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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/816

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the sublime. Therefore I think we are fully entitled to conclude that, so far as emotions are concerned, it can not be said that the facts of animal psychology raise any difficulties against the theory of descent. On the contrary, the emotional life of animals is so strikingly similar to the emotional life of man—and especially of young children—that I think the similarity ought fairly to be taken as direct evidence of a genetic continuity between them.

And so it is with regard to instinct. Understanding this term in the sense previously defined,[1] it is unquestionably true that in man—especially during the periods of infancy and youth—sundry well-marked instincts are presented, which have reference chiefly to nutrition, self-preservation, reproduction, and the rearing of progeny. No one has ventured to dispute that all these instincts are identical with those which we observe in the lower animals; nor, on the other hand, has any one ventured to suggest that there is any instinct which can be said to be peculiar to man, unless the moral and religious sentiments are taken to be of the nature of instincts. And although it is true that instinct plays a larger part in the psychology of many animals than it does in the psychology of man, this fact is plainly of no importance in the present connection, where we are concerned only with identity of principle. If any one were childish enough to argue that the mind of a man differs in kind from that of a brute because it does not display any particular instinct—such, for example, as the spinning of webs, the building of nests, or the incubation of eggs—the answer of course would be that, by parity of reasoning, the mind of a spider must be held to differ in kind from that of a bird. So far, then, as instincts and emotions are concerned, the parallel before us is much too close to admit of any argument on the opposite side.

With regard to volition more will be said in a future installment of this work. Here, therefore, it is enough to say, in general terms, that no one has seriously questioned the identity of kind between the animal and the human will, up to the point at which so-called freedom is supposed by some dissentients to supervene and characterize the latter. Now, of course, if the human will differs from the animal will in any important feature or attribute such as this, the fact must be duly taken into account during the course of our subsequent analysis. At present, however, we are only engaged upon a preliminary sketch of the points of resem-

  1. "Mental Evolution in Animals," p. 159. "The term is a generic one, comprising all the faculties of mind which are concerned in conscious and adaptive action, antecedent to individual experience, without necessary knowledge of the relation between means employed and ends attained, but similarly performed under similar and frequently recurring circumstances by all individuals of the same species."