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Unformatted text preview: etails by which we
judge our fellows indicate health, strength, training and culture, all of which are components of character, or
rather are characters of importance but give no clue to the deeper-lying traits.
 Notably is the shape of the hand changed by chronic heart and lung disease and by arthritis. But the
influence of the endocrinal secretions is very great.
As a matter of fact, judgment of character will never be attained through the study of face, form or hand. As
language is a means not only of expressing truth but of disguising it, so these surface phenomena are as often
masks as guides. Any sober-minded student of life, intent on knowing himself or his fellows, will seek no
royal road to this knowledge, but will endeavor to understand the fundamental forces of character, will strive
to trace the threads of conduct back to their origins in motive, intelligence, instinct and emotion.
We have emphasized the practical value of some sort of character analysis in dealing with others. But to know
himself has a hugely practical value to every man, since upon that knowledge depends self-correction. For
"man is the only animal that deliberately undertakes while reshaping his outer world to reshape himself
also." Moreover, man is the only seeker of perfection; he is a deep, intense critic of himself. To reach
nobility of character is not a practical aim, but is held to be an end sufficient in itself. So man constantly
probes into himself--"Are my purposes good; is my will strong--how can I strengthen my control, how make
righteous my instincts and emotions?" It is true that there is a worship--and always has been--of efficiency and
success as against character; that man has tended to ask more often, "What has he done?" or, "What has he
got?" rather than, "What is he?" and that therefore man in his self-analysis has often asked, "How shall I get?"
or, "How shall I do?" In the largest sense these questions are also ques...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11