The Principles of Psychology, Volume 1
"The four parts of which this work consists, though intimately related to each other as different views of the same great aggregate of phenomena, are yet, in the main, severally independent and complete in themselves. A brief characterization of each part, will enable everyone to decide for himself which he may best commence with The General Analysis (of which the essential portion was originally published in the Westminster Review for October, 1853, under the title of "The Universal Postulate, " and reappears here with additional arguments and explanations is an inquiry concerning the basis of our intelligence. Its object is to ascertain the fundamental peculiarity of all modes of consciousness constituting knowledge proper-knowledge of the highest validity. The Special Analysis has for its aim, to resolve each species of cognition into its components. Commencing with the most involved ones, it seeks by successive decompositions to reduce cognitions of every order to those of the simplest kind; and so, finally to make apparent the common nature of all thought, and disclose its ultimate constituents. While these analytical parts deal with the phenomena of intelligence subjectively, and, as a necessary consequence, are confined to human intelligence; the synthetical parts deal with the phenomena of intelligence objectively, and so include not human intelligence, only, but intelligence under every form"--Préface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
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Page 279 - is a definite combination of heterogeneous changes, both simultaneous and successive, in correspondence with external coexistences and sequences.
Page 267 - We need not, however, rest satisfied with an induction from these instances yielded by the essential vital functions ; for it is an inevitable deduction from the hypothesis of Evolution, that races of sentient creatures could have come into existence under no other conditions.
Page 456 - organized register of infinitely numerous experiences received during the evolution of life, or rather during the evolution of that series of organisms through which the human organism has been reached.
Page 455 - Those who contend that knowledge results wholly from the experiences of the individual, ignoring as they do the mental evolution which accompanies the autogenous development of the nervous system, fall into an error as great as if they were to ascribe all bodily growth and structure to exercise, forgetting the innate tendency to assume the adult form.
Page 147 - Nevertheless, it may be as well to say here, once for all, that were we compelled to choose between the alternatives of translating mental phenomena into physical phenomena, or of translating physical phenomena into mental phenomena, the latter alternative would seem the more acceptable of the two.
Page 129 - ... have now been produced artificially from inorganic matter ; and chemists do not doubt their ability so to produce the highest forms of organic matter. On the other hand, the microscope has traced down organisms to simpler and simpler forms until, in the Protogenes of Professor Haeckel, there has been reached a type distinguishable from a fragment of albumen only by its finely-granular character.
Page 139 - Assuming an underlying something, it is possible in some cases to see, and in the rest to conceive, how these multitudinous modifications of it arise. But if the phrase is taken to mean the underlying something of which these distinguishable portions are formed, or of which they are modifications ; then we know nothing about it, and never can know anything about it.
Page 146 - Here, indeed, we arrive at the barrier which needs to be perpetually pointed out; alike to those who seek materialistic explanations of mental phenomena, and to those who are alarmed lest such explanations may be found. The last class prove by their fear, almost as much as the first prove by their hope, that they believe Mind may possibly be interpreted in terms of Matter; whereas many whom they vituperate as materialists, are profoundly convinced that there is not the remotest possibility of so...
Page 148 - Feeling is unthinkable. Either way, therefore, it is impossible to interpret inner existence in terms of outer existence. But if, on the other hand, units of Force as they exist objectively, are essentially the same in nature with those manifested subjectively as units of Feeling ; then a conceivable hypothesis remains open. Every element of that aggregate of activities constituting a consciousness, is known as belonging to consciousness only by its cohesion with the rest.
Page 173 - Mind is constituted only when each sensation is assimilated to the faint forms of antecedent like sensations. The consolidation of successive units of feeling to form a sensation, is paralleled in a larger way by the consolidation of successive sensations to form what we call a knowledge of the sensation as such or such — to form the smallest separable portion of what we call thought, as distinguished from mere confused scntiency.