Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/245

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imagine failure is to interpret ideally a felt inhibition. To prophesy a check would be impossible but for an incipient movement already meeting an incipient arrest. Intensified, this prophecy becomes its own fulfilment and totally inhibits the opposed tendency. Therefore a mind that foresees pain to be the ultimate result of action cannot continue unreservedly to act, seeing that its foresight is the conscious transcript of a recoil already occurring. Conversely, the mind that surrenders itself wholly to any impulse must think that its execution would be delightful. A perfectly wise and representative will, therefore, would aim only at what, in its attainment, could continue to be aimed at and approved; and this is another way of saying that its aim would secure the maximum of satisfaction eventually possible.

In spite, however, of this involution of pain and pleasure in all deliberate forecast and volition, pain and pleasure are not the ultimate sources of value. A correct psychology and logic cannot allow that an eventual and, in strictness, unpresentable feeling, can determine any act or volition, but must insist that, on the contrary, all beliefs about future experience, with all premonition of its emotional quality, is based on actual impulse and feeling; so that the source of value is nothing but the inner fountain of life and imagination, and the object of pursuit nothing but the ideal object, counterpart of the present demand. Abstract satisfaction is not pursued,