THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
of connection peculiar to them.
It is not a province of physiology; nor does it attempt, as has been mistakenly asserted, to derive or explain the phenomena of the psychical from those of the physical life. We may read this meaning into the phrase "physiological psychology," just as we might interpret "microscopical anatomy" to mean a discussion, with illustrations from anatomy, of what has been accomplished by the microscope; but the words should be no more misleading in the one case than they are in the other. As employed in the present work, the adjective "physiological" implies simply that our psychology will avail itself to the full of the means that modern physiology puts at its disposal for the analysis of conscious processes.
But, had he gone no farther than this, Wundt could scarcely be excepted from the condemnation of his predecessors, or from that under which some of his scholars have fallen. For, plainly, it could be objected that he had omitted the two most remarkable facts of consciousness which, stated synoptically, are its intensive or individual centralization, and its extensive development in society. These aspects of the matter tend to get beyond psychological management, as they assuredly raise ultimate philosophical problems. Wundt's high distinction is attributable mainly to his recognition of and attack upon these difficulties. So, his psychology offers a second, and broader, side, set forth, for example, in his excursus entitled "Philosophie und Wissenschaft" ("Essays," 1881), and present as a constructive, possibly a disturbing, element, in his entire purview of the psychological field. For instance, in his "System," the theory of the "growth of mental values" bears precisely upon these questions. "Mental life is, extensively and intensively, governed by a law of growth of values: extensively, inasmuch as the multiplicity of mental developments is always on the increase; intensively, inasmuch as the values which appear in these developments increase in degree." And, on the strictly psychological side, he takes note of the same things as follows:
We may add that, fortunately for the science, there are other sources of objective psychological knowledge, which become accessible at the very point where the experimental method fails us. These are certain products of the common mental life, in which we may trace the operation of determinate psychical motives; chief among them are language, myth and custom. In part determined by historical conditions, they are also, in part, dependent upon universal psychological laws; and the phenomena, that are referable to these laws form the subject-matter of a special psychological discipline, ethnic psychology. The results of ethnic psychology constitute, at the same time, our chief source of information regarding the general psychology of the complex mental processes. In this way, experimental psychology and ethnic psychology form the two principal departments of scientific psychology at large. They are supplemented by child and animal psychology, which, in conjunction with ethnic psychology, attempt to resolve the problems of psychogenesis. . . . Finally, child psychology and experimental psychology in the narrower sense may be bracketed
- ↑ "Physiological Psychology," Vol. I., p. 2 (Eng. trans.).
- ↑ "System der Phil." (2d ed.), p. 304.