COMMON IDEAL FEELING.

CHAPTER XIX.
INTEREST, REALITY, AND BELIEF.1

General Character of Common Ideal Feeling. The following aspects of feeling common to the intellectual, processes may be profitably considered: interest, reality-feeling, belief.2


§ 1. INTEREST.

A general characterization of interest as a psychological state is best reached when we ask why it is that we act voluntarily in this way or that. The answer must invariably be, because we are interested in this course of action or that. As will appear later, the most important thing about interest is its quality as stimulating the will. A thing is interesting to me when, for any reason, it appeals to my attention--when it is worth looking at--when it is so related to me that I am led to investigate it; and the feeling of interest is this need of looking, investigating, finding out about. A child is said to show no interest when he is entirely satisfied with his toy and leaves it.

Physiological Basis of Interest and Indifference. On an earlier page, when gathering up our conception of nervous function, we found reason to recognize two great laws, i. e., the laws of habit and accommodation. And

____________________
1
Cf. Handbook of Psychology, vol. ii. chap. vii.
2
The feeling of consent or effort would naturally suggest itself also here as being one of the broadest aspects of intellectual feeling; but it comes up more properly under the detailed treatment of Will below. The feeling of self also cannot be adequately treated here, since it is so closely connected with the voluntary life; yet as a matter of classification it should not be omitted from common ideal feeling.

-243-

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