The alternative theory, which we may now examine, affirms that the earliest organic mo•e meats are, in principle, voluntary actions. Mind, according to this theory, is as old as life, and the first movements of living matter are impulsive actions, i.e., actions prompted by a single determining motive. The arguments which this position brings into the field are as follows. (a) All reflex and instinctive mo•e ments show signs of adaptation; they subserve a particular each or purpo;e: they are definite and appropriate responses to certain circum stances of the animal's environment. Now, in the first place, primitive movements should be vague and purposeless: it is not easy to conceive of a movement that should be at once rudiment ary and economical. And, in the second place, our best criterion of the presence of Mind in a living creature is the creature's capacity of adaptation, of learning. The reflex. pointing as it does to a process of adaptation in the past, points also to the existence of a past mind. In a word, reflex movements appear to lie degen erate, mechanized impulsive actions. (b) There can lie no doubt that such mechanization is possible. We are constantly in the course of our everyday life reducing voluntary actions to "secondary reflexes": our pen clips itself in the accustomed inkstand, our coat buttons itself, our bicycle balances itself, without any of the conscious attention that we gave them when the movements were new. Further, what we see happening here in the course of a few clays or weeks has happened also in the life of the race. We wince when we are ashamed, and jump when we are startled; and the jump and wince are inexplicable unless they are the degenerate descendants of voluntary action:, the last reflex remnants of the cowering and shrinking and leaping aside of the frightened animal.
The only point of fact. \\Idyll this second point of view leaves unexplained is the mode of origin of the first impulse. How and under what condi tions the primeval organism became conscious of the impulse to move, and organic movement appeared in the natural world. we cannot say. But neither is psychology called upon to say. No science explains its own data it. takes them for granted. As, therefore, the physicist as sumes the mechanical universe, and the biolo gist the phenomena of life, so may the psychol ogist assume without cavil the existence of mind. Granted the sta rting-point. and the rest follows easily enough. The first organic movement is an "action upon presentation," au action whose motive (the impulse) is given with the presen tation to the animal of a pleasantly or unpleas antly toned stimulus. Out of this grows impul sive action proper. an action whose motive is blended of three ideas: that of the the original motive-idea; that of the result of movement, of pleasurable accomplishment; and that of the moving itself. the "active experience" of the first theory. The course of development beyond impulsive action takes two directions. Upward, toward greater mentality, it rises to the more complex forms of voluntary action; to selective action, in which there is a conflict of impulses, a period of deliberation, resulting in the victory of some one (the actual) motive over other less strong (potential) motives; and to volitional action, in which the conflict is not between impulse and impulse, but between an impulse to movement on the one hand and a group of ideas prompting to no-action on the other. Downward, toward less mentality, the impulsive action degenerates into the reflex movement. Selective and volitional action, as we have seen, may also degenerate; choice and resolve become automatic; the complex action slips hack, first of all into an impulsive act, and filially into a secondary reflex. Note the light which this view of the development of action throws upon the problems of animal psychology (q.v.). Bettie thinks that ants and bees are automata, while popular psychology dowers them with all sorts of conscious motives and purposes. Now, ants and bees prove, on trial, to be unintelligent; they cannot learn to make new adaptations. On the other hand, the adaptations which they have already learned are of an extremely complicated character. It has been assumed, therefore, by certain author ities that these creatures represent the final stage in a retrogressive development from it fairly high level of mentality. Aeeording to this theory popular psychology is right, in that ants and bees once possessed a good deal of mind: it is wrong in interpreting their present movements as voluntary actions. If it be object ed that the unicellular organisms, the most primitive forms of life, should (on the present theory) show signs of rudimentary impulsive action, and that .fennings's paramecia proved, on the contrary, to be as automatic as Bethe's ants, the reply is that these protozoa, simple as they are, have as long a line of ancestry as we have ourselves; and that the less mind there is to start with the less will be the fall from impulse to the reflex. It is asserted strongly by the
supporters of this hypothesis that if a souml view of mental evolution is to be attained, the investigator must accept the proposition that all animals have had mind. Whether or not they have it now depends upon the direction wide]] their development has taken — upward, toward physiological adaptability and elabora tion of mental process, or downward, toward specific adaptation and the lapse of conscious ness.
2. We have already said something by way of analysis of the motive to action, the impulse. On its intellectual side, this motive, in complete form, contains the three ideas (1) of the object which evokes tile movement, (2) of the movement itself, and (3) of the result which the movement accomplishes. The affeet ive accompaniment of this group of ideas may be pleasurable or unpleasurable, but must always be the one or the other; we may jump for joy or from fright, but we do not jump when our mood is that of indifference. The essential thing in the active consciousness, how ever, is an apperception of (attention to) some one of the ideas contained in the motive. (See *APPERCEPTION: ATTENTION.) (f!) In the ease of primitive action faction upon presentation) we must suppose that the idea of object is the idea that stands in the focus of attention; the impul sive action is indistinguishable from the move ment that expresses emotion. (See ExenEssioN: ExenEssivE :MOVEMENTS.) "The universal ani mal impulses—the impulses of nutrition, of re venge, of sex, of protection. ete.—are indubitably the earliest forms of emotion." (Wundt.) The hungry animal perceives food: its attention is held by this ja-reept ion ; it is pleasurably moved by the perception: and bodily movement toward the food-supply results. (b) As the organism grows in experience of movement, the impulse becomes more eomplex, and the focus of atten tion shifts to the idea of our own movement (action upon representation) ; so that we may lay it down as a law of analytic-al psychol ogy that the eondition of voluntary :teflon is an apperception of the movement-idea. We think of ourselves as moving, and find that we have moved. (c) At a still later stage, when the voluntary action is taking the downward path toward the secondary reflex, the idea of movement fuses with the idea of result into an indissoluble whole. It is now the idea of result that holds the attention. We feel a draught, and rise at to close the window, thinking neither of the object of movement, the nor of the muscular movements that take us to it, but simply of the result of the action, the avoidanee of a cold. So the emphasis shifts from term to term of the threefold complex; from idea of object to idea of movement, and from that again to idea of result. But the motive remains in principle the same thing: an alreetively toned group of sense-material, given in the state of attention.
The conscious antecedents of the higher forms of voluntary action are naturally more compli cated. In place of the triad of simple ideas we have, in the eonfIN of impulses that precedes volitional and seleetive action, elaborate systems or eonstellat ions of ideas, representations of the total in which we find ourselves. in place of the simple pleasantness or unpleasant ness of the impulse, we have equally elaborate affective formations—emotions and sentiments; the feelings of obscurity, of contradiction, of resolve, of decision; the characteristic oscillatory emotion of doubt: the emotions of relief, of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, of hope. of disap pointment; the sentiments of power, of pride. of :esthetic fitness, of moral rightness. (See EMO TION.) And in place of the passive attention which the single impulse-motive commands, we have an active, effortful attention divided among the various potential motives contained in the "situation." It is the business of descriptive psychology to unravel the processes of these motive-vonsciousnesses, and to trace the single pattern I the impulse pattern) that rnns through them all. It is the business of experimental psychology to examine the impulse under stand ard conditions; to build it up from the given elements, and to construct artificial selective and volitional actions from a number of simple impulses. This task it accomplishes by aid of the reaction experiment. Consult: A. Bain, The Emotions and the Will (London, I SSO) : H. Spencer. Principles of Psychology (New York: ISSI) ; W. Wundt. Forlesungen taw,. die Men sekra- and Tiers, rle (3d ed., ifs. 1597: trans. as Human and Animal Psychology, London, 1896) ;' id., Grundziige der physiologisehen Psychologie (5th ed., Leipzig, 1902).