The sensitive consciousness is thus revealed to us

The sensitive consciousness is thus revealed to us as composed of three elements; a permanent self, having a sensitive organism extended in space, and with successive affections of that organism taking place in time. None of these elements, apart from the rest, can he presented or represented in consciousness; and the distinction between sense and … Continue reading The sensitive consciousness is thus revealed to us

The psychological characteristics of the five senses

The psychological characteristics of the five senses in general, omitting those which properly belong to physiological inquiries, may be summed up as follows: The proper function of each and all of them is a sensation, or affection of the nervous organism as animated; which affection, however, does not, and in all probability cannot, exist in … Continue reading The psychological characteristics of the five senses

The object of touch proper has no special name

Touch, however, differs in some remarkable particulars from the other senses. There is no distinct organ appropriated to the tactual sensations alone; and the various parts of the body by which these may be communicated may also be the instruments of other classes of sensations, all of which have been confounded under the general name … Continue reading The object of touch proper has no special name

Touch is regarded by many writers as the most objective

Touch is regarded by many writers as the most objective and the most trustworthy of all our faculties. It has been described as the source of our knowledge of the existence of an external world, and of the real magnitudes, figures, and distances of objects; as the instructor of the other senses, and tire corrector … Continue reading Touch is regarded by many writers as the most objective

Sight is of all the senses the most communicative as a vehicle of information

Sight is of all the senses the most communicative as a vehicle of information, and consequently the one in which there is the least immediate consciousness of pleasure or pain in the exercise. Most of the knowledge, however, which this sense, in its matured state, conveys to us, belongs to its acquired, not to its … Continue reading Sight is of all the senses the most communicative as a vehicle of information

The pleasure derived from music is mainly intellectual

In Hearing, the functions of sensation and perception are perhaps more nearly balanced than in any other of the senses. The subjective character of various sounds, as sources of pleasure or pain to the hearer, maybe contrasted with their objective character, as resembling or differing from each other; and as in the latter relation this … Continue reading The pleasure derived from music is mainly intellectual

Taste, like smell, is thus a modification of touch

The principal characteristics of the sense of Smell are common to that of Taste also. The two senses resemble each other in being both powerful as instruments of feeling, and proportionally weak as sources of information. Tastes, like smells, admit of hardly any classification, except in respect of their relation to the sensitive organism, as … Continue reading Taste, like smell, is thus a modification of touch

The true object of smell is to be found in the odorous particles

In Smell, as in the other senses, it is necessary to distinguish between the sensation itself and its object, which, in ordinary language, are not unfrequently confounded together. Thus we speak of the organ of smell, and of the smell of a rose, using the same term indifferently to signify the act of inhaling an … Continue reading The true object of smell is to be found in the odorous particles

The stronger the sensation, the weaker the perception

Perception is sometimes defined as “ the knowledge we obtain, by means of our sensations, of the qualities of matter.” This definition may be admitted, if matter is understood as including our own bodily organism, as well as the extra-organic objects to which it is related. The former is the only kind of matter that … Continue reading The stronger the sensation, the weaker the perception

Perception proper is the consciousness of the existence of our body

Sensation, in its most general acceptation, is sometimes used to signify the whole of that portion of considerable misunderstanding. Etymologically, the term should denote a turning lack of the mind upon an object previously existing, so that the existence of a state of consciousness is distinct from the reflection on that state. In this sense, … Continue reading Perception proper is the consciousness of the existence of our body

The Matter of intuitive consciousness

Space and time are known to us as formal conditions of consciousness; whether they are anything more than such conditions is a question which at present we have no means of answering. The laws of consciousness must be primarily manifested as binding upon the conscious mind. As such, they necessarily accompany every manifestation of consciousness; … Continue reading The Matter of intuitive consciousness

Consciousness is the result of a human intellect

Consciousness is the result of a human intellect acting in conjunction with a human organisation; and if we withdraw or mutilate either element, we produce, not an actual man, but a hypothetical monster. A being endowed, according to the hypothesis of Étienne Bonnot de Condillac, with a sense of smell only, and identifying himself with … Continue reading Consciousness is the result of a human intellect

The mind is but the passive recipient of impressions from without

The exercise of the locomotive faculty implies a consciousness of space as containing our own body; but the idea of space cannot be said to be derived from locomotion, since the mere volition to move implies a prior consciousness of this relation. Space is thus not by itself an object of sensible intuition, but forms … Continue reading The mind is but the passive recipient of impressions from without

Space is the form or mental condition of our perception

Space is the form or mental condition of our perception of external objects. The phenomena of the material world may vary in an infinite number of ways; but, under every variety, they retain the condition of existing in space, either as being themselves sensibly extended, or as having a local position in the sensitive organism. … Continue reading Space is the form or mental condition of our perception

Preservative Consciousness

In adopting the term presentation or intuition, to express the consciousness of any individual affection of the mind, a writer may be liable to the charge of innovation, in what was, at least in the last generation, the established language of English philosophy. But in this case necessity has no law. We need a term … Continue reading Preservative Consciousness

The general denomination of Intuitions

The distinctive feature of presentative consciousness consists in the fact that it is caused by the actual presence of an individual object, whether thing, act, or state of mind, occupying a definite position in time, or in space, or in both. It is true that this object is not discerned as such, and the consciousness … Continue reading The general denomination of Intuitions

Our personal consciousness

Human consciousness, then, in the only form in which it can be examined and described, is a compound of various elements, of whose separate action, if it ever existed, we retain no remembrance, and therefore no power of reproducing ie. thought. It is impossible to have a distinct conception of an act of pure sensation— … Continue reading Our personal consciousness

Consciousness of things and thoughts

The mind, like the body, acquires its functions by insensible degrees, “ unseen, yet crescive in its faculty,” and we find ourselves in the possession and exercise of nature’s gifts without being able to say how we acquired them. Consciousness proper, as above described, must possess in some degree the attributes of clearness and distinctness. … Continue reading Consciousness of things and thoughts

I know that I know

An animal at this stage of intelligence might, for instance, he beaten for a fault, and the recurrence of the fault might naturally suggest an imagination of the pain; but this imagination need not be consciously regarded as a remembrance of pain felt at a former time. The reproduction would be spontaneous, not voluntary, and … Continue reading I know that I know

An indefinite sense of uneasiness

Let us suppose, for instance the existence of a being, furnished with human organs of sensation, but with no power of remembering or reflecting upon the objects presented to them, and no continuance of any impression beyond the moment of its actual presence. It is probable that, in such a case, though diverse objects might … Continue reading An indefinite sense of uneasiness

To have a complete consciousness

In every complete act of consciousness offered to us for analysis, the presentative and representative elements are combined; and without such a combination it would appear as if consciousness, properly so called, could have no existence. To have a complete consciousness, for example, of any particular object of sense, say of an oak-tree, two conditions … Continue reading To have a complete consciousness

Presentative and representative consciousness

It is sufficient for our present purpose to state, that whatever occupies a distinct portion of space, however arbitrarily distinguished, is an individual object of external intuition; and whatever occupies a distinct moment of time, without extension in space, is an individual object of internal intuition. On the other hand, general notions or concepts, as … Continue reading Presentative and representative consciousness

Time is to individual phenomena of mind

The individual is thus the ultimate object of all actual consciousness; in intuition directly, and in thought indirectly. To complete our explanation, we must therefore determine what is meant by an individual. By the term an individual is meant, in psychology, no more than an object occupying a definite position in space or time. It … Continue reading Time is to individual phenomena of mind

The ultimate object of all consciousness

The same distinction is applicable to mental as well as to bodily phenomena. I feel an emotion of anger; I am conscious of its presence now, as a definite state of mind distinguishable from others. This consciousness is presentative. When the angry fit is over, I meditate upon my past state, and recall in imagination … Continue reading The ultimate object of all consciousness

Consciousness, in its relation to the subject

Consciousness, in its relation to the subject or person conscious, is of two kinds or rather, is composed of two elements—the presentative or intuitive, and the representative or reflective. The phenomena of the former class maybe distinguished by the general name of Intuitions; those of the latter by that of Thoughts. Presentative or intuitive consciousness … Continue reading Consciousness, in its relation to the subject

The facts of consciousness

Physical science does not trouble itself with the inquiry, whether the objects which it investigates are real or apparent; qualities of matter or modes of the spectator’s own mind; whether they are gained directly or indirectly; by innate or acquired powers, by one faculty of the mind alone or by the union of many. Its … Continue reading The facts of consciousness

The whole cycle of human knowledge

The study of the master-minds of the human race is almost equally instructive in what they achieved and in what they failed to achieve; and speculations which are far from solving the riddle of existence have their use in teaching us why it is insoluble. Thus it appears that the term Metaphysics has been at … Continue reading The whole cycle of human knowledge

The cause of change

A short analysis of the principal subjects treated of in the Metaphysics of Aristotle will serve to exhibit the details of the former method, as far as our present limits will permit, the unchanging principle of all change and motion. Sensible substances, the objects of physical science, are subject to change; and all change implies … Continue reading The cause of change

What is the relation of self-evidence to reality?

As the metaphysical writings of Aristotle and his followers are likely to be but little known to the majority of modern readers, it may be useful to add a brief account of the ancient method of treating the subject, which will serve at the same time to exhibit more clearly the chasm which separates the … Continue reading What is the relation of self-evidence to reality?

The laws of things and the laws of thought

If Aristotle for a moment grasped the important truth, that the laws of things and the laws of thought were alike objects of metaphysical inquiry, the conviction produced hardly any result in the details of his treatment: his psychology allied itself chiefly to physics: his metaphysics, after its introductory chapter, deserted the track of psychology. … Continue reading The laws of things and the laws of thought

The hidden element of reality

The problem has thus a twofold aspect, as related to the conditions of being and to the conditions of thought; and its solution may be attempted from the one or the other starting-point. We may commence with abstract principles of being in general, and endeavour to deduce & priori the essential characteristics of existence per … Continue reading The hidden element of reality

The Philosophy of Consciousness

Metaphysics has been defined by Aristotle (and the definition may be for the present provisionally accepted) as the science which contemplates being as being, and the attributes which belong to it as such. The latter definition, while verbally resembling the former, exhibits, in fact, an important modification of it; for it implies that the progress … Continue reading The Philosophy of Consciousness

Phenomenon of Consciousness (18)

We cannot by volition prevent the sensory nerves from transmitting the impulses caused by external relations. For example, we cannot by volition prevent hearing a sound. But these actions may be guided, stimulated and concentrated by volition. If there are several simultaneous sound relations in progress in a room occupied by a listener, he may … Continue reading Phenomenon of Consciousness (18)

Phenomenon of Consciousness (17)

And in these involuntary knockings we have, therefore, an ample potential cause for the genesis of conscious states. But if the cerebrum is not completely or sufficiently rejuvenated when these knockings come, it will resist their untimely intrusion, will resist throwing off the oblivious state. The knocking must be repeated, continued and must perhaps become … Continue reading Phenomenon of Consciousness (17)

Phenomenon of Consciousness (16)

We have already seen that neither the brain record alone nor any existing internal relations of the cerebrum at a particular time or at any time, by voluntary or involuntary action, could generate or bring into activity a power of cognition without a stimulus to brain activity. How, then, does it originate ? We have … Continue reading Phenomenon of Consciousness (16)

Phenomenon of Consciousness (14)

Consciousness, instead of being essential to living bodies, is never even persistent in any living body. It is invariably an intermittent or periodic phenomenon and any tendency toward persistence is generally, if not always, detrimental or destructive to the organism. The average period of consciousness of living animals is about twelve hours, followed normally by … Continue reading Phenomenon of Consciousness (14)

Phenomenon of Consciousness (13)

It appears from this jumble of the imaginary, hypothetical and concrete that the mind is the soul; that it is energy, force and matter and at the same time not matter; that the soul is the disembodied spirit; that the spirit is the disembodied soul while residing in the body and after leaving the body; … Continue reading Phenomenon of Consciousness (13)

Phenomenon of Consciousness (12)

Whatever the mind may be, it is not the brain, and cognitions are undoubtedly either the acts or phenomena resulting from acts of the brain, or of the brain in conjunction with other parts of the living body. There is no doubt that cognitions depend entirely upon the operations of the living body and that … Continue reading Phenomenon of Consciousness (12)

Phenomenon of Consciousness (10)

The phenomenon of consciousness has already been defined as the cognition or knowledge of the existence of self and of the Universe. The word also defines, as previously stated, a certain state or condition of the brain, in which the brain has this power of cognition of self-existence and of other simultaneous cognitions. This phenomenon … Continue reading Phenomenon of Consciousness (10)