Civilized Life

Civilized Life

Civilized Life

Civilized Life

Excerpt

In the present volume, I have retained the greater part of the Social Psychology which I wrote in 1925, with appropriate corrections, elisions and additions. The changes which I have made in the several chapters retained have been, for the most part, in the interest of clarification and completeness. I have attempted to reformulate certain of the minor points in such a way as to make the whole presentation more systematically consistent, and in certain cases have further developed points which were inadequately treated in for former book.

The introductory chapter has been completely rewritten and, I hope, improved. The chapters on Desire; on Race and Civilization, and on the Child; are new, and are intended to fill gaps which were noted by many readers of Social Psychology, but which required the further elaboration of materials with which I was not fully satisfied in 1925. The present volume contains as full a range of materials as I feel justified in including in a general treatise. Further elaboration of the topics of the family, religion, and politics is needed; but this I propose to do through separate treatises on each of these. Materials for the first two are available, although the organization and presentation of these materials in such a way as to make them available for the public will require no small amount of labor. Political psychology, on the other hand, is as yet in an inchoate condition.

With the plan and scope of the present volume, I am fairly well satisfied, although I by no means consider it as final. I believe, in fact, that social psychology will continue to develop along the lines I have followed, and in such a way that in a decade more there will be no point to a further revision of my presentation.

It is appropriate that I should say here that I have followed in fundamental respects the lead of McDougall, and with the same objectives, in large part, as those he had in view; although repudiating his specific concepts and methods. We owe a double debt to McDougall, in fact. He made the break with the "crowd mind" psychology of Sighele. The essential feature of McDougall's Social Psychology was his attempt to develop it on an actual psychological foundation. This . . .

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