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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/494

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490
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

on certain scientific developments became warped. He perceived that Schelling's "Naturphilosophie" exercised profound influence upon much of biological science as it then stood. Physiology looked like an ally of idealism, therefore he would exclude it rigidly from psychology, as a sure source of trans-experiential contamination. On this he spoke with no uncertain sound—physiology, as he saw it, was no fit friend for a mathematico-empirical psychology. "Physiology, as an empirical doctrine, has attained a height which nobody can despise. Moreover it proceeds in the light of modern physics. Nevertheless, it has eagerly sucked up, as the sponge sucks up water, that philosophy of nature which knows nothing, because it began by construing the universe a priori. Towards this error no science has proved so weak, so little capable of resistance, as physiology."[1] The very end for which Herbart toiled so strenuously is obscured from him by his suspicion of physiological tendencies. Truly the time-spirit plays us humans queer tricks!

Free from these negative considerations, Beneke brought psychology another stage nearer science. He excluded Herbart's metaphysic, demanded concrete treatment of consciousness as the one road to real knowledge, and placed all the other philosophical disciplines in a position of dependence upon psychology. His pivotal doctrine exhibits clearly the possibility of scientific procedure in psychology. It may be put as follows. Experience presents two sides—an "outer" and an "inner." The former consists of sensational phenomena, or, as Hume would have said, "sensations, passions and emotions as they make their first appearance in the soul." The latter includes everything that relates to memory, imagination, thought and ratiocination. Thus science, which deals with the "outer." reaches indirect knowledge of being, while psychology, thanks to its immediate contact with its object ("inner"), arrives at knowledge of true reality. Consequently, by analogy from our own selfhood, we can acquire relatively sufficient knowledge of other men, this sufficiency dwindling, so to speak, as we descend in the scale of existence. Accordingly, positive science is confined to observation, but psychology considers knowledge—an inference from this same observation. Therefore the methods of science apply as much in the one sphere as in the other. In short, consciousness originates the dualism between soul and body, mind and objects. Corporeal processes become conscious in us, and thus fall under direct perception:

There is no kind of corporeal process which can not under certain circumstances become conscious, and as a conscious thing be perceived by us directly.... Such a revolutionary change of a thing usually not a psychical apprehension to a psychical apprehension, would be unthinkable were it the case that their being was in fundamental opposition: we are thus led all the more to the conclusion that both kinds of powers in their innermost nature stand very close
  1. "Werke," VI.. p. 65.