Motive-force and motivation-tracks by E. Boyd Barrett .PDF ( 1911 )

Motive-force and motivation-tracks

Motive-force and motivation-tracks


Much interest has, of late, been manifested in the problem of Character- Formation, and Will-Education. Many books have been written on the subject, and psychological researches have been undertaken, with the object of elucidating various details of the problem. All serious Educators now aim, rather at training the Will and Intellect, than at burdening the Memory. The wisdom of Montaigne's saying is recognized: « Tayme encore mieulx forger mon ante que la meubler. » 

The problem of Character-Formation however, presents peculiar difficulties. It presupposes a Science of Man, capable of explaining the complex, vital dynamism of human activity. Such a science does not exist, and its possibility even is doubtful. Yet even if such a Science did exist, with all its principles fully developed, and accurately formulated, its application to practical needs would still be exceedingly difficult. « Whether or no a science of man constructed in fluid or living terms is possible, it is certain that we cannot make the same use of it that we make of the other sciences. We cannot use it to predict or control the behavior of men, as we use the others to predict and control the behavior of the bodies or forces to which they refer » ( i ). Towards such a science, be it realizable or no, the first step must be an efficient Psychology of the Will. Every phase of volitional activity must be fully analyzed, and, as it seems to us, such an analysis is alone possible by means of the new experimental method.

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