Evolution and Man's Place in Nature


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Dec 31, 1893
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"The object of the present work is to ascertain what theory of mental life is warranted on strictly scientific evidence. The order followed is to consider, first, the latest results of anatomical and physiological research as to the structure and functions of the brain; second, the facts in human life unaccounted for by anatomical and physiological science, and requiring to be assigned to a higher nature. On the side of Mental Philosophy, it must be recognised that analysis of consciousness cannot be regarded as affording a complete survey of the facts of personal life. On the other hand, it is clear that the known facts connected with cerebral action do not include familiar phases of mental activity. If we allow ourselves to be engrossed with Physiological investigations as to brain, we restrict our attention to a single class of facts, and become unable to take a view of human life as a totality. The whole range of evidence must be traversed, if we are to secure a harmonious representation of the constitution of human nature. For the present Edition the discussion on "Animal Intelligence" has been carefully revised. The closing part of the chapter on this subject has been entirely re-written. Deliberate account has been made of the most recent observations, including those on the "Language of Animals," and the discussion on "Animal Ethics" in the treatise on "Justice" by Herbert Spencer. Extended observations on Hypnotism have thrown additional light on the relations of Mind to bodily sensibility and movement. On this account I have been led to inquire how far fresh inductions have become possible from the great array of facts supplied by enlarged medical experience. High value attaches to what has been lately done by the School of Nancy, and by other observers, specially in Paris and in Berlin, assigning a prominent place to "Suggestion," in causation of nerve-sleep, as well as subsequently in direction of the sleeper's activity. The subject seems one of so much importance, theoretically and practically, that I have added an Appendix to the present edition, giving a full discussion of the nature of the Hypnotic sleep, and of the testimony regarding the relations of mind to body afforded by Hypnotic phenomena. The data have been so carefully verified as to be now widely acknowledged by scientific observers, including many medical practitioners"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
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