Consciousness may busy itself with its past phases

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Unformatted text preview: re or less permanently excited areas of the brain--areas having to do with positions of the head, eyes and shoulders; areas having to do with vision, hearing and smell; areas having to do with speech,--these constituting extremely mobile, extremely active parts of the organism. From these consciousness may irradiate to the activities of almost every part of the organism, in different degrees. We are often extremely conscious of the activities of the hands, in less degree of the legs; we may become wrapped up almost completely in a sensation emanating from the sex organs, and under fear or excitement the heart may pound so that we feel and are conscious of it as ordinarily we can never be. The state of consciousness called interest may shift our feeling of self to any part of our body (as in pain, when a part usually out of consciousness swings into it, or when the hand of a lover grips our own so that the great reality of our life at the moment seems to be the consciousness of the hand) or it may fasten us to an outside object until our world narrows to that object, nothing else having any conscious value. This latter phenomenon is very striking in children; they become fascinated by something they hear or see and project themselves, as it were, into that object; they become the "soapiness of soap, or the wetness of water" (to use Chesterton's phrase), and when they listen to a story they hold nothing in reserve. Consciousness may busy itself with its past phases, with the preceding thought, emotion, sensation --how, I do not know--or it may occupy itself mainly with the world of things which are hereby declared to have a reality in our theory. In the first instances we have introspection and subjectiveness, and in the second we have extroversion and objectivity. [1] For discussion of consciousness read Berkeley, Locke, Hume, Spencer, Lotze, Moyan, James, Wundt, Munsterberg and every other philosopher and psychologist. I have not attempted to discuss the matter from the philosoph...
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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.

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