Letter | Published:


Nature volume 29, page 428 | Download Citation



I DO not think that the difference between Mr. Lloyd Morgan and myself on the point to which he returns in his last letter is so great as it at first appeared. For he now admits that “the actions of animals testify to some corresponding mental states,” and therefore that from such actions we are entitled to infer something as to these states. His objection to comparative psychology as a science is thus reduced to the observation that our inference from bodily actions to mental states cannot be so clear or certain in the case of animals as in the case of men, where intentional sign-making, or language, comes to our assistance. Now this is precisely what I argued in my own communication to NATURE (p. 379), and also in my books. Therefore I do not consider that this is “an ingeniously constructed argument of scepticism”; I applied that phrase to the argument which denies the possibility of all or any ejective knowledge, both of men and animals.

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