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through similarity. § 184. Collective concepts in which series
lie infolded to be regarded as subjects, etc. § 185. The place of
the subject. § 186. Each word in the language fitted to be the



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xlii ANALYSIS OF CONTENTa

subject of a judgment § 187. In an expressed judgment, for
the hearer, two cases possible. § 188. Intelligible speech must
be connected. (Note, — In music, distinctions between the intel-
ligible and the senseless to be made. The intelligible not also
the beautiful.) § 189. The development of ideas the result of
continuous judgment. § 190. The relation between a genus and
its species. § 191. The determination of the content of com-
plexes, or the definition of ideas. § 192. The definition and
separation of general notions are problems to be solved, etc

Chapteb III. — Our Comprehension of Things and Ourselves
(p. 150). § 194 Concepts become combined so far as they are
not arrested. For a child there are no individual objects. The
first chaos of concepts subjected to a separation. Movement of
objects aids in making distinctions, g 195. Objects separated into
individual things ; things separated into their properties. The
question concerning substance. § 196. Contradictions in the
notion of the thing with several properties. § 197. Differences
in the human apprehension of things to be considered prepara-
tory to the theory of self-consciousness. The object in motion
occupies more attention than the object at rest. § 198. The
brute as well as man occupies himself less with the inanimate
than with the living object. (Note, — ^That the Ego opposes to
itself a non-Ego, an error of idealism.) g 199. The origin of the
concept of a concept. § 200. The concept of self-knowledge.
The possibility of apprehending two opposite concepts, the rep-
resenting and the represented, as one and the same. The iden-
tity of self. § 201. The concept of the Ego. Man the movable
central point of things. {Note, — The concept of the we,) § 202.
The unity of personality depends upon the blendings of all the
concepts which in the course of life are added to the complex
which makes up the self of each person. The Ego develops
differently in different concept masses. § 203. A correct notion
of ourselves to be obtained through the notion of the souL
(iVo^e.— The Ego as a metaphysical principle. § 204. The
meaning of intuition. Intuition a complicated process. Pas-
sivity in intuition.

Chapter IV.—The Ungovemed Play of the Psychical Mech-
anism (p. 163). § 205. The mental activity may originate in
concepts themselves in the psychical organism or in external



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ANALYSIS OP CONTJilNTa xliii

impressions. § 206. A small number of concepts would soon
approach a statical point. This movement toward the statical
point is influenced by the number of concepts. § 207. Changes
in the arrest of concepts occur in consequence of new complica-
tions. Hence changes in mental conditions. § 208. The stat-
ical threshold is developed from the mechanical. § 209. Older
(earlier) concepts are stronger than later ones, g 210. The pur-
pose of the reproduction determines the purpose of the elabora-
tion. {Note, — Distinction between analytic and synthetic in-
struction.) ^ 211. Concepts become more firmly and more vari-
ously interwoven in following the tendency toward equilibrium.
The intelligence has its seat in the general connection among
concepts. § 212. Conversation is the ordinary stimulant to the
imagination. § 213. A man's sense-perception and attention
depend upon his imagination and thought. Attention partly
involuntary, partly voluntary. Four circumstances to be ob-
served during the act of attention. Eeproduoed concepts may
be unfavorable to involuntary observation. (Note, — Attention
belongs to the fundamental notions of general pedagogy.)
§214 Every physical feeling is in a condition to bring the
series of concepts complicated with it into consciousness. § 215.
Changes in the physical condition must correspond to changes
in the mental state. (Note, — An increased velocity in the
changes of bodily conditions renders the play of the psychical
mechanism difficult of control) § 216. The effect of emotion
should not be i^parent upon the healthy body. A system of
possible emotions exists in every human organism. The effects
of physiological pressure are to be ascertained from a knowl-
edge of the psychical mechanism. (1.) Under physiological
pressure obscurity arises. (2.) This pressure retards the vault-
ing and tapering of a series of concepts. (8.) With many this
pressure is not constantly effective. (4.) A constant pressure
acting upon free-rising concepts disarranges their movement.
§217. Different concept masses depend upon outside impres-
sions. § 218. The external world regarded as the sphere of
action. The functions of body and soul combined in move-
ments in different parts of the body and the feelings arising
therefrom. § 219. Illustration of § 218 by a series of concepts,
a, 5, e, d, etc § 220. The position of a hindrance often repre-



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xKv ANALYSIS OF CONTENTS.

sents merely something lacking in an ordinary environment
§ 221. Effect of a tissue of series. § 222. The first essential of
a man's chareicter furnished in the object and manner of his
love. § 223. The nature of will. § 224. The will has its imagi-
nation and its memory. § 225. How the will is strengthened.
§ 226. Desires may meet and oppose one another. (Note, — The
greater the number of concept masses so much the more har-
moniously do they work together.) § 227. The external life
often hinders a man from turning his whole will inward.

Chapter V. — Self-control, especially Duty, as a Psychical
Phenomenon (p. 178). § 228. Self-control to be distinguished
from that which a man exacts of himself. § 229. The child
controls himself when he delays an action which serves as a
means to an end. § 230. Experiences showing the inconsistency
of the will more striking in great than in small things. The
sign of a good law. § 231. Conscience follows from self-con-
sciousness. A fixed law preceding cases to be decided, necessity
as security against partiality. ' g 232. In the beginning practical
principles are individual. § 233. The basis of duty in practical
(moral) philosophy. § 234. Actual self-control depends upon
the co-operation of several concept masses. The demands of
Jabor upon the wilL (Note, — Necessity for guarding against
theories representing one's freedom greater than it really is.)
§ 235. Self-control conformed to an end or purpose. (Note L —
The assumption of a transcendental freedom of the will. Note
2, — Discussion concerning the mental condition of criminals.)
§ 236. Where the conditions of self-control are to be found.
The cultured man and savages have hardly any faculty of the
understanding except the passions. We can not speak of sev-
eral understandmgs, sevewd imaginations. § 237. The consid-
eration of moral self-controL Moral feeling arises from moral
judgments. § 238. A purely moral self-control an ideal. § 239.
No particular time of life can be held as decisive in regard to
the power of self-control.

Chapter VI.— Psychological Observations upon the Destiny
of Man (p. 190). § 240. Man not to be considered as standing
alone. The individuals of a social whole related to one another
in almost the same way as the concepts in the soul of an indi-
vidual. § 241. A science of politics similar to the empirical



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ANALYSIS OP CONTENTS. xlv

psychology of this work. § 243. Philosophy of history depends
upon psychology. No history of known countries can furnish
a history of the world. The statesman demands of the philos-
ophy of history that which the educator demands of psychology.
§ 243. Comparison of mental diseases with social desires and
delusions. Man assigns to himself the place he would like to
occupy in an ideal society. The importance of the will in ma-
turing character. § 245. To fill his place in the social whole is
the highest aim of the individuaL § 246. The career of the in-
dividual man not to be confined to the earthly life. Death is
rejuvenescence. § 247. Revolutions among concepts may be
necessary after death. § 248. The product created by concepts
striving after equilibrium not the same in any two souls. § 249.
Eternal life a gentle fluctuation of concepts. § 250. The soul's
knowledge of its former career upon earth. § 251. The differ-
ences between individuals may be lessened after death. § 252.
The future as seen from the standpoint of science.



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HERBAET'S PSTOHOLOGT.



DTTBODIJCTION.

1. The material of psychology may be gained from
inner perception, intercourse with men of different
degrees of development, the observations of educators
and statesmen, the writings of travelers, historians,
poets, and moi^ists, and finally from observations on
insane people, sick people, and the lower animals.
The work of psychology is not merely to collect this
material, but to make the total of inner experience
comprehensible, while it is the work of the philosophy
of nature to accomplish the same in regard to outer ex-
perience limited as it is by space-conditions. As the
two circles of experience are different and yet united,
so also are the two sciences. In respect to their funda-
mental ideas, they depend in common upon general
metaphysics, yet psychology has this peculiar relation
to the latter, that many questions, which upon occasion
arise in metaphysics and then must be postponed, are
answered in psychology. For this reason the trea-
tise on psychology may very well be allowed to pre-
cede that on metaphysics, and in this way the meta-
physical idea of the soul (the substance of the mind)
may be dispensed with at first. By this the beginner
lightens his task, partly because he can tarry longer in
4



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2 INTRODUCTION.

the circle of experience, and partly because the mani-
fold relations of psychology to morals, pedagogy, poli-
tics, philosophy of history, and to art, heighten the
interest of the study.

2. That concepts {VorsteUungen=idesL8 or repre-
sentations) are received through the senses, preserved
by the memory, reproduced by the imagination, and
anew combined ; that the understanding ( Verstand)
shows itself in the understanding of a language or an
art ; the Eeason { Vernunft) in perceiving reasons and
counter-reasons ; this generally received opinion has
been adopted and carried out by psychologists, and the
distinction between the beautiful and the ugly has
been assigned to the aesthetic judgment, the passions
to the faculty of desire, the emotions to the faculty of
feeling. The opinion is, that these faculties are al-
ways to be found together in every man ; but the great
contest over the explanation and classification of facul-
ties must long ago have brought to notice the fact that
psychology needs another branch of investigation in
which at the beginning the attention must be directed
toward changing conditions. These changes (but not
those faculties) we experience directly in ourselves.

3. A preliminary comparison of psychology with
the three principal branches of natural science is use-
ful. Natural history may first present individual ex-
amples of the objects which it afterward classifies ; it
may enumerate definitely the characteristics perceived.
Now, inasmuch as a regular process of abstraction is
possible, beginning with the individuals and ascending
toward the species and genera [by omitting one after
another the characteristics that differentiate the indi-
viduals from the species, and the lower classes from



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UNCERTAINTY OP MENTAL FACTS. 3

the higher], it follows that we have before us these
characteristics [omitted in the process of rising to the
abstract classes], and can add them as we descend to
the concrete. When these logical operations are prop-
erly performed, and ascent is made from the concrete
to the abstract, and descent from the abstract to the
concrete, no one is misled into supposing the abstract
to be anything real. Everybody knows the abstract
terms to be mere devices of thought, invented by it for
the purpose of conveniently surveying at a glance the
manifold objects of nature.

On the contrary, no material of facts lies at the
foundation of psychology, spread out before the eyes
so that it can be definitely shown and classified into
subordinate and higher classes without any gaps in the
series. Self-observation mutilates the facts of con-
sciousness even in the act of seizing them ; it wrests
them from their natural combinations and delivers
them over to a restless process of abstraction which
finds a point of repose only when it has reached the
ultimate species — namely, conception, feeling, and de-
sire. Under these three general classes, by definitions (a
method precisely opposite to that of empirical science),
it subsumes the mental facts observed so far as it can
be done. Now, if to these vague and unscientific
classifications there be added a theory of mental facul-
ties which we are supposed to possess, then psychology
is changed into a mythology in which no one will con-
fess a serious belief, but upon which the most impor-
tant investigations are made dependent, so that, if this
foundation were removed, nothing clear would remain.

Note. — It is noteworthy that in psychology the highest ideas
are the clearest ; the lower, however, are always obscure. Thus



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4 INTKODUCTION.

for some time we have been tolerably (though not entirely)
united in regarding the three classes, conception, feeling, desire,
as the ultimate species of mental faculties, but the discrimination
of the emotions from the passions is of later origin, and even yet
has not thoroughly penetrated the usages of speech : if we ask
exhaustively about the kinds of memory, as memory of place,
memory of names, memory of things, etc., no one undertakes to
name for us in reply all the classes, nor are the poetic, the
mathematical, and the military imaginations discriminated from
one another, although manifest differences are to be found among
men in this respect. By this indefiniteness in the mibordinate
classes, it may be perceived at once that the original apprehen-
sion of psychological facts is so inexact that it admits of no pure
natural history of the mind. Nevertheless, on account of the
customs of speech already established, in our logical review of
empirical psychology we shall sometimes make use of the cus-
tomary names.

4. Empirical physics, though it has not as yet dis-
covered the real forces of nature, has learned certain
laws according to which phenomena take place. By
recalling the latter, a connection in the variety of phe-
nomena is perceived. Experiments with artificial ap-
paratus and the application of mathematics aid greatly
in the discovery of these laws.

Psychology can not experiment with men, and there
is no apparatus for this purpose. So much the more
carefully must we make use of mathematics ; by it sci-
entific accuracy is gained for the fundamental ideas ;
then the work of referring individual cases to the law
begins. Suppose, for example, that one has the idea
of the tension of opposed concepts ; then we go back
to the different conditions possible in this, among
others to the difference in mental states. In this
way the rules of reproduction are first learned, ac-
cording to which, in the concept series, every concept



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PHYSIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY. 5

presents itself between others ; then we go back to the
space-and-time constitution of sensuous objects and to
the logical aspect of ideas.

5. In the observation of animal life, physiology
makes use of three principal ideas, viz., vegetation
[i. e., nutrition or assimilation], irritability [i. e., reac-
tion against foreign influences], and sensibility. We
may attempt to compare the faculty of feeling with sen-
sibility, the faculty of desire with irritability, the faculty
of concepts with vegetation ; then we see that this analo-
gy gives a little light inasmuch as vegetation continues
during sleep while sensibility disappears, and through
the refreshment (of sleep) the irritability of the mus-
cles gains new force. Duration also belongs to con-
cepts. When they are once perfected to the extent of
definite knowledge they remain to old age, while feel-
ings and desires change and weaken. Moreover, vege-
tation is the foundation of bodily life, as concepts are
the foundation of the mental life. But the analogy
must not be carried too far. In plants only vegetation
exists, there being no perceptible sensibility and irri-
tability (or reaction against environment) save with the
rarest and most imperfect exceptions. On the con-
trary, representation, feeling, and willing, are constant-
ly to be found in combination. And, besides this, the
whole mental existence of man is immeasurably more
changeable than any object of physiology whatever.

6. If we regard man with a speculative glance sharp-
ened by the fundamental ideas of metaphysics, we find
him to be an aggregate of contradictions. Inner expe-
rience has not the least claim to more value than the
outer, notwithstanding all that enthusiasm for inner
observation has imagined and may still imagine to be of



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6 INTRODUCTION.

special truth and value, and which it is impossible to
wrest from those who wish to believe therein. On the
other hand, a field of investigation is disclosed by
which empirical material is elaborated into true knowl-
edge, a result which in empirical psychology, on ac-
count of its indefiniteness and instability, is more dif-
ficult to accomplish than in many other parts of hu-
man experience.

All mental life, as we observe it in ourselves and
others, is shown to be an occurrence in time, a con-
stant change, a manifold of unlike conditions com-
bined in one, finally a consciousness of the Ego and
the non-Ego, all of which belong to the form of expe-
rience and are unthinkable [as its content]. Even the
difficulties in regard to material existence are not far
away, for we know the mind of man only in combi-
nation with the body, and mere experience can not
determine whether the separation of the one from the
other actually oocurs.

7. The readiest solution of these problems is found
in general metaphysics, but further elaboration from a
psychological standpoint demands, besides this, higher
mathematics, inasmuch as the concepts must be re-
garded as forces whose effectiveness depends upon their
strength, their oppositions, and their combinations, all
of which are different in degree.

8. In such a simple, almost popular, presentation
as is proposed here, the old hypothesis of mental facul-
ties can not be entirely dispensed with, for that hy-
pothesis is a work of ages, and indicates the nearest
approach attainable by natural effort to bring together
the mental life of man into one picture. It is a tradi-
tion which reflects the total impression of all psycho-



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CLASSIFICATIONS OF FACULTIES. 7

logical observations ; guided by it, we shall sketch the
outlines of empirical psychology, and, in order to make
the necessity for an explanation of the facts percepti-
ble, shall note its most striking effects.

Note.— The whole treatise will be divided into the following
principal parts :

Part I. Fundamental Theories.
Part II. Empirical Psychology.
Part III. Rational Psychology.

9. A work of Carus is extant upon the history of
psychology, the third volume of which is composed of
his posthumous writings.

Note. — It may be briefly stated here, but not shown in detail,
that in modem times psychology has rather gone backward than
forward. In regard to this science, Locke and Leibnitz were
both upon a better path than that along which we have been
led by WolflE and Kant. The two latter advocate in a peculiar
manner the discrimination of mental faculties, and for this reason
must be classed together, however much they differ from each
other in other respects. Wolff had in mind the logical task of
classifying mental phenomena, without troubling himself more
closely with their inner origination, and for this reason he is un-
equaled in the thoughtlessness with which he covers up the
greatest difficulties with mere verbal definitions. Kant makes
use of the hypothetical mental faculties to present his investiga-
tions dearly according to form, that he might accompany human
knowledge in its progress from the senses to the understanding
and the reason, and it is not easy to rid his writings of this
hypothesis.

It is not our purpose to mention here later errors, since in
empirical psychology one will be inclined to relate a second time. '
facts which every person knows already, or, with a pretended
gift for observation into his own inner life, will have made dis-
coveries which others can not find in themselves, or will have
effaced from psychology here a metaphysical, there an ethical,
here a religious, there a physiological color by which either the



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8 INTRODUCTION.

mutual limitations or the combinations of science are disre-
garded, while the source of the psychical mechanism remains
entirely hidden* But this one thing may be said, that psycholo-
gy can not portray the beautiful Its work is not to admire, but
to explain ; not to exhibit curiosities, but to make man as he is
generally comprehensible; neither to raise him to heaven, nor to
fix him immovably in the dust ; not to close the lines of inves-
tigation, but to open them.



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PAET FIEST.

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES.



CHAPTER I.

THE CONDITION OP CONCEPTS, WHEN THEY ACT AS
FORCES.

10. Concepts become forces when they resist one
another. This resistance occurs when two or more
opposed concepts encounter one another.

At first let ns take this proposition as simply as
possible. In this connection, therefore, we shall not
think of complex nor of compound concepts of any
kind whatever ; nor of such as indicate an object with
several characteristics, neither of anything in time nor
space, but of entirely simple concepts or sensations —
e. g., red, blue, sour, sweet, etc. It is not our purpose
to consider the general notions of the above-mentioned
sensations, but to consider such representations as may
result from an instantaneous act of sense-perception.

Again, the question concerning the origin of the
sensations mentioned does not belong here, much less
has the discussion to do with the consideration of any-
thing else that might have previously existed or oc-
curred in the soul.

The proposition as it stands is that opposed con-
cepts resist one another. Concepts that are not op-



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10 FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES.

posed — e. g., a tone and a color — may exist, in which
case it will be assumed that such concepts offer
no resistance to one another. (Exceptions to this
latter proposition may occur, of which more here-
after.)

Eesistance is an expression of force. To the re-
sisting concept, however, its action is quite accidental;
it adjusts itself to the attack which is mutual among
concepts, and which is determined by the degree of
opposition existing between them. This opposition
may be regarded as that by which they are affected
collectively. In themselves, however, concepts are
not forces.

11. Now, what is the result of the resistance men-
tioned?

Do concepts partially or wholly destroy one another,
or, notwithstanding the resistance, do they remain un-
changed ?

Destroyed concepts are the same as none at all.
However, if, notwithstanding the mutual attack, con-
cepts remain unchanged, then one could not be re-
moved or suppressed by another (as we see every
moment that they are). Finally, if all that is con-
ceived of each concept were changed by the contest,
then this would signify nothing more than, at the be-
ginning, quite another concept had been present in
consciousness.

The presentation (concept), then, must yield with-
out being destroyed — i. e., the real concept is changed
into an effort to present itself.

Here it is in effect stated that, as soon as the hin-
drance yields, the concept by its own effort will again
make its appearance in consciousness. In this lies the



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EQUILIBRIUM AND MOVEMENT OP CONCEPTS. H


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Online LibraryJohann Friedrich HerbartA text-book in psychology: an attempt to found the science of psychology on ... → online text (page 4 of 19)