Psychology down the Ages - Vol. 1

By C. Spearman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV
GENERAL MENTAL CONSTITUTION

§ 1. Mystery of the Individual. § 2. Mystery of Feeling. § 3. Mystery of Knowing. § 4. Mystery of Doing. § 5. Units of Behaviour. § 6. Complexes of Behaviour. § 7. Unconscious Mind. § 8. Upshot.


§ 1. Mystery of the Individual

Let us look back at what we have so far done. Having already in Part B discussed the perennial but crude endeavours to portray the psyche in terms of "faculties" or of "sensations", we turned in Part C to the finer analyses and syntheses that have been accomplished in the course of the ages. And such a quest appeared to fall naturally into two main divisions, which respectively concerned mental constitution and mental laws; a distinction akin to that between structure and function. The two would appear to be mutual supplements. Some structure must precede and initiate function. But then the functioning in its turn must modify the structure; and so forth, indefinitely. In Part C we have been considering only the structure. Let us pick out and recapitulate what have appeared to be its principal features.

As the central fact, we readily found the universe to consist of indefinitely numerous Individuals undergoing Experiences in a physical Environment. But so soon as we inquired into the nature of these Individuals we came upon very great difficulties and irreconcilable doctrines. To the question there appear to have been, and still to

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