an introduction to psychology

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER V SENSATIONS OF PRESSURE, OF PAIN AND OF TEMPERATURE I. The Sensation Of Pressure "THE famous town of Mansoul," said John Bunyan, "had five gates, in at which to come, out at which to go. . . . The names of the gates were these, Ear-gate, Eye-gate, Mouth-gate, Nose-gate, and Feel-gate." Everyday opinion agrees well with Bunyan and credits us with a fifth sense, touch, besides sight, hearing, taste, and smell. But long ago a better observer than Bunyan — Aristotle, first of psychologists — said truly, " It is a question whether the sense of touch includes several senses or whether it is one sense only, ... for ... the object of touch presents us with many pair of opposites — such as hot and cold, dry and moist, hard and soft, and others.1" On reflection, we are tolerably certain to take sides with Aristotle. The different experiences, warmth and cold, pressure and pain, which result from stimulation of the skin, are as radically different from each other as colors from sounds or tastes from smells. Evidently, therefore, the word ' touch ' does not designate an elemental consciousness, but rather loosely covers a multitude of experiences which arise through stimulation of the skin. Of all the elemental experiences which the word 'touch ' implies, the fundamental one is that of pressure. A proof of its significance is the curious fact that the reality of our experience is always put to a pressure-test, as we may callit. Macbeth clutches at the dagger to assure himself, by touching it, whether or not it is an apparition; and one feels of an object to know what its shape ' really' is. Our first impression is, that just as there are several distinct colors and several tastes, so also there are many varieties of pressure. There are, for example, the distinctions whic...
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