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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/495

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491
"PHYSIOLOGICAL" PSYCHOLOGY

to one another, and that for the explanation of their inner coherence and interaction no artificial hypotheses are requisite. [1]

Evidently, then, psychology investigates all that we apprehend through internal perception. If we apprehend anything by external perception, it must submit to transmutation by the "inner," in order to enter into experience as an effective component. I am unable to see that any other meaning can be read into this view than that formulated in the current theory of psycho-physical parallelism. Causal connection between body and mind there is none; and the contrasts in our inner experience of them reside in apprehension, never in actual reality. The plain business of psychology, therefore, consists in applying observation, experiment and hypothesis to the "inner." Just as with science, regressive analysis supplies the methods.

Beneke concludes that psychological processes present themselves as complexes fashioned from four primary factors. These are: (1) The transmutation of sense "excitations"; (2) the formation of new "powers"—analogous, it may be said, to the growth of new tissue; (3) the redistribution of "excitations" (sensuous) and of these new "powers" or products themselves; (4) the interpenetratation of homogeneous products, according to their degree of homogeneity. Obviously enough, redistribution, or transference, within the psychological complex forms the dominant feature; and its forcible similarity to modern energistic conceptions or, as Professor Titchener remarks acutely, "to the process by which one body becomes cooler by communicating heat to another,"[2] needs no comment. Whatever one may think of Beneke's special doctrines, he stands to his material in the attitude of a positive scientific investigator. If Herbart worked like a mathematical physicist, Beneke works like a biologist. Indeed, he reminds one of the French school of so-called "organicists"—Bichat, Claude Bernard, Delage and, perhaps, Roux. I think a specious case could be framed for a parallelism between Beneke's teaching and Claude Bernard's biological conclusion, especially as formulated in the second Leçon in the first volume of his "Leçons sur les Phénomènes de la Vie" (1874), which contains the striking declaration: "la fixité du milieu intérieur est la condition de la vie libre indépendante."[3] Be this as it may, Beneke brought psychology within the purview of scientific inquiry. Like Herbart's, his conclusions might be stigmatized, but that both made preparatory contributions there can be no reasonable doubt. The attitude they adopted is of the essence of the matter. And one ought to add that the presence of unconscious or subconscious factors in the physical process, a highly significant phenomenon, follows from the situation as contemplated by them.

  1. "Lehrbuch d. Psychologie als Naturwissenschaft" (1845), Sect. 48.
  2. Mind, Vol. XIV., pp. 21-2 (old series).
  3. P. 113.