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WHEN I first began to collect materials for this work it was my intention to divide the book into two parts. Of these I intended the first to be concerned only with the facts of animal intelligence, while the second was to have treated of these facts in their relation to the theory of Descent. Finding, however, as I proceeded, that the material was too considerable in amount to admit of being comprised within the limits of a single volume, I bave made arrangements with the publishers of the International Scientific Series? to bring out the second division of the work as a separate treatise, under the title Mental Evolution. This treatise I hope to get ready for
press within a year or two.
My object in the work as a whole is twofold. First, I have thought it desirable that there should be something resembling a text-book of the facts of Comparative Psychology, to which men of science, and also metaphysicians, may turn whenever they may have occasion to acquaint themselves with the particular level of intelligence to which this or that species of animal attains. Hitherto the endeavour of assigning these levels has been almost exclusively in the hands of popular writers; and as these have, for the most part, merely strung together, with discrimination more or less inadequate, innumerable anec
dotes of the display of animal intelligence, their books are valueless as works of reference. So much, indeed, is this the case, that Comparative Psychology has been virtually excluded from the hierarchy of the sciences. If we except the methodical researches of a few distinguished naturalists, it would appear that the phenomena of mind in animals, having constituted so much and so long the theme of unscientific authors, are now considered wellnigh unworthy of serious treatment by scientific methods. But it is surely needless to point out that the phenomena which constitute the subject-matter of Comparative Psychology, even if we regard them merely as facts in Nature, have least as great a claim to accurate classification as those phenomena of structure which constitute the subject-matter of Comparative Anatomy. Leaving aside, therefore, the reflection that within the last twenty years the facts of animal intelligence have suddenly acquired a new and profound importance, from the proved probability of their genetic continuity with those of human intelli gence, it would remain true that their systematic arrangeinent is a worthy object of scientific endeavour. This, then, has been my first object, which, otherwise stated, amounts merely to passing the animal kingdom in review in order to give a trustworthy account of the grade of psychological development which is presented by each group.
Such is the scope of the present treatise. My second, and much more important object, is that of considering the facts of animal intelligence in their relation to the theory of Descent. With the exception of Mr. Darwin's admirable chapters on the mental powers and moral sense, and Mr. Spencer's great work on the Principles of Psychology, there has hitherto been no earnest attempt at tracing the principles which have been probably concerned in the genesis of Mind. Yet there is
not a doubt that, for the present generation at all events, no subject of scientific inquiry can present a higher degree of interest; and therefore it is mainly with the view of furthering this inquiry that I have undertaken this work. It will thus be apparent that the present volume, while complete in itself as a statement of the facts of Comparative Psychology, has for its inore ultimate purpose the laying of a firm foundation for my future treatise on Mental Evolution. But although, from what I have just said, it will be apparent that the present treatise is preliminary to a more important one, I desire to einphasise this statement, lest the critics, in being now presented only with a groundwork on which the picture is eventually to be painted, should deem that the art displayed is of somewhat too commonplace a kind. If the present work is read without reference to its ultimate object of supplying facts for the subsequent deduction of principles, it may well seem but a small improvement upon the works of the anecdote-mongers. But if it is remembered that my object in these pages is the mapping out of animal psychology for the purposes of a subsequent synthesis, I may fairly claim to receive credit for a sound scientific intention, even where the only methods at my disposal may incidentally seem to minister to a mere love of anecdote.
It remains to add a few words on the principles which I have laid down for my own guidance in the selection and arrangement of facts. Considering it desirable to cast as wide a net as possible, I have fished the seas of popular literature as well as the rivers of scientific writing. The endless multitude of alleged facts which I have thus been obliged to read, I have found, as may well be imagined, excessively tedious; and as they are for the most part recorded by wholly unknown observers, the labour of reading
them would have been useless without some trustworthy principles of selection. The first and most obvious principle that occurred to me was to regard only those facts which stood upon the authority of observers well known as competent; but I soon found that this principle constituted much too close a mesh. Where one of my objects was to determine the upper limit of intelligence reached by this and that class, order, or species of animals, I usually found that the most remarkable instances of the display of intelligence were recorded by persons bearing names more or less unknown to fame. This, of course, is what we might antecedently expect, as it is obvious that the chances must always be greatly against the more intelligent individuals among animals happening to fall under the observation of the more intelligent individuals among men. Therefore I soon found that I had to choose between neglecting all the more important part of the evidence--and consequently in most cases feeling sure that I had fixed the upper limit of intelligence too low—or supplementing the principle of looking to authority alone with some other principles of selection, which, while embracing the enormous class of alleged facts recorded by unknown observers, might be felt to meet the requirements of a reasonably critical method. I therefore adopted the following principles as a filter to this class of facts. First, never to accept an alleged fact without the authority of some name. Second, in the case of the name being unknown, and the alleged fact of sufficient importance to be entertained, carefully to consider whether, from all the circumstances of the case as recorded, there was any considerable opportunity for malobservation; this principle generally demanded that the alleged fact, or action on the part of the animal, should he of a particularly marked and unmistakable kind, looking to the end which the action is said to have accomplished.
Third, to tabulate all important observations recorded by unknown observers, with the view of ascertaining whether they have ever been corroborated by similar or analogous observations made by other and independent observers. This principle I have found to be of great use in guiding my selection of instances, for where statements of fact which present nothing intrinsically improbable are found to be unconsciously confirmed by different observers, they have as good a right to be deemed trustworthy as statements which stand on the single authority of a known observer, and I have found the former to be at least as abundant as the latter. Moreover, by getting into the habit of always seeking for corroborative cases, I have frequently been able to substantiate the assertions of known observers by those of other observers as well or better known.
So much, then, for the principles by which I have been guided in the selection of facts. As to the arrangement of the facts, I have taken the animal kingdom in. ascending order, and endeavoured to give as full a sketcł, as the selected evidence at my disposal permitted of the psychology which is distinctive of each class, or order, and, in some cases, family, genus, or even species. The reason of my entering into greater detail with some natural groups than with others scarcely requires explanation. For it is almost needless to say that if the animal kingdom were classified with reference to Psychology instead of with reference to Anatomy, we should have a very different kind of zoological tree from that which is now given in our diagrams. There is, indeed, a general and, philosophically considered, most important parallelism running through the wbole animal kingdom between structural affinity and mental development; but this parallelism is exceedingly rough, and to be traced only in broad outlines, so that although it is convenient for