Page:Ethical Studies (reprint 1911).djvu/260

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his pleasant or painful activities and feelings the content of things. There are other objects round him, which please him apart from appetite, and of these not a few are permanent; they are continually with him, and do not disappear when enjoyed. On the contrary, they remain when possessed; and, so long as the child has them, he does not want them or desire them, but feels affirmed and satisfied in them. The feelings they excite, which are pleasant, are transferred to them as ideas, and are made part of their content, so that their mere presence gives pleasure; the will is asserted in them, and their perceived ideas by habituation enter into the content of the child’s standing self-feeling (not as yet self-conscious), so that, in their absence, he is uneasy, he feels himself as something which is not fully there; or without them (in the homely phrase) he does not ‘feel his self’ at all.

Now, here we have not mere appetite, or tension between an actual empty and ideal full self, such as is felt in the presence of this or that sensuous object. The satisfaction is not preceded by a feeling of contradiction, and it is permanent. And further, we have no selfishness, because we have no reflection and abstraction; the presence of the environing pleasant objects excites the general habitual pleasant self-feeling. It is most incorrect and misleading to talk of ideas of pleasure being ‘associated’ with them. The fact is that the idea of the object (imagined or perceived) gives a feeling of pleasure; and it does so, because for the child its very meaning is objectified pleasant actions and feelings. And the point is that for the child it is a permanent pleasant; it is not a permanent cause of pleasure. It is not a means to an end outside itself. Whether its content is felt to be pleasant, or in addition is known to be so, in neither case is the pleasantness separated in idea from the objective content, and it can not be made an end apart from that. The child likes it for itself, and he will not give it up for another means to the same end, because he has not thought of an end apart from the things he likes.[1]

  1. At this point for clearness’ sake it may be well to put certain results together. And, passing over the stage of mere want or felt need, not referred to an object, we have
      (1) Simple Appetite. Here a sensuous image is presented, with which are integrated the ideas of certain feelings and activities, derived from the pleasant mastering of the object. This image excites a feeling of pleasure, against which the actual state of the subject may be felt as privation. In that case the pleasure felt in the ideal feelings and activities, presented in the object, against the uneasiness of privation, constitutes the tension of desire.
      (2) The self is identified with relatively permanent objects, not objects of appetite, so that in the affirmation of these it feels its self-assertion, and in the loss of them privation. This is the beginning of objective interest.
      (3) Reflective Desire. Here the object is a relatively permanent thought, the content of which when presented may excite want, and so move.
      (a) We have Interests or objective ends, when the content of the object consists of permanent results and activities directed to aims other than the satisfaction of momentary appetites. And here there are two possible cases, (i) The ideas of my pleasant feelings and activities, which make one whole with the content of the object, may have been reflected on and be perceived to be the ideas of what is pleasant to me. Or (ii) there may be no such reflection, and the object, without containing ideas which I recognize as pleasant to me, may simply excite a feeling of pleasure in me. This distinction is unimportant, so long as there is no separation in thought between the ideas of the objective result and of my pleasant feelings. But if this latter take place, then interest proper ceases, and the object is no longer an end in itself.
      (b) In Lust the permanent end is the mastering of the sensuous objects which excite appetite. And my pleasant feelings in that satisfaction are recognized as such, and, as ideas, are made an element (in most cases a distinct element) in the permanent end.
      (c) In selfishness there is, properly speaking, no end in itself. Here the element of what is pleasant to me in general is separated in idea from the objects, and though the former is scarcely made an end, yet the latter are treated as subservient and without intrinsic value.
      (d) We have the Voluptuary, when first pleasant feelings, and secondly the pleasantness of pleasant feelings, are made the end to which all else is means, and the abstraction of pleasure for pleasure’s sake is pursued.