Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/593

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ANIMISM 527 ANIMISM and nature of the soul, its union with the body, its origin and duration. Tliese problems are at the basis of our conscious existence and underlie all our studies in mental and moral life. The impor- tance of animism to-day is shown bccaase (1) its validity as a theory luus lx>cn questioned; (2) a school has risen which treats psychology without reference to the soul; hence the attempt at "psy- chology without a soul", e. g. Sully, James, Murray, Davis." Kiclpp, HOlTding. In establishing the doctrine of animism the gen- eral line of reasoning is from elTect to, from phenomena to their subject or agent. From the acts of mind and of will manifested in individual conscious life, we are forced to admit the existence of their .source and principle, which is the human soul; from the nature of the activity is inferred the nature of the agent. Schola,stic philo,soi>liy, with Aristotle and the Christian Fathers, vindicates flie true dignity of man l)y proclaiming the soul to be a substantial and spiritual jjrinciple emlowed with immortality. The sold is a substance l> it has the elements of being, potency, stability, and is the subject of modifieatioiLs — whidi elements make up the notion of substance. That the sotd is a spiritual substance, i. e. immaterial and a spirit, is inferred from its acts of intelligence antl of free- will, which are performed without the intriiLsic co- oi)erations of the bodily organs. By innnortality is imderstood in general terms the future life of the soul after separation from the body. The chief erroi-s are those which contend (1) that the soul is not a substance. Thus (a) some writers, e. g. Kant, hold that the soiil is not a real, but only a logical, sub- i"ect; (b) motlcrn Pantheism, seen especially in New England Transcendentalism (e. g. Emerson, Royce) and the Neo-Hegelian school which imifies human and divine consciousness (e. g. Prof. T. H. Green); (c) the school of .s.sociationists (e. g. Hvune, Davis, HiitTding, Sully) , who contend that the soid is only a bimdle or group of sensations; (d) those who teach that the soul is only activity, nothing more OVundt), or "a wave of con.sciousness " (Morgan); (e) the Agnostic and Positivistic school (e. g. Locke, Spencer, .James, Prof. Bowne, Comtc), who aHirm that the .soul is unknown and unknowable, altliovigh some among them postulate it as the subject of our conscious states; (f) the materialistic school which denies its existence altogether (e. g. Tyndall, Hux- ley). (2) That the soul is neither spiritual, nor immor- tal. Modern Materialism, Positivism, and Agnos- ticism have tried in every way to establish this thesis. Various theories of knowledge have been proposed, and the discoveries of modern science nave been cited in its behalf. Appeal has been ta- ken to psychophysics and to such facts as the locali- zation of function, the correlation of thought to the structure of the brain, and the results of cerebral lesion. Theories of Monism (e. g. the double-asix;ct theory) and of Parallelism have been advanced to account for the acts of mind and of will. Yet animism as a doctrine of the spiritual sold remains unshattered, and the spiritualistic philosophy is only more strongly entrenched. (Cf. Si'bst.vxce, Agnosticism, Positivissi, Materiallsm, Soul, Im- MOI(T.LITY, PsYCHOI.OOY). ETHNOLOt;ic.L. — -In this sense animism is the theory proposed by some evolutionists to account for the origin of religion. Evolution assumes that the higher civilized races are the outcome and de- velopment from a nider state. This early stage resembles that of the lowest savages existing to-day. Their religious belief is known as animism, i. e. l)e- lief in spiritual beings, and represents the minimum or rudimentary dehnition of^ religion. With this postulate as the groundwork for the philosophy of religion, the development of religious thought can be traced from existing data and therefore admits of scientific treatment. The principle of continuity, which is the basal principle in other departments of knowledge, was thus applied to religion. Comtc had given a general outline of this theory in his laW of the three states. According to him the concci>- tion of the primary mental condition of mankind is a state of "pure fetishism, constantly character- ized by the free and direct exercise of our primitive tendency to conceive all external bodies .soever, natural or artificial, as animated by a life e.s,sen- tially analogous to our own, with mere ditTcrence of intensity". Propo.sed at a time when evolution was in the ascendency, this opinion fell at once under the dominion of the current conviction. The hope was entertained that by a wider and more com]ilcte induction religion might be considered as a purely natural phenomenon and thus at last be placed on a scientific basis. The foundation of animism as a theory of religion is the twofold principle of evolution: (1) the anlliro- jMjlogical assumption that the savage races give a correct idea of religion in its primitive state; (2) the philosophical assumption that the savage state was the cliiklhooil of the race and that the savage mind should be likened to a child (e. g. Lubbock, Tylor, Comte, Tiele. Reville, and Spencer). Hence the evolution of religious thought can be traced from existing data, viz. the beliefs of the lowest savages, and though deeply modified as mankind rises in culture, yet it always pre.seres an unbroken continuity into the midst of modern civilization. This continuum, or common element, in all religions is animism. The importance of animism in the science of religion is due to Tylor, who represents it as a primitive philosophy supplj-ing at the same time the foundation of all religion. His work en- titled "Primitive Culture", first pubhshed in l.S6i{. is justly called the "Gospel of .-Vnimism". Animism comprehends the doctrine of souls and spirits, but has its starting point in the former. Dreams and visions, apparitions in sleep and at death, are sup- posed to have revealed to primitive man his .sold as distinct from his body. This belief was then transferred to other objects. .s the human boily was believed to live and act by virtue of its own inhabiting spirit-soul, so the operations of the world seemeil to be carried on by other spirits. To the savage mind, animals, plants, and all inanimate things have souls. From this doctrine of souls arises the belief in .spirits. Spirits are of the same nature as souls, only separated from boilies — e. g. genii, fairies, demons — -and acting in different ways as tutelary guardians, lingering near the tomb or roam- ing about (Spiritism), or incorporated in certain ob- jects (Fetishism, Totemism). They appear to man in a more sulitle material form as vapour, or as an image retaining a likeness to the bodily shape; and they arc feared by him. so that he tries to control their influence by projiitiation and magic (Sha- manism). Thus unconsciousness, sickness, derange- ment, trance were explained by the departure of the sovd. Among savages ami Buddhist Tatars the bringing back of lost souls was a regular part of the sorcerer's profes.sion. The belief prevails among the .Vmerican Indians that if one wakes a sleeper suddenly he will die, as his vagrant soul may not get back in time. For the Siivage. as the lowest of men, is supjiosed to be actuated by the lowest of pa.ssions. Hence the fear-theory of reUgion is essential to animism. Animism therefore discovers human life in all moving things. To the savage and to primitive man there is no distinction between the animate and the inanimate. Nature is all alive. Every object is con- trolled by its ow^n independent spirit. Spirits are seen