Religious Conversion, a Bio-Psychological Study

Religious Conversion, a Bio-Psychological Study

Religious Conversion, a Bio-Psychological Study

Religious Conversion, a Bio-Psychological Study

Excerpt

I dedicate this book to my colleagues in medical psychiatry, in the belief that they, better than the psychologists by profession, will understand the disinterested and scientific attitude of the book.

This work is not intended for those who have the conception of psychology which has been usual in the past, and which is still often found to-day. The reader will find that it contains a psychology freed -- as far as is possible -- from arbitrary limitations. He will find it dealt with as an autonomous science with its own special aim (the reconstruction of the empirical Ego), and its own method (introspection) -- though it avails itself also of the procedure common to the other sciences. He will find a psychology which employs only with particular reserve -- I had almost written moderation, but that word seemed inadequate -- both the philosophical method and the biological. He will find a psychology with a decided bent towards scientific objectivity, and distrustful of romantic subjectivity.

Such a psychology is, I readily admit, easily liable to misconception; not only by psychologists of certain schools and philosophers of almost all schools, but in particular by the medical alienists, who, just because they are mental pathologists, feel they are entirely justified in still reiterating purely philosophic maxims, in the ingenuous conviction that these constitute a modern psychological theory, at once bold and orthodox. It is strange that so many people should have apparently forgotten that philosophy -- whether scientific, positive . . .

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