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How self excites the motor ganglia is to us an insoluble mystery; but, like all similar mysteries, the solution could not profit us now. We can afford to wait.

"To move any part of the body voluntarily requires the following particulars: (1) The possession of an educated reflex-motor mechanism, under the control of those higher cerebral centers which are most immediately connected with the phenomena of consciousness; (2) certain motifs in the form of conscious feelings that have a tone of pleasure or pain, and so impel the mind to secure such bodily conditions as will continue or increase the one and discontinue or diminish the other; (3) ideas of motions and positions of the bodily members, which previous experience has taught us answer more or less perfectly to the motifs of conscious feeling; (4) a conscious fiat of will, settling the question, as it were, which of these ideas shall be realized in the motions achieved and positions attained by these members; (5) a central nervous mechanism, which serves as the organ of relation between this act of will and the discharge of the requisite motor impulses along their nerve-tracts to the groups of muscles peripherally situated. As to the definite nature of the physical basis which underlies the connection of ideas of motion, fiat of will adopting one idea, and the starting outward of the right motor impulses, our ignorance is almost complete. Self, as will, can issue his fiat, but can do nothing more. Science, at the present, can only conjecture what then takes place."*

Language and Action.-In its broadest sense, language includes all communications from the inner to the outer world. Motion is the means used. Take away motion and the universe becomes silent and dumb.

1. Language is the intentional expression of cognitions, feelings, and purposes, by means of motion. Self, as action, utters ideas, emotions, and determinations by signs, by sounds, and by symbols.

2. Reflex action supplements volition. You intentionally speak to your friend; what proportion of the

* G. T. Ladd, "Physiological Psychology."

movements are reflex? You intentionally write a letter; how much of the action is reflex? You play and sing; how largely are the movements reflex? You carve a Madonna; what proportion of the movements are reflex? Some estimate that fully nine tenths of the movements in these acts are strictly reflex. How infinitely wonderful are speech and song and art!

3. Music, the language of the emotions, is a thing of motion. Destroy movement, and dead silence reigns. The grand strains that lift us up and inspire us are produced by means of motion.

Habit and Action.—Effort of body or mind is called action. By habit we mean acting without effort. In bodily activity, the first steps are always taken with consciousness, which is often painful in its intensity; but by repetition the same acts are performed with little or no consciousness. Walking, to a baby, is a solemn act, requiring its whole attention; walking, to us, is automatic. The tyro in music or in the crafts is awkward, constrained, and intense in his attention to the movements of his work; the master is intent on the end, the movements being made with the minimum of consciousness. Indeed, so long as a part of the attention is necessarily directed to the manner of doing, the work will be imperfect.

In mental processes the same truth holds. Thinking, in any new direction, is usually slow and laborious, but with practice it moves with ever-increasing freedom. The child, in adding, pauses, hesitates, and thinks at each step; the accountant grasps results with mechanic-like precision. The housewife performs her cookery while chatting with a neighbor upon topics foreign to the occupation, the work going on semi-automatically.*

Growth of Action.-Movement, in some form, is certainly the earliest animal activity. At first the movements are purely reflex. Very early the infant begins to try to do things. Slowly it gains a mastery over the body. The helpless babe becomes the active, graceful

*James Johcnnot.

child. Action gives pleasure. "Education by doing" is based on the intense activity of this faculty during childhood and youth.

Education of Action.*-Intentional effort tends to develop executive volition. The child is full of impulses to action, but these efforts need to be directed. Well guided action is an important feature of child education.


Review. Carefully ascend the pyramid. Define each group of faculties and state the office of each faculty in the group. Define each faculty and give its characteristics.

What do we mean by the will-powers? Distinguish between intellect, emotion, and will. Illustrate.

What is meant by attention? Give its office and its characteristics. Illustrate the importance of educating attention.

What do we mean by action? Why is this power called executive volition? Analyze a voluntary act.

Give the office of action.

Illustrate the distinction between

impulsive acts and determined acts.

State the characteristics of action. What do you mean by intentional action?


Give author's definition of action; your definition; Hazard's; Bain's.

Explain and illustrate reflex action; impulsive action; rational action. In what sense is action here used?

Show that the soul as will originates motion. Trace motion from the inner to the outer world. Explain the motorium (see p. 45). What is language? How do we express our thoughts? our emotions? our resolves? What proportion of our movements is reflex action?

Explain habit and action. Describe the growth of action. How are motives related to rational action?

Letter. You will take time to prepare a well-digested letter to your friend.

*See "Education of Action," "Applied Psychology."

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By this is meant the power of preference. Shall I spend my vacation in Europe or in the Yellowstone Park? After long deliberation I finally make up my mind to go to Europe. I prefer visiting the Old

World. I choose in view of motives. I determine to spend my vacation in a foreign land.

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I am rational, benevolent, free; I am a person. I am endowed with the power of self-determination; I am a sovereign. I can prefer one thing to another; I am free to choose. I determine for myself; I am independent. I originate activity; I am a creative first cause. Because I am endowed with the capability to choose, I am a man and not a brute. Because I can at will originate motion, I can understand the universe.

Acts of Choice Analyzed.-What is choosing? You carefully scrutinize some of your own acts of choice. What mental processes precede choice? What follow choice? What do you do when you choose? Now take this example: Moses chose to suffer with his people rather than be king. Ambition and pleasure contended with duty, but Moses did not hesitate. With him right outweighed kingdoms. He made up his mind to cast in his lot with his enslaved people. He preferred duty to pleasure. He chose to suffer for the right rather than rule in the wrong. You find that his choice was occasioned by motives or reasons for choosing. You find that his determination to stand by his people was his choice. You also find that his choice was followed by action-a life devoted to the good of his people. You will be profited by analyzing the choice of Solomon, of Naomi, etc.

Office of Choice. In the mental economy, self, as

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