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the brain. Take another nerve, then, and do not separate it from the body; but pinch it, cut it, burn it, or galvanize it. What torture! what excruciating agony! Surely this pain is in the nerve; you feel it there. Wait a little; let us consider. The nerve is made up of axis-cylinders and padding; in which is the pain ? Certainly not in the padding; it must then be in the axis-cylinders. The axis. cylinders are gray threads of protein substance, which is made up, like all other matter, of molecules swinging in space. Now, where is the pain ? Is it in the molecules or in the intervening space ? And how does it pass along the nerve ? Does it jump from molecule to molecule, or does it flow in the interstices ? If the former, pain must be a solid; if the latter, it must be a fluid; both of which hypotheses are manifestly nonsense. There is a third alternative. It
be a movement communicated from molecule to inolecule. ... Consider again. Imagine the molecules of the nerve swinging in space. Now imagine a wider swing. Does that resemble pain ? Turn the circle into a spiral. Is that like pain ? But it may be said, Pain, we know, is not really in the nerves, it is in the brain. Again the same problem awaits us, The brain is made of cells and fibres. Is pain in the cells ? Is it in the fibres ?
In either case we must come down to molecules at last, and again the pain cludes our search. No conceivable form of matter and no conceivable movement of matter bears the smallest resemblance to pain, or can by any human imagination be assimilated to pain. We are driven to the conclusion that pain and matter are things with no community of nature, are facts of totally different orders, and cannot be reduced to any common term. Pain is neither in the nerves, nor in the brain, nor in any position in space. It is in the mind.” And of course this expression in the mind’ simply means that we feel it.
Fallacies of False Analogy may often be regarded as cases of an ill-conceived, and perhaps of a confused, universe.
The bare facts or some of them may be known accurately enough, but the relations between them—the general background in which they are set—is conceived erroneously.
Carlyle's saying that a ship could never be taken round Cape Horn if the crew were consulted every time the captain proposed to alter the course, if taken seriously as an analogical argument against Representative Government, is open to the objection that the differences between a ship and a State are too great for any argument from the one to the other to be of value. It was such fallacious analogies as these that Heine had in view in his humorous prayer, • Heaven defend us from the Evil One and from metaphors'.
Often as we turn from one aspect of a situation to another we find some new fact which not consistent with some general statement that we made about the first aspect; and this may lead to a “bull”. 'One man is as good as another', says the Irishman when he resents the claim of superiority made by some one else; but as he thinks of his own excellences and the other's shortcomings he adds, and sometimes a long sight better '. Sometimes the bull is due to an unfortunate metaphor; e.g., ‘Our cup of sorrow is overflowing, and is not yet full'.
Since every metaphor rests on the assumption, though even for only a moment, of a kind of universe, every case of mixed metaphors is a case of confused universes. I take the following from Genung's “Rhetoric”: “The very recognition of these or any of them by the jurisprudence of a nation is a mortal wound to the very keystone upon which the whole arch of morality reposes.
-“ This world with all its trials is the furnace through which the soul must pass and be developed before it is ripe for the next world.”—“I write to you in a state of mind that I really ardly know what I am about, but I cannot indure making no effort to clear up the gaping abiss
* Minto's “Logic”, p. 373.
which the events of the past fatal afternoon has raised between us,"
Another kind of ill-conceived universe may be called the Universe with a Neglected Aspect. This phrase is intended to include all arguments in which the existence or influence of some essential relation or object in the uni- The negverse involved is neglected.
In calculating the lected åspect. time it will take a feather dropped from the window to
reach the ground we have a right to neglect the attraction i exerted upon the feather by some fixed star, for though - there is such an attraction it makes no appreciable differ
ence in the result, and we have a right to neglect the death of some Asiatic despot, for it makes no difference at all in the result—is not in the universe under consideration. But
we have no right to neglect the resistance of the air, or the ad influence of the wind with all its gusts and eddies; for they s make every possible difference in the result. Similarly we
have no right to conclude that free trade is necessarily the
best policy for some particular state, merely because it is 1
always or usually the policy most favorable for the accumuelation of wealth, unless we have first made sure that there
is no question of education, or public morals, or military necessity, or international politics, which demands some other policy.
Every roseate picture of the happiness to be attained when the competition of commercial rivals has ceased, and the State controls all industry and gives every one his due, is painted in happy forgetfulness of the natural discontent, selfishness, laziness, or ambition which would prompt most of the people in such a community to shirk their appointed tasks, to use personal influence in order to get some special privilege, or to gain control of the machinery of government for the particular benefit of themselves and their friends,forces in human nature which would replace commercial competition with political jobbery.
Under the head of Composition, Whately gives several
examples of what I should rather call a neglected relation of articulation :
“ There is no fallacy more common or more likely to deceive than the one before us: the form in which it is most usually employed is to establish some truth, separately, concerning each single member of a certain class, and then to infer the same of the whole collectively; thus some infidels have labored to prove concerning some one of our Lord's miracles, that it might have been the result of the accidental conjuncture of natural circumstances; next they endeavor to prove the same concerning another, and so on; and thence infer that all of them might have been so. They might argue in like manner, that because it is not very improbable that one may throw sixes in any one out of a hundred throws, therefore it is no more improbable that one may throw sixes a hundred times running.”
This is, as we have said, a case of neglected articulation. The miracles in question all took place within a certain short period and were all connected with a single personality. The general fact that one supposed miracle is shown to be the result of accident would be a reason for, and not against, the belief that a great many others could be explained in the same way; but these others are accidents and not really miracles we should expect to find them scattered, not grouped and articulated as they are in the case in question. So with the throws of sixes. It is not the occurrence of a hundred of them that is remarkable, but of a hundred in succession with the same dice and in the hands of the same player. *
* This argument of Whately’s is perfectly valid as a reply to those who try to explain the miracles in question by a series of physical acci. dents. But if it be taken as an independent proof of their miraculous nature it might be itself regarded as an example of the Neglected Aspect; for it fails to consider the mental influences which tend to produce this very grouping. It is easier to hypnotize one person if others have been hypnotized in his presence, and for much the same reason the “cures' wrought by our modern faith doctors generally come in groups.
Often the neglected relation is one that is necessarily and obviously involved in some general scheme that is contemplated, and the neglect to consider it must be charged, not to ignorance, but to sheer haste and carelessness. From the circumstance that some men of humble station, who have been well educated, are apt to think themselves above low drudgery, it is argued that universal education of the lower orders would beget general idleness; this argument rests, of course, on the assumption of parallelism in the two cases, viz., the past and the future; whereas there is a circumstance that is absolutely essential, in which they differ; for when education is universal it must cease to be a distinction; which is probably the very circumstance that renders men too proud for their work.”' *
This blunder is like that of the people who clamor for some change in the tariff or in the currency that will give everybody' more money ’, forgetting that if dollars were as common as pebbles they would be worth no more than pebbles, and all that one could carry would hardly buy a dinner; or like that committed by the member of a crowded audience who asked that everybody present might be allowed to stand on the back of his seat and thus get an unobstructed view of the performance.
The blunder of a Neglected Aspect is involved in every philosophical theory which resolves all reality into mere phenomena, forgetting that there can be no phenomenon or appearance without something to appear and some one to whom it appears.
It is involved in the old myth of Atlas supporting the world; for any object that requires to be supported does so because it is heavy, i.e., because it is attracted by every other object and therefore tends to move towards the common centre of gravity. But as there is nothing outside of the world (or at least outside of the universe) towards which it is attracted, the universe as a whole
* Whately, op. cit.