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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/228

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

come conscious of a percept, or of an individual object, we have to comprehend it under something else, and thus to begin to conceive it, even if it be under the most general categories of our mind. . . . Any green, as soon as it is perceived as this green, is ipso facto perceived as like unto other greens, and as unlike yellow and blue; it is conceived as something which we afterward call color." These words aim to express the natural process of association which occurs in every mind, indeed, and Professor Müller's chief point is that this can not take place without language.

Let us consider for a moment the author's division of the material or elements of thought into sensations, percepts, concepts, and names. The question is at once suggested. Why are not names, percepts? A name is certainly a word, or set of words, and a word is nothing to our intelligence except as brought or to be brought to our ear or eye by the ordinary processes of sensation, and perceived by our intelligence. We may, it is true, invent a word by our constructive activity, but it is at once objectified, and when communicated to others it is to them a percept. Whatever may be its offices besides, it is at least this. Its additional office is by itself, or in conjunction with other words, to constitute a name; and a name is a mark or a symbol, serving the double purpose to recall to ourselves some previous object of cognition, and to make it known to others. This is accomplished according to the laws of association and representation. Kames, then, are certain symbolical percepts, which, by the processes of reintegration recall past experiences. Now, it is idle to say that word-percepts are essential to this course of mental operation; one green will recall another green without any word being needed. The picture of the Matterhorn before my eyes instantly brings back to me the Matterhorn as I saw it from the Riffel; this suggests the Breithorn, Monte Rosa, my view from the summit of the latter, and a whole train of personal recollections, just as infallibly and certainly as the word Matterhorn, which I find on the printed page. I do not deny that in the train first suggested words interpolate themselves; but I maintain that the picture of the Matterhorn reproduces in my mind the actual sight without need of the intervention of any name, and before the name occurs. Now, suppose that the picture be one of a mountain I have seen, but of which I do not recall the name. I remember at once the visual appearance; the words "mountain," "peak," "horn," "pic," "ice," etc., do not come to my mind, nor does any one of them nor any word or name. The sight I beheld is there, and then I try to think of the name of the mountain or the locality. So that if Professor Müller means to declare that we can not represent or associate ("combine or co-agitate") except by the use of language, intending by language articulate words, certainly universal experience negatives his assertion. But, if under language be included everything which recalls to the mind something else, his statement reduces itself to the proposition