An Introduction to Social Psychology

McDougall, William 1916. An Introduction to Social Psychology. Tenth Edition. London: Meuthen & Co.

I would not be taken to believe that my utterances upon any of the questions dealt with are infallible or incapable of being improved upon; but repeated expressions of deference and of the sense of my own uncertainty would be out of place in a semi-popular work of this character and would obscure the course of my exposition. (McDougall 1916: vi)

Good start. When reading such an old book on psychology one begins with the assumption that most of it would not hold up to modern views.

I would, therefore, repair what now seems to me a serious omission from the preface to the first edition, by indicating my friends Professor William James, Lloyd Morgan, and G. F. Stont as the writers from whose works I have acquired my notions as to the nature of instinct and conation and their role in mental life, and whom I would like to claim as spiritual fathers of whatever is of value in this book. (McDougall 1916: x)

If you turn u upside down, it becomes an n. The typesetter must have used a mirror.

It is, then, a remarkable fact that psychology, the science which claims to formulate the body of ascertained truths about the constitution and working of the mind, and which endeavours to refine and to add to this knowledge, has not been generally and practically recognised as the essential common foundation on which all the social sciences - ethics, economics, political science, philosophy of history, sociology, and cultural anthropology, and the more special social sciences, such as the sciences of religion, of law, of education, and of art - must be built up. (McDougall 1916: 1)

Semiotics, likewise, cannot do without some psychology. In fact, some psychology (e.g. the laws of association) is an implicit and inextricable part of most semiotic theories.

A certain number, perhaps the majority, of recent writers on social topics recognise the true position of psychology, but in practice are content to take as their psychological foundations the vague and extremely misleading psychology embodied in common speech, with the addition of a few hasty assumptions about the mind made to suit their particular purposes. (McDougall 1916: 2)

This must be "the common speech of mankind" (Shand 1913: 18-19).

The answer to such problems as the proper classification of conscious states, the analysis of them into their elements, the nature of these elements and the laws of the compounding of them, have but little bearing upon the social sciences; the same may be said of the range of problems connected with the relations of soul and body, of psychical and physical process, of consciousness and brain processes; and also of the discussion of the more purely intellectual processes, of the way we arrive at the perception of relations of time and place or of likeness and difference, of the classification and description of the intellectual processes of ideation, conception, comparison, and abstraction, and of their relations to one another. (McDougall 1916: 3)

More inclusive than mere "ideas and reflection" (Shand 1914: 245).

The cognitive or intellectual processes, on the other hand, present a rich and varied content of consciousness which lends itself well to introspective discrimination, analysis, and description; in comparison with it, the emotional and conative consciousness has but little variety of content, and that little is extremely obscure and elusive of introspection. (McDougall 1916: 7)

"These three 'elements,' called also 'aspects,' and sometimes 'functions,'" (Shand 1914: 82-83) are now types of consciousness.

First in importance perhaps as a topic for controversy was the doctrine known as psychological hedonism, the doctrine that the motives of all human activity are the desire of pleasure and the aversion to pain. Hand in hand with this went the false assumption that happiness and pleasure are synonymous terms. (McDougall 1916: 8)

The pleasure principle. The difference between happiness and pleasure may follow along the lines of the difference between joy and pleasure (cf. Shand 1914: 272).

Many of those who adopted some form of this last assumption were in the habit of supplementing it by similar assumptions hastily made to afford explanations of any tendencies they noted in human conduct which their master principle was inadequate to meet; they postulated strange instincts of all kinds as lightly and easily as a conjurer produces eggs from a hat or a phrenologist discovers bumps on a head. (McDougall 1916: 8)

Phraseology. Could be said about the way new terminology is produced in some quarters (e.g. phaticisms).

It is instructive to note that as recently as the year 1893 the late Professor H. Sidgwick, one of the leaders of the ethical thought of his time, still inverted the problem; like his predecessors he assumed that moral or reasonable action is normal and natural to man in virtue of some vaguely conceived principle, and in all seriousness wrote an article to prove that "unreasonable [|] action" is possible and is actually achieved occasionally, and to explain if possible this strange anomalous fact. He quotes Bentham's dictum that "on the occasion of every act he exercises every human being is led to pursue that line of conduct which, according to his view of the case, taken by him at the moment, will be in the highest degree contributory to his own greatest happiness." He points out that, although J. S. Mill admitted certain exceptions to this principle, his general view was that "to desire anything, except in proportion as the idea of it is pleasant, is a physical impossibility." So that, according to this school, any action of an individual that does not tend to produce for him the maximum of pleasure can only arise from an error of judgment as to the relative quantities of pleasure that will be secured by different lines of action. And, since, according to this school, all actions ought to be directed to securing a maximum of pleasure, action of any other kind is not only unreasonable action, but also immoral action; for it is action in a way other than the way in which the individual knows he ought to act. Sidgwick then goes on to show that the doctrine that unreasonable action (or wilful action not in accordance with what the individual knows that he ought to do) is exceptional, paradoxical, or abnormal is not peculiar to the utilitarians, but is common also to their opponents; he takes as an example T. H. Green, who "still lays down as broadly as Bentham that every person in every moral action, virtuous or vicious, presents to himself some possible state or achievement of his own as for the time his greatest good, and acts for the sake of that good, and that this is how he ought to act." (McDougall 1916: 8-9)

This is Sidgwick's "Unreasonable Action" (1893), and the exact polemic in Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground.

For, as Dr. Rashdall well says, "the raw material, so to speak, of Virtue and Vice is the same - i.e., desires which in themselves, abstracted from their relation to the higher self, are not either moral or immoral but simply non-moral." That is to say, the fundamental problem of social psychology is the moralisation of the individual by the society into which he is born as a creature in which the non-moral and purely egoistic tendencies are so much stronger than any altruistic tendencies. This moralisation or socialisation of the individual is, then, the essential theme of this section. (McDougall 1916: 18)

The problem of the looking glass self, of the origin or emergence of the superego, or the socialized "me".

The human mind has certain innate or inherited tendencies which are the essential springs or motive powers of all thought and action, whether individual or collective, and are the bases from which the character and will of individuals and of nations are gradually developed under the guidance of the intellectual faculties. These primary innate tendencies have different relative strengths in the native constitutions of the individuals of different races, and they are favoured or checked in very different degrees by the very different social circumstances of men in different stages of culture; but they are probably common to the men of every race and of every age. If this view, that human nature has everywhere and at all times this common native foundation, can be established, it will afford a much-needed basis for speculation on the history of the development of human societies and human institutions. (McDougall 1916: 19)

Nature vs. nurture, national characteristics and human nature.

Contemporary writers of all classes make frequent use [|] of the words "instinct" and "instinctive," but, with very few exceptions, they use them so loosely that they have almost spoilt them for scientific purposes. On the one hand, the adjective "instinctive" is commonly applied to every human action that is performed without deliberate reflexion; on the other hand, the actions of animals are popularly attributed to instinct, and in this connexion instinct is vaguely conceived as a mysterious faculty, utterly different in nature from any human faculty, which Providence has given to the brutes because the higher faculty of reason has been denied them. Hundreds of passages might be quoted from contemporary authors, even some of considerable philosophical culture, to illustrate how these two words are used with a minimum of meaning, generally with the effect of disguising from the writer the obscurity and incoherence of his thought. (McDougall 1916: 20-21)

Hence why Gregory Bateson, in his metalogue on "What is an instinct?" (1969) likens instincts to black boxes in engineering, which "really explains nothing".

These are favourable examples of current usage, and they justify the statement that these words "instinct" and "instinctive" are commonly used as a cloak for ignorance when a writer attempts to explain any individual or collective action that he fails, or has not tried, to understand. (McDougall 1916: 22)

Exactly. Though, if fingers need pointing, this very book inspired many writers, Malinowski included, to cover themselves in this cloak.

There is every reason to believe that even the most purely instinctive action is the outcome of a distinctly mental process, one which is incapable of being described in purely mechanical terms, because it is a psycho-physical process, involving psychical as well as physical changes, and one which, like every other mental process, has, and can only be fully described in terms of, the three aspects of all mental process - the cognitive, the affective, and the conative aspects; that is to say, every instance of instinctive behaviour involves a knowing of some thing or object, a feeling in regard to it, and a striving towards or away from that object. (McDougall 1916: 26)

"Striving" is an adequate equivalent for conation. Otherwise this is standard tax.

The impression must be supposed to excite, not merely detailed changes in the animal's field of sensation, but a sensation or complex of sensations that has significance or meaning for the animal; hence we must regard the instinctive process in its cognitive aspect as distinctly of the nature of perception, however rudimentary. (McDougall 1916: 28)

What is an Umwelt?

The behaviour of some of the lower animals seems to be almost completely determined throughout their lives by instincts modified but very little by experience; they perceive, feel, and act in a perfectly definite and invariable manner whenever a gives instinct is excited - i.e., whenever the presence of the appropriate object coincides with the appropriate organic state of the creature. (McDougall 1916: 30)

Cognition replaced by perception. Animals don't think, don't you know?

Now, the innate psycho-physical disposition, which is an instinct, may be regarded as consisting of there corresponding parts, an afferent, a central, and a motor of efferent part, whose activities are the cognitive, the affective, and the conative features respectively of the total instinctive process. The afferent or receptive [|] part of the total disposition is some organised group of nervous elements or neurones that is specially adapted to receive and to elaborate the impulses initiated in the sense-organ by the native object of the instinct; its constitution and activities determine the sensory content of the psycho-physical process. From the afferent part the excitement spreads over to the central part of the disposition; the constitution of this part determines in the main the distribution of the nervous impulses, especially of the impulses that descend to modify the working of the visceral organs, the heart, lungs, blood-vessels, glands, and so forth, in the manner required for the most effective execution of the instinctive action; the nervous activities of this central part are the correlates of the affective or emotional aspect or feature of the total psychical process. The excitement of the efferent or motor part reaches it by way of the central part; its constitution determines the distribution of impulses to the muscles of the skeletal system by which the instinctive action is effected, and its nervous activities are the correlates of the conative element of the psychical process, of the felt impulse to action. (McDougall 1916: 32-33)

Just like I thought, the affective, cognitive, and conative aspects are comparable to Ruesch's scheme of input, central processing, and output (or perception, evaluation, and action; see his "Synopsis of the Theory of Human Communication", Ruesch 1953a).

The answer to the second question is that pleasure and pain are not in themselves springs of action, but at the most of undirected movements; they serve rather to modify instinctive processes, pleasure tending to sustain and prolong any mode of action, pain to cut it short; under their prompting and guidance are effected those modifications and adaptations of the instinctive bodily movements which we have briefly considered above. (McDougall 1916: 43)

Remarkable affinity between maintaining, sustaining, and prolonging, as "Joy tends to maintain the self in its present relation to the object" (Shand 1914: 281).

It has often been remarked that the emotions are fluid and indefinable, that they are in perpetual flux and are experienced in an infinite number of subtle varieties. This truth may be used as an argument against the propriety of attempting to exhibit all the many varieties of our emotional experience as reducible by analysis to a small number of distinct primary emotions. (McDougall 1916: 45)

I tend to agree with this, and have trouble comprehending new philosophical approaches to emotion which take them to be concrete items readily available to introspection.

The word "emotion" is used [|] of course in popular speech loosely and somewhat vaguely, and psychologists are not yet completely consistent in their use of it. But all psychological terms that are taken from common speech have to undergo a certain specialisation and more rigid definition before they are fit for scientific use; and in using the word "emotion" in the restricted sense which is indiated above, and which will be rigidly adhered to throughout these pages, I am but carrying to its logical conclusion a tendency displayed by the majority of recent English writers on psychology. (McDougall 1916: 46-47)

A terminological dictum.

Of all the excitants of this instinct the most interesting, and the most difficult to understand as regards its mode of operation, is the unfamiliar or strange as such. Whatever is totally strange, whatever is violently opposed to the accustomed and familiar, is apt to excite fear both in men and animals, if only it is capable of attracting their attention. It is, I think, doubtful whether an eclipse of the moon has even excited the fear of animals, for the moon is not an object of their attention; but for savage men it has always been an occasion of fear. (McDougall 1916: 54)

Fear and strangeness still going hand in hand. But how does the author know what has always occasioned fear in savage men?

But fear, once roused, haunts the mind; it comes back alike in dreams and in waking life, bringing with it vivid memories of the terrifying impression. It is thus the great inhibitor of action, both present action and future action, and becomes in primitive human societies the great agent of social discipline through which men are led to the habit of control of the egoistic impulses. (McDougall 1916: 55)

Is it fear, which, as Spencer (1876: 12-13) puts it, "checks impulsiveness"?

The manners or speech of an otherwise presentable person may excite the impulse of shrinking in virtue of some subtle suggestion of sliminess. Or what we know of a man's character - that it is noxious, or, as we significantly say, is of evil odour - may render the mere thought of him an occasion of disgust; we say, "It [|] makes me sick to think of him"; and at the same time the face exhibits in some degree, however slight, the expression produced by the act of rejection of some evil-tasting substance from the mouth. In these cases we may see very clearly that this extension by resemblance or analogy does not take place in any roundabout fashion; it is not that the thought of the noxious or "slippery" character necessarily reproduces the idea of some evil-tasting substance or of some slimy creature. (McDougall 1916: 56-57)

There is a great leap between the instinctive repulsion from actual slime and the theophrastian character of sliminess.

Who has not seen a horse, or other animal, alternately approach in curiosity, and flee in fear from, some such object as an old coat upon the ground? (McDougall 1916: 58)

Everyone after the automobile revolution. Viimane Ratsu (Estonian language song, youtube).

This instinct, being one whose exercise is not of prime importance to the individual, exhibits great individual differences as regards its innate strength; and these differences are apt to be increased during the course of life, the impulse growing weaker for lack of use in those in whom it is innately weak, stronger through exercise in those in whom it is innately strong. (McDougall 1916: 59)

"Innate tendency" thus varies individually, as opposed to some universal innateness which today would be read along the lines of "hardwiredness".

To raise this objection would be to ignore my consciousness of the personal relation and my personal attitude towards the striker. The impulse, the thwarting of which in this case provokes my anger, is the impulse of self-assertion, which is habitually in play during personal intercourse. That this is the case we may see on reflecting the anger would not be aroused if the blow came from a purely impersonal source - if, for example, it came from a falling branch, or if the blow received from a person were clearly quite accidental and unavoidable under the circumstances. (McDougall 1916: 60)

Moving images of people, particularly male youth in asia, energetically kicking and punching a street light pole they themselves blindly bumped into. /r/IdiotsFightingThings provedis endless illustrations.

Ribot names the two emotions negative and positive self-feeling respectively, but since these names are awkward in English, I propose, in the interests of a consistent terminology, to call them the emotions of subjection and elation. (McDougall 1916: 62)

Not so in Estonian: enesetunne is literally self-feeling. This may account for why Estonian folk-psychology is difficult to translate into English - in all likelihood it originates from germanic and francophone sources (more probably the latter with its Selbstgefühl). The Psychology of the Emotions (1896).

The instinct of self-display is manifested by many of the higher social or gregarious animals, especially, perhaps, though not only, at the time of mating. Perhaps among mammals the horse displays it most clearly. The muscles of all parts are strongly innervated, the creature holds himself erect, his neck is arched, his tail lifted, his motions become superfluously vigorous and extensive, he lifts his hoofs high in air, as he parades before the eyes of his fellows. [...] The instinct is essentially a social one, and is only brought into play [|] by the presence of spectators. Such self-display is popularly recognised as implying pride; we say "How proud he looks!" and the peacock has become the symbol of pride. (McDougall 1916: 62-63)

Could "a flow of language" (superfluously vigorous and extensive speech) be a form of self-display? What is the social function of vanity?

Many children clearly exhibit this instinct of self-display; before they can walk or talk the impulse finds its satisfaction in the admiring gaze and plaudits of the family circle as each new acquirement is practiced; a little later it is still more clearly expressed by the frequently repeated command, "See me do this," or "See how well I can do so-and-so"; and for many a child more than half the delight of riding on a pony, or [|] of wearing a new coat, consists in the satisfaction of this instinct, and vanishes if there be no spectators. A little later, with the growth of self-consciousness the instinct may find expression in the boasting and swaggering of boys, the vanity of girls; while, with almost all of us, it becomes the most important constituent of the self-regarding sentiment and plays an all-important part in the volitional control of conduct, in the way to be discussed in a later chapter. (McDougall 1916: 63-64)

Vanity makes an appearance just as anticipated. Define:swaggering - "walk or behave in a very confident and arrogant or self-important way".

For in certain mental diseases, especially in the early stages of that most terrible disorder, general paralysis of the insane, exaggeration of this emotion and of its impulse of display is the leading symptom. The unfortunate patient is perpetually in a state of elated self-feeling, and his behaviour corresponds to his emotional state; he struts before the world, boasts of his strength, his immense wealth, his good looks, his luck, his family, when, perhaps, there is not the least foundation for his boastings. (McDougall 1916: 64)

Note that the list roughly corresponds to the all too familiar one found in Spencer, Trotter, Shand, and Malinowski. In The Foundation of Character there are numerous such lists: women, power, and reputation; superiority and power; existence, wealth, power, reputation, pleasure, and happiness; fame, power, and money.

The view of the origin of parental tenderness here adopted compares, I think, very favourably with other accounts of its genesis. Bain taught that it is generated in the individual by the frequent repetition of the intense pleasure of contact with the young; though why this contact should be so highly pleasurable he did not explain. (McDougall 1916: 70)

Analogous to Zuckerman's critique of Malinowski's positive bonds. It is not readily apparent why constant association alone should foster amiable relations between people.

Long ago the Roman moralists were perplexed by it. They noticed that in the Sullan prosecutions, while many sons denounced their fathers, no father was ever known to denounce his son; and they recognised that this fact was inexplicable by their theories of conduct. For their doctrine was like that of Bain, who said explicitly: "Tender feeling is as purely self-seeking as any other pleasure, and makes no inquiry as to the feelings of the beloved personality. It is by nature pleasurable, but does not necessarily cause us to seek the good of the object farther than is needful to gratify ourselves in the indulgence of the feeling." (McDougall 1916: 71)

This may be part of why the Latvian movie "Ausma" (2015, trailer) was so off-putting; in it, a father kills his son for betraying him to the communists (because he killed the mother). Bain appears to be anticipating Dawkins' selfish gene theory.

In a similar direct fashion the distress of any adult (towards whom we harbour no hostile sentiment) evokes the emotion; but in this case it is more apt to be complicated by sympathetic pain, when it becomes the painful, tender emotion we call pity; whereas the child, or any other helpless and delicate thing, may call it out in the pure form without alloy of sympathetic pain. (McDougall 1916: 74)

Phraseology for the bonds of antipathy. Malinowski's whole point appears to be that in expressions of sympathy we don't really feel any painful, tender emotions but fulfill a social obligation.

For, as was said above, this disinterested indignation is the ultimate root of justice and of public law; without its support law and its machinery would be most inadequate safeguards of personal rights and liberties; and, in opposition to the moral indignation of a majority of members of any society, laws can only be very imperfectly enforced by the strongest despotism, as we see in Russia at the present time. (McDougall 1916: 75)

Russia was and continues to be a lawless, despotic state. Disinterested indignation, on the other hand, could well describe the modern online obsession of getting deeply offended on behalf of marginalized people groups (e.g. unmerited cries of cultural appropriation).

His statement is that sympathy is the prompting to take on the pains and pleasures of another being, and to endeavour to abolish that other's pain and to prolong his pleasure. [|] But, if we use more accurate language, we shall have to say that the sympathetic pain or pleasure we experience is immediately evoked in us by the spectacle of pain or of pleasure, and that we then act on it because it is our own pain or pleasure; and the action we take (so long as no other principle is at work) is directed to cut short our own pain and to prolong our own pleasure, quite regardless of the feelings of the other person. (McDougall 1916: 77-78)

Psychological hedonism indeed. Expressions of sympathy (condolences) have no magic capability to reduce another's sufferings.

Our susceptibility to sympathetically induced pain or pleasure, operating alone, simply inclines us, then, to avoid the neighbourhood of the distressed and to seek the company of the cheerful; but tender emotion draws us near to the suffering and the sad, seeking to alleviate their distress. (McDougall 1916: 78)

Another way of saying no-one likes being around downers. Misery may love company but company does not love misery.

The gregarious instinct is one of the human instincts of greatest social importance, for it has played a great part in moulding societary forms. The affective aspect of the operation of this instinct is not sufficiently intense or specific to have been given a name. The instinct is displayed by many species of animals, even by some very low in the scale of mental capacity. Its operation in its simplest form implies none of the higher qualities of mind, neither sympathy nor capacity for mutual aid. Mr. Francis Galton has given the classical description of the operation of the crude instinct. Describing the South African ox in Damaraland, he says he displays no affection for his fellows, and hardly seems to notice their existence, so long as he is among them; but, if he becomes separated from the herd, he displays an extreme distress that will not let him rest until he succeeds in rejoining it, when he hastens to bury himself in the midst of it, seeking the closest possible contact with the bodies of his fellows. There we see the working of the gregarious instinct in all its simplicity, a mere uneasiness in isolation and satisfaction in being one of a herd. Its utility to animals liable to the attacks of beasts of prey is obvious. (McDougall 1916: 84)

Mere copresence. See also notes marked with autophobia.

The instinct is commonly strongly confirmed by habit; the individual is born into a society of some sort and grows up in it, and the being with others and doing as they do becomes a habit deeply rooted in the instinct. It would seem to be a general rule, the explanation of which is to be found in the principle of sympathetic emotion to be considered later, that the more numerous the herd or crowd or society in which the individual finds himself the more complete is the satisfaction of this impulse. (McDougall 1916: 84)

Imitation enters the picture: "The real rule guiding human behaviour is this: "what everyone else does, what appears as norm of general conduct, this is right, moral and proper. Let me look over the fence and see what my neighbour does, and take it as a rule for my [|] behaviour." So acts every 'man-in-the-street' in our own society" (Malinowski 1922: 326-327).

The gregarious instinct is no exception to the rule that the human instincts are liable to a morbid hypertrophy under which their emotions and impulses are revealed with exaggerated intensity. The condition known to alienists as agoraphobia seems to result from the morbidly intense working of this instinct - the patient will not remain alone, will not cross a wide empty space, and seeks always to be surrounded by other human beings. But of the normal man also it is true that, as Professor James says: "To be alone in one of the greatest of evils for him. Solitary confinement is by many regarded as a mode of torture too cruel and unnatural for civilised countries to adopt. To one long pent up on a desert island the sight of a human footprint or a human form in the distance [|] would be the most tumultuously exciting of experiences." (McDougall 1916: 85-86)

Didn't know agoraphobics don't want to "remain alone". The hypertrophy of the social instinct is illustrated these days be the army of NEETs living in basements, attics, or shut in their room for decades. As to James's quote, solitary confinement has been known to cause irreparable psychological damage.

In civilised communities we may see evidence of the operation of this instinct on every hand. For all but a few exceptional, and generally highly cultivated, persons the one essential condition of recreation is the being one of a crowd. The normal daily recreation of the population of our towns is to go out in the evening and to walk up and down the streets in which the throng is densest [...] (McDougall 1916: 86)

"Recreation" has indeed been floating around for a while. Like the rest of this page, Malinowski also addresses "organized recreation" (cf. Malinowski 1942: 1239).

The possession of this instinct, even in great strength, does not necessarily imply sociability of temperament. Many a man leads in London a most solitary, unsociable life, who yet would find it hard to live far away from the thronged city. Such men are like Mr. Galton's oxen, unsociable but gregarious; and they illustrate the fact that sociability, although it has the gregarious instinct at its foundation, is a more complex, more highly developed, tendency. As an element of this more complex tendency to sociability, the instinct largely determines the forms of the recreations of even the cultured classes, and is the root of no small part of the pleasure we find in attendance at the theatre, at concerts, lectures, and all such entertainments. How much more satisfying is a good play if one sits in a well-filled theatre than if half the seats are empty; especially if the house is unanimous and loud in the expression of its feelings! But this instinct has in all ages produced more important social effects that must be considered in a later chapter. (McDougall 1916: 87)

That's a good point - collective activities are not necessarily sociable. The cinema is a suitable illustration in place of the theater; the experience is greatly improved if the crowd laughs together at a joke, for example.

The three most important of these pseudo-instincts, as they might be called, are suggestion, imitation, and [|] sympathy. They are closely allied as regards their effects, for in each case the process in which the tendency manifests itself involves an interaction between at least two individuals, one of whom is the agent, while the other is the person acted upon or patient; and in each case the result of the process is some degree of assimilation of the action and mental state of the patient to those of the agent. They are three forms of mental interaction of fundamental importance for all social life, both of men and animals. These processes of mental interaction, of impression and reception, may involve chiefly the cognitive aspect of mental process, or its affective or its conative aspect. In the first case, when some presentation, idea, or belief of the agent directly induces a similar presentation, idea, or belief in the patient, theprocess is called one of suggestion; when an affective or emotional excitement of the agent induces a similar affective excitement in the patient, the process is one of sympathy or sympathetic induction of emotion or feeling; when the most prominent result of the process of interaction is the assimilation of the bodily movements of the patient to those of the agent, we speak of imitation. (McDougall 1916: 90-91)

Suggestion, thus is the communication of ideas. Sympathy is the communization of emotions. And imitation concerns bodily movements. A very natural extension of the triad to dyadic interaction. Malinowski's apophaticity can now be scrutinized more closely.

The word "sympathy," as popularly used, generally implies a tender regard for the person with whom we are said to sympathise. But such sympathy is only one special and complex form of sympathetic emotion, in the strict and more gfeneral sense of the words. The fundamental and primitive form of sympathy is exactly what the word implies, a suffering with, the experiencing of any feeling or emotion when and because we observe in other persons or creatures the expression of that feeling or emotion. (McDougall 1916: 92)

Exactly the reason why "pity" comes up so frequently in connection with sympathy. "Sympathy is emotion caused by what seems to be the emotion or sensation of another, and having a tendency to dispose to kindness; e.g. pity, and convivial emotion" (Clay 1882: 141). McDougall gives the source as Spencer's Principles of Psychology, vol. ii. p. 563.

Sympathy of this crude kind is the cement that binds animal societies together, renders the actions of all members of a group harmonious, and allows them to repeat some of the prime advantages of social life in spite of lack of intelligence. (McDougall 1916: 93)

One of the earliest instance of this trope that I have on record.

Their sympathetic sensibility merely leads them to avoid all contact with distressful persons, books, or scenes, and to seek the company of the careless and the gay. (McDougall 1916: 96)

And "joyous natures feel joy in all company that is not disobliging" (Shand 1914: 151).

"Suggestion" is a word that has been taken over from popular speech and been specialised for psychological use. But even among psychologists it has been used in two rather different senses. A generation ago it was used in a sense very similar to that which it has in common speech; one idea was said to suggest another. But this purpose is adequately served by the word "reproduction," and there is a growing tendency to use "suggestion" only in a still more technical and strict manner, and it is in this stricter sense that it is used in these pages. Psychologists have only in recent years begun to realise the vast scope and importance of suggestion and suggestibility in social life. Their attention was directed to the study of suggestion by the recognition that the [|] phenomena of hypnotism, so long disputed and derided, are genuine expressions of a peculiar abnormal conditions of the mind, and that the leading symptom of this condition of hypnosis is the patient's extreme liability to accept with conviction any proposition submitted to him. This peculiar condition was called one of suggestibility, and the process of communication between agent and patient which leads to the latter's acceptance of any proposition was called suggestion. There was for some time a tendency to regard suggestibility as necessarily an abnormal condition and suggestion as a psychological curiosity. But very quickly it was seen that there are many degrees of suggestibility, ranging from the slight degree of the normal educated adult to the extreme degree of the deeply hypnotised subject, and that suggestion is a process constantly at work among us, the understanding of which is of extreme importance for the social sciences. (McDougall 1916: 96-97)

Thus, not simply communication of ideas but an uncritical one. Today, this is a problem we're facing with fake news and memes - even if the content shared is manifestly false and easily disprovable, the effects are still lasting. "Anyone who wishes to produce an effect upon it needs no logical adjustment in his arguments; he must paint in the most forcible colours, he must exaggerate, and he must repeat the same thing again and again" (Freud 1922: 16-17).

The following definition will, I think, cover all varieties: Suggestion is a process of communication resulting in the acceptance with conviction of the communicated proposition in the absence of logically adequate grounds for its acceptance. The measure of the suggestibility of any subject is, then, the readiness with which he thus accepts propositions. Of course, the proposition is not necessarily communicated in formal language, it may be implied by a mere gesture or interjection. (McDougall 1916: 97)

This meaning has been retained in the common expression that someone is extremely "suggestible", i.e. gullible.

A few words must be said about contra-suggestion. By this word it is usual to denote the mode of action of one individual on another which results in the second accepting, in the absence of adequate logical grounds, the contrary of the proposition asserted or implied by the agent. There are persons with whom this result is very liable to be produced by any attempt to exert suggestive influence, or even by the most ordinary and casual utterance. One remarks to such a person that it is a fine day, and, though, up to that moment, he may have formulated no opinion about the weather, and have been quite indifferent to it, he at once replies, "Well, I don't agree with you. I think it is perfectly horrid weather." Or one says to him, "I think you ought to take a holiday," and, though he had himself contemplated this course, he replies, "No, I don't need one," and becomes more immovably fixed in this opinion and the corresponding course of action the more he is urged to adopt their opposites. Some children display this contra-suggestibility very strongly for a period and [|] afterwards return to a normal degree of suggestibility. But in some persons it becomes habitual or chronic; they take a pride in doing and saying nothing like other people, in dressing and eating differently, in defying all the minor social conventions. Commonly, I believe, such persons regard themselves as displaying great strength of character and cherish their peculiarity. In such cases the permanence of the attitude may have very complex mental causes; but in its simpler instances, and probably at its inception in all instances, contra-suggestion seems to be determined by the undue dominance of the impulse of self-assertion over that of submission, owing to the formation of some rudimentary sentiment of dislike for personal influence resulting from an unwise exercise of it - a sentiment which may have for its object the influence of some one person or personal influence in general. (McDougall 1916: 101)

The attitude of a man who dislikes talking about weather. For my purposes it is important that talking about weather can be an illustration of suggestion.

We owe to Mr. A. F. Shand the recognition of features of our mental constitution of a most important kind that have been strangely overlooked by other psychologists, and the application of the word "sentiments" to denote features of this kind. Mr. Shand points out that our emotions, or, more strictly speaking, our emotional dispositions, tend to become organised in systems about the various objects and classes of objects that excite them. Such an organised system of emotional tendencies is not a fact or mode of experience, but is a feature of the complexly organised structure of the mind that underlies all our mental activity. To such an organised system of emotional tendencies centred about some object Mr. Shand proposes to apply the name "sentiment." This application of the word is in fair accordance with its usage in popular speech, and there can be little doubt that it will rapidly be adopted by psychologists. (McDougall 1916: 122)

This definition is all well and good but I don't see one could reconcile this with Malinowski's use of the word, lest the various objects of desire (e.g. power, wealth, women, etc.) are the objects meant here, which does not appear to be the case. In any case the trouble is explaining how such objects act as social stimuli, i.e. how and why they should bring people into social union.

The conception of a sentiment, as defined by Mr. Shand, enables us at once to reduce to order many of the facts of the life of impulse and emotion, a province of psychology which hithero has been chaotic and obscure. (McDougall 1916: 122)

This may have appeared to be the case at the time but after this type of psychology became unfashionable the sentiments have returned to chaotic obscurity.

Thus, as Shand points out, when a man has acquired the sentiment of love for a person or other object, he is apt to experience tender emotion in its presence, fear or anxiety when it is in danger, anger when it is threatened, sorrow when it is lost, joy when the object prospers or is restored to him, gratitude towards him who does good to it, and so on; and, when he hates a person, he experiences fear or anger or both on his approach, joy when that other is injured, angre when he receives favours. (McDougall 1916: 124)

The situation described by Malinowski, thus, assumes that natural man hates the members of surrounding tribes.

The act that, more certainly than any other, provokes vengeful emotion is the public insult, which, if not immediately resented, lowers one in the eyes of one's fellows. Such an insult calls out one's positive self-feeling, with its impulse to assert oneself and to make good one's value and power in the public eye. If the insult is at once avenged, the emotion is perhaps properly called resentment. It is when immediate satisfaction of the impulse of angry self-assertion is impossible that it gives rise to a painful desire; it is then the insult rankles in one's breast; and this desire can only be satisfied by an assertion of one's power, by returning an equally great or greater insult or injury to the offender - by "getting even with him." (McDougall 1916: 140)

A more powerful stimulus to antipathy than mere disagreement.

Though the emotion is most easily evoked, perhaps, by public insult, it may arise also from injury deliberately done to any part of the larger self, any part of that large sphere of objects to which one's self-regarding sentiment extends - e.g., injury or insult to one's family or tribe, or to any larger society with which a man identifies himself; [|] this we see in the case of the blood-feuds, where the killing of one member of a family or tribe excites this emotion in all its other members, who continue to harbour it until they have "got even" with the family of the slayer by killing him or another of its members. On a still greater scale it may be provoked as a collective emotion throughout a nation by defeat in war. In this case the painful conation or desire that arises from the checked impulse of positive self-feeling is apt to predominate greatly over the element of anger. (McDougall 1916: 140-141)

Hence "watching intently for the first low hint of a growl, which will show one belongs to the wrong pack and must withdraw" (Trotter 1921: 119-120).

We are now in a position to inquire into the nature of sorrow and joy, which we have rejected from our list of primary emotions, because, as was said, they are algedonic or pleasure-pain qualifications of emotional states rather than emotions capable of standing alone. (McDougall 1916: 149)

Pertaining to both pleasure and pain.

Pity in its simplest form is tender emotion tinged with sympathetically induced pain. It differs from sorrow, which also is essentially a painful tender emotion, in the sympathetic character of the pain, and in that it does not imply the existence of any sentiment of affection or love, as sorrow does, and is therefore a more transient experience, and one with less tendency to look before and after. There is also, of course, a sorrowful pity, as when one watches the painful and mortal illness of a dear friend. In this case there is tender emotion and there is sympathetically induced pain which makes the state one of pity; but there is also pain arising from the prospect of the loss of the object of our sentiment of love, which makes the emotion a sorrowful one. That sorrow does not necessarily include an element of sympathetic pain is clearly shown by the sorrow of those who have lost a loved one whom they sincerely believe to have entered on a happier life. The pain of sorrow is, then, a self-regarding pain, whereas the pain of pity is not; hence pity is rightly regarded as the nobler emotion. (McDougall 1916: 153)

All this proceeds happily with the premise that pity must include sympathetically induced pain and expressions of sympathy have, in this sense, a self-regarding aspect.

It may be asked - If respect is thus a sentiment that has for its most essential constituents these self-regarding emotions, how can we properly be said to entertain respect for others? The answer is, I think, that we respect those who respect themselves, that our respect for another is a sympathetic reflexion of his self-respect; for unless a man shows self-respect we never have respect for him, even though we may admire some of his qualities, or like, or even love, him in a certain degree. (McDougall 1916: 161)

My mind echoes rap lyrics to the effect that you can't expect respect if you don't respect yourself.

The older moralists frequently made use of the expression "self-love," and in doing so generally confounded under this term two different sentiments, self-love and self-respect. Self-love is fortunately a comparatively rare sentiment; it is the self-regarding sentiment of the thoroughly selfish man, the meaner sort of egoist. Such a man feels a tender emotion for [|] himself, he indulges in self-pity; he may have little positive self-feeling and may be incapable of shame. (McDougall 1916: 161-162)

Today self-love is frequently understood in the sense of "the care of the self" (Foucault 2005: 195), i.e. something to do with personal or spiritual growth. It's the stuff of unimaginative ladies of psychology who append a big bold PhD to their name on the cover of a book without a bibliography section.

The sentiment of affection for an equal generally takes its rise, not in simple tender emotion, but in admiration, or gratitude, or pity, and is especially developed by active sympathy. By active sympathy I mean sympathy in the fuller, more usual, sense of the word; we must carefully distinguish it from the simple, primitive, or passive sympathy discussed in Chapter IV. Active sympathy plays, or may play, a minor part in the genesis of the parental sentiment, but it is of prime importance for the development of the sentiment of affection between equals; for while the the former may be wholly one-sided, the latter can hardly become fully formed and permanent without some degree of reciprocation and of sympathy in this fuller sense. (McDougall 1916: 168)

How does this active sympathy compare to homogeneous sympathy, which "enhances a feeling of fellowship" (Clay 1882: 142)?

Active sympathy presents a difficult problem, which we may consider in this connexion. It involves a reciprocal relation between at least two persons; either party to the relation not only is apt to experience the emotions displayed by the other, but he desires also that the other shall share his own emotions; he actively seeks the sympathy of the other, and, when he has communicated his emotion to the other, he attains a peculiar satisfaction which greatly enhances his pleasure and his joy, or, in the case of painful emotion, diminishes his pain. (McDougall 1916: 168)

What makes active sympathy active, then, is the establishment of homogeneous feelings, or, to use Malinowski's phrasing, establishment of common sentiments?

This relation of active sympathy is apt to grow up between any two persons who are Thrown much together, if they are commonly stirred to similar emotions by similar objects; and that can only be the case if they have similar sentiments. Two persons may live together for years, and, if their sentiments are very different, if one of them likes and dislikes the things that are for the most part indifferent to the other, there will be no habitual sympathy established between them. (McDougall 1916: 168)

Thus, active sympathy is premised on constant association and, as "habitual sympathy" hints, formation of common habits, as with "a constant companion like a college room-mate - who has attended the same classes, read the same books, seen the same entertainments, and knows the same people" (La Barre 1954: 168).

The blind impulse of the gregarious animal to seek the company of his fellows, whenever one of his other instincts is excited, becomes in us the desire of seeing ourselves surrounded by others who share our emotion; and it is apt to become directed to seeking the sympathetic response of some one person in whom we are sure of evoking it; and then, having become habitually directed to that person, it finds a more certain and complete and detailed satisfaction than is possible if it remains unspecialised. (McDougall 1916: 171)

A blunt paraphrase: "the well-known tendency to congregate, to be together, to enjoy each other's company" (PC 3.2) is a blind impulse shared by all gregarious species.

On the other hand, the person in whom this impulse is strong can find, when alone, no enjoyment in the things that give him, when in sympathetic company, the keenest delight. He may, for example, be an [|] enthusiastic admirer of natural beauty; but if, by some strange chance, he takes a walk alone through the most beautiful scenes, his emotional stirrings, which, if shared by others, would be a pure delight, are accompanied by a vague though painful desire, whose nature he may or may not clearly recognise. And the chances are that he occupies himself in making mental notes of the scenes before him and hurries home to give a glowing description of them to some friend who, he knows, will be stirred in some degree to share his emotions. Some persons, in whom this impulse is but little specialised though strong and whose emotions are quick and vivid, are not satisfied until all about them share their emotions; they are pained and even made angry by the spectacle of any one remaining unmoved by the objects of their own emotions. (McDougall 1916: 172-172)

There is a modern analogue to be found in the case of laughing at a comedy movie or show - arguably laughter is a social affair, making it a rare case to laugh out loud when alone. This is why social watching is so much an improved experience: alone, a good joke may induce a smirk, whereas in company it could induce roaring laughter.

But, although it is not in itself an altruistic impulse and is not in any sense the root of altruism, it is a most valuable adjunct to the tender emotion in the formation of altruistic sentiments and in stimulating social co-operation for social ends. The man that has it not at all, or in whom it has become completely specialised (i.e., directed to some one or few persons only), will hardly become a leader and inspirer of others in the reform of social abuses, in the public recognition of merit, in public expression of moral indignation, or in any other of those collective expressions of emotion which do so much to bind societies together, even if they fail of achieving their immediate ends. (McDougall 1916: 173)

Bonds. "A surprisingly large part of every culture is merely the phatic sharing of common emotional burdens, and has no relevance at all to the outside world" (La Barre 1954: 306).

Now, volition or voluntary control proceeds from the idea of the self and from the sentiment, or organised system of emotions and impulses, centred about that idea. Hence the study of the development of self-consciousness and of [|] the self-regarding sentiment is an important part of the preparation for the understanding of social phenomena. And these two things, the idea of the self and the self-regarding sentiment, develop in such intimate relations with each other that they must be studied together. This development is, as we shall see, especially a social process, one which is dependent throughout upon the complex interactions between the individual and the organised society to which he belongs. (McDougall 1916: 174-175)

Although this book is not included in The Mead Project, the phraseology and general idea here is clearly one Mead espoused in numerous iterations.

For we find that the idea of the self and the self-regarding sentiment are essentially social products; that their development is effected by constant interplay between personalities, between the self and society; that, for this reason, the complex conception of self thus attained implies constant reference to others and to society in general, and is, in fact, not merely a conception of self, but always of one's self in relation to other selves. This social genesis of the idea of self lies at the root of morality, and it was largely because this social origin and character of the idea of self was ignored by so many [|] of the older moralists that they were driven to postulate a special moral faculty, the conscience or moral instinct. (McDougall 1916: 180-181)

The looking glass self and the generalized other.

The word "self" or "ego" is used in several different senses in philosophical discourse, the clearest and most important of these being the self as logical subject and the empirical self. In considering the genesis of moral conduct and character, we need concern ourselves with the empirical self only. We may have a conception of the self as a substantial or enduring physical entity or soul whose states are our states of consciousness. Or we may hold that, by the very nature of our thought and language, we are logically compelled to conceive, and to speak of, the self as one pole of the subject-object relation in terms of which alone we are able to describe our cognitive experience, the knowing or being aware of anything. But such conceptions are products of reflexion arrived at comparatively late, if at all, in the process of individual mental development, long after the complex conception of the empirical self has been [|] formed through a multitude of experiences of a less reflective character. (McDougall 1916: 181-182)

These seem to follow, roughly, the mind-body distinction. See also Larry Holmes (1966) views on this matter.

Now, the attitude of other persons towards him are more or less freely expressed by them in praise, reproof, gratitude, reproach, anger, pleasure or displeasure, and so forth. Hence, as he rapidly acquires insight into the meaning of these attitudes, he constantly sees himself in the reflected light of their ideas and feelings about him, a light that colours all his idea of his self and plays a great part in building up and shaping that idea; that is to say, he gets his idea of his self in large part by accepting the ideas of himself that he finds expressed by those about him. The process is well illustrated by the case of the unfortunate child who is constantly scolded and told that he is a naughty boy. (McDougall 1916: 186)

The looking glass self, point blank.

The child comes gradually to understand his position as a member of a society indefinitely larger and more powerful than any circle of his acquaintances, a society which with a collective voice and irresistible power distributes rewards and punishments, praise and blame, and formulates its approval and disapproval in universally accepted maxims. This collective voice appeals to the self-regarding sentiment, humbles or elates us, calls out our shame or self-satisfaction, with even greater effect than the personal authorities of early childhood, and gradually supplants them more and more. (McDougall 1916: 196)

Analogous to "the voice of the herd" (Trotter 1921: 109).

It might well be contended that positive self-feeling seeks merely to draw the attention of others to the self, no matter what be the nature of the regards attracted; that it finds its satisfaction simply in the fact of the self being noticed by others. There is much in the behaviour of human beings to justify this view - for example, the large number of men who seek, and who are gratified by, mere notoriety, some of whom will even commit criminal acts in order to secure notoriety; or again, the large number of people whose dress is clearly designed to attract attention, but which, even by the most disordered imagination, can hardly be supposed to excite admiration or approval; or again, the curiously great satisfaction most of us find in seeing our names in a newspaper or in print of any kind. (McDougall 1916: 197)

The function of renown. What is typomania? Apparently it is not merely an obsession with seeing one's own name in print but "an obsession with being published".

To many children this sense of isolation, of being cut off from the habitual fellowship of feeling and emotion, is, no doubt, the source of the severest pain of punishment; and moral disapproval, even though not formally expressed, soon begins to give them this painful sense of isolation; while approval gratifies the impulse of active sympathy and makes them feel at one with their fellows. And, as their social circle widens more and more, so the approval and disapproval of each wider circle give greater zest to their elation and a deeper pain to their shame, and are therefore more eagerly sought after or shunned in virtue of this impulse of active sympathy. (McDougall 1916: 201)

This is how, at least affectively, a person's social circle is "a sort of loosely compacted person" (CP 5.421).

There are, of course, great differences between men as regards the delicacy with which they apprehend the attitudes of others towards them. These differences are due in part to differences of intellectual power, but in greater part to differences in the degree of development of the self-regarding sentiment. Any man in whom this sentiment is well developed will be constantly observant of the signs of others' feelings in regard to him, and so will develop his powers of perceiving and interpreting the signs of the more delicate shades of feeling that do not commonly find deliberate expression. On the other hand, one whose perceptions are dull and whose self-regarding sentiment is not strong will be moved only by the coarser expressions of general approval and disapproval, by open praise and blame. Of two such men, the one will be said in common speech to have a sensitive conscience, and the other to have a less delicate, or a relatively defective, conscience. (McDougall 1916: 202)

Sociosemiotics of the conscience. The difference is vaguely reminiscent of "Internalization of conflicts and blame on fate or self" and "Internalization of conflicts and blame on fate or self" (Ruesch, Jacobson & Loeb 1972[1948]: 186), or, more bluntly, between character and circumstance.

These quasi-altruistic extensions of the egoistic sentiment constitute a very important part of the moral equipment of the individual; for they lead to the subjection of immediate personal ends in the service of social co-operation undertaken to secure the collective ends that individual action is powerless to achieve. They enrich our emotional life and raise our emotions and conduct to an over-individual plane. (McDougall 1916: 208)

The supra-individual plane, i.e. "the theoretical expression of the individual's submission to a larger community" (Bauman 2010: 24).

No man could acquire by means of his own unaided reflections and unguided emotions any considerable array of moral sentiments; still less could he acquire in that way any consistent and lofty system of them. In the first place, the intellectual process of discriminating and naming the abstract qualities of character and conduct is quite beyond the unaided power of the individual; in this process he finds indispensable aid in the language that he absorbs from his fellows. But he is helped not by language only; every civilised society has a more or less highly developed moral tradition, consisting of a system of traditional abstract sentiments. This moral tradition has been slowly formed and improved by the influence of the great and good men, the moral leaders of the race, through many generations; it has been handed on from generation to generation in a living form in the sentiments of the élite, the superior individuals of each generation, and has been embodied in literature, and, in partial fashion, in a variety of institutions, such as the Church. And every great and organised department of human activity, each [|] profession and calling of a civilised society, has its own specialised form of the moral tradition, which is some respects may sink below, in other respects may rise above, the moral level of the unspecialised or general tradition. (McDougall 1916: 219-220)

The same exact arguments are employed when it comes to the question of "private signs" or how "there is no private property in language". "This is the truth expressed by T. H. Green when he wrote: "No individual can make a conscience for himself. He always needs a society to make it for him." (ibid, 220).

Rigid custom is the cement of society in the ages preceding the formation of a moral tradition, and the breaking of the rigid bonds of custom, bonds which were probably essential for the preservation of primitive societies, was the prime condition of the growth of the moral tradition of the progressive nations. In the same way, it is a prime condition of the moral progress of individuals; the individual also must not be bound in absolute obedience to any system of rules of conduct prescribed by custom or in any other manner. (McDougall 1916: 220)

The connection between the cement metaphor and the "bonds".

Among all these persons some will impress their abstract sentiments upon him more than others; and, in the main, those that so impress him will be those whose power, or achievements, or position, evoke his admiration. Of all the affective attitudes of one man towards another, admiration is that which renders him most susceptible [|] to the other's influence; and it is easy to see why this should be so, if our analysis of admiration was correct. (McDougall 1916: 222-223)

Yet another list of desiderata. Power seems to be the most common item in such lists.

It was, I think, in the main because the older moralists neglected to take sufficiently into account the moral [|] tradition and the way in which it becomes impressed upon us, and because they treated of the individual in artificial abstraction from the social relations through which his moral sentiments are formed, that they were led to maintain the hypothesis of some special faculty, the conscience, or the moral sense or instinct, or the moral consciousness, in seeking to account for moral conduct. (McDougall 1916: 228-229)

Older moralists, in other words, neglected the social construction of the conscience.

Once more, in volitional recollection of some fact we have forgotten, e.g., the name of a man of whom we are thinking, our volition merely holds the idea of this man before consciousness, so thta it has the opportunity to develop its various aspects, its associative setting, the place and time and company in which we have seen the man; all of which, of course, increases the chance that his name will be reproduced or recollected. (McDougall 1916: 243)

Remembering itself is thus an unconscious process?

Moral advance and the development of volition consist, then, not in the coming into play of factors of a new order, whether called the will or the moral instinct or conscience, but in the development of the self-regarding sentiment and in the improvement or refinement of the "gallery" before which we display ourselves, the social circle that is capable of evoking in us this impulse of self-display; and this refinement may be continued until the "gallery" becomes an ideal spectator or group of spectators or, in the last resort, one's own critical self standing as the representative of such spectators. (McDougall 1916: 257)

"When one reasons it is that critical self [that internalized other] that one is trying to persuade" (PC 5.421).

One essential condition of strong character seems to be the organisation of the sentiments in some harmonious system or hierarchy. The most usual or readiest way in which such systematisation of the sentiments can be brought about, is the predominance of some one sentiment that in all circumstances is capable of supplying a dominant motive, that directs all conduct towards the realisation of one end to which all other ends are subordinated. The dominant sentiment may be a concrete or an abstract sentiment; it may be the love of money, of home, of country, of justice. When any such sentiment acquires decided predominance over all others, we call it a ruling passion; whenever other motives conflict with the motives arising within the system of a ruling passion, they go to the wall, they are powerless to oppose it. (McDougall 1916: 259)

Even McDougall can't escape functional hierarchization. "And, besides, a man's speech betrays his thoughts, and these his motives. And finally, when he surveys the man's action as a whole, and the ends to which it appears to be directed, he can often judge what are his dominant sentiments. And thus from a man's expression and gestures, from his speech and conduct, we may be able to refer results to motives, the ends accomplished to their determining emotions and sentiments." (Shand 1914: 3)

There is only one sentiment which by becoming the master-sentiment can generate strong character in the fullest sense, and that is the self-regarding sentiment. There is a lower imperfect form of the sentiment, ambition or the love of fame, the ambition to become publicly recognised as a man of this or that kind of ability or power. When this sentiment becomes a ruling passion it may cover almost the whole of conduct, may supply a dominant motive for almost every situation, a motive which arising within the self-regarding sentiment determines volition in the strict sense in which we have defined it. But it is not properly a moral sentiment, and, though it may generate character, the character formed through its agency is not moral character. (McDougall 1916: 261)

Vanity may be a sign of strong character but not a moral character. For public recognition see renown.

The cult of the ancestor and of the family, with the patria potestas, the immense authority given by law and [|] custom to the head of the family, counted for much in the strength and stability of ancient Rome. In fact, the high civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome rested on a firm basis of this kind until their decline began. (McDougall 1916: 274-275)

Actual patriarchy.

The races of men certainly differ greatly in respect to the innate strength of this instinct; but there is no reason to think that it has grown weaker among ourselves under centuries of civilisation; rather, it is probable, as we shall see presently, that it is stronger in the European peoples than it was in primitive man. But its modes of expression have changed with the growth of civilisation; and the development of law and custom discourages and renders unnecessary the bodily combat of individuals, this gives place to the collective combat of communities and to the more refined forms of combat within communities. It is observable that, when a pugnacious people is forcibly brought under a system of civilised legality, its members are apt to display an extreme and, to our minds, absurd degree of litigiousness. (McDougall 1916: 279)

This very week saw the premier of a new movie based on A. H. Tammsaare's Truth and Justice, which is mainly about the quarrels of overly litigious peasants.

In our own age the same instinct makes of Europe an armed camp occupied by twelve million soldiers, the support of which is a heavy burden on all the peoples; and we see how, more instantly than ever before, a whole nation may be moved by the combative instinct - a slight to the British flag, or an insulting remark in some foreign newspaper, sends a wave of angry emotion sweeping across the country, accompanied by all the characteristics of crude collective mentation, and two nations are ready to rush into a war that cannot fail to be disastrous to both of them. The most serious task of modern statesmanship is, perhaps, to discount and to control these outbursts of collective pugnacity. (McDougall 1916: 281)

As with Trotter, what Malinowski deals with on the level of the individual, his apparent source deals with on the level of collectives. It is very likely due to Malinowski's early and thorough reading of Nietzsche.

It was said above that the earliest form of human society was in all probability the family, and, indeed, it is probable that in this respect primitive man did but continue the social life of his prehuman ancestors. But what form the primitive family had, and in what way more complex forms of society were developed from it, are obscure and much-disputed questions. Hence any attempt to show how the human instincts played their parts in the process must be purely speculative. Nevertheless it is a legitimate and fascinating subject for speculation, and we may attempt to form some notion of the socialising influence of the instinct of pugnacity among primitive men by adopting provisionally one of the most ingenious of the speculative accounts of the process. Such is the account offered by Messrs. Atkinson and Andrew Lang, which may be briefly sketched as follows. The primitive society was a polgamous family consisting of a patriarch, his wives and children. The young males, as they became full-grown, were driven out of the community by the patriarch, who was jealous of all possible rivals to his marital privileges. They formed semi-independent bands hanging, perhaps, on the skirts of the family circle, from which they were jealously excluded. From time to time the young males would be brought by their sex-impulse into deadly strife with the patriarch, and, when one of them succeeded in overcoming him, this one would take his place and rule in his stead. A social system of this sort obtains among some of the animals, and it seems to be just such a system as the fierce sexual jealousy of man and his polygamous capacities and tendencies would produce in the absence of any [|] modifying law or moral tradition. This prohibition enforced by the jealousy of the patriarch is the primal law, the first example of a general prohibition laid upon the natural impulse of a class of human beings and upheld by superior force for the regulation of social relations. (McDougall 1916: 282-283)

Thus, sociability follows pugnacity in a more complex manner than I had anticipated. Social Origins and Primal Law (1903). Malinowski would of course have been all into this book, marked with keywords like totemism, marriage, and genealogy.

But it is not at first sight obvious how it should operate as a great socialising force. If we would understand how it may have done so, we must bear in mind the fact, so strongly insisted on by Walter Bagehot in his brilliant essay, "Physics and Politics," that the first and most [|] momentous step of primitive men towards civilisation must have been the evolution of rigid customs, the enforced observance of which disciplined men to the habit of control of the immediate impulses. (McDougall 1916: 283-284)

Though a very small step, this is a great leap forward from Spencer's rather primitive notion that social union as such checks impulsiveness. I shall have to examine what role he ascribes to custom.

A leader whose followers were bound to him by fear of punishment only would have no chance of success against a band of which the members were bound together and to their chief by a true conscientiousness arising from a more developed self-consciousness, from the identification of the self with the society, and from a sensitive regard on the part of each member for the opinion fo his fellows. (McDougall 1916: 287)

"The quite fundamental characteristic of the social mammal, as of the bee, is sensitiveness to the voice of his fellows" (Trotter 1921: 108-109). "Perhaps it may best be characterized as "phatic" communication, that is, it succeeds in spreading information about an individual animal's state of mind, or it communicates a generalized emotional tone through the band so that all its members come to have the same attitude toward a situation" (La Barre 1954: 57).

It may also have involved a relative increase of strength of the more specifically social tendencies, namely, the gregarious instinct, the instincts of self-assertion and subjection, and the primitive sympathetic tendency; the increase of strength of these tendencies in the members of any social group would render them capable of being more strongly swayed by regard for the opinions and feelings of their fellows, and so would strengthen the influence of the public opinion of the group upon each member of it. (McDougall 1916: 288)

"Tendencies", Being the Keyword to How Emotions and Sentiments Constitute the Character, usually goes with the context "instincts and innate tendencies" (cf. e.g. Shand 1914: 190), and becomes "instincts and innate trends" (PC 3.3). Tendency is "an inclination towards a particular characteristic or type of behaviour" (propensity, proclivity, proneness, aptness, likelihood, inclination, disposition, predisposition, bent, leaning, penchant, predilection, susceptibility, liability); trend is "a general direction in which something is developing or changing" (tendency, movement, drift, swing, shift, course, current, run, direction, inclination, leaning). Clearly, they are near-synonymous, with tendency secondarily "a group within a larger political party or movement" and trend "a fashion". Etymologically, tendere is "to stretch, extend, aim" from Medieval Latin 1620s; whereas trenden is "to roll about, turn, revolve" from Middle English 1590s, having to do with something round and circumspect, like the bend of a river, e.g. the general direction in which the water is flowing. I cannot ignore the analogy with intention/attention, and note the adjective tendentious, "expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one" or "having a definite purpose" from 19th Century German equivalent of "tendency". Where the river stretches, eh?

As so the core of the argument, this again presents "the purpose of establishing a common sentiment" (PC 2.3) as a function of the voice of the herd. "In fact, if left to themselves, individual consciousnesses are closed to each other; they can communicate only by means of signs which express their internal states. If the communication established between them is to become a real communion, that is to say, a fusion of all particular sentiments into one common sentiment, the signs expressing them must themselves be fused into one single and unique resultant. It is the appearance of this that informs individual that they are in harmony and makes them conscious of their moral unity. It is by uttering the same cry, pronouncing the same word, or performing the same gesture in regard to some object that they become and feel themselves to be in unison." (Durkheim 1915: 230) - Thus, the crux of the question is, what is the difference between a real communion and a phatic communion? According to the sympathy minus symmetry hypothesis, a real communion is sympathetic, a phatic communion is unsympathetic.

Where this takes an ugly turn is the "atmosphere" spin Malinowski puts on it in his review of Durkheim, and how Trotter used these words: "The incomprehensibility to the English of the whole trend of German feeling and expression suggests that there is some deeply rooted instinctive conflict of attitude between them" (Trotter 1921: 174), and "the heated atmosphere of national feeling in which our work must be done" (Trotter 1921: 156). Especially troubling is the preceding page: "The slighter kinds of aloofness, of inhuman etiquette, of legalism and senseless dignity, of indifference to the individual, of devotion to formulæ and routine are no less powerful agents in depriving the common man of the sense of intimate reality in his citizenship which might be so valuable a source of national unity. If the official machine through its utmost parts were animated by an even moderately human spirit and used as a means of binding together the people, instead of as an engine of moral disruption, it might be of incalculable value in the strengthening of morale." (Trotter 1921: 155), because it gives the secondary meaning of phatikos ("affirming") a highly loaded significance.

As an aside, I've been thinking about how perfectly suitable the title of "On the Origin of Phatic Communion" would be, as it would offer preliminary notes on how a specific terminological invention evolved in the social thought around WWI and also hint at how this brand of early social psychology implicitly attempted an alternative theory as to how human groups, e.g. nations and races, must have have formed. How does a nation come about? Is it, as the analytical psychology of 19th Century Europe suggests, a social union of the feelings, thought, and action af a collection of people? The problem of Group Mind looms large behind this facade of analogies, as the three aspects of Mind. Apollo and Dionysus demand attention.

In this connection it is interesting to compare the Japanese with the Chinese people. Whether the strain of Malayan blood in the Japanese has endowed them from the first with a stronger instinct of pugnacity than their cousins the Chinese, it is impossible to say. But it is certain that the people, in spite of the fact that they have long recognised in their Emperor a common spiritual head of the empire, have been until very recently divided into numerous clans that have been almost constantly at war with one another, society being organised on a military system not unlike that of feudal Europe. Hence the profession of the soldier has continued to be held in the highest honour, and the fighting qualities, as well as the specifically social qualities of the people, have been brought to a very high level. (McDougall 1916: 292)

Today I stumbled upon Sanjay Upadhya's Nepal and the Geo-Strategic Rivalry between China and India (Routledge, 2012). It would appear that these peoples themselves feel an affinity: "The outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war in 1894 fuelled rumors that Nepal was about to Attack Tibet, taking advantage of Beijin's preoccupation" (p. 49). These so-called "cousins" of China was qualms over territory. Recently I realized that I may never get to fulfil my dream of visiting a Chinese university where semiotics is taught in English, because they way that country is going (the way its water is bending), its social automation (see Bosanquet) might repress me for having once in my youth read a Tibetan pamphlet about human rights or have ever engaged in acts of humour.

It is among the peoples of Western Europe, who, as we have seen, have been moulded by a prolonged and severe process of military selection, that the emulative impulse is most active. With us it supplies the zest and determines the forms of almost all our games and recreations; and Professor James is guilty of picturesque exaggeration only, when he says "nine-tenths of the work of our world is done by it." Our educational system is founded upon it; it is the social force underlying an immense amount of strenuous exertion; to it we owe in a great measure even our science, our literature, and our art; for it is a strong, perhaps an essential, element of ambition, that last infirmity of noble minds, in which it operates through, and under the direction of, a highly developed social self-consciousness. (McDougall 1916: 294)

Define:emulation - "effort to match or surpass a person or achievement, typically by imitation". No wonder I thought it didn't match up with the above-given trichotomy.

To this stage the most highly civilised communities are tending, in accordance with the law that the collective mind follows in the steps of evolution of the individual mind at a great interval of time. (McDougall 1916: 295)

Social progress recapitulates ontogeny?

It was pointed out in Chapter III. that the gregarious instinct plays a great part in determining the forms of our recreations; and in Chapter VI. it was shown how, in co-operation with the primitive sympathetic tendency, it leads men to seek to share their emotions, with the largest possible number of their fellows. Besides determining the forms of recreations, this instinct plays a much more serious part in the life of civilised societies. (McDougall 1916: 296)

The social instinct then also determines small or idle talk as a form of recreation. That it leads men to seek "establishing common sentiments" is a counterpoint to Malinowski's negation of it. And that it plays a much more serious part in our society makes Malinowski's remark, to the effect that his discussion would have been more interesting if conducted on modern examples, all the more sour.

It is sometimes assumed that the monstrous and disastrous growth of London and of other large towns is the result of some obscure economic necessity. But, as a matter of fact, London and many other large towns have for a long time past far exceeded the proportions that conduce to economic efficiency and healthy social life, just as the vast herds of bison, or other animals, referred to in Chapter II., greatly exceed the size necessary for mutual defence. We are often told that the dulness of the country drives the people to the towns. But that statement inverts the truth. It is the crowd in the towns, the vast human herd, that exerts a baneful attraction on those outside it. People have lived in the country for hundreds of generations without finding it dull. It is only the existence of the crowded towns that creates by contrast [|] the dulness of the country. As in the case of the animals, the larger the aggregation the greater is its power of attraction; hence, in spite of high rents, high rates, dirt, disease, congestion of traffic, ugliness, squalor, and sooty air, the large towns continue to grow at an increasing rate, while the small towns diminish and the country villages are threatened with extinction. (McDougall 1916: 296-297)

That's a very good point about urbanization. I wonder if we're seeing a modest "back to nature" movement or at least oftly expressed desire to return to the countryside because we're no longer got off from civilization when far from towns?

In England we must attribute this tendency chiefly to the fact that the spread of elementary education and the greer intercourse between the people of the different parts of the country have broken down the bonds of custom which formerly kept each man to the place and calling of his forefathers; for custom, the great conservative force of society, the great controller of the individual impulses, being weakened, the deep-seated instincts, especially the gregarious instinct, have found their opportunity to determine the choices of men. (McDougall 1916: 297)

Is that what is meant by "free" in "free, aimless, social intercourse"? Custom is a conservative force due to its connection with habits.

The administrative authorities have shown of late years a disposition to encourage in every possible way this gregarious tendency. On the slightest occasion they organise some show which shall draw huge crowds to gape, until now a new street cannot be opened without the expenditure of thousands of pounds in tawdry decorations, and a foreign prince cannot drive to a railway station without drawing any thousands of people from their work to spend the day in worse than useless idleness, confirming their already overdeveloped gregarious instincts. There can be no doubt that the excessive indulgence of this impulse is one of the greatest demoralising factors of the present time in this country, just as it was in Rome in the days of her declining power and glory. (McDougall 1916: 298)

The first is a possible connection with Durkheim's example of communion. The second is moral indictment of crowd gatherings. Probably the greatest demoralising factors of the present time is social media.

In this connection we may briefly consider the views of Professor Giddings on "the consciousness of kind," which he would have us regard as the basic principle of social roganisation. He writes, "In its widest extension the consciousness of kind marks off the animate from the inanimate. Within the wide class of the animals it marks off species and races. Within racial lines the consciousness of kind underlies the more definite ethnical and political groupings, it is the basis of class distinctions, of innumerable forms of alliance, of rules of intercourse, and of peculiarities of policy. Our conduct towards those whom we feel to be most like ourselves is instinctively and rationally different from our conduct towards others, whom we believe to be less like ourselves. (McDougall 1916: 298)

I really need to continue reading Giddings' book (The Principles of Sociology).

The working man joins a strike of which he does not approve rather than cut himself off from his fellows. For a similar reason the manufacturers who questions the value of protection to his own industry yet pays his contribution to the protectionist campaign fund. The Southern gentleman, who believe in the cause of the Union, none the less threw in his fortunes with the Confederacy, if he felt himself to be one of the Southern people and a stranger to the people of the North. The liberalising of creeds is accomplished by the efforts of men who are no longer able to accept the traditional dogma, but who desire to maintain associations which it would be painful to sever. In a word, it is about the consciousness of kind that all other motives organise themselves in the evolution of social choice, social volition, or social policy." (McDougall 1916: 299)

Conforming rather than being the "scab". Yet another take on the "stranger". "Maintaining" is still a common trope.

If we would state more accurately the facts vaguely implied by this phrase, we must say that the gregarious impulse of any animal receives satisfaction only through the presence of animals similar to itself, and the closer the similarity the greater is the satisfaction. (McDougall 1916: 299)

Communization. Consciousness of kind.

Just so, in any human being the instinct operates most powerfully in relation to, and receives the highest degree of satisfaction from the presence of, the human beings who most closely resemble that individual, those who behave in like manner and respond to the same situations with similar emotions. (McDougall 1916: 300)

Thus, "the mere presence of others [is] a necessity for man" (PC 3.3) and the presence of likeminded people a desire for man.

The one kind of causation with which the uncultured man is thoroughly familiar is his own volitional action, issuing from feeling, emotion, and desire; and this naturally and inevitably becomes for him the type on which he models his theories of the causation of terrible events. (McDougall 1916: 304)

The primacy of firstness.

The importance of the social operation of these instincts was, then, very great; for the first requisite of society, the prime condition of the social life of man, was, in the words of Bagehot, a hard crust or cake of custom. In the struggle for existence only those societies survived which were able to evolve such a hard crust of custom, binding men together, assimilating their actions to the accepted standards, compelling control of the purely egoistic impulses, and exterminating the individuals incapable of such control. (McDougall 1916: 307)

"Mmm," drools Homer, "the cake of custom".

But enough is now known of the primitive age of ancient Greece and Rome to show that the great civilisations of these states took their rise among peoples bound hand and foot by religious custom and law as rigidly as any savages, and to show also that the dominant religious emotion was fear. (McDougall 1916: 308)

From bonds to bondage.

We may assume with confidence that the formation [|] of a mass of customary observance and prohibition was a principal feature of the evolution of all human societies that have risen above the lowest level and have survived through any considerable period of time; not only because the existence of such a crust of custom is observable in all savage and barbarous communities, but also because in its earlier stage the process must have so strengthened the societies in which it took place that rival societies in which it failed could not have stood up against them in the struggle for existence. (McDougall 1916: 308-309)

The implication in such choice of words is of course that that crust can very easily crumble.

For the essence of moral conduct is the performance of social duty, the duty prescribed by society, as opposed to the mere following of the promptings of egoistic impulses. If we define moral conduct in this broad sense, and this is the only satisfactory definition of it - then, no matter how grotesque and, from our point of view, how immoral the prescribed codes of conduct of other societies may appear to be, we must admit conformity to the code to be moral conduct; and we must admit that religion from its first crude beginnings was bound up with morality in some such way as we have briefly sketched; that the two things, religion and morality, were not at first separate and later fused together; but that they were always intimately related, and have reciprocally acted and reacted upon one another throughout the course of their evolution. (McDougall 1916: 313)

A line of argument that can be followed if Mahaffy's ramblings about civil conversation being a duty were taken seriously.

The instinct of curiosity is at the base of many of man's most splendid achievements, for rooted in it are his speculative and scientific tendencies. It has been justly maintained by J. S. Mill, by T. H. Buckle, and others, that the free and effective operation of these tendencies in any society is not only the gauge of that society's position in the scale of civilisation, but also the principal condition of the progress of a people in all that constitutes civilisation. (McDougall 1916: 315)

I'm reminded of a fairly recent report about how Russian science on the whole is some half a century behind the West. I've read some umpteen recent papers from India and China, whereas in connection with Russia I can only recall anthropologists studying Russia or its diaspora. I think I've read more from Swedes than I have from post-communist Russians.

How few men are content with the possession of what they need for the satisfaction of all other desires than this desire for possession for its own sake! It is this excess of activity beyond that required for the satisfaction of all other material needs, that results in the accumulation of the capital which is a necessary condition of the development of civilisation. (McDougall 1916: 323)

This was a common theme in the Argonauts, and an "excess of activity" strikes me as an applicable phrase for describing "a flow of language" that goes beyond communicating ideas (excessive as in "tedious").

"Suggest" denotes the part of the agent in assimilating the cognitive state of the patient to his own; but we have no word for the part played by the patient in the process, unless we adopt the ugly expression - "to be suggestioned." "Imitate" and "sympathise" denote the part of the patient in the process of assimilation of his actions and of his affective state to those of the agent; but we have no words denoting the part of the agent in these processes. Since these three processes co-operate intimately in social life, we may avoid the difficulty arising from this lack of terms by following M. Tarde, who extends the meaning of the word "imitation" to cover all three processes as viewed from the side of the patient. If we do that, we still need a correlative word to denote all three processes viewed from the side of the agent. I propose to use the words "impress" and "impression" in this sense. We may also follow M. Tarde in using "contra-imitation" to denote the process of contra-suggestion viewed from the side of the patient. (McDougall 1916: 325-326)

Some issue with "communicants". I'd go for "suggestee" but this is a legal term with connotations unknown to me.

Imitation is the prime condition of all collective mental life. I propose a reserve for another volume the detailed study of collective mental processes. Here I would dismiss the subject by merely pointing out that when men think, feel, and act as members of a group of any kind - whether a mere mob, a committee, a political or religious association, a city, a nation, or any other social aggregate - their collective actions sho that the mental processes of each man have been profoundly modified in virtue of the fact that he thought, felt, and acted as one of a group and in reciprocal mental action with the other members of the group and with the group as a whole. In the simpler forms of social grouping, imitation (taken in the wide sense defined above) is the principal condition [|] of this profound alteration of the individual's mental processes. And, even in the most developed forms of social aggregation, it plays a fundamental part (although greatly complicated by other factors) in rendering possible the existence and operation of the collective mind, its collective deliberation, emotion, character, and volition. (McDougall 1916: 326-327)

Here, I think, is the crux of Malinowski's whole apophatic polemic: in crowd gatherings where free social intercourse takes place, the modification of mental processes cannot be said to be taken place. Note that "modification" is used in the archaic sense in which it probably appeared in Descartes, e.g. "that the immediate object of the perception must be unreal, must be a mental modification serving as vicar or symbol of a remote object" (Clay 1882: 152).

This great brain, and the immense capacity for mental adaptation and acquisition implied by it, must have been evolved hand in hand with the development of man's social life and with that of language, the great agent and promoter of social life. For to an individual living apart from any human society the greater part of this brain and of this capacity for acquisition would be useless and would lie dormant for lack of any store of knowledge, belief, and [|] custom to be acquired or assimilated. (McDougall 1916: 327-328)

Reminds me a title in r/Philosophy, "Language is not an accessory to perception, argues Stanley Fish, it is perception". People have some very odd thoughts about the nature of language sometimes. Here, too, I think, Alan Gardiner (1932) would object that McDougall really means speech, not language.

All that constitutes culture and civilisation, all, or nearly all, that distinguishes the highly cultured European intellectually and morally from the men of the stone age of Europe, is then summed up in the word "tradition," and all tradition exists only in virtue of imitation; for it is only by imitation that each generation takes up and makes its own the tradition of the preceding generation; and it is only by imitation that any improvement, conceived by any mind endowed with that rarest of all things, a spark of originality, can become embodied within the tradition of his society. (McDougall 1916: 328)

I think I've written something commonsensical here to the same effect, that original thought requires familiarization with or exposure to a long and expansive tradition.

The similarities obtaining between the individuals of any one country, any one county, social class, school, university, profession, or community of any kind, and distinguishing them from the members of an yother similar community, are in the main due to the more intimate intercourse with one another of the members of the one community, to their consequent imitation of one another, and to their acceptance by imitation of the same tradition. Under this head fall similarities of language, of religious, political, and moral convictions, habits of dressing, eating, dwelling, and of recreation, all those routine activities which make up by far the greatest part of the lives of men. (McDougall 1916: 329)

"Let me look over the fence and see what my neighbour does, and take it as a rule for my behaviour" (Malinowski 1922: 326).

There is widely current a vague belief that the national characteristics of the people of any coutry are in the main innate characters. But there can be no serious question that this popular assumption is erroneous and that national characteristics, at any rate all those that distinguish the peoples of the European countries, are in the main the expressions of different traditions. (McDougall 1916: 329)

"It may well, therefore, be removed to the lumber-room of speculation and stored among the other pseudo-scientific dogmas of political "biologists" - the facile doctrines of degeneracy, the pragmatic lecturings on national characteristics" (Trotter 1921: 132).

The dominance of the traditional characters, acquired by each generation through imitation, over innate characters holds good not only in respect to the characters mentioned above, but also, though perhaps in a smaller degree, in respect to those modes of activity which are regarded as essentially the expressions of individuality, namely, the various forms of art-production, of science, of literature, of conversation. The immensely increased intercourse of peoples characteristic of the present age has already done much to obscure these national differences and peculiarities, but we have only to go back to earlier ages to see that the force of imitation is in these fields of human activity, as well as in all others, immensely greater than the force of individuality or of innate peculiarities. (McDougall 1916: 331)

Is a style or manner of conversation thus an expression of individuality or a national characteristic?

This impossibility of class-imitation under a strict caste system is, no doubt, one of the principal conditions of the stagnation of the Brahmanic civilisation of India. And the backwardness of Russia may be ascribed in large measure to the same condition; for there the conquering northmen, the Varegs, established a military and bureaucratic aristocracy which has remained relatively ineffective in civilisin the masses of Slav peasantry, owing to the lack of any middle classes by whom the aristocrats might have been imitated. (McDougall 1916: 344)

I recall a news report from my childhood where an anglophone lady who was on a quest to ride across the globe with a cart made it through Russia into Estonia and, when giving an interview to Estonian media, expressed her happiness at arriving back to civilization. From what anyone can tell, Russia is still uncivilized, and has only swapped its military and bureaucratic aristocracy from time to time. Currently it's ruled by Putin the First.

Most Englishmen would scorn to kiss and embrace one another or to gesticulate freely, if only because Frenchmen do these things; they would not wear their hair either long or very closely cropped, because Germans do so; they would not have a conscript army or universal military training, because nearly every other European nation has them. The Chinese people shows how contra-imitation may operate as a considerable conservative power in a people among whom it is strongly developed. (McDougall 1916: 345)

As a stauch contrarian, several such examples of "contra-imitation" come to mind in my own life. For example, even though I'm an entrenched hip-hop head, I have have given my best not to give away my musical preferences with my outward appearance, i.e. not to look like a typical hip-hop head. Even in my intellectual pursuits I tend to avoid books and authors who are too popular, which is why I've read as little of Umberto Eco as I have managed. It feels liberating to finally have a term for this behaviour.

In the collective thought and action of societies this tendency appears even more strongly than in private conduct, and for this reason - while a man may question the usefulness of any particular mode of activity that is practiced by a few of his fellows only, he is less likely to raise any such question in regard to any practice that he finds faithfully observed by all his fellows. The fact that all his fellows observe the practice is sufficient to put it beyond criticism and to lead him to regard it as an end in itself. And this is one of the principal bases of custom. The ends or purposes of many customs are lost in the mists of antiqity. In some cases, perhaps, the end has never been clearly defined in any one man's mind. The custom may have arisen as a compromise or fusion between diverse customs, or through some purely instinctive mode of reaction, or through perverted imitation of some foreign model. But, however and for whatever purpose instituted, a custom once established, the practice of it always becomes in some degree an end in itself, and men are prepared to maintain it, often at great cost of effort or discomfort, long after it serves any useful end. Hence the fact that meaningless formalities and rites continue to surround almost all ancient institutions. (McDougall 1916: 350)

Strong stuff. The first emphasized instance pertains to Mahaffy's "duty", the second to Malinowski's critique - given further emphasis by Gardiner and later Jakobson - of formalities ("sociabilities").

In the three and a half years which have elapsed since the appearance of its first edition, I have discerned here and there in subsequent publications what seem to be traces of its influence. (McDougall 1916: 352)


I will first state dogmatically and explicitly the theory of action which is implied throughout this volume, and will then justify it by showing the inadequacy of the other theories of action that have been most widely accepted. Human conduct, which in its various spheres is the topic with which all the social sciences are concerned, is a species of a wider genus, namely, behaviour. Conduct is the behaviour of self-conscious nad rational beings; it is the highest type of behaviour; and, if we desire to understand conduct, we must first achieve some adequate conception of behaviour in general and must then discover in what ways conduct, the highest type, differs from all the lower types of behaviour. (McDougall 1916: 353)

This theory must be pretty subtle because I've not noticed it. Could it be the source for Malinowski's pragmatism, which, according to at least one source, inspired Wittgenstein's? In the second instance I'm reminded of Mead (or was it someone else?) writing that nearly the whole of his (their?) work was a study of (rational) conduct. For me, when I studied nonverbal communication, this was the exact kind of behaviour I had no interest in. Still don't, I guess.

It is generally recognized that the word "behaviour" implies certain peculiarities which are only found in the movements of living things. These peculiarities are the marks of life; wherever we observe them, we confidently infer life. We form our notion of behaviour by the observation of the movements of living things; and, in order to explicate this notion, we must discover by what marks behaviour is distinguished [|] from all merely physical or mechanical movements. (McDougall 1916: 353-354)

"The microscopist looks to see whether the motions of a little creature show any purpose. If so, there is mind there" (CP 1.269).

When we survey the whol eworld of material things accessible to our perception, these seem, as a matter of immediate observation and apart from all theories of the relation of mind to matter, to fall into two great classes, namely, (1) a class consisting of those things whose changes seem to be purely physical happenings, explicable by mechanical principles; (2) a class of things whose changes exhibit the marks of behaviour and seem to be incapable of mechanical explanation, but rather to be always directed, however vaguely, towards an end - that is to say, are teleological or purposive; and this class constitutes the realm of life. (McDougall 1916: 355)

In agreement with Kalevi Kull's distinction between physical and semiotic realities (cf. Kull, Emmeche & Favareau 2008).

The four peculiarities which, as we have seen, characterize behaviour are purely objective or outward marks presented to the observation of the onlooker. But to say that behaviour is purposive is to imply that it has [|] also an inner side or aspect which is analogous to, and of the same order as, our immediate experience of our own purposive activities. We are accustomed to accept as the type of purposive action our own most decidedly volitional efforts, in which we deliberately choose, and self-consciously strive, to bring about some state of affairs that we clearly foresee and desire. And it has been the practice of many writers, accepting such volitional effort as the type of purposive activity, to refuse to admit to the same category any actions that do not seem to be prompted and guided by clear foresight of the end desired and willed. When purposive activity is conceived in this very restricted way, and is set over against mechanical processes, as process of a radically different type, there remains the difficulty of assigning the place and affinities of the lower forms of behaviour. (McDougall 1916: 355-356)

I have a distinct memory of reading something like this but am unable to find the quote. The point was that it is not easy to accept absolute purposelessness, there's always some inkling towards teleological explanations.

The creation of this second difficulty has naturally resulted in the attempt to solve it by forcing the truly purposive type of process into the mechanical category; that is, by regarding as wholly illusory the consciousness of striving towards an end which every man has [|] when he acts with deliberate purpose; by assuming that we are deceived when we believe ourselves to be real agents striving more or less effectively to determine the course of events and to shape them to our will and purpose. The demonstration that this view is untenable requires a very long and intricate argument, which cannot be presented here even in briefest outline. It must suffice to say that the acceptance of this view would be subversive of all moral philosophy, would deprive ethical principles and ethical discussion of all meaning and value; for if our consciousness of striving to achieve ends, to realize ideals, to live up to standards of conduct, if all this is illusory, then, to seek to determine what we ought to do and to be, or to set up standards or norms or ideals, is wholly futile; such endeavours can at best only serve to make us more acutely aware of our impotence in face of such ideals. (McDougall 1916: 356-357)

Thus, "we have been puppets, not personal agents - dupes as well as puppets - and, in view of the prevalence of wretchedness in human life, victims [of unconscious forces]" (Clay 1882: 5). McDougall expands on this topic in his Body and Mind (1911).

Mental process seems to be always a process of striving or conation initiated and guided by a process or act of knowing, of apprehension; and this knowing or cognition is always a becoming aware of something, or of some state of affairs, as given or present, together with an anticipation of some change. That is to say, mental life does not consist in a succession of different states of the subject, called states of consciousness or ideas of the subject, called states of consciousness or ideas or what not; but it consists always in an activity of a subject in respect of an object apprehended, an activity which constantly changes or modifies the relation between subject and object. Now this change which is to be effected, and which is the goal or end of action, is anticipated with very different degrees of clearness and adequacy at different levels of mental life. (McDougall 1916: 358)

Something along the lines of Peirce's thinking, e.g. abduction. Also made me recall Pjatigorski and Mamardašvili's ramblings about states of consciousness (mittemõistmise situatsioonist mõistmise situatsiooni jõudmine ei ole kontinuaalne, sest need on diskreetsed "teadvuse seisundid", aga mõtlemine ise on protsessuaalne, siin).

The theoretical lower limit of this series would be what has been well called (by Dr. Stout) anœ tic sentience; a mere feeling or sentience involving no objective reference and giving rise only to movement or effort that is completely undirected. This lower limit is approached in our own experience when we stir uneasily or writhe or throw ourselves wildly about, under the stimulus of some vaguely localized internal pain. But we do not ourselves experience the limiting case, and it is questionable whether we can properly suppose it to be realized in the simplest instances of animal behaviour; it seems probable that the actions of even the lowliest animals imply a vague awareness of something, together with some vague forward reference, some vague anticipation of a change in this something. (McDougall 1916: 360)

Firstness? Evidently Stout discusses it somewhere in his Analytic Psychology.

At the standpoint of empirical science, we must accept these conative dispositions as ultimate facts, not capable of being analyzed or of being explained by being shown to be instances of any wider more fundamental notion. (McDougall 1916: 361)

An arbitrium (Clay 1882: 10).

If we consider the animals, we shall again be led to the true view. It is now generally admitted that we cannot attribute to the lower animals "ideas," or any power of clearly representing, or thinking of, things not present to the senses; therefore we cannot attribute their actions to the pleasure of the idea of attaining [|] the end pursued; yet such animals strive under the spur of hunger, as we say, and of other appetites. (McDougall 1916: 367-368)

Phraseology: "some supremely obvious state of things" present to the senses.

When, for example, we desire the applause of our fellows, when we are consumed with what is called disinterested curiosity, when we desire to avenge ourselves or vent our wrath on one who has insulted us, when we desire to relieve distress, when we are impelled by sexual desire; in all these cases the state of desiring is painful in so far as efforts are unavailing or attainment appears impossible, and pleasurable in so far as we are able to anticipate success or take effective steps towards the desired end. (McDougall 1916: 369)

"The vain man again must display himself because he delights in applause; he must court it, and feel it sympathetically: but to court admiration would humiliate the proud man." (Shand 1914: 106-107).

Both answers are true if the "self" and "attention" are understood in the true sense; that is, if the self is understood as the vast organization of conative dispositions which is the character, and if attention is understood as conation revealing itself in cognition. (McDougall 1916: 377)

I'm collecting such definitions of the self.

Like other instincts it is a complex, innately organized, psycho-physical disposition, consisting of three parts, each subserving one of the three phases that we distinguish in every complete mental or psycho-physical process, namely the cognitive, the affective, and the conative; three parts which from the point of view of nervous function and structure, we may call the afferent or sensory, the central, and the efferent or motor. (McDougall 1916: 387)

These "three 'elements,' called also 'aspects,' and sometimes 'functions" (Shand 1914: 82-83) are now "phases".

In order that the sperm cells may be brought into such a position that they may or their own feeble powers of locomotion reach the egg in the womb, the male is provided with the organ of intromission, the penis, and the female with the vagina or sheath, the antechamber to the womb. (McDougall 1916: 390)

Define:intromission - "the action or process of inserting the penis into the vagina in sexual intercourse". Define:antechamber - "a small room leading to a main one."

This brief and general description of the nature and operation of the sex instinct in mammals holds good for the human species; and, although the operation of the instinct is often (especially among persons of culture and refinement) very much complicated and obscured by the influence of the will, and of personal sentiments and ideals, it nevertheless is often displayed in relatively uncomplicated and direct fashion. Indeed, a principal source of the difficulties and dramas of civilized life is to be found in the fact that, owing to the great strength of the impulse of this instinct, men, and even women, who have attained a high level of character and culture are liable to be swept away by a flood of sexual passion, and, the restraints [|] normally maintained by their higher sentiments being temporarily broken through, to be impelled to yield to the prompting of the instinct in a manner almost as simple and direct as the mating of the animals. (McDougall 1916: 392-392)

Pretty much how I think about sex. The reptilian brain takes over. Humans are animals.

That sex love should thus combine the most purely altruistic with the most ruthlessly egoistic tendency of human nature, seems sufficiently accounted for in the case of the woman by the great strength of the maternal impulse and the ease with which it is aroused in her in all personal relations; and in the man it is perhaps sufficiently accounted for by the fact that woman, especially at the age at which she is most strongly attractive to man, resembles in many respects, [|] both mental and physical, the child, the normal object of the parental or protective impulse. (McDougall 1916: 394-395)

Neoteny and Born Sexy Yesterday.

If we adopt this relatively restrictive view of the scope of the sex instinct in man, it still appears as one of considerable complexity on its executive side; and on its perceptual side it is certainly more complex than has commonly been assumed. (McDougall 1916: 396)

Merk and Wirk.

Secondly, the social consequences of the sexual act are so serious that great hindrances are opposed to its completion, both by the constitution of human nature (especially female nature) and by the customs and conventions, the traditions and ideals which a moralized society imposes upon its developing members. Yet the conditions that tend to excite the instinct are very frequently realized in normal social intercourse. [|] Hence it follows that in most members of a civilized society (especially in the younger celibate members) the instinct is frequently excited in some degree, but only comparatively rarely (in some cases never) permitted to accomplish its end. The impulse of this instinct therefore, in addition to subserving the primary function of reproduction of the species, plays a large part (in co-operation with other tendencies) in determining the forms and maintaining the activities of social intercourse. In the games of children and young people, in their dances and social gatherings, the mingling of the sexes gives a zest to the enjoyment and adds to the vigour of both bodily and mental activity, through the appeal to the sex instinct; even though the gathering be of the most decorous and no single participant be capable of defining the end of the instinct or be aware of the source of his special animation. And in such games as kiss-in-the-ring, in the sophisticated dances of modern society, in flirtations of all degrees, and in the more or less self-conscious efforts of deliberate courtship, the operation of the sex impulse is obvious enough. (McDougall 1916: 400-401)

An extremely interesting spin on the topic. In Malinowski's own writings I've noticed only a feeble connection, as in rumours revolving around "courtly drama".

For the sex impulse necessarily intensifies self-consciousness, at the same time that it impels the individual to seek the presence of his or her fellows and to become attentive to their regards; that is to say, it brings members of the two sexes into just such relations to one another as are best fitted to lead to the excitement of the instincts of self-display and self-abasement. (McDougall 1916: 414)

Thus, "the fundamental tendency which makes the mere presence of others a necessity for man" (PC 3.3) may include the sex instinct.

There is among us a considerable number of persons who would defend the practice of sexual love between persons of the same sex; asserting that this is purely a private concern of individual taste and feeling; and that the present state of the law and of public opinion in this country inflicts grievous hardship upon a number of persons whose sex impulse is innately directed to their own sex. The answer to all such pleas must be that, while we may pity the misfortune of such persons, they must, like others born with mental and bodily malformations still harder to bear, learn to adapt themselves as best they may to the social institutions formed for the regulation of the lives of normally constituted men and women, and must, if necessary, suffer in silence. (McDougall 1916: 417)

"If ya'll can just suffer in silence that'll be greeaat." - Bill Lumbergh, probably.

I see no evidence that any further changes occur in those communities and in those individuals (e.g. The savages of our great cities) in which the repressive influences are not brought to bear. (McDougall 1916: 423)

Hence, "the primitive mind, whether among savages or our own uneducated classes" (PC 4.3).