Popular Science Monthly/Volume 63/July 1903/Scientific Literature

Scientific Literature.


There has just been published a group of psychological books which could scarcely have been produced elsewhere. In both volume and value of work, American psychologists appear to hold their own with Germany and to surpass Great Britain or France. The books to which we especially refer are 'Experimental Psychology and Culture,' by Professor Stratton, of the University of California; 'Outline of Psychology,' by Professor Royce, of Harvard University; 'Genetic Psychology for Teachers' by Dr. Judd, of Yale University, and 'Why the Mind Has a Body,' by Professor Strong, of Columbia University.[1] If we go back a couple of years, there may be added 'Talks to Teachers,' by Professor James, of Harvard University; 'Psychology and Life,' by Professor Münsterberg, of Harvard University; 'Fact and Fable in Psychology,' by Professor Jastrow, of the University of Wisconsin; 'Introduction to Psychology,' by Professor Calkins, of Wellesley College; 'Experimental Psychology,' by Professor Titchener, of Cornell University, and 'Analytical Psychology,' by Professor Witmer, of the University of Pennsylvania. We have in addition the monumental 'Dictionary of Psychology,' edited by Professor Baldwin, of Princeton University, the third and last volume of which has just been published, and various works limited to a special field, such as Professor James's 'Varieties of Religious Experience' and 'Aristotle's Psychology,' by Professor Hammond, of Cornell University. The books can not be said to represent a school of psychology, but they show certain rather definite tendencies. They are scientific, being based on the results of recent experimental research, and yet they tend to maintain an intimate connection with philosophy. The relations to education are strongly emphasized. The human interest and literary style are noticeable, being scarcely equaled by similar works in other sciences.

This is not the place for critical reviews, but a few words may be said about the contents of the books that have just been issued. Professor Strong's work is somewhat technical in character, but is scarcely beyond the comprehension of the untrained reader. It discusses the relations of mind and body, defending a parallelism that gives room for the efficiency of mind and an idealism that makes consciousness the reality that appears as the brain-process. The books by Professor Royce and Dr. Judd both appear in series for teachers, but they differ widely in their contents and methods. The former is a general treatise on psychology, in which the phenomena are classed in a new way under the heads of sensitiveness, docility and initiative; the latter contains chiefly concrete facts of direct use to teachers. Professor Stratton's book is a well-informed and well-written account of some of the results of experimental psychology treated in relation to wider interests. The difficulty in recommending a book on psychology for students of other sciences or for general readers is not now in the lack of books, but in their number and excellence.

  1. The books are published by The Macmillan Company, except Professor Judd's which is one of the International Education Series of the Appletons.