Strength of will (1915) by Edward Barrett, PDF book.

Strength of will (1915) by Edward Barret

Strength of will
Strength of will

In these pages, an effort is made to give a plain account of the "Will, and to indicate a method whereby it may be improved and strengthened. 

An effort is made also to present the matter in an attractive way so that a certain interest may be taken in the activities of the "Will, and so that, when familiarised with introspection, one may find profit and amusement from studying the details of the wonderful life that goes on within. As far as possible technical terms and abstruse discussions are avoided. Indeed, there seems no need to introduce metaphysics, as our method is to observe and describe, as do experimentalists, and to keep close to what is concrete.

 These pages tell of what is felt and seen, not of course by the fingers or eyes of the body, but by the faculties of the mind. The spirit can probe and poke about into its own dark corners and can ride fast after its own swift movements. Of what it observes and learns, on such occasions, and of what it does, these pages tell. We assume, of course, that readers are al- ready tolerably well informed as to the nature and chief functions of the Will. 

Further, we suppose that they are aware of the value and worth of having a strong, effective will. Finally, we flatter ourselves that readers are not without some inclination and intention to bestir themselves in the direction of improv- ing their own wills. 

 It is not with the purpose of substituting this book for other books on the Will that these pages are written, but rather of supplementing them in one important point. The books which already hold the field are excel- lent from many points of view, but from one point of view they are deficient. They do not suggest a practical method of will-training. They are written on the " Education of the Will," but they are not helpful to those who seek a definite method of strengthening and of improving the Will. One word more in conclusion. As far as possible references to other books are avoided, but references to experiences are frequent. 

 The reason is that our standpoint is not that of authority, hut of the experiment. The experiments referred to have been carried on, at times with the strictest scientific exactitude, as those conducted at Louvain University from 1909 to 1911; at times with less scientific rigour, as those conducted at Clongowes Wood Col- lege, Co. Kildare, Ireland, from 1913 to 1914. Even in quoting from experiments, we have endeavoured to be a little tedious as possible, and have striven to awaken interest in what should be the most fascinating part of Psychology.


I. General Notions About Will-Training . . 15
II. Religion and Will-Training 25
III. Things About the Will 39
IV. The Awakening op the Will 49
V. Three Introspections of Will-Contests . . 59
VI. The Will and the Intellect 73
VII. The Sick Will 85
VIII. Causes of Will-Maladies 105
IX. Methods op Will-Training 115
X. A New Method Explained 131
XI. The Technique of the New Method . . . 147
XII. A Tentative Scheme op Exercises .... 165
XIII. The Will and Habit 177
XIV. The Will and Sensuality 195
XV. Further Facts About the Will 211
Epilogue — The Future of Will Psychology . . . 225
Appendix — The Science of Character 241


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