Brown, William
July 1912
Sociological Review (1908-1952);Jul12, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p215
Academic Journal
This article explores the psychological facets of emotions and morals. In the treatment of the instinctive and emotional nature of man the ethical motive has been almost invariably predominant, causing the psychological analyses to be both prejudiced and fragmentary. Thus the history of men's views on the nature of emotions or passions is part of the history of ethical speculation in general, and as it is only within the last few decades that the psychological problem has been attacked for its own sale and with minimum reference to its ethical aspect, so it is only in the most recent years that moralists are finding it necessary to set themselves once more to the question, what is the significance and importance of the passions in the formulation of the moral ideal? This problem is psychological in nature. The chief good or, end of man is to be determined not by a priori speculation but by close scrutiny of his actual nature, both individual and generic. What ought to be is decidedly not identical with what is; nevertheless, the relation between the two is an essential one, and the former cannot be determined in abstraction from the latter. The truth of this is particularly clear in the case of the emotional side of the human mind, whence all motives to action ultimately arise, and within which the basis or, as it were, central core of the individual character become organized and consolidated.


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