Psychology : A New Cerebral Theory
( Originally Published 1913 )
IT will be necessary in this section to set aside the Cours de Philosophie Positive for Comte's latest work, Politique Positive, in which he propounds a new cerebral theory, as an improvement on that propounded by Gall. Before doing so, however, a few general remarks may be permitted with reference to the object and methods of psychological research.
Comparative anatomy is quite a modern Science, and yet, in spite of its infancy, all philosophers are sensible of its eminent importance in the construction of a true science of Biology. A necessary consequence of this study of comparative anatomy with a view to Biology, will be the study of Comparative Psychology, with a view to the clearer appreciation of our psychial condition ; but as yet this new inquiry has only been pursued in a fitful and, so to speak, unconscious mood, owing mainly to the ancient prejudice against recognising anything like intelligence in the brute creation. " Brutes have instinct—men have mind :" that is the current doctrine ; ,which, deeply considered, is about as true as to say, brutes have four legs—men have legs and arms. For the arm is not more demonstrably the homologue of the leg, more varied in its function owing to the varied modification of its construction, than Intelligence is an advance upon Instinct, owing to the greater development of its organ. Comparative anatomy shows us that all the innumerable varieties of vertebrate structure are but modifications of one type ; and comparative Psychology will show that all the innumerable mental varieties are owing to various modifications of the nervous system. Instinct is not essentially different from Mind ; it is only the simpler function of a simpler organ. The earlier forms of mental manifestation are named Instinct; the more complicated forms, Intelligence but as the nervous system is specifically nervous, whatever may be the amount of concentration in its central masses, so Mind is specifically Mind whatever the intensity or variety of its manifestations. Man shares with the Brute a twofold life—vegetative and animal : he also shares with the brute a twofold mental life—instinctive and rational. In ascending the scale of creation, we see animal life gradually encroaching on the supremacy of vegetative life; and in like manner we see reason gaining predominance over instinct.
The necessity of making Physiology the basis of Psychology is gradually becoming recognised, even among Metaphysicians.* How, indeed, can we ignore the relation of function and organ? How can we fail to perceive that the problem is twofold—Given the function to determine the organ, and vice versa ? Even Metaphysicians with their " Ego," " Soul," "Immaterial Spirit," or by whatever name they may designate it, do establish an organ for the function; but, as usual with them, they prefer a vague unknown, unknowable " something," to the plain palpable anatomical structure ! So strong is this tendency, that even when positive science has demonstrated the anatomical organs, when it has shown the dependence of the functions on the nervous system, Metaphysicians still insist upon their " Spirit," and declare that it uses the anatomical organs as its " instruments," acting through them but independent of them. If, however, the physiologist were to declare that the Digestive Ego acts through the organs of Digestion, playing on them as a musician plays on a harpsichord —the Muscular Ego through the Muscular System, —the Secretive Ego through the Glandular System, each Ego preserving its spiritual independence, we should not warmly applaud his reasoning.
It may perhaps be said : "Digestion, Muscular Action, Secretion, Thought itself, are but the modes of activity of the one Spirit located in the body, the individual Soul, the Life, mysterious yet indisputable, which rules over the organism."
The reply is simple : What that Life is we know not—cannot know. The mystery is impenetrable. No positive philosopher attempts to penetrate it; he objects, however, to your calling it a Spirit, as if you knew !—he objects to your troubling the already difficult course of investigation into the laws of psychological phenomena, by assumptions and dogmas relative to that Spirit, as if you knew ! His province is to determine function and organ, that he may attain positive knowledge ; to do so he must pursue the same course as that which has successfully led him to positive knowledge in other departments. Confining himself to such rigorous procedure, he finds the phenomena of Digestion manifested only by a peculiar anatomical system, varying with the varying structure ; he finds the phenomena of Secretion likewise manifested by a peculiar system ; and finally he finds the phenomena of Sensation and Thought manifested by a peculiar system, varying with its structural complexity ; he concludes, therefore, that the phenomena depend on—are properties of—the nervous structure.
What is here said of Metaphysicians applies to the Materialists also, for they are equally metaphysical in their explanations of "nervous fluid," "irritability," or "vibrations." No amount of ingenuity will make an "impression" transmitted along a nerve, either by mechanical "vibrations" or by fluids of the most mysterious quality, explain the nature of perception, which remains the essential fact and eternal mystery.
Positive Philosophy recognises but one object of inquiry—that of laws ; and but two modes of investigating—1st. to determine what are the specific phenomena of psychological action ; 2nd. what are the organic conditions on which those phenomena depend. In other words, functions and organs.
The old psychology, by the predominance it gave to Intelligence, was led to deny intelligence to Animals, and naturally admitted the plausible paradox which reduced all our emotive actions to a principle of Selfishness (in spite of the energetic denial that paradox received from every man's consciousness), as if man had no spontaneity of action, but was always intellectually calculating results ! That Animals were Machines and that Men were Egotists, became logical deductions !
Positive Philosophy, taking its stand on actual observation, sweeps away this and many other cobwebs, and if not in a condition, as yet, to elaborate a science of Psychology, it clears the way for one, by pointing out the direction which investigation must take.
Let us now turn to Comte's cerebral theory. Before presenting the outline of his theory he expounds the Method by which alone such a system can be successfully elaborated, and indicates its points of divergence from that of Gall, whom he nevertheless regards not only as the initiator of the true 'physiology of the brain, but also the one who demonstrated the seats of its main functions. He insists on the importance of here giving priority to the subjective Method, i. e., the study of mental phenomena or functions, their order of genesis and mutual relations. The correct analysis of these, however, and still more their synthesis into harmonious unity, pre-supposes a high condition of moral as well as intellectual advancement, and hence Comte holds the necessity of a true sociological doctrine to be an essential condition in the elaboration of a complete cerebral theory; and this condition Gall overlooked. The results thus attained are to be continually checked by that branch of the objective Method which was admirably applied by Gall, namely, the study of animal psychology. All our elementary faculties being held in common with animals, animals furnish us with a test for our analysis, and especially serve to correct any undue multiplication of primitive tendencies.
The formula by which he describes his general principle is this : " Sociological inspiration controlled by Zoological appreciation."
He thus rejects the empirical Method by which Gall attained his chief results, and builds up à priori, i. e. by the consideration of the mental functions, their order of development and relative dignity—a system the final confirmation of which he refers to the anatomist. But in rejecting Gall's Method, he declares that Gall's discoveries have supplied him with a basis and point of departure.
Agir par affection, et sentir pour agir: such is the motto of his system, which indicates the predominance given to the emotive over the merely intellectual—in opposition to the old psychology which always subordinated the emotions to the intellect.
This emotional life (vie affective) is divisible into Personality and Sociality. The lower animals only manifest the first ; the second commences with a separation of the sexes, and grows more and more energetic in proportion to the rank of the animal in the hierarchical scale ; so that all the higher animals exhibit both Personality and Sociality. These may be denominated Egoism and Altruism.
A just equilibrium of the two sentiments is not possible. Personality usually predominates, even in man; this preponderance is in fact essential to the development of each individual existence, and arises from the instinct of self-preservation ; but is modified by the opposite sentiment, in proportion as each learns to live for others. Hence results the great social problem : the subjection, as far as possible, of Personality to Sociality, by referring everything to Humanity as a whole. The social state tends towards this result, developing the weaker, and restraining the more energetic instinct. This permanent conflict between Personality and Sociality is therefore to be regarded as the natural basis of a true general theory of Emotional life.
This being the first step in the positive classification of the different elementary tendencies, it is next necessary to separate first Personality, then Sociality, into really fundamental instincts, and to arrange them successively in a scale, of which the two extremes are represented by Egotism and Altruism.
The situation of the organs assembled under these two classes of sentiment has been, in the main, correctly indicated by Gall. Having admitted that the cerebral functions progress in dignity and diminish in energy in proportion as they advance from the back to the front, we are led to place the social sentiments in the anterior portion of the emotional region, —the less noble instincts lying behind them. We are confirmed in this arrangement by the necessity of seeking the benevolent instincts in juxtaposition with the intellectual faculties. There is an especial and intimate connection between these two classes of superior attributes. Altruism, when energetic, is always found to exercise greater influence upon the intelligence than egotism, presenting a larger field for exertion, a more difficult aim, and also a more vigorous demand for its co-operation.
Between purely Personal Interest and the Social Sentiment, there is a third more indirect interest, relating to our connexion with others, with reference to the personal advantages derivable from them. This intermediate group ought to be placed at the top of the lower portion of the brain, as, in classification, it naturally finds itself between complete Egotism, and pure Altruism.
The direct interest which constitutes fundamental egotism is separable into the instincts of Preservation and Perfectibility ; the first, of course, the most energetic, universal, and indispensable, although the less noble. But we cannot look upon this as a perfectly simple instinct, for it becomes necessary to distinguish the preservation of the individual from the preservation of the species. Comte has given the first of these tendencies the title of nutritive, from its principal attribute ; but it must not be forgotten that there are other attributes, comprehending all that appertains to the material preservation of the individual. This is the most universal of all instincts, the existence of every animal depending on it, and it is therefore preponderant, even in man.
Gall assigns no special locality to this faculty, probably because of its universal importance, which, according to ancient physiological prejudices, would be incompatible with a fixed seat. But this could only be the case with animals the very lowest in the scale, and of Such extreme structural simplicity as to present no anatomical distinction whatever. In every other instance, this special organ must exist, and must necessarily in-crease in importance as the animal rises higher in the scale of development, acquiring new and varied inclinations, whose impulses might overpower the instinct of preservation, had it not a distinct faculty. In accordance with the preceding principles, it should be sought at the brain, closely adjoining the seat of motive power and of vegetative life. Comte places it in the centre of the cerebellum,—the remaining portion of which is the seat of the reproductive instinct, imagined by Gall to occupy the whole.
Two separate instincts combine for the preservation of the species, the one sexual, the other maternal. The former is more energetic and less elevated than the latter ; and in descending the animal scale, we some-times find the maternal instinct altogether wanting, even in cases where complete separation of the sexes exists.
Such is the arrangement of the three first divisions of the emotional series, comprehending the three preservative instincts,—the nutritive, the sexual, and the maternal. The decrease of energy, in proportion to the elevation, is very remarkable here,—and a corresponding gradation is observable in the position of their respective organs, in the centre of the cerebellum, its sides, and the base of the inferior portion of the cerebrum. Continuity of action, a quality attributable generally to the whole of the emotional faculties, is principally apparent in the first or nutritive instinct ; but its occasional suspension in the other two is usually referable to peculiar circumstances which may check or divert their natural impulses.
Next to the group of the faculties of Preservation, we find a combination of the two instincts of Perfectibility which are designated by the titles of military and industrial. More dignified and less energetic than the preceding, they still approximate to fundamental egotism, influencing the individual by motives of purely personal interest. They act by opposite, yet constantly coexistent methods, the destruction of obstacles, and the creation of aids, the former the most energetic, easy, and universal. The industrial instinct appears at first sight to belong almost exclusively to man, but we recognise it in all those animals which possess the faculty of construction, often called into exercise by the preservative instincts, especially the maternal. According to our theory, the seat of both these faculties must be the back of the head, and the military instinct should be placed on either side of the organ of maternity, and the industrial immediately above that faculty.
The five egotistical tendencies thus classified, it becomes easy to extend the emotional series to those inter-mediate instincts which gradually approximate to the social end of the scale. This transition is accomplished by two faculties of totally distinct nature, though often confounded : pride, or love of power, and vanity, or love of approbation. Originally personal instincts, they become social by the modification of external circumstances, in the process of satisfying their impulses. Vanity, as Gall has recognized, approximates more to sociality than pride. Each aspires towards personal ascendancy, the one by force, the other by opinion. Pride would command ; vanity would persuade or convince.
There can be no difficulty in determining the position of these organs. Pride, as the more personal, is situated lowest, on either side of the industrial faculty; and vanity, as the more social, immediately above, thus terminating, as it began, the region of intermediate sentiments by a cerebral organ. Thus is the series of the seven personal instincts, common to all the superior animals, complete.
This arrangement gradually prepares the way for the noble termination of the emotional series by the group of social or altruistic instincts. Here we find the relative increase of dignity and decrease of energy strongly marked. The inferior energy is in some measure compensated by the greater facility of action, as individuals do not interfere with each other in the simultaneous exertion of these faculties, but benefit by participation. These nobler instincts are not confined to man; indeed, they may be studied with peculiar ad-vantage in animals, free from the modifications of social and mental influences.
In every complex existence, the general harmony depends upon the preponderance of some chief impulse, to which all the others must be subordinate. This preponderating influence must be either egotistic or altruistic. It is not only in a social point of view that the superiority of the latter sentiment is felt ; it influences no less strongly the moral condition of the individual. A character governed by the inferior instincts alone, can have neither stability nor fixed purposes; these qualities are alone attained under the empire of the impulses which prompt man to live for others. Every individual, man or animal, accustomed to live for self alone, is condemned to a miserable alternation of ignoble torpor or feverish activity. Even personal happiness and merit therefore depend on the predominance of the sympathetic instincts. Progress towards such a moral condition should be the object of every living being. To live for others is thus the natural conclusion of all Positive Morality.
It is reserved for Man alone to carry out this system to its highest development ; but the inferior races partake in its advantages, according to their capabilities; exchanging savage independence for voluntary submission. The extension of this benefit to all classes of created beings capable of improvement is one of the most important results of our own moral regeneration. But such extension presupposes the same instincts as those which, under more favourable circumstances, elevate humanity ; and such noble instincts are resident in all animals capable of being tamed by man.
The nobler instincts are few in number. Gall has classified them as Attachment, Veneration, and the supreme instinct Benevolence. The sympathetic affections must be distinguished as special pr general. In the first case, they are more intense but less elevated. The faculty of attachment, circumscribed in its objects, unites two beings only, and is developed in animals as strongly as in man. The other special sympathy, Veneration, though also determinate in its objects, has a more ex-tended scope. An important element in it is voluntary submission. This also is found in animals, but not so universally as the preceding instinct. This grand sentiment constitutes a link between individual affection and universal benevolence. The last mentioned faculty,—the extreme limit of the emotional series, varies, not in character but in application and degree,—extending from the vast sentiment of patriotism to individual sympathy. Animals undoubtedly possess it, but in an inferior degree.
In terminating this arrangement of the emotional series, Comte points out its vast moral importance. The gradation of the social sentiments ought to be fully understood, that educational discipline may be founded on the sympathetic tendencies, of which the supreme sentiment must be regarded as the final limit, and ought only to be approached by these successive stages.
The situation of the three nobler instincts has been correctly indicated by Gall, with the exception of the first, or faculty of Attachment, which, from defect of system, he has located with the egotistical organs, and apart from the two other sympathetic instincts. Benevolence is situated at the centre, at the highest point . of the cerebrum, and Veneration immediately behind it. Between these organs and that of the highest personal instinct there is a space, to be hereafter filled by one of the active functions. Attachment is situated on either side of Veneration, and at its base communicates with the organ of Vanity,—maintaining thus the continuity of the emotional region. The superiority justly attributed by Gall to central organs marks the importance of this social region, comprehending two single and one double organ, while the region of the personal instincts contains four double to three single. The highest point of the emotional region, so closely allied to the speculative faculties, has less connexion than the rest with the seat of motion and of vegetative life. The continuity of action, attributed to the emotional instincts, extends, in degree, to the social series.
The principal value of this arrangement is in assisting us to classify different natures and dispositions. This was seen and attempted by Gall, but unsuccessfully, owing to the philosophical defect in his method of enquiry. Comte introduces it here, because the principle should he first applied to the emotional faculties, as the distinguishing type of character must mainly depend on the more energetic and habitual impulses, and can be only modifiable by the intellectual influences. Gall errs in not perceiving the radical identity Of man and animals, the difference between them being only direction and degree.
In considering the ten elementary instincts which form the great emotional series, five purely personal, three purely social, and two intermediate, partaking of both natures, ordinary observation at once leads us to a natural classification of the different types of each race, according to the nature of the predominating instinct. Dispositions influenced by the purely egotistic impulses, we call popularly "bad," and apply the term "good" to those in which altruism predominates. But the number of these extreme types of either tendency is comparatively small; the majority of characters in all races are alternately governed by either class of sentiment, and oscillate between the two. We must distinguish a third type, swayed principally by the two intermediate instincts, forming, in the social races, the class from whence the governing spirits are taken, and acting by command or by persuasion, according as the more personal or social of the two faculties predominates. Although it is the constitution of the emotional region which principally determines the type of a character, its development depends greatly on the influences exerted by the intellectual and other faculties. The original disposition remains, however, always discoverable on careful investigation, in animals as in man.
We must now proceed to the analysis of the speculative faculties, which suggest the means of satisfying the emotional impulses, and then the active faculties, which preside over the execution of the projects thus formed.
Comte differs so essentially from the doctrines of Gall respecting the intellectual faculties, that it is necessary to preface this division of the subject with a statement of their principal points of variance. The logical deficiencies of Gall's method of enquiry have been the source of less error in treating of the emotional faculties, because they were checked by common sense and observation, and by the study of animals, where the simple instincts are to be found less modified by mental or social .influences. He had also sufficient speculative boldness to disregard the metaphysical ambiguities with which preceding philosophers had concealed the truth, and having escaped this, the chief danger, instinctive sense and observation taught him to regard the heart as the chief source and ruler of moral life.
In treating of the intellectual functions his errors became more serious, unchecked by the two sources of correct influence he had hitherto enjoyed, (popular opinion, and the study of animal natures). Extensive generalization, founded on the positive laws of development, is necessary to the appreciation of the progress of the intellectual functions. Gall, in avoiding the errors of faulty generalizations, and unable to replace them by a sounder theory, lost himself in particular and sometimes frivolous distinctions. Detecting the fallacy of the doctrines then current upon the supremacy of the external senses, he fell into the opposite error of under-rating their importance, and assigned to certain cerebral organs the principal attributes of sight and hearing.
In Gall's attack upon the doctrines of the Psychologists and Ideologists, there is nothing satisfactorily determined except in his negative discussion, where he has clearly demonstrated the fallacy of their logical explanations, analyzing the different faculties of will, memory, attention, &c., defined by his opponents as elementary attributes. But he is not so successful in the theory he attempts to substitute for these learned puerilities, respecting these general phenomena as so many modes of action, common to all the true cerebral functions, even the emotional. The small success this theory has met with is have itself an argument against it, at a time when freedom of thought prevails, and failure is not a necessary consequence of departure from old routine. Sociology alone has enabled Comte to replace it, without returning to previous errors. Before stating his own doctrine of the elementary functions of the intellect, Comte explains his analysis of those general conditions, which proceed, as he believes, neither from original faculties nor from common modes of action, but from the concurrence of the different mental operations.
In the first place, they are limited to the intellectual organs ; it was a mistake of Gall to extend their influence to the emotional series. It is impossible to grant to the emotional series the attributes of memory, judgment, and imagination; nor can they, notwithstanding their extreme sensitiveness, be said to possess sensation, properly so called. Popular opinion has justly applied to instincts the epithet of " blind." To feel, and to desire, are their exclusive functions. These simple motions result in impulses, but unguided by reflection or judgment, or power of self consciousness, which depends on the exertion of the intellectual organs. In-capable of reflection .or judgment, the emotional organs cannot be susceptible of either memory or imagination, and any apparent exertion of those attributes is caused in reality by their reaction upon the intellectual faculties. One of the ancient intellectual attributes alone has been justly assigned by Gall to the emotional region, namely,—Will, which may even be considered to belong exclusively to it. For Will, properly so called, is the final. state of desire, when mental deliberation has decided on the propriety of some predominant impulse. It is true the intellectual organs inspire special desires relative to their peculiar functions, but they are deficient in the energy necessary to induce action, which depends solely on the emotional impulse.
Memory and imagination, then, equally with knowing and judgment, are purely intellectual attributes : but they are ,no more peculiar functions than they are universal functions. They are to be considered solely as different compound conditions, resulting from the concurrence of the true elementary functions of the mind, hereafter to be described.
Nothing can be more erroneous than the theory formerly current of the complete separation between observation and reasoning. The operations of the mind are but a prolongation of external impressions, which again are reacted on by the former. Each act of reasoning requires a combination of these two processes. This is proved by the fact that the clearness of any conception depends upon the sufficiency and reiteration of external impressions. When these are vague and in-sufficient, the mind attempts to supply their place by its own combinations, and if the impulses to decision are sufficiently energetic, the intellect, unable to preserve a condition of pure suspense, decides upon deficient evidence. This state, in which the intellect instead of being merely the minister of the heart, becomes its slave, is common among animals, and is observable even in man ; indeed, such may be said to have been his normal state during his long theological infancy.
Maintaining the habitual participation of the judgment in the operations hitherto attributed to sensation alone, Comte is far from attributing the same influence to memory or imagination. It is impossible to regard them as simple faculties, either peculiar or universal ; each act of memory often demanding as much mental elaboration as an external discovery. The immediate and spontaneous reproduction of every impression, which constitutes a law of animal life, is quite different from memory, properly so called, which always involves a mental operation. This must be even more varied and complex in the combinations of the imagination. The celebrated argument of Gall upon individual memories is more specious than solid. A deeper philosophical analysis would show that these apparent distinctions result from diversities of situation and training, combined with the organic difference of individual energy in the various functions. The one faculty especial to memory and imagination, is that of language.
Intellectual faculties are of two kinds, appertaining respectively to conception and expression. Though the latter, in the normal condition, are always subordinate to the former,—their separate existence, demanding an especial organ,—is thus demonstrable.
Expression presupposes conception, to which it is itself no less a necessary complement, for the purposes of social intercourse, and also as a means and a test of advance and improvement. In all the Western dialects, the word expressive of reasoning signifies, in its Greek etymology, language. On the other hand, the Italian applies the word "ragionare" to simple recital. But such intimate connection must not lead to the error of confounding functions so essentially distinct. In infancy language is developed before judgment,—simple formulas are acquired which are not understood till later. And in after life, the unequal rapidity of these two operations is often felt. In composition Comte says he has constantly remarked that expression precedes conception for a few sentences, and is meanwhile directed by a sort of prevision of their eventual harmony.* Even if we limit this discrepancy to acquired knowledge only, the case is the same, as learning and inventing necessitate the same mental operations in different degrees. Gall was therefore right in assigning to language an especial organ in man, and also in all animals above that point in the zoological scale marked by the separation of the sexes.
Conception, in this higher stage of development, is of two kinds,—distinguished as Contemplation and Reflection. By the fermer the mind receives, through the medium of the senses, those external impressions on which all mental operations are founded. To such images the term "ideas" is properly applied. The office of the other faculty, Reflection, is the combination of those impressions, and their application to general con-duct; and its results we term "thoughts." It is an error to suppose that these faculties are restricted to man; they are equally indispensable to the existence of all the superior animals, in whom the nutritive, reproductive, and maternal instincts elicit constant proofs of a high degree of sagacity, foresight, and invention.
The organ of Contemplation is situated in the lower part of the frontal region; that of Reflection immediately above it. We are led to this arrangement by the propriety of seeking near the organs of sense the single cerebral function which is directly connected with them, and of placing next to the emotional group the intellectual organ which takes cognizance of their various impulses.
We have here traced the progressive order of the intellectual faculties ; first contemplative, then reflective, and finally communicative. But to arrive at the simple and fundamental nature of these functions we must still further analyse contemplation and reflection. We shall find still prevailing the principle that energy decreases in proportion as range of action increases.
We are thus led to distinguish two kinds of contemplation ; the one synthetical, relating to beings, and possessing a concrete character ; the other analytical, em-bracing events, and consequently of a more abstract nature. The first is the source of real but individual ideas,—the second of more general, but also more artificial conceptions. This latter is peculiarly applicable to Science, while the other is more so to Art.
Concrete observation is more closely dependent on external impressions, than abstract observation, which acts more indirectly, by conceptions furnished to it by the former. The organ of abstract observation ought therefore to be in immediate connection with that of concrete observation, but further removed from the organs of external sense. It is therefore situated on the median line ; while concrete contemplation occupies a double organ placed over either eye.
The Analysis of the Reflective faculty will be clear to all who have rightly appreciated the positive distinction between induction and deduction. The process of Reflection is conducted by two opposite, but equally important methods, by stating principles, and by drawing conclusions. The tendency of the former method is towards generalization; that of the latter, towards systematization. To inductive reflection belongs the study of statical relations or resemblances ; to deductive that of dynamical or successive arrangement.
According to this distinction, deductive reason, the higher and more subjective faculty, though the less direct and indispensable, ought to reside in a central organ, in the midst of the upper portion of the cerebrum, in close contact with the nobler instincts, the satisfaction of which is its constant employment. Inductive logic, on the contrary, occupies a double organ on either side, closely adjoining those faculties of observation on which it is principally exercised.
In this analysis of the cerebral region devoted to the conceptive faculties, we observe four successive mental operations ; 1st. the observation of beings; 2nd. that of events ; 3rd. the perception of principles ; and 4th. of consequences. As to the degree in which the faculty is extended to the animal world, no unprejudiced observer can ignore the evidences of deductive reasoning, apparent in their daily existence, and indispensable to it.
The last function of the intellectual series remaining to be considered, namely, Expression, is the necessary complement of the preceding, at least in those species in which Sociality is in any degree developed. In the lower animals, where existence is purely personal, impulses find direct and simple expression in actions; but in social life some more clear indication, previous to action, is necessary to obtain the sympathy or the assistance of others. The most simple form of expression is an imitation of the appropriate action; but as more complex relations arise, a language is formed, more or less artificial, founded originally upon natural cries or gestures, and becoming more fixed and extended as the necessity for it increases. To language we owe the preservation and increase of knowledge, and its trans-mission is the most valuable part of instruction.
One cerebral organ influences all the different methods of expression which constitute language. Its simplest forms are actions ; but vocal sounds early become, among the superior animals, the principal medium for the formation of signs. This choice is obviously determined by the natural relation between the voice and the sense of hearing, an advantage which is not shared by imitative expression.
Both these forms of expression, though principally the growth of social relations, are yet connected with per-sonal existence, exercising the corresponding muscles, and furnishing a means for the expansion of internal emotions. The tendency of feeling and expression to react upon one another has been always remarked ; and among all the superior animals, as with us, cries and gestures are employed to soothe or excite the passions.
Expression constitutes undoubtedly an intellectual function, but is more closely allied than any other to the emotional, and even to the active functions. Its especial province being to construct a true language, or system of signs, it is necessary that this fifth function should be subordinate to the four intellectual faculties, whose office it is to direct and control it. Where these are deficient, mere verbiage is the result, the province of language being not to originate ideas, but to translate into outward expression the mental operations of the other intellectual powers.
This completes the exposition of the intellectual faculties. Two more for the practical qualities, viz., Activity and Firmness, complete the series.
I cannot close this brief abstract of Comte's psycho-logical theory without urging the reader to seek in the original work a more circumstantial statement of it. I have not interrupted the exposition with comments, but here it is right to add that this abstinence from criticism is not to be interpreted into entire assent.