An analysis of the action consciousness, based on the simple - J. Herschel Coffin

An analysis of the action consciousness, based on the simple

An analysis of the action consciousness,

The author began the experiments upon which this paper is based, in the fall of 1904, with the view of ultimately formulating some sort of definition of voluntary action, and of outlining, as accurately as might be, the psychology of it. T

he impulse which prompted this bit of research seems to have been one in common with a general impulse toward a more complete and satisfactory explanation of the problem which action sets for psychology. For, within the last year (1906), a number of articles and books have appeared, notably Ach's Willensthatigkeit und das Denken, and the Garmann Festschrift, all of which attack the problem of will, and of voluntary action. 

Generally speaking, it is safe to say that the phenomena of voluntary action have been, and are, the least understood of any group of psychical phenomena. 

In the course of the development of psychology, the chapter on ' will ' has invariably presented great difficulty to the various psychologists, no matter to what school they may have belonged. 

It has probably provoked more sheer speculation than any other set of mental phenomena and also lies at the bottom of a greater number of errors and misconceptions than anything else. Moreover, a great amount of the confusion which has arisen within the science of psychology itself, both with regard to its relation to the other sciences and to philosophy, can doubtless be traced to the different interpretations which have been given to attention, will and voluntary action. 

Historically, at least, the so-called psychological discussions of will have, in many instances, been purely metaphysical; and where not so, the explanations have led to many and various logical difficulties.

details :
  • Author: J. Herschel Coffin
  • Publication date: 1907
  • Remark [Worcester, Mass., The Commonwealth Press]

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