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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 52



It remains in completion of our task to show the bearing of the foregoing remarks on the special province of Psychology, a province which of all others is most closely allied, and therefore also most easily confused, with that page 32 of Philosophy. The positive sciences, from dynamics to biology, with the host of more concrete or special sciences which depend upon them, astronomy and geology for instance, are built entirely upon the physical analysis of Matter. They all aim at discovering, and then applying the results for discovering farther, the constitution and modes of operation of physical matter; which is saying, in other words, the laws governing the forces and energies of Nature, or the laws of Nature's order of real conditioning. Now in living organisms, which are the province of the highest member of this group of fontal sciences, namely, biology, there is developed a phenomenon which has become the object of special study, a phenomenon the varied ramifications of which have made that study the parent or fontal science of another group, the science of Psychology. The phenomenon on which it is based is that of sentience, in all its varied modes, which expressed in one word is consciousness. This is a great restriction of the vast domain which once belonged to psychology. Aristotle's psychology, for instance, included both the active principle or cause of Life and the separable agency of the Reason. In ordinary language, animation and life are nearly synonymous. But a largo slice was carved out of this heterogeneous domain, when biology was constituted, and vital phenomena were assigned to it as its province. Thenceforward the province of psychology began, not with life, but only with conscious life, and included the phenomena of consciousness in living beings. The functions of the organism taken alone belonged to biology, and only so far as they were attended with consciousness, from the dawnings of sentience upwards, to psychology. The proper subject-matter of psychology, therefore, is the relation of consciousness to the organism which is its seat and its condition; not of course without regard to conditions external to the organism, but still with regard first page 33 and foremost to the nature and laws of the organism which is its seat, as its proximate condition.

The group of sciences dependent on psychology consists of those which we may call moral, embracing every branch of investigation into the subject-matter of which consciousness in any shape enters, or has entered, as part and parcel of the phenomena to be studied. The science of language, for instance, depends upon a knowledge of the consensual, as well as the simply reflex and unconscious, action of the organs of voice and hearing; and the means by which sounds come to express wants, wishes, and ideas, is one of its chief objects. The division thus drawn between the two groups of physical and moral sciences seems moveover to be exhaustive. The simple presence or absence of consciousness in the subject-matter is the basis of the division. And no science, the subject-matter of which includes consciousness as an element, or has at any time included it while in process of formation, can be satisfactorily treated, without reference to the fontal science of psychology, which makes the genesis and laws of consciousness itself, in living organisms, its special object.

[But in calling psychology the parent or fontal science of the moral group, it must not be imagined that its establishment on a definite and sound footing, or at least its recognition as so established, preceded theirs. In point of fact, it is only quite recently that psychology has severed itself clearly from the parent stem or matrix of all positive sciences, philosophy, and taken rank as a recognised science on an independent basis, even if it can be said to have already succeeded in doing so. But when it does, both philosophy the parent and psychology the child will equally profit by the change. Philosophy will be definitely constituted and demarcated by the same event which secures the definite constitution of psychology page 34 The last and highest of the positive sciences will then have broken off from the common ancestral stock, which will then be seen in its essential nature. The mixing up questions of causation or real conditioning with subjective analysis is precisely the circumstance, of all others, which has been most prejudicial to philosophy; a damage which I for one think is most strikingly exemplified in its very latest period, the period from which we are now issuing; I mean in Kant's theory at the beginning of it, and then in the whole course of ontological speculation, to which that theory gave rise. We may see its consequences also in that section of Germany, which has "gone back to Kant," and is occupied with what they suppose was his true problem—How alone is knowledge or true experience possible? This enquiry they have named Cognitiontheory (Erkenntnisstheorie), and have placed it, like Kant's "Criticism," in a position intermediate between psychology on one side and metaphysic on the other. Its main question (Grundfrage) I find stated, incidentally, by a high authority, to be this: "How can an Object be cognised by the Subject, i.e., how can its own peculiar nature, apparently consisting for itself, pass over as it were into my cognition-organ? how can it exist in me as cognition, and in itself as thing, at the same time?"* The question is indeed insoluble in that form, and may be left to those whose minds are restricted to work by Kantian machinery. The only way of dealing with it is to transform it, by dropping the assumption which it involves; the assumption of subjective and objective factors of knowledge, both or either, and indeed of any factor of knowledge at all. The analysis of knowledge is the only possible "theory" of it. But this transformation of the question also transforms "cognitiontheory" into philosophy, by removing the page 35 last assumption which restricts the otherwise perfect universality of its range. Metaphysic, which is philosophy, will then include cognitiontheory, and march immediately with psychology. The questions what and how comes must be kept apart; and when once it is seen, that the great question of psychology is the real conditioning of consciousness in individual organisms, as objects thought of, or, otherwise expressed, the contribution which the percipients as real existents, and as distinguished from the things perceived as real existents, make to perception, it will then be no longer doubtful, that the great question of philosophy is the analysis of perception as such, but in its entire range, so as to obtain as its result a complete and ordered system of objective thought.]

If these remarks are well founded, the great distinction marking off the province of psychology from philosophy, and at the same time guiding psychology in its own work, is that between Consciousness and the Conditions of consciousness. It is not that between Mind and Matter, or Soul and Body. Most words importing mind or soul state as simple what is really compound. They represent consciousness and its proximate condition as clumped together, and forming one thing without distinction of parts. This supposed unit must henceforward be subjected to examination in the light of our distinction of method, in order to test the reality of its elements each for itself. Empiricists, it is true, often divorce the inseparable, as for instance when they separate perception from sensation, perception from memory, presentation from representation; but here it would seem that they atone for this (as some might consider) by indissolubly uniting the separable. Psychology docs not know, as a datum to begin from, that any such mental or psychical unit really exists; for it cannot lay claim to intuitions a priori. Consciously sentient organisms, or individualised page 36 consciousnesses, are its data. It thus takes up the enquiry from the common-sense point of view, beginning with percipients as individual beings, and with consciousness divided into individual lives. This is another broad distinction from philosophy; for philosophy takes consciousness, to begin with, quite generally, though, as we know from common sense, and as we also come to know as a result of philosophical analysis in harmony with common sense, it is always an individual's consciousness which it examines. Philosophy has no other course open to it, because, beginning without assumptions, it cannot possibly assume to begin with, that it already knows what an individual conscious being is. Philosophy, in fact, places itself artificially, by its method, at the point of view of an infant newly born, I mean in respect of having all its knowledge yet to acquire. Psychology on the other hand is in the position of a spectator watching the infant, and tracing the development of its consciousness and conscious action ab extra.

The real conditioning of the consciousness and conscious action of individual beings is therefore what psychology has to trace. This falls into two branches which are in interaction with each other, conditions internal to the organism and external; and the former again into conditions internal to the brain and nervous system, and conditions external to them, but still within the organism. But the proximate conditions are always, so far as we know, internal to the brain and nervous system; that is to say, conscious action and consciousness depend always immediately, either upon some state or functioning of nerve substance itself, or upon something seated in or accompanying them, whatever external conditions may have contributed to bring that state or functioning about. It is these proximate conditions, be they what they may, which are the special object of psychology.

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[Furthermore it must be noted, that psychology deals with these conditions as conditions, and not as objects of consciousness. I mean, that its dealing with them as objects is entirely ancillary to its dealing with them as conditions. It has been already noted, that we have no hold of conditions but as objects of thought, and no hold of objects of thought but as objective thoughts, and therefore the two characters of condition and object are perpetually liable to be confused with each other. When psychology, for instance, speaks of a red object being seen as red, it is speaking of the object denotatively, and means that object which, as condition, so acts upon the nerve of sight, also as condition, as to produce the perception of redness. When psychology says an oak tree, it means a bundle of real conditions, which in interaction with another bundle in the organism, produce, in the organism, the bundle of perceptions which common sense designates by that name. When philosophy says an oak tree, it is that bundle of perceptions which is meant. And thus philosophy stands one degree nearer than psychology to common sense; which is exactly in harmony with the relation of both to their common starting point, as explained in the former part of my Address. It is the operation of the objects conducive to results in consciousness, not the analysis of the objects as objects of consciousness, which psychology has in view.]

The relation, then, between states and processes of consciousness, on the one hand, and their two sets of conditions, external and internal to the nervous system, but chiefly the latter as the proximate conditions, is the province of psychology; and we can now see precisely what territory belongs to it in common with philosophy. It is that undivided half or aspect of states of consciousness, by which they stand connected with their proximate real conditions, within their own organisms, whatever page 38 these conditions may prove to be, abstraction being made from the rest of the panorama, of which, they are components. Psychology, therefore, occupies the whole field of consciousness, but under the restriction not only of taking it piecemeal, but also of taking each selected part in connection with its conditions of genesis, and with the states of consciousness, if any, which it conditions. Or more briefly, its special field consists of states of consciousness in their character of real conditionates or conditions.

If the vague expressions introspection and inner phenomena are capable of meaning, (for sometimes they seem meant only to mystify,) we mean or ought to mean philosophical reflection by the one, and consciousness as its immediate object by the other. If you could look within the brain and see consciousness at work inside, you would then get an external view of consciousness, and be regarding it ab extra; this would be no introspection of inner phenomena. Reflection alone is introspection. Connecting consciousness with its conditions is not the work of introspection; but introspection, in its true sense of philosophical reflection, is the philosophical basis upon which psychology, the connecting of consciousness with its conditions, stands; and this is a basis furnished by philosophy to all sciences alike. Philosophy analyses consciousness; psychology seeks the real conditions of its several moments, states, or events. As psychology on the side of conditions is connected with the physical sciences through biology, and has the domain of real conditioning in common with them, so on the other side it is connected with philosophy through having consciousness as common subject-matter, the individual form of which it traces in the genesis both of the whole and of the parts of an individual's experience.

The laws which govern the connection of conscious- page 39 ness with its proximate real conditions being thus marked out as the main object of psychology, it is plain, that the first and most essential task of that science must be, to frame a distinct idea of the general kind of agency or agencies exerted by those conditions. Without this nothing but confusion can ensue. Let us see, then, within what limits the agencies in question must lie. It seems to me, that three hypotheses are possible on this point, and three only, though admitting combination:
1.A spiritual or immaterial entity inhabiting the body.
2.Physiological action in the nerve organism.
3.Energy in consciousness itself, or its states, as such.

A word or two on each of these in turn.

1. The hypothesis of a spiritual entity, called variously soul, mind, spirit, self, or ego, inhabiting the body, has the support of tradition and antiquity in its favour. From its immateriality it seems to be of kindred nature to its conditionate, consciousness, and also to offer a principle of union between conscious states, inasmuch as, being immaterial, it can be imagined as having no parts occupying space. On the other hand, its nature or mode of existence is difficult to realise in thought; and still more difficult to see how it can exert a real conditioning power.

2. The hypothesis that physiological action is the proximate real condition of consciousness has to contend with the apparent disparateness in kind between itself and its conditionate. Between matter and feeling there seems to be no bridge. On the other hand, a great part of the weight of this difficulty is removed, when we consider, that a bridge, that is to say, some correspondence or similarity of nature, is not by any means so indispensable to thought between condition and conditionate, page 40 as it is between cause and effect, on the old conception of causation. By the old conception of causation, I understand an agency which includes origination as well as influence. And be it noted in passing, that the idea of origination is read by carelessness into common-sense objects taken as conditions, just as that of absolute existence is read into common-sense objects taken simply. A cause is that which proprio marte makes a thing to be so and so, whereas a condition is that without which another thing would not be so and so. A cause puts something of itself into its effect; a condition not necessarily so; and therefore total disparateness between antecedent and consequent is fatal in the one case, but need not be so in the other. It is thus quite conceivable, that physical processes may be the sole and sufficient proximate conditions of consciousness, though they could never figure as their sole and sufficient cause.

3. The hypothesis, that the real conditioning of consciousness resides in consciousness itself, has two forms. One of these appeals to the fact, that we literally know of nothing whatever except in the form of consciousness, either as states or grouping of states, activities or grouping of activities, of consciousness; and therefore, since beyond consciousness there is literally nothing, we are restricted to look for its real conditioning within itself, as some productive or organising energy of its own. On the other hand, it is difficult to see, how any particular feature, which might be selected as the agency in question, such for instance, as thought, or will, or conscious nisus, or imagination, or self-consciousness, which is known only as part and parcel of consciousness, and therefore would seem to depend as much on other parts of consciousness as other parts on it, can at the same time be the real condition of consciousness, a relation which requires that the condition should be conceived as capable page 41 of existing independently of its conditionate. We seem to be unable to form a distinct conception of any such feature as an independent existent, and still less of its mode of operating as a real condition. This form of the hypothesis, therefore, seems inapplicable in psychology, which seeks the conditions of consciousness in individual cases, whatever may be its value as the basis of that theory of the Universe, which makes universal consciousness, as such, to be Causa Sui et Mundi. If understood of a particular consciousness, it reverses the relation which a science of psychology presupposes; inasmuch as it represents consciousness to be the real condition of all its objects, instead of being itself conditioned upon some of them; the psychological question being,—upon which. To adopt this form of the hypothesis would be to transcend the limits of psychology as a positive science, and put a psychological philosophy, a psychological theory of the Universe, in its place.

The other form of the hypothesis points to feelings, particularly to those of pleasure and pain, and those which are involved in volition, as really operative links in the chain of conscious states and conscious action. It is not put forward to account for the genesis of consciousness, and therefore it must be regarded as subsidiary to the first hypothesis, namely, that of an immaterial entity, upon which it leans. The feelings to which it attributes a real efficacy in modifying the course of consciousness are supposed to be also, and at the same time, states or functions of the immaterial entity of the first hypothesis. The two hypotheses thus mutually support each other, and their position is a very strong one. We feel, it is said, the pain of a burn, and therefore draw back our hand. We know, it is said, the advantage of learning, and therefore set ourselves to acquire it. If the feeling and the knowledge, states of consciousness, had not efficacy, either as page 42 states of consciousness or as states of mind, the consequences mentioned would not follow. States of consciousness, therefore, it is argued, are real and effective links in the chain of causation.

On the other hand it may be replied, that no proof has ever been given, that the efficacy resides in the states of consciousness or mind themselves. A burn is occasioned by physical agencies, and if the action set up thereby in the nerve-system were to run its course, the concomitant feeling, and that only, being removed, the same action of withdrawing the hand would follow. We cannot try the experiment, because, were we to remove the pain of the burn, by anæsthetics or otherwise, we could not tell that the physical nerve-action was thereby unaltered. So in the other case of knowing the advantage of learning. To remove the knowledge, it may be said, would involve alteration of the brain-processes, which we have reason to suppose accompany it; and therefore we can never be sure, that the setting ourselves to acquire learning, which seems to be its consequence, is really due to the knowledge as a state of mind or consciousness, and not to the brain-process.

I am not the first to make these remarks, which seem to me very materially to weaken the case for the hypothesis in question. The phenomena appealed to are concrete phenomena, described as they appear to common sense: We feel and draw back our hand; We know and set ourselves to acquire. The question is, what is the psychological, the scientific, analysis of these phenomena. Are they resolvable into a mental entity, its states and operations, in conjunction with a body and its physical operations; or are they resolvable into a body and its physical operations, in conjunction with states of consciousness conditioned by them? Supposing the former analysis adopted, two difficulties still remain, to one or other of page 43 which the hypothesis is subject. The first is that of forming a distinct notion of how states of consciousness, as such, can operate either upon one another, or upon matter, or upon mind; the second that of seeing how states of consciousness can be also states of an immaterial entity. The mere circumstance, that both states of consciousness and the entity of mind are conceived as immaterial, goes but a very little way towards showing how the former are united with the latter as its states or actions. It will be remembered that, under the head of the first hypothesis, we found a corresponding difficulty with regard to the mode of operation of the immaterial entity itself.

Now questions of this kind, questions relating to the choice of its fundamental hypothesis, seem to me to lie at the very threshold, or rather at the very root, of psychology. Unless we proceed on some distinct hypothesis concerning the real agencies which are at work, we are merely giving a preliminary description and provisional classification of the phenomena, and can make no claim to have placed psychology on the footing of a science. Besides, the very description and classification of the phenomena are greatly influenced by the point of view from which they are seen, and by the choice of central facts round which to group them. But what do we mean by central facts? Surely, in any science, those facts are central, which are the most generally present and constant facts in the play of the forces of which the conditioning consists. For instance, the distinction and classification of the main functions of consciousness, which are usually taken as three, feeling, knowing, and acting, will assume a different, appearance according as the functions are regarded as functions of an immaterial entity or of a material organism. Again, the so-called Laws of Association will inevitably come out in a very different shape, if supposed to be governed by laws of mind, from what they page 44 will present if described in connection with the concomitant brain-processes.

The revolution which has recently taken place and is still going on in psychology, and to which its present proud position among the positive sciences is owing, consists in bringing the phenomena of consciousness, that is, its states and processes, into immediate connection with those physiological processes which are the object of our second hypothesis. The revolution is most conspicuous in that department of psychology which is known as Psychophysic, where experiment as well as observation is applied to the phenomena, by recording the minute variations in consciousness, particularly in the time required for their manifestation, produced by varying the external stimuli brought to bear on nerve and brain. The phenomena of consciousness are thus made amenable to measure, and it is clearly owing to their connection with the physical world through the physiological, which contains their proximate conditions, that they are so.

Yet there is in many quarters, and not least among scientific psychologists, a strange reluctance to place the science avowedly on the footing of an investigation into the real conditions of consciousness, and avowedly to follow it up so far only as its real conditions of known kinds, that is, its veræ cansæ, will carry us. Its scientific character rests upon this kind of investigation alone, and comes to an end with it. Yet while all are eager to claim a scientific character for psychology, many are reluctant to admit the limits of the science, by avowing upon what it is, that its scientific character really rests.

A few words will suffice to give the rationale of this reluctance, or rather to explain the state of opinion which supplies a plausible pretext for indulging it. And this at the same time will bring us back to our main subject, the true relation between philosophy and science. The old page 45 conception of philosophy is, that it proposes to assign the ultimate essence of things as objects thought of, or what is equivalent, of real existents in the second sense of reality, and finally of that real existent which was supposed to underlie and cause the relation of Subject and Object everywhere, and in its whole extent. The Being of things was to be explained out of themselves; their essence and their existence were to be shown coincident, their essence causal, and their cause essential; as if the Universe was given a priori as a finite organism. Philosophy thus had marked out for it that task which Claude Bernard asserts to be futile, in the passage quoted above, namely, to show the essence and the why of things. It was a task which was exactly the same as that of science, proceeding on exactly the same line of analysing objects thought of, or existents in the second sense of reality, but with this sole difference, that it aimed beyond science on the same line, beyond the point where all means of analysing existents, in that sense, failed. Science stopped short at what were called conditions, philosophy went on to what were called causes, and beat its wings in a vacuum.

I have already explained to you, how different the new conception of philosophy is from this old conception of a search for the hidden causal essence of things. Instead of going on beyond science on the same line, it turns back to contemplate our knowledge of things, to contemplate science contemplating things, the world and science together being its object; leaving the real conditions of things wholly to science, and therefore ceasing to expect positive knowledge of them where science drops its pursuit. Metaphysic no longer means physic in vacuo, but physic in conspectu, or sub judice. Physical science transcends itself, that is, becomes Metaphysic, by reflecting on itself as a subjective process of knowing, and on the page 46 relation between that process and the object of it, which is physical nature, or Matter. It thus becomes self-conscious, conscious of its own nature, as well as of its own purpose. The name metaphjsic, originally due to a literary accident, could not have been more happily chosen, if Aristotle's express purpose had been to characterise the analytic part of philosophy, by bringing out the relation which it bears to science. Metaphysic, in short, transcends physic, not by mimicking its method of hypothesis and verification in cases where they are no longer applicable, but by an independent method of its own, which enables it to contemplate the physical method itself as a component part of the whole field of consciousness, and which is unlimited by the assumptions on which the physical method is founded.

Apply this to the case of psychology, and you will at once apprehend its present position. The traditional assumption of psychology is that of an immaterial entity, as the causal essence, or substantia, of which consciousness is the attribute, or phenomenal manifestation. Just as there was thought to be a material substrate beyond phenomenal matter, or material objects, so beyond phenomenal mind, or persons, there was thought to be an immaterial substantia; and the terms mind and matter alike have the same ambiguity about them; matter, at least in pre-Berkeleyan times, meaning now the substrate now the phenomenon, and mind, even at the present day, meaning now the entity and now its manifestation, phenomenal mind or individual consciousness. Noumenal mind, or mind as entity, is therefore precisely one of those pretended philosophical explanations, which according to the old conception of philosophy it was the business of philosophy to give, according to the new conception of it to analyse as a conception.

For in fact, the giver of the explanation is not philoso- page 47 phy, but crude and presumptuous common sense. The explanation is an assumption seeking its justification. Yet simply on the ground that the business of philosophy is to assign the causal essence of things, the assumption is treated as a truth, lest philosophy's occupation should be gone. And in fact the occupation of the old philosophy, philosophy as a search for causal essences, is gone,—gone for ever,—gone where causal essences go, wherever that may be. Those who still think after this fashion exactly reverse the relative positions of philosophy and psychology, as I conceive them, besides altering their functions. Psychology, taken apart from philosophy, becomes a preliminary description of states of consciousness together with the circumstances in which they occur; and philosophy comes in afterwards to connect them with their real condition, soul or mind as an entity, the enquiry into causal entities being its peculiar province.

Now you will find two sets of psychologists who still keep up the old illusion. One of these honestly believes in mind as a causal entity, and therefore represents psychology as consisting of a philosophical part, which investigates the nature of mind, or whatever else the psyche in psychology may stand for, as an entity, and of a phenomenal part, which treats of the laws and occasions of its manifestation. The two parts together constitute the whole science of psychology. And you will observe, that it possesses at least that characteristic of a true science, which consists in connecting phenomena with their real conditions. For "mind," supposing it to exist, is clearly a real condition, though it is also more besides, namely, cause, or originating essence of its phenomena. And it is quite possible, that there may be some real existent in the place indicated by the name, that is, an existent which, unknown to us, is a real condition of consciousness, though not the cause or substantia of its states.

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I should be sorry if I were understood to assert, that no real conditions exist but physical ones. This is a negative which, to say the least, it would be difficult to prove. My meaning is, that science requires us not to go beyond those kinds of real conditions which are positively known to us, and that we have within those limits, and without recourse to conditions, the evidence for which consists solely in the assumptions of an antiquated philosophy, a positive and experimental science. I am quite prepared to admit, that there may be powers operating in the organism, in the real conditioning of consciousness, which are wholly unknown and unimagined by us. And moreover I think that a corresponding admission must be made in the case of inorganic matter also. The very substitution of condition for cause, in science, when the idea is applied to so complex an existent as matter is shown to be by its physical analysis, carries with it the necessity of supposing, that matter itself has its real conditions of existence beyond itself, and therefore beyond our positive knowledge, conditions which belong to a world as real and phenomenal as if we had a direct knowledge of it, but at the same time conditions which can form no part of any merely physical theory of matter. For while causes are things supposed to exist ready made in nature, like pre-Darwinian species, which in fact are one case or instance of them, conditions on the contrary we know to be divisions introduced by ourselves, as a means of discovering the one real undivided order of Nature's operations, an order which is as unbounded by our limitations, as it is undivided by our divisions. And in feet we find, that no physical theories of matter, however daring, ever travel beyond the assumption of matter in some form or other, though a form more recondite, or more primordial, than that for which it is called on to account. In short the physicist page 49 assumes Mattel in general, just as the philosopher assumes Consciousness in general, not individualised, as his necessary basis of procedure. Just as philosophy discovers in the world of common-sense objects a single undivided stream of consciousness, which it is its business to analyse, so science discovers in it a single undivided order of natural operation, the laws of which it is its business to discover. It is therefore no part of the present method to assert, that human faculties are adequate to exhaust the whole economy of organic and inorganic nature. But this is a very different thing from denying the possibility of an entity, the whole conception of which rests on fallacious assumption.

The other class of psychologists comprises those who, having no reliance on the theory of an immaterial entity, connect consciousness with its physical and physiological conditions in a strictly scientific manner, whether in psychophysic or in other branches, but at the same time profess, that they are merely treating the phenomena of the subject, and that the real nature of mind is a question for philosophy. As if the consideration of the real nature of anything which is admitted to be a real condition of consciousness could be omitted from psychology, and yet psychology could preserve its scientific character. These two things are incompatible. To restrict the enquiry to the phenomena of the subject is to profess a belief in the existence of "mind" as noumenon; and then, supposing it to exist, the enquiry into its nature and operation is the very nerve of a scientific psychology. Either psychology is a science, and then it must face the question of the real conditions of consciousness in its length and breadth, or it evades it and becomes a mere preliminary investigation of no particular importance.

Neither will it escape you, how injurious to philosophy is this attempt to put off upon its shoulders an page 50 inconvenient and indeed impossible task, as the psychologists in question well know it to be, the wild-goose chase of mind as an entity. Philosophy exposes the fallacy of the conception; it is hardly fair to saddle it with the capture of the thing. Psychologists of this class are lingering too long in the position of Hartley, the illustrious founder of scientific psychology in its differentiation from philosophy, in contrast with the undifferentiated state in which it is presented by Locke; Hartley, as you are aware, retaining nominally the soul or mind, as the real agent, but making use only of nerve and brain processes as actual means of explanation. It is surely time that Hartley's position in this matter should be revised.

And now I have only to say in conclusion, that what I have tried to lay before you in outline is a sketch of the position of philosophy in relation to the other branches of speculative knowledge, by pointing out, 1st its special problem, 2nd its special method. Philosophy in our days has to renew the fight for its bare existence. The natural man regards the unfortunate philosopher somewhat as the Northern Farmer regarded the Rector:

"Larn'd a ma' beä. I reckons I 'annot sa mooch to larn."

On the other hand, scientific men are a little impatient at attempts to construct the universe, which, if they did not invariably break down, would involve constructing the sciences of experiment and observation a priori. Such attempts seem to me somewhat as if the mites of a cheese should try to construct a theory of dairy-farming. We are encompassed by a world as phenomenally real, and yet as much beyond our powers of observation, as are the dairy and the farm to the mites in a cheese. Dairy-farming is not the noumenon of which the cheese and its mites are the phenomena. It is unspeakable the mischief that this crude notion of a hidden reality mani- page 51 festing itself in phenomena has done to human wits. And it is plain that the cure does not lie in professing to know that fiction, the noumenon, and thereby read the riddle of the universe; still less, if possible, in treating the unknown as something with which we have no practical concern; for this is wilful blindness to a fact, and that fact one the pondering on which is a powerful, possibly an indispensable, agency in sustaining the moral and spiritual life. The real cure lies in knowing the limits of our knowledge, and in determining what attitude of mind we shall adopt in presence of that unseen but actual and real world.

* Dr. Hermann Siebeck. Geschichte der Psychologic. Erster Theil. Erste Abtheilung. p. 220. Gotha, 1880.