Human Behavior

Human Behavior

Human Behavior

Human Behavior

Excerpt

Anthroponomy and Psychology. --The study of the facts and laws of human behavior may best be designated by the term "anthroponomy," which is derived from the two Greek words anthropos (man) and nomus (law). This term is to be contrasted with the more widely current one, "psychology," which suggests that the chief subject matter for study in the science of human nature is the psyche. The term "anthroponomy" has the great advantage of indicating directly that man himself is the central problem for study. The nature and existence of psychic phenomena are problems indissolubly tied up with philosophical speculation. Even such terms as "mind," "mental," and "experience" have been so closely related to the psychic that they too derive their meanings from philosophical theories. Inasmuch as science is greatly handicapped when it is forced to make use of terms which lead inevitably to philosophical controversy, when its chief concern is really with observable facts, we shall avoid as far as possible all such terms.

The problems of behavior have been extensively studied by psychologists and biologists for many years, but only recently has a vigorous and widespread attempt been made to divorce the study from all entangling alliances with the philosophical assumptions that all behavior may have some relationship to "mind," and that behavior is to be interpreted as an expression of "mental life," or at least as its invariable accompaniment. The beginning of the scientific study of human behavior may be approximately placed in 1830. In Germany during the years following this date work was begun by physiologists and physicists, Ernst Weber, Theodor Fechner, Hermann von Helmholtz, Ewald Hering, and Wilhelm Wundt. The chief problems attacked by these men were in the field of receptor processes. We shall have occasion later in our study to describe some of their work. In France the emphasis was . . .

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