Froebel as a Pioneer in Modern Psychology

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Literary Collections - 144 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1914. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI Instinct And Instincts """JHE older writings on Instinct are ineffectual wastes of words," writes Professor James, "because their authors never came down to this simple and definite idea (that the nervous system is to a great extent a pre-organized bundle of reactions), but smothered everything in vague wonder at the clairvoyant and prophetic power of animals--so superior to anything in Man." Froebel was certainly not in a position to know much of the nervous system, but what he wrote about instinct cannot be classed with these older writings. For even without modern knowledge, he waxes indignant over the opinions of those who created James' "ineffectual wastes of words." Far from allowing that instinct in the lower animals is superior to anything in man, Froebel maintains that the very weakness, indefiniteness of man's instincts or impulses (Triebe) is a sign of his superiority. "Notwithstanding the early manifestation in the human infant of the impulse to employment (Beschaftegungstriebe), much has been said from an entirely wrong point of view about man's helplessness at birth, and his slow development to independence, which necessitates for so long a "Principles of Psychology," Vol. II, p. 384. period the care and help of the mother. It has even been said, that, in this respect, man's position is behind and below that of other animals. But that very point, which has been cited as evidence of man's imperfection, is a proof of his worth. For we recognize through this helplessness, that man is called to ever higher self-consciousness."--P., p. 24. At the same time it should be pointed out that Froebel does not make the opposite mistake of supposing that man has no instincts. Since he approached psychology from the biological side, so far as it could...

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