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a view. The late Professor Goodsir, on the reason comparable to that of man, nevertheother hand, one of the most profound anat- less believed that it could not well be denied omists that Britain has ever produced, de- “ that there is in the constitution of the fines instinct as “a collective term applied brute an essence which is not material.” He to those laws in virtue of which the psychical believed that this immaterial principle is the endowments of the animal are so adjusted essential element of the animal, “ failing in reference to its organism with its functions, which, the body of the animal would have and to all the necessary and contingent cir- had no existence," and that it is in this imcumstances in its existence, as to enable material principle that "the instinctive conthem to work together harmoniously in the sciousness of the animal subsists." He beadaptation of means to ends, without self-con- lieved, however, that the immaterial princisciousness.” In other words, instinct is a ple of the brute is destitute of self-consciouscollective term applied to those laws in virness and, therefore, necessarily incapable tue of which each species of animal acts in of “intellectual movement;" so that “its a definite and unvarying manner under given so-called intellectual processes resolve themcircumstances, its actions being performed selves into mere suggestive acts. Its SO" with unerring accuracy and without pre- called thoughts, or trains of thought, are vious training."
merely individual acts of objective conWhatever definition of instinct be ultim- sciousness connected by the determining law ately adopted, few of those who have studied of its instinct. These acts of objective conthe subject will be disposed to deny that sciousness may be immediate—that is, inanimals, in some cases, exhibit phenomena duced by the actual presence of the object; which cannot rightly be called instinctive. or they may be mediate—that is reproduc
— Mr. Darwin concludes that animals exhibit tions of acts of objective consciousness, emotions essentially similar to those of man : through the memory or imagination." maternal affection, jealousy, love of praise, It is not necessary that we should accept shame, wonder, curiosity, imitation, atten- all the views of this profound observer upon tion, memory, imagination, and reason; and this subject; but the belief that animals the evidence, as regards most of these, will possess a much higher mental organization no doubt bear him out in his assertion. We than that usually allotted to them is one may remark, however, en passant that it is which is constantly gaining ground, and an assumption that dreaming is an act of which certainly in no way interferes with the the imagination, and no other proof is ad- belief that man's mental powers are sui generis duced that animals possess this faculty be- and wholly distinct in kind from those of yond the fact that they certainly dream. As animals. The admission of this cuts away regards the faculty of reason, few unpreju- from the Darwinian theory one of its strongdiced observers will probably deny its pos- est supports, for it deprives the evidence to session to the brutes, though there are doubt- be obtained from domesticated animals of less some to whom such an allowance would almost all its weight. If animals possess a be distasteful. In reality, however, no mental organization peculiar to each species, stronger assistance could be given to the then there is no reason whatever why such Darwinian theory of the descent of man than an organization should not be influenced by an obstinate adherence to the untenable and improved by man. We know that we doctrine that animals possess nothing higher can influence and improve the physical than mere blind and mechanical instincts. organization of a horse or a dog, without
The late Prof. Goodsir, indeed, whilst thinking that we could convert either into denying to the brutes the possession of a an elephant or a monkey. We may believe
also, with equal reason, that we can influence or the horse, or even the elephant. Much and improve the mental powers of these stress need not, however, be laid on this, animals, without thinking that we could ever for it may be said that this depends on the teach them to do Euclid, or to write poetry. different opportunities of mental improveBecause the psychical or mental organization ment enjoyed by each. A very much greater of an animal is within certain limits plastic difficulty is presented to us when we conand capable of improvement or degradation, sider the case of some of the lower animals it by no means follows that its power of which unquestionably owe none of their change is illimitable, however long a time be peculiarities to man's influence or man's allowed for such a process.
interference. If we take the case of some On this theory, therefore, the truly mar- of the ants, and more especially the various vellous mental phenomena manifested by species which are known to make and keep the dog, and to a less extent by other slaves, we are in the first place dealing with domestic animals, lose almost their entire Invertebrate animals, whose nervous system weight bearing on the unity of man's is of a very low type, only doubtfully premental organization with that of the lower senting anything which can be compared animals. If such a unity is ever to be proved with the brain of the Vertebrates. And yet, it must be by observations made upon wild they present mental phenomena of the most animals in a state of nature. The mental striking nature, and which certainly can not phenomena exhibited by the domestic ani- be set down to mere instinct, at any rate mals are the result of the action of man's not according to Mr. Darwin's definition.personality upon their partially plastic or- The Russet Ant (Formica rufescens), for ganization ; and no proof has yet been ad- example, habitually keeps slaves which are vanced to show that this plasticity extends captured when young. These slaves belong beyond certain very definite limits.
to a wholly different species, yet so entirely Up to this point, then, in our enquiry we do they forget their instincts or "inherited
“ may admit that man and the lower animals habits,” that they actually devote their lives show differences of degree only and not of to their masters, feed them, build their nests, kind; both alike exhibiting certain funda- bring up their young, and defend them with mental emotions and instincts, along with the utmost bravery. They show no recolthe power of reasoning and the faculty of lection of their own species, and manifest no memory. Before going on to consider if desire to return to their own people. Being there is any proof of the samne community of no developed sex, they cannot, of course, between man and brutes as regards the transmit these qualities to any descendants ; higher faculties, we may pause to consider and, for the same reason, the masters can a point which seems highly adverse to Mr. only keep up their stock by constantly makDarwin's theory. Upon this theory, we ing fresh captures. The masters, on the ought beyond all doubt to find the highest other hand, accept the services of the slaves mental development in those animals which in every particular, except that they go alone are themselves highest in the zoological on their slave-making expeditions. That scale, and nearest to man in physical struc- this system was one which was not born with ture. It may very fairly be doubted, how the species is shown by the fact that long ever, if this holds good, even within the holding of slaves has completely demoralized narrow limits of the Mammals. It may the masters, who can no longer even feed fairly be doubted, for instance, if the highest themselves without assistance. Were it not of the Anthropoid Apes can be compared as for the slaves, therefore, the species would regards his mental development with the dog die out. If we admit that the system of
slave-making is an inherited habit—as indeed which—whatever their true nature may be it almost certainly is in part—there must ---are of at least as high a character as those have been a time when the species dispensed exhibited by any quadruped whatsoever in with such artificial aid, but we fail to see any an undomesticated condition. It may be adequate explanation of the change. The doubted, indeed, if any domesticated Mamchange must certainly have been in opposi- mal has ever exhibited phenomena so stricttion to previously contracted habits and in- ly human; for no cases seem to be on record stincts, and could hardly have arisen without in which one species of Mammal has sucsome exercise of reasoning. That the be- ceeded in making another species work for haviour of the slaves cannot be ascribed to it.* It will not do to say that the one set instinct-if instinct be but "inherited habit of actions are instinctive and another set of -is quite certain ; since their conduct is the same, or of a higher, order are actuated by no means in accordance with any habits by reason. Whatever theory we adopt, we they could have derived from their parents. must apply the same reasoning to all cases, That the conduct of the masters is not and from this point of view it seems imposwholly instinctive seems also almost certain, sible to concede the possession of reason to the delicate touch of nature, betrayed by the Apes, and to deny at least an equal their not allowing their willing slaves to amount of it to the Ants. Nor is it a suffiaccompany them on slave-making expedi- cient explanation to say that these are "social tions, being almost human.
instincts” arising from the fact that Ants live To those who, like the present writer, in communities; since this leaves untouched believe that animals have certain mental the fact that no social Birds or Mammals endowments, each according to his kind, have exhibited anything higher in point of and apart from what is ordinarily called mental development. From whatever point instinct, the romantic history of the slave- of view we look at it, it would seem that making Ants offers no difficulties. It ap- either the Ants, as Invertebrate animals, are pears, however, to present an almost insu- much more clever than their type of nervous perable bar to the theory of the evolution of system should permit, or the Apes and other man's mental faculties out of those of the Mammals are far less clever. The same lower animals. If, as before said, the germs conclusion may be reached by a consideraof man's faculties are present in the lower tion of many other phenomena in the maranimals, then most certainly we ought to vellous history of Ants, to say nothing of find the nearest approach to man's mental White Ants or Bees, but the case here chosen phenomena in the animals nearest him in will be sufficient for its purpose. anatomical structure. Upon this theory we Let us pass on now to consider very briefly should hardly expect to find any psychical some of the points in which man is asserted phenomena comparable to those of man, to be superior to the lower animals, so supeexcept in the highest Vertebrates; and the rior that he differs from thein in kind and advocates of this view might have fairly not in degree only. According to Darwin, explained the absence of high mental powers these points are " that man alone is capable in all lower than the Mammals, by saying of progressive improvement ; that he alone that these alone possessed a brain in any makes use of tools or fire, domesticates other way comparable to that of man. Here, however, we have an Invertebrate animal,
* The Jackal has sometimes been spoken of as the further removed in anatomical structure from
“Lion's provider”; but there is no reason to believe
that jackals have any connection with lions other the lowest Vertebrate than man himself is, than that caused by their anxiety to secure the leav. exhibiting a sequence of mental phenomena / ings of the stronger beast.
animals, possesses property, or employs of misery and death." The human organlanguage; that no other animal is self-con- ism properly so-called is the combination of scious, comprehends itself, has the power of this psychical element with the corporeal abstraction, or possesses general ideas; mechanism. It is “the animal in man” and that man alone has a sense of beauty, is is the only point in which man resembles the liable to caprice, has the feeling of gratitude, animal. In addition, however, to his corpomystery, etc; believes in God, or is endowed real and psychical elements, in which he with a conscience.” Many of these al- | resembles the animal, man possesses a spiritleged peculiarities are so palpably depend- ual principle or rational consciousness, in ent and consequent on others of the same virtue of which he becomes self-conscious.list, or are intrinsically of such secondary Self-consciousness, in turn, implies the exerimportance, that it will be sufficient to con- cise of thought ; since it “ involves a comfine our attention here to two of them, parison and jndgment regarding two things, namely man's self-consciousnesss, and his neither of which we can think down or out moral sense. The possession of language of existence-namely, the self which thinks, will not be touched upon here, partly because, and the self which is thought of.” In virtue at best, language is merelyan outward and vis- of this self-conscious spiritual principle, man ible sign of something far deeper, and partly alone of all the organized beings on the because there are phenomena in certain dis- earth, is capable of disobeying the laws of eases, more especially in aphasia, which his psychical principle or organism ; man appear to have been overlooked by Mr. alone is capable of thought and speech, "the Darwin, and to be utterly fatal to his beliefs phonetic expression of thought"; man alone as to the origin, nature and development of “is impressed with the belief of moral truth language.
and divine agency,” and alone possesses a As regards the presence of self-conscious will properly so termed. “ At this point we Dess, as distinguishing man from any and all reach the solution of the question as to the animals, we can not do better than shortly essence of humanity. With an animal body consider the views advocated by Goodsir, and instincts, man possesses also a conin his admirable lectures on the “Dignity of sciousness involving Divine truth in its regulathe Human Body," without entering into tive principles. But along with this highly any discussion as to the extent to which endowed consciousness, the human being these views may be defended. According has been left free to act either according to to this eminent observer, man consists the impulses of his animal or of his higher essentially of three elements—a corporeal, principle. The actual history of humanity, a psychical and a spiritual. The psychical of its errors, its sufferings and its progress, element of man agrees in its nature with the is the record of the struggle between man's immaterial principle of animals, and is the animal and Divine principle, and of the seat of his instinctive consciousness. To means vouchsafed by his Creator for his rethis psychical element is due the form and lief.” This possession by man of a form of structure of the human body; and in it “are conscious principle higher than and distinct based all those instincts, emotions, appetites from that of any animal "leaves no place for and passions which, stronger, keener and man in any conceivable arrangement of the more numerous than in the animal, were animal kingdom.” conferred on man for his higher purpose Such, stated in the briefest and baldest and greater enjoyment, so long as subject to manner, are the views entertained by one his higher principle; but which have, under of the greatest anatomists which this century his freedom of choice, become the sources has produced, as to the constitution of man
and his proper place in the world which he however, give the views of those who hold inhabits. It were doubtless easy to point that this conversion has actually taken place, out that many of these views are more or in the terse and vigorous language of St. less of the nature of unprovable assumptions. George Mivart : It were easy, however, to point out a simi- “ They say that "natural selection' has lar defect in many of the views entertained evolved moral conceptions from perceptions by his opponents. We prefer, therefore, to of what was useful, i. e, pleasurable, by havabstain from all comment, merely remarking ing through long ages preserved a predomithat it is a noteworthy fact, that views accept nating number of those individuals who able to all advocates of a Spiritual Philoso- have had a natural and spontaneous liking phy should have been arrived at, by a wholly for practices and habits of mind useful to independent line of thought, by one whose the race, and that the same power has life was devoted to the study of man's phy- destroyed a predominating number of those sical structure.
individuals who possessed a marked tenIt remains only very cursorily to consider dency to contrary practices. The descendhow far man's possession of a “moral sense" | ants of individuals so preserved have, they can be said to distinguish him from animals. say, come to inherit such a liking and such By the term “moral sense” is understood useful habits of mind, and that at last, (findthe conception of right, or, in the words of ing this inherited tendency thus existing in Darwin, the comprehension of all that “is themselves, distinct from their tendency to summed up in that short but imperious word self-gratification) they have become apt to ought, so full of high significance.” The regard it as fundamentally distinct, innate, presence of a moral sense, or of a conception and independent of all experience. In fact, of right, has long been advanced as one of according to this school, the idea of 'right' the most striking characters by which man is only the result of the gradual accretion of is distinguished from the brutes; since ani- useful predilections which, from time to time, mals certainly have no comprehension of arose in a series of ancestors naturally selectthe meaning of the word “ought.” Animals, ed. In this way, 'morality' is, as it were,
( however, appear to have some idea of what the congealed past experience of the race, is useful to them, as they possess the power and 'virtue' becomes no more than a sort of experiencing both painful and pleasurable of “retrieving,' which the thus improved husensations. Animals can, therefore, be man animal practises by a perfected and intaught in many instances either to perform herited habit, regardless of self-gratification, certain acts, or to abstain from the perform- just as the brute animal has acquired the ance of others. Those who regard man's habit of seeking prey and bringing it to his faculties as differing from those of animals in master, instead of devouring it himself.”
, degree only, have sought to break down the
It appears to us that this debasing and barriers which distinguish the moral sense, degrading view of man's morality is one, the and have endeavoured to show that the con- refutation of which might safely be left to ception of right is at bottom but an expand the innate feelings of the great bulk of maned and developed comprehension of what is kind. That virtue is but a sort of retrieving useful. This is absolutely essential to the is an opinion which is hopelessly at variance view that man, in his totality, has been evol with the knowledge which, we should hope,
, ved out of the lower animals. How a per- most men intuitively possess as to their moral ception of expediency becomes converted constitution. The theory, however, is one into a sense of right might at first sight ap- which must be met upon scientific grounds, pear a somewhat puzzling problem. We will, and it is satisfactory to believe that the