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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/492

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

humanity, a kind of compost of individuals. But the implications hinted here receive their most striking manifestation in language. Now Herder, to give him his due, must be saluted as the herald of Völkerpsychologie and of Sprachwissenschaft. So he stands aside from the line under examination. For, even if it he recalled that phonology can be classed as a physiological science, the matter terminates there. Great as have been the contributions of W. von Humboldt, Bopp, Grimm, Max Müller and their coworkers, and much as has been accomplished by Waitz, Lazarus, Steinthal, McLennan, Spencer, Lubbock, Tylor, Frazer and Westermarck, all sit more or less loose to physiological psychology, which continues an investigation of individual far more than of group processes. So, attractive and suggestive as Herder is, perforce we rest content now with the bare reference to what I have had the temerity to call his seminal mind.

When we arrive at Herbart and Beneke the case presents a different aspect. For they stand forth among the last great psychologists who deal with mind as mind, to the exclusion of modern experimental methods applicable chiefly to the body. After a manner their services pale in the glow of the contemporary atmosphere; their work has been bemused by pedagogists, misprized overmuch by psychologists, even if, as Wundt says,[1] he owes most to Kant and Herbart, and even remembering the work of Herbartians like Drobisch, Volkmann, Exner, Strümpell, Cornelius and R. Zimmermann.[2]

Note, at the outset, that Herbart (1776-1841) and Beneke (1798-1854) revolt strongly against the dominant Hegelian school, and that both attempt a concrete study of consciousness. On one point they differ decisively. Herbart's psychology, as the title of his chief work runs—"Psychology as a Science, founded, for the first time, upon Experience, Metaphysics and Mathematics," possesses a triple basis. Beneke excludes the second and third, emphasizing experience as the sole legitimate foundation. In this respect he takes the pioneer place among those who raised the later cry, "Back to Kant!"

Thanks to the limits of this paper, Herbart's metaphysical doctrine must disappear with a word. He held that the soul, in its own proper nature, forms an original, changeless and simple entity. Psychological processes originate in its resistance to intrusion from the outside, therefore, the complexities of consciousness, just because they are complex, fall within the reach of analysis. As results of mechanical interaction they lie open to mathematical methods. Such procedure, of course, leads straight to experience, and, on the whole, it may be affirmed that, as his psychology prospers, the direct influence of his metaphysic wanes. In this way a long step towards psychology viewed

  1. "Physiol. Psychologie," preface to the first edition, 1874.
  2. Cf. Mind, Vol. XIV., pp. 353 ff. (old series).