Principles of psychology william james pdf

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The Principles of Psychology. William James. • Volume I. • Chapter 1. The Scope of Psychology. • Chapter 2. The Functions of the Brain. • Chapter 3. On Some. AMERICAN SCIENCE SERIES-ADVANCED COURSE THE PRINCIPLES OP PSYCHOLOGY BY WILLIAM JAMES / y PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY IN. PDF | This paper is an introduction to a special issue celebrating the th anniversary of William James' Principles of Psychology. The special.

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The Principles of Psychology Volume I - William James. 2. Contents - Click on the Links Below or. Use the Bookmarks. Chapter 1. The Scope of Psychology. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Principles of Psychology. William James. This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at To the.

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The Principles of Psychology

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The Principles of Psychology, Volume 1 (of 2) by William James - Free Ebook

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November 21, The very Self or ego of the individual comes in this way to be viewed no longer as the pre-existing source of the representations, but rather as their last and most complicated fruit. Now, if we strive rigorously to simplify the phenomena in either of these ways, we soon become aware of inadequacies in our method. Any particular cognition, for example, or recollection, is accounted for on the soul-theory by being referred to the spiritual faculties of Cognition or of Memory.

These faculties themselves are thought of as absolute properties of the soul; that is, to take the case of memory, no reason is given why we should remember a fact as it happened, except that so to remember it constitutes the essence of our Recollective Power. We may, as spiritualists, try to explain our memory's failures and blunders by secondary causes.

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But its successes can invoke no factors save the existence of certain objective things to be remembered on the one hand, and of our faculty of memory on the other.

When, for instance, I recall my graduation-day, and drag all its incidents and emotions up from death's dateless night, no mechanical cause can explain this process, nor can any analysis reduce it to lower terms or make its nature seem other than an ultimate datum, which, whether we rebel or not at its mysteriousness, must simply be taken for granted if we are to psychologize at all. However the associationist may represent the present ideas as thronging and arranging themselves, still, the spiritualist insists, he has in the end to admit that something, be it brain, be it 'ideas,' be it 'association,' knows past time as past, and fills it out with this or that event.

And when the spiritualist calls memory an 'irreducible faculty,' he says no more than this admission of the associationist already grants. And yet the admission is far from being a satisfactory simplification of the concrete facts.

The Principles of Psychology, Volume 1 (of 2) by William James

For why should this absolute god-given Faculty retain so much better the events of yesterday than those of last year, and, best of all, those [p. Why, again, in old age should its grasp of childhood's events seem firmest?

Why should illness and exhaustion enfeeble it? Why should repeating an experience strengthen our recollection of it? Why should drugs, fevers, asphyxia, and excitement resuscitate things long since forgotten? If we content ourselves with merely affirming that the faculty of memory is so peculiarly constituted by nature as to exhibit just these oddities, we seem little the better for having invoked it, for our explanation becomes as complicated as that of the crude facts with which we started.

Moreover there is something grotesque and irrational in the supposition that the soul is equipped with elementary powers of such an ingeniously intricate sort.

Why should our memory cling more easily to the near than the remote?

Why should it lose its grasp of proper sooner than of abstract names? Such peculiarities seem quite fantastic; and might, for aught we can see a priori, be the precise opposites of what they are.

Evidently, then, the faculty does not exist absolutely, but works under conditions; and the quest of the conditions becomes the psychologist's most interesting task. However firmly he may hold to the soul and her remembering faculty, he must acknowledge that she never exerts the latter without a cue, and that something must always precede and remind us of whatever we are to recollect. And in general, the pure associationist's account of our mental life is almost as bewildering as that of the pure spiritualist.