The Principles of Psychology - Vol. 1

The Principles of Psychology - Vol. 1

The Principles of Psychology - Vol. 1

The Principles of Psychology - Vol. 1

Synopsis

The publication in 1890 of William James's acknowledged masterpiece marked a turning point in the development of psychology as a science in America. The Principles of Psychology also became a source of inspiration in philosophy, literature, and the arts. When John Dewey reviewed it, he predicted that it would rank "as a permanent classic, like Locke's Essay and Hume's Treatise."

Its stature undiminished after ninety-one years, The Principles of Psychology appears now in a new, handsome edition with an authoritative text that corrects the hundreds of errors, some very serious, that have been perpetuated over the years. Prepared according to the modern standards of textual scholarship, this edition incorporates all of the changes James made in the eight printings he supervised, as well as the revisions and new material he added to his own annotated copy. In addition, all footnotes, references, quotations, and translations have been thoroughly checked.

The complete text of the Principles, with footnotes, drawings, and James's own index, appears in Volumes I and II. Volume III includes extensive notes, appendixes, textual apparatus, and a general index.

Excerpt

The treatise which follows has in the main grown up in connection with the author's class-room instruction in Psychology, although it is true that some of the chapters are more 'metaphysical,' and others fuller of detail, than is suitable for students who are going over the subject for the first time. The consequence of this is that, in spite of the exclusion of the important subjects of pleasure and pain, and moral and æsthetic feelings and judgments, the work has grown to a length which no one can regret more than the writer himself. The man must indeed be sanguine who, in this crowded age, can hope to have many readers for fourteen hundred continuous pages from his pen. But wer Vieles bringt wird Manchem etwas bringen; and, by judiciously skipping according to their several needs, I am sure that many sorts of readers, even those who are just beginning the study of the subject, will find my book of use. Since the beginners are most in need of guidance, I suggest for their behoof that they omit altogether on a first reading chapters 6, 7, 8, 10 (from page 330 to page 371), 12, 13, 15, 17, 20, 21, and 28. The better to awaken the neophyte's interest, it is possible that the wise order would be to pass directly from chapter 4 to chapters 23, 24, 25, and 26, and thence to return to the first volume again. Chapter 20, on Space-perception, is a terrible thing, which, unless written with all that detail, could not be fairly treated at all. An abridgment of it, called 'The Spatial Quale,' which appeared in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. XIII. p. 64, may be found by some persons a useful substitute for the entire chapter.

I have kept close to the point of view of natural science throughout the book. Every natural science assumes cer-

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