Johann Friedrich Herbart.

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Volume XVIII.

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Edited by W. T. Harris.

IT is proposed to publish, under the above title, a library tor teadiers
and school managers, and text-books for normal classes. The aim will
be to provide works of a useful practical character in the broadest sense.
The following conspectus will show the ground to be covered by the series:

I.— History of Education, (a.) Original systems as ex-
pounded by their founders, (b.) Critical histories which set forth the
customs of the past and point out their advantages and defects, explain
ing the grounds of their adoption, and also of their final disuse.

II. — ^Educational Criticism, (a.) The noteworthy arraign
ments which educational reformers have put forth against existing syc
terns : these compose the classics of pedagogy, (b.) The critical histories
above mentioned.

m.— Systematic Treatises on the Theory of Edu-
cation, (a.) Works written from the historical standpoint; these,
for the most part, show a tendency to justify the traditional course of
study and to defend the prevailing methods of instruction, (b.) Works
written from critical standpoints, and to a greater or less degree i^evolu-
tionary in their tendency.

IV.— The Art of Education, (a.) Works on instruction
and discipline, and the practical details of the sdiool-room. (b.) Works
on the organization and supervision of schools.

Practical insight into the educational methods in vogue can not be
attained without a knowledge of the process by which they have come to
be established. For this reason it is proposed to give 'special prominence
to the history of the systems that have prevailed.

Again, since history is incompetent to furnish the ideal of the future,
it is necessary to devote large space to works of educational criticism.
Criticism is the purifying process by which ideals are rendered clear and
potent, so that progress becomes possible.

History and criticism combined make possible a theory of the whole.
For, with an ideal toward which the entire movement tends, and an ac-
count of the phases that have appeared in time, the connected develop-
ment of the whole can be shown, and all united into one system.

Lastly, after the science, comes the practice. The art of education is
treated in special works devoted to the devices and technical details use-
ful in the school-room.

It is believed that the teacher does not need authority so much as in
sight in matters of education. When he understands the theory of edu-
cation and the history of its growth, and has matured his own point
of view by careful study of the critical literature of education, then he is
competent to select or invent such practical devices as are best adapted
to his own wants.

The series will contain works from European as well as American
authors, and will be under the editorship of W. T. Harris, A. M., LL. D

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^Vol. I. The Philosophy of Edacation. By Jouash Kabl Fjubd-


"Vol. II. A History of Education. By Professor F. V. N. PAarrmt,

of Boanoke, Virginia. $1.60.
^ol. III. The Rise and Early Constitution of Universities.

With a Survey of MecUseyal Education. By S. S. Latjbib, LL. D.,
ProfeMor of the Institutes and History of Education in the Uniyersity
of Edinburgh. $1.50.

Tol. IV. The Ventilation and Warming of School Buildingrs.
By GiLBBBT B. MoBBisoN, Teacher of Physics and Chemistry in Kan-
sas City High School. 76 cents.

Vol. V. The Education of Man. By Fribdbioh Fbobbel. Trans^
lated fix)m the German and annotated by W. N. Hailmann, Superin-
tendent of Public Schools at La Porte, Indiana. $1.60.

Vol. VI. Elementary Psychology and Education. By Joseph
Baldwin, Principal of the Sam Houston State Normal School, Hunta-
ville, Texas. $1.60.

Vol. VII. The Senses and the Will. Observations concerning the
Mental Development of the Human Being in the i^irst Years of Litb.
By W*. Pbbtbb, Professor of Physiology in Jena. lYanslated fix)m
the original Gterman, by H. W. JSeown, Teacher in the State Normal
School at Worcester, Mass. Part I of Thb Mikd of the Chlld. $1.60.

VoL VIII. Memory. What it is and how to improve it. By David
Kay, F. E. G. S. $1.60.

Vol. IX. The Development of the Intellect. Observations con-
cerning the Mental Development of the Human Being in the First
Years of Life. Bv W. Pbeybb, Professor of Physiology in Jena.
Translated from the original German, by H. W. Bbown, Teacher in
the State Normal School at Worcester, Mass. Part II of The Mind
OF THE Child. $1.60.

Vol. X. How to Study Geo^aphy. By Fbancis W. Pab^ieb.
Prepared for the Professional Training Class of the Cook County Nor-
mal School. $1.60.

Vol. XI. Education in the United States. Its History from the
Earliest Settlements. By Biohabd G. Boone, A. M., Professor of
Pedagogy in Indiana University. $1.60.

Vol. Xn. European Schools. Or what I saw in the Schools of Ger-
many, France, Austiia, and Switzerland. By L. E. Elemm, Ph. D.,
Author of " Chips from a Teacher's Workshop," and numerous school-
books. $2.00.

Vol. Xni. Practical Hints for the Teachers of Public Schools.
By Geobge Howland, Superintendent of the Chicago Schools. $1.00.

Vol. XIV. Pestalozzi : His Life and Work. By Rogeb Db Guimps.
Authorized translation from the second French edition, by J. Russell,
B. A., Assistant Master in University College School, London. With
an Introduction by Bev. R. H. Quick, M. A. $1.50.

Vol. XV. School Supervision. By J. L. Piokabd, LL. D. $1.00.

Vol. XVI. Higher Education of Women in Europe. By Helene
Lanoe, Berlin. Translated and accompanied by Comparative Statis-
tics, by L. R. Klemm, Ph. D. $1.00.

Vol. XVII. Essays on Educational Reformers. By Robbbt Hb-
bebt Quiok, M. a. Trin. CoU.. Cambridge, Formerly Assistant Master
at Harrow, and Lecturer on tne History of Education at Cambrid|re,
late Vicar of Sedbergh. Only authorized edition of the work as rewri^
ten in 1890. $1.50.

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Copyright, 1891,

bt d. appleton and company.

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The present work is a translation o Johann Fried-
rich Herbart's Lehrbuch zur Psychologie, from the
second revised edition published in 1834 — the date of
the first edition being 1816.*

The fact that Herbart's philosophical writings have
given a great impulse to scientific study and experi-
ment in education is a sufficient reason for including
this volume in the International Education Series.

He succeeded Krug in 1809, and filled for a quar-
ter of a century afterward the chair long occupied by
the celebrated Kant at the University of Konigsberg,
supplementing his philosophical labors by founding
and directing a pedagogical seminary (or normal school,
as we call it in the United States). It is interesting
to note that Herbart's successor at Konigsberg was
Karl Rosenkranz, also eminent in the philosophy of

Although a German philosopher and occupying the

tjhair of Kant, Herbart set out from an entirely differ-

^ j^ ent basis, and produced a system unlike those of the

1 ^ great geniuses who have made German philosophy for

r^ Qi) ever memorable. So unlike them^ indeed, is his sys-

r^ I * O. Hartenstein's edition, Hamburg and Leipsic, 1886.

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tern that one has great difficulty to trace their influ-
ence upon his thoughts. Strange to say, however, his
system becomes fruitful in the following generation,
in two directions : first, in the line of physiological
psychology, especially in the attempt to reduce the
facts of the mind to mathematical statements ; and,
secondly, in the line of the philosophy and art of edu-

A careful examination of the pedagogical writings
of the followers of Herbart shows that the important
thought which has become so fruitful is that of " ap-
perception." This is specially named or referred to in
§§ 26, 40, 41, 43, 59, 123, 182, 183, and in many other
places in the following work. It is, in fact, the central
thought from which the author proceeds and to which
he always returns.

To explain this idea we contrast perception with
apperception. In perception we have an object pre-
sented to our senses, but in apperception we identify
the object or those features of it which were familiar
to us before ; we recognize it ; we explain it ; we in-
terpret the new by our previous knowledge, and thus
are enabled to proceed from the known to the un-
known and make new acquisitions ; in recognizing the
object we classify it under various general classes ; in
identifying it with what we have seen before, we note
also differences which characterize the new object and
lead to the definition of new species or varieties. All
this and much more belong to the process called ap-
perception^ and we see at once that it is the chief busi-
ness of school instruction to build up the process of
apperception. By it we re-enforce the perception of
the present moment by the aggregate of our own past

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sense-perception, and by all that we have learned of
the experience of mankind.

Here, then, is the great good that comes from the
Herbartian pedagogics ; it lifts up the so-called " New
Education " from its first step where it was left by
Pestalozzi to a second step which retains all that was
valuable in the new education, and at the same time
unites with it the permanent good that remained in
the old education.

For Pestalozzianism laid great stress on sense-
perception {An8chauti7ig) without considering what
it is that makes sense-perception fruitful. It is not
what we see and hear and feel, but what we inwardly
digest or assimilate — what we apperceive — that really
adds to our knowledge.

As soon as instruction mounts to this second step
it ceases to talk about the cultivation of outer percep-
tion — as if mere acuteness of sense were in itself the
end of instruction — and turns its attention upon the
systematic building up of the inner faculty of per-
ception — ^the recognizing faculty. It accordingly in-
vestigates carefully the course of study. What shall
one study to give him most assimilative power? What
shall he study to make him at home in the world of
Man and the world of Nature, so that he may readily
comprehend all that comes into his experience ?

What items shall enter the course of study, is a
question that concerns vitally the practical success of
the school. But it is equally important to fix the
true order of studies. The knowledge of appercep-
tion gives the clew to the order in which the separate
branches and disciplines should follow one another.
Those studies should precede which furnish the data

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for apperceiving the elements of the studies that fol-
low. Those studies should come later which presup-
pose the results reached in the earlier branches. The
interesting experiments in "concentric instruction,"
wherein Grimm's Fairy Stories or Eobinson Crusoe is
used as the central theme of interest and all the other
studies of the course are brought into connection with
it for purposes of apperception, may be referred to
here * as illustrating the mode and manner in which
the idea is applied in some parts of Germany. Each
class is to have its Oesinnungsstoffy or subject-matter
that interests all the pupils and appeals to their imag-
ination and feelings. This furnishes a center of inter-
est for everything else — ^geography, history, arithmetic,
language-study, etc.

It is obvious that the pedagogy of all lands will
take a great step forward when it leaves the crude first
stage of work that is characterized by bald verbal
memorizing or by equally defective training of sense-
perception by object-lessons, and takes its stand on
the theory of apperception. It will then subordinate
verbal memorizing and aimless lessons in sense-per-
ception for really nourishing instruction and iuward

Herbakt's Scaffoldin^g to the Doctrine of

The idea of apperception underlies, as we have said,
the entire treatise presented in this book. The other
matter may be regarded as scaffolding erected for
the purpose of explaining the operations of this act

* See Dr. L. R. Klemm's European Schools, pp. 184, 211.

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There must be, it is evident, ideas stored np in the
mind from former experience, and these ideas may be
in the mind but out of consciousness at any given
moment. This gives us the theory of the threshold
of consciousness (p. 12), and of the ideas that rise from
unconsciousness above that threshold into conscious-
ness when incited by other ideas which are kindred to
them. The doctrine of complexes and hlendings (p.
17) gives his notion of the close association of ideas in
the case of thing and properties, or of the union of
opposites. These views he grounds in a theory of the
unity and simplicity of the soul and an interrelation
between one simple essence (Wesen) or monad and
another, in which relation one monad acts upon another,
which reacts again upon it (p. 119). This action and
reaction is a process of self-preservation. The self-
preservations, or the results of this reaction, are ideas
or concepts ( Vorstellung means mental image, or con-
cept, or representation, or presentation — ^in short, any
and all mental products included under the English
word idea in its widest application).

Then there naturally follows a consideration of
the mathematical relations of the rising and sinking
of these ideas in consciousness (pp. 18-22). Here the
doctrine of series is suggested ; for, since one idea calls
up another complicated or blended with it, it must be
clear that ideas are always to be found as members of
series or groups ; and, moreover, the same idea will like-
ly enough form a link in each one of several different
series. Hence the complexity of association becomes
apparent. The interaction between mind and body
(p. 34) is an element to be considered in the mathe-
matical calculations. The classification of the mental

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phenomena and the old theory of faculties can not be
passed without notice, and the author discusses it
throughout Part Second of the work.

Herbart's scaffoldings of explanation may be true
or false, but even if false his investigation is of perma-
nent value, because it singles out for its object this
problem of apperception. Thus few will find what he
says in regard to the will (pp. 82, ff.) satisfactory, be-
cause the will is included under desire : " The will is
desire, accompanied with the conviction that the ob-
ject desired can be attained." But the comparative
psychology of the will may trace desire and will to one
root in creatures below man. So, too, intellect and
feeling have one root in the same lower order of

Mathematics in Psychology.

In this Text-book of Psychology Herbart indicates
the mathematical application that may be made in
psychology, but does not develop it so fully as in a sub-
sequent work published in 1824 entitled " Psychology
as a Science founded for the First Time on Experience,
Metaphysics, and Mathematics." There are three im-
portant mathematical formulas treated : (1) Of two
concepts, no matter how unequal their respective
strength, the one can never quite obscure or arrest the
other (i. e., drive it out of consciousness) ; but of three
or more concepts, it may happen that one is so weak
as to be entirely arrested by the other two (p. 12).
This is proved in the Psychology as Science, by show-
ing of two concepts a and S, that the amount of arrest

18 expressed in the proportion a -f- 5 : a : : S : . ^ •

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So that a has a remainder = a — ,, . / * while h has a


at V A '¥ *

remainder after arrest = 5 — — r— r — ^ \l > *^^ ^^ ^^

obvious that this can become zero only when a is in-
finite. The case in which there are three concepts, a,
J, and £?, give for the remainder of c the expression

c — I — r^ — i— ^ > and the conclusion that there may

be zero for result — where, for example, a and i are
equal and their sum is equal to three times the value
of c. (Psychol, als. Wiss., §§ 44, 45.)

The second mathematical formula (p. 13, § 17)
states that, while the arrested portion of the concept
sinks, the sinking portion is at every moment propor-
tional to the part not arrested. Herbart gives the in-

tegrated expression for this, namely, <r


in which /5= the aggregate amount arrested ; t = the
time elapsed during the collision of concepts ; <r = the
arrested portion of all the concepts in the time indi-
cated by t\ e = the basis of the natural system of
logarithms. In § 74 of the Psychology as Science he
gives the differential equation from which this is de-
rived : (/S— <r) dt = d<r.

The third mathematical statement (§§ 24-28, pp.
18-22) concerns the assistance which one idea gives
anothei to recall it into consciousness. Herbart gives,
in § 25, both equations, the differential and integral.

The expression ~ indicates how much help n (a concept

in the mind but unconscious) received from P (a con-
scious concept or percept) to lift it abovfe the threshold of

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6 IS


consciousness, n also aids P to the extent indicated by

■^. In this expression r = the remainder of P that is

not arrested, and p the remainder of n unarrested. Now
the aid given by P to n is greater before the union of
r with p than after some part of the union has taken
place. Herbart lets the portion of p which is already
united with r and brought into consciousness = ca.

Then the differential equation =^ . . dt=^dia ex-

n p

presses the mode in which the influence of P on n to
bring up a new part of p into consciousness is condi-
tioned by the amount remaining of that part after
subtracting the part already become conscious (i. e.,

p — ft) whose ratio to the total remainder of n is - — -).


The integral equation ft) = p 1 1 — e -=— J wherein

the base of the natural system of logarithms, as Her-
bart remarks (Psychology as Science, § 86), " shows
us in a perfectly clear manner how u) depends on p, r,
/, and n " ; or, in other words, how the amount of an
idea or concept that is recalled to consciousness, de-
pends on (a) its total amount = n, (b) the size of the
part of it = p, which can blend with P, the assisting
concept ; (c) the portion of P = r which may blend
with n, and on {d) the time elapsed during the opera-

Vaulting and Tapering.

This doctrine of the help given by one concept to
another involves the curious phenomenon that Her-
bart describes (§ 26, p. 21) as vaulting ( Wolbung)
and tapering {Zuspitzung), The first effect of the

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conscious idea, P, on the unconscious one allied to it,
n, is to bring the latter into consciousness in general
without accurate discrimination of the part p which
may blend with the part r. But time being given, the
other portions of n incongruent with r are arrested
and sent back, and thus the assisted idea is arched,
figuratively speaking, in such a manner that its part
p is the top of the arch and extends into consciousness.
By the further action of separating p from the re-
mainder of n, the arch becomes more and more pointed,
until finally, only p remains in consciousness and all
the rest of n has been arrested and sunk from view.
The reader, therefore, will find it necessary to learn how
to interpret readily this figurative expression which
Herbart uses, technically, into the description of the
process of apperception — the first part of the process
identifying wholes which do not perfectly blend, and
the later steps of the process eliminating more and
more the portions which can not blend, and thus
" arching " the portion of n which can blend, until at
last there is left only the pure p which unites com-
pletely with r, and the pointing is accomplished.

Herbart's Place iiq- the History of Philosophy.

From the point of view of apperception the anom-
alous position of Herbart's system in the history of
philosophy may be explained — or rather the anomaly
may be removed.

All modem philosophy in general has for its prob-
lem the exploration of the subjective factor in knowl-
edge, as the Greek philosophy sought to discover the
objective factor. Thus modern philosophy has a psy-
chological tendency, while ancient philosophy had

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an ontological tendency. The former asks for the
subjective coefficient in cognition, while the latter asks
the necessary conditions of true being.

If apperception be divided into two kinds — ^first,
that dependent on the nature of the mind itself, and,

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Online LibraryJohann Friedrich HerbartA text-book in psychology: an attempt to found the science of psychology on ... → online text (page 1 of 19)