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Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint
I. The Concept and Purpose of Psychology
Source: Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, (1874) Routledge & Kegan Paul, First two chapters, "Concept and Purpose of Psychology" and "Psychological Method with Special Reference to its Experiential Basis".
There are certain phenomena which once seemed familiar and obvious and appeared to provide an explanation for things which had been obscure. Subsequently, however, these phenomena began to seem quite mysterious themselves and began to arouse astonishment and curiosity. These phenomena, above all others, were zealously investigated by the great thinkers of antiquity. Yet little agreement or clarity has been reached concerning them to this day. It is these phenomena which I have made my object of study. In this work I shall attempt to sketch in general terms an accurate picture of their characteristics and laws. There is no branch of science that has borne less fruit for our knowledge of nature and life, and yet there is none which holds greater promise of satisfying our most essential needs. There is no area of knowledge, with the single exception of metaphysics, which the great mass of people look upon with greater contempt. And yet there is none to which certain individuals attribute greater value and which they hold in higher esteem. Indeed, the entire realm of truth would appear poor and contemptible to many people if it were not so defined as to include this province of knowledge. For they believe that the other sciences are only to be esteemed insofar as they lead the way to this one. The other sciences are, in fact, only the foundation; psychology is,
as it were, the crowning pinnacle. All the other sciences are a preparation for psychology; it is dependent on all of them. But it is said to exert a most powerful reciprocal influence upon them. It is supposed to renew man's entire life and hasten and assure progress. And if, on the one hand, it appears to be the pinnacle of the towering structure of science, on the other hand, it is destined to become the basis of society and of its noblest possessions, and, by this very fast, to become the basis of all scientific endeavour as well. 1. The word "psychology" means science of the soul. In fact, Aristotle, who was the first to make a classification of science and to expound its separate branches in separate essays, entitled one of his works peri psychis. He meant by "soul" the nature, or, as he preferred to express it, the form, the first activity, the first actuality of a living being. And he considers something a living being if it nourishes itself, grows and reproduces and is endowed with the faculties of sensation and thought, or if it possesses at least one of these faculties. Even though he is far from ascribing consciousness to plants, he nevertheless considered the vegetative realm as living and endowed with souls. And thus, after establishing the concept of the soul, the oldest work on psychology goes on to discuss the most general characteristics of beings endowed with vegetative as well as sensory or intellectual faculties. This was the range of problems which psychology originally encompassed. Later on, however, its field was narrowed substantially. Psychologists no longer discussed vegetative activities. On the assumption that it lacked consciousness, the entire realm of vegetative life ceased to be considered within the scope of their investigations. In the same way, the animal kingdom, insofar as it, like plants and inorganic things is an object of external perception, was excluded from their field of research. This exclusion was also extended to phenomena closely associated with sensory
life, such as the nervous system and muscles, so that their investigation became the province of the physiologist rather than the psychologist. This narrowing of the domain of psychology was not an arbitrary one. On the contrary, it appears to be an obvious correction necessitated by the nature of the subject matter itself. In fact, only when the unification of related fields and the separation of unrelated fields is achieved can the boundaries between the sciences be correctly drawn and their classification contribute to the progress of knowledge. And the phenomena of consciousness are related to one another to an extraordinary degree. The same mode of perception gives us all our knowledge of them, and numerous analogies relate higher and lower phenomena to one another. The things which external perception has shown us about living beings are seen as if from a different angle or even in a completely different form, and the general truths which we find here are sometimes the same principles which we see governing inorganic nature, and sometimes analogous ones. It could be said, and not without some justification, that Aristotle himself suggests this later and more correct delimitation of the boundaries of psychology. Those who are acquainted with him know how frequently, while expounding a less advanced doctrine, he sets forth the rudiments of a different and more correct viewpoint. His metaphysics as well as his logic and ethics provides examples of this. In the third book of his treatise On the Soul, where he deals with voluntary actions, he dismisses the thought of investigating the organs that serve as intermediaries between a desire and the part of the body toward whose movement the desire is directed. For, he says, sounding exactly like a modern psychologist, such an investigation is not the province of one who studies the soul, but of one who studies the body. I say this only in passing so as perhaps to make it easier to convince some of the enthusiastic followers of Aristotle who still exist even in our own times.
We have seen how the field of psychology became circumscribed. At the same time, and in quite an analogous manner, the concept of life was also narrowed, or, if not this concept - for scientists still ordinarily use this term in its broad original sense - at least the concept of the soul. In modern terminology the word "soul" refers to the substantial bearer of presentations and other activities which are based upon presentations and which, like presentations, are only perceivable through inner perception. Thus we usually call soul the substance which has sensations such as fantasy images, acts of memory, acts of hope or fear, desire or aversion. We, too, use the word "soul" in this sense. In spite of the modification in the concept, then, there seems to be nothing to prevent us from defining psychology in the terms in which Aristotle once defined it, namely as the science of the soul. So it appears that just as the natural sciences study the properties and laws of physical bodies, which are the objects of our external perception, psychology is the science which studies the properties and laws of the soul, which we discover within ourselves directly by means of inner perception, and which we infer, by analogy, to exist in others. Thus delimited, psychology and the natural sciences appear to divide the entire field of the empirical sciences between them, and to be distinguished from one another by a clearly defined boundary. But this first claim, at least, is not true. There are facts which can be demonstrated in the same way in the domain of inner perception or external perception. And precisely because they are wider in scope, these more comprehensive principles belong exclusively neither to the natural sciences nor to psychology. The fact that they can be ascribed just as well to the one science as to the other shows that it is better to ascribe them to neither. They are, however, numerous and important enough for there to be a special field of study devoted to them. It is this field of study which, under the name
be unduly disturbed by the inevitable encroachment of physiology upon psychology and vice versa. because sensations are aroused by physical stimuli. then. here too borderline cases between the natural and mental sciences are inevitable. less appropriately. Some thinkers have distinguished a separate science which is supposed to deal with these questions. For the facts which the physiologist investigates and those which the psychologist investigates are most intimately correlated. As always happens when two sciences touch upon one another. even the distinction between the two less general of these three great branches of knowledge is not an absolute one. Is it not the task of the physiologist to trace voluntary as well as reflex actions back to the origins through an uninterrupted causal chain? Yet the psychophysicist." Such a science is supposed to eliminate all boundary disputes between psychology and physiology. too." Others have named it. "physiological psychology. will have to investigate the first physical effects of mental causes. we must distinguish from both the natural sciences and psychology. Not only may physical states be aroused by physical states and mental states by mental. These encroachments will be . despite their great differences in character.metaphysics. who named this branch of science "psychophysics" and called the famous law which he established in this connection the "Psychophysical Law. One in particular is Fechner. Moreover. But would not new and even more numerous disputes arise in their place between psychology and psychophysics on the one hand and between psychophysics and physiology on the other? Ort is it not obviously the task of the psychologist to ascertain the basic elements of mental phenomena? Yet the psychophysicist must study them too. but it is also the case that physical states have mental consequences and mental states have physical consequences. Let us not. We find physical and mental properties united in one and the same group.
with reference to movements that have mental causes. They do nothing to refute the correctness of the boundary line we have established. one of which pertains to the physiologist. once in physiology and once in psychology. justified as it is. i. the problem itself is as good as solved." it seems to me that the problem has two parts. Likewise. this distinction. like every other distinction between sciences. the physiologist must establish within his own field their ultimate and proximate effects. even if he cannot dispense with looking at physiological facts in so doing.no greater than those which we observe. between physics and chemistry. is somewhat artificial. but it will be the task of the physiologist to investigate the ultimate and immediate physical causes of sensation. for example. In the case of each of these problems we can easily show which field contains the essential difficulty. But is not the answer to the latter question immediately and completely evident? Is it not clear that all the smallest noticeable differences must be considered equal to one another ? This is the . By the same token. Once this difficulty is solved. even though in so doing he must obviously also look at the mental phenomenon. the psychologist will have to establish the ultimate and immediate mental antecedents of the whole series of physical changes which are connected with them. in the case of voluntary movements of the body. The second consists in trying to discover the relations which these smallest noticeable differences bear to one another. it will definitely be the task of the psychologist to ascertain the first mental phenomena which are aroused by a physical stimulus. For example. while the other is the task of the psychologist. they only show that. The first is to determine which relative differences in the intensity of physical stimuli correspond to the smallest noticeable differences in the intensity of mental phenomena.e. the investigation of the so-called "Psychophysical Law. Nor will it be in any way necessary to treat the whole range of so-called psychophysical questions twice. i.e. Concerning the demonstration that there is a proportional relationship between increases in physical and mental causes and effects.
Some define it. and a philosophically trained physicist such as Fechner for establishing it in a more extended sphere. could yield a result quite different from what was expected. If someone doubts that all differences which are just noticeable are equal. not all psychologists would agree to defining psychology as the science of the soul. If that were so. then it would be greater or smaller than the just noticeable. On the other hand. In fact. So the definition of psychology which was given above appears to be justified. . But this remains to be investigated. The moon does seem to change position more noticeably when it is nearer the horizon than when it is high in the sky. which is the job of the psychologist because it deals with laws of comparative judgement. in his Physiological Psychology (p. and the investigation of this question. which is a contradiction. Weber for paving the way for this law. every increase which is equal would have to be equally noticeable and every increase which is equally noticeable would have to be equal. . when in fact it changes the same amount in the same amount of time in either case. .view which has been generally accepted. the first task mentioned above undoubtedly belongs to the physiologist. in the sense indicated above." Wundt does not realize that this is a circular argument. if one just noticeable difference were greater or smaller than another. H. The only thing that is correct and evident a priori is that all just noticeable differences are equally noticeable. 2. 295). Nevertheless. Wundt himself. and its position among its neighbouring sciences to have been clarified. being "just noticeable" is no longer a characteristic property of a constant magnitude. offers the following argument: "A difference in intensity which is just barely noticeable is . Physical observations have more extensive application here. but not that they are equal. then as far as he is concerned. a psychic value of constant magnitude. And it is certainly no coincidence that we have to thank a physiologist of the first rank such as E.
These facts prove beyond doubt that the objects of sensory experience are deceptive. Similarly. even though they may point to objects which do so exist. rather than as the science of bodies. things which are in the same location can appear to be in different locations. John Locke once conducted an experiment in which. natural science is to be defined as the science of physical phenomena. . warmth and taste do not really and truly exist outside of our sensations. would be sufficient to account for the phenomena. Likewise. we would still have to doubt their veracity because there would be no guarantee for them as long as the assumption that there is a world that exists in reality which causes our sensations and to which their content bears certain analogies. as revealed in sensation. From the same distance away. are merely phenomena. Let us clarify the basis of this objection. we know that pressure on the eye can arouse the same visual phenomena as would be caused by rays emanating from a so-called colored object. He experienced warmth in one hand and cold in the other.rather. as the science of mental phenomena. and from different distances away. he immersed both of them simultaneously in the same basin of water. What is meant by "science of mental phenomena" or "science of physical phenomena"? The words "phenomenon" or "appearance" are often used in opposition to "things which really and truly exist. that the objects of our senses. But even if this could not be established so clearly. A related point is that movement may appear as rest and rest as movement. and thus proved that neither warmth nor cold really existed in the water. things which are in different locations can appear to be in the same location. And with regard to determinations of spatial location. after having warmed one of his hands and cooled the other. colour and sound. those who take appearances for true reality can easily be convinced of their error in a similar way. for example. in their opinion. thereby placing it on the same level as its sister sciences." We say.
In contrast to that which really and truly exists. and that it exists just as he perceives it. no one has ever shown that someone who considers these phenomena to be true would thereby become involved in contradictions." as inner perception reveals them to us. These people do not deny that thinking and willing really exist. is related to the fact that on such a definition the limits of knowledge are misunderstood. On the contrary. of their existence we have that clear knowledge and complete certainty which is provided by immediate insight. apply in the same way to objects of inner perception. however. therefore. In their case." and "mental events. There is another. to believe that the objects of so-called external perception really exist as they appear to us. has no reasonable justification. If someone says that natural science is the science of bodies. because it would have destroyed any firm basis upon which it could endeavour to attack knowledge. if . they are mere phenomena. quite different reason which generally motivates those who advocate such a definition. And they use the expression "mental phenomena" or "mental appearances" as completely synonymous with "mental states". no one can really doubt that a mental state which he perceives in himself exists. Defining psychology as the science of mental phenomena in order to make natural science and mental science resemble each other in this respect. What has been said about the objects of external perception does not. Consequently. however. Anyone who could push his doubt this far would reach a state of absolute doubt. and he means by "body" a substance which acts on our sense organs and produces presentations of physical phenomena.We have no right. Nevertheless. then. "mental processes. Indeed. Likewise. he assumes that substances are the cause of external appearances. too. they demonstrably do not exist outside of us. a scepticism which would certainly destroy itself. their objection to the old definition.
feeling and willing. it is not an object of science. but psychology can and should exist nonetheless. In so doing. it will be a psychology without a soul. and the latter. then he is expressing his conviction that mental events are to be considered properties of a substance. then. in inner perception we encounter manifestations of thinking. and means by "soul" the substantial bearer of mental states. It is a fiction to which no reality of any sort corresponds. although. This is how it is actually viewed at present by many famous natural scientists who have formed opinions about philosophical questions. as the science of mental phenomena. neither sense perception nor inner experience reveal substances to us. All of the laws of . Rather. But we never encounter that something of which these things are properties. analogously. We see that the idea is not as absurd as the expression makes it seem. Even viewed in this way psychology still retains a wide area for investigation. There is no such thing as the soul. Hence natural science may not be defined as the science of bodies nor may psychology be defined as the science of the soul. thanks to the noteworthy trend which is now bringing philosophy and the natural sciences closer together.someone says that psychology is the science of the soul. even if it did exist. A glance at natural science makes this clear. to use Albert Lange's paradoxical expression. they in no way restrict the domain of the natural sciences. colour and sound. the former should be thought of simply as the science of physical phenomena. Just as in sense perception we encounter phenomena such as warmth. at least not as far as we are concerned. Obviously. For all the facts and laws which this branch of inquiry investigates when it is conceived of as the science of bodies will continue to be investigated by it when it is viewed only as the science of physical phenomena. or whose existence could not possibly be proved. But what entitles us to assume that there are such substances ? It has been said that such substances are not objects of experience.
for example. In his opinion. no matter by what cause . . without the presence of any such cause as excited it at first.e. The phenomena revealed by inner perception are also subject to laws. has its idea. i. In general. . would be the law according to which. he says. . according to Mill. Anyone who has engaged m scientific psychological research recognises this and even the layman can easily and quickly find confirmation for it in his own inner experience. The first is the Law of Similarity: "Similar ideas tend to excite one another. some of these laws are general. the laws according to which one of these states produces another. too. fall within their domain according to these thinkers. is capable of being reproduced in us. there would also be certain general laws which determine the actual appearance of such an idea. The laws of the coexistence and succession of mental phenomena remain the object of investigation even for those who deny to psychology any knowledge of the soul. . a state of consciousness resembling the former but inferior in intensity. then when one of these . either simultaneously or in immediate succession. Similarly. A general law. And with them comes a vast range of important problems for the psychologist. psychology investigates the laws which govern the succession of our mental states. "whenever any state of consciousness has once been excited in us. John Stuart Mill." The second is the Law of Contiguity: "When two impressions have been frequently experienced .coexistence and succession which these sciences encompass according to others. using the language of Hume. most of which still await solution. In order to make more intelligible the nature of psychology as he conceived it. one of the most decisive and influential advocates of this point of view. has given in his System of Logic synopsis of the problems with which psychology must be concerned." Every impression. others more special. The same thing is true of psychology. He mentions three such Laws of Association of Ideas.
to a greater frequency of conjunction.e. or whether the mental realm also exhibits cases similar to the process of chemical combination. Sometimes the processes are analogous to those in mechanics and sometimes to those in chemical reactions. Mill himself believed it to be an established fact that both types of case exist in the domain of inner phenomena. where you see in water none of the characteristics of hydrogen and oxygen. homogeneous with its causes and in a certain sense the sum of its causes. for example. by means of special observations. Thus. in rendering them excitable by one another. is to derive from these general and elementary laws of mental phenomena more specific and more complex laws of thought. is equivalent. and in cinnabar none of the characteristics of mercury and sulphur. whether or not effects and initial conditions are always related in the same way. according to Mill. the question arises whether or not every such case is a case of a combination of causes in other words. i." The further task of psychology. the laws of succession of these phenomena. it would nevertheless be certain that entirely different fields of investigation are opened here. i. In whatever way it should be decided. the idea of extension and three dimensional space develops from kinaesthetic sensations. where a motion is always the result of motion. He says that since several mental phenomena often work concurrently. of ascertaining .e.impressions. or the idea of it recurs. perhaps even affirmatively. whether they are the product of a fusion of ideas. A series of new investigations is linked with this point." The third is the Law of Intensity: "Greater intensity in either or both of the impressions. as they are in the field of mechanics. it tends to excite the idea of the other. In particular the question will be raised as to whether belief and desire are cases of mental chemistry. For it may happen that several ideas coalesce in such a way that they no longer appear as several but seem to be a single idea of a completely different sort. Mill thinks that perhaps we must answer this question negatively. And so there emerges the new task of ascertaining.
formulating the laws of the formation of character. the primary task would consist in determining what objects we desire naturally and originally. Mill thinks. has the task of investigating how far the production of one mental state by others is influenced by confirmable physical states. rightly or erroneously. And obviously this holds true not merely for the commonly recognised tendency of the deaf toward mistrustfulness. If there are still. one in which psychological and physiological research become more closely involved with one another than elsewhere. less easily intelligible phenomena. but also for many other. as evidence for another thing. The remainder can. which cannot be explained in any other way except directly in terms of one's particular physical organisation. of the physically handicapped toward irritability. there is yet another rich area for investigation. . by and large. and what are the laws in virtue of which one thing is taken. as Mill grants. we see that a wide field of investigation is assured for psychology in the area of ethology. of the congenitally blind toward lustfulness. they could be consequences of the previous mental history of those individuals. that by far the greatest portion of a person's character can be adequately explained in terms of his education and outward circumstances. according to Mill. They could be an original and ultimate fact. In respect to belief. and they could be the result of differences in physical organisation. we would inquire what we believe directly. only be explained indirectly in terms of organic differences.whether or not they are the products of such psychological chemistry. In regard to desire. other phenomena. and then we must go on to determine by what causes we are made to desire things originally indifferent or even disagreeable to us. instincts in particular. i. Individual differences in susceptibility to the same psychological causes can be conceived as having a threefold basis. so to speak.e. In addition. The attentive and critical observer will recognise. according to what laws one belief produces another. The psychologist.
Admittedly he sets forth his proofs for the immortality of the soul in less detail than Plato. And the same thing is true of Aristotle. at the present time. where the doctrine of apodictic or scientific demonstration was necessarily the most important issue. condensed into a few pages in the Posterior Analytics. the very problem which gave the first impetus to psychological research can. I mean the question of continued existence after death. Anyone familiar with Plato knows that above all else it was the desire to ascertain the truth about this problem which led him to the field of psychology. men who have made themselves pre-eminently of service to the advancement of science. His Phaedo is devoted to it. yet this study was avowedly so essential to him that he actually applied the name "theology" to the entire science. In his logical works." In the same way. apparently. there are still others which are equally significant. extended discussions. among whom are. the above conception of psychology seems to exclude at least one question which is of such importance that its absence alone threatens to leave a serious gap in this science. and other dialogues such as the Phaednus. no longer be raised on this view of psychology. It is really true that in none of the above-mentioned respects is psychology harmed by this new conception of it or by the point of view which leads to such a conception. but it would be a mistake to conclude from this that the problem was any less important to him. As a matter of fact. In the Metaphysics he speaks of the deity only in a few short sentences in the last book.This is a survey of psychological problems from the point of view of one of the most important advocates of psychology as a purely phenomenalistic science. in his treatise . in addition to the questions raised by Mill and those implicit in them. Timaeas and the Republic come back to the question time and again. Nevertheless. he still discusses the problem. in striking contrast to other long. Thus there is no shortage of important tasks for psychologists of this school. The very investigation which the older conception of psychology considered its main task. as well as the names "wisdom" and "first philosophy.
In the parable the sons industriously dug up the vineyard in which they believed a treasure was hidden. Furthermore he must investigate whether the soul is composed of parts or whether it is simple. This conclusion appears to be so immediately obvious that we cannot be surprised if some partisans of the conception here developed. even when he is doing more than merely mentioning it in passing. and . And so psychology offers us a drama similar to the one which occurred in the natural sciences.On the Soul. of course. The various aporiai which are linked with these questions show that we have hit upon the point which aroused this great thinker's thirst for knowledge most of all. he discusses man's soul and its immortality only very briefly. then. and if they did not find the buried gold. some of which appear to inhere in it alone and not in the body. and which gave it its first impetus for development. The alchemists' striving to produce gold from mixtures of elements first instigated chemical research. and whether all the parts are bodily states or whether there are some which are not. of investigating what the soul is. A. here too the heirs of earlier investigators have fulfilled the predictions of their predecessors. are spiritual. We are told there that the psychologist has the task. at least from the standpoint of those who reject psychology as the science of the soul. they reaped the fruit of the well-tilled soil instead. at the present time. first of all. Yet the classification of psychological problems at the beginning of this work clearly indicates that this question seemed to him to be the most important object of psychology. Something similar has happened to chemists. and. For if there is no soul. And somewhat in the manner of the well-known parable about the promise of the dying father. in which case its immortality would be assured. as such. and then of investigating its properties. for one. And it is precisely this task which appears. the immortality of the soul is out of the question. consider it to be self-evident. Lange. but the mature science of chemistry abandoned such ambitions as impossible. to have fallen into disrepute and to have become impossible. This is the task to which psychology first devoted itself.
this issue would become of paramount importance and would compel us to undertake metaphysical research concerning the existence of substance as the bearer of mental states. would hardly be real compensation. it may still be no more than an appearance." he says. of the development of convictions and opinions. Hume does not want to contradict them. these two cases are not wholly identical. In place of the alchemists' dreams. pain or pleasure. and of the origin and growth of desire and love. if the opposition between these two conceptions of psychology really implied the acceptance or rejection of the question of immortality. reality offered a higher substitute. Yet. But in comparison with Plato's and Aristotle's hopes of reaching certainty concerning the continued existence of our better part after the dissolution of the body. "For my part. The loss of this hope would appear to be far more regrettable. the laws of association of ideas. of heat or cold. light or shade. "when I enter most intimately into what I call myself. When my perceptions are removed for any time. so long am I insensible of myself.would be happening to psychologists too. love or hatred. Nevertheless. and may truly be said not to exist. In his time David Hume strongly opposed the metaphysicians who claimed to have found within themselves a substance which was the bearer of mental states. as by sound sleep. the zealous efforts which stemmed from a desire for the impossible have led to the solution of other questions whose far-reaching significance cannot be called into question." If certain philosophers claim that they perceive themselves as something simple and permanent. and never can observe anything but the perception. Consequently. but of himself and of everyone else (this sort of metaphysician alone excepted). I never can catch myself at any time without a perception. as consolation. The mature science would have to abandon the question of immortality. he . but we could say that. whatever appearance of necessity there is for restricting the range of inquiry in this connection. I always stumble on some particular perception or other.
the question of immortality even in this. however. it still does not follow that the question of the immortality of the soul loses all meaning because we deny the existence of a substantial bearer of mental phenomena." We see. It is wholly inconsistent for thinkers of this persuasion to reject. and are in a perpetual flux and movement. therefore. he has developed with utmost clarity the very idea that we have just formulated. that Hume ranks unequivocally among the opponents of a substantial soul. he must assume that such a continuity does not require a substantial bearer. it is true that we do not find the question of immortality listed among those problems to be dealt with by psychology. Hume himself remarks that in a conception such as his. In the passage from his Logic cited earlier. for the reasons mentioned. which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity. and he may very likely be right. for it is known that Hume did not elsewhere scorn the use of malicious irony as a weapon. its essential sense. And the question whether our mental life somehow continues even after the destruction of the body will be no more meaningless for him than for anyone else. all the proofs of immortality retain absolutely the same strength as in the traditional conception to which it is opposed. This becomes evident as soon as you recognise that with or without a substantial soul you cannot deny that there is a certain continuity of our mental life here on earth. What Hume says. If someone rejects the existence of a substance. This was fully recognised by John Stuart Mill. however. though it certainly would be more appropriate to call it immortality of life than immortality of the soul. Albert Lange interprets this declaration as a mockery. For even though it is self-evident that those who deny the existence of a substantial soul cannot speak of the immortality of the soul in the proper sense of the word. In his work on Hamilton. . Of course. Nevertheless.is convinced "that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions. is not so obviously ridiculous as Lange and perhaps Hume himself might think.
then.Likewise. he criticises this doctrine. And no one who accepts the theory of the substantiality of the soul will deny that whatever can be established with reference to the . Just as there are eminent men who have questioned and denied that phenomena have a substantial bearer there also have been and still are other very famous scientists who firmly believe that they do. as does Herbert Spencer. If. In his Psychophysics. the field of psychology would not thereby be narrowed in any way. in his Atomenlehre and in other writings. that even if one accepts the metaphysical view which led modern thinkers to substitute the definition of psychology as the science of mental phenomena for the traditional definition as the science of the soul. And. even John Stuart Mill has recognised. or to descend into the fearful depths of metaphysics. it would not suffer any essential loss. that the rejection of substance as the bearer of phenomena is not entirely free from difficulties and uncertainties. There is nothing in the new definition of psychology which would not have to be accepted by adherents of the older school as well. however. Nevertheless. sometimes in earnest. at the present time in Germany no important thinker has expressed his rejection of a substantial substrate for both mental and physical states as often and as categorically as Theodor Fechner. we would be forced either to look for a third definition. It would appear to be just as inadmissible. For whether or not there are souls. It is clear. therefore. as it is to reject it without a test. and. above all. he candidly acknowledges his belief in immortality. with his characteristic frankness. especially in the mental realm. the fact is that there are mental phenomena. sometimes humorously. to accept this view without a thorough metaphysical investigation. the opposite is true. Lotze agrees with Aristotle and Leibniz on this point. H. Happily. in his work on Hamilton. the new definition of psychology were connected with the new metaphysics just as inseparably as the old definition was with the old. among contemporary English empiricists.
Furthermore. produces presentations of them. The phenomena of light. through its causal activity. therefore. They are not. and they give us knowledge of it only in a very incomplete sense. heat. The differences which still exist between them are that the old definition contains metaphysical presuppositions from which the modern one is free. If someone wanted to compare the relative value of the scientific field which we have just described with that of the natural sciences. Nothing. it offers an additional advantage: any exclusion of an unrelated question not only simplifies. Our subsequent investigation of the difference between mental and physical phenomena will provide whatever further clarification is needed. We can say that there exists something which. and thus lends greater certainty to our convictions. We. psychology would undoubtedly be overshadowed. but also reinforces the work. an adequate representation of this reality. It is a different matter if we compare the goals which each of the two sciences pursue. that the latter is accepted by opposing schools of thought. frees us from general preliminary researches which the other would oblige us to undertake. however. using as a measuring stick only and exclusively the interest aroused at the present time by these two types of investigations. Consequently.soul is also related to mental phenomena. in the sense indicated above. Perhaps both are correct. define psychology as the science of mental phenomena. . which. It shows that the results of our investigation are dependent on fewer presuppositions. 3. sound. and the one. stands in our way if we adopt the modern definition instead of defining psychology as the science of the soul.' They are signs of something real. therefore. spatial location and locomotion which he studies are not things which really and truly exist. while the former already bears the distinctive mark of one particular school. We have seen what kind of knowledge the natural scientist is able to attain. therefore. The preceding discussion should be sufficient to clarify the general meaning of this definition. the adoption of the modern conception simplifies our work.
So we have revealed in a new way how the task of the psychologist is higher than that of the natural scientist. that this constitutes a great advantage of psychology over the natural sciences? The high theoretical value of psychological knowledge is obvious in still another respect. judgement and will. with all the grandeur these phenomena exhibit in the ideas of the artist. And this is another reason for conferring the higher value upon the science of mental phenomena.under certain conditions. but also with the worthiness of its object. The worthiness of a science increases not only according to the manner in which it is known. Who could deny. and that which we do experience is not true. a fast which is attested to by the evidence with which they are perceived. As they appear to be. in and of itself. They are true in themselves. The phenomena of inner perception are a different matter. We are more eager to know the order and origin of our own solar system than that of some more remote group of heavenly bodies. But this is as far as we can go. and the selfdedication of the virtuous man. only a relative truth. For our mental phenomena are the things which are most our own. causes this or that sensation. Colour and sound. the research of a great thinker. so they are in reality. We have no experience of that which truly exists. Some philosophers have even identified the self with a collection of mental phenomena. others with the substantial bearer of . then. but also in that they are incomparably more beautiful and sublime. The history of our own country and of our ancestors attracts our attention more than that of other people with whom we have no close ties. extension and motion are contrasted with sensation and imagination. We can probably also prove that there must be relations among these realities similar to those which are manifested by spatial phenomena shapes and sizes. And the phenomena the laws of which psychology investigates are superior to physical phenomena not only in that they are true and real in themselves. It is also true that things which directly concern us claim our attention more readily than things foreign to us. The truth of physical phenomena is. as they say.
psychological questions are in no way inferior to those which occupy the natural sciences. both of the individual and of society. Let me point out merely in passing that psychology contains the roots of aesthetics. above all. These very simple observations can easily convince anyone of the great theoretical significance of psychological knowledge. in a more advanced stage of development. Along with aesthetics and logic. In addition. completely ignorant of these principles. psychology has the task of becoming the scientific basis for a theory of education. Likewise. no truly great statesman has yet appeared in history. constitute human dignity. the solicitude of the father as well as that of the political leader. suffice it to say that the important art of logic. almost without exception. also has psychology as its source. But even from the point of view of practical significance . which. And in ordinary language we say that physical changes are external to us while mental changes take place within us. Even in this respect there is hardly another branch of science which can be placed on the same level with psychology unless perhaps it is one which merits the same consideration on the grounds that it is an indispensable preparatory step toward the attainment of psychological knowledge. a single improvement in which brings about a thousand advances in science. Even before physiology was . and even more because the guardians of the people have been. ethics and politics also stem from the field of psychology. will undoubtedly sharpen the eye of the artist and assure his progress. no matter how much fame individuals have attained. that we can assert along with Plato and with many contemporary thinkers that. And so psychology appears to be the fundamental condition of human progress in precisely those things which.such a collection of phenomena. Without the use of psychology. remains an awkward groping.and perhaps this is what is most surprising . It is because there has been no systematic application of psychological principles in the political field until now.
however. or a man of practical ability could be fully ascertained beyond any doubt by means of psychological analysis! If this were possible. And just as botany can make accurate predictions. For aptitudes are themselves very complex phenomena. not from its fruit. or by knowledge of the laws according to which a mental state can be modified ! What an increase in mental power mankind would achieve if the basic mental conditions which determine the different aptitudes for being a poet. They were not. The extent to which they. they become completely incompetent and helpless. but from its very first budding leaves. and could not have been what a trained and discerning physician must be. both on the individual and social level. The others were all merely blind empiricists. Forsaken by their empirically derived maxims. But anyone who is acquainted with medicine today knows how impossible it would have been for there to have been a single truly great physician prior to the last few decades. Up to the present time the same thing holds true of statesmen. are merely blind empiricists is demonstrated every time that an extraordinary event suddenly changes the political situation and even more clearly every time one of them finds himself in a foreign country where conditions are different. by the correct psychological diagnosis. and more or less lucky. we could recognise the tree. as shown by the great confidence they won and by the astonishing cures attributed to them.systematically applied to medicine. its influence would become most beneficial. a sufficiently developed psychology must be able to do the same. too. more or less skilful. Perhaps it alone will be in a position to provide us the means to counteract the decadence which sadly interrupts the otherwise steadily ascending cultural . In both cases. they are the remote consequences of forces whose original activity suggests these consequences no more than the shape of the first buds suggests the fruit which the tree will bear. How many evils could be remedied. and could transplant it immediately to a place suited to its nature. In this and in a thousand other different ways. we are dealing with relationships that are subject to similar laws. a scientist. there was no lack of famous physicians.
It has long been noted. but which contribute to the complexity. The general theoretical sciences form a kind of hierarchy in which each higher step is erected on the basis of the one below it. It is revealed by a simple consideration of the place which psychology occupies in the system of sciences. they will not be able to reach that state of maturity in which they can meet the vital needs of life at the same time as the lower sciences. because of our lack of medical skill. Thus we saw that mathematics had long been turned to practical . but not old. the lower ones phenomena that are simpler. therefore. "old nation.development from time to time. But is it conceivable that psychology will ever really approach this ideal? Doubt on this point seems to be well-founded. It is apparent that the practical tasks I assign to psychology are far from insignificant. evident that. because. psychology has made practically no progress. that the often used metaphorical expressions. Hence. the higher S sciences will attain their development later than the lower. society renews itself completely in each successive generation. for thousands of years. It is. The progress of the sciences which stand higher in the scale 9 naturally presupposes that of the lower ones. while organisms only partially regenerate themselves. even though the really essential analogy is missing. many would like to believe that they are justified in concluding with certainty that it will also do little in the future to further the practical interests of mankind. The answer to this objection is not far to seek. apart from certain weak empirical antecedents. the similarity to old age in external appearance is undeniable." are not strictly appropriate. such sicknesses which have always appeared periodically up to now. we can speak of peoples and epochs becoming sick." and "old civilisation. The higher sciences investigate more complex phenomena. and correctly so. In particular. however. From the fact that up to now. have regularly led to death. and which. There are.
Consequently. The phenomena it studies are much more complex than those studied by the earlier sciences and are dependent upon them. so psychological phenomena are influenced by the laws governing the forces which shape and renew the bodily organs involved. he could affirm. and those of physiology under the influence of all these laws. while physics still lay dozing in its cradle and did not give the slightest sign of its capacity. that psychology has achieved nothing as yet. but nonetheless served to demonstrate that only from physiology is a re-birth of medicine to be expected. chemistry had already achieved many splendid results while physiology was yet to be born. through Lavoisier. then. physics had long attained fame and multiple practical applications when. Similarly. And it is not necessary to go back too many years to find the beginnings of a more satisfactory development in physiology. to be of service to the needs and desires of life. or that it has achieved very little. why psychology has not borne more abundant fruit up until now. just as the phenomena of chemistry are dependent upon those of physios and the phenomena of physics are dependent upon those of mathematics. This implies that . It is easy to explain why physiology developed so late. if not the earth. But it is just as easy to understand. and attempts at practical application followed immediately. without in any way being a sceptic about psychological matters.applications. if someone knew from direct experience absolutely nothing about the state of psychology up to the present time. and with it so many other spheres of practical activity. at least the cultivation of the earth. subsequently so brilliantly proved. And once again. Just as physical phenomena are under the influence of mathematical laws. They were incomplete perhaps. and were acquainted only with the history of the other theoretical sciences and with the recent birth of physiology and indeed even chemistry. and chemical phenomena are under the influence of physical laws. and that at best it is only recently that it has shown a tendency toward a more substantial development. in the next few decades. in order to revolutionise. chemistry discovered the first firm basis upon which it could stand.
Political economy has a role to play. confidently hope that psychology will not always lack both inner development and useful applications. agriculture and hygiene. Social disorders cry out more urgently for redress than do the imperfections in navigation and railway commerce. beginning it has already in fact made. Once a certain level of its possible development has been reached. but neither the whole task nor the major part depends . therefore. to the investigation of psychological laws and to methodological inquiries concerning the derivation and confirmation of conclusions to be applied in practice. though weak. should this person turn his attention to the history of psychology. We could mention several great scientists who are devoting themselves. where the imponderable circumstances which impede and promote progress balance each other out.the most important fruits which psychology may bear for practical life. even if we do not doubt the possibility of a rich development in the future. So. the practical consequences will not fail to materialise. with this end in view. Indeed the needs which it must satisfy have already become pressing. lie in the future. It cannot possibly be the task of political economy to put an end to the present confusion and to re-establish the peace in society which has been increasingly lost amid the clash of conflicting interests. he would merely find in its barrenness confirmation of his expectations. We see that the backward condition in which psychology has remained appears to be a necessity. if it were up to us to choose. and he would find himself in no way committed to an unfavourable judgement as to its future accomplishments. Many people have already seen this to be the most important task of our time. We may. force themselves upon everyone's attention. For the individual and even more for the masses. psychological laws will afford a sure basis for action. Questions to which we might give less attention. That there is such a possibility is shown by the promising.
and the science to which. as the science to which. just as the lesser arts must heed the teachings of natural science. For this will be the position of psychology once it reaches maturity and is capable of effective action. in his opinion.and to a certain extent perhaps the not too distant future . And indeed even the growing interest which is being accorded to it can serve to corroborate these statements. and the arts founded on them. would depend to a certain extent on differences in the states of their knowledge of physical matters. Its theory. Aristotle called politics the master art to which all others serve as subsidiaries. the future belongs." It seems beyond doubt. In this sense we could characterise psychology. as the science of the future.psychology will exert a considerable influence upon the practical aspects of life. John Stuart Mill has touched upon the relation between this science and psychology. more than any other. The differences in the production and distribution of goods by different peoples and at different times. in the future. as others have already done. therefore. will mould the future. and is the object of what is called Political Economy.upon it. in order to be what it should be. But insofar as the causes are moral or psychological. will merely be a different arrangement and further development of psychological principles directed toward the attainment of a practical goal. that in the future . i.e. but to moral and social science. their investigation belongs not to physical. it is necessary that politics pay heed to psychology. dependent on institutions and social relations or on the principles of human nature. other sciences will be of service and to which they will be subordinate in their practical application." he continues. however. I would like to suggest. In the introduction to his Principles of Political Economy. but would also have psychological causes. As we have seen. more than any other. "Insofar as the economic condition of nations turns upon the state of physical knowledge. . the science which. "it is a subject for the physical sciences.
on both counts we should naturally be led to place in the front rank the study of the soul. without doubt. the special relationship they have to us. be more honourable and precious than another. as he did at the beginning of his treatise On the Soul.We have advanced four reasons which appear to be sufficient to show the outstanding importance of the science of psychology: the inner truth of the phenomena it studies. The question concerning the hope of a hereafter and our participation in a more perfect state of the world falls to psychology. psychology has already made attempts to solve this problem. If this really is the case. either by reason of its greater exactness or of a higher dignity and greater wonderfulness in its objects. the sublimity of these phenomena. which would be of the greatest practical importance as well. its highest theoretical achievement. even though in so doing he took into consideration its theoretical advantages exclusively. one kind of it may. As we have noted. the practical importance of the laws which govern it. When we depart from this life we separate ourselves from all that is subject to the laws of natural science. He says. The laws of gravitation. on the other hand. of sound. insofar as this life is immortal. of light and electricity disappear along with the phenomena for which experience has established them. and it does not seem that all its efforts in that direction have been without success. and finally. Holding as we do that. hold true for our life to come as they do in our present life. To these we must add the special and incomparable interest which psychology possesses insofar as it instructs us about immortality and thus becomes. while knowledge of any kind is a thing to be honoured and prized. we have here. in another sense. Mental laws. the science of the future. What undoubtedly causes surprise is the fact that Aristotle here asserts that even with respect to its exactitude psychology is superior to the other . So Aristotle had good reason for placing psychology above all the other sciences. besides lending new value to psychology's other theoretical achievements.
For him the exactitude of knowledge is bound up with the imperishability of the object. According to him. psychology is the "science of inner experience": psychical processes are here looked upon as belonging to a specific form of experience. Two definitions of psychology have been the most prominent in the. that which changes continuously and in every respect evades scientific investigation. whereas that which is most permanent possesses the most abiding truth. First two chapters reproduced here. Leipzig 1897. Wilhelm Engelmann. Psychical processes are regarded as phenomena from which it is possible to infer the nature of an underlying metaphysical mind-substance. publ. First Published: in German as Grundriss der Psychologie. 1896. which is readily distinguished by. psychology is the "science of mind".sciences. we. According to the other. Problem of Psychology. Wilhelm Wundt (1897) Outlines of Psychology Source: Outlines of Psychology. cannot deny that the laws of psychology at least possess a permanent important truth. According to one. history of this science. 1. Leipzig. the fact that its contents are - . Introduction § 1. too. Be that as it may. Translated: With the Cooperation of the Author By Charles Hubbard Judd.
become an object of psychology. volitions. physics. emotions.known through "introspection". no such thing as an "inner sense" which can be regarded as an organ of introspection. is inadequate because it may give rise to the misunderstanding that psychology has to do with objects totally different from those of the so-called "outer experience". A stone. But it is here too forever left behind. and since the "mental sciences" have gained recognition as a great department of scientific investigation. but in so far as they arouse in us ideas. definition. free from all metaphysical theories. and requiring as a general ground-work an independent psychology. distinct from the sphere of the natural sciences. It is. as natural phenomena. but are not to be found among the objects and processes studied by natural science: such are our feelings. true that there are contents of experience which belong in the sphere of psychological investigation. etc. or organs of objective perception. they are at the same time objects of psychology. a plant. indeed. or the "inner sense" as it has been called to distinguish it from sense-perception through the outer senses. Neither of these definitions. whose attributes psychology seeks to investigate. from a different point of view. are. etc. The second. since psychology has developed into an empirical discipline. For psychology seeks to account for the genesis of these ideas. and thus distinct from the outer senses. and for their relations both to other ideas and to those psychical processes not referred to external objects. The first. objects of mineralogy. is satisfactory to the psychology of today. however. there is not a single natural phenomenon that may not. definition belongs to a period of development that lasted longer in this science than in others. There is. or empirical. Ideas. On the other hand. which sees in psychology a "science of inner experience". a ray of light.. or metaphysical. arise through the outer senses no less than do the sense-perceptions on which natural science is based. and decisions. then. while the . operating with methods of its own. a tone. such as feelings. botany.
subjective activities of feeling. be designated as that of mediate experience. but different points of view from which we start in the consideration and scientific treatment of a unitary experience. because every concrete experience immediately divides into two factors: into a content presented to us. which are neglected in natural science. accordingly. emotion. they all accept ideas and the accompanying subjective activities as immediate reality. but are directly and inseparably connected with the ideas referred to external objects. One is that of the natural sciences. since it is possible only after abstracting from the subjective factor present in all actual experience. since it purposely does away with this abstraction and all its consequences. may be designated as that of immediate experience. have for their subject-matter immediate experience as determined by the interaction of objects with the knowing and acting subject. the second experiencing subject. 3. philology. which concern themselves with the objects of experience. on the other hand. This division points out two directions for the treatment of experience. We are naturally led to these points of view. thought of as independent of the subject. the standpoint of psychology. The other is that of psychology. It follows. then that the expressions outer and inner experience do not indicate different objects. and our apprehension of this content. All of these sciences. history. We call the first of these factors objects of experience. 2. The effort is then made to explain the single components of this reality through . quite otherwise. and political and social science. The standpoint of natural science may. for which psychology furnishes the basis. are not known through special organs. is justified by the method of all the mental sciences. None of the mental sciences employs the abstractions and hypothetical supplementary concepts of natural science. making it an empirical science coordinate with natural science and supplementary to it. which investigates the whole content of experience in its relations to the subject and in its attributes derived directly from the subject. The assignment of this problem to psychology. and volition.
its problem. For this reason natural science can not abstract from the knowing subject entirely. but only from those attributes of the subject which either disappear entirely when we remove the subject in thought. By the expression outer world is meant the sum total of all the objects presented in experience.their mutual interconnections. is usually stated as the acquirement of " knowledge of the outer world". in truth. but a single organised whole which requires in each of its components the subject that apprehends the content. Since natural science investigates the content of experience after abstracting from the experiencing subject. or from those which. must be regarded as belonging to the subject. has as its subject of treatment the total content of experience in its immediate character. whereas. Furthermore. on the contrary. The problem of psychology has sometimes been correspondingly defined as "self-knowledge of the subject". . inadequate because the interaction of the subject with the outer world and with other similar subjects is just as much a problem of psychology as are the attributes of the single subject. the expression can easily be interpreted to mean that outer world and subject are separate components of experience or that they can at least be distinguished as independent contents of experience. must also be the mode of procedure in psychology itself. 3 a. Psychology. immediate reality of experience. as the qualities of sensations. however. being the method required by the subject-matter of psychology. outer experience is always connected with the apprehending and knowing functions of the subject. This definition is. as. This interconnection is the necessary result of the fact that in reality experience is not a mere juxtaposition of different elements. and the objects that are presented as content. This method of psychological interpretation employed in the mental sciences. on the ground of physical researches. the feelings. and inner experience always contains ideas from the outer world as indispensable components.
. it sets concepts gained from these objects by abstracting from the subjective components of our ideas. then. it is by no means necessary that logical definitions of these two factors should precede the separation of the sciences from one another. and psychology and the mental sciences on the other. that in this experience objects are being presented to a subject. of distinctions which are reached only by developed logical reflection. sensations . distinguished from the other. for the division between natural science on the one hand. This abstraction makes it necessary. These objective processes in their objective character. All that it is necessary to presuppose from the first. Scientific analysis shows that many components of experience . continually to supplement reality with hypothetical elements. Natural science seeks to discover the nature of objects without reference to the subject.The only ground. In place of the immediate objects of experience. for example. is the consciousness which accompanies all experience. The knowledge that it produces is therefore mediate or conceptual. but they are also supplementary in the sense that each takes a different point of view in considering the single contents of experience. Still. independent of the subject. There can be no assumption of a knowledge of the conditions upon which the distinction is based.are subjective effects of objective processes. for it is obvious that such definitions are possible only after they have a basis in the investigations of natural science and of psychology. while the second has to do with the part the subject plays in the rise of experience. The forms of interpretation in natural science and psychology are supplementary not only in the sense that the first considers objects after abstracting.be a part of experience. can therefore never . Even the use of the terms object and subject in this connection must be regarded as the application to the first stage of experience. as far as possible. and an experiencing subject. from the subject. or of the definite characteristics by which one factor can be. is to be found in the fact that all experience contains as its factors a content objectively presented.as.
in consequence of the character of its problem. while natural science and psychology are both empirical sciences in the sense that they aim to explain the contents of experience. Psychology. The view that psychology is an empirical science which deals. but all concrete reality is distinguished from all that is abstract and conceptual in thought. in general. but with the immediate contents of all experience. Metaphysical psychology generally values very little the empirical analysis and causal synthesis of psychical processes. only by avoiding entirely the abstractions and supplementary concepts of natural science. Each is further divided into a number of special tendencies. immediate and perceptual: perceptual in the broad sense of the term in which not only sense-perceptions. though from different points of view. psychology is the more strictly empirical. On the basis of the two definitions mentioned above (§ 1. is of recent origin. two chief theories of psychology may be distinguished: metaphysical and empirical psychology. still it is obvious that. Thus. not with specific contents of experience. investigates the contents of experience in their complete and actual form. General Theories of Psychology. on the other hand. 1) as being the most widely accepted. both the ideas that are referred to objects. as the remnants of earlier stages of development. therefore. Psychology can exhibit the interconnection of the contents of experience as actually presented to the subject. and all the subjective processes that cluster about them. and which are in turn arrayed against one another according to their attitudes on the question of the relation of psychology to philosophy and to the other sciences. Regarding psychology as a part of philosophical metaphysics. which are to be looked upon. its chief effort is directed toward the . Its knowledge is.Science makes up for this lack by forming supplementary hypothetical concepts of the objective properties of matter. § 2. It still encounters in the science of today oppositional views. 1.
refers processes to the same material substratum natural science employs for the explanation of natural phenomena According to this view. are connected with certain organisations of material particles which are formed during the life of the individual and broken up at the end of that life. but to derive it from presumptions about hypothetical processes in a metaphysical substratum. from the attributes and processes of matter. or to start with . or. The fundamental metaphysical doctrine of spiritualistic psychology is the assumption of the supersensible nature of mind and. not to interpret psychical experience from experience itself. Materialistic psychology. then. it strives either to arrange psychical processes under general concepts derived directly from the interconnection of these processes themselves. Wherever it is consistently carried out. which is regarded either as essentially different from matter (dualism). the assumption of its immortality. the attempt is made to deduce from it the actual content of psychical experience. The characteristic that distinguishes metaphysical from empirical psychology is. The metaphysical character of this trend of psychology is determined by its denial of the supersensible nature of the mind as asserted by spiritualistic psychology. on the other hand. Spiritualistic psychology considers psychical processes as the manifestations of a specific mind-substance. like physical vital processes. its attempt to deduce psychical processes. psychical processes. From the strife that followed these attempts at metaphysical explanation. At this point metaphysical psychology branches off in two directions. 2. After a metaphysical concept of mind has thus been established. or as related in nature to matter (monism and monadology). Sometimes the further notion of preexistence is also added. empirical psychology arose. in connection with this. -not from other psychical processes. but from some substratum entirely unlike themselves: either from the manifestations of a special mindsubstance. Both theories have in common.discovery of a definition of the "nature of mind" that shall be in accord with the whole theory of the metaphysical system to which the particular psychology belongs. that they seek.
it sees the justification for the equal recognition of both spheres in their entirely different objects and modes of perceiving these objects. and psychology as the science of immediate experience. take toward each other. which are used for the interpretation of psychical processes. in opposition to the encroachments. derived through the outer. On the general question s to the nature of psychical experience. It arose primarily from the effort to establish the independence of psychical observation. it favoured the opinion that psychology should employ empirical methods. of natural philosophy. totally different from it. like . natural science and psychology. the two views already mentioned (§ 1) on account of their decisive significance in determining the problem of psychology. as a rule simpler processes and then explain the more complicated as the result of the interaction of those with which it started. The first treats psychical processes as contents of a special sphere of experience coordinate with the experience which. The second recognises no real difference between inner and outer experience. In thus coordinating natural science and psychology. senses is assigned as the province of the natural sciences. First. The first has reference to the relation of inner and outer experience. stand over against each other: psychology of the inner sense. In general. but though coordinate. these may be classified according to two principles of division. There may be various fundamental principles for such an empirical interpretation. Every system of empirical psychology has its place under both of these principles of classification.certain. The first of these two varieties of empirical psychology is the older. and thus it becomes possible to distinguish several varieties of empirical psychology. -This view has influenced empirical psychology in two ways. The second has reference to the facts or concepts derived from these facts. but that these methods. but finds the distinction only in the different points of view from which unitary experience is considered in the two cases. 3. and the attitude that the two empirical sciences.
Secondly. mythological ideas. is to be regarded as an aid to the understanding of all the more complicated psychical processes. as it does. For. therefore. outer and inner experience. it is impossible to account for the relations of inner to outer experience or for the so-called "interaction between body and mind". Regarding. the only differences being those which arise from the diverse points of view. effect the psychological investigation itself in such a way as to result in the importation of metaphysical hypotheses into it. Essentially distinct from the psychology of the inner sense is the trend that defines psychology as the "science of immediate experience". this psychology was necessarily driven back to a metaphysical basis. that psychological analysis of the most general mental products. most of all to cultivate experimental methods which shall lead to just such an exact analysis of psychical processes which the explanatory natural sciences undertake in the case of natural phenomena. except through metaphysical presuppositions. In its methods. In regard to the first demand. It follows. because of its assumption of a difference between the physical and the psychical contents of experience. from the very nature of the case. then. These presuppositions must then. 2). it gave rise to the necessity of showing some connection or other between these two kinds of experience. in turn. and laws of custom. should be fundamentally different from those of natural science. not as different parts of experience. but as different ways of looking at one and the same experience. In attempting to solve the second question. stand on this same basis of a scientific consideration of the immediate contents of experience and of their relations to acting subjects. it was chiefly the psychology of the inner sense that developed the method of pure introspection (§ 3. such as language. it cannot admit any fundamental difference between the methods of psychology and those of natural science. this trend of psychology stands in . from the position here taken. It has. then. 4. It holds also that the special mental sciences which have to do with concrete mental processes and creations. which were supposed to be different.psychological experience.
The first corresponds to a . as social psychology. that is. on the other hand. it is allowable to carry on the investigation according to the physical methods of considering these same processes.after abstracting from the subject. but one and the same content of experience. Under the second principle of classification mentioned above (2).close relation to other sciences: as experimental psychology. from this point of view. the question of the relation between psychical and physical objects disappears entirely. in the other . when viewed from this position. Wherever breaks appear in the interconnection of psychical processes. method of filling up the breaks in the continuity of our physiological knowledge.in that of natural sciences . according to the facts or concepts with which the investigation of psychical processes starts. 5. by means of elements derived from psychological investigation. Finally. They are not different objects at all. there are two varieties of empirical psychology to be distinguished. looked at in one case . at the same time. Though psychology must dispense with metaphysical supplementary hypotheses in regard to the interconnection of psychical processes. in order to discover whether the lacking coherency can be thus supplied. because these processes are the immediate contents of experience are the immediate contents of experience. to the natural sciences. Only on the basis of such a view. attempts to solve a problem that never would have existed if the case had been correctly stated. too. Only in this way.in their immediate character and complete relation f psychical and physical objects are. They are. The same holds for the reverse. the auxiliary of physiology. still another method of procedure is open from the very fact that inner and outer experience are supplementary points of view. successive stages in the development of psychological interpretation. and psychology. can physiology become the true supplementary science of psychology. to the special mental sciences.in that of psychology . which sets the two forms of knowledge in their true relation is it possible for psychology to become in the fullest sense an empirical science.
the chief emphasis is laid on the way in which immediate experience arises in the subject. These facts may. that go to make up immediate experience. a variety of explanatory psychology results which attributes to those subjective activities not referred to external objects. They correspond to the general concepts of physics which are derived from the immediate apprehension of natural phenomena. Class-concepts were formed. attention. a position as . and volitions. impulses. Such concepts are. heat. If. which correspond to the two factors. imagination. however. such as weight. and the attempt was made to satisfy the need of an interpretation in each particular case. 6. Still. gave rise to the need of an appropriate classification. knowledge. objects and subject. and will. Thus.descriptive. Opposed to this method of treatment found in the descriptive facultypsychology. This attempts to derive all psychical processes. intellectualistic psychology results. the latter must base its interpretations on certain facts which themselves belong to psychical experience. and so it comes that explanatory treatment may be further divided into two varieties. for example. the second to an explanatory stage. on the contrary. understanding. When consistently empirical. be taken from different spheres of psychical processes. empirical psychology has often been guilty of confounding this description with explanation. When the chief emphasis is laid on the objects of immediate experience. memory. sound. by subsuming the components of a given compound process under their proper classconcepts. these derived psychical concepts may serve for a first grouping of the facts. or intellectual processes as they may be called on account of their importance for objective knowledge. from ideas. the facultypsychology considered these class-concepts as psychical forces or faculties. especially the subjective feelings. The attempt to present a discriminating description of the different psychical processes. but they contribute nothing whatever to the explanation of these facts. sensation. and light. under which the various processes were grouped. is that of explanatory psychology. and referred psychical processes to their alternating or united activity. Like those concepts of physics.
for example. where the chief problem of psychology is held to be the investigation of the subjective rise of all experience. Ideas. in the other. 7. are accepted as such. or ideas related to one's own body. the logical processes of judgment and reasoning are regarded as the typical. the older. The psychology of immediate experience (4). finally. the so-called associations of ideas. as effects arising from combinations of the ideas. therefore. while all processes not referred to external objects. certain combinations of successive memory-ideas distinguished by their frequency. tends toward voluntarism. are interpreted as obscure ideas. in a manner analogous to the presentation of natural objects to the outer senses. the contents of psychical experience that first attract consideration are those presented as objects to this inner sense. Of the two varieties of psychology that result from the general attitudes on the question of the nature of inner experience (3). In one.independent as that assigned to ideas. are. This variety has been called voluntaristic psychology. -Intellectualistic psychology has in the course of its development separated into two trends. It still finds some acceptance. psychology of the inner sense commonly tends towards intellectualism. This is due to the fact that . on the other hand. because of the importance that must be conceded to volitional processes in comparison with other subjective processes. looked upon as the only real objects of the inner sense. or. as. It is obvious that here. The logical theory is most closely related to the popular method of psychological interpretation and is. . the feelings. accordingly. when the inner sense is coordinated with the outer senses. It is assumed that the character of objects can be attributed to ideas alone of all the contents of psychical experience. because they are regarded as images of the external objects presented to the outer senses. special attention will be devoted to those factors from which natural science abstracts. forms of all psychoses.
but that on the whole they remain unchanged in qualitative character. that they disappear from consciousness and come back into it.however. Both are onesided. be more or less intensely and clearly perceived. were transferred to the immediate objects of the "inner sense". The assumption was then made that ideas are themselves things. The two theories stand to a certain extent in antithesis. While the latter assumes an inner sense and specific objects of inner experience. but are not able to give a complete interpretation even of the intellectual processes. things to ideas. but the former were regarded as the images of the latter. The association-theory arose from the philosophical empiricism of the last century. just as much as the external objects to which we refer them. simpler forms of intellectual activity. the ideas. that they may. According to this doctrine. 8. since the first attempts to reduce the totality of psychical processes to higher. and not only fail to explain affective and volitional processes on the basis of the assumption with which they start. that is. and according to the degree of attention concentrated upon them. 9. We may define this assumption briefly as the erroneous attribution of the nature. even in modern times. In all these respects voluntaristic psychology is opposed to intellectualism. Not only was an analogy assumed between the objects of the so-called inner sense an those of the outer senses. according as the inner sense is stimulated through the outer senses or not. while the latter seeks to reduce it to lower and. The union of psychology of the inner sense with the intellectualistic view has led to a peculiar assumption that has been in many cases fatal to psychological theory. of all the experiences of the subject in their immediate . but of all that which makes up the process of experience in general. indeed. and so it came that the attributes which natural science ascribes to external objects. the content of psychological experience does not consist of a sum of objects. of. as it is assumed. voluntarism is closely related to the view that inner experience is identical with immediate experience.
psychical facts are occurrences. unmodified by abstraction or reflection. and. Voluntaristic psychology does not by any means assert that volition is the only real form of psychosis. further. imaginary processes of a hypothetical substratum. While it concerns itself. that all other psychical processes are to be thought of after the analogy of volitions. it is just as essential a component of . however. .psychological experience as sensations and ideas. on the other hand.character. and can never appear as really separate processes. The analogous attempts of metaphysical psychology to reduce all psychological experience to the heterogeneous. excludes the possibility of the attempt to derive any particular components of psychical phenomena from others specifically different. like all occurrences in time and are never the same at a given point in time as they were the preceding moment. they too being a series of continuous changes in time. with its closely related feelings and emotions. These are to be distinguished only through deliberate abstraction. In fact. they take place. The recognition of the immediate reality of psychological experience. not a sum of permanent objects. psychology assumes from first that all psychical contents contain objective as well subjective factors. not objects. but merely that. that a feeling or volition is impossible which does not refer to some ideated object. In this sense volitions are typical for all psychical processes. are for the same reason inconsistent with the real problem of psychology. immediate experience shows that there are no ideas which do not arouse in us feelings and impulses of different intensities. with immediate experience. It follows of necessity that the contents of psychological experience should be regarded as an interconnection of processes. It holds. as intellectualism generally assumes in consequence of its erroneous attribution to ideas of those properties which we attribute to external objects. This concept of process excludes the attribution of an objective and more or less permanent character to the contents of psychical experience.
in. be understood in its full significance only after it has been subjected to the analyses of both natural science and psychology. Corresponding to these three general principles. experience is not a special sphere of. 1) Inner. and the latter is. strictly speaking. mediate contents of experience. 2) As the science of the universal forms of immediate human.10. of universal human experiences and their relations in accordance with certain laws. experience and their combination in accordance with certain laws. thus including the general conditions both of all knowledge and of all practical human activity. 3) Each. but is immediate experience in its totality. but of occurrences . in turn. we have a threefold attitude of psychology to the other sciences. Any particular fact can. it is the foundation of the mental sciences. experience apart from others. then. supplementary to the natural sciences. consequence of their abstraction from the subject. The governing principles of the psychological position maintained in the following chapters may be summed up in three general statements. 1) As the science of immediate experience. of these processes contains an objective content and a subjective process. 2) This immediate experience is not made up of unchanging contents. In this sense. but of an interconnection of processes. The subject-matter of these sciences is in all cases the activities . physics and physiology are auxiliary to psychology. have to do only with the objective. it is supplementary to the natural sciences. or psychological. not of objects. which.
Thus. psychology is in relation to natural science the supplementary. Its problem is no longer to remove the abstraction employed by the natural sciences. of course. 10a. 3) Since psychology pays equal attention to both the subjective and objective conditions which underlie not only theoretical knowledge.proceeding from immediate human experiences. no longer coordinate with the natural sciences. it is at once the most general mental science. and in this way to gain with them a . Since psychology has for its problem the investigation of the forms and laws of these activities. it is the empirical discipline whose results are most immediately useful in the investigation of the general problems of the theory of knowledge and ethics. jurisprudence. the two foundations of philosophy. and since it seeks to determine their interrelation. but in the way of treating experience. and the foundation for all the others. political economy. etc. Still. The view that it is not a difference in the objects of experience. history. such as philology. a clear comprehension of the essential character of this position in regard to the scientific problems of psychology. that distinguishes psychology from natural science. has come to be recognised more and more in modern psychology. Instead of starting from the fact that the natural sciences are possible only after abstracting from the subjective factors of experience. and in relation to philosophy the propaedeutic empirical science. in relation to the mental sciences the fundamental. and their effects. In such a case psychology is. is sometimes assigned to natural science. but subordinate to them. but practical activity as well. is prevented by the persistence of older tendencies derived from metaphysics and natural philosophy. the more general problem of treating the contents of all experience in the most general way.
The position is psychologically unproductive because. can never be of any service as a basis for the mental sciences. In its relation to metaphysics. which purposely abstracts from the subjective component of all experience. It is obvious. for the natural sciences the subject is identical with the body. on a metaphysical presupposition. is least of all in a position to give a final definition of the subject. it turns over the causal interpretation of psychical processes to physiology . we are not to overlook the fact that.complete view of experience. which has been turned into hypothetical brainmechanics. a finished concept formed exclusively by the natural sciences is here foisted upon psychology. The strictly empirical trend of psychology. but it has to use the concept "subject" furnished by the natural sciences. not on experience. just like the older materialistic psychology. Now. which arose from intellectualism. Psychology is accordingly defined as the science which has to determine the dependence of immediate experience on the body. which may be designated as "psychophysical materialism". from the very first. which derived all being from a transcendental original will. because of the difference between the manner of regarding phenomena in natural science and in psychology. therefore. Natural science. In calling it "voluntaristic". but. This position. Indeed. Instead of recognising that an adequate definition of "subject" is possible only as a result of psychological investigations (§ 1. and to give an account of the influence of this subject on the contents of experience. But physiology has not yet furnished such an interpretation. and to the metaphysical systems of a Spinoza or a Herbart. that such a form of psychology. in itself. defined in the principles formulated above. too. and never will be able to do so. is epistemologically untenable and psychologically unproductive. it stands in opposition to Schopenhauer's one-sided metaphysical voluntarism. A psychology that starts with such a purely physiological definition depends. the characteristic of psychological voluntarism in the sense . is opposed to these attempts to renew metaphysical doctrines. this psychological voluntarism has absolutely no connection with any metaphysical doctrine of will. 3 a).
it refuses to accept any of the attempts to reduce volitions to mere ideas. is its exclusion of all metaphysics from psychology. Volitional acts are universally recognised as occurrences. experience. made up of a series of continual changes in quality and intensity. In its relations to other forms of psychology.above defined. They are typical in the sense that this characteristic of being occurrences is held to be true for all the contents of psychical experience . and at the same time emphasises the typical character of volition for all psychological.
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