The doctor looks at literature - by Joseph Collins - (1923) ebook

The doctor looks at the literature, psychological studies of life and letters

The doctor looks at literature

Few words attract us like the word psychology. It has the call of the unknown, the lure of the mysterious. It is used and heard so frequently that it has come to have a definite connotation, but the individual who is asked to say what it is finds it difficult either to be exact or exhaustive. Psychologists themselves experience similar difficulties. 

Psychology means the science of the soul, but we have no clearer conception of the soul today than Aristotle had when he wrote his treatise on it. Professor Palmer states that William James once said that psychology was “a nasty little subject,” and that “all one cares to know lies outside.” Doubtless, many who have far less knowledge of it have often felt the same way. The present fate of psychology, or the science of mental life, is to be handled either as a department of metaphysics or as a subsidiary to so-called intelligence testing. 

The few remaining true psychologists are the physiological psychologists and a small group of behaviourists. In this country Woodworth, who takes the ground of utilising the best in the arsenal of both the intro- specialists and the behaviourists, and calls the result “dynamic psychology,” leads the former; and Watson the latter. Psychology has no interest in the nature of the soul, its origin or destiny, or in the reality of ideas. 

Nor does it concern itself with an explanation of mental phenomena in terms of forces that can neither be experienced nor inferred from experience. It is concerned with the facts of mental life and with describ¬ ing, analysing, and classifying them. When it has done this it hands the results over to the logician who occupies himself with them from a purposeful rather than a causal point of view, and he makes what he may of them, or he puts them at the disposal of fellow scientists who use them to support conjectures or to give foundation to theories. 


I Psychology and Fiction.15
II Ireland’s Latest Literary Antinomian: James Joyce 35
III Feodor Dostoievsky: Tragedist, Prophet, and Psychologist .61
IV Dorothy Richardson and Her Censor.96
V Marcel Proust: Master Psychologist and Pilot of he “Vraie Vie”.116
VI Two Literary Ladies of London: Katherine Mansfield and Rebecca West.151
VII Two Lesser Literary Ladies of London: Stella Benson and Virginia Woolf. 181
VIII The Psychology of the Diarist: W. N. T. Barbellion 191
IX The Psychology of the Diarist: Henri-Frederic miel.219
X Georges Duhamel: Poet, Pacifist, and Physician. 237
XI Even Yet It Can’t Be Told—the Whole Truth about D. H. Lawrence. 256
XII The Joy of Living and Writing about It: John St. Loe Strachey.289
XIII The King of Gath unto His Servant: Magazine insanity .307

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