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teristic effects on feeling in consequence of habituation and accommodation. We may get used to a painful presentation in such wise that we cease to be conscious of it as positively disagreeable, though its cessation is at once a source of pleasure; in like manner we come to require things simply because it is painful to be without them, although their possession has long ceased to be a ground of positive enjoyment. This loss (or gain) consequent on accommodation' has a most important effect in changing the sources of feeling: it helps to transfer attention from mere sensations to what we may distinguish as interests.
painful combinations of different ungraduated colours. A comparison of these seems to justify the general statement that those colours yield good combinations that are far apart in the colour circle, while those near together are apt to be discordant. The explanation given, viz., that the one arrangement secures and the other prevents perfect retinal activity, seems on the whole satisfactory, especially if we acknowledge the tendency of all recent investigations and distinguish sensibility to colour and sensibility to mere light as both psychologically and physiologically two separate facts. Thus, when red and green are juxtaposed,
Combin- 2. Certain sensations or movements not separately un- the red increases the saturation of the green and the green *tion" of pleasant become so when presented together or in imme- that of the red, so that both colours are heightened in .and diate succession; and contrariwise, some combinations of brilliance. But such an effect is only pleasing to the child of move sensations or of movements may be such as to afford plea- and the savage; for civilized men the contrast is excessive, ments. sure distinct from, and often greater than, any that they and colours less completely opposed, as red and blue, are
separately yield. Here again we find that in some cases the effect seems mainly to depend on intensity, in others mainly on quality. (i.) As instances of the former may be mentioned the pleasurableness of a rhythmic succession of sounds or movements, of symmetrical forms and curved
preferred, each being a rest from the other, so that as the eye wanders to and fro over their border different elements are active by turns. Red and orange, again, are bad, in that both exhaust in a similar manner and leave the remaining factors out of play.
3. The more or less spontaneous workings of imagina-Ileation
outlines, of gentle crescendos and diminuendos in sound, and
of gradual variations of shade in colour, and the painfulness tell ellet-
of flickering lights, “beats” in musical notes, false time, false steps, false quantities, and the like. In all these, whenever the result is pleasurable, attention can be readily accommodated,—is, so to say, economically meted out; and, whenever the result is painful, attention is surprised, balked, wasted. Thus we can make more movements and with less expenditure of energy when they are rhythmic than when they are not, as the performances of a ballroom or of troops marching to music amply testify. Of this economy we have also a striking proof in the ease with which rhythmic language is retained. (ii.) As instances of the latter may be cited those arrangements of musical tones and of colours that are called harmonious or the opposite. Harmony, however, must be taken to have a different meaning in the two cases. When two or three tones harmonize there results, as is well known, a distinct pleasure over and above any pleasure due to the tones themselves. are unpleasant in spite of any pleasantness they may have singly. Besides the negative condition of absence of beats, a musical interval to be pleasant must fulfil certain positive conditions, sufficiently expressed for our purpose by saying that two tones are pleasant when they give rise to few combination-tones, and when among these there are several that coincide, and that they are unpleasant when they give rise to many combination-tones, and when
On the other hand, tones that are discordant
to thinking in the stricter sense, are always productive of pain or pleasure in varying degrees. Though the exposition of the higher intellectual processes has not yet been reached, there will be no inconvenience in at once taking account of their effects on feeling, since these are fairly obvious and largely independent of any analysis of the processes themselves. It will also be convenient to include under the one term “intellectual feelings,” not only the feelings connected with certainty, doubt, perplexity, comprehension, and so forth, but also what the Herbartian psychologists whose work in this department of psychology is classical – have called par cre, s/ence the formal feelings, –that is to say, feelings which they regard as entirely determined by the form of the flow of ideas, and not by the ideas themselves. Thus, he the ideas what they may, when their onward movement is checked by divergent or obstructing lines of association, and especially when in this manner we are hindered, say, from recollecting a name or a quotation (as if, ..o., the names of Archimedes, Anaximenes, and \maximander each arrested the clear revival of the other), we are conscious of a certain strain and oppressiveness, which give way to momentary relief when at length what is wanted rises into distinct consciousness and our ideas resume their flow. Here again, too, as in muscular movements, we have the contrast of exertion and facility, when “thoughts refuse to
among these there are few or none that coincide. Too flow " and we work “invita Minerva," or when the appromany tones together prevent any from being distinct. But priate ideas seem to unfold and display themselves befor:
where tones coincide the number of tones actually present is less than the number of possible tones, and there is a proportionate simplification, so to put it: more is commanded and with less effort. A recent writer* on harmony. in fact, compares the confusion of a discord to that of “trying to reckon up a sum in one's head and failing ***ause the numbers are too high." A different explana. tion must be given of the so-called harmonies of colour. The pleasurable effect of graduations of colour or shade to which, as Ruskin tells us, the rose owes its victorious beauty when compared with other flowers—has been already mentionel ; it is rather a quantitative than a qualitative effect.
us like a vision before one inspired. To be confronted with propositions we cannot reconcile— i.e., with what is or appears inconsistent, false, contradictory is not to be painful; the recognition of truth or logical coherence, on the other hand, is pleasurable. The feeling in either case is, no doubt, greater the greator our interest in the subject
matter : but the mere conflict of ideas as such is in itself
what we are now concerned with are the pleasurable or
arrested. When, on the other hand, we discern a common
merely ideas but ideals. A great work of art improves upon the real in two respects: it intensifies and it transfigures. It is for art to gather into one focus, cleared from dross and commonplace, the genial memories of a lifetime, the instinctive memories of a race; and, where theory can only classify and arrange what it receives, art— in a measure free from “the literal unities of time and
Higher 4. Closely related to these formal intellectual feelings place”—creates and glorifies. Still art eschews the abstract *. are certain of the higher testhetic feelings. A reference and speculative; however plastic in its hands, the material eelings.
to some of the commonplaces of aesthetical writers may
wrought is always that of sense. We have already noticed more than once the power which primary presentations have to sustain vivid re-presentations, and the bearing of this on the aesthetic effects of works of art must be straightway obvious. The notes and colours, rhymes and rhythms, forms and movements, which produce the lower aesthetic feelings also serve as the means of bringing into view, and maintaining at a higher level of vividness, a wider range and flow of pleasing ideas than we can ordinarily command.
cause among aesthetic effects are reckoned only such as are
5. When we reach the level at which there is distinct Egoistic
self-consciousness (comp. p. 84), we have an important class and
any kind whatever. Thus, if it should be objected that
of self to the other contents of consciousness.
* reaching, as well as practically the most important, is that parable, thinks to pull down its barns and build greater, which explains asthetic effects by association. Thus, to to take its ease, eat, drink, and be merry. The support - take one example where so many are possible, the croak- of all this pleasing show and these far-reaching aims is, t ing of frogs and the monotonous ditty of the cuckoo owe not the bare knowledge of what abundance will do, but : their pleasantness, not directly to what they are in them- the reflexion—These many goods are mine. In mind selves, but entirely to their intimate association with alone final causes have a place, and the end can produce f spring-time and its gladness. At first it might seem, the beginning; the prospect of a summer makes the pre} therefore, that there is nothing fresh in this principle sent into spring. But action is paralysed or impossible § relevant to our present inquiry, since a pleasure that is when the means evade us— o only due to association at once carries back the question “Now drons *e the pri ----- 3. to its sources, so that in asking why the spring, for ex- i. o "... of yo. state, - - s anopy, the glittering plate, ample, is pleasant we should be returning to old ground. But this is not altogether true; aesthetic effects call up not and a bleak and wintry barrenness is filled with the 1 ro - -- - - - - emptiness of despair. In so far as a man's life consists Cooloo.o.o.o.o.o.o. in the abundance of the things he possesseth, we see then full style for it is “I’rincip der ökonomischen Verwendung der Mittel | 1... . -: s so ove - ". . - oiler des kleinsten Kraftmasses.” why it dwindles with these. The like holds where self. 2 Essays, Scientific, political, and Speculatire, vol. ii., Ess. I. and complacency or displicency rests on a sense of personal ; VIII. worth or on the honour or affection of others. |
And as feelings.
We are now at the end of our survey of certain typical pleasurable and painful states. The answer to our inquiry which it seems to suggest is that there is pleasure in proportion as a maximum of attention is effectively exercised, and pain in proportion as such effective attention is frustrated by distractions, shocks, or incomplete and faulty adaptations, or fails of exercise, owing to the narrowness of the field of consciousness and the slowness and smallness of its changes. Something must be said in explication of this formula, and certain objections that might be made to it must be considered. First of all, it implies that feeling is determined partly by quantitative, or, as we might say, material, conditions, and partly by conditions that are formal or qualitative. As regards the former, both the intensity or concentration of attention and its diffusion or the extent of the field of consciousness have to be taken into account. Attention, whatever else it is, is a limited quantity— Pluribus intentus minor estad singula sensus— to quote Hamilton's pet adage. Moreover, as we have seen, attention requires time. If, then, attention be distributed over too wide a field, there is a corresponding loss of intensity, and so of distinctness: we tend towards a succession of indistinguishables—indistinguishable, therefore, from no succession. We must not have more presentations in the field of consciousness than will allow of some concentration of attention : a maximum diffusion will not do. A maximum concentration, in like manner— even if there were no other objection to it—would seem to conflict with the general conditions of consciousness, inasmuch as a single simple presentation, however intense, would admit of no differentiation, and any complex presentation is in some sort a plurality. The most effective attention, then, as regards its quantitative conditions, must lie somewhere between the two zeros of complete indifference and complete absorption. If there be an excess of diffusion, effective attention will increase up to a certain point as concentration increases, but beyond that point will decrease if this intensification continues to increase: and rice rerso, if there be an excess of concentration. But, inasmuch as these quantitative conditions involve a plurality of distinguishable presentations or changes in consciousness, the way is open for formal conolitions as well. Since different presentations consort differently when above the threshold of consciousness together, one field may be wider and yet as intense as another, or intenser and yet as wide, owing to a more advantageous arrangement of its constituents." The loctrine here developed, viz., that feeling depends on efficiency, is in the main as old as Aristotle; all that has been done is to give it a more accurately psychological “xpression, and to free it from the implications of the faculty theory, in which form it was expounded by Hamilton. Of lossible oljections there are at least two that we must anticipate, and the consideration of which will o
As it is unpossible to say that any distinguishable presentation is ****intely simple, the hypothesis of subconsciousness would leave us fro “ ” “ame that any pleasantness or unpleasantness that cannot be - *** ****l on the score of intensity is due to some olecure harmony or o:-- *...*latibility or incompatibility, of elements not separately • *-* or out this, though tempting, is not really a very scientific too-ooro. If a particular presentation is pleasurable or painful in *** *** * to lead to a redistribution of attention, it is reasonable to !--- for an explanation primarily in its connexion with the rest of the *** * *ion-nos. Moreover, it is obvious—since what takes
•xplicable in the one,
help to make the general view clearer. First, it may be urged that, according to this view, it ought to be one continuous pain to fall asleep, since in this state consciousness is rapidly restricted both as to intensity and range. This statement is entirely true as regards the intensity and substantially true as regards the range, at least of the higher consciousness: certain massive and agreeable organic sensations pertain to falling asleep, but the variety of presentations at all events grows less. Dut then the capacity to attend is also rapidly declining : even a slight intruding sensation entails an acute sense of strain in one sense, in place of the massive pleasure of repose throughout; and any voluntary concentration either in order to move or to think involves a like organic conflict, futile effort, and arrest of balmy ease. There is as regards the more definite constituents of the field of consciousness a close resemblance between natural sleepiness and the state of monotonous humdrum we call tedium or ennui; and yet the very same excitement that would relieve the one by dissipating the weariness of inaction would disturb the other by renewing the weariness of action : the one is commensurate with the resources of the moment, the other is not. Thus the maximum of effective attention in question is, as Aristotle would say, a maximum “relative to us.” It is possible, therefore, that a change from a wider to a narrower field of consciousness may be a pleasurable change, if attention is more effectively engaged. Strictly speaking, however, the so-called negative pleasures of rest do not consist in a mere narrowing of the field of consciousness so much as in a change in the amount of concentration. Massive organic sensations connected with restoration take the place of the comparatively acute sensations of jaded powers forced to work. We have, then, in all cases to bear in mind this subjective relativity of all pleasurable or painful states of consciousness. But there is still another and more serious difficulty to face. It has long been a burning question with theoretical moralists whether pleasures differ only quantitatively or differ qualitatively as well, whether psychological analysis will justify the common distinction of higher and lower pleasures or force us to recognize nothing but differences of degree, of duration, and so forth, –as expounded, e.g., by Bentham, whose cynical mot, “ l'ushpin is as good as poetry provided it be as pleasant,” was long a stumbling. block in the way of utilitarianism. The entire issue here is confused by an ambiguity in terms that has been already noticed ; pleasure and pleasures have not the same connotation. By a pleasure or pleasures we mean some assignable presentation or presentations which are pleasant.- i.e., afford pleasure; by pleasure simply is meant this subjective state of feeling itself. The former, like other oljects of knowledge, admit of classification and compari-on : we may distinguish them as coarse or as noble, or, if we will, as cheap and wholesome. Iłut, while the rotus, s of fooling are manifold, the feeling itself is a subj ctive state, varying only in intensity and duration. The best evidence of this lies in the general character of the actions that ensue through feeling, - the matter which has next to on-ago us. Whatever be the variety in the sources of pleasure, whatever be the moral or conventional stimate of their worthiness, if a given state of consciousness is pleasant we seek we refer orvator pleasure before less, less lain in fore greator. This is, in fact, the whole meaning of preference as a 1-ychological term. Wisdom and folly prefer each the course which the other rojects. I}, oth to Mlr-to- to 11111 it. in-l. ol. lo. . .] * - preferail. . that, however, is not a matt, r for sy, h But, as soon as reflexion legins, exe, otions to this primar principle of action - in to arise continoy, ev, u though So he wool
tions, however, we may presently find to be apparent only.
one moment is simply towards more life, simply growth :
whether there is in these also any contrast corresponding to the opposing extremes of pleasure and pain. We have already seen reasons for dismissing reflex movements or movements not determined by feeling as psychologically secondary, the effects of habit and heredity, and for regarding those diffusive movements that are immediately expressive of feeling as primordial,—such movements as are strictly purposive being gradually selected or elaborated
involves the other, and the more scientific course is to from them. But some distinction 1S called for among the roid both f a. --- - - various movements expressive of emotion; for there is - avo both as ". .." ... if action d ls in the more in these than the direct effect of feeling regarded as i l The question, then, o ow, it ś epends old merely pleasure or pain. It has been usual with psychost tes ------ ve ---------- ll 101 lt i 1 - - - - ast resort o o .." : o i." o * s of | logists to confound emotions with feeling, because intense ever conne about that WIlat We Ca 119 her SQll!CoS 91 f,...,]; nor is ossomit; - - -: feeling should supersede the lower? If it is only quantity '...", .." .."o. .." that turns the scales, where does quality come in, for we mi not a psychical ... t if wo may so say l #. in - - * -v ow - > - --- Y cannot say, e.g., that the astronomer experiences a greater | . - -- -- •o ni - thrill of delight when a new planet rewards his search . wo o o o * o: than the hungry savage in finding a clump of pig-nuts! Meet as cuuisv, *.iiivu o o cLL c r o s or in his containst display—frowns, compressed lips, erect head, clenched Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis contains the fists, in a word, the combative attitude—as its effect, and - - - Sus, - - - answer in brief. We shall understand this answer better . ..... > ; , , , , s - e. - > if we look at a parallel case, or what is really our own o of ..o.o. o to o !. from another point of view. We distinguish between o ar mo to it." o . '. at enno o . higher and lower forms of life: we might say there is o and ro .." so . ing are o i. bi y =~...~. - . *11 v oct. ... " what I)arwin has called serviceable associate abits. more life in a large oyster than in a small one, other things T. • vasivo not; an -lia being equal, but we should regard a crab as possessing not The purposive actions of an earlier stage of development necessaril more life—as m casured by waste of tis one become, though somewhat atrophied as it were, the emossarily as to 3 * * --- tive outlet of a later stage: in the circumstances in which but certainly as manifesting life in a higher, form. How, our ancestors worried their enemies we only show our * o o o o o "o. o teeth. We must, therefore, leave aside the more complex - - * -- --- --- --> Y. - * r - - - - . . ." 11s a (lWaln Ce to Ilave I)(2011 Illa C10 * "''''''''''' "...'" emotional manifestations and look only to the simplest I
effects of pleasure and of pain, if we are to discover any fundamental contrast between them.”
Joy finds expression in dancing, clapping the hands, Emo
is be illing its skin : in doing this as easily - - -
as may be it gets a better skin to fill, and accordingly expres
seeks to fill it differently. Though cabbage and honey
old expenditure is supported as well as the new.
pleasurable in themselves but such as increase the existing pleasure. Attention is not drafted off or diverted; but rather the available resources seem reinforced, so that the To the pleasure on the receptive side is added pleasure on the active side. The violent contortions due to pain, on the other hand, are painful in themselves, though less intense than the pains from which they withdraw attention: they are but counter-irritants that arrest or inhibit still more painful thoughts or sensations. Thus, according to Darwin, “sailors who are going to be flogged sometimes take a piece of lead into their mouths in order to bite it with their utmost force, and thus to bear the pain.” When in
------|-- asurable and less painful than to - - i the whole be more pleasurable and less painful than to iii. way we take account of the immediate effects as well i remain behind. And this condition seems provided in TTTo look at anything in its elements makes it appear inferior t - - l, #: - -., -, for ( o look at anything in its elements makes it appear interior to f the fact of accommodation above referred to (p. 69) and what it seems as a whole. Resolve the statue or the building into
in the important fact that attention can be more effect-
“I)o not all charms fly
But no logical analysis—may, further, no logical synthesis
stone and the laws of proportion, and no worthy causes of the former
independent of the will, and to a large extent of habit" (Erpression of
the Emotions, p. 66). It is in illustration of this principle too that I)arwin describes the movements expressive of joy and grief, emotions which in some form or other are surely the most primitive of any.
as of the causes of feeling, we find it still more strikingly true that only in pleasurable states is there an efficient expenditure of attention. It is needless now to dwell upon this point, although any earlier mention of it would hardly have been in place. But we should fail to realize the contrast between the motor effects of pleasure and of pain if we merely regarded them as cases of diffusion. The intenser the feeling the intenser the reaction, no doubt, whether it be smiles or tears, jumping for joy, or writhing in agony; but in the movements consequent on pleasure the diffusion is the result of mere exuberance, an overflow of good spirits, as we sometimes say, and these movements, as already remarked, are always comparatively purposeless or playful. Even the earliest expressions of pain, on the contrary, seem but so many efforts to escape from the cause of it; in them there is at least the blind purpose to flee from a definite ill, but in pleasure only the enjoyment of present fortune.
From Plato downwards psychologists and moralists, have been fond of discussing the relation of pleasure and W. It has been maintained that pain is the first and more fundamental fact, and pleasure nothing but relief from pain; and, again, on the other sile, that pleasure is prior and positive, and pain only the negation of pleasure. So far as the mere change goes, it is obviously true that the diminution of pain is pro tornto pleasant, and the liminution of pleasure pro tornto unpleasant; and if relativity had the unlimited range sometimes assigned to it this would be all we could say. Iłut we must sooner or later recognize the existence of a comparatively fixed neutral state, deviations from which, of comparatively short duration and of sullicient intensity, constitute distinct states of pleasure or pain. Such states, if not of liminal intensity, may then be further diminished without reversing their pleasurable or painful character. The turning-point here implicil may, of course, gradually change too, -as a ... in fact, of the law of accommodation. Thus a long run of pleasure would raise “the lielonistic zero,” while—to the small extent to which accommodation to pain is possible—a continuance of pain would lower it. But such almission makes no material difference where the actual feeling of the moment is alone concerned and retrospect out of the question. On the whole it seems, therefore, most reasonalile to regard pleasure and pain as emerging out of a neutral state, which is prior to and distinct from both, not a state of alsolute indifference, but of simple contentment, marked by no spanial active display. But it is by reference to such state of equilibrium or drasia that we see most clearly the superior volitional efficacy of pain upon which possinists love to descant. “Nobody," says Von Hartmann, “who had to choose between no taste at all
for ten minutes or five minutes of a pleasant taste and then five - - - - - between feeling and purposive action is that in which a
minutes of an unpleasant taste, would prefer the last.” Most inen aul all the lower animals are content “to let well alone."
To ascertain the origin and progress of purposive action it seems, then, that we must look to the effects of pain rather than to those of pleasure. Necessity is the mother of invention, and all things are full of labour. It is true that psychologists not unfrequently describe the earliest purposive movements as appetitive ; or at least they treat aloloetitive and aversive movements as co-ordinate and • ‘Inally primitive, pleasures being supposed to lead to actions for their continuance as much as pains to actions for their removal. No doubt, as soon as the connexion loetween a pleasurable sensation and the appropriate action is completely established, as in the case of imbibing food, the whole process is then self-sustaining till satiety begins. But the loint is that such facility was first acquired under the to aching of pain, --the pain of unsatisfied hunger. The torm "appetite" is apt both by its etymology and its later ***iations to be misleading. What are properly called the “ instinctive" appetites are—when regarded from their *tive sile-movements determined by some existing un* -o-y sensation,
1sorticular individual is concerned, this urgency seems almost entirely of the nature of a ris a terro; and the *****ments are only more definite than those simply exlove of pain because of inherited pre-adaptation, on which account, of course, they are called “instinctive.”
we have agreed here to leave heredity on one side and consider only the original evolution. But if none but psychological causes were at work this evolution would be very long and in its early stages very uncertain. At first, when only random movements ensue, we may fairly suppose both that the chance of at once making a happy hit would be small and that the number of chances, the space for repentance, would also be small. Under such circumstances natural selection would have to do almost everything and subjective selection almost nothing. So far as natural selection worked, we should have, not the individual subject making a series of tries and perfecting itself by practice, as in learning to dance or swim, but we should have those individuals whose stuff or structure happened to vary for the better surviving, increasing, and displacing the rest. How much natural selection, apparently unaided, can accomplish in the way of complicated adjustment we see in the adaptation of the form and colour of plants and animals to their environment. Both factors, in reality, operate at once, and it would be hard to fix a limit to either, though to our minds natural selection seems to lose in comparative importance as we advance towards the higher stages of life. But psychologically we have primarily to consider subjective selection, i.e., first of all, the association of particular movements with particular sensations through the mediation of feeling. The sensations here concerned are mainly painful excitations from the environment, the recurring pains of innutrition, weariness, &c., and pleasur. able sensations due to the satisfaction of these organic wants—pleasures which, although not a mere “filling up,” as Plato at one time contended, are still preceded by pain, but imply over and above the removal of this a certain surplus of positive good. There seem only a few points to notice. (a) When the movements that ensue through pleasure are themselves pleasurable there is ordinarily no ground for singling out any one ; such movements simply enhance the general enjoyment, which is complete in itself and so far contains no hint of anything beyond. (h) Should one of these spontaneous movements of pleasure chance to cause pain, no doubt such movement is speedily arrested. Probably the most immediate connexion possible
, the cravings of out what one inherits another must have acquired, and