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HANDBOUND

AT THE

UNIVERSITY OF

TORONTO PRESS

OF THE

ARISTOTELIAN SOCIETY.

NEW SERIES.

VOL. XVII.

Containing the Papers read before the Society during tfie Thirty-Eighth Session, 1916-1917.

PUBLISHED BY

WILLIAMS AND NORGATE,

14, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, LONDON, W.C.

1917.

Price Twelve Shillings and Sixpence nett.

B

\\

CONTENTS.

I. THE PKOBLEM OF RECOGNITION. BY H. WILDON CARR

II. THE FUNCTION OF THE STATE IN PROMOTING THE UNITY OF MANKIND. BY BERNARD BOSANQUET

III. THE ORGANISATION OF THOUGHT. BY A. N. WHITEHEAD

IV. HUME'S THEORY OF THE CREDIBILITY OF MIRACLES. BY

V.

C. D. BROAD

MONISM IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN

PHILOSOPHY.

BY C. E. M. JOAD

VI. VALUATION AND EXISTENCE. BY F. C. BARTLETT

PAGE

1

28

58

77

95

117

VII. THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE AS CONCEIVED BY MALE-

BRANCHE. BY M. GINSBERG

VIII. FACT AND TRUTH. BY C. LLOYD MORGAN

IX. ON OUR KNOWLEDGE OF VALUE.

CAMBRIDGE

BY W. A. PICKARD-

139

195

216

X. SYMPOSIUM : ETHICAL PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL RECON-

STRUCTION.

BY L. P. JACKS, G. BERNARD SHAW,

C. DELISLE BURNS, AND H. D. OAKELEY

XI. THE BASIS OF CRITICAL REALISM. BY G. DAWES HICKS

XII. SOME ASPECTS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLOTINUS. BY

W. R. INGE

XIII. THE CONCEPTION OF A COSMOS. BY J. S. MACKENZIE

XIV. SYMPOSIUM : ARE THE MATERIALS OF SENSE AFFECTIONS

OF THE MIND ?

BY G. E. MOORE, W. E. JOHNSON,

G. DAWES HICKS, J. A. SMITH, AND JAMES WARD

/ XV. RELATION AND COHERENCE.

BY L. S. STEBBING

THE PROCEEDINGS FOR THE

ABSTRACT OF THE MINUTES OF THIRTY-EIGHTH SESSION

ABSTRACT OF MINUTES OF THE JOINT SESSION OF THE ARISTO-

TELIAN SOCIETY, THE CAMBRIDGE MORAL SCIENCE CLUB, AND THE MIND ASSOCIATION

,

SECRETARY'S REPORT FOR THE THIRTY-EIGHTH SESSION, 1916-1917

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

RULES

LIST

OF OFFICERS AND SESSION, 1917-1918

MEMBERS FOR THE THIRTY-NINTH

256

300

360

395

418

459

481

485

486

488

489

492

PAPERS READ BEFORE THE SOCIETY.

1016 1917'-

I. THE PEOBLEM OF EECOGNITION.

By H. WILDON CARE.

THE study of the problem of Eecognition which I now offer

to the Aristotelian Society on this second occasion on which

I am honoured with the duty of delivering a Presidential

Address, I was led to undertake by the Symposium on " The

Implications of Eecognition" in our last Session.*

sophical problems have a way of beginning with something

apparently simple and easy and leading one on until one is lost in the general problem of metaphysical reality. That at least

Philo-

is a common experience with me, and I find this no exception to

the rule.

It has led me further than I expected when I

contributed to the Symposium, and further than I expected

when I went on thinking about it.

In the

first place I wish to inquire into the nature of the modification

of a cognition which constitutes it a recognition.

This is the

problem of recognition, so far as its source is within the

In the second place I wish to inquire

individual's experience.

In this address I wish to deal with two questions.

* " The Implications of Recognition," a Symposium, by Miss Beatrice

Edgell, Mr. F. E. Bartlett, Mr. G. E. Moore and Mr. H. W. Carr (Proe.

Arist. Soc., 1915-16, p. 179).

A

'2

H. WILDON CARR.

how there can be recognition, as there appears to be, where

there can be no conscious memory of the prior cognition. This is

the problem of recognition so far as its source is beyond the

individual's experience and in his ancestral experience.

More

briefly I may describe my problem as that of the nature

of

intelligent recognition and of instinctive recognition and of

their relation.

As the subject is a very large one and the temptations to

turn off the track of the inquiry will be manifold, it may be

well to state clearly certain very closely connected problems

which I wish to avoid discussing.

I do not propose to discuss

the nature of instinct and intelligence and their relation to one

I wish only to discuss the nature of recognition,

intelligent or instinctive.

I do not propose to discuss any of

another.

the well-known theories as to the nature of the relation of mind

and body, though the dependence of recognition on physiological process on the one hand and on conscious process on the other

will lead me to deal with the problem of mind and body. I

wish only to discuss in this connection in what sense instinctive

recognition is a mental fact.

In recognition there is, as distinctive of the experience, an

element we may describe as " againness." It is the experience

Under the first question I

wish to discuss the nature and genesis of the experience

" had

before," " seen

already."

of " againness." Under the second question, I wish to inquire

how there can be, as there certainly appears to be, recogni-

tion in the first performance by an animal of an instinctive

action.

These two questions may appear to be quite distinct and to

have nothing whatever in common, and some may object that

while the first is a question which can only be resolved by

subjective or introspective analysis and is therefore in the full sense a question of philosophy, the second is merely a question of descriptive natural history, and any theory founded on the

description can only be of quite secondary philosophical

THE PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION.

3

importance. It must rest, they will say, almost entirely on

analogy and if treated philosophically cannot avoid the taint of

anthropomorphism. I

shall try to show that this is not so.

The two questions are in rny view very closely associated and

are indeed part of one and the same metaphysical problem. At

the same time I propose to keep them distinct.

1. What is the Nature of the Modification of Cognition which makes it Recognition ?

There may be no cognition which is cognition only and not

recognition.

Every cognition may be a recognition, and a pure

cognition may be a limiting concept. In a developed conscious- ness such as our own, were there only cognition and no recogni-

tion, there would be no acquirement of meaning and therefore

no experience in the ordinary sense of the word. The recogni-

tions in present experience may be the cognitions on which

future recognitions depend, and so likewise the cognitions on

which present recognitions depend may themselves have been

Pure cognition, however, is theoretically conceiv-

recognitions.

able, and as an abstract possibility it forms part of the concept

of experience as a concrete reality. Logically and etymologically

cognition is presupposed in recognition. Cognition is the ground or condition of recognition.

If the second apprehension of an identical object or of an

identical event were a repetition of the first apprehension and

only numerically different from it, recognition would simply be

the addition of memory and judgment to the mental act of

apprehension.

But plainly this is not the fact, for there are

cases of recognition in which there is no repetition of any experience at all, and in most cases of recognition, if not in all, even though there may seem to be a similarity between a

present experience and a past experience on which a judgment

of identity could be based, there is no similarity in fact.

If

this be disputed it is at least certain that there may be

4

H. WILDON CARR,

recognition where there is no similarity even between the

present recognised object and any previous experience of that object whatever.

The term recognition, as distinct from the term cognition,

connotes that the meaning, or content, or implication of a sense presentation is in some way already known : it is the direct

immediate apprehension of familiarity with the object presented

to us.

The nature of

this apprehension of a mark of our own

past experience in an object present to sense or to thought is

the problem of recognition. That the problem is a difficult one

will be evident to anyone

who will refer to the article

on

" Recognition " in Baldwin's Dictionary. Three main groups of

theories are there specified and these are again subdivided into

twelve sub-groups, and a list of psychological writers, by no means exhaustive, is added, each of whom seems to have pro-

pounded a distinct theory or to have adopted some characteristic

doctrine of recognition.

The task I am going to set myself is not that of comparing

and criticising these different theories : I wish to inquire how

far we can directly observe the process of recognition at work

the process by which cognition acquires the modification which

makes it recognition.

I do not see how this can be avoided, and therefore it is well to

It will lead me to a metaphysical theory.

give warning. The problem of recognition cannot be decided

by observation of empirical fact, for that depends on the pre-

suppositions which psychology, like every special science,

adopts.

This was made clear, I think, if nothing else was, in

the symposium to which I have referred.

The real difference

which divided us was metaphysical so at least it appeared

to me

a different theory of the nature of the continuity of

experience.

Let me begin by taking some definite instances of what

This appears an

everyone would accept as cases of recognition.

easy matter because recognition is a perfectly familiar experience.

It is in fact, however, peculiarly difficult, and the difficulty is

THE PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION.

5

of a quite paradoxical nature, due to a veritable embarras de

richesse. I can find nothing else in my cognitive experience but

recognitions, and I cannot therefore establish by a clear example what is a recognition in distinction from what is only a cognition. Nevertheless for practical purposes we make a

clear and well-marked distinction between what we term

recognitions and the cognitions on which they depend. It is

only when we analyse these cognitions that we find that they in

When we push our analysis to

their turn are also recognitions.

the point of imagining the simplest conditions of cognition and the absolutely unanalysable character of a first cognition we

are driven to hypostasise some theoretical being like Condillac's statue and endow it with sense organs one at a time, and follow

out the gradual complications of sense experience from its hypothetically simple origin. It is logic or epistemology which spurs us to the attempt, not psychology.

(1) The young

chick, we

are

told by Professor Lloyd

Morgan, at first pecks instinctively at all small objects.

But

experience very rapidly teaches it that it is pleasant to peck at

some things, such as yolk of egg, or cabbage-moth caterpillars,

and very unpleasant

to peck at

caterpillars or bits of orange peel.

others, such as cinnabar

The young chick profits

by experience and thereby comes to recognise objects. The

latter experience we should call recognition of objects in

distinction from

the earlier experience,

and

this

earlier

experience we should call cognition in contrast to the later

experience.

(2) I arrive at a town I have not visited before and take a

All that I notice is new to me

first stroll through its streets.

After a time or on a

surroundings, and I

recognise what I see. The later cognitions I call recognitions,

as distinguished from the earlier ones on which they depend, and which I then think of as cognitions merely.

second

and I set to work to find my way about.

stroll

I am

familiar with my

(3) Two friends are walking in the country for the enjoyment

6

H. WILDON CAKi;.

of

the exercise.

Each is experiencing the same exhilara-

tion from the crisp air, the bright sunshine and the beauty of the surroundings. One is an engineer, the other a naturalist.

Their recognitions are entirely distinct. The one recognises

gradients, strains, actual or possible constructions, and the

details of locomotive devices, which to his companion are

The other

recognises the character of the vegetation, the nature of the soil and subsoil, the various species of animals, which to his

merely roads, banks, valleys, hills, engines, etc.

companion are merely green grass, hedgerows, woods, and

singing birds, etc.

between recognition and general awareness.

Here then we have a practical difference

It is only part of

experience which we distinguish as recognition, and one man's recognitions are different from another's, even when the sense

stimuli of each

are, so far as

they are external influences,

identical.

(4) A favourite book of mine is Fielding's Tom Jones, but

the enjoyment it never fails to give me is due to something

literary and perhaps to something sympathetic in the author,

not to an interest in the plot.

Yet I distinctly remember the

delightful surprise I experienced on the first reading as the plot

unfolded itself. This enjoyment can never recur, and in this

respect recognition, in giving me "againness," leaves me poorer.

It illustrates, however, and this is why I cite it, how recognition

may depend upon an experience, the repetition of which the

recognition itself renders impossible.

With these illustrations of the use of the term recognition,

let me try to define it.

Recognition is the whole content,

meaning, or significance of a sense presentation in so far as we

have learnt that content, meaning, or significance by experience. What is recognised, or what we call objectively the recognition, is what we have learnt by experience, and learning by ex-

perience is a subjective process, by which I mean an activity of

the mind.

I think we always mean this by recognition.

We

perceive in what is present to sense what we have learnt to

THE PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION.

7

know is this, that, or the other, and the perception gives to the

sense presentation the mark of " already seen," " had before,"

" againness." Against this definition it may be objected that

we also use the term recognition in describing purely instinctive behaviour, behaviour which we characterise as action which is

perfect at its very first performance and therefore excludes the

notion of learning by experience. We say for example that

animals recognise their prey, or recognise their kin, or recognise

a menace to their life or to that of their offspring, and we apply

the term even to creatures who, like most of the insects, begin

their individual life without having known their parents and

whose knowledge cannot possibly have been acquired by

individual experience at all.

Undoubtedly the use of the term

recognition in cases of pure instinct is derived from its use in

cases of rational knowledge, and many no doubt will deny that

there is any identity of fact underlying the use of the term in

the case of instinct.

I think it is a right term to use, although

its primary meaning only is that the creature acts as one acts

who has learnt by experience and therefore already knows.

The difference between instinctive recognition and intelligent

recognition is that the mark of the past in instinctive ex-

perience cannot be explained by individual but only by racial

experience ; it is innate

or congenital.

^Recognition always

implies that there has been past experience and that the individual has learnt by it, though the past experience is not in

cases of instinct the individual's individual experience. A more fundamental objection, however, will be raised.

To

explain recognition as learning by experience is to explain what

is difficult to understand by something more difficult to under-

stand. Even if it be granted that recognition always depends on our having learnt by experience, this will bring no solution

of the problem.

It simply overwhelms the difficulty of

accounting for a modification of a present datum of experience

by a mark of past experience with the far greater difficulty of conceiving a process by which the past can modify the present.

8

II. WILDON CAKR.

I admit this difficulty and the main purpose of the present

study is to make it explicit. Eecognition implies that we learn

by experience and learning by experience implies mental

process modifying the data of knowledge. It implies also that there are no unmodified data as ultimate constituents of the

reality we know, for if there were they would be unrecognis-

able.

Many philosophers will also, I know, reject my order of

implication ab initio.

Learning by experience, they will say,

implies recognition, and wholly depends upon it, whereas

recognition does not imply learning by experience, for it is

theoretically possible in minds whose knowledge is purely con-

templative.

Indeed, such must necessarily be the order of

implication for those who hold that knowledge is essentially

contemplation. Eecognition will be for them a perception or a

one a present sense-

judgment of a relation between two terms

datum, the other a memory. Take, for example, Dr. Moore's

answer to the question : " What kind of event are we asserting

to be happening when we say, with regard to a present sense-

datum,

' I know that I have

sensed something like this

before ? '" in our Symposium last

session.

" This kind

of

recognition," he says, " consists in our knowing, with regard to

the present sense-datum, and with regard to the relation ' like-

ness,' just this,

that there was a sense-datum, of which it is

true, both that it was sensed by me before, and that it had the

relation of likeness to this sense-datum."*

I consider this account of recognition and the order of

implication which would follow from it, quite wrong, and I will

Let me first, however, freely admit that

Dr. Moore is concerned only with intelligent, and not at all

with instinctive, recognition. The process he describes repre-

sents, quite truly, as it seems to me, a very common experi-

ence. A vague recognition may cause us to make an effort to

try to show why.

* Proc. Arist. Soc., 1915-16, p. 213.

THE PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION.

9

give it sharper definition, and then we reflect and deliberately

compare present with past experience. Also, as all mental

process is in my view a process of recognising, and as conscious deliberation is a mental process, conscious deliberation is a

process of recognising. What I deny is that recognition is

this. Recognition is immediate experience. The process

which has made it recognition is already past, and not to come.

The sense-datum, if we use that term to denote the actual

object present to the mind, has not to wait for the judgment or perception of a relation, in order that it may become, what as

yet it is not, recognition. Take, then, any one of my four cases

and attempt to reduce it to the perception or judgment of like- ness between a present sense-datum and remembered sense-

data, and you will soon discover the failure is absolute.

Not

only is there no identity (this is obvious we might, perhaps,

posit an identity of unperceived substances, if that would help us at all, but there can be no identity of sense-data), there is

the chick which first pecks the

not even similarity.

Take

cinnabar caterpillar, then afterwards rejects it, while it con-

tinues to peck the cabbage caterpillar. The sense-data are

entirely different the second time, for the chick has learnt to

distinguish the objects, which as physical objects are unaltered ;

i.e., the resemblance between the caterpillars, so far as

the

resemblance is objective, has not disappeared on the second

occasion. The important thing