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this it is hastily concluded that it is therefore exclusively mine. Now it is clear that my idea cannot be alienated from my mind, without contradiction. It must not be attributed to the not-my-mind which is the other term of a disjunctive dichotomy. But it does not follow! that my idea

may not also be your idea. There are many such cases. Friends are essentially such as to belong to friends, and my friend is veritably mine; but he may, without contradiction, become yours also. Similarly, my home, my parents, my country, although in order to be what they are they must be possessed by such as me, may without logical difficulty be shared with you.

But I may seem to have overlooked a vital point. Although one thing can be the object both of my idea and of yours, can my idea itself be also yours? Does not the whole being of my idea lie in its relation to me? Doubtless Neptune may become my idea, and also yours; but can my idea of Neptune ever become an idea of yours? Now this clearly depends upon whether the determination of Neptune which makes it my idea can itself submit to another determination of the same type. There is no a priori objection that would not beg the very question under discussion. Here again cases from other classes of objects are very common. The sum of three and three


itself be added to three; you may paint me in the act of painting my model; the general may fear the fear of his army. And, similarly, a thing's relation to me as my idea, may enter into another such relation to you and become your idea. It will doubtless remain true that my idea simply, and your idea of my idea, will differ through the accession of the last cognitive relationship; and that in this sense my idea cannot be completely identical with your idea. But it is impossible even to state this trivial proposition without granting that you may know my idea, which is the point at issue.

The mere fact, then, that ideas are always included within some mind, and thereby excluded from what is

altogether not that mind, contributes no evidence for the absolute privacy of mind. Any group whatsoever is private, in the sense that what is in it cannot by definition be outside of it, nor what is outside of it in it. But this does not prevent what is inside of it from being also inside of something else, nor does it prevent the entire group from being inside of another like group. Everything depends on the particular nature of the groups in question. And we have already found it necessary to classify minds among intersecting rather than exclusive systems. Indeed, such a classification would seem to be necessarily implied in the general conception of social intercourse. How, then, are we to explain the widespread disposition to regard minds as exclusive?

In the first place, we readily extend to our minds the group relation which holds in the case of our bodies. There is a special sense in which things are inside and outside of the mind, but it tends naturally to be confused with the sense in which things are inside and outside of the body. The tendency is partly a misuse of schematic imagery, and partly a practical bias for the bodily aspect of the mind. Suffice it here to remark that the mutual exclusiveness of our bodies is so highly emphasized, that even the vaguest supposition that our minds are within our skins, is sufficient to give rise to a notion that they too are wholly outside one another. Such a supposition is generally admitted to be false, but it nevertheless lingers on the scene; and not only falsifies the grouping of mind, but exaggerates the difficulty of knowing mind from the standpoint of general observation.

In the second place, various motives, methodological, religious, and social, have so emphasized the difference between mind and mind, or between the individual mind and the outer world, that this difference tends to be transformed into a relation of exclusiveness. Psychological introspection, when superficially interpreted, defines a region set apart from nature and society. Religious introspection heightens the difference between the inner life and the life of the world. The problems of personal morality under complex social conditions tend to heighten the difference between individual lives. Such a proposition as "No one else can understand me" has only to become familiar and practically intensified, to be converted readily into an absolute principle. Thus the difficulty of knowing certain aspects of another mind tends to be mistaken for the impossibility of the entrance of mind into mind. Proverbial difficulties easily become logical impossibilities. To avoid gross confusion it is necessary to examine the difficulties concretely and circumstantially; to point out the conditions under which they arise, and the elements of mind which they tend to obscure.

$ 8. Beyond question the content of an individual mind at any given time may be successfully hidden from

general observation. But this in itself does The Difficulty

not imply any general proposition to the of Observing Mental Con- effect that a mind is essentially such as to be tent. The Case absolutely cut off from such observation. It of Perception

may be that your inability to discover what I am imagining, thinking about, or remembering, is only like the assessor's inability to discover the amount of my property; and no one has asserted that property is essentially knowable only to its owner. Let us examine the circumstances.

In the first place, it is evident that under favorable circumstances you have no difficulty in following my mind. Where, for example, we are engaged in such intercourse as involves a bodily dealing with physical objects, it is as easy as it is indispensable for each to know what is in the mind of the other. The objects themselves here provide mutually accessible content in a manner that is unmistakable. A clear case in point is the exchange of currency for merchandise; but to illustrate the experience exhaustively would be to traverse nine-tenths of life. Such mutual apprehension of the physical things which you and I have

over its

in mind is the condition of all intercourse between us; we could not shake hands without it.

There is another way in which you readily follow my mind, namely, through my verbal report. We do not often sit down and deliberately disclose our minds to one another; more commonly we use language to the end that we may together think the same things. But if you are a psychologist, or an interpreter of dreams, I may “tell” you what is in my mind. Now it is frequently assumed by the sophisticated that when I thus verbally reveal my mind you do not directly know it. You are supposed directly to know only my words. But I cannot understand such a supposition, unless it means simply that you know my mind only after and through hearing my words. If it is necessary for you to take a book from the shelf and turn


before you can discover the date of Kant's birth, or walk across the street before you can discover the number of your neighbor's house, do you therefore not know these things directly when you do know them? And if you must wait until I tell you before you know what image is in my mind, do you therefore not know the image directly when you do know it? If not, then what do you know directly when the matter is concluded? Surely not the word; for this having served its turn, receives no further notice. It is not the word which is communicated, except in the wholly exceptional cases in which the word is not understood and so does not fulfil its function. And it is certainly implied in all of our subsequent action and intercourse relating to the image, that we have access to it jointly, just as we do to our money and our lands; that you

know it now even as I know it. It is important to labor under no misapprehension concerning the general function of language. Language does not arise as the external manifestation of an internal idea, but as the means of fixing and identifying abstract aspects of experience. If I wish to direct your attention to the ring on my finger, it is sufficient for me to point to it or hand it to you. In seeing me thus deal with the ring, you know that it engages my attention, and there occurs a moment of communication in which our minds unite on the object. The ring figures in your mind even as it does in mine; indeed the fact that the ring does so figure in my mind will probably occur to you when it does not to me. If, however, I wish to call your attention to the yellowness of the ring, it will not do simply to handle it. The whole object will not suffice as a means of identifying its element. Hence the need of a system of symbols complex enough to keep pace with the subtlety of discrimination. Now the important thing to bear in mind is the fact that as a certain practical dealing with bodies constitutes gross communication, so language constitutes refined communication. There is no difference of objectivity or subjectivity. In the one case as in the other, mind is open to mind, making possible a coalescence of content and the convergence of action on a common object.

For purposes of further illustration, consider the case of disguised perception. I am watching you "out of the corner of my eye,” hoping to deceive you as to my real thoughts. If the strategy is successful it proves that I can render equivocal the evidence you commonly rely on. But does any one seriously suppose that the direction of my thoughts is not discoverably there in the retinal and nervous process responding to your body, and in my intention to deceive? Where my mind is the object to be known, I can embarrass the observer because I can control the object. I can even make and unmake my mind. As you seek to follow my thoughts, I may accelerate them or double on my tracks to throw you off the scent. But I enjoy the same advantage over you if you are an assessor seeking to know my property, and neither in the one case nor in the other is it proved that the facts are not there for you to know as well as I. Indeed the special qualifying conditions to which we are compelled to refer when describing the hidden mind, leave no doubt that the difficulties

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