Michael Maher.

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Reviews of the First Edition.


" We regard Father Maher's book on Psychology as one of the
most important contributions to philosophical literature published
in this country for a long time. . . . What renders his work especially
valuable is the breadth of his modern reading, and the skill with
which he presses things new, no less than old, into the service of
his argument. His dialectical skill is as remarkable as his wealth
of learning, and not less notable is his spirit of fairness. . . . W' hether
the reader agrees or disagrees with the author's views, it is impos-
sible to deny the ability, fulness, and cogency of the argument." —
St. James's Gazette, July 8, 1892.

"... The author has proved himself a thoroughly competent guide
and teacher on the subject of his work. Almost every page of his
book bears the mark of careful thought and wide reading. . . Taken
for what it professes to be, this is an e.Kcellent manual. It deserves
and will repay study," — The Scotsman, August 4, 1890.

" This book, by the Professor of Mental Philosophy at Stony-
hurst College, is a sober, scholarly, and important work. . . . The
author's treatment of Psychology is simple, logical, and .graceful.
His definitions are clear and precise, his style is crisp and nervous,
and his knowledge of the literature of his subject is very consider-
able." — Educational Review, June, 1S91.

"This Manual is an able and well-considered effort to reconcile
mediaeval and modern philosophy. The author bases his argument
mainly on the works of Aquinas and the schoolmen, but he gives
fair recognition to modern philosophers and to modern science. . . .
We can commend the book to students of Natural Theology and
Psychology." — The Church Review, September 26, 1890.

"Father Maher's joining of old with new in his Psychology is
very skilful ; and sometimes the highly systematized character of
the scholastic doctrine gives him a certain advantage in the face
of modern psychological classifications with their more tentative
character. . . . The historical and controversial parts all through
the volume are in general very careful and well managed." — Mind.

" The author is always lucid, cogent, and learned. His know-
ledge of the works of writers on Psychology is thorough and sound,
and results in a most valuable aid to the student : particularly good
examples of this are his historical sketches of the Theories of
External Perception, General Cognition, and the Moral Sense,
whilst the historical references and notes on almost every point
should prove extremely helpful."— T//^ University Correspondent,
November, 1890.

"This work cannot be too highly recommended." — The Tablet^
November i, 1890.

". . . The book is a distinct gain to psychological science, and
places its author in the front rank of the clear, deep thinkers of our
time. It is a thoroughly scientific work, evincing on the part of its
author great powers of analysis and discrimination, with the most
profound and varied knowledge of philosophical literature." — The
Irish Ecclesiastical Record, January, 1891.




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(eleventh to thirteenth thousand.)






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The unhoped for success which met the present
Avork in the form in which it was printed in i8go
induced me to abstain from making more than a
few verbal changes in the second or third editions.
But by the time the fourth edition of the book was
called for the large quantity of fresh psychological
literature which had appeared, especially from
America, in the entire interval, had rendered sundry
additions and alterations desirable. The process of
emendation once begun it was not easy to draw the
line, and the result is that the present volume is
practically a new work containing a considerably
larger quantity of matter than the former. The
limitations of the series have forced me to squeeze
many topics into small type, as I was unwilling to
omit them altogether. The unexpectedly extended
circulation has, however, made publication possible
without a corresponding augmentation of the price.
The modifications up to the ninth chapter are,
with the exception of the enlarged treatment of
physiology, psycho-physics, and psychometry com-
paratively slight ; but thenceforward the book
has been virtually re-written. Chapters xiv., xvi.,



xvii., xviii., xix., xxii., xxiv., are, minus occasional
sections, new : the Supplement on Hypnotism and
the criticisms of the theories of Professors James
and Hoffding entire!}' so. The historical sketches —
which I believe have proved helpful to various classes-
of students — have also been substantially increased,
and I trust considerably improved. I have alsa
introduced a number of diagrams which illustrate
the brain and nervous system.

My aim here, as in the previous editions, has
been not to construct a new original S3'Stem of my
own, but to resuscitate and make better known to
English readers a Psychology that has already sur-
vived four and twenty centuries, that has had more
influence on human thought and human language
than all other psychologies together, and that still
conmiands a far larger number of adherents than
any rival doctrine. My desire, however, has beert
not merely to expound but to expand this old
system ; not merely to defend its assured truths^
but to test its principles, to develop them, to apply
them to the solution of modern problems ; and to-
re-interpret its generalizations in the light of the
most recent researches. I have striven to make
clear to the student of modern thought that this
ancient psychology is not quite so absurd, nor these
old thinkers quite so foolish, as the current carica-
tures of their teaching would lead one to imagine ;
and I believe I have shown that not a little of what
is supposed to be new has been anticipated, and
that most of what is true can be assimilated without
much difficulty by the old system. On the other


hand, I have sought to bring the scholastic student
into closer contact with modern questions ; and to
acquaint him better with some of the merits of
modern psychological analysis and explanation.

There is at least one phase of current psycho-
logical literature to which my opposition is in
no way diminished — the prevalent view that the
science of psychology and ihe philosophy of the human
mind can be shut up in water-tight compartments
and rendered completely independent of each other.
Indeed, the now customary vehement protestations
of psychologists that their works are innocent of
all philosophical beliefs — if not also devoid of all
metaphysical foundations — and the austere gravity
with which they are wont to apologize whenever
they make mention of the soul, or allude to such
irrelevant matters as the possibility of a future life,
the origin of the human mind, or its connection
with the body, have often appeared to me liable to
give rise to the suspicion that the sense of humour
is incompatible with psychological eminence. For it
is now taken for granted by the most distinguished of
these writers that of all human beings the student
of psychology feels least interest in the question as
to whether he has a soul, or what is to become of
it ; and that of all branches of human knowledge
the science of the mind has least to say on such a
topic. In fact, to trespass in such alien matters is
universally assumed to be the gravest of professional

Notwithstanding the weight of authority for this
view, I have had the temerity to suggest that it is


the most misleading and extravagant idolon of the
psychological cave at the present day. I have even
ventured to maintain throughout this work that to
construct such a water-tight science of psychology,
from which all metaphysical conceptions and beliefs
have been effectually bailed out, is simply impossible.
Accordingly, I warn my readers at the start that
the analysis of mental activities which commends
itself to me as the truest and most thorough, has
resulted in the conception of the human mind as an
immaterial being endowed with free-will and rational
activity of a spiritual order ; and that my exposition
and interpretation of the phenomena lead back to
this conclusion.

At the same time my procedure throughout is
purely rationalistic, in the sense of being based
solely on experience and reasoning. There seems
to have arisen in some minds the notion that
the works of this series assume or imply dogmatic
beliefs pertaining exclusively to revealed religion.
Of course no one who had read my volume,
or who was at all familiar with the series, could
have fallen into such an error; but it may be
as well to repeat formally here that this work is
purely philosophical, and that it contains nothing
to which, not merely every Christian, but every
Theist may not assent. Indeed, the very first insti-
tution to adopt this work as a text-book, save that in
which I am engaged in teaching, was a Protestant
Theological College in the South of England.

I have profited much by the various criticisms
and reviews of the first edition, which were uniformly


very friendl}^ even when the writers were widely
opposed to my philosophical views. But in spite
of the very large alterations and, I trust, improve-
inents in form of treatment, there is no change of
importance in doctrine in the present work.

I wish here, to make general acknowledgment
also of my indebtedness to many writers of various
schools — foes no less than friends. I have endea-
voured throughout the volume to indicate the
particular sources from which I have derived special
assistance ; and I have been all the more careful in
this matter, as I have observed that some writers
have shown a very practical appreciation of my
own labours, without obtruding the fact upon their
readers. In addition, I desire to express my
obligations to the Rev. H. Irwin, S.J., for sundry
valuable suggestions, and also for having corrected
all the proofs.

A few hints on judicious skipping may be useful.
I have marked with special headings the more
scholastic and metaphysical discussions. The
student, unless he be already familiar with or
specially interested in the philosophy of the schools,
had better omit these on first reading. The
beginner will similarly find a flanking movement
preferable to a frontal attack with respect to the
longer historical sketches. For the general reader
perhaps the most interesting course would be to
start with chapter xix. on Free-will, then to read
from chapter xxi. to the end of the volume, after
which he may begin the book and follow his own
tastes. The portions of Psychology generally


deemed of most importance from the standpoint
of the theory of Education are dealt with in the
following sections: pp. i — 21, 26 — 51, 59—92, 125
— 152, 163 — 200, 208—241, 292 — 303, 314 — 326,

344—367, 37^—?>9^, 424—448, 454— 45S. The
relevanc3% however, of these topics to the art of
teaching varies much, as the intelligent reader will
perceive for himself.

On the other hand, for the benefit of the more
advanced or more earnest student, I have indicated
a considerable quantity of useful supplementary
reading on very many questions of interest which
the limits of my space have compelled me to treat
more briefly than I desired. All the French works
cited can be obtained, I believe, through Alcan
(Paris), the German through Herder (Freiburg).

Stonyhurst, October, 1900.


The fourth edition of the present work, con-
taining 3,000 copies, having been exhausted in two
years, the Fifth Edition, which has been carefully
revised, is now issued. Sundry verbal changes and
corrections have been introduced, and the section
on the muscular sense has been re-written, but the
chief addition is a Supplement containing a reply
to Mr. Mallock's criticism.

Stonyhurst, October, 1902.


Illustrations Pp- ^^^ — ^^^^


Definition and Scope of Psychology . . . Pp. i— lo
Definitions of Psychology, Subjective and Objective, i, seq.
—Scope, 2— Empirical and Rational Psychology, 5— Psychology
distinguished from Cosmology, 6— From Logic, 7— From Ethics, 8
— Relations with Physiology, 9.


Method of Psychology Pp- n — 25

Psychology a Science, 11— Introspective Method, 11 — Objec- /

tive or Supplementary Methods, 13— These Methods not new, 18 \^

—Rational Psychology deductive, 18— Attacks on Psychology, 19
— Objections to Introspection answered, 20 — Real difticulties, 24.


Classification of Mental Faculties . . . Pp. 26—41
Consciousness, 26 — Subconscious mental activities, 27 — Mental
Faculties classified, 28— Subdivision, 32— Various classifications : 1/

Aristotle's, 33— St. Thomas', 33— Scotch school, 34— Hamilton's, 34
Herbert Spencer's, 35— Attacks on Mental Faculties, 36— Mutual
relations of the Faculties, 39 — Feeling, 40.

Empirical or Phenomenal Psychology.

Part I. — Sensuous Life.

Sensation . • Pp- 42 — ^^

Sensation, Sense and Sense-organ defined, 42— Excitation of
Sensation, 43— The Nervous System, 44— Properties of Sensation,
Quality, Intensity, Duration, 46— Composite stimuli, 47— Cognitive
Character of Sensation, 48— Sensation and Perception, 49— Scho-
lastic doctrine of sfccies, 51— Experimental Psychology ; Psycho-
physics, 54— Interpretations of the Weber-Fechner Law, 58 —
Psychometry : Reaction-time, 59.



The Senses Tp. 63—97

How many External Senses, 63 — Taste, 65 — Smell, 66 — Touch,
68 — Organic Sensations, Common-sensibility, Coenaesthesis, or the
Vital Sense, 69 — Sense of Temperature, 70— Contact or Passive
Touch, 71 — Cognitional value of Touch, 72 — Active Touch, Muscu-
lar Sensations, 74 — Hearing, 79 — Sight, 83 — The Senses compared,
58— The " Law of Relativity," 90 — Scholastic doctrine of the
Internal senses, 92 — Internal sense, 95 — Common sense, 96.


Perception of the Material World : Critical

Sketch of the leading theories of

External Perception .... Pp. 98 — 124

Psychology and Philosophy of Perception, 98— Sceptical

Theories, 99 — Philosophical proof of Realism, 100 — Psychology of

Perception, loi — Ambiguity of Terms, 104 — Ego and Mind, 104 —

Two Questions, 105 — Historical sketch : Descartes, Locke, Berkeley,

108 — Hume, Mill, and Bain, no — Kant, 117 — Herbert Spencer, 122.


Development of Sense-Perception. Education

OF THE Senses Pp. 125 — 162

Growth of Knowledge, 125 — Complexity of perceptional process,
126 — Development of Tactual Perception, 127— Tactual cognition
of the Organism, 130 — Of other Objects, 132 — Cognition of other
Minds, 133 — Secondary acquisitions, 134 — Visual Perception, 135 —
Immediate Perception of Surface Extension, 137 — Mediate Percep-
tion of Distance and Magnitude, 139 — Binocular Vision, 142 — Erect
Vision, 144 — Auditory Perception, 145 — Gustatory and Olfactory
Perception, 146 — Objections solved, 147 — Co-operation of Faculties,
147 — Intelligent Cognition not mere Instinctive Belief, 149 — Mental
nd Cerebral Development, 150 — Primary and Secondary Qualities
of Matter, 152 — Views of Aristotle. St. Thomas, 153 — Descartes,
Locke, Berkeley, Hume, 154 — Hamilton, Spencer, 155 — The Rela-
tivity of Knowledge, 157.

Imagination ........ Pp. 163 — 178

Imagination compared with Perception, 1G3 — Productive and
Reproductive, 165 — yEsthetic, 166 — Scientific, 167 — Dangers of, 170
— Fancy, Wit, Humour, 170 — Illusions, 171 — Dreaming, 176.


Memory. Mental Association .... Pp. 179 — 207
Memory defined, 179 — Reproduction and Recollection, 180 —
Laws of Association, 181 —Reduction of those laws, 1S4 — Physio-
logical hypothesis, 18S — Co-operative and Contiicting Associations,


i88 — Secondary Laws, igo— Retention, igi — Ultra-spiritualist
theory, 192 — Purely physical theory, 194 — Recognition, 195 — Remi-
niscence, ig6 — Intellectual and sensuous memory, 197 — Scholastic
controversy, 198 — Qualities of good memory, 199 — Training of
Memory, 200 — Historical sketch of the doctrine of mental associa^^
lion: Aristotle, St. Thomas, 201 — Locke, Hobbes, Hume, Hartley,/
203 — James Mill, 204— J. S. Mill, Bain, Sully, 205 — Obliviscence, 206.J


Sensuous Appetite and Movement .... 208 — 220
Sensuous Appetency, 20S — Scholastic doctrine of Appetency,
208 — IMovement, 210 — Voluntary movement analyzed, 210 — Auto-
matic, Reflex, Impulsive, 211 — Origin of voluntary movement:
Theory of random action, 212 — Theory of instinctive action, 213 —
Growth of control of movement : Probable theory, 214 — Movements
classified: Secondary-automatic and Ideo-motor action, 218.


Feelings of Pleasure and Pain .... Pp. 221 — 228
Feeling and other terms defined, 221 — Aristotle's Theory of
Feeling, 222 — Laws of Pleasure and Pain, 225 — Feeling not a third
Faculty, 226 — Theories of Pleasure and Pain, 226.

BOOK I. {continued.)

Part II. — Rational Life.


Intellect and Sense Pp. 229 — 251

Erroneous views, 229 — Sensationalism, Materialism, Pheno-
menism, Positivism, Associationism, Evolutionism, 230 — Intellect
essentially difterent from Sense, 230 — Proved by Attention, 232 —
Comparison and Judgment, 233 — Necessary Judgments, 234 —
Universal and Abstract Concepts, 235 — Reflection and Self-con-
sciousness, 238— Intellect a spiritual faculty, 239 — Intellect medi-
ately dependent on the Brain, 241 — Balmez on Sensationism, 242 —
Lotze, 245 — Controversy concerning Universals : Extreme Realism,
247 — Nominalism, Conceptualism, 248 — Moderate Realism, 249.


Conception. Origin of Intellectual Ideas.

Erroneous Theories Pp. 252 — 291

Origin of Ideas, 252 — Theory of Innate Ideas, 253 — Empiri-
cism, 254— Historical sketch of Theories of General Knowledge :
Plato, 255— Descartes, 256— Geulincx, Malebranche, 258— Spinoza,
260— Leibnitz, 262 — Rosmini, 264 — Kant, 265 — J. G. Fichte, 270 —
Locke, 270 — Bain, 272 — Sully, 275 — Comte, 279 — Origin of Neces-
sary Truths: Associationism, 281 — Evolutionist Theory, 286—
Intuitionalist Doctrine, 289.



•CoN'CEPTiON. Origin of Intellectual Ideas

{continued) Pp. 292 — 313

Thought an Activity, 292 — Thought Universal, 293 — Concep-
tion : Two questions, 293 — Elaboration of Universal Concepts, 294
— Intellectual Apprehension, 297 — Comparative Abstraction, 297 —
•Comparison and Discrimination, 29S — Generalization, 299 — Thought
and Language, 302 — Second Question : Origin of Ideas, 302 — Aristo-
telico-scholastic Theory of Abstraction, 305 — Doctrine of St. Thomas,

Judgment and Reasoning ..... Pp. 314 — 344

Judgment defined, 314 — Analysis of judicial process, 315 —
Assent and Consent, 318 — Reasoning defined, 320 — Analysis of
Ratiocination, 320 — Deduction and Induction, 321 — Implicit reason-
ing, 322 — The Logic of real life : Newman's Grammar of Assent, 324
— Thought viewed differently by Psychology and Logic, 325 —
Belief: Historical sketch, 326 — Three questions: (A) Nature of
Belief, 328 — Belief and Knowledge, 329 — (B) Causes of Belief, 331
— (C) Effects, 334 — Conscience, 334 — Scholastic view, 335 — Other
Theories : Moral Sense, 336 — Associationist theory, 337 — Origin
and Authority of moral judgments, 339 — Evolutionist hypothesis,
340 — Intuitionalism, 342 — Kant, 342 — Conscience a Spring of
Action, 342 — Butler's doctrine, 343.


Attention and Apperception .... Pp. 345 — 360

Attention and Sensation, 345 — Attention and Volition, 346 —
Attention interrogative, 346 — Voluntary and non-Voluntary Atten-
tion, 347 — Laws of Attention, 348 — Effects, 349^Attention and
Genius, 351 — Physiological conditions, 352 — Pleasure and Pain, 353
— Education, 354 — -Unconscious modifications of the Mind, 355 —
Apperception, 357 — Historical sketch, 358— Nature of Apperception,
359 — Apperception and Education, 360.

Development of intellectual cognition : Self

AND other important IDEAS . . . Pp. 36I— 377

Reflexion : Grades of Consciousness, 361 — Growth of the
Knowledge of Self, 362 — ^The developed Mind's consciousness of
itself, 363 — Abstract Concept of Self, 365 — Unity, Continuity, Dis-
continuity of Consciousness, 366 — Genesis of other Ideas, 367 —
Substance, Accident, Cause, 368 — The Infinite, 370— Space, 371 —
Cognition of Time, 372— Development of this Idea, 373— Subjective
.and Objective Time, 374 — Relativity of our appreciation of Time,
375 — Localization in Time, 375— Expectation, 376.



Rational Appetency Pp. 378—393

Rational Appetency: Desire defined and analyzed, 378 — Is
Pleasure the only object of Desire, 379— Motive, 3S0— Spontaneous
action and Deliberation, 381— Choice or Decision, 382— Volition,
Desire, and various forms of conative activity, 384 — Self-control,
385— Order of development, 388— Habit : Practical rules, 388; Moral
discipline, 390— Character, 392— Temperaments, 393.


Free-Will and Determinism .... Pp. 394—424

Free-Will : Philosophy and Psychology, 394— Free-will defined :
Scholastic terminology, 395 — Problem stated, 396— Fatalism and
Determinism, 397 — Argument from Ethical Notions: Obligation,
39S— Merit and Desert, 401— Responsibility, 402— Justice, 404—
Free-will and Ethics, 405— Argument from Consciousness: Atten-
tion, 406— Dehberation, 408 — Decision or Choice, 409— Adhesion to
resolution, 411— Metaphysical argument, 413— Objections : Psycho-
logical, 415— Metaphysical, 419— From Science, 420— Theological,


The Emotions. Emotional and Rational

Language '• .Pp. 425—458

Feeling and Emotions, 425— Scholastic view, 426— Chief forms
of Emotion, 427— Self-regarding, 427— Altruistic, 430— Attached to
intellectual activity, 432— iEsthetic, 435— The Moral Sentiments,
440— No distinct Faculty of feeling, 442— Genesis of Feelings :
James's theory, 443— Classification of Emotions, 446— Expression of
Emotions, 449— Evolutionist Theory, 450— Origin of Language, 454.

Rational Psychology.


Substantiality, Identity, Simplicity, and Spiritu-
ality OF the Human Soul . . . Pp. 459—473
Scope of Rational Psychology, 459— Its importance : Method,
460— SubstantiaUty of the Soul, 461— Validity of Notion of Sub-
stance, 462— The Mind is a Substantial Principle, 463— Abiding
Identity of the Mind, 464— Simplicity, 466— Spirituality, 469.


False Theories of the Ego .... Pp. 474 — 492

Kant's Theory, 474— Empiricist theory: Hume, 475— Mill, 476
— W. James's theory, 477— James's Attack on the Soul. 4S1— Double
Consciousness and "Alterations of Personality," 487— Criticism,


Monistic Theories . . . . . . . Pp. 493 — 524

Dualism and Monism, 493 — Spiritualist Monism or Idealism.
494 — Materialism, 495 — Thought is not a secretion of the Brain,
^gg—Nor a function, 497 — Nor a resultant of material forces, 497 —
Dependence of Mind on Body, 499 — Shadworth Hodgson's "Con-
scious Automaton," theory 503 — New-Spinozism, Double-Aspect
theory, or Identity-hypothesis, 505 — Mind-stuff: Clifford, 506 —
Bain, 507 — Spencer, 508 — Mental States not composite, 510 —
Incredible consequences, 513 — Monism: Conservation of Energy:

Online LibraryMichael MaherPsychology: empirical and rational → online text (page 1 of 63)