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Unformatted text preview: fully "reaches" something; then and there is the birth of
power and of successful effort. All our ideas of cause and effect originate when we cause changes in the
world, when we move a thing from thither to yon. No philosopher, though he becomes so intellectualized that
he cannot understand how one thing or event causes another, ever escapes from the feeling that HE causes
effects. Purpose, resistance, success, failure, cause, effect, these become inextricably wound up with our
thoughts and beliefs from the early days when, looking at a dangling string, we reached for it once, twice, a
dozen times and brought it in triumph to our mouth. And our idea that there were forbidden things came when
the watchful mother took it out of our mouth, saying, "No, no, baby mustn't!" CHAPTER XI. 91  At birth, though most of the great nervous pathways are laid down, they are non-functional largely because
the fibers that compose them are unclothed, non-myelinated. The various kinds of tracts have different times
for becoming "myelinated" as was the discovery of the great analogist, Flechsig.
At any rate, the organization of activity for definite purposes starts. The little investigator is apparently
obsessed with the idea that everything it can reach, including its fingers and toes, are good to eat, for
everything reached is at once brought to the mouth, the primitive curiosity thus being gustatory. In this
research the baby finds that some few things are pleasant, many indifferent and quite a few disgusting and
even painful, which may remain as a result not far different from that obtained by investigation in later years.
The desire for pleasant things commences to guide its activities. Every new thing is at once an object for
investigation, perhaps because its possibilities for pleasure are unknown. That curiosity may have some such
origin is at least a plausible statement. At any rate, desire of a definite type steps in to organize the mere desire
for activity; and impulse is controlled by purpose.
The child learns to cr...
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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