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VII.—NEW BOOKS

P. E. WINTER
1910 Mind  
Psychology and tht Tvachtr completes the trilogy of Prof. Mttnsterheig's popular works upon applied psychology; the Psychology and Crime appeared in 1908, the Pujchotherajyy in 1909. Part i., Ethical, discusses the aims of teaching. These cannot be deduced from biology or psychology or sociology, or indeed from any science of facts. The attempt to pass from fact to aim has led education woefully astraywitness the treatment of imitation, of memory, of attention ; witness, more especially, the
more » ... especially, the absurd conclusion that, because the interesting thing holds the attention, the child should be required -to do only what titillates his taste and attracts his fancy : as if the education of a child consisted in his illustrating the psychological laws of interest! The aims of teaching must rather be sought and found in the realm of human purpose, by appeal to ethics; "education is to make youth willing and able to realise the ideal purposes ". At this point the author gives a popular exposition of his philosophy of the eternal values. Part ii., Psychological, entitled The Mind of the Pupil, seeks to induct the teacher into the methods whereby the aims already formulated may be attained. Here, of course, is the crux of the book. The teacher is to exchange the personal attitude of appreciation, interest, sympathy for the attitude of scientific psychology, analytical, observational, explanatory. How is the gulf between the two attitudes to be bridged' By what the writer calls the 'strictly biological point of view'. In adopting this view, " we do not leave the consistent standpoint of the scientific naturalist, for whom everything in the world is the etiect of causes. The reference to the ends of life does not mean at all a change of standpoint. It accepts only those principles of explanation which have shown their incomparable value throughout modern biology. . . . The biologist demands with reference to the human beings as well [as the lower animals] that every function be explained by the service which it performs (or the conservation of man. . . The chaos of brain cell functions and of sensations and affections is now completely organized. We understand their connexions and developments in so far as we understand their necessary rOle in the process of motor reaction. The individual is an organism wh ch adjusts its reactions to its surroundings." There follow eight chapters of this biological or motor psychology, dealing respectively with apperception, memory, association, attention, imitation and suggestion, will and habit, feeling, and individual differences. No one will dispute the skill with which Prof. Mtlnsterberg handles his topics. Whether one agree that he has solved his general problem depends, however, upon acceptance or rejection of the initial standpoint. The present reviewer cannot believe that ' usefulness' is an adequate term of explanation in a mechanical science, and holds in consequence that the problem has been avoided instead of solved. A biology that explains by reference to use « simply not a scienti&c biology. Use is at best a convenient catch-word, holding together a number of observed causal relations and pointing forward with some degree of probability to relations as yet unexamined; and, even so, it is neither exhaustive nor. universally reliable. Part iii., Educational, deals with the Work of the School. The child must acquire knowledge, must be trained in activity, and must be filled with enthusiasm; and every one of these functions must be directed upon experience in its threefold aspect, as experience of nature, of society, and of self. The concrete discussions of this part, discussions of the curriculum, of school organisation, of the teacher, etc., are con-at University of
doi:10.1093/mind/xix.1.429 fatcat:2ut4vmpdrbf6llq25lh3ypph6e