Outlines of psychology
This book has been written primarily for the purpose of furnishing my students with a brief manual to supplement the lectures on Psychology. At the same time, it aims to give the wider circle of scientific scholars who are interested in psychology, either for its own sake or for the sake of its applications, a systematic survey of the fundamentally im- portant results and doctrines of modern psychology.
In view of this double purpose, I have limited myself in detailing facts to that which is most important, or to the examples that serve most directly the ends of illustration, and have omitted entirely those aids to demonstration and experiment which are properly made use of in the lecture-room.
The fact that I have based this treatise on the doctrines that I have come to hold as valid after long years of labour in this field, needs no special justification. Still, I have not neglected to point out both in a general characterization (Introduction § 2), and with references in detail, the chief theories that differ from the one here presented.
The relation in which this book stands to my earlier psychological works will be apparent after what has been said. The " Cfrundxiige der physiologisefien Psychologie" aims to bring the means employed by the natural sciences. especially by physiology, into the service of psychology, and to give a critical presentation of the experimental methods of psychology, which have developed in the last few decades, together with their chief results.
This special problem rendered necessary a relative subordination of the general psychological points of view. The second, revised edition of the "Vorlesungen uber die Menscheiv- und Thierseele" ') (the first edition has long been out of date) seeks to give a more popular account of the character and purpose of experimental psychology, and to discuss from the position thus defined those psychological questions which are also of more general philosophical importance.
While the treatment in the "Grundxilge" is, accordingly, determined, in the main, by the relations of psychology to physiology, and the treatment in the " Vmesungen"' by philosophical interests-, this Outlines aims to present psychology in its own proper coherency, and in the systematic order that the nature of the subject-matter seems to me to require. In doing this, however, it takes up only what is most important and essential. It is my hope that this book will not be an entirely unwelcome addition even for those readers who are familiar with my earlier works as well as with the discussion of the "Logik der Psychologie''' in my "Logik der Geisteswisseoischaften" (Logik, 2. Aufl. II, 2. Abth.).
Two definitions of psychology have been the most prominent in the history of this science. According to one, psychology is the "science of mind": psychical processes are regarded as phenomena from which it is possible to infer the nature of an underlying metaphysical mind substance.
According to the other, psychology is the "science of inner experience": psychical processes are here looked upon as belonging to a specific form of experience, which is readily distinguished by the fact that its contents are known through "introspection", or the "inner sense" as it has been called to distinguish it from sense-perception through the outer senses.
Neither of these definitions, however, is satisfactory to the psychology of today. The first, or metaphysical, definition belongs to a period of development that lasted longer in this science than in others.
But it is here too forever left behind, since psychology has developed into an empirical discipline, operating with methods of its own; and since the "mental sciences" have gained recognition as a great department of scientific investigation, distinct from the sphere of the natural sciences, and requiring as a general groundwork independent psychology, free from all metaphysical theories.
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