Psychology of English

Psychology of English

Psychology of English

Psychology of English

Excerpt

To understand the significance of the present study it will be necessary to sketch briefly certain recent developments in human thinking; for human thought and language, even the English language with which we shall deal, are fundamentally interdependent. We cannot speak or write, to a considerable degree we do not think, apart from language; hence language is peculiarly bound up with our thought processes, and the two must be analyzed together rather than separately.

Now much of the intellectual theorizing, to say nothing of the educational and social practice, of the past century has been directed against the domination of logic. Logic, as first formulated by Aristotle and later developed by Bacon, Mill, Spencer, and a host of others, rests upon the endeavor to define and apply to thought certain fixed rules or principles. Logic is orderly analysis; it rests on the assumption or faith that such orderly analysis is possible and true; it might be called the science of certainty. It involves exact definitions, rigid classifications, and neat patterns, schemes, systems, or colligations of related groups of phenomena.

During more than two thousand years, from the time of Aristotle until the middle of the nineteenth century, logic reigned supreme, forming an indispensable part of the intellectual equipment of any scholar or scientist. Not only that, but to a very great degree logic was determinative in every field of knowledge, contributing to those other sciences the methods and the principles by which alone, it was felt, science could stand. Science was regarded in effect as a body of provable knowledge based upon fixed laws from which all facts and . . .

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