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THE EMOTIONS



SJv<:vCC3»X' VA.



JAMES Mc COS ff





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THE EMOTIONS



JAMES McCOSH, D.D., LL.D.

pkesident op princeton college; author op " method op divine government,"
"intuitions of tub mind," etc.



NEW YORK
CHARLES SORIBNER'S SONS

743 AND 745 Broadway

1880



Copyright, l&SO,
Bt JAMES McCOSH.



RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE:

STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY

H. 0. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.



PEEFAOE.



I AJNI not satisfied with the account which has been
given of the feelings and emotions in our books of mental
science, and thence transferred into the common thought
and literature of modern times.

The word " feeling " in English, and the word " sen-
sibility " in French, with their cognate phrases " feel,"
" sentiment," and " sentir," are very vague and am-
biguous. They may embrace two such different mental
properties, as sensation on the one hand, and emotions,
as of fear, hope, grief, and anger, on the other. Some
writers lose themselves and confuse their readers by
speaking of all our mental states, even, our intellectual
exercises, as feelings. The word "Gefiihl " in German
is scarcely less ambiguous, sometimes designating mere
affections of the senses, at other times our higher faiths.

Those who translate English, French, and German
into Latin and Greek, have always experienced a diffi-
culty in getting words in these classical languages to cor-
respond to those I have named in the modern tongues.
It is a curious circumstance that we have no such loose
phrase in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as our ''feel-
ings."

In these circumstances it is surely desirable to have



iv PREFACE.

the emotions separated from the feelings, and to have a
renewed attempt to give an analysis, a description, and
classification of them, as distinguished from other mental
qualities.

The vagueness of the idea entertained favors the
tendency on the part of the prevailing physiological psy-
chology of the day to resolve all feeling, and our very
emotions, into nervous action, and thus gain an impor-
tant province of our nature to materialism.

In this work I treat of the emotions as psychical acts,
but I do not overlook their physiological concomitants
and effects. I enter little into controversy. My aim has
been to expound the truth, and leave it to shine in its
own light.



COISTTEI^TS.



INTRODUCTION.

Paob.
Analysis of Emotion 1



BOOK FIRST.

FOUR ELEMENTS IN EMOTION.

CHAPTER I.

FIRST ELEMENT: APPETENCES.

Sect. I. What Appetences are 7

IL Primary Appetences 9

1. Love of Pleasm-e and Aversion to Pain. 2. Pro-
moting Good of others. 3. Personal Attach-
ments. 4. Tastes and Talents tending to act.
5. Bodily Appetites. 6. Love of Society.
7. Love of Esteem. 8. Love of Power. 9. Love .
of Wealth. 10. Esthetic Feeling. 11. Moral
Sentiment.

III. Secondary Appetences 16

IV. {Supplementary.) Evolution of Emotions . . 21
V. {Supplemeniary.) Do the Derivative Appetences

BEAR a Conscious Reference to the Orig-
inal Ones 23

VI. Motives 25

VII. Differences of Appetences in Different In-

dividuals 27



vi CONTENTS.

PAOK

VIII. Conspiring Appetences 30

IX. Conflicting Appetences 31

X. Dominant Appetences 35

XI. Undeveloped Appetences . . . . 37

XII. The Motiveless Man 40

CHAPTER II.

SECOND ELEMENT : THE IDEA (PHANTASM).

Sect. I. Nature of the Idea which calls forth the

Emotion 42

II. Works of Fiction 53

III. Association of Ideas in Emotion . . . 61

IV. Spontaneous Flow of Thought ... 72

CHAPTER in.

THIRD ELEMENT: EXCITEMENT WITH ATTACHMENT AND
REPUGNANCE.

Sect. I. Their General Xature 77

11. Action and Reaction of Feeling . . .84
III. Nature restoring itself .... 85

CHAPTER IV.

FOURTH ELEMENT: THE ORGANIC AFFECTION.

Some Empirical Laws 88

1. Idea of Good soothes, while Idea of Evil de-
ranges the Frame. 2. Organs affected. 3. Bell's
and Darwin's Observations. 4. Conclusions
provisionally established by Darwin. 5. Ex-
pressions are produced by Emotions. 6. Truth
in Physiognomy. 7. Mingling of Sensation of
Pain with Emotion. 8. Effect of Imaginary
Scenes. 9. Sympathy. 10. Bodily States pro-
duce Emotion. 11. Emotion craves for Ex-
pression. 12. What Effect of restraining Ex-
pression.



CONTENTS. Vii

BOOK SECOND.

CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF EMOTIONS.
CHAPTER I.

PAGB

DIVISION OF THE EMOTIONS . . .111

CHAPTER 11.

EMOTIONS AS DIRECTED TO ANIMATE OBJECTS.

Sect. I. Retrospective Emotions 115

Self-Satisfaction or Regret : Complacency
or Displacency ; Self-Esteem or Self-Dissatisfac-
tion ; Self-Congratulation or Self-Reproach ; Self-
Sufficiency or Self-Depreciation ; Self- Adulation
or Self-Accusation; Mortification; Bitterness;
Chagrin ; Pleasant Memories ; Self-Approbation
or Self-Condemnation ; Self-Gratulation or Self-
Humiliation; Repining. Moral Approbation
and Disapprobation: Testimony of a Good
Conscience ; Remorse. Benigxancy : Thank-
fulness. Anger : Irritation ; Temper ; Indigna-
tion.

II. Immediate Emotions 123

Joy and Sorrow : Content and Discontent ; Glad-
ness and Depression; Cheerfulness and Dejec-
tion ; Good and Bad Spirits ; Rapture and Mel-
ancholy. Pride and Self- Humiliation :
Self-Conceit ; Self-Respect ; Humility; Vanity;
Haughtiness ; Contempt ; Disdain ; Scorn ; Sneer-
ing ; Meekness; Repining; Peevishness; Sulki-
ness; Disgust; Good and Bad Humor; Sour-
ness of Temper. Pity : Hardness of Heart ;
Sympathy with Joys and Sorrows; Envy; Trust
or Suspicion ; Rejoicing in, or Jealousy of, Suc-
cess of Others.



Vlll CONTENTS.

PAOB

ni. Prospective Emotions 136

Surprise ; Astonishment ; Admiration ; Wonder ;
Veneration. Hope and Fear : Anticipation ;
Expectation; Assurance of Hope; Apprehension;
Dread ; Terror ; Shyness ; Shame ; Modesty and
Impudence ; Horror ; Despair ; Anxiety ; Disap-
pointment ; Hope of Approval.
»

CHAPTER HI.

EMOTIONS CALLED FORTH BY INANIMATE OBJECTS. THE
AESTHETIC.

Sect. I. JESTHETICAL THEORIES 148

H. Place of Sensation in -^Esthetics . . . 153

HL Physical Beauty 157

Sound ; Form ; Color.

IV. Intellectual Beauty 163

Relations of Identity and Difference, "Whole and
Parts (Means and End) ; Resemblance (Classes) ;
Space ; Time ; Quantity ; Active Property ; Cau-
sation (Final Cause).
V. The Idea raising the ^Esthetic Feeling . 169
VI. What is the true Theory of Beauty? . 176
VII. Influence of Association on Taste . .178
Vin. Complexity of the JEsthetic Emotion . 179

IX. The Picturesque 181

X. The Ludicrous 184

XI. The Sublime 189

XII. Beauty in Natural Objects .... 192
Trees ; Mountains ; Waterfalls ; Ocean.

XIII. Scenery of Different Countries . • . 201

XIV. The Fine Arts 207

Architecture ; Sculpture ; Landscape Gardening ;
Landscape Painting ; Historical Painting.



CONTENTS.



IX



BOOK THIRD.

COMPLEX EMOTIONS.

CHAPTER I.

CONTINUOUS EMOTIONS.

Sect. I. Affectioxs and Passions

II. Love ....

III. Love of the Sexes .

IV. Emotions come in Groups
V. Temperament

VL Temper ....

VII. Prepossessions .

VJTL Prejudices

IX. Fickleness of Feeling

X. Ruling Passion



PAGS

215
216
218
222
224
226
227
229
231
232



CHAPTER n.

MOTIVES SWAYING MASSES.

Sect. I. Community of Feeling 237

II. Reaction of Public Sentiment . . .241
HI. An Unwritten Chapter on Political Econ-
omy 245

Conclusion 2i)l



INTEODUCTION.

ELEMENTS INVOLVED IN EMOTIONS.

Four persons of very mucli the same age and tem-
perament are traveling in the same vehicle. At a par-
ticular stopping-place it is announced to them that a cer-
tain individual has just died suddenly and unexpectedly.
One of the company looks perfectly stolid ; a second
comprehends what has taken place, but is in no way
affected ; the third looks and evidently feels sad ; the
fourth is overwhelmed with grief, which finds expres-
sion in tears, sobs, and exclamations. Whence the differ-
ence of the four individuals before us ? In one respect
they are all alike, — an announcement has been made to
them. The first is a foreigner, and has not understood
the communication. The second had never met with the
deceased, and could have no special regard for him. The
third had often met with him in social intercourse and
business transactions, and been led to cherish a great es-
teem for him. The fourth was the brother of the de-
parted, and was bound to him by native affection and a
thousand interesting ties, earlier and later. From such
a case we may notice that in order to emotion there is
need, first, of some understanding or apprehension. The
foreigner had no feeling, because he had no idea or be-
lief. We may observe further that there must be, sec-
ondly, an affection of some kind, for the stranger was not
interested in the occurrence. The emotion flows forth
1



2 INTRODUCTION.

from a well, and it is strong in proportion to the waters,
— is stronger in the brother than in the friend. It is
evident, thirdly, that the persons affected are in a moved
or excited state. A fourth peculiarity has appeared in
the sadness of the countenance and the agitations of the
bodily frame. Four elements have thus come forth to
view.

Firsts there is the affection, or what I prefer calling the
motive principle, or the appetence. In the illustrative
case, there are the love of a friend and the love of a
brother. But the appetence, to use the most unexcep-
tionable phrase, may consist of an immense number and
variety of other motive principles, such as the love of
pleasure, the love of wealth, or revenge, or moral ap-
probation. These appetences may be original, such as
the love of happiness ; or they may be acquired, such as
the love of money, or of retirement, or of paintings, or
of articles of vertu, or of dress. These moving powers
are at the basis of all emotion. Without the fountain
there can be no flow of waters. The passenger who had
no regard for the person whose death was reported to
him was not affected with grief. The two who loved
him felt sorrow, each according to the depth of his affec-
tion.

Secondly, there is an idea of something, of some ob-
ject or occurrence, as fitted to gratify or disappoint a mo-
tive principle or appetence. When the friend and brother
of the departed did not know of the occurrence they
were not moved. But as soon as the intelligence was
conveyed to them and they realized the death, they were
filled with sorrow. The idea is thus an essential ele-
ment in all emotion. But ideas of every kind do not
raise emotion. The stranger had a notion of a death
having occurred, but was not moved. The idea excited



FOUR ELEMENTS IN EMOTION. 3

emotion in the breasts of those who had the affection, be-
cause the event apprehended disappointed one of the
cherished appetences of their minds.

Thirdly^ there is the conscious feeling. The soul is in
a moved or excited state, — hence the phrase emotion.
Along with this there is an attraction or repulsion : we
are drawn toward the objects that we love, that is, for
which we have an appetence, and driven away from
those which thwart the appetence. To use looser phrase-
ology, we cling to the good, and we turn away from the
evil. This excitement, with the attractions and repul-
sions, is the conscious element in the emotion. Yet it all
depends on the two other elements, on the affection and
the idea of something fitted to gratify or disappoint it.
The felt excitement or passion differs according to the
nature of the appetence and the depth of it, and accord-
ing to what the idea that evokes it contains. A smaller
gain or loss does not affect us so much as a greater, and
the greatness or smallness of the gain or loss is deter-
mined by the cherished affection. What is a loss to one
is not felt to be so by another, because the ruling pas-
sions of the two men differ.

Fourthly^ there is an organic affection. The seat of
it seems to be somewhere in the cerebrum, whence it in-
fluences the nervous centres, producing soothing or ex-
citing and at times exasperating results. This differs
widely in the case of different individuals. Some are
hurried irresistibly into violent expressions or convul-
sions. Others, feeling no less keenly, may appear out-
wardly calm, because restrained by a strong will ; or they
may feel repressed and oppressed till they have an out-
let in some natural flow or outburst. But it is to be ob-
served that this organic affection is not the primary nor
the main element in anything that deserves the name of



4 INTRODUCTION.

emotion, such as hope and fear, joy and sorrow, reproach
and despair. A sentence of a few words announces to
a man the death of his brother, and reaches his mental
apprehension by the sense of hearing. First he under-
stands it, then he feels it by reason of his cherished affec-
tion, and then there is the nervous agitation. Emotion
is not what it has often been represented by physiol-
ogists, a mere nervous reaction from a bodily stimulus,
like the kick which the frog gives when it is pricked.
It begins with a mental act, and throughout is essentially
an operation of the mind.

He who can unfold these four elements and allot to
them their relative place and connection will clear up a
subject which is only imperfectly understood at present,
and show what emotion is in itself, and what its place in
the human constitution. Each of these aspects has been
noticed in works written both in ancient and modern
times. The Scottish school of metaphysicians, and es-
pecially Dugald Stewart, have sought, but not in a very
searching manner, to determine man's springs of action.
It will be shown that Aristotle and the Stoics knew that
in all emotion there is a phantasm or opinion involved.
Dr. Thomas Brown has given us an eloquent descrip-
tion of the mental excitement, which, however, is chiefly
left to novelists, who often make mistakes. Physiologists
have had to take up the organic action, hitherto with
not much success. But so far as is known to me, the
four elements have not been exhibited in their combina-
tion and their mutual relation by any one.



BOOK FIRST.

THE FOUR ELEMENTS IN EMOTION.



CHAPTER I.

FIRST ELEMENT: APPETENCES.
SECTION I.

WHAT APPETENCES ARE.

By the word appetence I understand what is com-
monly but vaguely designated by "motive," "spring of
action," "disposition," "inclination," "affection." But
all these have larger and more indefinite, not to say am-
biguous, significations, and have more or less of the ele-
ment of will. It is necessary to remark thus early that
appetence has nothing in it of the nature of voluntary
action, which belongs to a very different department of
the mind. It is simply a tendency in the mind to crave
for an object for its own sake. It is not desire ; it pre-
cedes desire and leads to it. It is not action, but a spring
of action. The phrase I. prefer is a convenient one, as
the noun has cognate adjectives, appetible and inappeti-
ble. It has often been incidentally noticed, though it
has seldom been formally announced, that, as the basis of
all emotion, there is a mental principle determining its
nature and its intensity ; this I call an appetence.

It would be of great service to every branch of mental
science to have an approximately good classification of
the appetences by which mankind are swayed. This is
a difficult work, more so than a classification of plants
or animals, the determining motives being so many and
so varied in appearance and in reality. Some seem to



8 FIEST ELEMENT: APPETENCES.

act under no guiding principle, as if on an unaccount-
able impulse ; but if we reflect, we shall find that they
must have been pursuing some end, indulging a lust or
passion, or restlessly seekmg a change of state or posi-
tion. In many cases the man himself could not tell us,
and we could never discover, what swayed him, but we
may be sure that there was a glittering object attracting
him. Every man we meet with, hurrying to and fro on
the streets of a great city, dancing in a ball-room, or
idling in a summer saunter, has, after all, an end which
he is seeking. " For every man hath business and de-
sire, such as it is." It may be possible to form, if not a
perfect, a good provisional arrangement of man's springs
of action.

It is obvious that men cannot be swayed by every con-
ceivable motive. No man can be made to choose pain
as pain. He may choose pain, but it is supposed to pro-
mote some other end which has power with him, because
it may secure pleasure, or reputation, or moral good.
There are motives swaying some which have little or no
power over others. Multitudes are led by the love of
property or of reputation, while others scarcely feel these
inclinations. Of some, we are sure that they are incapa-
ble of doing a mean or dishonorable deed. Of others,
we believe that they will never perform an act of benev-
olence or of self-sacrifice. When a crime is committed,
there may be certain persons suspected ; there are others
of whom all are sure that they have had no participation
in it. Let us try to ascertain the motives by which all
mankind are swayed, and which we call : — 4



PRIMARY APPETENCES. 9

SECTION II.

PRIMARY APPETENCES.

I. Every man is swayed by the love of pleasure and
the aversion to pain. This is not the result of delibera-
tion, or an exercise of choice ; it is instinctive. We shrink
from suffering as suffering ; we lay hold of enjoyment as
enjoyment. Through a great part of our waking mo-
ments we are influenced by these ends, — seizing this, and
avoiding that. Even when we resist these motive pow-
ers, — as when we stretch forth our hand to ward off a
blow intended for our neighbor, — we feel them, and have
to counteract them by some higher considerations.

Little more need be said on this subject; indeed, little
more can be said. "Pain" and "pleasure" cannot be
defined ; this, not because of their complexity, but of
their simplicity, there is nothing simpler into which to
resolve them. They do not need to be defined, for all
sensitive beings know what they are. I rather think
that all pain originates in a derangement of our organ-
ism. But it is not felt as pain till perceived by the con-
scious soul.

The question arises. Is this the only consideration by
which man can be influenced? The language used by
many leaves upon us the impression that this is so, — it
is so in their estimation. Some theorists derive all our
motives from this one. This, however, is not the view
which presents itself at first sight, which shows such an
infinite variety of other attractions, such as kindness,
sympathy, the desire for power and for society. But
they tell us that we have found power and social inter-
course leading to enjoyment, and they argue that the
very idea of these, as associated with pleasure, raises



10 FIRST ELEMENT : APPETENCES.

appetence. While the principle doubtless has its modi-
fying influence, it cannot account for the whole phe-
nomena as exhibited in human nature. There are appe-
tences other than those looking to pleasure and pain,
such as the love of children for parents and for brothers
and sisters, arising so early, abiding so steadfastly, and
so marked in individuals and in families, that they are
evidently in the very nature and tendency of the soul.i

II. Man is inclined to promote the happiness and avert
the unhappiness of his fellow-men. No doubt he may be
able to restrain this disposition by a cherished selfish-
ness. But there will be times when, in spite of aU at-
tempts to repress it, it will come forth in some kind deed
or word. So far as the great body of men and women
and children are concerned, there is a disposition to
oblige, to help a fellow-creature, if this can be done
without injuring their own interests ; and, in the case
of not a few, it is a benevolence which prompts to self-
sacrifice and labors for the good of others. Besides the
instincts which lead us to seek our own good, there are
evidently others which incline us to find for our fellow-
men the things which we regard as good for ourselves.

III. There are the attachments to relatives, as of par-
ents to children, and of children to parents, of brothers
and sisters to one another, and, I may add, of grand-
mothers and grandfathers to their grandchildren, and
often of more distant kindred. In all such cases there is
a natural appetency, and this is called forth by the idea of
the person and of the relationship of that person. Take
the case of a mother. There is a fountain within ready
to flow out. It does not appear till there is a child,
though it seems to manifest itself at times in an irregu-

1 As to the theory which draws them by evolution from pleasure and
pain, see Section III.



PRIMARY APPETENCES. H

lar manner in the attachment of a childless woman to
animals or other pets, or in the craving for an adopted
son or daughter. Let there be an idea of the relation in
which the child stands to the mother, of the child being
her offspring, and being dependent on her, and associated
with her now and for life, and the stream begins to flow.
It is the same with all other relative attachments, say
paternal, filial, sisterly, or brotherly. First there is a pre-
disposition, and then an idea of the intimate connection.
Along with this there are frequently natural afl&nities,
or common tastes and tendencies, which draw the related
parties closer to each other. We have all read tales in
which a mother is represented as recognizing her long-
lost child, and a sister falling into the arms of a brother
whom she never saw, simply on meeting. But there is
no ground for making such a representation. The nat-
ural likenesses in mind, body, and feature may predis-
pose relatives towards one other; but, after all, there
must be ground to lead to and justify the discovery.
The affection thus called forth by the appetence and ap-
prehension is made livelier and stronger by frequent in-
tercourse, by exchanges of affection, by offices of kind-
ness, by common ends and pursuits, and may be lessened,
and in some instances all but destroyed, by clashing in-
terests, — say, about money, — by quarrels, and even by
long separations. The affection of friends is gendered
in the first instance by affinities of tastes, dispositions,
and motives, probably favored by circumstances, and is
kept up by frequent association and mutual kindness.

IV. The native tastes and talents, and our very ac-
quired ones when they become part of our nature, prompt
to action, and excite emotion when gratified or disap-
pointed, and this independent of pleasure, or pain, or
any other end. This seems true of our organic activity.



12 FIEST ELEMENT: APPETENCES.

The lamb frisks, the colt gambols, impelled by a life in
their frames ; the child solves the problem of perpetual
motion ; and all our lives, till the vital energy is dried
up, and aged men and women are satisfied with their
couch and their chimney-corner, we are impelled to
movement and change of movement, owing to the or-
gans of our frame demanding action. We see this strik-
ingly in the musical talent, which often comes out in
very early life. Our intellectual powers, our memory,
our reasoning, all tend to act, and will act, unless re-
strained. Talents, arithmetical, mathematical, mechan-
ical, artistic, poetical, historical, metaphysical, fitted for
the study of objects in nature, inanimate and animate,
sun, moon, and stars, plant and animal, will all find a
field to work in, even in the most unfavorable circum-
stances. These may show themselves in childhood, and
continue dominant throughout the whole life, determin-
ing, it may be, in spite of difficulties, the man's trade or
profession, and, indeed, his whole earthly destiny, and
possibly prompting him, though engrossed with earthly
business, to devote the few leisure hours he has to writ-
ing a work on natural history, a poem, or a philosoph-
ical treatise. Not only are there intellectual, there are
emotional and, it may be added, moral powers, seeking
out their appropriate objects, and making the possess-
ors search for lovely landscapes or beautiful paintings,
or leading them to visit the house of mourning, and
relieve distress. All these, when gratified, stir up pleas-
ing emotions, and when disappointed unpleasing. Inti-
mately connected with these —

V. There are the appetites, as of hunger, thirst, rest,
of motion, or sex. They originate in the body, but they
become mental. They crave for their objects, and this
for their own sakes, not merely for the pleasure they



PRIMARY APPETENCES. 13


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