ND   Jacques Maritain Center : Psychology / by Michael Maher, S.J.



Reflexion and Self-Consciousness. -- Attention and reflexion have been sometimes contrasted as the direction of cognitive energy outwards and inwards. The two terms may thus be conveniently distinguished for some purposes, but it should be remembered that they really denote, not separate powers, but diverse functions of the same intellectual faculty. Reflexion is nothing else than attention to our own states; and this operation constitutes the exercise of self-consciousness. Self-consciousness may be defined as the knowledge which the mind has of its acts as its own.

Grades of Consciousness. -- We can discern different forms which the reference of a state to a Self assumes in the several stages of mental life. In the merely sentient existence of the infant or brute animal, there is no cognition of a self. There is only consciousness of sensations, emotions, and impulses. But these states are not apprehended as abstract qualities. They could not be felt as states without a subject or states of no subject. Animals are pained or pleased, suffer or are satisfied; and this can only be because the pain or pleasure felt is theirs, and is felt by them. The sentient being is conscious that it is pained; but it does not in any way distinguish between the pain as a state and itself as a subject of that state. It feels the state to be its own, yet never formally cognizes it as its own.

When, however, we reach the grade of intellectual life we meet with a distinctly new fact. We find an agent which not only is, acts, and feels, but which knows that it is, which is aware that it is the cause of its acts, and which recognizes that its feelings are its own, though not itself. But this final stage of self-knowledge and complete recognition of its own personality is probably not reached by the child until its mind has attained a considerable degree of development.

Growth of the cognition of Self. -- The infant at first leads the life of the merely sentient animal. The topography of even its own organism seems to be only gradually ascertained. Throughout the first year the child pinches, bites, and strikes its own body and other objects indifferently. Sometimes it continues these acts whilst crying from the pain.{1} By the end of the first year, however, its organism comes to be pretty sharply distinguished from other objects. As experience extends and the mental faculties ripen, memory comes into play; and although the attitude of the child's mind is still mainly objective, awareness of a Self present in its various states becomes more and more completely awakened into life. The material organism is still the most prominent element in the representation of Self. Indeed, as it is an essential constituent of the human person, the body always remains a chief feature in what we may call the abstract or quasi-objective conception of our personality. It is the centre of all the child's pleasures and pains, the source of all its impulses, and the focus of all impressions. It is, too, the subject and object of all its sensations of double contact, and the one enduring figure ever obvious in the field of vision. When the child, early in the third year, speaks of itself in the third person, it is probable that the bodily self is still uppermost in its thought, although a full self-conscious cognition of its own Ego is often possessed, whilst the use of impersonal language in regard to itself may be retained, especially when this practice is encouraged.

Still, the child could never come to know that it is a Self from the outside by merely elaborating a generalized conception of its body connected with its past history. This maybe a preparatory or concomitant process; but the real discovery of every Self must be from within -- the apprehension of the Ego by itself and in its states. As the thoughts of pleasures and pains repeated in the past and expected in the future grow more distinct, the dissimilarity between these and the permanent abiding Self comes to be more fully realized. Passing emotions of fear, anger, vanity, pride, or sympathy, accentuate the difference. But most probably it is the dawning sense of power to exert energy or to resist and overcome rising impulse, and the dim nascent consciousness of responsibility, which lead up to the final revelation, until at last, in some reflective act of memory or choice, or in some vague effort to understand the oft-heard "I," the great truth is manifested to him: the child enters, as it were, into possession of his personality, and knows himself as a Self-conscious Being. The Ego does not create but discovers itself. In Jouffroy's felicitous phrase, it "breaks its shell," and finds that it is a Personal Agent with an existence and individuality of its own, standing henceforward alone in opposition to the universe.{2}

The developed Mind's consciousness of Itself. -- Once arrived at the stage of formal or complete self-consciousness -- to which the Scholastics chiefly confined their attention -- the mind habitually becomes cognizant of itself in its acts. Cognition of self is thus not innate, as some have erroneously maintained. Even during mature life, in the absence of all particular psychical operations, there is no apprehension of self. On the other hand, the mind's cognition of its existence is not of the nature of an inference from its activities -- to be formulated in Descartes' Cogito ergo sum. The true view was clearly and concisely stated by St. Thomas. The mind apprehends itself and perceives its existence in its own acts.{3} This perception is of a concrete reality. In becoming conscious of a mental state, I become aware of the Self as the cause or subject of the state, and of the state as a modification of the Self. Such self-conscious activity may appear either as an implicit concomitant awareness of self during a mental process; or it may be the result of a formal reflective act in which the mind deliberately turns back on itself. In the former case the vividness with which the self is presented varies much in different acts. Frequently, when our interest is keenly excited by some external object, or when we are under the influence of certain strong emotions, the notice of Self becomes so faint as practically to disappear, though memory assures us that these acts were ours. But there are other mental processes in which we are as certainly cognizant of the Self as of the state. This is especially the case in active operations, whether of thought or of will. In a difficult effort of attention, for instance, I am distinctly aware that the act is mine, and that it is freely elicited and sustained by me. It is, however, in the deliberately reflective acts of self. consciousness that the cognition of the Self, and of the states as distinct from the Self, becomes especially clear, as is seen in the introspective observation of any mental phenomena.

Still, the knowledge of the mind immediately presented in such internal perception is very limited and imperfect. The mind thus ascertains directly that it exists, that it is a unity, that it abides, and that it is different from its states. But it cannot in this way learn what is its inner constitution -- whether, for instance, it is material or spiritual. Introspection merely furnishes the data by diligent study of which, combined with reflexion and reasoning upon the facts supplied by other sciences, we can define and determine the real nature of the human soul -- the chief problem of Rational Psychology.{4}

Abstract Concept of Self. -- After the realization of its personality has been attained in fully developed self-consciousness, we must still carefully distinguish between the mind's immediate perception of itself in its operations, and the abstract quasi-objective notion of his own personality habitually possessed by every human being. The former is an act of concrete apprehension, in which I cognize myself as real cause, or subject of my operations or states. The abstract notion of my personality, on the other hand, is a conception of a highly complex character. It is an intellectual abstraction formed out of the concrete perception of self combined with remembered experiences of my past life. It is commonly viewed by me in a quasi-objective manner. It includes the self, but accentuates the states of self. It gathers into itself the history of my past life -- the actions of my childhood, boyhood, youth, and later years. Interwoven with them all is the image of my bodily organism; and clustering around are a fringe of recollections of my dispositions, habits, and character, of my hopes and regrets, of my resolutions and failures, along with a dim consciousness of my position in the minds of other "selves."

Under the form of a representation of this composite sort, bound together by the thread of memory, each of us ordinarily conceives his complete abiding personality. This idea is necessarily undergoing constant modification; and it is in comparing the, present form of the representation with the past, whilst adverting to considerable alterations in my character, bodily appearance, and the like, that I sometimes say: "I am completely changed;" "I am quite another person," though I am, of course, convinced that it is the same "I" who am changed in accidental qualities. It is because this complex notion of my personality is an abstraction from my remembered experiences that a perversion of imagination and a rupture of memory can sometimes induce the so-called "illusions or alterations of personality," -- a subject which will be discussed in Rational Psychology.

Unity, Continuity, Discontinuity of Consciousness. -- Fully developed self-cognition presents to us in its perfect form what is called the unity of consciousness, but which might perhaps be more accurately described as the consciousness of Self as a unitary being. This feature of mental life should be carefully distinguished from continuity of consciousness, with which it is not necessarily connected. When viewed in retrospect our past conscious life, at first sight, seems to have been one continuous whole without gap or break. And when we examine recent portions of our waking existence, we find that there is a real continuity between successive states. In contrast to the old associationism which dwelt on the "mental chemistry" by which originally separate "impressions" were supposed to be fused together, Dr. James Ward insists much on the truth that consciousness at any given time is a "presentation continuum" of which the parts simultaneous or successive are not separated "as one island is separated from another by the intervening sea, or one note in a melody from the next by an interval of silence."{5} Although the context of consciousness is constantly altering, so much abides the same alongside of the changing element, that there seems to be no break or interruption. Accordingly, consciousness is frequently likened to a stream.

We must, however, not be misled by this figurative language into forgetting that consciousness is not really continuous. At least once every twenty-four hours there is a chasm -- an interval of something "disparate from consciousness." Our mental life, as a whole, is made up of parts separated not merely as the notes, but as the successive tunes of an orchestra by long intervals of silence. It is no more a continuous stream of consciousness than a year is a continuous stream of daylight. Further, even in our conscious life, the most important factor both in its intellectual development and in its moral worth lies not in the continuity of conscious states; but in that real indivisible unity which binds the series of processes into an individual self. By this unity of consciousness we mean the fact that our various mental states, simultaneous and successive, continuous or discrete, present and past, like and unlike, are all apprehended as combined and centred in that one indivisible point which we call Self. Or, from another point of view, we may describe it as that unifying activity of intellect which refers all states to the conscious self. A horse, perhaps even a worm, resembles man in continuity, but not in unity of consciousness. On the other hand, were man's conscious activity broken by a hundred complete gaps each day, provided that the underlying unity were preserved, the development of rational life could proceed as at present. It is this indivisible unity and not the continuity of consciousness which renders possible comparison, judgment, reasoning, and recognition of identity between the present and the past. It is this same unity which gives a meaning to expectation. This it does too, as well in the appetitive as in the cognitive sphere of life. My desires, resolutions, hopes, and fears all have to do with a future in which this same indivisible I am to be engaged. The continuity or cessation of consciousness during the intervening period is of little concern, but the identity of the present self, who is now conscious with the self of the future experience, is felt to be of vital interest. The importance of this distinction between unity and continuity, and the fact that mental life is not merely a stream of consciousness, will become evident when we examine Professor James's theory concerning nature of the mind in Book II.

Genesis of other Ideas. -- Besides the idea of Self, there are certain other conceptions of such philosophical importance that at least a brief treatment of their genesis is desirable here. The chief and the most disputed of those not already dealt with are the notions of Substance and Accident, Causality, the Infinite, Space and Time, We shall have to recur to the cognition of Substance in Book II., but the nature of our knowledge of Time, so much discussed at the present day, we must examine at some length in the present chapter. For an adequate defence of the trustworthiness of all these notions, we must refer the reader to the volume on Metaphysics belonging to the present series. The questions of genesis and validity, though intimately connected, should here as elsewhere be carefully distinguished. The former more properly pertain to Empirical Psychology, the latter to Epistemology, Metaphysics, or Rational Psychology.

Substance and Accident. -- Substance is defined as being which exists per se, or, that which subsists in itself, whilst Accident is that which exists in another being, as in a subject of inhesion. The most fundamental element, therefore, in the notion of substance is subsistence, though it is the fact of change with the accompanying permanence amid variation that stimulates the mind to distinguish between substance and accidents. Both correlative ideas are the product of intellectual experience. Even very early in life I observe things around me subsisting in themselves, and I am conscious that I possess real independent existence. Further examination causes me to notice greater or lesser changes taking place both in external objects and in myself. As I begin to reflect, however, I become assured that this change is not annihilation, and that some constituent element must remain the same amid the variations. Internal consciousness manifests to me my own substantial sameness amid my transient mental states, and reflexion on the evidence afforded by my external senses enables me to perceive the necessity of such an enduring identity underlying the transitory qualities of material objects. The reflexion required is not of a very deliberate or laborious character. It is a spontaneous activity of the rational mind. The shape and temperature of the piece of wax in the child's hands, the position and colour of objects before his eyes vary from moment to moment, but the substantiality of the object reveals itself to his intellect. Although the ideas of accident and substance were first wrought out very slowly, in mature life the apprehension of a necessarily enduring element amid the fluctuating phenomena is so easy and rapid, that it may fairly be described as an intellectual intuition.

Causality. -- The notion of causality is connected with that of substance, and can be attained only by rational free beings. Sensuous perception acquaints us with successive phenomena, but from this source alone we could not derive the idea of causation any more than that of substantiality. On the other hand, this concept is not an innate cognition, nor a subjective form of the mind. It is the result of intellectual experience, and it possesses real extra-mental validity. We may distinguish several elements or factors which normally co-operate in the formation of this idea.

(1) In our internal experience we are conscious of change among our mental states. In some cases of variation the order of succession seems casual; or we at least are unaware of the force which determines the course of our thoughts. In others we are conscious that we ourselves control and direct the current. We fix our attention on particular feelings, we combine or separate thoughts, we form complex ideas, judgments, and reasonings. In all these processes we apprehend ourselves as efficient agents, and we immediately cognize the results as products of our personal energy. Causality is thus concretely presented to the mind in the most intimate manner in each individual deliberate act.

(2) This experience alone would be sufficient to originate the conception of causation, but other factors assist in its elaboration. Combined internal and external observation is constantly revealing to us the fact that we control not only our thoughts but our movements, that our volitions liberate, direct, and sustain the outflow of physical energy -- that when we will to move our limbs they are moved in proportion to the degree and quality of the volitional effort. (3) Our senses make known to us the action of material objects upon us. We feel the latter as foreign and active, ourselves as passive and recipient. Sensations of pressure and resistance, in a special manner conduce to make us aware of force or energy -- notions essentially involving the idea of causal efficiency. (4) Finally, we observe changes perpetually taking place in the world around us: we notice frequent transitions from not-being to being of various kinds. As our powers of reflexion develop the intellect grows to apprehend more and more clearly that there must be a sufficient reason for the rise of these new modes of being. Repeated observation assures us that this reason of the origin of particular forms of reality must lie in particular antecedents which have been always followed by these results, and then the intellect cognizes the changes as the effects of the agency of these antecedents. But it should be remembered that our notion of causality rests ultimately, not on the perception of the uniformity of changes in the external world, but on our own subjective consciousness of self-activity and our constant immediate experience that the mind exerts real influence on bodily movement. For the reader will find later that many modern philosophers, in the name of this very notion and law of causation, actually deny to the mind any causal influence whatever over bodily movement, maintaining that only material agents can move matter.{6}

Sensuous perception could never afford the notion of anything more than succession, which is radically distinct from that of causality, efficiency, productiveness, or whatever we like to call it. When an effort of attention combines two ideas, when one billiard ball moves another, when a steam hammer flattens out a lump of solid iron, when a blow on the head knocks a man down, in all these cases there is something more than, and essentially different from, the mere sequence of two phenomena: there is effective force -- causal action of an agent endowed with real energy. But our conception of the reciprocal causal action which obtains between external beings is analogical, being derived in the last resort from our immediate cognition of our own causality.{7}

The Infinite. -- The idea of the Infinite is the idea of the plenitude of all being, of a Being who contains all perfections without limit. This notion is in part positive, in part negative; and, as a matter of experience, it is conceived by us. From both internal and external observation we can form the concept of a limit; and then of limitation in general. We can also form the idea of negation; the recognition of the principle of contradiction, the apprehension of the distinction between being and non-being involves this conception. Taking now the ideas of being, of negation, and of limit, we can combine them so as to form the complex conception, being without limit, that is, infinite being. The operation is, therefore, effected by the intellectual activity of reflexion and abstraction. The natural process will, however, be better seen by taking a single attribute, for instance, that of power. We are immediately conscious of effort put forth, and of power exercised by ourselves. We can conceive this power vastly increased, its boundaries pushed farther and farther back. We can imagine an agent capable of whirling round the earth or the solar system, just as we can swing a piece of string round our finger; yet we are fully aware that the power of such an agent may be as rigidly limited as our own. But we are not compelled to stop here; we may think "greater than that, and greater than that, and greater without any limits or boundaries at all." Here we have the proper notion, faint and inadequate, but still truly representing infinite energy.

We can similarly form the notion of infinite intelligence, holiness, and the rest; and then combining these we can conceive an omnipotent, infinitely intelligent, all-holy Being. We have now reached as perfect a conception of God as is possible to the finite mind. It is absurd to describe this as a purely negative notion. We ascribe to the Reality which we seek to realize to ourselves, every perfection we can conceive in the intensest form or degree we can imagine, and then we say: All that and more without any limit. Such a conception wants clearness and distinctness, but it most certainly is not purely negative. The thought of an attribute being increased beyond the range of our fancy without any limit assuredly does not thereby annihilate the positive content of the idea already represented to ourselves.

The Idea of Space. -- We have already more than once touched on our cognition of Space, so that but little additional treatment is necessary here. We have established the fact of an immediate or intuitive perception of surface extension through at least two of the senses -- sight and touch. We have also shown the part played by motor sensations in experiences of solidity, or the third dimension of bodies; and finally, we traced the growth and development of our knowledge of the material world. But the abstract conception of Space is not the same thing as the perception of an extended object, or a particular part of Space. It is an abstraction founded on such individual acts, but rising above them; and the same active supra-sensuous power by which the ideas of whiteness, truth, the infinite, &c., are formed, operates in the present case. The mind observing a material object prescinds from its other qualities, and thinks only of the co-existence of its parts outside of each other: this is the notion of extension in the abstract. Of course, however, as in the case of the ideas of whiteness or being, long before the mind has elaborated this reflex abstract notion, it has directly apprehended objects as extended. Still, even the abstract notion of extension is not strictly identical with that of Space. The extension of a body is a property which belongs to the individual body itself, and moves about with it, just as its other qualities. Space, on the contrary, we look upon as something fixed, -- that in which bodies are contained, and through which they move. The space of any particular object is the interval or voluminal distance lying between its bounding superficies. Now, the human mind having once cognized the trinal dimensions of material bodies, and observed their motions, inevitably passes to the conception of the successive intervals or spaces which they occupy; it distinguishes between the extended thing and the room which the thing fills. Apprehending these separate parts of space as immediately juxtaposed, it conceives the continuity and the consequent oneness of space. Further reflexion enables us to think of lines produced in all directions beyond the boundaries of the existing universe, and we thus reach the concept of ideal or possible space. Noting that there is no limit to the possible production of such lines, we conceive possible space as infinite; not, however, as a positive existence or reality, but as an inexhaustible potentiality. The interval filled up by the entire physical universe is termed, in opposition to the imaginary region beyond, actual or real space.

Cognition of Time. -- Whilst ancient materialistic philosophers conceived Time as an objective real entity, a substantial receptacle in which all events happen, Kant makes it an a priori or innate form of internal sensibility, a purely subjective condition of all human experience which possesses no extra mental validity. The true view is that Time is neither a real independent being nor an innate form of consciousness preceding all experience, but an idea which is a genuine product of intellectual activity. It is like other universal conceptions, an abstraction derived from concrete cognitions of change, a generalization which has a real foundation in the real changes going on in the world, but is completed by the intellect.{8}

Still the psychological explanation of this notion is attended with peculiar difficulties. All time is made up of past, present, and future; but the past is for ever extinct, and the future is non-existent, whilst the present consists of one indivisible Now -- a single instant that perishes as soon as it is born. Again, since time, unlike space, is presented to us, not by one or other faculty, but as an integral part of all our experiences, both internal and external, it is not easy to isolate this cognition and trace it to its sources. Time has been defined as "successive duration," and though faulty in some respects, this definition accentuates two elements involved in the notion, change or successive movement, and persevering existence.

Development of the Notion. -- The conscious life of the infant is hardly more than a succession of changing states. There is little looking forward or backward. The child is absorbed in each experience as it occurs, vague and obscure though these experiences are. Here we have a succession of conscious states, but not the notion of time. We have a series of ideas, but not an idea of a series. As memory grows stronger and the powers of observation and comparison develop, the child begins to notice that certain experiences recur in certain conditions; particular sights, sounds, gustatory and tactual feelings are repeated under similar circumstances, and the judgment is elicited that the objects which cause these conscious states endure, that they persevere in existence when unobserved. The child at the same time begins to be consciously aware of its own abiding identity and thus attains the idea of sameness, and of persistent existence. To a being unaware of its own continued identity the conception of time would be impossible.

The perception of variation united with sameness is not, however, the whole of the cognition of Time. For this the mind must be able to combine in thought two different movements or pulsations of consciousness, so as to represent an interval between them. It must hold together two nows, conceiving them, in succession, yet uniting them through that intellectual synthetic activity by which we enumerate a collection of objects -- a process or act which carries concomitantly the consciousness of its own continuous unity. The conception of two such points, with the intervening duration, gives us the unit of time; and in proportion as an interval is broken up into periods of this kind by transitions of consciousness, the representation of the time occupied expands. The transitions of consciousness are not, however, discrete or detached events. Nor is the course of mental life during waking hours that of a continuous even-flowing river, but rather an eddying undulating current with waves varying in depth and force. We are thus led back to Aristotle's celebrated definition of time as "the number of movement estimated according to its before and after."

The infant is probably first stimulated to this intellectual operation by the regular recurrence of certain agreeable experiences such as its food, the presence of its nurse, or the use of its toys. Thus a certain series of incidents, A B C D ending in X (the satisfaction of some desire), has happened repeatedly in the past. As memory acquires strength, the recurrence of A B, the first steps of the process, re-awakens in a faint degree the recollections of C and D; and much more vividly the interesting event X. There is thus impressed upon the child's mind along with the consciousness of the present Now, the representation of a subsequent Now, the future enjoyment, together with a simultaneous notice of interjacent events which force upon it the intervening duration. The period is then measured by a subconscious or implicit enumeration of the interposing incidents, and the notion is complete.{9}

Subjective and Objective Time -- The child first measures time by the number and variety of its own conscious states; but the estimate is of the vaguest and feeblest kind. Looking drowsily backward and forward to a particular incident, it feels the interval to be longer or shorter as it is dimly aware of more or fewer intervening possible experiences. The irregular character and varying duration of conscious states, however, soon bring home to us the unfitness of these subjective phenomena to serve as a standard measure of time. There is indeed a certain rhythm in many of the processes of our organic life, such as respiration, circulation, and the recurrent needs of food and sleep, which probably contribute much to our power of estimating duration but the natural objective tendency of our minds, as well as our early perception of the regularity of certain changes in the external universe soon suggests to us a more easily observable objective scale of measurement. Accordingly, the relatively uniform movements of the heavenly bodies and the orderly changes of day and night, of tides and of seasons, have come to constitute the universal chronometer of the human race, and in the popular mind to be identified with time itself.

Relativity of our appreciation of Time. -- A period with plenty of varied incident, such as a fortnight's travel, passes rapidly at the time. Whilst we are interested in each successive experience, we have little spare attention to notice the duration of the series. There is almost complete lapse of the "enumerating" activity. But in retrospect such a period expands, because it is estimated by the number and variety of the impressions which it presents to recollection. On the other hand, a dull, monotonous, or unattractive occupation, which leaves much of our mental energy free to advert to its duration, is over-estimated whilst taking place. A couple of hours spent impatiently waiting for a train, a few days in idleness on board ship, a week confined to one's room, are often declared to constitute an "age." But when they are past such periods, being empty of incident, shrink up into very small dimensions, unless their duration be over-estimated on account of their accidental importance, or for some other reason. An occurrence on which a weighty issue hangs seems to move slowly on account of the microscopic attention devoted to each successive moment of the event. In retrospect its gravity leads us to over-estimate the time required for its accomplishment, and causes it to divide us by a seemingly wide chasm from our previous life. Long periods are underestimated; indeed our conception of a number of years is purely symbolical. Very short periods -- fractions of a second -- are generally over-estimated. Similarly, recent intervals are exaggerated compared with equal periods more remote. Whilst, as we grow older and new experiences become fewer and less impressive, each year at its close seems shorter than its predecessor.

Localization in Time. -- Memory, or the knowledge that a present mental state represents an experience which really happened to us in the past, is an ultimate fact incapable of explanation. But the process by which we refer the experience to a particular section of our past history is open to at least partial analysis. The chief factors in the operation seem to be the following: (1) Finding that the memory of an impression wanes with time, we tend to refer the more obscure of two representations to the more distant date. Though an element in the calculation, this, by itself, is obviously an unsafe criterion. (2) The original order of the movement of attention in any mental process leaves a disposition towards its own reproduction, as, for instance, in repeating the alphabet. Thus, there is a peculiar feeling attached to the utterance of Y due to its formerly following X and preceding Z in consciousness; and this at least assists us in locating that letter between the other two.{10} This peculiar quality of consciousness belonging to any mental state through its having succeeded some particular state and preceded another constitutes in fact a local "colouring" or sign, by virtue of which its relative situation in the time-series of our past life may be determined. The fact that the mind tends to reproduce events in their original serial order is indisputable, and helps to explain -- if explanation it can be called -- how we recognize which was prior of two reproduced events that originally occurred in immediate succession. But the question remains, How do we determine priority between two utterly disconnected past experiences such as a toothache and a particular interview? (3) The answer given to this is that we ascertain the time-relations of minor incidents by consciously connecting them through contiguous association with more important events which have themselves been associated with public dates. Thus, I recollect that the toothache experience, though more vividly remembered than the interview, occurred when I was staying with certain people in the year 1890; whilst the interview took place during a visit to London in 1897, the year of the Queen's Jubilee.

Expectation illustrates the same principles. For instance, the mind having experienced the series of incidents A B C D, on the recurrence of any one of them tends to revive in imagination its successors, and the mere vivacity of the images tends to generate an anticipation of their realization. Apart from any reasoning process there can be awakened in the imagination a state of sensuous expectancy in the human being as well as in the lower animals by the preliminary stages of some familiar operation. But besides this species of sensuous presentiment originating in previous association, we are capable of a higher form of intellectual belief in future events, which springs from inductions based on conscious recognition of the uniformity of nature and the principle of causality. This constitutes expectation in its most proper sense. It involves memory, the notion of time, and inference from cause to effect. In addition to its reference to the future, expectation differs from memory by its active and emotional character. The real interest of our lives lies in the experiences which are to come, not in those which are gone. Consequently, there is, especially in the keener forms of this state, a stretching out of the mind towards the things that are before, an eagerness to ascertain what is about to happen which takes the form of hope in regard to what is in conformity with desire, and fear or anxiety with respect to what is against our wishes. Both emotions, by intensifying the vivacity of the imagination, augment the force of belief, and so we are inclined to over-estimate the probability of events which we like or dislike much.

Readings -- On Reflexion and Self-Consciousness, St. Thomas. Sum. I. q. 87, also De Veritate, q. 10 a. 8, g; Kleutgen, op. cit. §§ 102-120; Balmez, op. cit. Bk. IX. cc. vii. viii.; Ladd, Philosophy of Mind, pp. 105-112; Mivart, On Truth, c. ii.; Piat, La Personne humaine, c. i. On the Idea of Substance, cf. John Rickaby, Metaphysics. Bk. II. c. i.; Balmez, op. cit. Bk. IX. cc. i. iii. vii.; Stöckl's Lehrbuch, § 31. On Causality, Rickaby, op. cit. pp. 304. seq.; Kleutgen, §§ 300-303; Balmez. Bk. X. cc. iv. v. viii. xi. xii. xvi.; Stöckl, op. cit. § 45. On the Idea of the Infinite, Rickaby, Bk. I. c. vi.; Kleutgen, op. cit. Pt. V. cc. ii. iii. -- especially §§ 412-419; Balmez, Bk. VIII. cc. iii. iv. vi. viii. and xv.; Stöckl, § 27. On Space and Time, Rickaby, op. cit. Bk. ii. c. iv.; Kleutgen, §§ 342 -369.

{1} Cf. Preyer, The Development of the Intellect, pp. 189-206.

{2} J. F. Ferrier insisted with much force upon the leading part the exercise of free-will plays in the realization of our personality. (Introd. to the Philos. of Consciousness. Pt. V.) The primitive conception of Self must be feeble and obscure, but it grows in strength and distinctness. Jean Paul Richter gives a vivid description of how "the inner revelation, 'I am I,' like lightning from heaven," flashed upon him. But such infant psychologists are unhappily rare.

{3} Quantum igitur ad actualem cognitionem qua aliquis considerat se in actu animam habere, sic dico quod anima cognoscitur per actus suos. In hoc enim aliquis percipit se animam habere et vivere, et esse, quod percipit se sentire et intelligere et alia hujusmodi vitae opera exercere." (De Veritate, q. 10, a. 8.)

{4} Here again St. Thomas, with his wonted precision, clearly distinguishes the two questions: "Non per essentiam suam, sed per actum suum se cognoscit intellectus noster. Et hoc dupliciter: Uno quidem modo particulariter, secundum quod Socrates vel Plato percipit se habere animam intellectivam ex hoc, quod percipit se intelligere. Alio modo in universali, secundum quod naturam humanae mentis ex actu intellectus consideramus. . . . Est autem differentia inter has duas cognitiones. Nam ad primam cognitionem de mente habendam sufficit ipsa mentis praesentia, quae est principium actus, ex quo mens percipit seipsam; et ideo dicitur se cognoscere per suam praesentiam. Sed ad secundam cognitionem de mente habendam non sufficit ejus praesentia nec requiritur diligens et subtilis inquisitio. Unde et multi naturam animae ignorant; et multi circa naturam animae erraverunt. Propter quod Augustinus dicit de tali inquisitione mentis: Non velut absentem se quaerat mens cernere. ned praesentem se curet discernere, id est, cognoscere differentiam suam ab aliis rebus, quod est cognoscere quidditatem et naturam suam." (Sum. I. q. 87. a. 1).

{5} "Psychology," Encycl. Brit. p. 45; cf. G. Stout, Manual of Psychology, p. 72.

{6} Cf. Balmez, op. cit. Bk. X. §§ 50-53.

{7} Kant teaches, in harmony with the spirit of the rest of his system, that causality and substantiality are a priori categories of the understanding -- innate moulds or conditions which regulate our thinking, hut have no validity as applied to things-in-themselves. Hume and his followers have sought to explain both ideas as products of 'custom" or association. If consistently followed not, the Kantian and Sensist doctrines alike lead to absolute scepticism. The real, validity of the three notions, causality, substance, and personal identity, must stand or fall together; and if the last is an illusion, there can be no truth attainable by the mind of man.

{8} Cf. St. Thomas; "Quaedam sunt quae habent fundamentum in re, extra animam, sed complementum rationis eorum, quantum ad id quod est formale, est per operationem animae ut patet in universali. . . . Et similiter est de tempore, quod habet fundamentum in motu, scilicet prius et posterius; sed quantum ad id quod est formale in tempore, scilicet numeratio completur per operationem intellectus numerantis." (In I. Sent. Dist. 19, q. 5, a. 1.)

{9} The above analysis coincides, we believe, with Aristotle's doctrine which is thus developed by St. Thomas: "Manifestum est, quod tunc esse tempus determinamus, cum accipimus in moto aliud et aliud, et accipimus aliquid medium inter ea. Cum enim intelligimus extrema diversa alicujus medii, et anima dicat, illa esse duo nunc, hoc prius, illud posterius in motu, tunc hoc dicimus esse tempus. . . . Quando sentimus unum nunc, et non discernimus in motu prius et posterius, non videtur fieri tempus, quia neque est motus; sed cum accipimus prius et posterius et numeramus ea, tunc dicimus fieri tempus, quia tempus nihil aliud est quam numerus motus secundum prius et posterius tempus enim percipimus, ut dictum est cum numeramus prius et posterius in motu.' (Comm. Physic. Lib. IV. lect. 17.) By "movement" Aristotle, as well as St. Thomas, understands all forms of change, whether subjective or objective -- not merely external sensible movement as many modern writers imagine. St. Thomas makes the point quite clear, as well as the error of supposing that we can immediately apprehend a "pure empty time:" "Contingit enim quandoque quod percipimus fluxum temporis, quamvis nullum motum particularem sensibilem sentiamus; utpote si simus in tenebris, et sic visu non sentimus motum alicujus corporis exterioris, et, si nos non patiamur aliquam alterationem in corporibus nostris ab aliquo exteriori agente, nullum motum corporis sentiemus; et tamen Si fiat aliquis motus in anima nostra, puta secundum successionem cogitationum et imaginationum, subito videtur nobis quod fiat aliquod tempus; et sic percipiendo quemcumqum motum percipimus tempus; et similiter e contra, cum percipimus tempus simul percipimus motum." (Ibid.)

{10} See Dr. Ward, "Psychology," Encycl. Brit. p. 66.

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