With Special Reference to the Akan Peoples

of the Gold Coast, West Africa







Written in1944 at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.




 (l) Anthropology and the Peoples of Primitive Societies.
(2) Basis and Reason for Ethno-Phi1osophy
(3) The Boundaries of Modern Philosophy


In all investigations and speculations there comes a moment when arguments fail before the tribunals of the highest realities of life. There is then, in a sense in which no human being can suceessfully escape a philosophic adventure. For, the basic problems of the philosopher concern questions of fact about the nature and plan of the universe, questions, answers to which, are intermingled with deep and far-reaching consequences of man’s daily activities.

The fundamental task of philosophy therefore is to seek and unravel the deepest and basic meanings underlying human life, thought and activities. For instance: Is the world a huge mechanism which in every way is the embodiment of a certain sort of resistance, of a “law” that binds event to event, occurence to occurence in an inviolable and inexorable entity? What place is there in the universe of hard brute facts, where things happen as they must for real human aspirations, freedom and liberty?

Are our ideals and conceptions of the universe merely products of an evolving mechanism of natural forces or have they some deep significance somewhere? Can human existence be comprehended by the limits of birth and death in the physical world? Or, has human life a further extension and meaning other than just this objective world of human existence? Is there a meaning and significance in all cultural progress? Is there a Being, a God or, a ground substance, who moves and sustains the universe and directs human life and activities?

These are perennial questions which have confronted and puzzled the mind of man, primitive or civilized. The term “primitive” like the term ”uncivilized” is a vague and meaningless one in view of the fact that some of the peoples so characterized have cultures ranging from simple customs to extremely complex ones. The term primitive, however, is used in the following pages to designate something that is primeval, original and has not been exposed to any outside influence, or modified into something more complex. We shall find that the judgement “civilized” peoples have passed on the “uncivilized” peoples are not based on carefully evaluated ethnologica1 facts.

Tylor’s – Primitive Culture – published in 1870 led some ethnologists to perpetrate the misleading doctrine that primitive peoples represent an early stage in the history of the evolution of culture. Even more misleading was the dangerously uncritical manner in which primitive peoples were lumped together in ethnological discussions. It was against these presumptions and presuppositions that Franz Boas and his school militantly rebelled.

We cannot emphasize too much the fact that among primitive peoples there exists that same distribution of emotions and abilities as among civilized peoples. It was the ref1ection upon these basic questions that led the American philosopher William James to write these words: ‘Every man has some sense, vague at least, of the total push and pressure of the cosmos upon him.” This “total push and pressure” impinges not only upon civilized man but upon primitive man as well.

The building of culture is after all man’s thought in action concerning these questions and reactions to the objective world. Is the way the primitive mind views and understands the universe different basically from that of civilized mind? If so what is the fundamental mental difference? Is it an anthropological certainty that primitive man perceives and conceives nothing as does the civilized man? Is the thinking of the primitive man opposed to the principles of the law of contradiction and causality? Is his thinking really prelogical? Does the emergence of logical1y irrelevant notions precede their analytical recognition? If so, is this common to both primitive and civilized man?

Does a direct relation between physical habits and mental endownment exist at all? Is there a justification for the postulation of a “primitive” mind and a “civilized” mind? If not, is it possible to assume that both are but two ways of viewing the same thing — the objective world? Does”primitive” mind dislike the discursive operation of reflection? Does he always attribute everything that happens to mystic occult agencies? Does he really abhor the unknown? Is it after all possible to postulate a synthetic ethno—philosophy by which the problems of anthropology will not only concern themselves with the reconstruction of human history, the determination of types of historical phenomena and their sequences, or the dynamics of change, but an endeavor to go beyond these, into the basic and fundamental meanings underlying all cultures so as to arrive at a basic cultural Weltaschauung by which mankind may realize that even though race, language and cult may be separate and distinct entities yet they are one in the sense that there is but one race: The Homo Sapiens.

This dissertation then is to present certain data that are necessary for an intelligent understanding of the mind of “primitive” man and to furnish criteria by which it may be evaluated.



(1)   Anthropology and Peoples of Primitive Societies.

It is a universal desire of man to seek and to find. The Greeks sought wisdom and sometimes found it. The Romans sought empire and learned the bitter experience of insecurity in autocratic colonial rule. Surely, then, in the proper study of primitive mind there is much cultural value that can be gained by civilized man. Reason, after all, is culture based on science, and by science we mean the way in which the mind of any people under specific circumstances and environment views or tries to understand the phenomena we call nature. In this respect the mind of primitive man may be equated with that of civilized man. It is one of the purposes of this dissertation to find justification for this pre-supposition through the ethnology and anthropology of West African tribal group life.

Ethnology has been defined as the science which deals with the cultures of human groups. Lowie follows Tylor and defines culture as “the sum total of what an individual acquires from his society,for example, those beliefs, customs, artistic norms, food-habits and crafts which come to him not by his own creative ability, but as a legacy from the past conveyed by formal or informal education based on the learning capacity of the individual.”

Anthropology on the other hand is taken to mean the whole science of man which is not primarily concerned with “races” as biological divisions of Homo Sapiens and does not interest itself in the psychology of individuals except in so far as it influences society. According to Franz Boas, anthropology deals with the history of human society. Anthropological research therefore should extend over and embrace the whole of humanity regardless of time and place. Anthropology thus has become an authority for identifying the races of man. The field of anthropology is so broad that it has been defined by Marrett as “the whole history of man as fired and pervaded by the idea of evolution. Man in evolution – that is the subject in its full reach. It studies him body and soul together – as a bodily organism, subject to considerations operating in time and space, which bodily organism is in intimate relation with a soul-life, also subject to those same conditions.”

 There have been errors and inconsistences when certain anthropological data are applied to primitive peoples. The c1assification of race has deviated from a scientific mission into a prostitution (Gobbineau, Stoddard, Madison Grant, Chamberlain). “Race” is not a problem to the true and impartial anthropologist. Rather it is the anthropologist who becomes a problem when he attempts to reconstruct his beliefs and prejudices to fit in with his conception of what constitutes “race”.

So far as we know there was no trend to classify the mental and physical characteristics of peoples according to particular stereotypes. The ancient materialists like Galen, Lucien, Filny and Elder, Aristotle, despite their shortcomings followed truth in their scientific investigations. Yet their followers have deviated from the path of true science. Instead they have succeeded in constructing certain fundamental concepts in order to negate the main essentials of scientific know1edge. It is such scientific distortions that have created the present fallacies and inconsistencies in modern anthropological research. Thus we have a thousand and one schools of thought, each seeking to satisfy its own whims and caprices without regard to the main foundations of scientific knowledge. Under such conditions room was made for the propagandist. Any amateur could become an authority overnight. The result is the present world pandemonium.

The deve1opment of anthropological conception of “Race” may be traced from the scholastic naturalization of Aristotle’s doctrine of the predacables of genus, species, difference, property and accident. From the middle ages through the seventeenth century the race concept may be traced to the early days Aulkarung when Linnaeus in 1735 took over the concepts of class, genus and species from medieval theologians to serve him as systematic tools of zoology.

The term race was first introduced into the literature of natural history by Suffon in 1749. Buffon, however, used the term as an extension of the Aristotelian conception of species and its subdivision. He further recognized that all human beings belonged to a single species. Blumenbach and Cuvier used the term as a convenient supposition to distinguish oertain geologically localized groups of men. Thus, at the very beginning the term ”race” was used and understood to be nothing more than a simple convenience.

The Aristotelian conception of species, the theological doctrine of special creation and the natural history of the Auflkularung all fitted together nicely to yie1d the idea of the fixity of species, an idea which was eventually extended to the concept of “race.”

The Darwinian conception was a contribution to show that species were not as fixed as formally believed, and that under the action of natural selection one species might give rise to another. It is however to be deplored the certain anthropologists of today closing their eyes to the findings of modern genetics still think think of “race” as the scholastics thought of species as a knowable fixed entity the essence of which could be defined per genuispropria it differentia.

For more than two centuries anthropologists have diverted their attentionmainly towards the task of establishing criteria by which means “races” of mankind might be defined. They fail to recognize that the concept of “race” corresponds to no reality which could be empirically measured and verified, so that it could be a proved concept.

These humble observations do not by any means deny the existence of scientific anthropology. I am merely submitting that anthropological formalities becoming scientists, anthropologists are becoming agents of vpublic opinion thereby subverting the science to serve the means of certain societal institutions.

Finally it is the effort of this dissertation to give 1ie to the fallacious assumption that facts always speak for themselves. Some of the so-called scientific minded anthropologists fail to recognize the truth that facts are generally not allowed to speak for themselves but as man’s socially-conditioned passions and feelings dictate. So much of the liberal philosophical and anthropological conclusions are rooted in ignorance and prejudices. Thus the fallacies underlying the propaganda of race hatred and the contempt of the western or civilized mind for primitive peoples are not consciously recognized and decried.  

So, as far as my personal experience goes and so far as I am able to judge ethnological data, on the basis of this experience, I am forced to maintain that the mental processes of man are the same everywhere regardless of race, culture, and the obvious absurdities of beliefs and customs which are found everywhere among primitive or civilized human groups.

 Some theories assume that the mind and thought equipment of primitive man is distinct from that of civilized man. I have never in my trave1s on three continents come across a person in primitive life to whom this theory would apply. The behavior of all peoples, no matter to what culture they belong, is determined by the traditional material they handle; and man the world over handles the materials transmitted to him by the same methods.

Levy-Bruhl’s provocative thesis that the primitive mind is indifferent to the laws of contradiction aid causality, its blindness to logica1 thought has been examined and rejected by workers of divers schools and more particularly by Thurnwald, Boas, Drigberg and Spier. Paradoxically enough, the potency of irrational determinants, supposd characteristic of primitive mind, championed by Tarde, Boas and others is now an integral part of modern pedagogy.

Immanuel Kant his postulated certain categories. It is through these categories that the mind imposes form upon the object of sense-data. These categories which, according to Hegel go to constitute the universe, form the primitive equipment of the mind. These categories are not the monoply of the mind of civilized man, but innate in all rational beings. Basically then there no inherent difference between the mind of primitive man and that of civilized man. The mind of primitive man is undamentally the same as any other mind in that it is a socio-historical phenomenon existent in and subject to the influences of its epoch. It both conditions and is conditioned by its socio-historical and socio-econornic situation. It is modified and reflected in the inseparable connection and interconnections of feelings, emotions, moods, interests, beliefs and philosophies with the so-called purely logical processes of thought.

(2) Basis And Reason For Ethno-philosophy

The most pressing challenge of contemporary anthropology is the challenge to establish a new field of inquiry bt which the broad and basic generalities of ethnological investigations can be philosophically entertained. This new field of inquiry will not claim to answer all the questions that arise as the result of ethnological investigations, but only to search for logical methods and procedures by which these q uestions may be answered. The new field will maintain itself by a philosophical approach to the conclusions of anthropology and ethnology. True philosophy refrains from trespassing upon specialist’s investigations. It is then the business of philosophy to point out the fields for research.

Recent science has done so much to do away with the distinction between fact and value and thus to destroy it as the basis for the differentiation of science and philosophy.

There should be no strict line of demarcation between the science of anthropology and philosophy. It is with this outlook that we call the attention of philosophers and anthropologists to Ethno-philosophy. By Ethno-philosopby we mean the philosophical consideration, analysis and interpretation of these Ethno-metaphysical problems which have to do with the analysis of the basic concepts and presuppositions of Ethnological and Anthropological data.

Philosophy is inevitable whenever a science becomes self-critical. And ethnology like any other modern science has become self-critical.

There are certain Ethnological motifs the scope of which can only be satisfactorily ascertained by this new field of enquiry. Ethnology answers the “whats” and “hows” of cultures, but little or nothing has hitherto been done by ethnologists about the “whys” of cultures. Schiller in Die Weltwesen says:  “Until the world is guided entirely by philosophy, it will be driven by hunger and love.”

It has been said that science describes and philosophy exp1ains, and that science describes facts empirically and philosophy analyzes symbols logically. Such dichotomy hinges upon the age-old mechanist-vitalist paradox a resolution which has been affected by Dr. E.A. Singer. The view that science merely describes and leaves the ultimate problems of explanation and interpretation to philosophy has been the characteristic of the positivistic school of Mach, Kirchnoff and Pearson. It is the outgrowth of Comtian positivism. Description alone cannot satisfy the human mind completely. It calls for a more basic and fundamental interpretation. In this respect science and philosophy are supplementary and not antagonistic.

The Vienna Circle, known as logical positivists, maintain the absolute dichotomy of science and philosophy. To them the task of science is both description and explanation, and the business of philosophy is logical classification and clarification of ideas. The philosopher is not concerned with the world of empirical facts but with the propositions which are asserted about facts. Philosophy is thus reduced to propositions – mere semantics. The outstanding representatives of logical positivism are are Carnap, Schlick and Wittgenstein. 

There should be no opposition between philosophy and. science; and from the point of view of our interest, there should be no opposition between philosophy and ethnology. How can the underlying basic problems of primitive religious origins, the primitive concept of God, immortality and freedom; the significance of dreams, omens, magic, faith, supernaturalism and the esoteric aspects of primitive institutions and mental processes, be explained otherwise? Has culture any meaning other than the beliefs, customs and techniques that the individual acquires from his society? Are there certain discoverable philosophic principles that shape the raw material of culture? Are there purposes and values in primitive life and social organization? The ethnologist is quite aware of the fact that human beings live in a meaningful world. The meanings are not discovered by the individual himself but are transmitted to him in the course of the process of socialization. In primitive or civilized man these meanings may be traced to the variable belief systems that are the basis of their cultural heritage.

Science has caused civilized man to investigate the nature of things and thus interprete their meaning. Yet paradoxically enough, that scientific thinking has so colored the civilized mind with a bias that it renders it unable to understand primitive meanings. The study of magico-religjous beliefs and practices of primitive people is a good example of this. These thoughts, feelings and actions are so bound with primitive metaphysical notions that it is very difficult for the “civilized” man to grasp them. Hallowell hits the point when he writes in his The Role of Conjuring in Saulteaux Society: “But even at best our comprehension of the belief system of a primitive people remains on the intellectual level. We never learn to f eel and act as they do. Consequently, we never fully penetrate their behavioral world. We never wear their culturally tinted spectacles; the best we can do is to try them on.” What seems strange and savage in primitive society may then become intelligible and human to the western mind. Such a new outlook may contribute towards an understanding of policies, customs, cultures and traditions of primitive peoples, the promotion of intertribal, interracial understanding and confidence – the building of international mind, spiritual unity and true cooperation.

Let us then rid our minds of all preconceived: ideas and prejudiced notions in entering upon an objective study of the mind and thought as it operates in primitive society, and endeavour to understand the way in which it manifests and objectifies itself in the socio-historical situation and cultural mileau in which it finds expression.

(3) Boundaries of Modern Philosophy

Before plunging into the problem of mind, it is perhaps pertinent to observe in passing that modern philosophy may be divided into four main periods or tendencies. (1) The period of rationalism characteristic of the philosophy of the seventeenth century, and its development may be traced in the writings of Des Cartes, Leibnitz and Spinoza. The predominant feature of rationallsm is that Reason is the clue to and solvent of all problems. In short, the universe can be known without any appeal to experience. The emphasis is on law and its proposition may be thus stated: No knowledge of law presupposes knowledge of fact, and every knowledge of fact presupposes knowledge of law. Symbolically; No ; every .

(2) The period of empiricism culminated in the eghteenth century. Its development must be traced in the philosophical writings of Locke, Berkeley and Hume. The predominant keynote of its thinking is that knowledge of the world comes about only through experience. It is through experience that men learn what the fundamental principles which given the universe, human life and conduct, are. The emphasis is on fact, and the proposition of the position may be stated thus: Every knowledge of law presupposes a knowledge of fact, Some knowledge of facts does not presuppose knowledge of law; and some knowledge of facts presupposes knowledge of law. Symbolically: Every ; some; some. It can be seen that the position of the emprircist is diametrically opposed to that of the rationalist.

(3) Towards the end of the neneteenth century, Immanuel Kant brought about what he called a “Copernian Revolution” in philosophy. It is known as criticism or critical idealism. It maintains that rationalism and empiricism are contraries but accept the view of each for for its philosophical formulation. Reason (mind) is independent of sense experience and imposes character and form upon the external object. And “so dialectical criticism produces two conclusions: It discloses, in the first place, illusory character of some pronouncements of reason which pretend to reveal absolute and ultimate truths. And  then it shows how ideas which reason seems constrained to pursue even into the realm of illusion may still have meaning and function with respect a knowledge which is possible to a knowledge which can guide and direct toward the ever higher unity which has always been the loadstone of knowledge. (Martin, Clark-Clark and Ruddick: History of Philosophy p. 25). Critical idealism lay partial emphasis upon law and fact. The position is stated thus: Some knowledge of law presupposes knowledge of fact. Some knowledge of fact presupposes knowledge of law. Some knowledge of law does not presuppose knowledge of fact; and some knowledge of facts does not presuppose knowledge of law. Symbolically; some ; some ;  some.

(4) Experimentalism is the characteristic feature of twentieth century philosophy. The experimentalist’s position may be stated thus: “Only those experiences which are somehow controlled in order to keep at a minimum the individual idiosnycracies and prejudices of the observer are of any value in determining scientific truth.” Since the term experiment is used to designate controlled laboratory experience as opposed to uncontrolled everyday experience, the empirical postulate becomes: “Experiment supplies the method of determining what descriptions of nature are close to truth.” (c. West Churchman: Elements of Logic and Foemal Science, p 152. For further information see Edgar A. Singer, Jr. Mind as Behavior.) The experimentalist’s emphasis is on the facts of experiment, and the proposition of this position may be stated thus: Every knowledge of law presupposes knowledge of fact. Every knowledge of fact presupposes knowledge of law. Symbolically: Every     ; every     .

These four philosophical tendencies, rationalism, empiricism, criticism and experimentalism are fundamental because they form the important attitudes representative of philosophic thought in the modern period. They provide the groundwork thet underlies and supports the various developments which philosophic theory has undergone and is undergoing since the days of Kant.



Chapt. I

Theories and Analysis of Mind and Thought

(1)  Mind: Animal vs. Human

(2)  Mind as Substance

(3)  Mind as Process

(4)  Mind as Relation

(5)  Mind as Intentional Act

(6)  Mind as Substantive

(7)  Mind as Function

(8)  Mind as Behavior


Chapt. II

Theories and Analysis of the Group Concept

(1)  Mind and the Group

(2)  The Group and the Individual

(3)  Individual-Group Relationships

(4)  Organized Group Process



Theories and Definitions of Mind and Thought

(1) Mind: Animal vs. Human

To the physicist nd the chemist, man is not only a part of nature but in many respects he is like the rest of the things that constitute the physical world. He is thus subject to the mechanical laws and limitations that apply to all material objects. The fundamental law of life and growth becomes essentially a chemics and physical process.

To the biologist, man is like all living things. The ultimate unit of his body Is the cell, endowed with additional features of sensitivity and response which are the distinguishing characteristics of material substances. Man’s life like that of plants and animals has a beginning, an enfoldment and an end. Man is like all vertebrate animals particularly the mammals and the antropoid apes. Yet beyond the animals man has his own unique way. He is in a category by himself. He is just man. He is the only animal capable of learning and visualizing a complex situation. The famous story of Der Kluger Hans, and the fascinating study of Wolfgang Koehler, The Mentality of Apes,indicates that the limitation of animal mind lies in its incapacity to learn and think in abstract terms. However, the difference between animal mind and human mind is that of degree not of kind, Man is thus a talented animal by virtue of the high degree of his mentality.

The categories of heredity, structure, physiology, the physical environment by which the biologist tries to explain lfe, mind and human behavior, and the chemical and physical categories by which the chemist and physicist endeavor to view humsn life and behavior under close observation seem to be insufficient and inadequate. The solution of the problem calls for a new category. It is the psychological equipment, the capacity for learned
and acquired reactions that set Homo Sapiens off from all other species of the zoological order.

The mind of a little child is not an actuality but a potentiality. The agency which transforms the potential human mind to the actual human mind is culture. Education and learning are the methods of its application and transmission.

In the consideration of human behavior under any clime and situation two facts stand out in bold relief. In the first place, certain behavior patterns of any particular individual are never the same compared with other individuals in the same category. No two habits of speech, dress, economic activities and even religious attitudes and aspirations of two individuals are entirely identical. The same goes for human groups be it a class, a clan, a community, a tribe or a nation.

In the second place, it observed fact that patterns of behavior shared collectively by groups can never obsecure the unique personalities of the individuals which compose the group. Our impressions of two individuals or two human groups are never exactly yhe same. If this were so, there could be no rational basis for the study of psychology or anthropology. Students of both animal and human life recognize this fact. It is a frequent comment among the hunters of the Akan people of Gold Coast, West Africa, that they can distinguish the individual members of any animal group with which they are thoroughly familiar. Such a supposition does not, however, ignore the correlation that exists between organic forms, behavior patterns, and the morphology of living creatures. Hallowell says:

“Yet while there is this parallel in human and sub-human behavior to be observed, a fundamental difference must be drawn. No matter how individuals may differ, the supra-individual behavior patterns which characterize a series of animals tend to correspond fairly with the limits of the species, whereas in the. case on man, supra-individual patterns of behavior of many different kinds are intra-specific.” (1. H.T. Hallowell: Handbook of Psychological Leads for Ethnological Field Workers.)

Despite a common phylogeny, man when viewed in the widest spatial and temporal perspective presents a contrasting and varied picture of behavior patterns. Faced with this behavIor variability of the zoological family, we have no reason to suppose that the behavior patterns of any people are necessarily confined to narrow and primitive limits. Psycho-behavioristically, it is unsound, from this basis, to endeavor to ascertain a comparison or a difference between the social organizations characteristic of the sinianthropus, the Neanderthal or even contemporary primitive or civilized mind. Any attempt, therefore, to explain human behavior by single categories of factors, such as heredity, environment, geography, climate, racial type etc., rather than an insistence on unitary and integrating explanation, is inadequate and unfunctional. The source of behavior patterns in human beings, in the final ana1ysis, is to be sought in the behavior of other individuals. Again says Hallowell:

“Human societies, that is to say, Function through a system of relations which bind the human beings who compose them to each other and to the physical environment in which they live, the specific patterning of these relations through acquired behavior responses being the fundamental mode of human integration.” (2. ibid. p.)                                                                                                                                                    

It is, however, far from our contention that acquired activity patterns alone are the only answerable presuppositions of social life among all living organisms. Behavior patterns are not indispensable to maintaining the general functioning of the social group.

In the social life of vertebrates physiological mechanisim rather then acquired behavior appears to be the fundamental means of social integration. It was the conviction of this point of view that led Zucherman (3. Zukerma: The social life of Monkeys and Apes) to emphasize the direct correlation between reproductive physiology and social behavior among animals. The point of emphasis here is that in order to grasp the full significance of human life and social integration, we must not limit ourselves to acquired behavior patterns alone but take into consideration the physiological mechanism and the morphological adaptions of the individuals who compose the social group.

To the social scientists the term culture is used categorically to designate the traditional patterns of interpersonal and ecological relations which characterize social groups. These interpersonal and ecological relations are guided by the conventional dictates of the social and economic order of the group. Conventional beliefs, customs and mores impose characteristic ideologies upon the minds of the individuals of the group. Traditional attitudes toward natural and supernatural phenomena are accepted without question. Such group patterns of thought have been observed by students of culture at various historic periods of the world’s progress and have been found to differ in their cultural aspects.

Man’s mental imagery and even his perception habits and gestures do not escape the traditional ideologies of the group to which he belongs, and this influence in turn determines his mind and thougbt. This is illustrated by the non-absoluteness of the color pyramids used by the psychologists of western civilization. Different cultural norms would dictate different pyramids if these were developed out of the conventiona.l color scales differentiated among peoples with other cultural backgrounds. The Akan peoples, for instance, have distinct names for black, red and white. Black is applied to anything dark, while red includes what western mind differentiates as pink, orange and yellow. (4. Margaret Mead: The Primitive Child, in Handbook of Child Psychology (Ed.) C. Murchison 1033p.921) Mead mentions the same conception  of colors among the Menus children who “saw yellow, olive-gree, blue-green, gray and lavender as variants of one color.” It is the opinion of Boas (5. Franz Boas: The Mind of Primitive Man p. 119) that in thought and speech these colør names convey the impressions of different groups of sensations. Malinowski (6. B. Malinowski: The Father of Primitive Psychology, 1927, pp. 87-92) and Sherif (7. M. Sherif: A Study of Some Social Factors in Perception, Archives of Psychology, 1936) in review of social factors in perception point out that, so far as primitive peoples are concerned, the variations observable cannot be made intelligible by some hypothesis of a “primitive” or “pre-logical” mind (Levy Bruhl), but are reducible to the basic notion that “the nucleus of all percieving and thinking lies in established norms or reference points.” (M. Sherif). These points of reference when established become basic in the realtion of the individual to other persons and things.

The fundamental qualitative difference between the social life of man and that of other animals is that man’s social activities are integrated on the level of acquired behavior responses, while in animals social integration is characterIzed by physiological mechanism and morphological orientations and adaptations. The framework of mamalian society is determined by physiological mechanisms, and reproductive physiology is the fundamental mechanism of’ their society. (Zukerman)

Another important advantage which the human mind has over the animal mind in social integration and interactions is the development of symbolic means of oral communicatjon prompted by the development of conceptual thought, namely, speech. It is the fundamental avenue for the transmission of culture.

For the present, therefore, it is not only the recognition of objective differences in culture patterns of the world’s people, “primitive” or “civilized”, that is most important; it is the meaning and significance in the culture patterns of all people that is essential to the general social and cultural orientation of the world.

Man never lives in a world of bare physical objects and events. He lives in a meaningful and philosophical universe. The cultural patterns to which he becomes orientated define the meaning of such a universe. It is his response to the physical objects of his external environment and to his fellowmen that give exertion to his activities, conduct, mind and thought.

In the culture of western civilization temporal and spatial concepts have been quantified almost to an absurdity. People try to rise, eat, sleep at such and such a time. Trains and buses are scheduled to leave at certain subdivisions of the minute. Such mechanistic conception and devices, characteristic of the western mind, are deviations from earlier historic civilizations and extant primitive peoples. Among primitive peoples present and last events, the concept of space and time are expressed in terms of historical, meteorological and mythological occurrences which of course creates for them a historical reality having nothing to do with quantified scales of reference.

1t is a common conclusion of students of primitive life and thought that the beliefs of primitive peoples and consequently the mind and thought represent an earlier stage of “mind” evolution. If the hypothesis of a biogenetic law is true, namely, that ontogney repeats phylogeny then the minds of children born in western civilization must presumably be comparable to those of primitive mind not mentioning the comparability of the social beliefs of primitive peoples with the day dreams and fantasies of western civilization. But this hypothesis may be an anological rather than a historica fact. I have as yet to find a successfully demonstrated historical and psychological continuity between primitive and civilized minds.

Whatever abberation may characterize the thought process and the cultural progress of man there will always be the fusion of prelogical concepts with the logical deductions. The history of the “isms” of modern times hears out this fact. These divagations which have become religion to millions of westerners are ……………………………. of their physical environment and the synthetic view of the social life. We find in Hegel a scientific explanation of the entire historico-social process in its totality which of course includes all aspects and manifestations of the activity of socia1 man by the attributes of the universal Geist. Given these attributes, the whole history and culture of mankind is given an sich. Hegel’s synthetic view is teleological – a position to which modern dialectical materialism stands opposed.

The methods by which social man satisfies his needs are determined by the nature of the implements with which he tries to conquer nature, and these in turn determine the nature of his mind. This is an incontestable fact in human progress and development. Primitive instincts of sociability are the results of adaptations to natural environment in the struggle for existence.


The conception of mind as substance has been the central postulate in most phi1osophica1 presuppositions and speculations. It has dominated the whole history of philisophical thought. People of early times made no ditinction between mind and nature. Mind was in many instances identified with the objective world. There was no separation between a subjective life of consciousness and an external world of objective reality. Mind and matter, the world of phenomena and the world of noumena, – to use Kantian terminology – were one and the same thing. There was no problem as to how mind and nature interact. To the early thinkers mind cannot know a world that is not mind. Soul and body were identified. Such conceptions of mind and nature are reflected in the poems of Homer and Hesiod, in Hondu philosophy (Rig Vida), in the Pyramid Text and in the pre-Prophetic writings of Israel. (8. The article on “Soul” in Hasting’s Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.)

When we turn to the early Greek philosophers a similar situation is found. Rarely was there any distinction between mind and the objective world. The earliest sayings about mind lack psychological foundation. The fiery logos or Wor1d-Reason of Heraclitus is obective mind. Anaximenes held that “just as soul which is air holds together, so it is breath and air that encompasses the world”. (9. Bakewell: Source Book in Ancient Philosophy. p.7.)  Parmenides held that “it is the same thing that can be thought and that can be.” (10. Martin, Clarke, Clarke, Ruddick: A History of Philosophy, p. 50). Empedocles says of God: “He is the only mind, sacred and ineffable mind, flashing through the universe with swift thoughts.” (11. ibid. p.52). Anaxagora says of mind: “mind is infinite and self-ruled mixed with nothing.”(12. ibid. 61) Anaxagoras’s observation of life caused him to conclude that it is mind (Vous) which “has power andwhich is responsible for all occupences. As mind rules the human body, so in the cosmos “mind sets in order all thIngs.” If “all is mind” then there is no sharp dIstinction between mind and nature. Mind becomes only the ultimate principle of motion. The problem of the relation of thought to the physical world is not clearly delineated in the writings of the early Greek philosophers. The Atomists (13. Aristotle’s De Anima, p. 404) and the sophist (14. Windelband: History of Philosophy, p.62) identified sense and reason. Parmenides and Democritus separate thought and sense. There was no radical discrimination between mental processes and sense-data. When we turn to Plato (15. Plato’s Phaedo) and Aristotle the same problem is evident with no possibilIty of solution.

In later philosophical speculations man began to conceive mind as a substance different in kind from physical nature. Broad refers to substance thus: “an existent is more of a substance the longer it lasts and the less dependent it is on anything else,” that is “endurance and capacity for independent existence” may be taken, “as two tests of substantiabiality (16. Broad: The Mind and its Place in Nature, pp. 31 ff.) McTaggart defines a substance as that which exists and “has qualities and is related, without being a quality or a re1ation.” (17. McTaggart: The Nature of Existence).

According to Charles W. Morris the term substance has a metaphysical significance while the term substantive, is an empirica1 postulate. An empirical substance is a substantative. A metaphysical substance is a substance. In his own words: “A substance is a bifurcated substantive” ——- “an empirical substance or substantive has some degree of independence and duration but is not divisible into substratum and attitudes as is a substance.” (18. Charles Morris: Six Theories of Mind, p.7) Thus the historical use of the term “substance’’ makes mind an immaterial “something”, independent of its own existence. Such conception, however, is incommensurable with primitive mind which considers “substance” (“Adzi” – Fanti – Akan word for substance) in terms of its behavior and materiality. The conception of mind as an immaterial substance has been the characteristic tendency in western thought. It reached its fullest classic expression in Plato and Rene Descartes.

It was the Socratic universa1 and its application to the things of sense and action that led Plato to conclude that there must be a realm of objects that are not transitory but permanent that makes possible the existence of genuine knowledge. Thus in the Phaedo, Plato brings about a rupture between thought and sense-data. The mind becomes the activity of the soul, and thought its conversational demonstraton.

Aristotle is the earliest opponent of the substance conception of mind. In the Metaphysics it is regarded as a primary category. It is not an attribute but a substratum of which attributes are predicated. To him, form and matter are correlative, and mind becomes the form of all forms. Thought without content becomes an absurdity. Mind is the thing when it is thought.  Here it is interesting to note that the word for mind in the Fanti-Akan language is Adwin which may be literally translated as that which thinks or is thought. Mentality thus resides in the apprehending organism. From Plato and Aristotle two fundamental problems are handed down to philosophers of later times. We from the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Sceptics and Neo-platonists of the Hellenistic age (whose philosophy was but an observation of Platonic thought) and the Patiristics and the Scholastics of the medieval period (who philosophy was dominated by the Aristotelian conception of mind) to the Cartesian treatment of mind which is basic in modern philosophic specu1ation. The whole of the rationalist empiricist and critical idealist philosophy was influenced by Cartesian dualism.

To Rene DesCartes’ mind is the substance which thinks. Mind and matter are distinct since things which can be thought apart are by nature separable. The essence of mine is pure thought and the essence of matter is extension. Here we notice the similarity between the Aristotelian, the Cartesian and the Fanti-Akan (primitive conception of mind as Adwin).

In the Cartesian-Galilean-Newtonian Weltanschauung the world of nature is regarded as a huge machine susceptible to mathematical reality. Man is part of this world-machine and the relation of mind to the world-machine is that of knowledge. With this world-view there arose three philosophIcal directions: The attempt to reduce matter to mind (idealism) to reduce mind to matter, (materialism) to regard mind and matter as metaphysical (parellelism). These directions are represented in the philosophical writings of Hobbes, Berkerley and Spinoza.

Hobbes maintains that it is the animal body which thinks all change is a change in the motions of bodies, and nothing can cause such motion but another moving body. The experience world with the category of speech makes up all that is meant by mind.

Spinoza thinks of the universe in terms of mind and matter. These however are not two distinct substances but two aspects of the same thing, namely, the universe natura naturans ad natura naturata.

The fact that Locke did not concern himself with the ultimate nature of mind indicates that he unconsciously could not get out of the substance theory of mind as when he speaks of mind as a “closet shut from light”, with senses as ‘litt1e openings” to the outside world. In spite of hs empiricism Locke was merely trying to bridge the gap between mind and matter (thought and sense) through the medium of sense-data. (19. John Locke: Essay Concerning Human Understanding).

Berkerley however identified the percieved world with the world of nature – esse est percippi. This perceiving active being is what he termed mind which is the unperceived perceiver, and which is distinct from the ideas which are dependent upon it. From this Berkerly is led to the conclusion that oniy minds and their ideas exist. The entire cosmos becomes a system of mind: no mind, no existence. The difficult question then arises: can we regard mind as substantive and matter as substance? It was the answer to this question that led to the sceptic philosophy of Hume and to the critical philosophy of Kant.

Hume in his Treatise on Human Nature rejects the concept of substance. To him, ideas are derived from impressions, and since the substratum necessary to the conception of substance is incapable of being given, it follows that there can be no idea of such a substratum. Hence we have no idea of substance, for we have nothing to support the existence of perception. Gevin contents are “perception of the mind”, knower and known, mind and matter, subject and object all become philosophical abstractions impossible of content and meaning.

A somewhat similar situation is revealed by Kant. His analysis of what is known as rational psychology, tinting the paralogism of the Catesian reasoning, led him to admit that the mind when conceived as substance cannot be maintained in critical phi1osophy. It is mind that imposes form upon matter or substance and makes it meaningful and comprehensible. In Hume and Kant, the concept of mind as substance is said to have been erased from the book of metaphysical speculation.

In contemporary philosophy Bertrand Rüsseli “insists that if the substance is not defined by it predicates, it cannot be defined at all, and so is without justification; while if the substance is so defined, then the substratum element, necessary to substance, drops out.” (20. Bertrand Russell: A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibnitz.)  However, the New Scholastics take a different stand. According to James H. Ryan: “We are quite conscious of the fact that of all the ideas which we defend, idea of substance, and in particular, mind—substance, will probably be the last that modern thought will accept. Since the day of Hume, the functional view point has held undisputed sway and has acquired the prestige of being regarded almost everywhere as axiomatic. The functional idea, however, must be blazed out of modern treatment of mind problems. In its place we must substitute a dualistic and dynamic philosophy of act and potency, substance and accident.” (21. James H. Ryan: “The New Scholasticism and its Contributiion to Modern Thought”, – Present Day Thinkers and the New Scholasticism ed., John S. Zybura, pp 365 ff.)


The conception of mind in terms of process is opposed to the conception of mind as substance. It is also opposed to the Galilean-Cartesian-Newtonian weltanschauug which made space-time coordinate absolute. The conception of mind as process is indicated in the writings of Hume and is common in the philosophical speculation of contemporary thinkers. In certain aspects it is pervaded with idealism which upholds the supremacy of mind. As Hoernle states: mind is the clue to the nature of reality.”

In modern times the shift from the conception of mind as a substance to that of process is evidenced in the uncertainty and the vascil1ating nature of the conclusion of science. Euclidean geometry was held to be basic in mathematical presuppositions and in the practica1 problems of life. Then came Riemann and Lobachewski who showed conclusively that the Eucildean system of geometry was not the goemetry but one among a number of systems. However, between the systems was an apparent contradiction. In the Euclidean system, the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to 180 degrees but in the Lobachewskian system the sum of the angles of a triangle is always less than 180 degrees; and in the Reimannian system the sum is always greater than 180 degrees. The question then arose, which system is true: Can a system of propositions be consistent and not actually true? What is then truth? Does geometry actually describe the world? Is space objective and absolute as has been claimed by the Galilean-Cartesian-Newtonian system? For here we have not only one space but many spaces: Euclidean space, Lobachewkian space, and the Riemannian space. What space do we mean when we talk of space?

Another revolution that took place in the realm of physics was Einstein’s announcement of the theory of relativity which shook the foundation of Newtonian physics. In the words of Benjamin, A certain experiment devised to measure the variations in the velocity of light due to changes in the velocity of its source was performed. It was confidently predicted that the anticipated outcome would be verified. But the results were unequivocably negative. The crucial character of the experiment made its negative outcome of great significance. Ordinarily, when a hypothesis fails of verification, the scientist throws the theory aside and sets up a new one in its place. But here the situation was different. For, the theory which was negated by the experiment was at the very foundation of the whole physical structure; if it were to be thrown aside, most of the physical theories would have to be disdarded. Physics was thrown into turmoil. The problem of the future of physics now seemed to be in abandoning the entire structure and starting again from the ground.” (22. A. Cornelius Benjamin: A Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, p.26.)  If the results of this experiment are accepted it would mean a different un-Newtonian interrelationship between time and space. In other words, the postulation of a fourth dimension would be inevitable.

All these changes went to substantiate the passage from the conception of mind as process. It is the dialectical and dynamic aspect of mind. This conception of mind goes back to Leibnitz’s monad theory which set the pattern for the “activistic” interpretation of the material world.

In Hegel, however, mind is not a static ens but “of all things, must be looked at in its concrete actuality, in its energy.” (23. Hegel: The Phenomenology of Mind, trans. Baille pp. 16-17).  The world as a whole is conceived by Hegel as a single comprehensive process which might as well be called mind. The processis a universal identity which is the geist. It attains its development by appearing in forms which are antithetical to itself through which a greater synthetical self-realization is obtained. All of nature is but a manifestation of the Absolute Mind. In Hegel’s own words: “The Absolute is mind (geist) – this is the supreme definition of the Absolute,” (24. Ibid. p.161).

Dialectical thinking thus became essential not only in philosophy and science but also in history and social development. But instead of using dialectics in the studying of the laws of the social world by the methods of science, an attempt was made by Hegelians to deduce these laws from a study of ideas and concepts. It was against this substitution of the idealized and mystical concept for material and social reality that Marx revolted when he turned the dialectics of Hegel “upon its head.” (25. David Guest: Dialectical Materialism p. 38)  Dialectics or the general law of life, change and development was interpreted in terms of the external world, and the development of mind as process conditioned and occasioned by productive forces became the basis of Marxian dialectics.

The idealistic conception of mind as a process was developed by two English followers of Hegel: Bradley and Bosanquet. Bradley’s conception of mind was that of “organic wholeness”. To him the term spirit stands in opposition to mechanism. Spirit, that is, mind, is a unity of the manifold in which the externality of the manifold has ceased to exist. The universal becomes immanent in the parts, and its system does not lie somewhere outside but in relation between them. (26. Bradley: Essays on Truth and Reality, p. 189).  Morris in his Six Theories of Mind admits the difference here implied in Bradley’s doctrine of the Universal and maintains that his use of the term mind or spirit is analogous to Whitebead’s use of “organism”. (A. N. Whitehead: Process and Reality, pp. 119-23. However, Bradley holds that “pure spirit is not realized except in the absolute.” All reality is spirit (mind) and the absolute is pure mind. But since mind, according to Bradley, refers to organic wholeness, to a unity (synthesis) in and through opposites and differences, it would seem difficult to understand if mind were to be identified with the Bradelian or the Hegelian absolute. But even if we do identify them, we are still at the mercy of another difficulty, namely, whether we can still identify the “Absolute” with a personal God or an absolute self. It is the realization of this difficulty that led Morris to say: “ The idealist plays fast and loose with notions, and the result can only be confusion. It would be more satisfactory to designate the general metaphysical doctrine by such terms as “spiritual” or “organismic” thereby freeing the term “mind” for more specific and less controversial uses.” (28. Morris: Six Theories of Mind, p.63).

It is when we come to Bradley’s analysis of thought that we get closer to the usual connotation of the term mind. In the Bradelian sense, the absolute could be called “pure mind” but not “pure thought.” It is the “dislocation” of reality. Thought is not something “outside of facts.” There can be no thought without reference to objective reality – to anything that is a “that” and a “what”. Thought then is an expression of an existence or a content. In this way, it is possible to identify the Bradelian thought with mind assuming empirically that there can be no mind separate from the objective world of reality.

Bosanquet, on the other band, agrees with Hegel and Bradle in the belief that the Absoluteis spiritual and regards thought as the essence of mind. (29. Bosanquet: The Principles of Individuality and Value).  In this sense, thought does not consist in the “dislocation” of the “that” from the “what”, that is, existence from content, but a tendency towards a developmental characteristic of the totality of human experience. Thought, to use Bosanquet’s words, is “the active form of totality present in all and every experience in the universe.” (30. Bosanquet: Three Chapters on the Nature of the Mind, p. 15).  To Bosanquet, mind and nature are two distinct interrelating categories. Mind has nothing of its own but the “active form of totality;” it is that which draws “everything positive” from nature. It cannot be divorced from nature.

The question as to whether mind is dependent upon nature or not can only be answered in the meaning and definition we give to mind. The neo-realists, the pragmatists, the materialists and the idealists all look at the question in terms of their own peculiar philosophic position. The point of emphasis here, however, is that in Hegel, Brad1ey, and Bosnquet, mind is not basically static but dynamic — a systematic process inseparable from the objective world.

Bergson, the French idealist activist regards reality as a creative “universal becoming” — a process neither mechanical nor determined by past experience nor constrained by the achievement and accomplisbment of a foreseen or fore-determined goal. This creative becoming process, this primeval spiritual urge, this elan vital analogous to the darting forth of a desperate torpedo, is the basic essence of the universe. It is this spiritual force that differentiates itself into what is called mind and matter. Mind becomes the principle of freedom, the “force” that “has that faculty of drawing from itself more than it contains”, and which “ceaselessly presses with the totality of its memory against the door which the body may half open to it.” (31. Bergson: Creative Evolution, p. 234). Matter, on the other hand, is resolvable in the realm of determinism. Mind is separable from matter which it uses as an instrument. It stands over matter as pure unity in face of an essentially divisible multiplicity. Here again, the approach to mind in terms of process is evident.

Experience, according to Bergson, is reality and reality is experience. To understand the nature of the real we have only to consult experience. Nature in inferred from experience; it is given in it.

Bergson’s attempt to extend the term experience to include the unconscious is in line with Freud. Just as in Freud the conscious is a censored version of the unconscious, so in Bergson conscious memory, to use Fuller’s expression, “does not, except under abnormal conditions, well up haphazard from the subterranean water-table of pure memory.” However, the essence of all things is the elan vital which gives rise to matter — the habitual mechanism and static appearance of things.

The extreme form of Bergsonian activism is found in the philosophy of Giovanni Gentile. He maintians that the mind is not existence but rather a pure activity generative of all existence. Mind is regarded as pure act having no existence apart from its manifestations. The concept of mind as pure act (actue purus) appears in the philosophy of Aristotle in his description of the Unmoved Mover (God). It became the essential element in the Scholastic system of thought and it lurks in the philosophy of Leibnitz and Fitche.

Leibnitz thought of activity as the principle by which a substance changes from one principle by which a substance changes from one state to another. In similar fashion Fitche held that the Ego, the basis of reality, is not an existence but a pure act which posits its existence of things other then itself.” All these conceptions boil down to the idealistic pattern which attempts to derive the world from an immaterial spiritual process. With these observations in mind we take leave of mind as process and turn our attention to that mode of thought which advocates doctrine of mind based on the category of relation.


Advocates of the New Realism formulated a new theory of mind based upon the logic of relations. To them, mind is an “act of awareness.” Their approach to mind is in terms of relation and conscious act. Dr. Spaulding speaks of this new realism as a “relational view of the universe” as different from the “substance and casual views” of mind, emphasizing that “no empirical evidence is diseovered either for the universality of causation or for one substratum, whether this be mind, matter or an ‘unknowable.”’ (32. Spaulding: The New Relationism, p. 43)

This view point was based on the assumption that not all relations are casual; and the Aristotelian logic was also accused of inadequacy in dealing with all types of relation. (33. Hume in his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding made the suggestion that mind is but a grouping together of perceptions united by certain relations.)  Such a view is in direct opposition to the idealistic interpretation of mind in terms of spirit. It is easy to discern how the New Realism influenced by the prevailing conclusions or the mathematical and  physical sciences, and by the pragmatists under the sway of the new discoveries of the biological and psychological sciences, became part of a larger opposition to the general framework of the Galilean-Cartesian-Newtonian weltanschauung. The movement of New Realism was first heralded in Germany by Mach. In England, it found its voice in G.E.Moore. In America, Pierce, James and Dewey became ite precursors.

The German and English schools regarded mind as an “act of awareness” or “intentional act”, (34. G.E. Moore: The Refutation of Idealism, Mind [1903]) whereas the American school conceived of mind as a re1ation between things in themselves not mental. Their attempt was to do away with any view of intrinsic mentality, and to treat mind and knowledge in functional terms. In other words, mind has nothing of its own. This conception led to the instrumentalism of Dewey and to the metaphysics of objective realism of Holt. He defines experience in terms of content rather than the content in terms of experience:  “ The objects of experience together compose experience, not qua objects of experience, but qua themselves.” (35. Edwin B. Holt: The Concept of Consciousness. p. 77). Mind is not located within as organism, since “in the organ of response … nothing, absolutely nothing, is looked for except just an organ of response.” (36. ibid. p.310). The universe has thus become a non- mental universe.

To Mach and Russell must be attached the claim that mind and matter are but different relations between e1ements that in thmselves are not mental. For Mach, the physical and menta1 are determined by a different system of e1ements and not by different elements. Russell in his Analysis of Mind tries to integrate mind and nature by considering both to be relational complexes of event. The ultimate constituents of the universe are “event”. Mind, as such is composed of nothing beyond the complex of sensation and images. Russell’s position, that of natural monism, stands opposed to the psycho-physical dualism, and repudiates epistemological monism which asserts that the datum of knowledge is identical with object knowledge.


The view of mind as an intentional act regards the essence of mind as a “conscious direction towards something.” This theory of mind distinguishes itself from the German and American new realist theory which tries to dispense with the conscious. The following passage of Frantz Brentano summarizes in a unique way the intentional theory of mind:

“Every psychical phenomenon is characterized by what the scholastics of the Middle Ages called the intentional (also the mental inexistence of the object, and what we, although with no quite unambiguous expressions, would call relation to a content, direction towards an object (which is not here to be understood as reality), or immanent objectivity. Each contains something in itself as an object (enthalt etwas als Qbjekt in sich), though not each in the same way. In presentation something is presented, in judgement something is acknowledged or rejected, in love something is loved, in hatred hated, in desire desired, and so on … This intentional existence is exclusively peculiar to psychical phenomena by saying that they are phenomena which intentionally contain an object in themselves.” (37. Quoted from Bertrand Russell’s Analysis of Mind, p. 14, 15)

In Moore, Alexander, Laird and Broad, mind was regarded as the continum of acts of wareness. The claim of Moore was that where a content is given, two distinct elements are present: the object of consciousness or awareness and an act on consciousness or awareness. (38. C.E. Moore: Philosophical Studies. p.29) Broad opposes new realism both in perception and in memory, and holds that mind is an emergent from material substance. (39. C.D. Broad: The Mind & Its Place in Nature. Alexander rejects the relational vies of mind, and claims that knowledge is the compresence of content and act of awareness, and conceived of mind and body as distinct but interacting entities. He sys: “Whenever a mental process exists, it is aware of that existent which is its object.” (40. Alexander: Space, Time and Deity) According to Laird, the essence of consciousnes is “an act of reference to an object.” It is the opinion of Morris that the term act “is without clear meaning and of questionabe value. That it denotes a conscious stuff or a pure Ego, or a meaning-conferring experience is not evident. At the very least, the numerous divergencies of testimony should lead to an abandonment of this use of the term ‘act’.” (41. Morris: Six Theories of Mind, p. 181).

It is these confusions and divergencies that led Whitehead to a synthetic approach to contemporary new-realistic philosophy. Thus he conceived of mind as prehension of external objects. This view diverges from the functional theory of mind represented by John Dewey.

Whitehead defines experience as the “self—enjoyment of being one among many, and of being one arising out of the composition of many.” (42. A.N. Whitehead: Process and Reality. p.220) But if physical prehensions are inseparable from the prehension of internal objects, then Whitehead’s conception of mind mat be thought of as the grasping of the eternal and timeless (Platonic).

The concepts of relativity and emergence introduced into new-realistic weltanschauung by Whitehead, coupled with his appreciation of the importatce of the symbolic process, gave an insight to the development of a new poInt of view, namely, mind as function.


The double-aspect theory, namely, that mind and bàdy are both regarded as inner and outer aspects of the same substantive is a theory which has played a prominent role in the philosophy of critical realists. We have noticed what part the concept of mind as substance has played in the history of philosophical thought. The position, taken by certain thinkers, of interpreting mind in terms of process or relation or intentional act was in opposition to the substance theory of mind. If mind is not a substance, then it may be a substantive — a sort of immaterial substantiatism.

The immaterialist’s views of mind range from the scholastic defence of mind as subatance to the doctrine of mins as a continuum of acts of awareness advocated by Laird. However it is in Hans Dreisch that the immaterialist’s view of mind reaches its fullest interpretation.  

According to Dreisch “mind and nature are wholly disparate realms of being. There can exist no becoming activity between them.”(43. Hans Driesch: Mind and Body, trans. by Theodore Besterman p. 156) He introduces mind thus: since “all immediate objects are my objects a given content is a content for the subject (myself). The “I” thus posits my self as that which ‘has’ the “had”. But such a self is momentary and discontinuous. Here Driesch invokes mind to fill in the discontinuity. Mind then is the self “regarded as continuous” as “completed by consciousness (but) not physical being.” In the words of Driesch: “the mind is like an unconscious, unperceivable, and intangible organism with its own immanent law of activity. It is conserver (‘memory’) and order.” And again, “the mind’s ‘uncoscious’ activity and becoming and capacities, is to be understood to have just the same reality and meaning as we attribute to any given natural object.”

Mind and nature are thus essentially different. The distinction between mind and the Ego, the unconscious and the conscious becomes a fundamental point of view for Driesch. Conscious experience by the Ego is produced unconsciously by the mind; the mind itself is not a part of the content of experience. Thus that which is given is not the thinking but the resulting thoughts. While there pure thought, there is pure thinking as an unconscious activity of tie mind. (44. Driesch: The Crisis in Psychology, p. 42 ff.)

Another concept of Driesch introduced in his doctrine of mind is that of “entelechy” (45. Driesoh entelechy is analogous to the Spiritus Vitae of Paracelsus, to the Archai of Van Helmont, to the Phlogiston of Stahl, to the Monad of Lebnitz and to the elan vital of Bergson). Driesch’s definition of e1echy and its relation to mind and the Ego is:

“Let us enumerate what happens psychologically in a process which begins with a perception and ends in an action. There are, say, electromagnetic waves in a particular combination; the ritina is affected, so is the optic nerve and a specific part of the brain; this affects “entelechy” and its  parallel, the soul; then I see an object. Feelings and thoughts now arise, governed by “determining tendencies”, a particular state of the soul and its parallel, ‘entelechy’. ‘Entelechy’ affects the motor nerve and the whole process ends in the concentration of certain muscles.” (46. Morris: Six Theories of the Mind, p. 213)

In the judgement of Professor Morris, “a theory which thus combines the difficulties of the classic substance theory with those of the concept of the unconscious and psychical activity can make no lasting appeal unless it should happen that alternative theories collapse in the face of material uncovered by the para-psychologist. The initial probability, however, is that no such theory of mind as immaterial substance or substantive will become a dominant theory in the stream of contemporary thought. Such substantial immaterialism is as much an anachronism today as a resurrection of nineteenth century materialism would be. “That there exist aspects of mind not adequately considered by alternative theories may be admitted, but that these neglected aspects can receive their role or even most satisfactory explanation in terms of the doctrine of immaterial mind is highly doubtful.” (47. ibid. p.212).  Yet the question keeps ringing : can we be objectivist (materialist) and appreciate subjectivism (immaterialism) at the same time? Can thought be about the non-existent? Can we deny the doctrine of immediate knowledge and at the same time hold that mind the vehicle of knowledge is itself part of the same order of events that is the object of knowledge?

With these problems in mind we turn to the pan-psychism of Charles Strong. According to Strong the new-realists miss their philosophical mark when they make knowledge infallible, and therefore declare error impossible. If it is the object itself that is given then thought and dreams about the non-existent would be impossible. But if only the “simplification and “projection” of a psychic state are given, and if the knowing activity is the giveness of such a datum and “the acting in consequence as if an object existed,” then truth and error are both possible. The, knowing is true when the datum coincides with the object, and is false when it does not coincide with the object. Knowing therefore has a symbolic aspect! Strong, however, avoids a representationism which separates the knower (mind) from the things known (object). (48.C.H. Strong: Essays on the Natural Origin of the Mind, p. 361). Nevertheless, sensible contents are non-existential. This doctrine of the non-existential nature of the sensible content is regarded as necessary for the accountability of such phenomena as perpetual error, hallucination, mirror-images and mirages. Only a recognition of the place of meaning in knowledge can justify the view that knowing always involves an essence-meaning, and this makes comprehensible the existence of error. Without the element of meaning truth and error never arise. Strong maintains also that essences constitute a unique realm whose being is not dependent upon being “in the mind”. This point of view, however, received some development in the metaphysics of Durant Drake and Santayana. Drake holds that: “the world of existents, vast as it is, is but a speck in comparison to the realm of essence.” (49. Durant Drake: Mind and its Place in Nature, p.197). The world of appearance therefore is but that part of the infinite realm of essence which is given. To Santayana, what is given is regarded as a selection from the infinite domain of the eternal, innert and passive essences, essences which have no origin, which are not abstractions or mere tools of language, which are mental, and which do not “exist”. Essences are the “deepest for, of reality;” and are “prior to existence.” (50. Santayana: The Realm of Essence, p. 14).  The “lining light (spirit) which falls on essences is however generated by matter and yet is another realm of being.” (51. Sceptism and Animal Faith, p. 288).  

Animal faith impels the belief in the existence of the physical organism in the physical world, “All essences are symbols” and this being so knowldge is nothing but belief. “It is” faith mediated by symbols.” (52. Santayana: Sceptism and Animal Faith, p.98).

Strong argued that psychic form “the inner being has another kind of knowledge in which the element of medation is ignored. According to this kind of knowledge, in consciousness we are literally on the inside of our being in the case of our brains. Consciousness is a quantitative dimension of being characteristic of this high level of emergent evolution. I have called this the double-knowledge approach to the mnd-body problem.” (53. Sellars: Revolutionary Naturalism, p. 306). The doctrine that human mind is the brain.

Professor Lovejoy in The Revolt Against Dualism rejects the double-aspect theory of mind and the substantive view of mind. According to Lovejoy the opponent of psychological dualism has two jobs on his hands: first, he must “prove that the percept or the memory-content is identical with the object preceived or remembered; “second,” he must “definitely show how and where another place in the physical world is to be found for both percepts and memories,” As a matter of logical procedure there should be set up, first, a criterion for the admission of the existence of the physical world and second, a definition. Anything that does not meet these criteria is judged as mental. With regard to the nature of these criteria Lovejoy writes: “to be physical means (to repeat our definition in part) to be, at least, a factor in the executive order of nature apart from being perceived; to be of brain-process,” that mind and brain are the same thing seen from two different angles. This view is the double-aspect theory of mind which is quite evident in the expositions of Professors Durant Drake, R.W.Sellars and Lloyd Morgan. Drake, with regard to his position of the double-aspect theory writes:

“I suggest that the mind is the brain; i.e. that it is that cerebal mechanism which receives impressions from the outer world and evokes adjustments of the organism. In using the term “mind”, we are conceiving these cerebal events as they are on the inside, so to speak; i.e., we are thinking of their substance. When we use the term “brain” we are looking at them from the outside, through our sense organs; that is, we are exteriorizing our own mental states and thinking of the brain in terms of them. Or we are thinking of them in terms of the atoms and electrons of physical science. In brief the mind is the reality which, when recognized through the senses we call the brain.” (54. Durant Drake: What is Mind? Vol. xxxv 1926 p. 234 ff).

C.L. Morgan maintains that there is “a two-fold story of one natural order of events.” (55. C.L. Morgan: Life, Mind and Spirit, p. 46). Every event has therefore a physical and a mental side. The problem of emergence is interpreted as within a psychological world. Hence “the duality of nature does not arise in the course of evolutionary advance; it is there ab initio.” (56. C.L. Morgan: Life, Mind and Spirit, p. 232). He conceives of mind as “subjective awareness” and “objective reference.”

For Sellars, that which is given is existent, psychic and subjective in nature. The datum is “ in the individual percipient”; it is an “intra-critical occurence”, arising “in the organism”. (57. Sellars: Evolutionary Nationalism, p. 32”). Sellars’ position is potentia1ly common to the experience of many percipients as an external cause of their sensations if not as an actual datum; and to conform to the laws of physics. Lovejoy’s position is based upon the claim that given events are emergent upon the presence or appearance of the organism, and upon the claim that such events have no existence when not given. The mental is then that which is cast off by the physical, and mind is made to be “some thing” connected with thinking, and mental disease is the guidance of behavior.

The relation of these brain-begotten entities, these cast-off entities – those to the physical world naturally present a problem. Have mental entities and acts of awareness any ontological significance? Can we locate them in the brain as has been advised by Bretrand Russell? Lovejoy does not locate them in the brain. But since they are not in the brain or any part of the physical world, then what and where are they?


The conception of mind in terms of the category of function bears distinctive characteristics of American pragmatism as it has developed from Peirce and William James to John Dewey and George H. Mead. The kernal of pragmatism puts the emphasis upon the place of action in mental life. The view was supported by the influence of Charles Darwin on philosophy. The pragmatic movement was, in a sense, a revolt against ontological dualism.

The functional theory of mind has a double-aspect point of view. On the one hand, it insists that mind is but an instrument in the service of organic needs; on the other hand, it maintains that mind is a characteristic of events. It serves the purpose f furthering organic action on one hand, and on the other, it is regarded as the functioning of events that are basically mental. The insistence upon both the instrumental and symbolic nature of mind is particularly characteristic of Dewey and Mead.

However, philosophers like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Vaihinger have held an instrumental view of mind without the development of a functional view of mind. According to Schopenhauer “we find that the intellect is secondary and subordinate everywhere, and destined exclusively to serve the purpose of the will……… We find that the will is everywhere as the prius; its equipment, the intellect, as posterius.” (58. Schopenhauer: The World as Will and Idea, Holdane II, p.406).  The will posesses intellect because of its relation to the external world. This view of intellect is further emphasized by Nietzsche where biological utility becomes the reason for the existence of mind. For Nietzsche knowledge works as an instrument of power……. The utility of preservation….. stands as the motive force behind the development of the organs of knowledge…… consciousness extends so far as it is useful.” (59. Nietzsche: The Will to Power, p. 24). Logical presuppositions and categorical imperatives are but “merely means to the (60) adjustment of the world for utilitarian ends.” (60. ibid. p. 85).

On the same level of reasoning, Vaihinger maintains that the essential nature of thought lies in the fact that it is “an instrument in the service of life……. the object of the world of ideas as a whole is not the portrayal of reality – this  would be an utterly impossible task – but rather to provide us with an instrument for finding our way about more easily in the world.” (61. Vaihinger: The Philosophy of “As If” Trans. Ogden, p. 5). One aspect of the functional theory of mind is to administer to the organic needs and adjustments here anticipated by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Vaihinger.

The ground-work for the other aspect of the functional theory of’ mind in terms of the concept of symbol was prepared by Charles Pierce. For him, the concept of symbo1 is a fundamenta1 category since all thought must be considered in terms of signs. The fact that “every thought is an external sign proves that man is an external sign.” (62. Charles Pierce: Some Consequences of Four Incapacities).  The whole nature of man is therefore resolvable in symbolism. Meta-physica1ly imterpreted, “mind is a sign developing according to the laws of inference,” (63. ibid. See also Cart: “Mind” in Hastings, Enclopedia of Religion and Ethics) and “the whole function of thought is to produce habits of action.” (64. Pierce: Chance, Love and Logic, p.44).

William. James’ conception of mind is found in his Principles of Psychology wherein he identifies mental states, thought and states of consciousness with the facts of experience. The steam of experience is regarded as thought, which in turn, is regarded as sensation. But “the stuff of which all our other thoughts is composed is symbolic.” In Does Consciousness Exist?, Janes insists that “thoughts in the concrete are made of the same stuff as things are” (65. W. James: Essay on Radical Empiricism, p.37). In his treatment of mind and thought there is an indication of the relational theory found in the new-realists, the insistence that existence is either mental or physical, or both. For James, ‘a ‘mind’ or ‘personal consciousness’ is the same for series of experiences run together by certain definite transitions, and an objective reality is a series of similar experiences knit by different transitions.” (66. Ibid. p.80).  According to Morris, “the relational type of theory is primarily used by James to account for mind at the perceptual level. (67. Morris: Six Theories of Mind, p. 289).  However, it is when we come to the definition of mind in terms of symbolic functioning or event, as given by Dewey, that we find a clear formulation of the theory. The term functionalism in Dewey has two directions; first, that “thinking is instrumental to the control of the environment;” (68. John Dewey: Essays in Experimental Logic, p.30) second, that “thought and mind are functional characters of a complex interaction of natural events.” (69. Morris: Six Theories of Mind, p. 291).

The concept of experience is basic in the philosophy of Dewey. “Experience”, says Dewey, “denotes whatever is experience, whatever is undergone and tried, and also processes of experiencing.” (70. John Dewey: Experience and Nature, (1st. ed.) p. 8).  It is “the entire organic agent-patient in all its interaction with the environment, natural or social.” (71. John Dewey: Creative Intelligence, p. 36).  But “ I do not mean by ‘immediate experience’” Dewey warns, “ any aboriginal stuff out of which things are made, but I use the term to indicate the necessity of employing in philosophy the direct descriptive method that has now made its way in all the natural sciences. It is through the activity of the organism that the complex relational structure of events called ‘experience’ arises. (72. John Dawey: The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy, p. 240). “The organism is part of the natural world; its interactions with it are genuine additive phenomena.” (73. John Dewey: The Quest for Certainty, p. 234). When the exertion or flow or the on-going of the organism is obstructed, there arises a situation with the character which Dewey calls “doubtful” or “tensional”. It is in such a situation that mind and consciousness appear to serve the “doubtful” organism. Mind and thought are thus inseparably bound to the demands and dictates of interested behavior, and become instrumental for the satisfaction of such demands.

Mentality in its true character is functional. “To be in the mind” means to be in a situation in which the function of intending is directly concerned. Thought is mental because of what physical acts and appliances do. Mind in terms of behavior may be defined as “the ability to anticipate future consequences and to respond to them as atimuli. to present behavior.”(74. John Dewey: Creative Intelligence. (p.39)

Dewey makes this distinction between rnind and consciousness: “Mind denotes the whole system of meanings as they are embodied in the working of organic life; Consciousness in being with language denotes awareness of perception of meanings; it is the perception of actual events, whether past, contemporary or future in their meanings, having the actual ideas. The greater part of mind is only implicit in any conscious act or state; the field of mind – of operative meanings – is enormously wider than that of consciousness. Mind is the contextual and persistent, consciousness and is foca1 and transitive. Mind is, so to speak, structural, substantial, a constant background and foreground; perceptive consciousness is a process, a series of heres and flows.” (75. John Dewey: Experience and Nature p. 302) In terms of the “connected whole’’ mind “extends beyond a particular process of consciousness and conditions it. (76. John Dewey: Experience and Nature p. 307. Ibid. 350)

According to Dewey, mind denotes the symbolic functioning of events; states of consciousness are nothing but “symbol”. Ideas, he describes as “the promise of things hoped for, and the symbol of things not seen.” (77. John Dewey: Meaning and Existence.Journal of Phil. xxv 1928 p. 352).  They are functional in purpose and functional in nature. All meaning is relation. – “the relation being the function or office of serving as a sign of something else.” (78. Ibid. p. 349) Instrumentality, the meaning of function can be seen only in its bebavior setting.

To Dewey, knowing is activity instrumental in the satisfaction of organic needs and interests, and truth is “the effective working of an idea;” it is “the adewuate fulfilment of the function of intelligence” — the getting out of a problematic situation. In the final analysis, Dewey conceives of mind as intrinsically social. Even though mind is regarded by him as the symbolic functioning of experience, this “functioning” is now regarded as of a social origin.

It seems fitting here to refer briefly to the philosophical position of George H. Mead. The general position of Mead is the same as that of John Dewey. For Mead, mind is not a substance and is not located in the brain either; neither it is the functioning of assignment symbols. Such symbols arise, he maintains, only in social forces. The functional theory of mind as propounded by Dewey and Mead takes the posttion that symbols are social in nature, and language is the matrix of mind and meaning.                                           


For many great thinkers in the history of social thought there is no question as to the existence of individual mind or consciousness. To those of this school the individual is the only thing that is self-intelligible; he is the starting point from which all social relationships have their beginning and their explanation; he is the only thing in the world of which we can be certain.

The assumption that the individual is given to begin with, implies the independen existence of matter, and thus we have a dualism of mind and body. We know very little of mind but we are certain that mind or consciousness is the starting point of human experience.

Descartes viewed the human being as a living body plus a soul or mind. Therefore to the thinkers of this school, the world of human beings is a world peopled by independent persons, each made up of a living body plus a something which we call mind but which must remain for us in the main a mystery. To the individualists Mind is a something separate from all else, even from the body with which it is immediately allied. These persons never other actually verified their assumption that some of the objects in their own world have a mind that functions in a way they recognize as similiar to their own. It is necessary therefore to base any observations of individual minds or of group minds on a theory of experience that will submit to empirical methods of investigation.

But to exist, mind must have reference to another mind. For we know ourselves through our relationships with others, and only through these relationships. Thus Singer, the unsung father of behaviorism, holds that “instead of the individual being given, instead of beginning with an immediate datum, a fact of consciousness, and building a world … we actually begin with a world and construct an immediate fact of consciousness. Behavior is thus not the criterion of mind, behavior is mind.” (79. Rohrbaugh: Vectors in Group Change pp. 16, 17)

The fact that human beings exist essentially, in social groups means that they are social beings, and therefore their judgement must have social meanings. Singer holds that in watching the behavior of conscious beings there is a basis discoverable for differentiating their behavior (mind). This is the faculty of sensibility with response as its characteristic. Again, Rohrbaugh comments on Singer as follows: “It takes experience of the whole world, to teach me that I am in love. All my judgements are social judgements, and only in identifying certain traits of my behavior as similar to traits observable among my fellows does the social meaning become apparent to me. My own mind is behavior, and it is my observation that I act like or unlike others in certain situations which makes me label my experience as of a certain type.

Rohrbaugh says: “this theory of mind is the only theory which admits of empirical investigation, the only one therefore which could be viewed as basic in a treatment of individual or group mind which lays claim to a scientific method of inquiry and confirmation.” (80. Lewis H. Rohrbaugh: Vectors in Group Change, p. 16) Rohrbaugh summarizes Singer’s theory of mind as follows:

Singer, in defining living beings posits a mechanism through which these living beings move with a purposive freedom; he finds that at all times living beings have in the purpose of their behavior, self-maintenance, a common type of phenomenon.  Life itself, or living beings, is defined without reference to higher or lower forms, this because the existence of the higher forms is not involved in the meaning of the lower and vice versa. But where the differences of higher and lower life are existent there is introduced a new category, Mind, to describe their relation. That is say, if one being can accomplish a given purpose on N+l types of a situation, another being in but N of these, any property in which the first is better equipped for this achievement than the second we should call a faculty of this category, a faculty of mind. Mind, then, is called on to explain why one living being is higher and another lower; mind is added to life, in regard to human beings, because it is the one thing which may be absent although life itself is present. Each man’s mental state, his behavior, is not necessarily his own possession. He reads himelf through others in a fashion more effective than by reading himself without a social reference. The purely objective world and purely subjective datum of consciousness are two ideals towards which we endlessly strive, modifying our notion of each as we change our understanding of the other. Not all human beings experience the same thing, nor are those things commonly experienced, experienced in the same way. We attempt to know what is the same in the thing we are experiencing differently, we try to identify the ‘objective’ and the ‘subjective’ factors in every situation.”(81. Lewis Rohrbaugh: Vectors in Group Change, p. 18)  

Summarily, mind, according to Singer, may be defined as the faculty exhibited by a living object, which makes a higher degree of success in achieving its purpose. It is characteristic of all living objects, and is only discernible in a comparison of two minds; the notion of the degree of success is a comparable notion: it takes two minds to make a mind. There is no mind without a change of mind. The chracteristics of mind are sensibility (response to stimulus), spontaneity (will, ends, purpose), and intelligence.

Behaviorist psychology has been much popularized in the the works of John B. Watson. (82. Vide J.B. Watson: Psychologist as the Behaviorist Views It; J.B. Watson: Image and Affection in Behavior; J.B. Watson: Behaviorism: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology).  His behavorism connotes both a psychological theory and a psychologicl method. As a method, it consists in the scientific behavior of all living organisms. According to him, “Psychology, even to exist longer, not to speak of becoming a true natural science, must bury subjective matter, introspective methods and present (psychological) terminology.” Behaviorism is thus occupied with psychological data; it deals only with the phenomena which can be observed and exp erienced upon.

SouI, mind and consciousness cannot ba experimentally observed (a la Watson). The existence of mind is therefore completely denied. If there is any explanation for its existence at all, it is done in terms of a series of physiological processes. These processes, Watson holds, are based on stimulus and response. Man like any other animal is a physiological machine, working on the principle of the reflex action.

 Just as Pavlov introduced salivation in his dogs by the ticking of a metronome in close association with the production of food, so in man, new stimuli, by association with original stimuli, evok the responses called out by the latter. Thus sensation is response to stimuli by the nerves; emotions are responses from the gIand. Memory is a habit acquired by the nerves. Thought is response in words. The concept on instinct is rejected. And now – the existence of mind – who knows?

But even though the Behaviorist rejects the concept of instinct, the hormic psychologist bases his theory on the reality and vitality of the instincts, and presents a picture of society as a working compromise between primitive   instinctive urges of man and the rules of social organization. It sees purpose (teleogy) in the activity of all organic life. All mental life begins with the unconscious, says the psycho-ana1yst. The mind cannot prevent the entry of thoughts, but it can exercise control over the admission of thought to its preconscious and conscious areas. Freud calls this the endopsychic censor.

The basis of the nature of mind is an impersonal unconscious well of mental energy, made up of primitive instinctive urges. This is the id. The id establishes relations between the individual and the outside world, and becomes pervaded with a sense of personality. This is the Ego. It represents the conscious self. The Ego then realizes that the id must be kept in control, and so details a portion of itself to act as sentry and warn it whenever undesirable impulses from the id threaten to force their way into consciousness. The sentry is the super ego. It is the conscience and is the basis for responsible feeling of guilt experienced when acts and thoughts are contrary to accepted religious, moral, ethical and social laws.

Psycho-analysis is closely parellel to Hormic Psychology, but antithetical to Behavioristic Psychology. It is in the theory of Singer that we find a clear-out emperico-philosophic formulation of mind. It is behavior – an observable fact.


Theories and Analysis of the Group Concept

(1) Mind and the Group

Le Bon set forth the theory of the group mind as collective mind over and above that of each individual in the group. He held that under certain given circumstances and only under these cthrcumstances, an agglomeration of men presents new characteristics very different from those of the individuals composing it. The psychological group ((collective mind) is a provisional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are combined exactly as the cells which constitute a living body.

McDougall also tried to enlarge the concept of group behavior and endeavored to ascertain a more scientific examination of group mind. He accepted the hypothesis of a collective mentality, and in so doing maintained a fundamental distinction between individual and group mind.

However, the most effective work on the question of group mind is to be found in the works of Sigmund Freud. He writes: “The contrast between Individual  Psychology and Social or Group Psychology, which at first glance may seem to be full of significance, loses a great deal of its sharpness when it is examined more closely. It is true that Individual Psychology is concerned with the individual and explores the paths in which he seeks to find satisfaction for his instincts; but only rarely and under certain exceptional conditions is Individual Psychology in a position to disregard the relations of this indivdua1 to others. In the individual’s mental life someone else is invariably involved, as a model, as an object, as a helper, as an opponent, and so from the very first Individual Psychology is at the time social Psychology as well – in this extended but entirely justifiable sense of the words.” (83. Sigmund Freud: Group Psychology and Analysis of the Ego, tr. by James Strachey, pp. 1, 2.). In his attempt to explain group behavior, Freud assumes individual minds and explains group behavior, on the basis of libidinal attachments between member of the group.

What then is the group mind? Is mind basically group mind, though we may see it reflected in just one individual? Are individual and social behaviors, in the last analysis, one? Is individual mind a fragment of a group mind? The individual, says Cooley, “has no separate existence; through both the hereditary and social factors in life a man is bound into the whole of which he is a member, and to consider society apart from the individuals.” (84. C.H. Cooley: Human Nature and the Social Order. p.3). It may therefore be concluded that the only social realities are the changing relationships between individuals. According to Singer: “The first condition of there being a mind  is simply a situation in which there is room enough for a change of mind; instead of Fichte’s formula. No man without a fellow, I should conclude, no mind without a change of mind.” (85. E.A. Singer Jr: Mind as Behavior. p.147). Equally then, no behavior without a change ot behavior.

Empirically then, if one observer may determine scientifically the quantity and intensity of a sensation in the mind of another person, could a second observer determine the presence of this knowledge in the mind of the first observer without reference to the mind observed, and if this be true, what should be the term applied to the knowledge in the mind of the second observer? In the words of Singer, “The situation from which we depart is in the nature of an antinomy. On the one hand we admit that a mind to exist, must appeal to another; on the other hand we are not prepared to maintain that the conditions which bring into being such minds as we know, conditions of inheritance, education, inter-communication, are the only ones that could produce a mechanism reacting purposefully to the world about it. A first step toward the solution of this antimony is clearly enough indicated, for if in order that we may attribute an idea to a finite being we must see to it that he is provided with another to whom to appeal, and if at the same time we place him in a situation that furnishes no Peter to his Paul, then we must regard this finite self as capable of being its own other.” (86. Ibid. p. 146)

From the point of view of the group, mind is tantamount to anything that makes it separate and distinct from other minds. In the light of this, therefore, group mind becomes an empirical object which exhibits a mind separate and distinct from tie minds of the individuals which compose it.

(2)  The Group and the Individual

The problems of the group mind, what it is and how it functions, has been the topic of many dissertations and treatises. The keynote of Durkeim’s social philosophy is the endeavor to establish the priority of group consciousness over individual consciousness. To him, the group has a mind of its own which is more fundamenta1 than the individual mind. Out of the group-consciousness individual mind eventually develops as independent selves. The group-mind is always dominant in all behavior. Since the group-mind is deeper and earlier than individual minds, it cannot be characterized as a collection of individual interaction. It has an existence of its own over and apart from the conglomeration of individual selves. The social group is an organism in which the relations and activities of its parts are totally determined.

The individual feels this group push in his life through the power exercised over him by those intangible forces of social habits, conventions and customs. Society, therefore, is predominant controller of its members. If society is a psychological organism then it must be treated as a fundamental unit which should not be considered in terms of the individuals composing it. It is in the collective mind and not in the individual mind that we find the basis of social values. Morality thus becomes the expression of the group consciousness. Pure reason and logical thinking may discount the bias and provinciality of individual preferences but they cannot escape the prejudices, predilections and idiosyncracies of the group. Truth is a social product which varies in different societies. Religion itself is basically a social phenomenon. The group-mind thus interpreted and understood conflicts of theological systems and scientific hypothesis, moral and social ideals, no longer disturb man, for he perceives the fundament of tbeir relativity. In the words of Dunkheim: “The determinant of a social fact must be sought among antecedents of  social facts, not among the states of individual consciousness…… The group displays an intellectual and moral uniformity of which we find only rare instances among higher societies. Everything is common to all. Movements are sterotyped;… All minds are swept away by the same eddies, hence the individual merges in the generic type.” (87. E. Durkeim: Les regles de la methods Sociologique. p. 124)). Durkeim here evidently ignores the importance of individual variability among primitive peoples.

Miss Hussong in her thesis Analysis of the Group Concept started with the contemporary antinomy prevalent among the social scientists as to whether or not the group has an independent existence. Individualists claim that no such independence is manifest in the group. The entity which is called group “appears” to exist, but this appearance cannot be taken for reality. Those, therefore, who develop the group concept are victims of the “group fallacy”.

The collectivists, on the other hand, declare that a manifold is a group if it shows persistence of qualities, and if its parts are mutually interdependent, and as such functions as a unit. Hence, the collectivists accuse the individualists of ignoring the process by which the idea of the group mind is derived.

Most sociologists use the terms social mind, crowd mind, and group mindquite freely. Yet peculiarly enough few are willing to give this “mind” any independence of individual.

Tozzer in his Social Origins and Social Continuities discusses such psychological terms as “social mind”, desire, volition, sympathy, consciousness, but does not believe that society can be explained by a single phrase as “consciousness of kind.” He holds that the phenomenon is much too complex for such a simple explanation.

Le Bon develops a concept of “crowd” mind wherein the separate personalities vanish, and the intellectual aptitudes of individuals are done away with. He posits the existence of “crowd mind” (88. Le Bon: The Crowd, tr. Unwin) and describes its characteristics, among which are impulsiveness, susceptibility, suggestions, tolerance, morality, intolerance, fanaticism and religious sentiment. Here, Le Eon confuses a temporary orowd with a permanent society. He establishes no mind over that of individuals in a crowd, and shows merely that people act differently in crowds than when they are alone. This, of course, is not sufficient for the postulation of a crowd mind.

McDougall defines the group mind “as an organized system of mental purpoxive forces.” (89. McDougall, William: The Group Mind) All effective instituions are, for that matter, mental. He seems to regard mind as an actus paurus. It is Miss Hussong’s opinion that “that McDougall has not succeeded in classifying the confusion that exists in regard to the concept of the group mind is the opinion of more than one critic. His group mind seems to me to mean a little more than the minds of individuals in the group, each one of which is conscious of the group’s end or purpose. Even if he had succeeded in establishing a substantial super-individual his concept could not meet the criticism of sceptial idealism”. (90. Hussong, H.M. An Analysis of the Group Concept, p. 68]

What really constitutes a social group can never be determined by a method which presumes to know what is meant by a group as distinguished from a manifold. Rather, there should be an establishment of relations as serve to distinguish a group from the manifold other than the group, and a social group from the group other than the social. A given society in existence is no less the end of that society’s existence.

A man might believe that society exists for the promotion of, say, true holiness as the highest end of man while at the same time he defines holiness as a relation which can only exist between God and the individual man. Anyone who believed this, would admit that the end of society is human well -being since he would conceive that the greatest human well-being lay in holines. But in the end society would not be a ding-ansich; it would be something which could only be realized when society itself had ceased to exist. (91.This illustration is borrowed from Miss Hussong’s Analysis of the Group Concept. p. 77)

The conflict between the individual and the group is reflected in the history of jurisprudence which may be conveniently divided into five categorical periods: (1) Primitive Law; (2) Strict Law; (3) Equity; (4) Maturity of Law; (5) Socialization.

In the period of Primitive Law, viewed from the English common law, the group might be any collection composed of families such as the clan. The social set-up of the period is that the individual had little or no responsibilty as an individual. His every act was the responsibility of the clan as a whole. The function of law was the restriction of the clan’s illimitable rights of  regress.

In the period of Strict Law, the procedure becomes more scientific and much formalism is introduced. Law is devoted to statements of remedies for removing conflict.  The power for making these statements is given to a legal unit made of leading citizens. This legal unit becomes a substitute for the clan or the tribe as a legal controller.

In the period of Equity comes the infusion of morality into law. Every justifiable moral ideal becomes a legal one and tries to satisfy its moral claims. The individual is protected against law and the unreasonable demands of the clan or community. This period seeks to protect the “unalienable rights of man.”

In the period of Maturity of Law, we find the pendulum swinging back to individualism. It takes the idea of individual protection and raises it to the dominant wish of the community. Legal units take the form of a juristic person. Here, the important legal notions of property and liberty are discovered and formulated. The law, now a juristic person, stands as the sole protector of the individual. This period may be summed up in the Jeffersonian aphorism: “That government is best which governs least.”

In the period of Socialization we have social justice as the password. Justice for the group and the individual is equally asserted. The history of jurisprudence seems to be the history of the conflict between two kinds of interests: social and individual.

Pertaining to the differentiation between conflict and competition as components of individual and group behaviour, E.C. Bayes in Ratz and Schauck’s Social Psychology, says, “Competition is a relation between activities which exist when the success of one activity limits or prevents the success of the other activity. Conflict is a relation between activities which exist when one activity impedes or destroys the other activity. In competition the direct aim is the success of the actor; indirectly, it may result in the failure of the competitor, but in conflict the direct result of the action of one person is to impede, prevent, and destroy the act of the other. In a competitive situation, the individuals are reacting primarily to a goal, and secondarily to one another.” (92. Hayes, E.C. in Ratz and Shaucks, Social Psychology)  

The entire ethical system of Neitzche is based on the stimulant qualities of competition and conflict. He says: “Competition is an incentive which makes men strive harder and longer ……. it brings out the best in men, without it the world will descend into lethargy where mediocrity dominates”. Progress can be explained only by the domination of those instincts the satisfaction of which means conflIct. “Let us acknowledge unprejudicedly”, writes Nietzsche, “how every higher civilization hitherto has originated: Man with a still natural nature, barbarian in every terrible sense of the word, men of prey, still in possession of unbroken strength of will and desire of power, threw themselves upon weaker, more moral, more peaceful races, or perhaps upon old mellow civilizations in which the final vital force was flickering out in brilliant fire-works of wit and depravity.” (93. Neitzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra).  

The man who brought with force the issue of conflict contemporary thinking is Karl Marx. He saw society as a huge battleground in which various groups were in sharp conflict with each other; he also recognized what is believed to be an antiomony and resolved to solve it. His effort was to prevent atomization of society and to make it co-oprative by the elimination of class conflict.

Now we turn to the psycho-analytic picture and the conflict psychology of Sigmund Freud. (94. Sigmund Freud: Group Psychology and Analysis of the Ego). To him, the elements of personality are the id, the ego, the super ego and reality (the external world). The super-ego is a group concept, its activity is part of group phenomena. Reality is the sum total of all conditions excluding the super ego antagonistic to the realization of demands, and each demand has no Iimit. The ego operates on what E.B. Holt calls the “principle of aidence and avoidance”. Aidence is the neutral base of reaction to stimulus. In aidence all responses are identical regardless of stimuli. Only by a very complex neurological process can aidence be overcome and avoidance developed. The principle of leadership, for instance, is based on aidence.

The interests of the ego equal the interests of the id minus the interests of the super ego and reality.

The category of the group is determined after the demands of the id, the ego, the super ego and reality have been estimated. The picture is one of a manifold and not a group; hence it falls into the realm of individual

(3)  Individual-Group Relationship

The fact that individuals do exist in social groups has been accepted. However varying theories have arisen from the problems of the roles played by individuals in the group, the function of the group itself, and the relationship of individuals and the group. These theories can be classified into three general categories: Individualism, Extreme Collectivism and Democracy.

Individualists argue that the group exists entirely for the sake of the individuals compromising it. This theory can be traced back to the eighteenth century which furnishes us with the school of thought which regards individual as all-important, groups merely as means to ends. To Rousseau the social group was a result of a social contract into which the participants had entered. To Shaftsbury the reason lay in inherent benevolent instincts. To John Stuart Mill, nineteenth century English thinker, the chief end of the social group was to give every individual as wide a range of avenues as possible for the development of his own abilities. To Simmel (95. Simmel, G: American Journal of Sociology Vol. 3 p. 665) there is the appearance of what some might call a social group, something which appears to beyond the individuals making up the group. But to take this appearance for reality would be absurd. The older individualists and their modern contemporaries have one fundamental bond in common, their conception of society as atomistic—mechanical.

Extreme Collectivism, the second approach to the problem of the social group, is the theory that the group is all important; and that man is a part of the group, dependent on it, and dominated by it. The roots of collectivism may be traced in history back to Plato who believed that individual minds were parts of a greater mind inspiring society as a unit. In the Middle Ages the group was supreme, the individual purely incidental.

Edmund Burke (96. Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France, p. 10) in England and Joseph de Maistre in France, both nationalistic in spirit looked upon the nation as a sort of unity into which the individual must sink himself in the same fashion in which the soul was held to ultimately lose itself in God. In Germany we find Hegel (97. G.W.F. Hegel: Philosophy of Right, tr. Dyde) who thinks of collectivism as transcendental. He felt that man’s reason, in seeking the universal, moves toward it through a series of inadequate social forms beginning with the family. To Hegel (98. G.W.F. Hegel: Philosophy of History (tr. Sibre) each successive stage of the series contained a little more of the real meaning of the true group until there arrived the  peak of historical evolution, the State, which was greater than its parts. To Oswald Spengler (99. Oswald Spengler: Decline of the West (tr. Atkimson) Chapter 4)   collectivism was a cultural fulfillment, immanent and determined from the beginning. To   B1untsch1 (100.J.K. Bluntschli: Theory of the State, (tr. Ritchie) p. 18), the German nationalist, the state is a living organized being. He considered the Social Organisms in terms of sex (the church being female, and the state male). The concept of the Roman Catholic Church is a good example of the sovereignty of the group, or institution over the individual. Today we see elements of collectivism in the intense nationalism which is Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Communist Russia. They all demand sacrifice for the transending unity of the group.

Democracy, the third approach to the problem, is that individuals are created, developed, made more individual – and more real — through the development and unfolding of their social relationships. Hence all groups are made for man, rather man being made for them. The roots of liberal democracy can be found in the period before the French Revolution. The freedom which arose from this liberal democracy can be found in the period before the French Revolution – the freedom which was the basis of political, intellectual and personal freedom. Mac Iver (101. R. M. Mac Iver: Society, its Structure and Change, pp. 172, 173) an integrationist, introduces what he calls the face-to-face group. The nature of this group is revealed in the detached form where the members come together freely, spontaneously and without executive direction. This makes the group idea a composite idea evolved through free admission of difference beginning with individual thinking and ending with joint thinking.