Theophrastus and the Greek Physiological Psychology before Aristotle

Theophrastus and the Greek Physiological Psychology before Aristotle

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Theophrastus and the Greek Physiological Psychology before Aristotle

Theophrastus and the Greek Physiological Psychology before Aristotle

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Excerpt

Strange to say, there exists in English no complete translation of Theophrastus's small but exceedingly valuable writing On the Senses. And this must be my excuse for undertaking a work that could have been so much better done by many another hand. An understanding of Greek physiological psychology before Plato and after Aristotle requires that one know his Theophrastus; and having studied this fragment long myself, in the attempt to learn more of the history of psychology, it seemed but a neighbourly act to lighten, if one could, the labour of other psychologists until some abler help should come.

For while Theophrastus's account of the views of others is for the most part available in English, scattered here a sentence and there a paragraph through the works of men like Burnet and Beare, yet the canny judgments by Theophrastus himself, which in extent are nearly one-half of his De Sensibus, are usually either given in briefest summary or else omitted. And so one receives no feeling, which the connected whole would give, of the state of critical psychology in the later day. With the thought, then, that there will be readers interested in this later work and especially in Theophrastus's own psychology, and who will be unwilling to use him merely as a reporter of his predecessors, I have attempted to gather from the De Sensibus and his other writings the substance of his . . .

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