chapter  VI
14 Pages

DETOURS ROUND SEPARATE INTERVENINGOBJECTIVES

IN some of the instances described above, there has been quite a long detour to make. Sultan spends considerable time in gnawing the end of a board that he wishes to fit into a hollow tube; and yet this gnawing of wood at the end of a stick is an activity which, considered separately, is meaningless in relation to his objective. I t is not by any means easy for the observer to regard it in this way. What we see is rather, "Gnaw, gnaw, see if it fits into the tube, gnaw, fit, etc.", an objectively-connected sequence. What becomes of the experiment, if we carry this principle a step further? In the case of simple preparation of a tool, and so in our example the external connexion of the part, "preparation" (gnawing) is still somewhat closely bound up with the further procedure (insertion and employment) by the fac that the auxiliary action has a direct bearing on the tcol-material. If we now seek further independent parts for one test, we arrive at experiments in which the animal has to draw in a different auxiliary, minor objective, before he can reach his final objective. This auxiliary objective must itself be approached indirectly, if the final objective is to be attained. On the other hand, if the whole preliminary process, up to the attainment of the minor goal, be considered quite by itself, and apart from what follows, this first detour has still to do with the final goal, and

externally can be distinguished as a separate procedure. Experience shows that we get a particularly strong impression of intelligent behaviour when detours are made, as one action, which in their separate phases lead away from the goal, but which are a necessity, objectively considered.