thus acquired leave traces or dispositions behind, which furnish the possibility of the origination of new, derived faculties. An incessant interaction between the conscious and the unconscious is therefore in constant progress.—Of the more specific psychical phenomena Beneke describes especially the significance of the relation of contrast for the emotions, and the tendency of psychical elements to extend their impress over the whole psychical state ("liquidation"). The distinction between the higher and lower levels of consciousness is to be explained by the great multiplicity and variety of the elements and processes coöperating in the development of consciousness (Psychologische Skizzen, 1825-7; Lehrbuch der Psychologie als Naturwissenschaft, 1833).
Beneke passes deliberately from psychology to metaphysics by means of an analogy: In our inner experience we become acquainted with a part of being as it is in itself, and we afterwards naturally conceive that part of being which we only know as external, objective being (material nature), after the analogy of our own self. But this analogy does not mislead him into the substitution of an idealistic interpretation for the mechanical explanation of nature (Das Verhältniss von Seele und Leib, 1826).
According to Beneke ethical judgments arise through reflection concerning the kind and manner in which our feelings are set in motion by human actions. This viewpoint dominates his youthful essay, Physik der Sitten (1822). Strongly influenced by Bentham, he placed greater emphasis on the objective side of ethics later on, in the fact that he took special account of the way in which the actions affect the welfare of living beings (Grundlinie der Sittenlehre, 1837).