« PredošláPokračovať »
'It appears to me that the very fact of the occurrence of re-presentation on the second occasion of the performance of what was, in the first instance, purely instinctive behaviour, suffices to explain quite naturally the new power of transcending the “blind and ignorant present". For these re-presentative factors—these “ elements reproduced by association are on the second occasion present in experience just before they are, or may be, presentatively supplemented through actual behaviour. A re-presentative factor, present in consciousness, anticipates, in temporal sequence, the occurrence of a like presentative factor.' (ibid., pp. 45, 46.) The elements reproduced' might be seen to precede the behaviour by some spectator who could watch the whole sequence of occurrences, but how does such a fact of preceding necessitate an anticipatory attitude in the experient? The
reproduced elements' do not bring their past history with them and a warning, 'mind, what has been will be'. The whole point for Prof. Lloyd Morgan is that there is no quality of 'has been' for the experient. To term these factors
' 're-presentative' is misleading. What could unconscious enjoyment re-present to conscious perception? The latter might just as well swim in out of the blue on the top of a purely physiological stage of evolution as emerge after an initiating stage of enjoyment. So long as the cortex played its part all would go well. Consider also Prof. Lloyd Morgan's comparison between the rapturous song of a blackcap and the inspired outpouring of a poet. He asks, 'Is this enjoyment dependent on that expression, or is the expression dependent on unconsciously integrated enjoyment ?' (Report of the Eighty-Ninth Meeting, British Association, 1921, p. 166.) As regards the blackcap he replies :
His song is primarily the outcome of the unconscious poise of a psychical system, correlated no doubt with a physiological poise. In that sense the expression in song depends on unconscious enjoyment-or, if it be preferred, the behaviour in song depends on the integrated life-process with which the unconscious enjoyment is correlated.... And what of the poet?
I think that he too may tell us that unconscious integration of the emotional order precedes the imagery in which it is expressed—that, as he may put it," the poetic inspiration strives to findexpression"—that the clothingin imagery depends on the prior affective integration as yet unconscious.' (ibid., p. 166.) Why should we not add here also, ' or if it be preferred, the behaviour in versifying depends on the integrated life-process with which unconscious enjoyment is correlated'? Prof. Lloyd Morgan has never shown us why we should not. He has never demonstrated that the affective integration really counts. The whole significance is found in the correlated cortical processes. It is not the affective value of a situation that is important for the poet, but the messages received from the subcortical centres by his cortex.
After all, then, have we found in the scheme of Emergent Evolution the point of view which we sought? I fear not. Past experience is a meaningless conception for a consciousness which emerges in the manner described by Prof. Lloyd Morgan, nor can such a consciousness furbish up the plain tale of the Behaviourist.
ADDENDUM TO CHAPTER II Prof. Lloyd Morgan's Gifford Lectures, Emergent Evolution, were published after the whole of this essay was ready for the press. There is so much to appreciate in this lucid exposition of his philosophic position that the criticism in the above chapter may well seem captious. Yet the grounds of the criticism remain. The account of memory in Lectures 4, 5, and 6 shows no change in essentials. Prof. Lloyd Morgan's view of the nature of primitive consciousness is open to the same objection as before : it is incapable of bearing the superstructure that is built upon it. One cannot understand how the 'go' and `intrinsic' relations of the higher levels of consciousness emerge from the primitive consciousness depicted.
Prof. Lloyd Morgan denies that primitive consciousness can have reference to anything beyond itself. In the old sense of 'representative perception' no doubt this is true. He holds that there can be no reference until there is revival of past experience. Primitive consciousness is treated as if it were wholly passive, as if sensory presentation were a complete psychosis. Of a chicken which has its first presentation
а. of a rice grain, he says, “The pecking response is coming but has not yet come.' (Emergent Evolution, p. 101.) If we assume that the chick's experience, its 'minding', to use the author's term, has in it no activity, nothing relative to the coming', we meet with the difficulty already discussed ; viz., how can the response, when it comes, teach the chick anything? How can repetition of the situation ad infinitum improve matters? Can the click-clack of events in itself make 'click' refer to clack'? This is the real question. We have maintained that it cannot unless there is a forward thrust from 'click' to 'clack'. It is just this forward thrust which would constitute primitive reference, linking ' something beyond’ to the 'this ’.
By his answer to his question, 'Is there a stage in the individual development of an organism in which consciousness is eventually emergent, when there are sensory presentations that as yet carry no meaning? From the point of view of emergent evolution there is such a stage-one at which a behaviouristic interpretation of that which happens is adequate and sufficient even if we acknowledge psychical correlates' (ibid., p. 100), Prof. Lloyd Morgan puts a spoke in the wheel of evolution which seems to me to render the further emergence of consciousness unintelligible. A similar difficulty confronts one in the doctrine of primary retention. How is memory to be reached from a primary retention for which there seems nothing but a physiological basis and physiological 'qualities'? In such retention there is no preparation for the 'go' and 'intrinsic' relations of memory. (cf. ibid., $ xxiii.)
The difficulty to me is that when, as here, Prof. Lloyd Morgan falls back upon physiological events as a basis for the characteristics of psychical events, he seems to require that the former shall occur in that specific' way which presupposes the psychical correlates. (cf. ibid., p. 16.) Do we really get free from a circular argument? It is tempting to say,
Yes, if the circle is replaced by a coiled spiral.' We are told that the whole physical system from bottom to top is also from top to bottom a psychical system'. That being so the transitions from level to level of the hierarchy need explanation from above as well as from below; 'the richer cannot adequately be interpreted in terms of the poorer'. (ibid., p. 204.) Now in the case of primitive consciousness and primitive retention Prof. Lloyd Morgan cuts us off from the interpretation in terms of the richer, and in so far as he does this he breaks the spiral. We fail to understand how'revival'can emerge from retention conceived as a purely physiological process of renewal.
HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF THE TREATMENT OF
MEMORY BY PHILOSOPHICAL WRITERS FROM
MEMORY in philosophical psychology was treated primarily as a kind of knowledge requiring analysis and only secondarily as a way of knowing requiring explanation.
For understanding the present-day theories of memory it is worth while to look at the account of memory given by the line of
British writers from Hobbes to Spencer. Although the purpose in view is psychological it is impossible to consider a writer's account of memory apart from his epistemology and general philosophic standpoint.
Strictly speaking, Thomas Hobbes does not belong to the Empirical School which was so influential in shaping psychology, but his psychology is empirical in character, and it is helpful to begin the survey with a statement of his views.
All science should be deduced from the study of the fundamental attributes of bodies : extension and motion. These then are the basis of all reality.
All which qualities called Sensible, are in the object that causeth them, ... but divers motions; (for motion, produceth nothing but motion.) But their apparence to us is Fancy, the same waking, that dreaming.' (Leviathan, 1651, pt. I, ch. 1.)
After the object is removed, or the eye shut, we still retain an image of the thing seen, though more obscure then when we see it. And this is it, the Latines call Imagination, from the image made in seeing; and apply the same, though improperly, to all the other senses. . . . Imagination therefore is nothing but decaying sense ; and is found in men, and many other living Creatures, as well sleeping as waking. The decay of Sense in men waking, is not the decay of the motion made in sense ; but an obscuring of it, in such manner, as the light of the Sun obscureth the light of the Stars; which stars do no less exercise their vertue by which they are visible, in the day, than in the night. . . . Any object being removed from our eyes, though the impression it made in us remain ; yet other objects more present succeeding, and working on us, the Imagination of the past is obscured, and made weak; as the voice of a man is in the noise of the day. From whence it followeth, that the longer the time is, after the sight, or Sense of any object, the weaker is the Imagination. For the continual change of mans body, destroys in time the parts which in sense were moved.' (ibid., ch. 2.)
In contrasting memory with sense Hobbes uses the instance of a man's remembrance of the houses of a foreign city. The traveller cannot distinguish them so particularly in his mind as he did ; some house or turning escaping him ; yet is this to remember ; when afterwards there escapeth him more par. ticulars ; this is also to remember but not so well. In process of time the city returneth but as a mass of buildings