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



Comparative Psychology. -- The aim of a "comparative" science is to examine and compare the varying manifestations of some phenomenon, or group of phenomena, in different classes of objects. Comparative Anatomy thus seeks to ascertain the likenesses and differences exhibited in the structure of different species of animals. Comparative Philology in the same way endeavours to trace the history of cognate words by contrasting the various forms which they have assumed in different languages. The science of Comparative Psychology -- were anything deserving the name of science on the subject attainable -- would similarly investigate the nature of mind by comparing its manifestations in man and the various species of animals.

Some recent writers seem to expect that immense benefits will accrue to Psychology by the employment of this method of comparative study, which has undoubtedly done much to illuminate obscure facts in other branches of knowledge. Now, premising that in our view Human Psychology, or Psychology proper, ought to base its doctrines on a careful study and comparison of the mental phenomena of human beings of all races, of all ages, and of all stages of intellectual and moral cultivation; and, further, admitting that assistance may be derived, especially in the investigation of the lower appetitive, emotional, and cognitive activities from the observation of animal life, we must, nevertheless, frankly confess our belief that in the science of the Mind the comparative method will never be very fruitful in positive results.

Difficulties of Animal Psychology. -- It must not be forgotten that Psychology differs essentially in character from all these other departments of knowledge in which the new method has proved so effective, and, moreover, the difference is of a kind which tells directly against the application of that method. In the other comparative sciences we can directly examine the specimens selected from different groups; here we cannot. Nay, as acute a thinker as Descartes was found to deny that there are any such specimens in existence at all. The anatomist can study with as much ease and security the vertebral column of a fish, or an elephant, as that of a human body. The philologist can investigate with as much confidence the growth of a word in a foreign language as in his own. But real knowledge of the mental states of the dog or the bee is utterly impossible to the psychologist. This difficulty can never be effectually bridged over. Careful reflexion must convince us that, no matter what pains and industry be devoted to observation of the actions of the lower animals, our assurance regarding the genuine character of their subjective states can never be more than a remote conjectural opinion.

Knowledge of other Minds. -- The existence of any other human mind than our own, it should be remembered, is believed not on the strength of direct intuition, but of a mediate analogical inference. By a process of perception, which we have described in chapter vii., we come to know the existence and character of our own body, and of the material objects which act upon us. Of prominent interest amongst external things are certain bodies strikingly similar to our own. In our own case we find that the impressions of some of the external agents cause particular mental states within us, which, in turn, give rise to definite physical actions observable by our external senses. Noticing the similarity of antecedent and consequent in the case of organisms like our own, we insert in them an intermediate conscious link as effect of the former and cause of the latter. The essential elements in the argument are the similarity of organisms and the like character of the resulting actions. Of these latter, language is incalculably the most important, especially in indicating to us the quality or nature of the consciousness of these other beings. It is at once a measure of intellectual development, and the great medium of intercommunication. Consequently, its absence is, on both grounds, fatal to scientific inductions regarding the minds of brutes.{1}

The value of the other factor in the argument clearly depends on the degree of likeness subsisting between the compared organism and our own, especially as regards the brain and nervous system. We know from experience that slight modifications in the conditions of the brain affect gravely the character of human consciousness. But the profound differences which separate man's brain from that of the nearest allied animal, are sufficiently insisted on by our adversaries when this course suits the special question in hand. Accordingly, if we obey the oft-repeated advice of Herbert Spencer on other subjects, and freeing ourselves from the "crude anthropomorphism of the child and the savage," impartially estimate the strictly scientific value of the evidence, we shall be speedily forced to admit that the grounds for the analogical inference to the character of the intellectual or emotional states of the monkey, the dog, or the elephant, are very slender indeed, whilst our conjectures as to the quality of the mental activity of insects are utterly worthless.{2}

Descartes' theory: Animals machines. -- Were this fact realized, the Cartesian doctrine, which appears so strange and absurd to the unreflecting mind, would probably have commanded a much larger following than it has ever received. In Descartes' view, the lower animals are merely machines so ingeniously constructed that the various impressions always meet with appropriate responsive movement, although no conscious state intervenes. The fact that elaborate and complicated operations such as walking, writing, playing the piano, handling tools, are often carried on without making themselves felt, has been urged in favour of this hypothesis. Moreover, recent experiments on the bodies of animals from which the brain or head had been removed, go to prove that complicated movements requiring the co-ordination of several muscles may sometimes be performed by the organism without sensation. Nevertheless, we hold the Cartesian theory to be unsound, and accordingly we proceed to the establishment of our thesis, that:

At least the higher Animals are endowed with Sentiency. -- (1) Many of the movements, of the cries, and of the expressive acts of brutes are inexplicable in regard to their origination, direction, continuation, and cessation, as the result of unconscious forces. Such complicated operations, for instance, as the search for suitable twigs by the bird in the construction of her nest, the movements of a terrier at the sound of his invisible master's voice, the eager way in which the dog bounds towards him and barks, and the manner in which beasts of prey capture their victims, completely transcend the capabilities of merely physically co-ordinated forces. (2) The educability of the lower animals is incompatible with the purely mechanical theory. We can train dogs, horses, lions, and bears to respond to words or arbitrary signs by definite movements of a complicated character, -- an impossible process if they were merely machines. (3) Finally, the ingenious construction of the various sense-organs, and their similarity in many of the superior species of brutes with those possessed by men, confirm the doctrine that brutes are endowed with a faculty of sensuous apprehension. It would appear also from such facts as the barking of dogs in their sleep, the flight of defenceless animals at the sound of an enemy's voice, and the resort of most brutes to particular places for food, that they possess some of the internal sensuous faculties, such as organic memory and imagination. How far these powers in animals resemble the corresponding faculties in man, we are unable to determine. The most striking of these internal aptitudes is that directive principle of action which in common language is called instinct. Its character, however, will be better understood when we have distinguished between animal and rational intelligence.

Animals are devoid of Intellect or Reason. -- We have (c. xii.) exhibited at length the nature of this faculty, the essential characteristic of which consists in the apprehension of the universal. The ground for our present proposition lies in the fact that the brute creation do not exhibit various signs which would inevitably be manifested by sentient beings endowed with intellectual faculties:

1. Mode of Action. -- The lower animals do not show that individual free variation in method and plan of action, and that intellectual progress which ought to mark the presence of personal intelligence. Thus, animals of the same species, when in similar circumstances, exhibit a striking specific uniformity in their operations. They all seek their prey, build their nests, and foster their young in the same way. Amongst rational beings, on the contrary, we find in everything the signs of individual personality. The ants and bees in the time of Moses or of Aristotle worked as perfectly as theIr descendants of to-day; and geese and sheep acted not more awkwardly. There is no evidence that during all the time brutes have existed upon the earth, they have invented a single mechanical instrument, lit a fire, or intelligently transferred a useful piece of information from one generation to another. The few trivial instances cited here and there of some animal seizing a club or other rude implement that fell in its way, only establish the more clearly the enormous chasm which separates the brute from the rational being.

The certainty possessed by us that animals are incapable of the most elementary inventive activity, is clearly shown by the fact that, on the discovery of a few rough but similarly pointed flint stones in Palaeolithic strata, those writers who maintain the specific identity of animal and human faculties were the very first to assert that these rude contrivances are the work, not of an intelligent beast, but of a rational man. The division which separates the simplest exercises of reason from the highest forms of animal intelligence, is thus felt to be impassable. But if any species of animals were endowed with intellect or reason, they could not have remained all these ages in the condition in which we find them. Sentient beings possessed of reason or personal intelligence would be certain to make use of their intellect in attending to, comparing, reflecting upon, and reasoning about the various pleasant or painful impressions by which they were affected. They would in this way be led to introduce modifications and improvements into their methods of work, they would invent tools and try changes to suit their surroundings; and, stimulated by curiosity -- the most primitive and useful form of the desire of knowledge -- they would inevitably make intellectual progress. It is absolutely incredible that beings capable of universal ideas, or of the simplest acts of generalization and inference, should have been unable during all these thousands of years to invent such a rude tool as the stone arrow-head of the Palaeolithic age. In spite, therefore, of the occasional performance of apparently ingenious or complicated actions, we must conclude that the lower animals have not intellect.

2. Rational Language. -- No beast yet discovered is capable of making use of a system of rational signs, whilst all races and tribes of men are found to be endowed with intelligent speech. Both man and brute are capable of expressing feeling; and some animals, such as the magpie and the parrot, can be trained to utter articulate sounds: but rational language, which is radically distinct in kind from these phenomena, is possessed by man alone. The essence of rational speech is the expression of thought, the communication of universal ideas. Thus in the utterance of the proposition, "This water is cool," there are involved the universal ideas of cool, and of water, as well as the most abstract notion of all, that of being, which is expressed in the copula. Similarly, the phrases, "Milk hot nice," and "Big Bow-wow" (horse), of the infant just learning to speak, presuppose intellectual abstractive operations of a grade immeasurably beyond that to which the most intelligent animal has ever attained.{3}

Whether thoughts be manifested by vocal or visual signs is unimportant; but beings endowed with reason and associated together could not remain without inventing some means of rational intercommunication. The reflective activity of intellect combined with the social instinct would inevitably lead these beings to manifest their ideas to each other, were such ideas in existence. The cries of one animal, of course, often serve to awaken the rest of the flock to threatening danger or prospective enjoyment, but these utterances differ in nature from rational language. They are merely indicative of concrete experiences, and the whole process is easily explicable by the well-known action of the laws of association. There is no ground for supposing that such sounds differ in kind from the emotional expressions of man.{4} Parrots have organs capable of uttering all the sounds in the alphabet and they can be trained to articulate short phrases with wonderful distinctness, but this fact shows only the more conspicuously the absence of real intelligence. No bird has yet been produced, which combines even the most familiar words in new orders so as to form other intelligible propositions. The most accomplished parrot is separated from the child by an immeasurable distance in this respect.{5}

3. Moral Notions. -- Again, if the lower animals possess intellect, they must be moral beings capable of notions of right and wrong, merit and desert, justice and injustice; and they must be accountable for their acts. But, in spite of our anthropomorphic tendencies, the universal judgment of mankind has ever refused to attribute morality or responsibility to beasts. We may, indeed, at times inflict pain on them in order to attach unpleasant recollections to the performance of certain actions, and we may apply moral epithets to them in a metaphorical way, somewhat as the farmer describes a particular soil or pasture as kind or ungrateful; but a moment's reflexion will always speedily assure us that we never really consider the lower animals to be free responsible creatures. We make a very clear distinction in our mind between the moral character of the act by which a horse kicks a man to death, and that by which one man murders another,

4. Absurd consequences. -- Finally, if the ingenious operations performed at times by the lower animals are to be assigned to a personal intelligence similar in kind to that of man, then, to several species, notably ants and bees, admittedly very low down in the scale of life, there must be attributed intellectual endowments far exceeding those of man himself, as well as those of the highest animal organisms. But this is obviously absurd. The true conclusion from these various considerations is that man's cognitive powers differ from those of the brute not simply in degree, but in kind. He is endowed with a personal intelligence, with a faculty of forming universal concepts, of reflecting upon himself, of communicating his thoughts to others, and of apprehending moral relations. They are utterly incapable of eliciting any such acts as these. They frequently surpass him in the range and subtilty of special senses, and still more surprisingly in the possession of certain mental aptitudes of a complex but uniform character comprehended under the term Instinct, but they are separated from him by the boundary which divides rationality from irrationality.

Instinct. -- The various ingenious operations performed by the lower animals are usually allotted to instinct; but about the inner nature of this endowment, it seems to us that very little is yet positively known. The epithet instinctive is frequently employed in a wide sense to include acquired habits of action, original dispositions to any form of movement, whether random or purposive, and also purely reflex actions devoid of all antecedent or concomitant consciousness. In modern Psychology there is a tendency to confine the adjective to conscious acts which are connate or unlearned, complex, and purposive in character. Strictly speaking, Instinct is not a continuous impulse towards a special mode of action, but an aptitude by which this impulsive action in response to particular stimuli is directed or guided.

Scholastic view of Instinct. -- Schoolmen placed this faculty among the internal senses, with the title of Vis AEstimativa. Conceived according to their view and in harmony with common usage, Instinct may perhaps be best defined as a natural aptitude which guides animals in the unreflecting performance of complex acts useful for the preservation of the individual or of the species. In the Scholastic system the Vis AEstimativa is a property of the sentient soul, analogous though inferior to rational judgment in man. It is of an organic character, but involves more than the direct response of the special senses. It does not merely distinguish between pleasant and painful impressions, but guides the animal in a series of movements remotely serviceable to its nature. The lamb, St. Thomas observes, does not flee because the colour or form of the wolf is disagreeable, and the bird does not collect twigs for its nest because they are attractive in themselves; but both animals are endowed with a faculty which under appropriate conditions is excited by these phenomena to guide them in the execution of an operation ulteriorly beneficial to their nature. Yet neither has a consciousness of the formal relation of such an act to the end to be attained; neither may have had any previous personal acquaintance with that end; and neither is led to the act by a process of reasoning. It must not be forgotten, however, that to say a particular operation is due to instinct or to Vis AEstimativa is not to explain it; but merely to distinguish it from certain activities, and to group it with others the cause of which is still unknown.

Nature of Instinct. -- The essential features of Instinct are well described in the following passage: "The character which above all distinguishes instinctive actions from those that may be called intelligent or rational, is that they are not the result of imitation and experience; that they are always executed in the same manner, and, to all appearance, without being preceded by the foresight either of their result or of their utility. Reason supposes a judgment and a choice: instinct, on the contrary, is a blind impulse which naturally impels the animal to act in a determinate manner: its effects may sometimes be modified by experience, but they never depend on it."{6} Again: "One of the phenomena fittest to give a clear idea of what ought to be understood by Instinct is that which is presented to us by certain insects when they lay their eggs. Those animals will never see their progeny, and can have no acquired notion of what their eggs will hecome; and yet they have the singular habit of placing beside each of those eggs a supply of elementary matter fit for nourishing the larva it will produce, and that even when that food differs entirely from their own, and when the food they thus deposit would be useless for themselves. No sort of reasoning can guide them in doing this, for if they had the faculty of reason, facts would be wanting them to arrive at such conclusions, and they must needs act blindly."{7} Such facts, which might be multiplied indefinitely; prove that animal "intelligence" is different, not in degree, but in kind from human intellect. Although uniformity is the most marked characteristic, there is also observable in many instincts a certain flexibility by which they can be modified, and adapt themselves within limits to altered circumstances.

The Origin of Instinct, together with the formation of sense-organs, has ever been one of the most insuperable difficulties to those who deny the creation of the universe by an Intelligent Author. Here especially the ingenuity of evolutionists has been severely taxed to find some plausible explanation of the phenomena. Two chief views have been advocated, but each has suffered severe handling from supporters of the rival hypothesis; and the probabilities against either explanation, when carefully thought out, seem to us so enormous as to render them incredible.

(1) Theory of Natural Selection. -- According to Darwin, the great majority of animal instincts have been formed by natural selection operating on chance variations in actions and organs. Those fortuitous acts which proved beneficial to the agent, giving their authors an advantage in the struggle for life, tended to be preserved and increased by heredity and survival of the fittest in each generation. Isolated acts first casually and of course rarely performed have thus, it is held, been converted into the wonderfully stable and complex tendencies now exhibited in the instincts of insects, birds, fish, and mammals.

(2) Theory of "lapsed intelligence." -- Herbert Spencer and others object that such fortuitous beneficial actions could never, or only in an infinite time, result in the complex system of co-ordinated movements seen in many instincts. They themselves maintain that instincts are the outcome not of accidental movements, but of actions originally performed consciously to satisfy a need or attain an end. Such intelligent actions, by frequent repetition, became automatic or acquired reflexes. (p. 218.) They were then transmitted by heredity as organic modifications, being increased and perfected by practice in successive generations. All the more ingenious instincts are thus instances of "hereditary habit," "lapsed intelligence," or "congealed experience" of the race.

Criticism. -- (1) Both Darwin and Spencer assume that habits of action, or modifications of nerve structure, acquired during the life of the individual, are transmitted by heredity. This postulate is absolutely essential to the theory of hereditary habit, and scarcely less so to that of natural selection; but it has suffered the most damaging attacks in recent years, especially from Weismann.{8} This eminent biologist maintains with a great weight of argument that modifications wrought in the organism during the life of the individual are never transmitted by heredity. Such accidental changes do not modify the germ-cells, and so cannot be inherited by the offspring. He allows, of course, that individual characteristics are transmitted, and also that the germ-cells undergo individual variations and may be affected by disease, poison, nutrition, and the like; but he holds that they are not affected by such indirect and superficial influences as the exercise of particular organs and functions. Consequently, increasing strength of faculty is not transmitted and accumulated by continuous exercise during the history of the race. Otherwise, he justly contends, the mathematical, musical, and other special talents seen to be inherited in particular families ought to manifest themselves growing from generation to generation, whereas, as a rule, "the high-water mark of talent lies, not at the end of a series of generations, as it should do if the results of practice were transmitted, but in the middle."{9} He further subjects to severe criticism the stories of inherited mutilations, e.g., horn-less cows and tail-less cats, said to be born of accidentally maimed parents; and he shows clearly the utterly unreliable character of the evidence in regard to the facts. Finally, he gives the results of numerous experiments undertaken by himself, which all go to prove that such organic modifications or mutilations are not inherited. Thus "among 901 young mice (the entire progeny) produced by five successive generations of parents whose tails bad been cut off after birth, there was not a single example of a rudimentary tail or of any other ahuormity in this organ. Exact measurement proved that there was not even a slight diminution in length."{10} In fact, though Weismann's own theory of heredity does not appear to have yet met with wide acceptance, his destructive criticism is deemed by the most competent biologists to have disproved the assumption of the transmission of habits or modifications of the nervous system acquired during the individual life. This conclusion seems to us absolutely fatal to Spencer's theory, and so enormously to increase the already sufficiently numerous probabilities against the Darwinian view as to make the latter quite incredible when carefully and impartially weighed.{11}

(2) To suppose with the "lapsed intelligence" theory that the various ingenious operations now done instinctively by many species of insects and birds, were originally performed with conscious purpose, is to ascrihe to the less evolved remote progenitors of animals still low down in the scale of life a supra-human intelligence.

(3) Further: Many of the most important and most complex instincts are connected with the function of reproduction, and several of these instinctive processes in the case of certain insects, e.g., the nuptial flight of the queen-bee, and the laying and arranging of their eggs by other insects, occur only once in the individual life. What then is the meaning of the saying that such instincts are the result of habitual experience in past individual lives? Would it not be as reasonable to anticipate that a man should unconsciously draw up his will by reflex action because during many generations each of his ancestors have performed the operation once in their lives, or to expect that babies born of Christian parents should at once exhibit an instinct for baptism, as to explain the parental operations of a may-fly preparatory to its decease by acquired habits of its ancestors.? On the other hand, in what way is the natural selection theory better off? For according to that view the extremely complex movements of instinct must be the gradually built-up product an enormous number of fortuitously beneficial actions.{12}

(4) Again: The peculiar instincts of neuter insects, e.g., of working bees, which do not reproduce their kind but leave this office to another class endowed with quite different habits, are an additional difficulty to both the "lapsed intelligence" and Natural Selection theories. This argument has been so admirably stated in the following paragraph that I quote it at length: "Neuter insects which do nothing to propagate their race can do nothing to transmit instinct or anything else. Yet these neuters do all the work of the community, and require the most complicated instincts to do it. To fit them for their object, even their bodily form has often to be entirely different from that of the males and females; and in some species the neuters destined for different branches of work differ entirely from one another. Thus in one kind of ant there are working neuters and soldier neuters, with jaws and instincts extraordinarily different. Yet these neuters are the offsprings of males and females, none of whom, and none of whose ancestors, ever did a stroke of work in their lives. How can their instinct or its instruments have possibly been developed by Natural Selection only? . . . Selection, Mr. Darwin answers, may be applied not to the individual only, but to the race, in order to gain the required end. The good of the race requiring the production of neuters, thus variously modified in form and instinct, those fertile insects may alone survive which tend to produce neuters so modified: and thus may natural selection suffice for the production. The realms of imagination are no doubt infinite, and within their sphere such ramifications of fortuity are perhaps conceivable; but have we not reached the bursting strain of improbability? That direct descent should develop the geometrical instinct of the working bee is hard enough to believe, but here the difficulty is raised to the square. And even if the improbabilities thus piled up be not overwhelming, still the explanation so suggested does not avail so much as to touch the case of slave ants. They exhibit an instinct beneficial, not to their own race, but to another; it can be of no advantage to the tribe from which they are taken that so many of its members should be dragged away to bondage, or, at any rate, if it were so, why should that tribe fight to prevent it, and suffer mutilation and death in the struggle? By what possible process can it have been brought about, that black queens and drones should have been so selected as to produce neuter insects, which will make good slaves for red ants, at the same time handing on to their progeny an instinct that makes them perish in the attempt to avoid that very service for which they have been so laboriously prepared?"{13}

(5) Finally, the extreme complexity of the movements exhibited in many instincts, especially where the exercise of different members and organs have to be combined and the actions of numerous independent muscles correlated, are, as Spencer has recognized, incompatible with origination by fortuitously and independently varying movements. Fractions or parts of the movement that go to make up many instinctive operations would be not only useless but harmful to the author. Yet they could not all have co-operated at the right time by chance.{14} Indeed, many instincts would be fatal to their owners unless they were comparatively perfect. How they could have arisen by insensible modifications is inconceivable. Nevertheless, it is not impossible that some instincts originally of a more indefinite character may have been perfected, and modification effected in others by natural selection and environment. But the attempt to explain the origin of all instincts in this way appears to us doomed to hopeless failure. Certain writers on this topic seem to imply that a false theory is better than none, and that since no more plausible "scientific" hypothesis is forthcoming than the two criticized we must accept either of them. We confess this does not seem to us a very scientific temper of mind.

Animal "Souls." -- The investigations which we have now made into the character of the operations of the animal "soul," render clear the deductions we are justified in drawing concerning its nature, origin, and destiny. The whole weight of analogy proves that in the brute, as in man, the vegetative and sentient principles are identical. This animal "soul," however, is not a spiritual substantial principle: it is not a substantial form intrinsically independent of and separable from its material subject. This doctrine follows immediately from the theses established above. The animal manifests no spiritual activity. It is not endowed with rational intellect; consequently, not with free-will. In other words, all the mental actions exhibited by it are of the lower or sensuous order, and therefore intrinsically or essentially dependent on a material organism. We are accordingly led to conclude that the ultimate principle from which these operations proceed is itself intrinsically and essentially dependent on matter. Actio sequitur esse; as a being is, so it acts; but all the mental acts which we are justified in ascribing to animals are of an organic or sensuous character. Therefore we are bound to infer that the animal "soul" is essentially dependent on the material organism and inseparable from it. It is, consequently, incapable of life apart from the body, and it perishes with the destruction of the latter. On account of this intrinsic dependence on matter, the souls of animals were spoken of by the Scholastics indifferently as material and corporeal. They did not, however, intend by these terms to imply that the principle of vital activities is a bodily substance of three dimensions. They simply meant to teach that it depends absolutely on the material subject which it actuates, just as the heat depends on the matter of the burning coal, and the stamped inscription on the wax. They maintained, moreover, that though not spiritual, the vital principle in animals must be of a simple nature, inasmuch as the activity of sentiency which proceeds from it is a simple immanent operation.

The animal soul is thus, in Scholastic language, a substantial form completely immersed in the subject which it animates. Accordingly, it does not require a Divine Creative act to account for its origin in each successive being any more than a Divine Annihilative volition to effect its destination. It is a result of substantial transformation produced by generation. An existing vital energy is capable, by its action, of reproducing or evoking from the potentialities of matter a new energy akin to itself. But, as at present new life ever proceeds only from a living agent, so a fortiori in the beginning the primordial act by which animal life was first educed from the potentialities of matter must have been that of a Living Being.

{1} "The total absence of language makes our best inferences but feeble conjectures. . . . It is clear that we cannot ascertain the precise bearing of articulate speech on thought and feeling until we are capable of directly observing a type of consciousness in which this instrument is wanting and this is a sufficiently remote possibility. Yet one may roughly infer that the absence of language implies the lack of many of the familiar properties of our own conscious life Is it not probable that the most rudimentary idea of self follows by a long interval the degree of intelligence involved in linguistic capacity? " (J. Sully, Sensation and Intuition, pp. 16, 17.

{2} Careful and acute observer of the physical habits of animals as Darwin was, there is scarcely an author of any importance who has erred more seriously in theorizing about the nature of the mental faculties of beasts. Even a psychologist as sympathetic with evolutionism as Dr. Sully cannot ignore the mistakes of the naturalist in this field. (cf. loc. cit.) Romanes begins his work on Animal Intelligence (pp. 1-6) with an account of the nature of the inference by which we attribute consciousness to animals, but immediately lapses into the vulgar anthropomorphism of the unreflecting mind, as soon as he proceeds to describe and discuss the character of brute intelligence. It is interesting to note how this writer can here, when it suits his object, appeal to "Common Sense" against the "Sceptic." This sudden reverence for vulgar prejudice is a little odd. G. H. Lewes' statement, that the researches of the various eminent writers who have attempted an Animal Psychology have been further biassed by a secret desire to establish the identity of animal and human nature" (A Study of Psychology, p. 122), receives abundant and forcible illustration in both Romanes' works, as well as in Darwin's chapters on this subject.

{3} Cf. chapter xvi., Mivart, On Truth; also his Lessons from Nature, c. iv.; and Max Muller, Science of Thought, c. iv.

{4} Deeper study of the history of language shows so clearly the immensity of the chasm between man and brute that students of Philology are inclined even to exaggerate its importance as compared with the other differentiae. Thus, Max Müller asserts that: "The one great barrier between man and brute is Language. Man speaks, and no brute has ever uttered a word. Language is our Rubicon, and no brute will dare to cross it." (Lectures on the Science of Language. First Series, p. 340.) Professor Whitney is also very emphatic at times on this point: "Moreover, man is the sole possessor of language. It is true that a certain degree of power of communication . . . is exhibited also by some of the lower animals. . . . But these . . . (acts such as the dog's bark, etc.) . . . are not only greatly inferior in their degree to human language; they are also so radically diverse in kind from it that the same name cannot justly be applied to both." (Life and Growth of Language. pp. 2, 3.)

{5} "Animals and infants that are without language are alike without reason, the great difference between the animal and infant being that the infant possesses the healthy germ of speech and reason, only not yet developed into actual speech and actual reason, whereas the animal has no such germs or faculties capable of development in its present state of existence. . . . We cannot allow them (brutes) a trace of what the Greeks called logos, i.e., reason, literally, gathering, a word which most rightly and naturally expresses in Greek both Speech and Reason." (Max Müller, op. cit. Second Series, p. 62.) "The animal without Language is as incapable of abstraction and of what we specially designate Intellect, as, without wings, it is incapable of flight" (G. H. Lewes, A Study of Psychology, p. 223.)

{6} Milne-Edwards, Zoologie, § 319. Cf. also p. 213, above.

{7} Id. § 327. Cf. Janet's Final Causes, pp. 86, 87. "The young female wasp (sphex), without maternal experience, will seize caterpillars or spiders, and stinging them in a certain definite spot, paralyze and deprive them of all power of motion (and probably also of sensation), without depriving them of life. She places them thus paralyzed in her nest with her eggs, so that the grubs, when hatched, may be able to subsist on a living prey, unable to escape from or resist their defenceless and all but powerless destroyers. Now, it is absolutely impossible that the consequences of its action can have been intellectually apprehended by the parent wasps. Had she Reason without her natural Instinct she could only learn to perform such actions through experience." (Mivart, Lessons from Nature, p. 201.)

{8} See his Essays upon Heredity (English Translation), 1889 especially Essays iii. and viii.

{9} Essays as Heredity, p. 96.

{10} Op. cit. p. 432.

{11} The chief arguments urged for the inheritance of experience are: (a) The rapidity with which the instinct of timidity is said to be awakened and increased in wild animals on desert islands, in the second and third generations after they have been invaded by man. (b) The apparent transmission of the results of training in domesticsted animals, e.g., in pointers and sheep-dogs. To this it has been replied: (a) The alleged facts have not been observed with sufficient accuracy; nor is their precise nature clear. The shyness of the second generation may be simply the result of individual experience and parental training operating from birth onwards on a hitherto latent form of a universal animal instinct. (b) The development of particular faculties and dispositions in domesticated animals is much more probably due to the artificial selection pursued in crossing promising breeds, than to the transmission of the organic effects of training. Thus, if puppies with the longest tails were selected for breeding purposes and their tails also frequently pulled, a race of dogs with abnormally long tails would probably be speedily produced; and yet the elongation might be due entirely to the process of selection and not to that of pulling,

{12} "An instinct is nothing else than a series of given acts; a modification of instinct is, therefore, a particular action which becomes fortuitously intercalated in this series. How can we believe that this action, even though it were by chance several times repeated during life, could be reproduced in the series of actions of the descendants?" (Janet, Final Causes, p. 257.)

{13} J. Gerard, S.J., Science and Scientists, p. 118 (London: Catholic Truth Society.) The reader will find packed into this little shilling volume much searching criticism of materialistic evolutionist theories and facts."

{14} Consider the case of the sphex given in note 7.

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