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in view when he asks how any object can be regarded as my object, if consciousness belongs to the cross-section. In the very passage in which Prof. Alexander criticizes Prof. Holt, he declares that we know that we know, or that knowing and knowing that we know are one and the same thing, and yet he goes on to deny the possibility of reflective self-consciousness! We have criticized his account of memory as vitiated by this failure to recognize introspection. In Mr. Russell we criticized the attempt to analyse private facts into the same constituents as objective facts, pointing out that the attempt breaks down in the case of the belief-feeling which is declared to be essential for memory. In Prof. Holt both sources of failure are combined. We conclude, therefore, that a psychological theory of memory which shall be in harmony with the principles of these schools of New Realism has not been devised.
THE CONCEPTION OF MEMORY IN THE PHILOSOPHY
OF M. BERGSON
IN Chapter I we said that Samuel Butler was able to justify memory as a biological conception by reason of his view of life. His theories set forth with racy incisiveness furnish interesting parallels to those presented more elusively by M. Bergson, and for this reason will be reviewed here.
In the introduction to Luck, or Cunning? (1886) Butler, referring to his former books, tells us that the aim of Life and Habit (1877) was to show that bodily and mental acquisitions are stores of memory. The aim of Evolution Old and New (1879) was to prove that the memory in question must be 'mindful' and 'designing', while Unconscious Memory (1880) attempted to explain the modus operandi of such a memory.
Luck, or Cunning? is to reinforce the lessons already given, upholding his theory of the interdependence of 'want' and power' against the theory of natural selection. Stripped of all detail the point at issue is this: whether luck or cunning is the fitter to be insisted upon as the main means of organic development.' (Luck, or Cunning? p. 72.) Butler prophesies that what he has to say is more likely to interest future students than his immediate public.
The fundamental fact in the universe is change. 'Life and death are the extreme modes of something which is partly both and wholly neither; this something is common ordinary change; solve any change and the mystery of life and death will be revealed.' (ibid., p. 75.) Common sense sees life and death as distinct states. If a thing is alive it is all alive, if dead, stone dead; and since philosophers try to make the language of common sense serve the purposes of philosophy, it is difficult for thought to comprehend the interdependence of life and death, the organic and the inorganic. Similarly, common sense does indeed know what is meant by a 'thing' or an individual', but philosophy cannot settle either of these two points. . . . The lines we draw, the moments we choose for cutting this or that off at this or that place . are as arbitrary as the moments chosen by a South Eastern Railway porter for leaving off beating doormats.' (ibid., p. 173.) The organism and its environment are interdependent; there is no line between ego and non-ego.
The interdependence of life and death makes it impossible to sever generation from generation. The thread of life cannot be left unshorn between consecutive seconds without necessitating that it should be left unshorn also beyond the grave, as well as in successive generations.' (ibid., p. 314.)
Since for Butler all substance is ensouled' and change in its form betokens change in its mind, and change in mind involves change in form, 'action may be regarded as a kind of middle term between mind and matter; it is the throe of
thought and thing, the quivering clash and union of body and soul.' (ibid., p. 79.)
Just as life is interwoven with death, so is design interwoven with undesign, cunning with luck, a rope of many strands'. ' Since life is teleological and the design is within the organism and not, as Paley taught, in the mind of some external Creator, plant life equally with animal life must be declared 'intelligent'. Butler thinks we should find less difficulty in accepting this doctrine if we did not misinterpret the term 'intelligent'. We use it to express knowing what we do and why we do it, as well as to express 'knowing what to do '. Plants are intelligent only in this latter sense.
Why should life have developed along two main lines and along two only, the animal and the vegetable? Butler's answer is in terms of design. If there arises a point where two courses offer equal advantages, then, since function and form are interdependent, there will arise two sub-divisions of the living form.
Such equal advantages are offered by the policy of sitting still and making the best of what comes one's way and by the policy of going in search of what one can find. The first is the way of plants, the second the way of animals.
Butler faces the question, why does the mental change implied in all life become conscious? It is, he says, a question which seems to require a book to itself. It actually receives, however, only the eleven concluding pages of Luck, or Cunning? Feeling (let us say, ' conscious experience') is declared to be an art, the result of laborious development, and ideas of sense objects are an advanced stage of this art. As an art it is 'the outcome of a mind that is common both to organic and inorganic', but it is not a part of mind itself; it is no more this than language and writing are parts of thought.' (ibid., P. 307.)
Butler's account of the development of this art is scanty. 'It would seem as if, in the first instance, we must have arbi
trarily attached some one of the few and vague sensations which we could alone at first command to certain motions of outside things as echoed by our brain, and used them to think and feel the things with, so as to docket them, and recognize them with greater force, certainty, and clearness— much as we use words to help us to docket and grasp our feelings and thoughts, or written characters to help us to docket and grasp our words.' (ibid., p. 306.)
Sensations would seem to be 'representations' in the sense of standing for', 'signifying', but not in the sense of mirroring', events in the external world. Because the human body is 'ensouled', the introduction of change will involve both body and mind. The molecular vibrations and the vague sensations will occur together. It is the latter which are cognized and from which ideas arise. We are told ideas are no more like the motions of the brain than they are like the movements which gave rise to these. Ideas are declared to be symbolic, 'conditioned by changes going on within ourselves as much as by those outside us'. (ibid., p. 308.)
Of a material substance we know nothing apart from its states or conditions, and these states and conditions are only our way of docketing the kinds of motion going on in the uncognizable substratum.
'If the state of a thing depends upon its vibrations, it must be considered as to all intents and purposes the vibrations themselves-plus of course, the underlying substratum that is vibrating.' (ibid., p. 310.)
a pat of butter is such and such a disturbance of the unknowable underlying substance. In communicating its vibrations, therefore, to our brain a substance does actually communicate what is, as far as we are concerned, a portion of itself. . . . The vibrations of a pat of butter do, then, actually put butter into a man's head. ... The more butter a man sees and handles, the more he gets butter on the brain . . . till,
though he can never get anything like enough to be strictly called butter, it only requires the slightest molecular disturbance with characteristics like those of butter to bring up a vivid and highly sympathetic idea of butter in the man's mind. If this view is adopted, our memory of a thing is our retention within the brain of a small leaven of the actual thing itself, or what quâ us is the thing that is remembered. Thought and thing are one.' (ibid., pp. 311-12.)
For the underlying substance of the pat of butter' read 'the mind of the pat of butter', and perception will be the communication of mind to mind through the medium of matter in motion. Change in the pat of butter is functionally dependent on mind, but similarly the molecular movements conveyed to the human organism also have a functional relation to mind. In terming the relation' arbitrary ' Butler is denying similarity between sensations and vibrations, but he cannot without contradiction of his whole teaching be understood as denying design. The relation is not capricious. (cf. Berkeley's use of arbitrary' with reference to the laws of nature.)
In Life and Habit Butler tells us that perfect knowledge and perfect ignorance are extremes which meet, both alike being unconscious; similarly, perfect volition and perfect instinct are alike unconscious. Awareness of, consciousness of, belongs to a middle region. Knowledge is in an inchoate state as long as it is capable of logical treatment, it must be transmuted into that sense or instinct which rises altogether above the sphere in which words can have being at all, otherwise it is not yet vital.' Science is like offences. It must needs come, but woe unto the man through whom it comes, for there cannot be much beauty where there is consciousness of knowledge, and while knowledge is still new it must in the nature of things involve much consciousness.' (Life and Habit, pp. 29, 38.) The perfect knowledge which is unconscious is the knowledge built up by degrees and transmitted from generation to generation. It is the work of memory.