Psychology down the Ages - Vol. 1

By C. Spearman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
PERCEPTION OF RELATIONS

§ 1. Sensory "Sums ". § 2. Comparison. § 3. Relations. § 4. Form. 5. Case of "Continuity". § 6. Relativism § 7. Illustrations. § 8. Upshot.


§ 1. Sensory "Sums"

Having in the preceding chapter seen the descriptive analysis of sensory perception into its four fundamental attributes--and even, to a certain degree, into ultimate "sensations"--let us proceed to consider the putting of these "parts" together again. What sort of thing has been the synthetic result?

One answer to this question appears to have come to our notice already. It was given by those psychologists to whom all such analysis seemed to be futile. They supposed that, after once breaking up a perception into "sensations", the sole way of putting these together again is by "adding" them into their "sum".

Now such authors never appear to indicate just what the word "sum" is intended by them to mean. But perhaps we shall not go far wrong in taking them to signify that the sensations are added together in the signification of occurring at the same, time, and possibly in the same consciousness, but otherwise in complete disconnection.

But here once more search fails to disclose any indubitable representatives of such a doctrine.

Perhaps the nearest approach to it was made by Hartley. For he does sometimes write of perception

-214-

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