Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/616

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[BODY AND MIND
PSYCHOLOGY


connexion already in the case of the emergence of desires, and seen that desire in prompting to the search for' means. to its end is the prirnurn rnovens of intellect ion (cf. § 3 5). But intellect does much more than devise and contrive in unquestioning subservience to the impulse of the moment, like some demon of Eastern fable; even the brutes, whose cunning is on the whole of this sort, are not without traces of self-control. As motives conflict and the evils of hasty action recur to mind, deliberation succeeds to mere invention and design, In moments of leisure, the more imperious cravings being stilled, besides the rehearsal of failures or successes in the past, come longer and longer flights of imagination into the future. Both furnish material for intellectual rumination, and so we have at length (1) concepts of general and distant ends, as wealth, power, knowledge, and ~self-consciousness having arisen-that concept also of the happiness or perfection of self, and (2) maxims or practical generalizations as to the best means to these ends. Instead of actions determined by the vis a lergo of blind passion we have conduct shaped by what is literally prudence or foresight, the pursuit of ends that are not esteemed desirable till they are judged to be good. The good, it is truly urged, is not to be identified with the pleasant, for the one implies a standard and a judgment, and the other nothing but a bare fact of feeling; thus the good is often not pleasant and the pleasant not good; in talking of the good, in short, we are passing out of the region of nature into that of character. It is so, and yet this progress is itself so far natural as to admit of psychological explication. As already urged (§ 34), the causes of feeling change as the constituents of consciousness change; also they depend more upon the form of that consciousness- as this increases in complexity. When we can deliberately range to and fro in time and circumstances, the good that is not directly pleasant may indeed be preferred to what is only pleasant while attention is confined to the seen and sensible; but then the choice of such good is itself pleasant-pleasanter than its rejection would have been. The mention of deliberation brings us to the perennial problem of “ the freedom of the will." But to talk of will is to lapse into F d the confusions of the old faculty-psychology. As me °m' Locke long ago urged: “The question is not proper, whether the 'will be free, but whether a man be free.” 1 In the absence of external constraint, when a man does what he likes, we say he is “externally free "; but he may still be the slave of every momentary impulse, and then it is said that he is not “ internally ” free. The existence and nature of this internal freedom is the problem. But if such freedom is held to imply a certain sovereignty or autonomy of self over against momentary pro pensions and blind desires, there can obviously be no question of its existence till the level of self-consciousness is reached and maxims or principles of action are possible. The young child, the brute and the imbecile, even when they do as they like, have not this freedom, though they may be said to act spontaneously A resolutely virtuous man will have more of this freedom than the man of good moral disposition who often succumbs to temptation; but it is equally true that the hardened sinner has more of it than one still deterred in his evil ways by scruples of conscience. A man is internally free, then, whenever the ends he pursues have his whole-hearted approval, whether he say with Milton's Satan, “ Evil be thou my good, ” or with Jesus, “Thy will be done." But this freedom is always within our experience a relative freedom; hence at a later time we often declare that in some past act of choice we were not our true selves, not really free. But what is this true self more than our ideal? Or perhaps we prefer to say that we were free and could have acted otherwise; and no doubt we might, if the place of the purely formal and abstract concept of self had been occupied by some other phase of that empirical self which is continuously but at no one moment completely, presented. It must then be admitted that psychological analysis in this case is not only actually imperfect, but must always remain so-so long, at any rate, as all that we discern by reflection is less than all we arc. But this admission does not commit us to allowing the possible existence of a liberurn arbitriurn indzferenliae, sometimes called “absolute mdetermin1sm"; for that would seem to differ in no respect from absolute chance or Caprice. On the other hand, the rigidly determinist position can only be psychologically justified by ignoring the activity of the experiencing subject altogether. At bottom it treats the analysis of conduct as if it were a dynamical problem pure and simple. But motives are never merely so many quantitative forces playing upon something inert, or interacting entirely by themselves. At the level of self-consciousness especi-Essay concerning Human Understanding; ll. xxi. §§ Io sqq. ally motives are reasons and reason is itself a motive. In the blind struggle of so-called “ self-regarding " impulses might is the only right; but in the light of principles or practical maxims right is the only might.” This superiority in position of principles is only explicable by reference to the inhibitory power of attention, which alone makes deliberation possible and is essentially voluntary; that is, subjectively determined. But no, it may be objected, deliberation in such cases is just the result of painful experiences of the evil of hasty action, and only ensues when this motive is strong enough to 'restrain the impulse that would otherwise prevail. Even if this be granted, it does not prove that the subject's action is determined for and not by him; it merely states the obvious fact that prudence and self-control are gradually acquired. Authoritative principles of action, such as self-love and conscience, are no more psychologically on a par with appetites and desires than thought and reason are on a par with the association of ideas. Relalion of Body and Mind.

47. The question of subjective initiative leads us naturally to that concerning the connexion of mind and organism, to which we now proceed. In development and efficiency, in parallelism the intensity and complexity of their processes, mind ° and brain keep invariably and exactly in line together. Striking and impressive instances of this correspondence are to be found in comparative psychology, and especially in mental pathology; but it is needless here to enlarge on a point which in the main is beyond dispute. In this correspondence lay the plausibility of the old materialism. But a closer scrutiny discloses an equally impressive disparity: We reject materialism, accordingly, while still maintaining this psycho neural parallelism to be a Well-established fact. From this we must distinguish a. second sense of parallelism founded on the disparity just mentioned as pertaining to the psychical and neural correlates. We may call this physiologic-psychological, or, more briefiy, methodological, parallelism. It disclaims as illogical the attempt to penetrate to psychical facts from the standpoint of physiology, so persistently and confidently pursued by the old materialists. It also forbids the psychologist to piece out his own shortcomings with tags borrowed from the physiologist. The concepts of the two sciences are to be kept distinct, as the facts themselves to which they relate are distinct. Confusion is inevitable if the psychologist, for example, talks of his volition as the cause of his arm moving, when by arm movement he means the process described by the physiologist in terms of efferent excitations, muscular flexions, and so forth; or if the physiologist speaks of a sensation of red as produced by retinal stimulation due to light waves of a certain length, when by sensation he means what he immediately experiences on looking at a field poppy. This methodological convention, as we may call it, implies a more stringent interpretation of causation than that expounded by ]. S. Mill and his contemporaries. It does not, however, forbid psychological inferences on the basis of physiological facts, nor vice versa. But in spite of this distinctness of the facts, and of the standpoints from which they are respectively studied, their causal relation cannot be simply ignored: it is, however, a problem that pertains strictly to the higher standpoint of philosophy. There have been in all four different theories of this relation within modern times: (1) that of mutual interaction-the common-sense view-very inconsistently maintained by Descartes; (2) the “ occasional ism " substituted for this by Geulincx and the later Cartesians; (3) the pre-established harmony of Leibnitz; and (4) the monism of Spinoza, which reduced matter and mind to parallel attributes of the One Substance. The last of these-severed, however, from Spinoza's metaphysics-is still perhaps the prevailing theory, and to it the term psycho physical parallelism most properly applies. For whereas the parallelism first mentioned states a real correspondence between psychical processes and neural processes, but leaves open the question of a possible interaction between matter and mind, modern psycho physical parallelism is a pure hypothesis concerning the relation of psychical facts to physical theories, on the ground of which-as we shall presently see—any interaction between matter and mind is expressly denied.

  • The right is only relative, of course, when the maxims are

“hypothetical ”-to use Kant's phrase, —but it is absolute when the maxim is “ categorical.”