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conscious re-objectifying, it must also include some re-feeling
consciously accomplished of pain and pleasure. Revivals of pain and
pleasure are felt and are appreciated as revivals, as having their basis
not in present object, but in previous experience. It is by
understanding feeling as experienced and experienceable, it is in view
of pleasure-pain experience, that emotion arises. It is not sense of
imminence of object, but of imminence of pain and pleasure, that awakens
responsive emotion and so self-conservative action. Emotion always
implies a pleasure or a pain in ideal sense of the experienceability of
either. Representation as cognitive revival and sense thereof is
subsidiary to representation as feeling revival with sense thereof. For
instance, the representation of a tooth and of pain of toothache are
correlative representations. Mere representation of cognition has no
value in itself, is a mere idle panorama, save as it brings on
representation of pleasure-pain. Unless representation of object implies
representation of pain, there is no deterrent effect on the mind, and no
proper bodily reaction.

We may believe that the order and basis of the representative side of
mind is practically the same as indirect and simple activity, that the
actual motive forces and originating impulses are pleasures and pains.
We should suspect that the first revival attained was a pure feeling
revival, and that the first representation was of pain and pleasure, and
not of object, a consciously re-feeling rather than a consciously
re-objectifying. The immediate value of the feeling side necessitates
that all differentiation be initiated there.

Representation is only of experience of things or of pleasure-pain
experience. It is always experience of experience, hence the expression,
representation of an object, is, in strictness, inaccurate. Experience
of things, as cognitive act, is always presentation. Yet early
representation must be considered as very much adulterated by
presentative elements. It was only slowly that representation was
differentiated as a distinct power such as we find it in human
consciousness; at the first it must have resembled the confused state
that we sometimes experience between sleeping and waking when a given
image often shifts from presentation value to representation value, and
then back again.

Representation at the first is also purely concrete and particular. Bare
appreciation of the experienceable does not include idea of experience.
But representation in itself is merely a calling up and application of
definite experiences as such. Experience as general term is not known,
but only the particular facts as experiences.

The earliest emotions arise, of course, with reference to the bodily
functions which have the most direct vital significance, as nutritive,
reproductive, and motor activity. Very simple organisms seem to
apprehend that a certain object is food before actually consuming, to
have sense of the experience, and some emotive disturbance. The pleasure
of feeding and incorporating into the bodily tissue is sensational, but
any feeling previous or subsequent to this and with reference to this is
emotional. A very young child feeds, and does not know food. Gradually
it associates the visual sensation of whiteness of the milk with the
immediate taste sensation and pleasure feeling. But the sense of
whiteness at first arises only with and after the actual taste and
pleasure experiences; it only gradually notices what gives it
satisfaction or pain, thus repeating the evolution of mind, which is
from feeling to sense, and not _vice versâ_. Only slowly does it attain
power of appreciating whiteness previous to actual experience and as
_indicative of such_, that is, a power of representation. Then emotions,
as expectancy, and desire, become possible, and will can be stirred to
active appropriation of food, a fact of the greatest importance in the
struggle for existence. Once attaining the sense of the representative
value of its cognitions, the child is enabled to consciously accomplish
anticipatory actions.

An element which complicates emotion at a late stage is representation
of representation in indefinite _regressus_. In advanced human
consciousness, where mind is very reflective and introspective, this
phase is prominent. The _nuances_ of modern emotion are largely due to
this mode of complication. Montaigne remarks that what he most fears is
fear. As fear implies representation, fear of fear implies
representation of representation, which in its turn may be feared, and
so on _ad infinitum_. Spencer terms love of property a re-representative
feeling; but this psychosis does not imply representation of
representation, but merely representation of desirable realities. Desire
of possession is an emotion, but not emotion at emotion. It is not an
experience in view of representative experience, but with reference to a
direct experience, that of ownership. Since we make representation the
basis of emotion, it would be natural to make classes of emotion
representative, re-representative, etc.; but this is quite too subtle a
distinction to be fruitful or practical.

As there are stages of representation, so there are varying degrees of
strength in the sense of representativeness. A colour may be recalled to
consciousness several times as neither more nor less red, and precisely
of the same quantity, yet the sense of its representation quality may
differ greatly at each time. There are all degrees of intensity in this
sense, from dimmest feeling, when the representation hovers on the
confines of the presentation field, to the point of perfect conviction
of representative nature. When consciousness is not exactly sure whether
an object is directly seen or only recalled, is a presentation or only a
revival, sense of representation is obviously at its lowest degree of

We have also to remark that in presentation and representation the
object is not to be divorced from activity. It is a natural analogy that
cognition as subjective-objective is a picturing, the picture and the
object pictured seeming to be diverse but co-existent constituents of
consciousness. Cognition seems to consist in both the thing as realized
and the realizing act. It is an attitude of mind which is a holding on
to a something which it has in its grasp. But there is no distinction in
consciousness itself of the presented and the presenting, the
represented and the representing, of product and process, of content and
activity; there is only the presenting, the activity, which is itself
the object. Sense of colour conveys, indeed, by the common vice of
language that the colour exists for consciousness, and is perceived by
consciousness. But, subjectively and psychologically speaking, the
object is always no more than the objectifying, the thing no more than
the activity. Thus the analysis into content and activity is
fundamentally false; it assumes a world of objects which are merely at
bottom object-sensings.

Emotion is an arousing and energizing. It is perturbation, disturbance,
agitation, excitement. It is a throwing open the throttle and putting on
a full head of steam. The whole organism quivers with the sudden inflow
of force and life, is quickened to its highest pressure. In all higher
psychic life it is a driving force of the utmost importance. However,
the trend of evolution is in the direction of economy, and with the
highest forms of consciousness emotion accomplishes its work even before
arriving at agitation intensity. Feeling of the emotion type, that is,
representative, is always at first a rather intense perturbation. Fear,
for example, is with the lower minds always fright; with higher minds it
often appears as dread. I stand on the railway track when a train is
approaching, and a slight fear enables me to take the self-conservative
action of stepping from the track; but with my dog, in similar
circumstances, I judge by his hasty jump and general expression that his
fear is always more intense and more generally disturbing. Emotion being
a force which quickly tends to exhaustion, it is obvious that those
animals will, _ceteris paribus_, have the advantage which react with the
least expenditure. Thus the tendency of evolution is away from intense

In this emotion conforms to a general law. The earliest occurrences of
any given form of psychosis are with strenuousness and with exaltation
and excitement of the organism. We speak of fits of anger and gusts of
passion, but for early consciousness we might also justly speak of fits
of seeing and hearing. Common vision of external objects is for lower
consciousness as rarely attained, and requires as much of force as
beatific vision of seer and poet in the human mind. The new psychosis is
but momentary, and implies high tension and great friction, but progress
is toward continuity and ease of working. Emotion is in human life a
tolerably constant element, like perception with whose representative
side it is correlated, and within certain ranges it rises because of the
force of heredity with apparent spontaneity.

We remark that the social significance of emotion is embodied in the
word _treat_, as _treat_ kindly, badly, etc. Our _treatment_ of each
other always means activities inspired by some emotion.

We must acknowledge that representation is very complex and difficult
of analysis. For our present purpose, however, representation is a
revival with sense of revival and unreality, and yet indicative of
reality experienceable in pleasure-pain terms, and thus the occasion
of emotion as stimulus of self-conservative action. The young child
perceives no danger; its pleasures and pains are not related to
things, and have not led to the evolution of a world of objects. Pain
and pleasure lead it slowly to correlate its senses, so that the burnt
child learns to dread the fire; the emotion of fear is aroused with
cognition of the experienceable. Objectively, we must divide psychoses
into those which directly result from actual engagement of the
organism with objects, or the reverberations therefrom; subjectively,
into simple self-contained states, and into reflex states which view
experience, and so being representations involving emotion. Just how
from re-experience sense of re-experience and of its value for
experience—sense of pre-experience—arises, is something we have not
particularly inquired into, but it is something that appears a
mysterious and difficult problem. That the perception of object should
ever carry with it sense of possibility or certainty of further
experience, painful or pleasurable, is, when candidly considered, a
remarkable and singular operation. The problems of origin of
consciousness of self, of consciousness of consciousness, and of sense
of reality seem unsolved, but I believe that a thorough study of
representation would throw much light on these points; but this is not
the place to pursue this investigation. When we take up
representation—emotion life in detail, we may be able to make
suggestions on some moot points.


It may be considered as plausible that if the first feeling was pain,
the first emotion was also of the pain character. The first
representation of an object as painful induced that reaction of mind
which we term an emotion, and the painful emotion we call fear. That the
first emotion to appear was fear, as fright, seems likely when we
consider that the general alertness and defensiveness imperatively
required in the struggle for existence is thereby most immediately and
simply attained. The acquirement of the power to become frightened is
plainly a most important requisite for self-preservation, and thus is
indicated as a very early factor in conscious life. An animal being
devoured by another may merely suffer pain without any perception of the
object as pain-giving and to give pain; but if it attains this
perception, there may be added to the stimulus of simple pain that of
fright. The direct actual pain may be but small, and so inducing but
feeble reaction, as when some less sensitive portion is being injured;
but if there occurs a vivid representation of potential pain, fright
happens and stimulates most strenuous endeavours, and so rids the animal
both of the immediately and the prospectively painful. Thus emotion acts
as a complement to simple feeling, and also secures practically
anticipatory reaction. Animals which must receive actual injury before
experiencing pain are clearly inferior to those which experience
emotion-pain before the injury is actually received. Other things being
equal, the most easily frightened have, in the midst of many destructive
agents, the best chance of survival and of perpetuating their kind.

- - -

Footnote B:

Originally appeared in part in _Philosophical Review_, i. pp. 241-256.

- - -

It is unnecessary to dwell at length on child life and savage life as
illustrating the primitive quality and function of fear. The earliest
experiences of the child with things are lessons of fear. The burnt
child dreads the fire, and thus is enabled to preserve himself from
threatened injury. Fear is a primary and most important motive to action
in a very wide range of the lower mental life. Those who have observed
animals and man in a state of nature are always greatly impressed with
the constant and large part which this emotion plays in their
consciousness. With the timid and weaker species, like the rabbit and
squirrel, it is likely that a majority of their cognitions prompt to
fear or are prompted by fear, and with some persecuted races of savages
the same may be said.

The necessity and value of anticipatory reaction being acknowledged in
the struggle of existence, we plainly see a primitive motive thereto in
fear, and the earliest emotional life which we can clearly interpret
likewise seems to be fear.

It is sufficiently easy to see the general function of fear and its
primitive character, but we find it very hard to make a satisfactory
analysis, and to show the exact steps of its evolution. It is obvious,
however, in the first place, that fear, like other emotions, is purely
indirect and secondary experience; it pre-supposes previous painful
experience of the feared object. Pain experienced in connection with
cognition of object is the basis of all fear. Animals that have not felt
pain from man do not fear him. But fear while thus based on previous
direct experience is always hindered by simultaneous direct experience,
as, for example, sensation. Thus when we, whip in hand, say to a child
crying from fear, “I will give you something to cry for,” we imply the
law that direct pain and sensation tend to supplant indirect feeling as
emotion. This common expression emphasizes the essential
representativeness of emotion, its imaginary nature, as also the
supplanting power of direct real experience. The sight of the whip
inspires fear in the child who has been whipped, but this fear is in the
course of a punishment wholly eliminated by the direct pain endured. The
direct experience is thus the basis of every fear, but only as it is
cognized, and not felt.

The great difficulty in analysing fear is in clearly apprehending the
mode in which previous experience is utilized. If we could study in
ourselves the genesis of a simple emotion, we should doubtless be
enabled to see the steps by which experience reacts upon itself so as to
give a reflex form like the emotion of fear, but this is hardly
possible. However, cognition is evolved at the instance of pain, and all
objects are viewed, not for themselves, but in their feeling
significance. Cognition is embedded in feeling, and at first is a mere
tone of feeling. Things are not at first known for themselves but solely
as sources of present pleasure and pain. Things are perceived in and
through the feeling which has stimulated the perception. The immediate
feeling value of the object is given by the very origin and process of
cognition. When an animal is pained by contact with a sharp rock, and
this pain stimulates cognition of the rock, this is solely on the pain
account. Repeated experiences enable the percept to arise at stimulus of
less and less pain, and so the proper reaction is accomplished more and
more economically.

We may say that the order of evolution is this: first, a pain; second, a
cognition of pain-giver—“it hurts”—third, emotion about pain-giver, as
fear thereof—“I am afraid of it.” Primitive and normal cognition always
implies emotion as impelling self-preservative action. Knowledge which
does not spring into emotion and action is abortive. At first the known
is always startling.

The original pain-impelled cognition brings in the painful emotion,
primitive fear. And as knowledge has brought in fear, so fear reacts on
knowledge, and fearfulness incites to knowing even when the pain from
object ceases. Thus before any actual experience of an object it may be
known and felt about. Thus that habit of objectivity is formed, of
alertness, of a fearful sensing and perceiving, which is noticeable in
many animals. A cognitive-emotive, emotive-cognitive life is formed and
developed. It is a tremendous stride onward to be able through fearful
cognition to wholly pre-perceive and anticipate the injurious, instead
of having to suffer it in part before being enabled to get away.

Now primitive fear and all primitive emotion plainly utilizes the past
experience as interpreting the future; emotion is about a known potency.
Yet it is often stated that emotion is but a summation of revivals of
past experience. Having often been burnt by fires that I have
coincidently been looking at, it sometimes happens that I see a fire
which has not yet harmed me, but still the mere sight affects me with
what I call the emotion of fear, which, in closest analysis, means
merely the revival of the burning pains associated with this seeing in
the past. “I am afraid” equals “I re-experience the pains of burning” by
suggestion. Pains faintly re-occurring constitute the painful fear.
There is in this mass of re-awakenings no real cognition of experience
and no feeling about it as such, no psychosis _at_ the experienceable.
And it is certainly true that when a fixed sequence of experiences tend
to recur together, there will follow upon the cognition, revival waves
of pain before any actual increase of pain is really inflicted in the
given case. These waves stand for, and are the echoes of, the former
real pain sequences of cognition. Thus the perception of a great mass of
ice will often cause a shivery feeling, a painful sensation is revived
as correlated with former cognition experiences. Even the image or
representation, the purely and consciously ideal cognition, may bring in
painful feeling, as when I say, “It makes me shiver to think of it.”
Here the painful sensation-bringing idea is cognized as such, but the
representation here is the occasion of a direct painful sensation, and
evidently does not imply fear or other emotion.

While not arising from actual injuries, revivals strengthen both
cognition and volition. They have recurred before further hurtful
experiences with the fire which originally incited them. These revival
pains of previous sequences to the cognition, which are carried along
with the present cognition, are real enough in themselves, yet they are
objectively anticipatory of actual injury. The whole order of previous
experience is by the nature of mind and nervous system re-enacted before
the actual injuries are inflicted. It is always a race between mind and
nature, but it is a prime function of mind to anticipate practically the
movements of nature. Mind by its revival forms accomplishes this, but if
it lags in its work the real injuries are mercilessly inflicted by slow
but sure nature. When the sequence of revival is quicker than the
objective sequence, the reactions anticipate objective order, and thus a
manifest economy is achieved. But pain revivals of this kind are not
fear, nor is there a real pre-perception. Since the revival forms are,
to the observer’s point of view, incentive to anticipatory reaction,
psychologists must often, especially with low organisms, mistake them
for fear; the animal is often, doubtless, merely suffering revival pains
when it appears to be fearing pain. Thus we may suspect that organisms
which seem to fear shadows or real objects are often merely suffering
revival pains brought up in conjunction with the cognition, and not
really fearing as result of perceiving feeling quality inherent in the
object. Manifestation of pain must often be mistaken for manifestations
of emotion, and there is as yet no accurate objective determination for
fear or other emotions.

Revival pains are not representations of pains as in some way coming
from object. Emotion requires representation, and cannot occur in any
presentation or re-presentation chain. True pre-perception is not merely
perceiving the thing before its effects in feeling are experienced, but
it is a _representing_ the feeling quality of the object before, in any
given case, this quality is directly experienced. This obviously rests
on past experience, but the connecting of object with pleasure-pain
experience is at all times, as before intimated, equally a problem.
Emotion and representation are built not of revivals, but upon them
perceived as such. At some critical moment, in some rather early period
in mental development, a consciousness which was pain _plus_ sense of
object, realized, under the pressure of struggle for existence, the
feeling quality of the object, and there arose with the knowledge of
object as pain-giver the painful emotion. And as soon as object is not
merely cognized, but cognized as pain-giver, it may be feared. The
moment that object was known as a pain agent, then fear of the object
came, and thus true anticipatory action arose. We are said, indeed, to
fear objects, to fear men, animals, etc., but, in truth, the fear is
never of the object as such, but only in view of its pain agency. The
cognizing the experienced and experienceable as such seems then a
peculiar and distinct process in fear and in all emotion, a _genus_
apart which cannot be constituted by interaction of simple elements. The
growth of mind is largely in multiplying and enlarging the signs of

The connecting once achieved of object with pain, it becomes
increasingly easy to cognize the feeling value of objects, and before
full and extreme pain experience therefrom to pre-react through emotion.
Thus emotion saves both direct pain and injury. As it becomes a
permanent tendency, and an impulse of consciousness to proceed from all
pure feelings to cognition of object, so also to cognition of object in
its feeling quality, and thus by inherent tendency it ultimately comes
about that there is attaching of pain to various objects cognized, even
when there is no immediate experience of pain to be connected therewith.
Finally the precedent inciting pains to cognition become such minor
factors, and knowledge arises with such apparent spontaneity, that
emotion as involving pain significance becomes dominant rather than the
immediate pain. An order of consciousness becomes established in which
the notable event is emotional cognition of experience values as
bringing in permanent emotion rather than an order of pleasure-pain
inciting cognition with evanescent emotion. But at the first it is
evident that fear was but a slight event in a consciousness which was
mainly absorbed in immediate pain experience and some sense of object.
It is so habitual and instinctive for us to perceive all things as
having feeling value, that it is most difficult to appreciate the
standpoint of a consciousness which is just attaining emotion life.

The preliminary elements to simple primitive fear, as expressed by any
such phrase as, “it hurts,” are at least four: pain, cognition of
object, cognition of the pain, cognition of the pain agency of object.
These operations, as being at first successive, do not necessarily
imply, however, sense of time. The consciousness of a pain is certainly,
at first, consciousness of pain really past, yet not consciousness of it
as past. The pain stands as immediately antecedent act to the
consciousness which is cognition of it, but sense of experience is not
thereby sense of experience in time. The sense of time-relations of

Online LibraryHiram M. (Hiram Miner) StanleyStudies in the Evolutionary Psychology of Feeling → online text (page 8 of 32)