« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
unconscious being, though to call it being is really to add on an idea not immediately contained within the all-sufficient principle. But what difference is there between this and saying that the phenomena of the world at large come we know not whence? ... The unconscious, therefore, tends to be a simple phrase and nothing more. . .. No doubt there are a number of mental processes ... of which we are unconscious, ... but to infer from this that they are due to an unconscious power, and to proceed to demonstrate thence the presence of the unconscious through all nature, is to make an unwarrantable saltus in reasoning. What, in fact, is this “unconscious ” but a high-sounding name to veil our ignorance? Is the unconscious any better explanation of phenomena we do not understand than the “ devil-devil,” by which Australian tribes explain the Leyden jar and its phenomena? Does it increase our knowledge to know that we do not know the origin of language or the cause of instinct? ... Alike in organic creation and the evolution of history ' performances and actions '-the words are those of Strauss‘are ascribed to an unconscious, which can only belong to a conscious being.'1
“ The difficulties of the system advance as we proceed. Subtract this questionable factor-the unconscious-from Hartmann's biology and psychology, and the chapters remain pleasant and
instructive reading. But with the third part of his work-the 'Metaphysic of the Unconscious'-our feet are clogged at every step. We are encircled by the merest play of words, the most unsatisfactory demonstrations, and most inconsistent
1 Westminster Review, New Series, vol. xlix, p. 143.
2 Ibid., p. 145.
inferences. The theory of final causes has been hitherto employed to show the wisdom of the world; with our pessimist philosopher it shows nothing but its irrationality and misery. Consciousness has been generally supposed to be the condition of all happiness and interest in life; here it simply wakens us to misery, and the lower an animal lies in the scale of conscious life, the better and the pleasanter its lot.
Thus, then, the universe, as an emanation of the unconscious, has been constructed. Throughout it has been marked by design, by purpose, by finality; throughout a wonderful adaptation of means to ends, a wonderful adjustment and relativity in different portions has been noticed-and all this for what conclusion? Not, as in the hands of the natural theologians of the eighteenth century, to show that the world is the result of design, of an intelligent, beneficent Creator, but the manifestation of a being whose only predicates are negatives, whose very essence is to be unconscious. It is not only, like ancient Athens, to an unknown, but to an unknowing God, that modern pessimism rears its altar. Yet surely the fact that the motive principle of existence moves in a mysterious way outside our consciousness no way requires that the All-one being should be himself unconscious."
I believe the foregoing to convey as correct an idea of Von Hartmann's system as it is possible to convey, and will leave it to the reader to say how much in common there is between this and the lecture given in the preceding chapter, beyond the fact that both touch upon unconscious actions. The extract which will form my next chapter is only about a thirtieth part of the entire 1 Westminster Review, New Series, vol. xlix, p. ISI.
Philosophy of the Unconscious, but it will, I believe, suffice to substantiate the justice of what Mr. Sully has said in the passages above quoted.
As regards the accuracy of the translation, I have submitted all passages about which I was in the least doubtful to the same gentleman who revised my translation of Professor Hering's lecture; I have also given the German wherever I thought the reader might be glad to see it.
CHAPTER EIGHT: TRANSLATION OF THE CHAPTER ON “ THE UNCONSCIOUS IN INSTINCT,” FROM VON HART
MANN'S PHILOSOPHY OF THE UNCONSCIOUS
ON HARTMANN'S CHAPTER ON INstinet is as follows:
Instine is action taken in pursuance of a pur
pose, but without conscious perception of what the purpose is.
A purposive action, with consciousness of the purpose, and where the course taken is the result of deliberation, is not said to be instinctive; nor yet, again, is blind, aimless action, such as outbreaks of fury on the part of offended or otherwise enraged animals. I see no occasion for disturbing the commonly received definition of instinct as given above; for those who think they can refer all the so-called ordinary instincts of animals to conscious deliberation ipso fatto deny that there is such a thing as instinct at all, and should strike the word out of their vocabulary. But of this more hereafter.
Assuming, then, the existence of instinctive action as above defined, it can be explained as:
I. A mere necessary consequence of bodily organization.
II. A mechanism of brain or mind contrived by nature.
In neither of the two first cases is there any scope for the idea of purpose; in the third, purpose must be present immediately before the action. In the two first
1 “Instinct ist zweckmässiges Handeln ohne Bewusstsein des Zwecks." -(Philosophie des Unbewussten] Philosopby of the Unconscious, 3rd ed., Berlin, 1871, p. 70. 2“1. Eine blosse Folge der körperlichen Organisation. 2. Ein von der Natur eingerichteter Gehirn oder Geistes
cases, action is supposed to be brought about by means of an initial arrangement, either of bodily or mental mechanism, purpose being conceived of as existing on a single occasion only-that is to say, in the determination of the initial arrangement. In the third, purpose is conceived as present in every individual instance. Let us proceed to the consideration of these three cases.
Instinct is not a mere consequence of bodily organization; for:
(a) Bodies may be alike, yet they may be endowed with different instincts.
All spiders have the same spinning apparatus, but one kind weaves radiating webs, another irregular ones, while a third makes none at all, but lives in holes, whose walls it overspins, and whose entrance it closes with a door. Almost all birds have a like organization for the
а construction of their nests (a beak and feet), but how infinitely do their nests vary in appearance, mode of
, construction, attachment to surrounding objects (they stand, are glued on, hang, etc.), selection of site (caves, holes, corners, forks of trees, shrubs, the ground), and excellence of workmanship; how often, too, are they not varied in the species of a single genus, as of parus. Many birds, moreover, build no nest at all. The differences in the songs of birds are in like manner independent of the special construction of their voice apparatus, nor do the modes of nest construction that obtain among ants and bees depend upon their bodily organization. Organization, as a general rule, only renders the bird capable of singing, as giving it an apparatus with which to sing at all, but it has nothing to do with the specific character of the execution. .. The nursing, defence, and education of offspring cannot be considered as in any way more dependent upon bodily organization; nor yet the sites which insects