Johann Friedrich Herbart.

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syllogism. In most cases they are attempts to unite
into one a pair of notions which relate to the same
middle term, even before the necessary quantities of
the propositions and the precise form of their identity
with the middle term are proved. Correct conclusion
and correct measuring are closely related. The middle
term as the standard of measurement must be firmly

84. Hence, if the power to infer be attributed to
the faculty of reason, then, again, an inadmissible

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limitation of the faculties of the soul becomes visible.
To form syllogisms and to test and confirm them are
two quite different things, which, in reality, are for the
most part widely separated. The first may be ascribed
to imagination, the second to reason.

85. Finally, mention must be made here of logical
approval, which is very different from aesthetic ap-
proval. The former, unlike the latter, does not con-
sist in a preference, the opposite of which is rejec-
tion, but in a recognition by which, upon the whole,
one is pleased with the object as it is ; but with the
recognition is combined a peculiar kind of feeling
in which the pressure of evidence and the gratifica-
tion of a claim are mingled, and the question as to
whether it is more pleasant or unpleasant can only be
determined by the circumstances. The principal
thing here is to observe how the alleged faculties of
recognition and feelings are related, or, as the psy-
chologists prefer to say, flow into one another, with
which they are contented and do not trouble them-
selves to inquire further concerning the causal rela-
tion existing in this influx.

E. Transcendental Notions.

86. It is not easy to determine what belongs to ex-
perience and what transcends it. Kant reckons the
notions of substance and force as belonging to that
which enters into experience as a condition of the
latter, and, according to him, there is a substantia
phmnomenon. In this we must differ from him on
the grounds which have in part been presented in my
Introduction to Philosophy, and which will be further
developed in the General Metaphysics — that is to say,

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the notion of substance is not the same as the notion
of thing, but has arisen from it. Thing is conceived
as a complex of characteristics without calling up the
question of the real unity of those characteristics which
are therein blindly presupposed. Substance is the
bearer of all the characteristics, and something differ-
ent from them, a notion which first arises when we
perceive that we must distinguish the characteristics
from their unity. This notion is contradictory; it
must be transformed into the notion of an essence
which, by virtue of disturbances and self-adjustments,
presents to us the phenomenon of a complex of charac-
teristics which in truth do not by any means belong
to it. The notion of force depends upon that of sub-
stance, and is developed in almost the same way with
it, viz., out of the notion of a changing thing ; also,
it is to be subjected to a similar metaphysical correc-
tion. Both notions arise at the outermost limit of
experience as contradictions which extend into the
department of metaphysics — ^i. e., which oblige us to
go beyond experience, and to establish beliefs or con-
victions in us whose objects can not be furnished by
any experience.

87. Furnished with the notions of substance and
force (however obscure and incorrect the thought of
them may otherwise be), the human mind penetrates
into all parts of space and time, both into the infin-
itesimally small terms of the same series, and also
into the maxima in order to find the highest and
most sublime. Thus arise questions concerning the
infinity of the world, concerning the constituent ele-
ments of matter (either masses or atoms), concerning
the world of spirits and of God.

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Note. — It is highly inopportune at this point to raise psy-
chological questions upon subjects of this kind, as has been the
tenjiency of late, under the mistaken notion that in this way
we may gain a certain, scientific basis. Invariably the notions
of the mental faculties by which these subjects are to be recog-
nized are formed according to the opinions upon the subjects
themselves ; and, first, one must have sufiicient metaphysics to
enable one to correct these opinions before one can even ask
what capacity for the knowledge which lies beyond the senses
may dwell in man. If one could invent a false logic for the
pleasure of false speculation, then one might also venture the
same thing with psychology ; but experience will not yield,

88. Here belong the purified geometric notions of
bodies as uniform productions of pure surfaces, lines,
and points. Moreover, they transcend experience, or
rather experience transcends them, because each sen-
suous object adds something to these notions by which
it specializes them. The question concerning the men-
tal faculties which furnish the fundamental notions of
geometry is so much the less necessary because at the
first glance one can see that these notions (by the pre-
supposed production of the space series) are obtained
from experience, provided it be possible to analyze that
which the senses present in a confused condition ; an
operation which is not dissimilar to the formation of
scientific general notions.

F. Reproduction.

89. In the case of reproduction which refers en-
tirely to the temporal life of man, viz., to the continu-
ance of concepts once created, we again find on the
part of psychologists a carelessness in regard to the
real question. Our concepts recede from consciousness
and return again. For which shall we first seek reason

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— the receding or the returning ? The question must
first be directed toward the former, although, in fact,
it is usual to discuss only the latter.

90. Eeproduction offers two special points for dis-
cussion — its vividness and its accuracy. The former
is ascribed to imagination, the latter to memory. Thus
two mental faculties are invented for one and the same
thing which is regarded from two different sides ; for
this there is, however, an excuse which is easily recog-
nizable in that which directly follows.

91, A high degree of accuracy and vividness of re-
production, at the same time and in equal proportions,
is very seldom found. Accuracy depends mainly upon
the fact that a concept reappears in the same connec-
tion with others as that in which it first appeared —
i. e., with the same characteristics of a thing, the same
circumstances of a transaction, the same combination
of time and place relations, etc. This requirement
will very seldom be fulfilled in cases where the vividness
of the reproduction allows the return almost simul-
taneously into consciousness of many concepts which
are connected with one another, and which cross one
another in various ways. Thus it is found that men
of much imagination possess but little accuracy of
memory, although in this respect there are exceptions.

Note. — Several psycholo^sts include, under memory, repro-
duction with recollection. The latter is to express the judgment
that one has had the same concept before. From this some-
times a special faculty of memory is very unnecessarily assumed.
But the judgment mentioned, by which subject and predicate
are really separated, can be very seldom proved to take place,
and the whole theory is in nowise accordant with the usages of
language. We say of a man who easily learns a speech by rote,
and without taking it out of its connection repeats it accurately,

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he has a good memory, even if he does not remember during the
repetition that it is the same discourse which is written on this
or that paper, and which he memorized at this or that hour.

92. Psychological writings are full of remarks,
which it is not necessary to record here, upon the
association of concepts or ideas ; in other words, upon
the manner in which the latter call one another up,
not only according to perceived combinations of time
and space, but also according to resemblances, and even
apparently according to contrast. Rather we may men-
tion here the varied complicated course which repro-
duction often takes — e. g., he who finds coals and ashes
in a forest thinks immediately of burning wood which
(farther backward) may have lain dry in the forest,
then (forward) of men who may have encamped there
and who may have set fire to it. But how came the
men there? (This question goes backward.) What
has become of them ? (Forward.) What fire might
have originated had a storm arisen ? (Sidewise into
the region of possibility, at the same time looking
back upon the storm and forward to the injury.) Or
a man finds old coins in the ground. How do they
come there ? To what time do they belong? Where-
fore were they buried ? To whom does the treasure
belong ? Every seed recalls the plant from which it
started, and points forward to that which may arise
from it, while at the same time it suggests the use
which may perhaps be made of it without planting it.
It is a useful exercise to observe in many such exam-
ples as the above the changing directions and ramifi-
cations of a course of thought. Besides, it is well
known that in the case of association, according to
resemblances, one thing is put in the place of the

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other many times, out of which arise many new com-
plications, or inventions, for which an inventive fac-
ulty has been found.

Note. — In all inventions creation in its broadest sense is the
most essential element. Quite as much imagination belongs to
original scientific thinking as to poetic creation, and it is very
doubtful whether Newton or Shakespeare possessed the more

93. Memory and imagination agree in this, that in
every man their special strength is limited to certain
classes of subjects. For him who wishes geometrical
imagination, exercise in the so-called art of poetry
would be quite useless ; and he who retains, without
any trouble, the technical terms of a science which
interests him, has often a bad memory for village gos-
sip. Here we find that reproduction, as well in regard
to its vividness as to its faithfulness, is most closely
related to other mental activity, and that the assump-
tion of peculiar psychical faculties which take care of
reproduction as a means only of grouping manifesta-
tions satisfactorily is in the highest degree awkward.

94. Memory and imagination differ from one an-
other in that the former appears to bring up only rep-
resented and, as it were, dead pictures, while the lat-
ter appears to be employed in the process of active
representing. The transition of concepts from one
condition into another is very perceptible in the re-
reading of something which one has one's self written ;
also, in verifying what one has one's self thought out.

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95. If we begin to assume psychic faculties, there
arises the necessity for assuming one or more additional
besides the representing faculty, for the reason that,
by an account of that which we represent, or of how
the representation arises in us, we are by no means able
to indicate aU that goes on in our minds. Especially is
it to be seen that in us are manifested manifold phases
of preference and rejection, on account of which the
faculties of desire and aversion have been set up side
by side with the faculty of representation.

96. Now, in the broad and dim space near repre-
sentation, the boundary between feeling and desire has
recently been drawn. But if psychologists are asked
concerning the origin of this boundary, they say that
desire relates to objects, and feeling to conditions or
states ; yet their explanations move in a circle, or at
least do not touch the question as to whether perhaps
feeling and desire are one kind of occurrence, which
we in our representation observe from different sides,
and hence call by two different names.

Note. — Maass, in his work upon feelings, explains feeling
through desire (" A feeling is pleasant, in so far as it is desired
for its own sake"); but, in his work upon the passions, he says
that it is a well-known law of Nature to desire that which is con-
ceived as good, and to detest that which is represented as bad.
From this the question arises. What is good and what is bad f To

* The reader will observe that the word feeling is restricted
here to the meaning implied by the German word Oef&hl, and is
not used indiscriminately to indicate feeling, emotion, and desire.

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this we receive the answer, Sensuousness represents as good that
by which it is pleasantly affected, etc, and here we find our-
selves in a circle. Hoffbauer, in his Outlines of Empirical Psy-
chology, begins the chapter upon faculties of feeling and desire
thus : ** We are conscious of many conditions in our minds
which we try to reproduce; these we call pleasant. Certain
concepts create in us the effort to make their object real ; this
we call desire." Here is one and the same basis, viz., effort, un-
derlying feelings and desires, and, if the distinction be in the
objects and conditions, then the question is, whether perhaps the
feelings, consequently the conditions, which were expected from
the objects, may not be what is really desired. This important
point appears to be treated no better by other authors. They
ought to have noticed the excellent remark by Locke, in his
work on the Human Understanding. It does not exhaust the
subject, but proceeds in the right way, and shows that many
desires (if not all) are independent of feelings, although they
may have the latter as results. That which Locke calls dissatis-
faction is no feeling, but the first movement of desire.

97. Now, as the facts which we call feelings can
only with the greatest difficulty be separated from
those called desires and aversions, to enumerate the
kinds of feelings is a very uncertain undertaking.
Three kinds are prominent : sensuous comfort and
pain ; feeling of the beautiful and the ugly (with
which the sublime and trivial may he included) ; and
the emotions which as yet we are accustomed to discuss
under the subject of the feelings. But with this the
subject is not exhausted. In the first place, we must
observe that the feelings are doubled through sym-
pathy with that which others feel. In the next place,
we may remark that each kind of outer and inner ac-
tivity, according as it succeeds or fails (i. e., according
as the desire underlying the activity is satisfied or not),
carries with it comfort or discomfort. Furthermore,

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that feelings mingle in various ways (a disputed point
like the following). Finally, there are conditions of
feeling which, if not indifferent, are, nevertheless, so
constituted that pleasure and discomfort are not char-
acteristic of jihem, and theii strength can not be meas-
ured by those sensations

98. In order to have at least a fixed standpoint, we
shall divide feelings into those which depend upon the
nature of what is felt, and into others which depend
upon accidental mental conditions ; here a third class
may be mentioned as existing between them, viz., a
class which depends upon a certain mental condition,
so that this, in connection with the nature of the ob-
ject felt, gives rise to a corresponding feeling. Next
we must speak of the intermediate condition between
the pleasant and the unpleasant ; and, lastly, the emo-
tions will come in their turn.

A, Feelings toliich arise from the Nature of that
which IS felt.

99. That there are such feelings is an evident fact.
Every bodily pain, as such, is unpleasant, without re-
gard to the question how much ado we make about it,
or how patiently we bear it. Moreover, unpleasant feel-
ings of this kind are specifically different. Burning,
cutting, electric shock, aching teeth, each of these ex-
cites its own peculiar pain, which may be distinguished
from every other, although a mere imaginary pain that
in itself would be neither pleasant nor unpleasant,
does not admit of being separated ; rather the sensation
and its opposite are one and the same. Sweet viands,
soft tones, a mild temperature, furnish examples of
pleasant sensations of this kind, the pleasure of which

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is understood, without regard to the question as to its
value, or whether by it one is inclined to seek their
continuance or to give one's self up to these sensations.

100. These feelings are analogous to all aesthetic
feeling, from which they differ only in this, that in the
latter case the object presented is made the subject of
a predicate, which expresses approbation or blame;
hence the aesthetic feeling is brought into the form of
a judgment and is scientifically treated, which from a
practical standpoint is infinitely superior.

Note. — When, in the beautiful, size predominates, a sense of
the sublime arises. This is a genuine species of beauty, because
relations of magnitude themselves belong to the elements of
beauty. But we seek in vain for the definition of the ridiculous,
which has its origin in the possibility of laughing, and which
can not be considered without reference to a human body and
its organic vital sensations. The most purely comic sensations
would to the pure intellect amount to mere contrast. Laugh-
ing belongs to the emotions ; like the latter, it shakes the body,
and again, in reversed order through the latter, it shakes the
mind. Like the emotions, it is a mental condition of short
duration, for which, according to the whim of the moment, we
find ourselves in readiness or not. Besides, the ridiculous is an
example of that which is strongly felt, without either pleasure
or the reverse being a characteristic of it. As we know, there is
a joyous and a bitter laugh, and between the two a certain in-
difference toward the ridiculous, as in the case of the comedian,
whose serious business it is to arouse laughter in others.

B. Feelings that depend upon the Mental Conditions.

101. In connection with the above first class of
feelings, it may be correctly stated that feeling is the
source and (at least in part) the ground of explanation
of the corresponding desire and aversion. In the sec-
ond class, just to be considered, desire, on the contrary.

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must be regarded as something original, and the feel-
ing is not to bo considered an effect, but the associate
and follower of the desire.

We may mention here the numerous desires which
are either independent of the pleasure or pain of their
object, or which have no relation to the latter. All
the things which are wished for to-day and despised
to-morrow, everything whose value decreases and aug-
ments according to individual caprice and partiality,
furnish us striking examples here. The desire for
these things is, as is known, accompianied by much
unpleasant feeling, and, in the case of gratification, by
a brief pleasure. Such pleasant and unpleasant feel-
ings can be called neither sensuous nor rational. It is
connected with the arousing of our activity, just as the
object of our deed may be so constituted as to affect
our activity. Whether a child wishes to untie a knot
in a string, or a mathematician wishes to solve a prob-
lem in numbers and geometrical figures, the feeling
of exertion and of ineffective effort remains always of
the same kind. The restless activity of man (con-
trasted with the natural effort of the brute) is generally
of this kind. Here belong also the feelings which
appear to entirely lack an object, as in the case of
anxiety, or in that of comfortable repose.

C. Intermediate and Mixed Feelings,

102. All feelings of contrast, and of amazement,
which latter are in a way related to the former, may
be regarded as intermediate feelings — i. e., such as
can neither be described nor estimated by the pleas-
ure or the pain which they bring with them. Amaze-
ment may be pleasant quite as well as unpleasant. In

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all beautiful art, contrasts are indispensable, and yet
they are very seldom connected with essentially aesthetic
relations; rather they serve, first of all, to hold the
manifold asunder, and thereby to promote the intelli-
gibility of the aesthetic relations.

103. That there may be mixed feelings follows in
any case from the difference between the two classes
before mentioned. An example of this is curiosity,
which desires to see something foreign to itself, and
which is satisfied by a s^sation which has become in
part really unpleasant to itself. Besides, no one who
studies experimentally can be willing to deny mixed
feelings, inasmuch as cases daily occur where one and
the same event affects our feelings in different respects,
and very often in opposite ways.

Note 1. — False speculations have succeeded in obscuring
these simple facts. People fancy that they have discovered a
twofold delusion : first, an exchange of the feeling itself for its
manifold causes ; second, a misapprehension of the transition
from one feeling into another. These remarks may not make the
facts doubtful, but will still less establish the opposite assertion.
It has already been shown (see sections 34-38) that the feeling
and the willing of man are founded in the concept masses, and
not by any means directly in the soul. Hence the variety and
conflict of feeling, as well as of willing, are given in experience
quite as intelligibly as certainly.

Note 2. — Only too often poets are moved to mingle feelings
in their works of art. Thus they may reach the piquant, but
not the beautiful. Great masterpieces may frequently be misun-
derstood. Shakespeare introduces the comic into his tragedies,
but, if by this he for the moment relaxes a tense condition in
order so much the more certainly to increase it again, he is
careful never to allow the ridiculous to become attached to his
principal characters. In his narration of the journey of Odys-
seus, Homer is romantic ; but that is a narration of extraordi-

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narj sufferings, and portrays the character of Odysseus himself
from whom no one would expect a purely serious and faithful

D. The Emotions (Affecten).

104. After the emotions (transitory variations from
the condition of equanimity) have been separated from
the passions (rooted desires), a prevailing opinion has
arisen that the emotions are nothing but stronger feel-
ings. But there are very strong enduring feelings
which have grown into the deepest recesses in the
foundation of human character (e. g., adherence to
one's own people and to the fatherland), with which
the most complete equanimity exists so long as nothing
of an opposite nature which may disturb them appears.
The moment of danger to one's own, or to the father-
land, may arouse emotion, but this emotion is widely
different from feeling itself. In the same way, a man
may possess a strong and lasting feeling of honor with-
out being in a condition of emotion from it. So far
from emotions being feelings, they rather make feeling
tame or dull. The moralist and the artist have great
cause to guard against insipidity, which arises when
one from pure emotion finally no longer knows at what
he weeps or laughs.

105. Kant's classification of the emotions into melt-
ing (i. e., paralyzing to activity) and stirring (rustige
= arousing to activity) throws light upon the subject.
Variation from equanimity may occur from two causes :
either there is too much or too little present in con-
sciousness. To the first class belong mental shock,
sadness, fear ; to the second, joy and anger.

106. The emotions are not merely a psychological
but also a physiological subject, for they act upon the

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body with remarkable, often dangerous power, and by
this means, in reverse order, make the mind dependent
upon the body, partly from the continuance of the
bodily condition (which does not cease so quickly as
would the mental state by itself), partly from the tend-

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Online LibraryJohann Friedrich HerbartA text-book in psychology: an attempt to found the science of psychology on ... → online text (page 9 of 19)