Outlines of Descriptive Psychology: A Text-book of Mental Science for Colleges and Normal Schools


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Dec 31, 1898
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"Though this book is called an "Introduction," no special pains have been taken to simplify or popularize its treatment. For those accustomed to think in the lines it follows, its views will, I hope, always be found clearly and candidly expressed. It is not to be expected that these views will all find acceptance with those most competent to judge. For beginners in philosophy some expressions will doubtless seem obscure, or hard to be understood. But, then, reflection is the indispensable method of philosophy; and he who does not learn to reflect over the meanings which the words employed in philosophical writings bear, cannot hope to make progress in philosophical study. For if, when entering upon this study, the plain and thoughtful man needs no special equipment besides his own powers of reflection, the keenest and most showily educated mind cannot dispense with reflection. Finally, the expert readers--if such the book should find--will not be long in discovering that the so-called "Introduction" is by no means a perfectly colorless affair. Doubtless a system of philosophy (or at least the sketch and protocol of such a system) lies concealed in these pages. If the subject were urged to the point of a confession, it would appear that the author has views of his own to which he wishes to introduce his readers. These views are to a certain large extent positive as well as critical. The attempt has been made, however, to prevent their expression in a form unreasonably and offensively dogmatic. Whether they are sound and defensible, each reader must, on due consideration, judge for himself. But a "system of philosophy" has only been suggested and sketched. The expansion and more detailed discussion of its separate departments by the same hand must abide their time"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).
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