Page:Mind and the Brain (1907).djvu/170

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

fact may be looked at, like a landscape, from different points of view, and appears different with the changes therein. It is so with the facts we consider psychical, and the autonomy of psychology would thus be a matter of point of view.

It has, then, been supposed—and this is a very important proposition—that the distinctive feature of psychical facts does not consist in their forming a class of particular events. On the contrary, their characteristic is to be studied in their dependency on the persons who bring them about. This interesting affirmation is not new: it may be read in the works of Mach, Külpe, Münsterberg, and, especially, of Ebbinghaus, from whom I quote the following lines of quite remarkable clearness: “Psychology is not distinguished from sciences like physics and biology, which are generally and rightly opposed to it, by a different content, in the way that, for instance, zoology is distinguished from mineralogy or astronomy. It has the same content, but considers it from a different point of view and with a different object. It is the science, not of a given part of the world, but of the whole world, considered, however, in a certain relation. It studies, in the world, those formations, processes, and relations, the properties of which are essentially determined by the properties and functions of