Human Nature: A First Book in Psychology

Human Nature: A First Book in Psychology

Human Nature: A First Book in Psychology

Human Nature: A First Book in Psychology

Excerpt

Since this is a textbook and not a treatise I have resorted to numerous sources and authors, a good many of them outside the strict field of psychology. I have also quoted freely. My justification for such an unusual procedure is that whenever I wanted to say something that some one else had said far better than I could, there seemed to be no reason why I should spoil a good thing merely to satisfy foolish vanity to appear original.

The book has no axe to grind. It is neither structural nor behavioristic. It is both. It is built on the principle that life is an activity, and that mind and behavior are inseparable processes in the business of bringing about an adjustment between the organism and its environment. Behavior is stressed throughout, since it is in behavior that mind manifests its operations and through which mind is built up. There is no mind, or intelligence, where there is no behavior, and the behavior is the measure of the intelligence. Hence any psychology that overstresses or understresses either mind or behavior is a distortion of reality and a misrepresentation of life. The battle between structuralists and behaviorists is simply an echo of the historical quarrel of the philosophers regarding rationalism and empiricism, and just as John Dewey has been sounding the death knell of this old philosophical war horse with great effect, it is to be hoped that before long the last rites will be pronounced over its psychological offspring.

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