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an important factor in developing man's thinking powers. Another superior character perfected in the human species is the larynx, which enables individuals to communicate accurately their ideas, so that the thoughts and experiences of one may be made the common property of all. And the transference and use of ideas tend to stimulate new ideas. By these and other means the brain has developed until mental powers rather than physical features have become the distinguishing characteristic of the human species. It is difficult to state the exact difference between man and other animals; but it is certain that man has a greater degree of self-consciousness and an increased ability of self-direction through reason.
With the attainment of an adequate physical organization, then, further advantage lay in the direction of increasing intelligence, and ever since the appearance of the primates evolution has been chiefly a matter of brain development. With the advent of man evolution changed from a physical to a social phenomenon and progress has consisted in the accumulation of mental products. Possibilities of progress along social lines seem to be without limit. The increase in desires and in the complications of intense social life stimulate new brain coördinations, until civilized man is already much farther removed from primitive man in point of mental achievement than is primitive man from the anthropoids.
The Goal of Development. If the significance of the course of evolution be now considered, it will be evident that nature produced a complicated and efficient physical organization and along with it developed a marvellously effective nervous system. This perfected physical organization made possible the development of the intellectual powers. These two qualities, physical and mental, are usually regarded as different forms of life; and we may therefore conclude that nature's work in the past has resulted in the production of higher and higher forms of life; and that the future goal of nature, and therefore the ideal for the individual, - will be the achievement of the maximum of life. This goal implies then, not merely the highest possible development of each individual, but the production of the highest type of individual, even though this type may be achieved only through the sacrifice of particular individuals.
The term life used in connection with the ideal has the advantage of being easy to comprehend, but it has the disadvantage of being difficult to define. Everyone recognizes the difference between the animate and the inanimate and distinguishes broadly higher from lower forms of life. Still, that force which gives an organism its internal power of growth and renewal escapes our powers of comprehension even as it does our powers of description. Spencer's definition that life is a continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations'; and Brooks's definition that life is response to the order of nature', may be true; but they hardly give us a clearer comprehension of the thing itself. If the word life is used then, it will have to be as a generally accepted popular term rather than a scientific term capable of exact definition. Inability to define a term is not always, however, an objection to its use.
Other Statements of the Ideal. The conclusions of other writers who approach the problem from different points of view may profitably be compared. Spencer bases progress on a tendency towards individuation. In the animate world, he says, we find higher and higher forms of organization and structure. Lester F. Ward finds the object of nature to be the transference of the maximum amount of inorganic matter to the organized state. Or, again, he says that evolution is essentially a process of storing cosmic energy. And he cites Asa Gray as arriving at a similar conclusion when he says that the object of nature is to accumulate the greatest amount of “ being” upon a given space. These statements are all true and suggestive. They help to elucidate the course of development, yet they do not explain it fully. The use of the term
being ” is similar to the use of “life.” It involves the same difficulty of definition and is probably even less easily understood. The idea of organization in the definitions of Spencer and of Ward is too mechanical an explanation to be entirely satisfactory. It describes one of the external manifestations of life and is more applicable to physical than to social and mental development. For example, it is evident that a bird is more highly organized than a mollusk, and a man than a fish. It
1 Outlines of Sociology, p. 45.
is also true that with mankind some brains are more highly organized than others. But that superior type of individual life realized in better adaptation to society is not adequately expressed in terms of structure. The criminal does not represent so high a form of life as does the socially adapted or moral man; yet to prove this on the basis of brain structure would be difficult. Two individuals with equally complicated brain structure might attain different degrees of life.
From the philosopher's point of view Mackenzie arrives at the conclusion that the individual ideal lies in “self-realization.” This phrase, signifying the full development of the inherent qualities of every individual, might be interpreted to mean much the same as the maximum of life"; but on the whole it seems to imply an ideal too immediately individualistic and fails to describe accurately the long process of evolution. Self-realization means the development of every individual according to his capacity; and nature has never worked for this end. On the contrary nature seems to be careless of the life of the individual, sacrificing continually the individual to the species and destroying the weak that the strong may inherit the earth. Through such a sacrifice the individual may of course find the fulfilment of his destiny in the general life process, but elimination cannot in any true sense of the word involve self-realization for the individual. It may of course be argued that, though development in the past has required the sacrifice of individuals in tremendous numbers, such extreme sacrifice will in the future become less and less necessary, and the final state will be one in which all may develop without the sacrifice of any. In reply to such a contention it may be admitted that nature's process of elimination and survival has become modified in human society, and probably will be modified much more in the future, that it is even possible that the elimination of individuals for the good of the whole may eventually cease; but that the sacrifice of individuals for others, even such sacrifice as makes complete personal development impossible, will ever wholly cease is unlikely. There may exist always an inconsistency between the promotion of the highest form of life and self-realization for every individual. All things considered then it seems evident that the term self-realization is inadequate to describe the process of evolution; its action in the past and probably its course in the future may be more comprehensively stated as the development of higher and higher forms of life and its goal the maximum of life.
REFERENCES FOR COLLATERAL READING BERGSON, H., Creative Evolution. CLODD, E., The Story of Creation, Ch. 11. CRAMPTON, H. E., The Doctrine of Evolution. FISKE, JOHN, The Destiny of Man. GARROD, E. K., The Unit of Strife. KEITH, ARTHUR, The Antiquity of Man, Ch. 28. HUNTINGTON, ELLSWORTH, World Power and Evolution, Ch. 7. MACKENZIE, J. S., An Introduction to Social Philosophy, Ch. 4. READ, CARVETH, The Origin of Man, Chs. I and 2. TYLER, JOHN M., The Whence and Whither of Man.
Man in the Light of Evolution. WARD, L. F., Outlines of Sociology.