« הקודםהמשך »
suitable to the want comes to be desired. Thus desire is conditioned on cognition.
A feeling correlative to the cognition is also a condition precedent to desire. Notwithstanding the intimacy of this relation, which has caused confusion, feelings and desires should be clearly set apart. The former are characterized by pleasure and pain; the latter by want, a state of unrest which must be distinguished from pain, implying an impulse leading to satisfaction which must be distinguished from pleasure. Certain feelings, pleasant or painful, excite desire, certain others attend it, certain others arise on its gratification; but these should not be confused with the desire. For desire has its own distinctive mark, a want, this being absent from feeling. Also the notion that desires are states of pain, and their satisfaction pleasure, is contrary to the facts that the disquietude of desire is often attended by highly pleasurable feeling, as in the enjoyment of many kinds of pursuit, and that quite often a satisfaction earnestly sought is attended by painful feeling, as in the infliction of punishment.
Desires are distributed as the appetites, which have a physical basis, and are typified by hunger; the appetences, which are purely psychical, as desire for continued life, for pleasure, property, knowledge, power; and the affections, also purely psychical, as love of kindred, friends, country, mankind, God. The appetites and appetences crave, or impel to take; the affections bestow, or impel to give. There is also a series of opposites called aversions.2
§ 6. Desires often conflict; that is, the gratification of some one is incompatible with the gratification of some other. Conflict occurs between members of the same class, but more notably between members of different classes. In general there is opposition between the craving and the giving desires, between interest that seeks to gain for self, and love which seeks to give out from one's own resources what may benefit another. Hence there appears a need for some controlling principle. It is found in the impulse to duty, the desire to do right, which by its nature is fitted to subordinate and regulate all other desires.
1 This is a real condition, that is, a condition of realizing, or of the reality, and should be distinguished from the causal condition and the logical condition. It is conditio sine qua non or necessitas antecedentis, that which must be in order that the other may be. See my Elements of Deductive Logic, $ 110, for several senses in which the term condition is used.
2 See the discussion in Elements of Psychology, § 255 sq.
That this moral impulse is in every human mind becomes evident on the following considerations : First, the origin of any impulse to right action is unaccountable, if not native.1 If native, though often too weak to be effective, it is universal. Secondly, consciousness testifies that there is ever an impulse to do right rather than wrong, even when contrary desires prevail. Thirdly, the moral law discerned by conscience is universal ; its authority is directed to the will of every person, commanding right action. But, since any exercise of will is conditioned on desire, the behest of moral law would be fruitless, were there not in everyone an impulse to obedience complementing conscience.
Normally the relation of the moral impulse to the other desires is that of supremacy. This is evident from its direct connection with the supreme law, the moral law, from whose authority it derives its force. When impelled in diverse directions by the appetites, appetences and affections, the moral impulse urges us to the course indicated by moral judgment as in accord with moral law. Like conscience, this impulse is not concerned with the particular matter of actions, but is simply regulative, impelling to compliance with the judgment. A will wholly good always yields to the moral impulse. That we so often disregard it shows that our will is not wholly good. That, nevertheless, we so often do right, is chiefly because subordinate desires frequently coincide with and reënforce the moral impulse. Moreover, the moral impulse incites us to observe the moral quality of particular actions, and to search for it when not evident. The observation and search is effected by the intellect, and issues in a moral judgment. If the intellect were perfect, and the moral impulse had force conformable to its function, there would be no wrong doing.1
1 The hypothesis of evolution, “The Natural History of Morals,” is proposed to explain otherwise its origin. The moral impulse is supposed to be evolved from the natural inclination for pleasure and repugnance to pain, and thus conscience is selfish prudence, merely refined. But we observe that even in enlightened society highly cultured men often recognize as duties acts that are painfully repugnant, and as immoralities many that are highly pleasurable. Surely a morality evolved from pleasure and pain would, on the contrary, condemn the severe des, and approve licentious enjoyments. See Darwin's Descent of Man, ch. 3; and infra, § 20, note.
§ 7. Volition or will closes the circuit of the generic powers. It is the faculty or activity in whose exercise mind chooses between alternative actions conceived as possible, and strives accordingly to modify its own state merely, or to superinduce muscular movement.
Volition, like cognition, relates to an object. The object of cognition is a fact, something to be known; the object of volition is an act, something to be done. The normal aim of cognition is truth; the normal aim of volition is duty. Truth is the contingent property of a proposition ; we examine it, and if found true, believe it. Duty is the contingent property of an action; we examine it, and if found due, approve it. Logic states the laws of thought, and the subjective result of their observance is knowledge. Ethics states the laws of conduct, and the subjective result of their observance is virtue.
Volition is inferior to cognition as dependent on it for intelligent guidance. A judgment is prerequisite to any adjusted action; a moral judgment, to any righteous action. Through this moral judgment a good will is furthermore dependent on conscience. Volition is superior to cognition as controlling it.
1 See Elements of Psychology, § 264 sq.
Attention is a concentration of the cognitive consciousness, and to effect this concentration is the sole function of will. All voluntary effort, even that which issues in muscular movement, resolves, in the last analysis, into a fixing of attention. By voluntary attention to this or that object the cognitive powers are directly, and through these all others are indirectly, governed. Voluntary attention is thus the sole yet sufficient means of self-control. We have no other, and we need no other, means of repressing, arousing, directing or combining our faculties, whether of cognition, feeling or desire. For instance, a complete withdrawal of cognition from a desired object, at once determines for the time a complete cessation of the desire.
Volition and desire are psychological correlatives, mutually conditioning each other. Desires condition volition by furnishing occasion for choice, and efficient causes of consequent effort. Obviously there can be no choice except between desired objects, and no effort except from impulse. Hence desires are properly motives, they move us to action. On the other hand, desires are conditioned on volition. For desire implies preference or choice, and its impulse implies pressure toward endeavor or effort. Clearly there can be no impulsion except in the presence of something impelled, which is the volition.1
1 A motive is properly that which causes motion. In our psychology the word expresses the prompting, impulsion, pressure, tendency, propensity or inclination of desire. These words are originally mechanical, and in their application to mind we must beware of a mechanical interpretation. The term motive is often, though less properly, applicd to the reason that determines the choice, also to the final cause, the inducement, the object desired, the end proposed. But “the deliberate preference by which we are moved to act, and not the object for the sake of which we act, is the principle of action; and desire and reason, which are for the sake of something, are the origin of deliberate preference.”— ARISTOTLE, Nicomachean Ethics, bk. .vi, ch. 2. Accordingly, in the present treatise, we identify motive with the desire that prevails.
$ 8. An analysis of an exercise of volition discovers five essential facts which seem to be ultimate, as follow:
1. The idea of something to be done, or of an act in order to an end. The end, and therefore the means, is conceived by the agent to be desirable, and the action practicable. This is a product of cognition.?
2. An impulse urging to action. Conflicting impulses coexist. . The one that prevails, with which the volition finally accords, is the motive. This is an exercise of desire.
3. The preference of the conscious ego for one line of action rather than another, or for non-action. This is choice or election.
4. The resolution of the choice into an intent to take a certain course, either instantly or in due time. This is intention.
5. An exertion or striving to effectuate the intention, constraining, by means of attention, mental changes and muscular movements. This is voluntary effort.
The idea and the impulse are not elements, but are real conditions, of volition. Its elements are choice, intention and effort.3
§ 9. Choice or election is a phenomenon sui generis, occurring only within consciousness, and having no analogue
1 See Elements of Psychology, § 257, and § 268 sq. “Appetite is the will's solicitor, and the will is appetite's controller ; what we covet according to the one, by the other we often reject." HOOKER, Eccles. Pol., bk. i.
2 “Whether or no the judgment does certainly and infallibly command and draw after it the acts of the will, this is certain, it does of necessity precede them, and no man can fix his love upon anything till his judgment reports it to the will as amiable.". - South, Sermon on Matthew, 10: 37.
8 See Elements of Psychology, § 272 sq.