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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

PREFACE. 

 

 

As in many other of these _Studies_, and perhaps more than in most, the 

task attempted in the present volume is mainly of a tentative and 

preliminary character. There is here little scope yet for the presentation 

of definite scientific results. However it may be in the physical 

universe, in the cosmos of science our knowledge must be nebulous before 

it constellates into definitely measurable shapes, and nothing is gained 

by attempting to anticipate the evolutionary process. Thus it is that 

here, for the most part, we have to content ourselves at present with the 

task of mapping out the field in broad and general outlines, bringing 

together the facts and considerations which indicate the direction in 

which more extended and precise results will in the future be probably 

found. 

 

In his famous _Descent of Man_, wherein he first set forth the doctrine of 

sexual selection, Darwin injured an essentially sound principle by 

introducing into it a psychological confusion whereby the physiological 

sensory stimuli through which sexual selection operates were regarded as 

equivalent to aesthetic preferences. This confusion misled many, and it is 

only within recent years (as has been set forth in the "Analysis of the 

Sexual Impulse" in the previous volume of these _Studies_) that the 

investigations and criticisms of numerous workers have placed the doctrine 

of sexual selection on a firm basis by eliminating its hazardous aesthetic 

element. Love springs up as a response to a number of stimuli to 

tumescence, the object that most adequately arouses tumescence being that 

which evokes love; the question of aesthetic beauty, although it develops 

on this basis, is not itself fundamental and need not even be consciously 

present at all. When we look at these phenomena in their broadest 

biological aspects, love is only to a limited extent a response to beauty; 

to a greater extent beauty is simply a name for the complexus of stimuli 

which most adequately arouses love. If we analyze these stimuli to 

tumescence as they proceed from a person of the opposite sex we find that 

they are all appeals which must come through the channels of four senses: 

touch, smell, hearing, and, above all, vision. When a man or a woman 

experiences sexual love for one particular person from among the multitude 

by which he or she is surrounded, this is due to the influences of a group 

of stimuli coming through the channels of one or more of these senses. 

There has been a sexual selection conditioned by sensory stimuli. This is 

true even of the finer and more spiritual influences that proceed from one 

person to another, although, in order to grasp the phenomena adequately, 

it is best to insist on the more fundamental and less complex forms which 

they assume. In this sense sexual selection is no longer a hypothesis 

concerning the truth of which it is possible to dispute; it is a 

self-evident fact. The difficulty is not as to its existence, but as to 


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