Page:Mind and the Brain (1907).djvu/73

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is well-nigh unrealisable in the consciousness of an adult. It is a myth.

Let us, however, imagine this isolation to be possible, and that we have before us a sensation free from any other element. What is this sensation? Does it belong to the domain of physical or of moral things? Is it a state of matter or of mind?

I can neither doubt nor dispute that sensation is, in part, a psychological phenomenon, since I have admitted, by the very definition I have given of it, that sensation implies consciousness. We must, therefore, acknowledge those who define it as a state of consciousness to be right, but it would be more correct to call it the consciousness of a state, and it is with regard to the nature of this state that the question presents itself. It is only this state which we will now take into consideration. It is understood that sensation contains both an impression and a cognition. Let us leave till later the study of the act of cognition, and deal with the impression. Is this impression now of a physical or a mental nature? Both the two opposing opinions have been upheld. In this there is nothing astonishing, for in metaphysics one finds the expression of every possible opinion. But a large, an immense majority of philosophers has declared in favour of the psychological nature of the impression. Without even making the