Movement and Mental Imagery

Chapter 10: Imageless Processes

Margaret Floy Washburn

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"IF," said the philosopher Hume, "you cannot point out any such impression, you may be certain you are mistaken, when you imagine you have any such idea" (54, page 65). For a long time this principle virtually ruled psychology, and an idea that was vague and obscure, and could not trace its origin directly to sensations, was dismissed as no proper object of scientific study. It was James who, in a chapter familiar to every student of psychology, declared his wish for a "reinstatement of the vague to its proper place in our mental life" (57, Volume I, page 254). For it is evident to any one who carefully observes his own conscious experience that much of our thinking and feeling cannot be adequately described as made up of the colors and brightnesses which the eye supplies, the many tones and noises that the ear gives, the four taste qualities, the possibly nine smell qualities, the four qualities from the skin. The inner life of the mind, all that varied and eventful complex of processes which may occur when, lying in a silent and darkened room, we review the experiences of a day and decide on a course of action for the morrow, is not recognizably describable as a kaleidoscopic pattern of colors, tones, smells, tastes, and skin sensations, centrally excited. James has enumerated for us some of the parts of our conscious experience which especially, he thinks, refuse to be identified with sensations from the old five senses. He divides them into 'transitive states,' or relational feelings, and 'feelings of tendency.' In discussing 'transitive states' he says: "There is not a conjunction or a preposition, and hardly an adverbial phrase, syntactic form, or inflection of voice, in human speech, that does not express some shading or other of relation which we at some moment actually feel to exist between the larger objects of our thought." "We

(186) ought to say a feeling of and, a feeling of if, a feeling of but, and a feeling of by, quite as readily as we say a feeling of blue or a feeling of cold." Under the head of 'feelings of tendency,' he enumerates such experiences as the feelings occasioned by the words 'wait,' 'hark,' 'look'; the vague consciousness that represents a forgotten name, a consciousness sufficiently positive to reject a wrong substitute; the experience of recognizing a thing as familiar without being able to 'place' it; the feelings corresponding to 'naught but,' 'either one or the other,' 'although it is, nevertheless,' 'it is an excluded middle, there is no tertium quid,' 'who?' 'when?' 'where?' 'no,' 'never,' 'not yet'; "that first instantaneous glimpse of another person's meaning which we have when in vulgar phrase we say we 'twig' it"; "one's intention of saying a thing before he has said it"; "that shadowy scheme of the 'form' of an opera, play, or book, which remains in our mind and on which we pass judgment when the actual thing is done"; "the awareness that our definite thought has come to a stop" and the 'entirely different' "awareness that our thought is definitively completed"; finally, the awareness "that we are using such a word as man in a general and not an individual sense." This list was no doubt intended by James to be merely illustrative and not exhaustive. Every one will recognize these experiences as being highly important, and as not obviously, at least, analyzable into colors, sounds, tastes, smells, and skin sensations.

Many psychologists, some following James's lead, others independently, have contended for the existence of non-sensational or imageless conscious processes.

Stout (133), for example, says: "Professor James dwells only on the part played by psychic fringes in higher cognitive states. He fails to bring out its importance for sense perception also. But a little consideration shows that complex sensible objects do not appear to the percipient in all their sensible detail. When I look at a house, what is actually seen together with what is mentally pictured constitutes only a small part of the object as it is perceived.... An imageless representation

( 187) of the whole is conjoined with the sensible appearance.... At the most, only the last two or three notes of a melody are perceived at its close, and yet the musically gifted are aware of it as a whole.... All perception of a series of changes as forming a whole involves imageless apprehension." The imageless processes in which Stout is most interested are the feelings of tendency in thinking, involving "not only consciousness of whither our thought is going, but backward reference to what it has already achieved."

Spencer (131) divided conscious processes into two classes, which he called 'feelings' and 'relations between feelings.' By feelings he meant sensations, peripherally or centrally excited. James's feelings of 'if' and 'but' would evidently be classed by Spencer as relations between feelings. The differences between feelings and relations between feelings, according to Spencer, are, first, that the latter have no duration, "occupy no appreciable part of consciousness"; they are "momentary feelings accompanying the transition from one conspicuous feeling to another"; and secondly, that as a result of their fleeting character they are unanalyzable: "whereas a relational feeling is a portion of consciousness inseparable into parts, a feeling ordinarily so-called is a portion of consciousness that admits imaginary division into like parts which are related to one another in sequence or co-existence."

In 1901 Calkins (20), accepting the doctrine of James and adopting the term 'relational element' from Spencer's 'relational feeling,' gave as an enumeration, admittedly incomplete, of such non-sensational components in our experience, the following list: feelings of one and many, of 'and' and 'but' (connection and opposition), of like and different, of more and less, of generality, or that which, added to a percept or image, makes it a general notion; of clearness (which feeling constitutes the process of attention: an attended-to percept is the percept plus the feeling of clearness); a feeling of the combination of elements in a percept; the feeling of familiarity (which is really a fusion of two relational elements, namely, the feelings of

( 188) sameness and pastness); and the feeling of wholeness (which is a distinguishing feature of the process of judgment). Most of these feelings are not further described, and Calkins, like James, emphasizes the great difficulty of observing them introspectively: the feeling of pastness, however, is depicted as "the consciousness of an irrevocable fact, linked in two directions with other facts."

Woodworth (137) in 1906, as a result of experiments where the observers were asked to go through certain simple thought processes, reached this conclusion: "In addition to sensorial elements, thought contains elements which are wholly irreducible to sensory terms. Each such element is sui generis, being nothing else than the particular feeling of the thought in question.... There is a specific and unanalyzable conscious quale for every individual and general notion, for every judgment and supposition. An image may call up a meaning, and a meaning may equally well call up an image. The two classes of mental contents differ in quality as red differs from cold, or anger from middle C." Non-sensational processes were discovered in another direction by Mach (74) in 1886, when he posited, coordinate with colors, tones, and the other ordinary sense qualities, space and time sensations. A visual object like a house, he maintained, gives us, besides color sensations, space sensations of a certain size and form. The perception of a melody involves, over and above the tone sensations, a sensation of its temporal form. This general position was later greatly developed by Ehrenfels (31), Meinong (78), Cornelius (24), and Witasek (152): the opinion which they all have in common is that when sensations occur in a group, a new conscious element is produced which represents the togetherness of the elements, the form and character of their combination. Thus, a melody played in different keys has all its tonal elements quite different, but the form quality is identical and is recognized as such.

Still another development of the notion of conscious processes which are not reducible to sensations as elements was

( 189) suggested by Mayer and Orth (76) in 1901. They made an introspective study of the processes that intervene between the giving of a stimulus word to an observer and the pronouncing by the latter of some word suggested to him by the stimulus word. These processes they classified as ideas (made up of centrally excited sensations), will processes, and what they termed, at the suggestion of Professor Marbe, 'Beiousstseinslagen,' 'consciousness attitudes,' or, more briefly translated, 'conscious attitudes.' They defined these merely negatively, as being neither ideas nor volitional processes. In his later work, "Gefühl and Bewusstseinslage," Orth (102) says of the conscious attitudes that they are unanalyzable. They fall, he holds, into two groups: first, those of which introspection can only declare the existence without characterizing them further, and second, those whose significance for the psychic process can in some degree be determined. As an example of the first, the indescribable class, he cites the following introspection. The observer (no less skilled an introspector than Professor hülpe) was given the task of subtracting 217 from 1000. He reported: "Distinct visual images of 1000 and 217, the latter written under the former. They elicited the spoken word 'seven hundred,' and after a little pause the words 'eighty-three.' The pause was filled with a peculiar conscious attitude. not further to be described." To the second class belong such states as doubt, certainty, uncertainty, contrast, agreement. Conscious attitudes are "something quite peculiar, which I find in my consciousness, without being able to call them feeling, sensation, or idea, because they are entirely unlike these psychic processes." They are obscure, ungraspable. They have more to do with knowledge than with feeling. To the suggestion that they are only ideas in an obscure state, Orth replies that even so, since they are unique for introspection and since an idea as such cannot be obscure, they have a right to a special name. He would include under conscious attitudes the feeling of familiarity or knownness; he describes doubt as a conscious attitude accompanied by organic and kinaesthetic sensations,

(190) and mentions also conscious attitudes of remembering, knowing, effort, belief, uncertainty. Some of these remind us strikingly of those "ideas of reflection" which Locke posited, in addition to sensations, as fundamental materials of our experience: "by reflection," he said, he meant, "that notice which the mind takes of its own operations." [1]

Messer (80) in 1906 gives a very long list of conscious attitudes. He suggests that they are of two kinds. The first kind includes those which are connected with words and represent the meaning of the words. He gives as illustrations the attitudes of understanding. ambiguity, and synonymity: one would say that these represent rather the relation of a word to its meaning than the meaning itself. Messer's second class comprises the attitudes which occur when words are lacking, but one knows what one is going to say: here one may go to logic for the kinds of attitude concerned. Some examples are attitudes of reality, spatial properties, temporal properties, causal connection, relations such as identity, difference, similarity, 'belonging together,' 'lacking connection,' coördination, subordination, supraordination, 'more general,' 'more concrete,' whole and part. These all represent relations between the objects of thought. There are also attitudes which represent the relations between the object of thought and the subject, that is, the thinker: such are the attitudes of knownness, strangeness, and positive or negative value. Again, there are attitudes which represent the relation of one's ideas to the problem one is thinking on; such as the attitudes of 'suitable' or 'not-suitable," meaningful' or 'meaningless," correct," wrong,' 'inadequate.' Finally, there are attitudes representing states connected with the process of problem solution itself : seeking, questioning, deliberation, doubt, certainty, uncertainty, difficulty, ease, compulsion, 'ought' and 'ought not,' readiness, possibility and impossibility, success and failure, fullness and emptiness of ideas, puzzle and confusion. As a cross-principle

(191) running through all the classes of conscious attitudes, Messer suggests that they may be divided into the more intellectual and the more emotional or affective.

Another type of imageless or non-sensational process was postulated by Ach (1) as a result of experiments on reaction time. The observers were shown white or colored cards, and received varying instructions : they were to press an electric key sometimes as soon as they had apprehended the character of the stimulus, sometimes as soon as they were aware of any stimulus at all: sometimes they were shown cards with two letters on them and told to choose either one as their stimulus, reacting to one with one finger and to the other, if they chose it, with the thumb. The observers reported the occurrence, in the interval between the instructions and the stimulus, of certain imageless processes to which Ach gave the name ' awarenesses.' They were, he says, complex experiences, in which no ' anschaulich' elements, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic sensations, or memory images of such sensations, could be demonstrated as determining the quality of the experience (L2, page 210).

Awarenesses, Ach maintains. are a "function of the excitation of reproductive tendencies." He groups them into four classes: awarenesses of meaning, that is. the awareness of the meaning of a word without its being present in the fears of images; awarenesses of relation, whether an idea is tie right one, that is, is in harmony with what we meant to think; awarenesses of determination, the awareness that an act is in harmony with what we meant to do; and awarenesses of tendency, the awareness that there is something more to be done. It would appear that awarenesses of meaning and tendency are, so to speak, forward-looking awarenesses, concerned in the one case with what we are going to think and in the other case with what we are going to do; while awarenesses of relation and determination are backward-looking awarenesses, concerned in the one case with what we originally resolved to think and in the other case with what we originally resolved to do.

( 192)

Perhaps the most difficult and obscure discussion of imageless processes is that of Bühler (18). With the aid of two experts in introspection, Külpe and Dürr, as observers, Bühler carried out at the University of Würzburg some experiments on the nature of the process of thinking. In the first set of experiments, the observers were given questions to answer, such as, "Did the Middle Ages know the Pythagorean doctrine?" or aphorisms to understand: they then recalled and described all the processes which passed through consciousness in the interval between question and answer. In a later set of experiments the process of recalling thoughts was studied: the observers were given two related ideas and asked to establish in their own minds the connection: subsequently one idea was presented and the observers had to recall the other and to describe the process of recall. Or a sentence was given which required completion by another clause, which the observer had mentally to supply; later the completing clause was furnished and the original sentence called for; or two complete thoughts were presented, the observer having to find an analogy between them, and later, on the basis of this analogy, to supply one when the other was presented; or, finally, a series of thoughts was given in short sentences, and subsequently catchwords from the sentences were supplied, to recall the entire thoughts. On the basis of the introspective results, Bühler concludes that thought involves, first, ideas made up of sensations; secondly, feelings and conscious attitudes; and thirdly, thoughts. These last are simple, unanalyzable conscious processes, having no sense quality or intensity, but possessing clearness and vividness. Of these thought elements there are three types : first, " the consciousness of a rule," of a method of solving problems; second, consciousness of relation, either of the parts of a thought (intra-thought relations), or of whole thoughts to each other (inter-thought relations); thirdly, consciousness of meanings.

It is a discouraging field to survey, this of the non-sensational conscious processes. At least, one can hardly doubt, with such

(193) an array of authorities before one, that events do happen in our mental life which cannot be directly traced to any of the external senses; which are not made up of remembered sights, sounds, smells, touches, or tastes. The psychologists who still believe, however, that sensation qualities are the only raw material of our experience, have usually had recourse to one or both of two ways out of their difficulty. Some of the so-called imageless processes, they argue, are just ordinary ideas, that is, images, in a state of indistinctness or vagueness. Thus the conscious attitude of familiarity may be merely a vague, indistinct recall of the circumstances under which we last met the object recognized: awareness of the meaning of a word like 'city' may be a vague, unanalyzable jumble of the images which the word is capable of suggesting. So Müller (89) urges that some of Orth's conscious attitudes are nothing but indistinct ideas; as when he speaks of a conscious attitude representing "the memory of a similarly smelling substance used for toothache." Orth himself, as we have seen, does not deny that his conscious attitudes may be only ideas in a state of vagueness, but holds that they ought to have a name of their own. Further, Müller says of Ach's awarenesses that they are nothing but indistinct ideas. For instance. Ach calls the feeling that a name is just on the tip of our tongue. an awareness of tendency: it is simply, Müller argues. a very indistinct kinaesthetic image of the name. Or take the awareness that our task is not yet completed, that we have something yet to do, we know not what: here also there is simply an indistinct idea. Unless, Müller maintains, the presence of indistinct ideas can be excluded, it is unscientific to bring in anything new and mysterious like an awareness: it is also much too easy. Bühler himself considered and rejected the notion that his thought elements are indistinct ideas, under two aspects: one of these he calls the condensation theory, according to which thoughts are condensed, abbreviated series of images. This is untrue, he thinks, for surely such a condensation would not make the ideas lose all the characters of ideas, such as recognizable sensation qualities. (Pre-

(194) -cisely such an effect, as we shall see, might be expected in an abbreviated and condensed series of images.) The other form of the 'indistinct idea' theory Bühler rejects under the name of the 'possibility theory': thoughts are not subconscious images, for thoughts are perfectly clear and distinct. Evidently when Bühler says that imageless thoughts are distinct and Müller says that all imageless processes are indistinct images, they must each mean a different thing by 'distinct.'

another promising opening for a sensational explanation of these imagéless processes which so many psychologists discover, is to say that they are made up of kinaesthetic and organic senssations, either peripherally or centrally excited. An obvious, though fortunately not the only or the best, reason for choosing these modalities of sensation as the material for (apparently) non-sensational processes is that we are so little in the habit of attending to them and analyzing their combinations that they may really be the components of almost any experience not evidently derived from other sources. Titchener (137) is strongly inclined to the opinion that " the imageless thoughts, the awarenesses, the Bewusstseinslagen of meaning and the rest" are "attitudinal feels," describable "in the rough" without difficulty as visceral pressures, distributions of tonicity in the muscles of back and legs, difference in the sensed play of facial expression, and other kinesthetic and organic sensations; and that "under experimental conditions, description would be possible in detail." Feelings of relation he is sure are in his own mind kinaesthetic, and moreover roughly localizable and analyzable.

There are still other ways of disposing of alleged non-sensational processes besides those of identifying them as obscure sensory images or as kinaesthetic and organic sensations. Münsterberg (95) classifies some of these processes as properties of sensations; that is, he includes the spatial and temporal orders of sensations under the head of 'form qualities' of sensation, while some, at least, of the conscious attitudes and relational elements fall in the class of 'value properties' of sensation:

(195) thus, the difference between the idea of a past event and the idea of an expected event is a difference in 'value quality.' Wundt (160) has a convenient scheme for dealing with all nonsensational processes: he recognizes besides sensational elements simple feelings of many qualities, capable of entering into a great variety of combinations. This body of elementary feelings may be grouped into three classes, feelings of pleasantness or unpleasantness, feelings of strain and relaxation, and feelings of excitement or depression. It is an easy matter to explain any mysterious imageless process as due to the presence of a special feeling quality or combination of feeling qualities.

In attempting to deal with non-sensational or imageless processes on the basis of our general theory regarding the nervous substrate of conscious processes, we shall avail ourselves of both the 'kinesthetic' theory and the 'condensed image' theory. To begin with, let us ask whether there is not some significance in the fact that certain of the imageless processes which have been enumerated by various writers can be readily named, while others cannot. Thus, some of them are clearly designated by being called 'likeness,' 'the feeling of but.' 'expectation,' 'louder than.' and so forth. On the other hand, Orth says of some of the conscious attitudes that they cannot be described or named: they can only be recognized: while Woodworth speaks of certain processes as being "nothing else than the particular feeling of the thought in question."

Now, the process of naming is a motor response: an experience is named when it calls forth a special reaction of the articulatory organs. When we get the experience that two ideas are opposed to each other the word 'but' springs to our lips without hesitation; when we recognize that one experience is like another, the word 'like' is instantly forth-coming; when we get a certain conscious attitude we describe it without delay as one of doubt. On the other hand, we do not adequately describe the inkling of a forgotten name that haunts us by calling it an 'inkling': it is not like any other inkling, and we have no word to express its differentiating character.


If two processes (in our terminology, two movement systems) are associated with the same motor response, the great probability is that they are so associated by virtue of being essentially alike. We call many individual animals by the name 'dog,' but we do so because of certain features that are identical in them all. It would therefore seem probable that if we promptly and unhesitatingly use the word 'but' when two conscious processes are in a relation of opposition, no matter what the nature of the processes thus related may be, whether they are two colors or two theories of the universe, the butness is due to a nervous process essentially the same in both cases.

Further, if to every word that readily occurs to us as a name for an 'imageless' process there corresponds a single characteristic nervous process; if all cases of 'ifness,' 'butness,' likeness, difference, 'greaterness,' 'lessness' (we have not always the proper abstract noun), and so on depend, each class, on a single and always similar nervous process, which accompanies the various sensory excitations, visual, auditory, and so on, then there is good antecedent probability that these common factors are kinaesthetic in character. There is no other kind of sensation that so regularly accompanies other kinds as do the sensations produced by our own movements. Colors are not regularly accompanied by sounds, nor do smell, taste, or temperature sensations constantly accompany all other modalities of sensation: but we continually make movements of the eyes, the organs of speech, the fingers, or other parts of the body in connection with sensations of sight, hearing, taste, and so on, and these movements give rise to kinaesthetic excitations. As Beaunis (9) has said: "Muscular sensations enter not only into our sensations, but into perceptions, ideas, sentiments, emotions, in a word, into the whole psychic life; and from this point of view it may be said with truth that the sense of movement is the simplest and the most universal of psychic elements." This fact, which is apparent to every one, is one of the bases of our theory, according to which the whole play of conscious processes depends on the interaction of movement systems, and the

(197) connections between ideas are based on the connections between kinaesthetic pathways and motor pathways.

Let us suppose, then, that the more readily namable an imageless process is, the more it tends to have a kinaesthetic basis: the less readily namable it is, the more it involves processes of other modalities, less constant factors in experience.

If, then, some of the imageless processes are kinesthetic in their origin, why should they be thought of by so many psychologists as non-sensational? Just what does the term 'nonsensational' mean?

A kinesthetic process is recognized and identified by introspection as a sensation when it is referred to a definite point in the body; this reference involving, of course, the excitation of certain motor responses appropriate to the particular locality concerned. Now, as we have seen, individuals differ a good deal in their habits of reacting to their own kinesthetic excitations: some persons, Stricker and Titchener, for example, with skill in attending to the sensations from their own movements, might therefore be expected to call certain processes kinaesthetic sensations when other persons were unable to localize the processes in question. Further, many of the kinesthetic processes which occur in the organism none of is have formed the habit of localizing, because R e have not needed to do so. Whether we form the habit of attending to the location of an excitation or to some other characteristic of it depends on practical considerations. In the case of the large majority of kinesthetic excitations, attention has been directed, not so much on the location of the muscles involved, as on other characteristics of the excitations: for instance, their duration, whether they involve a change from a previously existing attitude, whether they are mutually inhibitory, and so on. Since it is only when we localize a kinaesthetic process that we call it a sensation, and since we have seldom been interested in localizing our kinaesthetic processes, it is not surprising that many processes which are based on kinaesthetic excitations do not reveal themselves to consciousness as sensational (145).


Further, it would seem natural to suppose that two conditions notably influence the readiness with which a combination of kinaesthetic excitations can produce conscious effects that are analyzable by introspection. Or, to put the matter in simpler language, there are two conditions which, when a number of muscular contractions occur at the same time, make it harder for us to locate the exact muscles that are concerned. The first of these is the frequency with which the muscles in question have acted together in the past. If two motor responses invariably accompany each other, we naturally cannot attend to then: separately. And if their invariable cooperation is secured I) innate connections between their motor pathways, if, tot is, their movements form an innate system, we cannot hope to discover by introspection the complexity of the system.

Secondly, since the analysis of a kinesthetic fusion means the reference of the various kinesthetic excitations that make it up to different points in space, the more varied the actual spatial position of the muscles involved, the more hope there is of such analysis. This means that a movement system which is widely diffused through the body will stand a better chance of being analyzed than one that is limited to a smaller local range.

Now, there are certain imageless or relational processes which seem, if sufficient time is allowed them to develop, to pass over naturally into processes that involve a rather wide and general bodily disturbance. It is concerning the analyzability of these processes that the introspective testimony of different authorities most diverges. Examples are the 'feeling of but,' which develops into the unpleasant 'conscious attitude' of confusion or contradiction; and the 'feeling of unexpectedness,' which passes over into the emotion of surprise. Whether these experiences are regarded as simple and unanalyzable, or as the reverse, depends on whether one is thinking of them in their contracted or in their expanded form. Thus, when Titchener says of the feeling of 'but,' "I do roughly localize it and I can roughly analyze it into constituents" (137, page 187), one may surmise that it

(199) is not the momentary 'feeling of but' which he has in mind so much as the conscious attitude of bafflement or confusion into which the 'feeling of but' may develop. This is a diffused motor attitude, and being diffused, stands a better chance of having its component excitations localized.

There are other namable imageless processes, whose namability, if I may coin the word, strongly suggests the existence of a kinesthetic basis for them, which do not develop into analyzable conscious attitudes. It is therefore not possible to prove from introspection that they are kinaesthetic, but it is equally impossible to prove from introspection that they are not kinesthetic. When we remember that only under certain restricted conditions can we expect to analyze a kinesthetic fusion and, by localizing the various excitations which it involves, to realize introspectively their kinaesthetic character, we are not justified in denying that a certain conscious experience has a kinaesthetic basis because introspection furnishes no evidence of the fact.

We shall, therefore, assume that all the namable relational or imageless processes are based on fusions of kinaesthetic excitations, proceeding, from certain definite and characteristic systems or attitude. When, in the interplay movement systems which is constantly going on. certain emergencies arise, certain characteristic motor attitudes are produced. Some of these have a tendency to develop and diffuse themselves until they produce in consciousness analyzable organic attitudes like the emotion of surprise or the conscious attitude of doubt; others have not this expansive tendency. These latter cannot be described, although they can be named. Our object in what follows will be to investigate, for a number of namable processes of both classes, the nature of the situations which produce the characteristic motor attitudes; and for processes of the first class, to point out the nature of the analyzable attitudes into which they may develop.

Perhaps the commonest and functionally the most fundamental of all these motor responses accompanying certain hap-

( 200) -penings in the interaction of movement systems is that which, apparently, may accompany any sudden shift of motor excitation, provided that attention is directed to the relational or kinesthetic aspect of the process; that is, provided that motor responses to this aspect are called forth either by the activity of the movement systems representing the 'context' (constellation) or by the influence of the activity attitude representing a problem ilea. The consciousness accompanying a sudden shift of motor excitation is the feeling or awareness or consciousness of difference. Suppose that a certain tone is sounded, and after an interval the same tone is given again. The second occurrence of the tone finds its motor response in greater readiness than the first occurrence did, through that tendency to spontaneous recurrence on which the memory after-image is based. The memory after-image need not be actually present in consciousness : we can hear the second tone and judge it to be the same as the first without having a memory after-image of the first tone and consciously comparing it with the second tone. But the motor readiness on which the memory after-image is based must be in some degree present, or the judgment 'like' cannot be made. Suppose, now, that the second tone is not like the first. There then occurs a sudden shift of motor excitation from the recurrent response for the first tone to a different response for the second tone, and this shift is the cue for giving the verbal response 'different.' There is some reason for thinking that the judgment of likeness is made when there is absence of any ground for the judgment 'different,' and that the latter is the positive experience. Hayden (49), experimenting with lifted weights, reports this with certainty: the judgment 'like' occurs in the absence of any criterion for another judgment. Wolfe (155), working with tones, says that likeness is judged better than difference: this is a result that would occur if the observers, whenever they were in doubt, that is, not sure of a difference, said 'like.' Since such judgments would be correct when the tones were actually alike, the number of correct judgments of likeness would naturally be increased. Whipple (151)

(201) thus explains the greater number of correct 'like' judgments in his experiments with tones.

The attitude which corresponds to the feeling of difference has little tendency to develop into a more diffused and analyzable attitude. The case is otherwise when a more or less definite expectation exists; when the object attended to is not only different from the one attended to just previously, but different from what was expected. Expectation is even in its lesser degrees based on a bodily attitude that allows of considerable analysis. It very clearly involves for introspection a certain static attitude, giving rise to strain sensations; in fact, we commonly speak of strained expectation. This attitude is modified according as the expectation is wholly indefinite, wholly definite, or partially determined. We may be, that is, in a state of expectation of we know not what; or we may be expecting a particular something; or we may expect one of several definite possibilities. When expectation is wholly indefinite, it would not seem to differ from the attitude of strained attention, of being on the alert. When it is absolutely definite, along with the attitude of strain there are already excited the tentative movements which are the specific response to the stimulus awaited: thus, if we are watching for the waving of a white flag as a signal, we are already making responsive movements proper to that stimulus, such, for instance, as saying 'white' to ourselves. These tentative movements may or may not be accompanied by an image of the object locked for. If, in the third place, expectation is of several possibilities, there is infused into the attitude of strain an attitude of hesitation or doubt. This attitude occurs whenever a certain movement system suggests incompatible movements alternately; we waver between the different possibilities.

Now, the experiences of difference and of unexpectedness approach each other most closely when a person is told beforehand that he is to be given a stimulus that will either be like a particular one that he has had before, or be different from it. In this case he has set up a partially determined expectation

( 202) attitude. He has the possibility that the coming stimulus may be like the former one, and the possibility that it may not: he makes the tentative movements adapted to the reception of the former stimulus, which perhaps call up an image of it; but these movements are not so marked and so uninterrupted as if the expectation were wholly definite, and the attitude of hesitation or doubt is present. When the expected stimulus comes, if it is unlike the former one, the shift of kinesthetic excitation is not so marked as if the expectation of a repetition had been absolutely definite, and hence the experience of difference is not so marked. The more definite the expectation, the greater the tendency of an unexpected stimulus to give rise to a widespread bodily attitude, which may be the basis of the unpleasant affective experience of irritation at the 'incorrectness' of the unexpected stimulus. The general bodily attitude of 'surprise' occurs whenever there is a sudden and very marked shift of motor response, whether the preceding attitude has been one of expectation or not. I may be surprised at a knock on the door when I am sitting in idle revery. The attitude of irritation at wrong's or incorrectness gets its intensity, not from the degree of shift of motor attitude required, but from the steadiness and definiteness of the preceding expectation. A very slight mistake in some one's rendering of a familiar poem may give us the irritating feeling of incorrectness, an attitude which certainly does not owe its intensity to the fact that we have to disturb ourselves to attend to the new wording, but arises from the very definite way in which the movement system corresponding to the correct rendering was already in process of excitation.

The feeling of but, as has already been said, belongs to the class of imageless processes that naturally develop into analyzable attitudes. It resembles the 'feeling of difference' in not involving any expectation, and the experience of incorrectness in being capable of developing into a more marked and generalized organic disturbance than the experience of difference can evolve. It would seem to occur whenever two movement

( 203) systems, developing simultaneously and on the basis of associative dispositions connecting them with each other, reach the point where dispositions of equal strength tend to excite incompatible movements. This occurrence appears to give rise to a definite and characteristic motor disturbance, in its lighter degrees reflected in consciousness as the 'feeling of but'; in its more developed and diffused state becoming the disagreeable conscious attitude of puzzle or confusion.

Nearly if not quite identical with the attitude of confusion is the attitude of uncertainty. Broadly speaking, we feel the attitude of certainty when an associative disposition works promptly and without interference from other dispositions; that is, when there is no inhibition from incompatible movements. Müller (S9) has given an excellent discussion of certainty with regard to the recall of memory ideas: the chief criteria of certainty that the idea recalled is correct are, he says (1) the way in which the idea presents itself, whether alone or accompanied by other possibilities; (?) the promptness of the reproduction; (3) the distinctness and vividness of the idea; (4) the completeness of its detail; (5) whether it belongs to a modality in which we are accustomed to have accurate images. These bases for certainty in our judgments of the correctness of memory ideas are substantially the same as those of our certainty in regard to any kind of judgments: if the associative dispositions work quickly and without conflict from incompatible dispositions we are thrown into the kinaesthetic-organic attitude of certainty; if not, the attitude of uncertainty occurs. If, although, unless, are all words whose stimulus, so to speak, is an attitude produced by the occurrence of incompatible motor excitations.

The feeling of knownness or familiarity is another 'imageless' process which readily passes over into an analyzable attitude. It is closely related, of course, to the 'feeling of likeness,' and in many experiments on recognition the experience that is obtained is not 'knownness' but 'likeness.' The difference between the conditions for the two experiences is that, to

(204) make the judgment 'like,' one must refer to a particular past experience, while to judge that a thing is known, that it has been experienced before, requires no such definite reference. That is, a thing is known if it has been experienced somewhere, at some time, in the past; it is like if it has been experienced in a certain definite setting, either recently experienced or now recalled. When the material for recognition experiments is simple and of a sort that has often been experienced before, as, for instance, a musical tone, then the judgment made regarding it will be that of likeness or difference: the tone has often been heard before in many different settings, but the question is: Does it or does it not resemble one heard a few moments ago? When the material is more complex, like a photograph, or less frequently experienced, like a peculiar odor, the judgment is that of knownness or unknownness: since the face or the odor is not a common element in experience, the question is: Have I ever encountered it before?

Now, obviously we do not make the judgment 'known' every time we encounter a thing we have met before. In that case we should be making it at every moment of our lives: I should pause to recognize my typewriter and my chair on coming into my study, instead of instantly proceeding to make use of them. We recognize the known only in the midst of the unknown. Titchener (138) uses the example of a man's sitting in a street-car and glancing at the faces opposite until he sees one that 'looks familiar' to him. Now, such an experience as this can be described in terms of our theory somewhat as follows. There are successively active in the man's cortex certain rather large movement systems, each representing one of the faces opposite. These systems, so long as they act as wholes, fail to set any further systems into activity: they have no associative tendencies, they suggest nothing. This suspension of associative activity gives rise to a peculiar general motor response, which in its stronger and more diffused form may be described as a feeling or conscious attitude of strangeness, and in some individuals may become a highly unpleasant

(205) emotion. So far as it can be introspectively analyzed, it would seem to contain much muscular strain. When, however, the familiar face is attended to, the movement system which it involves begins to set into activity associative dispositions, although these may be too weak to produce actual recall. Nevertheless, the suspension of associative activity is relaxed, and with this the attitude of strangeness gives place to the attitude of familiarity, which Titchener has called 'a weakened emotion of relief,' although there must be something specific about it to distinguish it from other cases of relief. In any case, the familiarity or knownness feeling may be thought of as based on a peculiar attitude, tending, as it becomes stronger and more diffused, to pass over into a more or less analyzable experience into which bodily relaxation clearly enters. The natural course of events, when we recognize an object as known, is to proceed to the recall, in some kind of imagery, of the circumstances under which we have met it before. As the associative dispositions which it sets into activity become more numerous and more active, we begin to have imageless processes of the unnamable type, 'inklings' of the former setting of the recognized experience. Finally, these give place to definite imagery and the recognition process is complete.

Other attitudes which in their fully developed form are more or less analyzable are those connected with judgments of the intensity and duration of stimuli. « e have already suggested that the intensity of a sensation is an experience based on the presence of a more or less diffused motor response, giving rise to organic and kinaesthetic excitations. The fact that intensity can be called, as it is by Ebbinghaus,[2] a 'common property' of sensations, implying that intensity is always the same kind of experience no matter what it is the intensity of, that the loudness of a sound is in some degree the same kind of experience as the hardness of a pressure, strongly indicates that it has a kinaesthetic basis.

Our absolute judgments of high degrees of intensity are

( 206) probably based on the degree of diffusion of the stimulus energy through the motor pathways of the body. We can by introspection describe the attitude characteristic of high intensity as a kind of general muscular shrinking, which is at the same time a withdrawal and a summons of the muscular forces of the body to endurance, and we can more or less localize the kinaesthetic and organic excitations thus produced. In the case of absolute judgments of very slight intensity, another attitude is apt to be the basis of the judgment: a generalized muscular response, namely, which is not the result of the overflow of stimulus energy , but rather due to the strain that accompanies the effort to attend and to prevent distraction which will cause the stimulus to lose its effectiveness. The words used to express our judgments of absolute intensity are significant. The words for high intensities tend to vary according to the kind of sensation that is meant: thus we say 'loud' for a sound, 'bright' for a color, 'strong' for a pressure or a smell, to designate intense sensations; but for weak sensations the variety is less. Neither a color nor a smell nor a pressure can be 'loud'; but a sound and a touch can both be 'soft'; a sound, a color, a smell, can all be 'faint.' This is very likely due to the fact that in weak sensations the specific quality is poorly discriminated.

Judgments of relative or comparative intensity are, of course, a special kind of judgments of likeness or difference. If we lift two weights in succession, and judge the second to be heavier than the first, we are judging first of all that they are different, and secondly, that they differ in respect to intensity. We have in this case, then, first, the sudden shift of kinesthetic excitation which is the basis of the judgment 'different'; this is modified into the judgments 'intenser' or 'weaker' according to the felt character of the general motor response. Of course practice in making such judgments of the relative intensity of stimuli might result in producing the verbal response 'stronger' or 'weaker' as the direct effect of the stronger or weaker excitation of the sensory centre immediately acted on

(207) by the stimulus. But in this case the judgment would be automatic, and there could be no question of the presence in consciousness of any special content representing the intensity. When the judgment is made with hesitation, the basis of consciousness of the 'relational element' 'stronger than,' 'weaker than,' which is recognized as an experience of the same quality, no matter what the sensations compared, is indicated by this very recognition of its uniform character to be kinaesthetic in its source.

Duration is another 'common' or 'generic' property of sensations: temporal 'long' and 'short' are felt to be the same kind of experience, no matter what kind of sensational content fills the duration. For a theory as to the kinaesthetic basis of temporal judgments we may refer to Wundt (160), since there are good reasons for thinking that what he calls 'feelings of strain and relaxation' are wholly kinaesthetic in their origin. A long-lasting stimulus produces a peculiar attitude of strain: its cessation an attitude of relaxation. Wundt distinguishes between the feelings of strain and relaxation on the one hand, and kinesthetic sensations, which he says also enter into temporal judgments, on the other; but if one takes the ground that a process may he sensory in its physiological basis and yet not analyzable into localized sensations, it is easy to interpret Wundt's 'feelings' as unanalyzed kinesthetic fusions, and his 'kinaesthetic sensations' as kinaesthetic processes which can be introspectively located.

To suppose a kinesthetic basis for spatial judgments is in principle easy, whatever problems may arise in the working out of the details of such an hypothesis. So far as the judgments are quantitative, duration judgments play an important part in them.

There are, of course, three kinds of 'size,' corresponding to the three dimensions of space: there is the length of a line, the area of a surface, and the cubic size of a solid. The most obvious basis for judging a line as long or short consists in judging the duration of the hand and eye movements made in

(208) exploring it, whether these movements are fully performed or only tentatively performed. It must be remembered, though, that the movement systems involved in exploring objects that are extended in space have a peculiar characteristic: namely, that the movements they involve may be made equally well in either of two opposite time sequences: they form, as we have seen (pages 14-15) opposite, irreversible, successive movement systems. When the kinaesthetic sensations from such a system, whether the movements are fully or only tentatively performed, are of considerable duration, the judgment 'long' is suggested with regard to a line: when they are of brief duration, the judgment 'short' is suggested. The relative judgments 'longer than,' 'shorter than,' involve the experience of difference, plus the experience of long or brief duration of the kinaesthetic. The fact that the words 'long' and 'short' are used indifferently of lines and of durations points clearly to the common character of these experiences.

In the case of a surface whose area is judged large or small, a number of linear movement systems are linked together in a system of a higher order. A surface may be explored from right to left, or from left to right; from above downward or from below upward; and obliquely back and forth in any direction. The duration of the kinesthetic excitations from these movements, whether of the eye or of the hand or both, is the basis of the judgments of the size of the surface. In like manner judgments of solid dimensions depend on sensations from the hand and eye positions needed to examine or explore the object: the amount of convergence and accommodation of the eyes; the extension of the fingers and arms needed to surround the object.

Nearly all of the 'relational' or 'imageless' processes we have thus far considered have been of the type which under certain circumstances develops into a more or less analyzable conscious attitude; and for this reason we have been able to indicate from introspection something as to the nature of the attitudes which underlie them. Thus, we have been able to

(209) suggest that the experiences of but and if involve strain and suspended movement; that familiarity involves relaxation; that high intensity involves a kind of shrinking; and so on. These descriptions have been extremely imperfect, but they have been perhaps sufficiently recognizable to make plausible the theory that there really are motor attitudes underlying the namable imageless processes. The so-called logical relational processes are less prone to develop into analyzable attitudes. The experience or feeling of contradiction, indeed, represents a fundamental logical relation, and it, as we have seen, quite readily develops into an attitude that can be analyzed with a fair degree of success. The experience of causality can best be conceived as dependent upon a peculiar attitude which may be called the 'why' attitude. I come into my sitting-room and see a tall vase lying on its side on the table. Instantly I fall into the attitude, 'Why?' 'How?' Now, this attitude on my part is not inevitable. The Kantian philosophers said that the principle that nothing happens without a cause is a fundamental, unescapable category or form of all thinking. They did not mean, of course, that thinking itself is unescapable. I may perfectly well, if my attention is occupied with something else, or even if it is relaxed and drowsy, gaze unthinkingly and uninquiringly at the overturned vase. Even if I attend to the vase and to its overturned position, the attitude 'Why?' is not inevitable: I may occupy myself rather with the future, the immediate practical consequences of the overturning, than with its cause. I need to be in a kind of backward-looking attitude to ask 'Why?'

We have assumed that our experience is based on the interplay of movement systems. Now, the relation of cause and effect concerns the sequence of two movements which not only form a successive system through having occurred in a certain time sequence on many occasions, the cause preceding the effect, but are linked into a closer unity through being associated with a simultaneous system, their meaning. In the chapter on "Simultaneous Movement Systems," it will be

( 210) remembered, we saw that when a successive movement system — a series of words in a sentence, for example — is connected with a simultaneous system,—for instance, the meaning expressed by the sentence, — the successive system gains such unity that its latter parts, given alone, may through the medium of the meaning recall the earlier parts. Such a unified successive system is formed by a cause and an effect; on the effort to complete it rests the tendency to seek for a cause. Mere time sequence, the mere observation that B follows A, is not a sufficient foundation for the causal relation: we need to feel that the two phenomena are essentially one, the working out of a single meaning, that is, associated with a single simultaneous movement system.

The weaving in and out of movement systems with their attendant imagery is every now and then interrupted by the incursion of an outside stimulus, a change in the outside world. Many of these changes we have anticipated and expected; that is, the movement systems to which their motor responses belong are already in activity. Others are unexpected: the motor responses to which they give rise are not a part of the systems functioning at the time they occur. Now, the effect which these unexpected stimuli produce depends on circumstances. If there are in action rapidly developing movement systems that are actually incompatible with the motor response belonging to the unexpected stimulus, it may go unattended to. If it is attended to, since it and the systems already on the field have no connection, and cannot together determine the following systems, there occurs a stoppage in brain activity. What follows the stoppage depends largely on the individual traits of the person. A weak or a lazy mind will, after a moment or two of gaping wonder, leave the disconnected phenomenon unexplained. A person who has a strong tendency to full rather than tentative movements, what we call a man of action rather than reflection, will proceed to make movements appropriate to the new stimulus, without any attempt to explain it; will, for instance, pick up

( 211) the vase and place it in its proper position. It takes a person of a naturally thoughtful and energetic mind to be seized by the problem of explaining the unexpected stimulus. To explain it means to reconstruct in thought the experience of a person to whom the phenomenon would not have been unexpected: in other words, to set in action the system of tentative movements that would lead naturally to the thought of just such a phenomenon, and hence must have been involved in the experience of one in a position to witness all the events which led up to it. To be thus thoughtful and energetic, one must be so constituted that a check in the systems of tentative movements is even more disturbing than the checking of a full instinctive movement; and so constituted that the activity attitude, on which prolonged intellectual work depends, alternates with relaxation at just the intervals most favorable to its long association with a given problem.

The idea of a cause is an idea that can put an end to the attitude 'Why?' or, in our terminology, it is an idea based on a movement system that is capable of putting an end to the attitude 'Why?' And such a movement system is one that forms the earlier section of a successive and irreversible movement system, whose later section is constituted by the effect, and which is held together by its association with a simultaneous system. The 'Why?' attitude is occasioned by the tendency of the latter half of a successive system to complete the whole system, and the temporary checking of this tendency. I see that the casement window behind the table on which the vase stands, though closed now, is not latched, and I immediately think of the probability that it blew open, and that the breeze thus admitted upset the vase. The ideas of the breeze and of the overturned vase, on the basis of frequent experience, form a successive movement system whose order is determined: wind and displaced objects have always occurred in just this sequence: never has a displaced object been followed, rather than preceded, by the blowing of the wind. In most cases, moreover, the system which is completed by

( 212) the idea of the cause is a very large one, so that the order of events within it is determined, not merely by the observed sequence of the two phenomena called 'cause' and 'effect,' but by many other phenomena. I conclude that the breeze may have overturned the vase, not merely because I have often observed objects being blown over, but because this is a world in which an effect of this kind must have been produced by the application of a force in a certain direction and manner. It is absolutely essential to the conscious experience of the relation of causality that it shall be accompanied by the occurrence of a particular movement system which puts an end to the 'Why?' attitude; which attitude is occasioned whenever there is an obstacle in the way of the completion of a unified successive movement system whose latter half is given.

In the case of the logical relations of subordination and supraordination and of whole and part, we have attitudes that have apparently no tendency to develop into different and analyzable bodily disturbances. When we are aware, in considering two ideas, that the one is an idea of a whole and the other an idea of a part of that whole, as when we think of 'house' and 'roof,' we are in some way aware that we are passing from a smaller movement system to a larger one in which the smaller one is contained, or vice versa. Since it is usually simpler and easier to think in terms of wholes rather than parts, the passage from part to whole is, as it were, a release into free activity of certain associative dispositions that were held in check while the part only was being attended to. In the case of subordination and supraordination, that is, of the relation between a genus and a species, or between a general idea and a concrete example, the more general idea also represents a smaller movement system than the less general idea. There are not so many elements involved in the idea 'animal' as are involved in the idea 'horse.' How, then, does the relation of genus to species differ from the relation of part to whole: what is the difference between passing from the idea 'horse' to the idea 'animal' and passing from the idea 'horse'

( 213) to the idea 'mane'? Clearly, to understand the relation of genus to species we must take into account, not only what the logicians termed the 'intension' of the concept, but also what they termed its 'extension.' By 'intension' is meant the qualities possessed in common by all the examples of the class which the general idea or concept represents. Thus, the intension of horse is composed of all the qualities belonging to all horses, and the intension of animal is composed of all the qualities belonging to all animals: evidently the intension is less, the more general the concept. The extension of a concept consists of all the individuals which belong to the class represented by the concept. Thus, the extension of horse is all the horses in existence, and the extension of animal is all the animals in existence. Evidently the extension is less, the less general the concept. Now, the extension of a concept would seem to constitute the type of movement combination which we have called a 'set of movements,' as contrasted with a 'system of movements.' We have a set of movements when a number of movements or movement systems are related only in that they all have a movement or small movement system in common. Thus, all the words which stand for opposites, like 'dark,' 'light,' 'large,' ' small,' 'high,' ' low,' belong to a set of movements connected simply by their common inclusion of the feeling of opposition and the word 'opposite.' Movement systems which belong to the same set of movements are commonly of about the same degree of complexity. Thus, when we pass from the idea of a whole to the idea of a part, while we go from a larger to a smaller movement system, in that the intension of the whole is greater than that of the part (there are more features belonging to a whole horse than to a mane), the two systems have about the same extension; that is, they put into readiness sets of movements, referring to individual horses and manes, of about the same size. On the other hand, when we pass from the idea of a species to that of a genus, while we again go from a larger and more complex to a smaller and less complex movement system, we at the same time pass from

(214) a movement system which tends to set in readiness a comparatively small set of movements (ideas of different kinds of horses) to one which tends to set in readiness a larger set of movements (ideas of different kinds of animals).

The study of the possible physiological basis of such processes as are involved in the 'feelings' or 'awarenesses' of the relations of subordination and superordination, whole and part, strongly suggests that they are attitudes which in some way depend on the number and complexity of the movement systems which a given system tends to set into action. What would he the difference between the activity of associative dispositions, that is. kinaesthetic processes, involved in the extension of a concept and the activity involved in its intension? The principal difference seems to he this: the movements which represent the intension are linked together in a true simultaneous movement system: each one of them is connected by associative dispositions with all the others. The characteristics which make up our idea of the meaning or intension of the word 'tree,' are all equally necessary to the system as a whole. But the movements which represent the extension are not so linked: an individual tree has features, which must be involved whenever it is thought of as an individual, that are actually incompatible with those of other individual trees. In the case of the simpler concepts we can think of the intension of the concept in a single generic image, so unified is the movement system involved in the intension. But the extension of a concept can never operate as a single whole or system to determine the direction of associative dispositions. In the extension, thought as it were scatters; in the intension, it grasps.

When we pass in thought from a concept of less intension to one of greater intension, as when we pass from the idea of 'tree' to the idea of 'elm tree,' the movement system is enlarged : an elm tree is a tree plus certain features that distinguish it as an elm. At the same time the unity of the effect is not disturbed: in other words, no mutually incompatible reac-

(215) -tions tend to be excited. When the change is in the opposite direction, and we pass from the less general, from 'dog,' let us say, to 'animal,' the movement system is restricted in its scope: certain associative dispositions that were previously active are now inhibited. On the other hand, if we consider the processes underlying extension, when an idea of less extension, such as 'dog,' gives place to one of greater extension, such as 'animal,' there is an increase in the number of incompatible movements that are set up, alternately, of course: thoughts and images connected with a variety of individual dogs may give place to thoughts and images connected with the much greater variety of animals. That the 'feelings' of greater and less extension and of greater and less intension are due to peculiar motor reactions occasioned by these differences in the behavior of movement systems, but not further describable because they do not, like some of the other attitudes we have assumed as the basis of imageless processes, develop into more widespread bodily disturbances, would seem the most plausible explanation of them.

After this survey, all too hasty and superficial. of some of the imageless processes that can he named. and thus may be presumed to have a kinaesthetic basis which is for each process more or less uniform, let us turn to the other class. those which cannot be named. The inkling of a half-forgotten name is something individual: it is not like any other inkling, and yet it is not recognizably sensational. The meaning of a word, while it may often be an image, is quite as often something for the time being at least imageless; but it is something specific — as Woodworth says, "nothing else but the particular feeling of the thought in question." The physiological basis for imageless processes of this kind must be different in each case: it cannot be any form of general motor attitude.

Imageless thoughts of the non-namable kind seem to occur under two different conditions. On the one hand, as in the case of an 'inkling,' they occur when something is blocking the associative processes. I am inclined to think that they do not

(216) occur when associative processes are intrinsically weak, but rather when they are partially interfered with by incompatible processes. We can practically always distinguish introspectively between the case where we have wholly forgotten a name or a word and have no chance of recovering it, and the case when it is almost on the tip of our tongue and is worth trying for. In the former case the associative processes are weak and ineffective; in the latter case, when we have an inkling, they are fragmentary. The state of things in the latter case may be conceived somewhat as follows: a fairly complex movement system is set into activity, but some of its parts are wholly inhibited by certain incompatible innervations already on the field. The result is that the system is fragmentary, and the associative dispositions which depend on the system as a whole are prevented from being excited. The fragmentary character of an inkling is often revealed to introspection; we can be sure at times of the general rhythm of the word or phrase we are looking for, or of its first letter. I was once trying to recall a technical term in marine insurance, 'general average.' Something was wholly inhibiting the second word: the first word was active, apparently, just enough to set into action the associative dispositions connecting it with the word 'special'; thus, for a long time I could get no further inkling than a two-word rhythm and the word 'special,' which however was naturally unable to suggest 'average.'

On the other hand, imageless processes apparently occur when thinking is especially rapid and easy. We take a mental glance at a whole field of knowledge, and the glance occupies but an instant, yet we know what we have glanced at. Thus Külpe, observing in Bühler's thought experiments, says that he had momentarily the whole development of ancient skepticism, in three periods, before him in outline. In such cases the imageless character of the thought certainly seems most plausibly explained as due to the condensation of the imagery; to the fact that many image processes occur simultaneously

(217) and without the analysis which would require time to perform. Bühler, it is true, rejected what he termed the condensation theory of thoughts, that they are condensed and abbreviated sets of ideas, on the ground that such a condensation ought not to make them lose all the characters of images, such as intensity and quality. But if we remember that for a sensation or an image to possess quality and intensity for introspection requires attention to be directed to those aspects; that is, requires specific motor reactions to be made to them; and that this could not be done simultaneously for a great number of images, we must admit that a loss of the characteristics of images is precisely what we should expect of a condensed and telescoped train of images. When an extremely complex movement system, involving possibilities of a great variety of images, functions as a single whole in calling up other movement systems, as when Külpe thought about ancient skepticism in an instant of time, the consciousness produced by slight delay in its functioning will be a composite of elements each of which alone would be a recognizable image with the proper characters of an image; the whole mass of which, however, will certainly be imageless.

Besides condensation as a cause of the loss of the image characters in thoughts, we have the increasing prominence of the kinaesthetic elements in images as the movement systems on which they are based become more fully organized. It will be remembered that a movement system is formed when a number of movements, each of which has originally a stimulus of its own, come to be dependent for their excitation each on the kinaesthetic processes resulting from some other movement in the system. Thus, every motor pathway in a movement system has connections with two sensory pathways, one that of its original stimulus, which may have been visual, auditory, or of any other modality; the other, that of its kinaesthetic stimulus; and the consciousness that accompanies any delay in its functioning is a fusion of kinaesthetic sensation with the centrally excited sensation or image of its original stimulus.

( 218) Now the more thoroughly organized the system, the less delay is likely to occur, and the more consciousness tends to be restricted to the kinaesthetic processes, which are necessary, rather than to extend itself to the images of other modalities. Thus Book (13) found that in learning to typewrite processes of other modalities gradually gave way to kinesthetic processes. As a movement system becomes thoroughly organized, then, its conscious accompaniment tends to become kinaesthetic, and kinesthetic fusions are for reasons which we have sufficiently indicated, often unlocalized and hence often unrecognized for what they are. To express the truth that every idea has both an imaged (anschaulich) and an imageless (unanschaulich) content, we should say that every idea has a non-kinesthetic and a kinaesthetic content. "Every idea," says Koffka (63), "has its unanschaulich content, and this may occur alone without the anschaulich foundation with which it was originally united." I am not sure that I understand Woodworth's (158) doctrine of imageless perception, but when he says of the 'mental reaction' which according to him constitutes 'perception': "It is something new, not present in the sensations, but theoretically as distinct from them as the motor reaction is. It adds new content which cannot be analyzed into elementary sensations; so that the sensory elements which are often held to supply, along with the feelings, all the substance of consciousness, in reality furnish but a fraction of it, and probably a small fraction. Each perceptual reaction is specific and contributes specific content," he seems to me to mean exactly what I mean by the kinaesthetic component of every idea. Certainly, when he goes on to identify the 'perceptual reaction' with form qualities, — that is, with the shape and size of spatial objects, the temporal form of rhythms, and the like, — he is ascribing to it precisely one of the functions of the kinaesthetic components of images. (It will be borne in mind that when I speak of the kinesthetic or unanschaulich components of images, the kinaesthetic processes are themselves peripherally excited: the doctrine of

(219) tentative movements requires that all kinaesthetic processes shall result from actual muscular contraction.)

From our general point of view, finally, we can attack the problem of meanings and avoid McDougall's (73) conclusion that they form in themselves a refutation of the doctrine that association is fundamentally the association of movements.

McDougall seems to think that the existence of meanings as imageless processes disproves a motor theory of association. But we have seen that a process may be imageless to introspection, and yet have the same kind of physiological basis as ordinary sensations. The fact is that an idea and its meaning are based on systems that are equivalent for associative purposes. The practical value of a word is that it, a comparatively simple movement system, has the same tendencies to excite other movement systems that is possessed by what may be a much more complex movement system, its meaning. A meaning is not merely that which is suggested by a word: if this were so, then 'black' might be the meaning of 'white,' since the word 'white' almost instantly suggests the word 'black.' It is that which suggests nothing that the word itself does not suggest. When we express a thought, and some one else attempts to express it for us, we say, No; that is not what I mean,' the instant the speaker's words set up movement systems that are incompatible with those already active in our own minds, thus giving us the relational experience of contradiction. Obviously the same word may mean different things at different times, that is, in different contexts: obviously the context helps to determine the associations it will call up. Obviously the same image may stand for a particular object or for a general idea: the same drawing of a triangle may mean an isosceles triangle or triangle in general, according as its associative tendencies are limited and directed, by the constellating effect of the context or by a directing idea. To say that the triangle means an isosceles triangle is the same thing as saying that its associative tendencies are identical

(220) with those of an isosceles triangle, and any incompatibility between them will be felt as a contradiction: to say that it means triangle in general, is to say that its associative tendencies will be identical with those of triangle in general, and only incompatibilities between these two sets of associative tendencies will give rise to the attitude of contradiction.


  1. Essay on the Human Understanding (1689). Frazer's edition, Volume I p. 124.
  2. Grundzüge der Psychologie (Leipzig, 1902).

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