The Ego and the Self

The Ego and the Self

The Ego and the Self

The Ego and the Self

Excerpt

The self is a topic in psychology which has been practically neglected in recent years and only now is beginning to find a reputable place in psychological discussions. Speculations with regard to the soul and the self have always been of interest to philosophers and to religious leaders. In this generation George H. Mead (145) has made the self a cornerstone for his philosophy of society. Among the psychologists William James (120) devoted a significant chapter to the self in his treatise on psychology. However, as psychology freed itself from the shackles of its philosophic origins and attempted to meet the demands of scientific method, it first gave attention to some of the elements of behavior, such as sensory perception, reaction time, and the like. Because so much of the groundwork is now laid, the time seems ripe for psychologists to devote attention to larger wholes.

Calkins (32, 33), writing in the first and second decades of this century, expressed the fear that psychologists, in their intense devotion to the study of isolated reactions in the interest of scientific accuracy, were losing sight of the individuals whose reactions they were studying, and she made a fervent plea for the scientific study of the self, but failed to go further in implementing her own position. Knight Dunlap (47) at one time made the same distinction between the ego and the self that will be made in this book, but he, too, failed to . . .

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