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The Psychic Abilities of Ants


the mind as
first making its appearance in the vertebrates, whereas
the old Car-
tesians regarded all animals, in contradistinction to
man, as mind-
less (unconscious) machines.
2 ANTS AND SOME OTHER INSECTS.
v v^
The Jesuit father E. Wasmann and von Buttel-Reepen are
willing, on the other hand, to accept the inductive
inference from
analogy as a valid scientific method. Like Lubbock, the
lecturer
\ v
. and others, they advocate a comparative psychology of
the inverte-
brates and convincingly demonstrate the existence of
psychic facul-
ties in these animals. Wasmann, however, puts a very
low esti-
mate on the mental powers of the higher vertebrates
and, in my
opinion, improperly, denies to them any ability of
drawing infer-
ences from experience when in the presence of new
conditions (this
alone he designates as intelligence); he believes that
man alone
possesses an immortal soul (independent of natural
laws?) in addi-
tion to the animal mind.
It is necessary, first of all, to arrive at some common
under-
standing concerning the obscure notion "psychic" in
order that
we may avoid logomachy, and carrying on theology in the
sense of
Goethe's Mephistopheles. Two concepts are confounded in
an
obscure manner in the word "psychic" : first, the
abstract concept
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