An Introduction to Comparative Psychology

Chapter 20: The Psychology of Man and the Higher Animals Compared

C. Lloyd Morgan

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IN the last two chapters I have endeavoured to indicate the relation of mental evolution to evolution in general, and to show that the selective synthesis which gives unity to' the individual mind is of like nature with that which a study of evolution discloses throughout natural occurrences.

We must now take up the subject where we left it at the close of the sixteenth chapter, in which I contended that a very large percentage of the activities of animals may be fairly explained as due to intelligent adaptation through association founded on sense-experience. I freely admit that there is a small -- in my opinion very small-outstanding percentage of cases, the explanation of. which seems to involve the attribution to animals of powers of perception and of rational thought. But seeing the smallness of the number of cases of this type, and seeing the anecdotal character of the record, it is my opinion-- an opinion which I shall have no hesitation in changing, if the results of systematic investigation and carefully conducted experimental observations warrant my so doing-that, were all the circumstances known, this outstanding percentage would disappear, and that the whole range of animal activities would be explicable as the result of intelligent adaptation. If this be so, then, in comparing the psychology of man and the higher animals, the radical difference lies in the fact that man perceives particular relations among phenomena, and builds the generalized results of these per-

(362) -ceptions into the fabric of his Conceptual thought - while animals do not perceive the relations, and have no conceptual thought, nor any knowledge -- of we use this word to denote the result of such conceptual thought. Whether this conclusion (or hypothesis, if the word be preferred) is valid or not, will have to be settled, if it can be settled at all, not by any number of anecdotes, -interesting, and to some extent valuable, as such anecdotes are, -- but by carefully conducted experimental observations, carried out as far as possible under nicely controlled conditions.

It is not my intention here to go over again the ground we have already covered. Enough has been said on that aspect of the comparative psychology of men and animals. But there are other aspects, on which little has been said. The emotional aspect of the psychical life has, for example, received but little consideration.

In the chapter on Automatism and Control, I said that primitively, and in the lower organisms, control is determined by the predominance of pleasurable or painful tone in the sensory centres which are at any time conspiring to influence the centre of control. But I added, that for man, in so far as he is a reflective being who frames ideals of conduct, this statement was too crude, and was contradicted by experience, unless we extend the meaning of the words " pleasurable " and "painful" in a way that can scarcely be regarded as satisfactory.

Now, the emotional states of men and animals are extraordinarily complex. Associated with every sensation-element there is, or may be, an emotional tone. I shall use this expression to denote the aspect of the sensation in virtue of which the organism which experiences it tends either on the one hand to seek its continuance or its repetition, or on the other hand to exclude it from consciousness, Now, as we have already seen, the states of consciousness which constitute the psychical wave of empirical psychology

(364) are exceedingly complex, with focal impressions or ideas and a marginal setting. Motor sensations contribute very largely to the states of consciousness. And what we call emotional states are the net result of the summation of emotional tone of all the sensation-elements which in varying degrees contribute towards states of consciousness. No wonder that their complexity is such as to baffle analysis. Moreover that synthesis which we have seen to be so important in sense-experience, and in the perceptual and conceptual superstructure that is founded thereon, is not less important in the emotional aspect of conscious experience. It is practically impossible to analyse even such a relatively simple emotional state as anger into its constituent elements of emotional tone. There is little doubt that the predominant impulses, with the effects of which the emotion is associated, are motor impulses. But the synthesis Of these is carried out below the threshold of consciousness ;'their dissociation point, to borrow again an analogy from chemical science, is in the infra-conscious region. For psychology, as such, they are undecomposable. just as we are consciously aware of only the net results of a great number of motor impulses, which synthetically combine to give rise to our motor sensations,-- so too are we only consciously aware of the net results of the vast number of concurrent and conspiring impulses whose emotional tones synthetically combine to constitute that complex product which is felt as diffused throughout the whole body, focal and marginal alike, of the psychical wave in the moment of experience, and to which we apply the phrase "an emotional state." I say focal and marginal alike; for it would seem like omitting the central character of the drama, if we excluded the focal impression or idea, to the presence of which "he emotion owes its origin. I am' however, disposed to regard the emotional state itself as mainly a matter of the marginal background of consciousness. Yonder fox-terrier who has

(365) caught sight of his old enemy the butcher's cur is brim-full of emotional tone all down his ruffled back to the very tip of his tail. The cur is in the focus of his consciousness; but it is set in a back-round of emotion that is thrilling in ,from. every fibre of his frame. So too' the mongrel that limply cowers in abject fear has the stick of his ruffianly master in focus ; but it is the margin of consciousness that is trembling with emotional tone. The more I study the emotions the more do I feel convinced that they are marginal to consciousness, a matter of the mental background. And this fact serves further to increase the difficulty of any adequate analysis and classification of the emotions.

I do not propose to attempt here any detailed consideration of the emotional aspect of the practical life of sense-experience. I think that comparative psychology may fairly assume that throughout the range of the sense-experience, common to men and animals, their emotional states are of like nature with ours. And wherever the activities prompted by sense-experience have reference not only to the individual performer, but to other organisms, for whom, with whom, or against whom they are carried. out, the associated emotional states, which, it must be remembered, constitute only the emotional aspects of sense- experience, have not only an individual, but a sympathetic. bearing. The sympathy is indeed in merely the sense-experiential, not the reflective and self-conscious, stage. But it forms the basis of that higher sympathy which differentiates the social life of man from the social life of animals.

What we have especially to note is that the perception of relations, and the conceptual thought which grows thereout, brings with it a pew order of emotional elements-those emotional tones which are associated with the relations themselves, which are synthetically woven into the already complex web and woof of the emotions of sense-experience. It is difficult to disentangle these threads and

(366) separate them out as the results of psychological analysis. They are associated with relations ; and in relation,, they have their true value. But their introduction modifies in marked ways the emotions of sense-experience with which they are subtly interwoven.

Let us take as an example the pleasureable emotion' that is aroused in connection with the so-called sense of beauty. I do not think that anyone who knows how the bower-bird decks its home, collecting flowers and fruits of bright and varied colours, removing everything unsightly, and strewing the ground with delicate moss; or how the bumming-birds decorate their nest- with the utmost taste," as Dr Gould observes-weaving into their structure beautiful pieces of flat lichen --I say that I do not think anyone who knows his facts, can deny that some animals have a sense of beauty, and derive pleasure from objects which to them and -to us are delightful to the eye. This is the outcome of, and is in close association with the life of sense-experience. But when the delicate hues and proportions of the objects are not only sensed, but perceived in relation to each other, then to the mere pleasure of sense there is added the higher aesthetic pleasure due to the emotional tone associated with the perception of relations. The Somersetshire rustic stands, unmoved before the delicate geometrical tracery in the windows of the chapter-house of Wells Cathedral. It is not an object which appeals strongly to the naive eye of sense-experience; the relations of the parts must be perceived before the beauty of the window can be appreciated at its true worth. It is the emotional tone which is associated with the perception, of relations that -is, woven info the texture of the emotions of sense-experience, and that gives them a new value. This it is which raises the merely sensuous emotional tone of sense-experience to the aesthetic tone of the perceptual and conceptual phases of -mental development.


There can be little doubt that the song of the nightingale gives pleasure to the singer, and we may fairly presume that it gives pleasure to his mate. For many of us the pleasure derived from music is of like order, and is to a large extent due to the emotional aspect of a specialized form of sense-experience. But when the transitions in consciousness are not merely sensed, but are perceived, and the subtle relationships of the melody and the harmony are appreciated, then there are added to the naive pleasure of sense-experience new elements which raise its quality, enhance its value, and render it aesthetic. And this enhancement, it should be noted, is not due to the perceptual or intellectual element qua intellectual, but to the intellectual element in its emotional aspect. If the intellectual' element as such, that is to say -on its cognitive side, is obtrusive, it does not add to, but rather detracts from, the value of the emotional state. To get the highest emotional value out of music or any other art-product, we must abandon ourselves to the -luxury of enjoyment in a wise passivity of intellectual selfsurrender. But the intellectual elements, in their emotional aspects are there, and swell the volume of the pleasureable emotion. And if animals are limited to sense-experience, then in their emotional states, elements due to the emotional tones of perception are necessarily absent.

Now, when once the power of perceiving relations is introduced into the emotional aspects of experience, it must lead up sooner or later to a perception of the relations of the emotional states themselves to each other. In this way aesthetic judgments have their birth and origin. But there are two phases or types of aesthetic judgment; and since it might be contended that animals, even if they do not attain to the one, may at least reach the other, it will be well briefly to consider them.

In the first place we may notice that just as the perception of relations derives its raw material from sense-experience,

(368) wherein the transitions in consciousness, with which perception deals, are already sensed, so does the aesthetic judgment find its raw material in a sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, which arises according as an experience is pleasureable or the reverse ; or, to put it on a broader and more satisfactory ground, as it is -congruous or incongruous with the psychical nature. That experience which is, congruous with the psychical nature is an object of appetence; that which is incongruous is an object of aversion ; that which is merely not congruous, is simply ignored. When the animals-if I may illustrate my meaning by a mythological example-heard the strains of Orpheus's lute, there fell upon their ears sounds new to their experience; and since these sounds were pleasureable, or congruous with the psychical nature, they were objects of appetence, and the beasts drew near to listen; but if for Orpheus there- had been suddenly substituted a beginner on the violin, feeling his way through a difficult and unfamiliar exercise, one may take it that the sounds would be objects of aversion, and the animals would have scattered far and wide. The sense of satisfaction, or the reverse, would in the animals be natural incidents in the life of sense-experience, and would imply no judgment. A felt congruity or incongruity, pleasureable or painful, gives only the germinal matter of aesthetic judgments. We do not enter the field of aesthetic judgments until we have a standard or ideal. All judgment implies a standard. Whether I say " that is beautiful," " that is right," "that is heavy," or " that is red," I affirm that the object in question comes up to the standard of my conception of what is beautiful, right, heavy, or red, as the case may be.

In the first stage or type of aesthetic judgment, the standard or ideal is undefined and undescribed. And even the critic whose business it is to express an aesthetic judgment, may not be able to define or describe the standard

(369) or ideal, and may rest content with the method of demonstration. Matthew Arnold will be admitted to be an adequate critic in questions of literary excellence; and this is what he says of those who endeavour to define the ideal in poetic work. " Critics," he writes,[1] "give themselves great labour to draw out what in the abstract constitutes the characters of a high quality of poetry. It is much better simply to have recourse to concrete examples; to take specimens of poetry of the high -- the very highest -- quality, and to say :-The characters of a high quality of poetry are what is experienced there. They are far better recognized by being felt in the verse of the master, than by being per used in the prose of the critic. . . . Both the substance and matter on the one hand, and the style and manner on the other, have a mark, an accent, of high beauty, worth and power. But if we are asked to define this mark and accent in the abstract, our answer must be--No, for we should thereby be darkening the question, not clearing it. The mark and accent are as given by the substance and matter of that poetry, and of all. poetry which is akin to it in quality."

This then is one type of aesthetic judgment. It involves reference to a standard or ideal, but this standard is not defined in terms apprehended by the intellect; it is presented in a form which directly appeals to the emotional side of consciousness. Many of us, who would be quite at a loss to define the peculiar excellence of a good cigar or a good claret, consider ourselves none -the less capable of forming a sound judgment on these important factors in the aesthetics of good living.

The second type of judgment is that of what has been termed scientific aesthetics. Here the standard or ideal is analysed, and described or defined in terms of its factors. And the judgment on any art-product is justified by the

(370) indication of how and where, and by how much, it fails to reach the standard in question. It is, however, no part of my business here to attempt a discussion of the grounds Of judgment in matters aesthetic.

Now, I think there can be no question that we may put aside this latter type of judgment as essentially human, and altogether beyond the possible powers of any animal. But with regard to the other type, there may very likely be difference of opinion as to whether animals are capable of it or not. Those who are of opinion that animals can perceive relations, will contend that they can form, though they can not express, a judgment of this kind. Many biologists, for example, believe that birds select their mates from among numerous suitors because of their song or because of their bright plumage. Suppose a bird has two males before it, both of which are - endeavouring by display of plumage, and by love-antics to win her choice. She selects the brighter, and most graceful performer. Does not this, it may be asked, imply that she has a standard of excellence, and selects that mate which she perceives as the nearer of the two to such standard ? But admitting, for the purpose in hand, the correctness of the biological interpretation, that there is an exercise of choice on the part of the hen-bird, it does not necessarily follow that she perceives the relation, or compares the two competing males to an ideal standard, or even the one with the other. It is quite sufficient to suppose that A evokes a stronger emotion and a stronger appetence than B, and that she is therefore drawn to A rather than to B. There is no necessary perception of a relation, or framing of an ideal standard, of excellence. And if the facts, supposing them to be biologically well founded, can be explained on the hypothesis of sense-experience, the greater appetence prevailing, we are bound by our canon of interpretation not to assume the higher faculty of perception.


Let us note clearly what is the essential characteristic of an aesthetic judgment as such. It is essentially a matter of introspection and reflection. It is the comparison of certain emotional states aroused by a with the emotional states aroused by b, or with certain ideal emotional states which are the result of a generalization from experience, and which may be symbolized by x. The relation of a to b, or of a to x, is definitely perceived, and a is felt to approach closely to or to fall short of b or x. Primarily the aesthetic judgment is purely individual."This is the way a affects me as compared with b or with x." But, apart from social life, it would be of no value to express any judgment in the matter; it would be amply sufficient to feel the difference. All judgments, as expressed, are of social, not of individual value. Secondarily, therefore, the judgment is social. It is an opinion expressed by me as a member of a social body, for comparison with similar opinions expressed by other members of the social body. By comparing, classifying, and generalizing these opinions, we reach the general social opinion or judgment in matters aesthetic.

Now, the result of such a comparison, classification, and generalization of opinions on questions of aesthetics differs -- (1) among different individuals, (2) in different countries, and (3) at different times. This results from variation. In the matter of sense-experience we are all, with the exception of a small percentage of colour-blind, similarly affected by a red rose. In this matter, variations from -a single type are not numerous or wide. But in the matter of aesthetic judgment, the variation is much more marked, and more widely spread. Hence the difficulty or impossibility of formulating a common social ideal, or standard of aesthetic judgment. Variable as it is, however, most of us do admit a social standard, even if our own individual taste does not conform to it. A man may say, "I know and acknowledge that Spenser and Milton are classics, but personally I gain

(372) no pleasure from reading their poetry." What then is this standard which we acknowledge, but -may not be able personally to accept? Whose is it? Why do we acknowledge it, if it conflicts with our own individual experience?".

The standard has been reached by those who have a genuine love of literature,-- to take literary judgment as an example,-who have been led to study it in all its phases, who have keen native insight and ability, and whose wide study has given them extensive experience which their ability has enabled them to utilize. If, by a practically universal consensus of opinion among those who have studied literature in this spirit, Spenser and Milton are ranked as classics of English poetry, it would be a piece of unwarrantable impertinence on the part of those of us who have less inclination towards literature, or less leisure (not to bring the question of ability into consideration at all), to set up a purely individual judgment against theirs. This, I take it, is what we mean when we acknowledge the literary excellence of work which. we do not ourselves pretend to admire, And so too in other matters of aesthetic judgment.

If we call the acknowledged standard the social standard, we mean by this, not the average judgment of the whole social community, nor something transcending human judgment, but the average judgment of a special section of the community who have had peculiar opportunities of forming an opinion. Such social ideal or standard is based on the individual ideals or standards of those who form the special section. We take these individuals as representing the social judgment in aesthetic matters at its best.

I have entered into this brief discussion of the social ideal because it appears to, me that the possession of ideals, aesthetic and other, and especially social ideals, is one of the distinguishing factors of the psychical life of man as compared with that of animals. Animals sense their states of consciousness as pleasure-giving or the reverse, and are

(373) largely guided in their actions by this emotional aspect of sense-experience. It is very questionable whether they perceive the relations of emotional states to each other; and if they are unable to do this, then it is obvious that they do not frame an ideal standard by reference to which the relationships shall be gauged. But if at some period in the evolution of man 'the perception of relations had its origin, either in the manner I have suggested or in some other way, then the more pleasureable results in any particular kind of experience would form in memory a standard in relation to which the emotional aspect of new experiences of like order would be measured. To-day's experiences are pleasant, but not so pleasant as yesterday's." An individual standard would thus take form in the mind, and this through social inter-communication would be generalized, and become incipiently social. At length as the individual judgments of the best Judges were themselves compared, and the results of comparison recorded, a widely but not -universally acknowledged social standard or ideal would be reached. I say widely, but not universally, because presumably there would always be individuals who regarded the standard which they themselves framed in comparative ignorance superior to the standard acknowledged by those really competent to express an opinion. Here, therefore, as in the questions discussed in previous chapters, the turning-point in the development curve, the point- of new departure, is the perception of relations.

The foregoing discussion has mainly had reference to a standard of Beauty, and to aesthetic ideals; let us now consider briefly the standard of Truth. It would be easy to quote a dozen or more instances of "deceit " on the part of animals. One which has been -communicated to me by Mr Arthur Stradling must suffice. "I gave," he says, "a little Maltese terrier to a cousin of mine, who taught. it, amongst other tricks, to walk round the, table on its hind legs by way of

(374) earning some dessert. The dining-room and table were long, while as a rule the diners were her father and herself only. They sat at the head of the board. At the given signal the dog would start off on his bipedal journey, making the entire circuit of the table, no small task. After awhile it was noticed that his speed had greatly improved; he "got home" in much less time than he had formerly occupied in completing the round. On investigation it was found that he had acquired the habit of dropping on all fours as soon as he got out of sight, running round the far end of the table, 'and rising again on his hind legs when he came once more into view. Furthermore, he looked back from time to time to make sure that he was not within the range of vision of his two patrons. I witnessed this little manoeuvre personally, before considerations of psychological interest were ruthlessly sacrificed to a stern sense of morality, and he was broken of it."

Now the question here is, whether we are, through inability to explain this and other such cases on the hypothesis of intelligence and sense-experience, forced to assume the perception of the relation of the action, as actually performed, to the action as the master and mistress believed it to be performed. If so, the performance unquestionably rose to the dignity of a lie. We cannot here enter at length into the psychology of lying. But, whether acted or uttered, the essence of the lie is that it is used with conscious intent to deceive. The black that is acted or uttered has conscious reference and relation to the while that is not black. If the action of the Maltese terrier was performed with conscious intent to deceive, there must have passed through his mind something like that which we should thus express in words " I am on all fours, but they suppose I am on my hind legs." We should certainly be prepared to accept this interpretation if, but only if, the action cannot be interpreted on a simpler hypothesis. And here one can but regret that the action

(375) was not made the subject of an experimental investigation, and that an exact record of all the stages of the evolution of the act was not kept. I cannot, of course, say what these stages were. But if they were anything like the following suppositions, the action is quite explicable on the hypothesis of intelligence. The dog starts on his round on two legs, maintains this mode of progression, and earns his dessert. One day he starts on two legs, drops on all fours and comes round on all fours ; no dessert. Whenever at starting he drops on all fours within sight of his mistress; no dessert. Whenever he comes in on all fours; no dessert. These are firmly associated. - One day he drops on all fours, and runs round; but as he approaches the mistress the association "all fours; no dessert," leads him to jump up on his hind legs, and he earns his dessert. If once, in this or in any other such way, the dog .found that by starting on two legs, running round on four, and coming in on two, he earned his dessert, this would be found to be the easiest method of doing so, and the habit would be formed and adopted. It may be said that this suggested explanation involves a somewhat complex use of intelligence. I reply that, if the action was a lie, it involved not only the complexity I have hinted at, but in addition thereto the thought, " while I am on all fours they suppose I am on two legs," and this is the factor which seems to me unnecessary. I believe that Pearly all the anecdotes illustrative of so-called deceit in animals are explicable on the hypothesis that the animal has found, by its intelligence in sense-experience, the easiest way to do a thing or to get what it wants, ind that we need not suppose that there is in the animal's mind anything of the nature of "This is white, but master thinks it black." The "deceit" of animals (like so many of the "lies" of very little children) involves, it is true, actions which deceive or partially deceive us; but these actions are not performed with intent to deceive, or if they

(375) are the animal has got beyond the stage of sense-experience.

In the language of the schools, the deceit of animals is, in my opinion, material and not formal. And I am of opinion that, as they, have no perception or conception of a standard of Beauty, so they have no perception or conception of a standard of Truth. He who has no standard of truth cannot'... lie, though his actions may deceive us.

And what of the standard of Right? Can an animal think the ought? In his work on" The Human Mind,"[2] Professor Sully writes as follows, in a footnote: "One of the clearest examples of canine conscience I have met with," he says, "was given me by a friend, the owner of the dog, and the witness of the action. The animal, a variety of terrier, was left in the dining-room, where were the remains of a cold supper. He got on the table, and secured a piece. of cold tongue, but, without eating a morsel of it, he carried it into the drawing-room, deposited it at the feet of his mistress, and then crawled out of sight, looking the picture of abject misery." I have no wish to say one word which. shall detract from the moral excellence, if any one likes, so to call it, of that terrier; but I may, perhaps, be allowed to analyse his case. We may suppose he was hungry, poor fellow, but the natural impulse to appease that hunger was checked in presence of that loyal feeling of subservience to the mistress which is the outcome of the dog's mode of life as the companion of man, and which has probably been developed from certain innate tendencies -of the canidoe, which, like wolves and jackals, hunt in packs. Note, in passing, that the checking of this impulse was incomplete. Had it been complete, he would never have stolen the tongue at all, and would have remained unknown to fame. His is not the only case in which our sympathies go out towards the imperfectly moral more freely than towards those who are beyond

(377) reproach. In the case of the terrier, then, the prompting of what we should call a lower impulse, the satisfaction of hunger, got the better of what we should call the higher impulse, obedience to the mistress; but only for a moment; the higher impulse prevailed, and the dog crept abjectly to his mistress. No one is likely to question-at any rate no one who knows dogs is likely to question the existence of the higher trait in canine character, that of subservience or obedience to the master or mistress; and few are likely to question that there was in the dog's mind a painful conflict of impulses, resulting in the victory of what we call the higher. All this may be granted. But if some one says, what it should be observed Mr Sully does not say, that the terrier did what he felt to be right because he knew it to be right, that is a very different matter. That involves a thinking of the ought; it involves a more or less definite perception of the relation of a given act to an ideal standard. No action can be perceived to be Tight or wrong without reflection. The action is compared with a standard, and found either to reach or fall short of that standard. What the standard is does not matter a jot, so far as the individual moral judgment is concerned. My standard of right may be altogether wrong from my neighbour's point of view. But in expressing an individual moral judgment concerning an action, I view the act in reference to my standard, and say that it either approaches thereto or falls short thereof. Such would be the individual moral judgment. I may also compare it with the social standard, using this phrase in the sense before, defined. The social standard is assuredly not the average standard of mankind. In that case it would be rather a pitiful ideal. It is the standard of the world's best and greatest and purest.' Whether the comparison is with the individual ideal, or with the social ideal, it involves a perception of the relation of a given action, performed by, oneself or another, to that standard. This is what I think

(378) we may, without injustice to them, deny to the brutes. The terrier's conscience, if so we may call it, on this view involved merely the emotional tone of sense-experience ; it was not the moral conscience of a rational being.

The factors of the determination of conduct are several. Excluding external compulsion more or less direct, an action may be performed on prudential grounds or grounds, of expediency; or it may be performed on aesthetic grounds, because the action is beautiful or seemly in the eyes of the performer or those among whom he lives; or it may be performed on moral grounds, because it is right. Often more than one factor, sometimes all the factors, co-operate in the determination of human conduct. The germs of all of these are to be found in the practical conduct of their life-activities by animals. No one will question that practical expediency is a determinant of the conduct of animals; the many recorded instances of animals checking or " punishing others of their kind in the performance of actions which, through association of one kind or other have been rendered distasteful, appear to afford examples of the second factor; while the checking of natural propensities in subservience to the will of the beloved master would seem to illustrate the germinal phase of the third factor. But in none of these cases is there sufficient evidence to justify a belief that a standard of conduct takes form in the animal mind. The fashioning of ideals is beyond the power of the brutes. They are capable neither of regret for error on prudential grounds, nor of remorse for wrong on moral grounds. When Mr Mann Jones's dog, on whose tail he had inadvertently sat, angrily growled, and then " begged pardon for the unusual tone and temper in a way that could not be mistaken," regret is certainly implied in the interpretation. And Mr Jones adds,[3] "Evidently he recognized his own violation

(379) of an 'ought' existing in his mind (conscience)." I venture to think that the ought was in Mr Mann Jones's mind, not in Punch's. Similar cases must have been observed again and again by those who have gained the affection of their dumb companions. That the dog which has been forced in a moment of pain to growl at the master feels miserable thereafter, and fawns upon him with redoubled affection, is natural ,enough. That he recognizes his own violation of an ought is an explanation of the facts not in accordance with the -,'canon of interpretation on which our method of inquiry has ,-throughout been based. Whether we regard the end of '-moral endeavour as the greatest happiness of the greatest number, -or as the perfecting of social integration, or as obedience to the revealed will of God, or as the realization of an ideal human self, in any case a standard of moral conduct is framed through perception and the conception that 'is based thereon; and actions are judged according to this standard. It is the framing of any such standard, and the perception of shortcomings therefrom, that I think we must deny to the brutes if we are to adhere to our canon of interpretation. As the animal has no ideal of Beauty, nor ideal of Truth, so too it has no ideal of Right.

It is the framing of ideals, not merely as products of conceptual. thought, but also as objects of appetence and desire ever, beckoning him onwards and upwards towards their realization, that is distinctive of man as man. And the worth of any individual might be gauged could we only know the nature of his ideals, the strength of his desire for their realization, and the energy and ability with which he applied himself to attain this end In the sense-experience of animals we have the raw materials out of which all this may be elaborated. We have impressions, and the transitions between them, which need only the faculty of perception, together with the generalizing and analytic power of conceptual thought, to quicken them into knowledge. We have emo-

(380) -tional states which, when standardized in reflection, may be sublimated to ideals. And we have a native practical energy, which needs only a new application in the Will to attain knowledge and realize the ideal. And when man became man, and began to utilize his newly acquired power, he did not leave behind him, for good and all the life of sense-experience. In that life he still lives and exercises his keen intelligence. He has not abandoned the, old life for a new manner of existence; he has inspired into the old life the products of higher modes of psychical activity. He is not rational in place of being intelligent; he is both intelligent and rational. He has not left behind him the emotions of his animal nature; he has idealized and purified them.

It now only remains to say a few words in conclusion. I have throughout this work accepted evolution as the basis of explanation of nature, including psychical nature. I have endeavoured to look at the facts, so far as. I know them, squarely and fairly, and have not intentionally shirked the many difficulties which are incidental to the inquiry I have undertaken. I have essayed to consider mental evolution in all its aspects, and have thus been led into what some of my scientific friends will term hopelessly metaphysical speculations. But I do not think that the metaphysics of the subject can be avoided in any such inquiry. It is not a question of metaphysics or no metaphysics, but of good metaphysics or bad. I n my treat ment of questions of zoological psychology some will no doubt accuse me of adopting the a priori method ; and if by the a priori method they mean that based on. the application of general principles, I plead guilty to the charge. The question is, Have the general principles themselves been reached by the methods of scientific induction, or-have they been assumed without the warranty of inductive study? I have at least done my best to make clear the grounds on

(381) which I have Keen led to adopt the general principles of which I have made use. Again, it may be said that through out my discussion of zoological psychology, I have fallen into the grave philosophical error of dogmatizing from negative premisses. After making some parade of professing my inability, as human chronometer, to learn anything distinctly concerning the working of the animal clock, have I not ended by somewhat dogmatically denying to the clock certain faculties or mental powers ? I have throughout been arguing, it may be said, that since I do not find sufficient evidence among animals of reason and the perception of relations, therefore such perceptual and rational powers must be absent, whereas the activities of animals can, it may be urged, be quite as well if not better explained on the assumption that they do perceive relations and exercise the faculty of reason. Such may be the line adopted by certain critics. In reply, let me say, as a last word, first, that in denying to animals the perception of relations and the faculty of reason, I do so in no dogmatic spirit, and not in support of any preconceived theory or opinion, but because the evidence now before us is not, in my opinion, sufficient to justify the hypothesis that any animals have reached that stage of mental evolution at which they are even incipiently rational; and, secondly, that I have all along based my discussion on the canon of interpretation considered in the latter part of the third chapter. If good reason can be shown for the rejection of that canon, the logical foundation of my argument will be destroyed, and the argument itself will fall to the ground.


  1. Introduction to My Ward's " English Poets," vol. 1., pp. 27, 28.
  2. Vol. ii., p. 161.
  3. Letter to Mr Herbert Spencer, "Justice," Appendix D, p. 277.

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