« السابقةمتابعة »
in addition to III and IV, an image of the stamps as in your possession?
8. In view of your answers to questions 1-7, would you agree with the theory that an anticipatory image of the movement to be made or of the result of the movement was a necessary feature of willing ? Would you, for instance, say that the following account was true of all people?
“My volition to sign a letter is either an image of my hand moving the pen or an image of my signature already written, and my volition to purchase something is an image of myself in the act of handing out money or an image of my completed purchase-golf stick or Barbedienne bronze.” M. W. Calkins, Introduction to Psychology, p. 299.
Wundt, Physiologische Psychologie, XVIII. (§ 2), XX.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MENTAL STATES
§ 18. Qualities Common to all Mental States
Complexity.—The fact that one's mental state at any moment is usually a complex mixture has already been emphasized. As the reader sees this page, he feels the temperature of the room and the well or ill-being of his body, thinks of the meanings of the words in this paragraph, has flitting images of this or that called up by them and is mildly interested or bored or satisfied or disgusted with it all. Even if we take but a momentary bit of his mental state it may contain many of these different elements. Although, to study the body of thought and feeling of a human life, we dissect it out into this, that and the other specially named kinds of mental facts, we must not forget that in reality a mental life is a series of confused mixtures of thought-stuff, a rich blending of various elements, and that often all the names so far given to denote different sorts of mental facts would be needed to describe the mental state of a man for a single minute. Mental life is not like a series of solos, now sensations, now memories, now decisions; but is like the performance of an orchestra in which many sounds fuse into a total. One instrument may predominate for a while, but only very rarely is it active alone.
Personal Feeling.–Again, although for convenience we study images, concepts and all mental facts as if one image of a tiger was like another of the same tiger, one feeling of eight like another feeling of eight, it must be borne in mind that what we call the same thought or feeling in two men is, after all, never the same. John in imaging a tiger feels it as a tiger not present and so does James, but John feels the feeling as his, as belonging with the rest of his inner life, as a part of his stream of thought. James could feel the feeling just as John does only by being John. If a hundred scholars are asked to add four and four, the hundred thoughts of eight are never absolutely alike. Each eight is felt with a fringe or halo of personal possession,-as someone's own object of thought, —with a tag which says, “This is my thought or my emotion.' To quote Professor James :
"In this room....there are a multitude of thoughts, yours and mine, some of which cohere mutually, and some not.......
“They are as little each-for-itself and reciprocally independent as they are all-belonging-together. They are neither: no one of them is separate, but each belongs with certain others and with none beside. My thought belongs with my other thoughts, and your thought with your other thoughts. Whether anywhere in the room there be a mere thought, which is nobody's thought, we have no means of ascertaining, for we have no experience of its like. The only states of consciousness that we naturally deal with are found in personal consciousnesses, minds, selves, concrete particular I's and you's.”l
This personal element varies in amount in the same individual at different times and amongst individuals. When one is playing with interest a game of skill or absorbed in the effort of landing a fish or stalking a deer the personal element is almost absent. It is far less in young children than in developed minds. There is less
1 W. James, Principles of Psychology, vol. I, p. 225 f.
and less evidence of it as we progress down through the animal kingdom to the lower forms.
Social Implications.—That in human beings generally thoughts and feelings are always some one's own should not be taken to mean that one man's thought is incomparable with and uninfluenced by those of other men. The likeness of the hundred feelings of eight is far greater than the difference. The isolation of my stream of thought from others is only such that I cannot be them, not such that I cannot be incessantly and to the utmost extent influenced by them. Individual would be a very unfit adjective to apply to human thoughts and feelings if it were to mean more than ‘felt always by someone as his own. So far they are individual, but they are also in an important sense social.
If we leave out any solitary from birth whom chance or miracle may have preserved, the thoughts and feelings of any man at any time are in part the result of the thoughts and feelings of others. What we feel, how we think, what we enjoy, depend on the existence and action upon us of the thoughts and feelings of other people. When in Part III the attempt is made to explain the actual mental life of men,—to show how they come to be what they are, the social aspect of mental facts,—the importance of the fact that anyone's thoughts and feelings are members of a great community of mental states, will be abundantly evident.
Mental States Are Parts of a Continuum.-Any mental state is felt as a part of a total stream of feeling, as in a context, as with what has been and is to be. The first thought of the morning is thus bound to the life of yesterday, feels at home with the memories of the past and already half-acquainted with the life of the future.
Are, More or Less, Focal.—Thoughts and feelings
may be ranked in a scale according to the degree to which they are absorbing, exclusive of others, impressive characters in one's mental history. A thought may be so prominent, so in the focus that for the time being it practically is the mental life, or it may be just a shadowy, almost unnoticed hoverer in the background of the mind.
Within any mental state also some parts are more emphatic, more in relief, gain greater possession of us, count more, are attended to more than others. To Professor James are due the fitting epithets Focal and Marginal to express this uneveness in the emphasis of different parts of a mental state. In the reader's mind the thought, ‘more emphatic, more in relief, gain greater possession of us, count more,' should just now have been the chief, focal, absorbing part of his total state of mind; the sight of the rest of the page and the feeling of the book in his fingers less so; while the feelings of noises about him, of the time of day or of the floor beneath his feet should be out in the margin of thought, a shadowy background, half lost in the darkness of the border-land between consciousness and unconsciousness.
If a mental state is pictured as an elevation above the level of unconsciousness, it must be pictured not as a cube or cylinder but as a mountain, the peak representing the focal or attended to part of the thought, the slopes the marginal part merging gradually into the flat plain of unconsciousness. If we picture it as an illuminated area in darkness, the light should be unequally diffused, strong at one point but melting off gradually into darkness.
This general characteristic of thinking by which one thought prevails over others or some one element of a total thought outweighs all the rest is of tremendous practical importance. Not what we think but what is focal in our thoughts, becomes thus the matter of conse