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had grown into one, and who had brought their movements into
such harmony that, as necessity required, and without preconcerted
signal, they could walk, run, and jump just as though they had been
one single individual.

(r) This process, by which the will obtains such power over the
body, that the individual can confront the external world with
energy and concentration, goes on more slowly in men than in
animals. Kittens go through their necessary course of education
in less than a month, while children need nearly two years for

1 Preyer, Die Seeh des Kindes, pp. 146-176 (Eiig. trans, i. 235-281).


theirs. This difference shows the importance of the inherited
basis. Since the movements of men are self-acquired to a much
greater extent than those of animals, injury of the motor-centres
in the brain produces much more effect in them than in the latter.^
Conformably to a general physiological law, in a process of dis-
solution the more lately developed and exercised functions give
way sooner than the more elementary {cf. IV. 4 ; V. B. 7 b).

The importance of the inherited basis may be seen, too, in a
comparison between normal and idiotic children. Except by
special and wearisome instruction, the latter are not able to
learn the use of their senses and motor-organs. " Even in
the lesser degrees of idiotcy, an idiot may be easily recognized
through his lack of a proper glance and of a firm carriage of the
body. The lack of a proper glance is shown in some idiots by a
lifeless stare, in others by wild rolling of the eyes ; the lack of a
firm carriage, with some, in the form of constant immobility and
dulness, together with a certain disposition to a uniform swinging
or circular movement of some parts of the body — with others, in
the form of perpetual unrest and aimless working of the arms and
legs." Education consists, therefore, here also in a selection, which
becomes effective partly by the strengthening of some movements,
partly by the inhibiting and neutralizing of others. The inertia
must be counteracted, and the restless and disorderly play of the
muscles constrained. In education it is customary to start from
the given basis. A girl idiot who incessantly swung her body
and flourished her arms and legs, was made to wind thread, by
which means the restless movements were directed to a definite
end, which could afterwards itself serve as a motive to movement
through the satisfaction excited. It was attempted to inhibit over-
strong movement, by causing the patients to run up and down
in the garden until constrained by fatigue to remain cjuite still.'-

B.— The Will and the other Ele7nents of Consciousness.

I. The higher development of the will, as conditioned by the
development of cognition and of feeling.

{a) No consciousness, as already frequently observed, can be
conceived that is resolvable into absolutely simple, momentary

1 Panum, Nervcz'iivets FysioUgH" The Physiology of the Nerve-tissue"), p. 218.
•-! Eschricht, 0>n Muligheden of at Helbrede og Opdrage Idioter (" On the Possibility
of Curing and EJucatinu Idiots "), p. 7, 66.



sensations. A certain degree of memory, and with it a certain
duality, a weaker or stronger opposition between two currents, must
always be assumed. But the relation between the two currents
4Tiay vary to infinity. We have already seen that the opposition
between sensuous perception and thought passes through a whole
scale of degrees, and that the same is true of the opposition between
elementary and ideal feelings. In the province of the will a similar
opposition is met with : between instinct and volition proper.
Instinct involves no proper memory {cf. IV. 4, and VII. A. 4),
but is called into being by immediate sensations ; it stands
therefore on a level with the elementary feelings, which are
similarly determined by mere sensations. The transition from
instinct to volition proper is effected through the impulse, the wish
and the purpose.

Impulse, we have already had to describe in the psychology of
feeling (VI. B. 1 c; cf. also IV. 4), and it has been referred to also
in the inquiry into the originality of the will.

In impulse, consciousness is already freed from the control of
momentary impressions. A striving beyond the momentary state
makes itself felt, the equilibrium is destroyed. The psychological
condition of the impulse is, that with the momentary feeling and
sensation should be combined a more or less clear idea of
something which may augment the pleasure, or diminish the
pain of the moment. Impulse involves a contrast between the
actual and a possible or future. This is what distinguishes it from
reflex movement and instinct {A. 4), where the excitation may
perhaps cause a sensation, but where no idea asserts itself of
what must follow. In impulse proper there lies always a more
or less conscious demand.— In the wider sense of the term, impulse
embraces all tendencies to movement which are accompanied by
feeling and sensation. It would be best, if it were possible, to avoid
the use of the word " impulse " in psychology, except in the narrower
sense, as something distinct from reflex movement and instinct.
But this the customary use of language does not permit ; it is
unavoidable even in psychology to speak of an impulse of self-
preservation, an impulse to movement, and so forth, as a short
and contracted way of expressing unconscious or semi-conscious
tendencies to movement. Moreover, as will have become clear
from the above, experience shows numerous intermediate links
between the different stages and kinds of movement. These may
so far be represented as different forms of the development of


impulse, culminating in desire, where the end of movement is
the object of liistinct consciousness. — Impulse proper and desire
are distinguished from mere instinct in possessing always an idea
of the end, though not always of the means, while instinct leads
to means being applied to an unconscious end. Instinct is a
manifestation of impulse in so far as the actions and movements
leading to the end become the object of ideation and of interest.

In the psychology of feeling and in that of will, impulse is
observed from different sides. It includes, namely, both a feeling
of pleasure or of pain and an incentive to activity, directed to the
(real or supposed) cause of the pleasurable or painful feeling.
These two sides of impulse must not be confused or confounded,
though language might easily lead us to do so, since we speak of
taking pleasure in a thing in the sense of mere feeling, and taking
pleasure in something in the sense of striving after. Nor must the
relation between them be so conceived, that the object of impulse
is supposed to be always a feeling of pleasure (or the removal of a
feeling of pain). The statement that all impulse (and especially-
all will) tends towards the attainment of pleasure or the removal of
pain, has often been thought to afford a simple and incontro-
vertible proof that egoistic motives are at the bottom of all action
and volition.

The account of impulse we have already given shows the un-
tenability of this view. Because the end or the object of the
impulse is something that excites, or seems to excite, pleasure, it
need not necessarily be the feeling of pleasure itself. The impulse
is essentially determined by an idea, is a striving after the content
of this idea. In hunger, e.g. the impulse has reference primarily to
the food, not to the feeling of pleasure in its consumption. The
impulse to cognition is not directed to the joy of cognizing but
to the object cognized, it is this that is desired. The sympathetic
impulses, e.g., the impulse to mitigate the sorrows or to promote
the welfare of others, are guided by the idea of the improved con-
dition of others, depicted more or less in the imagination, as also
by that of the pleasure they feel in their improved condition, — but
it is not in the least necessary for the idea of the pleasure afforded
to us by the sight of their improved condition to make itself felt
cf. VI. C. 7). It is the result of a distinct abstraction, when the
feeling of pleasure, which we foresee in the attainment of '.he
original object of the impulse, arouses oir inpulse. Such an
•abstraction is always more or less morbid and leads to egoism, if !«•

Y z


is unduly I;ept in mind and applied, since the idea of our own self
as the subject of the feeling will, from the nature of the case, obtrude
itself and determine the impulse, will become the constant thought
in the background.

The justice and force of this distinction will be easily seen, if we
consider the affinity of impulse with instinct and with the other
lialf or wholly unconscious tendencies to movement. The actions
induced by these are directed to no feeling of pleasure, but to
certain definite objects which do not come into the consciousness
of the individual. In instinct the individual has no consciousness
either of the end of the action or of the feeling of pleasure to
which its attainment will conduce. Impulse is distinguished
from these tendencies to movement principally through the
consciousness of the end or object of the action, but there is a
further step before the consciousness of the pleasure which the
object will bring with it can arise. The motive, the moving force
of the impulsive action (as also of the properly volitional action) is
the feeling excited by the idea of the end, but not (at any rate not
at first or always) the feeling which is excited by the idea that we
shall feel pleasure on attaining the end.

It is true that there is usually a certain harmony between the
impulse and the satisfaction induced by the attainment of what the
impulse aimed at. This harmony is due partly to the connection
of impulse with instinct, partly to the fact that the end of the
impulse is originally the cause of feeling (VI. B. 2 c). But it is not
necessary that this harmony should be perfect. Some of the most
remarkable of psychological phenomena arise from just the fact,
that a discordance is possible between the strength of the impulse
and the pleasure caused by its satisfaction. An impulse may by
very frequent excitement and gratification take such deep root in
iiature as to obtain the control, even when no pleasure of a strength
corresponding to the energy of the impulse is afforded by it. In
TJA passion {cf. VI. E. 5) this discordance occurs more or less, and
Iience the special feeling of want of freedom which may be present
when passion prevails. With tho drunkard, the passionate craving
is far stronger than the pleasure accompanying its gratification.
The impulse to self-preservation may be roused with irresistible
force, even when it is not possible to discover what joy continued
'.existence can cause. This relation is of especial importance in
ih; impulses which are connected with the disinterested feelings.
The impulse to be absorbed in something, to work for an idea or to

vn] riiK rsvciioLoGV uv rill': wiu, 325

siu-rifice self for others, may be so strong that it could find nothing
like sufficient reason in the feeling of pleasure conferred on the
individual in consequence of the action.

After a time, however, this want of harmony between feeling and
impulse becomes unendurable. Either the impulse will be weakened
and disappear, or the feeling will be more strongly inflamed. A
certain harmony between the impulses and the conditions of Y.fe,
and consequently between the impulses and the feelings caused
by their gratification, must always be brought about ; continued
development in contrary directions would lead to destruction
(cf. VI. D. 3).

Of the two sides of the nature of impulse, feeling and activity,
the latter is the more deeply imbedded. This follows from the
general principle that unconscious movement precedes conscious.
Spontaneous, reflexive, instinctive and impulsive activity is the
beginning of life ; as ideation and feeling gradually develop, they
come to determine the activity ; but this, in its most primitive
form, is present before them.

It is a momentous juncture when a definite idea unites with the
feeling of pleasure or of pain, and so becomes an expression for the
object of the impulse (c/. VI. B. 2 a, b). The movement is hereby
guided into a definite direction, and cannot be changed into another
without a definite exercise of force. Once impulse is aroused, the
equilibrium is destroyed, and it is then a question of whether the
movement can be kept under control.— It is not the learned, nor is
it the absolutely ignorant, who strive after knowledge ; for this
strife to be excited, there must be a painful sense of ignorance
accompanied by the idea of something better than ignorance. — It
is at this stage that revolutions arise in the internal and in the
external world. The extreme of suffering checks and overwhelms ;
movement breaks out only when so much mitigation and progress
,ire attained that the idea of a better condition may make itself
felt, whatever may be the means of attaining it. The promoters of
revolutions are neither the free nor the enslaved, but the semi-free.
As Tocqueville has observed, the most dangerous moment for a bad
Government is that in which it begins to improve. The smalles*^
acts of tyranny under Louis XVI. seemed harder to bear than all
the despotism of Louis XIV.^ The recent history of Russia affords
exactly parallel examples.

{b) If the life of ideas is somewhat further developed, there may

1 L'Ancien Ke^iiiie et la Revolution, livro ii., chaj). i. ; livrc iii., cli.-iji. 4.


arise thoughts of ends, whose attainment would afford pleasure, but
which do not set the impulse immediately in n^otion. Such ends
and the feelings determined by them correspond to the free memory
images in the sphere of cognition : just as the latter need not
necessarily be produced by present sensations, so also it is not
necessary for the former to move at once to action. This is what
distinguishes the ivish from the impulse. Wishes, from a purely
practical point of view, are a luxury. As compared with impulse,
the wish is contemplative. On the other hand, however, the wish
may be the first form of the impulse. What at first appears a
distant possibility, the mere thought of which fills the mind with
pleasure, may, when as constant thought it has become more part
and parcel of ourselves, excite an impulse.

{c) But the same higher development which makes the wish
possible, will also produce the consciousness how important it is
that action should not follow immediately upon the impulse, but
that there should be an interval between the thought and its
execution, so that ideas and feelings naturally associated with the
thought of the end may come to the fore, and exercise an influence
upon the action {cf. IV. 4-6). Such an interval may arise quite
simply, by the action being prevented and by experience teaching
how well it was that it could not be carried out ; the importance of
the interval may also be impressed by wisdom learnt from suffering,
namely, when the consequences of rash actions are seen ; and
finally, it can be induced by the fact that the idea of the end is so
closely connected with other ideas (the idea of the required means,
for example), that these emerge at the same time, and so inhibit
the impulse to movement. In cases of this kind — in which either
the consequences of the action or the means to its execution make
themselves felt in consciousness — the laws of association of ideas
are operative. In Holberg's comedy Jeppe van Berge, Jeppe did
so want to drink another shilling's worth ; but his back^ warned
him of the consequences. " My stomach says you shall ; my back,
you shall not." The association of ideas and the feelings excited
thereby interpose, inhibiting the impulse or the wish of the moment.
Besides the feelings excited by the association of ideas, other
feelings may arise which inhibit the impulse or the wish, but
through the effect of contrast (VI. E).

Here the will sustains the same alteration observed in the transi-
tion of elementary into ideal feeling. The action is determined by

' He was afraid of being beaten by his wife if he squandered in drink the money she
had given him to buy soap.


more comprehensive considerations than impulse and wish permit.
Of course these wider considerations must originally make them-
selves felt in the form of impulse or of wish ; the decisive feature is,
however, that a single incentive is not immediately and solely in
force. The process thus introduced, of which Jeppe's internal
struggle at the door of the public-house affords a simple instance,
may be developed into higher forms, the more comprehensive the
association of ideas. Here the distinctness of the memory, • the
liveliness of the imagination and the clearness of the thought,
become of great importance in the development of the will. The
more firmly and clearly the thought of the reriiote, as compared
with the momentary end, presents itself to consciousness, or the
thought of the difficulty or disadvantage attending the action
demanded by impulse and wish ; and the more powerful the feelings
which this thought is able to excite— feelings in which the con-
jectured consequences of the action are anticipated and enjoyed or^
suffered from — the more easily will the momentary incentive be
inhibited, and the will determined by more remote or higher
considerations. Even if the wish is stirred, it now remains a
"vain" wish, the consciousness of the impossibility or unfitness of
its realization coming into play. It then comes to be a trial of
strength between the logic of the impulse and the higher logic.
The impulse makes, according to its nature, directly for the object,
and is capable of answering other considerations with sophisms
{cf. VI. F. 2). Jeppe asks himself, " Is not my stomach more to
me than my back .' I say. Yes " — and finally comforts himself
with thinking that Jacob the cobbler (the host) will give him credit,
although he knows perfectly that he won't. The more firmly the
wish is established, the greater the difficulty which other thoughts,
may have in preventing its actualization.

Psychologically, it is a question only of the strength, not of the
worth, of the forces determining the action. The momentary in-
centive may be pernicious, but it may also be ethically justified
and yet succumb, as in the suppression of enthusiasm by egoistic
and prosaic considerations. It is then purely a question of what
thoughts and memories are excited by the idea connected with the
impulse, and what strength of feeling these can command as com-
pared with the immediate incentive. If the object of the impulse
or of the wish is adhered to in spite of scruples, its attainment is

1 "Purpose is but the slave to memory," (ffainUt, Act iii., Sc. 2). C/. Spinora,
Eth. iii., prop. 2. .Schol. : "Nihil ex mentis decreto agere possumus, nisi e|us


made an aim^ and the aim further brings with it the purpose to
undertake such actions as may contribute to its realization.

When the momentary incentives are dominant, there is properly
no inner centre, no self, of consciousness. But the more memory,
and the dominant feelings determined by memory, obtain a hearing,
the more does a man's nature as a whole, and not merely a single,
momentarily predominant side of it, obtain influence upon the
action. • A man's true self has its expression in the thoughts and
feelings, which in the course of his life have taken deepest root in
him {cf. V. B. 5). And only when the action is determined by this
permanent core, can a man be said to have willed his action, to be
self-determined. Now the cognitive, now the feeling, elements
preponderate, so that a distinction may be drawn between a will
governed by thought, and a will governed by feeling. It must
here be remembered that the feeling which at the moment is the
most violent, is not always the strongest in reality, that is to say,
the most deeply rooted in the nature of the individual. It is the
more important that the moment should not be the sole deter-
minant ; for this reason again is the formation of the interval so

Even the purpose is conditioned by such an interval, and by
the ideas, feelings and impulses occupying it. A man who acts
with purpose knows what he is doing (and for this reason impulse
as compared with purpose, may be called blind, as instinct in
comparison with impulse). But the purpose need not be deeply
grounded in the self of the person willing ; it may (as is so
frequently the case with impulse) owe its origin to a superficial
movement of the mind. If the action to which the purpose is
directed is to be a complete expression of self, then the idea of it
must be brought into interaction with every important side of the
self, that it may be made the object of a universal debate in con-
sciousness. In such debate, which may take the character of a
powerful and exhausting inner struggle, consists deliberation (or
reflection), by which mere purpose becomes resolve, since a
choice is made among the possibilities offered. The difference
between purpose or intention and resolve^ is one of degree, but
may be of extreme importance. It depends partly on the length

1 As we say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions (not resolutions). In Danish
criminal law a distinction is made between intentional homicide, punishable by the house
of correction, and deliberate homicide, punishable by death (§ i86 and S iQo). The relation
between intention and deliberation is still more clearly brought out m Oerman crimina
law, which distinguishes between intentional homicide without deliberation, and intentional
homicide with deliberation (§§211-212).

VII] rill'; rsvcii()i,(K;v of thI'; wii.i, 329

of the interval, partly upon the depth and energy of the re-

The choice or resolve does not admit of a closer description.
In the treatment of a particular case, the volition to execute a
bodily movement (\'II. A. 6 ii), attention has already been called
to this indescribable element in every volitional act. In resolution
I wholly identify myself with the thought of the action ; it seems
henceforth a part of myself, something pertaining to the inner-
most essence of my being. I recognize myself (perceive myself)
in the subject of the action, in that particular "moment," — the
rejected possibilities seeming, as it were, to fade away or recede
from me.

By the closeness with which the volitional act in resolution and
choice is adopted into our nature, is to be partly explained the
sense of freedom accompanying strong resolves. The action is
felt as a radiation of our own innermost being. This sense of
freedom is, however, also due to the contrast with the uncertain,
inhibitivc and wavering state of mind during deliberation. So
long as the deliberation lasts, no thought or impulse takes firm
hold of the mind ; no sooner is the one thought followed up than
its contrary comes to the fore and claims the attention. The con-
tending feelings and impulses give rise to a more or less painful
mental restlessness and mental disunion which may itself some-
times become the motive for making a resolve.

The resolve is the highest form of the will. It is mainly
determined from within, not by the individual sensation or idea-
Impulse knows but a single possibility, a single motive ; will proper
develops through the interaction or the conflict of various motives
and possibilities. It is often determined by something which
lies far beyond the present moment, even beyond the possible
experience of the individual, but which takes effect neverthe-
less in his consciousness, is represented in it. The psychological
intelligibility of the volitional act depends on the possibility
of tracing the course of development of the individual, and of
following it step by step up to the moment of action, each inter-
mediate transition being explained according to general psycho-
logical laws. This is of course an ideal ; but an approximation to
it is the condition of all psychological research and of the practical
life and occupations of man.

2. The reaction of the -unll upon cognition and feeling.

Such reaction takes place at all stages of the development of the


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