Pain, Pleasure, and Ăsthetics: An Essay Concerning the Psychology of Pain and Pleasure, with Special Reference to Ăsthetics

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Macmillan and Company, 1894 - Aesthetics - 364 pages
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"A glance at the table of contents of this volume will make it evident to the reader that it deals principally with problems of Psychology. A book that contains on its titlepage the word "Aesthetics" will, however, be expected to appeal in some manner to the artist. The psychologist needs no other incentive than the scientist's curiosity to lead him to look through the pages which follow, provided he finds indications that his science is aided in any manner. But the artist, at the mere mention of psychology, will be apt to lay the book aside; and as I have some faint hope that I may help him or the cause which he has most at heart, I must beg him, even if he go no farther, to give a hearing to this introduction, in which I shall try to state as briefly as possible my notion of the relation that exists between art and science. This statement will indicate the point of view taken in the work to follow, and will bring into emphasis some facts which seem to me to be valuable to both artist and scientist"--Introduction.

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Page 74 - That the skin is much affected under the sense of great fear, we see in the marvelous and inexplicable manner in which perspiration immediately exudes from it. This exudation is all the more remarkable, as the surface is then cold, and hence the term a cold sweat; whereas, the sudorific glands are properly excited into action when the surface is heated. The hairs also on the skin stand erect; and the superficial muscles shiver. In connection with the disturbed action of the heart, the breathing is...
Page 74 - Fear is often preceded by astonishment, and is so far akin to it that both lead to the senses of sight and hearing being instantly aroused. In both cases the eyes and mouth are widely opened and the eyebrows raised.
Page 175 - If we substitute for the word Pleasure the equivalent phrase — a feeling which we seek to bring into consciousness and retain there, and if we substitute for the word Pain the equivalent phrase — a feeling which we seek to get out of consciousness and to keep out...
Page 7 - We ought to say a feeling of and, a feeling of if, a feeling of but, and a feeling of by, quite as readily as we say a feeling of blue or a feeling of cold.
Page 81 - That the eyebrows are raised by an innate or instinctive impulse may be inferred from the fact that Laura Bridgman invariably acts thus when astonished, as I have been assured by the lady who has lately had charge of her. As surprise is excited by something unexpected or unknown, we naturally desire, when startled, to perceive the cause as quickly as possible ; and we consequently open our eyes fully ; so that the field of vision may be increased and the eyeballs moved easily in any direction. But...
Page 68 - Instinct is reflex action into which there is imported the element of consciousness. The term is therefore a generic one, comprising all those faculties of mind which are concerned in conscious and adaptive action, antecedent to individual experience, without necessary knowledge of the relation between means employed and ends attained, but similarly performed under similar and frequently...
Page 263 - ... if the states of consciousness which a creature endeavours to maintain are the correlatives of injurious actions, and if the states of consciousness which it endeavours to expel are the correlatives of beneficial actions, it must quickly disappear through persistence in the injurious...
Page 10 - Thus the very facts that lead us to distinguish feeling from cognition and conation, make against the hypothesis that consciousness can ever be all feeling. But, as already said, the plausibility of this hypothesis is in good part due to a laxity in the use of terms. Most psychologists before Kant, and our English psychologists even to the present day, speak of pleasure and pain as sensations.
Page 311 - It seems clear to me that the relative grace of the suspension bridge and of the cantilever truss is principally determined by the fact that the catenary curve in the one case presents to us nature's pendent form, while the strutted extensions of the cantilever bring to us other lines than those in accord with which she has educated us.
Page 71 - Under a transport of Joy or of vivid Pleasure, there is a strong tendency to various purposeless movements, and to the utterance of various sounds. We see this in our young children, in their loud laughter, clapping of hands, and jumping for joy ; in the bounding and barking of a dog when going out to walk with his master ; and in the frisking of a horse when turijed out into an open field. Joy quickens the circulation, and this stimulates the brain, which again reacts on the whole body.

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