1902 Encyclopedia > Psychology > Formal Categories

(Part 77)

(J) Intellection (cont.)

Formal Categories

Passing now to the remaining formal categories – Difference, Likeness, Identity – all of which come under the law of duality so far as they imply not a single presentation but some relation between two presentations, we have to seek out the characteristic of the states of mind in which these relations becomes objects of consciousness. The so called fundamentum relationis, of course, can be nothing but the two presentations concerned. Just as certain, however, is it that the relation itself involves something more than these. Two equal triangles may be made to coincide, but are not necessarily coincident: Dromio of Ephesus might be mistaken for Dromio of Syracuse, but at least they never mistook each other. And this brings us to the point. As Lotze puts it, "Two impressions a and b are never to be regarded as more than stimuli which, by affect the conscious subject – in its very nature individual and sui generis – incite to reaction that activity by means of which there arise the new presentations, such as similarity, equality, contrast, &c." [80-3] The activity thus stimulated is what in other words we call the voluntary concentration of attention; to ascertain, then, what these "new presentations" of difference, likeness, and so forth are, we must analyse carefully what takes place when two impressions a and b are expressly compared.


80-3 Grundzüge der Psychologie, p. 24.

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