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factor in man's mental constitution, without recognising a conscious something. Not that he omits it altogether from his book, for his last chapter is given to it, but, it would seem, rather as an after-thought in a post-script than as an essential part of his system. He records a series of definitions of consciousness given by other writers, and finally gives his own, viz. :

The word consciousness is identical with mental life, and its various energies, as distinguished from the mere vegetable functions, and the conditions of sleep, torpor, insensibility, etc. (p. 545).

But this will not account for the consciousness of self, which, be it a phantasy, yet haunts us persistently. Self,

, says Bain,

body + sensations, thoughts, emotions, volitions in the past, present, and future. But how, according to his analysis can there be any past, present, and future? Granting that there is mental life (i.e., consciousness as he says) implied in each successive sensation or thought; how, if you deny the existence of a permanent subject--the basis of these fleeting mental phenomenahow can you co-ordinate them into an individual experience ? “Granting for a moment,” says Dr. Momerie, “ that feelings could be conscious of themselves, yet the knowledge of one another is not implied in this.

It might as well be argued that a number of pearls could form a chain without something to bind them together, as that a number of self-conscious states could form a self-conscious series without some principle of continuity running through and connecting them." This failure of the materialist school to account for this self-consciousness which is part of every human experience, is very clearly and honestly stated by John Stuart Mill. “If,” he says,

we speak of the mind as a series of feelings, we are obliged to complete the statement by calling it a series of feelings which is aware of itself as past and future: and we are reduced to the alternative of believing that the mind or ego is something different from any feelings or of accepting the paradox that something which, exhypothesi, is but a series of feelings can be aware of itself as a series." Even at the risk of being tedious, I cannot help quoting another short and familiar passage from Herbert Spencer, which displays with acute discernment the self-contradiction of the materialist philosophy on this subject.

How can consciousness be wholly resolved into impressions and ideas, when an impression of necessity implies something impressed ? Or again, how can the sceptic who has decomposed his consciousness into impressions and ideas explain the fact that he considers them as his impressions and ideas ? Or, once more, if, as he must, he admits that he has an impression of his personal existence, what warrant can he show for rejecting this impression as unreal while he accepts all his other impressions as real ? Unless he can give satisfactory answers to these queries, which he cannot, he must abandon his conclusions; and must admit the reality of the individual mind.—First Principles, 5th ed., p. 64.

Thus then, although Bain, as he says, “cannot light on anything of the sort," I venture to submit that the existence of a metaphysical cgo is presupposed 'as a necessary condition throughout the whole of our sentient experi

In the earlier portion of his work he admits that knowledge involves remembrance and apprehension of semblances and contrasts. But these mental states are perfectly inconceivable, except on the supposition of a permanent ego present to the different phenomena remembered and contrasted. It is sensation, as materialists maintain, which forms the raw material of all knowledge. But in order to explain the existence of a single sensation, we must postulate the existence of an ego which remains permanent while the particular feelings which it apprehends are continually changing and passing away.


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Thus we come to the further question : assuming the existence of a permanent ego, am I a free agent or not? Are

my volitions made for me, as Prof. Bain here teaches ? When I will something, am I merely conscious in so doing that certain volitions have occurred ? or do I know that I have formed them ?

Now according to Bain's account of the Will (p. 303) there are two fundamental component elements in it. The first is "a spontaneous tendency” to movement: the second is “the link between a present action and a present feeling, whereby the one comes under the control of the other.” “We suppose," he says (p. 315), “movements spontaneously begun and accidentally causing pleasure.

A few repetitions of the fortuitous concurrence of pleasure and a certain movement will lead to the forging of an acquired connexion

so that after a time the pleasure, or its idea, shall evoke the proper movement at once.” That is to say, volition is simply the link between a desire for a certain object, and the movement employed to get it. This is all delightfully simple: yet it hardly meets the whole case. What of the being who desires the object, and who has an idea of the means which he must employ to get it? Prof. Bain in the neatness of his analysis is fond of using such terms as idea, desire, pleasure as purely abstract, and, as I pointed out before, loses sight of the fact that such things cannot exist apart from a conscious subject. The real mystery of volition lies in the being who has the desire. The physiologist, no doubt, can point to an operation which takes place in the brain. He may say there is a molecular motion in one part of my brain corresponding to the desire, and another in another part corresponding to the means to gratify it. But he cannot explain the connexion between these motions and the sensation in a conscious subject.


Still the question remains, are we the passive recipients of these movements which register themselves in our brain? Are we merely witnesses to a sequence of movement upon desire, volition coming in as a nexus between the two? Let us again refer to our author. “I believe,' he says (p. 483), "that to demand that our volitions shall be stated as either free or not free is to mystify and embroil the real case, and to super-add factitious difficulties to a problem not in its own nature insoluble. Under a certain motive, as hunger, I act in a certain way, taking the food that is before me, going where I shall be fed, or performing some other preliminary conditions. The sequence is simple and clear when so expressed: bring in the idea of freedom, and there is instantly a chaos, an imbroglio, a jumble.” Again (p. 484), he says, “If any one asks

' whether the course of volition in a man or an animal is a case of despotism or a case of freeedom, I answer that the terms have no application whatsoever to the subject. The question put into someone's mouth by Carlyle 'Is virtue then a gas ?' is not too ridiculous a parody on the foregoing.” That is to say man is simply a machine, a passive subject to the play of forces. And if this is a true account of him, so that “as between the different motives of his mind there is no meaning in liberty of choice,” (p. 487), we may admit that freedom and despotism are not applicable terms. This is Determinism, pure and simple.

I have referred already to the curious lapses of consistency of which philosophers of this school may continually be convicted. For example, compare this foregoing passage with another. “Deliberation," he says

· ” (pp. 408-409), “is a voluntary act, under a concurrence or complication of motive forces.

During the moments of abeyance or suspended action the current of

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the thought brings forward some new motive to throw its weight into one scale, whence arises a preponderance. From our

own experience, we come to see that it is dangerous to carry into effect the result of the first combat of opposing forces; and this apprehension of evil consequences is a stimulant of the will. It is one of the properties of a well-trained intellect to make at once a decisive estimate of the amount of time and thought to be allowed for the influx of considerations on both sides of the case, and at the end of such reasonable time and thought to give way to the side that appears the stronger.”

No doubt we are all agreed on the very reasonable and edifying character of this passage, in which, by the way, the ego has slipped in unobserved. But not to dwell on that, I would leave it to philosophers of Bain's way of thinking to harmonise these two passages, to reconcile the determinism of the first with the freedom of the second. The first would represent man as merely a passive percipient in the drama of his own life, and his actions, like the resultants of mechanical forces, as the inevitable effects of pre-operative conditions. The second, apparently innocent of any sense of inconsistency, endows him with the

power of balancing opposing considerations, of with-holding present action as long as he pleases, and finally of giving way, or not, to the side which appears to him the stronger. Such inconsistencies will always crop up in artificial systems of thought which would represent man—who is something superior to nature, since he is nature's interpreter-as nothing more than one of her products, albeit the most complex.

Indeed, this theory of Determinism seems to carry its own condemnation in the revolt of human consciousness against it. Consciousness, since it is the immediate knowledge which the mind itself has of its own operations, is,

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