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

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