Some positive idea of his speculations may be derived from two of his observations: the one in which he notices that the parts of animals and plants are in general rounded in form, and the other dealing with the sense of hearing, which, in virtue of its limited receptivity, he compares ' If this be the proper translation of Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, x.
Pusey indeed studied under Eichhorn, and in his Historical Enquiry into the probable causes of the Rationalist Character lately predominant in German Theology (1828-1830) speaks sympathetically of the attitude of the Reformers on the question of Scripture and in condemnation of the later Protestant scholastic doctrine; but even in this book he shows no receptivity for any of the actual critical conclusions of Eichhorn and his successors, and subsequently threw the weight of his learning against critical conclusions - notably in his Commentary on Daniel (1864).
With Laromiguiere he distinguishes attention as an active effort, of no less importance than the passive receptivity of sense, and with Butler distinguishes passively formed customs from active habits.
He finally arrived at the conclusion that Condillac's notion of passive receptivity as the one source of conscious experience was not only an error in fact but an error of method - in short, that the mechanical mode of viewing consciousness as formed by external influence was fallacious and deceptive.
To the modern reader, who may well be impressed b y Goethe's extraordinary receptivity, it may seem strange that his interests in Italy were so limited; for, after all, he saw comparatively little of the art treasures of Italy.