Jacques Maritain Center : The First Principles of Knowledge

Chapter II.
In What Act of the Mind a Truth May Be Found Completely Possessed.


  1. Division of the mind's acts into three, Apprehension, Judgment, Reasoning.
  2. It is in the judgment that a truth may be found completely possessed.
  3. Hereon certain discussions arise. (a) The various definitions of judgment. (b) Suggestions on the subject from comparative philology. (c) A view taken of judgment by St. Thomas.


1. FOR their own convenience logicians have long been accustomed to divide the acts of intellect into three. The mind in viewing an object may be regarded either as making an affirmation or a denial about it, or else as not affirming or denying. In the last case the act is called an Apprehension; in the first case it is called simply a Judgment, when the decision is immediate, and Reasoning or Ratiocination, when the decision is mediate, a conclusion drawn from previous judgments. Now the question to be raised is, to which of these acts does the complete grasp of a truth belong; and because between an immediate judgment and a mediate judgment the difference does not affect the present inquiry, the selection lies between Apprehension and Judgment. Thus the threefold division is no longer necessary: a twofold suffices. Throughout, however, the reference is only to human modes of knowledge, not to those higher modes which transcend our comparatively imperfect act of judgment.

On the threshold, the investigation seems to be stopped by serious doubts which may be started, as to whether any act of apprehension is simply such, and not also a judgment on some point, if not precisely on the definite point proposed. What is meant is, that when, for example, the proposition, "Quinine will benefit the patient," passes through a physician's mind, he may very well, for lack of evidence, leave the main judgment unformed; but all the same, some contend that he cannot, without forming upon them any judgment whatever, simply apprehend the two terms, "quinine" and "beneficial to the patient." Still less could he do this in an analytical proposition such as "The whole is greater than its part."

We need not decide this controversy at starting, but will return to it presently. Meantime we proceed thus. Instead of the definition, "Apprehension is the act of the mind which neither affirms nor denies," we have but to substitute, " Apprehension is the act of the mind so far as it neither affirms nor denies, but merely places an object before the consciousness." Then if the distinction between apprehension and judgment should prove to be, not real, but only the result of a mental abstraction, or only a difference between a judgment of one order and a judgment of another order; still it would be available for the discussion in which it is now to be used.

2. An apprehension, as above defined, cannot be false: what is apprehended is so far truly apprehended and cannot be otherwise. The object before the mind must, of course, be the object before the mind; just as what a man sees, with his eyes, that he sees, even though he should, by a mistake in inference, proceed to name it wrongly. But while apprehension enjoys this immunity from error, it has the countervailing disadvantage that it never fully contains a truth: and here is just the fact which has to be brought out. Unless the mind has equivalently got as far as an affirmation or a denial, it has not completely possessed itself of a truth. No man can claim the merit of having uttered great political truths, if he has only thrown out a number of terms as in apprehension, not as combined into judgments: "force of popular will," "resistance of the wiser few to the ignorant many;" "adaptability to circumstances," "fixity of principle;" "generous liberalism," "prudent conservatism," and so forth. These are terms which might occur in any one's speech, no matter what were his opinions. The case is so clear, that it is hardly needful to amplify the bare statement of it; though it may be useful to note that a student might confuse himself, if, without warning, he were to light on some very self-evident proposition and test the doctrine by it; thus, "The whole is greater than its part." But here, however inevitable and simultaneous the judgment may be, it is not exactly identical with the apprehension as limited by the definition already given.

In every instance, then, to affirm or to deny, to say is or is not, this is the point where, and where alone, the mind fully commits itself to a truth or to a falsehood. To make some assertion, positive or negative, there lies the risk, there is the success or failure, so far as truth is concerned. A mere apprehension is a step along the right road, but it does not quite reach the goal. Hence the need of insisting on the judgment as the great crowning act in the order of intelligence; and of giving to "is" and "is not" a most prominent position in the science of logic. Grammarians may settle among themselves how much or how little they will put into their definition of a verb; but for logicians the words of St. Thomas must be the guide: " Intellectual truth consists in the equation between the mind and reality, in consequence of which the mind affirms that the object is that which it really is, or denies it to be what it really is not."{1}

3. Still it must not be pretended that in assigning to apprehension a definition, which shirked the real difficulty of its distinction from judgment, an author has fulfilled all justice. We must solve the doubts already suggested.

(a) There is an awkwardness, at the outset, about the definition of a judgment -- what precisely it is. Of proposed definitions some obviously have no proper title to that name, being rather things that may be affirmed about propositions, than accounts of the very nature of propositions. In treating the subject with a view to definition, some authors prefer to represent the predicate as containing the subject, others the subject as containing the predicate; a difference that amounts to one which, in pure logic, is styled that between "extension" and "comprehension" or "intension." In the enunciation, "Man is an animal", "animal" may be regarded, in extension, as a class under which man is included; or "man" may be regarded, in comprehension, as including a number of constituent notes, of which animality is one. A third method is to put subject and object on a line of equality, instead of on a scale of subordination. Such is the tendency of the following definitions taken in order from Hobbes, James Mill, and John S. Mill.{2} "In every proposition the thing signified is the belief, that the predicate is the name of the same thing of which the subject is a name:" "Predication consists essentially in the application of two marks to the same thing:" "According to the formula best adapted to express the import of a proposition as a portion of our theoretical knowledge, all men are mortal, means, that the attributes of man are all accompanied by the attributes of mortality;" while from another point of view the best formula is, "The attributes of man are evidence of, a mark of, mortality." The co-ordination of subject and predicate is still more secured by the device of Mr. F. H. Bradley,{3} who regards the simple judgment as containing, not two ideas, but one compound idea, which the judgment "refers off to the region of reality." Thus, the wolf is eating the lamb is interpreted as assigning over to reality the complex notion of wolf-eating-lamb: wolf-eating-lamb is a reality or fact. This way of regarding the matter at least calls attention to an important truth in logic, namely, that judgment is not simply any mode of linking ideas together, even though there be no copula and nothing equivalent to it. Nor is Mr. Bradley's view to be confounded with the extravagant theory of Antisthenes and others,{4}

to the effect that the only valid judgments are those in which subject and predicate are identical (Aristotle, Metaph., v. 29): for he does not maintain, that in the proposition, "The wolf is eating the lamb," predicate and subject are one in the fullest sense of oneness.

Evidently, if anywhere, it is especially in definitions that the relation between subject and predicate may be called one of co-ordination: "Man is a rational animal," and convertibly, "A rational animal is a man." In other propositions the relation may be changed from superordinate to subordinate, according as we read them either in extension or in comprehension: "man is an animal," in the first case is interpreted, "man is a species under the class animal;" in the second, "man, being a rational animal, includes animality under his total nature." "Extension," undoubtedly, is the aspect mainly chosen by Aristotelian logicians, who have good reasons for their preference; but we need not, therefore, deny that "extension" may fairly be said to have its basis in "comprehension." "Extension," better than "comprehension," could occasionally be dispensed with; for it is quite intelligible, though not necessary from all aspects, to teach with some logicians that an abstract term, such as "rotundity," has no "extension," inasmuch as it is a form prescinded from all subjects. On the other hand, an idea with no "comprehension" would scarcely be an idea at all -- a point urged against Mill's doctrine that proper names have no "comprehension," or, as he says, "connotation." Carlyle's frequent use, in the plural, of words ending in -ity, may furnish examples showing, how to abstract terms an "extension" may be given: as when we predicate of several objects that they are each "lugubrities," or " fantasticalities."

After all, it is not the relative rank of subject and predicate, which is the vital point in the definition of judgment, but rather the copula. It is from the copula as centre that Aristotle, and St. Thomas after him, frame their definitions. According to the former,{5} "a simple proposition is the declaration that something is or is not;" it is "a synthesis of ideas, in which a truth or a falsehood is contained:" and, according to the latter authority,{6} "judgment is an act of intellect, whereby the mind joins or separates two terms through affirmation or negation." So defined, judgment is manifestly the act in which truth receives its completion, for it is in settling what are a man's affirmations or negations, what he says is and what he says is not, that we decide his correctness or error. Unless we can reduce his utterances to definite propositions, we cannot pronounce him right or wrong. While, however, we are thus considering the copula as specially decisive of the nature of judgment -- as being the determining form to which the two terms serve as matter may, under another aspect, find the relation of matter and form repeated in the position of subject towards predicate.{7} For at least in what are called normal propositions, the subject stands for the whole thing in general, as it is in itself, while the predicate is some special form attributed to it by the mind; and the truth of the judgment is the truth of the application of this form. The very name "subject" signifies a recipiency of some determining form, not physically, but logically.{8} Thus in "aconite is poisonous," "aconite stands for a whole object which the speaker might simply point out with his finger, or with a demonstrative pronoun: "poisonous" is a special notion which he has about the object, and he contends, that this notion rightly represents a determinate character or formality in the object, which formality he is now distinctly contemplating, and wishes to affirm. In some types of proposition this mode of interpretation will be less suitable, while in all the subject will be, not simply the thing in itself out of thought, but the thing ideally present in the mind of him who judges: else he could not judge at all. Still the point of view here indicated explains the use of the word "subject," and is of some assistance towards the attempt which has just been made, to give a definition of judgment, an attempt the result of which may be finally stated in the few words of Cardinal Zigliara: "The act whereby we affirm or deny that a thing is."{9}

(b) But no sooner do we congratulate ourselves on being tolerably free from a troublesome question, than a philologist tries to draw us back into our old difficulties. It was all very well, he says, for Aristotle, St. Thomas, and others, who knew no language but Greek, Latin, and kindred tongues, to put the force of the judgment in the copula; but a wider range of linguistics brings the modern student across languages without the copula, and even without a verb strictly so called. As Mr. Sully urges, although our natural beliefs are expressed in propositional form, yet "progressing philology may show, that among many people confidence is really susceptible of expression in other than our affirmative forms of language." Nay even a melodic phrase on an instrument is declared, by Mr. Gurney, to be to him, in more than a metaphorical sense, an affirmation. Reply is easy: all speech equivolcally has the copula, even though this be not explicitly recognized. We ourselves, as children, once spoke with no conscious distinction of verb and noun: even still we occasionally omit the verb, or make a simple sound or gesture stand for a whole sentence.{10} Nevertheless every sentence, when rightly analyzed, is found to involve the sign of affirmation or denial. "There is," writes Max Müller," beneath the diversity of human speech, that one common human nature, which makes the whole world kin. However different the families of language may be, so far as their material is concerned, let us not forget that their intention is always the same; and that if there are forms of thought common to all mankind, there must be forms of grammar too, shared in common by all who speak." More directly to the point is what Mr. Findlater writes in a note to James Mill's Analysis:{11} " Logicians, in treating of propositions, have almost exclusive regard to Greek and Latin, and the literary languages of modern Europe, which are all of one type. It might, therefore, be presumed that the theory thus formed would not be found to fit in all its parts, when applied to language of an altogether different structure. The mental process must, doubtless, be the same, but the words that express the several parts may be used in new and unprecedented ways." So obvious is this answer to a difficulty that it is scarcely necessary to insist further: but lest any one should be over much moved by a plausible objection, the further confirmation of two more witnesses shall briefly be cited. These are the words of Mr. Sayce: "With all their differences the minds of most men are cast in the same mould. Thought is one, though the forms under which it shows itself are infinitely various. The unity which underlies diversity is seen in the tendency of all languages to assume common forms." Finally, Mr. Jevons shall speak: "Investigation will probably show that the rules of grammar are mainly founded upon traditional usage, and have little logical significance. This is sufficiently proved by the wide grammatical differences that exist between languages though the logical foundations must be the same."

(c) No longer for the purpose of answering difficulties, but in order to shed more light on an important subject, a view taken by St. Thomas (Ia, q. xvi. a. 2) with regard to judgment shall now be introduced, as eminently worth our study. He says that though, in an ordinary judgment, what we primarily assert is the fact, "This man is white:" yet indirectly we look to our own knowledge of this truth, not by a new act (in actu signato) but implicitly in the very act itself whereby we originally judge (in actu exercito). Each judgment is, as it were, accompanied with an "I know," or "as I perceive;" and but for this simultaneous consciousness of the rightness of our judgments, they would not have much intellectual value. For if to the vainglorious man it can be said:

Your knowledge is nought, unless another knows that you know,{12}

much more may it be said to every man,

Your knowledge is nought unless you yourself know that you know.

Now it is precisely this being aware that we know which characterizes a clear judgment, and makes it so confident, dogmatic, imperious. It bears its own inner conviction with it, as an indispensable condition; nor is this fact to be set aside for any mere theory, which asserts arbitrarily that one and the same act is incapable of attaining to self and to not-self. St. Thomas does not fall into the error which Mill lays to the charge of many Aristotelians, namely, that of supposing judgments to be about ideas instead of things: but he does insist on the important fact, which Mill also has noticed, that judgments are, as it were, lit up with a recognition of their own truth. It is this recognition which Mill {13} has in view when he says, that "belief" is the characteristic mark of a judgment. "It is impossible," he writes, "to separate the idea of judgment from the idea of the truth of a judgment; every judgment consists in judging something to be true. The element of belief, instead of being an accident, which can be passed over in silence and admitted only by implication, constitutes the very difference between a judgment and any other intellectual act. The very being of a judgment is something which is capable of being believed or disbelieved, which can be true or false, to which it is possible to say yes and no."

The last words admirably bear out the main thesis of this chapter, namely, that truth is specially in the judgment; but the passage also implies that consciousness of the possession of a truth is part of that possession itself. This consciousness, rather than the "readiness to act," on which Messrs. Bain and Clifford lay stress, is the mark of the judgment.

It is gratifying to find how different schools of philosophy confirm the doctrine of St. Thomas; but on this point, not to be diffuse, four very short illustrations, two German and two English, shall be the limit of quotation. Ueberweg{14} gives as the very definition of judgment the "consciousness of the objective validity of a subjective union of concepts:" while Bergmann teaches, that in judgment there is always conjoined with the apprehension of the object as simply existing, or as having these and those attributes, a critical reflexion on the truth of these attributes, a verdict on the correctness of the attribution. Of the English pair, Mill, whom we have just cited, further says: "The perception of truth or falsehood I apprehend to be exactly the meaning of an act of belief [a judgment] as distinguished from simple conception:" and Mr. Sully,{15} "judgment is accompanied by a belief that the objects have a relation, or a relation corresponding to the relation in thought."

St. Thomas further supports his view by a contrast between intellectual judgment and mere sensitive, animal perception. "Though the sense can take cognizance of its sensation, it knows not its own nature, and, consequently, is ignorant also of the nature of its act and of its proportion to the object affecting it."{16} The lower animal can never take account of its own perceptions, whereas man recognizes himself as intelligent; the lower animal never recognizes truth as such, man does. Here again is a point which has so forced itself on rational observation, that representatives of the most widely divergent schools have a unanimity which, from their professed principles, might hardly be expected. In proof of the fact the only available method is quotation, but quotation shall be short, leaving each reader to make fuller verification for himself. After his own way of using words Lewes says, " To perceive a difference is one thing, to know a difference is another. The dog distinguishes meat from bread without knowing that one is not the other." Less explicitly Mr. Sully remarks, " An intelligent dog can distinguish and recognise, but he cannot mentally juxtapose objects, or compare them, except perhaps in a very imperfect and rudimentary way." It was from a like persuasion that a German philosopher declared his readiness to give a pig the honour due to a rational creature as soon as it intelligently affirmed, "I am a pig:" and another philosopher, of the same country, promised to dismount from his horse as soon as it said, "I am a horse." The bacon for breakfast and the morning ride to digest it, are not much endangered by promises of this kind: for only a truly intelligent being, like man, can judge with full consciousness of the truth.


Logicians, as it has been pointed out, can make an intelligible distinction between Apprehension and Judgment; but they leave over to psychologists a rather subtle piece of investigation as to the nicer discrimination of these two acts. How this inquiry has been pursued may be illustrated as follows:

(1) Whereas other writers largely tend to reduce Apprehension to Judgment, Hume would reduce Judgment to a case of Apprehension or Conception.{a} He regards it as "a very remarkable error," though one "universally received by all logicians," that the acts of the mind should be divided into Conception, judgment, and Reasoning. "For, first, 'tis far from being true, that in every judgment we form, we unite two different ideas; since in that proposition, God is, or indeed in any other which regards existence, the idea of existence is no distinct idea, which we unite with the object. Secondly, as we can form a proposition which contains only one idea, so we may exert our reason without employing more than two ideas." As an inference needing no middle term, "we infer a cause immediately from its effect." The so-called three acts are reducible to one; "they are nothing but particular ways of conceiving our objects." The only noteworthy thing is belief, "which has never yet been explained by any philosopher," and leaves room for the putting forth of an hypothesis, namely, that belief is "a lively idea related to, or associated with, a present impression." "'Tis only a strong and steady conception of any idea, and as such it approaches in some measure to an immediate impression."

(2) Reid{b} teaches, that in mature life a judgment goes along with every concrete apprehension. As regards abstract conceptions, he says indeed that apprehension may be exercised without either judgment or reasoning: but as he likewise teaches that in the perception, at least of sensible objects, the apprehension is derived from the analysis of the judgment, and not the judgment from the synthesis of mere apprehensions, he gives the absolute priority to judgment. "Simple apprehension, though it be the simplest, is not the first operation of the understanding; and instead of saying that the more complex operations of the mind are formed by compounding simple apprehensions, we ought to say that simple apprehensions are got by analyzing more complex operations."

(3) If Hamilton{c} and Mansel{d} are taken next, the reason is, not chronological order, but the fact that Hamilton's view appears in his Notes to Reid, and Mansel was a disciple of Hamilton. Hamilton finds fault with Reid, even for that degree of admission, which the latter makes, when he allows that in case of abstract ideas apprehension can stand alone, without a Judgment. "The apprehension of a thing, or the notion, is only realized in the mental affirmation, that the concept ideally exists, and this apprehension is a judgment. In fact all consciousness supposes a judgment, as all consciousness supposes a discrimination. There is no consciousness without a judgment affirming its ideal existence." Hereupon Mansel distinguishes between psychological and logical judgment: "The psychological is a judgment of the relation between the conscious subject and the immediate object of consciousness; the logical is the judgment of the relation which two objects of thought bear to each other." Man judges psychologically when, as the idea "cow " passes through his mind, he simply recognizes the object as ideally existent -- "there is a cow;" he judges logically when, for the terms of his judgment, he has two distinct concepts, "a cow is a ruminant." "The former cannot be distinguished as true or false, inasmuch as the object is only thereby judged to be present at the moment when we are conscious of it as affecting us in a certain manner, and the consciousness is necessarily true. The psychological judgment is coeval with the first act of consciousness, and is implied in every mental process, whether of intuition or thought. It cannot, therefore, be called prior or posterior to any other mental operation in which it does not take its place." Between judgment and conception Mansel's most concise distinction is that the two differ "in their data. In conception attributes are given to be united by thought in a possible object of intuition: in a judgment concepts are given to be united by thought in a common object."

(4) To go back now in chronological order we find that Dr. Brown{e} does not care much for the old traditional distinctions between apprehension, judgment, and reasoning: but rather insists on one great mental process, "relative suggestion," for putting all concepts into order, whether by judgment or by reasoning. "The tendency of mind, which I have distinguished by the name of relative suggestion, is that by which, on perceiving or conceiving objects together, we are instantly impressed with certain feelings of their actual relation. These suggested feelings are feelings of a peculiar kind, and require therefore to be classed separately from the perceptions or conceptions which suggest them, but do not involve them. . . . With the susceptibility of relative suggestion, the faculty of judgment, as that term is commonly employed, may be considered as nearly synonymous." Another passage bearing on the same point is one in which he compares what he calls perception and apperception. "Simple perceptions are so feeble, dim, confused, and short-lived, and their objects are so numerous, run so into one another, come and go in such rapid succession, that the subject is unable to distinguish them one from another. . . . Perception becomes apperception by becoming more marked and distinct."

This corresponds to a clear judgment. His reason for not using the more ordinary term "judgment" was given in an earlier Lecture:{f} "The term 'judgment,' in its strict philosophical sense as the perception of relations, is more exactly synonymous with the phrase I have employed (Relative Suggestion), and might have been substituted with safety, if the vulgar use of the term in many vague significations had not given some degree of indistinctness even to the philosophic use of it. Intellectual states of mind I consider as all referable to two generic susceptibilities -- those of Simple Suggestion and Relative Suggestion. Our perception or conception of one object excites, of itself, and without any known cause external to the mind, the conception of some other object, as when the sound of a friend's name suggests the conception of himself: in which case the conception of our friend, which follows the perception of his name, involves a feeling of any common property with the sound which excites it, and might have been produced by the chair on which he sat, of the book which he read to us, &c. This is Simple Suggestion. There is another suggestion of a very different sort, which in every case involves the consideration, not of one phenomenon of mind, but of two or more phenomena, and which constitutes the feeling of agreement, disagreement, or relation of some sort. All the intellectual successions of feeling, in these cases which constitute the perception of relation, differ from the results of Simple Suggestion in necessarily involving the consideration of more objects that immediately preceded them."

(5) Rosmini's{g} doctrine rests on his view as to the impossibility of deriving the idea of Being from experience: but, given this idea innately, it is what enables us to grasp our first conceptions of reality, and to grasp them by way primarily of judgments. In this sense he approves of Kant's doctrine, "that all our intellectual operations may be reduced to judgments, and the intellect generally may be represented as the judging faculty."

(6) Lewes{h} takes up something very like Brown's "relative suggestion" when he makes "grouping" the fundamental process of intellect. Each idea, as it comes up, groups itself with its likes, and marks itself off from its unlikes. The copula of the judgment is precisely this grouping. Every term is a judgment completed and over: every subject is a group of predicates. The judgment lasts only while the grouping is being done: that once done, the judgment ceases to be and becomes a term. Mill and Bacon agree with Lewes that a proposition which has ceased to convey fresh information has become merely verbal, or, as Lewes words it, "a mere tautology."

(7) Mr. Spencer holds that nothing short of a "judgment" is an intelligent act; and if we take, as his description of "apprehension," the account which he gives of the formation of an "idea," we have the following account of it:{i} "It is because of the tendency which vivid feelings have severally to cohere with the faint forms of all preceding feelings like themselves, that there arise what we call ideas. A vivid feeling does not by itself constitute a unit of that aggregate of ideas entitled knowledge. Nor does a single faint feeling constitute such a unit. But an idea, or unit of knowledge, results when a vivid feeling is assimilated to, or coheres with, one or more of the faint feelings left by such vivid feelings previously experienced. From moment to moment the feelings that constitute consciousness segregate, each becoming fused with a whole series of others like itself that have gone before it: and what we call knowing each feeling for such and such, is our name for this act of segregation. As with the feelings, so with the relations between feelings. Each relation, while distinguished from various concurrent relations, is assimilated to previously experienced relations like itself. Thus result ideas of relations. What we call knowing the object is the assimilation of the combined group of real feelings it excites with one or more preceding ideal groups, which objects of the same kind excited."{j} So much for the formation of ideas: and that these ideas are not mere apprehensions, exclusive of judgments, we are expressly told: "No state of consciousness can become an element of what we call intelligence, without becoming one term of a proposition which is implied if not expressed. Not only when I say 'I am cold' must I use the universal verbal form for stating this relation, but it is impossible for me clearly to think that I am cold without going through some consciousness having this form."{k} Below this stage of full intelligence he places a continuous process of evolution, starting from mere unconscious nerve-shock, gradually reaching sensation, and then, in the same smoothly ascending course, attaining successively higher points. "In the lowest conceivable type of consciousness, that produced by the alternation of two states, there are involved the relations constituting the forms of all thought." In all cases perception is the establishment of specific relations among states of consciousness, and is thus distinguished from the establishment of the states of consciousness themselves. . . . Now the contemplation of a star state of consciousness, and the contemplation of the special relations among states of consciousness, are quite different mental acts -- acts which may be performed in immediate succession, but not together. To know a relation is not simply to know the terms between which it subsists. Though, when the relation is perceived, the terms are instantly perceived, and conversely, yet introspection will show that there is a distinct transition of thought from the terms to the relation, and from the relation to the terms. While my consciousness is occupied with either term of a relation, I am distinguishing it as such and such, assimilating it to its like in past experience, but while my consciousness is occupied with a relation, that which I discriminate and class is the effect produced in me by transition from one term to the other."{l} By his whole treatment Mr. Spencer shows his great desire to Make it appear, how from the simplest to the most complicate act of mind, the process is the same-a process which Hobbes calls "addition and subtraction,"{m} and Lewes "grouping." The passage in which Mr. Spencer sets forth the difference between perceiving terms and perceiving the relations between terms is considered by Mr. Guthrie to be one of the most important doctrines in the author's system: a doctrine, however, which Brown had before clearly enounced.{n}

(8) Under the present paragraph the reader need look for nothing more than a rough grouping together ,of authors who agree in the opinion, which may be usefully recurred to on various occasions, that the earliest judgments of the child are judgments in a very defective sense of the word. Very different minds concur in this observation, and herein lies the point of interest. Dr. Porter says, "The infant begins to perceive when, and so far as, it begins to attend. The soul of the infant is at first in a condition of activity, in which sensation greatly predominates, with only the feeblest exercise of intelligent perception. The infant at first feels many sensations, but it can scarcely be said to know objects at all; it perceives with the lowest activity possible of a power undeveloped by exercise." Perhaps it is something of the same sort which Luys, in his work on the brain, wishes to indicate when he writes:" Substantives play a principal part in the evolutions of thought and speech. They are the primordial data around which the verbs and other parts of speech group themselves. They are the elements that underlie the combinations of human thought." Again, Morell, in the Outlines of Mental Philosophy, expresses the opinion, that "both sensation and perception are prior to language. They cannot possibly be expressed in words, and conveyed to another. They belong to the more primary form of our intellectual activity."

From these non-scholastic authors we may turn to St. Thomas,{o} who speaks of two divisions of the sensitive faculty, which he calls sensus communis and vis cogitativa, and which, since he regards them as sensitive, he must conceive to be incapable of seizing an idea as such, reflexly and in its universality. They judge of concrete single facts, and serve as guides in individual cases. Now to the activity of such powers would often correspond those cognitions which Mr. M'Cosh, in his Intuitions of the Mind, talks of as preceding true judgment-cognitions that are "of the vaguest and most valueless character, till abstraction and comparison are brought to bear upon them." "An infant," says Mr. Sully,{p} "as an intelligent brute, may form a few rudimentary judgments, e.g., I am going to be fed, without language. There may be many implicit judgments, where there is no statement. This applies to acts of perception and recollection. The child's first exclamation on seeing a large object, big, may be said to imply the statement, that is a big object. Singular judgments are the first to be formed by a child, and constitute a very important step in the development of thought." Mr. Sully's view of judgment proper has already been given, and need not be repeated here ; but for the sake of marking an important distinction between sense and intellect, it must be noted that what he says about imperfect singular judgment, would, at least in many instances, be referred by the scholastics to what they call the vis cogitative, and so far would fall outside the question of strictly intellectual acts. But even among these there must, at the beginning, be many mere dawnings of light, thin, vague, fleeting ideas, which just visit the consciousness, show a few of their connexions with other ideas, and then disappear.

To return once more to Mr. M'Cosh. He distinguishes "our primary cognitions and beliefs" from "our primary judgments," and builds the latter upon the former. "Every cognition furnishes the materials of a judgment, and a judgment possible, I do not say actual, is involved in every cognition. As the relation is implied in the nature of the individual object, and the judgment proceeds on the knowledge of the nature of the object, so the two, cognition and judgment, may be all but simultaneous, and it may be scarcely necessary to distinguish them except for rigidly exact philosophical purposes."

(9) According to Wundt, the content of the judgment is first given as an undivided whole, a whole which is not a mere bundle of associated ideas, but an apperceptive combination or Gesammtvorstellung. Judgment is the analysis of this whole, a dividing of it into parts as the very name urtheilen declares. Things first enter "into the field of view," and then "into the point of view:" the first is perception, the second apperception. The opposite theory supposes concepts first to exist separately, and then to be put together by means of judgment.

(10) From the above list of opinions one obvious suggestion comes, that we ought not to be precipitate in drawing a very hard and fast line between apprehension and judgment, as between quite different acts of mind. The scholastics are prepared to recognize in the two a certain identity of act. If apprehension were taken, precisely on that side on which the intellect has to form its idea, at the suggestion of the sensitive image, the description of this aspect of the process, by the scholastics, may not seem to be allied to the description of a judgment. But if we take apprehension as they speak of it, no longer in fieri but in facto esse, no longer in process of being made, but as made, then, though the distinction be only mental and not real, it enables us better to understand how Suarez, after St. Thomas, teaches that the apprehension is a sort of judgment (aliquale judicium).{q} What Mansel calls the "psychological judgment" answers fairly well to the opinion of Suarez. An idea in the consciousness cannot be there, without affirming its presence and its object: it cannot rest simply in itself, as if it were a dead picture. It is a kind of cognition, and therefore tends to a judgment. Furthermore, when the mind is well stored with ideas, it is impossible that these should be present without in many directions asserting their mutual affinities; and so they stand, not as isolated concepts, but as more or less clearly formed judgments. When, however, two concepts are called up which, either in themselves, or at any rate for us, have no special connexion, they may remain in the mind with no tendency to enter into relation as terms of our judgment. Thus "Oxford eight" and "winners of the boat race" are complex terms, that may remain quite un-united by copula in the mind of an old oarsman, till he receives a telegram supplying the anxiously awaited "are" or "are not." Cases like this form, perhaps, the single exception to Dugald Stewart's law, that each mental state, as it comes up, asserts for itself a certain degree of credence -- a doctrine re-affirmed by De Morgan, who "takes it for granted that every proposition, the terms of which can convey any meaning at once, when brought forward, puts the hearer into some degree of belief".{r} In using these words, he can hardly have had in mind the extreme cases of what are called a posteriori and synthetic propositions, in which the connexion of subject and predicate is a most purely contingent fact, the mere terms having no tendency to disclose a mutual relation in the shape of subject and predicate.

(11) Locke,{s} while fully agreeing with us that truth and falsehood are not properly in ideas, but only in propositions, yet has a peculiar use of the term "judgment," which calls for notice. He says:{t} "The faculty which God has given man to supply the want of clear and certain knowledge, in cases where this cannot be had, is judgment, whereby the mind takes its ideas to agree or disagree, without perceiving a demonstrative evidence in the proof, but presuming it." This is using "judge" in the looser sense, which is obviously not the sense intended in the above discussion, as Locke himself would admit, who means by "proposition" what we have been signifying by "judgment."

As we have mentioned Locke, we may take occasion from his name to add some of Cousin's criticisms upon him, which bear directly on the priority between ideas and judgments, and are much in the spirit of some recent publications. "It is not true that we start with simple ideas, from which we proceed to those which are complex. Rather we begin with very complex ideas and proceed to those which are simple; and the process of the human mind in the acquisition of ideas is the inverse of that described by Locke. Our first ideas are, without exception, complex, for the plain reason that all our faculties, or at least most of them, begin to act simultaneously. This simultaneous activity supplies us at one and the same time with a certain number of connected ideas, forming a whole. In a word, we have, at starting, a multitude of ideas which come to us contained or implied in each other, and all our primitive ideas are complex. A further reason for this is that they are particular and concrete."{u} Again, in the twenty-second lesson, he teaches that judgments are the primitive elements of thought, not simple ideas. "Language, that faithful expression of mental development, begins with compound propositions. A primitive proposition is a whole, corresponding to the natural synthesis by which the mind enters on the course of its development. These primarily formed propositions are in no wise abstract propositions, as, for instance, 'There are no qualities without a subject,' but wholly particular, as 'I am,' 'This body exists.'"{v}

{1} " Veritas intellectus est adaequatio intellectus et rei, secundum quod intellectus dicit esse quod est, et non esse quod non est." (Contra Gentes, Lib. I. c. lix.)

{2} See James Mill's Analysis, c. iv. s. iv.; John Stuart Mill's Logic, Vol. I. Bk. I. cc. v. and vi., where the quotation from Hobbes is given; see also Leviathan, Part 1. c. iv. P. 23. (Molesworth's Edition.)

{3} The Principles of Logic, cc. i. and ii.

{4} Zeller's Socrates and the Socratic Schools, C. xiii. p. 253

{5} Prior Analytics, Bk. I. c. i. n. 2.

{6} Quaest. Disp. quaest. xiv.; De Veritate, art. i

{7} Tongiorgi, Logica, n. 374.

{8} St. Thos., Summa, Pars 1. quaest. xvi. art. ii. "Quando intellectus judicat rem ita se habere sicut est forma quam de ea apprehendit, tunc primo cognoscit et dicit verum."

{9} Est actus quo aliquid esse affirmamus aut negamus." (Logica Lib. II. c. i. art. i.)

{10} See a letter by Reid, given in Hamilton's Reid, p. 71.

{11} C. iv. s. 4.

{12} Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.

{13} Logic, Bk. I. c. v. § I Examination of Sir W. Hamilton, c. xviii pp. 347, seq. (2nd Ed.).

{14} Logic, Part IV. parag. 67, et seqq.

{15} See the chapter on judgment in Outlines of Psychology.

{16} Quamvis sensus cognoscit se sentire, non tamen cognoscit naturam suam, et per consequens nec naturam sui actus nec proportionem ejus ad rem, ita nec necessitatem ejus." (Quaestiones de Veritate, quaest. i. art. ix.)

{a} Treatise, Part III. § vi. note.

{b} Intellectual Powers, Essay I. c. vii.; Essay IV. c. iii.; Essay VI. c. I.

{c} See his notes on the above-cited passages from Reid.

{d} Prolegomena Logica, c. ii.

{e} Philosophy of the Human Mind, Lecture li. Cf. Lecture xlv.

{f} Lecture xxxii.

{g} Origin of Ideas (English Translation), Vol. I. sec. i. c. iii. art. vi.; sec. iv. c. iii. art. xviii. xix. et alibi passim.

{h} Problems of Life and Mind, Vol. II. problem iii. c. ii.

{i} Psychology Part II. c. ii. § 373.

{j} Compare Part II. c. viii. 211; Part VI. c. xviii. 355, and c. xxvii.

{k} Part II. c. i. § 60.

{l} Part VI. c. xviii. § 354.

{m} Leviathan, Part 1. c. v.

{n} Human Mind, Lecture xlv.

{o} Summa, Pars I. quaest. lxxviii. art. iv.; De Anima, Part II, lectio xiii.

{p} See the chapter on "Conception" in Outlines of Psychology, where the author gives in detail Professor Preyer's observations on child life.

{q} Quatenus apprehensio est aliqua rei cognitio, est etiam aliquale judicium, quo implicate judicatur res esse id quod de illa cognoscimus." (Metaphys., disp. viii. secs. 3 et 4.

{r} Logic, p. 193.

{s} Human Understanding, Bk. II. c. xxxii.

{t} Bk. IV

{u} Il n'est pas vrai que nous commencions par les idées simples et qu'ensuite nous allons aux idées complexes; au contraire nous commençons par des idées complexes, puis nous allons aux idées simples; et le procédé de l'esprit humain dans l'acquisition des idées est précisément inverse de celui que Locke lui assigner. Toutes nos premières idées sont des idées complexes, par une raison ,évidente, c'est que toutes nos facultés, on du moins un grand nombre de nos facultés, entrent à la fois en exercice; leur action simultanée nous donne en même temps un certain nombre d'idées liées entre elles, et qui forment un tout: en un mot vous avez d'abord une foule d'idées qui vous sont données l'une dans l'autre, et toutes vos idées primitives sont des idées complexes. Elles sont complexes encore par une autre raison; c'est qu'elles sont particulières et concrètes." (Histoire de la Philosophie, Leçon 2ome.)

{v} Images fidèles du développement de l'esprit, les langages débutent non par des mots, mais par des phrases et des propositions très-composées. Une proposition primitive est un tout qui correspond à la synthèse naturelle par laquelle l'esprit débute. Ces propositions primitives ne sont nullement des propositions abstraites, telles que celles-ci : Il n'y a pas de qualité sans un sujet, pas de corps sans espace, et autres semblables, mais elles sont toutes particulières, telles que: J'existe, ce corps existe."

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