And we may truly converse with the dead and be

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Unformatted text preview: and truth. This he does as artist, inventor and scientist. Most originality lies in the rejection of old ideas and methods as not consonant with results and experience; in the taking apart and the isolation of the components of experience (analysis) and in their reassemblage into new combinations (synthesis). The organizing activity of the original mind is high, and curiosity and interest are usually well maintained. Unless there is with these traits the quality called good judgment (i.e., good choice), the original is merely one of those "pests" who launch half-baked reforms and projects upon a weary world. We have spoken of intelligence as controlling and directing instinct and desire, as inhibiting emotion, as exhibiting itself in handicraftsmanship, as the builder up of abstractions and the principles of power and knowledge; we have omitted its relationship to speech. Without speech and its derivatives, man would still be a naked savage and not so well off in his struggle for existence as most of the larger animals. It is possible that we can think without words, but surely very little thinking is possible under such circumstances. One might conduct a business without definite records, but it would be a very small one. Speech is a means not only of designating things but of the manifest relations between things. It "short-cuts" thought so that we may store up a thousand experiences in one word. But its stupendous value and effects lie in this, that in words not only do we store up ourselves (could we be self-conscious without words?) and things, but we are able to interchange ourselves and our things with any one else in the world who understands our speech and writings. And we may truly converse with the dead and be profoundly changed by them. If the germ plasm is the organ of biological heredity, speech and its derivatives are the organs of social heredity! The power of expressing thought in words, of compressing experiences into spoken and written symbols, of being eloquent or convincing either by tongue or pen, is thus a high function of intelligence. The able speaker...
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