CHAPTER SEVEN
ACTIONS AND RELATIONS

THE description of human feeling and of human willing is dependent on the description of human action. Several of the philosophical errors already discussed sprang from failure to realize this fact. In order to complete our account of the emotions and to prepare for a theory of the will we must now enter upon an analysis of the concept of action.

Many philosophers have elucidated the concept of substance by examining the logical behaviour of the proper names and common nouns by which we refer to substances. Others have drawn helpful distinctions between different types of qualities and relations by discussing the adjectives and relational expressions which we use to talk about these matters. Few, by comparison, have tried to clarify the concept of action by considering the special logical properties of the finite verbs which we employ to report actions. This I shall now attempt to do.

I shall try to isolate a simple and fundamental pattern of description of human activity, which reports of emotional states and reports of voluntary action alike exemplify. I shall call this pattern the pattern of "act and object", and I shall explore its

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Action, Emotion and Will
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter One The Passions of the Soul 1
  • Chapter Two The Experimental Examination Of the Emotions 29
  • Chapter Three Feelings 52
  • Chapter Four Motives 76
  • Chapter Five Desire 100
  • Chapter Six Pleasure 127
  • Chapter Seven Actions and Relations 151
  • Chapter Eight States, Performances, Activities 171
  • Chapter Nine Objects 187
  • Chapter Ten Judging and Willing 203
  • Chapter Eleven Sketch of a Theory of Volition 212
  • Bibliography 240
  • Index 243
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