Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/200

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imagination not possible for low intelligences. Let us glance at each of these reasons.

Every altruistic feeling presupposes experience of the corresponding egoistic feeling. As, until pain has been felt there can not be sympathy with pain, and as one who has no ear for music can not enter into the pleasure which music gives to others; so, the altruistic sentiment of justice can arise only after the egoistic sentiment of justice has arisen. Hence where this has not been developed in any considerable degree, or has been repressed by a social life of an adverse kind, the altruistic sentiment of justice remains rudimentary.

The complexity of the sentiment becomes manifest on observing that it is not concerned only with concrete pleasures and pains, but is concerned mainly with certain of the circumstances under which these are obtainable or preventable. As the egoistic sentiment of justice is gratified by maintenance of those conditions which render achievement of satisfactions unimpeded, and irritated by the breaking of those conditions, it results that the altruistic sentiment of justice requires for its excitement not only the ideas of such satisfactions, but also the ideas of those conditions which are in the one case maintained and in the other case broken.

Evidently, therefore, to be capable of this sentiment in a developed form, the faculty of mental representation must be relatively great. Where the feelings with which there is to be sympathy are simple pleasures and pains, the higher gregarious animals occasionally display it: pity and generosity are from time to time felt by them as well as by human beings. But to conceive simultaneously not only the feelings produced in another, but the plexus of acts and relations involved in the production of such feelings, presupposes the putting together in thought of more elements than an inferior creature can grasp at the same time. And when we come to those most abstract forms of the sentiment of justice which are concerned with public arrangements, we see that only the higher varieties of men are capable of so conceiving the ways in which good or bad institutions and laws will eventually affect their spheres of action, as to be prompted to support or oppose them; and that only among these, therefore, is there excited under such conditions that sympathetic sentiment of justice which makes them defend the political interests of fellow-citizens.

There is, of course, a close connection between the sentiment of justice and the social type. Predominant militancy, by the coercive form of organization it implies, alike in the fighting body and in the society which supports it, affords no scope for the egoistic sentiment of justice; but, contrariwise, perpetually tramples on it, and at the same time the sympathies which origi-