Habits and Principles
MANY writers who should have known better have represented man as nothing more than a bundle of habits, and the chief or sole aim of moral training as the development of desirable habits. This false doctrine is carried to a pernicious extreme by the modern and highly popular school which teaches that habits are formed only as motor responses to sense‐ impressions.
Habits should be our servants, not our masters; they are good servants and bad masters. The man who becomes merely a creature of habit, no matter how good his habits, is a poor creature. Whether we use the word "habit" in a narrower or a wider sense, it remains true that we need to control and to use our habits, rather than merely yield ourselves up to them.
In the narrowest sense of the word, habit is acquired facility of bodily movement. In all skill, motor habit plays an important part. But it is a low form of skill which consists merely in the repetition of a stereotyped series of movements, no matter how complex and delicate they may be. True or high skill involves the making use