AFFECTION (ad and
facio).—(1) Passive, an impression made on the sensory system.
(2) Active, a disposition towards persons, urging the agent to seek the good or
hurt of others. The affections are motive forces, in close relation to the
intelligent nature, and superior to desire.
"There are various principles of action in
man which have persons for their immediate object, and
imply, in their very nature, our being well- or ill-affected to
some person, or at least to some animated being. Such
principles I shall call by the general name of affections,
whether they dispose us to do good or hurt to others" (Reid,
Active Powers, essay III. pt. II. ch. III.-VI.).
One of the most important divisions of empirical psychology as concerned with
Feeling, is that which treats of the natural history of the affections, or the
laws of their development (Bain's Emotions and Will, ch. III.; Cyple's Process
of Human Experience, ch. X. p. 267 ; Sully's Outlines of Psychology, p. 489).