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them ready made, and of a more final, stereotyped character.
Nevertheless, it is plain we must ascribe both to the brain and body of the new-born infant a far-reaching power of remembering or reproducing things which have already come to their development thousands of times over in the persons of its ancestors. It is in virtue of this that it acquires proficiency in the actions necessary for its existence—so far as it was not already at birth proficient in them—much more quickly and easily than would be otherwise possible; but what we call instinct in the case of animals takes in man the looser form of aptitude, talent, and genius.1 Granted that certain ideas are not innate, yet the fact of their taking form so easily and certainly from out of the chaos of his sensations, is due not to his own labour, but to that of the brain substance of the thousands of thousands of generations from whom he is descended. Theories concerning the development of individual consciousness
1 I interpret this: "There are fewer vibrations persistent within the bodies of the lower animals; those that there are, therefore, are stronger and more capable of generating action or upsetting the status in quo. Hence also they require less accession of vibration from without. Man is agitated by more and more varied vibrations; these, interfering, as to some extent they must, with one another, are weaker, and therefore require more accession from without before they can set the mechanical adjustments of the body in motion."—Ed.
which deny heredity or the power of transmission, and insist upon an entirely fresh start for every human soul, as though the infinite number of generations that have gone before us might as well have never lived for all the effect they have had upon ourselves,—such theories will contradict the facts of our daily experience at every touch and turn.
The brain processes and phenomena of consciousness which ennoble man in the eyes of his fellows have had a less ancient history than those connected with his physical needs. Hunger and the reproductive instinct affected the oldest and simplest forms of the organic world. It is in respect of these instincts, therefore, and of the means to gratify them, that the memory of organised substance is strongest —the impulses and instincts that arise hence having still paramount power over the minds of men. The spiritual life has been superadded slowly; its most splendid outcome belongs to the latest epoch in the history of organised matter, nor has any very great length of time elapsed since the nervous system was first crowned with the glory of a large and well-developed brain.
Oral tradition and written history have been called the memory of man, and this is not without its truth. But there is another and a living memory in the innate reproductive power of brain substance, and without this both writings and oral tradition would be without significance to posterity. The most sublime ideas, though never so immortalised in speech or letters, are yet nothing for heads that are out of harmony with them; they must be not only heard, but reproduced; and both speech and writing would be in vain were there not an inheritance of inward and outward brain development, growing in correspondence with the inheritance of ideas that are handed down from age to age, and did not an enhanced capacity for their reproduction on the part of each succeeding generation accompany the thoughts that have been preserved in writing. Man's conscious memory comes to an end at death, but the unconscious memory of Nature is true and ineradicable: whoever succeeds in stamping upon her the impress of his work, she will remember him to the end of time.
INTRODUCTION TO A TRANSLATION OF THE CHAPTER UPON INSTINCT IN VON HARTMANN's "PHILOSOPHY OF THE UNCONSCIOUS."
I Am afraid my readers will find the chapter on instinct from Von Hartmann's " Philosophy of the Unconscious," which will now follow, as distasteful to read as I did to translate, and would gladly have spared it them if I could. At present, the works of Mr. Sully, who has treated of the "Philosophy of the Unconscious" both in the Westminster Review (vol. xlix. N.s.) and in his work " Pessimism," are the best source to which English readers can have recourse for information concerning Von Hartmann. Giving him all credit for the pains he has taken with an ungrateful, if not impossible subject, I think that a sufficient sample of Von Hartmann's own words will be a useful adjunct to Mr. Sully's work, and may perhaps save some readers trouble by resolving them to look no farther into the " Philosophy of the Unconscious." Over and above
this, I have been so often told that the views concerning unconscious action contained in the foregoing lecture and in " Life and Habit" are only the very fallacy of Von Hartmann over again, that I should like to give the public an opportunity of seeing whether this is so or no, by placing the two contending theories of unconscious action side by side. I hope that it will thus be seen that neither Professor Hering nor I have fallen into the fallacy of Von Hartmann, but that rather Von Hartmann has fallen into his fallacy through failure to grasp the principle which Professor Hering has insisted upon, and to connect heredity with memory.
Professor Hering's philosophy of the unconscious is of extreme simplicity. He rests upon a fact of daily and hourly experience, namely, that practice makes things easy that were once difficult, and often results in their being done without any consciousness of effort. But if the repetition of an act tends ultimately, under certain circumstances, to its being done unconsciously, so also is the fact of an intricate and difficult action being done unconsciously an argument that it must have been done repeatedly already. As I said in "Life and Habit," it is more easy to suppose that occasions on which such an action has been per