H APT E R XVI
THE MECHANISM OF WRITING
WRITING is a complex act which has to be analysed. One part of
it is dependent on motor mechanisms, and the other represents
real work of the intellect.
Among the movements, I have distinguished first of all two
principal groups: one is concerned with the management of the
instrument of writing; the other with the drawing of the different
shapes of the separate letters of the alphabet. These parts con-
stitute the motor mechanism of writing, which can be substituted
for by an actual machine, and therefore, it is also mechanism
although of another kind that would be developed if made for
The fact that a machine may enable a man to write makes it.
possible for us to understand how the two things, that is, the
mechanism and the higher function of the intelligence which uses
written language to express itself, can be separated one from the
, The physiological mechanisms are those which allow of accu-
rate analysis, because by noticing how one writes and noting the-
various coefficients which take part in it, it is possible not only
to distinguish but to separate them from one another.