Thought and things - by James Mark Baldwin - PDF ebook

Thought and things; a study of the development and meaning of thought, or genetic logic. 

Thought and things - by James Mark Baldwin
Thought and things - by James Mark Baldwin

The object and topic of the present work are sufficiently explained in the Introduction. The phrase Genetic Logic is there commented upon. I should prefer to use that phrase for the principal title; but remembering the varying meanings of the word Logic, I hesitate to do so, and adopt, at the publishers' suggestion, a title that is less severe, although, if taken literally, still sufficiently descriptive. It is " Thought " and its objects, "Things," that the work treats of; so "Thought and Things" is really my topic. The work is in line with certain endeavours characteristic of the time. 

The inroad of evolution and development theories, under the general notion of genesis, upon various " preserves " of the older disciplines, is resulting in a certain obliteration of boundaries and readjustment of methods. What has been called the " longitudinal treatment " of the cargo of science is forbidding its storage in the water-tight and exclusive compartments of the good old ship of Philosophy. For a time |this will seem to lead to some confusion. But the result will undoubtedly broaden and enrich both our science and our philosophy. In this movement, the problems of knowledge as such have been slow to feel the need for a new balance and equilibrium. 

In psychology, the emotional life was involved in evolution theory by Darwin himself. Later writers have seen that the active life must be interpreted as a continuous adjustment or accommodation to the environments of nature, physical, social, and moral. And now the movement is finding the same urgency of motive in the sphere of cognition. 

The first result has been the rise of certain hypotheses by which the principles of change, relativity and movement are applied to that net outcome of knowledge we call Truth; and the survival value, the pragmatic or instrumental utility, the use and consequence of thought, are taken to be, by a quick and perhaps too violent swing of the pendulum, its entire raison d'etre and justification. 

There is a need for a careful and detailed working out of the development of cognition: an inductive, psychological, genetic research into the actual movement of the function of knowledge. It is needed both in order to bring this part of our science into line with genetic results accruing elsewhere and also in order to subdue and temper the extravagant first hypotheses — if they prove to be so — of the pragmatic revolutionaries.

book details :
  • Author: James Mark Baldwin
  • Publication date:1906
  • Company: London: S. Sonnenschein; New York, Macmillan

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