Wilhelm Wundt Quotes.
Experimental psychology itself has, it is true, now and again suffered relapse into a metaphysical treatment of its problems.
On the other hand, ethnic psychology must always come to the assistance of individual psychology, when the developmental forms of the complex mental processes are in question.
Physiology seeks to derive the processes in our own nervous system from general physical forces, without considering whether these processes are or are not accompanied by processes of consciousness.
Philosophical reflection could not leave the relation of mind and spirit in the obscurity which had satisfied the needs of the naive consciousness.
There are other sources of psychological knowledge, which become accessible at the very point where the experimental method fails us.
In the animal world, on the other hand, the process of evolution is characterised by the progressive discrimination of the animal and vegetative functions, and a consequent differentiation of these two great provinces into their separate departments.
From the standpoint of observation, then, we must regard it as a highly probable hypothesis that the beginnings of the mental life date from as far back as the beginnings of life at large.
Physiology and psychology cover, between them, the field of vital phenomena; they deal with the facts of life at large, and in particular with the facts of human life.
We know, from ordinary life, that we are not able to direct our attention perfectly steadily and uniformly to one and the same object… At times the attention turns towards the object most intensely, and at times the energy flags.
The attitude of physiological psychology to sensations and feelings, considered as psychical elements, is, naturally, the attitude of psychology at large.
We speak of virtue, honour, reason; but our thought does not translate any one of these concepts into a substance.
The distinguishing characteristics of mind are of a subjective sort; we know them only from the contents of our own consciousness.
The animal kingdom exhibits a series of mental developments which may be regarded as antecedents to the mental development of man, for the mental life of animals shows itself to be throughout, in its elements and in the general laws governing the combination of the elements, the same as the mental life of man.
The general statement that the mental faculties are class concepts, belonging to descriptive psychology, relieves us of the necessity of discussing them and their significance at the present stage of our inquiry.
Now, there are a very large number of bodily movements, having their source in our nervous system, that do not possess the character of conscious actions.
Physiological psychology is, therefore, first of all 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.
Hence, even in the domain of natural science the aid of the experimental method becomes indispensable whenever the problem set is the analysis of transient and impermanent phenomena, and not merely the observation of persistent and relatively constant objects.
Physiology is concerned with all those phenomena of life that present them selves to us in sense perception as bodily processes, and accordingly form part of that total environment which we name the external world.
The task of physiological psychology remains the same in the analysis of ideas that it was in the investigation of sensations: to act as mediator between the neighbouring sciences of physiology and psychology.
Our mind is so fortunately equipped, that it brings us the most important bases for our thoughts without our having the least knowledge of this work of elaboration. Only the results of it become unconscious.
Physiological psychology, on the other hand, is competent to investigate the relations that hold between the processes of the physical and those of the mental life.
Contractile movements arise, sometimes at the instigation of external stimuli but sometimes also in the absence of any apparent external influence.
Hence, wherever we meet with vital phenomena that present the two aspects, physical and psychical there naturally arises a question as to the relations in which these aspects stand to each other.
The materialistic point of view in psychology can claim, at best, only the value of an heuristic hypothesis.
Psychology must not only strive to become a useful basis for the other mental sciences, but it must also turn again and again to the historical sciences, in order to obtain an understanding for the more highly developed metal processes.