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The views of these writers may best be considered under the heads of definition, classification, analysis, and especial conditions of consciousness.

Wayland defines it to be “the faculty by which we become cognizant of the operations of our own minds.” But he seems to fall into a dilemma at a later stage of his discussion, for he says, page 113: “It would seem scarcely proper to call it a faculty. I prefer to call it a condition of the mind;" and again he speaks of " the various kinds of knowledge which we cognize by means of it.” Now, inasmuch as he makes it a condition by which the mind cognizes, he implies a power in the mind then to cognize—an active power; and, as he nowhere else treats of this power, he evidently means to include it under this term, and must be held to his first statement that consciousness is a faculty.

Porter defines it to be “the power by which the soul knows its own acts or states.” In this he agrees with Wayland in his first, and, as we have seen, only consistent definition.

Hamilton disclaims all attempt at definition, asserting that the thing properly indicated by the term consciousness does not admit of such treatment. He does, however, define a special faculty which he terms self-consciousness :

The faculty which affords us a knowledge of the phenomena of our own minds. Nothing she says) has contributed more to spread obscurity over a very transparent matter, than the attempts of philosophers to define consciousness. Consciousness cannot be defined; we may be ourselves fully aware what consciousness is, but we cannot, without confusion, convey to others a definition of what we ourselves clearly apprehend The reason is plain. Consciousness lies at the root of all knowledge. Consciousness is itself the one highest source of all comprehensibility and illustration; how, then, can we find aught else by which consciousness may be illustrated or comprehended?

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But he himself, in the beginning of his discussion, has come near enough to an attempt at definition to state its scope approximately. He says, page 126: “This element or condition is consciousness, or the knowledge that I—that the ego exists in some determinate state.” Now “ knowledge” in this place, as he himself would admit, can only mean the knowing—a subjectivity; and “knowledge that I exist in some determinate state," is the knowing that I exist in some determinate state. It would be fully beyond Hamilton's capabilities, to say that knowing is possible without activity. But, if activity, then power. Consciousness, then, is the power of knowing, not merely

. the ego in some determinate state, for he himself holds that we have


other immediate knowledge, and universally applies the term consciousness to all immediate knowledge. Consciousness is, then, the power the mind has to know. It will be seen, then, that logical definition is impossible, not, as he says, because there is no higher genus, but because of difficulty in stating the specific difference. Mind-power is the genus, knowing is the specific difference. This last term defies all efforts to define it. If pressed on this point, we can only say that it includes existence in a certain indefinable relation to a modification of either the ego, or the non-ego. The distinction Hamilton makes between the terms consciousness and self-consciousness seems to be of some value, though it might be questioned whether such a use of them as he falls into is not on the whole rather detrimental than otherwise. Even here, in the outset, begins in his own discussion a confusion of ideas intended and ideas expressed, which is almost unavoidable. His definition of self-consciousness manifestly accords with those given by Wayland and Porter in treating of consciousness.

But we proceed to consider the mode of classification adopted by each. Wayland makes consciousness one faculty of his system, of just equal function and importance, for aught we can judge, with memory, imagination, and reason. Porter makes it one of two constituents of his presentative faculty, the faculty of internal, as senseperception is that of external, experience. Yet he affirms that it is a necessary concomitant of every act of knowledge.

Hamilton makes consciousness the ground of all the knowing faculties — of all known mental modifications—and commensurate, in both power and product, with their sum. He thus makes the term a designation of the subjective phase of what objectively considered receives the general name of knowledge. “To say that I krow, and that I know that I know, is to make a statement of a single and sim

He makes his self-consciousness to take the place held by Porter's consciousness, and that which would be held by Wayland's consciousness if his enumeration of faculties were so revised as to become a classification of co-ordinate faculties. Wayland, as before

a qnoted, evidently gropes, although unwittingly, after the distinction and classification made by Hamilton, while Porter, failing to recognize the difference between the general and the special facultybetween knowing, and knowing in self-consciousness—has placed the general term to designate the special faculty, and then, as will further appear, has treated the general knowing power and the particular faculty in monstrous confusion. The error is not an unnatural one. Hamilton, seeing clearly the distinction and classifying accordingly

ple fact."

and correctly, has himself been guilty of much the same ambiguous use of terms, very much of his discussion of consciousness belonging properly and peculiarly to self-consciousness.

In considering with reference to analysis it must, of course, be understood that this term applies not to faculty, since the power is sui generis and presumably simple; nor, unless specially so stated, to the act, but to the product—the content, so to speak, of the knowing mind at any particular instant, the object of knowledge, as, during all our waking hours at least, it swiftly flits across the mental vision.

Wayland maintains that there is in consciousness only a state of mind. But after a simple statement of his doctrine on the point, he declines to argue the case, and closes his discussion of it with this illustration: “We are not conscious of a tree, but conscious that we perceive a tree.” Perhaps, if pressed to the wall, he might have been induced to modify or amplify his statement so as to include a distinct self and a modification of self equally known in the same act or instant. If he did so, Porter and Hamilton would press him on the same ground to admit the object of the act cognized, and compel him to acknowledge that we are conscious of the tree. This, at least, is part of their doctrine. Porter recognizes in the object of consciousness an ego, an act, and the object of the act. If I see a tree, there is a consciousness of self, of a seeing, and of a tree. Hamilton manifestly holds this doctrine, whether honestly and consistently or not, although Porter quotes a passage from his “Notes on Reid” to prove that he does not. The extract is this: "As then there exists no intuitive or immediate knowledge of self as the absolute subject of thought, feeling, or desire, but, on the contrary, there is possible only a deduced, permanent basis of these transient modifications of which we are directly conscious,” etc. But a reference to page 260 of his “Lectures on Metaphysics ” will set at rest that point so far as to show that, whatever Hamilton may have believed, he taught, and labored to maintain, not only that self was given as an immediate datum of consciousness, but that the self thus given was a permanent self. He contended for an immediate knowledge, not only of personality, but also of personal identity as well. He says:

The fact of the deliverance of consciousness to our mental unity has, of course, never been doubted. The third datum under consideration is the identity of mind or person. This consists in the assurance we have from consciousness, that our thinking ego, notwithstanding the ceaseless changes of state or modification of which it is the subject, is essentially the same thing, the same person, at every period of its existence. On this subject philosophers, in general, are agreed.


Hamilton would, then, find in his self-consciousness viewed as an object-rather in its objects would find-the same results of analysis, the same elements, as given above. Indeed it might be questioned whether he would endorse an attempt at analysis of his general consciousness save as through some special modification, such, e.g., as the object of self-consciousness; and it might be urged with cogency that even his consent would not justify such an attempt, which could only result in failure.

What, then, shall we say of the different views of this phase of consciousness, the analysis of its object? That Hamilton and Porter alike err in evolving from the phenomenon more than is legitimately contained in it. Let us analyze for ourselves the object of an instantaneous act of self-consciousness; no other is simple. We find all men agree that there is sensation, simple modification of mind, either existing or becoming. But Hamilton says, and Porter agrees with him, that there is more than this; that there is duality of object, a self, and moreover a permanent self, known in the same way, in the same object. We contend that this is not so, but that a regulative datum given in the same way, says this modification, has a substantial basis, a self as its substratum. Now, as Hamilton himself says, it is illegitimate to postulate a new element when those already given will explain the phenomena. These acknowledged elements will account for all the knowledge of self which we have, and this mode is moreover in exact accordance with his own words as quoted above from Reid's works. This result, this knowledge of self, may be derived from an analysis of the act of self-consciousness, but not from such an analysis as Hamilton gives. The regulative datum, an ultimate fact, compels me to believe that the sensation is of something and in relation to something, which something, not known immediately, but as a basis of all such modifications, and only known through them, we call self, the ego. The object of self-consciousness, then, the thing immediately known, is sensation existing or becoming, and Wayland's statement, slightly modified, is to be accepted. The act of self-consciousness, however, with an act of the intuitive faculty, gives or compels to the belief that there is a self in relation to sensation, and sensation as sensation of self.

It might not be inappropriate here to mention briefly what might loosely be termed a synthesis, the modifications of consciousness by will. Wayland treats at length what he terms attention and reflection. When the conscious mind is, hy the influence of will, either impelled to or restrained from greater and more intense activity, it becomes, according as it is engaged with internal or with external phenomena, reflective or attentive. Porter recognizes what he calls an involuntary and natural, and a voluntary or reflective consciousness. His voluntary consciousness proper, when directed to the operations of the mind, constitutes his reflective or philosophical consciousness.

Hamilton notices the distinction as follows: Consciousness, when controlled by will, becomes attention. This, when exercised on external objects, is called observation; when on internal, takes the name of reflection. We might say, then, consciousness plus will equals Hamilton's attention; consciousness plus will plus externality equals Hamilton's observation equals Wayland's attention ; consciousness plus will plus internality equals Hamilton's reflection equals Wayland's reflection equals Porter's reflective consciousness equals Hamilton's self-conscciousness plus will necessary to its exercise.

This brings us to consider special conditions of consciousness. Wayland dispatches this branch of the subject quite informally. He says: “The object of consciousness must be now and here present, i. e., the knowledge is actual and immediate. Porter, too, expresses the same as part of his doctrine. He maintains that the knowledge received from consciousness is an actual present modification of the mind. We cannot say that we are conscious of everything which, by an effort of the will, we may know. In common parlance we may say we know the laws of logic, or the rules of arithmetic; but this is not an actual knowledge as the term is here used, except as, piece by piece, it comes to consciousness, nor is it actual any longer than it remains the object of consciousness. He holds, too, that it is an immediate knowledge, so immediate that the subject and the object blend in one, thus differing from that of any other faculty. This last mentioned doctrine may need to be taken with allowance. It is possibly true in the sense he afterward explains when he says, “the object known is one that never existed before.” That it is known in the act of its formation may be true. The complex object known never existed as such, in such relation to mind, before; its elements however did.

This discussion of Porter's is in opposition to Herbert Spencer, who maintains that we have, and in reality can have, no true consciousness-no immediate knowledge - because we can never know the thing when existing, but only the instant after, thus resolving consciousness into memory. This Porter conclusively shows would then be equaliy impossible, since we could never remember what we had never immediately known. This discussion of conditions offered by Porter will be seen to apply properly to the special consciousness, with the exception of the last member—that in regard to Spencer's

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