Human conduct (1918) by Charles C Peter
A textbook in general philosophy and applied psychology for students in high schools, academies, junior colleges, and for the general reader.
This book represents a venture in a new field. It undertakes to make available for the secondary school and for teachers' reading circles, materials for a course in General Philosophy corresponding to the courses in general science and combined mathematics which have lately won an apparently established, and certainly well-deserved, place in the curriculum. The book attempts to combine into integrated elementary course materials selected from psychology, logic, ethics, and the psychology and philosophy of religion.
The work has been in the making for nearly five years and was taught from mimeographed copy for two years to the senior classes in the high school at Royersford, Pennsylvania. During this period of construction and experience, the course underwent many modifications, each of which, it is hoped, has resulted in a more perfect adaptation of it to its purpose and to the age of the pupils for whom it is intended. As no course, even a general course, maybe a mere jumble of unrelated facts, the author has attempted to maintain throughout a consistent viewpoint, — that of the bearing of the material selected upon the individual's effective control of his own conduct. Whatever did not bear directly upon this was excluded, no matter how attractive in itself. For this reason, explanatory psychology has been kept subordinate to the practical and has been brought in only in such a way as to reinforce the latter. Topics without direct practical application for the ordinary student, such as Weber's Law or a detailed description of the nervous system, are omitted entirely.
Likewise, aspects that have to do chiefly with social relationships rather than individual efficiency are omitted. Within the field selected the author was continually guided, too, by the test of the relative usefulness of the matter to the ordinary student. The second distinguishing feature of the work is the effort to emotionalize the instruction.
It is not ideas alone, but ideas warmed with emotion, that gets carried into action. Hence the author's chief effort was to build up strong impressions and emotionalized attitudes rather than merely to give speculative knowledge. This was attempted partly through the use of such arguments and such relative emphasis as are calculated to arouse feeling, and particularly through the use of literary quotations embodied in the text wherever it seemed that they could contribute toward building up a dynamic attitude. For this reason, too, anything that might tend to break the force of the impression was avoided. Qualifying phrases which strict scientific accuracy would sometimes require have been omitted for the sake of clearness and emphasis.
In conducting this course the teacher should lead in a reaction to the text. The typical question should not be '^What does the book say?" but ''Is the author right?" ''Give examples from your own experience," "How does this principle apply to such and such practical situation ?" etc. A number of such questions, supplementary to the text and calling for reaction upon it, is appended to each chapter. It will, of course, be obvious how intimately a work such as this bears upon the vexed problem of moral training in the high school. It undertakes to provide the student with principles for the control of conduct and, as such, constitutes moral instruction in the broadest sense. The author believes that moral instruction in the high school must take on a more systematic and intellectual form than in the grades, but a less philosophical form than in the college, and hopes that this book may be of some service in providing a basis for such instruction.
My obligations are so many that it is impossible to acknowledge more than a few of them specifically. I have drawn freely upon the literature in the field and, indeed, claim Preface ix originality for little except the type of organization and the relative emphasis. It is a pleasure to me to acknowledge my obligation to Dr A. M. Melvin, Secretary of the Royers- ford School Board, without whose sympathy and support this book, at least in its present form, could not have been produced. I am also greatly indebted to Professor Ellwood P. Cubberley, who, at considerable sacrifice of time, went carefully over the whole manuscript. My indebtedness to Professor A. Duncan Yocum is indicated in the dedication. My thanks are due to The Macmillan Company, D. Appleton and Company, and Professors Lightner Witmer, Daniel Starch, and E. L. Thorndike for permission to reproduce certain cuts. The following acknowledgements also are gratefully made: to Henry Holt and Company for permission to quote rather extensively from James's Psychology; to Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company for permission to quote, from Whiffs from Wild Meadows, Sam Walter Foss's poem, The Calf- Path; to Edwin Markham for permission to use a part of his famous poem. The Man with the Hoe; and to Orison Swett Marden for permission to quote frequently, especially in chapters XXIII and XXVI, from Pushing to the Front, Success, and others of his books. The author's gratitude is due to the following persons for reading parts of the proof and making suggestions for revision: Mr H. T. Main, principal of the high school at Delaware, Ohio; Professors H. P. Reeves and H. V. Cald- well of the Ohio Wesley a University; and Miss Edith M. Lehman of the high school at Abbington, Pa. Miss Leh- man went carefully over the whole of the proof and suggested many improvements.
Some of Contents:
\I. How Our World Gets Enriched . . . ,
II. How Misunderstandings Arise . . . .
III. How Our Senses Deceive Us — Illusions.
IV. Apperception and Tact ......
V. Race Apperception — Keeping Open-Minde toward Progress
VI. How We Solve Our Problems — Conscious Use oF Hypotheses...
VII. Our Concepts and How We Make Them Cleal'
VIII. How We Keep Our Ideas Clear — Careful Use
IX. How We Learn the Cause of Things
X. The Pitfalls of Reasoning.
XI. Control of Conduct through Idea
XII. The Factors in Personality.
XIII. The Effective Use of the Memory
XIV. Mental Imagery...
XV. Imagination and Its Culture
XV. Imagination and Its Culture
XVI. Attention ......
XVII. The Making and Breaking of Habits
XVIII. Character and Will
XIX. The Strong Self — The Social Lion
XX. The Strong Self — Selfishness
XXI. The Strong Self — Independence
XXII. The Strong Self — the Popular Hero
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