New Psychology, Volumes 119-120

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 228 pages
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Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1899. Excerpt: ... LESSON XVIII. SENSATION. In the last lesson we picked out the threads of which the tangled web of our conscious life is composed. We learned that, no matter what subject stands in the centre of the field of consciousness -- whether the toys of the child, the games of the boy, the ambitions of the young man, the absorbing occupations of maturity, or the retrospective reveries of old age -- our entire mental life consists of knowing, feeling, and willing. If my object were to discuss, even in a superficial way, these various phases of our mental life, it would be proper now to try to ascertain the strands of which these threads are composed, and show how they were twisted into their present form in our experience -- to break up the complex forms of knowing, feeling, and willing, of which we are conscious, into their elements, and then trace their growth from their feeble beginnings up to the forms in which we find them. But I have no such purpose. I intend from this point to confine myself to the intellectual or knowing side of the mental lite, and to those phases of it that have most interest for us as teachers. But even here lack of space prevents me from pursuing a strictly logical course -- from trying to break up the complex forms of knowing of which we are conscious, in order to ascertain their elements. Fortunately, however, we can be sure of some of those elements, at any rate, without any elaborate analysis. It is easy to see that we should never know anything of the objects about us were it not for their action upon the senses. We see that persons born blind have no ideas of colors -- that those born deaf have no ideas of sounds; and it is evident that, if a being were born without any of the senses, he would remain in absolute ignorance of the external world, even supposing...

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