Phaneroscopy, Semeiotic, Logic
Edited By Elize Bisanz
Signs, Thoughts, Reasoning
A variety of mob-madness to which we all seem to be more or less subject is manifested in taking up vague opinions about which our associates and companions seem strenuous. I am apt, in some moments, to be wary of admitting doctrines of which no definition can be given. An eminent and admirable physiologist concludes a volume of great interest with this sentence: “The idea that mutation is working in a definite direction is a mere anthropomorphism, and like all anthropomorphisms is in contradiction with the facts.”69 If I were to attack a definite reasoning to “anthropomorphism”, I should think it stood to reason that a man could not have any idea that was not anthropomorphic, and that it was simply to repeat the error of Kant to attempt to escape anthropomorphism. At the same time, I am confident a man can pretty well understand the thoughts of his horse, his jocose parrot, and his canary-bird, so full of espièglerie; and though his representation of those thoughts must I suppose, be more or less falsified by anthropomorphism, yet that there is a good deal more truth than falsity in them,—and more than if he were to attempt the impossible task of eliminating the anthropomorphism, I am for the present sufficiently convinced. I am led to these remarks from reflecting that a good many persons who told themselves that they hold anthropomorphism in reprobation will nevertheless opine (though not in these terms,) that I am...
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