Foundations and Sketch-Plan of a Conational Psychologyby Samuel Alexander
1. Introductory -- Separation of the mental and the non-mental --
Enjoyment and contemplation
2. Ultimate analysis of mind -- Comparison with other analysis --
'Content' in psychology.
3. Practical and theoretical or speculative conation
4. Contrast of this distinction with other distinctions drawn --
Relation of mental process to movement
5. Plan of psychological details
6. A. Sensory conation -- Two methods of distinguishing sensory
7. B. Instinctive or impulsive conation or perception
8. C. Reproductive conation or wish -- Images -- Association of
9. D. Desire -- Expectation and memory -- Aversion and for-
10. E. Voluntary conation or thinking -- Proposition as object
1. Introductory. Separation of the mental and the non-mental.
In any so called experience we may distinguish, on analysis of the experience, two things which are present together and are experienced in different ways. In the perception of a tree we can distinguish the act of experiencing, or perceiving, from the thing experienced, or perceived. Both the act of perceiving and the tree perceived may be said in different senses to be experienced. But the first is an experiencing, the second is the object experienced of which the act is said to be the perception. The act of perception does not occur in isolation, but is
continuous with other acts of the same or allied kind, and, since this continuum is the mind, the act of perception may be called an act of mind. The perceived object (or perceptum) is continuous with other such objects of experience, and since this continuum is what is called a thing, the object of perception may without risk of confusion be spoken of as a thing (that is a thing in so far as perceived). The thing of which the act of perception is the perception is experienced as something not mental. In the act of perception there are accordingly these two things, the mind engaged in a certain act, and the thing called the tree which is not mental. That these things, the act of consciousness and the object of which it is conscious, are present together and distinct from one another is not a theory or a philosophical postulate, but a description of the event which is the perception of the tree in its simplest terms. What is the meaning of the togetherness of the perceiving mind, in that peculiar modification of perceiving which makes it perceive not a star but a tree, and the tree itself, is a problem for philosophy. So far as concerns the act of perception, a little consideration shews that the mind and the tree are two things so together that the tree incites the response of mind in the form of this act of perception, in the same way as a wall repels a stone thrown at it; the difference being that the wall is mindless, while here the responding thing is a mind founded as we know upon a body. The perceptive act is a reaction of the mind upon the object of which it is the perception.
In a perception, then, two things are present together, the perception and the perceptum. Extending this analysis, we come to distinguish two things in every experience: in sensation, the sensing and the sensum; in an image of memory or fancy, the imaging and the image itself; in an idea, the ideation and the idea or ideatum; in a conception, the conceiving and the conceptum, -- in general an awareness1 and an object: in each case the object of which the mind is aware is a non-mental thing, external, distinct from the mind and revealed to it now as a sensum, now as an image and the like. What it is that makes the tree as a perceptum , and the same tree as an image or conceptum, is again a problem for philosophy. For us it is enough to note the initial fact, that whenever
1 The word awareness is used to cover any conscious mental process whatsoever; it is not used in the limited sense in which the word Bewusstheit is used by a school of German writers as merely a consciousness to which no definite single image or perception corresponds. I fear I did not make it plain in "Mental Activity in Willing and Ideas" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1908-09, that I was using awareness in this general sense.
our minds act there is present along with the act some non-mental thing of which we are said to be aware in that act, or as I prefer to say, which is revealed to us in the act. In perceiving, the mind responds to stimulation from the object perceived. This is not the case in memory or imagination. But the same distinction of the mental and the non-mental still is found. When, owing to some internal physical stimulus or some mental process, the mind imagines or remembers, it experiences, in the two different senses, first itself and second a thing which is not mental, which is present along with the mind, only in the form not of a perceptum but of an image.
It is convenient to distinguish the two kinds of experience which have thus been described, the experienc-ing and the experienc-ed, by technical words. The mental act is 'enjoyed,' the thing sense or ideated is 'contemplated.' I can find at present no better words. 'Enjoy' is taken to cover any experience which is undergone or lived through. It has no reference to pleasure; the enjoyment may be a suffering. Still less is the word used to hint a contrast with what can be understood, as in the words in which Wordsworth speaks of the poet as "contented if he but enjoy the things which others understand." On the contrary, enjoyments can be understood and analysed, and it is the business of psychology to analyse enjoyments. The description and analysis of enjoyments constitute what is known as introspection. Psychology is the science of the act of experiencing, and deals with the whole system of such acts as they make up mental life. The difference between the subject matter of psychology and that of the physical (under which are included the mathematical) sciences is that the second consists of things which are 'contemplated' and the first things which are 'enjoyed' or lived through. These enjoyments are what Locke termed ideas of reflection. But unfortunately Locke treated ideas of reflection as if they were another class of objects of contemplation beside ideas of sensation. It may be added, to prevent misunderstanding, that when I speak of contemplated objects in this last phrase as objects of contemplation, the act of contemplation itself is of course an enjoyment.
2. Ultimate analysis of mind. It is useful to consider the ultimate
1 See on the non-mental character of objects, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1909-10, "On Sensations and Images," especially p. 15, on images. I speak above of contemplated objects as non-mental, or external, in order to avoid the difficulties raised for some readers by calling them physical. When the object is a physical one, its image is physical also, is in fact the same thing as the percept, appearing in a different form.
characters of mind with special reference to Prof. Ward's exposition.1 Of the three elements which he recognizes as entering into any psychosis: attention, feeling and presentation, the element of presentation must, if the above analysis of experience is correct, be excluded, because it is non-mental and does not form a part of the psychosis without an object, -- mind only works in the presence of an outside thing; though we cannot convert the proposition and say that there can be no object or outside thing without a psychosis; for there may be things which exist in all their characters before there are minds to which they are revealed; and there may be characters of things which the mind is not a suitable instrument to apprehend at all. True, also, the psychosis is a different one according as the object is a sensum, an ideatum, etc; or according to the various sensory qualities of the object; or according to the various categories under which he thing presents itself. All that this means is that various psychosis are related to various aspects of the non-mental objects; from which it cannot be inferred either that the psychosis itself contains as part of its own constitution an idea in the Lockeian sense or that it is in some way qualified by a presentation in much the same manner as it is qualified by feeling. We cannot therefore say that mental acts contain a cognitive as well as a conative element. The alleged cognitive element in an experience is purely non-mental. A mental act is cognitive only in the sense that it takes place in reference to some object, which is said to be known. But the variations in the conation with the character of the object are conational variations and not cognitional. The difference in the perceiving of a star and a tree is a variation in some intrinsic character which belongs to conation as such. Psychology is directly concerned with the various intrinsic characters of the enjoyment itself, and the so-called presentation, in any of the senses of that term, does not belong to it directly, but only indirectly as an indirect means of discovering the intrinsic character of the enjoyment.
There remain, then, for the nature of mental acts nothing but the elements of conation and feeling. Of the position of feeling in the mental act I propose to say nothing, recognising at the same time that to do so is a grave defect in this paper. I am content, as at present advised, to regard it as not independent of conation, but as a qualification of conation. The attempt to treat it as sensory does not appear to me successful. At any rate the connexion of feeling with conation is so
1 Art. 'Psychology,' Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed. xxii. 554a (9th ed. xx. 44a).
intimate that I am justified in following Prof. Stout in regarding it as a modality of (a variation in) the conative process.
In his analysis1 Mr. Stout has reverted to the ancient bipartite analysis of mind, grouping the affective and conational elements together under the name of interest, over against the element of cognition. The proposed exclusion of cognition as a separate element amounts to the proposition that there is only one mental process, namely conation with its connected feeling. The tripartite classification of mental elements which has been replaced by a bipartite one, it is proposed here to reduce to the proposition that there is but one ultimate mental process, namely conation. If the name 'attention' be preferred to conation, I have no objection, and freely use the expression. Further, it should be added that in thus excluding presentation from Mr. Ward's triad, I do not recognize as given in enjoyment any further so called subject such as he feels called upon to postulate. The subject, as given in enjoyment and therefore in the only form in which it enters into psychology, is nothing but the continuous tissue of its acts of conation or attention. Finally it may be stated (what has been implied) that these conations or enjoyments are what are called 'consciousness' -- consciousness is the general form of such enjoyment.
It is the intrinsic characters of the conational act, in their variation and combination, which constitute for psychology what might be called the 'content' of the mental process, were not that word so ambiguous that its avoidance seems desirable, as far as that is possible. There are two main senses of the term. The content of a mental process may mean that with which the process is concerned, or it may mean that of which the mental process is made. We may say of a glass of water that its contents are the water. But the water is entirely independent of the glass except so far as the shape and size of the glass, whether cylindrical or barrel-shaped, determine the volume and form of the water. But the contents of the glass, in a different sense, are the material of which it is composed and its shape and size. Now the object experienced is to the act of experience as the water is to the glass. It is a different and independent thing, and the character of the mental act only determines how much of the object is apprehended and in what form. But the psychological contents of the mental process are comparable to the composition and form and size of the glass. And it is such contents which it is the primary business of psychology to describe. In other words, the distinctive characters of mental processes
1 Groundwork of Psychology, London. 1903. ch. III
must be variations of the process itself, not characters of the object. An equally homely example is perhaps still more relevant. The direction of a bicycle varies according as the rider rides with a clear road in front, or a stone lies in the way, or the road bends round a corner. But though we may for convenience describe its motion as that of avoiding a stone or in the slang phrase 'negotiating' a corner, these phrases do not describe the variations of the motion of the bicycle as motions. The content of the motion in the legitimate sense is the varying direction of the motion, and the varying inclination of the machine which the rider has to adopt in order to adapt it to the varying character of the earth as the earth presents itself to the bicycle.1
3. Practical and theoretical or speculative conation. But though cognition is not an element of mental action, nor even in any real sense of the word an aspect of it, the distinction of cognition and conation has if properly defined a definite value. They are not distinguishable elements in every psychosis, but every species of conation assumes two different forms, theoretical or practical, according to the different interest
1 Some writers mean by the content that partial aspect which the real thing or the real world presents according to the particular mode of apprehending it. This corresponds to the water in the above illustration according as it is contained in a tumbler or a barrel or a tank. I prefer always to call that which we apprehend the object, distinguishing these real but partial objects from the fully developed object or thing of which they are side-views. What we contemplate is something or other, which is now a sensum now a thought. It is experience itself which shews that those objects are not discontinuous but belong together. The complete thing or connexion of things is the same thing which reveals itself incompletely when the instrument is incomplete. To be aware of a 'thing,' something permanent with attributes, is only to be aware of one kind of object. Now the above protest against the use of the term 'content' is directed against the attempt to assign content to the mental act except in the sense defined. It is not directed against the use of the term 'content' to describe partial aspects of reality. But I think the usage inconvenient. For after all, the reality or the 'object' or what you 'mean' must itself be the content of the apprehension in which you think it; and so you are with no advantage dealing with contents of which one is the completion of the rest, and you have to explain that the object is the complete content; it is surely better to say that the thing is the complete object. Secondly, to speak of contents misleads one into supposing that these contents are not real, are in some way the work of the mind; and accordingly the caveat has to be reiterated that these contents are real. If you call them objects, no prejudice stands in the way of believing them to be real in their own right. Finally, I believe that the name 'content' blurs the relation of act and that which we apprehend, which it is the object of this paper to make clear. It must be admitted that the choice is one of the conveniences. The inconvenience seems to me to be on the side of content, which has a tainted history behind it. I am not sure that it is not responsible in part for the position maintained by Miss. H. Wodehouse in her Presentation of Reality (Cambridge, 1910, passim) that acts of apprehension have no differences from one another, but only their contents are different.
which the conation possesses. Mental life is indeed practical through and through. It begins in practice and it ends in practice. But in a more specific sense it is sometimes practical and sometimes theoretical or speculative. Theoretical acts of mind are such as subserve the continuance of the object before the mind without alteration of it. Practical acts are such as, through the medium of our bodily movements, alter the object or its relation to ourselves or to other subjects. The practical act which alters the object is the primordial one. All sensory life is in the first instance practical and means pursuit and avoidance. We only have pure cognition or 'theory' when the ulterior act of aggression or embrace or flight is inhibited. Curiosity begins as an act of tearing to pieces or analysis. It ends with the delight of eye and ear, the contemplative senses; instead of pulling the works of the watch to pieces the child is content to watch the wheels go round and listen to their whirr. Hence in the life of the 'theoretical' animal, man, as compared with the more exclusively 'practical' lower animals, the relatively greater importance of sight and hearing, the organs that do not themselves affect the object but only give the signal for those which do.
The same conation is theoretical or speculative (I use the words interchangeably) when the practical attempt to alter the object is suspended and the conation, instead of issuing in movements which alter the object, terminates within the body or leads on to fresh mental processes or issues in speech. The presence of a bone to the eyes and nose of a dog excites a conation which is the instinctive act of prehension. This is practical perception or instinct. The same object may to a man mean not prehension but the shape of a thigh. This is a speculative perception. The great usefulness of speculation for mental life lies in its thus suspending practice and introducing consideration. It will be one of the main objects of this paper to exhibit in detail the identity of each theoretical activity or process of knowing or cognition with some practical activity.
But two qualifications of this positions seem to be needed. In the first place, it is plain that theoretical and practical conation cannot be divided sharply. For every act of theory has some result in bodily movement; and again every piece of practice involves a cognized object, that is, it occurs in relation to an external object which is present along with it and is said to be cognized in so far as and in the form in which it is revealed.
Secondly, the distinction of theory and practice emerges more clearly in the later stages of mental life than in the earlier ones, just because
the lower forms of mental process are more directly concerned with embrace and avoidance of objects. The distinction is, however, still present. In the sphere of mere sensation, sight and hearing are more theoretical than taste or touch. Perception is eminently practical, but its speculative as compared with its practical form may be illustrated by a more obvious example than the one used above, by comparing, for instance, the meaning which a cricket ball has to a person who is trying to catch it as it comes from a particular part of the field (a practical perception) with its meaning to a person who is interested in its round shape or its being leather-bound (a theoretical perception). This latter perception might be practical in its turn if the percipient were a tanner and supplied either for the manufacture of cricket balls. Thus the same object may supply a practical perception to one person and a speculative one to another, or the same person may perceive it partly practically and partly speculatively. The speculative part of a perception is that part which does not enter into the present practical interest, for instance, the leather binding to the cricket player. When we come to images or memories or thoughts, speculation, while always closely related to practice, is more explicit, and it is in fact not immediately obvious that such processes can be described in any sense as practical.
For psychology, then, the important distinction is not between cognition and conation and conation as mental elements, for there is no element of cognition in the mental process itself; but between the practical and speculative varieties of conation. If we choose to replace the terms cognition and conation by knowing and doing respectively, these are not the elements of mental acts, but different classes or varieties of psychoses, distinguished by their different interest. And both of them alike involve on the one hand the object known which is not in the mind at all, and on the other, the conation which is appropriate to that object, or which is the instrument by which that object is revealed. 1
There might still be made in defence of the position that there is a cognitive as well as a conative element in the psychosis, an appeal to physiology. Cognition corresponds, it is said, to the afferent and conation to the efferent side of the process. But this appears to depend on the lingering belief that somehow in the centre there is an affection from the incoming current, which is followed by a motor discharge. This overlooks the essential continuity of the physiological process and divides
1 I do not inquire how far the distinction of practical and theoretical conation as expounded in this paper is identical with that distinction as stated by Mr. Stout in his chapter on "Cognition and Conative Systems," Analytical Psychology ii. ch.7.
it into arbitrary portions. And the whole conception of conscious centres is in the last degree questionable. It is simpler and, I understand, more harmonious with physiological fact to regard the whole process as one. At what particular point of the nervous path the process becomes a conscious one it is not possible to say at present. But at least the process is a continuous one, and difficulty disappears, at least to a great extent, if we regard afferent and efferent paths as merely parts of the arrangement for converting a peripheral excitement into a bodily discharge of movement, and treat the consciousness as a character of the whole physiological transition.
Difference of this distinction from others. It is clear that the distinction of practical and theoretical varieties of each kind of conation is not the same as the distinction drawn by Mr. Ward between two classes of psychoses which he characterises as respectively receptive or sensory and active or motor. For practical and speculative conations are not two classes of conations, but are, as already explained and as will be made clearer later, nothing but different varieties of each kind of psychosis. To enter into detail: the distinction is not that of active and passive or receptive attention. For both speculative and practical conations may be either receptive or active. Nor, again, is the distinction that of sensory or motor. For theory and practice are alike both sensory and motor. They are both sensory in so far as both imply objects present in the experience, upon which the conation or attention is directed. They are both sensory in so far as both issue in movements, which may themselves become in turn apprehended or attended to. It is clear that the distinction drawn here is unlike Mr. Ward's and founded on different considerations.
But without further direct comment on this difference of treatment, it is important to indicate what the relation of the conation is to the motor discharge. All practice is effected by movements. But all theoretical actions also issue in movement. But the motor experience, that is the consciousness of the non-mental motor objects, is not itself part of the conation, but superadded to it. One possible misapprehension is to be guarded against in particular, namely that practical actions mean the direction of attention to movements. Even the highly developed practical acts of desire or volition cannot be represented as defined by the direction of attention to the movements.1 Rather they are
1 This matter is referred to later, p. 264 ii. ch.7.
complicated movements of attention or complexes of conation which, being directed upon certain objects which are non-mental, issue in bodily movements which do in turn become observed and may even, as in considering the means to an end, become observed and may even, as in considering the means to an end, become part of the initial object of attention. But these movements are not the primary determinants of the process of volition or desire. Thus the sight of a purse or an apple may excite desire; but though the consciousness of the resulting bodily movements (some forward towards embracing the object, some resisting possession) sustains the process of attention to the object desired, it is distinguishable from the movements of the attention to the object desired which are the essential ingredients of the desire. So again in willing, the primary object of the conation is 'the remote cue' or end. Willing is the conative process by which this end is transformed from a merely ideal or represented condition into a real or presented condition, and this is effected in the ordinary case through bodily movements. The consciousness of these movements is an additional consciousness (I should say an additional conation) which sustains the primary one. The necessary movements may even be thought of, and the attention in such cases is then partially directed initially upon these means. But this is not the simplest case of willing. The same thing is true, and it is perhaps clearer in the simpler circumstances, of perception, considered in its connexion with instinct. In watching a ball which one is trying to catch, the perceptive conation whose object is the approaching ball is that complex of visual and anticipatory tactual conations which issue in movements of the eyes and more particularly of the hands. But these movements apprehended in consciousness are in addendum to the instinctive movement proper. In the next place, these sensory experiences reinforce the conation itself, because the consciousness of the external movements is itself a fresh conation which travels along the same line of motor discharge as the primary conation. Once more however it is not the case that the attention to the external movements constitutes the instinctive reaction, but rather the instinctive reaction which produces an external bodily change, and this bodily change excites a kinaesthetic 'sensory conation' of a kind which sustains the parent mental process.
5. Plan of psychological details Such being the nature of mental life, the business of psychology is primarily to describe in detail the various forms which attention or conation assumes upon the different levels of that life. It will describe how differently it feels or is enjoyed when we sense or perceive or will or the like. From what has preceded,
it is clear that any such process of conation will need to be distinguished both from the object attended to, or cognised, and from the motor discharge the effects of which in turn may be attended to. For both the object cognised and the organic or kinaesthetic sensa in which attention results are objects contemplated and are not enjoyed. At the same time the exposition should exhibit side by side with the process enjoyed both the object as cognised and the bodily expression.
It must be distinguished, too, from the physiological process which is commonly said to underlie it, or which is more properly described as exhibiting the character of consciousness in the particular form enjoyed. For this, too, is an object of contemplation, and; moreover, is not even directly contemplated by the person who attends or has the enjoyment. But, again, although the mental act is to be described for itself, it stands in an intimate relation with the physiological process, and therefore any physiological knowledge which may throw light on the nature of the consciousness is a proper instrument of psychological inquiry. For the same reason, any legitimate knowledge derived from what is called the unconscious, however that is understood, is available for the study of consciousness. There is no discontinuity on the view adopted here between the conscious on the one hand, and the physiological and the unconscious on the other. But further discussion of these matters is explicitly excluded in order not to break the main thread of the statement.
It might be supposed that to confine psychology to an account of acts of conation or attention, together with whatever further data might be utilised for more fully elucidating and explaining them, would mean the abandonment of the greater part of present psychology. It means, on the contrary, nothing more than a rearrangement of existing material or future material of the same sort. Not a single fact which now enters into psychology would disappear from its purview. It would only assume a different place and value, and be exhibited in a different relation. The object of the following paragraphs is to attempt in the broadest and most tentative fashion to sketch the plan of such an enterprise. Fortunately the problem has been already solved in the case of perception, considered in its connexion with instinct. Upon that topic the best exposition (that of Mr. Stout in his Manual) begins by describing the feel or enjoyment of the acts of conation which constitute instinct. Such an exposition allows us to understand therefrom how in the perceptum the sensory elements can be regarded as qualified by non-sensory or ideal elements. Upon the plan, then, here proposed, in
each case the account of the conation itself must precede. Its cognised object is indicated in correspondence with it, and the bodily expression should follow. Above all, it must be insisted that each so-called act of cognition is some form of conation or attention and consequently the intellectual development will appear as stages in the growth of conation or, to use more pointedly the name of its final development, of volition.
The principle of the inquiry is therefore simple. Since in every experience we have, side by side with each other, two things, one the mind in a mental act and one the non-mental object, in each case there is a conation, and co-ordinately some form which the non-mental world assumes in correspondence with it. It is never true that we have first an object cognised and that then the cognition of the object determines the appropriate conative response. On the contrary, according to the character of the conative act, however brought about the object is revealed under a certain aspect. Thus, to take the case of instinct and perception, the object is not first perceived and then reacted upon instinctively, but in being reacted on instinctively it is perceived, that is it is before us in the form of a perceptum, not of a mere sensum, nor as a memory or thought. An object is not first imagined or thought about and then expected or willed, but in being actively expected it is imagined as future and in being willed it is thought. The expression was used, "the conative act, however brought about." For in some cases, as in perception or sensation, the conation is initiated by the physical action of an object upon the organs of sense. In other cases, as in memory or thinking, it is initiated by some internal physical excitement or by some other mental process. Important as this distinction is, it leaves the principle unaltered. In all cases there is a conation brought about, either by the actual object through physical means or in some other way, not by any antecedent or independent cognition of the object.
For psychological purposes the most important differences in conation are those in virtue of which the object is revealed as sensed or perceived or imaged or remembered or thought. In each case the nature of the conation is the clue to understanding the character of the object. Because certain parts of the perceptual act are not present and actual, but only anticipated or prepared, the object is revealed partially in the form of tied ideas, i.e. it appears as something sensory, qualified by something 'ideal'. The difficulty consists in describing accurately and fully what are the modifications of the conative process in virtue of which the real object assumes its familiar forms of percept or memory or the like, with
which psychology is more specifically concerned. But there are other differences in conation, such as the differences in the sensations, where the character of the conation does not afford the reason of the character of the object. We cannot tell why one sensory process should make us see green and another make us see blue and another make us smell scent. And there are other conations, to which correspond the ordinary scent. And there are other conations, to which correspond the ordinary so-called categories, which call for description from the psychologist. Both these last classes of conative differences stand on a different footing from the differences which reveal an object as sensed or perceived and the like, and in an appropriate sense they may be called material.1 But this is not to be taken to mean that the characters of objects in virtue of which we style them percepta or thoughts or images do not belong to the things themselves. Finally, it must be observed that the cognita which are the objects to which our conations correspond, though always non-mental, are not necessarily present to us as they truly are in reality. They may be imaginary or erroneous and not real, but the distinction of the real from the imaginary, is not one which concerns psychology, or, if it does, only so far as there is a differences in the conation according as the object is before us as real in contradistinction from imaginary.
6. Sensory conation. The greatest difficulty meets us at the outset. The mental act of sensation which issues in reflex movement is so simple as to defy analysis. Its corresponding non-mental object is the sensum. But though it does not admit analysis, it has describable characters. We can note at any rate its characters of intensity and duration. In what cases and in what sense it possesses extensive character (to be carefully distinguished from the extensive character of the sensum) is a debatable point. But when we ask ourselves how we are to discriminate as conations a sensation of green from one of blue or of sweet, we find that there is at any rate no difference of quality in the sensory conations themselves, but only in the sensa. Nor is there, indeed, any difference of quality between conations of any order. All must hold that sensing as such, i.e. as sensory act, possesses some conative character which varies with the quality of the sensum but is not itself a difference of quality. This difference I have ventured to call a difference of direction. But so vague and ill defined is this character that in order to distinguish sensations into their sorts we consciously adopt, or at least we may adopt, either of two indirect methods.
1 See for this A. Messer, Empfindung und Denken, Leipzig, 1908, 50.
The first is to distinguish them by their corresponding sensa. This method is that which the psychologist in general pursues. It is a perfectly legitimate method. The conative differences apparently elude description. The sensory acts are accordingly distinguished by their objects. These sensa are non-mental, and strictly speaking they are the proper inquiry of physics and biology. They are studied by the psychologist with a specific interest. The physicist studies them with more particular reference to the spatial and temporal characters and the other primary qualities of their stimuli. The physiologist studies them in connexion with the neural mechanism which subserves the consciousness of them. The psychologist studies them as a clue to classifying and distinguishing the different sorts of sensory conations. Just as we are unable to discriminate the qualities of smells in themselves, but describe them as the smell of violets or of asafoetida or of roses, so, our discrimination of the acts of sensory attention in themselves being insufficiently delicate, we fall back upon their objects. A conational psychology may accordingly with perfect correctness employ this resource on the same principle as we infer from a man's energetic language the strength of his sentiments.
The second method of distinguishing the various sensory processes would be to describe as far as possible the underlying physiological process indicating the course of the movement in the parts of the brain more particularly concerned, and this is habitually done by the physiologist with the help from the anatomist. This, too, is indirect. And since it is only by experience of the different sensa that we can be sure that such and such a physiological process corresponds with a given sensory process, the reference to the sensum is still indispensable, and the sorting of sensations by their objects seems the directer of the two methods.
That the differences in conation corresponding to the quality of the sensum should admit only of this indirect description is an improbable and at least an unsatisfying solution. There is good reason for believing that these differences are really of a spatial character, really are differences of the locality and direction of the physiological processes, and that that locality and direction are actually enjoyed.1 But to defend this statement, with its implication that mental process is in space as well as in time, raises so many debatable points as to interfere unnecessarily with the course of the exposition. If the suggestion is valid,
1 See Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1910-11, "The Self as Subject and as Person," sections 4, 5.
the place in which the physiological process occurs is really far more intimately concerned with the distinction of sensory processes than the mere indication of the quality of a sensum.
7. B. Instinctive or impulsive conation, or perception. This has been fully described by Mr. Stout as a conative complex, consisting of a train of conations where each actual or sensory conation is qualified by preparation for the next step in the series, and the whole runs down to a close with the attainment of the end. So far as this complex is preformed in the organisation, we have instinct proper. But besides these organic preformations, there are acquired ones, and these come under the same description. This is the mental act of instinct. The corresponding object is the percept or thing perceived. To the preparatory or qualifying tendency corresponds the tied idea or ideal element which enters into every perceived object. The simplest case of such a perceptum is the simple quality (blue or sweet) distinguished from the sensum by its suggestion of the past; not, of course, a quality in the abstract - blue - but in the concrete this blue or this sweet1, that is to say, this thing so far as exhausted by blue or sweet. Or, to speak more accurately, the simple quality is the sensum with the implication of persistence as revealed through the tendency to go on into the same sort of conation. Similarly a percept composed of heterogeneous elements is one in which a sensum is qualified by other elements suggested in the ideal form.
Thus we have to recognize that a thing as perceived contains besides sensory elements other elements present to the mind only in ideal form. The act of perception is the conscious instrument by which these ideal aspects (in addition to, or in qualification of, the sensory ones) are revealed, and the ideal elements or tied ideas are only intelligible psychologically by reference to the qualifying or preparatory conations of the whole conative complex. But the ideal elements are themselves objective and non-mental. They exhibit their true relation to the sensory elements in the course of the perceptual process itself. For as the instinctive movement proceeds, the preparatory movement becomes effectual, and the previous effectual movement drops into the position of a qualifying movement, and there may be a new preparatory movement which qualifies the actual one. Correspondingly the object is revealed as sensory where before it was ideal, and ideal where before it was sensory. In the seen and touched orange the taste is suggested. In the tasted orange the seen roundedness is suggested.
1 Ueber die Erfahrungsgrunlagen Wissens, Berlin, 1906, 27.
8. C. Reproductive conation or wish. Instinct has introduced us to the existence of a qualifying or tied conative tendency. The next stage is the emergence of this tendency from the condition of being a mere qualification of another conation into independence as reproductive mental action. The object is correspondingly revealed as the free idea or image. Under this term are included not only objects of fancy, but those of memory in the wider sense of that term ('primary memory' of James), where an object which has once been perceived appears to the mind without being apprehended as belonging to the personal history of the apprehender or remembered in the strict sense. Whether the reproductive conation is merely a revival of a past conation or involves a further complexity, whether it occurs in the same anatomical places as the perceptual conation, or on some higher but connected level of the brain, is a question which fortunately it is not necessary to discuss here. The reproductive conation means anyhow the existence in the mind of a conation in the absence of the memory object or rather in the absence of objects revealed as sensory. Its existence may be verified more easily in the more complicated case of a train of association or play of fancy, just as the nature of perceptual process is more easily verified in a train of perceptions than in the more subtle case of a single perception. Perhaps it is made clearest by the instance of a free image suggested by a perception, as contrasted with the mere suggestion of a tied image - the familiar instances of a suit of armour leading on to the image of a tournament as contrasted with the perceptual experience in which the armour is said to look cold. In the second case if the hands go out to touch the metal the ideal cold becomes sensory. In the first case, the conation directed upon the tournament does not become sensory. It tends to do so, and may in persons of vivid temperament succeed. "All, idealists," said Mrs. Browning of the French of her period "too absolute and earnest, with them all, the idea of a knife cuts real flesh." Such impulsiveness, when it is theoretical, is hallucination. But while the free reproductive conation shares with the conation of the tied image its non-sensory character, it is unlike the latter (except when it becomes hallucination) in failing to become sensory, and the corresponding objects is freed. What the occasions are which lead to the emergence of free images is no means clear. But it is commonplace to point out how large a share in this process is played by the frustration of what on a later level is called expectation. Free images are largely the offspring of disappointment. Imagine a person who put out his hand in order to feel the armour finding it not cold but warm, or finding that
it receded from his touch. Or the independence of the image may be achieved through the competition of divergent suggestions. Or the still commoner case may occur where a conation arises in the mind which is incompatible with, and is checked by, the sensory environment.
When such reproductive conation becomes sensory, the sensory movement invades the sensory organs, and, as indicated above, we have hallucination as in certain forms of dream.1
7. It is more difficult to designate this form of conation on its practical side by a satisfactory name. It is more than instinct and less than desire. It might be called 'appetite' or 'appetition' because in hunger we are often aware of fleeting pictures of objects which would satisfy the hunger without our actually desiring them. But the name 'appetite' is more appropriate to instinctive impulses when discharged by internal excitement rather than by an external stimulus. The most suitable name is 'wish'. But this, too, is not free from objection; for, generally speaking, when we wish we not only have an imaged object, but we tend to expect it. It might be desirable to invent a technical term - perhaps 'appetition' would serve. But by whatever name the conation is best called, its existence and specific character are verifiable, and it is to be distinguished, though not sharply, from the next stage of conation which is 'desire' proper.
The main facts of association of ideas and free imagination (fancy) come under this head of reproduction or wishing. The law of association is expressed simply thus: that one part of a complex of conations tends to revive the remaining conations in a reproductive form. (E.g. when one of a group of friends is present we wish for the others2.) Accordingly the law is less properly described in terms of the objects, for while it is true that objects which have been together are connected, and it is their connexion which makes us apprehend them together the first time, they are not revived as ideas because of their connexion, but the conation appropriate to the one induces the conation appropriate to the other, and that other is consequently revealed in idea.3
1 This is plainly compatible with the view of Prof. Freud that dreams are the fulfilment of a wish.
2 In the famous meeting of Scotsmen where Charles Lamb expressed the wish that Burns were present, that was a fancy that passed before his mind, called up by association for a son of Burns was to be present. The objectors who said that that was impossible because Burns was dead mistook a fancy for an expectation, a wish for a desire. "An impracticable wish, it seems, was more than they could conceive."
3The objects themselves are not so much associated but (as Kant put it) associable or affined.
9. Desire The next form of conation is familiar in the form of developed desire, which represents the struggle of a reproductive conation (wish) against a felt obstruction. Desire in general, as the word is commonly used, is directed upon the past; to which the name is inappropriate. It is used here at the cost of apparent paradox, for want of any more comprehensive term which includes both varieties. The corresponding cognised objects are the images of expectation and memory. The word 'memory' is used in the strict sense. Both expectations and memories are more than mere images founded on previous experience. They are objects recognised as belonging to the future or the past; or, more strictly speaking, as belonging to the future or the past with which I personally am connected. Thus to take the case of a memory proper (or its process which is remembering), it is more than a recognised object, which is a percept. And it is, of course, less than something recognised as belonging to that past in which I have no share. I cannot remember the death of Caesar, though I can think of its date in time. Thus a remembered object (event) is remembered as mine. It is reconised as something which I experienced before. An expectation is a future object, recognised as belonging to me. Now the acts of expecting and remembering are the theoretical or speculative forms of the same conative activity which in its practical form is desire.
The main outlines of desire are fairly clear. An impulse is initiated whether by a present object, like food, or the idea of one. This impulse is baulked by some felt resistance, proceeding either from the outer world or from ourselves. Owing to this resistance, the object of desire assumes a free ideal form. It is the happening of some event A which now is not, like the fall of a ministry; or generally of some fact that A is B which it now is not. This object may be present in the form of imagery. But this is not necessary. I may simply desire that A be B, where B need not be imaged but may be only a predicate.1 But in order not to complicate the discussion let us take the case where there is imagery. The object of desire assumes this form because the inhibited impulse lacks sensational directions; and it does this the more, the more the hindrance
1This has been constantly made plain by Mr. Bradley. When I apprehended that A is B the object is what Prof. Meinong calls an objective, and in the case of desire it is an assumption (Annahme). In remembering we do not always have a picture of the past, we may only remember that some event happened to me. Here we have the beginning of thought, and the boundaries of the corresponding mental processes of desire and will are not sharp. But it would introduce endless complexity into the text if I attempted to deal with all this even if I were able to at present.
continues. Hence, in desiring, the more the enjoyment is delayed, the more fancy begins to weave about the object images of future fruition, and to clothe the desired object with properties calculated to inflame the impulse. But desiring is more than mere baulked impulse. This is only one element in the process. The other and distinctive element is the insurgence of the appetite against its hindrances. You can mark in desire the rising of the tide, as the appetite more and more invades the personality, appealing, as it does, not merely to the sensory side of the self, but to its ideal components as well. Desire then is the invasion of the whole self by the wish, which, as it invades, sets going more and more of the psychical processes; but at the same time, so long as it remains desire, does not succeed in getting possession of the self. All desire exhibits this 'tantalizing' character. Correspondingly, the object of desire, in virtue of the enjoyed process which has been thus described, while still remaining ideal is contemplated in relation to the self or subject of experience so far as that self can be contemplated; and it is habitually so contemplated as the bodily part of the personality together with such other things as come to be inseparably connected therewith. This relation of the desired object to the self does not mean that the desired object is a state of myself, but only that it is directly or indirectly related to myself, and it thus acquires a warmth and intimacy, to use James's phrase, not possessed by an image of reproduction or fancy. The attention is still directed primarily on the event which the act of desire strains to realise, but in the course of the desiring process it is also distributed over the self, which the struggle in the mind tends to throw up into distinct consciousness not only in its enjoyed but in its contemplated form. 1
Now if you examine expectation, it is precisely these characters that you find. The object comes before us in idea, with the mark of the
1On the self as contemplated, see the paper on "Self as Subject and as Person" (Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1910-11). The above may seem at first sight inconsistent with the statement in a previous page (paragraph 4, p. 247), that is, desiring we do not attend to the movements or other organic reactions by which the object is realised, but it is not really so. We still attend to the object, but incidentally to the process we are made aware of its connexion with our own self. Every mental act means of course the presence, along with the object, of our own enjoyment, but it does not mean contemplation of of the relation of the object to our self, unless that self is thrown up into contemplation as it is through the invasion of our subject or enjoyed self by the desired object. Observe also that while the contemplated self is in general our body and always centres in that, it may include things which are so organically connected with me, e.g. my child or even philosophy, as to form one group of external things centring about the body. Hence a desired object may have warmth even from the relation to my child then to my body.
future on it, or of the not-yet (I shall endeavour presently to explain what the phrase 'the mark of the future', used here means). In so far as it is expected, we both prepare for its presence in actual perception and are stopped from so perceiving it. But it is expected and not merely imaged, because the conation invades and tends to overrun the whole self. In virtue of this invasion of the self, the expected future object is mine and belongs to my future. Thus, while expectation is relatively theoretical, as compared with desire, it is often only incompletely theoretical. The interval between a cold expectation and a warm desire may be filled by expectations of varying degrees of warmth or by desires of varying degrees of coldness. Perhaps we speak more often of expectation when the impulse instead of urgent is calmer and more prospective, and instead of exciting a multitude of organic processes is more contemplative and allied to the purely theoretical. But, whether in pure or mixed form, its essential features are those of desire.
Remembering offers more difficulty. It will be convenient to use 'memory' for the object and 'remembering' for the process. Remembering may be described as an act of desire directed backwards towards the past. In certain phases of remembering, as in seeking to remember some forgotten incident of my life.1, the element of yearning or longing is obviously present. And if we ask why the desiring character of memory escapes recognition a reason may be assigned. Expectation is plainly in affinity with desire. But remembering is more theoretical than expecting. Expectation may be followed by present or sensory fruition, but the past cannot be restored, and accordingly that form of desire which is remembering is inhibited from practical issue and has lost its pungency. But its distinctive features are the same as those of practical desire and the more theoretical expectation. Only the memory has on it the mark of the no-longer or the past. Remembering shares with expectation and desire the invasion of our self by the process along with its object into closer and warmer contact with our present self. Recognizing the object as belonging to our past is this dragging of the object out of the past into myself is present. And we may add, to revert to a principle enunciated earlier in this paper, it is not
1Even when I try to 'remember' something forgotten which is not something that happened to me, e.g. the first line of Paradise Lost or the date of the battle of Actium, I seem to have the implied consciousness that I knew it once, and so such examples of apparent mere ideas fall under this heading.
because the object is first before us as past or as a memory that we then in this way try to bring it from the past into fruition; but because the process which apprehends the past object (itself, of course, set going as a rule by some suggestion or other) invades the present self that the object appears to us a past object which belongs to us, that is as a memory.
The objection may at once be urged that many memories are unpleasant, and that, so far from desiring them, we seek to avoid them. This objection arises partly from the use of the awkward word desire. In truth a memory which we try to avoid presents a complicated situation. So far as we remember the object there is a theoretical conation (a desire) which seeks to bring back and hold the object. To this there is superadded a practical effort to get away from that unpleasant memory.
With practical desire is coordinated practical aversion, where the effort to avoid an object struggles against the fascination of the object which detains the attention. What is the theoretical form of aversion which is coordinated with remembering? It is the process of forgetting. We may verify this in the cases where we try to forget just as we may most easily verify the nature of remembering where we consciously try to remember. It only sounds so paradoxical to equate forgetting and aversion, because in general forgetting takes place below the level of explicit consciousness. We do not in general try to forget as we try to remember. We are not aware of any struggle. This seems to suggest that the demarcation between desiring and wishing is less perfect than appears from the above account, and that it might have been preferable to take them as two stages in the same type of conation. But apart from this question of how far we can notice forgetting, we may observe that what forgetting means is not simply failure of objects to rise into consciousness, but rather their progressive fading from consciousness. Now in a large number, at any rate, of cases it has been made plain by Prof. Freud in his Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens that the forgotten object is disliked and yet (fascinating us like the object of practical aversion) is perpetually trying to emerge into consciousness and betraying its presence by the character of the mistakes of memory which we commit, or mal a propos words or acts. The forgotten object is not in such cases lost; though suppressed, it is not inactive.
There is one point in the above account of expectation and memory which requires elucidation. The object was described as coming before us with the mark of past or future upon it, and the phrase was used
without further ado because the main problem was not to explain how an object comes to us as belonging to the past, but how it comes to be known as remembered, that is as belonging to me and my past. But just as we can say that an object external to us appears to us as an image and not a percept, because of the character of the conations which reveal it, or appears to us as green or red because of differences in the direction of the simple conation, so we may go on to ask what are the conative characters in virtue of which the pastness and the futureness, which I suppose really to belong to the objects themselves, reveal themselves to us as such. The probable answer has been indicated in passing. We become aware of the pastness of an object in so far as the past object is one whose corresponding conation, itself enjoyed in time, tends to invade the person1 without becoming perceptual, while the future object tends to invade the person as to become perceptual. Here in the region of ideation is that enjoyed experience of order in time to which in the object corresponds contemplated order in time. Accordingly the above account which in respect of this matter might seem to beg the question, implies a still greater advance in theoretical activity.
NOTE. In the above I have been dealing directly with remembering or expecting an object. It is clear enough that to remember a past event is also to remember my own mental state as it was in the past, the difference being one of interest. In general I am occupied with the object. But I may be interested in myself, and then the remembered object. But the process of remembering one's own mental state raises certain difficulties which I may treat shortly in a note. Remembering the object and remembering oneself are parallel and indeed numerically identical processes. But there are two differences arising from the fact that I contemplate the object but enjoy myself. First, the past object is presented to me in the only way in which it can, as an image or an ideal
1 I am keeping to the case of 'remembering'. These expressions need slight modification for the simpler level of 'primary memory' or retention.
object, with the mark of the past. But now we have no image of our past mental state in the same form as we have an image of the past object. For we do not contemplate ourselves. We only have or enjoy the renewed mental process corresponding to the past object, though not renewed in the precise form in which it occurred, but in the form appropriate to the image of the past object. This is the meaning of having an image of ourselves, if that expression is employed. Second, it may happen that the same object happens to be present also in perception, as when I say to a man, you are the man I remember meeting yesterday. Here the percept is compared and identified with the separate image. But this need not happen. It is enough for remembering him that he should invade my present self, no matter with what objects I am presently concerned. But what need not happen as regards the object always happens as regards the self. I am perceptually enjoyed, and, though I need not be perceiving the old object, I at any rate am here. But allowing for these superficial differences, the remembering of myself and of the object are the same. The mental process which I am said to remember comes before me with the mark of the past; it is on the backward edge of the 'broad' present of myself. But it is already enjoyed as a part of myself, being continuous with the remainder of myself. The distinct consciousness of its belonging to myself is the consciousness of that invasion which has been described. The remembering of my past state is the bringing a state of myself which is enjoyed with the mark of the past into greater dominance in my present as against the resistance of the processes now dominant in my present. As it becomes more and more vivid in my enjoyment, it still does not, except in the case of hallucination, become present as an enjoyment concerned with a present object. If it did so it would be expectation.
The question might be asked: If the memory of myself is but a renewal of a past state invading my present self, am I aware of the renewal as being a renewal? The answer is no. To be aware of this renewal of an ancient state as a renewal would be more than remembering it or myself. It would be to have a theory about my present self, viz. that it is identical with an intellectual construction which I, or rather someone else, might contemplate and call my past self. But this, so far as it is a possible feat, is more than remembering myself. To be aware of the renewed mental state as a renewal would mean that I can compare it with an image of my past. But this image does not exist, in distinction from the renewal. Neither be it observed does it exist in remembering the object, so long as we confine ourselves to
remembering. A remembered object is not the appearance of an image known to be an image of some object, but only a past object known as past and known for mine. In the same way, to enjoy a renewed state and to drag it into intimacy with my present enjoyed self is to enjoy it as mine and past, and that means as belonging to me in the past.
Possibly there is still an obscurity as to the process of establishing this intimacy. Contrast the remembered mental state with the immediately preceding past event which I do not remember but still retain in my mind. That is immediately continuous, as I feel it fading away, with my present and forms indeed a part of it. But compare this with the memory of what I felt a week ago when I renewed acquaintance with a former friend. These mental states lie on the same side of me as the immediately preceding state, and not on the same side as the mental states just dawning in me on the side of the future. But to realise vividly that they are remembered past conditions is it to recognise them as mine through this obstructed tendency of them to usurp my whole present. I hold them there instead of letting them slip back out of my mind as I do with the immediately preceding event which I am (we are supposing) not remembering.
If any difficulty is still felt, it must be, I think, because of the immense detail of our feelings which we may have in our minds when we recall a past state of ourselves. But so far as these are mental states the account given applies. So far as we are remembering our bodily condition, it must be carefully observed that this belongs to the objects we remember and enters as a constituent into their detail. There is no reason to doubt that the memory of our past states is enhanced if our interest can be spread also over their objects, which are indeed inseparable from them. But this raises no problem.
10. E. Voluntary conation or thinking. Volition may be described as the effective entry of a reproductive conation into the system of conations which constitute the self or subject or experience. The corresponding cognitum, i.e the object present along with it, which assumes this form because of the character of the conation, is a judgment, or let us say in order to avoid confusion with the act of judging, a proposition, which is but the verbal expression of what is judged. The act of judging is the theoretical or speculative form of the act of willing. This is no mere statement of an analogy between willing and judging. Willing has been described as the self-realization of an idea with which the self is identified. This is precisely what on any view of the logical import of propositions occurs in judging. The proposition, which to avoid
controversy is taken to be the common subject-predicate one, asserts that the more or less undefined subject is qualified by an ideal or universal predicate, which gives it definiteness, or we may say that the relatively abstract predicate is realised in the relatively concrete subject. What corresponds to the "identification of the realised idea with the self" is stated later. This is sufficient to justify a close analogy. But here the act of judgment is maintained to be literally an act of will. The proposition which is the cognitum of the judgment is the object willed.
This may briefly be further explained. According to the ordinary analysis of willing, the process is one in which an object first presented in idea1 is converted into the same object presented in perception. Willing to lift the arm is the (enjoyed) conation by which the lifting of the arm, regarded as merely ideal, becomes the actual lifting of the arm. The realisation in the case of the practical or ordinary act of will is effected by the attachment of the willed object to the self of the willer. By this is meant that the willer's self becomes engaged in the work of bringing the willed object from ideal into actual existence. So far as he is able to produce the object willed, the conation of which it is the object, becomes involved in the complex practical machinery which constitutes his efficient self. The consciousness that this takes place is the so-called fiat of the will. Take as an example a case of willing where the object is something entirely external to me, e.g. that you should leave the room, or that half my fortune should descend to my son. Here I first entertain the willed object, your going out or your being out of the room, in idea, and then this idea is taken up into myself and becomes real so far as the realisation depends upon me. You may resist, but I push you out or order you out, and so long as the will is maintained, so long is the practical effort made to secure the real existence of your exit. In the case of the legacy I will the steps necessary to secure the future performance of the testament. I set in train the actual process by which half my fortune becomes transferred to my son.
In may be well to point out the contrast of this analysis to certain statements which are made about volition: (1) It is sometimes alleged that when I will I will a state of myself. In the cases mentioned above the object willed is something quite distinct from me, in one case
1Not necessary is the form of imagery. It may be only that the arm is lifted, presented not as a judgment but as an affirmation (without assertion), i.e. as an assumption.
something which will only exist when I have ceased to be. It is not the object willed which is necessarily a state of myself, but the act of willing itself which brings the object willed into intimate relation with myself, so that the object as a result of the willing becomes not a state of myself but closely linked with me.1 When I will to lift my arm or to go to London, I do, indeed, will a state of myself; and myself or my body is presented in idea at the initiation of the act of willing. But these, though, perhaps the commoner, are after all only special cases. (2) It is sometimes said that, in willing, the object is a certain action or movement to be performed and that the attention is directed upon that. That may and does occur when we also will the means to the end, or when the means occupy our minds and we almost forget the end. But from the above account2 it follows that the movements by which the will is effected externally are never the primary object, but are the expression, primarily, of the act of willing itself. Willing is attention to the end.3 (3) Lastly, it may be observed that in the above another missapprehension has been guarded against. The object of will is not a percept or image, but is the qualification of something perceived or imaged. It is of the form A being B. Consequently, while it may take the form of an image of AB, the qualification need not be imaged and, as a matter of fact, is not always presented as a separate image. The object of will may be only thought.
The entry of the object of will into the conative system requires a few more words of elucidation. Any object whatever in so far as experienced is taken up into the total mass of conations which are the subject of experience. So, for instance, a mere reproductive conation with its corresponding image is more or less closely adherent to the subject. But it is relatively independent. In fact the lower forms of conation differ from will and also from desire by this relative want of systematic organic connexion with the whole. Willing is a process by which the independence is broken down and replaced by organic
1 See the same point in connexion with desire, p. 257.
2 See paragraph 4, 247.
3This is James's statement. Cp. W. McDougall, Social Psychology, ch. ix. The real clue to understanding the nature of volition appears to be comparison with the process of trial and error in perception (cp. Baldwin, Mental Development in the Child and the Race, New York and London, 1895, ch. xiii). In that process, the animal modifies his percept through uneasiness at failure to attain his end. In willing the modifications of the object perceived, what we called above the qualification of a percept, is thrown out into consciousness in ideal form. In the same way the animal remembers (I am using the word in the loose, general sense) the actions which were successful and repeats them. In willing man thinks of means which have to be used to secure the modified situation.
connexion; and linking up is enjoyed as such in the fiat or the feeling of consent. Secondly, while the new object is more intimately related to the conations which make up the self in the special sense of the personality, that is our habitual and highly organized interests, including our bodies, the mass of conations which constitute the subject includes not only these but all directions of activity of the subject. The contemplated object corresponding to all this mass of conations is the whole world as it occupies our minds, including ourselves as its centre. Hence in willing not only have we the consciousness that the act of willing is ours and consequently the event willed is related to us, but we have also the awareness that this event is a part of the world, has in this sense reality. The whole world, in the presence of which the subject exists, is enlarged by the introduction of some new object. Desire wants this sense of accomplished linkage of the new conation to the old. The linkage is still ideal. On the other hand the struggle which is characteristic of desire throws up into prominence the presence of the personality. And hence will most nearly approaches to desire, where the decision is clinched after conflict and suspense. Thirdly, the object willed is not the same in the preliminary stage, in which it is only entertained as it is in the actual fiat or decision, when it is realised. For, while there, as in desire, it is only entertained in connexion with the self, here that connexion is established. There is all the difference that there is between a percept and a mere image. The object revealed in the preparatory stages is revealed more fully in the actual volition itself, in the act of decision.1
It is clear now what the object of volition is, which is thus contained in the initial act of willing and realised in the completed will. It is some matter of fact in the most general sense of that phrase, some connexion within the real world, which real world includes our self. This reality of the object is the cognitum which is the object of the fiat or consent of the will. In other words, it is in willing that objects (which on the lower levels may indeed have been present with a 'coefficient of reality', with the sensory 'tang') become known as real, where, once more, 'real' means non-mental reality and doesn't not imply contrast to the illusory. Such a matter of fact is stated in a proposition. This proposition states the so-called end of the volition and states that end
1 Thus I agree with Miss Wodehouse, op. cit. ch. xiii, that there is a difference of 'content' between the Assumption (Annahme) and the Judgment (Urheil) and not a mere difference of mental attitude. But I should of course also assert that there is a difference of mental attitude, a difference in the apprehending process, as well.
as attained. Thus in our examples it is the proposition 'you are out of the room', or 'half my fortune descends after my death to my son', or 'my arm is lifted', or 'I take a train to London'. The will Delendo est Carthago is directed upon the object Carthago est deleta or deletur. It is not the proposition 'you are about to go out of the room' (to confine ourselves to the one case), still less the proposition 'you are to go', that is 'you are under constraint to go, out of the room'. The object in question is not necessarily conceived as future. It is the business of the act of will to secure its future existence. What is as a matter of fact future is thus made actual and present. This is the answer to an objection which might be taken, that if the object of the volition is a proposition that proposition is not true. The answer is complex. In the first place, in judging 'you are out of the room', I do not judge 'you are already out of the room' before I will it. Secondly, in so far as I will it, I do bring the fact which is expressed in the proposition into existence. Unless the action is deferred or obstacles occur, the object begins to be true the the act of willing it, that is it begins to be actual instead of being an idea. Lastly, while every judgment begins thus to be true in so far as it is willed, and willing ensures the reality of what it judges, we are not concerned to maintain that every judgment, because it is an act of speculative will, is true in the sense of being really true. We are only concerned with the fact that it is believed. The distinction of what is valid from what is objective has from the first been declared to be outside the scope of our inquiry.
In fact the logical proposition, unless it contains within its import a reference to time, does not itself refer to distinctions of time.1 When I say 'this grass is green' I do not mean 'it is green at this moment, though it may not have been green at the last moment'. Propositions may of course refer to the future: 'it is going to rain': or to the past: 'it has rained during the last hour'. But it is clear also that there may be a will directed to the future as such, as in the case of the legacy or any resolve -- 'half my fortune comes to my son, when I am dead'. I may also have a will directed upon the past, in the same sense as I may have desire for the past. But from the nature of the case, since the past is physically not to be restored, the will like the desire is in this case theoretical.
Thus in all practical volition the cognitum is a proposition, just as in all desiring the object is an idea of expectation or memory. In all
1 This is not the same thing as saying that it is timeless or contains no reference to time
theoretical judgment the act of judging is an act of theoretical willing. The fiat if the practical will is now the fiat of the speculative will, which is belief. The only difference between the two kinds of willing is that in the practical volition the conations issue in practical physical movements; in the acts of judgment they only lead to fresh mental actions or issue in speech. It must not, of course, be supposed that the act of will is in the same respect speculative and practical at once. When I will you to be out of the room, the proposition 'you are out of the room' is practically willed, not speculatively judged. After you have been put out I can make the judgment 'you are out of the room', but it is now a theoretical will directed on the same object as before but with a different interest, and leading not to practical modification but to speculative advance.
The above account has been dealing with judgment as being the fundamental set of thought. A fuller treatment of the identity of willing and thinking would need to treat on the same lines the precise character of the other forms of thought: -- conceiving, with its universals for object, which are an element in judging; and inference, which is a judgment that includes the grounds of a proposition, where the grounds correspond to the means of a volition. These matters, and in particular the nature of conception, raise questions difficulty. Other matters barely hinted at above are the nature of belief; and the important question of the relation of judgments proper to assumptions (Annahmen). But also there has been omitted the whole development of the object of the speculative will. What has been discussed above is singular propositions. There remains the psychology of judging universal proposition. Above all there remains the psychology of how science or true belief comes to be, if not created, yet extended and made into a fresh level of mental development.
But the principal object of the paper has been not completeness, but to indicate how the series of conative acts are related to their non-mental cognita, and how they assume a speculative as well as practical form. Tentative even as a sketch, it is still more so in some of its detail. But it is still more deficient in its failure to deal with the stages of feeling and in barely indicating the various stages of external movement.