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Schneider's "Tierpsychologisches Praktikum in Dialogform"

Madison Bentley
1913 Journal of Animal Behavior  
Four years ago Professor Schneider published a volume of Lectures on Animal Psychology. The lectures were directed against mechanism in physiology and against the "nurphysiologische" psychologists. The writer argued for a panpsychic reservoir, for telic ideas, and for a psychic regulation of the organic functions (cf. Psych. Bull., VII, 1910, 264). The reader who expects to make serious use of the speculations of the Praktikum should be familiar with the earlier work. The plan of the present
more » ... n of the present book is a discussion, dialogue-wise, by representatives from the different biological schools, of the problems of animal psychology and of general biology. A dramatic element is introduced into the dialogues by experimental demonstrations, and it is sustained by sharp repartee, clever thrust and riposte, and even personal censure and professional spite. A bit of characterization also is attempted. Psychologe is wise, judicial, impressive; Biologe is voluble and assured, but ultimately docile; while Physiologe, who represents der Geist der stets verneint, comes to his knees, in the end, confesses his sins, and swears allegiance to the rankest form of teleology. On one occasion, the Lamarckist (a vitalist, a monist and a Darwinian also figure in the discussions) accuses the physiologist of measuring the exactness of scientific research by the number of rabbits consumed in the laboratories. When he proposes to sacrifice, instead, a limited number of thoughts, the physiologist retorts: " Gedanken sind billiger als Kaninchen. "to which the Lamarckist curtly rejoins: "Dann wundert's mich, dass man so wenig von Gedanken spurt." The new work is echt deutsch gedacht, and the range ot its discussion and of its knowledge is, moreover, limited, for the greater part, to German themes and to German studies. There
doi:10.1037/h0067404 fatcat:owmvuhox25bi3dfkanxgqt766m