Excerpt from The Psychological Bulletin, 1907, Vol. 4: Containing the Literature Section of the Psychological Review
The attitude of the psychologist towards his subject-matter seems to be less a question for debate or a theory for elaboration than for merly. In spite of the fact that the functional point of view seems to have almost completely won out, there continue efforts to be even more precise in the application of criteria to consciousness. Ostwald, for example, in his Cambridge address on Psychical Energy presents a restatement of his doctrine of energism in psychology. The value of a chemical philo, sophy for psychology is made to appear in the applica tion of energy, our 'best and largest concept, ' to the equation which consciousness seems to require. Every mental process takes up and consumes chemical and physical energy which otherwise disappears in a man's make-up. 'as this theory is the only one which opens a way to connect the inner and the outer world by a functional relation, it has a distinct advantage over the theory of psycho-physical parallel ism, which is no theory at all, but only an arbitrary declaration that no such functional relation exists.' Another effort which remains more pertinently within the field of psychology and thus is the more to be commended, is an analysis of the fundamental functions of conscious ness made by Warren.l In order to avoid the partiality inevitable in the over-emphasis placed upon 'special adaptations to the environment in which conscious beings chance to be placed, ' he looks upon sensi bility, modification, differentiation, association and discrimination as basal functions to whose Operation every phenomenon of consciousness can be traced.' A possible feature of such an analysis is a more vital reunion of the analytic and genetic standpoints. There can indeed be only one result from this general methodological' clearing of the field which has attracted so much attention of late, and that will be to give psychology greater integrity as an independent science.
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