Classics in Psychology

Classics in Psychology

Classics in Psychology

Classics in Psychology

Excerpt

A book such as this has value in direct proportion to the deference which it shows to the original sources. Whenever possible I have tried to include the full text of each selection. Certain of the essays have not been previously translated into English: the selections from Herbart, Wertheimer, and Wundt. The editor wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Frank Gaynor in making the first, and very fine drafts of the Herbart and the Wundt, and of Dagobert Runes in preparing the working draft of the Wertheimer. The final form of the translations is the full responsibility of the editor. Because of the difficulty of Herbart's writing, the translation of his work is quite free. The selection from Wertheimer has been substantially shortened, because of limitations of space. In all these translations an attempt has been made to catch the spirit of the original text as well as its literal meaning. Hence archaic and even Germanic construction has at times been intentionally retained. Several of the selections were taken from fairly rare sources: Charcot, Esquirol, Herbart, Pinel, Ray, Rush, Stern, Wagner-Jauregg, and Wundt.

I have learned a great deal in the process of organizing this book. It has helped me to place many of the important issues of psychology in new historical perspectives, and, I confess, given me a much deeper respect for the difficulties which the historian of science must overcome. It has pinpointed major weaknesses in our knowledge both of people and of events. For example, several of the birthdates are still uncertain: equally reliable French sources (i.e. reliable as far as I can tell), give Binet's date of birth variously as July 3, July 8, and July 11, 1857. Even the very important date of Pinel's Grand Geste is not known exactly. Hence, often only approximate or conflicting dates can be given in the text. And then, there . . .

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