Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/70

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reasoner, we must answer either by invoking some mysterious capacity, the presence of which we cannot demonstrate, or by taking the difference we actually do find. That is the difference in the quality and quantity of associations of the animal sort. Even if we could never see how it came to cause the future intellectual life, it would seem wiser to believe that it did than to resort to faith in mysteries. Surely there is enough evidence to make it worth while to ask our second question, 'How might this difference cause the life of ideas and reasoning?'

To answer this question fully would involve a most intricate treatment of the whole intellectual life of man, a treatment which cannot be attempted without reliance on technical terms and psychological formulas. A fairly comprehensible account of the general features of such an answer can however be given. The essential thing about the thinking of the animals is that they feel things in gross. The kitten that learned to respond differently to the signals 'I must feed those cats' and 'I will not feed them,' felt each signal as a vague total including the tone, the movements of my head, etc. It did not have an idea of the sound of I, another of the sound of must, another of the sound of feed, etc. It did not turn the complex impression into a lot of elements, but felt it, as I have said, in gross. The dog that learned to get out of a box by pulling a loop of wire did not feel the parts of the box separately, the loop as a definite circle of a certain size, did not feel his act as a sum of certain particular movements. The monkey that learned to know the letter K from the letter Y did not feel the separate lines of the letter, have definite ideas of the parts. He Just felt one way when he saw one total impression and another way when he saw another.

Strictly human thinking on the contrary has for its essential characteristic the breaking up of gross total situations into a number of particular feelings. When in the presence of ten jumping tigers, we not only feel like running, but also feel the number of the tigers, their color, their size, etc. When instead of merely associating some act with some situation in the animal way, we think the situation out, we have a number of particular feelings of its elements. In some cases it is true we remain restricted to the animal sort of feelings. The sense impressions of suffocation, of the feeling of a new style of clothes, of the pressure of 10 feet of water above us, of malaise, of nausea and such like, remain for most of us vague total feelings to which we react and which we feel most acutely, but which do not take the form of definite ideas that we can isolate or combine or compare. Such feelings we say are not parts of our real intellectual life. They are parts of our intellectual life if we mean by it the mental life concerned in learning, but they are not if we mean by it the life of reasoning.