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that? If I step aside on seeing a rattlesnake, from considering how dangerous an animal he is, the mental materials which constitute my prudential reflection are images more or less vivid of the movement of his head, of a sudden pain in my leg, of a state of terror, a swelling of the limb, a chill, delirium, death, etc., etc., and the ruin of my hopes. But all these images are constructed out of my past experiences. They are reproductions of what I have felt or witnessed. They are, in short, remote sensations; and the main difference between the hemisphereless animal and the whole one may be concisely expressed by saying that the one obeys absent, the other only present, objects.
The hemispheres would then seem to be the chief seat of memory. Vestiges of past experience must in some way be stored up in them, and must, when aroused by present stimuli, first appear as representations of distant goods and evils; and then must discharge into the appropriate motor channels for warding off the evil and securing the benefits of the good. If we liken the nervous currents to electric currents, we can compare the nervous system, C, below the hemispheres to a direct circuit from sense-organ to muscle along the line S...C... Mof Fig. 40). The hemisphere, H, adds the long circuit or loop-line through which the current may pass when for any reason the direct line is not used. Thus, a tired wayfarer on a hot day throws himself on the damp earth beneath a maple-tree. The sensations of deli
cious rest and coolness pouring themselves through the direct line would naturally discharge into the muscles of complete extension: he would abandon himself to the dangerous repose. But the loop-line being open, part of the current is drafted along it, and awakens rheumatic or catarrhal reminiscences, which prevail over the instiga
tions of sense, and make the man arise and pursue his way
to where he may enjoy his rest more safely. Presently we shall examine the manner in which the hemispheric loopline may be supposed to serve as a reservoir for such reminiscences as these. Meanwhile I will ask the reader to notice some corollaries of its being such a reservoir.
First, no animal without it can deliberate, pause, postpone, nicely weigh one motive against another, or compare. Prudence, in a word, is for such a creature an impossible virtue. Accordingly we see that nature removes those functions in the exercise of which prudence is a virtue from the lower centres and hands them over to the cerebrum. Wherever a creature has to deal with complex features of the environment, prudence is a virtue. The higher animals have so to deal; and the more complex the features, the higher we call the animals. The fewer of his acts, then, can such an animal perform without the help of the organs in question. In the frog many acts devolve wholly on the lower centres; in the bird fewer; in the rodent fewer still; in the dog very few indeed; and in apes and men hardly any at all.
The advantages of this are obvious. Take the prehension of food as an example and suppose it to be a reflex performance of the lower centres. The animal will be condemned fatally and irresistibly to snap at it whenever presented, no matter what the circumstances may be; he can no more disobey this prompting than water can refuse to boil when a fire is kindled under the pot. His life will again and again pay the forfeit of his gluttony. Exposure to retaliation, to other enemies, to traps, to poisons, to the dangers of repletion, must be regular parts of his existence. His lack of all thought by which to weigh the danger against the attractiveness of the bait, and of all volition to remain hungry a little while longer, is the direct measure of his lowness in the mental scale. And those fishes which, like our cunners and sculpins, are no sooner thrown back from the hook into the water than they automatically seize the hook again, would soon expiate the degradation of their
intelligence by the extinction of their type, did not their extraordinary fecundity atone for their imprudence. Appetite and the acts it prompts have consequently become in all higher vertebrates functions of the cerebrum. They disappear when the physiologist's knife has left the subordinate centres alone in place. The brainless pigeon will starve though left on a corn-heap.
Take again the sexual function. In birds this devolves exclusively upon the hemispheres. When these are shorn away the pigeon pays no attention to the billings and cooings of its mate. It is the same, according to Goltz, with male dogs who have suffered large losses of cerebral tissue. Those who have read Darwin's Descent of Man will recollect what an importance this author ascribes to the agency of sexual selection in the amelioration of the breeds of birds. The females are naturally coy, and their coyness must be overcome by the exhibition of the gorgeous plumage, and various accomplishments in the way of strutting and fighting, of the males. In frogs and toads, on the other hand, where (as we saw on page 94) the sexual instinct devolves upon the lower centres, we find a machinelike obedience to the present incitements of sense, and an almost total exclusion of the power of choice. The consequence is that every spring an immense waste of batrachian life, involving numbers of adult animals and innumerable eggs, takes place from no other cause than the blind character of the sexual impulse in these creatures.
No one need be told how dependent all human social elevation is upon the prevalence of chastity. Hardly any factor measures more than this the difference between civilization and barbarism. Physiologically interpreted, chastity means nothing more than the fact that present solicitations of sense are overpowered by suggestions of æsthetic and moral fitness which the circumstances awaken in the cerebrum; and that upon the inhibitory or permissive influence of these alone action directly depends.
Within the psychic life due to the cerebrum itself the
same general distinction obtains, between considerations of the more immediate and considerations of the more remote. In all ages the man whose determinations are swayed by reference to the most distant ends has been held to possess the highest intelligence. The tramy who lives from hour to hour; the bohemian whose engagements are from day to day; the bachelor who builds but for a single life; the father who acts for another generation; the patriot who thinks of a whole community and many generations; and, finally, the philosopher and saint whose cares are for humanity and for eternity, these range themselves in an unbroken hierarchy, wherein each successive grade results from an increased manifestation of the special form of action by which the cerebral centres are distinguished from all below them.
The Automaton-Theory. In the 'loop-line' along which the memories and ideas of the distant are supposed to lie, the action, so far as it is a physical process, must be interpreted after the type of the action in the lower centres. If regarded here as a reflex process, it must be reflex there as well. The current in both places runs out into the muscles only after it has first run in; but whilst the path by which it runs out is determined in the lower centres by reflections few and fixed amongst the cell-arrangements, in the hemispheres the reflections are many and instable. This, it will be seen, is only a difference of degree and not of kind, and does not change the reflex type. The conception of all action as conforming to this type is the fundamental conception of modern nerve-physiology. This conception, now, has led to two quite opposite theories about the relation to consciousness of the nervous functions. Some authors, finding that the higher voluntary functions seem to require the guidance of feeling, conclude that over the lowest reflexes some such feeling also presides, though it may be a feeling connected with the spinal cord, of which the higher conscious self connected with the hemispheres remains unconscious. Others, finding that
reflex and semi-automatic acts may, notwithstanding their appropriateness, take place with an unconsciousness apparently complete, fly to the opposite extreme and maintain that the appropriateness even of the higher voluntary actions connected with the hemispheres owes nothing to the fact that consciousness attends them. They are, according to these writers, results of physiological mechanism pure and simple.
To comprehend completely this latter doctrine one. should apply it to examples. The movements of our tongues and pens, the flashings of our eyes in conversation, are of course events of a physiological order, and as such their causal antecedents may be exclusively mechanical. If we knew thoroughly the nervous system of Shakespeare, and as thoroughly all his environing conditions, we should be able, according to the theory of automatism, to show why at a given period of his life his hand came to trace on certain sheets of paper those crabbed little black marks which we for shortness' sake call the manuscript of Hamlet. We should understand the rationale of every erasure and alteration therein, and we should understand all this without in the slightest degree acknowledging the existence of the thoughts in Shakespeare's mind. The words and sentences would be taken, not as signs of anything beyond themselves, but as little outward facts, pure and simple. In like manner, the automaton-theory affirms, we might exhaustively write the biography of those two hundred pounds, more or less, of warmish albuminoid matter called Martin Luther, without ever implying that it felt.
But, on the other hand, nothing in all this could prevent us from giving an equally complete account of either Luther's or Shakespeare's spiritual history, an account in which every gleam of thought and emotion should find its place. The mind-history would run alongside of the bodyhistory of each man, and each point in the one would correspond to, but not react upon, a point in the other. So the melody floats from the harp-string, but neither checks