Mind Self and Society
Supplementary Essay III The Self and the Process of Reflection
It is in social behavior that the process of reflection itself arises. This process should first of all be stated in its simplest appearance. It implies, as I have already stated, some defeat of the act, especially one due to mutually inhibiting impulses. The impulse to advance toward food or water is checked by an impulse to hold back or withdraw through the evidence of danger or a sign forbidding trespass. The attitude of the animal lower than man under these conditions is that of advancing and retreating-a process which may of itself lead to some solution without reflection. Thus the cats in the trick box by continuous erratic movements find at last the spring that sets them free; but the solution thus found is not a reflective solution, though continuous repetition may at last stamp this reaction in, so that the experienced cat will at once release the spring when placed again in the puzzle box. A very large part of human skill gained in playing games, or musical instruments, or in attaining in general muscular adjustments to new situations, is acquired by this trial-and-error procedure.
In this procedure one of the opposing impulses after the other is dominant, gaining expression up to the point at which it is definitively checked by the opposing impulse or impulses. Thus a dog approaching a stranger who offers it meat may almost reach him, and then under the summation of the stimuli of the strangeness of the man suddenly dart away barking and snarling. Such a seesaw between opposing impulses may continue for some time, until, after exhausting each other, they leave the door open to other impulses and their stimuli entirely outside the present field. Or this approach and retreat many bring into play still other characters in the objects, arousing other impulses which may thus solve the problem. A closer approach to the
(355) stranger may reveal a familiar odor from the man and banish the stimulus which has set free the impulse of flight and hostility. In the other instance cited-that of the cats in the box-- one impulsive act after another finally leads by chalice to the setting-off of the spring. The bungling, awkward, hesitating play of the beginner at tennis or on the violin is an instance of the same thing in human conduct; and here we are able to record the player himself as saying that he learns without knowing how he learns. He finds that a new situation appears to him that he has not recognized in the past. The position of his opponent and the angle of the approaching ball suddenly become important to him. These objective situations had not existed for him in the past. He has not built them up on any theory. They are simply there, whereas in the past they had not been in his experience; and introspection shows that he recognizes them by a readiness to a new sort of response. His attention is called to them by his own motor attitudes. He is getting what he calls "form." In fact, "form" is a feel for those motor attitudes by which we sensitize ourselves to the stimuli that call out the responses seeking expression. The whole is an unreflective process in which the impulses and their corresponding objects are there or are not there. The reorganization of the objective field and of conflicting impulses does take place in experience. When it has taken place it is registered in new objects and new attitudes, and for the time being we may postpone the manner in which the reorganization takes place. Current explanations in terms of trial and error, stamping-in of successful reactions and elimination of unsuccessful reactions, and the selective power of the pleasure attending success and the pain attending upon failure have not proved satisfying, but the processes lie outside the field of reflection and need not detain us at present.
As an example of simple reflection we may take the opening of a drawer that refuses to give way to repeated pulls of ever increasing energy. Instead of surrendering one's self to the effort to expend all his strength until he may have pulled off the handles themselves, the individual exercises his intelligence by
(356) locating, if possible, the resistance, identifying a little give on this side or that, and using his strength at the point where the resistance is greatest, or attending to the imagery of the contents of the drawer and removing the drawer above so that he may take out the obstacle that has defeated his efforts. In this procedure the striking difference from that unreflective method which we have just been considering is found in the analysis of the object. The drawer has ceased for the time being to be a mere something to be pulled. It is a wooden thing of different parts, some of which may have swollen more than others. It is also a crowded receptacle of objects which may have projected themselves against the containing frame. This analysis, however, does not take us out of the field of the impulses. The man is operating with two hands. A sense of greater resistance on one side rather than on the other leads to added effort where the resistance is the greatest. The imagery of the contents of the drawer answers to a tendency to drag away the offending hindrance. The mechanism of ordinary perception, in which the person's tendencies to act lead him to remark the objects which will give the tendencies free play, is quite competent to deal with the problem, if he can only secure a field of behavior within which the parts of the unitary object may answer to the parts of the organized reaction. Such a field is not that of overt action, for the different suggestions appear as competing hypotheses of the best plan of attack, and must be related to each other so as to be parts of some sort of a new whole.
Mere inhibition of conflicting impulses does not provide such a field. This may leave us with objects that simply negate each other-a drawer that is not a drawer, since it cannot be drawn, an individual that is both an enemy and a friend, or a road that is a no-thoroughfare; and we may simply bow to the inevitable, while the attention shifts to other fields of action. Nor are we at liberty to predicate a mind, as a locus for reflection-a mind that at a certain stage in evolution is there, a heaven-given inner endowment ready to equip man with a new technique of life. Our undertaking is to discover the development of mind
(357) within behavior that took no thought to itself, and belonged entirely to a world of immediate things and immediate reactions to things. If it is to be an evolution within behavior, it must be statable in the way we have conceived behavior to take place in living forms, i.e., every step of the process must be an act in which an impulse finds expression through an object in a perceptual field. It may be necessary again to utter a warning against the easy assumption that experiences originating from under the skin provide an inner world within which in some obscure manner reflection may arise, and against the assumption that the body of the individual as a perceptual object provides a center to which experiences may be attached, thus creating a private and psychical field that has in it the germ of representation and so of reflection. Neither a colic nor a stubbed toe can give birth to reflection, nor do pleasures or pains, emotions or moods, constitute inner psychical contents, inevitably referred to a self, thus forming an inner world within which autochthonous thought can spring up. Reflection as it appears in the instance cited above involves two attitudes at least: one of indicating a novel feature of the object which gives rise to conflicting impulses (analysis); and the other of so organizing the reaction toward the object, thus perceived, that one indicates the reaction to himself as he might to another (representation). The direct activities out of which thought grows are social acts, and presumably find their earliest expression in primitive social responses. It will be well, then, to consider first the simplest forms of social conduct and return to reflection when we learn whether such conduct provides a field and method for reflection.
The social conduct of any individual may be defined as that conduct arising out of impulses whose specific stimuli are found in other individuals belonging to the same biologic group. These stimuli may appeal to any of the sense organs, but there is a class of such stimuli which needs to be especially noted and emphasized. These are the motor attitudes and early stages in the movements of other individuals which govern the reactions of the individual in question. They have been largely over-
(358) looked by comparative psychologists; or when discussed, as they have been, by Darwin, Piderit, and Wundt, they have been treated as affecting other individuals not directly but through their expression of emotion, of intention, or idea; that is, they have not been recognized as specific stimuli but as secondary and derived stimuli. But anyone who studies what may be called the "conversation of attitudes" of dogs preparing for a fight, or the adjustments of infants and their mothers, or the mutual movements of herding animals will recognize that the beginnings of social acts call out instinctive or impulsive responses as immediately as do the animal forms, odors, contacts, or cries. Wundt has done a great service in bringing these stimuli under the general term of gestures, thus placing the uttered sounds which develop into articulate significant speech in man in this class, as vocal gestures. Another comment should be made upon the conception of social conduct. It must not be confined to mutual reactions of individuals whose conduct accepts, conserves, and serves the others. It must include the animal enemies as well. For the purposes of social conduct, the tiger is as much a part of the jungle society as the buffalo or the deer. In the development of the group more narrowly conceived, the instincts or impulses of hostility and flight, together with the gestures that represent their early stages, play most important rôles, not only in the protection of the mutually supporting forms, but in the conduct of these forms toward each other. Nor is it amiss to point out that in the evolution of animal forms within the life-process the hunter and the hunted, the eater and the eaten, are as closely interwoven as are the mother and the child or the individuals of the two sexes.
Among the lower forms, social conduct is implicated in the instincts of attack and flight, of sex, parenthood and childhood, in those of the herding animals (though these are somewhat vague in their outline), and probably in the construction of habitats. In all these processes the forms themselves, their movements, especially the early stages of these movements for in adjustment to the action of another animal the earliest
(359) indication of the oncoming reaction is of greatest importance and the sounds they utter serve as specific stimuli to social impulses. The responses are as immediate and objective in their character as are the responses to non-social physical stimuli. However complex and intricate this conduct may become, as in the life of the bee and the ant, or in building such habitats as those of the beaver, no convincing evidence has been gained by competent animal observers that one animal give to another an indication of an object or action which is registered in what we have termed a "mind"; in other words, there is no evidence that one form is able to convey information by significant gestures to another form. The beast that responds directly to external objects, and presumably to imagery also, has no past or future, has no self as an object-in a word, has no mind as above described, is capable of no reflection, nor of "rational conduct" as that term is currently used.
We find among birds a curious phenomenon. The birds make an extensive use of the vocal gesture in their sexual and parental conduct. The vocal gesture has in a peculiar degree the character of possibly affecting directly the animal that uses it, as it does the other form. It does not of course follow that this effect will be realized; whether it is realized or not depends upon the presence of impulses requiring the stimulus to set them free. In the common social life of animals the impulse of one form would not be to do what it is stimulating the other form to do, so that even if the stimulus were of such a character as to affect the sense organ of the individual itself as it does the other, this stimulus would normally have no direct effect upon his conduct. There is, however, some evidence that this does take place in the case of birds. It is difficult to believe that the bird does not stimulate itself to sing by its own notes.
If bird a by its note calls out a response in bird b, and bird b not only responds by a note which calls out a response in bird a but has in its own organism an attitude finding expression in the same note as that which bird a has uttered, bird b will have stimulated itself to utter the same note as that which it has
(360) called out in bird a. This implies like attitudes seeking expression in the two birds and like notes expressing these attitudes. If this were the case and one bird sang frequently in the hearing of the other, there might result common notes and common songs. It is important to recognize that such a process is not what is commonly called "imitation." The bird b does not find in the note of bird a a stimulus to utter the same note. On the contrary, the supposition here is that its reply to bird a stimulates itself to utter the same note that bird a utters. There is little or no convincing evidence that any phase of the conduct of one animal is a direct stimulus to another to act in the same fashion. One animal stimulating itself to the same expression as that which it calls out in the other is not imitating in this sense at least, though it accounts for a great deal that passes as such imitation. It could only take place under the condition which I have emphasized: that the stimulus should act upon the animal itself in the same manner as that in which it acts upon the other animal, and this condition does obtain in the case of the vocal gesture. Certain birds, such as the mocking bird, do thus reproduce the connected notes of other birds; and a sparrow placed in the cage with a canary may reproduce the canary's song. The instance of this reproduction of vocal gesture with which we are most familiar is that of the accomplishments of talking birds. In these cases the combinations of phonetic elements, which we call words, are reproduced by the birds, as the sparrow reproduces the canary's song. It is a process of interest for the light it may throw on a child's learning of the language heard about it. It emphasizes the importance of the vocal gesture, as possibly stimulating the individual to respond to itself. While it is essential to recognize that response of the animal to its own stimulation can only take place where there are impulses seeking expression which this stimulation sets free, the importance of the vocal gesture as a social act which is addressed to the individual itself, as well as to other individuals, will be found to be very great.
Here in the field of behavior we reach a situation in which the
(361) individual may affect itself as it affects other individuals, and may therefore respond to this stimulation as it would respond to the stimulation of other individuals; in other words, a situation arises here in which the individual may become an object in its own field of behavior. This would meet the first condition of the appearance of mind. But this response will not take place unless there are reactions answering to these self-stimulations which will advance and reinforce the individual's conduct. So far as the vocal gestures in the wooing of birds of both sexes are alike, the excitement which they arouse will give expression to other notes that again will increase excitement. An animal that is aroused to attack by the roar of its rival may give out a like roar that stimulates the hostile attitude of the first. This roar, however, may act back upon the animal itself and arouse a renewed battle excitement that calls out a still louder roar. The cock that answers the crow of another cock, can stimulate itself to answer its own crow. The dog that bays at the moon would not probably continue its baying if it did not stimulate itself by its own howls. It has been noted that parent pigeons excite each other in the care of the young by their cooings. So far as these notes affect the other birds they have the tendency to affect the bird that utters them in the same fashion. Here we find social situations in which the preparation for the sexual act, for the hostile encounter, and for the care of the young, is advanced by vocal gestures that play back upon the animal that utters them, producing the same effect of readiness for social activity that they produce upon the individuals to which they are immediately addressed. If, on the other hand, the vocal gesture calls out a different reaction in the other form, which finds expression in a different vocal gesture, there would be no such immediate reinforcement of the vocal gesture. The parental note which calls out the note of the child form, unless it called out in the parent the response of the child to stimulate again the parental note, would not stimulate the parent to repeat its own vocal gesture. This complication does arise in the case of
(362) human parents, but presumably not in the relations of par,-nt and offspring in forms lower than man.
In these instances we recognize social situations in which the conduct of one form affects that of another in carrying out acts in which both are engaged. They are acts in which the gestures and corresponding attitudes are so alike that one form stimulates itself to the gesture and attitude of the other and thus restimulates itself. In some stimulates itself. n so degree the animal takes the role of the other and thus emphasizes the expression of its own role. In the forms we have cited this is possible only where the rôles are, up to a certain stage of preparation for the social act, more or less identical. This action does not, however, belong to the type of inhibition out of which reflection springs (though in all adjustment of individuals to each other's action there must be some inhibition), nor does it involve such variety of attitudes as is essential to analysis and representation. Nor is this lack of variety in attitude (by "attitude" I refer to the adjustment of the organism involved in an impulse ready for expression) due to lack of complexity in conduct. Many of the acts of these lower forms are as highly complex as many human acts which are reflectively controlled. The distinction is that which I have expressed in the distinction between the instinct and the impulse. The instinct may be highly complex, e.g., the preparation of the wasp for the larval life that will come from the egg which is laid in its fabricated cell; but the different elements of the whole complex process are so firmly organized together that a check at any point frustrates the whole undertaking. It does not leave the parts of the whole free for recombination in other forms. Human impulses, however, are generally susceptible to just such analysis and recombination in the presence of obstacles and inhibitions.
There is a circumstance that is not unconnected, I think, with this separable character of the human act. I refer to the contact experiences which come to man through his hands. The contact experiences of most of the vertebrate forms lower than man represent the completion of their acts. In fighting, the food
(363) process, sex, most of the activities of parenthood or childhood, attack, flight to a place of security, search for protection against heat and cold, choice of a place for sleep, contact is coincident with the goal of the instinct; while mart's hand provides an intermediate contact that is vastly richer in content than that of the jaws or the animal's paws. Man's implements are elaborations and extensions of his hands. They provide still other and vastly more varied contacts which lie between the beginnings and the ends of his undertakings. And the hand, of course, includes in this consideration not only the member itself but its indefinite coordination through the central nervous system with the other parts of the organism. This is of peculiar importance for the consideration of the separability of the parts of the act, because our perceptions include the imagery of the contacts which vision or some other distance sense promises. We see things hard or soft, rough or smooth, big or little in measurement with ourselves, hot or cold, and wet or dry. It is this imaged contact that makes the seen thing an actual thing. These imaged contacts are therefore of vast import in controlling conduct. Varied contact imagery may mean varied things, and varied things mean varied responses. Again I must emphasize the fact that this variety will exist in experience only if there are impulses answering to this variety of stimuli and seeking expression. However, man's manual contacts, intermediate between the beginnings and the ends of his acts, provide a multitude of different stimuli to a multitude of different ways of doing things, and thus invite alternative impulses to express themselves in the accomplishment of his acts, when obstacles and hindrances arise. Man's hands have served greatly to break up fixed instincts by giving him a world full of a number of things.
Returning now to the vocal gesture, let me note another feature of the human species that has been of great importance in the development of man's peculiar intelligence-his long period of infancy. I do not refer to the advantage insisted upon by Fiske, the opportunities which come with a later maturity, but to the part which the vocal gesture plays in the care of the
(364) child by the parent, especially by the mother. The phonetic elements, out of which later articulate speech is constructed, belong to the social attitudes which call out answering attitudes in others together with their vocal gestures. The child's cry of fear belongs to the tendency to flight toward the parent, and the parent's encouraging tone is part of the movement toward protection. This vocal gesture of fear calls out the corresponding gesture of protection.
There are two interesting human types of conduct that seemingly arise out of this relationship of child and parent. On the one hand we find what has been called the imitation of the child, and on the other the sympathetic response of the parent. The basis of each of these types of conduct is to be found in the individual stimulating himself to respond in the same fashion as that in which the other responds to him. As we have seen, this is possible if two conditions are fulfilled. The individual must be affected by the stimulus which affects the other, and affected through the same sense channel. This is the case with the vocal gesture. The sound which is uttered strikes on the ear of the individual uttering it in the same physiological fashion as that in which it strikes on the ear of the person addressed. The other condition is that there should be an impulse seeking expression in the individual who utters the sound, which is functionally of the same sort as that to which the stimulus answers in the other individual who hears the sound. The illustration most familiar to us is that of a child crying and then uttering the soothing sound which belongs to the parental attitude of protection. This childish type of conduct runs out later into the countless forms of play in which the child assumes the roles of the adults about him. The very universal habit of playing with dolls indicates how ready for expression, in the child, is the parental attitude, or perhaps one should say, certain of the parental attitudes. The long period of dependence of the human infant during which his interest centers in his relations to those who care for him gives a remarkable opportunity for the play back and forth of this sort of taking of the roles of others.
(365) Where the young animal of lower forms very quickly finds itself responding directly to the appropriate stimuli for the conduct of the adult of its species, with instinctive activities that are early matured, the child for a considerable period directs his attention toward the social environment provided by the primitive family, seeking support and nourishment and warmth and protection through his gestures-especially his vocal gestures. These gestures inevitably must call out in himself the parental response which is so markedly ready for expression very early in the child's nature, and this response will include the parent's corresponding vocal gesture. The child will stimulate himself to make the sounds which he stimulates the parent to make. In so far as the social situation within which the child reacts is determined by his social environment, that environment will determine what sounds he makes and therefore what responses he stimulates both in others and himself. The life about him will indirectly determine what parental responses he produces in his conduct, but the direct stimulation to adult response will be inevitably found in his own childish appeal. To the adult stimulation he responds as a child. There is nothing in these stimulations to call out an adult response. But in so far as he gives attention to his own childish appeals it will be the adult response that will appear-but will appear only in case that some phases of these adult impulses are ready in him for expression. It is, of course, the incompleteness and relative immaturity of these adult responses that gives to the child's conduct one of the peculiar characters which attach to play. The other is that the child can stimulate himself to this activity. In the play of young children, even when they play together, there is abundant evidence of the child's taking different rôles in the process; and a solitary child will keep up the process of stimulating himself by his vocal gestures to act in different rôles almost indefinitely. The play of the young animal of other species lacks this self-stimulating character and exhibits far more maturity of instinctive response than is found in the early play of children. It is evident that out of just such conduct as this, out of
(366) addressing one's self and responding with the appropriate response of another, "self-consciousness" arises. The child during this period of infancy creates a forum within which he assumes various roles, and the child's self is gradually integrated out of these socially different attitudes, always retaining the capacity of addressing itself and responding to that address with a reaction that belongs in a certain sense to another. He comes into the adult period with the mechanism of a mind.
The attitude that we characterize as that of sympathy in the adult springs from this same capacity to take the role of the other person with whom one is socially implicated. It is not included in the direct response of help, support, and protection. This is a direct impulse, or in lower forms, a direct instinct, which is not at all incompatible with the exercise on occasion of the opposite instincts. The parent forms that on occasion act in the most ordinary parental fashion may, with seeming heartlessness, destroy and consume their offspring. Sympathy always implies that one stimulates himself to his assistance and consideration of others by taking in some degree the attitude of the person whom one is assisting. The common term for this is "putting yourself in his place." It is presumably an exclusively human type of conduct, marked by this involution of stimulating one's self to an action by responding as the other responds. As we shall see, this control of one's conduct, through responding as the other responds, is not confined to kindly conduct. We tend to reserve the term "sympathetic," however, for those kindly acts and attitudes which are the essential binding-cords in the life of any human group. Whether we agree with McDougall or not in his contention that the fundamental character of tenderness which goes out into whatever we denominate as humane, or human in the sense of humane, has its source in the parental impulses, there can be no doubt that the fundamental attitude of giving assistance in varied ways to others gets its striking exercise in relation to children. Helplessness in any form reduces us to children, and arouses the parental response in the other members of the community to which we
(367) belong. Every advance in the recognition of a wider social grouping is like the kingdom of heaven; we can enter it only as little children. The human adult has already come into society through the door of childhood with a self of some sort, a self that has arisen through assuming various rôles; he turns to his or her own children therefore with what we term "sympathy"; but the mother and the father exercise this attitude most constantly in their parental responses. More than in any other sense, psychologically society has developed out of the family. The parental attitudes, like the infantile attitudes, serve first of all the purpose of the self-stimulation which we have noted in birds, and thus emphasize valuable responses, but secondarily they provide the mechanism of mind.
The most important activity of mind that can be identified in behavior is that of so adjusting conflicting impulses that they can express themselves harmoniously. Recalling the illustration already used, when the impulse to go ahead toward food or rest is checked by an impulse to draw back from a sharp declivity, mind so organizes these mutually defeating tendencies that the individual advances by a detour, both going ahead and escaping the danger of the descent. This is not accomplished through a direct reorganization of motor processes. The mental process is not one of readjusting a mechanism from the inside, a rearrangement of springs and levers. Control over impulse lies only in the shift of attention which brings other objects into the field of stimulation, setting free other impulses, or in such a resetting of the objects that the impulses express themselves on a different time schedule or with additions and subtractions. This shift of attention again finds its explanation in the coming into play of tendencies that before were not immediately in action. These tendencies render us sensitive to stimuli which are not in the field of stimulation, Even sudden powerful stimuli act upon us because there are in our make-up responses of sudden withdrawal or attack in the presence of such stimulation. As I have already stated, in the conduct of lower forms such conflicts lead to the switching from one type of reaction to another. In these
(368) animals the impulses are so firmly organized in fixed instincts that alternatives of reaction lie only between one congenital habit and others. Stated in other terms, the instinctive individual cannot break up his objects and reconstruct his conduct through the adjustment to a new field of stimulation, because its organized reactions cannot be separated to come together again in new combinations. The mechanical problem of mind, then, is in securing a type of conduct coming on top of that of the biologic individual that will dissociate the elements of our organized responses. Such a dismemberment of organized habits will bring into the field of perception all the objects that answer to the different impulses that made up the fixed habits.
It is from this standpoint that I wish to consider the social conduct into which the self has entered as an integral factor. So far as it merely emphasizes certain reactions through self-stimulation, as in the case of the wooing of birds, it introduces no new principle of action. For in these cases the self is not present as an object toward which an attitude is assumed as toward other objects, and which is subject to the effects of conduct. When the self does become such an object to be changed and directed as other objects are affected, there appears over and above the immediate impulsive responses a manner of conduct which can conceivably both analyze the act through an attention shifting where our various tendencies to act direct it, and can allow representation, by holding out the imagery of the results of the various reactions, instead of allowing it to simply enter into the presentation or perception of the objects. Such reflective direction of activity is not the form in which intelligence first appears, nor is this its primitive function. Its earliest function, in the instance of the infant, is effective adjustment to the little society upon which it has so long to depend. The child is for a long time dependent upon moods and emotional attitudes. How quickly he adjusts himself to this is a continual surprise. He responds to facial expressions earlier than to most stimuli and answers with appropriate expressions of his own, before he makes responses that we consider significant. He comes
(369) into the world highly sensitive to this so-called "mimic gesture," and he exercises his earliest intelligence in his adaptation to his social environment. If he is congenitally deprived of the vocal gesture that affects himself as it does others, and the loss is not early made good, in part through other means of communication which in principle follow the same procedure as that of vocal communication, he is confined to this instinctive means of adjustment to those about him, and lives a life hardly above that of the lower animals-indeed, lower than theirs because of his lack of their varied instinctive reactions to the physical and social world about them. As we have seen, in the normal child the vocal gesture arouses in himself the responses of his elders, through their stimulation of his own parental impulse and later of other impulses which in their childish form are beginning to ripen in his central nervous system. These impulses find their expression first of all in tones of voice and later in combinations of phonetic elements which become articulate speech as they do in the vocal gesture of the talking birds. The child has become, through his own impulses, a parent to himself. The same selective process which leads him to use the phonetic elements of the speech about him leads him to use the general types of attitudes of those about him, not by direct imitation, but through his tending to call out in himself in any situation the same reaction which he calls out in others. The society which determines these situations will, of course, determine not only his direct replies but also those adult responses within himself which his replies arouse. In so far as he gives expression to these, at first in voice and later in play, he is taking many rôles and addressing himself in all of them. He is of course fitting himself in his play to take up the adult activities later, and among primitive people this is practically all the training he receives. But he is doing far more than this: he is gradually building up a definite self that becomes the most important object in his world. As an object, it is at first the reflection of the attitudes of others toward it. Indeed, the child in this early period often refers to his own self in the third person. He is a composite of all the
(370) individuals he addresses when he takes the roles of those about him. It is only gradually that this takes clear enough form to become identified with the biologic individual and endow him with a clear-cut personality that we call self-conscious. When this has taken place he has put himself in the position of commenting on what he is doing and what he intends to do from the standpoint of any of the roles that this so-called "imaginative conduct" finds him carrying. In so far as these roles differ, the undertaking has a different aspect, and different elements in the field of objects about him stand out, answering to his own different impulses. If he cannot yet be said to be thinking, he has at least the mechanism of thought.
It is necessary to emphasize the wide stretch between the direct immediate life of the child and this self growing in his conduct. The latter is almost imposed from without. He may passively accept the individual that the group about him assigns to him as himself. This is very different from the passionate assertive biologic individual, that loves and hates and embraces and strikes. He is never an object; his is a life of direct suffering and action. In the meantime, the self that is growing up has as much reality and as little as the roles the child plays. Interesting documents on this early self are to be found in the so-called -imaginary companions" with which many children confessedly, all children implicitly, provide themselves. They are, of course, the imperfectly personified responses in the child to his own social stimulation, but which have more intimate and lasting import in his play life than others of the shadowy clan. As the child completes the circle of the social world to which he responds and whose actions he stimulates himself to produce, he has completed in some fashion his own self toward which all these play activities can be directed. It is an accomplishment that announces itself in the passage from the earlier form of play into that of games, either the competitive or the more or less dramatic games, in which the child enters as a definite personality that maintains itself throughout. His interest passes from the story, the fairy tale, the folk tale, to the connected ac-
(371) -counts in which he can sustain a sympathetic identity with the hero or the heroine in the rush of events. This not only involves a more or less definitely organized self seen from the standpoints of those about him whose attitudes he takes, but it involves, further, a functional interrelationship of this object-self with the biologic individual in his conduct. His reactions now are not simply the direct responses to the social and physical things about him, but are also to this self which has become an object of continually increasing moment. It is made up of social responses to others regarded primarily through their eyes as he takes their parts. Thus a child comes to regard himself as a playmate who must share his toys with other children if he is to keep them as playmates. This compels him to see other characters in the playthings beside their immediate attraction to his play impulse and to that of possession. The plaything becomes a composite object; it is not only that which gives expression to his own impulse but something that keeps with him his cherished friends. His habits of response are reconstructed and he becomes a rational animal. The reconstruction takes place unwittingly as he recognizes the different features in the objects about him which force themselves upon his attention as a self. But as the self becomes effectively organized, it provides the technique that helps the child out of as many situations as it creates. A smooth interplay results between the biologic individual and the self. All conduct that presents difficulties passes into this reflective form. The subject is the biologic individual - never on the scene, and this self adjusted to its social environment, and through this to the world at large, is the object. It is true that the subject in the conversation between the two takes now this role and now that. We are familiar with this in thought-processes which we carry on in the form of a discussion with another individual. One not infrequently puts the arguments which he wishes to meet into the mouth of some advocate of the idea. It is the argument which this supporter of the doctrine offers which appears in thought; and when one has replied to that, it is the reply which he would make that calls out the
(372) next answer. But though the voice is the voice of another, the source of it all is one's self-the organized group of impulses which I have called the biologic individual. It is this individual in action, with his attention on the object. He does not come into the field of his own vision. But in so far as he can address himself, and call out a response, that self and its response does become an object, as we have seen.
It is necessary to make another distinction here, for the experience is subtle in the extreme. At the stage which we are considering, that of the young child, the role of the other which he assumes is taken without recognition. The child is aware of his response to the role, not of the role he is taking. It is only the later sophisticated inner experience that is aware of the character under which the invisible "I" enters the scene, and then only through a setting which must be later presented. The medium of interaction between the subject and object is the vocal gesture with the imagery which gathers about it, but this vocal gesture is but part of a social act. It represents the adjustment to an environment, in the attitude of some overt action. The action is, however, indicated to the self by the gesture, and the self as another social being through its gestures takes the attitude of varying responses-the conversation of gestures which I have already described in the conduct of animals. To this attitude and its gesture the biologic individual, the subject, again replies; but his reply is to the self, while the responses of the self are not directed toward the subject but toward the social situation involved in the attitude which has called it out. Expressed in our adult thought, this is the distinction between the idea that comes into our heads (the idea that occurs to us), and its relation to the world, of which as objects we are a part. It is what the child is preparing to do and the attitudes which he will take in consequence. He starts to do something and finds himself in the early stage of the process objecting and taking some other tack. In a sense he is trying out this undertaking through the medium of communication with a self. Thus the biologic individual becomes essentially interrelated with the self, and
(373) the two go to make up the personality of the child. It is this conversation that constitutes the earliest mechanism of mind. Into it comes the material of perception and imagery which are involved in the actions which these gestures initiate. In particular the imagery of the results of the actions presaged by the gestures becomes of peculiar interest. As we have seen, this imagery goes directly into the object under conditions of direct action. In the presence of alternative activities, in some sense competing with each other, this imagery of the result of the acts is, for the time being, dissociated from the objects and serves to check and call for readjustments.
I have noted two standpoints from which imagery may be regarded. It is there, as percepts are there; and like percepts, imagery can be stated in terms of its relation to the physiological organism; but while percepts are dominantly an expression of an immediate relation between the organism and its field of objects, imagery represents an adjustment between an organism and an environment that is not there. In case that the imagery is fused with the other contents of the percept, it extends and fills out the field of objects. In so far as it does not enter into the immediate environment, it presents material for which an instinctive form can have little or no use. It may serve it as it does us, to pick out objects which cannot be at once detected; but as the objects that enter into the field of perception answer to organized habits, and since an instinctive form cannot reconstruct its congenital habits, images can hardly serve the function which they do in man's mind of reconstructing both objects and habits. This latter function is a development of the function of the image in filling out the object, by putting into that which comes through the distance senses-such as vision and hearing -the content of the contact which actual approach to the object will reveal. Its primal function in reflection is that of determining what course of action shall be pursued, by the presentation of the results of different courses. It is a function that inevitably emphasizes the content of imagery, as the reaction becomes dependent upon the imaged outcome of the process.
(374) And yet this emphasis presupposes something beyond this distinction and its function. It implies a definite location and identification of imagery apart from its fusion with other contents in the object. We have seen that this takes place in the formation of past and future, and in the extension, through these dimensions. of the immediate environment beyond the range of sense perception. However, before this location can take place, the imagery hangs unoriented; and especially as past and future take on more definiteness, the imagery, which does not at once fall into place, needs a local habitation and is placed in the mind.
In terms of a behavioristic psychology the problem of stating reflection is that of showing how in immediate conduct, shifting attention, springing from varied impulses, may lead to reorganization of objects so that conflicts between organized impulses may be overcome. We have just seen that imagery which goes into the structure of objects, and which represents the adjustment of the organism to environments which are not there, may serve toward the reconstruction of the objective field. It is important to present more fully the part which the social activity of the individual mediated through vocal gesture plays in this process. Social acts of this type proceed co-operatively, and the gestures serve to adjust the attitudes of the different individuals within the whole act to each other's attitudes and actions. The child's cry directs the attention of the mother toward the location of the child and the character of his need. The mother's response directs the child toward the mother and the assistance he is prepared to accept. The challenging calls of rival animals, and the wooing notes of birds, serve analogous purposes. These gestures and the immediate responses to them are preparations for a mutual activity that is to take place later. The human individual, through his gesture and his own response to it, finds himself in the role of another. He thus places himself in the attitude of the individual with whom he is to co-operate. The conduct of little children, which is so largely directed, can only go on in combination with that of their elders; and this early
(375) facility in playing the roles of others gives them the adjustment necessary for this interrelated activity. The prohibitions, the taboos, involve conflicting tendencies which appear in terms of personal commands. It is these that recur as imagery when the impulse again arises to do the forbidden thing. Where an animal would only slink back from a forbidden spot, the child repeats the prohibition in the role of the parent. What simply enters into the object to render it dangerous for the animal builds up for the child an imaginary scene, since his own social attitude summons up that of the other in his own response. What was part of an unbroken flow becomes now an event which precedes breaking of the law or compliance with it.
What the assumption of the different attitudes makes possible is the analysis of the object. In the role of the child the thing is the object of an immediate want. It is simply desirable. That which occupies the attention is this answer to the impulse to seize and devour. In the role of the parent the object is taboo, reserved for other times and people, the taking of which calls out retribution. The child's capacity for being the other puts both of these characters of the object before him in their disparateness. The object does not simply lead him on and drive him away, as it does the well-mannered dog. It is with this material that the child sets out upon his creations of imagination: the mother relents and removes the taboo, or when the object is eaten the child escapes attention, or a thousand things may happen in the activities of the different characters on the scene so that the desirable thing is his and its character as taboo, while recognized, fails to bring the dreaded consequences. Or the more matter-of-fact child may take and eat and face the consequence of the whipping as worth the while, thus affecting the union of the conflicting characters in a heroic fashion, but still with the lingering hope that the unexpected may happen that will hide the deed, or change the law or its enforcement. In a word, the sympathetic assumption of the attitude of the other brings into play varying impulses which direct the attention to features of the object which are ignored in the attitude
(376) of direct response. And the very diverse attitudes assumed furnish the material for a reconstruction of the objective field in which and through which the co-operative social act may take place, giving satisfactory expression to all the roles involved. It is this analysis and reconstruction which is rendered possible by the apparatus of the vocal gesture, with its related organic equipment. It is in this field that the continuous flow breaks up in ordered series, in the relation of alternative steps leading up to some event. Time with its distinguishable moments enters, so to speak, with the intervals necessary to shift the scene and change the costumes. One cannot be another and yet himself except from the standpoint of a time which is composed of entirely independent elements.
It is important to recognize how entirely social the mechanism of young children's reflective conduct is. The explanation lies both in the long period of infancy, necessitating dependency upon the social conduct of the family group, and in the vocal gesture, stimulating the child to act toward himself as others act toward him, and thus putting him in the position of facing his problems from the standpoints, as far as he can assume them, of all who are involved therein. One should not, however, assume that these social attitudes of the child imply the existence in his conduct of the full personalities of those whose attitudes he is taking. On the contrary, the full personality with which he finds himself ultimately endowed and which he finds in others is the combination of the self and the others. As social objects, the others with whom the child plays are uncertain in their outlines and shadowy in their structure. What is clear and definite in the child's attitude is the reaction in either role, that of the self or the other. The child's earliest life is that of social activities, including this reflexive stimulation and response, in a field in which neither social nor merely physical objects have arisen with definiteness. It is a great mistake to overlook the social character of these processes, for in the human animal this social factor carries with it the complication of possible self-stimulation as well. The reaction of the human animal toward
(377) another, in which a gesture plays a part that can affect the first individual as it does the other, has a value which cannot attach to the direct instinctive or impulsive responses to objects, whether they be other living forms or mere physical things.
Such a reaction, even with its self-reflection only implicitly there, must be still more sharply distinguished from our reactions to physical things in terms of our modern scientific attitude. Such a physical world did not exist in the earlier and less sophisticated experience of man. It is a product of modern scientific method. It is not found in the unsophisticated child or in the unsophisticated man, and yet most psychologies treat the experience of the child's reactions to the so-called "physical objects" about him as if these objects were for him what they are for the adult. There is most interesting evidence of this difference in the attitude of primitive man toward his environment. The primitive man has the mind of the child - indeed, of the young child. He approaches his problems in terms of social conduct-the social conduct in which there is this self-reflection which has just been the subject of discussion. The child gets his solutions of what from our standpoint are entirely physical problems, such as those of transportation, movement of things, and the like, through his social reaction to those about him. This is not simply because he is dependent, and must look to those about him for assistance during the early period of infancy, but, more important still, because his primitive process of reflection is one of mediation through vocal gestures of a cooperative social process. The human individual thinks first of all entirely in social terms. This means, as I have emphasized above, not that nature and natural objects are personalized, but that the child's reactions to nature and its objects are social reactions, and that his responses imply that the actions of natural objects arc social reactions In other words, in so far as the young child acts reflectively toward his physical environment, he acts as if it were helping or hindering him, and his responses are accompanied with friendliness or anger. It is an attitude of which there are more than vestiges in our sophisticated experi-
(378) -ence. It is perhaps most evident in the irritations against the total depravity of inanimate things, in our affection for familiar objects of constant employment, and in the aesthetic attitude toward nature which is the source of all nature poetry. The distinction between this attitude and that of personification is that between the primitive cult attitude and the later attitude of the myth, between the period of the Mana, of magic in its primitive form, and the period of the gods. The essence of the reflective process at this stage is that through friendly or hostile attitudes difficulties are overcome .... [MS].