others we find so connected in consciousness that the one is not thought without the ether, and if it is impossible for us to apprehend these opposites simul- taneously as marks of one and the same, there is, on the other hand, no difficulty in distributing them among dif- ferent objects, and this is quite sufficient here, where the question concerns not the compatibility of properties in things, but the possibility of combining the ideas of them in our consciousness. If ideas actually displaced one another in proportion to the contrasts in their content, so that the dissimilar deprived each other of distinctness more than the similar, the strange result would follow, that our dis- criminative observation must apprehend small differences


more distinctly than ^rcat ones. But, on the contrary, all perfecting of our thoughts depends entirely on consciousness remaining quite unaffected by the content of ideas, and on its being neither resisted nor helped in its operations by the rela- tions between the given manifold, so that it may impartially take in these relations. "We may indeed allow that by the various connections between the content of ideas, feelings are awakened within us which determine the measure of the attention that we bestow on one of them rather than on another; but apart from these effects, which serve another purpose of mental life, we think we may hazard the asser- tion that the mutual obscuration or displacement of ideas is wholly unaffected by the degree of contrast between them in content. This conclusion may be questioned as being con- trary to the universally necessary proposition, that contra- dictory states in one and the same being must annihilate one another. But, however it may stand with the validity of this proposition, the experiences already referred to teach that the energies by which we conceive opposite contents, are either not contradictory opposites, or at least are not so in such a sense as to make their contrast, though perhaps actual, the ground of a counter-action. Here, too, we learn how absolutely different are mental processes and physical events, and how misleading is the precipitate application of principles that in physical science are indisputably valid, because there the points of their application are exactly known, whereas their validity in the sphere of mental life — while perhaps here too universal — is in the meantime useless to us, seeing that we have before us not the original processes to which alone they can refer, but results removed from these by many intermediate links.

§ 4. Not one of our questions is yet answered. We have found no cogent reason for accepting it as demonstrated, that consciousness cannot apprehend more than a limited number of ideas. And, when we assumed this as a fact, we saw neither in the notion of a difference of strength in. ideas nor in that of opposition between them as to con-


tent a means of accounting for the degree of power which they severally display, and with which they contribute to determine the course of the train of thought. Once more we must try, in the now diminished list of possible conjec- tures, to find one more adequate.

Now, that narrowness of consciousness which formed our first subject of inquiry, is not really a fact as regards the sensations produced by impressions from without. All our senses can be simultaneously in action, and receive a bound- less variety of single stimulations, each of which, so long as intermediate bodily effects do not hinder its transmission to the soul, is apprehended by an act of consciousness. It may indeed be maintained that of so many impressions the greater number are taken up but obscurely and indistinctly ; yet the possibility of subsequently recalling their content, or even their indistinctness, proves that they really have been in consciousness, though from lack either of a preponderant sense- impression or of a specially significant character, they could not expel the others and assert themselves in the train of thought with determinative power. It seems quite different when, without being under the constraint of present sense- stimulations, we seek to repeat in memory an absent or past manifold. Here the parts of what was seen and heard simul- taneously, in the actual sensation, reappear almost entirely in succession ; and the thoughts which less immediately repro- duce sense-impressions, form within us a perpetually flowing narrow and shallow current, that, while it turns abruptly from one idea to another, and with rapid changes runs over many things, yet seems almost wholly to have lost the power of embracing at once a countless plurality, like the glance of the eye. It would thus appear that the constraint laid upon us by the stimuli pressing in from the outer world only enlarged consciousness, while, left to itself in remem- brance, it can hardly grasp several ideas together, but only various ideas successively. Nevertheless, to maintain the latter in thoroughgoing strictness would be to go too far. For although it would be very difficult to decide by direct


observation whether several idms can be at once present in consciousness, and whether we are not rather deceived by the rapidity of their succession, we are yet forced by tin; fact that we can make comparisons, to suppose simultaneity possible. For in comparing we not only pass from the idea of one of the things compared to that of the other, but, to make the comparison complete, we must further apprehend both, and the mode of the transition between them, in one indivisible act of consciousness. In seeking to convey a comparison, we are compelled by the nature of language to make the names of its two terms, and the indication of their mutual relation, follow each other in time, and this almost cheats us into the belief that there is the same sequence in the thought which we wish to express; but, at the same time, we reckon upon our words causing in the consciousness of the person whom we address not three separate ideas, but the one idea of a relation between two others. Although, lastly, in our familiarity with the use of speech, we put even our silent train of thought into the form of a mental colloquy, yet evidently, even here, the sequence in time of the words that express our ideas, is but a rendering of the relations of their content that we previously apprehended as obtaining between them, and this habit of mental speech really retards the passage of thought, by breaking up into a sequence what was originally simultaneous.

Now if these acts of Relating Knowledge guarantee the simultaneity of a plurality of ideas, they seem at the same time to inform us of the conditions under which it takes place. Only for an unconnected throng has consciousness no room  ; it is not too narrow for a complex total, whose parts we think as divided, arranged, and connected by relations. We fail to apprehend at once two impressions with no bond of mutual relationship; consciousness needs to discern the path by which it has to travel from the one to the other  ; it com- passes the greater number more easily with this discernment than the smaller without it. Its power of apprehension is


therefore capable of progressive improvement. Memory the more easily repeats compound images of sense the more we have already exercised ourselves in perception, not merely in passively giving ourselves up^to the impression of them, but in making ourselves familiar with the relations of their parts. The simultaneous notes of a piece of music are as such heard by every one, but they will scarcely be remembered by him to whom they are but an unconnected multitude ; the musically trained ear takes them in from the first as a complex whole, to whose internal structure the preceding course of the melody led up. Every image in space impresses itself more firmly on our memory, when we are able to analyze its impression on our senses by means of a descrip- tion. If we say of one part of a building that it rests upon another, supports a third, is inclined to a fourth at a definite angle, we meanwhile increase the number of ideas to be kept in mind ; but in this verbal expression by proposi- tions the motionless co-existence of the parts is transformed into a series of reciprocal actions, apparently taking place between them, and binding them together more distinctly than our unanalyzed perception. The more highly the mind becomes cultivated, the more skilful it becomes in detecting connecting links between remote thoughts, the more capacious does consciousness become even for ideas bound to one another, not by forms of space and time, but by ties of inherent relationship.

§ 5. While in sensation consciousness appeared to us accessible to an indefinite multitude of passive states through the power of the external stimuli that imperiously demand its attention, this memory-knowledge exhibits itself rather as a relating energy exerted by the mind. So long as we dealt with consciousness as a space within which ideas rise and fall by their own force, we were unable to account for its circumscribed extent, and the multitude of simultaneous states could not seem to us impossible ; we naturally feel bound to assume, on the other hand, that the soul's unity excludes a simultaneous throng of unconnected acts, and that it includes


only what it can grasp in the unity of a single act. Thus tin- view, according to which pivsunlalion brings the impres- sions into prominence as a moving Inner Sense, would seem more consonant with the limitation of consciousness, for which we are seeking to account. As yet, however, it offers no demonstration of the laws according to which this fluctuating light of combining attention chooses its course. It cannot go groping its way indefinitely out into the void, but, when it seems actively to grasp its objects, its activity consists only in the selection displayed in taking some and leaving others of the many impressions that throng in upon it.

We here allude to familiar facts. That a newly-produced impression revives the forgotten idea of a previous and similar one, or recalls it to consciousness, is the simplest of the universal laws that regulate the course of memory. But yet this resuscitation is of importance to our inner life only in so far as it not only recalls what had been forgotten, but at the same time brings about a consciousness of its identity with the new impression. Hence new and old must not wholly coincide, but must be recognised as two different recurrences of the same idea, and this is possible only if the two are dis- tinguishable by accessory characteristics attached to them. The advantage of the immediate reproduction depends, there- fore, on the possibility that the resuscitated idea will also bring back into consciousness the others with which it was previously associated, even should these consist in nothing more than the obscure feeling of the general state of mind in which it was previously apprehended, and which differed from the mood accompanying the new impression. We usually denote by the name of Association that cohesion of ideas which we must regard as continued during their unconscious condition, in order to understand their reappearing together at the moment of resuscitation. Any attempt would be fruitless to gain by intuition an idea of the character and fashion of this cohesion ; observable only in its results, it is itself beyond the range of observation, and there is nothing analogous to it in the sphere of physical phcenomena. Re-


framing, therefore, from inquiring what are the ties by which these associations of ideas are made lasting, we must confine our aim to that of laying down the conditions under which they occur in a manner otherwise incomprehensible.

Now, to all associations of ideas may be applied the general statement, that the soul does not chemically transform the sum of its contemporaneous states into a uniform compound state, but mechanically combines them as parts into a coherent whole, and that in like manner it forms the series of its changes, evolving in time into a melody in which those phrases cohere together most firmly which are in immediate juxtaposition. Accordingly all Reproduction rests on the impossibility of the resuscitated impression reappearing alone, without trying to bring with it the whole of which it previously formed a part, and of that whole specially the other single part to which it was most closely attached. Under this common formula may be placed the various cases usually treated as distinct. It comprehends not only as primary the associa- tions of ideas which the order of our inquiries has first set before us, but also the numerous similar combinations of feelings, of volitions, of ideas and feelings, or feelings and volitions, whose co-determining influence must not be over- looked in a complete representation even of the train of ideas taken by itself. We find further embraced by it the associa- tion by which the images of particular parts of extended forms recall one another and the whole. For the parts of any form in space may be surveyed simultaneously, or may be taken in in a series of ocular movements by which the eye runs over them. Further, any other more internal connection by which we had on any previous occasion bound up some manifold into the whole of a thought, is in like manner intel- ligible to us only in a momentary act of ideation, or in an unbroken series of such acts following one another in time. Lastly, one impression often recalls to us another which is similar, but with which it was never previously presented simultaneously in perception ; but this very frequent process requires no special explanation. It rests partly on the


immediate resuscitation of like by like; the prior idea of what is common to the two impressions seeks to return, and by indirect reproduction brings with itself the particular traits in virtue of which the old only resembles the new, is not identical with it. Simple ideas whose similarity consists in an equally simple indefinable affinity of content, call forth one another with little force; a colour reminds us but little of other colours; a note hardly of the variety of the scale ; each reproduces much more vividly the whole as a part of which it before appeared — the colour, the shape of the flower that showed it — the notes, the air that began with them. A word, as a series of tones, does indeed remind us of another like it in struc- ture, so that we confuse the two ; but it reminds us still more forcibly of the image of the thing along with which it formed a compound whole. In complex ideas, the mode in which the manifold content is held together almost always preponderates in our remembrance over the impression directly produced by the peculiar character of the parts ; the child's eye recognises the same shape of letter, without hesitating at the difference of colouring. Those images, therefore, recall each other most vividly whose constituent parts — perhaps exceedingly diverse — are grouped in the same order or arranged according to the same plan. The direction taken by the advancing mental growth by degrees gives one of these modes of reproduction an advantage over the others ; the more frequently our atten- tion has been directed to identical and similar forms of con- nection of the manifold, the more readily does it overlook the differences appearing even in these, and seize the more general resemblances. The attention becomes accustomed to appre- hend even internal and imperceptible connections, and to it in memory things related logically and by general principles have a stronger mutual affinity than things naturally strange to one another, which only the accident of their being simultaneously perceived brought together in consciousness. Thus the strength of memory for the order in which the incidents of life follow one another not unfrequently declines, while its fidelity for the general relations founded in the nature of


things increases. But it must suffice to have touched on these relations, whose abundant variety it would be impossible here to exhaust.

Thus through the mechanism of association a number of possible paths are opened to the train of thought into which it can strike, and between which it must choose. Now, as each of the ideas present is trying to bring back all the others with which throughout life it has successively been bound up, the decision as to what, out of all this abund- ance, is at any moment first to return to consciousness, will depend on a convergence of different conditions. The greater the number of resembling points common to a forgotten idea with the one now in the ascendant, the more easily will it be revived by the latter, for the more numerous are the single threads forming the bond that unites them. At the same time, however, their efficacious affinity will not consist solely in their resemblance as to content ; even without such agree- ment, an idea may, in many indirect ways, be more or less closely connected with the purport of a train of thought now going on, with which previous reflection has associated it as an essential related point, as a constituent, as an example, or as a concomitant. Nay, an indefinite mood of feeling will make two groups of ideas to which its presence lent a common colouring, appear, in spite of difference of content, more akin to each other than to others more of the same stamp. In the place of an abiding contrast between ideas, decisive of the force with which they repel or revive one another, we have therefore to put a degree of affinity determined anew each moment, and altering, as does the contrast of two colours with a change in their background. No less fluctuating is the other condition determining the direction of the train of thought, the degree of interest pertaining to each idea, which constitutes the strength with which it seeks to make itself pro- minent in consciousness. No subsequent moment brings back the same total sum of ideas, feelings, and efforts, and the same state of body, in connection with which the impres- sion formerly reached its maximum of interest. It accordingly


contributes to determine tin- further course of thought, not at its old rate, but at the ncwly-iixnl value to which it was able to rise, after it had entered, with that which it had before, into this new conflict with new relations.

Under these conditions a train of ideas developes into tin* fluctuating and changeful scene with which we are all familiar, and whose apparently wanton play often fills us with amazement, because we never can catch sight of its moving springs. For the complete reason for the character of each future moment lies exclusively in the total condition of our soul during the present one, but of this state sell-scrutiny never shows us more than a few fragments ; we do indeed become aware of the order of sequence of our past ideas, but we are never in a position to analyze at once the peculiarities of our bodily state, of our frame of mind, of our volitions, and lastly, of the special mutual relations into which all these elements are woven together. And yet even the least and most trivial item of our train of ideas depends on nothing else than the sum of all these conditions taken together ; for it does not take place in an otherwise empty consciousness, but in the whole full living soul, that is always active at the same time in those different directions, and cannot be active again in this special way without — thanks to the unity of its being — having those also recalled in its process of thought.



Relations between Individual Ideas as Objects of New Ideas — Change of Knowledge and Knowledge of Change — Innate Ideas — Apprehension of the "World in Space and Time by Means of Sense — Apprehension of the World in Thought by the Understanding — Concept, Judgment, and Syllogism — The Effort of Reason after Unifying Comprehension.

§ 1- "\\7~E onty take in any discourse if our memory retains the earlier words while we are hearing those which follow. And not only this  ; the order of the succession in which the several words are uttered must somehow be efficiently retained in our consciousness till the close of the discourse  ; for without this order in time the speaker could not fully indicate the internal connection of the conceived whole which he desires to communicate to us, and the listener must not forget the order in time till he has taken in the meaning of that whole.

Here we find two different operations. I shall speak first of that one which in somewhat fuller detail is one of the most familiar of phenomena : the capacity of recalling, even after a considerable interval, a series of impressions, a story, an air, or a speech, with its constituent parts in the same order of succession in which they were previously apprehended by us. Evidently this methodical repetition would be impossible, equally impossible also the original intelligent apprehension of the whole, did the images of earlier impressions surviving in memory blend with those of subsequent ones into one mass ; some systematic arrangement must from the first have been established among them, must have sorted and combined them on a definite plan. Only on this condition is it possible for the listener to connect a meaning with the plurality of



successively heard words, and for this plurality not to return in nu'iiiory in a formless rush, hut to unfold itself before con- sciousness in successive moments in the- order of its original apprehension.

Psychologists have attempted to explain more fully the nature of this arrangement, and have taught that, when a series of sense-stimuli act on us in successive moments, the first meets with an opposing reaction on the part of the ideas which it is sure to find already in consciousness ; thus the intensity of the impression created by it must inevitably have undergone diminution by the time when the second stimulus comes to be apprehended. The impression of this second now combines not with the original impression of the first in the series, but only with its faint residuum, for that residuum alone it finds still existing in consciousness. But this combination is subject to the same opposing influence, and both units will have undergone a fresh diminution by the time the third stimulus presents itself for apprehension. This third, there- fore, unites neither with the first nor with the second singly, least of all with both equally closely ; it can attach itself only to what it finds still in consciousness, namely, to the combination of a second residuum of the first with a first re- siduum of the second impression. Continuing this speculation, we should therefore find that each later impression associates itself with a group which is the same to no other, and in which each preceding member of the series is represented by a residuum so much the fainter as the series is longer, and it lies nearer the commencement. The same gradations reappear in the recollected series. The initial member, when the idea has by some means been renewed in consciousness, does not at once and with equal force call up all the other members  ; only when it has itself been reduced to that first residuum with which, in the original apprehension, the second member combined, does it recall the second to consciousness; the third member emerges only when, in spite of the resistance made to this process by the other contents of consciousness, the resus- citation of the second has been effected, and the combination


of the first two has been reduced to the residuum to which alone the third member could attach itself.

Were the object in view merely to account for the order in which memory repeats the links of the apprehended series, simpler considerations would suffice. If once a number of impressions reach the soul in successive moments of time, those will most closely or exclusively cohere together which follow one another immediately, without any intervening link. For in whatever may consist the rationale and nature of the connection of ideas to which we apply the name Association, and whatever may further constitute the gradations in the closeness of that connection  : at all events an intermediate link has the best right to union with each of the two links between which it stands, by its position dividing them from each other. If, therefore, the soul repeats in order of time the perceptions that formerly reached it in the same, the course of recollection from the first to the third link can only lead through the second, and it is not the following of this course but any deviation from it that would require special explanation. But that memory does repeat in temporal succession impres- sions first perceived as a series in time is not equally clear. The successiveness of perception was the means and the ground of binding together the several impressions in relationships of graduated closeness  ; but, if between the moment of completed perception and that of remembrance the whole series remains forgotten, it retains in simultaneous co-existence the arrange- ment of all its constituent parts which it thus acquired. Why does not memory new at once recall the whole, as a co-existent complexus, whose parts are connected together only with gradations of closeness  ? To this inquiry the advocates of the theory to which we have referred sought to give an answer. In the mutual resistance of ideas and in the effort by which, in face of such resistance, a forgotten idea is recalled to consciousness, they beheld processes that in them- selves require time in order to attain their end  ; only succes- sively, when at particular points of time particular degrees of clearness have been won back for the ideas, do the efficient


causes begin to act that successively bring l»;u;k tlio links of the original chain of perception united with the residual clearness pertaining to them.

But of more importance for us is the second operation, which we undertook ahove to show present both in the original intelligent apprehension of a spoken discourse and in the recollection of its tenor. It was not enough for under- standing that the words were heard one after another  ; the earlier ones had to be retained along with those subsequent ; neither does the remembrance of a series mean the recalling of one link at each moment, so that before and after it there is nothing in consciousness ; before this link are sinking the vanishing images of the earlier, after it are already rising the advancing images of the later impressions. But understanding involves more ; it is not enough that these systematic and graduated relations exist between the several ideas, or that their images in memory pass in consciousness in regular succession. Were there nothing else, the soul would be but a stage, on which a connection of ideas or a change of knowledge presented itself; but an idea of this connec- tion or a knowledge of this change could arise only in an observer capable of more than merely having one state follow another within him, capable, in a second and higher con- sciousness, of comprehending and judging of the facts presented, and of the relations obtaining between the simul- taneous or successive ideas.

Not that we really need this other spectator ; for the essence of soul is to be able to observe both other and self. But we think we have reason to dwell on this its peculiar faculty, in express contrast to the mechanism of the reciprocal actions between its immediate presentations. We certainly deceive ourselves, and the error is not with- out mischievous consequences, when we think we can understand this knowledge of change as a self-evident corollary hardly requiring mention, from the notion of the soul as a thinking being and from the unity of its sub- stance. For, in the first place, the empty notion of that


unity may indeed suggest to us the indefinite requirement of some pervading connection between all the states into which this single being could pass ; but what form this connection must have we could not guess; the soul would seem already to respond to so vague an obligation by those chains of association and reproduction that actually bring its ideas into mutual relation. It would not, however, be sufficient to attempt to rest the necessity of the comprehensive know- ledge of change of knowledge on the assertion that the soul's singular being is at the same time a thinking being. There is certainly probability, though not certainty in the thought, that the soul actually exerts the faculty of ideation, wherein its distinctive character consists, on every occasion fitted to call forth its exercise ; thus it is in itself probable that even the relationships into which its several ideas have entered, become to it new stimuli to which it responds by an act of ideation. And as experience teaches us that what we have found reason to expect does actually happen, it becomes of course a plausible conjecture, that all knowledge of the connections of ideas and their successive changes proceeds, as a self-evident consequence, from the fact itself of those connections and that change.

If, in opposition to this plausible conjecture, we deem it necessary to separate and distinguish comprehensive and com- parative consciousness as a new manifestation of psychic energy, we desire by this separation to avoid an inference that appears to us erroneous. From analyzing an external sense- stimulus, and without questioning experience, we cannot & priori decide whether the sensation will be one of tone or of colour. But, if we compare two similar stimuli, of which we know from experience that, on account of their form, both are heard as tones, and if we may assume that the process involved in hearing is identical whether there be one stimulus or two stimuli producing simultaneously an impression, we may suppose it possible to calculate the result of the co-operation of both tones as an effect of their reciprocal action. This attempt would, on the other hand, be in vain,


if every variation in the number and proportion of tones that simultaneously besiege the activity of hearing determined it to an alteration of the laws according to which it reacts on each one severally. What it actually heard, then, in each of these cases could not be guessed from a mere calculation of the impressions severally made by the tones, and from the reciprocal actions arising between these impressions : we should still have to ask how this whole sum of facts affects the auditory energy, and what new and peculiar reactions it occasions in it.

In a former passage (p. 182) I set forth the general considerations that lead us to distinguish from the simple ideas that we took to be the soul's primary reactions on stimu- lations directly proceeding from the outer world, those mental energies of a higher order which are called forth, as secondary reactions, by the relationships arising between the simpler individual acts of the soul. These relationships seemed to us to act ever anew as stimuli of a higher order on the soul's whole nature, and to incite to expression capabilities within it, whose exercise the simpler stimuli of the first order did not call forth. These new reactions did not appear to us to be a priori deducible from the consideration of these occasioning causes  ; they might take place in forms not to be explained by the nature of the conditions that called them forth but explicable only by the peculiar susceptibility of the soul, that expresses itself in these products which are in part its own. We proceed to apply these considerations to the case in point. Were we seeking merely to understand the knowledge of the change of knowledge as a simple apprehension of the relations between ideas, without anything new being added to them in apprehension, so detailed a discussion would be superfluous. But this comprehensive knowledge assumes forms that do not seem to us to be implied in the facts to be comprehended, and these forms are not simple products of certain processes in the train of ideas, so that they must with intelligible necessity appear wherever these processes take place ; we regard them as dependent on a new phase

VOL. i. p


in the soul's nature, that has not yet been dwelt on, and that requires particular attention, even though it be an invari- ably present attribute of every soul, only one not as yet taken notice of in our description.

S 2. Much used to be said in former times of Innate Ideas


pertaining to the human mind prior to any experience, and forming an integral part of its being. Without always accurately examining the nature of the marks by which this pre-temporal origin was to be proved, a pretty wide extent was given to this originally-possessed knowledge ; and in order that all which is of most vital interest to civilised mankind — the belief in God, in the Immortality of the Soul, in the Freedom of the Will — might be made more secure, it was included in the treasury of truths yielded to us not by delusive and imper- fect experience, but by the eternal and unchanging nature of our mental being. Our national philosophy in its first rise set bounds to the arbitrariness of such views by the doctrine, that the human mind does indeed possess a number of innate Ideas, not, however, such as reveal any fact or special charac- teristic of the system of the universe, but only such as express the universal principles of judgment according to which our thought must apprehend and elaborate every future possible datum of perception. All the matter of our thoughts comes to us directly or indirectly from ex- perience ; but that is not the case with the rules by which, connecting, comparing, judging, and inferring, we unite and divide the matter, and pass from one thought to another. The source of these rules is not to be sought without us ; the feeling of necessary and inevitable validity, with which they impose themselves on our consciousness, is, on the contrary, a guarantee that they have their origin in that from which we can never separate ourselves, namely, in the peculiar nature of our mental being. Provided with these modes of apprehension, we face the manifold throng of impressions occasioned in us by the outer world ; not till we apply them does the actual sum of internal states become to us knowledge. Thus we supply as innate the intuitive forms of Space and Time to


those impressions, whose mutual relations are henceforth transformed for us into the succession and contiguity of the phenomenal world of sense ; thus we pass on to the observation of our data with the inevitable assumption, that all reality must rest on the foundation of enduring substances to which the variable attributes are attached as dependent and accessory ; further, with the certainty that every event is bound by a causal connection as an effect to its antecedents. It is the application of these inborn beliefs that transforms our apprehension of objects into the knowledge of a universal whole made such by internal


Much in these views, which still to a large extent guide the course of our scientific thought, will have to be otherwise conceived within our science itself. The inappropriate name of Innate Ideas must not mislead us to consider the principles of our knowledge or the concepts by which they are commonly for brevity's sake referred to — the ideas of Space, of Time, of Thing, of Cause, and the others of perhaps equal moment associated with them — as an original conscious possession of the mind. No more than the spark as spark is already present in the flint, before the steel calls it forth, do these concepts hover complete before consciousness previously to all the impressions of experience, and afford it in its solitude the entertainment which we might find in contemplating an instrument before the time when it can be used. Even in our later life matured by experience they seldom claim our attention in this shape ; we have only the unconscious habit of acting and proceeding in our learning according to them  ; deliberate reflection is required to make these ideas the subject of our thought, though they have long unnoticed been the guiding springs of our judgments. Consequently, they are innate in no other sense than this, that in the original nature of the mind there is a tendency constraining it at the suggestion of experience to develop these modes of concep- tion, and that, on the other hand, they are not conveyed complete by the matter alone of experience, to be merely


passively received, this special nature being required for the mind to be impelled by the impressions of experience to form them of itself.

Thus understood, the general correctness of this view can scarcely be held to be disproved by the manifold attempts to show that all these principles of thought are derived exclusively from the mechanism of immediate cognition. Language, with its terms Cause, Origin, Dependence, and Connection of Eeason and Consequent, reminds us, to be sure, of the several facts and forms of experience on occasion of which we most readily became aware of the inherent relationships that the original nature of our reason presupposes in complex objects. But more accurate reflec- tion will always bring us back to the belief, that all those observations did nothing more than afford the mind an opportunity of recalling an innate truth, and that of them- selves they could not have imparted to us universal principles on which to judge all things. However nicely adjusted may be the relations between our ideas, their internal arrange- ment would not of itself give rise to the thought of a necessary connection between them, did not the nature of the mind itself make the demand for such. The most exact acquaint- ance with the mechanical actions and reactions between the several ideas will never bring us to understand the manner in which the most general assumptions in regard to the con- nection of all things come into our mind, if we do not recognise in the mind a tendency to form them which we must include in our conception of its original nature. What constitutes the real unity of the mind, by which it is distinguished as mind from the unity of every other being, is that it not merely compresses its various states into a mechanism of reciprocal action, but further strives, by means of the relating activity which it puts forth in the modes of cognition, to interpret the complexus of impressions as an orderly whole, and to transform it into the image of a world in whose internal connection it beholds the reflex of its own unity.


§ 3. In reviewing the several operations in which the task of this uniting and connecting knowledge is by degrees discharged, we have first of all to take note once more of that unity of the soul which means nothing more than the identity of the perceiving subject, in which are collected impressions from various parts of the external world and from various periods of time. It forms the prime requisite for every act of relating that is afterwards to become possible, but it does not suffice to give rise to such acts. Now our contemplation did not stop at the barren idea of the soul's substantial unity ; experience taught us laws of action distinctive of the internal states of this mental being and of their mental influences ; we saw how the mechanism of association and reproduction combined certain impressions more closely than others, and how a degree of system was introduced into the motley multitude of retained impressions, which gathered together the similar and separated the dissimilar. Yet even here, all these laws of the train of ideas by their operation created only relations between the several acts of the cognitive activity, created objects of an intuition that might afterwards come; they did not show the scrutinizing glance that apprehends and inter- prets that order. It is in a third performance that we first meet with the glance of the mental eye, in the intui- tions of Time and Space, into which the mind's uniting and relating action translates, as into a new language of its own, the mutual relations of impressions.

It may indeed seem as if every series of impressions taking place in time by the mere fact of taking place must appear to us as a succession in time ; and in like manner that the arrangement of objects in space would require only to be perceived, without the given content being altered by, or the forms in which it is to appear being evolved from, any special energy of the mind. On the contrary, just in so far as a series of impressions goes on in time within us, it is never in our consciousness as a whole, not even present as a complexus arranged in time ; we become aware of its course and of the systematic character of its course only when we gather together


in one undivided act of knowledge past and present members of the series, and survey all their mutual relationships at once. If, therefore, our internal states flow on actually in order of time — against which natural supposition we will not here bring forward objections hard to be dealt with — these actual time-relations of our impressions are yet only conditions that compel the soul by a new and peculiar reaction to educe from itself the intuition of time, and that at the same time enable it to assign to each several impression its appropriate place in this intuited time.


What seems to us here difficult becomes plainer in the other example — space. For we are not likely to attribute extension in space, size, and situation to the impressions of things in ourselves  ; however great may be the presented content, the idea of it does not extend to equal spatial dimensions in our soul. Whether, therefore, the outside world does or does not possess that spatial reality in which we think we see it, at any rate the impressions conveyed from it to us co-exist in our mind out of space, like simul- taneous musical notes, and the mutual relations between them are not those of position, direction, and extent, but may be compared to the graduated affinities that divide tones from one another by intervals not of space, and connect them together. Out of this world of spaceless impressions the soul fashions the perception of the world of space, not because the external is in space, but because space is a word of its peculiar phraseology, into which it translates the spaceless stimulations received from the external. And just as we, accustomed to the language of sense-perception, re-translate the harmonic relationships of tones into the space symbols of high and low, of ascending and descending through intervals, so the soul, under the guidance of the original supersensible relations of impressions, proceeds to assign to every impression its position in respect to every other in the space-world of thought created by it. Thus both space and time, the relations of impressions in both space and time, are not something found and picked up all ready on its path by


our cognitive energy, but are evolved from itself. Whether \ve were right in saying tluit it translates the relationships of impressions and of external objects into a new language peculiar to itself, may for the present remain undecided. IVrhups the outer world is in itself one of space; perhaps e \vnts really take place in time ; in that case our con- sciousness, while speaking its own language, at the same time lighted on that which is the language of things ; but its energy was not on that account either different or less its own. For even those of us who use the same language and the same thought, do not inspire one another directly with the full import of our thoughts ; we first of all hear only the intrinsically meaningless sound of the uttered words, and have by our own energy to reproduce from it the same idea — at one time of a concrete object, at another of an abstract relation, and on a third occasion of an event.

It is through an unconscious activity of our mind that the spatial picture of a surrounding world comes into being in this manner, as well as the perception of a flux in time of events without us and within ; never do those original rela- tions of impressions, of whose gradations these forms are to us the embodiment, become in their own true form objects of our consciousness  ; never do we watch our own energy at work in building up that world of space and time, which on the con- trary always seems as if presented to us complete, and allows us without any trouble on our own part to look into its multiplicity. But yet in other ways this conception of the world of sense everywhere shows traces of a relating know- ledge that has dealt with its several parts. For it is never actually limited to the presentation of a contiguity in space and a succession in time; even this sense-image of the world is throughout pervaded by thoughts of a graduated infrr/ial dependence, without which its perceived order would be to us unintelligible. Not merely like a mirror does consciousness render back the shape of the external ; bringing single parts together into smaller wholes, and shutting them off by bound- ary lines from their environment, it introduces lines that are


not in the picture as given, but start from the assumption of an unequal internal coherence that sometimes binds together the comparatively remote more closely than the adjacent. The new arrangement of import and meaning into which we throw the objects perceived by sense, we make partly under the direction of the natural mechanism of our associations of ideas, but that alone does not enable us to complete the work. By retaining previous impressions and bringing them up again, when the new impression though altered recalls them by particular features still preserved, it by degrees collects materials for a connected experience, which can, however, be realized only by the aggressive activity of thinking.

§ 4. External perception brings to our consciousness in rela- tions of space and time much that is held together by no common meaning, but owes the temporary coherence of its alien constituents merely to some special accident. Memory retains faithfully and impartially what it received from perception ; recalls the unconnected with no less accuracy than the essen- tially related, and throws our train of ideas, attached to single impressions by inopportune associations, out of the constant direction that it might take through the sequence of thoughts springing out of one another. But the mind is not content to have connections of ideas imposed on it by the mechanism of perception and memory; as an abiding critical energy, Thinking seeks to test all of these by the grounds of right that determine connection and show the consistency of the co-existent. Thus it separates from each other the im- pressions that without any internal cohesion were together present in the soul, and renews while confirming the com- bination of those which, from the kindred nature of their con- tent, have a right to be permanently associated. In all this it is directed and aided by that very mechanical course of ideas which it is correcting ; for this of itself, contradicting or con- firming earlier perceptions by fresh ones, introduces its own improvement by a gradual sifting process, in the course of which incongruous elements are divided and those which are allied are brought together. Nevertheless the train of ideas


alone is not Thinl-imj, and does not by itself discharge the offices which we require of the latter.

Oft-repeated similar ideas are not only retained in thoir whole peculiarity, but along with them are formed at the same time more general and indefinite images, in which tin- points of resemblance between individuals are collected and their differences effaced. But the mere presence of these images — products of the mechanical course of ideas — is not equivalent to the possession of Concepts, in whose form Thinking refers the manifold content to its corresponding Universal. For in the latter is always implied the subsidiary thought of a determining rule, by which the several charac- teristics of the universal appear not only as an actual com- bination repeated in many singulars, but as a coherent whole, secured in their connection by the indivisible meaning of that of which they are the image. It matters little how advanced is our knowledge of the basis and significance of this coher- ence, our conception is sufficiently sundered from the mere image itself if the coherence is felt by us, and if we convert the simple aggregate of united marks which the course of ideas in itself presents into the thought of a whole. This conversion is performed perpetually by even the most unpractised thinker, when he uses a name  ; still more, when he puts the article before the name and designates the perceived object as A something, he has vigorously and unmistakeably enough performed this combination of the associated traits of the image into the thought of an inherently indivisible whole.

In the course of perception we often find two impressions united, which are separated by a rapidly supervening new sen- sation, but whose previous union is restored by a third sensation. We had no reason to separate what were joined together in the first perception, we accepted them simply as bound to one another  ; the last-repeated perception of the combination, on the other hand, is opposed by a remembrance of its since observed dissolution ; the two impressions no longer cleave together in the innocent fashion of our first perception of


them, but are kept asunder by the thought of their possible separation. Of the tree first seen with blossoms or leaves we preserve a single image all whose parts cohere in harmonious closeness ; this image is disturbed by a subsequent perception of the tree as leafless, and, even when given to us afresh by actual perception, it is converted for us into an idea of the abiding form of the trunk, to which the leaves are attached as changeable, perishable parts. Such separations and combinations of ideas are what we in thinking express in the form of the Judgment ; only in the judgment we say more than is contained in these. When we say of the tree, It is green, we apprehend it under the form of a substantial thing to which colour is variably and dependency attached in that manner in which all properties belong to their subjects. This implied relationship between thing and property is the source whence we derive the peculiar grouping of our ideas that divides no less than it binds together those which are mutu- ally associated  ; in the nature of the inherent relationship between the substance and its attributes lies the necessity that here too exerts its constraining power in this particular way on the content of ideas. So in like manner wThen our perception of the motion with which a body approaches us is followed by the pain of the blow. In our memory the two impressions will be associated, but the judgment that the body struck us, is more than a mere repetition of the fact that the two impressions were wont to come one after another within us. When we indicate the body as the efficient cause, the blow as the effect, we justify the grouping together of the ideas by referring it to an inherent ground of connection, to the causal nexus whose universal sway over events is one of the primitive assumptions of the mind in regard to the relations of things in general.

From the frequent repetition of experience of one event following another it becomes at last a habit of memory to expect the one when the other presents itself. Such expec- tations, hopes, or fears as to the future, simple products of the mechanical course of ideas, sway us all in daily life,


and unquestionably a large proportion of our actions is governed by these inmuMliate combinations of ideas, without further consideration of their origin, just as we are in the habit of supposing in the soul of animals, to which w<> rightly or wrongly attribute the mechanism alone, without the higher energy of thinking. In fact, those expecta- tions are pretty much as serviceable to the animal for the practical ends of its life as could be a rational repetition of the same content in the form of a Syllogism. Never- theless the syllogism involves a wholly different intellectual exertion from the instinctive expectation. Making use of the renewed perception as the starting-point of an antici- pation, we in the syllogism justify the combination of the expected with the perceived by the thought of a universal law in virtue of which the two cohere. Thus here too either we derive the fact of association from a source that, as in- volved in the very nature of the thing, makes it necessary, or we convince ourselves that no essential inherent relation binds the two terms together, and that the expectation is one of the many illusions created by the mechanism of the course of ideas, inasmuch as it groups the various impressions not according to the affinities of their content, but according to the accidental circumstance of their simultaneous entrance into our consciousness.

Now, our sense-apprehension of things is already every- where permeated with the results of this sifting, critical energy of mind ; throughout it is not merely sentient, but also intelligent. Nowhere do phenomena hover before us as simple images, we think we see in them the things by whose unity and substantiality they, as properties, are combined into a connected whole ; never in our observation of an event does the consequent state merely take for us the place of the antecedent, at most accompanied in our consciousness by the remembrance of the latter, — but we seem to ourselves to observe the causal connection that unites the two with the firmness of an inherent bond ; finally, where larger groups of events succeed one another, the constraint of a pervading


order assigning to each reason its consequent, to each cause the kind and amount of its effect, seems to us conspicuous in their evolution. At the same time, this unceasing effort of the understanding to comprehend the world of sense-perception as an inherently connected whole, itself attains its satisfaction only with the aid of experience. We ascribe phenomena to beings that appear, events to causes, and laws to the connection of things; but we often make mistakes when we further attempt to assign to a particular phenomenon its special being, to a de- finite event its peculiar cause, to a given series its pertinent law. Only inasmuch as we are set free from the accidental associa- tions of ideas formed through single perceptions by a happy variety of observations and a steady attention to their distinc- tions and resemblances, do we gradually become cognizant of the more general and essential connections, and our conception of things ever more and more adequately complies with the demand of the understanding to have the presuppositions, which it of necessity makes in regard to the general connec- tion of things, shown to hold good in the heterogeneous materials of the actual world. But the history of this gradual development does not belong to the circle of subjects which this first survey of our mental life is meant to embrace. As it is merely an investigation of the means by the use of which a beginning may be made in the process of human culture, we must be content with having showed how far that culture is from being contained ready-made within us, and how even our innate capabilities can discharge their office only because their vigour increases by use, every acquisition in knowledge enhancing the mind's power to extend it.

§ 5. A widely prevalent theory finds in the human mind, beyond Sentience that perceives and Understanding that relates, a still higher cognitive energy — the activity of Beason, that, aiming at unity in our conception of things, seeks to complete experience. Questionable as it may seem to place the reason as a new and higher faculty above the under- standing, with whose habitudes its peculiar requirements seem in fact to be in conflict, this new name really denotes a new


and peculiar form of relating thought, too important in tin; actual life of mind not to be touched on here, be Con; w»- proceed further to investigate its origin.

In each single case of experience the understanding sets to work, in conformity with the laws of connection that it presupposes as universally valid necessities, to search for the nearest complementary part, which perception implies and requires. For it seeks to refer each several display of pro- perties to a being making it, to connect each several event with a cause that produced it, and with effects to which it will itself give rise, and to find for each group of facts the law by which it is governed. Thus advancing from point to point, so far as driven by the occasions of experience, it merely binds together particular point with point; it does not set to itself the question, What general scheme of the universe and its relations would finally be reached, if these rules of judgment were applied to all actual and conceivable cases of perception as often in succession as the nature of each would seem to require  ? The understanding does not concern itself as to how the ascending series of causes required anew by each cause of a single event will terminate ; in what sort of combination the countless threads of orderly connec- tion, which its keen vision traces as they run along side by side, may at last be interwoven together ; finally, on what kind of unconditioned existence depend the multitudinous con- ditioned actual forms of existence, whose mutual relations, as soon as they exist, go on in obedience to its laws.

We may seem to make a mock division of labour when, having asserted that the . understanding does not put these questions to itself, we now add that in the answering of them reason finds its office. Unquestionably both are akin in their efforts after comprehension of the manifold, but the idea by which reason is therein guided — that the sum of reality can exist only as a perfect unity and totality — is not the same principle as that by which the understanding investigates the kind of connection between every two several parts, without making any affirmation as to the form that


all combined will assume. As the style of architecture which we select for a building determines the way in which every part of it is to be combined with every other, but leaves wholly undefined the final form of the structure, the plan of which, on the contrary, is prescribed by the end it has to serve : so the principles of the understanding exhibit to us the style of the world's construction, but not the form of the outlines of its completed whole. We are equally far from maintaining that reason solves this problem, and do not even feel that we can congratulate the understanding on the full accomplishment of its humbler task. The latter is often deceived, by the habits of a limited experience, as to the meaning of the universal laws that, it believes, regulate the connection of things; chained to the examples of pheno- mena presented within a sphere of experience that for any finite mind is but limited, we too often take the particular form assumed in special cases by the orderly connection of things, for the pure and universal necessity that we thought to find reigning throughout. Thus we fall into many per- plexities concerning the true import and the limits of validity of the principles that for long we applied to a customary sphere of experience with the fullest assurance of their necessity and immediate clearness.

The more these difficulties weigh upon us, the less must reason limit the conception of the universal whole, of which the details have been but imperfectly communicated to it ; it can only lay down quite general requirements, compliance with which it demands of all who hazard this undertaking, and, under the pressure of the conflicting interests with which our desires and cravings complicate the actual state of the facts, it will itself not seldom fail to understand what it has to demand. These efforts of reason, as they appear in the immediate life of mind, will need the aid of science to make their own ends clear even more than the surveys of things made by the understanding, and still less than the latter are they capable of attaining their end simply as a natural tendency of mind> without the discipline of a


(lirecU'd training. I>ut in the course which they take, there are nevertheless signs of a peculiar action of in iml deserving of attention, the source of which we believe is to be found not in the soul-nature as solely ideating or relating, l»ut in another feature of its being, to which we now turn.



Origin and Forms of the Feelings — Their Connection with Knowledge— Eeason's Determinations of Worth — Self-Consciousness  ; the Empiric Ego and the Pure Ego — Impulses and Efforts — Will and Freedom of Will — Concluding Remark.

§ 1. AS the colour of a picture heightens and increases -"• the effect of its drawing, so do Feelings of the most various kinds pervade all the manifold events of idea- tional life which we have till now been describing. We have already convinced ourselves that we cannot trace the origin of feelings immediately to the complexities of ideas which give occasion for their appearance. If it was an original peculiarity of mind not only to undergo changes, but to apprehend them as presented in thought, it no less originally belongs to it, not merely to present them to itself, but also to become aware of their value for itself in terms of pain and pleasure, as they sometimes stimulate it in harmony with its own nature, sometimes claim from it modes and combinations of states contrary to the natural course of its activity. For pleasure finally reduces itself to this, that to the mind destined not for repose but for development, stimulations are conveyed which, harmonizing with the direction, the conditions, or the form of its vital evolution, not merely protect it from attack, but promote its own striving. And just as the soul, as a changeable and active being, in pleasure becomes conscious of this exercise of its power as of an enhanced value in its existence, so is it endowed with the capacity, not of either merely submitting to, or perishing from, the disturbances that would divert it from its own path, but, in pain, of feeling them as what they are, as disturbances of its permanent



nmrs<\  ;tinl of dividing them iVom tin: natural development of its being.

It is we investigators assuredly who in the first place give to ourselves this explanation of the origin of the feelings; we carry out the comparison of the impression with the con- ditions imposed on the life of the soul by its own nature ; we believe that we have in the painful a conflict between the excitement produced and the requirements of these conditions  ; in the pleasurable, their harmony. The soul that feels does not always make this comparison, and never makes it at the very moment of feeling. No more than it is conscious of the bodily processes by means of which sensation is produced, does it anticipate before the rise of feeling the conflict or harmony of the impressions with the conditions of its life, and, according to the result of this comparison, associate with it pain or pleasure. Unacquainted with those conditions, as unacquainted with the processes in the organs of sense, it could not itself carry out this comparison ; and as only the final result of the processes giving rise to the sensation, viz. the sensation itself, appears in consciousness, so do the feelings rise within us without revealing the internal motion of the soul whence they spring. But once there they must be accounted for as we have done, and unsophisticated consciousness never doubts that pleasure has its roots in some unknown favour- ing influence that has been shed on our life, pain in some disturbance of it. Lastly, as growing experience corrects our associations of ideas, so does it also more exactly define this inference. The momentary help which we gain from an impression is no guarantee of the salutary character of the after-effects which it brings to bear on our whole life, and the single advantage gained for us by one property of a stimulus does not prevent the influences proceeding from the others from being hurtful. Feeling is in the right, even if it is pleased with the sweet taste of a poison, and finds the antidote bitter ; for in the former there is a momentary harmony between the impression and the energy of the nerve, and in the pain of the latter an antagonistic disturbance of

VOL. I. (


our prevailing state. Experience does not retract these judgments, it merely gives a warning not to rely on them exclusively, and teaches us to judge of the total value of an impression only when we have struck the balance of the total sum of its consequences, and of the helps or hindrances attached to them.

§ 2. Various are the forms under which feelings present themselves alike in the sentient and in the intellectual part of our nature. Sometimes they appear associated with a particular impression whose matter and form are besides apprehended by means of a distinct idea, sometimes they diffuse themselves, without any clear intimation as to their origin, as moods over the mind, like illuminations proceeding from a hidden source of light by countless reflections of the rays. Associated with many sorts of bodily states, by which they are caused, or which they themselves cause, attended now by a numerous, now by a scanty train of remembrances, each several part of which is seeking to revive the interest peculiarly annexed to its content, crossed finally by many efforts either clearly conscious of their aim or vaguely groping after it, the mind's moods assume a multitude of finely shaded forms, far removed from the dull comparability of a mere variation in degree of general pain or pleasure. The advance of culture, too, by enlarging the capacity of consciousness to embrace manifold ideas, increases also the intricacy of these cross-currents of feeling, and produces that boundless variety of emotional stirrings which even art not always, and the more imperfect means of scientific analysis never, can succeed in representing.

Without at present entering on this labyrinth, through which the consideration of human culture will afterwards compel us to thread our way, we may mention three directions in which feeling acts on the connection of our intellectual life as a most momentous force. We must above all wean ourselves from the habit of looking on the feelings as subsidiary events that sometimes occur in the succession of our internal states, while the latter for the most part


consist of an indifferent series of painless and pleasureless changes. Save one of complete repose, we can conceive no state not either in harmony with the conditions of psychic development or somehow contrary to them. Whatever stimu- lations, then, the soul may undergo, from each one we must expect an impression of pain or pleasure, and more accurate self-scrutiny, so far as it can recognise the washed-out colours of these impressions, confirms our conjecture, unable as it is to find any manifestation of our mental activity not accom- panied by some feeling. The colours are indeed washed- out in the matured mind, in contrast to the preponderant interest which we bestow on particular ends of our personal endeavours, and deliberate attention is needed to detect them, just as microscopic examination is necessary to trace the regular formation of invisible objects, which the unassisted eye is wont carelessly to overlook. To each simple sensation, each colour, each tone, corresponds originally a special degree of pain or pleasure  ; but, accustomed as we are to note these impressions only in their significance as marks of objects, whose import and notion are of consequence to us, we observe the worth of these simple objects only when we throw ourselves with concentrated attention into their content. Every form of composition of the manifold produces in us, along with a perception, a slight impression of its agreement with the usages of our own development, and it is these often obscure feelings that give to each several object its special com- plexion for each several temperament, so that, with the same complement of properties for all, it yet seems to each of us different. Even the simplest and apparently driest notions are never quite destitute of this attendant feeling ; we cannot grasp the conception of unity without experiencing a pleasant satisfaction that is part of its con- tent, or that of antagonism without participating in the pain of connective opposition ; we cannot observe in things or evolve within ourselves such conceptions as rest, motion, equilibrium, without throwing ourselves into them with all our living strength, and having a feeling of the kind and


degree of resistance or assistance which they might bring to bear on us. A considerable part of our higher human culture is the result of this pervading presence of feelings ; it is the basis of imagination, whence spring works of art, and which makes us capable of entering into natural beauty ; for productive and reproductive power consists in nothing else than the delicacy of apprehension by which the mind is able to clothe the world of values in the world of forms, or to become instinctively aware of the happiness concealed under the enveloping form.

But feeling further contains the principle of that peculiar and highest activity which we encountered in the sphere of intelligence, namely, of that reason which requires of the actual sum of things conformity with forms of existence in which alone it finds a guarantee of the value of the actual. If we are equally unwilling to attribute to the universe either the finitude of a fixed quantity or absolute infinity, if we require that its conception be that of a whole and an essentially complete unit, and at the same time that it should compre- hend all individuals, we follow in this and other require- ments no longer the mere inclination of an uninterested understanding to which an object would be unthinkable without these conditions, but the inspirations of a reason appreciative of worth, that rejects even the thinkable so long as it is only thinkable and does not besides by the inherent excellence of its content win recognition of its worth in the world. Hence to the understanding by itself much would seem possible and correspondent to the laws of its procedure, which reason will deride on account of its inherent incredibility; it may claim much else that the understanding fails to apprehend in its peculiar forms of thought. If we examine our theory of the universe, as it has been matured in the course of the culture which we have acquired, not only through the reasonings of science, but also through the experience of life, we shall find it to a large extent determined no less by these often secretly co-operating requirements of our reason, than by the obvious principles of


our understanding The scientific energy of undrr.sUndin- \\varies itself with working at the problems set before us — the difficulties raised by the alteration of things, the variety of their properties, the vitality and freedom of all development ; and, even though its labour is not in vain, it yet is unable to vindicate the notions of living freedom and activity so clearly as to give binding authority to men's unquenchable trust in the future. The human spirit is endowed with the happy inconsistency of being able unsuspectingly to follow two lines of thought at once, without being aware of the contradiction in which they will sooner or later clash together. Thus in the path of ordinary experience we unhesitatingly adopt the modes of procedure of the understanding, with which we are always sure to be able systematically to connect particular with particular, and by means of which we might be equally assured — did we but take note of it — that we should never attain to that conception of the universal whole, which during all these efforts our reason is holding fast or seeking to gain.

Not always, of course, do the events of life leave us in this state of obliviscence ; in the life of the individual as in that of the race we see how at certain critical moments there inevitably springs up a consciousness of the great chasm that yawns between our scientific experience in the finite sphere and our belief as to the matter and form of the eternal. But neither of this conflict in the individual mind nor of the more impressive forms which it has assumed in the history of culture and speculation, must we in this preliminary survey forestall our future description. Whatever has been the final decision, in actual life — in which the evidence of our thoughts is different and differently distributed from what it is within the boundaries of science — these varying judg- ments have never been able to shake the belief that, in its feeling for the value of things and their relations, our reason possesses as genuine a revelation as, in the principles of logical investigation, it has an indispensable instrument of experience. But, at the same time, a review of those judgments would teach us that no source of revelation is less clear than this,


none so much needs a firmer basis as this, which has no other foundation for its affirmations as to the necessary form of the world than the feeling of the value which it finds in it, and which it thinks it would fail to find in others that are con- ceivable. Numberless circumstances may here deceive us; numberless habits of thinking and perceiving, formed imper- ceptibly and proceeding from individual peculiarities, from the level of culture of the age, or from the limitation of our personal experience, may mislead us to seek obstinately in a single fixed form, or blindly and incorrectly in a wholly wrong- direction, that which we would be justified in requiring in a general way. While, therefore, these higher views of things, as men choose to call them, will continue to be the animating and quickening breath of all human efforts, they will yet always confirm the affinity between the worth-determining reason and the artistic imagination; in what they have produced, the feel- ing of poetic justice invariably fills the place of insight into the grounds of certainty. These views form an intellectual treasure which is invaluable, but for which it is not easy to find a common standard of value, and science must perhaps be content if it succeed in demonstrating that the clear and irrefragable principles of the understanding are nothing else than the explicable parts of that treasure elaborated so as to be ready for use — not attached to it as something extraneous, but proceeding from itself, as the only methods by which we can, from our human point of view, succeed in realizing the special tendency and aim of reason — to bring the actual world- into the unity of a harmonious whole.

Now, if these attempts of our mind to explain the world of values by the world of forms correspond to the conceptive energy of imagination seeking to create the actual anew from its own beauty as from a working power, then Practical Reason stands on a line with artistic production of beauty. Different ages have striven after different ideals of art ; but however fantastic might be the form in which an unrefined imagination thought to have attained the expression of the highest, all recog- nised as their ideal that which they reverenced. Scarcely less


diverse have been at din'errnt periods and stages of culture tlie Moral Ideals of tin- Practical Keuson; but, whatever might be their content, it was felt as a duty to realize it in action, and the moral principles of each age were always sanctioned by the soul otherwise than were the truths of cognition ; they too were dictates of an appreciative feeling. A culture that from many various quarters has taken in enlightenment as to man's position in the universe, the measure and conditions of his powers, and the abundance of realizable good, may fancy it has risen above this point of view, according to which the con- sciousness of our moral obligations flows from a Moral Sense. To us, of course, the matter of the fundamental moral precepts appears so clear that we suppose their inherent necessity must be self-evident, just as the simplest cognitive principles have, at least as regards their unconscious practice, been self-evident to all peoples. Nevertheless, the experience of life teaches us how much variety, even though within narrower limits, there is in the substance of what individuals, with equal con- viction and fervour, accept as the binding rule of their action. And a more extended survey would, on a comparison of different nations and civilisations, reach hardly any other result than this, that everywhere dispositions and actions are among the objects of worth-determining reason, but that this reason, in the recognition of its ideal in definite modes of action, is liable to illusions similar to those in which attempts at a higher knowledge of things often end. Even the world of ethical convictions is a result of culture ; we have to put together, in the great picture of humanity to which these con- siderations serve as an introduction, the significant indications that, but for the numerous influences of culture, morality could not have come into being ; but here we have occasion only to mention that neither did it come into being through culture alone, but that it has its roots in the essential constitution of mind. Far from simply rising, as an attendant accessory, out of the exercise of ideational activity, morality, on the contrary, rests on this basis of feeling, which much more than cognition is peculiarly significant of the true nature of mind, while its


influence, as we have seen, extends most unmistakeably to the exertions of our cognitive intelligence.

§ 3. But we promised to trace the workings of feeling in three directions, and the assertion just made reminds us of the second of these series of mental phenomena, which we cannot understand without giving them a basis of feeling, though they are most commonly treated as facts purely of the cogni- tive life. I mean Self -consciousness, in which we distinguish ourselves as Ego from the Non-ego of the rest of the world, and refer our manifold inner states to this Ego, as the cohesive centre of afferent and efferent actions.

To earlier thinkers it often appeared as if self- conscious- ness formed the essential and inborn characteristic, without which mind itself would be unthinkable, or by whose presence it is at least distinguished from the selfless soul of the lower animals. This opinion has been gradually given up, and we have become accustomed to look on self-consciousness as the result of a long course of training, whether we consider effort for its attainment to be the motive power in all mental de- velopment, or whether we hope to see the consciousness of the Ego spring from the mechanism of the train of ideas as one among several secondary products. The nature of the thing seems to require us to take another path, midway between these conceptions. Certainly no one can seriously hold self- consciousness to be an inborn endowment of the mind in such a sense that from the first we see distinctly mirrored before us what we ourselves are. Even with all the aid of the training of life and of the attention of deliberate reflection, we never attain to this perfect knowledge, whose exhaustive detail would render superfluous all further questions as to the peculiar nature of our being. Our consciousness never presents to us this image as found ; we are merely directed to a more or less obscure point, in which lies our Ego, of which we are in search. But that we can seek it, that what we know so imperfectly we yet always discriminate with the utmost decision from the outer world, this impulse we cannot understand without con- ceiving it as independent of the circumstances that condition


the advancing iin-f'.vlion of our knowledge about our- How then do we come to divide the multiplex objects of thought into these two parts — the one Eyo, and, facing it, the inex- haustible fulness of all else f Our distinction of ourself from things does not resemble that which we make between two other objects ; on the contrary, the contrast between ourselves and what is not ourselves manifests itself as unconditioned in meaning and extent, and not to be compared with any other.

Very naturally so, it will be said : have we not here a special, nay, absolutely the only case in which that which thinks this relation of contrast is itself one of its terms  ? This coincidence of thinker and thought, the essential characteristic of what we call the Ego, must justify the special prominence which we give to this distinction. But, examined more closely, this circumstance is found to throw very little light on the enigma of the peculiar interest which we take in this distinction, and which has very little in common with that awakened by the peculiarity of a rare phenomenon. The significance of self- consciousness lies not in the coincidence of thinker and thought ; for this is characteristic, not of our Ego alone, but of the universal nature of every Ego, from which we properly distinguish our own — how  ? To be sure by its being the thinker of our own thoughts. But what do we mean when we call any thoughts our own  ? There must evidently be an immediate certainty as to what is ours, and it cannot flow for us out of the general idea of the nature of the Ego, from which to distinguish our own case is the essential office of our self -consciousness. And now it will be easily under- stood how little an ever-growing fulness of insight into the nature of our soul would fill up the chasm we find here. For, even if we could correctly and accurately enumerate the peculiar characteristics that distinguish our soul from others, we should still have no reason to take the idea so acquired for more than the indifferent representation of a being some- where existent, and as completely distinct from a second as a third is from a fourth. If, further, it did not escape our notice that the being so clearly seen through in the light of


perfect knowledge was the very same as that which at this moment completed its intuition of itself, we would indeed have given, in this actually accomplished self -reflection, the last characteristic crowning touch to the picture of that "being, but we would still be far from having reached anything so significant as what in actual life we know and possess as self- consciousness. This perfect knowledge would indeed imply that our own being had become to us clearly objective, — objective in such a sense, however, that our own self would appear to us but one among many objects; the intimacy with which in our actual self-consciousness we feel the infinite worth of this return upon ourselves would still remain unknown and unintelligible. Like all values given to objects of thought, this too is apprehended only by means of feelings of pain and pleasure. Not as thought, but as felt in its immediate value for us does the identity of the thinker and the thought form the foundation of our self-consciousness, and once for all lift the distinction between us and the world beyond all comparison with the differences by which it dis- criminates between one object and another.

To this end simple feelings of sense are adequate no less than those more elaborate intellectual ones by which highly developed minds bring home to themselves the worth and peculiar merit of their personality. Whether the soul's idea of itself be full or scanty, the image which it delineates a likeness or a caricature : that makes no difference to the vividness and force with which the matter of this image is felt as different from all else. The crushed worm writhing in pain undoubtedly distinguishes its own suffering from the rest of the world, though it can understand neither its own Ego nor the nature of the external world. But the consummate intel- ligence of an angel, did it lack that feeling, would indeed be capable of keen insight into the hidden essence of the soul and of things, and in full light would observe the phenomena of its own self-reflection, but it would never learn why it should attach any greater value to the distinction between itself and the rest of the world than to the numerous differences between things in


general that presented themselves to its notice. Thus self-con- sciousness is to us but as the interpretation of a sense of si If, -whose prior and original force is not directly increased by the advance of our knowledge; only the fulness ami clearness of the representation that we make of our own being keeps pace with our progress in culture. There is, of course, an equal increase also in the sum of the thoughts that bring external objects into relation with our efforts and volitions; the content of our Ego not only becomes clearer, but it extends over an enlarging circumference ; thus, too, the vividness of the sense of self indirectly increases, inasmuch as the matured soul becomes capable of innumerable relationships, that to it are helps or hindrances to its own being, while to the undeveloped mind they seem merely indifferent relations between external things. § 4. The delineation of the course of this growth we must also defer till we come to discuss the relations of human life by which it is conditioned, only in a few words alluding to some points of it which will bring us to the last subject of our survey. It is easy to understand how at first the image of our own body must hold a prominent place in our thoughts. As the instrument of all perceptions and all movements, it is entwined with every manifestation of our life, and every remembrance of an impression, an action, a pain, or an enjoy- ment recalls its image also, and accustoms us to discern directly the activity of our being in the moving and moveable bodily form. But just as simple are the experiences from which we soon gain the conviction that the vitality in it is not itself, that we have to seek in it indeed, but not extending into its visible form, a moving force, the common cause at once of its own liability to change and of the living transformations of the inner world within which our ideas, feelings, and voli- tions jostle one another. This imperfect conception doubtless contents most men, more apt to look beyond the idea of the body than intent on any other definite point. Science seeks indeed to fill up this gap by efforts to grasp the obscure being of which it is in search in the form of a thing, a supersensible force, or an immaterial substance; but


these attempts lie beyond the sphere of natural and un- constrained thought, and, as directed towards establishing the universal nature of the soul, they do not tend to en- lighten the individual as to the distinctive nature of his own Ego. Hence ordinary consciousness is little disposed to indulge in such brooding reflection  ; it prefers to enjoy its individuality, knowing full well how to distinguish itself from every other Ego by recollection of its bodily appearance, of the story of its life, of its joys and sorrows, achievements and hopes, in general of its peculiar position in the world.

But it also learns by experience how the world offers it resistance, how little it can next moment become what last moment it meant to become  ; it finds its knowledge and its power dependent on the accidents of its course of culture ; its whole individuality, so far as under its own observation, seems at the mercy of circumstances alien from itself. Thus we come to set in contrast to the sharply delineated image of the empiric Ego another, in which we think we collect the per- manent characteristics that form the true content of our being, and are independent of the particular modifications which have been caused by external influences. As, in considering anything, we separate the accidental form which it owes to extraneous action from the unchanging properties that qualify it to assume its present form (as under other circumstances they would cause it to appear under quite different forms), so we now seek our true Ego in the permanent habits and peculi- arities of our intellectual action, which would always have remained the same, even had the external conditions of their development been wholly diverse. Accordingly, we do not believe that what we know, what we have done and suffered, exhausts our Ego ; but taking the manifold results of this development only as one of the many ways in which it was possible to unfold our nature, we find ourselves, on the con- trary, in the general mood of our feelings, in the temperament which in us is not quite the same as in any one else, in our whole mode and habit of being, whether lively or dull, in our peculiar manner of dealing with the body of our knowledge.


All tlii-;, we fancy, would have been <piite tin; same, what- ever course of development had heen allotted to us l>y destiny; and if we readily set down to the peculiar merit of our nature all fair and admirable culture which our actual situation has enabled us to acquire, we yet do not doubt that everything perverse and blameable is to be ascribed to the hindrance of circumstances alone. The empiric Ego appears to us like the foliage of a tree, whose degree of fulness and beauty depends on the influences of the year ; even if it be stripped off, the vegetative force remains in the trunk unaltered, and justifies the hope of better results under more favourable conditions. Thus, by this aesthetic picture of our abiding disposition, we are chiefly used to make our personality distinct to ourselves, and certainly we thereby attain to a truer and more speaking likeness of our nature than is supplied by the heterogeneous multitude of our actual remembrances, which include too much of the past and accidental and too little of the future. But after all, we soon come to perceive that even this idea does not afford what, in the highest meaning of the word, we are seeking as our true Ego.

For in only too great a degree do we find our temperament, our prevailing frame of mind, the peculiar direction and the liveliness of our imagination, lastly, the conspicuous capacities that seemed at first to form the endowment of our purely individual personality, dependent on our bodily constitution and its changes  ; nay, as inherited predisposition, much of it is but the result of a course of Nature that long prior to our own existence had already irrevocably fixed certain tendencies of our coming life. And even if we were not thus indebted to the chain of physical effects, if, on the contrary, our soul had been in its essence moulded apart from it, still even then its original capabilities would appear as something given, as an endowment from the creative power from which our temporal existence sprang, and where we expected to grasp a self of our own, we would find something established by an outside power, not our own, in the sense in which we


possess what we have won by our own exertions and spon- taneous energy. Thus is formed the longing to transcend the content of our Ego, and in a pure, as yet undetermined, and self-moulding impulse to seek the true and fundamental essence of our personality ; in this we seem to ourselves to be really only what we have made ourselves. We will not track the strange contradictions into which, in scientific inquiry, this course of thought must necessarily lead  ; the more natural instinct of the unprejudiced mind is open to conviction here, and does not require that all not done by our- selves should be excluded from our being. Confessing, what it cannot deny, that without any choice of ours the extent of our possible development is unalterably fixed by external circumstances by the peculiarities of the race to which we belong, by the bodily constitution with which we enter life, by the age in which we are born, lastly, by the general laws of mental life, which are alike for all, it is content with requiring that amidst all this necessary order there be at least one point of freedom, whence our energy may mould this material of existence offered to us into a possession for our- selves alone. Conditioned in all else, in the forms of our knowledge, in the course of our ideas and feelings, we will be free at least in willing and acting.

§ o. We have already expressed the conviction that, besides Ideation and Feeling, Volition contains a peculiar element of mental activity, not derived from these two, though dependent on them as the occasions of its appearance. Now, however, when we come more closely to consider this new mode of psychic activity, we must premise the acknowledgment that, among the various phenomena which under various names are either directly ranked with it or attached to it as of kin, there are many in which we can recognise only special forms of ideation and feeling. We are unquestionably too lavish of the names volition and effort, and denote by them many processes to which the soul is related not as an acting being but only as an observing consciousness ; movements of ideas and feel- ings that merely take place in us on various occasions supplied


by the general psychic mechanism, and are noted by us as talcing place, we ernmrmisly take, for energies put forth by our decided Will or by some less definite effort of our Ego.

If we examine tin- manifold Impulses of sense, we shall always find as their peculiar nucleus a feeling that in pain or pleasure discloses to us the value of a bodily state perhaps not rising to conscious clearness. Only because we have had experience, which the mechanism of remembrance brings again before us, so that the ideas of the motions or of the objects that have previously prolonged pleasure or shortened pain are now again in consciousness, does the feeling pass into a movement directed towards the restoration of these favourable circumstances. Our will, however, does not immediately manifest itself, but wholly without volition and with mechani- cal sequence, feeling itself and the ideas associated with it at once start the bodily movements serving to that end, and what we call impulse is not a volition by which we guide the body, but a perception of its passive state and of the move- ments arising involuntarily within it, by which the other energies of our consciousness are brought into corresponding exercise. Impulse, accordingly, is nothing but the apprehen- sion of being impelled ; and if any volition mingles with it, it is simply the volition not to resist but to give way to the natural current of these inner changes.

But we cannot confine this consideration to sense-impulses ; the greater part of what in daily life we call our actions are performed quite in the same way. Ideas start up in us according to universal laws, and to these become attached in part directly, in part through the intervention of various feelings, all sorts of images of bodily movements, which hover before our consciousness sometimes as means of reaching an external object, sometimes as alleviations of a present pain. Very rarely is a real volition produced by this pressure of internal stimuli ; the train of ideas in general passes spon- taneously into external movement, and a great number even, of complex actions take place in this involuntary fashion,


and that even though the series of intermediate links, through which they are connected with the original moving force, be not fully unrolled in consciousness. There is no reason why these processes should be distinguished by a different name from the actions which we find occurring in every composite organism with like variety of form and like mechanical necessity of sequence ; and in fact we are usually disposed to deny volition proper to the lower animals, whose manifestations we suppose to have no other source than this. We are convinced that we meet with an act of will only where the impulses urging to action are apprehended in distinct consciousness, where, moreover, the decision whether they shall be followed or not is deliberated upon and is left to be determined by free choice of the mind which is unswayed by these pressing motives, and not by the force of these motives themselves. So intimate is the connection between the notion of Freedom and that of Volition ; for in this decision concerning a given matter of fact consists the true efficacy of Will. On the other hand, Will can have no content other than that supplied by the involuntary flow of ideas and feelings, and, not being itself an outwardly directed effort, moulding and creative, must be content with unrestricted freedom of choice between the objects thus put within its reach.

Now, were it impossible to conceive this freedom or to justify its acceptance as a fact, would we have any further occasion to retain the name of Will  ? However much mental life may surpass Nature in the peculiar complexity of its pro- cesses, its connection would then seem in no wise essentially to differ from the complete and blind necessity of an un- broken chain of mechanism. Neverthless, we do not think that even on this supposition volition could be dismissed as a peculiar element from the series of manifestations of psychic energy, though its position would be a startling one. When men coin a special name for simple processes, not com- posed of a plurality of ideas, but, on the contrary, binding pluralities for the first time into a whole, they may often


make mistaken applications of it, and fail rightly to define the ]»li;eii<)ineiia, in which they believe the process occurs; but they will scarcely invent something having nowhere, any actual existence. For, after all, our thought can only have for its matter what we have somehow experienced ; and as we do not devise anything wholly new, we can hardly err other- wise than in the combination and application of the simple elements afforded by our inner experience, Accordingly, nothing else than pedantic prejudice, it would seem, can attempt to derive the nature of volition from mere cognition, and to vindicate the assertion that the proposition / will is tantamount to the clear and confident consciousness of / shall. Perhaps the mere assurance that I shall act may be tantamount to the knowing of my volition, but then the notion of acting must include the peculiar element of approval, permission, or intention, that makes the will such, and that is absent in the simple anticipation of the future occurrence of an effect proceeding from us. It is vain, there- fore, to deny the reality of volition, as vain as it would be to endeavour by lengthy explanations to make plain its simple nature, which is only to be known directly through experi- ence. The approval through which our will adopts as its own the resolution offered to it by the pressing motives of the train of ideas, or the disapproval with which it rejects it, would be conceivable even if neither possessed the slightest power of interfering, for determination and alteration, with the course of mental events. Just as external circumstances drive men to modes of acting absolutely alien or even repug- nant to their disposition, so even in thought separate moments might form themselves into a chain of unbroken necessity, and unceasingly compel actions followed at the veiy moment by the impotent remorse of conscience.

This idea, startling as it may at first appear, is yet not so far removed from thoughts with which we are familiar in life. It may almost be said to be only scientific investiga- tion that is apt to confound unlimited freedom of volition with exhaustless capability of performance  ; our experience



of life, on the other hand, warns us of our weakness in con- flict with the mighty power of involuntary impulses, and we believe a higher aid to be needed in order that we may over- come it. It is, in fact, an error to require of the will more than volition, and the difficulties usually thrown in the way of the conviction of its freedom proceed mostly, though even in that case not irresistibly, from that prejudice. How often have fears of a destruction of all actual order been expressed as the result of free resolve on the part of an animated being, if it were not found possible to bring it into connec- tion with the rest of Nature as a necessarily conditioned effect. This was to forget within how narrow limits the power of a finite creature would be confined even if its will not only were free, but also had the bodily organization absolutely at its disposal as the instrumentality of its resolutions. It was to forget that every effect, however free and arbitrary may have been its motive, as soon as it happens as an effect, takes its place once more in the circle of calculable events subject to universal laws, and that no freedom is allowed wider room for exercise than falls to it by right in the undisturbed order of things. Finally, to indulge the fear that nevertheless the processes intro- duced by the animated will at its choice into the actual course of Nature might, as they gradually accumulated, diffuse themselves in opposition to the plan of Nature, was further to overlook the fact that even the uninterrupted and unfree sequence of all states in psychic life would not lessen this danger. For where is the guarantee that in every individual mind, feelings, ideas, and efforts would always be mingled together and act on one another in so happy a form and degree that they must always end in a practical decision in harmony with the true import of the course of Nature  ? Do we not as we actually are, free or not, as a matter of fact interfere — to disturb or destroy — with the Nature around us, leaving behind many distinct traces of our wayward energy, while yet we cannot on a large scale shake the order of things  ? ,And if we hold now that an arbitrary and free will


directs our actions, would \vr, from considering (he. lin, our power, have occasion to divad  ;i much more exlt-n-m- disturbance of the order of the outer world  ? No more tlum duu.s the Nature around us would our own nature lose all internal connection, as is so oumiinnly thought, by coming into the possession of unlimited freedom of resolution. For it would still be only the resolves that we left free ; the unity and stability of our personal consciousness would rest on the broad and secure foundation of the innate sense of our existence, of our idiosyncrasies, of the sum of impressions received, of the memory of past experience, of the abiding mood, of the perpetually efficient and universal laws of our train of ideas, for over these elements of our mental life that freedom would have no power. On the other hand, the amount of changeableness that we would still retain, through the arbitrariness of our resolves, would accommodate itself to the capacity of development which we must desire, more easily than to the change which we must shun.

But does not the universal Law of Causality, that for every effect will have a sufficient cause, finally bar the way against any doctrine of freedom, and inexorably convert the connection of the universe into an endless chain of blind effects  ? We should have thought that the more distinctly this conversion were required as the logical consequence of the above conception of the causal connection, the more dis- tinctly apparent was also the incorrectness of the conception itself. So immovably firm is the conviction of our reason, that the sum of all actuality cannot present the absurdity of a blind and necessary vortex of events, in which there is no room for freedom, that no other task is left for the rest of knowledge than to bring the apparent contradiction of our experience into harmony with this conviction as the first certain point. We do not deny that this problem of science is still far from the happy solution that we desire for it, and, without here entering on investigations difficult to make and doubtful in their result, we may subject certain points of the common conviction to renewed examination.


If the causal law rightfully requires a cause for every effect, it is our fault, on the other hand, if we see in every event an effect, or regard the discovered cause as itself invariably the effect of another cause. The indefinitely pro- longed series in which we here involve ourselves, ought to turn our attention to the fact that the proposition in the premises affirms less than it seems to do. If we maintain that all substance is indestructible, we say what is true, pro- vided we have included the attribute of indestructibility in the notion of substance  ; but we do not make any directly valid statement; for the very question before us is whether there are substances in this sense, and whether we are constrained by experience — which beyond doubt bids us add in thought to every group of properties and develop- ments a subject as their base — further to conceive this subject itself as a so constituted substance. In like manner, all that we think and designate as an effect undoubtedly requires its cause, but it is a question whether we are entitled to consider every event that happens as in this sense an effect. The very infinitude of the series of causes is a proof that we are not, for it necessarily leads to the recognition of a primitive being and a primitive motion. What constitutes the absolute authority of the causal law is not that every part of the finite sum of things actual must in the finite sphere be produced by fixed causes, according to universal laws, but that each constituent once introduced into this actual course continues to act according to these laws. We commonly speak only of every effect having its cause, but we should on the contrary lay stress chiefly on the other form of the proposition — every cause infallibly has its effect. The meaning of causality consists not indeed exclusively, but (it seems to me) in its more essential part, in its securing to every element of the actual world, springing from no matter what source, means of acting energetically on the other constituents of the world to which it now belongs, ut the same time preventing it from acting within that world otherwise than in harmony with the universal laws


regulating all that takes place in it. Thus the world would be like a vortex swelled by new waves from all sides, which it does not itself attract or produce, but which, once within it, are forced to take part in its motion. We have another example of the same process in the relation of our own soul to the bodily organs ; the soul evolves from itself resolutions, starting-points for future movements  ; none of them needs to be determined by and founded on phenomena in the bodily life on which it reacts  ; but each, at the moment of its passing into that life, subordinates itself to the peculiar laws of the latter, and generates so much or so little motion and force as these permit of — motion too in the direction which they prescribe and in no other. The universal course of things may at every moment have innumerable beginnings whose origin lies outside of it, but can have none not necessarily continued within it. Where such beginnings are to be found we cannot beforehand say with certainty ; but if experience convinces us that every event of external Nature is at the same time an effect having its cause in pre- ceding facts, it still remains possible that the cycle of inner mental life does not consist throughout of a rigid mechanism working necessarily, but that along with unlimited freedom of will it also possesses a limited power of absolute com- mencement.

§ 6. In now bringing to an end this sketch, in which, far from meaning to exhaust the fulness of mental life, we have sought merely to indicate the main outlines of its internal con- nection, we would fain dwell on one point as the chief result of our considerations — namely, the conviction we have gained of the pervading difference separating the constitution of the inner life from the peculiar course of external Nature. Not only are its elements different from those of Nature, — con- sciousness, feeling, and will having no resemblance to the states which observation either shows us or compels us to infer in material bodies  ; but further, the modes of energy, those mani- festations of a power to combine the manifold according to relations, with whose value we have become acquainted, have


in them nothing analogous to the reciprocal actions which we can trace going on between the former. However much we may have become used, from the much higher point to which the physical sciences have been cultivated, to look on their fundamental conceptions as universally applicable means of investigation, we must nevertheless acknowledge that we have here entered on a new and wholly different sphere, whose peculiar nature requires us to accustom ourselves to new and special points of view. It would be a mistake to suppose this demand to be made in opposition merely to Materialism, which, denying as it does the independent nature of the mental being, must also in consistency decline the obligation to seek new modes of considering a subject which it does not recognise to be new ; the tendency with which we find fault extends far more widely, even among those who, like us, base their views on the independent origin of spirit. We are so used in Nature to indirect effects and to their being explained by the consideration of single constituents, so used to find momentous differences in properties traced back to trifling alterations in the amount and mode of combination of homogeneous elements, that at last we lose all understand- ing of anything immediate, and unconsciously become possessed by a passion for construing everything, assigning to every- thing a complicated machinery as the means of its origination and operation. We would then fain assert that even within us there is nothing but an exterior concatenation of events, resembling the communication of movement by which, in the outer world, we see one element come into collision with another ; and all else that we find within — consciousness, feeling, and effort — we would be almost tempted to regard as only a kind of accidental reflection in us of that real action, unless indeed we see that there must be something for which and in which this reflection arises. That something there is  ; every several expression of our consciousness, every stirring of our feelings, every dawning resolution, calls aloud that processes, not to be measured by the standard of physical notions, do indeed take place, with unconquerable and


undeniable reality. So long as we have this experience, ^Materialism may prolong its existence and celebrate its triumphs within the schools, where so many ideas estranged from life find shelter, but its own professors will belie their false creed in their living action. For they will all continue to love and hate, to hope and fear, to dream and study, and they will in vain seek to persuade us that this varied exercise of mental energies, which even deliberate denial of the super- sensible cannot destroy, is a product of their bodily organiza- tion, or that the love of truth exhibited by some, the sensitive vanity betrayed by others, has its origin in their cerebral fibres. Among all the errors of the human mind it has always seemed to me the strangest that it could come to doubt its own existence, of which alone it has direct experi- ence, or to take it at second hand as the product of an external Nature which we know only indirectly, only by means of the knowledge of the very mind to which we would fain deny existence.






Different Stages of Apprehension of the World  ; True and Derivative Stand- points—The Universal Bond between Mind and Matter— Possibility and Inexplicableness of Reciprocal Action between the Homogeneous and the Heterogeneous — How Sensations arise — Guidance of Movements — Influ- ence of the Soul on Bodily Form.

§ 1. FT1HE study of mental life has led us into paths far JL removed from those along which the explanation of natural phenomena is wont to move. But the greater the peculiarity of psychic life — so great that it requires the most thoughtless familiarity with the forms of the material world to find conceivable the idea that that life originated in the reciprocal action of material substances — the more forcibly do there now press forward the laboriously held back questions in regard to the possibility of the mutual influence which we everywhere find the two so sharply separated spheres of action exercising on one another. How great and weighty is the moulding power over the amount and direction of the intellectual activity exerted in each individual by changes of bodily temperament, everyday experience is sufficient to convince us, without further discussion being needful ; that experience, I mean, which still remains after we have made allowance for the thoughtless exaggeration with which many thinkers in our day — as if they had lost all remembrance ot self-control and self-denial — assure us that they can find in the energies of mental life nothing else than an exact repeti- tion of physical processes. How much, on the other hand, all higher culture depends on the countless reciprocal actions (all ultimately performed by means of corporeal needs and activities) going on between us and the outer world, and



how powerfully environing Nature, now through slight encouragement, now through capricious refusal, encourages or hinders new developments of our powers  : of this every age has furnished convincing examples, yet this dependence has come home most clearly and strongly to the thought of the present age. Whether this puts us on the whole in a better position than former generations, whether this conscious utilizing of the outer world for the advance of the general wellbeing to an extent that can only be called grand, will leave intact a feeling for the noble ends for which all this externality of culture is recommended as means, we must leave it to the future to determine ; as yet certainly the hurry of this advance has not been able to stifle the interest in the serious problems ever meeting us anew in regard to the connection in the universe between the intellectual order and the course of Nature, and in miniature as to the mode in which our individual soul is related to its corporeal envelope.

But the more manifold the interests by which our outer life is stirred— and we have to collect ourselves from their tumult ere resuming consideration of these problems— the more diverse are also the cravings after enlightenment and the tacit expectations with which we set about its investi- gation, and the more numerous the secret germs of miscon- ception threatening later, with increasing force, to perplex our efforts with the contradictory insistence of their claims. It will be hard for any theory to satisfy all these demands of the mind, uncertain of themselves as they so often are ; hardest when, without separating the problems, an attempt is made to attain at once all the various ends that can be proposed for any scientific discussion.

For our wishes may be directed either towards the com- prehension of phenomena and the entering into their essential meaning, or towards such an accurate acquaintance with their external modes of connection as shall enable us to calculate the effect exercised by each one on every other ; but the complete fusion into indivisible unity of the two lines of


our inquiry seems to be forbidden by more than on.- im- perfection of human nature. To go back to the ultimabj and deepest elements in the being of tilings, and to explain everything that perplexes us in pha-nomrna from the supreme laws of action in the universe and from the rat nature of the design that combines particular events into the order of a significant whole  : this ideal task we wish neither to depreciate in the eyes of those enthusiastic aspirants who with undamped ardour are ever anew resum- ing it, nor are we willing to concede to those who turn from it with contempt that it is of less importance than it is. Nevertheless we must acknowledge that this absorp- tion in the highest has seldom been the source of an accurate knowledge of the lower ; while it yielded the mind the peculiar satisfaction of secure repose in the universal source of things, it did not at the same time heighten the acute agility with which the intellect (constrained to make itself familiar with the connection of the finite world iii order to fulfil the requirements of practical life) has so great an interest in searching out how the individual proceeds from the individual. Where speculative problems come to have also practical ends, where what we aim at is not merely to understand and admire the sequence of events, but to be able to interfere with and direct it, there insight into the ultimate and universal reasons of things falls in value below acquaintance with the immediate rules of the special department in which we may have to act. Now it is easy to pass from the study of the particular to that of the uni- versal and higher that spreads above it, but it is more difficult for us to find the way back from the indefiniteness of the uni- versal into all the complicated details of the concrete which it is our business to master. We do not therefore see this path taken by the sciences to which we as yet owe the most abiding and fruitful extensions of knowledge ; they do not start from the points which even subsequent and deliberate reflection would have to allow to be the deepest certain foun- dations of all reasoning, as the inherent and essential truth of


things. They rather leave much undetermined, many open questions, above all the final vindication of the principles which they borrow from the careful analysis of experience as supports for the further advance of their explanations, which are well accredited, though obscure in their origin ; ever bent on achieving a secure and extended dominion over the concrete, they may seem to contemplative minds to have less head, but certainly they have better hands and feet, than the upholders of higher views of things, who come towards them from the other side, generally with impracticable claims, always very lavish of requirements, yet themselves yielding nothing. We perhaps sometimes succeed, with due attention to all the conditions of a physical event, in finding a formula that completely states the law by which it is regulated ; but the equation thus obtained we perhaps cannot solve, and the truth which we possess in it remains a useless locked-up treasure. In such cases science is con- tent to stop short, and, leaving out of its investigation some of the conditions influencing the causation of the phseno- menon only slightly, but mainly causing the complication of the formula, to draw from the simplified and now explicable equation inferences that are only proximately correct, but, because they can be obtained, more useful than absolutely correct ones that cannot be had. In like manner, we may perhaps attain to a credible explanation in regard to the highest ends of the universe ; but past attempts have made us familiar with the disappointing result of finding that from these sub- lime problems we can get very little light on the complex course of events by which Nature works them out, and yet the practical inducements to our inquiries lie mostly in this field, the laws governing which do not refuse to disclose themselves to a less ambitious train of thought.

Now to this natural preference for things that are attain- able there is in our case added a further consideration, which persuades us to divide the problem lying before us. The further we go from the facts given, in order by a generalizing comparison to find the fundamental axioms that will again


lead us back to tin-in, thu more numerous must the possible sources of error become; their numluT increases with that of the inlmiK'iliiite links of the reasoning by which we connect thu data with thu ultimate generalization of which we are in search. Hence, by nothing but by a fatal con- fidence in its own infallibility can science be led so far astray as to attach its knowledge of complex series of phenomena by preference to the fewest possible axioms, or to the slender thread of a single principle, which causes the whole to fall if it gives way. Its labour will be more wisely directed if, instead of raising its structure on the sharp edge of a single fundamental view, and performing the marvellous feat of achieving the greatest possible instability by the most recondite means, it looks out for the broadest basis on which to build, and, first of all, starting modestly, traces the given facts to the proximate grounds of explanation required by their distinctly recognisable peculiarities. It will reserve to itself the right of making these preliminary results matter of a more advanced inquiry ; but, remembering how at this elevation sharpness of outline in the subjects of our scrutiny, and withal trustworthiness in our judgment gradually diminish, it will at once allow the possibility, and lessen the mischievousness of error. For it will be open to science to quit again those higher spheres which, with its insufficient means, it believed it had already conquered, and to retreat to that lower but secure vantage-point, whence the view, though not the loftiest possible, still remains that of truth and reality.

Finally, even if we believed we could unerringly tread the path to the highest summit, we would yet have reasons for seldom entering on it. For, in order to reach the highest point, we would be compelled to renounce many of those ways of looking at things on whose application depend all clearness and vividness in our daily intercourse with the world. Now, as surely as we must resolutely carry out this renunciation of the correctness of the illusion with which \ve have become so familiar, so surely must we, on our


return from the most elevated point of view to the level of the surrounding finite world, resume once more the language of illusion. We gain clearness and insight not by giving up in every case the wonted forms of human conception, to put in their stead the language of a higher truth, but by once for all going back to the source of things, and thence making ourselves acquainted with the limits within which we may without error apply these wonted forms of conception as handy instruments of knowledge, as proximate and manage- able abbreviations of the true statement. To carry directly into special and single investigations the highest principles — those of all ultimate determination — can lead to no advan- tage, only to the mischief of a disquieting lack of clearness ; no one can at one moment keep in view the whole series of further conditions, and yet it is only by means of these that the highest principles can be brought to bear on the case in point. Though astronomy has established the fact that the sun stands still and the earth moves, yet in our daily speech we avoid the absurdity of making a cumbrous statement of the real state of things, instead of speaking of the sun's rising and setting ; though the greater or less power of bodies to resume their altered form depends on the forces by which the infinitesimal particles act on each other, we do not on every occasion pause to calculate these, but rejoice to possess in the notion of elasticity and in its laws as discovered by experience, means at hand for a more convenient mode of expression ; lastly, though every change by which our food is made more tempting to the appetite undoubtedly depends on universal chemical laws, we do not wait until these are discovered, — nay, even then gastronomy will probably prefer, as guarantees of success, the maxims of experience to the precepts of science. The scant inclination hitherto shown by the higher inquirers to convert the treasure of their perhaps inestimable results into the current small coin of thoughts that can be retained in memory, and useful abbrevia- tions, has not only cut them off from general sympathy, but contributed to their own want of clearness. It is no perfect


state of society in which the decision of every trifling question, directions for the uinnn^cnn'iit of the most petty n flairs, must be given by the supreme tribunal; and as there a smoothly working mechanism of administration is subor- dinated to the powers of legislation and government, so too science needs a gradation of points of view, and, while it must be possible to refer unsatisfactory decisions from the lower to the higher for farther explanation, seekers after law must not in every case be compelled to travel the long road that leads to the ultimate ground of things.

§ 2. No question is to be more confidently expected than the general one concerning the bond between body and soul ; it is commonly the first put in this branch of inquiry, and to it from later stages men return, as with a long-drawn breath, when, dissatisfied with all more restricted modes of expression, they think to sum up in it the whole difficulty of the subject. And yet hardly anything can be more prejudicial than the misunderstanding involved in this conception of the question. For what else is a bond than a means of externally connecting two things which do not of themselves cohere, and, from having no inherent relation to one another, are not disposed to exert any reciprocal action  ? And, supposing we had been able to discover this universal — nay, this single — bond between body and soul, what craving would we have really satisfied  ? None of the numberless reactions which we see going on between the two would be in form and character one whit more intelligible with this external collocation than without it ; nay, even the possibility of any mutual influence we should still have to try and under- stand from the nature of the things bound, by a fresh course of inquiry, since we should fail to do so from the indefinite idea of the bond. Besides, by what new means of cohesion are the constituents of every bond themselves held together, so that they are able to unite other things  ? However far into detail we may carry the resource of a constantly renewed cement, we shall in the end have to confess that the ultimate

VOL. L s


elements are not rendered capable of reciprocal action by any pre-existing bond, but that the reciprocal action is itself what holds them together, and fits them to bind together other things, the mutual affinities of which are too weak to unite them in the face of opposing obstacles.

But, nevertheless, does not the demand to exhibit this common bond mean the justifiable requirement of a condition that must first be there before the reciprocal action can be realized  ? Does not the vessel containing two chemical substances act as a bond to force them into mutual contact, and thereby give them an opportunity of exerting the influences, the pre- cise nature and amount of which are of course determined by their own mutual affinities  ? Certainly the elements whose reciprocal relations have not sufficient force to make them seek one another, need a guiding hand to bring them together; but after they are together, they are kept so neither by the hand nor by the vessel, but by their own reciprocal action, and often with a force greater than could have been imparted by any external bond. And so — to drop the simile — it is a question deserving attention in what manner body and soul were united in the first formation of life; but we cannot seek a permanent bond between body and soul different from the vital reciprocal action of both, in the fully-formed and self-maintaining life — the explanation of which is of neces- sity our primary object, as only from the knowledge of its constitution can we form conjectures as to its origin. This would be an idea alike superfluous and contemptible — as superfluous as it would be to insist on regarding the bond of friendship between two individuals as a particular and visible tie, while it is the friendship itself that forms the bond ; contemptible, because this would indeed be to link soul and body together in wholly external fashion, without regard to the fact that not by one form- less bond, but by a fine-spun tissue of numberless relations, are both most admirably fitted to work on each other's states and needs. For each action and re-action passing between them is a fibre of that which forms their


mutual bond, and the scorn so often cast on the view of human nature as composed of soul and body, on account of its deriving our being from tin; addition of two constituent parts, is a mere mistaken transference of this miserable idm of one universal bond to the unlimited variety of organized reciprocal action. Let us then set aside this vain theory, alike as in its coarser form it seeks some material cement, perhaps of the nature of an ethereal matter, that may make body and soul adhere, and as in more refined, yet not more trustworthy shape, it makes the soul itself the intermediate link between body and mind, and thereby but adds to the number of elements which it would fain join into one.

§ 3. But are not these reciprocal actions themselves most incomprehensible, or is there any means of forming an idea how impressions pass from the body to the soul and are sent back from the latter  ? In this question also lurks much misunderstanding, in fact it is but a new form of expression for the false idea underlying the last. This reciprocal action is certainly inexplicable, but it is not among those processes whose reality we may doubt on account of their inexplic- ability, because they ought to be explained by laws known to us ; on the contrary, it is itself the notion of that simple and primitive procedure to which all explanation of composite occurrences takes us back, and which now, by a confusion of ideas, we would fain rest upon its own results. Or do we in that question seek something other than a minute and vivid description of the arms which the soul aggressively extends into the body, of the material organs by which the body con- veys to it impressions made upon itself, in short, of the whole machinery by which — here as in other cases of reciprocal action which we think we know more accurately — the com- munication of influence from the one side to the other takes place  ?

On impartial self- scrutiny, we cannot deny that in our speculations as to the universe, curiosity very often usurps the place of genuine desire of knowledge, and that the ample satisfaction afforded to the one by the entertaining variety of


a succession of images but too often makes us forget how wholly unquenched is the other. We are apt to estimate the thoroughness of our insight according to the number of details which in any investigation we have mastered ; the more internal mechanism, the more intricacy our analyzing study finds in any object, the more completely do we believe ourselves to understand its nature and manner of working. We do not reflect that this multitude of connected parts but increases the extent of that which we have to explain, and that every new link shown to intervene between the first cause and the last effect, instead of solving, only renders more com- plicated the enigma, how reciprocal action is possible between different elements. If we have studied the details of a machine, whose mode of working was to us at first wholly inexplicable, and seen where each wheel works into the other, and transfers its own movements in fixed directions to other parts, we think we have solved all problems. And yet we have not gained the slightest knowledge of the manner or of the internal processes by which the working forces here produce their result ; we have merely analyzed the great and hidden mystery of the whole machine into those separate mysteries of the simple operations of Nature, in respect of which we have once for all made up our minds to consider them clear, though all closer scrutiny shows them to be wrapped in the darkness of complete incomprehensibility.

For all mechanical working presupposes the transferability of motion and the solid construction and connection of the masses from one to another of which motion is to be conveyed. Now, which of these two conditions do we understand  ? Can we state what takes place when motion is transferred, and what is the commencement of the process by which the impelling body sets the other in motion by impact or pressure, and communicates to it a portion of its own velocity  ? Or is it clear to us how and why the single parts of a driving- wheel so adhere together that the blow given to one compels the others to move along with it, and to produce the circular rotation round an axis which is again applied to bring about


new and useful results? We shall perhaps refer to the operation of attractive forces by which particles are bound into a whole. But wherein consists this action of reciprocal attraction, and how is it brought about  ? How do these forces make the first advance beyond the limits of the body to which they belong, to exert over another and a foreign body such a power that it must yield to their attraction  ? We are not afraid of hearing once more of a bond that holds together sun and planets ; the question that would imme- diately arise, how this bond is supposed to be now shortened, now lengthened, will be evaded by the frank confession that we are here in presence of one of the simple actions, by com- pounding which we may indeed elucidate the character of complex effects, but which themselves are made no more intelligible than before by the supposition of additional acces- sory mechanism. Even as we know what we mean when we say that anything is, but never shall thoroughly learn how existence is brought about, so we know what we mean when we speak of working, but never shall be able to say how working comes to pass. Science need not hope to do more than accurately to search out the conditions under which this uncomprehended and incomprehensible working originates ; and however great and important may be its achievements in the disentangling and analyzing of complicated connections, when it has reached the simple reciprocal actions, to a com- bination of which it reduces every manifold, it will invariably have to confess that the proper act of working in all con- ceivable cases of its occurrence remains to us alike inexplicable. But this will be allowed only to be again forgotten as soon as the special problem of the reciprocal action between body and soul is proposed. Though it needs but little study of physical science to teach us, that in fact all forms of action and reaction between substance and substance are equally obscure, it has yet become a habit hardly to be overcome to look upon the mutual influence of body and soul as a par- ticular and exceptional case, in which unfortunately, and contrary to our expectations, that will not become clear


which in every example of merely physical action is perfectly intelligible. How little this latter is the case, we have already pointed out ; nevertheless the complaint will still go on, for in the case in question the impression of obscurity is heightened by the entire dissimilarity of the members that have to act on one another. We have on the one side the material constituents of the body, on the other the immaterial nature of the soul. How is it possible that the impact and pressure of masses, or their chemical attraction, apparently the only means of working which they have, can make any impression on the soul, which, like an unsubstantial shadow, offers them no point of con- tact ? How, on the other hand, can the soul's command, a command without any power of propulsion for its realiza- tion, move masses, that would only obey a palpable impetus  ? We can only conceive homogeneous things acting on each other. But on closer examination, it appears that this demand for homogeneity also springs from the error of supposing that propulsion, pressure, attraction, and repul- sion or chemical affinity, are explaining conditions of reciprocal action, instead of mere forms in which in an inexplicable manner the action takes place. The complete homogeneity of two balls does not in itself make the communication of their motion in impact more intelligible  ; it only has for our perception the advantage that we can with equal distinctness image to ourselves the two reciprocally acting elements, and see the motion in space by which they approach one another ; i.e., it enables us to form an image of what is there before any reciprocal action takes place, but it does not throw any light on how it comes to take place. Now, in the present case, of course, we are wholly denied the advantage of being able to form such an image. We should be consoled if we could see the soul facing matter, ready for the leap by which it is to make its inroad on the latter's domain, or extending itself so as to receive the latter's blow  ; we would then have obtained the image which we so much desire, but we would not be one whit nearer cornprehen-


sion of the process. IVrhaps the subsequent course of our investigation will brini; us to a point of view at which the heterogeneity of the immaterial soul and of palpable mutter will have disappeared ; but even should it not disappear, it does not — strictly speaking — magnify the diffi- culty. For the act of working, inasmuch as it is not in itself palpable to the senses, can require no other homogeneity of the reciprocally acting members than such as is amply given in the fact that the soul, as a real substance capable of acting and being acted on, stands over against the material atoms, which on their side we regard as positive centres of exeunt and ineunt actions. Any demand for still closer similarity would only proceed from the error of looking on the act of working as a transference of perfected states from one element to another, which must insist on the similarity or homogeneity of both, that the exeunt state may at its entrance into a fresh element find a home alike in size and form to that which it has quitted.

Lastly, we must add, there are not reciprocal actions in general, even as there was no connection in general. Every action is particular and fixed in form and amount, and we have no reason to suppose that the infinite variety of effects proceeds exclusively from different modes of combining and utilizing one and the same kind of working. If this is so, what light would be thrown on phenomena by our having somehow explained the general possibility of reciprocal action between body and soul, if we yet could not thence draw the reason why, under different circumstances, sometimes one, sometimes another, particular kind of action must take place between the two  ? It must therefore be idle, in the interest of science, to pursue further this very abstract inquiry. Science has to acknowledge and assume that the manner in which working is in general possible is equally inconceivable in all cases and in every department of phenomena ; and that the true and fruitful field of investigation lies in searching under what definite and definable conditions equally definite and definable actions universally and regularly occur. While


giving up the attempt to discover how and by what means effects are produced by their causes, it will direct its atten- tion to the other and more useful question — what effects proceed from what causes. Leaving it to the universal and regular necessity of Nature, whose requirements meet with no resistance needing special means for its removal, to take care of the bringing about of phenomena, it will find in this problem an equally rich and fruitful subject of inquiry, such as astronomy possesses in the notion of universal attraction, of whose effectuation it knows nothing, but from which, by observation of the manifold circumstances under which its incomprehensible working may take place, it is able to explain a multitude of most complex phenomena.

This theory is rightly designated by the name of Occa- sionalism, but it is wrong to give this name as one of reproach. It is thus that we designate a doctrine on which all that we naturally regard as the productive cause of an effect is merely the occasion on which — how we know not — this effect appears. Now we would fain bring home the thought that our knowledge of Nature is at best but an accurate study of the occasions on which — by means of a mechanism whose inner moving springs we do not understand — phenomena are manifested, each attached by universal laws to an occasion belonging exclusively to itself, and each with an equally constant regularity changing with a change in that occasion. Our position is not one outside the sphere of physical conceptions, when we regard the reciprocal action between soul and body from this point of view — we merely consistently extend to this new relation the usages of physical science. Nay, the clear apprehension that even our knowledge concerning physical events is net essentially more profound, will allow us again to apply without fear of error those intuitions of daily experience whose absence in this inquiry we before regretted.

Why, indeed, should we shun speaking of the impact and pressure of masses on the soul, of their mutual attraction and repulsion, if these terms, though explaining nothing, yet serve


to convey our comvptimis <>f the relation in question in a short, convenient, and e;;sily ap|>ielirn<led form? What we primarily in daily life understand by these words, is the external forms assumed by the reciprocal working of large and compound bodies. Here the bodies seem to us to work through propulsion, through pressure. But if we go back to the simple atoms forming the structure of these bodies, we meet, as it were inside the sphere of physical intuitions, with the idea of great intervals, by which, even in the densest mass, the infinitesimal particles are separated, and whose amount can, indeed, by the application of various forces be diminished, but never be annihilated to such an extent that the atoms should touch one another. In that case the impact of two atoms would have to be differently conceived. Before contact took place, the approach of the one would awaken or increase in the other a repelling force, and the effect that would follow, and that formerly appeared to us to proceed from the material rebound of the collision, as a means of its accomplishment, would, in fact, result from a mutual influence of the elements, for whose realization we are utterly unable to point to any farther machinery. The phenomenon of collision would be merely the result of an internal direct understanding of things among themselves, in virtue of which they make their states act on one another according to universal laws. Why then should not an atom of the nervous system equally be able to exert impact and pressure on the soul, or the soul on it, seeing that closer scrutiny discovers ordinary impact and pressure to be not a means to the effect, but only the perceptible form; of a far more subtle process between the elements  ?

§ 4. But without attaching too much importance to the recovery of these terms, we will rather make clear the first general effect which our view has on the treatment of the several questions. We have just spoken of the strange prejudice according to which the process of working is the transference of the complete states of one element to another. How little, on such an assumption, the variety


of results can be explained which are produced by one stimulus in different objects on which it acts, we need say no more to prove ; if its action consisted merely in the radiation of a perfected state, received as such by the objects, the response to it could also be nothing else than an echo of absolutely identical sound in as many voices as there were objects susceptible to the impression. Sup- posing that from the acting point but one motion extends, corresponding to it and its condition, the result which that will produce must evidently be different, according to the difference of the beings whom it reaches. The view to which we have resolved to adhere does not expose us to this error ; on the contrary, it leads us directly to regard every external influence that passes from any one element to any other as an exciting stimulus, that does not transfer to the second an already existing and foreign state, but only awakens in it what already existed potentially in its own nature. The wooden notes of the musical instrument do not themselves contain the tones which when struck they draw forth from the chords, it is only the tension of the latter that by means of this propulsion can pass into tone-producing vibrations. In like manner all bodily impressions are for the soul but strokes, drawing forth from its own nature the internal phenomena of sensation, that never can be communicated to it from without For even if it were not the motion of the notes, but a veritable wave of sound, that brought the tone from the chord, yet that could only reproduce the tone by its own tension, no matter whether what set it in vibration were a process similar or dissimilar to that wave. The case would not be different if we chose anyhow to look on sensation as a state already existing in the nerves  ; it would still have to originate afresh in the soul through some excitation conveyed to it by the sensory nerve, and it could never arise through external impressions, were its own nature not in itself capable of evolving this peculiar form of internal action. Accordingly, every theory that takes for granted that what is to be mani- fested in the soul already exists outside of it, is yet forced to


come back to this conception, and to view the external as merely an occasion, and the inner event, on the other hand, as pro- ceeding from the nature of that in which it takes place. The necessity of this fresh origination can as little be avoided by this assumption, as that of reproductive spontaneous activity in any mind, if the knowledge of a truth or the glow of a feeling is to pass from another to it. Hence, however various be the modes in which the influences of the corporeal life determine the development of the mental, they yet convey neither con- sciousness in general nor any particular sensation or thought to the soul ready-made, as the already gained result of bodily processes  ; these influences are all simply signals for the soul to evolve definite internal states from its own essential nature, and according to unalterable laws ; but the delicate organiza- tion that makes it possible for the body to transmit these signals in a definite grouping and sequence, answering to the actual relations of things, also guides the soul to an alterna- tion and association of its sensations, in which it attains all the truth possible through the mere apprehension of given facts without reflective elaboration of their internal connection.

Now, as the whole world of sensation is an internal development, not brought in from without, but merely awakened in the unity of the thinking being by the multitude of extraneous impressions, so also are the various corporeal movements taking place at the bidding of the soul an evolution of effective relations, grounded in the bodily organization, called forth indeed by the soul's internal states, but not transferred by it ready-made to the organs of the bod}7". Of the external stimuli that produce a sensa- tion, our immediate consciousness knows neither their nature nor the means by which the impression on us is effected  ; only science after efforts long fruitless has made fully clear the peculiarities of the waves of light and sound to which we owe tones and colours. Yet even here, of the processes initiated in our nervous system by these stimuli, which are the immediate causes of our sensation, we know nothing,


and hitherto not even physiological investigation has made us acquainted with them ; nothing conies into our conscious- ness but the close of all these processes, — the sensation of tone or colour itself. Little does the soul understand the history of the evolution of its ideas; it does not create them with a free and elective energy, conscious of what it does, but under the constraint of a universal and binding law of nature it is compelled, as a being constituted as it is, to respond to one impression with this, to another with that particular sensation. Just as little does the soul know and understand of the reality, the situation, the connection, and the efficiency of the organs by means of which it executes its movements  ; it soon, indeed, becomes familiar with the ex- ternal form of the moveable members, but not immediately, and then only with the aid of science, and after all imperfectly, does it learn the internal arrangement of the muscles and nerves by which they are moved. Not this imperfect knowledge qualifies it for action ; it does not itself, by a review of the available means, by choice, and by special direction, select the muscles needful for the execution of a movement. Even had it found these it would yet stand helpless, not knowing how to convey to these organs the sufficient amount of impetus ; science itself is not yet free from doubt as to what form of process it is by which the motor nerve communicates its stimulation to the muscles. Here, too, the soul must confide in that connection which throughout the course of Nature has bound state to state according to unalterable laws, and which without its co-operation links even the internal energies of which its nature is capable with bodily changes. As soon as the image of a definite movement arises in our consciousness, combined with the wish that it should take place, we have tha internal state to which this all-pervading reign of natural law has attached as a necessary result the appearance of that definite movement, and when this preliminary con- dition of its occurrence is present, it takes place forthwith, without our co-operation, without our help, even without any


insight on our part into the action of the mechanism whirh the course of Nature lias put at our disposal.

It is not always, either, that movements proceed from our will ; they take place as the expression of passionate excitement in our features and in all parts of our bodies, frequently without, nay against volition ; they take place in forms whose meaning or use for the expression or relief of this mental excitement we do not understand ; we weep and laugh without knowing why the one should necessarily be an expression of joy, the other of grief; the fluctuation of our emotions is betrayed in a thousand varia- tions of our breathing, and we cannot explain either by what means or to what end these corporeal agitations associate themselves with those which we feel within. Evidently in this way many psychic states, not only voluntary resolutions but also non-voluntary feelings and ideas, have been made by the all-embracing course of Nature determining starting-points — starting-points which the soul, at least in part, spontaneously evolves from its own inner being, but which, after they have been evolved, call forth their corre- spondent movement with the blind certainty of mechanism, without our ordering and guiding co-operation, nay, without our -knowledge of the possibility of such a process.

We deceive ourselves, therefore, when with a favourite simile we compare the body to a ship — the soul to its steers- man. For the latter knows, or at least may know, the con- struction of that which he directs  ; he sees before him the way along which he has to guide it, and, each moment com- paring the direction in which it is moving with the path which it ought to take, he can not only calculate the amount of alteration required, but sees before him the mechanical handles of the rudder with which to effect it, and his own arms that can turn the handles. Far from possessing this comparatively perfect insight into the working of the machine, the soul, on the contrary, is like a subordinate workman, who knows indeed how to turn one end of a winch or to put on coals, but understands nothing whatever of the


internal transference of movements by means of which a completed product is turned out at the other end of the machinery. Or — to keep to the other simile — the relation between soul and body resembles not that between steers- man and ship, but of course that between the steersman's soul and his body ; the steersman discharges his task only because he has at his disposal as means for the intelligible motions which he has to communicate to his instrument, the uncomprehended mobility of his own arms. Thus the simile is superficially illusory, because it is only tacitly that it contains that which is uncomprehended in the comparison.

Few will be inclined unreservedly to adopt this view. We have become too much accustomed to look on the soul as an arbitrarily ruling and swaying power, whose command the body has to obey. We think we are aware, in the swing imparted to the arm, of the direct flowing of our will into the organs as it sets them in motion ; and is this impulse not sufficient  ? Must a universal necessity of Nature make a present to the will of the submission of the members  ? Well, even so it is  : in the swing of the arm we are aware of anything rather than of the transference of energy  ; what we feel is nothing else than the change which, in consequence of a previous stimulation, the muscles undergo during con- traction, and of which a perception, resembling fatigue and passing into it, returns to our consciousness. Our view does not threaten the living energy of the will, or even the fact of its power over the limbs ; but it establishes beyond doubt that the will is nothing else than living volition, and is not also accomplishment ; as little as our will directly extends beyond the limits of our body and by its own efficiency produces changes in the distant outer world, so little does it in itself extend to more in our personality than the soul ; if, nevertheless, it exerts a power over the body, which Nature has associated with it as its instrument, it is because the same necessity of Nature has ordained that its behests, in themselves powerless, be followed by an obedience of the masses under the regulation of law.


Thus — to return to whence we started — the variety of our movements is a development of the purposive relations of our corporeal organization, not devised, not watched in detail and set to work by the soul, but only blindly initiated by it. The soul may indeed, inasmuch as it originates in itself a series of inner states such as Nature has made the starting-points of movements, also call forth a series of the latter in an order and purposive grouping for which in itself the arrangement of the organism contains no sufficient ground ; and yet its dominion over the body does not in this respect exceed an infinitely varied utilization and complica- tion of elementary movements, not one of which can it devise or comprehend. It purposively combines purposive elements, as language makes of its vowels and consonants a countless multitude of words and euphonies ; but as in the case of language and its sounds, so the soul finds ready to its hand the simple purposive movements, easily initiated by an inner state which it can call up, but, as otherwise concerns their origination and performance, independent of it and to it wholly dark.

§ 5. Already, when we examined the theories in regard to the ground of the purposive formation of the living body which have successively been put forward, we mentioned that view on which its harmony is only referable to the active co-operation of an intellectual being. We then saw that this theory, seeking by the aid of the soul to withdraw the development of the body from the sphere of mechanical procedure, failed of its end. For that which alone makes the soul more than blind mechanism — rational reflection, and the voluntary choice of means and ends — could not, by all we learn from experience, be viewed as co-operating in the gradual building up of the corporeal form. The forms of the body are finally fixed or prepared at a period prior to the unfolding of these mental activities ; the soul, therefore, could only so far itself contribute to the establishment of the bodily life, as, along with other elements, it was woven into the tissue of mechanical actions, from whose harmonious


energy came forth with blind necessity the predetermined form of the organism.

This needful rejection of a false conception of the mode in which the soul takes part in the construction of the body, need not prevent us from holding such participation to be in itself great and important. The soul, by reason of its more significant nature, must always have a place of vantage among the other elements, and even although its co-operation were confined to necessary reactions, to which it is at every moment constrained by its relations to the other elements, yet the very depth of its own nature might qualify it for thus sending forth from itself influences, whose value for the progress of the organization should exceed that of all other constituents. Now, when we see how even within the limits of our observation the impulse of the will serves to contract the muscular fibres, how thus a change in ps}rchic states is evidently followed by a change in the local relations of infinitesimal particles of the body, we cannot in general question the possibility that at an earlier period of growth, when the elements of the body had not yet assumed the fixed structure and position which they have in its maturity, the inner workings of the soul may exert a con- siderable influence on the still undefined relative situation of the particles, and consequently on the development of the form. Of course the starting-point of this influence cannot be the conscious representation of the motion of parts of whose very existence and uses the soul at this stage can have learned nothing  ; but as even in the adult we see emotions involuntarily exert their moulding power on particular parts, and in mimetic movements alter the local relations of these already fixed elements, so doubtless a similar influence on the primary establishment of particular relations of form may be exercised, in conformity with their qualitative nature, by the inchoate emotions, still unconnected with any definite reactions, that agitate the undeveloped soul of the growing organism.

But, after all, we must confess that all this is merely


possible, or at any rate, if even in our opinion the soul must to some extent lake part in the reciprocal actions whence its body originates, wo are yet not enabled by the analogies of experience to estimate the actual extent of such participation. In the full-grown body the power of the soul over the moulding of the form is very slight, and, even so far as it extends, seems to be exerted only indirectly, by altera- tions in some particular groups of muscles or operations — such as the heart-beat, respiration, and digestion — over which emotional fluctuation or the habitual practice of certain movements has a more or less immediate influence. The workings of the soul thus extend mostly over the whole body, and affect rather its bearing than its form. While we willingly allow that the ennoblement of the mental life in the end ennobles also the bodily form, that its degradation tends to the deterioration of the latter, we are inclined to limit to this the influence of the soul. That influence does, in a certain measure, develop beauty and ugliness of form by slight alterations in the stamp of already fixed proportions ; but that to a preponderant extent the primary formation of the organism is due to the soul's moulding power, is a poetic imagination cherished by many who overlook the numerous examples of deficient agreement between mental dispositions and corporeal structure.




Meaning of the Question — Limited Sphere of the Soul's Operation— Structure of the Brain — The way in which Movements arise — Conditions of Space Perception — Significance of the Unbranched Nerve-Fibres — Omnipresence of the Soul in the Body.

§ 1. TN the notion of the soul with which we have -*- hitherto been dealing — that of an indivisible being whose nature is capable of developing ideas, feelings, and efforts — there is nothing that suggests space and space- relations. But the counter-actions which the soul is found to exert on the mass of the body naturally give rise to the desire to be able to represent not merely in general the possi- bility and nature of this mutual influence, but also the respective position of both parties to the relation, with that local distinctness which everywhere attends our observation of Nature, not indeed explaining things themselves, but un- questionably giving clearness to our ideas about them. We shall be questioned as to the seat of the soul.

The meaning of the question is simple enough ; if we leave it an open question whether it is possible to ascribe to the indivisible being of any real existence any kind of extension in space in the sense in which we believe it to be attribut- able to material substances, there need be no divergence of opinion as to the possibility of even unextended existence having a position in space. Its place will be at the point whither all impressions from without must be transmitted, and whence in return come the impulses by which it sets in motion directly its own environment, indirectly through that the more extended world. This point in space is the place at which we must penetrate the spaceless realm of genuine



existence, in order to find passive and active being; and in this sense every theory must search out a seat for the soul, even if it deny to it the extension of a space-occupying form, in addition to place.

Our notions, however, of the reciprocal action of things on one another leave several possibilities with respect to appearance in space. We can conceive a being not merely in some relation to all the rest of the universe, but to every part of it in an equally close and gradationless relation. It would, in such case, not merely act and be acted on directly by some few things, as a means of indirectly controlling others, but stand with all at once in that vital relation which involves immediate action by the states of the one on those of the other. If situations and places are the expression of the closeness or looseness of these internal connections, this being would not have a limited seat in space, but, as internally alike near to all parts of the universe, would seem externally to be omnipresent. So we conceive the existence of God. He, the Creator of the whole, is alike nigh to all — even to apparently forsaken — points of the creation ; His power has no way to travel in order to reach the point at which it is to act, and the states of things do not need to seek Him in order to commit themselves to His Providence, by which they are everywhere alike closely encompassed. Yet we do not so conceive this omnipresence as to attribute to the Divine Being the infinite extent itself that is under His sway; rightly avoiding such material conceptions, we think of Him as the immaterial, formless Energy, to which this infinity is nothing, neither a barrier to its immediate presence, nor an attribute adding anything to the fulness of its being.

Physical science has accustomed us to a second conceiv- able case — that of beings that reciprocate action directly with all oilier s similar to themsehes but in different degrees of relationship with different individuals. Thus the attractive force of every gravitating particle extends directly to every other even to an infinite distance; but the amount of the


force diminishes with increasing distance. Those molecular forces, too, the effect of which becomes imperceptible at the smallest sensible interval between the reciprocally acting elements, we yet suppose to extend ad infinitum with rapidly accelerated diminution; at even the most trifling distance its amount may approach the vanishing-point, but there can be no fixed distance at which it is absolutely annihilated. Various conceptions may be formed of the relation to space of things thus acting. They may be said to be omnipresent in space, for in fact their efficiency needs no continuous medium in order to reach any point in space. In con- sideration of the gradational character of their efficacy, they may equally well have ascribed to them a circum- scribed locality of punctual magnitude. They will then seem to "be, in the place at whose circumference they exhibit their maximum force ; on the other hand, they will seem only to control with lessening power the rest of infinite space, without existing in it. This twofold possibility shows that only an illusory interest attaches to the question, whether in the case of such action the extension of that which acts is finite or infinite ; magnitude in space forms no part of its attributes. We did not conceive of God as equal in magnitude to the universe which He governs ; so also we conceive these working substances as neither infinitely small, like the geometrical points whence their energy proceeds, nor infinitely great, like the worlds over which it extends. They themselves are what they are — supersensible beings ; nothing more can be said about them than that, in accord- ance with the part which they have in the whole of the universe, within the region of phenomena in space, their force must seem to proceed from a fixed place, and at a constant rate of diminution to arrive at distant places.

A third conjecture may be hazarded, according to which a thing would act directly and unvaryingly over a fixed extent of space, but be only indirectly in reciprocal action with all that lay beyond its limits. This conjecture would however have to avoid a false assumption. There is no conceivable

OF TIM: BIAS 01 TIN: SOUL. 20.*',

ground for supposiM-r that in empty space, the force of a bti should extend only over a globular space of fixed diameter, and beyond that limit should cease. If any one distance has above another the advantage of possessing this limitin_ power, this can be due only to the fact that space is filled as far as it goes, and empty beyond. Besides, a force must not be conceived as something always pro- ceeding from the working element, even when there is no second element on which it can act  ; it comes into being at every moment of the action between the two elements, whose qualitative nature renders it inevitable that they shall act the one upon the other. Hence it will everywhere extend so far in space as it meets with elements whose internal affinities impose on them this necessity of working, and hence we can never say that, on account of too great distance in space, an element escapes from the sway of a force which otherwise, in virtue of its nature, it would be bound to obey. In other words, there can be no force whose efficacy originally extends over a finite region in space, and further also over all that this contains  ; but in an element such a force is quite conceivable as is limited to a certain species or certain circle of other elements, and indifferently passes by all those which do not belong to that species or that circle. I would once more emphatically repeat an assertion under- lying all that has gone before  : it is absolutely necessary to convert the oft-heard proposition, A thing acts only where it is, into the other, It is wliere it acts. It is a downright error to believe that there is any meaning in saying that a thing is in a place, and consequently acquires capability for a particular direction and extension of its action. Even the most ordinary everyday reflection fixes the situation of a thing only by reference to its actions  ; a body is there, whence come the rays of light which it sends out in various directions  ; it is there, where it meets with resisting pressure the hand that seeks to move it  ; lastly, it is there, where it acts on other bodies, attracting, holding, or repelling them. Further, this is not to be understood as if all these actions were only


subjective grounds leading us to knowledge of the body's existence in its place, while that existence itself has a signi- ficance independent of the effects that make it perceptible. On the contrary, we can neither say nor understand why a thing that does not act should be said with any better reason to exist in one place rather than in any other, or how the state of a thing simply existing without any efficacy in a particular place could be distinguished from that in which it would be, did it occupy any other place.

This being taken for granted, we are in a position to state the conceptions which we can form of the alleged third case. If a being is where it acts, but if in its acting it is determined exclusively by the internal relations existing between it and other elements, and not by empty space with its places and distances, we may further add  : it is wherever it acts, and its place is large or small, continuous or discontinuous, according to the distribution in space of those other elements with which it stands in this direct reciproca- tion of action. Whatever be the place of an acting being, and whatever its form, it is never a property of the being itself; the latter does not become large or small, as the place increases or diminishes, nor extended, because it has extension, nor multiple and divisible, if it is severed into a plurality. Let us, in order to -make the subject more distinct, suppose that an active element a has reciprocal action with all the elements of the species 5, and that this reciprocal action is independent of the distances between the individuals "b in the world, then a would have as many places in space as there are elements I dispersed through- out infinite space  ; a would exist as much in any one of these places as in any other, without the unity and in- divisibility of its being suffering on this account any pre- judice. This conception is none the less possible that we are not aware of any case of it in the actual order of the universe. If we further suppose that a directly reciprocates action with a certain number of elements b, homogeneous or heterogeneous, the place of a will always be where one


of these elements is. Let us insn^ine. thorn nil assembled on the surface of a hall, and tin- mrtaphysiral place of a will be this curved surface, in each one of its points that is occupied by one of the real elements b. We would not strictly be entitled to hold, but we might indulge ourselves in the imagination, that a is in the centre of the globe and thence exerts a force whose sphere of action is fixed and limited by the finite diameter of the globe  ; by this form of statement we would set more clearly before ourselves the permanent indivisible unity of a, but would not make that more certain than it would in any case be. Lastly, we might imagine that the elements &, with which a directly reciprocates action, are dispersed throughout space, and that in the intervals between them are situated other elements of the species c, to which a's nature brings it into no effective relation  ; then a would have a discontinuous place in space embracing many points, or would simultaneously exist at many points  ; and now, on account of points being interpolated at which a is not, it would be more difficult for our imagination to grasp the conception of a's unity, while yet in the real relations of the things no greater difficulty would be involved.

§ 2. If now we apply these general considerations to the particular case in hand, we find that only the happy believers in the revelations of clairvoyantes insist on extending the direct and perceptible sphere of the soul's power to infinity  ; the experience of waking life has never doubted that in the main the contour of the body marks the limits within which the soul itself is active and is acted on by external states. We are aware only of what affects the body, we move it alone  ; through its instrumentality the outer world acts on us, and we act on it. But oft-repeated observations have taught us just as certainly that the scene of the direct reciprocal action of soul and body is not co-extensive with the body. The soul has no concern with any corporeal state that cannot excite some part of the nervous system, the body no concern with any mental movement, which is prevented from passing out of that system into the obedient organs of the limbs.


Thus the great mass of the body appears — in contrast to the soul's proper seat, the nervous tissues — as a department of the outer world which it sways only indirectly. Even here in the nervous system, moreover, observation shows a distinction between conducting parts, through which the transmission backwards and forwards of stimulation takes place, and other more essential parts in which the reciprocal action itself is accomplished. If a sensory nerve is severed by a simple cut in its passage to the brain, the impressions still received from without by its extremity at the surface of the body, are lost to the soul ; if by a similar cut a motor nerve is severed, the volitional influence of the soul no longer passes into the limbs, with whose muscles the severed nerve communicated. The soul therefore does not reciprocate action directly with every part of the nervous system  ; it can be only the excitations of the central organs by which it is really moved, and which, on the other hand, it calls forth by its own power ; the whole system of nervous transmission is but a means of conveyiog to this smaller sphere of veritable action and reaction external impressions, which in themselves cannot reach the soul, and of transmitting its volitions, in themselves powerless, to the limbs by which they are to be carried out. The further course of such observations, as made artificially and in cases of disease, still farther restricts the mental area ; it shows that a severance of brain from spine destroys the susceptibility of consciousness for the impressions received by the latter organ, and in like manner the soul's control over the limbs to which it sends out nerves.

No doubt decapitated trunks, especially of cold-blooded animals, still in obedience to external stimulation execute movements, the purposive harmony of which many have thought cannot depend on merely physical causes. But even these movements take place only so long as the spine and its connection with the limbs to be moved remain uninjured ; at most, therefore, they would prove that the soul's immediate influence, or its seat, is not limited to the brain, but further extends to this other part of the central organs. But it is an


•unquestionable fuct tluit l>y interruption of the communication between spine and brain the movements of the parts dependent exclusively on the former are withdrawn not only from the dominion of will but from consciousness; on the other hand, it is not certain that the movements of decapi- tated trunks depend directly — or if indirectly, in what manner they depend — on psychic conditions. Let us therefore defer till later the consideration of these phenomena, and for the present hold by the propositions that without independent evidence impressions which our consciousness does not receive are not to be regarded as psychic states, actions are not to be regarded as psychic activities which we neither will nor are aware of while they are going on. This is, of course, to assume that the seat of the soul is limited to the brain. Here finally we have grounds for discriminating different parts with different psychic values ; but the greater, nay in- surmountable, difficulties of the investigation make it here no longer possible accurately to discriminate between the peculiar organs of the soul and the surrounding apparatus of afferent and efferent organs. As the result of these reflections, we find that the first of the above indicated conceptions is not applic- able to the relation between soul and body : the soul is not omnipresent in its body, as we conceive God to be in the universe ; it is in direct reciprocal action only with the brain ; there accordingly it has its seat, in the sense which the word ought to have.

Now let us see whether the second conception is fitted to enable us more precisely to fix the place of the soul. Accord- ing to it, the soul would, from a single point at which its activity had reached its maximum, extend its influence directly over all, but with diminished force over the more distant parts of the body. Supposing this diminution to take place rapidly indeed, yet with so moderate an acceleration that its effects were still perceptible at a sensible distance from the maximum point, there is no actual phenomenon that favours such a supposition. The afferent operations of the sensory, the efferent activity of the motor, nerves always cease how-


ever near to the central organs their connection with these is severed, and no trace is ever to be found of any direct action of the soul extending outwards even so far as to pass over the trifling interval created by a fine cut between two immediately adjacent elements of a nerve. The second con- ception would thus be applicable here only in the particular form in which exclusively we apply it to the greater part of the ordinary relations of the body; with so extraordinary rapidity must distance from the point of maximum action diminish the action itself, that at a sensible interval it would no longer be perceptible. Just as a body does not reflect the rays of light, and is not set in motion by impact, until in both cases it has been touched in its place, so the soul would exchange action with those elements alone whose effects approximated within an imperceptibly small interval to the point of its maximum action, a point which on this account it would be allowable to speak of as the only place of the soul's direct efficacy, as its exclusive seat.

Now this is the conception that for long has been elaborated with special preference. It was favoured on the whole by the structure of the nervous system. The course of the sensory nerves is obviously designed so as to convey impres- sions to a place in the brain where they may come into reciprocal action with the soul, while the motor nerves transmit excitations — which there only the will directly communicates to material masses — to the muscles withdrawn by distance in space from the immediate influence of its impulse. It was hoped that a continuation of the same structure would be found in the brain itself, a culminating point of the whole nervous system into which all the afferent filaments ran, and from which all the efferent channels of energy diverged. .Such a point all would have been completely satisfied to recognise as the soul's seat. But as yet anatomy has not been able to find any such point, and there is no hope of its doing .so hereafter. The fibres stretch alongside one another, cross, and are intertwined ; but they do not merge together into a single culminating part, nor even take a common final course


to approach any such point. Not even in the s of the ganglionic cells — roundish vesicles that in great nuin- bera surround tlie fibrous medulla in the fibres, and are M •altered between its rows — are there any signs of centraliza- tion. They are connected together by delicate commissural filaments ; but we know not whether this connection extends throughout, or indeed what is the general office of the ganglionic cells in regard to the reception, excitation, and transformation of the stimulations taking place in the fibrous medulla.

Any one, however, cherishing the hope that more minute observation would find some such limited seat of the soul, could not but acknowledge that it has been sought for in a wrong shape. Slender as is a single nerve-fibre, a point of common intersection for all could not be an indivisible point, must be a cubic space with a diameter of quite appreciable magnitude. This space must be under the soul's direct control ; within it we would not expect to find isolated nerve-filaments continued ; their isolation could only serve to bring the physical processes taking place in them, without any intermingling, into the soul's sphere of action. When they have arrived there, their farther separation is unnecessary ; for in the soul itself there are no partition-walls dividing different impressions, and it must be capable of holding their multitudinous variety, without confusion, in the unity of its being. This cubic space, the seat of the soul, would then have to be conceived either as filled up with a parenchyma without fibres and somehow homogeneous, throughout which nerve-stimulations are propagated in all directions, or as a cavity along whose sides, and within the distance to which the soul's immediate efficiency extends, all the nerve-fibres — or a sufficient select number of them — require to pass though not to terminate. The last-mentioned conception has 'in fact frequently been adopted, and the soul located in the fourth ventricle, without, however, the needful confirmation from anatomical facts.

I bring forward these possibilities — to which many others


might be added — partly from a conviction of the value of elaborating any view into perfect clearness, partly from another conviction, that anatomy is not yet in a position to pass an absolutely decisive judgment on them. In itself none of these conjectures is of any great value ; it soon appears that each of them, even if correct in point of fact, yet in respect of its meaning must be resolved into the third of the conceptions referred to above. For what would be the ultimate meaning of the statement, that the soul is contained within a limited space, and consequently acts on and is acted on by that alone which is in contact with this space  ? The soul cannot prefer one particular empty space to another empty space, as finding in the former a more suitable place than in the latter ; its having a fixed place means, as we have seen, no more than that its nature compels it to reciprocate action directly only with such real elements as are in that place. The taking place of such reciprocal action it is that properly constitutes that space the soul's seat, and if, as we may unhesitatingly assume, there are many elements with which the soul stands in this mutual relation, then its place is no less manifold. Not because compelled to do so by the nature of the soul, but simply from an easily understood craving for something which it can grasp, our imagination still goes on seeking for these many places a geometrical centre of their distribu- tion, and would fain find in it the soul's peculiar seat ; but it could not say in what closer relation the soul stands to it than to those places in which it acts. Therefore, whether the many places of efficacy approach in the brain more nearly to each other without enclosing other places of inefficacy, whether they thus form a seat of the soul that presents itself to our imagination as one, or whether they remain a scattered plurality of points — all this is an anatomical inquiry in regard to the arrangement of the reciprocally acting elements, which it may be left to experience to answer. Whatever the answer may prove to be, it cannot alter the general conceptions at which we have arrived.

I conclude by referring to another conjecture — that,


namely, of a mobile soul, whose seat varies within tin; 0 <:r-;ms. It appears to me to have litlh; value. In order that the soul should be able to move to the particular point at which there is an arriving stimulation to be received, it must already have been informed of the quarter whence the stimulation is to be expected. Thus, in order to be deter- mined to this movement towards the just now stimulated nerve-fibre and towards no other, it would need to have some- how been from a distance influenced by its states without being affected by the states of the others in which a stimulation is not now arising. The soul's motion consequently could serve not as an instrumentality for initiating a reciprocal action with the stimulated element, but only as a subsidiary means of confirming an action already going on. It would be still harder to see how the soul would set about making its way to the motor element, to which it has first itself to communicate excitation.

§ 3. A difficulty that must already have made itself felt constrains us still further to modify — in a way, however, that will prove to be not without value — the views which we have reached. That the soul should directly reciprocate action with a limited number of nervous elements, and with no other, remains improbable so long as we cannot find in the nature of these favoured elements anything different from the nature of the others with which the soul stands in no such relation. Now, it is a view that no doubt has been main- tained by not a few physiologists, that the functions of the nervous centres are essentially different from those of the nerves, and also from the energies of those parts of the brain that may be regarded as prolongations of the nerves carried into the cavity of the skull. This hypothesis involves the assumption of a specially privileged nature of the elements that minister to these higher functions, though anatomical observation affords no direct evidence in support of such a conclusion. But however it may be as to this, on more general grounds the usual assumption seems to us inadequate, that all necessity and capability of reciprocal action between


two elements results from a definite relation between them in what we call their nature or the qualitative content of their being. What the one element undergoes from the other will depend, not only on what that other is permanently, but also on its present temporary state ; perhaps even such a relation of efficiency as that one element is compelled to reciprocate action with another, does not always hold between the abiding natures, but only momentarily between particular states of the two. Or, if both are linked together in this way for all time and all states, then the ground of their connection is not what they both are, but that, in virtue of what they are, they can be in states which, by the meaning and plan of the cosmos, are bound together as antecedent cause and consequent excita- tion. I do not intend to pursue this thought into its meta- physical connections, preferring to give it distinct expression in a closer treatment of our special subject. The soul will not stand in exclusive and unremitting reciprocal action with a particular class of nerve-elements and all states whatever of these elements ; but, as it will at first be susceptible only to certain kinds of action, it will limit its efficiency and its sus- ceptibility to that group and number of nerve-elements, because in those alone is that action realized. It still remains un- certain whether it is the peculiar nature of these elements, or simply a favourable position among others, that makes them the exclusive theatre of this action. In the latter case no specific difference between the elements of the central organs and those of the nerves would be necessary ; peculiarity of structure would make the central organs the exclusive seat of the soul, because it alone would render possible the processes for which the soul possesses the sympathetic susceptibility referred to.

I have still to show that the view now set forth does not owe its origin entirely to speculations on the seat of the soul ; that, on the contrary, independently of these, it reappears in the consideration of psychical phenomena which, at first sight, seem by no means compatible with it.

One of the most commonly current conceptions of the


origin of voluntary movements is that the commencements of the motor nerves lie spread out beside one another in the brain, like the notes of a plain -forte. But even if these notes are there, the soul is incapable of playing on them. It is ignorant of the lelative situation of these notes, it knows not that this and not another note corresponds to the particular movement which it intends to make — in this unlike the pianist, who has learned to connect the note on the instrument which he sees with the written note. And even did it know all this, of what avail would it be  ? How would it set about transferring its energy to one note rather than to another  ? This the per- former can do only through the still unexplained tractability of his fingers, which fall where his will directs ; and he could not do it if he had first by his own insight to effect the transfer- ence of his definite volition to the nerve-fibres corresponding to it. The soul, as we have seen, can do nothing else than produce or endure a state in itself, to which Nature, without its assistance, has attached the initiation of a corporeal change. This state is to be distinguished from others only by what it is qualitatively ; and on its quality must depend not only the kind and amount, but also the place of the action attached to it by nature. Neither pleasure nor pain implies any know- ledge of particular nerves and muscles, any impulse to move them ; but they are heterogeneous disturbances of the mind, and on account of this inherent distinction the one is followed by laughter, the other by tears. Neither con- sciously nor unconsciously has the soul here sent forth its influence in one direction from pleasure, in another from pain  ; but without any interference on its part, the two several kinds of stimulation have been answered by two several movements, i.e. the one by an action in certain muscles, the other by an action partly in different muscles.

Has the soul, then, we shall be asked, to proclaim its states at random, and to wait till what is required comes to pass simply through the varying tone of its utterances, without itself commanding what is to happen  ? No doubt this demand, which we must in all seriousness make of the imagination, is


unusual enough ; yet it will prove to be one that is not im- practicable. Of the countless waves of sound that traverse the atmosphere, each one doubtless produces some disturbance in any stretched lamina of metal, any window-pane, that it happens to strike ; but only one will make the lamina sound simultaneously, namely, that one whose vibrations the lamina is by its structure and tension fitted to repeat. When out of a fluid compound of different substances one has to be extracted, we merely apply the proper means for its precipita- tion, without having to give it a particular direction, and thereby to follow the dispersed particles of the substance to be extracted ; diffused as it is through the whole of the fluid, of itself it keeps aloof as it passes by, from all the particles with which it has no affinity, and with perfect accuracy every- where detects the particles with which it can combine to form a precipitate. After this one has been precipitated, another ingredient will be extracted from the same solution by a second reagent, always by those substances, which from their qualities are related, coming into reciprocal action and attracting one another at short intervals, never by a particular direction being inherent in any one from the first, and the result being variously moulded according to the nature of what it meets in this direction. Did all the motor nerve-extremities in fact lie arranged like notes before the soul, its influence on them could be no other than it is. It would not in any case impart an impetus in a fixed direction, which would have to excite this movement, and not any other, because in that direction it came into contact with one nerve-extremity, and not with another ; on the contrary, for each intended movement it can produce only one special qualitative state, one tone of definite pitch (to return to our simile) and the direction in space taken by the soul's influence, and only by an illusory appearance inherent in it from the first, will depend solely on the elective affinity prevailing between this state and the peculiar capacity for work of a particular nerve-commencement.

These relations are made most clear and simple by a refer- ence to mimetic movements. The feelings crossing one


another in our moods app«-:ir rmbodiud in infinitely d<-li< gradations and compositions in the expression of the coun- tenance. Scarcely any one will be disposed to attribute this inexhaustibly characteristic play of slight movements and contractions to a conscious or unconscious activity of the soul, seeking out a great number of nerve-commencements in order to communicate to each of them an excitation corresponding to the elements of pain and pleasure which are here mingled. Does the soul itself know why tears suit pain better than pleasure, and laughter the latter better than the former  ? Un- questionably it has here neither sought nor found ; as, on the contrary, each several phase of feeling, as a psychic disturb- ance, finds its way to fixed organs for its expression, because these alone share in the excitation of this disturbance, so also the blending of feelings of itself makes its complicated way to the parts in which it has to find its corporeal echo. But this procedure is not confined to this one class of movements. Every other movement which we voluntarily execute has as its true, generative starting-point a conception of that peculiar modification of the general corporeal sensations which former experience has taught us is connected with the movement that is taking place. We bend our arm, not by giving a particular impetus to each of its 'several nerves, but by renewing in ourselves the image of the feeling which we experienced in a particular position of the arm, or doubling of the skin, or degree of tension of the muscles ; on the other hand, we find ourselves unskilful in imitating a movement, when we see it distinctly, but cannot at the moment realize the special sensa- tion by which its performance would be accompanied.

It would be vain here to attempt to convey a more detailed and vivid idea of the manner in which these mental states are propagated over the bodily organs, and in some special ones awaken an answering echo. We must rather beg that if, as we hope, the comparisons employed have made our thought clearer, these comparisons themselves may again be forgotten. For only the general proposition, that every excit- ing action of the soul on the body starts from a mental state

VOL. i. u


of fixed quality, and therefore takes a local course towards a particular organ, can we hold to be necessarily and impera- tively valid ; we are unable to accept any further explication or illustration of this process. For general considerations, such as are here competent, will never so completely and exactly detect the needs of the soul in its intercourse with the body as to enable us beforehand to state the actual arrangements, from our insight into what would be to the purpose. Usually it is the discovery of facts as they are that enables us & posteriori to discern their indwelling purposive- ness and directs our attention to necessities which appear to us urgent and imperative after we have become acquainted with them through the provisions for their satisfaction, but of which beforehand we had not the faintest prevision.

§ 4. A counterpart to the preceding discussion is occa- sioned by the office of consciousness not merely to apprehend a great multitude of sensations in their qualitative content, but further to combine them together in fixed spatial order. This operation would seem necessarily to imply that the several impressions are transmitted to the soul in the same relative situation in which they reached the body, and that at the seat of the former the isolated nerve-fibres, each one of which conveys but a single impression, terminate in the same regular co-ordination in which, in the organ of sense, they receive the stimulations as they come. But closer examina- tion will soon show that this hypothesis would not serve really to explain our space-perceptions.

Must we first of all expressly state, or may we take this as acknowledged, that extended images, resembling their ectypes, and covering them, are not detached from objects in order to enter the soul  ? and that, even did this actually happen, the presence of these images in the soul would as little explain their becoming perceptible as the previous existence of the objects outside the soul  ? Must we add that even what we call an image of the object in our eye is nothing more than the- fact that on the nerve-extremities lying side by side in our organ of sense, variously-coloured


rays of light fall in tin- same order in which theee rays proceed from the objects themselves? Lastly, that tli; of a regular co-ordination of various stimulations in various nerve-fibres is after all not the perception of the process, but only the process itself that is to be perceived, the possi- bility of which coming into consciousness with its inherent ortlc-r undisturbed, forms the very subject of our inquiry? We will assume that at least this is allowed. Now whether, as seems to some probable, this ocular image is transmitted without injury to its outline, through the optic nerves to the soul's seat in the brain, or whether, as others find more easily conceivable, the soul itself is immediately present in both eyes  : in either case, in what way can the fixed situation of the variously stimulated nerve-extremities, consequently the relative situation of the impressions, become to it an object of consciousness  ? And to make an extreme concession — were the soul itself an extended being, filling with its presence the circumference of the eyes and the surface of the skin so that every coloured point falling on the retina, every pressure on the surface of the body, at the same time touched a locally-defined point of the soul ; how even then would it become aware that the stimulus had come into contact now with one point of its own extension, and not another, and then with that point and not this  ?

If we will not assume an immediate, complete, and inexplicable knowledge by the soul of its own compass, or of the form of the body, we must allow that some time the moment must come at which the situation in space of the points of the image to be perceived — however long and care- fully it may have been held fast by the organ of sense — will yet wholly disappear on passing into consciousness, in order to receive there a fresh birth, and to reappear, not as situation in space, but as perception of the same. The necessity of this concession does not at all depend on the conception which we form of the soul as occupying space or not, but solely on the notion of the consciousness that we ascribe to it what- ever may be its nature. Even should the soul be diffused


in space, and permeate the body as a subtle exhalation to its last extremities : its knowing and perceiving would yet always be an intensive energy which we cannot conceive diffused as a substance. In consciousness all those partition-walls cease which in the corporeal organ of sense divided the several impressions from one another ; not even that variety of local situation can any longer appear, by which we may suppose the impressions made on the extended substance of the soul to have been still discriminated; the unity of consciousness, devoid of all reference to space, remains susceptible only to the qualitative differences of stimulations, and all the coloured points in the eye, the pressed points of the irritated skin, must primarily coexist in it with as little relation to space as the simultaneous and yet distinguishable tones of a harmony.

If the soul is to rearrange this manifold impression into a distinct perception of space, two things are needful. First, it must possess in the constitution of its nature at once a compulsion, a capacity, and an impulse to form concep- tions of space, and to move the manifold content of its sensation in this kind of combining together and drawing asunder. Philosophy may perhaps succeed in finding a higher reason why the soul — at least the human soul — must evolve from itself this form of perception, perhaps too it may not ; we at all events assume this capacity as an acknowledged fact, and the object of our examination is not to explain itself, but only its possible application. For, before this application can be made, before the soul, within the general intuition of space which with perfect impartiality it brings to bear alike on all possible content of perception, is able to assign its particular place to each several impression, there is evidently required an impetus proceeding from the impressions themselves that have to be arranged, and deter- mining their relative collocation in space. It is the satisfaction of this second necessity alone that forms the subject of our present inquiry; to this exclusively refers the conviction which we have already expressed, that the

01 iiii; SKAT OF TIIK SOUL. 309

constraining reason why the soul assigns to every impression its particular place in the space which it perceives, does not consist in the situation of the impression in the organ of sense, for these space-relations of the material of impression cannot pass into consciousness as they are, as belonging to space ; that, on the contrary, that reason can lie only in a qualitative property of some kind which the impression acquires (in addition to its other qualities) in virtue of the peculiar nature of the place at which it comes into contact with the body. To such distinctions alone is consciousness alive, and they act as marks or as local signs, under whose guidance it proceeds in spreading out the impressions into an image occupying space — placing side by side those whose local signs are intimately allied parts of a graduated series, setting down at fixed intervals others whose marks present greater difference.

In the absence of these chief marks the impression would be perceptible as to its content, but could not be localized in a particular place. Cannot any colour successively appear at any point whatever in our field of vision, any pressure stronger or weaker act on any part of the surface of the body  ? Hence, from its immediate content — that it is of such or such a colour, that it possesses a definite degree of force — no impression can require a particular place in our intuition of space. Nay, along with this content, and nowise disturbing it, there must in every stimulation be a subsidiary determination, which answers exclusively to the point at which the stimulus met the susceptible surface of the organ of sense, and would be different had the same stimulus come into contact with another point in the organ. Each several localizable impression conveyed to the soul con- sists therefore in a fixed association of two elements : of these the one is that physical process which compels consciousness to generate a particular quality of sensation, to see a certain colour, to feel a particular degree of heat ; the other is the special subsidiary process, the same for the content of all kinds of sen- sations, but different for each several place of commencement


An impression therefore is not, as if consciously, referred back by the soul to this its starting-point, because it arose at some particular spot, but simply because it has retained this qualitative mark of its situation in respect of others.

We shall find how this relation corresponds with the results at which we formerly arrived in regard to the origin of movements. As in that case the soul did not send forth identical impulses in particular directions of space, but generated qualitative internal states, which it had to leave to themselves to find a direction in accordance with their peculiar character, so here it does not mark out the places of stimuli merely as such, but requires internal differences as the condition of their separation in space, and measure- able amounts of these differences, that they may be severally referred to particular parts of space. This arrangement we look on as the necessary foundation of all our conceptions of space, through whichever of our senses we may receive them ; but we must leave it to the more special investiga- tions of physiological psychology to indicate in what form these general requirements are in each several case fulfilled.

§ 5. So long as the opinion is maintained that the space relations of impressions pass as such into the soul, it must of course, in the interest of the soul, be further held that each impression is conveyed to it by a distinct fibre, and that the fibres reach the seat of the soul with their relative situation wholly undisturbed. The consideration usually comes too late, that with all this nothing has been achieved; for the mere fact that the one impression arrives by this path, the other by that, would not serve to explain the soul's intuitions of space, unless it could either with a new eye and a new unexplained power of perception see the course of both paths, and measure the angle between them, or else blindly discern whence the stimulus comes. The first it cannot do, the second it could do only if the stimulus brought in or along with its content a perceptible sign of its origin, and thus this opinion would in the end return to the conception of local signs from which we set out. If,


on the contrary, the calculation of the origin of impress! does not depend on the direction in which they approach the soul, but on the qualitative subsidiary impression which they have retained as a ivminder of their starting-place, it is no longer required by any psychic interest that in the interval between the organ of sense and the soul, their relative situation should be preserved, and each of them con- veyed to the latter along a special channel. If we wish to place a library in new shelves in the same arrangement which it had in the old ones, we do not trouble ourselves to preserve the arrangement during removal, nay, we more likely disturb it, sometimes putting together volumes that, without harming each other, can be conveniently packed together, and in the new place we can leave it to a stranger to restore the old arrangement according to the label attached to each volume, which indicates its place. Just in the same way may we suppose that during the passage of nerve-impres- sions into consciousness, their order in space is deranged, and there is no reason why this should not take place even previously within the nerves. For all that signifies is that each impression be kept apart from others till it has received its local label ; after that, no further separation is needed for the service of the soul. So a number of letters are put up together, and at the place of destination it can at once be seen, from the imprinted mark, whence they come, in whatever manner they may have been conveyed. The necessity for separation could continue only if the nature of nervous processes did not render it possible for different impressions, with their local marks, to be simultaneously transmitted through the same fibre without disturbance to each other.

It is possible that the latter case does actually occur, and indeed this is a quite usual mode of explaining the isolated course of the primitive nerve-fibres, which do not blend with others and are without division of their simple tube. But the explanation of anatomical facts is sometimes rather a traditional custom than a demonstrated truth. Natural as it


is to suppose that the isolation of the fibres is instrumental to a separate transmission of impressions, we yet find it in cases where it is hardly possible to conceive such an end is to be served. A muscle, whose whole mass is designed normally to contract, yet receives several nerve-filaments, and they also run without blending to the spinal marrow, though no case ever seems to occur in which it would be favourable to the intended function that the excitation of each one should be propagated separately from that of the others. The olfactory nerve, like all the other nerves of sense, divides into a great number of fine filaments, and yet it is hardly designed or fitted to receive a corresponding number of smells simul- taneously and without mingling of their peculiar qualities. The same holds good of the gustatory nerves, whose perception of different impressions is never so distinct as to make it worth while to provide for it by a multitude of separate channels. From such facts I do not think that any other conclusion can be drawn than this, that the employment of the isolated nerve-fibres, whose diameter fluctuates very slightly, is necessary for the organism for a very general reason. Perhaps the physical process on which the energy of the nerve is dependent — whatever may be its nature — can be developed only in filaments of a fixed thickness and limited transverse section. If we add the further supposition, that the magni- tude of this process within one of these cylindrical elements can likewise be but limited, it will follow necessarily that it is only by means of a larger number of fibres conveying the same impression that its force can be brought up to the amount required to make it further serviceable for the ends of life. The same arrangement we also find outside the nervous system in the muscular tissue, whose splitting asunder into an extra- ordinary number of the most delicate filaments would seem pur- poseless, except on the supposition that here too only cylinders of such slenderness are capable of contraction, so that the requisite power of mechanical work has to be supplied by the great number of united fibres. The universal employment of the cell-form in the structure of the plant is a similar fact ;


it, too, indicates that the peculiar class of chemical processes ri'nuired by vegetable life is possible only in minute b<> containing a half-fluid sap-hall of small diameter that with its whole bulk lies within the sphere of action of the molecular force exerted on it by the tough cuticular envelope. Be this, how- ever, as it may, we can at any rate affirm that the formation of prolonged and unramified fibres is a very general habit of the organic impulse of growth. But after having, for what- ever reason, been once adopted as one of its permanent modes of procedure, it can of course also be advantageously employed for the isolation of particular paths of stimulation, where for some special purpose this is needed, without in all cases exclusively ministering to that end.

§ 6. In the last place, I would fain emphatically defend the attention which we have so long bestowed on this whole problem against the depreciation of those holding opposite opinions, who regard the discussion as altogether superfluous. We cannot think it superfluous to indulge a curiosity which, however often it may be stifled, drowned by loud words, yet is certain to revive in every mind, arid without a distinct answer to which, the conception that we form of the reciprocal relation of body and soul, deprived of its most natural point of attachment, will float unsupported in the air. Our answer itself may, but the attempt to give one cannot, deserve censure and opposition. It will reap these abundantly and in diverse forms from those who conceive the soul as diffused with like omnipresent efficacy throughout the whole body, receiving at every point impressions as they come, and dispensing the excitations corresponding to its purposes. If, however, the worth of a conception may be measured by its conformity with observed facts, I do not think we need dread the attack of this assailant. Even if it does not necessarily postulate that key-stone of the whole nervous arch, which anatomy has not been able to find, it has, on the other hand, never yet been able satisfactorily to prove what is its need of the nervous system, which observation does find : it has not succeeded in showing how this everywhere diffused soul comes to refer its


several impressions to particular points of space, and to sketch, for itself a representation of the body through which it is diffused ; finally, it has never been able to set aside the con- trary evidence of experience, teaching that only after they have been transmitted to the central organs do the bodily stimulations exist for consciousness, and that only after they have been conveyed in the opposite direction do the mental impulses exist for the body. Far more at war with observed facts than supported by them, this view only seeks to set up a preconceived opinion of the necessary unity of the body and the soul, and, in its persuasion of the superior value of its conception, seldom deigns to employ any other weapons than those of ridicule against the theory which we have been defending. So — they will retort upon us — our personality consists of body and soul as two separate component parts  ? And at a single point the soul, like a human judge, sits on a high throne, listening to witnesses on either side as they inform it of what has taken place in its body, and what it has been unable itself directly to learn  ? The reader can easily further imagine these objections, but he will at the same time remark that imagination has been at work in them ; for we have given no real occasion for the So. Of course we do not hold our personality to be made up of body and soul, but wherever we may seek our true being (in the strict sense of the word) we are aware of finding it nowhere but in the soul; and we have never looked on the body as more than the most intimate piece of the outer world, given by a higher power to be more truly our own property than any- thing external can ever be made by our own labour. And after all, what shall we find incongruous in a seat of the soul, if we quietly set aside the high throne and the whole genre picture of a judicial cause, — additions due only to the liberal fancy of our opponents  ? Since, as a matter of fact, our soul does not omnisciently perceive phenomena or omnipotently produce effects at a distance, what do we lose by honestly confessing this fact, and confining the circle of direct reciprocal action between body and soul to one single part of the central


organs  ? If the soul becomes aware of the slightest tremblings of the body by their direct transmission to itself, and accom- panies them with the subtlest variations of sensation and emotion; if, on the other hand, the bodily mechanism turns into expressive motion every fleeting excitation communicated by the soul to one of its points — what do we really lose  ? And what would we really gain by the opposite conviction that the soul itself is bent in the bent forefinger with which we beckon to some one, or clenched in the clenched fist with which we afterwards knock him down  ?



Organ of the Soul — Organ of Space-Perception — Corporeal Basis of the Feelings — Higher Intelligence, Moral and Esthetic Judgment — Organ of Memory — Sleep and Unconsciousness — Influence of Bodily States upon the Train of Ideas — Central Organ of Movement — Reflex Movements — Acquired Forms of Reaction — Divisibility of the Soul — Phrenology — Obstruction to the Mind caused by its Union with the Body.

§ 1. TIT" HEN" we seek to escape from the pretensions of Materialism, and yet cannot deny the patent fact that the possibility of mental functions being exercised depends to a great degree on the connection of the brain being perfect and its structure uninjured, we are in the habit of betaking ourselves to the expedient of regarding this essential part of the body as merely the organ of the soul. This continues, we say, to exist of itself as a supersensible, simple being, provided with capacities with which we are familiar ; only in order to exercise these, it requires the instruments which the organization offers to it all ready in the structure of the brain.

I have already repeatedly expressed my conviction that our knowledge of mental life will make no progress so long as we think that we have gained any result of importance in so thoughtless a conception as this of the soul's organs. It does not surpass even Materialism in clearness. For, apart from the general inconceivability — how it can succeed in linking mental actions with corporeal masses — Materialism is clear at least in this, that it terms the brain the agent, think- ing and sensation, feeling and willing, the direct operations of that agent. This simple relation we understand ; what, on the other hand, may be the meaning of the soul feeling,


thinking, or willing, not itself, but through the brain, > drntly requires explanation ; for every such through is to a scientifically trained understanding an enigma which it must have solved, while the enthusiasts for higher views of things almost always think the solution of all enigmas lies in the very obscurity of such instrumental relationships. When an instrument is mentioned, we must always inquire by what deficiency in inherent force that which is said to make use of it is driven to do so ; further, by virtue of what endowments this auxiliary can so compensate the deficiencies of the force which it serves, that this becomes equal to the accomplishment of what otherwise it would be unable to perform ; lastly, in what manner the employing force will be able to obtain mastery over the instrument and to apply it usefully for its designed ends. These questions have seldom been put, and, when we survey the great number of organs of presentation, thinking, and willing, which have often been spoken of, though not described in detail, we cannot doubt that among them there are many that are supposed to do for the soul what it needs no outside help to do, many others that could not do what they are called in to execute, finally, many as regards which one does not understand how their — perhaps in itself useful — arrangement could ever come to be placed at the disposal of the soul.

The comparatively inconsiderable degree of study hitherto devoted to making clear what we are properly entitled to expect and require of the body in the way of support and assistance in the soul's discharge of its functions, has always made it especially difficult to give a correct explanation of the central organs. Nor are we likely soon to be able to remove this hindrance in the way of a fruitful investigation. For, though we can readily discriminate what need be looked on only as innate psychic activity, and to si-ek for an organ of which would be folly, it is but rarely that we can bring into view the whole circle of little aids that are necessary in order that a capability should be exercised in harmony with the outer world, of which the soul is


cognizant only by means of bodily organs. Thus there may indirectly be bodily organs for operations that, in respect of their essential character, neither need nor are capable of receiving corporeal assistance. Hence, from our acquaintance with psychic life, we can but very imperfectly determine beforehand what instruments the organization must put at its service. Yet, even after the many and various attempts made from the most opposite quarters to explain the actual structure, we still feel the fascination of this undertaking, on account not so much of the information that we expect it to yield concerning the functions of the several parts of the brain, as of the occasion offered by it of reviewing the exceedingly diverse forms of the mutual influence of body and soul.

§ 2. It can scarcely be needful for me to speak again more fully of sensation, the first stage of mental life. The body seems to do nothing more for it than to receive the impres- sions from without, and so bring them into closer contiguity to the soul's sphere of action in a form favourable to easy and exact transmission. Whatever may be the physical processes that take place in the nerves of sense, their trans- formation into the sensations of colour, tone, or smell cannot be made more comprehensible by the interpolation of a new organ between them and the soul. For the operations of such an organ could at most result in the conversion of one form of nervous stimulation into another, and could not lessen the chasm that would still remain between physical movements as such and the sensations themselves as states of con- sciousness. Just as little do those manifestations of relating knowledge which are limited to a comparison of the data of sensation, need, or could they make use of, corporeal ministra- tion. In order to judge of the greater or less affinity of two colours or tones, or of the different strength of impressions, consciousness requires nothing but the elements themselves that it has to compare, and besides them that faculty of relating activity which, of all mental operations, we have found to be least attributable to physical agencies. Provided, therefore, no other additional offices had to be discharged,


we would have no occasion to expect a central organ of sentience, on whose preliminary elaboration of impressions the soul should be dependent in its own estimation of thrm  ; it would rtMjuiiv only channels of communication, which should convey to it the several stimuli, and render it capable of developing its sensations in a series corresponding to the variations in the actual state of the outer world. But, besides these simpler ones, two offices may be distinguished — the arrangement in space of the impressions of sense as perceived by us, and the apprehension of the values of feeling with reference partly to single feelings, partly to particular com- binations of several. In both these operations the soul requires corporeal assistance.

We have seen what supposition is necessarily implied in the possibility of an intuition of space; every several impression, every colour-point of the retina, every feeling of contact in the skin, has to be supplemented by a special accessory impression, which, without altering the content of the sensation, merely indicates, as a local sign, its place of origin. To this necessary requirement we now add a conjec- ture as to the form in which we believe it is met, at least as regards the sense of sight. Only a very small spot in the middle of the retina affords us completely distinct percep- tions ; all objects, whose images fall outside of this spot, on the side parts of the retina, are indistinctly seen. But every tolerably strong impression by which one of these less- favoured parts is affected, involuntarily calls forth a move- ment of the eye, through which we turn a full look on it, and so transfer the impression produced by it to the spot of most distinct vision. Now, according to its particular position, for each one of these side points of the retina is required a peculiar amount and direction of movement of the eye, in order that the spot of most distinct vision may be exposed as a receptive surface to the rays that previously converged in it to form a less distinct image. The fulfilment of this requirement presupposes that each of the several fibres, whose extremities receive the impressions of light in


the retina, can transfer its stimulations, in a manner and degree peculiar to itself, to the various motor filaments, on whose variously graduated co-operation the extent and direc- tion of the ocular movements depend.

Now if we permit ourselves to conjecture that such a reciprocal action between the sensory and motor nerves of the eyes has been used as the foundation of the space- intuitions, such a manifold and complicated intertwining of the filaments of both kinds as we must presuppose for such an end would be the very type of a central organ of space - perception. Each several stimulated point of the retina would then, in consequence of the peculiar way in which the fibre proceeding from it is connected with the motor fibres, produce in that organ an impulse to motion exclusively its own, from which the soul, even if no actual movement of the eye follows, can receive an impression of some sort. Finally, this impression — which need not neces- sarily even be a process apprehended by consciousness, but may be one of those unconscious states which, notwithstanding, powerfully influence the soul — this impression would be the local sign, according to which the soul assigns to the colour- point connected with it its position in respect of all the other colour-points, i.e. its fixed place in the field of vision. We must leave it to the minute researches of physiological psychology both to remove the numerous difficulties of detail involved in this complicated connection, and to prove that in fact a system of such impulses to movement would present all the delicacy and multiplicity of gradation and affinity between the individual local signs, presupposed in the accuracy of our visual spatial perceptions. Our object here could be no other than by this theory (which, with all its probability, rests not on fact but on conjecture) to illustrate the conception that, in this or in some other not essentially different manner, we have to form as to the origin of our intuition of space. Whatever other particular form of con- ception may finally be preferred, the necessity of supposing a preparatory central organ for this operation of our mental


energy will not be done away with  ; nn<l we have no hesita- tion in acknowledging that we believe a considerable part of the bulk of the brain to be designed exclusively for this end.

§ 3. We find the feelings of pain and pleasure, that partly accompany single sensations, and partly spring from the comparing and combining of several, fluctuate too notably according to the bodily state, to care to seek their origin exclusively in the soul's appreciative energy. In very many cases, of course, morbid affections alter not only the feeling, but also the content of the sensation with which it is associated ; it is not the same taste that is repulsive to the invalid, pleasant to the person in health ; and in such cases we may conjecture that the soul always judges as to the impression actually conveyed to it by the nerve of sense according to unvarying laws of its own nature, without requiring the authoritative intervention of a bodily organ. But frequently, also, the content of perception remains un- altered, and yet the amount and nature of the feeling awakened by it varies. No doubt here too the strength of the interest which we take in it is sometimes increased, sometimes lessened, by the general character of the actual frame of mind, which may have had a purely mental origin, and on such grounds alone probably do we feel the same harmonies of tones, the same combinations of colours, some- times more and sometimes less congenial to us. Nevertheless, alike as to the intensity and the phase of our feelings, there remains a variability in our being affected that in all proba- bility can be accounted for only on the supposition that the harmony or discord between the stimulations of the nerves and the conditions of our life is measured by a particular after-effect that takes place, without always duly corresponding to the disturbance or furtherance actually experienced.

In persons under sether or chloroform, consciousness does not always cease with feeling ; at first it is sometimes possible for them to take note, with tolerable accuracy, of the several processes of a surgical operation which they are undergoing,

VOL. i. x


though, they do not feel the pain of it. In other affections of the nervous system also, we are made anxious by the peculiar want of tone of our impressions, which are apprehended with perfect distinctness, and yet hardly seem to be our own states, so little are they attended by that feeling of being affected which in healthy life belongs to each of our sensa- tions. Now here it seems as if the transmission of the external stimuli were uninterrupted up to the point where, by reciprocal action with the soul, they are converted into conscious, indifferent perceptions, but as if at the same time they were hindered in their propagation to another point, where they had to awaken that peculiar resonance whose reaction in the soul first excites the attendant feeling. The facts, however, as yet offered by experience do not allow of even accurate research finally deciding the question whether in this sense we really have to assume a peculiar central organ of feeling, or whether some other form of co-operation on the part of the body would not equally account for the phenomena.

But an investigation as to the limits within which in general the feelings require this co-operation would not be without interest. Does our pleasure in consonant chords rest solely on a comparison of the actual sensations of sound, so that the soul itself, bereft of a body, would still continue to find the same chords beautiful, supposing it possible for impressions still to be conveyed to it  ? Or is the soul in this pleasure only aware of the favourable effect incidentally exerted by this precise combination of tones, on some other part of its bodily organization, so that its enjoyment springs, not from the peculiar inherent affinities of the group of tones, but solely from a concomitant advantage, and would con- sequently be impossible, if along with the corporeal frame- work the exclusive conditions of the soul being pleased were to disappear  ? These questions cannot be answered at present, and failing an answer to them (the value of which for our conception of the mental life in general is sufficiently shown by this single example) we must meanwhile be content with


the conviction that the warmth and intensity of om anil along with that the whole mould of our emotional life, is at any rate in ^ivat measure dependent on the influence of the corporeal or-ani/ation.

§ 4. By the accurate transmission of external impressions, by the liveliness of the feelings that associate themselves with each several sensation and its combinations with others, by all these operations the bodily organs pave the way for those higher energies by which the mind forms the cognitive results of reason and understanding into the total of an orderly con- ception of the universe. But this working up of the materials on which the soul is to exert the energies of its relating knowledge seems to be the only contribution that the corporeal operations can make to these higher functions of psychic life ; their actual performance is left to the mind's peculiar activity. When organs of understanding or of reason, instruments of thinking and judging, are spoken of, we confess that we have no idea either what end such theories can serve, or what advantage there could be for the higher intellectual life in all this apparatus of instruments. None of those relating energies from whose inexhaustibly varied repetition all our knowledge is derived, can be in the smallest degree promoted by the co- operation of a corporeal force  ; but the practicability of each will depend on the related points which it has to compare, which form the material of its elaboration, being duly and accurately supplied to it by the senses, consequently on its being assisted by the bodily processes. Thus (what has never been denied) the perfection of mental life is indirectly connected by myriad roots with the soil of the bodily existence ; but the soil does not, besides the general nutrition which it affords, send upwards a special organ of which the plant must make use if it is to flourish.

Turning, further, our attention to the ethical judgment of actions, we readily allow that this too is indirectly very largely influenced by the accuracy with which we apprehend facts through our senses, and the vividness with which, according to our permanent temperament or momentary state of body,


other ideas more or less circumspectly or confusedly gather round these facts, and feelings of their value are developed. Nevertheless, no stimulation of a bodily organ of the soul can co-operate in the essential point — the passing of the moral judgment itself; to the nerves we can at most look for the source of the pleasant or unpleasant value in point of feeling of the action in question as regards the personal life of the person judging, in no wise for that of the estimation of its moral good- ness or evil, with which no personal pain or pleasure mingles. "While, therefore, we cannot deny that our moral judgment is to but too great a degree actually swayed and confused by the influence of bodily activities, we have yet no reason to press on it the dangerous assistance of a special bodily organ. In like manner, the impression made on us by beautiful objects may, to a great extent, be the result of an agreeable and harmonious excitation of our nerves. But he who sees in the aesthetic feeling, along with an undoubted share of the sense of personal wellbeing, an independent reverence for and appreciation of the beautiful, will be constrained to ascribe this additional element exclusively to the soul. The shudder in presence of the sublime, and the laughter over comical incidents, are unquestionably both produced, not by a transference of the physical excitations of our eyes to the nerves of the skin or the diaphragm, but by what is seen being taken up into a world of thought, and estimated at the value belonging to it in the rational connection of things. The mechanism of our life has annexed this corporeal expres- sion to the mood of mind hence evolved, but the bodily expression would never of itself, without the understanding of what it presents, give rise to the mood. However great and complex, then, may be the co-operation of the bodily functions in the higher life of the mind, it consists certainly not in the latter being furnished with special instruments for its most peculiar operations, but only in the unrestricted action of a number of preparatory organs being required for the realization of many indirectly necessary prerequisites of these operations. § 5. Among these prerequisites are not merely the trans-


mission of inoinentjiry impressions, but also the retention of past impressions, their reappearance in consciousness, thai whole rotation of ideas through whose connection our liie receives unity and our actions achieve definite ends. While we have just been trying to conceive the higher energies of mind as independent of the body, they would relapse into a dependent position, if the maintenance of this groundwork from which they arise were left to the physical reactions of the organism. According as an organ of memory more or less faithfully and permanently preserved the results of the previous life, the more easy and elastic were the passage of the nervous tremors by which the copies of past impressions preserved in the brain resuscitate one another, so much the purer and fuller, or the more obscured and poor, would be at each moment our consciousness of the connection of our life, our duties, and our hopes. Or rather, there would be no such connection at all, but moment by moment the soul would exhibit the thought, the feeling, or the volition prescribed by the bodily stimulation just then newly awaking ; destitute of any power even within itself to approximate the past to the present, it could not keep steadily before itself, through the smallest space of time, a single thought whose significance became complete only through a succession of several ideas. There is no doubt that our train of thought does to a great extent depend indirectly on the constant influence of bodily processes ; nevertheless, the doctrine of a special organ of memory, even as a mere means of support to the soul's own power of remembrance, is exposed to greater difficulties than is commonly thought The objection that the cerebral mass, which is not unalterable, but undergoes slow renovation, could not, without confusion, retain for future use the im- pressed copies of countless impressions, is met plausibly but not convincingly by reference to the countless undulatory movements of sound and of coloured light that can simul- taneously traverse the same atmospheric space without mutual disturbance.

When we have been for a short time looking steadily at


the sun, we retain a sharply-outlined circular after-image of it even if we close our eyes ; for during the whole of the short time that the look lasted, the rays fell on the same contiguous points of the retina ; the effect continues to thrill in the same circle of adjacent nerve-fibres, and thus the relative situation of the stimulated parts preserves for us the round figure and the size of the image. If, on the other hand, we see the figure of some one approaching, every step nearer he comes, the image on our retina assumes larger dimensions ; hardly one point of the whole figure answers at any one moment to the same spot of the eye as at the moment before ; not one after-image, but numberless images all different one from another would remain, if our nervous organs really fixed every momentary impression in permanent traces. Nor would we gain anything by supposing that a considerable number of these fleeting stimulations joined to form a permanent after-image ; for what distinct image could proceed from an agglomeration of many images resembling one another in their characteristics, but in their size so dissimilar that the edges of each one projected over another, and they all, consequently, covered one another with different points of their outline  ? If we have observed how entirely under the same circumstances the different over- lapping coloured spectra of the prism blend into a uniform grey, we shall assuredly find it impossible to suppose that the visual perceptions generate in this manner abiding impressions, that, like the after-images, retain the shape and colour of seen objects. And yet we have hitherto assumed that these figures are invariable in their outlines. But we see the same person perhaps in a thousand different attitudes and motions of the limbs  ; which one of the numberless images that he has thus cast on our eye will the brain retain  ? Or are we to suppose that they are all retained  ? If we should perchance make up our minds to this, at what price should we have after all purchased this corporeal fixing of impressions  ? At no less a price than the admission that, seeing the smallness of the brain does not allow us to assume that each of these countless images has a special particle in which it inheres, each several


simple atom uiusL In- ca]>al)lc of containing in i( -elf, without any mutual disturbance, an infinite number of different im- pressions. Tin- sumo atom that in the image of a tree represents a green point, must in that of a flower represent a red one, in that of the sky a Muc one, in that of each

• •ral human figure one of a did'. -rent colour; and, without knowing how it is to take place, we must further suppose that the resuscitation of any one of these impressions in one of these atoms always calls forth in another that particular impression which, along with the former, goes to form a coherent image.

Such a theory would simply contain many repetitions of the same supposition that we make once. If every several atom of the cerebral mass is capable of retaining without confusion numberless impressions, why should the soul alone, like the atom a simple being, be incapable of doing so  ? Why should it alone not possess the faculty of memory and recollection in itself without the aid of a corporeal organ, when we have to concede that faculty directly and without the mediation of a new instrument to every part of the assumed organ  ? Nay, we must in fact make the contrary assertion that the retention and reproduction of impressions is possible, not to a number of co-operant cerebral particles, but exclusively to the soul's undivided unity. For even the images of sense-perceptions preserved in memory are not in the strict sense images, not likenesses unvarying in their size and the number and position of their parts ; on the contrary, the soul retains only the general outline, the design, the idea of the internal connection of many marks, and thence, at the several moments of recollection, educes the particular images ; nor does it always bring back the image of a position, attitude, or movement of the figure, which on a previous occasion it perceived, and of which it might have retained a fixed im- pression, but, anticipating experience, it beholds familial- figures with their outlines distorted in a way that never has been actually witnessed. But this retention not so much of the various constituents themselves as of the rule of their


composition, is an action of relating knowledge, an operation of the soul ; to admit an organ of memory would only lead to our having to attribute a memory to the soul, and also to regard the several atoms of the brain as souls whose power of remembrance assists ours. And throughout this discussion we have wholly kept out of view those indirectly produced and more general conceptions which are not images of an object, but expressions of internal relations ; any attempt to account for their retention by corporeal copies would only confirm the necessity of including memory among the opera- tions derived immediately from the soul's peculiar nature.

But do numerous and daily recurring experiences not show that this attempt — to prove from the notion of ideation and recollection the impossibility of their having a corporeal origin — has reached an incorrect result  ? Have we not sufficient evidence of such an origin in ordinary sleep, in unconscious- ness, and in the constantly recurring derangements of memory in disease  ? Do not all these phenomena show that the above mental operations can be performed only so long as their organs are uninjured  ? Plausible as is this reasoning, it is nevertheless ill-grounded, and opposed by another interpreta- tion of the facts.

When in a highly complex system of elements the dis- turbance of one part puts a stop to a particular operation, it may be that this operation depended on that part as its exclusive efficient cause, and now ceases because that which brought it about has ceased to act ; but it is no less possible that it was in no wise dependent for its production on the dis- turbed part, but is only hindered by the disturbance of this as by a positive obstacle. We are of course primarily disposed by our general view of the nature of consciousness in favour of the latter explanation  ; for it would seem quite incompre- hensible that a corporeal organ should be able to communicate to the soul the capacity of consciousness, if it did not in- herently possess it. But, moreover, the results of observation in part distinctly favour our conception and nowhere decidedly oppose it. To account for ordinary sleep by exhaustion of


the central organs thus become unfit for further ^-IK -i-;iuon of consciousness, must seem in the highest dt'Ljivi; imprtibabk to any one that ivim-mlnTs how quirkly in healthy bodies — nay, \vlu-re the habit has been fonm-d, how immediately — slumber may succeed the most vigorous exercise of all the mental powers, and how far from being really exhausted when it is accidentally interrupted, these powers or the force of the central organs underlying them are found to be. Much easier is it to suppose that the gradually increasing feeling of exhaus- tion acts as a stimulus that by its unpleasant enervating effect take away delight and interest in the continuance of the train of thought ; and in like manner a person awaking from profound sleep gives the impression not so much of one whose powers are being restored, as of one who is gradually being set free from obstacles. When very severe bodily suffering causes sudden loss of consciousness, we may think that we can attribute this to the rapid enfeeblement of an organ causing the intermission of its operation, consciousness  ; when a swoon is the consequence of the mind being suddenly affected by calamity, I see no reason why this inward tumult of the soul should not be viewed as an obstacle making the continuance of consciousness for the moment impossible, and at the same time putting a stop to the wonted subjection of the corporeal energies to the soul's dominion. If we may here look on the mental pain as an antagonistic stimulus preventing the (always existent) capacity of consciousness from expressing itself, why should not the bodily pain of the former case have the same effect  ? This, too, is not merely the bodily disturbance from which it proceeds, but as feeling it is a state of consciousness, and a state too of which we know from personal observation how much even in its lesser degrees it interferes with the carrying on of steady thought by the overpowering impression and the relaxation of interest in any- thing else which it creates. Lastly, we must add that it is by no means necessary that all the influences — though they may be very powerful — exerted by the body on the soul should be of such a nature as to cause distinctly conscious perceptions


and feelings  ; on the contrary, as in sensation bodily stimula- tions call forth an expression of consciousness, they may equally well have the opposite effect, and consciousness may suddenly vanish under an impression that either remains quite latent or else is felt by departing sense only under the form of vague, unusual, indescribable feelings.

We cannot see that the various kinds of unconsciousness require any other explanation than this  : consciousness need not be generated by an organ, the injuring of which causes it to cease  ; but, as an inborn capacity of the soul, it may be opposed by impressions from innumerable quarters that un- favourably affect the soul's inward condition. Much greater obscurity hangs about those half-lapses of memory which make it impossible to recall certain parts of the past experi- ence, and of which we possess (along with many evidently falsified accounts from former times) many indubitable examples taken from everyday experience. "We do not with- hold the acknowledgment that here much remains un- explained, and in particular cases will always remain so  ; but these facts do not impress us as being in favour of a specially corporeal origin of memory.

Looking only at the course of thought during our healthy condition, we must confess that the moving springs that brought one idea back to consciousness and the reasons why another was so long out of consciousness, are often wholly unknown to us  ; we dimly conjecture that the succession of our thoughts is not merely guided by the association of the ideas with one another, which, by observation, we can track pretty distinctly, but is to a great extent determined by those other much vaguer associations that at every moment are being formed between our actual sphere of thought and the simultaneous general sense of our bodily and mental mood. Disease and advancing age gradually or suddenly alter this vital feeling ; hence age no longer finds itself at home in many of the spheres of thought of youth  ; for, even if it to some extent reproduces the matter of the conceptions, there is now wanting the lost temperament that is needed to carry it further ; in like

FORMS OF i;rriri;oc'AL ACTION r.rrw -v AND SOUL. 331

manner the convalescent cannot throw himself back int.<> tln«  divams of his illness, for in getting rid <>f the morbid feeling he has lost the key to tin; ^-ifcway admitting to them  ; thus, finally, in a renewed attack of illness tin- former wild dreams return in consequence of their cause — disturbance of the general sense — being again in action  ; thu.-- we find ourselves occasionally in life, especially when stirred to the depths of our being by strong mental agitation, Suddenly surprised by long-absent dreams, by recollections and moods to which we can hardly assign any definite place in the history of our life.

Those remarkable disturbances of memory which are pro- duced by disease or injuries, seem to me to present no enigmas essentially different from those involved in the acci- dents that occur in a state of comparative health  ; in all cases what has to be done is to show from what direction an antagonistic pressure is exerted on the bond through which in health the impressions of the moment would bring back the remembrances associated with them. We can scarcely hope to succeed in showing this fully in any single case ; least of all need we attempt to do so with the numerous stories current, in which we too often and too unmistakeably meet with all sorts of mistakes and omissions caused by the pre- judice of the observer or his inattention to details that seemed to him unimportant. In many such accounts we find loss of memory inferred from impaired power of verbal expression. But with this phenomenon we enter a department quite distinct from the former, in which the soul no longer is self- contained, but seeks to use corporeal means of utterance. Control over organs of voice and language is assuredly possible only through a central organ, in which the motor nerves are so arranged and intertwined that the sound-idea hovering in consciousness can simultaneously stimulate the fibres co- operating in its utterance. If the conjectures are allowable that we have already hazarded in regard to the production of movements, it is easy to understand that many morbid affec- tions of this central organ may prevent the correct trans-


mission of the stimulation. The patient would then, while clearly conscious of the sound which he wishes to make, be yet compelled to utter another one, or be incapable of any utterance whatever. We have, however, in respect of all movements alike, equally with those involved in speech, reason to presuppose a co-ordinating central organ, and it is time now to state our views in regard to the production of bodily movements in general.

§ 6. We have already seen that the soul is not directly cognizant of the means of motion — muscles and nerves — nor of the manner in which they may be made use of — the nature of the propelling force to be communicated to the nerves or the contractility of the muscles. It can do nothing more than bring about certain states in itself, in the expectation that the connection of the organism will attach to these the initiation of a particular movement. It does not itself carry out the operation, but in a manner to it unknown the vital mechanism executes its commands. But at least it must be able to give these commands, it must not only find in itself a reason for willing a particular movement, but also be able to produce the inner state whence the latter springs. Now, were the soul contained in a body that never moved spon- taneously, whence would it get the ideas that it was moveable, that movements were of use, that this movement can be produced by one inner state, that by another, of the soul's individual being  ? Evidently it is not only necessary that the body should move of itself, in obedience to its own stimuli, in order that the soul may take note of its capacity of change, and learn what impression motions make on itself, but no less necessary that the external stimulus should of itself with mechanical certainty excite in the body such movements as, under the actual circumstances, are adapted to protect life, to adjust a disturbance, or to satisfy a craving. The soul, ignorant of all these relations, could not make a correct guess, and, were not at all events a hint given, even experience would either never teach it to act purposively, at any rate not before a long series of mishaps had undermined the


constitution of the ni-^mism. For certainly the latter would have small chance of preservation if the soul ity had at

each moment to discover and apply the means of escaju; i'n.m impending disturbances  ; the sole condition of safety is that at least to a certain extent the action required should flow as a necessary consequence from the impression of the circum- stances themselves.

While incapable of devising, the soul will, on the other hand, be quite capable of improving this mechanism  ; after having observed what movement, with what favourable result, and what direct impression on itself follows any stimulus, it will not require subsequently to wait for the actual experience of the stimulus. Its image recollected or perceived at a distance, nay, even an image not of it, but of a similar stimulus, will awaken in the soul the idea of the impression, and with it also an involuntary impulse to the reproduction of the movement. If at first, then, the soul looked on merely as an idle spectator at the purposive actions by which the organic mechanism protects the security of its seat, it is afterwards obliged for them to the mechanism, seeing that it now applies its manifold powers — of retaining in remem- brance what is past, of anticipating the future from analogy, of detecting similarity under superficial difference, of im- proving upon involuntary actions by reference to the end aimed at — to bringing to refinement and perfection that chain of communication between stimuli and reactions which, though skilfully constructed, does not at first correspond to all the needs of life. The slowness with which the young human being gains control over his limbs, taken in connection with the stamp of completeness and individuality impressed on that control to which in the course of his development he may attain, shows how important here is the co-operative and ennobling influence of the soul  : while the exceedingly short space of time usually required by the new-born animal in order to become expert in the class of movements of its species, and the often comical uniformity with which the young creatures exhibit the peculiarities of these move-


ments without any individual distinctions, prove that here, on the contrary, a close and regular connection is at an early period established between the impressions of the general sense and the movements in question.

If we observe the aimless, sportive movements of young animals and of children, we must be struck by the fact how rarely — nay, hardly ever without special illness — single, un- connected, meaningless convulsive starts or thrills occur among them. And yet one might have expected such from the numberless throng of casual impressions by which at every moment of their course the motor nerves and the muscles are liable to be affected. But they do not appear ; on the contrary, even the most hesitating and awkward move- ments that fall under our observation, already show traces of the simultaneous and purposive action of connected groups of muscles. We may lay it down as a fact attested by observation, that in the young organism it is difficult for accidental stimuli of whatever kind to excite isolated and unconnected fragments of motion, whereas it is easy to call forth coherent groups of movements. The former might per- haps take place, but the latter is not conceivable without a central organ, in which the single motor nerve-filaments are so arranged together and interwined that a single stimulus affecting a particular point at once excites a number of fibres to accordant movement. The brain and even the spinal cord have alike doubtless among other offices that of such a central organ, and though we would hardly undertake definitely to describe its structure d priori, merely from the requirements of life, we can yet conjecture one at least of its characteristics with sufficient probability, namely, the constant entwinement of afferent sensory fibres in the tissue of the motor fibres.

The primary function of a motor central organ would be to carry into execution the movements of the body in general, which are rendered possible, according to the respective cha- racters of different species, by the structure of the limbs. For this it would be sufficient that some internal stimulus —


were it only of the circulation of the blood — should alternately or continuously excite the elements of the central organ  ; we would tlini Me the elements of all movement — walking, swimming, living, and the like — take plac.v with mechanical certainty and regularity, lint the animal is endowed with all these capabilities of movement that it may use them in a resisting world, and it must be possible to vary them in the utmost detail in accordance with the varying external circum- stances under which they are to be practised. Now, if the oflice of special sensory fibres is exclusively to receive and to convey impressions of the varying condition of the several parts, we must expect to find in the central organ sensory and motor fibres in contact with one another at a number of points. Any slight want of balance in the body will then produce (by the new impression which it transmits through the former to the latter) a reaction fitted to restore equilibrium, and any obstacle will cause at least the beginning of a pur- posive avoidance. The same connection we shall further find made use of where an unusual stimulus coming from without calls for a particular movement, partly of defence, partly of utilization of its impression. Here, too, we may suppose it to be the arrangement best fitted to secure life, that, without waiting for the soul's deliberate planning, the stimulus imme- diately sets free the purposive reaction with mechanical necessity. We observe numerous movements of this kind in our own bodies, such as convulsive fits of coughing, sneezing, vomiting, by which, without our being aware of the modus opcrandi, pernicious stimuli are removed ; and such have been observed in the trunks of decapitated animals, i.e. under circumstances that make it most natural to assume that the soul has no share in them.

Now, so long as these movements do not otherwise belie their mechanical origin — i.e. so long as they do not appeal- without external or traceable internal physical excitation, and (without respect to those outward circumstances which cannot make themselves felt by means of physical impressions) are always alike when produced by the same kind of stimulus — so


long any amount of purposive variety in their combination would in fact form no reason for inferring secret co-operation on the part of the soul. But much else may render that inference plausible, without actually making it valid. It is not improbable — nay, on the contrary, the probabilities are in favour of the supposition — that not merely the place but also the kind of the exciting stimulus helps to determine the form assumed by the movement excited. Little attention has hitherto been paid to this point ; psychologists have been content to note the fact that, for example, in a decapitated frog the irritation of a particular spot in the head is followed by a movement of the leg in that direction, and this has given rise to the idea that the sensory nerve of a particular point in the head transfers its stimulations, of whatever kind they may be, always in the same manner to motor nerves, and that consequently an identical movement always follows. If, on the other hand, we suppose (what is possible) that the transference takes places differently, i.e. varies alike in amount and in the motor nerves to which it passes, when the stimulation to be conveyed is different, this would introduce into these reflex movements, as they are usually designated, the appearance of a deliberate choice, without the soul having really any part in them.

To this extent the harmony of the movements would depend on the purposive nature of the permanent forma- tion of the central organ. But the familiar phenomena of practice and habit, the experience that movements the performance of which was at first attended with great difficulty may become like second nature to us, afford convincing evidence that the primary formation of organs can in the course of life be developed to still greater degrees of efficiency. For from noticing how frequently particular traits of acquired grace and refinement of bear- ing and movement are transmitted by inheritance, we may conclude that habits are not formed without causing and leaving behind particular physical changes in the corporeal organs. Many purposive reactions that in themselves were


)t attached by tho pennnnrnt plaii of the organism to a particular external irritation, can be made to follow it by this superinduced tendency of the nervous system  ; then tho organ develops an intelligence of action which did not originally belong to it, and is not the immediate act of an indwelling soul, but only the acquired physical habit which it owes to its former intercourse with the soul. For it could not, of course, learn these forms of reaction by itself, the intervening activity of the soul must have annexed the reaction to the irritation of the organ  ; but what the corporeal organization could not devise it can retain, after continued repetition has, by means of material traces left behind, set the stamp of a physical necessity on the connection between the impression made and the consequent change. Although, then, we find the trunk of decapitated frogs sometimes respond to external irritation by a kind of movement that seems not to be sufficiently accounted for by the physical impression actually communicated at the moment to the nervous system, it is nevertheless not necessary to suppose that the trunk contains a fragment of the soul, whose deliberation supplied the per- ceived stimulus with the intermediate links required for the adequate establishment of the purposive movement.

Whatever may be the observed facts, we cannot permit of their being explained by this hypothesis, as its inherent impossibility seems to us evident. We may with some shadow of intelligibility speak of a divisible soul, if we are thinking merely of the still undeveloped predisposition to mental life, which seems to pervade the body like a homo- geneous whole  ; but if the divided subject be supposed to be the already developed consciousness with its remembrances and experiences, and the dexterities and knowledge acquired by means of these, we could hardly have so much as any clear idea of what it is we were asking. And yet only a divisibility of the latter kind would account for the phenomena ; for the capacity of acting in accordance with circumstances would be secured for the headless trunk not a whit more easily by means of an intelligence possessing no experience than



of a purely physical mechanism as first formed. These observations seem to yield a choice between only two views. Either we must regard the purposive character of such movements as are frequently performed by headless trunks of cold-blooded animals as the result of intelligence, but of an intelligence not now present in the animal, but belonging to that one soul with whose seat the trunk was formerly in connection, and from whose deliberations proceed habits of purposive action in its central organ, that continue even after all connection between it and the soul has been done away with. Or if, yielding (mistakenly, as it appears to me) to the impression of complete vitality created no doubt by these movements, we conclude that they must be accounted for not by any echo, but by the direct presence of intelligence, there is nothing to prevent us from admitting in the spinal cord a plurality of individual beings of the nature of souls, each of which might have an intelligence for itself. During life the one soul, which we call that of the animal, would by its more favourable position or the greater energy of its nature control all the other partial souls, and, in virtue of their mutual connection with one another, all would participate in the experiences of the whole animal, and draw from them advantage. The decapitated animal having lost the influence of its chief soul, the souls of the parts could still manifest themselves according to the nature of the stimuli affecting their part of the body, and the former experiences, which each unquestionably could have only in connection with the head and its organs of sense, but which, when once possessed, are retained in memory, would now enable them to adapt their action to external circumstances.

§ 7. In the admission of this central organ for the regulation of movements, we think we have come to the end of the immediate helps that must be required from the bodily structure for the soul's operations. They are all directed towards rendering possible, on the one hand, the combination of external impressions into a spatial arrange- ment of perception ; on the other, the development of inner


es to a purposive connection of spatial movements. On the contrary, all the large amount of labour by which the intelligence systematizes the matter of sense - impressions into a single rational conception of things, we have had to leave exclusively to the unbodied energy of the soul. Tin- tasks which we impose on the brain will seem, then, much simpler than the manifold functions that phrenologists require of it in their search for, and alleged discovery of, special organs for many of the most complex manifestations of mind. However unsafe these efforts may be, the unpre- judiced observer cannot dismiss them as groundless, and they are not liable to every charge brought against them. Without doubt, it is not necessary to suppose that all souls in themselves of one kind, owe their individual character to the special development of their corporeal organs ; on the contrary, there is no obstacle in the way of the belief that each one is by an originally peculiar character determined to a unique development of the general capacities which it shares with all others as the common foundation of mental life. If, however, we hesitate to set down any part what- ever of predetermination to the peculiar character and indi- viduality of the corporeal frame, we forget that all such efforts to divorce mental life from bodily conditions are made fruitless by other indisputable facts. We have not chosen or bestowed on ourselves, our sex, or our people, or the time of our birth, or the social circumstances of our life — neither our poverty nor the advantages of our wealth ; so long as we see such relations often bring to naught the hope of mental development, we have little reason to dispute very vehemently the dependence of the mind on its body. While Materialism offers no prospect of a higher and more satisfactory view of things, the assertion of an independent soul does not solve the dark and depressing riddles so often brought before us by the course of the world and the destinies of life.

But the admission of special organs, distributed over different tracts of the brain, for particular higher mental


faculties, has after all little probability on its side. We could neither form any idea of the kind of advantage offered by it, nor would we find that it promotes the mutual action and reaction constantly going on between all the psychic energies ; lastly, even if we gave up the search for explanation, the mere collecting of facts in proof of a connec- tion between a particular cerebral formation and particular intellectual operations, would be found to be attended with extraordinary difficulties. It would presuppose in the inquirer that complete and penetrating knowledge of human nature that would at once not only detect all the hidden tendencies of an individual character, but also unravel the far more secret tissue of antecedents from which they flowed as finished results. For unquestionably the form in which a man's complete character appears to an observer, has been moulded not only by the innate disposition, but also by the succession and peculiar character of the external circumstances in which it was formed. It need hardly be mentioned how difficult must be the redistribution of the observed characteristics to these various causes, and how much risk there is of interpreting as direct results of a corporeal organization effects of education, of way of life, and of disease. It might be easier for unprejudiced observa- tion (though at most in the case of such capabilities as may readily be shown to be present, as are frequently transmitted by inheritance, and hardly to any perceptible degree to be supplied by practice) to establish a relation of some sort between these and particular developments of the brain and its bony case. Thus sense of locality and of colour, musical genius, perhaps a turn for mathematics in general, and ingenious manual dexterity, may be found to have corporeal foundations, while as regards the subtler peculiarities of mental individuality we entertain hardly any such expectation. And yet even these may be largely under the influence of the bodily life, though otherwise than by the assignment of a special organ to each one. The immense differences in the amount and peculiar character of mental development


presented by mankind more than by any other species of animals, seem mostly to be derived from distinctions in a universal psychic nature, closely related to what we are in tlu- habit of calling temperament. In all individuals mental capacities have an insignificant germ, and, rapid as is their growth in some cases, they are yet invariably developed by means of the registration and summation of individual acts, each of which becomes a means for the performance of a sub- sequent greater one. The transition from one to another is effected — with greater or less rapidity — not only by the keenness of the original impression of the perceptions, but still more by the liveliness of the feelings thereto attached, by the activity of the organic life and the mobility of the general sense that fluctuates with its changes, by variety of moods and abundance of internal excitations suggesting certain series of thoughts and breaking off others ; on all these influences doubtless are dependent not only the rapidity or tardiness of the general mental development, but also many abiding peculiarities of the direction followed by its course. The instrumentality of these influences of the body is in great part not particular organs, but its general structure ; varying degrees of constitutional vigour form a peculiarly coloured background to the mind's action, and, con- firmed as this is by the experience of disease, we must allow to the chemical composition of the blood, by whose stimu- lative force nervous activity is excited, a considerable influence on the amount and direction of intellectual energy.

Yet in another respect the formation of the central organs may have a bearing also on this. It is chiefly the cerebral hemispheres that in the ascending scale of animal life we find increasing in bulk as the mental development of the species becomes greater, and a consensus of experience leaves hardly any doubt that in man, in whom they are most fully developed, the amount of intellectual life depends on their structure being more or less complete. But these parts of the brain do not look like a row of single severally complete organs, composed of a great number of fibres with inter-


polated ganglionic cells; they possess a far more uniform and monotonous structure than the internal and lower parts which assume very peculiar forms, above and around which they are arched as a thick membranous case marked deeply with very many furrows. It is not a demonstrable fact, but may be taken as a credible conjecture, that these more definitely shaped regions of the brain comprise the organs of mental life, which we have already found it necessary to admit, and which are characterized by an unvarying and peculiar form of working ; that, on the other hand, the external mass of the hemispheres forms an apparatus of general use, designed in part as the means of reproduction for the nervous force that acts in the organs, in part to regulate their capacity of stimulation, in part, lastly, as we hinted when considering the feelings, to afford a kind of resonance by which there may be communicated to the matter of perception a certain amount of feeling, and to the growing volitional impetus a particular strength of motive power. Only in this sense of an indirect and yet very powerful influence on the mental life, would we concede to these parts of the brain the name of an organ of intelligence, of emotion, or of volition. We have thus delineated the various forms in which the body exhibits itself as a means of promoting and assisting mental development. In the researches of physical science this side of the matter is wont to be exclusively presented ; but religious considerations usually lead to the other being brought forward ; they beget in us a tendency to look on the body as to some extent a barrier hindering the soul's free development. There is nothing against the possibility of this new view; as we find that in disease unusual fluctua- tions of the bodily life clog the mind's activity, so also the abiding healthy connection between the two may have a retarding effect on the inward development. Experience, however, has but a poor array of facts pointing in this direction, and in cases of bodily illness that somewhat relax the bond between the two natures, we never find a new and unexpected burst of psychic life occur. This assertion is not


weakened by an appeal to the marvels of somnambulism and clairvoyance. After attention has been so often aroused and disappointed by these phenomena, after there has been so much clairvoyance without the slightest permanent advantage for the progress of mankind : after these experiences, it might be supposed that interest in all this had also become clairvoyant and had recognised it for what it is, viz. pecu- liarly intensified morbid processes, the like of which in less intensity are offered by daily experience. Even ordinary intoxication shows us that one-sided animation of conscious- ness that is devoid of any clear and comprehensive survey of its content and of the external environment, while there appear all sorts of impulses to pathetic rhythmical gesture — and delight, and along with it dexterity, in daring experi- ments, all of which is prevented in the sober man partly by the inferior liveliness of his nervous actions and the lower tone of his general sense, partly by a decorous regard to propriety and the usages of life. In like manner, a particu- larly exciting train of thought that flows on in sleep may be then more easily carried out, while the numberless distracting impressions of the outer world are absent, and the somnambulist in his half-waking consciousness may finish the solution of a problem that awake he failed to work out. But, at the same time, we do not forget that it is properly the powers, the knowledge, in short, the whole acquisition of waking life that made this achievement possible for the sleeper. As the consciousness of danger declines, the bold- ness of the adventurer increases ; as regard to surroundings ceases, the experimenter's audacity waxes ; and as all disturbing influences are warded off, inner concentration and harmonious energy advance, without anything really new and unexpected taking the place of the familiar. Thus the human life which is the subject of our observation, is throughout bound to reciprocal action with the body, but the greater beauty of development to which the soul, freed from this bond, may rise, we shall not prematurely guess at, before the bond has been torn asunder.



The constant Illusion of Sense— Impossibility of Things being copied in our Perception — The Special and Higher Worth of Sense — The Inner Activity of Things — Matter the Manifestation of something Supersensuous — Con- cerning the Possibility of extended Beings — Animation of the whole "World — Contrast between Body and Soul not retracted — Justification of Plurality as against Unity.

| 1. TTOW many objections may silently have attended -•"*- every step of our statement ! And these not such alone as found occasions of dissent in the several difficulties of the questions which we have hurried through, and as may be answered, not by us, but by more extended scientific research ; nay more, we must expect a thoroughgoing revolt of the heart against the coldness of a theory that transforms all the beauty and animation of forms into a rigid physico-psychical mechanism. We have had to direct many attacks against the creative, self-determined development of corporeal life, against the permeation of the body by the mind, against the truth of sensation and the spontaneity of movement ; in fact, we have made questionable all the characteristics that contain for naive feeling the essence of all the poetry of life. We cannot therefore wonder at the steadfastness with which the advocates of an emotional view will refuse to accept as a higher con- ception of things the most convincing statements on our side ; the more necessary, therefore, is the attempt to prove the harmlessness of our theory, which, where it compels us to sacrifice opinions in which we seem to surrender a part of ourselves, yet by what it gives in exchange makes it possible for us to regain our lost content.

Naive consciousness always takes sensation to be the per-



ception of a complete, externally-existing, real thing. It believes that the world lies around us illuminated by its own radiance, and outside of us tones and odours cross and meet one another in the im measurable space that plays in the colours belonging to things. Our senses sometimes close themselves against this continual abundance, and confine us to the course of our inner life  ; sometimes they open like doors to the arriving stimulus, to receive it as it is in all its grace or ugliness. No doubt disturbs the assurance of this belief, and even the illusions of the senses, insignificant in com- parison with the preponderance of consentient experience, do not shake the assurance that we here everywhere look into an actual world that does not cease to be as it appears to us even when our attention is not turned to it. The brightness of the stars seen by the night-watcher will, he hopes, continue to shine over him in slumber ; tones and perfumes, unheard and unsmelt, will be fragrant and harmonious afterwards as before  ; nothing of the sensible world will perish save the accidental perception of it which consciousness formerly possessed. And this full confidence in the reality of sense-perception not only is harmless, but a deep need urges men to ardent resistance of any attempt to deprive it of the full reality of its phse- nomena. It must continue to be the inherent sweetness of the objects that comes to us in sweet tastes and fragrant odours, the very soul of things that speaks to us in sound  ; the splendour of colour would grow pale to us if we could not look on its radiance as the revelation of another being that, though strange to us, becomes so transparent to us that we can become sympathetically absorbed into and united with its nature. The best part of the significance of the things of sense would be lost if this lucid reality of the objects of sensation were taken from us ; the same longing that in higher stages of mental life seeks completion in another, here in sensation seeks to preserve the dreamy enjoyment of being completely permeated by what is alien. And not only must what relates to sense somehow cleave to things themselves ; on the contrary, we are drawn by this longing to look on


sensible properties as acts of that in which we find them. Not merely are things coloured, but it is their living active shining that we view in their colours ; their taste, their smell, are actions in which their inmost being comes toward ours, and discloses that which, within the externally-bounded space filled by their forms, forms the true reality of their existence. Not always indeed in daily life is this earnestness in regard to sensation alike present ; other interests, with the manifold reflections which they bring with them, make us carelessly take and forget many sense - perceptions ; what would interest us in detail, makes on our absently-glancing eye an indifferent or a repulsive total impression ; we think we see unclean chaotic masses, where the assisted eye often discovers regular crystallization and traces of an ornamental formative power. Thus colours become to us indifferent in the artificial forms of our utensils ; but if we look at the smallest particles of the natural substance that our handicraft has forced into a form to it indifferent, to supply the neces- sities of life, how immediately we again come under the power of the spell of sense in the rich depth and brilliant splendour of colours, in the marvellous play of broken lights that iridescent hover over the finest cracks and stripes of the surfaces  ! Then we have in miniature the blossoming of that same fair mystery that is wont to excite our senses in the formless vapoury colouring of the sky, and the mysterious shapes of flowers. The many sounds that animate the earth blend to the preoccupied or inattentive ear into mere noise  ; but the thoughtful listening that discriminates them recog- nises in the several voices of Nature utterances in which, though they are untranslatable into any other tongue, yet a mysterious inner nature of things speaks to us with all distinctness. Only the accidental combinations in which we are accustomed to find many elements of sense, the arbitrary forms in which we mould things for our own uses, make the original significance of sense-perceptions temporarily disappear for us ; but it is always felt anew when we give ourselves up to, or seek out, simple impressions, or when with perfected art


wo combine things that, by the elective affinities of tlu-.ir nature, crave to be united. Then we again recognise the claim made by our sensuous nature to give us insight into the inmost living essence of an alien but true reality that in its alienation faces us now as a friend and now as a foe.

And of this belief the mechanical view of Nature seeks to deprive us, or at least seems inclined to do so. It teaches us that sensations are the peculiar product of the soul, suggested indeed by outward impressions, but resembling neither these nor the things from which they proceed : that the world about us has in itself neither darkness nor light, neither sound nor stillness, but, on the contrary, is wholly out of relation either to light or to sound, that things have no smell or taste. Nay, what seemed most unquestionably to warrant the reality of the external world — hardness, softness, resistance — are, ac- cording to it, forms of sensation in which we are conscious merely of our own internal states. Nothing really fills space save an indefinite host of myriad atoms vibrating towards one another in the most varied forms of motion. And neither atoms nor motions, as such, fall under our observation ; both are only assumptions presupposed — but necessarily presupposed — in the inferential calculation of phenomena. These simple elements cannot themselves be described as they are, absolutely devoid of sensible properties, which are the only material out of which we can make distinct descriptions  ; their motions we can indeed indicate, but in themselves they are never objects of our actual perception. In all perception nothing is directly in our consciousness but that which it has itself created  ; only by subsequent reflection on the conditions under which our sensations originate are we by degrees carried back to assume causes that in themselves remain for ever inaccessible to observation. Thus, then, the reality of the external world is utterly severed from our senses, and all the variety of the perceived world becomes but a phenomenon of our own mind, which we indeed throw back upon things as if it were their natural form and illumination, but which no more belongs to or proceeds from them than do the reflections which experience


suggests to us cling ready-made to the objects with which we connect them.

Vain attempts have been made to defend the reality of sense-phsenomena against this doctrine. It had to be allowed that those modes of motion presupposed in calculations are really the conditions that give rise to our sensations; but proof was lacking and was demanded that these are not brought to a second birth in consciousness by what, on the one hand, is certainly a product of our mental nature, but on the other is also present in the outer world itself and in the stimuli. Undulations of the luminous sether and vibrating waves of sound, it was asserted, traverse space, and the mechanical mode of motion is but the external means by which they stimulate eye and ear to copy the actually existing sensible content. But proof of the contrary should not have been expected from mechanical physics, as a little reflection might of itself have sufficed to supply it. We not only know colour and sound solely through sensation, but we would be wholly unable to say what idea we attached to them if they were not perceived by our own or some other consciousness. As velocity is involved in motion, and not in itself something that might be added to motion, so all sensations have but one place of existence — consciousness, and one kind of exist- ence— that of a state, passive or active, of consciousness. Even before a mechanical theory had detected in the modes of motion of external elements the causes whence our sensations originate, reflection might have discovered that at all events they are conceivable only as such states of the mind and its knowledge, and that any attempt must fail which maintains that what shines in light or sounds in tones is a property of things or an event taking place between them, somewhere outside of sentient beings. It is vain to call the eye sun-like, as if light were before it is seen, and as if the eye needed a special occult power to copy what on the contrary it has itself produced ; fruitless are all mystic efforts to restore to the intuitions of sense, by means of a secret identity of mind with things, a reality outside ourselves.


But however fruitless they may be, they will Undoubtedly be ever and anon renewed by that strange susceptibility tlutt aims not at fulfilling its perhaps justifiable wishes by actively setting about the removal of difficulties, but only at cheating them by a facile surrender to the self-contradictory.

§ 2. Must we then really give up all these claims, which to naive consciousness seemed so well-grounded  ? Must all the glory revealed by the senses be changed into an illusion of our mind, that, incompetent to discern the true nature of things, consoles itself by creating a show without objective validity of any kind  ? If it were at least possible to look on sensations as translating, so that the import can be recognised, the properties of things into a language familiar to the mind, we would be at ease and make up our minds to the inevitable loss of clearness suffered by the matter of existence in passing into knowledge. But what have vibrations of the aether to do with light  ? what have undulations of condensation in the atmosphere to do with tones  ? The physical cause and the sensation following it are here on so wholly different lines, that in the latter we do not find even a faint echo of the former, but a new phenomenon without a shadow of resem- blance comes into view within us. How ill-fitted therefore is sentience for the performance of its task — to reflect the nature of things, or at least the veritable outside of their being  ! And consequently how little trustworthy becomes the hope that knowledge will penetrate their inmost being ! Beset on all sides by error, we can call our sense-perception nothing else than a tissue of delusions of the senses.

If these complaints are natural, it is assuredly, however, not the spirit of mechanical investigation that has given occasion to them. Physical science, starting from imperceptible elements, tracing their manifold motions, and seeking to determine the impression produced by the transmission of these disturbances on the sensitive nerves of the living body, and through them on the soul, regards this connection simply as a causal chain of processes, and thinks it no more sur- prising here than elsewhere that after so many transitions of


efficacy from one agent to another, the final effect, the quality of the conscious sensation itself, is wholly unlike the primary occasional causes. Why, it would be entitled to ask, do you require anything different  ? Why do you suppose it to be the duty of your senses to present the things by which they are affected as they really are, and not contrariwise as they do actually present them  ? Why should they bring into consciousness the first causes instead of the last effect  ? and are not the shimmer and the tone which they transmit to you, inasmuch as they are transmitted, no less than the unseen vibrations of the aether and the atmosphere a fact, having with them an equal right to be recognised  ? If you regret the loss of the splendour of the world of sense, what prevents you from retaining it, and rejoicing that there are in the world beings whose inner nature can be stirred by the impetus of these modes of motion to so fair reactions, to the unfolding of a realm of colour and sound  ? Finally, what urges you to penetrate to the far less pleasing core, to shatter the fair outside, and to long for a sight of the skeleton frame- work whose rigidity is veiled by its soft outlines  ?

There is indeed every reason to test the apparently self- evident assumption, that the sole office of sentience and of all knowledge is to present to consciousness the forms of things as they are. The objection will doubtfully be brought forward against us — to what purpose is such a doubt  ? Must not the office of cognition be to know  ? But this objection is only another instance of that precipitation to which we are all so prone. For only in the perception that our consciousness contains a manifold world of ideas, in whose production we are dependent on unknown conditions lying outside ourselves, have we an undeniable fact that must form the starting-point of our discussion. This play of ideas, regular in itself and connected with the sphere of these unknown conditions, limns in outlines agreeing for different minds the picture of a common external world, in which they meet one another for mutual transactions and communications. The thought of each individual should therefore be true, that is., in the


sense of presenting to eacli the same world as is showed to others, without any individual illusion shutting us out from communion with other minds, l>y cheating us with a series of external points of relation, at which we can never come into cuntact with the activity of others, because they exist for none but ourselves. At the same time, it remains wholly undecided whether the world that is uniformly presented to each of us in thought, is for all alike a consistent error, or whether what we think we see does in fact present the very form of the outer world, on whose influences we feel that we are dependent.

Partly the influence of daily life, partly the peculiar interest of science, the express object of whose researches is accurate acquaintance with things, have accustomed us to estimate the worth of our ideas and sensations by the accuracy with which they represent the nature of objects. We forget that the occurrence of these internal phenomena within us is quite as much a pregnant fact as the existence of the source whence they spring ; and after we have once become used to apply to them the name cognition, and thereby tacitly to put them into necessary relation to something external, we are apt to contrast being and knowing as if the former comprised the whole reality of the universe, and the latter had only to be a good or bad cognitive repetition of this complete universe. But the fact that the influence of the existent and of its changes causes within rational beings a world of sensation to come into being, is no insignificant addition to the connection of things, as if the import of all existence and action would be complete without it ; on the contrary, it is itself one of the greatest, if not the greatest of all events, whose depth and meaning make all else sink into significance, that could take place among the constituents of the universe. As we prize a blossom for its brilliance of colour and its fragrance, without requiring of it to exhibit a representation of the form of its roots, so we must prize this inner world of sensation for its own beauty and significance, without measuring its value by the fidelity with which it reproduces its less important foundation.


For why, in fact, should we not reverse this whole relation, to which a crude mode of conception has accustomed us  ? Instead of setting up the external as the goal to which all the efforts of our sensation are to be directed, why should we not rather look upon the splendour of light and sound as the end which all those dispositions of the external world, whose obscurity we deplore, are designed to realize  ? What pleases us in the drama that we see developed before us on the stage, is the poetical Idea and its inherent beauty  ; no one would expect to enhance this enjoyment or discern a profounder truth if he could indulge in an examination of the machinery that effects the changes of scenery and illumination  ; no one, while taking in the meaning of the spoken words, desires a distinct knowledge of the physical processes by which the organism of the actors produces the resonant vibrations of their voices, or initiates the motion of their expressive gestures. The course of the universe is such a drama ; its essential truth is the meaning set forth so as to be intelligible to the spirit ; but the other, which we would often so fain know, and in which, deceived by prejudice, we first of all seek the true being of things, is nothing else than the framework on which rests the alone momentous actuality of the fair appearance. Instead of complaining that in sensation the real properties of things outside us are not represented, we should rejoice that something so much greater and fairer comes in its place ; we would not gain but lose if we had to sacrifice the radiant splendour of colour and light, the power and sweetness of tones, the fragrance of odours, in order to be consoled with receiving in exchange for this vanished world of utmost beauty the most accurate acquaintance with vibrations moving with more or less velocity in this or that direction. Besides, it is within our power to attain to this knowledge by scientific research, and actually to reach those colourless foundations of the sensible world over which actual sensation spreads this deluding, or, as we would be more correct to say, transfiguring radiance. Let us therefore cease to lament as if the reality of things escaped our apprehension; on the


contrary, it consists in that as which they appear to us, and all that they are before they are made manifest to us is the i u« •( Hating preparation for this final realization of their very being. The beauty of colours and tones, warmth and fragrance, are what Nature in itself strives to produce and express, but cannot do so by itself; for this it needs as its last and noblest instrument, the sentient mind that alone can put into words its mute striving, and in the glory of sentient intuition set forth in luminous actuality what all the motions and gestures of the external world were vainly endeavouring to express.

But however great be the importance which we thus ascribe to sensation in the order of the universe, we still fear we may not thereby have wholly put an end to the old complaints. For the advantage of enjoyment falls too partially on the side of the world of intelligence, over against which stands all Nature as merely the lifeless, even if mobile, framework of means by which the beauty of the world of sense may be produced in something else, not in itself. Have things by their motions, while themselves destitute of enjoyment, only to minister to souls as mere stimuli to this inner life  ? Has the one half of creation, that which we comprise under the name of the material world, no function whatever save that of serving the other half, the realm of mind, and are we not justified in longing to find the lustre of sense in that also whence we seem always to derive it  ? Perhaps now this longing alone would not suffice as the foundation of a new moulding of our theories  ; assuming, however, that a more thorough investigation added to the strength of this founda- tion, we could yet assuredly find in things themselves the reality of all content of sensation only on supposition of the conditions on which it is conceivable by us. The content of sensation, light and colour, tone and odour, can be understood only as modes or states of an intuition or cognition ; if they are to be phenomena not merely internal in ourselves but inherent in things, things must be capable of appearing to themselves and of producing these in their own sensation.

VOL. i. z


To this inference that sheds over all existence the lustre of vital animation, our craving would have resolutely to advance ; in this reality within things alone would it find a possible basis for the reality of sense outside us ; on the other hand, all efforts would be vain to annex what is conceivable only as an internal state of sentience to insentient beings as an external property.

We thus find ourselves here brought back to an idea which we met in our first discussions concerning the nature of the soul, to that hypothesis of a double existence of all matter — outwardly in accordance with the well - known physical properties, inwardly stirred by mental activity. We refused then to apply this idea, according to which the whole of the living body must be conceived as being the sentient soul, or the unity of our consciousness must be explained by the co-operation of many elements. We recognised that the latter is thinkable not as a resultant of the reciprocal action of a plurality of beings, but only as the manifestation of an indi- visible being, and that a complete fusion of the intellectual energy with the whole of the body, which does not date from eternity, but during the process of growth has been formed by most heterogeneous contributions from the external world, is in opposition alike to universal possibilities and to the most definite facts of experience. We cannot think differently now, and any attempt to conceive of matter as animated must of necessity be combined with another, viz. to prove that the form in which we think we immediately apprehend matter, infinitely divisible extension, is an illusion, having as its foundation a multitude of indivisible beings, whose definition contains only supersensible properties. Many threads of our discussion that have hitherto lain apart and unfinished now run together and draw near their termination; may we be permitted, as a means of fully uniting them, once more and emphatically to direct attention to the conception of matter which we have hitherto accepted, contenting ourselves simply with repelling its aggressions across its own borders, and from which we must now at last seek to withdraw even that

TIII: Lin-: <>F MATTI.U. 355

which seemed to come under its peculiar sway. For, \\liil.- earlier thinkers believed that the mental life was derived from the dlieiency of matter as a simple and self-evident corollary, we now purpose to vindicate the exclusive and original reality of the mental sphere, and to show that it makes Nature comprehensible, and not vice versa.

The general reflections with which we prefaced the sketch of the bodily life convinced us that the manifold forms and events set before us en Hoc in experience can be explained only by the counter-working of many distinct and indepen- dent centres of exeunt and ineunt forces. This hypothesis of an internal systematization of apparently homogeneous masses is directly confirmed in many cases by the observations of the assisted eye, and a more searching investigation into all the perplexing phenomena presented by the more elaborately con- structed even of inanimate bodies, and by their consequent peculiarities of action, would find itself inevitably compelled to admit this organization of matter out of single efficient parts far beyond the limits of possible perception. But the final step of denying to the infinitesimal atoms to which we are thus led back any extension, in space, form, or size, was then merely a possible, not yet a necessary, termination of that theory. Although, however, it was admissible in respect of physical science to leave this question undecided, we are constrained by the conception that would preserve even for matter intelligent life or something analogous, to seek a defi- nite answer to it.

First of all, in opposition to the current doctrine that matter is extended, impenetrable, imperishable, and offers resistance, we must make the counter assertion that these properties and modes of action have no subject : we are not told ivJwt it is that is extended, impenetrable, and imperish- able, and what constrains these various properties, which in themselves have no necessary connection with one another, to appear in combination. Should the supporters of the doctrine seek to cover this defect by the acknowledgment that the true essence of matter consists of an indescribable supersensible


something, from whose nature those very properties and their combination necessarily and permanently follow, we would have to reply that, while the other predicates are compatible with the notion of something existent, that of extension is not, and yet by extension it is that matter is thought to be essentially distinguished from all else existent.

For he who speaks of the extension of matter is not con- tent to find in every point of the space that his eye can scan, the operative sway, the power, or the spiritual presence of a substance that yet is itself present only at a single point ; on the contrary, he maintains that evary infinitesimal part of this space is perpetually filled by it just as much as it would fill that selected point. And at the same time, on this theory, each single point of filled space is also an independent abiding centre of forces, and the annihilation of all the others could not prevent it from continuing its working in harmony with the nature of the portion of reality which it contains. This conception thus leads to an infinite divisibility of the extended, but along with that it cannot, it appears to me, get rid of the idea of an actual division. For that which, after its separation from a whole, can undisturbed continue its working with the degree of force corresponding to its size, must in the whole have had an independent existence, forming with other equally independent parts a regular sum, but not a veritable unit. Or vice versd, what can be sundered into a number of wholly independent parts, and can without any alteration of its nature let go certain parts and admit others not previously belonging to it, cannot, with such indifference to increase or diminution, be conceived as a single self-complete being, but only as a combination of what were originally a plurality of beings. In contrast to this external multiplicity may be set an inner unity of the many ; it may be supposed that all these parts are intimately connected, by homogeneity of nature, by a common import, and by joint destination to a common development and mode of action  : when we abstract from what they have been and what they shall be, when we look simply at what they are, none of these higher unities


can blind us to the fact that primarily they do indisputably form a plurality. Whatever other ideas may be entertained in regard to the internality of the extended, we insist upon it that its externality be not on account of these put into the background. And this externality, i.e. extension, will never be thinkable unless we suppose single points which are dis- tinguishable, outside one another, divided from one another by intervals, and which lastly, by the action of their forces, or by their mutual influences in general, determine for one another the places they occupy. This distinguishability of a number of points is no mere corollary of extension, but that whicli constitutes its very notion ; the name extension denotes a property implying solely mutual relations in a manifold plurality, reciprocal action of several individuals.

Any attempt to apprehend extension as the predicate not of a system of beings but of a single element, must necessarily involve the other assertion, that the parts of this element, which must be distinguishable in order to form a spatial mag- nitude, cannot attain to free and independent existence by division. But experience confirms — in the main at least — the separability of things distinguishable  ; only in the invisibly minute dimensions of atoms might we hope to find both extension and indivisible continuity. And this latter conjecture would help us little. For where, then, would we seek the ground of the fixed extent, neither greater nor less, occupied unalterably by each atom  ? If we do not find it in the number of the particles which it comprises, where else than in this fact, that the supersensible nature of that which here is really or apparently extended, is adequate to fill this and no greater space, to set up this and no greater indivisible outward form  ? Thus, even on this theory, the magnitude of extension finally resolves itself into spatial expression for the degree of intensive force, and space is filled, strictly speaking, not by the being but by its efficacy. Let us therefore rather at once acknowledge that extension can no more be the predi- cate of a being than an eddy or vortex is the mode of motion of a single element ; both alike can be conceived only as forms


of relation between many elements. We are accordingly constrained to adhere to that view which formerly showed itself merely as a possible one, and to conceive extended matter as a system of unextended beings that, by their forces, fix one another's position in space, and by the resistance which they offer — as if to the intrusion of a stranger — to any attempt to make them change place, produce the phsenomena of impenetrability and the continuous occupation of space.

The tendency to conceive extension as a direct property of things actual, perhaps rests on an idea that we carry by stealth from our personal experience of life into this wholly different sphere of thought. The upholders at least of those theories on which the extension of matter is explained as one of many manifestations in which is revealed a much more comprehensive striving of the creative absolute, a longing for infinite evolution and diffusion, betray in their aesthetic enthusiasm for this form of action their remembrance of the enjoyment bestowed on us human beings by the freedom of unbounded diffusion and expansion of our being. To us the environing space is primarily a barrier and wide extent that we must overleap and traverse ; hence to us motion is at once exertion and enjoyment ; the former, because we can execute it only by means of the mechanism of our limbs ; the latter, because change of position brings the excitement of new per- ceptions, and the consciousness of the exertion of force through which we have won them. This mood, this sense of added strength and satisfied desire that animates us in traversing great distances, we unconsciously transfer to the general notion of motion. All those enthusiasts who saw in the perpetual motion of the heavenly bodies an object of rapturous devotion, and recognised in it true existence and the eternal activity of the existent, secretly believed that the traversing of these vast spaces was for the bodies an achievement costing a putting forth of vital force of which they themselves were conscious ; as the bird rejoices in its flight, so might the planets themselves delightedly feel the impetus of their motion ; and as the former with keen eye surveys the changes

TIIK Ul'T. Or MA'ni.K.

in its surroundings, calculating from thmi how much space it has traversed, so too might these somehow be conscious of the magnitude of the distances they had travelled. Similar associations it is that excite our enthusiasm for the expansion of the absolute and the continuous extension of matter ; we accompany it with a feeling of relief from a cramping pressure; and as in drawing a long breath we fancy we directly feel in the expansion of the chest an increase of our vital force, so there lies an obscure remembrance of the pleasurable sensation of such vigorous expansion even in the thought of the space-filling energy that we attribute to matter. And yet a simple consideration would convince us that of all the conditions on which for us the possibility of this pleasure depends, not one exists for unorganized matter; the more inherently extension is supposed to belong to it, the less is it an achievement requiring for its performance any vital exertion; and the expansion of the absolute must be con- ceived not as the joy of liberation and of passing beyond limits, but exclusively as a falling into a multitude of different points, on whose externality to one another alone all extension


Perhaps we should guard against the charge of having in these remarks stated accessory ideas that here and there creep in as additions of individual fancy, as if they were essential parts of the theory of extended matter. But we see from too many examples how frequently such pleasing remembrances of complete human life do secretly guide the speculations, whose reins are believed to be swayed solely by the purest and most abstract thought; and in this case I really do not know, if it does not pertain to being to be extended, what should induce us so obstinately to seek to attach this property to its inner nature, and to fill wholly with continuous matter the space that might (adequately for the explanation of pheno- mena) be under the control of supersensible beings with their vital forces. But we might add that our theory may succeed where the other fails ; inasmuch as every several being by its reciprocal action with others fixes its own and their place in


space, emits and receives effects, it will, from its position in respect of the total sum of the rest, be capable of receiving also impressions that would not have been secured for the continuously extended by its mere presence and diffusion in space.

§ 3. With this hypothesis of unextended atoms we have removed the only difficulty that could prevent us from giving ourselves up to the thought of an inner mental life pervading all matter. The indivisible unity of each of these simple beings permits us to suppose that in it the impressions reaching it from without are condensed into modes of sensation and enjoyment. All that stirred our interest in the content of sentience may now have a place of objective existence in these beings, and numberless events ascertained, not directly by sensation, but on the circuitous path of scientific investiga- tion, need not now be lost, but may, within the substances in which they occur, be converted into much glow and beauty of perception to us unknown. All pressure and tension undergone by matter, the rest of stable equilibrium and the rending asunder of former connections, all this not only takes place, but also in taking place gives rise to some enjoyment ; each several being entwined with varying reciprocal actions into the whole of the world, is, in the words of one of the greatest of our national thinkers, a mirror of the universe, from its place feeling the connection of all things, and repre- senting the special view which it yields to that particular place and standpoint. No part of being is any longer devoid of life and animation ; only a certain kind of activity, the motions which adjust the states of the one to those of the other, are twined like an external mechanism through the fulness of the animated creation, conveying to all opportunities and incite- ments to the various development of the inner life.

In this sketch we indicate a conception of whose essential truth we are convinced, yet to which we can hardly expect any further concession than that, among the dreams of our imagination, it may be one of those which do not contradict actual facts. Nor is its probability any more evident than


theirs, for, in the intent to satisfy an enthusiastic craving, it offers far more than that craving cares to accept. Who could endure the thought that in the dust trodden by our feet, in the prosaic texture of the cloth that forms our clothing, in the materials shaped into all sorts of utensils in the most arbitrary manner by technical skill, there is everywhere present the ful- ness of animated life, which we are nothing loath to think of as slumbering in the mysterious outline of the flower, or perhaps even in the regular still form of the crystal  ? And yet this objection would be merely a repetition of the error that, as we formerly mentioned, leads our sense-perception disparagingly to overlook the beauty of the simple constituents that chance sets before it in unfavourable position and confused blending. The dust is dust to him alone whom it incommodes ; the indifferent form of the utensil no more lessens the value of the several elements of which it consists, than a confined social position that represses the outflow of intellectual life destroys the high destiny to which even such oppressed fragments of humanity are called. When we speak of the divine origin and celestial goal of the human soul, we have more cause to cast a sorrowful look on this dust of the spiritual world, whose life often seems to us so fruitless, whose work so purely a failure ; we have far less reason to deny an inner life to such insignificant constituents of the outer world, for — uncomely as they may appear to us in their accumulations —they at least everywhere and without shortcoming perform the actions permitted to them by the universal order as modes of expressing their internal state.

In fact, the partiality which we here confess for the idea of a pervading animation of the universe, springs not from any desire now to adopt the belief in the fusion of our soul with the totality of our bodily organization which we formerly rejected. It has no connection whatever with the more limited inquiry into the relation between the mental and the corporeal within us, but proceeds from a more general conviction in regard to the essence of things, the grounds of which must be set forth completely and methodically by stricter science. This


would have to show how radically unthinkable and contra- dictory is the conception to which ordinary life and even computative investigation of the order of things has recourse — the conception of something existent that never had an independent "being, but in all its existence was merely a focus of impressions, which were not any matter of its own enjoyment — or a starting-point of effects which, having no foundation in either its knowing or its willing, formed for something else a stimulus to manifold action. We would vainly strive to think of the essence of this being as characterized by any simple and supersensible quality ; we would have to rest in the con- viction, that even as the sensible qualities, to give up whose objective reality we more easily make up our minds, so all the supersensible qualities which we are fain to contrast as true with the sensible, have likewise their existence only in the consciousness of him who thinks them, and that they could never denote the source of actions and forces which we see proceed from things, and for which we must seek a founda- tion in their nature. The dislike to look on one part of the cosmos as but a blind and lifeless instrument for the ends of another, the desire to diffuse over all the joy of animation, and to vindicate a universe enjoying at every point through- out its own existence as more perfect than one in which a divided structure shows mentality above an unconscious basis — in this we have but one series of motives inviting us beneath the unruffled surface of matter, behind the rigid and regular repetitions of its working, to seek the warmth of a hidden mental activity. Another and more urgent series of motives lies in the self-contradictions that make it impossible for us to conceive anything as simply being, with- out at the same time possessing and enjoying itself, and force on us the conviction that living beings alone truly are, and that other forms of existence derive their explanation solely from mental life, not the latter from them.

Thus almost at the end of our journey we find ourselves brought back to the thoughts that actuated minds at the beginning of human development, in the poetic fancies of


mythology. And \\\- intentionally noto this kinsln'p, little of a recommendation as it would seem to be for the scientific solidity of our view. For in fact our intention was in this affirmation of a cosmos animated throughout to indicate exclusively one view that here opens before us, making it possible for us to take a preliminary glimpse, and not actually to explore infinite distances. Fain as we are to keep this glimpse for ourselves, we yet must not introduce it into science; we would, as a matter of fact, only return to baseless visions of a less picturesque mythology, did we try to carry out what we believe to be the truth of the matter ; did we seek to show how the laws ^>f_physical phenomena arise out of the nature of the ^mentallafitiyit^ in "Efag-heartntf things,

forms f-.Vip.ir— tguA-P.gsp.nf»pf pnrj tf^ one source of their efficacy. Already in antiquity there were those who^pofre of love and hatred as the powers that move substances and determine their mutual relations, and who sought thereby to base on living and intelligible motives those attractions and repulsions which we now, without any understanding of their ground, conceive merely as in fact belonging to the lifeless mass. We must, indeed, in general allow and maintain that all motion of matter in space may be explained as the natural expression of the inner states of beings that seek or avoid one another with a feeling of their need, with a craving for completion through electiyji_ji#inities, with a sense of beginning disturbance ; but assuredly we do not stand so in the centre of the world and of the creative thought expressed in it as ever to have it in our power to deduce from a complete knowledge of intelligent existence (which we do not possess) the precise laws of physical processes as necessary results. Here, as so often for human limitation, the path of knowledge is different from that of the development of the nature of the thing ; nothing remains for us but to gather from experience the laws found valid in the ultimate ramifications of reality, while silently retaining for the whole of the world of sense the understand- ing that it is but the veil of an infinite realm of mental life.

364 BOOK m. CHAPTER iv.

§ 4. Let us now cast a glance at the advantages that may flow from this modification of our views to our conception of the relation between body and soul, and we shall find them perhaps more trifling than we expected, perhaps lying in another quarter. Those who were staggered by the idea of a possible action and reaction between the soul and the differently con- stituted content of matter, may now have their scruples removed by the perception that in fact two different beings do not here face one another, but that the soul as an indi- visible being and the body as a combined plurality, form kindred and homogeneous terms of this relation. The soul acts not on the body so far as matter, but on the supersensible beings which only afford us the phsenomenal appearance of extended matter by a definite form of combination ; not as material and not with material instruments does the body exert its influence on the mind, but all attraction and repulsion, all pressure and impact, are, even in that nature which to us seems utterly devoid of animation, even where they act from matter to matter, only the manifestation of an intellectual action and reaction, which alone contains life and energy. But we attach little importance to this advantage, which removes only an imaginary difficulty, while casting no light on the real incomprehensibility how one thing can in any way act on another.

Our theory may still less please those who looked on a complete development of body into soul and soul into body as the necessary and alone desirable result of our speculations. For we now go on to contrast as sharply as ever the one indivisible soul which we call ours with the animated body ; and as persistently as before must we regard the body itself as a system of parts whose co-operant activities form the source of its life, only that an inner mental energy now fills each of the particles that in our former statement were of importance only as starting-points of physical forces. No more than it formerly seemed to us possible to expkin the peculiar elements of mental life by the crossing of physical actions of the nerves, do we now


find the intellectualized nature of the parts adequate to render more comprehensible the rise within us of the one consciousness. Whatever internal experiences each atom of a nerve may have, whether, under the impression of external stimuli, it produce a sensation like or unlike to one of ours, have along with it like us a feeling of pain or pleasure, and be drawn by it into volition — all this inner life has for our own mental development no significance whatever so long as it is not manifested. Only when each atom of the nerves transfers to the one immediately contiguous to it its own impression, till through the complete chain of all the excita- tion is transmitted to the soul also, do the internal states of these elements palpably affect the moulding of our mental life. But none of them communicates these states as such to its neighbour ; no wave of conscious sensation, of living feeling and willing, can, by moving on in the path of the nerves and simply entering our soul, become our sensation, our feeling, our volition  ; each several being must produce in itself and by its innate energy what is to be its own state, and it matters nothing whether the external stimulus exciting it thereto resembled the state to be produced or not. When enthusiasm for a great thought spreads swiftly among a crowd, it does not as such pass from one to another like a kind of atmospheric air or an infectious virus exhaled by one body and taken in by another. Each soul must anew pro- duce it by its own force, and from within warm into a glow for the object, whose very image and idea is communicable by one to another only by a complicated apparatus of con- ventional sounds and illuminating remembrances.

While, then, we long ago allowed the possibility that in each atom of the nerve a similar process may take place to that of which we ourselves have experience in conscious sensation, wre must now at the same time repeat the other assertion which we added — namely, that for psychology that possibility is wholly immaterial. The office of the nerv the production of sensation is simply that of messengers charged with the conveyance of tidings to their destiiiatioa


Perhaps the messengers are acquainted with the tenor of the news, and. on the way are thinking it over with kindly interest ; but the sympathy of the messenger will not bring about understanding and appreciation of the contents in the recipient, if both do not flow to him from a source within, nor will these be lessened by the circumstance that the message was finally delivered to him by the hand of one wholly indifferent. The nerves, therefore, perform the task to which they are called just as well if they are mere paths for the transmission of a purely physical process that only once, only on making an impression on the soul, undergoes a transformation into sensation, and it is (with no small benefit to its certainty) permissible for science to set aside all refer- ence to the unknown mental energy with which, on the other hand, the aesthetic view of Nature may lawfully fill the sum of things actual.

In fact, nothing but the beauty of the living form is made to us more intelligible by this hypothesis. That beauty of course is not annulled even for those who hold that the body is but a sum of lifeless parts ; as in the sweeping lines of drapery we, as it were, have an echo of the power and dignity, the grace and splendour, as it were the changeful play of energies by whose traces mental life can animate selfless matter, so the body — a still more pliable wrapping, fitted for greater variety of expression — would reveal the admirable and absolute dominion of the soul over the sense-instruments of phsenomenal existence. But assuredly this beauty receives a new glow when we do not need to think of the symmetry of the human figure and the harmonious arrangement of its several parts as merely the nice adjustment of a well-devised instrument, or the graceful motions by which in the change of attitudes each part by tension or relaxation seeks to fall into new equilibrium with the rest, as merely an operation artificially adjusting its own disturbances ; when, on the contrary, we can divine in each point of the form a feeling of enjoyment in its particular position and its manifold relations to the whole, or in the last faint echoes of slight tensions


with which every movement from place to place spreads over the outlines of the body, discern a token of the soulful intelligence with which all parts unite in common enjoyment of their admirable combination.

The image which we have now to form of the living form and its mental life is that of an association of many beings. The governing soul, placed at a favoured point of the organism, collects the numberless impressions conveyed to it by a host of comrades essentially similar but lower in rank from the inferior significance of their nature. Within itself it cherishes what it receives, fashioning it into motive impulses, which it applies to the ready force of its com- rades, that thereby regular reactions may be evolved. A common understanding and sympathy pervades this com- bination, and nothing that happens to one part is of necessity lost to another, nothing but the peculiar plan of the whole can stop the diffusion of the effects on all sides. I know not in what point the satisfaction which this view seems to me to afford could be surpassed by that flowing from a hypothesis requiring complete fusion of the soul with the bodily organism, and seeking to convert the in- direct enjoyment procured on our theory for each several part by the experiences of all the rest, into a direct coin- cidence of all. When we think of the soul as spread like a half-stifled breath through the extent of the body, when we suppose it to share directly in what at each moment is done and suffered at every single point of its structure, do we thus gain anything that might not be equally afforded by the conception of an indirect reciprocal action  ? Do sensa- tions become less distinctly ours by our supposing their excitation to be dependent only on the final effect of a physical nerve-stimulus on the nature of an indivisible soul, and are they made clearer by our holding that each single step of the physical intermediate process by which they are transmitted is accompanied by mental action that yet never comes to light in consciousness  ? Are our movements in any higher sense our own vital acts, if our will travels to


the terminations of the motor nerves, perhaps even to the muscular fibres, and would they not remain just as much ours, if only a single motion of the soul were needed to call into activity the prepared connection of ministering parts  ? What inducement can we have to exchange this distinct image of the orderly sway of one over an organized multitude for the confused conception of a vague unity of all, in which every regular form of reciprocal action with which experience makes us acquainted would seem to be but an unintelligible intricacy  ? All that we prize in life, and that is the source of nobler enjoyments, rests on this mode of combination in a manifold ; the human race, embodied in countless individuals, leads the life of constant reciprocal action, of mutual fellow- feeling in love and hatred, of uninterrupted progress, that makes all share in the gain of one part. All blending of the many into the one degrades the dignity of life and of happi- ness, for it lessens the number of beings, each of which might independently have appreciated the value of given relations. The unity in which we long to be knit with another is always completeness of intercourse, reciprocal enjoyment of what is without, never the confused mingling in which all joy of union perishes, because along with the antithesis it does away with the existence of that which could be aware of reconcilement.

And how little confirmation, after all, does the dream of this unity receive from impartial observation  ! The structure of the body is gradually put together from scattered con- stituents of the outer world, and involved in perpetual flux it is continually giving back parts whence they came. With what, then, could the soul form a unity  ? If it is alternately blended with the entering supply of the body and divided from the decaying remnant, in what else can that unity consist than in reciprocal actions that unroll themselves and then come to an end, according as the course of Nature in one case adds new elements to those at work, in another forces others out of their relations. This life of the parts is like a throng of travellers. Of these we know


neither whence they come nor whither they go ; though strangers they come together, for a short time there goes on among them a sociable intercourse, corresponding in its general rules to their common end as travellers, and each takes in the stimulations afforded to him by the communica- tions of the others. So we may think of each atom of the body as the seat of a pecular mental energy; but we do not know this  ; we are wholly ignorant of its previous history and of the development that may await it in the future  ; each element, drawn for a time into the regular vortex of our living body, may enrich its own internal condition by new experi- ences, and minister to our development by propagation of the stimulations imparted to it by the external world ; yet its inner life never becomes ours, and when the union of different beings on which our living form depends falls to pieces, while we shall all have gone through something together, it will be as beings originally different that after a passing contact again separate.

VOL. T. 2 A



Limitations of Knowledge — Questions concerning Primeval History — Depen- dent Nature of all Mechanism — Natural Necessity and the Infinite Sub- stance— General Possibility of Action — Source of Definite Laws of Action — Immortality — Origin of Souls.

§ 1. TDUT whence came together at the beginning of his- J-J tory the beings who were together to perform the drama of animated life, and to manifest so excellent a develop- ment ? And how is it that in the propagation of the race such a marvel is repeated as that every soul finds its body, every germ of a bodily organism receives the quickening breath of its spirit  ? Lastly, what fate awaits the several beings after the dissolution of their partnership, most of all the soul, of whose destination to endless development we seem to have a pledge in the significance of all that it has under- taken and accomplished in union with the body  ?

The course of our discussion inevitably carries us back in the end to these questions  ; and the more sharply we have tried to draw the outlines of the relations between body and soul, the more imperative do we feel the obligation to give completeness to our conceptions by an explanation in regard to the origin of this connection and the import of its final dissolution. But are we to deceive one another  ? I by pre- tending to be able to solve these problems, and whoever has followed me thus far by pretending to trust me  ? We need not so much as look back on the fruitless efforts of cen- turies, we have simply to recall the means at the disposal of human thought to feel the hopelessness of any attempt to



shed over this beginning and ending the clearness of intuitive knowledge. Let us not for a moment, then, give ourselves up to the illusory dream that we can ever succeed in convert- ing into certain knowledge what is intended merely to environ the sphere of human experience as a trustful dim anticipation. One task nevertheless remains for us to accomplish. For let us, as we will, refrain from making to ourselves images of what lies beyond the bounds of that sphere, we must yet see whether the views which within it we have formed leave open at least the possibility of a satis- factory conclusion in the far distance, or whether that which we hold with strong conviction cuts off even the hope of such a consummation. Too surely will gaps that cannot be filled up remain in human insight, but it cannot, without self- destruction, consent to believe in that which it perceives to be incompatible with the necessary validity of its own principles.

For the consideration of these last questions we find the modes of conception which we have hitherto been employing inadequate. For they have all assumed the actual order as a complete, given fact, and sought only to ascertain the general laws according to which the several events of the actual course of things are respectively developed. Thus they have all had as their exclusive subject the preservation and con- tinuance of a cycle of phenomena, whose first beginning and final goal have been deliberately left out of the range of their inquiries. And, in fact, as from looking at the structure of a completed machine we calculate what work it can perform and in what order, without being materially aided in our estimation by a knowledge of its origin and the method of its construction, so we can understand the maintenance of the universe and the rhythm of its phenomena from its present constitution, even without being acquainted with the history of its genesis. But this we do, it must be remembered, only on the condition that for each several moment we assume that the cause of the definite form given to it by events was present in the preceding moment as a fact. Tims we drive


the problem backwards step by step, and at last have to make the confession that the primal origin of all things remains to us a mystery, and that throughout the course of the universe we discern at most alternations of development, but nowhere the origin of that primary arrangement on which the possi- bility of this rotation absolutely depends.

We deceive ourselves if we suppose that science can any- where overstep these boundaries. Since the idea of the formation of the planetary system out of a fiery vapour — an ingenious speculation in regard to a past period that lies beyond all experience — has become part of the common stock of culture, it has been thought that now at last a fair order of phenomena had been evolved, not indeed out of nothing, but at least out of formless prima materia. But this is to forget that the history of this ball of fire, whose subsequent transformations are so acutely traced, necessarily runs back- wards into an endless past. Before the globe gradually cooled and condensed, there must have been a time when its temperature was still higher, its magnitude greater; where now shall we find the first moment of the process of con- densation which this hypothesis supposes to be already going on  ? And what originally determined the direction and velocity of the revolution in which we must assume all its particles as harmoniously moving  ? Even this state of chaos was not the beginning of the cosmos  ; it was only one of those middle points in which earlier forms of phenomena have to the mind's vision contracted into insignificant simpli- city; but through this the matter, the forces, the motions of the actual world pass without loss or diminution, to expand again on the other side into the variety of a new development. Thus every orderly combination of events is based on a prior combination, and varied as is this melody of the Becoming, now swelling into greater fulness, now shrink- ing into an insignificant germinal form, it has for us neither beginning nor ending, and all our science can do is to climb up and down this interminable stem, comprehending the connection of particular portions as the result of universal


laws, but never attaining to a discernment of the originating principle of the whole, or of the goal of its development.

And what lesson do we draw from the consciousness of this limitation  ? None other assuredly than for ourselves an exhortation to await with unbiassed patience the results of the progress of science in the past and the future — for science itself the wish that its votaries may continue to labour with scrupulous accuracy, not allowing themselves to be misled by partiality for any one particular result of its researches. For whatever it may teach us, it will not lead us to the end of things, and the cravings of our spirit will be satisfied, not by any unveiling of the prehistoric stage of our existence, but only by a perception of the eternal bond that at all times knits together the changing world of phenomena and the world of true being. Did we possess that knowledge, how little would it avail us if we succeeded in finding sure answers to those questions concerning the origin of the human race to which we so often in our passion attach too great importance  ! Perhaps some day an unexpected piece of good fortune will multiply the now inadequate number of starting-points of inquiry, and make us equal to a decision that no one now can give. Supposing now this improved science should turn for us into a certainty the belief to which so many fondly cling — the belief that with blind inherent necessity the yet formless chaos of the infant world steadily advanced in per- fection till it reached the point where the production of man became inevitable, would the outlook into an infinite distance that science seems to shun then be closed for it  ? If it could make men comprehend how first of all the solid earth-crust and the skiey spaces of the atmosphere were separated from the fiery ball of vapour, how each stage of this separation gave occasion for new effects of the elective affinities of the elements, how then, in the favourable circumstances supplied by the blind necessity of Nature, the first germ of a plant or of an animal came into being, still simple and rude in contour, and with little aptitude for significant development — how, finally, under happy conditions, to which this low stage of


life conduced, organic existence gradually improved, lower species were in the course of countless ages developed into higher ones, till at last man appeared, not in the image of God, but as the final link in this chain of necessary events  : if science could make all this comprehensible, what more would it have accomplished than to have driven back the marvel of immediate creation to an earlier point in past time, at which infinite wisdom infused into unsightly chaos the boundless capacity for regular development  ? By the long array of graded stages of evolution through which it traced the development of the chaotic prima materia, it would but have enhanced the splendour and variety of scenes in whose outward pomp our admiring fancy could revel ; but it would have given no more sufficient explanation of the wondrous drama as a whole than does that modest belief which cannot conceive of living species as coming into being save by the direct creative will of God. So a decision about these points, as far as science will ever be able to give one, we must quietly wait to receive from its impartial love of truth. Whichever way of creation God may have chosen, in none can the dependence of the universe on Him become slacker, in none be drawn closer.

But of this patient expectation we are apt to have very little ; nay, these two conceptions of the cosmos stand in the most vehement antagonism, the one seeking to convert Nature into pure mechanism, the other, which believes in the immediate efficacy of a divine ruling wisdom, perhaps not yet fully apprehending its own import. For what seems to me defective and inadequate in this theory is, that it is usually the contemplation of life, and psychic life, that stirs up those who hold it to the acknowledgment of a higher power that unites scattered phaenomena into the whole of a course of things. To them, too, it seems at least possible that the regular order of the outer world may rest on the blind necessity of a self-sufficing mechanism  : only the especial excellence of the vital organism and the nicely-adjusted harnionv of its existence constrain us here to betake ourselves,


beyond the ordinary means of explanation, to the belief < creating and preserving wisdom. This acknowledgment seems to me to come too late ; we do not gain anything by snatching away one part of actual existence from the sway of the general order of Nature, as too exalted to have come into being by mechanical causation ; on the contrary, we must reconcile our- selves to the thought that the immovable necessity that seems to hold firm the whole mechanical course of things is but an idle dream, and that no reciprocal action ever comes into play without the co-operation of that higher cause which we ill- ad visedly fancy is needed only to give rise to certain favoured phenomena.

§ 2. It is a strange and yet an intelligible pride that our scientific illuminati take in requiring for the explanatory reconstruction of reality in thought no other postulates than an original store of matter and force, and the unshaken authority of a group of universal and immutable laws of Nature. Strange, because after all these are no trifling postulates, and because it might be expected to be more in accordance with the com- prehensive spirit of the human reason to acknowledge the unity of a creative cause than to have imposed on it as the starting-point of all explanation the promiscuous variety of inerely actually existent things and notions. And yet in- telligible, for in return for this single sacrifice the finite under- standing may now enjoy the satisfaction of never again being overpowered by the transcendent significance and beauty of any single phenomenon ; however wondrous and profound may appear to it any work of Nature, those universal laws, which are to it perfectly transparent, give it the means of warding off a disagreeable impression, and, while proving how perfectly it understands that even this phenomenon is but an incidental result of a well-known order of Nature, it succeeds in drawing within the limits of its own finitude what to the unprejudiced mind is conceivable only as a product of infinite wisdom.

These tendencies and habits of scientific culture it will be hard to shake, especially by the arguments usually brought to


bear on them by the believers in a higher, intelligent guidance of the course of Nature. For however distinctly unbiassed observation may suggest this belief, so that it may seem alike foolish and tedious to attempt to understand the order of Nature without it, the supporters of the mechanical conception can always with justice reply that nevertheless in the explana- tion of details their road is always entered by those who on the whole believe unquestioningly in the government of an intelligently working power. They, too, are not content till, for each result ordained by this power, they have one by one traced out the efficient means through whose necessary and blind causal connection the required effect must be brought about. Even they will never seriously believe that within Nature as it lies patent to our senses, this purposive power makes new beginnings of working, such as, if traced further back, would not always prove to be the necessary results of a prior state of things. While thus even to those who hold the more religious view, the course of events is again converted into the unbroken chain of mechanical sequence, from the scientific point of view the latter alone is conspicuous, and the idea of free action on the part of an intelligent force, to which no sphere of action can be assigned, is readily dropped. Science might be able to allow that the origin of the whole, whose internal relations alone form the subject of its investiga- tions, may be attributed to a Divine Wisdom, but it would demand facts that, within the sphere of experience, made a continuous dependence of the creation on the preserving pro- vidence of its author a necessary condition of explanation. Too ingenuous and self-confident, the believers in this living interference of reason working towards an end bring forward only the fair aspects of life, and for the time forget its shadows; in their admiration of the wondrous harmony of organized bodies, and of their careful adaptation to the ends of mental life, they do not think of the bitter persistence with which this same organized life transmits ugliness and disease from generation to generation, or of the manifold hindrances that come in the way of the attainment even of


modest human aims. How little, then, can this conception of the universe — to which the presence of evil is, if not an in- soluble, at least an unsolved problem — hope by its assaults to overcome a habit of mind that finds numberless special con- firmations in observation, and is inaccessible to any feeling of the universal deficiency under which we suppose it to labour  !

And is it compelled to make even the acknowledgment which it will perhaps make, that this world of blind necessity came forth at least primarily from the wisdom of a supreme creator  ? Doubtless it can reply that even the purposiveness of the present fabric, as it now is, could certainly have been evolved from the confusion of an original chaos under the sway of universal laws. For all that was brought together by a planless vortex, in unmeaning aggregation and without the internal equilibrium of constituents and forces that might have secured to it a longer existence in the struggle with the onward-sweeping course of external Nature  : all this has long since perished. Along with and after numberless unsuccessful attempts at formation, which perhaps filled primaeval times in a rapid alternation of rise and decay, Nature gradually shrank into a narrower channel, and only those select creatures were preserved on which a happy combination of their constituent parts had bestowed the power of withstanding the pressure of surrounding stimuli, and of propagating their kind throughout an indefinite period. However little we may probably esteem this theory, we could yet hardly snatch it from those whom it satisfies, and we ourselves cannot wholly disallow the charm that scientific ingenuity will always find in the attempt to evolve from the formless chaos of whirling motions the necessity of a gradual sifting, and the spontaneous formation of permanent forms of succession of phenomena.

But all such attempts rest on the common assumption that the universal sway of unchanging laws prescribes the kind and amount of the reciprocal actions engaged in by the several substances of the original chaos, and thereby compels them to withdraw from combinations in which no equilibrium is


possible, and to enter into others in which they are at rest, or can retain a constant mode of motion. This assumption it is whose trustworthiness we must now test ; with it stands or falls the proud certainty of the mechanical conception of the universe. Is this veneration for an all-prevailing law of Nature, as the only bond that forces the scattered elements of the course of things into mutual active relations and determines the character of their results, itself a possible conception, and can it put the finishing touch to our view of Nature, whose perfecting in detail we ourselves have every- where looked to it to accomplish  ?

§ 3. Let us suppose two elements originally in existence, not produced by anything, not sprung from any common source, existing from eternity as things actual without any antecedents, but existing so that they have no other community than that of contemporaneous existence  : how could the influence of the one be communicated to the other, seeing that each is as it were in a separate world, and that between them there is nothing  ? How is the efficacy of the one to make its way to the other through this nothing, offering no means of trans- mission ? And if we did suppose that the energy of each element constantly diffused itself like a separable atmosphere through a common space, effective like the rays of light where it met with anything on which to act, and floating idly in vacuo where nothing presented itself, what should we have gained  ? We would not understand our own conception, either how the action could issue from the limits of that in which it was generated ; nor how, floating for some interval of time between its source and that which was to be its object, it maintained itself in vacuo ; nor, lastly, how, in the end reach- ing the latter, it was able to exert a transforming power over its states. For, while space would offer no obstacle to the mutual action of that which, though separated by it, was yet united by an inherent relation, contact in space would not involve any necessity of reciprocal action, or explain the possibility of it between beings each of which in its complete self-dependence was divided from the other by the impassable


gulf of inherent indifference. The transmission of action from the one to the other seems simple only to him who, looking at the question in a superficial, commonplace way, thinks he can distinctly perceive it in the external motions by which it is accompanied  ; to any one examining it more deeply, it becomes more and more inexplicable how the con- dition of the one can contain a force compelling the other to a change of its own internal states. As, before, we were unable to follow our will in its outflow into the moveable extremities, but had to acknowledge that all volition remains confined to the willing mind, and that the execution following it is the work of an incomprehensible power : in like manner all the forces which we suppose in any form to inhere in the one element, will be inadequate to give rise to an influence on that in which they do not inhere. Now, can the conception of the universal course of Nature supplied by our previous speculations, can the idea of a realm of eternally and universally valid laws, fill this hiatus, and weld the brittle and isolated fragments into the solid whole of a reciprocally acting world  ?

Certainly it cannot ; for how could laws exist of them- selves, as a necessity prescribing particular results for par- ticular cases  ? There can be nothing besides being and its inherent states ; and a universal order, before that of which it is the order has come into existence, cannot spring up between beings as a self-existent background holding them together, an efficient, controlling power. If we look back on our human life, we shall find that the laws of our social relations do not exist beside and between us in independent reality, are not powers to direct and control us from without because there they are ; they exist only in the conscious- ness of the individuals who feel bound by them; they receive sanction and reality only through the actions of living persons  ; they are nothing but the harmoniously and inwardly- developed direction of many individual wills, which to the later generalizing scrutiny of observation appears as a higher externally-directing power because in its common authority


over many it no longer presents itself as exclusively the product of one. The laws of Nature may be superior to the ordinances of the human mind; while the latter may be gainsaid and disobeyed, the commands of the former are unlimited and resistless ; nevertheless Nature cannot bring to pass what is self-contradictory, or bestow independent exist- ence on that which can have its being only in and through what is self-existent. We are apt to be led astray in these speculations by a widely diffused usage of thought and speech that exercises no prejudicifl effect on our judgment of the incidents of daily life, in reference to which it has arisen. We speak of ties uniting things, of relations into which they enter, of an order which embraces them, finally, of laws under whose sway they respectively stand ; and we hardly notice the contradiction contained in these notions of relations lying ready before the things came to enter into them, of an order waiting to receive the things ordered, finally, of ties stretched like solid threads — of a material that we could not describe — across the abyss that divides one being from another. We do not consider that all relations and con- nections exist only in the unity of observing consciousness, which, passing from one element to another, knits all together by its comprehensive activity, and that in like manner all effica- cious order, all laws, that we are fain to conceive as existing between things independently of our knowledge, can exist only in the unity of the One that binds them all together. Not the empty shadow of an order of Nature, but only the full reality of an infinite living being of whom all finite things are inwardly cherished parts, has power so to knit together the multiplicity of the universe that reciprocal actions shall make their way across the chasm that would eternally divide the several distinct elements from one another. For action, starting from one being, is not lost in an abyss of nothing lying between it and another ; but as in all being the truly existent is one and the same, so in all reciprocal action the infinite acts only on itself, and its activity never quits the sure foundation of being. The energizing of one of its parts is


not confined to that and isolated from the rest; the single has not to travel aluiiLj an indescribable path in order to seek another element to which it may impart itself, nor has it to exert an equally incomprehensible force in order to compel that indifferent other element to participate in it. Every exci- tation of the individual is an excitation of the whole infinite, that forms the living basis even of the individual's existence, and every one can therefore act upon every other which has the same living basis ; for it is this which from the unity of its own nature causes the finite event here to be followed by its echo there. It is not anything finite that out of itself as finite acts upon something else ; on the contrary, every stimulation of the individual, seeing that it affects the eternal basis that in it, as in all, forms the essence of its finite appearance, can through this continuity of related being— but through this alone — act upon the apparently remote.

We are not constrained to this recognition of an infinite sub- stance, that instead of an unsubstantial and unreal law unites all things by its actual reality, merely by admiration for single spheres of phenomena, by whose special significance we are impressed ; nay, every example of reciprocal action however insignificant, every instance of causality, forces us, in order to understand the possibility of a transference of influence, to substitute for a merely natural connection a sub- stantial infinite, containing unseparated the manifold that in phsenomenal existence is separated. We could not seek such a bond between the constituents of the living body alone, or between body and soul pre-eminently, as if we did not need it everywhere  ; on the contrary, seeing that we look on all that happens, however it may be designated, as but the mani- fested internal energy of a single infinite being, the later course of our speculations will carry us further from the resuscitated mythology that, like the ancient sagas, allots to certain distinguished phsenornena their special genii, and leaves the remaining work-day reality to take care of itself.

For this universal being is not a mere bond, a mere indifferent bridge, having no other office than to form a way


for the passage of action from one element to another : it is at the same time the sovereign power that for every antecedent fixes the form and degree of its consequent, for each individual the sphere of its possible activity, for every single manifestation of the latter its particular mode. We deceive ourselves when we imagine we can derive the modes in which things act on one another, as self-evident results, from the particular properties that now constitute their nature, and from the joint influence of the circumstances of each occasion. Honest consideration, on the contrary, leads us to make the acknowledgment that the effects actually presented to us by experience are not to be got as necessary conclusions from these premises alone, however we may analyse and recombine their content, but that an unknown power, as it were, having respect to something that we do not meet with among these prior conditions, has annexed to their form the particular form of the result. The Infinite is this secret power, and that to which it has respect in the determina- tion of results is its own presence in all finite elements, by which the universe receives the unity of a being, and on account of which the course of its events must receive the unity of a connected manifestation of the content of that being. Every finite thing, therefore, possesses the capability of action only in such amount and such quality as it is per- mitted by the Infinite to contribute to the realization of the whole.

§ 4. But we must be more diffuse, and allow ourselves to illustrate the faultless consistency of the theory which we are now engaged in stating, by the apparently opposite assumptions of which we formerly made use in our own examination of the separate phaenomena.

In every finite thing, in so far as we apprehend it as a product of the One Infinite, we can point to a certain group of marks as the peculiar stamp assumed in it (as distinguished from every other finite thing) by that One. We cannot suppose that in any one of these particular forms that make the one finite thing this, the other that, the being of the Infinite that


is in all alike the common ground of particular existence is exhausted  ; but just as little can we think that its indivisible content is split up into countless fragments and present in each several thing in only a part of its fulness. In consider- ing the vital activity of the human soul, we were led to make a requirement similar to that here forced on us, and we may now be assisted in forming a general conception of the relation in question by remembering that more easily grasped instance of it. When the soul forms thoughts without a trace of feel- ing or of willing, we do not suppose that this one-sided activity shows that but a part of its being is present, while its other capacities are slumbering in apathetic unconcern. On the contrary, the same whole nature that, under the influence of other stimulations, would develop feelings of pain and pleasure, efforts of desire and aversion, we conceived to participate with the whole extent of its being in the production of thoughts. But it is exhausted in thought no more than in any other particular form of its manifestation ; in all fully present and active, it finds in each but a one-sided and partial expression, and behind the action evolved at each several moment a larger and more abundant and potential reservoir remains undis- closed and concealed. And this very wholeness of the soul's presence, common alike to all the manifold forms of its mani- festation, is the instrumentality that makes the reciprocal action of the various internal states possible, and fixes the character of their resultant. We did not find feeling flow as a necessary and self-evident consequence from any com- plication of ideas ; it arose because the presentative activity called into action the whole living soul, in whose nature feeling lay as yet unaroused, but ready to appear under conditions of which some are realized by the train of ideas.

Now let us compare with the soul's indivisible being the Infinite, the substance of all things ; with the several forms of mental action those finite things — the visible elements of the world — whose various forms are the moulds in which that Infinite has been cast. Now, as in the soul the reciprocal action of the internal states, so in the process of the universe


the reciprocal action of things will depend, not only as to its general possibility, but also as to the character of its effects, on the community of being by which all are bound together. What each individual element performs, it performs not as individual, but only in so far as, being individual, it is yet a phase of the universal ; not because it is of such a kind and no other, includes such attributes and no others, must it pro- duce such an effect and no other, but only because in it as it is abides the Infinite, whose abundant nature unites the attributes, ready with its force to protect them or to carry out their alteration. Thus at bottom everything finite works only by that in it which makes it secretly better than it seems, by the essential power of the Infinite latent even in it ; the power and capability of action belongs not to the outer wrapping of particular properties, but solely to the core, in so far as therein enveloped. Now, if we give the name of nature of a thing to the fused and simplified duplicity of the Infinite Being that has in it assumed this particular form, or of the finite form that has become filled with the Infinite, we shall be entitled from this nature of the thing to derive all modes of its behaviour as necessary consequences. For inherent truth and consistency will compel the Infinite, with every special finite form which it assumes, to fix also the unalterable mode of action to be executed in it, in accordance with the ideal that presided over the creative moulding of this particular form as an essential part of its manifestation. But the usual bent of science is towards another form of statement ; the group of attributes, inefficacious without the living being behind them, the finite envelope of the truly existent, is com- monly termed the nature of a thing, and little is said about what we must regard as alone the enduring and efficacious substance of these phenomena. From this merely semi-nature it is believed that the procedure of things can be deduced as a necessary consequence ; it is supposed not only that we can understand the possibility of influence being transmitted, but that in a series of universal and self-evident truths we further possess the means of deducing the character of any


result from the given circumstances and the permanent pro- perties of the things.

Here it is overlooked that the impression of self-evidence created by so many sequences of cause and effect, proceeds not from any inherent necessity intelligible to us, but solely from the general and preponderant presence of those con- nections which, recurring constantly as actual arrangements of things, cheat us with the appearance of being not merely facts of experience, but necessary relations of thought.

After experience has taught us that the amount of ponder- able matter remains unaltered under all transformations, this amazing result of observation assumes in our eyes the exalted character of a primary necessity, and we imagine that a neces- sary inference of the permanence of substance might have taught us this fact anterior to any experience. After we have observed that motion once begun goes on the longer the more it is freed from obstacles, we are suddenly possessed by the idea that perpetual duration, where it is not resisted, is its necessary condition, and yet we never succeed in proving this would-be necessary truth from grounds of pure thought. Again, after we have seen that one body sets another in motion by impact, the distribution of velocities and the com- munication of motion in general seem to us phenomena naturally to be anticipated, and only when we try definitely to state the ground of this expectation do we discover that we know none. That every physical force diminishes as the dis- tance between the bodies exerting it increases, we fancy to be a law which we cannot think otherwise, and yet, to be candid, we know no reason why, on the contrary, attraction should not be less at a diminished distance, as it might easily be decreased in proportion to the amount of influence already exerted. Lastly, how readily do we ascribe an affinity to bodies, when their chemical action on one another has to be explained, not deducing it from the rest of their nature, but regarding it literally as the capability of an operation supplementary to their nature ! Of course in this case we shall throw the blame on the incompleteness of our knowledge from experi-

VOL. i. 2 B


ence ; we think that we are not thoroughly acquainted even with the nature of the different elements ; that if we were, we should find in it the explanation of their chemical affinities. This is possible, but assuredly only in the sense that the general rules according to which we should infer the chemical properties from the better-known nature of the elements, would themselves presuppose a number of those causal con- nections which are demonstrable as undeniable facts of the actual order of things, but not intelligible as necessities.

From such fundamental facts, after we have learned their significance and the line of their development, we can of course deduce manifold particular results, but we cannot discern these themselves from a mere study of the things as given. Only if we knew the idea with which the Infinite brought these things into being could we understand them. He who thinks to demonstrate the order of events solely from the incomplete nature of the finite, undertakes the hopeless task of forming a theory of the motions of shadows without regard to the motion of the bodies by which they are cast. For, in fact, as we cannot ascertain the speed with which two shadows will seem to rebound from mutual contact, from the velocity with which they approach one another, but only from the elasticity of their relative bodies, so what things perform depends not on their recognisable properties alone, but on the elasticity and vitality of the unconditioned, which, as the sole comprehensive and efficacious being, presents this appearance of having pro- perties. Only if we could see through the inner nature of things and say what purpose the Infinite has in this multi- plicity of phenomena and their endless complexity, would we from that purpose understand also the universal laws of work- ing which it has laid down for itself in this manifestation, and be able not merely to accept them as facts, but to comprehend them as part of the inherent consistency of the Infinite.

As this, however, is not the case, we would not find fault with the phraseology of physical science, so long as it is designed only to apply to current investigations, not to express the outcome of completed inquiry. Just as in life we hold


fast the silent conviction that each one of our moments is in the hand of God, while not caring to desecrate His name by bringing it into our thoughts about every trifling incident whose dependence on His will we do not understand, so we shall once for all adopt the belief that each stage of the course of Nature is reached only through the working and shaping power of the Infinite; but we shall not be ever and anon repeating this belief in the interpretation of particular phse- nomena. For in such particulars the Infinite operates only under the guise of those derived principles into which it has transformed itself, of those substances, forces, and effects which it has created, of which it has prescribed the character and laws, which, finally, it has woven into the connected whole of a mechanical course of Nature. When in this sense we reduce all events in Nature to mechanical sequence, we act in accord- ance with the spirit of the Infinite, and show reverence to its ordinance ; we do not set up mechanism in opposition to it as an independent, hostile power that it has to subdue, but we see in this the true efficacy of the Infinite, that which it would wish recognised throughout the world of phenomena as the hand by which its ends are accomplished. Thus physical science may seem to do without the Infinite, because it does not speak of it, and the superficial physical culture of our time may think it can do without it, because, exclusively concerned with little transitions from finite to finite, it loses sight of the beginnings of the web in which it is enmeshed ; but, in point of fact, all honest reflection will arrive at a serious conviction of the utter absence of independence in Nature, and, where it stumbles upon questions such as those which led to this explanation, it will not be able to refrain from the open expression of this conviction.

§ 5. Let us now turn back to these questions, in order not to linger too long in the sphere of general considerations, and we shall at once meet, in the doubts as to the soul's final destiny and the efforts to resolve these, with an instance of the fruitless endeavours which we have been censuring. Men seek in three ways to arrive at certainty in regard to immor-


tality. For, besides those many analogies, similes, and images to which the doubting imagination always first of all has recourse, and which, while preparing the mind for the reception of a truth, can never prove it, they seek to prove sometimes that immortality flows inevitably from the nature of things, sometimes that on grounds of justice it is a neces- sary concession on the part of the ruling powers of the universe. We have no intention of here repeating the numerous argu- ments of the latter kind ; we would merely add a statement of our conviction that only from them — never, on the other hand, from those apparently more strict investigations that take the nature of things as their starting-point — can the mind derive grounds on which, with some confidence in their stability, to rest its expectation of eternal duration. There is no nature of things that, like an unforeseen destiny, pre- cedes all reality as a code of laws that cannot be evaded ; there is no such quintessence of the essentially possible and necessary to which the world-creating power must have looked in order to learn within what limits the realization of its ends was permissible, and under what obligations of consistent development it must come at each starting of a germ ; finally, there is no eternal and premundane birthright of things or substances, on the ground of which they could demand that every power seeking their services in the formation of a world should respect their privileges and employ them only in a manner befitting their inherent dignity. All this — the exist- ence of such things, the peculiarities of their nature, and the rights which seem to pertain to it — is at once and uncondi- tionally the product of the creative power itself ; the universe contains them in just the quality and quantity that the Infinite needs or rather allows for the accomplishment of its will ; each thing possesses those rights alone which have been assigned by the inherent consistency of the Eternally One to each of its creatures as its limits, which have been bestowed on it by that creative will ; within those laws alone do all its actions and its destinies seem to move with original necessity. Only if, standing in the creative centre of the universe, we


could fully scan thu thought whence it lins sprun.n, could frig from it foretell the destinies of the individual called to contribute to its realization ; this we cannot do from our human point of view that brings us face to face not with the Creator and His purposes, but only with the created. If, as we rightly believe, our mind is in possession of a treasure of innate, necessary truth, we certainly commit tho first and greatest sin against the nature of that truth when we ascribe to it any origin which implies that even its content is not due solely to that creative power ; it will guide us in combining the finite in harmony with the whole to which it ministers, but it cannot seek to comprehend the final destiny of all things apart from the knowledge of the supreme end on which that destiny is exclusively depe