Such an explanation that pleasure is a sign of good

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Unformatted text preview: uiry can be met on the child's plane of intelligence and comprehension, and the parent must arrange for the gratification of this fundamental desire. How? By a question hour each day, perhaps a children's hour, a home university period where the vital interest of the child will be satisfied. To return to the morbid interests: do they arise from secret morbid desires? The Freudian answer to that would be yes. And so would many another answer. It is the answer in many cases, especially where the desire is not so much morbid as forbidden. The virgin, the continent who are intensely interested in sex are not morbid, even though they have been forbidden to think of a natural craving and appetite. But when the interest is for the horrible it is often the case that the excitement aroused by the subject is pleasurable, because it is a mild excitement and does not quite reach disgust. Confronted with the real perversity, the disgust aroused would quite effectually conquer interest. And here is a fundamental law of interest: it must lead to a profitable, pleasurable result or else it tends to disappear. If this is too bold a statement, let me qualify it by stating that a profitable, pleasurable result must be foreseen or foreseeable. Either in some affective state, or in some tangible good, interest seeks fulfillment. Disappointment is the foe of interest, and too prolonged a "vestibule of satisfaction" (to use Hocking's phrase) destroys or impairs interest. CHAPTER VIII. THE SENTIMENTS OF LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, HATE, PITY AND DUTY. COMPENSATION AND ESCAPE I shall ignore the complexities that arise when we seek to organize our reactions into various groups by making a simple classification of feeling, for the purposes of this book. There is a primary result of any stimulation, whether from within ourselves or without, which we have called excitement. This excitement may have a pleasurable or an unpleasurable quality, and we cannot understand just what is back of pleasure and pain in this sense. Such an explanation, that pleasure is a sign...
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