Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/717

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701
LITERARY NOTICES.

LITERARY NOTICES.

Handbook of Psychology. Senses and Intellect. 1890. Pp. 343. $1.80. Handbook of Psychology. Feeling and Will. 1894. Pp. 339. $2. Elements of Psychology. 1892. Pp. $1.50. By James Mark Baldwin, Stuart Professor of Psychology in Princeton University. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Prof. Baldwin expresses the hope in the preface to Senses and Intellect that no book upon psychology will hereafter satisfy the requirements of higher education for more than a generation. He says that the philosophical conception of the sphere and function of psychology now prevalent is widely different from that of twenty years ago, when many of the works were written which are yet used as introduction and strong support to the philosophy taught in the universities—"the new conception, namely, that psychology is a science of fact, its questions are questions of fact, and that the treatment of hypotheses must be as rigorous and critical as competent scientists are accustomed to demand in other departments of research." It is no new complaint that outworn and effete ideas continue to drag through school books long after they have been exploded in the world of living science. The hypothesis of caloric was still taught to the young when the doctrine of the correlation and conservation of forces had become firmly established in the minds of scientific men. The old dual chemistry held on in education, though all out of harmony with well-known facts, and though discussion and speculation were rife concerning the chemical constitution of bodies. When at last the compilers of text-books could no longer ignore the new state of things and seriously undertook to keep their works abreast of discovery, the advance was so rapid that new books and new editions were needed every eight or ten years at most It is the same now in psychology. The accumulation of facts in this field and the activity of speculation about them are quite as remarkable. Since the appearance of Prof. Bain's great work on the Senses and Intellect forty years ago, wherein the physical basis of mind for the first time received adequate treatment in a book of instruction, there has been a most productive activity of observation, experiment, inquiry, and speculation, and several new divisions of psychological science have taken distinct form. Not to speak of psychiatry, or abnormal psychology, we have psychometry, psychophysics, and neurology pursued independently and with promising results. An excellent feature also is his "Further Problems for Study," given at the end of each chapter, indicating partially unexplored fields in which students may engage themselves in an original way. It is thus that tastes are strengthened in early life, that character is formed, and philosophers are made. When, therefore, the attempt is made to give such a presentation of the science as will meet the needs of our higher education and of an intelligent reading public, great judgment is required in choosing and rejecting material lest the work overrun all practical bounds, like that of Prof. James's, or for the most part omit the discussion of unsettled questions, like Sully's. A judicial quality is also needed to enable the author to deal fairly and in proper proportion with all branches of his vast subject. Prof. Baldwin's handbook may be commended in both these directions. He not only gives the facts, but he discusses theories and presents the important aspects of disputed questions. He does not burden the text with difficult points that are unsettled, but puts them in smaller print for students who like to know all sides and to go to the bottom of the case.

The first volume of the handbook, Senses and Intellect, opens with a short introduction, of which Chapter I is on the nature of psychology, Chapter II on method, and Chapter III on classification. Part I, containing two chapters, deals with the general characteristics of consciousness and attention. Part II, on the intellect, has nine chapters, and the book concludes with a short chapter on The Rational Function.

Oddly enough, we have to wait till the second volume, On Feeling and Will, before we are given an account of the structure and functions of the nervous system. Why this is so does not appear, although it is evidently by design. Prof. Baldwin states the truth about the connection between mind and body plainly enough, but does not emphasize it or enlarge upon it. Perhaps he had