Wilhelm Wundt Quotes
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The materialistic point of view in psychology can claim, at best, only the value of an heuristic hypothesis.
The results of ethnic psychology constitute, at the same time, our chief source of information regarding the general psychology of the complex mental processes.
From the standpoint of observation, then, we must regard it as a highly probable hypothesis that the beginnings of the mental life date from as far back as the beginnings of life at large.
We speak of virtue, honour, reason; but our thought does not translate any one of these concepts into a substance.
Physiology seeks to derive the processes in our own nervous system from general physical forces, without considering whether these processes are or are not accompanied by processes of consciousness.
Physiology and psychology cover, between them, the field of vital phenomena; they deal with the facts of life at large, and in particular with the facts of human life.
Philosophical reflection could not leave the relation of mind and spirit in the obscurity which had satisfied the needs of the naive consciousness.
The distinguishing characteristics of mind are of a subjective sort; we know them only from the contents of our own consciousness.
There are other sources of psychological knowledge, which become accessible at the very point where the experimental method fails us.
Now, there are a very large number of bodily movements, having their source in our nervous system, that do not possess the character of conscious actions.
Contractile movements arise, sometimes at the instigation of external stimuli but sometimes also in the absence of any apparent external influence.
Physiological psychology, on the other hand, is competent to investigate the relations that hold between the processes of the physical and those of the mental life.
The old metaphysical prejudice that man 'always thinks' has not yet entirely disappeared. I am myself inclined to hold that man really thinks very little and very seldom.
Hence, wherever we meet with vital phenomena that present the two aspects, physical and psychical there naturally arises a question as to the relations in which these aspects stand to each other.
Experimental psychology itself has, it is true, now and again suffered relapse into a metaphysical treatment of its problems.
On the other hand, ethnic psychology must always come to the assistance of individual psychology, when the developmental forms of the complex mental processes are in question.
The attitude of physiological psychology to sensations and feelings, considered as psychical elements, is, naturally, the attitude of psychology at large.
Physiological psychology is, therefore, first of all psychology.
Now the word-symbols of conceptual ideas have passed so long from hand to hand in the service of the understanding, that they have gradually lost all such fanciful reference.
Child psychology and animal psychology are of relatively slight importance, as compared with the sciences which deal with the corresponding physiological problems of ontogeny and phylogeny.