Development Of Reason And Will





Later still, when the child is older, we may have somewhat the following

mechanism: "Sweets, good, want, taste; spank, hurt; don't care, spank

not hurt much, maybe never found put, sweets very good."



Now the child is reasoning and choosing between two courses of action,

don't and do. His decision will depend upon whether immediate

satisfaction of desire is stronger than the deferred satisfaction of

being good, and the fear of punishment. He probably prefers to take a

chance, and even if the worst comes, weighs it with the other worst, not

having the sweet--and takes the "bird in the hand." He has reasoned, and

has chosen between two emotions the one which his judgment says is the

more desirable; and his will carries out the decision of his reasoning.

His chief end in life is still to get the most immediate pleasure. Still

later in child-life, much later, perhaps, his decision about the jam is

based on neither love of it nor fear of punishment, but--despite his

still sweet tooth--on a reasoned conclusion that if he eats jam now he

may be sick, or he may spoil his appetite for dinner; or on a

consideration that sweets between meals are not best on dietetic

principles; and will very readily backs up the result of his

reasoning. Though his determination is largely based upon feeling,

reason has chosen between feelings, between immediate desire to have,

and desire to avoid future discomfort. Reason is triumphant over present

desire.





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