Page:American Anthropologist NS vol. 1.djvu/804

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powell] SOCIOLOGY, OR THE SCIENCE OF INSTITUTIONS 733

notion that organized consciousness or mind has existence inde- pendent of the body. So mind is reified and given a subtle tenuous body that can enter or depart from the material body.

To understand the origin of this notion we must first discrimi- nate between inference and cognition, and then realize that cogni- tion is verified inference and that there is no cognition without verification. Then we must understand that inference is the selection of a concept from memory with which to compare a sense impression. The consciousness of the sense impression and the consciousness of the concept are both attributes of self. Hence inference is the comparing of a psychic effect oh self with a psychic memory of an effect on self, to discover whether this cause is like that cause. It thus happens that the self is taken as the standard of comparison in every inference. The objective world is thus gauged by the subjective world. This doctrine in which man is taken as the measure of the universe is known in science as anthropomorphism. In the individual it is the inter- preting of the objective world by concepts of self, and as men communicate concepts to one another in the race it is the inter- preting of the non-human universe in terms of the consciousness of man.

If we understand the nature of inference and its dependence on verification to become valid cognition, we are prepared to understand the origin of the ghost theory by unverified an- thropomorphic inferences which produce fallacies that are only notions.

The fallacies at the foundation of the ghost theory are the fallacies of dreams. The notions of dreams are thus responsible for the primitive doctrine of a ghost as a reified property. In dreams we traverse the regions of space and witness strange scenes and take part in wonderful deeds and have astounding emotions.

That the notions of dream history are reinforced by the psychic phenomena of ecstasy, hypnotism, intoxication, and

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