In General. The question of method is an important preliminary to all scientific work. It involves the two great questions, first, what is the destination, and second, what is the road to the destination. In the preceding chapter, in the consideration of the subject-matter of psychology, the former has been considered. It remains to inquire into the latter; through what means or by what kind of procedure shall we investigate the matter before us in order to reach the most general and exhaustive results?
This problem is practically solved for us in the method of the objective sciences. For if, as has been said, psychology is a science of fact, as they are, and proceeds by the observation of a given class of facts, as they do, then the tried method of procedure which they employ will be most productive here.
True scientific method includes the three following processes, the first two of which belong more properly to Induction.2 First, Observation; by which is meant the widest possible appeal to fact, by way of an actual understanding of the cases in hand. It must be extended to include all reliable testimony. The broad defining marks of the material treated of become thus apparent and great classes are reached. This constitutes natural history, rather than natural science; it describes the subject-matter but does not explain it. Second, Experiment; which consists____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Elements of Psychology. Contributors: James Mark Baldwin - Author. Publisher: H. Holt and Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1893. Page number: 12.
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