Samuel Alexander

Samuel
Alexander
1859
1938

Australian-born British Philosopher, first Jewish Fellow of an Oxbridge College

Author Quotes

Thus the same object may supply a practical perception to one person and a speculative one to another, or the same person may perceive it partly practically and partly speculatively.

Thus we have to recognize that a thing as perceived contains besides sensory elements other elements present to the mind only in ideal form.

Time is the Mind of Space.

True, also, the psychosis is a different one according as the object is a sensum, an ideatum, etc; or according to the various sensory qualities of the object; or according to the various categories under which he thing presents itself.

We cannot tell why one sensory process should make us see green and another make us see blue and another make us smell scent.

We cannot therefore say that mental acts contain a cognitive as well as a conative element.

The difference in the perceiving of a star and a tree is a variation in some intrinsic character which belongs to conation as such.

What is the meaning of the togetherness of the perceiving mind, in that peculiar modification of perceiving which makes it perceive not a star but a tree, and the tree itself, is a problem for philosophy.

The great usefulness of speculation for mental life lies in its thus suspending practice and introducing consideration.

What the occasions are which lead to the emergence of free images is no means clear.

The interval between a cold expectation and a warm desire may be filled by expectations of varying degrees of warmth or by desires of varying degrees of coldness.

When we come to images or memories or thoughts, speculation, while always closely related to practice, is more explicit, and it is in fact not immediately obvious that such processes can be described in any sense as practical.

The mental act of sensation which issues in reflex movement is so simple as to defy analysis.

You can mark in desire the rising of the tide, as the appetite more and more invades the personality, appealing, as it does, not merely to the sensory side of the self, but to its ideal components as well.

The perceptive act is a reaction of the mind upon the object of which it is the perception.

The reproductive conation means anyhow the existence in the mind of a conation in the absence of the memory object or rather in the absence of objects revealed as sensory.

The sensory acts are accordingly distinguished by their objects.

The thing of which the act of perception is the perception is experienced as something not mental.

Theoretical acts of mind are such as subserve the continuance of the object before the mind without alteration of it.

Thus a remembered object (event) is remembered as mine.

An object is not first imagined or thought about and then expected or willed, but in being actively expected it is imagined as future and in being willed it is thought.

Mental life is indeed practical through and through. It begins in practice and it ends in practice.

Both expectations and memories are more than mere images founded on previous experience.

Now the acts of expecting and remembering are the theoretical or speculative forms of the same conative activity which in its practical form is desire.

But though cognition is not an element of mental action, nor even in any real sense of the word an aspect of it, the distinction of cognition and conation has if properly defined a definite value.

Author Picture
First Name
Samuel
Last Name
Alexander
Birth Date
1859
Death Date
1938
Bio

Australian-born British Philosopher, first Jewish Fellow of an Oxbridge College