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The mind of man; a text-book of psychology online

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LIBRARY

OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.



Class

Hsmsz

EDUC.

PSYHH,

LIBi^ARY



ETHICAL SERIES



THE MIND OF MAN



No eye could he too sound

To observe a world so vast ;
No patience too profound

To sort what's here amassed. — Matthew Arnold.



Between the muscle-nerve preparation at the one limit, and our conscious willing
selves at the other, there is a continuous gradation without a break ; we cannot fix any
linear barrier in the brain or in the general nervous system, and say "beyond this there
is volition and intelligence, but up to this there is none." — Michael Foster.



THE MIND OF MAN



A TEXT-BOOK OF PSYCHOLOGY



BY



GUSTAV SPILLER




Xon&on

SWAN SONNENSCHIEN & CO., Lim.

PATERNOSTER SQUARE
1902



5 6f



PS.CH.
LIBRARY



PREFACE



What more interesting study can there be than that of the Mind
of Man ? Tennyson wrote enthusiastically of " the fairy tales of
science," having in view only the results of physical research, and
yet, manifestly, the exploration of the realm of mind must yield
information which is no less fascinating. To observe the mind
at work — thinking, or imagining, or feeling, or dreaming — must
assuredly rival what is given by geology or by astronomy.

The scientific study of mind, however, is not only interesting ;
it has far-reaching consequences. The principles of education
and those of morals and aesthetics are closely bound up with it,
while even such sciences as political economy and sociology
are likely to be transformed through its influence.

Furthermore, a science of mind must revolutionise the whole
of philosophy. By determining the nature of mental process
and the nature of mind, it will set at rest once for all those
discussions which have raged around a unitary conception of the
universe. Physical science and mental science will then no more
form two independent and hostile camps, and speculative meta-
physics will cease to exist, handing over its many interesting
problems to science.

If psychology cannot as yet boast of any great truths, that is
because Introspection has been unjustifiably regarded as impossible
or impracticable. Yet, as we shall see, this mode of investiga-
tion offers no great difficulties and may be applied with marked
advantage.

The chapters which follow represent an attempt to apply the
scientific method in Psychology. The reader, therefore, will not
find here mathematical demonstrations in the style of Herbart, nor
will he meet with a neatly elaborated system seemingly flawless in
every detail like that of Herbert Spencer. Speculation, meta-
physical and non-metaphysical, and hypotheses, large and small,
have been severely boycotted, their place being taken by a ceaseless



vi. PREFACE

and minute experimental examination of the facts, with a view to
arriving at comprehensive statements or descriptions. The results,
consequently, lay no claim to infallibility, and they obviously, like
all work of a scientific character, especially as the ground covered
is so vast, require corroboration, checking and extension.

The volume consists of three parts : Method, General Analyses,
and Special Syntheses. Its most pervading feature is perhaps the
organic conception of the life of thought and action which the
inquiry has forced to the foreground. Hence the current notions
as regards motives, pleasure-pain, reason, attention, association,
habit, and the will, — which suggest no intricate and developed
organic processes, — have been either rejected or considerably
modified. Thus also the tripartite division into Intellect, Feeling
and Volition has been replaced by a close analysis of the nature
and satisfaction of Needs or functional tendencies. The key to
the whole work is contained in chapters 7, 2, and 3. The nature of
Needs dwelt upon more especially in chapter 7 forms the root out
of which the conclusions of any importance maybe developed ; the
process of attention, or the distribution of systems, examined in the
second chapter,* goes far towards explaining chapters 3, 5, 10, and
1 1 ; while the fact of habit, or economisation, studied in the third
chapter,! paves the way for chapter 4 and is implied throughout
the work. Only chapter 8 stands somewhat aloof from its com-
panions, as it attempts to show, in the spirit of Mach, that the
traditional views on matter and mind are not borne out by a pains-
taking inspection of the facts. Perusing the eleven chapters the
reader will perhaps recognise that each chapter^ and every portion of
each chapter is, in the first instance, the outcome of research, and that
the final form, like an equation, merely represents the total labour
expended and was in no particular case thought of before the
examination had drawn to a close.

The work is more especially designed for the use of students. For
this reason I have ventured on reviewing the extensive literature of
normal psychology, quoting the opinions which are most generally
held, and supplying almost a complete bibliography of the subjects
dealt with. On the same account " asides " are inserted in the text
to encourage observation and experiment on the part of the learner ;
the sectioning is continuous, so as to make reference easier ; each
chapter finishes with a bird's eye view ; and a general summary (ch.

* The substance of this chapter appeared in Mind, 1901.
t The substance of this chapter appeared in Mind, 1899,



PREFACE vii.

12) offers a comprehensive survey of the whole work. Finally, a
psychological terminology has been put forward which is intended
to assist ready comprehension.

Readers need not go far to understand this work. For the
purpose of avoiding perplexity, I have spoken of what every man
can verify within himself; that is to say, I have made only casual
references to physiology, evolution, anthropology, or to the study
of children, of abnormal persons and of animals (sec. 11). This
course alone prevented superficial treatment on the one hand and
bulkiness on the other. I have been compelled, however, to deal at
length with a few extraneous but interesting subjects as they were
intimately connected with the chief conclusions arrived at. These
are : the nature of genius, with special reference to Shakespeare
(ch. 9) ; the nature of dream-life, as also the alleged facts of
Spiritualism (ch. 10) ; and, lastly, the problems of aesthetics (ch.

II)-

The point of view from which this work is written will, it is
hoped, commend itself to the lovers of science. I have attempted
to walk the straight and narrow path, and I have consequently
declined to accommodate my conclusions to any party. To my
mind, the amazing backwardness of psychology is principally due
to its having been almost exclusively cultivated by philosophers
or those philosophically inclined, i.e., by those who have settled
doctrines to begin with, instead of by men of science who possess
only the desire for truth as such. This work will have fulfilled its
author's purpose if it accentuates the need of, and assists in
establishing, a psychology of a strictly scientific character.



CONTENTS

PART I

Method
chapter i

iNTKOnUCTION

1. The Foundations of Psychology - - - 3:

2. The Use of Hypotheses ....-.. - . 10.

3. Approaches to the Study of Psychology ■ - 14

4. Introspection - - - - - ■ - ■ • - -15

5. Practical Psychologj- - - .-. - - 20

6. Detail and General Fact -.. - ....- 23

7. Systematic Observation ..-.-..... 25

8. Quantitative Psychology - - - - - - - - 31

9. Experimental Introspection 34

10. Definition - 37

11. Literature of the Subject - - - - - 38

12. Psychological Terminology - - - - - 35.

13. A Bird's Eye View 42

PART II

General Analyses
chapter ii

Systems as Distributed

14. Attention and Inattention - - - - - 45,

15. Sensations, Images and Feelings do not exist apart from Attention - 45

16. Attention is Dependent on Stimuli - - - - 47

17. The Beginnings of Sensations - - - - - 47

18. The Area of Sensations and Images - - - - 49

19. The Sense Problem - - - - - - ^o

20. Classification of Systems - - - - - 57

21. Keen, Normal and Lax Attention 59

22. Attention, in the Normal Waking State, is Quantitatively alike with All Men

at All Times - . - -.. - . 60

23. Felt Strain, Desire to Attend, etc. ........ ^i

24. Deliberate Attention - - - - - - 65

25. The Measure of Attention is its Effectiveness - - - 66-

26. Attention has no Focus .-.......- Qy

zy. Abnormal Attention - - - 67

28. The Larger Waves of Attention - - - - - 69

29. The Smaller Waves of Attention - - - - ^g.

30. Narrowing the Normal P'ield of Attention 7O'

31. Expanding the Normal Field of Attention - - - - 71

32. Brain and Mind - - - - - - - - - - - - 71

33. The Field of Attention 72^



CONTENTS ix.

34. Attention Energy and Motion Energy are One 72

35. Attention and Heredity . . . 74.

36. Observation and Attention 75

37. The Growth of Knowledge Complexes 76

38. Attention to One Object at a Time 77

39. Do we Attend in Habit? 79

40. Can we Attend to Habits? 80

41. The Routine of Life - - - - - - - - - ■ - 81

42. Attention and Memory ... - - - - 81

43. Sub-conscious and Unconscious Thought - - - - 82

44. Conditions Favouring Attention - - - - 84

45. The Education of the Attention -.. - - - 87

46. Factors producing Changes in the Field of Attention - - - - -87

47. General Conclusions - - - - - - 88

48. A Bird's Eye View - - 88

CHAPTER HI
Systems as Organised

49. The History of a Habit 91

50. Memorising the Facts - - - - - 92

51. The Process of Simplification - - - - - 93

52. Reduction of Eftbrt - - - 97

53. Appropriate Exercise - - - - - - 97

54. A Comparison - - - - - - 97

55. The Result of Liberating Attention Energy - - - 98

56. Does an Organised Trend ever become Automatic ? ■ - - - - 99

57. Organised Trends and Memory - - - - - loi

58. The Place of Exercise 102

59. The Place of Judgment .-.-. - - - 103

60. Why is it Difficult to influence Habits ? 105

61. Early Education 107

62. Each Habit is based on Others of its Kind - - - . . . 108

63. Each Habit forms a Basis for Others of its Kind - - - - - - 1 10

64. What is a Habit ? - - - - 1 1 1

65. All Thought is Organised - - - - - - - - - - 114

65a. Habit and Thought 119

66. 'J he Psychological Method 120

67. A Bird's Eye View I20

CHAPTER IV
Systems as Need-Satisfying

68. What is implied in a Secondary Unit or Idea? - - - - - - 122

69. Richness and Poverty of Detail in a Secondary Unit or Idea • - -123

70. Each of the Five Senses supplies us with the Material for Secondary Units

or Ideas - - - - - - - 124

71. Other Sources of Secondary Units or Ideas - .... - 124

72. Secondary Units or Ideas which are generally Overlooked . - - - 125

73. Word-Ideas as such 126

74. Words Rich and Poor in Meaning -.-.-... 126

75. Why Secondary Units or Ideas tend to have Little Content - - - - 127

76. Secondary Units or Ideas reflect Individual Situations .... 127
76a. General Ideas - .. - -. - - 128
76b. Speech and Thought - - - - - - - - - - 1 30



X



X. CONTENTS

77. Re-produclion of Motion and Detail - 131

78. Observation is Teleologically Determined 133

79. Memory Contents Dwindle - - - - - - 134

80. Every Secondary Unit or Idea represents a Set of Activities, and cannot be

Stored - - - - - - - - - - - • - 134

Si. Sense Impressions are One with Images - - - - - - 136

82. Movement and Thought - - - - - 137

83. Units and Trains of Units - 137

84. The Nature of Language ■ - - - - - - - - 138

85. What is a Secondary Unit or an Idea? - - 139

86. Summary - - - - - - - • - - - - - 140

87. The Dynamics of our Subject . - -..-.. 141

88. The Composition of Secondary Systems - - - - 141

89. Secondary CompHcations - - - - - - - - . 143

90. Devehipment, Excitement and Secondary Complications - - - - 144
90a. Associationism - - - - - - - - - - - 146

91. Ideational Complications 151

92. Thought represents the Satisfaction of Needs - - - - - -151

93. Some Results of Economisation 152

94. The Language of the Adult - - - - - - - - 153

95. We are not restricted to One Unit or Idea at a Time - - - 154

96. General Methods in Thought - - - - - - - - - 155

97. Knowledge is mostly a Social Product -...-.. i^g

98. The Origin of Needs and their Classification -... - 160

99. A Complex Ideational Process Examined - - - - - - - 161

99a. Comparison . - -. - - -. 161

99b. Semi-Connection or Doubt and Related States 163

99c. Generalisation or Topical Reaction 164

99d. Abstraction - - - - - - - - - - - 165

100. Attention and Combination 165

loi. Economisation and Combination - - - - - - - - 166

102. Memory and Combination - - - ... 167

103. Habit and Thought 167

104. Interdependence and Interaction in Combining - - - 169

105. History of the Subject - - 170

106. A Bird's Eye View 172

CHAPTER V
Systems as Re-Developed

107. Primary Systems imply Re- Development - - - - - - 173

108. The Persistence of Neural Modifications - - - - 176

109. Neural Excitement • - - - - - - - - - - 17S

no. Sudden Re-Collection - - - - - 175

lioa. The Nature of Recency - - - - - 181

111. Neural Excitement implies Neural Momentum 182

112. Memory Slowly Fades 184

113. Cramming 185

114. We forget Most Things 186

115. The Process of De-Developmeni 190

116. Re-Development is Attention to Surviving Traces - - - igj

117. No Detailed Image in the Memory - - - - 192

118. Images are soon Exhausted -..-... - igj

119. Visuals, Audiles, Motiles, Emotiles, and Mentals 195



CONTENTS xi.

120. The Matter of Memory 197

1 20a. Motion as Imaged - - - - - 203

1 20b. Thinking in Words .-.. - - - 204

121. The Growth of the Memory 205

122. The Elements of Memory 207

123. What constitutes a Perfect Memory ? 208

124. Primary and Secondary Series Distinguished - - - 209

125. After-images, etc., 210

126. Intuitions 213

127. Organised Re-Development .-. - .. - 215

128. Novelty and Familiarity 217

129. The Gaping Void 218

130. The Part stands for the Whole 219

131. Why the Memory leans Forward ...-. - - 219

132. Vividness is no Test of Objectivity - - - - 220

133. The Present Ends where Obliviscence Begins 222

1 34. The Dynamics of Memory 224

135. The Physical Aspect of Memory 231

136. How to Re-Develop 234

137. A Bird's Eye View 239

CHAPTER VI
Systems as Disturbed

138. Pleasure and Pain are neither Sensations nor Feelings . - . . 240

139. The Nature of the Nervous System determines how far we are Drawn to-

wards, or Recoil from, an Object - - - - 246

140. Definition of Pleasure-Pain 251

141. Irritants 259

142. Organised Reaction Largely Decides what shall be regarded as Pleasurable

or Painful 263

143. Inference as a Determining Factor in Pleasure-Pain - - - 264

144. Neural Disturbance is Absent from Normal Defensive Activity - - - 265

145. Normal Thought and Action are Neutral as regards Pleasure-Pain - - 266

146. The Relation of the Emotions to Neural Disturbances . - - - 267

147. Feeling Pained, and Imaged Pain . - .. - - 271

148. Principles Ride Rough-Shod over Disturbances - * 273

149. Moods largely determine the Drift of Thought - - - 276

150. Conclusions -..... - - - 279

151. A Bird's Eye View - - - 280

CHAPTER VII
Systems as Need-Determined

152. Experimental Willing .. - ... - - 282

153. The Effect of Volitions 286

154. Will as Absolute 287

155- Uniqueness in Willing ...-.-.-.. 291

156. Voluntary, Non-Voluntary and Involuntary Activity - - - 293

157. Depreciating and Appreciating the Will-Value - - - 297

158. Deliberation 299

159. Desire 301

160. Neural Disturbances 302

161. Choice from Weaker Motive - - - - - 305

162. Action from Special Motives 307



xii. CONTENTS

163. I Will . . -^ 309

164. Will as Assertion - - - - - - 311

165. The Absolute Value of Felt Effort 313

166. The Sense of Effort - 315

167. The Tripartite Division in Psychology 318

168. A Bird's Eye View - - • - - - - - 321

CHAPTER VIII
Systems as Unified

169. Objective, Reflected and Imaged Sight ...... 322

170. Other Classes of Systems ... - 323

171. Mind and Body ........... 323

172. Mind and Matter .... - 324

173. Force 326

174. Motion 326

175. Appearance and Reality ... - - 327

176. The Self 328

176a. The Nature of Mind 330

177. Presentations .. - -....... 332

178. Inner and Outer ........... 333

179. Experience ............ 333

180. Psychophysical Parallelism - - 333

181. Memory - - 335

182. Space 335

iS2a. The Space of Sight and Touch ... ... 347

183. Time ..... - -...-. 348

184. Order 348

185. Cause and Effect ........... 349

186. Freedom 351

187. Mental Activity 352

188. Reason, Understanding . - ....... 3^3

189. The Senses - 353

190. Persistence 355

191. Evolution 356

192. Others 357

193. Subject and Object ..-. - - ..- 359

194. Life 361

195. Death 363

196. Immortality ............ 363

197. Science -.....-. - ..- 364

198. Physical Science and Psychology ........ 366

199. Monism, Dualism, etc. .......... 367

200. A Bird's Eye View 370

PART III

Special Syntheses
chapter ix

Systems as Individualised

201. The Immediate Relation of the Individual to his Environment - - - 373

202. Shakespeare and the Sonnet ......... 373

203 Shakespeare and the Sonnet Form 375



CONTENTS xiii.

204. Peculiar Sonnets -,y5

205. Shakespeare's Language - - - -... ^^g

206. Shakespeare's Insight - - - - - - - . . . ^g^

207. The Object of Shakespeare's Sonnets 7^5

208. The Place of Shakespeare's Sonnets • - -.... -^g^

209. Shakespeare as Dramatist - - - -... ogg

210. Obstacles to Genius - - - . -



211. Men of Genius



393



- 397

212. Individual Character- -■ - - .-.. ,q-,

213. Relation to Needs - ■ - - -... 407

214. The Evolution of the Individual - - .... ^qq

215. The Acquisition of Language - - - - - - - . - 413

216. A Bird's Eye View - - 417

CHAPTER X

Systems as Classified

217. Highest Products - - -...... ^jg

218. Deliberate Action, Speech and Thought - - - ■ - - 421

219. Average Thought ■■ - - .... ^22

220. Afferent Activity ........... ^jc

221. Efferent Activity 428

222. Central Activity . . . - - ... 429

223. 'Twixt Waking and Sleeping - -.-.... ^^q

224. Dreams - - .-. - .... ^^5

225. Extra-Organic Stimuli in Dreams - - -... 4^6

226. Intra-Organic and Efferent Stimuli in Dreams - .... ^-jg

227. The Place of Reason in the Dream-State - - - - 441

228. Influencing the Dream-State 44^

229. The Origin of Dreams .......... 44g

230. The History of Dream-Life 4^2

231. Additional Considerations - 4^2

232. Provoked Dreams and Related Facts - - ... a,^(Q

233. Animal Psychology 462

234. A Bird's Eye View . - - 455

CHAPTER XI
Systems as Attention-Determined

235. General 468

236. The Beautiful in Visual Forms . 468

237. Inference 479

238. Misleading Beliefs 481

239. Education - - - -.-... 482

240. Fashion 483

241. Secondary Factors 483

242. The Esthetic Standard 485

243. Prose and Poetry 487

244. Music, etc. ............ 4gj

245. The Comic ............ 4^2

246. The Imagination 4q6

247- Play 499

248. A Bird's Eye View - . . ^qi



xiv. CONTENTS

CHAPTER XII

Summary

249. The Totality of Existence regarded as Static ...... C03

250. The Totality of Existence regarded as Dynamic ..... ^04

251. Disturbances - -......... co6

252. The Business of Psychology - 507

Indexes
Index of Subjects 509



Index of Authors



522



Index of Publications ........... j-j2



ERRATA



Page 17,

., 79.

„ 80,

„ 80,

„ 96,

„ 125,

,, 129,

„ 131.

„ 148,

„ 186,

,. 191,

,, 207,

„ 217,

„ 230,

„ 239,

„ 256,

„ 258,

,, 346,

,, 349,

„ 395.



6 from below, for " physical " read " psychical "

20 ,, below, for "Habit." read "Habit?"

21 ,, above, for " Habits." read " Habits?"
15 ,, below, for "pocesses" read "processes"
9 ,, above, for "occasions" read "occasion"
6 ,, below, for "and" read "or"

14 ,, above, for "difference" read "differences"
s. 12 and 13 from below are to be transferred to the end of sec. 76a.
. 9 from above, for " remaing " read " remaining "
. II ,, above, for " re-membering" read "remembering"
. 5 ,, above, for " ultimalely " read "ultimately"
s. 21 and 22 from below, for "Allen" read " AUin "
. 9 from above, for "similiar" read "similar "
. 5 ,, below, for "praise" read "condemn"
. 9 ,, above, for " uutractable " read " untractable "
.6 ,, below, for "Practice" read "Practise"

I ,, below, for "normla" read "normal"
. 18 ,, below, for "Arber" read " Arrer "
. 16 ,, above, for "perfections" read " perfection,"
. 9 ,, above, for " geuius " read "genius'



PART I

METHOD



OF



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

If the method be but true,
Ours shall be the truths we woo.

I. — The Foundations of Psychology.*

Of late it has almost become the fashion to assume that the foundations of
psychology are firmly laid, and that all that remains is to work out pro-
blems of secondary importance. It is argued that we have now only to
apply the knowledge which has been gained, and to occupy ourselves
with an exhaustive examination of the psychology of the child, of races,
of animals, and so forth. If this be so, the reader should find in this book
a methodical restatement, a dogmatic exposition of the established body
of psychological conclusions. Should he expect that, he will be dis-
appointed. According to my interpretation of the data, the ship of
psychology is still in mid-ocean, still at the mercy of storms of doubt, still
without chart or compass, and still far from port. I maintain not only
that the elementary principles of psychology have still to be established ;
but I believe that, from the scientific point of view, no serious attempt
has yet been made in that direction.

So daring an assertion necessitates a prolonged defence. When a
literature is so voluminous as is that of psychology— when Americans,
Englishmen, Frenchmen and Germans are vying with each other in the
production of learned treatises, it seems almost madness to suggest that
the scheme of operations is strategically suicidal, and that nothing but a
retreat to the base, and a new plan of campaign, can ensure success. How-
ever, such is my contention, a contention which, in the interests of
science, I feel bound to make and to substantiate. Grave as is my task,
its gravity is yet exceeded by its unpleasantness. One shrinks, and never
ceases to shrink, from the unwelcome duty of sounding a retreat. The



* "Not Descartes, nor Malebranche, nor Locke, nor Berkeley, nor Hume, nor Leibnitz,
seem to be acquainted with this word" (Boirac, article " Psycholcgie,"' in La Gtatde
Encyclopidie, 1900).

II



4 METHOD

heart almost fails when one has to announce to others that the news of
victory which we all greeted with joy, is void of truth. Yet, while destructive
criticism may give rise to bitter disappointment, we endure it because of
its ultimately beneficial effects.

In accordance with the only justifiable mode of procedure, I shall
attempt to make good my contention by an appeal to history. First, we
will dwell upon the history of the famous doctrine of the Association of
Ideas — a doctrine which, while generally correct in its contention that every
given idea is connected with the idea which preceded it, is, as I hope
to show hereafter (sees. 88-92), quite in error when it reasons backwards,
that the likeness between two ideas makes the one follow the other, since,
as I hold, relevancy to a topic determines which, if any, of the part-ideas
shall be developed.* In some form or another, Associationism was recog-
nised, there seems little doubt, from the days of Aristotle right through the
Middle Ages.f

It was Hobbes who in more modern times explained the flow of thought
by having recourse to an associative principle. He held that one parti-
cular thought or portion of thought followed another because antecedent
and consequent formed originally part of one continuous state, and for no
other reason. To him, however vaguely he stated it {Leviathan, 1651,
part I, ch. 3), the principle of the Association of Ideas offered a complete
explanation of consecutive thought. We are not, in this section, interested
in the truth, or otherwise, of this supposed key. It need only be observed
that there is no evidence that either Aristotle or his followers, or Hobbes,
iTiade an exhaustive study of the subject, for the purpose of either dis-
covering or verifying the explanation. We are nowhere led to believe
that these thinkers, for instance, endeavoured to take note of an entire



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