Now just as, in order to ascertain the real rela- (224) -tions of physical phenomena to one another, we abstract whatever obviously clashes with them in our way of perceiving and thinking, so, in order to view the self in its original purity, psychology ought to eliminate or correct certain forms which bear the obvious mark of the external world. When isolated from one another and regarded as so many distinct units, psychic states seem to be more or less intense.Next, looked at in their multiplicity, they unfold in time and constitute duration.Examining the first of these ideas, we found, that psychic phenomena were in themselves pure quality or qualitative multiplicity, and that, on the other hand, their cause situated in space was quantity.
Hence, either a psychophysical formula is possible or the intensity of a simple psychic state is pure quality.
Turning then to the concept of multiplicity, we saw that to construct a number we must first have the intuition of a homogeneous medium, (226) viz.
Hence number or discrete multiplicity also results from a compromise.
Now, when we consider material objects in themselves, we give up this compromise, since we regard them as impenetrable and divisible, i.e. Therefore, we must give it up, too, when we study our own selves.
We observe outside us at a given moment a whole system of simultaneous positions ; of the simultaneities which have preceded them nothing remains.
To put duration in space is really to contradict oneself and place succession within simultaneity.The intensity of a simple state, therefore, is not quantity but its qualitative sign.You will find that it arises from a compromise between (225) pure quality, which is the state of consciousness, and pure quantity, which is necessarily space.172-175, geometrical representation of process of coming to a decision, 175-178, the fallacies to which it leads determinists and libertarians, 179-183 ; Real duration and prediction, 183-198 : conditions of Paul's prediction of Peter's action (I) being Peter (2) knowing already his final act, 184-18g, the three fallacies involved, 190-192, astronomical prediction depends on hypothetical acceleration of movements, 193-195, duration cannot be thus accelerated, 196-198 ; Real duration and causality, 199-221 : the law " same antecedents, same consequents," 199-201, causality as regular succession, 202-203, causality as prefiguring : two kinds (1) prefiguring as mathematical pre-existence ; implies non-duration, but we endure and therefore may be free, 204-210, (2) prefiguring as having idea of future act to be realized by effort; does not involve determinism, 211-214, determinism results from confusing these two senses, 215-218 ; Freedom real but indefinable, 219-221.States of self perceived through forms borrowed from external world, 223 ; Intensity as quality, 225 ; Duration as qualitative multiplicity, 226 ; No duration in the external world, 227 ; Extensity and duration must be separated, 229 ; Only the fundamental self free, 231 ; ]Kant's mistaken idea of time as homogeneous, 232, hence he put the self which is free outside both space and time, 233 ; Duration is heterogeneous, relation of psychic state to act is unique, and act is free, 235-240.In a word, the moments of inner duration are not external to one another. The present only, or, if we prefer the expression, simultaneity.No doubt external things change, but their moments do not succeed one another, if we retain the ordinary meaning of the word, except for a consciousness which keeps them in mind.To sum up the foregoing discussion, we shall put aside for the present Kant's terminology and also his doctrine, to which we shall return later, and we shall take the point of view of common sense.Modern psychology seems to us particularly concerned to prove that we perceive things through the medium of certain forms, borrowed from our own constitution.In the same way they are responsible for the exaggerations of psychophysics, for as soon as the power of increasing in magnitude is attributed to sensation in any other than a metaphorical sense, we are invited to find out by how much it increases.And, although consciousness does not measure intensive quantity, it does not follow that science may not succeed indirectly in doing so, if it be a magnitude.