consciousness and psyche brings in human behaviour, is ignored. As an example Ishall mention two laws: the law of extinction (or internal inhibition) of conditionalreflexes, discovered by Academician Pavlov
, and the law of dominants, formulated by Professor Ukhtomsky
.The law of extinction (or internal inhibition) of conditional reflexes expresses the factthat with continued excitation elicited by one conditional irritant, not reinforced byanother unconditional irritant, a conditional reflex gradually diminishes in strengthuntil it finally disappears. Now let us turn to human behaviour. Let us develop aconditional reaction on some irritant in a human subject. For example, we give theinstructions “When you hear the bell, press the button.” Now let us repeat thisexperiment 40, 50, or even 100 times. Does extinction take place? On the contrary, theconnection is reinforced with each instance, with each passing day. Fatigue sets in, butthis is not what the law of extinction is referring to. It is obvious here that simpleextrapolation of a law from animal psychology to human psychology is not possible.We need some principal stipulation. But we do not know just what this stipulation is,nor do we even know where and how to look for it.The law of dominants propounds the existence in the animal nervous system of focusof excitation that attract to themselves other subdominant excitations impinging onthe nervous system at the same time. Sexual excitation in a cat, the acts of swallowingand defecation, the embracing reflex in a frog – all these, as experiments have shown,are strengthened at the expense of any other extraneous irritation. From this a directstep is made to the act of attention in humans, and it is asserted that a dominant is the physiological foundation of this act. Yet it turns out that attention is actually devoid of the capacity to be strengthened at the expense of any other extraneous irritation whichis the characteristic feature of a dominant. On the contrary, any extraneous irritantdistracts and weakens attention. Again, a step from laws concerning dominants in thecat or the frog to the laws of human behaviour needs some essential corrective.4. But what is most important is that the exclusion of consciousness from the domainof scientific psychology to a considerable extent preserves all the dualism andspiritualism of former subjective psychology. Academician Bekhterev asserted that hissystem of reflexology did not contradict the hypothesis of the soul
. Subjective or conscious phenomena are depicted by him as second-order phenomena, as specificinternal phenomena accompanying combinatory reflexes
. Dualism is reinforced bythe fact that a special science, subjective reflexology
, is admitted as not only possible in the future, but even as inevitable.The main premise of reflexology, namely, the purported possibility in principle of explaining all human behaviour without any recourse to subjective phenomena and of constructing a psychology without psyche, is the hand-me-down dualism of subjective psychology, its attempt to study pure, abstract psyche. This is the other half of the olddualism: then there is a psyche without behaviour, here – behaviour without psyche;in both cases mind and behaviour are understood as two different phenomena. No psychologist, even if he is an extreme spiritualist and idealist, has, precisely byvirtue of this dualism, ever denied the physiological materialism of reflexology. Yet,on the contrary, it is idealism through and through, and indeed necessarily presupposed it.