THE discussion of complex emotional states on which we enter in the present chapter will be subject to the same reservation as was our previous discussion of simple sensation-feeling. It is not proposed to attempt a definitive explanation of the nature of emotion, nor even to criticise the various emotion-theories which have been advanced in psychological literature. For the purposes of an æsthetic investigation we are only concerned with the external aspects, the outward manifestations, of mental states. We need not therefore dilate upon the controversies as to the exact relation between simple feeling and emotion. It is enough for us that all authors -- those who consider pain and pleasure as elements sui generis as well as those who count them among sensations or emotions--agree in emphasising the prominent hedonic element which enters into all our emotions. Starting from this universally recognised fact, we shall try to explain the impulse to expression, as it appears in complex emotions, by the same laws which we deduced from an examination of simple hedonic states.
The legitimacy of such a course will scarcely be contested by any one who admits the vital and necessary
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Publication information: Book title: Origins of Art:A Psychological & Sociological Inquiry. Contributors: Yrjö J. Hirn - Author. Publisher: Macmillan and Co. Limited. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1900. Page number: 43.
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