ND   Jacques Maritain Center : Psychology / by Michael Maher, S.J.

CHAPTER XX.

THE EMOTIONS.
EMOTIONAL AND RATIONAL LANGUAGE.

Feeling and Emotion. -- We have already (c. xi.) investigated the nature and conditions of Feeling, understood as the agreeable or disagreeable tone of mental activity -- what recent writers call the phenomenon of pleasure-pain We shall now briefly treat of Feeling as synonymous with the Emotions. This latter term, which literally means a movement or perturbation of the soul, is commonly employed to denote certain complex forms of cognitive and appetitive consciousness in which the latter element is predominant. This is especially observable in the connotation of the term passion which, although the usage is not rigidly fixed, generally signifies in English either a violent actual emotion or a deep-seated permanent tendency to some particular species of emotion. The latter sense is exemplified in the principle that passion is sharpened and intensified, whilst emotion is dulled and enfeebled by re-iterated or prolonged stimulation.{1}

Scholastic View of Emotion. -- The schoolmen, who were interested in the emotions on ethical rather than psychological grounds, discussed these states, in so far as they handled them at all, in their treatment of the Passions. These latter they defined as intense excitations of the appetitive faculty. The passiones sensibiles vel animales, which they especially studied, are acts of sensitive appetency. They recognized eleven chief forms, which they divided into two great classes, called the passiones concupiscibiles and the passiones irascibiles. In the former class the object of the mental state acts directly on the faculty as agreeable or repugnant in itself; whilst the object of the irascible appetite is apprehended subject to some condition of difficulty or danger. In scholastic phraseology the object of the appetitus or passio concupiscibilis is bonum vel malum simpliciter: that of the appetitus irascibilis is bonum vel malum arduum. Six passiones concupiscibiles were enumerated, -- joy or delight and sadness, desire and aversion or abhorrence, love and hatred. These are the affections of the appetitive faculty viewed as present, future, and absolute, or without any reference to time. The five passiones irascibiles are hope and despair, courage and fear, and anger. The first pair of emotions are the acts elicited by the appetitive side of the mind in presence of arduous good, according as the difficulty of attainment is apprehended as slight or insuperable. Courage and fear are the feelings awakened by threatening evil viewed as more or less avoidable; whilst anger is aroused by present evil.

Whatever view be taken in regard to this scheme as a scientific classification, but little reflexion is required to see that the several emotions mentioned are really phenomena of the appetitive faculty of the mind emerging out of cognition. Appetency embraces the conscious tendency from evil, as well as towards good; for these two inclinations are only negative and positive phases of the same energy. But this faculty must also be the root of the mental states arising in the actual presence of good or ill. The words desire and appetite, indeed, bring more prominently before us the notion of an absent good, since it is in striving after such an object this power most impressively manifests itself. Still, it cannot he maintained that it is by a different faculty we stretch after, or yearn for a distant joy, and take complacency in its actual possession. It is not by three separate powers, but by one and the same, that we dislike evil in general, shrink from its approach, and are sad in its presence. Hope is similarly a desire to attain an arduous good, unsteadied by a cognitive element of doubt; whilst despair is a painful prostration resulting from a negative phase of the same activity. The affinity of courage and fear to the two former states, and their like derivation from the positive and negative forms of appetitive activity, are obvious. Both involve intellectual appreciation of the threatening danger, but whilst in the one case the will is strong and determined, in the other it shrinks back in feeble irresolution. Anger implies at once dislike and desire of revenge.

Chief forms of Emotion. -- Amongst the feelings which have attracted most psychological interest are the following: (1) Self-regarding emotions. (2) Those of an altruistic character. (3) Feelings attached to intellectual activity. (4) AEsthetic feelings. (5) Moral sentiment. These classes are not mutually exclusive.

Se1f-regarding Emotions. -- Emotions with respect to Self take a variety of shapes. Though sometimes termed Egoistic, they may be ethically either good or bad. The pleasurable forms appear as self-esteem, self-complacency, self-commiseration, and the like; whilst among painful feelings are remorse, self-condemnation, and shame. They are all different phases of self-love; and so products of the Appetitive Faculty. There is in man an instinctive desire of his own happiness; and consequently satisfaction in contemplating the possession of whatever increases it. Every excellence possessed, every good attained, every praiseworthy action done, forms agreeable food for self-reflexion.

Pride and Vanity. -- The special form of self-love exhibited in an inordinate desire of our own excellence is termed pride. This vice is not self-confidence, nor the consciousness of any virtue we may happen to possess, nor even the confession to others that we do possess such virtues. These may indeed be symptoms; but the essence of the vice lies in the craving for undue superiority. Closely related to pride is vanity, or vainglory. The primary meaning of this term is inordinate desire for glory, that is, for fame or esteem among men. In ordinary language vanity usually signifies either the seeking of praise on account of some trifling or paltry performance not really worthy of honour, or the act of setting an exaggerated value on the varying standard of human approbation. Vanity is thus incompatible with true greatness, which must be capable of rightly estimating both personal gifts and the fickle judgments of other men. In self-commiseration we indulge in a sweet feeling of pity over the injustice of our position, or the unfortunate circumstances in which we have been placed. There is a peculiar joy in the possession of a grievance which often causes its removal to leave an "aching void." But the trial must, in such cases have been of a nature to he easily appreciated by our neighbours. The explanation of the state would seem to be, that the satisfaction derived from the imagined interest or importance our particular trouble gives us in the eyes of others, with the agreeable and inexhaustible fund of conversation it supplies, more than counterbalance the inconvenience.

Remorse and Shame. -- In remorse and shame we have painful species of self-reflexion. In the former there is both sorrow and self-condemnation for our past action. It may, or may not, be mingled with shame. The most important element in this latter state is the pain caused by the representation of the disapproval or contempt of others. As their admiration is agreeable, their dis-esteem is mortifying. It should be noticed that shame is in itself essentially different from moral self-condemnation. Our contrition for sinful action may indeed be mingled with shame at the appearance our conduct presents in the eyes of our fellow-men; but those writers who would resolve the moral sentiment into mere shame ignore most important facts. A man may experience the keenest self-condemnation on account of an action such as a duel, in which social approval was completely with him, whilst he suffers a torturing consciousness in consequence of some involuntary act or some trifling piece of ill-manners, which he knows has not the faintest shadow of moral taint about it.

The Sense of Power. -- Among the self-regarding emotions may be also classed a feeling concerning which much has been written by modern psychologists -- the sense of power. The term "sense" is of course not here used in the strict signification of cognitive faculty, but as equivalent to an emotional form of consciousness of an abstract character. We must distinguish two elements or grades in this sentiment, -- the desire of power, and the complacent pleasure in its actual possession. It is in this latter stage that we have the complete emotion; and the luxury of the state consists in the conscious satisfaction of a desire of wide range.

The longing for power first exhibits itself in the simple shape of the impulse towards the exercise of our physical faculties. We have already shown it to be a universal law of our being that appropriate action of our various energies is agreeable. Consequently, although the original instinct is of the nature of a spontaneous impulse towards activity without the representation of any pleasure to be attained, yet, after wards, the memory and idea of this resulting gratification come to reinforce the impulse. The child shows this active instinct in the constant and vigorous exercise of its limbs and voice. It evidently rejoices in its power of exerting its members and creating surprising effects in the world around.

Every advance in the efficiency of our command over our faculties means enlarged potentialities of satisfaction, and the consciousness of such increased efficiency is agreeable. As the bat, gun, or horse become parts of our personality, its special perfections curiously afford a joy similar to that generated by the knowledge of our own physical or intellectual superiority over our neighbours. Even the fact that our tailor has cut our coat in a particular way, that a pet rabbit winks one of his eyes in an eccentric manner, or that a pig which we have purchased surpasses in fatness those of our less fortunate acquaintances, carries with it in our imagination an undefinable dignity, which, blending with our other excellences, helps to swell this grateful emotion of self-importance. When, instead of material implements, other men become the instruments of our will, the range of our power is at once indefinitely extended. It is too in the desire to gain sway over our fellow-creatures, whether by intellectual labour, by eloquence, by literary work, or by military force, that the passion is seen in its most striking forms; and it is in success in these directions that the emotion assumes its most luxuriant and its most dangerous character.

Fear and Anger are ordinarily classed as self-regarding emotions; but may be aroused in behalf of other beings. Both are manifested throughout the entire animal kingdom. Both seem to be instinctive, at least in a vague form, in the infant; and both exhibit themselves at a very early age. Their general utility for the protection of the individual is obvious; but when excessive they are directly injurious. Fear is purely painful. It may be defined as the pain of anticipated pain. Anger may be in part pleasant. It includes both the pain of felt injury and the agreeable consciousness of reacting against the cause of our pain. The intensity and power of the evil pleasure of revenge are only too well known. Physically, fear, apart from the exertion of flight, which it may excite, causes depression, lowering of vitality, derangement of the digestive organs. If the fear be great the imagination is excited, impressions are exaggerated, the faculty of judgment and reasoning is disordered, and control of attention is impaired. Consequently, from an educationalist standpoint, fear, though at times a necessary instrument, is always an imperfect motive. Its efficiency is deterrent from evil rather than promotive of genuinely good effort; and especially in the very young it may conflict with the very self-composure and steady concentrated energy needed for study.

Anger is amongst the most exciting of the emotions. It stirs up activity and arouses to energetic action. It seeks relief by injuring the cause of its pain. Like fear, though in a different way, it heightens the sensibility of the imagination and obscures the power of judgment and reflexion. When combined with fear, anger if fostered rapidly passes into hatred. In the form of virtuous indignation it may be an elevated moral force; but it is always a dangerous impulse, and needs watchful control from the earliest stages.

Altruistic Emotions: Sympathy. -- The most marked form of unselfish or benevolent emotion is that of sympathy. Sympathy literally means feeling with others; benevolence wishing well to others. That there are naturally in man non-selfish impulses is shown especially by his possession of benevolent and sympathetic instincts. Hobbes, indeed, who defines pity as, grief for the calamity of another, arising from the imagination of the like calamity befalling one's self, attempted to reduce even these to far-sighted selfishness; but the general tendency of the present representatives of his school is to admit naturally altruistic inclinations. That sympathy is an innate unselfish impulse, or rather a native disposition, is shown by the prompt manner in which the feeling arises on the contemplation of another's suffering; by the entire absence of any prospect of gain to ourselves in return for our compassion; by the real self-sacrifice to which it often successfully urges; and by the universality of its range, -- moving us to compassionate the pains of brute animals, the sorrows of strangers and historical personages, and even the imaginary woes of the creations of the dramatist and novelist.

Analysis. -- The two chief features of the state of Sympathy are a lively representation and an active appropriation of the feelings of others. There is both a projection of self into the situation of the sufferer, and a voluntary acceptance of his grief. In compassion there is a free affectionate adoption of the pain as our own, not a shrinking dislike for it through fear of its infliction on us. We can sympathize with the trials and joys of those differing from us in age, sex, or condition, which it is absolutely impossible should occur to ourselves. At the same time, since sympathy involves the realization of the feelings of another being, some experience of a kindred nature is presupposed. And herein lies the cognitive factor in the emotion. The intensity of our sympathy will thus be conditioned both by the range of our actual knowledge, and by our capacity of imagination. Consequently, its force diminishes when the feeling is of a kind remote from our experience. We can all commiserate physical pain; but the keen sufferings of refined or scrupulous minds are often incomprehensible to ruder natures.

Equally important with the element of cognition involved in the act of compassion is that of affection. The accepted signification of the term antipathy, as equivalent to dislike, shows this. Anger and hatred suspend for the time our power of pity. The intensity of sympathy is, ceteris paribus, in proportion to our love for the object of the emotion. This fine susceptibility of human nature would also seem to be less in unison with the energetic than with the reflective or contemplative character; though the former disposition is more fertile in the practical fruits of benevolence. Since the Christian era, the faculty has grown both in range and depth along with the mental and moral development of the race. The increase in the exercise of the imagination arising from the universal habit of reading, so new in the history of mankind, must have an important effect in enlarging the normal power of the fancy. To this cause, perhaps, ought to be traced the present popular indignation against various forms of cruelty towards which men seemed almost insensible a few centuries ago. Sympathy in the full sense comprehends fellow-feeling in the joy of another, as well as compassion over his pain. The former is a more completely disinterested state, and far harder to attain, as the neutralizing action of jealousy and envy, even in a faint form, is able to destroy this truly unselfish feeling. This does not occur in the case of pity.

Feelings attached to Intellectual Activity. -- The mental states of novelty, surprise, and wonder, called by Dr. Bain,{2} feelings of relativity, also play an important part in this department of the mind. The agreeable feeling of novelty is a particular instance of the pleasure due to exercise of the mental energies in general. The enjoyment of any activity is highest whilst fresh, and gradually tones down as the faculty becomes habituated to the action of the stimulus. Accordingly, transition from the exertion of one power to that of another; or even variation in the quality of a mental state must, ceteris paribus, be agreeable. Since the number of possible experiences is limited and the list of absolute novelties soon exhausted, the advantage of change in employments is obvious. The recurrence of a former mental state after an interval of time may he attended with almost as much pleasure as that of its first appearance; and occasionally, as in the case of old familiar tunes. previous acquaintance enriches the emotion.

Surprise contains something in addition to novelty. In the latter state there is change: in the former there is besides a certain shock of unexpectedness. Practically, of course, the two feelings shade into each other -- marked novelties producing surprise; but the characteristic feature of the latter state is the temporary perturbation of the movement of thought, owing to the sudden appearance of an unlooked-for idea which does not at once coalesce with the existing current. In itself such a dislocation would be disagreeable rather than the reverse, but the pleasure springing from a fresh energy prevents surprise being classed as a universally painful state. Dr. Bain allots it to his group of so-called "neutral" feelings.

Wonder (which Aristotle deems to be the beginning of Philosophy) is a more complex emotion than surprise. It requires a certain magnitude or greatness as well as strangeness in the new event, which causes a failure of the effort to understand or classify that event with our past experiences. When the novel object is of such a completely unfamiliar kind as to convince us that it is beyond our comprehension, the mind is thrown into a condition of conscious stupefaction, which is the purest form of astonishment. The soul, however, cannot long persist in such an attitude, and the natural inclination of the intellect impels it to try and bring this occurrence into harmony with others which we have observed. The native tendency of the mind to exert its powers when thus stimulated by the enigmatic, is the essentially rational attribute of curiosity. It is scarcely too much to say that this impulse holds a similarly important position in the domain of knowledge with that possessed by the instinct of self-preservation in the kingdom of physical life.

The Logical Feelings of consistency and contradiction are closely related to the emotions just described. These states are essentially cognitional; but pleasure or pain forms such a very important ingredient, that the term feeling is frequently applied to them. They afford the best example of strictly intellectual sentiments, and are of a spiritual or supra-sensuous character. The consciousness of the irreconcilability of apparently independent cognitions is distinctly disagreeable. We are dimly aware of an internal state of strain or contention; and we cannot rest till we effect agreement between the discordant forces. The discovery of new truth, the bringing of fresh facts under old generalizations, at once satiates the intellectual yearning for unity and gratifies our sense of power. There is a very real joy in detecting hitherto unperceived relations of similarity, whether it be in the solution of a mathematical problem, the discovery of a law of physics, the invention of a happy metaphor, or the guessing of a riddle.

This kind of enjoyment is one of the main elements in the higher species of those pleasures which constitute the Emotions of Pursuit. This term has been employed to denote the agreeable excitement attendant on certain kinds of out-door sport, games of chance, and interest in the plot of a novel. There is in such exercises novelty, the satisfaction due to the play of our faculties, and a pleasing interest aroused by the uncertainty of the result, which gives much food to imagination and intellect. If the stake is very heavy the agreeable character of the excitement disappears, and the state of doubt, resulting in anxiety and fear, may become extremely painful.{3}

AEsthetic Emotions. -- Another interesting class of feelings are the aesthetic emotions. The chief of these are the sentiments awakened by the contemplation of the Beautiful and the Sublime. Ontology is the branch of Philosophy to which the problem of the nature and objective conditions of Beauty properly belongs. But since the middle of last century discussion on this subject has been so continuous, that there has grown up a portentous body of speculation claiming the title of the Science of AEsthetics.{4} Here we can only analyze briefly the feelings aroused by the perception of the Beautiful, the Sublime, and the Ludicrous, and point out the chief features in these realities themselves.

The Beautiful. -- The epithet beautiful is applied to such widely different things as a sunset, a human face, a flower, a landscape, a musical symphony, a greyhound, a poem, a piece of architecture; and there may be awakened pleasing emotions by the consideration of any of these objects. The first and essential property, then, of beauty is that it pleases. In most cases the satisfaction aroused involves two elements -- the one sensuous, the other intellectual. The lower is the result partly of the harmonious action of an external organic faculty, such as sight or hearing, partly of that of the imagination. Thus, we describe particular hues as beautiful, certain sounds as charming, and in many of the examples just mentioned, the important part played by the quality of the organic stimulus is evident.

Along with this satisfaction due to sensation, there is also usually an element of gratification dependent on the exercise of the imagination. We have already shown in our chapter on the development of sensuous perception, what a large part the reproductive activity of consciousness plays even in seemingly simple cognitions, such as those of a house or of a tree. Consequently, the pleasure of the effect must be attributed to the agreeable operation of both the presentative and the representative faculties of the lower order. The combined energies of the external and internal senses are thus of themselves capable of accounting for much of the delight aroused by the contemplation of beautiful objects; and we think those writers in error who would deny or minimize the reality of sensible beauty. Visual, auditory, and motor sensations, both actual and ideal, conspire according to their quality, their intensity, and their harmonious combinations to enrich the pleasurable sentiment of admiration.

Unity amid Variety. -- Nevertheless, human appreciation of Beauty is essentially rational; and the importance of intellect in this department of cognition is shown by the absence of AEsthetic tastes in irrational animals. The most universal feature in the various kinds of beautiful or pleasing objects, the generality of philosophers have held to consist of unity amid variety; and the apprehension of this perfection is an intellectual act. Symmetry, order, fitness, harmony, and the like, are but special forms of this unity. The suitable proportions of the lineaments of the face, of the limbs of an animal, and of the constituent portions of a building; the admirable co-ordination of the several parts of a flower; and the unity of idea which should run through a musical air, a poem or a drama, are all only varying expressions of the one amid the manifold. Monotony is painful; sameness wearies the faculties. On the other hand, chaotic multiplicity, disorderly change overpowers and prevents us from getting a coherent grasp of the confused mass before us. When, however, our energies are wakened into life by a rich variety of stimulus, whilst, at the same time, the presence of some central unity enables us to hold the several parts together with ease, there is produced in the mind a luxurious feeling of delight.{5}

Utility. -- A particular manifestation of this unity of thought in a work of art is utility. The mind is gratified by seeing how an object is adapted to the purpose for which it is intended. The structure of the greyhound thus embodies the idea of speed: the English drayhorse that of strength. The charm of a pillar in a piece of architecture depends as much on its obvious utility and fitness, as on its own beauty; and the fundamental rule of Gothic art, that no ornament is to appear for the sake of ornament, is but a practical application of this psychological law. Objects which please indirectly as in this way subservient to some ulterior end are said to exhibit relative or dependent beauty; those which charm of themselves exemplify absolute, intrinsic, or independent beauty. A flower, taken as a whole, may be described as absolutely beautiful, whilst the delight awakened by contemplating the fitness of its parts is an effect of dependent beauty.

Association. -- The extent and importance of this second kind of beauty gave occasion at the end of last century to the advocates of Associationism to attempt the explanation of all forms of beauty by that principle. A plain of ripe waving corn is beautiful in this view because it suggests peace and plenty; a ruined castle because it recalls deeds of chivalry and prowess in past times. The influence of Association in awakening agreeable emotions, and in giving an accidental charm to indifferent objects is undoubtedly very great. The scenes of our childhood, familiar tunes, the rise and fall of fashions, and the rules of etiquette, all exhibit the beautifying force of this agency. Still, it is a mistake to push the principle too far, and a sea-shell, a feather, or a landscape must often win the approval of the severest aesthetic judgment, apart from any extrinsic relation which it may possess.{6}

Sight and hearing are the principal senses in the appreciation of beauty; but the experiences of the other faculties when represented in imagination can contribute much to the general effect, as is especially seen in poetic description. A consequence of beauty being mainly apprehended by the two higher senses is the disinterested character of the emotions aroused, and the communistic or shareable nature of aesthetic pleasures in general. The delight of admiration though it may stimulate the desire of personal appropriation as a means to ulterior advantage, is not itself an egoistic affection. The joy awakened by the contemplation of a picture or a landscape, by a poem or a concert, is not diminished but increased by the partnership of other minds.

The Sublime. -- The emotion of the Sublime, though an agreeable consciousness, differs from that of the Beautiful. The object of the former feeling is some kind or other of grandeur. Physical magnitude, immensity in force, space, or time, moral excellence displayed in searching trial, may all be characterized as sublime, and awaken the corresponding sentiment. The emotion involves admiration, fear, or awe, and a certain sympathy with the power manifested. Mere size is usually not sufficient to constitute sublimity. There must be a certain degree of perfection of form to give contemplation an agreeably stimulating character; and in this respect the emotion aroused is related to our enjoyment of the beautiful. But yet it is in the grandeur of the object that the chief element of sublimity consists, and this feature is so essential that even ugliness and wickedness of transcendent magnitude may sometimes generate a feeling of an almost admiring awe. The mind becomes aware of its feebleness and incapacity in the presence of immensity, whilst at the same time it is stimulated to endeavour to comprehend the object. Sublimity, like Beauty, is a revelation of the Divine attributes, but in the former the infinite incomprehensibility of God is brought more home to us. In our admiration of the sublime in human action little introspection is required to discover a thrill of sympathy with the agent. of these two syllogisms: Either Association gives pleasure, and Beauty gives pleasure, therefore Association is Beauty; or, the power of Association is stronger than the power of Beauty, therefore the power of Association is the power of Beauty." (Modern Painters, Vol. II. 31.)

Although in the sentiment aroused by the contemplation of a piece of wild scenery, or of a storm at sea, this ingredient of fellow-feeling is not so easily detected, yet if we carefully reflect on the fact that what properly impresses us in these phenomena is the manifestation of a Power, we shall find that in the effort to realize to ourself such an energy we experience a faint vibration of sympathetic consciousness.{7}

The Ludicrous. -- The mental state aroused by contemplation of the Ludicrous is in striking contrast to that of the Sublime. In place of admiring awe and fear, we have joyous elation; instead of a shrinking consciousness of our own diminutiveness we explode in a burst of exuberant mirth. Though the emotion is eminently rational, the fit of laughter, is, of course, only a physical movement which may be excited by purely physical stimuli, just as well as by the intellectual perception of the ridiculous.

There has been much discussion as to what are the essential features of the ludicrous. According to Aristotle, the laughable is to be found in what is deformed or mean, yet incapable of producing pity, fear, anger, or any other strong emotion; and Herbert Spencer has not advanced the psychological analysis of this state much further. Incongruity, the latter writer teaches, is a prime constituent of the ridiculous, but this incongruity must not give rise to other powerful feelings. To see a fop tumble into the mud may cause us to laugh, whilst the fall of an old man whom we love arouses quite a different emotion. Hobbes defined laughter as "a sudden glory arising from the conception of some eminency in ourselves by comparison with the infirmity of others and with our own formerly." This view would place the essence of the ludicrous in a degradation of the object. It is true that the point of wit often consists in making others seem contemptible, and there is awakened a pleasurable consciousness of elation in ourselves by the contrast; but such a theory is very one-sided, and does not account for good-natured laughter, or for many forms of humour. Release from restraint is undoubtedly a very general condition of mirth, and the facility with which laughter can be excited by any unusual event when we have been for a time sustaining a dignified or solemn demeanour has often been noted. The cheapness of the wit directed against holy things which have been long held in reverence by mankind is thus obvious.

The Moral Sentiments. -- Under this term are included the feelings of moral obligation, responsibility, approbation, disapproval, remorse, and self-commendation. As we have already dwelt at length on Conscience, we must be brief here. We have seen that conscience is not a special faculty or sense, but the ordinary judicial activity of the intellect which discerns what actions are right and wrong. The cognition of rightness or wrongness includes or results in the consciousness of obligation -- the feeling of ought. It is this latter frame of mind which is more especially termed the moral sentiment. As a mental state it is sui generis, and though capable of rational explanation, it cannot be analyzed into mere sensations. It manifests itself as a certain consciousness of pressure or constraint on the will differing in kind alike from the motive force of pleasure or pain and the compulsion of known truth. We feel impelled towards duty though it be disagreeable: we can refuse to embrace it though it be evident. It involves a sense of subjection to an authority with which we are brought into immediate contact. It presents to the mind a categorical imperative which binds absolutely; and from which there is felt to be no appeal. It contains the germ of the notion of holiness.

The objects to which the moral sentiment attaches are not, like those of the aesthetic feeling, lifeless things, but voluntary actions, and primarily my own; secondarily those of others. It essentially implies the notion of free choice, becoming meaningless if human volitions are reduced to the category of natural events uniformly determined by necessary law. This consciousness of obligation is, moreover, universal throughout mankind, although the influences of education and the social environment may alter considerably the classes of action to which it is affixed. The intellect may doubt or even err in determining what particular conduct is right; but that which he judges to be right each man feels bound to do. Further, the perception of the obligatoriness or wrongness of contemplated conduct carries in its train all the other forms of the moral sentiment. The action apprehended to be wrong evokes the feeling of disapprobation. This is judged to be rightly transferred to the agent. The action I know to be mine: its moral quality I feel to be justly ascribed to me. I am conscious of responsibility for it. When after its accomplishment the act is considered retrospectively, the combined feelings of violated obligation, disapprobation, and responsibility result in the painful consciousness of remorse.

These various phases of ethical feeling all contain a distinctly moral element as original and as incapable of analysis as that of the feeling of ought. Finally, there is in the background present in them all a common feature of reverential fear -- well insisted upon by Newman: "Conscience leads us to reverence and awe, hope and fear, especially fear. . . . No fear is felt by any one who recognizes that his conduct has not been beautiful, though he may be mortified at himself, if perhaps he has thereby forfeited some advantage; but if he has been betrayed into any kind of immorality, he has a lively sense of responsibility and guilt, though the act be no offence against society, -- of distress and apprehension, even though it may be of present service to him, -- of compunction and regret, though in itself it be most pleasurable, -- of confusion of face, though it may have no witnesses, These various perturbations of mind, -- self-reproach, poignant shame, haunting remorse, chill dismay at the prospect of the future -- and their contraries, . . . these emotions constitute a specific difference between conscience and other intellectual senses."{8} These moral sentiments, however, be it remembered, are developed, refined, strengthened, and perfected, in proportion as man acts up to the dictates of conscience: they can be weakened, perverted, all but extinguished by continuous violation and abuse.

No distinct Faculty of Feeling. -- Having now treated of the chief emotions, we would recall once more the truth on which we have often insisted, that these states are not acts of a third radically distinct faculty, but complex products of appetency varying in character with the quality of the cognitive consciousness out of which they emerge. No satisfactory attempt has been made to show that such states as anger, hope, shame, curiosity, pride, are all reducible to a third ultimate mental aptitude, distinct alike from conation and cognition. Yet if such a third faculty is to be assumed, or if it is to be identified with the mere capacity for pleasure or pain, reason should be assigned why the various emotions are to be grouped under it rather than under the other two. But the more carefully these states are analyzed, the clearer will it become that they are only complex forms of appetitive and cognitive consciousness. Desire and aversion are principles of wide range, and when they have been carefully applied to the explanation of every feeling, very little that is not an act of a cognitive power will remain. We may appropriately complete our treatment of these states with a citation from the work of Jungmann, devoted to the special subject of Feeling: "Modern Psychology is accustomed to treat of several species of Feeling and Feelings in its theory of the third Faculty. We accordingly have discussions regarding the sympathetic, intellectual, aesthetic, moral, and religious emotions; and also of the feeling or sense of right, of the beautiful, of the noble, and of moral good, or of aesthetic, moral, and religious feeling. If we admit no special Feelingpower, besides the faculties of Cognition and Conation, where shall we dispose of these states? It is not very difficult to find the right place for them, if we only get a clear notion of what is meant by these names. The sympathetic emotions are, in general, joy or sorrow over the weal or woe of others. Those feelings are styled 'aesthetic' which are awakened in the soul in the presence of the aesthetic excellence of the creations of human genius. Under the phrase 'Intellectual Feelings' are signified those agreeable or disagreeable affections the cause and object of which is an activity of our intelligence in harmony or conflict with that intelligence. Finally, Moral and Religious Feelings are the appetencies of the soul in the presence of ethical good and ill with reference to the supernatural order. . . . The sense of the Beautiful and the Good, or aesthetic and Moral sentiment, is not a (special) energy, not a faculty of the soul, hut simply the first attribute of every created spirit -- rationality. Rationality embraces a two-fold element. Our soul is rational on the one hand because its understanding is necessarily determined by Eternal Wisdom's laws of knowledge; on the other, because there is impressed upon its appetency a natural bent towards what agrees with these laws of knowledge and with Uncreated Goodness, that is, towards the physically perfect and the ethically good; and therefore towards the Beautiful. This rationality, for reasons assigned elsewhere, does not manifest itself in all men in equal perfection, but in its essence it is present in all. Accordingly, in so far as no other agencies interfere, every man naturally knows and recognizes the Good, the Right, the Noble, the Beautiful, and the Great; towards these he is impelled, these he embraces, these he loves, these he enjoys. On the other hand, Wickedness, Meanness, Ugliness, are for every man the object of aversion and displeasure." {9}

Genesis of Feelings. -- What is the proximate cause of Emotion? -- Professor James writes: "Our natural way of thinking about the 'coarser' emotions is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called the emotion, and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression. My theory, on the contrary, is that the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the Emotion. Common sense says, we lose our fortune, are sorry and weep; we meet a bear, are frightened and run. The hypothesis here to be defended says that this order of sequence is incorrect, that the one mental state is not immediately induced by the other, that the bodily manifestations must be interposed between them, and that the more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble and not that we cry, strike, or tremble, because we are sorry, angry, or fearful, as the case may be. Without the bodily states following on the perception the latter would be purely cognitive in form, pale, colourless, destitute of emotional warmth. We might then see the bear, and judge it best to run, receive the insult, and deem it right to strike, but we should not actually feel afraid or angry." (Op. cit. p. 450.) Although James makes a distinction between the "coarser" and "subtler" emotions, he accounts for both classes in practically the same way. The theory seems to be accepted in substance by Lange, Lloyd Morgan, and others. The chief evidence urged in its favour are the following alleged facts: (1) Particular perceptions do excite diffused bodily effects antecedent to emotions. (2) Many pathological cases in which the emotion is "objectless" are thus easily explained. The numerous instances of unmotived fear, melancholy, anger, and the like, which are frequently met with in asylums, are thus easily accounted for as due to a morbid condition of those parts of the nervous mechanism by which the emotion in question is usually expressed. Thus an organic malady which occasions trembling is felt as fear. (3) "The vital point: If we fancy some strong emotion, and then try to abstract from our consciousness of it all the feelings of its bodily symptoms, we find we have nothing left behind; no 'mind-stuff' out of which the emotion can be constituted, and that a cold and neutral state of intellectual perception is all that remains." (Op. cit. p. 451.)

Criticism. -- Although its chief thesis is erroneous, this theory seems to us to contain grains of truth frequently overlooked by its opponents. 1. An emotion is not a momentary, atomic conscious state of pure quality; but a complex form of mental excitement always lasting for some time, and generally constituted of sundry elements both cognitive and appetitive, sensuous and spiritual. The class of "coarser" emotions -- which roughly correspond to the passiones sensibiles vel animales of the schoolmen -- more especially include as an essential component the consciousness of motor nervous activity and general bodily disturbance. What we understand by an emotion of anger or fear, is thus not a simple act of an ultimate feeling-faculty, but a process of consciousness comprising a cognition of some object, a resulting appetitive or impulsive state, and a feeling of organic excitement.{10} This latter ingredient is probably the incoming perception of the reverberation of neural discharges diffused throughout the system. Consequently, if we abstract the feeling of bodily symptoms, a very substantial constituent of the coarser emotions is thereby eliminated. Still the remnant is not merely a neutral "state of perception." There will remain also an element of appetency or conation. Of course the latter factor may likewise be abstracted; but surely this is deliberately das kind mit dem Bade auszuschüttlen -- " to empty out the baby along with the bath." In the subtler emotions passiones spirituales -- the rational appetitive element of complacency or dissatisfaction is at least as important as the act of intellectual appreciation; but it is quite true that if we abstract all the sensible effects, the passional element of the emotion disappears.{11}

2. Nevertheless, the impulsive or appetitive element in emotion -- whether "coarse" or "subtle," is not merely the apprehension of the reverberation of the neural disturbance. This disturbance is the effect either of the impulse or of the physical correlate of the latter. The fact that mankind at large -- including psychologists -- have hitherto so interpreted the conscious process affords at least a strong presumption in its favour. Furthermore, there are many experiences which cannot otherwise be rationally explained. For example, an officer at the mess-table hears the word "liar" or "coward" incidentally pronounced, and remains unaffected. But let him understand that the term is addressed to himself, and the state of consciousness immediately awakened is totally different. The sound, the physical impression is substantially the same in both cases; and it is not easy to see on the physiological theory why the motor reverberation should be so enormously different. The common sense theory, on the other hand, answers intelligibly that though the act of perception may be almost the same in both cases -- or even more intense in the former -- yet the rational meaning is completely different. This difference of meaning can account for the enormous difference in the subsequent mental state -- the violent impulsive feeling which has as its physical correlate an outgoing nervous process. This expresses itself in the bodily commotion which is felt as organic sensation. The same holds true of the feeling of fear, moral approval, aesthetic admiration and the sentiment of the sublime or the ludicrous, which are awakened not by the impressions of particular stimuli, hut by intellectual appreciation of relations which give its meaning and worth to the object. The closing words of Lotze in another connexion are to the point here: "The shudder in presence of the sublime, and the laughter over comical incidents are unquestionably both produced not by a transference of the physical excitations of our eyes to the nerves of the skin or the diaphragm, but by what is seen being taken up into a world of thought and estimated at the value belonging to it in the rational connexion of things. The mechanism of our life has annexed this corporeal expression to the mood of mind thence evolved, but the bodily expression would never of itself without the understanding of what it presents give rise to the mood." (Microcosmus, Vol. I. Bk. III. c. 3' 4.) The physical act of tickling may excite laughter similar in kind to that awakened by a humorous story, yet the frame of mind evoked is totally different; and on the other hand, what is substantially the same strong emotion may manifest itself in quite unlike motor effects. Thus intense sorrow may result in violent outbursts or tearless silence.

3. The various facts cited in favour of the physiological theory can be accounted for just as well on the psychological or common-sense view. Emotion and emotional movements, whatever was the original order of their occurrence when connected by association reciprocally suggest each other. The awaking of emotion in the actor by counterfeit expression is thus easily explained. The pathological cases of objectless emotion can be similarly accounted for. The recurrence of any part of a total emotional mood tends according to the ordinary law of mental association to reinstate the remainder; even though the recurring element be organic sensation abnormally excited by the morbid instability of the nervous mechanism of expression. But it is at least as probable that these pathological cases are due to disordered cerebral ideational centres which pervert the emotion at its source.{12}

Classification of the Emotions. -- We have abstained in the present chapter from all attempt at a systematic classification of the emotions. We believe such an undertaking to be impossible; and we think that a scheme falsely pretending to effect a scientific division of these mental states will do more harm than good. Most of the emotions are extremely complex states. Few of them are of well-defined character; and the quality even of these is rarely pure. Feelings are invariably mingled or tinged with others of a different nature. They also shade into each other by imperceptible transitions. Moreover, they continually change in tone with the varying age, circumstances, and dispositions of man. As a consequence of all these properties, no satisfactory fundamentum divisionis can be selected; no table of membra excludentia, no arrangement exhibiting degrees of intrinsic affinity -- in a word, no scheme embodying the rules or attaining the ends of logical classification, can be drawn up.

Certain writers, starting from some very unimportant extrinsic feature have elaborated plans possessing a degree of external symmetry, but lending no real assistance to the analytical study of the emotions. Others, on the contrary, adopting some hypothetical principle, which claims to penetrate to the root of mental life, have subjected many mental states to the most violent handling in order to squeeze them into the prescribed compartments. We thus find feelings which are closely akin in nature widely separated, and vice versa; because the particular principle chosen, however suitable in the division of other states, is utterly inappropriate when applied to these. In such a situation it seems to us decidedly the best course frankly to accept the facts; and so we have merely taken up the chief feelings and painted out their most prominent characteristics. But in order to establish completely the justice of our method, we shall indicate a few of the schemes which have been advocated:

Spinoza recognizes as the three great primary types of passion: Desire, Joy, and Sadness. They form the three first on the ordinary scholastic list, which we have already given, and did he but add the fourth -- aversion or abhorrence -- the scheme of the Dutch philosopher would have been at least as good as that of any of his successors. If he marks off joy from desire, he ought to separate aversion from sadness. Desire aims at future or absent good, the fruition of which is joy; the object of abhorrence or aversion is absent evil, and its presence creates sadness.

Thomas Brown's classification of emotions runs thus:

I. Immediate -- cheerfulness, melancholy, wonder, moral feeling, love, etc.

II. Retrospective -- auger, gratitude, regret, gladness.

III. Prospective -- the desires of knowledge, power, fame, etc.; also hopes and fears.

The principle of division here -- that of time, is of very little importance from a psychological point of view. What is fundamentally the same feeling -- e.g., the moral sentiment -- may be evoked by the contemplation of an object as future, present, or past. It is obviously unwise to separate these phases of the same emotion from each other, and to group them with feelings to which they have no affinity.

Herbert Spencer, assuming the theory of Evolution, seeks to classify the emotions according to degree of development and complexity. This he considers to be determined by the order of their manifestation in the ascending grades of the animal kingdom, in different stages of human civilization, and in different periods of the individual's life. He accordingly divides all feelings into four great classes:

I. Presentative feelings. -- Sensations considered as pleasurable or painful.

II. Presentative-Representative. -- The majority of emotions so called. They are due to inherited experience: our sensations arouse vague representations of pleasurable or painful sensations experienced by our ancestors, e.g. terror.

III. Representative. -- Ideas of feeling of the previous class excited in the imagination apart from external stimulus, e.g., the pleasures of poetry.

IV. Re-Representative. -- The most abstract, complex, and refined sentient states. Representations of representations of sensuous impressions. The sentiments of justice, of property, and the moral sentiment are illustrations.

Criticism. -- In the first place the assumption on which his scheme is based -- that all our emotions are evolved out of sensuous impressions -- may be simply denied. Proof of such a thesis would be a very big undertaking indeed, and Mr. Spencer does not seriously attempt it. The emotions of curiosity, surprise, the ludicrous, shame, logical consistency, and moral approval, are certainly not reducible to sensuous elements. Again: stage of development, though possibly a consideration of much use for educational purposes, is not an appropriate ground of division from the standpoint of psychological analysis. What is needed is a systematic grouping of the several distinct species of emotion, such as love, wonder, hope, anger, fear, and the like, according to their mutual affinities, and as far as possible in their purest forms in the hope of discovering some underlying general principle which rationally connects them. If we wish to study the characteristics of the various human races, we class them as Caucasian, Mongolian, American Indian, and the other large divisions, and then subdivide these groups into smaller families, the Indo-Germanic, the Semitic, and the rest. We do not take as our divisions: man up to the age of three; from three to ten; from ten to twenty. A fatal defect of this development method of classification is that it distracts our attention from most of the very affinities and differences which it is our primary object to discover. The characteristic features of the elementary distinct types of emotion are ignored, and widely opposed qualities of consciousness are grouped together, whilst what is fundamentally the same activity in successive stages of growth is split up and assigned to different categories. Thus curiosity, indignation, and admiration for the beautiful should appear in nearly all the four compartments. The error of this classification is, in a word, the substitution of differences of degree for differences of kind.

The Expression of the Emotions. -- In the final analysis we always have to be satisfied with the statement that a definite neural movement is de facto the immediate antecedent or consequent of a given psychical act. The one cannot be deduced from the other; and why God created mind and body thus cannot he explained. But, though a vast region of mystery will ever surround the small field of human knowledge, it is the duty of the scientist to seek to push back the circumference of his circle as far as he can. At this object theories of emotional expression aim; and, although the subject lies on the border-land of both Physiology and the Science of Mind, it seems here appropriate to give a short account of what has been done with a view to explaining why particular actions are connected with certain emotions.

Sir Charles Bell, the distinguished physiologist, in his essays on the Anatomy and Philosophy of Expression (1806-1844), was practically the first to attempt an accurate scientific treatment of emotional expression. He devoted himself solely, however, to describing in detail the muscular movements engaged in the manifestations of the various feelings; and he makes no pretence to explain why the particular gestures are connected with the corresponding mental state.

Bain seeks to go a step further in the line of explanation in attempting to formulate a principle which will account for the difference in character of the movements accompanying broadly different kinds of feeling. This he does in his "Law of Self-conservation:" States of pleasure are concomitant with an increase, and states of pain with an abatement of some or all of the vital functions. Pleasurable feelings -- joy, laughter, hope -- express themselves in augmented vigour of the vegetative functions, and also in the stimulation of various muscles, facial, respiratory, and the like. On the contrary, painful feelings -- sadness, fear, sorrow, result in depression of organic life, and in the general diminution of motor activity. This generalization embraces a considerable number of facts, but it is subject to so many limitations that its claims to be styled a law are very doubtful. As a principle, too, it is so vague that it helps us very little in accounting for particular forms of emotional expression.

Evolutionist theory. -- Attempts have been made by Darwin and Herbert Spencer to account for emotional expression on the hypothesis of Evolution. Darwin's theory is embodied in three laws:

1. The principle of the preservation of serviceable associated habits. -- Movements which at an earlier period in the history of the race were instrumental in the relief or gratification of particular mental states, tend to survive when no longer of use. The phenomena of frowning and weeping are thus explained as being effects on the eyebrows and lachrymal glands of the contraction of certain ocular muscles. This contraction was the result of prolonged fits of screaming, very frequent during infancy in the early history of the race. At present though the scream be voluntarily suppressed, and the cause removed, painful mental states will still produce the frown or the tears. Scratching the head was serviceable for the relief of cutaneous irritation during long years of pre-human existence, and still persists as a gesture aroused by intellectual distress. Similarly, grinding the teeth and clenching the fists, formerly useful actions in conflict, now accompany angry feelings when apparently purposeless.

2. The principle of antithesis. -- Opposite impulses of will tend to urge us in opposite directions. In the same way, given certain states of mind leading to habitual actions under the previous principle, opposite states of mind will tend to set up movements of a directly contrary nature, though they be of no particular use. The flexuous movements of a joyful affectionate dog are thus accounted for as the antithesis of the rigid attitude of angry dislike.

3. The principle of actions due to the constitution of the nervous system independently from the first of the will, and independently to a certain extent of habit. -- To this class are assigned all expressive movements not accounted for by the other two laws. Such are the trembling of the muscles, modifications of the secretions, and other changes effected by particular emotions.

Criticism. -- As regards the first law, if the doctrine of descent were already established, the explanation thus given of a few instinctive gestures, such as clenching the fists and grinding the teeth, would certainly be plausible. Still, the application of the law in a large majority of cases would be, to say the least of it, very improbable. To take the example of weeping, cited by Darwin, there is no real evidence to show that screaming of itself is productive of tears, for the screams of both infants and adults are often strongest when tearless; and, on the other hand, tears may flow from joy or pity, although these states cannot have been associated with infantile screaming. Similarly the connexion between irritation of the scalp and intellectual anxiety is very faint.

A most important point, however, usually overlooked by advocates of Evolution, is the fact that emotional expression must have often been disadvantageous, not beneficial, to the individual. If Talleyrand's saying, "Speech is given man to conceal his thoughts," possesses an element of truth in any condition of human society, assuredly the manifestation of his feelings and desires must have been detrimental to the agent in the earlier stages of animal existence. The premonitory disclosure of hatred or fear, for instance, would have been invariably unprofitable. It would in fact seem that many instinctive modes of expression ought, as a rule, to have been extinguished almost as soon as they appeared.

Darwin's second principle has met with but little acceptance even amongst his disciples. When we endeavour to realize precisely what is meant by contrary feelings tending to produce movements of an opposite nature, we discover that the conception of contrariety involved is extremely vague. "What is meant, it may be asked, by opposition between the impulses of the will to turn to the right and to the left, over and above the contrariety of direction in the resulting movement? And even supposing there were such mysterious contrast in our volitions, with which contrariety of movement had become instinctively associated, one might still inquire how we should be able to determine the proper antithesis in the case of any given emotion. Why, for example, should the movements of a dog during an outburst of affection be regarded as the antithesis of movements which accompany anger, rather than of those which characterize terror? As states of feeling, one suspects terror before a threatening look and the pleasurable elation at friendly symptoms, have quite as many elements of contrast as the feelings said to be in antithesis by Mr. Darwin; and so far from the movements of these opposite feelings being unlike, they very closely resemble one another in many respects, as may be seen in the fawning and crouching attitudes."{13}

Darwin's third principle is sufficiently comprehensive, but it suffers from the disadvantage of explaining virtually nothing. It merely tells us that the character of certain expressive movements resulting from the excessive generation of nerve force by strong feeling is determined by the constitution of the nervous system. This is undoubtedly the case, and Darwin's whole theory would, we believe, have approximated more to actual truth, though thereby losing the charm of ingenuity and originality, if it had assigned a considerably larger share of the phenomena to this cause.

Herbert Spencer accounts for emotional expression thus. Nervous energy is aroused by feeling, and tends to express itself in the discharge of motor activity. This discharge exhibits itself partly in a general effect diffused throughout the entire system ; partly in special excitement within a restricted field. An attack of coughing exemplifies both. The disturbance produced will be directly as the intensity of the feeling, and inversely as the size of the muscles acted upon. Thus, a faintly pleasurable feeling may excite a slight lateral oscillation in a dog's tail, whilst stronger emotion sets him barking and capering around. Movement first takes hold of the smaller and more easily moved muscles, afterwards of the heavier parts, and finally of the whole body. This may be seen by tracing the external manifestations of a fit of anger or merriment. In the incipient stages slight feelings act upon the lips and eyebrows, but as the passion grows in strength, the lungs, head, limbs, and finally the entire organism may be set in violent motion. The particular movements within the restricted field, however, are those which specifically express the several qualities of emotion. These movements are, in Mr. Spencer's view, inherited ancestral actions by which feelings similar in kind to those now aroused were formerly satisfied.{14}

Spencer's law of restricted discharges is substantially identical with Darwin's principle of associated serviceable actions; and the remarks we have made above are again applicable here. Spencer, too, illustrates his law by an account of the genesis of that important emotional expression -- the frown; and the divergence between his explanation and that of Darwin, affords an instructive comment on the worth of the doctrine common to both. The corrugation of the eyebrows, Spencer tells us, is useful in protecting the eyes from the rays of the vertical sun. This act would therefore have afforded an advantage in tropical regions during the combats of the animals from whom we are more immediately descended. Accordingly, those individuals in whom the nervous discharge accompanying the excitement of combat chanced to cause an unusual contraction of the corrugating muscles of the forehead "would be more likely to conquer and leave posterity -- survival of the fittest tending in their posterity to establish and increase this peculiarity."{15} The recurrence of angry feelings or nonpleasurable states of any kind would, therefore, after a time, by association tend to excite the frown, where its utility as a sunshade has ceased. Darwin, as we have already mentioned, showed in an equally conclusive manner that frowning is an inheritance from the distortion of the facial muscles during long ages of infantile screaming. Both hypotheses exhibit the fertile imagination possessed alike by the philosopher and the naturalist, but the conflict in their conclusions ought to warn us of the exceedingly precarious character of their theory.{16}

Spencer's law of general diffusion corresponds to Darwin's third principle, but is a far more definite and satisfactory description of the course of neural disturbance. It appears to us to contain much truth. It gives a natural account of the gradual development ot the external manifestation of feeling, and embraces many curious facts. Unfortunately, however, the author at times does not seem to distinguish clearly between the mental state and its physical concomitant. He frequently appears, especially in his article on Laughter, to speak as if the emotion were itself identical with, or transformable into, the accompanying discharge of nervous energy; although he elsewhere recognizes the transcendent difference which separates them.

Wundt also formulates a theory in three general laws: 1. The principle of the direct alteration of innervation. This signifies that intense emotions generate their external expression by exerting an immediate reaction on centres of motor innervation, paralyzing or stimulating the action of many groups of muscles -- e.g., in the trembling of limbs and contraction or enlargement of blood-vessels. 2. The principle of the association of analogous sensations. This means that different species of sensations in which there is a certain community of tone or quality tend more easily to combine and strengthen each other. The muscles of the jaws thus assume an attitude of tension under energetic feelings; of agreeable ease in quiet satisfaction; and of unpleasant distortion under contrary emotions. The movements of the mouth and tongue under the action of sweet, bitter, sour, or disgusting tastes, are also excited by the idea of such sensations, and then transferred to analogous feelings or emotions 3. The principle of the relation of movement to the perceptions of sense. This law embraces all gestures and expressive motions not included under the other two. Movements of the eyes, head, and limbs accompany our thoughts and words. As our language or feelings become excited we point towards distant objects, clench our fists, raise our arms, erect our head, and the like. We smilingly nod assent, or deprecatingly draw back our head from the imagined object. This theory, though less imaginative than either of those just mentioned, determines more accurately the relations between many classes of feelings and their expression.{17}

The Origin of Language. -- Rational language may be described as, a system of conventional signs representative of thought: or we may define oral language in more precise fashion as, a system of articulated words representative of thought. The primary object of language is the communication of ideas; but it serves in addition as a record or register of past intellectual acquisitions, and also as a mechanical aid to thinking. (See p. 302.) The origin of language thus understood, has formed a prolific subject of speculation. It is the function of Theology, not Philosophy, to interpret the passages of Scripture bearing on this matter, and to explain in what manner and to what extent this gift was communicated to the first human beings. Apart, however, from the decision of these points there remains for Philosophy the question: Could language have been invented by man, and, if so, by what agencies and laws would its development be governed? The latter investigation, moreover, is not purely hypothetical in character. Whatever interpretation of Scripture be adopted, the subsequent history of language will, in accordance with God's usual providence, have been governed by natural laws. Abstracting then from Revelation, could language have arisen in a natural manner? and, however origi- nated, what are the principles which have determined its evolution?

Its Nature. -- For rational speech the name must be used consciously with a meaning; that is, as a sign of an object of thought. The parrot articulates words, and the dog unmistakably manifests feelings of joy or anger; but neither of these animals is capable of language in the proper sense of the term. Even the most pronounced advocates of Materialism are constrained to admit that no other creature but man has ever attached a name to an object.{18} For such an operation, a supra-sensuous power of abstraction and reflexion is absolutely necessary. Accordingly, language could not have preceded the existence of intellect or reason. Manifesting thought, it must be subsequent to thought. It presupposes the formation of general concepts, and in its simplest employment of a word as a sign, language involves that apprehension of universal relations which is the characteristic feature of supra-sensuous intelligence. Still, the invention of language does not require a previous fund of elaborate notions. Looking on human nature as we find it at present, the accumulation of a considerable collection of intellectual products, and any but the most meagre cultivation of the rational faculties seems naturally impossible without the assistance of words. But given men created with both the reflexive activity of thought and the physical power of making signs, and they will inevitably soon learn to communicate their ideas to each other.

Development. -- Starting with the social instinct, men tend to congregate together. In the next place, their nature is such that lively emotions are expressed not merely in facial changes, but in cries and movements. There is also exhibited in man, especially in early life, a curious mimetic impulse, which leads him to reproduce in his actions and utterance the phenomena of external nature, whether animate or inanimate, that most interest him. Cries thus elicited in sympathy or fright, having been both felt and heard by the individual in the presence of the external object, will be associated with it, and tend to be reproduced on other occasions, according to the laws of suggestion. Moreover, living in community and being of like nature and disposition, men would be impelled to similar manifestations, and would soon grow to associate their neighbour's utterances as well as their own with the appropriate external event. We have not, however, yet reached rational language; we are still in the plane of sense and instinct. These are preliminary steps; still, gregarious brutes would get thus far. But in addition to these aptitudes, man is endowed with the faculty of abstraction and reflexion, and this power would now inevitably lead him to conceive and employ these expressions as signs of the corresponding objects -- to mean things by words; and at once we have rational speech.

Agencies. -- To the first query, then, we must answer: Yes. Apart from any special Divine intervention, man, with his present nature, by use of the faculties which God has given him, would have invented a language. The materials employed for signs will be in part the exclamations emitted as interjections, in part mimetic utterances by which he seeks to suggest to the hearer the object imitated.{19} The indirect action of the onomatopoeic tendency is, however, probably far more influential than its immediate results. Not only are analogies observed between the sensuous impressions and the sounds or feelings of effort put forth in the responsive vocal expression, but kindred utterances involving a like tone of consciousness are used to designate analogous, though very unlike experiences. Still, by far the most important part of all languages, it has been forcibly argued, is reducible by the science of Comparative Philology to a 'small collection of generic roots representative of universal ideas though applied to particular objects. These rootsounds, it is asserted, cannot be onomatopoeic; they are indicative of characteristic actions or attributes of the object, and so are expressive not of particular impressions, but of general notions. For this reason they are fruitful and capable of forming part of the names of many things possessing this feature in common. These four hundred or five hundred ultimate roots, which remain as the generic constituent elements in the different families of languages, are neither interjectional nor mimetic sounds, but phonetic types produced by a power inherent in human nature. There is, in fact, a species of natural harmony between the rudimentary oral expression and the corresponding thought, just as there is between the latter and the external reality.{20}

Very little original capital would have been required, and however this was obtained, whether in the form of casual sounds accompanying appropriate gestures, or as a spontaneous product of human nature, or as a collection of suitable utterances elicited by Divine intervention, the start once effected, progress was comparatively easy. New surroundings, new wants, the inventive energy of intellect, the force of analogy, multiplied and perfected the materials in use. Diversities of climate, food, and exercise, acting on the organism, modify the vocal machinery. Special occupations develop particular groups of words earlier in one district than in another. Variety of classes, trades, and professions within the same nation fosters the simultaneous growth of a multiplicity of terms. The onomatopoeic and interjectional tendencies continue to make small contributions from time to time, but the great force which enriches our vocabulary is analogy. The old roots representing generic attributes merely require recombination to express a novel object. Growth of language and intellectual power will proceed concomitantly, for they act and react upon each other.

Readings -- On Emotional Activity see Das Gemüth und das Gefühlsvermögen der neuren Psychologie, von J. Jungmann, S.J. Dr. Gutberlet handles the matter from a different point of view, op. cit. pp. 599-229; On Language and Emotional Expression, ibid. 116-128; J. Gardair's, Les Passions et la Volonté, pp. 6-250, contains a good exposition of the scholastic doctrine. Portions of Dr. M'Cosh's Emotions are useful.


{1} Cf. Höffding: By Emotion (Affekt) is understood a sudden boiling up of feeling which for a time overwhelms the mind and prevents the free and natural combination of the cognitive elements. Passion, sentiment, or disposition (Leideesehaft), on the other hand, is the movement of feeling become second nature, deeply rooted by custom. . . . Emotion, says Kant, 'takes effect as a flood which bursts its dam; passion as a stream which wears for itself an ever-deepening channel; emotion is like a fit of intoxication which is slept off; passion as a madness brooding over one idea, which sinks in ever deeper.' . . . Feeling begins as emotion, and passes -- if it finds sufficient food -- into passion." (Outlines, p. 283.)

{2} Bain's description of some of the Emotions is among the best.

{3} Rivalry or Emulation. -- Closely connected with the emotions of pursuit and the sense of power is the passion of emulation -- one of the most important psychological forces both for good and evil in the economy of human life. Amongst the ordinary constituents of this feeling are: (1) the pleasure of activity -- though sometimes, especially when excessive, the activity may not be pleasant; (2) the agreeable interest of the chance element -- the excitement of hope and expectancy; (3) the sense of power; (4) the anticipated gratification of triumph; (5) the pleasure of the imagined admiration of the spectator; (6) the pleasure of conflict itself, in so far as it is distinct from the factors just mentioned. That the excitement of contest, when not counterbalanced by some positive pain, such as fear or fatigue, is per se agreeable, seems to be established by the enjoyment which mimic combat in so many forms affords both to man and to the young of all animals. It is an essential element in most of our field sports. The above analysis shows that this spring of action which has done so much for social progress contains both useful and dangerous elements -- that like all other passions it may be productive of both good and evil. The aim of the Teacher must be to extract from its use the maximum of good, with the minimum of evil. The pleasure of activity, interest, increased power of faculty, and even the desire of esteem, may be all neutral or good. But the desire to triumph over another, if it includes the wish to inflict pain, or if it be so intense that failure invokes envy or hatred of the successful rival, is obviously had. But that emulation, when limited and safeguarded under normally wholesome conditions, does not necessarily result in these evil effects, seems to be abundantly established by the innumerable forms of competition which have been sanctioned by moralists of all ages.

{4} Cf. AEsthetik, by J. Jungmann, S.J. (Freiburg).

{5} The picturesque wants the unity of beauty proper, but the disagreeable effect of mere disorder is prevented by the beauty of the separate elements; certain harmonies, too, usually pervade the irregularities.

{6} Ruskin thus concisely states the flaw in the case of the advocates of Associationism: Their arguments invariably involve one

{7} Hamilton thus distinguishes the character of these emotions: "The Beautiful awakens the mind to a soothing contemplation; the Sublime arouses it to strong emotion. The Beautiful attracts without repelling, whereas the Sublime at once does both; the Beautiful affords us a feeling of unmingled pleasure in the full and unimpeded activity of our cognitive powers, whereas our feeling ot sublimity is a mingled one of pleasure and pain -- of pleasure in the consciousness of strong energy, of pain in the consciousness that this energy is vain." (Metaph.. Vol. II. pp. 512, 523.)

{8} Grammar of Assent, p. 108.

{9} Das Gemüth und das Gefühlsvermogen, 99.

{10} The organic commotion -- transmutatio corporalis -- is made an essential part of the "coarser" emotions hy St. Thomas. Thus: Passio proprie invenitur ubi est transmutatio corporalis quae quidem invenitur in actihus appetitus sensitivi. -' (Sum. 1-2. q. 22. a. 3.) 'Ad actum appetitus sensitivi per se ordinatur hujusmodi transmutatio: unde in definitione motuum appetitivae partis materialiter ponitur aliqua naturalis transmutatio organi, sicut dicitur, quod ira est accensio sanguinis circa cor, unde patet quod ratio passionis magis invenitur in actu sensitivae virtutis appetitivae quam in actu Sensitivae virtutis apprehensivae." (Ibid. a. 2. ad 3.)

{11} "Amor, et gaudium, et alia hujusmodi, cum attribuuntur Deo vel angelis, aut hominibus secundum appetitum intellectivum, significant simplicem actum voluntatis cum similitudine effectus absque passione." (Ibid. a. 3. ad 3.)

{12} The constitution of a total emotional process, e.g., a fit of anger, seems to us to include these psychical and physical elements: (1) Cognitive state (a), with its physical correlate, a nervous change in cerebral centres (alpha); (2) a conscious appetency or impulse (b) excited by (a), and having as physical correlate a diffused outgoing process along motor nerves (beta) ; (3) expressive bodily commotion (transmutatio corporalis) (gamma), caused by (b)(beta), and presenting itself to consciousness through organic sensation (c). Psychically the emotion is composed of (a) (b) (c); the physical counter-part consists of (alpha)(beta)(gamma). On the general question cf. also Mark Baldwin, Feeling and Will pp. 252-257; and Stout, Manual pp. 287-297.

{13} Sully, Sensation and Intuition, p. 29.

{14} Darwin's theory is expounded in his book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 1872. Spencer's treatment of the subject is given in his Essay on the Physiology of Laughter, and in his Principles of Psychology Pt. VIII. c. iv.

{15} Principles of Psychology, § 498. For Darwin's account of the gesture, cf. op. cit: pp. 225, 226.

{16} The distension of the nostrils by indignation, Mr. Spencer similarly traces to the accidental advantage gained by those of our ancestors in whom the diffused discharge, chanced to dilate the nostrils during conflict, especially when influenced by non-pleasurable feelings their mouths were occupied in holding on to part of an antagonist's body! The force of this ingenious explanation is somewhat seriously shaken by the fact, that the nostrils are also dilated in certain pleasant states; and we find Wundt classing this gesture under the general tendency to extend the mouth, eyes, nostrils, &c., in order to increase agreeable sensations. The act of blushing and several other phenomena are also differently accounted for by these three writers. The simple truth is that once we get into the regions of pure imagination, there is no limit to fanciful hypotheses.

{17} For a synopsis of Wundt's theory, cf. Ladd, op. cit. p. 531.

{18} Cf. Maudsley, op. cit. p. 502. On the other hand, no tribe of men has yet been discovered devoid of the attribute of speech.

{19} The hypotheses which lay chief stress on the interjectional and onomatopoeic impulses have been respectively styled by Max Möller the "Pooh-pooh and Bow-wow theories." (Lectures on the Science of Language, First Series, p. 344.) He holds that the efficiency of these principles is extremely limited, many apparent instances of onomatopceia not being really so, e.g., thunder from the same root as the Latin tenuis, tender and thin. Squirrel not from the rustling whirling of the little, animal, but from the Greek Skiouros = shade, tail; the French sucre from the Indian sarkhara, &c. He does not however seem to have considered sufficiently the mediate or indirect agency of onomatopoeia.

{20} Cf. Max Müller, op. cit. Lect. ix. Apart from the question of the original fund of root-sounds -- which is equally a difficulty to all purely rational theories -- Müller's general doctrine seems plausible. The fierce conflict, however, which still prevails on most fundamental questions of the science of Comparative Philology makes one feel that beyond the limited region of common agreement even the most attractive hypotheses are extremely hazardous. Schleicher, for instance, the leading Darwinian in this field, whose confidence in his views is always in direct proportion to the obscurity of the subject-matter, asserts that language is a natural organism, the growth and decay of which is governed by fixed and immutable laws. Language is as independent of the will of the individual as the song of the nightingale. Opposed equally to both Max Müller and Schleicher is the chief American philologist, Professor Whitney. With him language, which separates man from the brute, is essentially a voluntary invention, an "institution" like government, and "is in all its parts arbitrary and conventional." (Life and Growth of Language, p. 282.) Steinthal's teaching increases the novelty; and Heyse, who stands to Hegel as Schleicher to Darwin, evolved a mystical creed on the subject, in unison with the spirit of his master's philosophy. An account of the various theories is given in Sayce's Introduction to the Science of Language, Vol. I. c. i.

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