What is pure psychology
In his opening speech at the third congress of the Association for Experimental Psychology in Frankfurt a. M. the chairman of this association has a word Goethes pointed out in the "Wanderjahren": "It is not enough to know, one must also apply". Indeed, this word aptly describes the state of psychology in the present. The practical application of psychological knowledge is the immediate, or at least the more distant, aim of a large number, if not most, of psychological works, especially those of the experimental nature. Pedagogy, psychiatry, jurisprudence, ethnology open up an almost unlimited field of tasks for such applied psychology, for which, as a specific area of practical psychological research, the study of the typical and individual differences in intellectual talents, in particular the sub- and supernormal properties of personalities. After an "Institute for Applied Psychology and Collective Psychological Research", founded especially for this purpose, came into being in Berlin with a journal serving as its organ, which at the same time emphatically strives for cooperation between experimental psychologists and members of the various individual disciplines, one can certainly expect that this urge for practical application will only increase in the near future. All the more so since in those individual areas the need for a certain psychological orientation is evidently growing.
No discerning psychologist will consider this urge for practical activity, which has been awakened within and in part outside of psychology, as a legitimate and gratifying one. As a legitimate one, because in education and instruction as well as in the administration of justice and in the treatment of the mentally ill, so much has been sinned against psychological experience and is still being sinned against that remedial action is needed. As a pleasing one, because the growing psychological interest not only in these practical, but also in certain theoretical areas, such as ethnology, history, linguistics, expresses the need for a deepening in the spiritual connections of the phenomena. It is also to be recognized that among all these applications, the practical ones in particular cannot be made early enough. As soon as z. B. methods of teaching or treating the mentally ill have been proven to be wrong, or as soon as it has become indisputable that the assumptions on which the judgment of the judicial hearing of witnesses is based are wrong, there should be no hesitation in eliminating them; and the attempt to prove such wrong practical methods and assumptions to be erroneous is certainly much more meritorious than asking questions about the intensity and quality relationships of sensations and feelings and about other questions whose answers, however great your theoretical interest may be may, but at least it is a less urgent one. And every insightful psychologist will also willingly admit that the results, which are practically due to the inconveniences and serious disadvantages which their non-observance entails, require the most plausible and generally accessible evidence possible, not an exhaustive examination of them in all directions Conditions can wait. That is why applied experimental psychology has, from the moment when it first addresses certain questions of pedagogy and psychiatric diagnostics, such as B. came close to examining working and learning methods, intellectual efficiency and fatigue, rightly considered that the experimental methods used for such practical purposes are simple enough to be accessible to the teacher or doctor if necessary, but to none Laboratory with complicated precision apparatus is available. Especially Kraepelin emphasized this point of view in his work, which for the first time was systematically devoted to those areas of application, but also rightly emphasized that such work is always only about relatively simple tasks of practical interest and that one should not think about using these simplified methods to extend beyond the limits set by practice. Indeed, in these cases the questions are usually put so simply from the outset that they exclude a complicated apparatus of investigation altogether. At the same time, however, they are so directly linked to specific conditions of practical life that further utilization for theoretical psychology can only be considered in exceptional cases. This is particularly evident from those of William Stern Meritorious research carried out on the "psychology of testimony". They started from the long-known fact that a person's reports not only about what he has heard from others but also about what he has experienced consistently give a false picture of the real events, and that is why the statements of several eyewitnesses about the same facts can vary widely. In order to prove that this falsification of reality could take place to the extent and in such a profound way as it actually is the case and of star i.a. has been determined, but this required a certain systematization and systematic collection of such observations. It is obvious that these did not require any special apparatus or test facilities. But also that the results, in spite of their great practical importance for pedagogy and administration of justice, and finally for all areas of practical life and science in which the testimony of eyewitnesses, e.g. B. in the judgment of historical traditions, play a role, can teach nothing about the nature of the sensory and memory illusions, the fluctuations in attention and the other factors of these phenomena. The separation of these manifold factors is itself a problem to the solution of which such attempts have nothing at all to contribute, since what matters is only the end result, the unreliability of the statements about perceived facts, and at most the conditions under which they are more or less important can differ far from reality. If one wants to approach the decomposition of the phenomena into their components and the experimental analysis of them, then these simple observation methods are no longer sufficient. But then the standpoint of applied psychology must also be abandoned and exchanged for that of pure psychology, on which the task is broken down into a multitude of individual problems, each of which has its own independent interest. However, this interest is purely theoretical. It becomes practical only when one returns to the overall effects which the whole complex of causes exerts on a person's statements. Since this overall effect is generally more important for practice than the question of how it is composed of its individual psychological components, the more urgent the practical ends are, the more they can be content with this end result it is less the way in which the deviations in the statements are distributed among the individual deception factors that changes the practical conclusions to be drawn. That is why there are differences that cannot be overlooked for the various areas of application. So it is z. For the assessment of the testimony of witnesses in court, for example, it is much more indifferent to how the various factors of deception are distributed over the end result than to the analogous deviations in the statements made by a school child about an object seen or a narration heard. For while in the first case it is only a matter of gauging whether and to what extent a statement can be ascribed objective credibility at all, in the second case this is relatively irrelevant. But here it is of the greatest interest for the educator in which motives, whether in insecurity of perception or memory, whether in deficiencies in volition and attention, in lack of interest, and finally in conditions of fatigue and exercise, the observed There is a reason for discrepancies between the phenomena and their reproduction. Because of this consideration, which is in the foreground here, on the future influencing of the child's mental activity and on the need to find the necessary points of attack for such influencing, pedagogy in general, more than other disciplines of applied psychology, requires a close reference to pure psychology, in that either the results require an interpretation with the help of the known results of the latter, or else require psychological investigations, which can then also have a theoretical interest.
It is no different with the so-called "memory experiments", which play such a predominant role in contemporary experimental psychology that about half of the experimental psychological works produced annually can be attributed to memory psychology. Here, too, it is the desire for practical application that gives this area so great preference over others, especially when one considers that most of the work on associations of ideas and similar functions somehow affiliated with memory phenomena also belong here according to their purpose. In this discipline of applied psychology, which is primarily oriented towards pedagogy, two directions can again be distinguished, one of which is almost exclusively concerned with end results that can be used in practice without paying much attention to their psychological justification, while the second, in addition to the practical, is also a certain theoretical one Has interest in mind, insofar as the investigation ultimately leads to tasks of a purely psychological analysis; The first type are e.g. B. the experiments on "economics and technology of memorization". Because with them it is essentially only a question of which of the various didactic methods that can possibly be applied here will lead to the goal most quickly and surely. The second type, on the other hand, includes attempts to determine the differences in memory, the conditions of inadequate memory, the aids to remedy such deficiencies, and others. seeks to determine. For here the investigation again points to the analysis of the factors from which the final results are composed, reaching into the field of pure psychology, even where it is merely intended to serve the purposes of instruction and upbringing.
Now it is evident that the tasks of the second kind, in which a field of application of psychology, such as pedagogy, is more closely connected and evidently also in a more fruitful interaction with pure psychology, have a disproportionately greater importance than the tasks of the first kind. It is certainly useful to identify the most appropriate among the various learning methods. Nevertheless, this purpose cannot be remotely measured against the importance of the analysis of the individual psychological factors that make up the individual and typical peculiarities of the gift of memory, and which in turn can lead to practically important conclusions for general teaching methods. This is also expressed in the fact that for those purely technical learning experiments a special psychological training may not be necessary at all, whereas such training cannot be dispensed with in the second case. Every experienced pedagogue will also admit that for general education and teaching tasks an all-round psychological education is far more fruitful than the accumulation of individual technical experiences on the basis of one's own or third-party experiments. At the same time, those deeper-pressing applications of psychology come into direct contact with an intermediate area that extends into the field of pure psychology: with the psychology of the child, which on the one hand belongs to the history of psychological development from a purely theoretical point of view, but on the other hand because of its importance for the questions education and teaching, as well as in view of the rich material of experience that is primarily available to the teacher, is more closely tied to pedagogy than other parts of psychology. It is precisely in this area, and partly under the influence of the suggestions emanating from experimental pedagogy, that a pleasant competition has arisen between individual parents and educators who are lively interested in questions of upbringing in the collection of observations on the mental development of the child. Here, above all, pedagogy confronts psychology, both taking and giving. Taking, since the basic notions by which the psychological observation of the child is guided must be in harmony with the general results of pure psychology. Giving insofar as the history of psychological development is an important part of psychology itself. In this way, especially here, the relationship between the two areas, the theoretical and the practical, develops into a fruitful interaction, which can lead to joint work and, in a favorable case, the connection of purely psychological and educational interests in one and the same personality.
Not unlike pedagogy in these questions that affect the history of psychological development, there is now the large number of those humanities which, in a certain sense, have become areas of application of psychology, not through individual practical applications, but through deepening into the psychological side of their problems basically always have been. The only difference is that the realization that one has to lean on scientific psychology for such tasks, instead of following the randomly collected inspirations of vulgar psychology or, which usually coincides with an outdated and haphazard psychology of property, gradually spreads to the wider circles of the researchers involved penetrate begins. First and foremost are the areas that can most accurately be described as the "comparative and historical humanities", whereby these two attributes are not to be regarded as alternative, but rather as coordinated throughout. This includes mythology, linguistics, art and religion, and finally also sociology with its branches, the history of the development of society, custom, law, the state, and the economy. All of these sciences are comparative and historical at the same time. Not only must the ethnological comparison appear in addition, where the continuity of the historical conditions fails, but historical research itself makes extensive as well as extensive use of the comparative method. Intensive by showing the phases of one and the same historical development in their succession; extensive by comparing different, parallel developments. All these investigations, however, ultimately lead back to psychological motives and psychophysical conditions, in the investigation of which general psychology must necessarily participate, while at the same time the arena of the mental phenomena itself is expanding as a result of the extent of the problems, which extends far beyond the individual mental life. Hence the results obtained in those areas of application, in turn, shed light in the most varied of directions on the individual psychology from which they were based. In particular, this is the case wherever the individual is partly under the influence of the historical formations surrounding him from the beginning, and partly comes into contact with them at some point in his life. It is precisely this dependence of the results of such developments reaching into individual life that at the same time makes individual psychology and developmental history an indispensable but always an inadequate aid in the psychological investigation of such products of the spiritual life that has developed in a long tradition. On the other hand, the psychological analysis of those social products is able to shed light on those processes which the history of the individual development can only access under very limited conditions. The psychology of the child does indeed provide some valuable pointers for solving the general problem of language development; But the main conclusions here will also have to be drawn from the pure psychology of comparative and historical linguistics, and from the psychological illumination of the facts presented by them. Furthermore, for the history of the psychological development of art, the child offers only scant analogies to the evidence to be derived from the main point of ethnology.The attempt to explain primitive mythological thinking or the emergence of religion from the point of view of our present-day child has, wherever it was made, led to completely arbitrary and worthless constructions. Conversely, the psychology of language is the main source for the general psychology of concept formation and thought formation. The relationship between the history of the psychological development of art and myth and the psychology of fantasy in general is no different, etc. This is the reason for the combination of all these areas of psychological consideration in the term "peoples psychology". At the same time, however, this is assigned the dual position of an application and a sub-area of psychology. It is the former insofar as the psychological analysis of all those psychological community products naturally presupposes a previous analysis of the simpler individual phenomena of consciousness; the latter, because only it can lead to an interpretation of all the psychic formations which individual consciousness owes to the influences of its environment - influences which can only be understood from their own development history, which usually goes back a long way. In this dependence on the historical development, for which it is supposed to gain a deeper psychological understanding, national psychology also comes into close contact with all other branches of historical research up to its union in general history and the philosophical view of history summarizing the sum of its results. If, however, in the other areas of applied psychology, which go back directly to the evidence of individual consciousness, especially in pedagogy, which has a typical meaning here, the application itself is twofold, namely in the transfer of individual, practically usable results and Methods, then no less in the utilization of all the views gained in pure psychology, then in all those further applications that flow into the historical areas of knowledge, from the psychology of nations up to general history, only the second remains. In none of these historical disciplines can one take a step without encountering problems that are ultimately psychological in nature and therefore lead partly directly, partly and above all through the mediation of peoples' psychology to pure psychology. But nowhere is it a matter of a direct exploitation of individual results detached from the overall context of mental life, or even a transfer of any of the technical methods used in experimental psychology. Rather, it is everywhere only the overall scientific understanding of psychic processes, their relationships and interactions and the laws of spiritual life that can be derived from them that can be applied here. And precisely in this is not the least the help which the psychology of nations can in turn give to the entirety of the historical human sciences, that in the areas of intellectual life it has examined, due to the relatively simple and uniform nature of the tasks, the psychological connections of historical development are most important to us face clearest. At the same time, however, the psychology of nations is without question the area of application in which the dispute between differing basic views about the nature and connection of psychological processes is most urgent to its decision and must most surely find such a decision. For if it is and will always be the ultimate task of psychology to learn to understand spiritual life in all its manifestations and thereby to offer a basis for the totality of the human sciences, then it must above all be applied to the fundamental areas of the human sciences show which of the foundations one tries to give to psychology itself is proven or not.
Below the various fields of application of psychology, which has been thought of above, is now the pedagogyeven if it may not be absolutely the most important in view of the much more far-reaching theoretical tasks of national psychology, it is undoubtedly one of the most important. But it is certainly ahead of all others in the fact that practical and theoretical interests meet in it, and that here above all the most urgent of all practical questions, that of the education of the coming generations and thus that of the future of culture itself, at the doors throbbing. So they are too three Tasks which can possibly be assigned to an applied psychology, and of which in the other fields of application one soon completely recedes, all of which force themselves on the investigation here and dispute priority within pedagogy itself. We can briefly describe these three tasks as the practical-technical, the practical-theoretical and the purely theoretical. The practical-technical include investigations into the most appropriate learning and teaching methods, the time relationships of rest and exercise in various types of intellectual work, the associated desirable rest breaks, duration and distribution of work, etc. The practical-theoretical one can include the Investigations into the differences in talent, age groups, sexes, aids to arouse attention and interest, and the like count. Finally, as a supplementary and influencing task for this group, but in itself purely theoretical, the development history of the child presents itself with its ramifications according to the various functional areas, such as expressive movements, acts of will, utterances of intelligence, language, etc. As natural as it is that these three groups should be often intervene in one another, and that the third in particular also serves practical interests, there is no doubt that the latter in particular presupposes a comprehensive orientation in general psychology and an overall psychological conception acquired, if possible, through independent work. Only under this condition will it then also be conducive to pure psychology and contribute to the deepening of the other mainly practical parts of experimental pedagogy. All the more, of course, there arises from pure psychology the demand that those problems which require a fully developed consciousness and, in many cases, a special sharpness of psychological observation, be dealt with in the most comprehensive way possible. For it is evident that only on the basis of the exact investigation of the general problems of consciousness that is possible under such conditions is a fruitful completion of the tasks of the history of psychic development possible.
Now, however, it is precisely this last requirement that stands in the way of resistances which have their origin in the tendency towards practical application which dominates contemporary psychology to a large extent. Since, among these applications, the focus is on pedagogy, and among them again the practical-technical questions of teaching are most likely to be dealt with relatively quickly, this primarily shows the dominant role that is now also in the circles of the pure Psychologists the so-called "memory research" plays. It is primarily oriented towards that "economy and technique of memorizing", the tasks of which can easily be carried out without a special deepening in the underlying problems of attention, association and reproduction, while at the same time offering direct income for the purposes of school instruction put. It is therefore understandable that not a few psychologists see here the points of attack at which psychological work can in all eyes be shown to be useful for the general public, which on its side is somewhat comparable with natural science and its technical fields of application. Admittedly, not enough attention is paid to the fact that exact natural science has a long history behind it. In it it has struggled honestly to obtain those general theoretical foundations on which it could only gain the rich yield of technical applications everywhere, through which practice paid back the capital of the intellectual labor expended with abundant interest in science. As tempting as the prospect of securing a similarly profitable return for psychology from its practical applications in the no less important areas of teaching and upbringing, it should not be overlooked that the current situation in psychology and that in which physics and chemistry, for example, were at the moment of their transition into the age of their great technical applications, are essentially different. Those technical fields of application of the natural sciences grew out of a long previous development that was essentially oriented towards theoretical interest. Where a field itself was originally already rooted in a practical occupation, as is mostly the case with chemistry, which emerged from pharmacy in the 18th and still partly in the early 19th century, this was not done out of the most intrinsic interests of this practical occupation Mother discipline, but vice versa because the pharmacists encountered purely theoretical questions in their work, which they now worked on in a purely theoretical interest, and through which they were guided on paths that had absolutely nothing to do with the manufacture of pharmaceuticals had. So it came about that when later, in the more advanced stage of development, science again led to technical applications, these were for the most part in completely different areas than where, for the first time, the beginnings of modern chemistry from pharmacist practice, in a sense, as useless sideline occupations of the pharmacist, had grown up. However, other areas of technology, and not at least those that intervene most deeply in the design of modern life, emerged directly from purely theoretical research. Another Faraday In his epoch-making investigations into electrical effects at a distance and magneto-electrical effects, he initially only thought of the theoretical interest that primarily attracted him to the problem of the interrelationships between natural forces. Even today, when we are surrounded by the unimagined technical applications of the exact natural sciences, we still see enough researchers who go their way for purely scientific motives, without thinking about a practical application of their work. And even today the most important practical applications can develop where one originally had not them, but only the theoretical side of the problem in mind. So is z. B. H. C. Roentgen have been led to the discovery of the rays named after him through investigations from which any such consideration was far removed; and what interested him in the remarkable permeability of opaque bodies for these rays was primarily not the practical use for pathological and surgical diagnosis, but again the purely theoretical question of the physical nature of these rays. Now that physics and chemistry have produced such a large number of technical fields, it is then understandable that practice now again stimulates many investigations that are at the same time of theoretical interest, or that it also poses questions directly to theoretical science Answering them also hopes to utilize them for their own purposes. But the general principle that science is first there for its own sake, and that it also serves the purposes of practice best if it is guided primarily by the problems of purely theoretical knowledge, is still unshaken today; and it has found expression not least within technology in the means which enterprises, such as the large Zeiss works in Jena or some large chemical factories, make available to science outside the sphere of their own practical sphere.
Since experimental psychology, from the modest beginnings in which it is still today, sees itself surrounded by the immense power of technical and industrial enterprises, which animate economic life and to which natural science makes new resources available from now on, it is understandable enough that this urge for beneficial application also grips it, and that the most suitable area for this must appear to be that of pedagogy and its practical disciplines. Here, from the circle of educators, you yourself meet a vividly felt need for a deeper psychological foundation of their experiences and for overcoming the traditions of philosophical school pedagogy that have so often become a mere template. That the enormous difference is all too overlooked, that between the richly developed branches of exact natural science, the technical applications of which are everywhere on solid foundations, and a first tentative, but in the most important questions still fluctuating between widely diverging views, such as this Experimental psychology is still today, exists, is understandable and somewhat forgivable. So then naturally emerges from the urge for beneficial application the further tendency to come to the aid above all in those areas of pedagogy for which such a thing seems to be most directly available in the results of memory psychology, the experiments on fatigue and exercise, etc. . In addition, all of these investigations have the advantage that their results, if they are actually guaranteed at all, are essentially beyond the dispute of opinions about general views and the more profound problems. On the other hand, for the same reason, they only permit applications in pedagogy to questions in which the problems of the history of psychological development and others connected with the fundamental questions of psychology itself recede. Thus practical psychology in these pedagogical applications is mainly restricted to the first of the three areas which have been thought of above, namely the practical-technical. This corresponds to the great role that experiments on the formal performance of memory, the methods of memorizing, and the like, currently play in experimental psychology and pedagogy. It is true that the point of view from which these attempts are undertaken is somewhat different in that the psychologists want to use them to obtain information about the laws of association and reproduction, while the educators tend to place them directly at the service of learning practice. But this differing point of view does not establish either an essential difference in the methods or in the utilization of their results. Because memory psychology hardly ever gets involved in a closer analysis of the elementary psychological factors that make up the complex results. From this it can be understood at the same time that experiments with completely identical content can be attributed at will by their authors, now to psychology, now to experimental pedagogy. From such a merging of the fields it becomes no less understandable that experimental pedagogy occasionally claims to be an independent empirical science1). This conception also gives a certain justification for the renunciation of a psychological analysis of the results of experiments which anyway, it is assumed, are of no particular benefit to practical application.
1) Meumann, Lectures for Introduction to Experimental Pedagogy, 1907, I, p. 5.
One cannot deny that this predominantly practical current in contemporary psychology has not been entirely without use, especially for the field of pedagogy. It always remains valuable when the teacher and educator sees the results of his own practical experience in school and home confirmed by clearly tangible experimental results or when traditional prejudices are refuted by them. But these advantages are undoubtedly offset by serious disadvantages for both pure psychology and pedagogy. In psychology, under the pressure of the practical usability of its results, the field of the tasks it deals with naturally narrows in a way that not only disproportionately suppresses other, more important for the theoretical knowledge of psychological processes, but also the classification of the results obtained in the more general ones Context of psychic life stands in the way. The same limitation induces pedagogy to apply experimental results in a template-like manner, which easily loses insight into the conditions and limits of such application.When this is joined by the direction already taken by psychology towards directly practically usable experiments, the external, technical questions of teaching come to the fore in a disproportionate way. It is only too easy for the pedagogue, who sees himself everywhere to be surrounded by learning and other attempts at memory, to surrender again to the old, one might hope, happily overcome superstition that the technique of memorizing is one of the main tasks of the lesson and that it is through diligent memory exercise finally all goals of intellectual education attainable. If this is the effect that the transfer of the experiment from psychology to pedagogy produces, the damage it causes would certainly far outweigh the advantages it may offer learning and working techniques. As indisputable as that sentence of the "years of wandering" is that one should not only know but also apply it, it is just as dubious if one tries to apply where knowledge is still all too limited or rests on all too uncertain foundations.
But these repercussions on pedagogy are too far removed from the scope of my own studies for me to want to pursue this subject further. The aim of these critical discussions is rather the other, to point out the dubious repercussions that this practical endeavor, with its pedagogical background, has on psychology itself. Since this is essentially limited to the completion of the tasks in question here, the tendency to use psychological results for educational purposes changes with a kind of inner necessity into the opposite, to use practical-educational experiments as the basis of psychological investigation . If one first regards experimental pedagogy as a similarly independent science as experimental psychology, then, depending on whether one or the other direction seems to be advantageous, the easier it is to choose the primacy of pedagogy, the more it is from the outset Questions of the psychological investigation itself are already oriented towards the needs of the educational applications. The necessary consequence is a narrowing of the horizon in which psychology is increasingly threatening to become an applied pedagogy. Then the pedagogical psychologist not only sets his tasks according to the needs of pedagogy, but also takes the material for their solution from pedagogical observations and experiments without paying much attention to experiences gained elsewhere. So finally - sorry for the word - psychology itself threatens to become the prey of pedagogy: works on purely psychological topics not only suddenly turn into pedagogical tasks, but they also almost entirely make use of material collected for pedagogical purposes.
This one-sidedness, first carefully chosen and then involuntarily sketched out by the path taken, now necessarily has three dubious consequences, of which now one, now the other, can emerge more, but the tendency as a whole, as is usually the case with errors arising from a common source show, in turn, to reinforce each other. The first of these consequences is the tendency to hasty generalizations of results which, obtained under limited conditions, are extended far beyond the limits thereby set out for them. This is all the more inevitable, the more the self-imposed limitation of the standpoint makes it easy to overlook everything that lies beyond one's horizon. Another consequence is the tendency towards definitive conceptual formations, which, again drawn from limited experience, are subsequently used to subsume the facts of the observation, so that these general concepts now serve as explanatory grounds for psychic processes. In this way the investigation then turns back into the old wealth psychology. Like this, she uses terms that may be useful for initial practical orientation, and which are mostly borrowed from popular psychology, instead of undertaking a penetrating analysis of the facts; and it confuses the subsumption under such concepts with an explanation of the processes. From both sources, the hasty generalization and the schematizing conceptual formation, finally arises as a third consequence the inadequate and contradicting interpretation of the phenomena. It manifests itself partly in the fact that actually existing components of the same remain unconsidered, while others are interpreted into them, which a careful observation or experimental analysis cannot find in them, and which are evidently not taken from the facts themselves, but from the mostly logical considerations of the observer are. So here the psychology of reflection reaches out to the psychology of property in order to substitute some artificial conceptual structure for reality. The more attention is paid to an exact description of the phenomena, the more blatant contradictions arise between theory and observation in the presentation of the results; and while a dark consciousness of such inconveniences asserts itself involuntarily, there can occasionally be a multitude of theoretical assertions which shimmer in all colors and leave the only result that they cancel themselves out.
The repercussions of practical on pure psychology in the three directions in which I have tried to arrange them here, to demonstrate by means of a number of examples from the literature of the recent past, would, I believe, not be very fruitful if one were to do so I wanted to take examples from the most varied of works by psychologists and pedagogues, some of which were far apart from one another, where they could easily give the appearance of a tendentious collation of isolated gaps. It seems to me more expedient to base such a consideration on a single work. I also believe that I will do best if I do not choose the work of some subordinate writer, but that of an author who rightly enjoys a high reputation in psychology as well as in pedagogy, but whose example is precisely for this reason also in pedagogical and could easily generate errors and misunderstandings in other circles interested in psychological questions. It seems reasonable to assume that an author who has distinguished himself in the two fields of psychology and pedagogy, especially when it comes to the interrelationships between theory and practice, is someone who has not made a judgment from his own experience able to educate as the most reliable leader appears. In this respect, however, takes Ernst Meumann, the author of the recently published work "Intelligence and Will" (Leipzig 1908), undoubtedly occupies an excellent position among today's psychologists and educators, which makes him predestined to act as a mediator on both sides. In his "contributions to the psychology of time consciousness" and the subsequent "investigations into the psychology and aesthetics of rhythm" (Philos. Studies, Vols. 8, 9, 10 and 12), he has undeniably made a contribution to psychology. In addition to his work devoted to the psychology of children and learning methods, the "Lectures for the introduction to experimental pedagogy and its psychological foundations" (2 volumes 1907), which summarizes the results of his pedagogical studies, are highly regarded among pedagogues, and they quickly have one found widespread in teaching circles. Now, of course, there is more than a decade between the first ones pertaining to pure psychology and these latest pedagogical-psychological works, and during this time the pedagogical interest has almost predominantly captured the author of these writings, so that one cannot be surprised if one is concerned have changed his views in many ways under this influence. It would also certainly be wrong to want to condemn such changes because they were based on practical tasks. On the contrary, what is theoretically justified must ultimately prove itself in practice. Still, on the other hand, a decade of practically oriented work is long enough to help that tendency towards a backward-looking influence, i.e. towards a generalization, transference and explanatory application of a consideration determined from practical points of view on theoretical problems, to an overly great influence . It seems to me that the aforementioned book on "Intelligence and Will" is better suited than others to come closer to the consequences of such a reaction. After a long break, almost entirely devoted to educational psychology, it is again the first work that its author has devoted to a topic of pure psychology. Even here it may be pedagogical interests that led him to this topic, and which therefore have largely determined the whole tendency of his treatment, in itself the question of the relationship between the psychological functional areas mentioned in the title is primarily a theoretical one ; and it is treated as such by the author. In this sense, therefore, this book is particularly suitable for studying the consequences which the practical tendency, which dominates psychology to a large extent, is having on psychology itself.
Perhaps one could argue against this that this is a popular book intended for a larger audience, to which one should not apply the standard of stricter scientific criticism. For two reasons, however, I cannot agree with this point of view; I am more inclined to believe that a work which, by virtue of its popularity, betrays the claim to the broadest dissemination of the views represented in it, demands an even more rigorous examination of the testability of its assertions. Firstly, in order to put his views in the brightest possible light, the author of such a popular or semi-popular work tends to present them with great apodictic certainty, while, on the other hand, precisely the claim to popularity protects him from the demand to have to strictly prove his statements. The "Sic volo sic jubeo" can therefore give every possible counter-band of incorrect definitions and arbitrary hypotheses the reputation of indisputable truths. Secondly, the author of such presentations, which are intended for the larger public, does not feel compelled to express other views. Or wherever he does this, he loves to introduce their representatives as unknown figures, whose opinions can then occasionally be modeled at will in order to illustrate their inadequacy. In most cases, it is even sufficient to simply designate them as "wrong" or "completely erroneous" so that the reader gets the impression that the dissenting views rejected in this way are the opinions of some strange enthusiasts, while what the author himself presents is the louder or meant truth at least currently recognized in science. Also Meumann has made ample use of these two means. But I don't want to go into this any further. The unknown authors who are occasionally dealt with in this way may remain entirely out of the game, along with their opinions. I shall confine myself to explaining the three directions in which the repercussions of psychology, which is essentially determined according to pedagogical considerations, have on pure psychology, using some of the most prominent examples from the work mentioned. At the same time, I expressly note that this font also has the well-known advantages MeumannShear representation, clarity, practical-psychological experience and appropriate characteristics of individual personalities can not be missed. Incidentally, the fact that I limit myself to a single example for each of the three directions identified above in the examples to be critically examined here will appear all the more justified as I always prefer the most important, which the author himself puts in the foreground.
Mentioned in his considerations on the influence of exercise on the performance of "intellectual work" and the physical prerequisites required for it Meumannthat attempts to memorize meaningless syllables in the initial stages of practice require forty to fifty repetitions so that twelve such syllables can be reproduced without errors, but that, assuming normal physical and psychological ability, and apart from certain age limits upwards and downwards, A single repetition after a short time is enough to achieve the same result. From this he concludes, first, that if fatigue did not stand in the way, or if the memorized person were given sufficient rest every time, finally, if only the time of the exercise were long enough, 100 meaningless syllables could possibly be recorded after a single repetition. Secondly, he concludes: "If two pianists, one of whom has a very large and the other very little ability to play the piano, try to get through practice to memorize a technically very difficult and at the same time very extensive piece, are able to play flawlessly and with musical expression, either of them can do so, but the first will do it relatively quickly, the second will require vastly more time and practice, and if the innate musical talent is only extreme is weak, the time and physical endurance will set a limit to this goal. But if we assume that this person had unlimited time and endurance, then he would - as far as the exercise alone is important - surely achieve his goal, despite the weakness of his system "(p. 43). These considerations lead Meumann to a general psychological law, which he formulates as follows: "The possibility of increasing our skills through practice, apart from the restrictions indicated above, is unlimited, that is, we can achieve anything through practice"(P. 42).
That the derivation of this curious law is based on two illicit generalizations of limited experience can hardly be denied. First, the concept of intellectual work is here, from an area of the simplest memory exercise, which one almost has to worry about ascribing it at all, to the highest achievements possible only under the most complex conditions, indiscriminately combined into a whole; and secondly, the result obtained in that simplest borderline case is carried over to all other possible forms of intellectual work. To achieve this, the author also makes use of a fiction that is never conceivable in real experience, namely the fiction that an infinite amount of time may be available for exercise. I confess that with regard to observations on pianists, I have some doubts as to whether the Meumannwould confirm his assertion even if it were possible to realize his fiction. Indeed, even in this respect he seems to be somewhat doubtful, as the limiting remark suggests "as far as the exercise alone matters". However, since I believe that I have observed that in order to reproduce a musical piece with perfect expression it is not a matter of practice at all, I cannot agree with his assertion, even with that qualification. In any case, on the basis of such infinite fictions, he would not have been entitled to set up the general law that man could achieve anything through practice.
If this procedure of an unlimited generalization of highly limited experiences is reprehensible from the point of view of psychological methodology, then I cannot imagine that the reference to such a possibility of realizing every goal, even the most heterogeneous of talent, through continued practice, is for the Pedagogy is particularly useful. What would happen if the teacher, trusting the accuracy of experimental investigations, wanted to put such alleged laws into practice? Apart from these at least possible practical consequences, it should be noted that pure psychology actually comes away empty-handed when it comes to exploiting an experimental fact that is intrinsically very interesting. As the author only pursues the pedagogical application of such measurements of the extent of memory with single and multiple repetitions of the impressions, he loses sight of the relationships to other phenomena necessary to understand the psychological conditions of the results obtained in this way.He immediately turns the empirical fact, which serves as the starting point, that in general, after sufficient practice, twelve unrelated impressions indicate the extent of memory with a single impact, immediately into the problem of practice, without going any closer to the question, as in the general constitution of human consciousness, for example this restriction would like to be justified. This is already indicated by the fact that the various observers have always found as a limit approximately the same number of simple impressions which, after long memory practice, can be reproduced without errors with just a single impact. So there Ebbinghaus As a result of his very careful experiments, there are seven senseless sounds as such a limit, which in view of the manifold individual deviations of memory from that of Meumann given number 12 does not deviate too much2). This close correspondence of the achievable limits makes it very likely that this is not a matter of a random exercise level dependent finding, which could be progressed further up to 100 or more through continued exercise, but rather a quantity which are related to the range of consciousness and attention, properties which in principle cannot be changed to any significant degree with practice, such as the range of audible tones or the colors seen in the solar spectrum. In fact, the results of the memorization experiments in that borderline case agree with the measurements of the extent of attention, or the extent of an overall idea to be summarized in apperception, approximately enough to think of more than a mere chance relationship allow. Thus, the tachistoscopic experiments resulted in 6 to 10 incoherent letters or meaningless syllables as the limit of the immediate perception of an overall optical impression, and J. Quandt found in the succession of sound impressions with a favorable choice of time intervals, but avoiding any rhythmic structure, six as the maximum number of impressions which can be immediately grasped as a unified whole by the attention3). Since in the learning experiments it was hardly paid attention to whether and to what extent a rhythmic structure of the series took place, this may explain the deviations of the various observers in these experiments from one another as well as from the results Quandts. B. in the case of Meumann If observations made use of the syllables, for which there is a predominant tendency, to have been grouped according to the two-eighth measure, then the number twelve he specified would correspond exactly to the six found by Quandt, since in this case the individual two-eighth measure is equivalent to a simple impression of the non-rhythmic series .
2) Ebbinghaus, About memory, p. 69. Cf. also W. G. Smith, Psychol. Review, vol. 3, p. 21 ff.
3) See my outline of psychology8, Pp. 255f. Quandt, Extent of consciousness for regularly structured overall ideas, psychological stages, vol. 1, pp. 137ff., 171f.
By yourself Meumann The task is to separate the psychological functions united under the name of "intelligence" into their components, he starts from the general concept of intelligence, which has already been developed in popular usage, and then everything that in our spiritual life partly directly affects those Functions is involved, sometimes helpful or hindering, to discuss their relationship with them. Then he defines intelligence in general as the ability to think and judge, with the degree of intelligence then being measured according to the independence of judgment and the originality and productivity of thought (p. 8 f.). But since all thinking and judging are now active in the establishment of relationships between ideas and concepts which find their expression in judgments, the ability to make judgments or the "relational activity" emerges as the real essence of intelligence (p. 151). The main task of the investigation, of its psychological properties, of its various expressions and forms, consists accordingly in the determination of the interrelationships between the actual intelligence, which is in this way essentially traced back to the formal logical functions, and the lower psychic activities. On the one hand it is about the influencing of thinking through these lower activities, on the other hand it is about the intervention of thinking in those. The mental abilities to be regarded as prerequisites and preconditions of intelligence are separated Meumann in two Groups: one formalnamely, attention, exercise, habituation and fatigue, and one materialsnamely, intuition, observation, memory, and imagination (14).
It cannot be my task to trace this scheme, indicated here in its general outlines, in its individual features. The most important of the "formal" requirements has already been thought of above. As a remark worth noting from the author's more general point of view, the only thing that needs to be added here is that the progress of exercise extends to every kind of mental performance as much as to physical performance: this is "by the way, quite natural from the standpoint of physiological psychology, since after whose assumption is that all mental work is at the same time physical and all physical work is at the same time spiritual ”(p. 46). I allow myself to deny that this assertion is a self-evident assumption of physiological psychology. I do not believe that anyone, unless he is a metaphysician who disregards all experience, will explain the work of the breath or the heart movements as a "work of the mind". But even the reverse assertion that all mental work is also physical work, the level-headed psychologist will only agree on the assumption that "at the same time" only means a consumption of latent labor which takes place within the accompanying metabolic processes, but that all of it is what the specific content and thus the value of the intellectual work is not taken. One can therefore hardly assume that this is the author's own opinion. Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked that such extreme metaphysical hypotheses are echoed in the all-encompassing use that he makes of the concept of "intellectual work". In any case, these assertions show a tendency, which is strange for an empirical psychologist, to draw conclusions from general concepts, without much regard to whether or not they prove themselves in experience. This can also be seen when looking at the "formal condition" of intelligence, which forms the opposite of exercise, with "fatigue". Science says Meumann, makes us understand a physical but not a mental fatigue. "Why should the consciousness or the soul tire too?" On the spiritual side, we are completely lacking parallel processes to the processes that make the nature of physiological fatigue understandable, the consumption of materials, the accumulation of fatigue substances, etc. In contrast, "on the spiritual side, we always only have the changes in the psychic processes themselves before us. ... .. In the physical area, therefore, all such changes as exercise effects, fatigue and relaxation have both a substantial and a functional meaning, in the spiritual area they are only present as functional changes "(p. 64 f.). It is clear that this deduction and the above from the foundations of exercise are based on metaphysical presuppositions which not only lie outside a purely empirical consideration of psychological life, but which also contradict one another. In one case, the principle of parallelism is applied in the sense of a real identity of the physical and the spiritual; in the other, a purely functional meaning is ascribed to the spiritual, which is why it can be explained exclusively from the changes in its substantial physiological foundations.
Of greater importance than such, more metaphysical than empirical considerations, are, however, the "material presuppositions" of the latter for the problem of intelligence. The author first tries to fix each of the concepts, observation, attention, memory, and fantasy, which are lined up here, by a definition that separates him as much as possible from the others, in order to then examine it in relation to the others and in its interactions with intelligence. I do not want to go into the whole series of these terms here, but limit myself to the two closest to intelligence: memory and imagination. The memory defines Meumann in the traditional way: "It consists for him in the repetition of earlier impressions, earlier experiences or ideas that we formed earlier"; the phantasy, on the other hand, "works with ideas which, as a whole, have the character of something new that we have formed ourselves, but in which parts of earlier memories are of course used" (p. 124). With a few paraphrases, these are the well-known distinctions in wealth psychology: memory is the ability to renew previous sensations unchanged, the imagination consists in the ability to change their arrangement. Now, of course, even the author cannot completely escape the knowledge that memory "does not simply produce a faithful representation of earlier impressions, but rather undertakes a certain transformation and change with them". But "it does that in a kind of illicit manner". Moreover, an aid to the activity of the imagination is caused by the fact that "our memory is incomplete, and that we fill these gaps with ingredients of imagination" (p. 125). In fact, you could almost believe a paragraph here Christian Wolffs Psychology to read, except that here and there the old drawers are provided with somewhat more modern inscriptions. Again, the old concepts of wealth are strictly separated from each other. Occasionally someone wants to sneak into someone else's territory. But he is relentlessly rejected, and if he does not want to submit to the definition of his area, the contradiction is removed by the assumption of cooperation between both faculties. But since the all-dominant intelligence stands above all this conflict of faculties, the all-too-great dissonance is finally balanced out by reflection. Where the contradiction between memory and previous perception is too great, a "guess" comes to the rescue, in order to call up the imagination at the right time so that it does its job. It is completely that "Bellum omnium contra omnes" that already is Herbart had followed with such bitter mockery that one had long believed to be free from him. Here the old picture is repeated down to the smallest detail. In addition to war, peaceful cooperation is not lacking either, and this in turn is made possible by the sovereign reflective mind, whose servants are, after all, all other assets4). Where memory neglects its duty, the mind commands the imagination, with its assistance, to produce a suitable conjecture. To Christian WolffFor the times, this refuge for reflection might still seem permissible. Today, in view of everything that we have experienced experimentally about the influence of reproductive assimilations on perceptual and memory processes, it is no longer. One only needs to think of the tachistoscopic experiments, in order to single out just a few of the large numbers of experiments available here Jul Zeitlers and others on the conception of words with arbitrarily varied insertion of wrong letters, in which occasionally the deviating word elements can be so numerous that different conceptions of the same complex of letters are possible5). In these experiments the elements which are missing in the word or which have been replaced by others, that is to say, as a result of an assimilation from the given word elements, appear in the place of the missing ones, just as clearly as those actually seen. The whole process is completely like an objective perception, and absolutely no difference is noticeable between the optically present and the optically non-existent parts of the picture. Above all, there is a complete lack of a process that could somehow be described as one of "conjecture" with any semblance of right, unless one considers it permissible to substitute one's own reflections on the real facts. This is all the more obvious in the present example, as in fact occasionally cases can occur where the observer is only able to grasp individual parts of the offered object and where he then expresses a "presumption" about the nature of the image on the basis of some considerations. This case differs from the first direct impression of the whole word presentation by the length of the time required to form a conjecture, but then also by the content of the process so vastly that either such experiments have never been carried out or under the influence of one Real observation must be advisable to completely opaque psychology of reflection, if one interpolates a conjecture in those assimilative illusions which take place directly and with the utmost vividness. Since the first cannot be assumed in the present case, only the second is possible: the urge for absolute conceptual separation, connected with the practical direction of psychological thinking described above, initially involuntarily causes a relapse into the psychology of property; and since the facts of observation today are even less willing to obey the inclusion in the property template than before, then, for better or worse, as before, additions through reflection must be resorted to. Here, too, the dominance of the intellect over other faculties, which fell back into the earlier era of faculty psychology, is repeated.
4) Compare with this my remarks on the soul faculties of the old psychology, basic features of the physiol. Psychologie6, vol. 1, p. 16ff.
5) Jul Zeitler, Tachistoscopic examinations of reading. Phil. Studies, vol. 16, p. 380 ff.
Perhaps even more strikingly than the tachistoscopic experiments, incidentally, show the impossibility of interpreting the phenomena by means of such intellectual auxiliary operations, among other forms of so-called illusions, the "reversible perspective representations". As is known, you have this, z. For example, the inversion of the contour drawing of a prism from a body into a hollow form, among other things, was previously attributed to the effects of the imagination. The more recent experimental analysis of the phenomena has shown, however, that they arise in a strictly regular manner from the primary fixation of a point in the figure and the subsequent eye movement over the fixation lines emanating from this point, a fact which hardly differs from the association with the figure The regular sequence of eye movements and partial perceptions that take place during normal sensory perception can be explained. The ski opticon attempts in particular are absolutely crucial in this regard6). What was previously attributed to the imagination is transformed here to an essential part into a so-called memory process. Again, however, in all cases the relief stands so directly and so completely equivalent to a direct plastic perception in front of the consciousness that there can be no question of an intellectual auxiliary operation, which should mediate between memory and imagination. All these examples clearly show that the relapse into an interpretation mixed with the psychology of property and reflection is not an interpretation at all, but rather the elimination of this through complex concepts which themselves first require psychological analysis.
6) Physiol. Psychologie5, II, p. 543 ff., III, p. 530 f.
The dire consequences of operating in this way with general concepts of property are shown no less in the attempt to make understandable phenomena that reach into practical psychology from such rigid conceptual structures. Here that changing dispute between the various faculties is playing its most daring game. He moves continuously in the same circle in which the individual faculties sometimes fight one another, sometimes come to the aid of one another. The focus of this game is especially the intelligence. A good memory can of course be a powerful aid to the intelligence, which it provides with the necessary store of ideas. But it can also be dangerous for them by diverting attention from the actual functions of thinking to the purely mechanical associations (p. 115). Likewise, the imagination is now in a positive, now in a negative relation to intelligence: it helps the latter in the combinatorial direction of its effectiveness; on the other hand, it hinders it in that it disturbs the work of thinking through imaginative ideas and combinations (p. 136).But memory and imagination, although they are counted among the lower soul forces and mere preconditions of intelligence, can simulate or even replace a higher intelligence through their interaction, if only moderate intellectual capacities are added. Both become "lower equivalents of intelligence". But even these lower equivalents can, finally, by repeating the same interplay of forces, damage or even suppress the actual thinking intelligence (p. 77). If you read these explanations, you believe you are in what was believed to be a world that was long behind us. It is true that the word "property", which has a sound contrary to the ear of the modern psychologist, is consistently avoided. It is represented by "skills" or "facilities" or by the individual terms themselves. But there is no difference in the matter. This uniformly repeating scheme of the changing play of psychic forces with their division into lower and higher could just as well be, according to their general content, in Moritz "Magazine for empirical soul science", as in the work of an experimental psychologist of the present; and neither the experiment itself nor the analysis of the phenomena suggested by experimental results is spoken. Instead, the aim is to use examples from practical life or the characteristics of outstanding personalities to gain evidence of what has been presented. But here, too, one gets the impression that the alternation between fighting and providing aid is not derived from such examples by induction, but first applied as a general possibility to the interrelationship of the individual faculties from the underlying scheme, and then only afterwards examples of the individual to look for possible combinations. Here the relapse into the old psychology of property is so complete that even the old scheme of the interactions of property is repeated almost unchanged. Of course, this is not done on purpose, but involuntarily and apparently unconsciously, the author is subject to the compulsion of the conceptual schematism to which he has now confided, and this schematism is in turn the involuntary product of hasty generalization and inadequate psychological analysis, such as the striving for the quickest possible practical Application in an area that needs as much a solid theoretical foundation as psychology must produce at the present stage of its development. That the author is aware of the clarity of the presentation and, in some of his examples, as with the characteristics Lichtenbergs, Ruskins Among other things, a certain practical-psychological power of observation comes in handy, of course. But here too the tendency towards a schematic application of the concepts of ability works here and there towards a one-sided illumination of the characters.
Defined the concept of will Meumann in different places, sometimes in different ways. I am content to emphasize two of these definitions: 1. The will is on the one hand "the inner activity, the doing and working of our personality, on the basis of which our whole inner life is something more than a mere sum of processes or natural processes. .... . Through the will, the whole psychic process assumes a peculiar character, which we can only describe with the term activity character, it becomes the working and action of a personality ... On the other hand, the meaning of volitional acts lies in the fact that they are processes through which we act on the outside world, just as the personality acts on itself through inner actions "(p. 176). 2. "I see the core of the volitional processes in active selection causes of our psychic happenings, whereby there is absolutely nothing puzzling in the activity, rather it can be broken down into individual conditions of our intellectual happenings that have a particularly intimate relationship with the self-consciousness" (p. 198 ). These conditions exist: a) "in the initiation of the whole process through the fixation of a goal in consciousness", b) "in processes which have a particularly intimate relationship with our self-consciousness"; these are mainly: "Attention, our approving judgment, and, in secondary cooperation, feelings and organ sensations", finally c) above all in the fact that we "actually bring about a selection among the following consciousness processes ourselves by fixing a single idea or group of ideas by using Fixation of the objectives dominates, ie determines the following processes "(p. 190). In the further explanation, particular importance is attached to the "approval" of the objective, the resolution or decision preceding the execution of the action or (which is identical with it) to the conscious choice between different motives (p. 213).
Meumann regards the first of these definitions as a provisional one, which at first is only intended to summarize what popular parlance thinks of will. The second is for him the definitive one, which is obtained on the basis of the scientific analysis of the will phenomena. I confess that in this case I do not consider the provisional definition to be perfect, but definitely to be the better one compared to the definitive one. A useful definition could perhaps be obtained from it. The definitive, on the other hand, suffers from the two worst mistakes that can be made in attempting a definition: it contains various things which must be doubted whether it really occurs in an act of will; and it does not contain what psychological observation requires for every act of will, and what is at least hinted at in that provisional definition: such as the consciousness of "one's own activity", the "working and action of a personality"; i.a. The final definition of the term can almost be said to endeavor to interpret these very constituent parts in such a way that they become something other than what they really are according to the testimony of our immediate inner perception. So the "goal idea" is obviously not a mere idea, but it already presupposes the will to achieve a goal. On the other hand, "consent" or "approval" is not something that in and for itself is specific to willing: I can agree to the opinion of another or to his action without wanting something myself. But if someone should still believe that he is discovering a shadow of the provisional definition in his awareness of the "activity of the ego", he would find himself disappointed in this too. The relationships to the ego, as the final definition also teaches us, are completely open in the attention, the affirmative judgment and above all in the fixation of the goals and in the determination of the subsequent processes brought about by them, i. H. the decision-making action itself. Now, as we experience elsewhere, attention consists only in a higher degree of awareness of other ideas (p. 16). Attention, too, is a fact belonging to the realm of the intellectual life of the soul. Anyone who, after all this, should still have a weak hope in the feelings, will finally learn that, first, there are volitional acts in which they are absent: the pure forms of intelligence of the will; Second, that feelings, where they occur, are secondary elements that only follow the actual volitional process, and that, finally, they are already intellectual elements themselves, since they are nothing more than "amalgamations of common feelings"; represent. With this, everything is then happily removed from the concept of will that could stand in the way of pure intelligence in its unrestricted rule. Greater or lesser degree of consciousness, accompanying sensations of organs, ideas of actions, namely goal ideas, finally and mainly judgments that precede or accompany actions, now form the entire content of a volitional process. This is then dissolved into pure elements of intelligence, and the whole further illumination of the problem of the will is now based on this point of view, already anticipated in the definition, of a radical intellectualism, which may well see its closest relative in the well-known "syllogism practicus" of the scholastics, to justify further in detail.
It cannot be undertaken here to follow the author on all of his crusades and transverse moves, which are at the same time crusades against so-called "voluntarism". It must suffice to emphasize the individual. First of all, the complete elimination of feelings from volitional processes is of particular interest. It is based on three assertions in total. First: there are completely unfeeling, i.e. purely intellectually motivated, volitional acts. Second: the only forms of feelings that can possibly enter into wanting are pleasure or displeasure; because there are no other forms of feeling at all. Thirdly, there is actually no such thing as either; for the feelings of pleasure and displeasure are also essentially "amalgamations of common feelings".
The first of these claims is directly related to the final definition of will given above. According to her, the essential components of the will can be described as forms of intelligence, which are converted into actions (p. 255), or the will itself as a "transition from judged goals and their consent to actions". "A will without a preceding intellect in any sense is therefore a psychological impossibility. Such a will would no longer be an act of will, but a reflex proceeding without consciousness" (p. 274). Corresponding to this, the pure intellectual forms of will can be derived from the complex forms of intelligence as soon as one adds a corresponding form of action to them (p. 257). On the other hand, there are no pure forms of feeling of the will at all, and wherever feelings participate in volitional acts, they can only be considered as "servants of action"; H. in the sense of a "secondary reinforcement and increase and decrease of the forms of intelligence" (p. 259). In this way, in particular, the feelings facilitate the formation of an association between motive and action. But since the same association can take place without any feeling of excitement, in these cases too the feelings turn out to be merely secondary components, all the more since an innate association between motives and actions already exists in the development of the child, which can only be addressed later in the child's development Achieving a goal is followed by a feeling of pleasure (pp. 199, 223).
It is obvious that this deduction of the relative insignificance of feelings for volitional acts, which is given here only in its basic features, is essentially only a fulfillment of the requirement of an elimination of feelings already contained in the preceding definition. In addition, in order to provide evidence, the author sometimes draws appearances in the area of volitional acts that he excludes elsewhere, and sometimes relies on the assumption that all feelings are either feelings of pleasure or discomfort, but others do not exist. So he refers to the development of volitional acts in the child, in whom he lets the innate, according to his assumption, unfeeling reflexes precede the actual volitional acts. I leave this assumption, about the probability of which one can perhaps argue in view of the painful sounds of the newborn, put aside. It is more remarkable that the author himself contradicts this argument in two ways elsewhere. Firstly, he excludes the original actions, which take place with the visible participation of feelings and affects, from volitional processes in general, in order to assign them to a special class of "ideomotor actions"; and secondly, from the idea of success, which is initially only the idea of an action and its success, "together with a feeling of pleasure" that is subsequently linked to it, a firm association of the corresponding movement emerges (p. 180). If this construction is to have any meaning at all for the development of the will, then this obviously consists in the fact that, according to it, feelings of pleasure are decisive for the development of the will. Nevertheless, this is rejected because, according to the author, only ideomotoric actions are to be assumed here, not wills. Then it is all the more striking that twenty pages further he ignores this distinction between the so-called "ideomotor" and the actual volitional acts and uses the reflexes that precede those feelings of pleasure and, according to him, are unfeeling reflexes as the starting points for real volitional acts (p. 199). One should think that after the preceding development, the intervention of that feeling of pleasure which is supposed to bring about spontaneous reproduction should rather be seen as the actual starting point of the volitional acts. In spite of this, the author shifts the beginning of the will into the reflex movement in a familiar way, and at the other time he separates not only these actions, but also all simpler actions accompanied by psychic processes, as a special class of "ideomotor movements" not to let the actual will begin until the area of pure, unfeeling decisions has been reached. The question of whether feelings or even affects finally enter into the ideas of success and goals, into the approval of the goal, in the possibly preceding doubt, remains essentially out of the question, since all these modifications, which cannot be directly attributed to the idea itself, are without pleasure or displeasure can occur, but the proposition that pleasure and displeasure are the only feelings is presupposed as an axiom.
Now it happens, of course, that this axiom is consistently presented as a self-evident proposition that cannot be disputed by anyone, but that the author's own explanations, where they move in the realm of the factual, conflict with the exclusivity of those two Feelings get even if one disregards the feelings hidden behind the activity, self-awareness, goal setting, consent, etc. For wherever there is talk of feelings in general, obviously not only states such as astonishment, excitement, seriousness and the like are included, but also expressly a distinction is made between exciting and inhibiting or depressive feelings. And if Meumann assures that it is only a question of active and passive forms of pleasure and discomfort, so it is obvious how the fact that different forms of feeling can occasionally combine is used to accommodate such cases of pleasure and discomfort, in which an unbiased observation cannot find such a connection. Besides, the assumption used by the author in characterizing the temperaments helps here that every feeling can occur in very different degrees, so that one may not notice the pleasure and displeasure value of the feeling. Or the other assumption remains that pleasure and displeasure have an effect on the central nervous system, which then increases or decreases the liveliness and energy of mental activities (p. 249ff.). Well are of the opinion Meumanns Pleasure and displeasure themselves are forms of increased or inhibited central excitement. One thus arrives at the remarkable result that these opposing forms of central excitement and inhibition can themselves again have an exciting or inhibiting effect on the central substance, but that these secondary excitations and inhibitions on the side of the parallel psychic processes are no longer as pleasure and discomfort, but ever may appear in the form of excitatory or depressing subspecies of these basic forms. I. E. Depending on the need, one and the same physical process on the psychic side allows different processes to go on in parallel. With regard to the facial, vasomotor and other physical symptoms of the feelings, about which we at least know a little more than about the central processes of excitation and inhibition, the author expresses himself skeptically. But his utterances unfortunately lead to the assumption that the results of these investigations were not available to his memory. If he z. B. argues against their usability that someone can pale in anger, but also blush, so he should have seen from the more recent experiments that these differences too, as had to be expected from the outset according to his own assumptions, parallel differences in psychic processes walk. Indeed, each time the pale is subjectively accompanied by a depressing feeling, the blushing by a strongly arousing feeling. The change between these forms is less an expression of individual differences than a change between different phases of the affect process. Especially when the affect suddenly breaks in, an initial pale is usually followed by blushing.If the exciting and inhibiting feelings are regarded as independent forms of feeling, then this change in the stages of one and the same course of affect is not too difficult to explain: subjectively, the anger affect, especially if it is of a somewhat longer duration, shows a certain periodicity in that states of depression and excitement follow one another, and this alternation clearly corresponds in plethysmographic experiments to the alternation between contraction and widening of the smallest arteries7). In the pleasure-displeasure hypothesis these facts are of course difficult to accommodate. If, however, it is explained on the previous page that "all feelings run parallel to organic reactions which make up the total sum of so-called expressive processes" (p. 248 f.), It would follow, as one should expect, that where these Sum of expressive movements, such as B. in anger, contradicts the presupposed parallelism between pleasure-displeasure and expressive movement, so that the pleasure-displeasure hypothesis also turns out to be inadequate. Conversely, the author concludes: because this contradiction exists, the symptoms in question deserve no attention. It is different where the phenomena readily conform to the scheme. There is z. B. the "congestion of the blood in the hands and feet, which increases their volume" explained as a regular accompaniment of displeasure (p. 248). It is true that here the author has encountered a reversal of the symptoms. The strong vasomotric decrease in volume of the arms and hands, along with the acceleration of the arterial pulse, is such a constant symptom of displeasure that there is complete unanimity about this fact among all observers who have dealt with the subject8).
7) See Physiol. Psychology 5, III, p. 229, Fig. 230.
8) Cf. B. Physiol. Psych. 5, II, p. 297, Fig. 229.
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