Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 15.djvu/772
758 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
way.^^ In order to understand this process by which disposition is built up, consider, for instance, the habitualized emotions implied in one's attitude to one's home. Why does the word "home" stir the emotion it does? Because of the many experi- ences of the comforts of home. These experiences were not all conscious, originally, and many originally conscious are not recalled when one thinks of one's home. Some may be clearly recalled, some faintly, and some not recalled at all, but many not recalled may lie in the subconsciousness and contribute their part to the total emotion stirred by the word "home." By habit as I use the term I mean a response in which the different steps through which it was built up are not consciously recalled, but, nevertheless, may lie in the subconsciousness and contribute some vibrations to the general feeling-tone of the response.^^ Now, suppose a person accumulate a number of these habit-capacities of expansive feeling with reference to certain symbols, as "home," "mother," "college," "club." His temperamental or inherited capacity for expansive feeling, originally slight, per- haps, is accentuated by the stamping-in of these habit-capacities of feeling. That is, his disposition becomes more expansive than was his temperament. Now, in so far as the experiences which enter into a habit-capacity of feeling may be recalled, one's disposition has a cognitive side. A mother's affection for her
- "Feeling came into existence as a means to the performance of function.
.... But it ... . must also be considered as an end." — Ward, Pure Sociology, p. 126; Jastrow, The Subconscious, p. 11.
- "The evidence is thus varied and convincing that the processes of per-
ception of the external world .... are in the ordinary use of our faculties as typically subconscious as conscious in their mode of functioning; and in virtue of this relation does it ensue that we hear and see and feel things, that guide our inferences, that enter into our associations, .... and yet all these factors enter but feebly into the realm of conscious knowledge.
The extension of this principle to more general acquisitions and to the practical life lies close at hand. It is apparent in all the emphasis laid upon the influence of the milieu in the home and in the school. It is the trend of such subconscious impressions that eventually leads to the toleration of, or in- sensitiveness to, all that is ugly or vulgar in the one case, and in the other to a refining discrimination and fastidiousness, and to the establishment of good taste and good morals." — Jastrow, The Subconscious, p. no.