Unconscious - The Empirical Unconscious: Nerves, Memory and Automatism

Author: Hippolyte Taine

Title: On Intelligence (1870, trans Haye, 1871)


Pages: Introduction |  Extract 1a  |  Extract 1b  |  Extract 2a  |


Two brief extracts from the historian and advocate of positivism in the human sciences, Hippolyte Taine. Taine’s approach to intelligence is exemplary in its materialism. Everything in the mind is reducible to molecular movements in the brain and the nervous centres. However, not all of these events, even mental ones, are strong enough to reach consciousness: ‘there is going on within us a subterranean process of infinite extent…’

Extract I         114-117 ‘Of Sensations’

Extract II        180-181 ‘Physical Conditions of  Mental Events’

Please select below to view scanned pages from 'Intelligence ':

Back to Unconscious documents | Introduction |  Extract 1a  |  Extract 1b  |  Extract 2a  |