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Mental Philosophy: On the Inductive Method 

by  J. D. Morell

Written by J.D. Morell way back in 1862 ~ 1884… Notes & Quotes are in the process (using 1862 version) and this Essay Section will follow.  Please check back or sign up for our Newsletter for updates.


Mental Philosophy: On the Inductive Method

Research & Brainstorming Below


Perception Basics 


Perception is defined by Merriam-Webster as the “awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation… or the physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience.”

A sensation is the absorption of material brought in from an external source and makes contact with the mind; this alone is not knowledge or even an experience. All that a sensation by itself can be considered is a subjectively isolated feeling with no connection and doesn’t produce any intelligence.

A perception takes the sensation and creates an experience through consolidating and coordinating each portion with the other. The conscious takes each sensation, including the changes, and establishes a baseline for that particular perception. Every sensation after that point adds to the associated perception and creates a new baseline to be built upon. These new sensations tied to a preexisting perception causes excitement in the nervous system; the new information is then blended with the previous collection of baseline perception.

Mental Development
Mental development ensues with the separation and comparison of information being processed. Perception after this process is stored as the baseline for further separation and comparison. A network is formed, containing connections of one piece of information to another; this network can be endless and can connect to other perception networks within the mind.

So, when you have a sensation there is only produced a feeling, the actions of the mind afterward are the process of developing perception. Perception can be thought of as the mind’s first action after receiving a source of sensation (or information).

Nerves are an important aspect in understanding the difference between perception and sensation. The nerves tied to sensation provide information to the mind, which in turn stimulate the nerves tied to motion. The reaction, after sensation is received by the conscious, flows towards the creation of the sensation. This motion is the catalyst for perception.

One example of this process is the movement of the eye to gather information. The nerves of motion creating the possibility for sensations and the correct interpretation of those inquiries provide for new or changing perceptions (e.g., perception of space).

Before any type of perception can take place, you must first recognize the opportunity. Anything that we see (or hear, smell, taste..) that is identified as being similar to something in our past perceptions will create a sensational reaction, which in turn initiates the perceptive activities. Without this ability to distinguish opportunities to separate and compare, we would not be able to exit the motionless state of just feeling.

With the process of selecting those special points to recognize, we begin the classification of things in our minds. Take, for example, the person walking down a rocky path, he has no real focus on the thousands of tiny stones below him. If he were to stop and pick up one of those stones and really focus on its details, he is perceiving it. He recognizes it as something similar to what he has seen before (classification). Recognizing a rock, or any other object, requires attention along, with the accumulation of past experiences before the classification can occur.

Attributes of an object must be considered in the classification (and identification) of more complex things. An example of this is fruit. An apple may be perceived through past experiences by using shape, size, color, smell, or taste. If someone had only ever seen red apples, they could still identify a green apple through its other similar attributes.

Perceptive powers are by no means just a collection of experiences. They are complicated processes that are habit based. These habits, include; recognizing, classifying, separating, combining, and comparing. All of this provides us with the ability to make instantaneous judgments on the sensations we receive.

Perception of Space using Sensations: 


Hands and sight can perceive many different sensations simultaneously; whereas, the tasting, smelling, and hearing can only perceive a single sensation at a time.  The nerve-points between the hands and eyes are so distant from each other that the incoming stimuli can reach consciousness without affecting attention.  The perception of space requires these attributes of sight and touch.

A snapshot of sight is an image of your field of vision.  Colors prevent the law of similarity because of the variety envisioned. Also, the eye can only comprehend one point with perfect distinctness; this provides an endless number of possible distinct points within a field of view.  Without this ability to make a distinction, the view would become blended into an indivisible feeling. So, we see many different things happening around us, not separately but all at once; all of the stimuli are so different that it is impossible to blend them into one common perception. This concept leads us towards the understanding of the perception of space.

Space-Perception through Motion

Motion comes into play in creating the space-perception through eye movement.  As the eye moves over the field of vision, each point of distinction is being mapped and stored in memory. This process is an unconscious effort and provides a varied experience for each of us. But we all process this information in a way that extends outwards from ourselves, forming a surface with points and positions in space. These points are not perceived as a series of points, but a group of points that co-exist.

The hand contains the highest developed muscular sense. It can be moved over a surface, and our conscious becomes aware of stimuli, similar to the movement of the eye.  The blending effect also causes the mind to consider these different positions of stimuli as coexisting through motion and perception of space.

Time, space, and motion are three perceptions, with motion being the starting point in the development of the mind.  Motion is caused by a muscular exertion, and once initiated, time and space perception must follow.

Mental Philosophy: On the Inductive Method 

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