Classics in the History of Psychology
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Christopher D. Green
York University, Toronto, Ontario
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Autobiography of Mary Whiton Calkins [*]
First published in Murchison, Carl. (Ed.) (1930). History of Psychology in Autobiography (Vol. 1, pp. 31-61).
Republished by the permission of Clark University Press, Worcester, MA.
© 1930 Clark University Press.
Posted March 2000
1) I began the serious study of psychology with William James. Most unhappily for them and most fortunately for me the other members of his seminary in psychology dropped away in the early weeks of the fall of 1890; and James and I were left not, as in Garfield’s vision of Mark Hopkins and himself, at either end of a log but quite literally at either side of a library fire. The Principles of Psychology was warm from the press; and my absorbed study of those brilliant, erudite, and provocative volumes, as interpreted by their writer, was my introduction to psychology. What I gained from the written page, and even more from tête-à-tête discussion was, it seems to me as I look back upon it, beyond all else, a vivid sense of the concreteness of psychology and of the immediate reality of “finite individual minds” with their “thoughts and feelings. James’s vituperation of the “psychologist’s fallacy” — the “confusion of his own standpoint with that of the mental fact about which he is making his report” — results directly from this view of introspection as immediate experience and not mere inference from experience. From introspection he derives the materials for psychology. “Introspective observation,” he expressly asserts, “is what we have to rely on first and foremost and always….”
Of specific doctrines, those which I now recall as most impressing me, in this early study of the Principles, are the criticisms levelled against the conception of “Unconscious Thought” and against automatism; the nativistic space doctrine; the emotion theory; the reiterated teaching (obviously an anticipation of the Gestaltpsychologie) that a percept has a unity of its own and is no mere aggregate of sensations; and the emphasized conception of consciousness as in its very nature impulsive. R·lore significant, as events proved, for my own system of psychology are the doctrine of the transitive feelings of relation, the feelings of and, if, and but, and the concept of consciousness as tending to the “personal form.” The truth is, however, that each chapter of this incomparable treatise left some impress on my mind so that, to this day, I can turn with assurance to the chapter and page in which James considers this or that topic. [p. 32]
I was equally fortunate, in this same fall of 1890, in entering on laboratory work under the guidance of Edmund Sanford, a teacher unrivalled for the richness and precision of his knowledge of experimental procedure and for the prodigality with which he lavished time and interest upon his students. Besides training me in the detail of laboratory experiments, Dr. Sanford started me upon a “minor” research problem, based on the records which, during seven weeks, he took of his dreams and I of mine. The study of these records constituted in itself a course in general psychology from the vantage ground of a systematic introspection of these dream phenomena and with the constant stimulus of Dr. Sanford’s suggestion. The distinguishing features of the study were these: We, the observers, waked ourselves (by the use of alarm-clocks) at different hours of the night; we recorded our dreams at the instant of waking and each morning studied with care all the records, whether slight and trivial or seemingly significant. We took account of the different types of dream experience, discovering elements of all sense modes, emotions of every sort, and occasional examples of dream reasoning and dream volition; and we considered also the relation of the dream to the waking life, distinguishing in particular the persons and the places of our dream experiences. The conclusion which I reached, that the dream merely reproduces “in general the persons, places and events of recent sense perception” and that the dream is rarely “associated with that which is of paramount significance in one’s waking experience,” is almost ludicrously opposed to the nowadays widely accepted Freudian conception of the dream; in fact, my study as a whole must be rather contemptuously set down by any good Freudian as superficially concerned with the mere “manifest content” of the dream. It is, however, of interest to me to notice that my old dream study does anticipate more than one of the findings of the psychoanalysts. In agreement with them, for example, it vigorously disputes the assertions of people who report that they never dream; and this on strictly empirical grounds. For I had more than one instance of waking without the faintest memory of having dreamed and of discovering by my side the night record of one dream or of several.[p. 33]
A second fruit of the first year of graduate work in psychology was a paper on association which I wrote for Dr. James. I had first- proposed ‘attention’ as my topic, but he frowned on this (if I rightly remember) for the highly characteristic reason that he was sick of the subject. Quite at random I next chose ‘association,’ thus determining my chief interest for a number of years. This paper turned out to be my first published contribution to psychology. It appeared, suitably condensed, in an early issue, July, 1892, of the Philosophical Review. The paper takes its start in the conception of association as observable connection between succeeding objects (or contents) of consciousness; proceeds, after James’s fashion, to reduce so-called association by similarity to contiguity association; and is largely concerned with a classification in which, modifying that of James, it lays stress on what it calls the persisting element in cases of ‘multiple’ and ‘focalized’ partial association. I can hardly hope ever again to be so puffed with pride as when I found this distinction approvingly referred to in a footnote of the second edition of “little James,” the name by which, at this time, we all knew the Briefer Course in Psychology.
Chronologically third of my great teachers in psychology was Hugo Münsterberg, a man of deep learning, high originality, and astounding versatility, interested alike in systematic psychology, in the setting and solution of experimental problems, and, years later, in the applications of psychology. In the very fall of 1892, when I had planned to ask admission to his Freiburg Laboratory, he came instead to Harvard; and for parts of three years I worked under his inspiring direction in the old Psychology Laboratory of Dane Hall. The Laboratory was infelicitously situated within hearing on the one side of the hand-organs and the street-car bells of Harvard Square and on the other of the often vociferous outbursts of Professor Copeland’s “elocution” classes, but it was none the less the scene of absorbing work. I shall not let this opportunity pass by to record my gratitude for the friendly, comradely, and refreshingly matter-of-fact welcome which I received from the men working in [p. 34] the Laboratory as assistants and students, by whom the unprecedented incursion of a woman might well have been resented. My abiding gratitude to Dr. Münsterberg, who swung the Laboratory doors open to me, is supplemented by my appreciative memory of Edgar Pierce and Arthur Pierce, of Robert MacDougall and James Lough — to name no others — who, throughout these years, were my mechanicians, subjects, counsellers[sic], and friends.
I interrupt myself to interpolate a frivolous reminiscence, of a much later date, which sets off in bold relief the friendly tolerance of my Harvard fellow-students. I was a member in 1905 of the Executive Committee of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Münsterberg had planned a lunch-meeting of the Committee at the Harvard Union, but the burly head-waiter stoutly protested our entrance. No woman, he correctly insisted, might set foot in the main hall; nor was it possible to admit so many men, balanced by one woman only, to the ladies’ dining-room. It was almost by main force that Professor Münsterberg gained his point and the Committee its lunch.
My problem for experimental investigation was a comparison of frequency, recency, and vividness as conditions of association. In brief, I showed that, in direct competition, recency yields to vividness, and both vividness and recency to frequency. Concretely stated — in showing series of colors paired with numerals I found that a numeral which had repeatedly appeared in conjunction with a given color was more likely than either a vividly colored numeral or than the numeral last paired with the color, to be remembered, on a reappearance of the given color. Perhaps more significant than these results is the method, since known as that of right associates, which I employed. For I discovered presently, to my unbounded surprise, that I had originated a technical memorizing method. G. E. Müller, who sharply criticized and greatly refined, but in essence adopted the method, calls it the Treffermethode; Titchener paid the experiment the high compliment of including it in his Students’ Manual; and, only a year or two ago, Professor Kline selected it as one of the exercises in his Psychology by Experiment. I have strayed so far from the path of experimental procedure, while consistently placing so high a value on the experimental method, that I take unaffected pleasure in the thought of my one slightly significant contribution to experimental psychology.
My work in association, theoretical and experimental, was brought [p. 35] together in a monograph published in 1896 (the second of the Psychological Review Monograph Supplements) and would have constituted my doctor’s thesis had the Harvard Corporation approved the recommendation of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology to grant me a doctor’s degree. My natural regret at the action of the Corporation has never clouded my gratitude for the incomparably greater boon which they granted me — that of working in the seminaries and the laboratory of the great Harvard teachers. My debt, both academic and personal, to these men, to James, Royce, Palmer, and Münsterberg, may be acknowledged but can never be repaid. Meantime I had begun my teaching of psychology. Officially, it was I who had the honor of setting up at Wellesley, in the wide attic spaces of the fifth floor of old College Hall, one of the earlier (and smaller) of American psychological laboratories Actually, the laboratory was the creation of Professor Sanford, whose counsel I sought and received in large things and small, in planning the expenditure of my restricted laboratory fund, in placing orders with European apparatus makers, and in the selection and purchase of materials nearer at hand. Several pieces of apparatus were made from Dr. Sanford’s specifications by Wellesley carpenters; our chronoscope (one of his own invention), our Wheatstone stereoscope, and other pieces were constructed by a Clark University mechanician. The fire of 1914 destroyed apparatus and laboratory, but the workers today in the Wellesley Laboratory gratefully acknowledge Edmund Sanford as its founder.
Looking back on these earlier years of psychology teaching, I seem to myself to have gained three useful, though disparate, ends. In the first place, I “held the fort” for my successor in the direction of the Laboratory, Dr. Eleanor Gamble, an experimentalist far better endowed and equipped than I.
I had the opportunity, in the second place, to conduct among some hundreds of students an investigation of the prevalence, nature, and types of synaesthesia and mental forms. In each of the years 1893 and 1894, the entire freshman class was canvassed through questionnaires supplemented by personal interviews; and the cases of synaesthesia reported in 1893 were found, by subsequent unannounced questioning, to persist, with one exception, through months and often through the year. [p. 36]
In the third place, I worked out a course in general psychology in which simple experiments provided first-hand material for the study of a number of topics. A paper, written at the invitation of President Hall, and published during 1893 in the American Journal of Psychology, briefly describes this rather crude course. More or less external conditions greatly modified it, with the years, but I take this opportunity to register my ardent championship of an inductive method in introductory psychology courses. I am convinced that exercises in introspection, whenever possible experimentally controlled, should precede both the reading of textbooks and the hearing of lectures.
2) Time would fail me, and interest would certainly fail my readers, were I to dilate on all the topics of psychology for which I have felt a special concern. The list would include color-theory, the criterion of animal consciousness, the analysis of the space-consciousness, and the theory of the “physiological correlate of emotion.” But though I pass with bare mention subjects such as these, I must treat more respectfully four major interests of my first decade of work in psychology — interests which still persist. These are: the study of association; the conception of the psychic element; the doctrine of relational elements of experience; finally, and most important, the conception of psychology as science of self with which I contrasted atomistic or idea-psychology, the study without reference to any self, of successive experiences. Both conceptions of psychology, I maintained, are valid and useful; but I deprecated strongly the tendency of psychologists to alternate irresponsibly between one and the other.
Two papers which I published in 1900 gather up between them my convictions on all four of these subjects of my main interest and serve as a sort of program for the work which followed. The earlier of these papers is entitled “Elements of Conscious Complexes” and is mainly concerned with psychology from the atomistic standpoint. [p. 37] Its theory of consciousness as a succession of experiences or ideas is obviously closely related to conceptions underlying my study of association, and was probably influenced also by Titchener whose Outline and Primer I was using in my classes. In addition to its stress on this conception of psychology, the paper has two main emphases: in the first place, it seeks to replace the doctrine that psychic elements have attributes by the more rigid conception of the so-called attributes — the sensational intensities and extensities, for example — as themselves psychic elements; in the second place, it takes up the cudgels for the James and Spencer conception of relational or thought elements. The first of these doctrines still commands my firm adherence, but I have long since ceased bickering about it for it now seems to me relatively unimportant. Anti-sensationalism, on the other hand, is to this day a live issue; and I am as much concerned now as I was in 1900 to affirm the unsensational nature of such experiences as the consciousness of the likeness of one color to another. To the fruitful experimental investigation of these thought factors in experience by Woodworth, Bühler, and others, my colleague, Eleanor Gamble, and I, a few years later, made a small contribution by repeating with modifications two investigations of Alfred Lehmann and, we believed, proving in opposition to his conclusions that recognition does not consist in reproduced images and that neither the consciousness of likeness nor that of difference is constituted by a verbal image.
The second of the program-papers, published in 1900, considers psychology as science of self. It is the first systematic statement of my self-psychology but by no means the earliest indication of my interest in the ‘self.’ Before I summarize this article I shall turn back, therefore, for references to the self in my very first psychological paper and in two others of the nineties. A “presupposition of the fact of association,” I wrote in 1892, “is that of the identity of the subject. The same ‘I’ must exist if there is to be consciousness ‘in the same way’ or ‘of the same object.'” To this statement I added a sentence which, from my present standpoint, I should vigorously blue-pencil: “A discussion of the nature of this ‘I’ would be an unwarrantable intrusion of metaphysics into psychology.” After the same fashion, in the monograph published four years later, I said [p. 38] that “a continuous self seems to the writer to be an inevitable presupposition of psychic phenomena of every kind” and again added that this presupposition of the self “leads us at once from the matter-of-fact plane of psychology into the domain of metaphysics.” A third and still earlier instance of my concern for the self is found in the paragraphs of my “dreams paper” which discuss the alleged loss of personal identity in dreaming. “The loss of identity in dreams,” I wrote, “is not a loss but a change or a doubling of self consciousness…. Yet all the time one is conscious that it is oneself who has changed or whose identity is doubled.”
From this digression I return to the paper, published in 1900, on “Psychology as Science of Selves.” Here, I once and for all renounced “the misleading treatment of the self as metaphysical presupposition” and maintained that selves “may be treated as facts for Science,” since “they are taken for granted without inquiry about their bearing on ‘reality,’ and…. are critically observed and classified on the basis of their relation with each other and with facts of every other order.” In accordance with this doctrine, I described selves as fundamental phenomena, basal to what I called “facts for selves,” namely, “contents of consciousness,” on the one hand, and physical things and events, on the other. Atomistic psychology I still recognized as a valid science concerned with these psychic events called contents of consciousness. The psychology of selves, on the other hand, I conceived as “frankly” acknowledging the contents of consciousness as experiences of some self and proceeding to the study of these selves “in their diverse relations to each other and to facts of other sorts.” Perception, for example, I described as “a consciousness of sharing the experience of a number of other selves,” as opposed to “our unshared individual experience” in imagination; and I contrasted the “passivity of the emotional experience with the activity of ‘will’ and of ‘faith.'”
I wish that I could recall more completely the sources of this personalistic doctrine of psychology. In my emphasis on the social nature of the self, I was certainly influenced by Baldwin and by Royce, to both of whom I explicitly referred. I am confident, also, [p. 39] despite a lack of external evidence, that my self-doctrine must have been affected both by the earlier part of James’s chapter on “The Stream of Consciousness” and by Ward’s famous “Psychology” article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a treatise which probes to the very heart of every topic which it considers. “Everything experienced,” he here says, “is referred to a self experiencing.” My conception, finally, of the double standpoint in psychology, the theory that every experience may be treated alike from the atomistic and from the self-psychological standpoint, was certainly influenced by a doctrine from which, none the less, it markedly differs-namely, by Münsterberg’s distinction between (1) psychology as science of causally connected complexes of psychic elements and (3) history, described as science of “real subjective will-acts,” or will-attitudes.
To Dr. Münsterberg I submitted early drafts of the papers, which the preceding pages have summarized, as working plans for a possible psychology book; with his encouragement I set to work on my first book, An Introduction to Psychology, published in October, 1901. It is a systematic treatment of experience from the double standpoint of atomistic and of self-psychology. I followed it up in 1905 by a summary of its teaching which I wrote in German and published (it is needless to add, after revision by a German friend) under the title Der Doppelte Standpunkt in der Psychologie. Atomistic and self-psychology figure in this treatise as Vorgangspsychologie and Ichpsychologie, fortuitous names, as Vaihinger was good enough to write me.
My psychological efforts, in the first years of the 1900’s were largely directed toward replying to my critics. Their objections to my doctrine may be grouped roughly somewhat as follows. First, difficulties of detail, many of them justified — the objection, for example, that in perceiving one is not, as a fact, always conscious of other selves as sharing one’s experience. Secondly, the criticism that in treating atomistic psychology as the only alternative to self-psychology I ignored the advancing claim of functional psychology. Thirdly, a charge of inconsistency with my own self-psychological doctrine. My definition of the idea, or mental process, as an experience [p. 40] taken without reference to self was (rightly, I think) claimed as tacit admission that the self is not essential to psychology. Fourthly, and most important, criticisms of my concept of the self as vague, unscientific, and unverified.
My immediate reaction to the second of these charges was embodied in an address, read in December, 1905, to the American Psychological Association. In this paper, “A Reconciliation between Structural and Functional Psychology,” I interpreted the ‘function’ as fundamentally a reaction of conscious self on its environment and argued that “consciousness which always implies a conscious self is a complex alike of structural elements and of relations of self to environment.” With most of the other difficulties I dealt in a series of papers contributed in late 1907 and in January, 1908, to the Journal of Philosophy. These constitute, once more, a sort of program for the second of my systematic treatises, A First Book in Psychology. At many points of detail this book profits by the criticisms on its predecessors. It offers, not indeed a definition, but a description of the self as persistent, unique, complex, and also as related to objects, personal and impersonal. The book diverges most strikingly from those which preceded it by its abandonment of the duplex conception of psychology, as science alike of succeeding mental events and of the conscious self, in favor of a single-track self-psychology. In my preface, I call attention to the fact that I make the change “not because I doubt the validity” of psychology of the atomistic type but because “I question the significance and the adequacy, and deprecate the abstractness, of the science thus conceived.” A second point of difference, due obviously to the influence of the functionalists and early behaviorists, consists in the emphasis laid on those “characteristic bodily reactions on environment which accompany perception, thought, emotion, and will.” And, finally, an effort is made, in later editions of the book, to prune it of expressions tarred with the atomistic brush. In particular, the fourth edition formally abandons my earlier view, frankly acknowledging it as a “survival in my thinking of idea psychology,” that the so-called structural elements of consciousness “are discovered only by an analysis of consciousness which leaves the self out of account.” The second and systematic part of the present paper will treat in more detail the [p. 41]contents of this volume and will more carefully consider the criticisms urged against the personalistic psychology which it sets forth.
My psychological activities since the issue of this last edition of A First Book in Psychology have consisted in attempts to elucidate, to enrich, and to defend self-psychology. Even a recent paper on “The Ambiguous Concept of Meaning,” seemingly immune by title from self-psychology, really takes its start in a criticism of the Titchenerian habit of dismissing the self as object of mere ‘meaning.’ With more express reference to the problems of self-psychology, I have carefully distinguished the psychologist’s self from the philosopher’s soul and have protested against the expulsion from psychology of the self along with the soul; I have tried to show that the self is an object acknowledged or unacknowledged, of scientific observation and even of experimentally guided introspection; I have argued also that the positive contributions of the so-called ‘new psychologies — behaviorism, ‘hormic’ psychology, Gestalt psychology, and even the fundamental doctrines of the psychoanalysts all fall naturally into place within the comprehensive system of a personalistic psychology. I have proposed accordingly as uniting concept for the warring systems the biological form of personalistic psychology, that is, the conception of psychology as science of the conscious organism.
The preceding pages tell enough and more than enough about myself, my interests, and my occupations. In what follows I shall check my autobiographical outpouring and shall whole-heartedly devote myself, first, to setting forth and, secondly, to arguing for the essentials of a personalistic psychology. For with each year I live, [p. 42] with each book I read, with each observation I initiate or confirm, I am more deeply convinced that psychology should be conceived as the science of the self, or person, as related to its environment, physical and social. To establish this doctrine seems to me the first task of psychology and the essential preparation for its most important special undertakings.
1) Self-psychology thus defined obviously is a form of introspectionist psychology. At the outset, therefore, I shall plainly state my reason for rejecting behaviorism, the one doctrine which, calling itself a psychology, none the less challenges the introspective procedure. By behaviorism I emphatically do not mean the doctrine set forth in the reiterated statements that consciousness is in its very nature impulsive, that any effective thinking must eventuate in doing, that we learn to think by learning to do. For all these commonplaces, popularly used in support of behaviorism, are perfectly consistent with introspective psychology and indeed form part and parcel of the output of all contemporary psychology, at least from William James down. They therefore constitute no argument for behaviorism proper, extreme behaviorism, the doctrine that so-called consciousness literally is, consists in, bodily reactions; that seeing is eye-movement; that emotion is chaotic instinctive reaction; and that thinking is internal speech. These statements, constituting as they do the center and core of behaviorism I oppose much as I should oppose the statement that a flame consists in striking a match and that the sound of a bell is an electric contact. Striking the match, as every one knows, is not identical with the flame: the two are related, in this case as condition and conditioned, but are not the same; and similarly the laryngeal muscle contraction, however closely related to thought, is not identical with thinking. In truth, if the two, thinking and subvocal muscle contraction, were identical, we should be wholly unable to explain the admitted expression of the same thought by phonetically dissimilar words. If, for example, the experience of ‘equality’ consists in the sub-vocal contraction of throat muscles involved in pronouncing the word, it cannot also consist in the quite different muscular contractions involved in “whispering to one’s self” the word Gleichheit.
Accordingly, I reject behaviorism as a positive doctrine simply because, as has just appeared, it autocratically identifies phenomena which are to observation distinct. Behaviorism in its critical capacity I cannot, however, so summarily dismiss. The behaviorist as a critic [p. 43] calls attention to the difficulties of introspection-the fleetingness of experiences, the tendency of introspection to change its own object. But he chiefly protests against the “subjectivity,” by which he means the individuality, of introspection. He stresses the fact that one can introspect only one’s own private experience, that one cannot therefore check up or verify one’s results — in a word, that the introspectionist must abandon the firm ground of natural science. Now no introspectionist will deny the difficulty or the fallibility of introspection. But he will stoutly urge against the behaviorist, first, that this argument is a boomerang telling against “the firmly grounded natural sciences” as well as against psychology. For the physical sciences themselves are based in the end on the introspections of scientists — in other words, the physical sciences, far from being wholly free of ‘subjectivity’ must describe their phenomena in the sometimes diverse terms of what different observers see, hear, and touch. In the second place, as the discriminating critic of behaviorism points out, the introspective psychologist does not actually confine himself to the study of his own private experiences, though he certainly starts from them. Rather, he attributes to his fellows experiences resembling his own, indicated to him by their speech or by their non-verbal behavior. In a word, the introspective psychologist deals not only with his own directly introspected experiences but with the inferred experiences supposedly introspected by other people. For both these reasons I refuse, at the behest of the behaviorist, to abjure the study of the mental life. But this, as a later section will set forth, means only that I refuse adherence to the negative part of behaviorism, its denial of self and of consciousness. On the other hand, like all introspectionists, I welcome cordially every positive contribution of behaviorism — every study of conditioned reflex and bodily response. For it is an admitted part of the psychologist’s business to correlate bodily reactions with conscious experience — immediate reactions, for example, with perceiving, delayed reactions with deliberation, chaotic and interrupted reactions with emotion. Introspectionists of varying types may conceive the correlation differently, but all assert it.
2) The conclusion thus achieved that psychology is essentially introspective, falls far short, however, of defining my position. For the term ‘introspective psychology’ shelters two widely different types of psychological system — the impersonalistic and the personalistic. Under the first head are included systems of widely different character [p. 44] which, however, are alike in one respect: whether they conceive psychology as concerned with ideas, states, or contents of consciousness, mental processes, or experiences, with functions, with urges or drives, with complexes or with Gestalten, they ignore or deny the self, the person or organism which is conscious, which experiences, which functions, which drives or is driven. Personalistic psychologies, on the other hand, conceive their science as consisting basally in the study of conscious, experiencing, functioning beings, that is, of persons or selves. I have already avowed my adherence to this personalistic doctrine. I base my conviction simply and fundamentally on my direct experience, my observation — corroborated, as it is, by that of other people. Whenever, in truth, I try to take the opposite point of view, when. in other words, I attempt the study of mental processes, experiences, and the like, I invariably find not a mere process, an experience, but a mind in process, a someone who is experiencing. In a word: I am a personalistic, introspective psychologist because in introspection I find the self.
But I have not even yet adequately delimited my conception of psychology. For personalistic psychology also is of two main types: first, the strictly psychological, to which is applied sometimes the term self-psychology in a narrow sense of the phrase, and, secondly, the biological. This biological form of personalistic psychology studies the psychophysical, or better the psychosomatic organism, mind in body, or conscious organism, and conceives consciousness as one response among others, though a peculiarly important response, of organism to environment. The first and more strictly psychological form of personalistic psychology, though it does not disregard the neurological correlates of experience, the muscular reactions which accompany different mental attitudes, and the biological values of consciousness, none the less teaches that the self has a body and is not, in any sense, constituted by body. The neurological, physiological, and biological data serve from its point of view to classify and in a sense to explain mental phenomena. To this narrower type of self-psychology I subscribe, largely for the reason that it seems to me required by the distinctions actually made by the biological personalists themselves between the “merely physiological” and the “purely psychical” bodily reactions-between assimilation, for example, and [p. 45] sensibility. I shall devote the next following pages to a brief exposition of self-psychology, thus conceived.
a) Self-psychology has three basal conceptions: that of the self, that of the object, and that of the self’s relation or attitude toward its object. In the concrete terms of Knight Dunlap, “when I look at the page in front of me there are three aspects of the situation involved: the I, the page which I see, and the fact of seeing the page.”
(1) By self, or I, is meant what every one of us means by such expressions as “I am ashamed of myself,” “I approve of myself,” “I appeal to you, yourself.” Like ‘consciousness,’ the ‘self’ is, strictly speaking, indefinable — for it is sui generis and cannot be assigned to any including class save that of ‘the existent.’ The self, however, though indefinable, is describable; its characters, in Miss Gamble’s phrase, are ‘properties,’ not ‘differentiae.’ These characters, whether silently assumed or explicitedly[sic] stated, include at least the following. The self is, first of all, (a) a totality, a one of many characters and of many temporal signs; is, secondly, (b) a unique being in the sense that I am I and you are you — that no one, however similar, can take the place of you or of me; is, thirdly, (c) an identical being (I the adult self and my ten-year-old self are in a real sense the same self); and yet is also (d) a changing being (I the adult self differ from that ten-year-old). Finally, (e) the self is a being related in a distinctive fashion both to itself and its experiences and to environing objects, personal and impersonal. This relation to all these objects is called its consciousness of them.
No one, of course, is attentively aware of all these characters of the self — of totality, identity, change, uniqueness, and of relatedness, or consciousness — as distinguished from each other, on all occasions when one “observes one’s self,” any more than one is distinctly aware of sensitivity, motility, assimilation, and reproductivity whenever one observes an animal. Yet in my opinion it is true not only that I from time to time directly observe myself as characterized in each of these ways but that I may have also a direct, if fused, awareness of myself as possessed of all of them.
(2) It has just appeared that the self is conscious of objects. In this way, the object makes way into psychology in spite of the protests of the writers who, while constantly referring to objects, [p. 46] none the less officially bar them from psychology. The term is used in the wide sense suggested by McDougall when he says that “experiencing is an activity of some….subject who experiences something or somewhat.” This somewhat-which-is-experienced, whatever its nature, is the object. It is sharply to be distinguished from the stimulus, physical or physiological (ether-waves or retinal excitation, for example), of which the experiencing self is seldom directly conscious. Objects of the self are marked off from each other in several ways: as either personal or impersonal, and if impersonal as either physical or logical; and as either private or public. My private objects, all of them personal, are myself and my experiencings; but my public objects, those which are your objects as truly as they are mine, are either personal or impersonal. To illustrate: (a) my interest in Lord Haldane’s autobiography is my private, personal object; (b) Lord Haldane himself is my public, personal (or social) object; (c) the cover of the bound volume is a public, impersonal, physical object; (d) the Hegelian philosophy set forth by Lord Haldane is likewise a public and impersonal, but a logical not a physical object. (My own body occupies a curious midway position between the group of public and that of private objects: it is the object of your visual and pressure consciousness as of mine, yet I do not share my kinaesthetic and pain sensations with you.)
(3) Towards its objects, thus distinguished, the self-psychologist conceives the self as taking certain basal attitudes. These attitudes, or fundamental relations of self to its objects, seem to me to fall roughly into several groups. To the first of these groups belong receptivity, activity, and what I can only call the feeling of being compelled. (a) I am always receptively conscious and my receptiveness is of different sorts. For example, I receptively experience not only the fleecy whiteness of the clouds but also their charm (or pleasantness) and the contrast between the blue of the sky and the whiteness of the clouds. In other words, I am sensationally, affectively, and relationally receptive. Besides being receptive, as apparently I invariably am, I am often (b) active. My activity takes [p. 47] one of two forms: either that of wishing, longing, yearning, or else that of volition. Everyone recognizes a difference between wishing and willing. Each is a form of self-activity, sharply contrasted with the receptivity of perception and of emotion, but wishing is an un-assertive and willing is an assertive form of activity. Will, assertive self-activity, is of two main types, that is to say, I assert myself in one of two ways, either (a) by dominating somebody or something, the hostile audience whom I am addressing or the intractable sailcloth which I am stitching, or else (b) by active adoption of another’s cause, by active loyalty to friend or to leader. Finally (c) I sometimes feel myself compelled either by impersonal objects or by people. I may, for example, have this feeling of being compelled, in other words, I may experience my own impotence, in relation both to the wind, as it sweeps across Boston Common and to the imperious gesture of the traffic policeman.
The basal personal attitudes of my second group are the egocentric and the allocentric. These distinguish the I, or self, as it stresses either itself or its environing objects. The egocentric emphasis may fall on one (or all) the characters of self: in recognition, for example, one is predominantly aware of self-identity, in emotion, of individuality. The allocentric attitude may have as objects either things, as in perceiving and imagining, or other selves, as in hatred or in reverence. The one attitude does not exclude the other — in other words, one may, at one and the same time, attend both to one’s self and to one’s object; and of this complex attitude sympathy is a especially important instance. For this is the awareness of one’s self as sharing in the experience of other selves — an experience most characteristic of the life of emotion, though appearing occasionally in perceiving and in thinking.
The self finally either individualizes its objects as in emotion and [p. 48] will and, secondarily, in perceiving, imagining, and some forms of thinking; or it generalizes as in classification and conception.
All these distinctions are brought together in the following summary.
In their bald enumeration these lists of characters and attitudes of the self and of the types of its objects may seem to the full as non-essential and as dull as the Homeric catalogue of ships or the roll of “gentlemen with very hard names” in the Books of the Chronicles. Yet I believe that anyone who, without bias, will study the material of psychology by the use of these categories will discover them for what they are — not impositions on experience but descriptions of it. To supplement the illustrations already given — perceiving, imagining, and thinking, the chief forms of the cognitive consciousness are marked off from the non-cognitive experiences, emotion, volition and the like, by the allocentric attitude of cognizing selves, that is, by inattention to themselves, and absorption in their objects. In the non-cognitive experiences, on the other hand, every one is highly egocentric, is poignantly aware of himself as a unique self either grieving and joying, loving and hating as never self grieved and joyed and loved and hated or else as actively asserting himself in dominating or in loyal attitude. In the social form of emotion and of will, in compassion, for example, and in cooperation, a man may also, it is true, stress not only himself but other selves as well; but such experiences are never wholly allocentric — in neither of them can one lose the [p. 49] “vivid sense of one’s self” in which consists what we have called the egocentric attitude.
In the preceding paragraph I have tried to show how the non-cognitive experiences, as a whole, are marked off from the cognitive by use of the distinction between the allocentric and the egocentric attitude of the self. For the differentiation, within the group, of emotion from volition one must turn to the distinction between assertiveness and the feeling of being compelled. Both emotion and will are, as has appeared, essentially egocentric experiences but in emotion I as passive, prostrate, the victim of my environment, carried high on the crest of the wave of prosperity, or sucked into the whirlpool of disaster, whereas alike in will and in loyalty, that is, in imperious and in adoptive self-assertion, I am the maker of my own way, the “master of my fate.”
b) In the preceding pages I have boldly summarized the basal features of that type of personalistic psychology which, along with Ward, Mitchell, Rehmke, Gamble, and others, I profess. ·But I am quite as anxious to set forth the closely allied conception of the biological personalists in psychology, of William McDougall, Stern, Stout, Angell, and others. These writers, in the first place, unequivocally oppose every form of impersonalistic psychology. “The psychic datum (das Gegebene),” says Stern, “must be given to some” “One might as well,” McDougall declares, “expect to find a ‘falling’ or a ‘movement’ without something that falls or moves as ‘a perceiving’ or ‘a remembering’ detached or isolated from the subject who perceives or remembers.” “Nicht es empfindet sondern ich empfinde,” Müller-Freienfels asserts. Thus, like the strict self-psychologists, these writers treat psychology as science of the person, or self. In their view, however, as I have already indicated, this basal unit of psychology, the person, I, or experiencer, is not a purely mental self, but is rather the ’embodied self,' the conscious organism. In other words, they conceive the self, or person, as the organism in response to its environment, and among its responses they include not only consciousness but also biological adaptation, [p. 50] nerve-excitation, muscular contraction, secretion, and nutrition, though they stress consciousness as a distinctive and supremely significant response. I have already stated unequivocally my own choice of the strictly psychological conception of the self-which-has-a-body in preference to this doctrine of the embodied self. I am convinced, none the less, that this biological form of personalistic psychology provides a middle ground in which most schools of contemporary psychology may meet. Hence I am anxious to emphasize the close affiliation of the two forms of personalism. To consider in the first place what I have called the characters of self: these psychophysical personalists, one and all, stress (1) the totality (Ganzheitlichkeit) or, as Stern calls it, the unitas multiplex of the self. “In every single sensation,” Müller-Freienfels asserts, “in every single act of will, the whole I acts together, and only from the standpoint of this totality of the I can the so-called constitutive elements be understood.” Implicitly, and often explicitly also, personalists of this group, in the second place, conceive the self as unique, or individual. Müller-Freienfels suggests the uniqueness in his doctrine of the self as opposing others (gegenstellend). Stern brings together both the totality and the individuality in his definition of the person as “such an existent as, spite of the plurality of its parts, exhibits a real and distinctive … unity;” and he refers in another passage to a “last unique- quality (ein letztes Ureigenstes) by which every person is contrasted with every other.” In the same context Stern implies the identity in change of the self; and, finally, throughout his psychological writings, like all these biological personalists, he conceives [p. 51] and treats the self as variously related to environing objects of different types.
It follows, of course, that personalistic psychology of the biological type is, as obviously as strict self-psychology, concerned with objects. And in curiously close resemblance to my own classification of these objects, though in entire independence of it, Stern distinguishes them as Überpersonen (people, races, and the like), Nebenpersonen (our fellowmen) and die Ausserpersönliche (impersonal objects).
In the discussion, finally, of personal attitudes, or types of response, the two schools of personalistic psychology are closely alike. This is especially evident in the writing of Müller-Freienfels and Stern, most systematic of these psychosomatic personalists. Both suggest the conception of volition as active; both treat with special emphasis the contrast between the allocentric and the egocentric (in their own terminology, between the ‘objective’ and the ‘subjective’) attitude. The ‘objective’ attitude, as each writer expressly declares, distinguishes the life of perception and imagination and thought while the ‘subjective’ attitude characterizes emotion and will. Stern indeed classifies his dispositions and his basal purposes primarily as egocentric and heterocentric. And Müller-Freienfels, in even completer agreement with self-psychology, expressly includes also the participatory attitude, Einfühlung, or Wirbewusstsein as he often felicitously calls it, contrasting it with a Gegenfühlung in which I find a suggestion of what I have called the awareness of one’s own individuality.
It should be added that, just as these categories of a strict self-psychology are used by the psychosomatic psychologists, so nothing forbids the self-psychologists from enriching their doctrine by distinctions stressed by these biological personalists. So, for example, the psychological as well as the biological self may perfectly well be credited with dispositions, that is, with “chronic tendencies and attitudes of the person toward the achievement of definite ends”; and the psychologically as well as the biologically basal egocentric attitudes may be distinguished as involving either self-preservation or self-development. In brief: personalistic psychologists of both types, [p. 52] the strictly psychological and the biological or psychosomatic, agree firmly on their conception of psychology as science of a conscious being, a one of many characters, individual, self-identical, and changing, in varying reaction on an environment personal and impersonal. And they describe, in essentially similar terms, the nature of these reactions or responses.
3) It should be evident that personalistic psychology, in either of its forms, is entirely compatible with the significant positive content of every other system of psychology, and that accordingly one may become a personalistic psychologist without giving over any positive doctrine whatsoever. I shall, none the less, devote a few paragraphs to the elaboration of this statement.
a) To begin with so-called structural, or existential, or idea-psychology — its basal features are, as everybody knows, the following: it deals with specific movements of experience, cut off from an experiencer; it analyzes these experiences into sensational, affective (and perhaps relational) elements. In practice, also, structural psychologists use, wherever possible, an experimental method; and are disposed to seek what they call explanation of psychic events in physiological phenomena, observed or inferred. But personalistic psychology has a place for all these doctrines. To take them up in reverse order: the self-psychologist, as well as the idea-psychologist, may correlate psychical with physiological data. It is as easy, for example, to correlate the disintegration of a retinal substance and occipital lobe excitation with a self’s visual perceiving as with a visual percept. The self-psychologist may furthermore introspect under experimental and “standard conditions,” as a later section of this paper will show in more detail. As regards analysis, self-psychology from the first has recognized the so-called structural elements, insisting that it is quite as correct to say that the self is sensationally and affectively conscious as to say that an experience is made up of such and such sensational and affective elements. Even the study of experiences, rather than experiencer, may be tolerated by the self-psychologist, provided it is carried on openly in avowed abstraction from the admittedly existing self who experiences. Only the great negation of existential psychology, its outlawry of the self, its insistence on contents or ideas or experiences as the one concern of scientific psychology, is inconsistent with personalistic theory.
b) With the Gestalttheorie self-psychology is essentially in agreement. Both, in the first place, stand out determinedly against [p. 53] all forms of atomistic doctrine. And personalistic psychology, in the second place, perfectly accords with the conception alike of experiences and of physical objects as wholes of subordinate parts and not mechanically added sums of external units. Finally, the self or person — though most Gestaltists have notoriously overlooked the fact — is the supreme illustration of the Gestalt — an integrated, complex whole inclusive of parts and characters subordinate to its own distinctive unity.
c) This suggests the significant resemblance of self-psychology to behaviorism: each treats primarily of entities, organic wholes, and not of abstracted states or processes. But the likeness goes further. With behaviorism and its forerunner, functional psychology, personalistic psychology, in both its forms, shares the significant conception of relation or attitude toward environment. Activity and passivity, allocentric attention and sympathy — all these unquestionably are forms of response to environment.
d) Self-psychology is finally at the core of every one of the psychoanalytic systems. Not only does the conscious ego play a rôle, if only a minor rôle, on the psychoanalytic stage, but even the unconscious closely studied turns out to resemble nothing so much as a dissociated self. Characteristic conceptions of the psychoanalysts prove the same point. Neither the censor, for example, of Freud’s earlier books nor the super-ego of his later period can be impersonally conceived; Jung’s distinction between extroversion and introversion, as positive and negative relation between subject and object, presupposes the existence of self and of object; Adler’s emphasized contrast between the sense of power and the feeling of inferiority clearly requires the experience of one’s self in relation to other selves.
4) From the vantage ground of my brief sketch of self-psychology, I propose next to consider briefly the more important of the objections urged against it, passing over entirely the captions, the merely verbal, as well as the minor criticisms.
a) The first of these significant difficulties, vigorously stressed by Titchener, is that the self, though an object of uncritical, everyday awareness, is no proper object for the scientist’s technical consideration. This objection, however, makes the unwarranted assumption of one class of objects for the plain man and quite another for the [p. 54] scientist. In opposition to this view, and in agreement with the vast majority of scientists, the self-psychologist maintains that science differs from everyday experience not in its objects, but in the method, analytic, classificatory, and explanatory, in which it treats the objects which the plain man uncritically “swallows whole.” To state this differently: in the view of the self-psychologist, the scientist observes what the plain man observes-acids, steam, flashes of light, birds, rocks, stars, and selves-but observes all these analytically, and is at pains to group and to link, to classify, and to explain the objects of his observation. As self-psychologist, accordingly, I not only admit but insist that the self is an object of everyday consciousness. I, however, flatly deny that this prevents the self from being also an object of the psychologist’s study. And I point to the distinctions, which preceding pages present, of the characters, objects, and attitudes of the self as indications of the type of analysis characteristic of self-psychology.
b) A more common criticism relegates the self to metaphysics, or perhaps to ethics, as opposed to science. This objection, urged from the very outset, is constantly reiterated. To quote Professor J.S. Moore’s statement of it: “To speak of the self as anything more than a sum-total of phenomena is to leave the bounds of science and enter the realm of metaphysics.” It is easy to account for this criticism. In its wholly justified attempt to avoid entangling alliance with philosophy, modern psychology has quite correctly rid itself of the metaphysician’s self — the self often inferred to be free, responsible, and immoral — and has thereupon naïvely supposed that it has thus cut itself off from the self. But the self of psychology has no one of these inferred characters: it is the self, immediately experienced, directly realized, in recognition, in sympathy, in vanity, in assertiveness, and indeed in all experiencing. The psychological concept of self forms, to be sure, the core of the metaphysical self-doctrine, but the two are not identical. For the self is, in the first instance, not an inferred reality but an observed fact. [p. 55]
All this is merely a restatement of the rejoinder which for years I have been making to this railing accusation that the self is a metaphysical concept. I want explicitly to supplement it by the reminder that the criticism, whatever its force, applies only to the self in its narrower sense and not at all to the self as psychosomatic personalists conceive it. For assuredly the living, breathing, secreting, reacting body-even if also a conscious body-may be accepted as a proper object of scientific study.
c) The most menacing of all the criticisms of personalistic psychology has, however, still to be stated, and will, if justified, completely undermine its foundation. This is the sheer denial that the self really is observed directly.
d) And a final objection urges that the self, even if admitted to psychology, would make little difference: “The barren reassertion,” Robert MacDougall says, “that in each fact is the self adds nothing to its treatment.” I propose to discuss both objections in the following section of this paper, for I base my support of personalistic psychology squarely upon the exact contrary of each of these assertions.
5) The issue is clearly drawn. Personalistic psychologists, and in particular self-psychologists, deliberately argue for their doctrine on precisely the grounds upon which their critics reject it. Impersonalistic psychologists deny, in the first place, and personalistic psychologists claim, that the self is directly observed. The impersonalist argues thus: if the self were immediately experienced it would be universally experienced, whereas few psychologists, and few or no experimental psychologists, working under standard conditions, either affirm or admit the existence of a self.
a) The personalistic psychologist takes the following position to the charge that the self is not an object of scientific observation.
(1) He of course admits that many introspective reports make no mention of a self. But he very readily explains the omission. The awareness of self is by its very nature a constant experience, likely therefore to be inattentively observed and neglected in report, somewhat as introspectors forget to report the constant pressure of the atmosphere. Introspectors, in the second place, are seldom taught to look for the self-they may even be told expressly that the self is not an object of introspection. Finally, the great body of experimental [p. 56] investigation is still concerned primarily with perceptual experiences and secondarily with discrimination, comparison, and other sorts of thinking. Not unnaturally, reports of introspection in these cases include little or no reference to self, since precisely in perceiving and in thinking we are very inattentively aware of ourselves.
(2) The self-psychologist, however, does not for a moment admit that all experimentally controlled introspections lack reference to self. He points, on the contrary, to three groups of experimental investigators of the nature of choice, working in widely separated laboratories and employing wholly different methods, who report and emphasize the experience of self. I shall devote the next following pages to an indication of these crucially important findings. For the objective results — reaction-times, respiration records, galvanometric deflections, and the like — I must refer to the detailed reports of the experimenters. Ach was specifically concerned to estimate the concentration of voltion required to overcome associative habits. His subjects first learned series of paired nonsense syllables and were later required to respond in a novel fashion to each of the odd-numbered syllables in these learned series. If, for instance, the subject had learned a series of rhymed pairs of syllables, zup-tup, marpar, bis-zis, tel-mel, he was required to respond successively to zup, mar, bis, and tel not by rhyming but by reversed syllables (puz, ram, sib, let). In the experience involved in this experimental procedure Ach’s subjects distinguished four factors: first, the “perceptual phase,[“] constituted by kinaesthetic sensations; secondly, the objective phase, the normally imaginal consciousness of the outcome of the volition; thirdly, and most significant, activity (Betätigung) the attitude (Stellungnahme), “I will”; fourthly and finally, the consciousness of exertion. Strictly speaking, in Ach’s opinion, will consists in the third phase, activity, in which, Ach plainly states, the I is experienced (erlebt) not inferred.
Experimentally controlled study of volition of a quite different sort, was initiated by Michotte and Prüm in the Louvain Laboratory and has been followed up by a series of experimenters, Barrett, Aveling, and Wells, in Louvain and in London. In these experiments the subjects chose “for a serious reason” between different procedures and [p. 57] then introspectively examined the period, the fore period and the after period of their experience. Michotte’s subjects were shown a card containing two numerals and had to choose whether to multiply or to divide them; Barrett’s observers were to reach out each for one of two odors; those of Wells for one of two tastes already familiar. All reported the occurrence, during the experience preceding their reaction, not merely of a wealth of sensation, predominantly kinaesthetic, but also of what they once more describe as consciousness of self-activity.
From the Columbia University Laboratory comes an experimental study of a third sort which finds in choice an experience of self-activity. The investigator, Dr. Alfred Martin, used a method totally different from either that of Ach or that of the Michotte group. He directed each of his subjects to imagine himself in a certain dilemma and then to make a choice between two solutions. For example: “You are to attend a social gathering at a home not previously visited … Would you prefer … to go in evening dress with a chance of being made conspicuous or in ordinary dress and perhaps feel out of place?” All Martin’s observers report as the final phase in their decision what he calls self-assertion which, he finds, invariably involves a self reference: the determination, “This is what I, myself, will really do.”
The personalistic psychologist finds support for his position even in the two experimental investigations, those of Wheeler and of Amen, whose authors expressly deny that their introspectors report the consciousness of self. My reasons for this high-handed challenge of the interpretations made by Wheeler and by Amen of the introspective records of their own observers are briefly these: Both sets of [p. 58] introspectors assert the existence of self. “It was ‘I,'” says one of them, “who did the figuring and regarded the answers and felt the effort of strain in attempting to get them correct.” “It was pretty definitely I,” another says, “who was experiencing the sinking feeling. The sinking feeling wasn’t just going on, it was my sinking feeling.” “A complex kinaesthetic and visual schema,” one of Wheeler’s subjects declares, “represented to me that I was in the act of ‘accepting’ this title as my choice.” Wheeler and Amen attempt to explain away these seemingly unambiguous examples of a consciousness of self, first, by the curious and entirely unjustified assumption that a consciousness of self, if it ever occurred, would be elemental; and secondly, by the attempt to reduce this experience of self to impersonal terms, in Wheeler’s case to sensations chiefly kinaesthetic, in Amen’s case to a meaning-sensory-imaginal complex of the perceptual order. Both attempts are unsuccessful — Wheeler’s because he leaves unanalyzed two technical terms, acceptance and self-imposition of instruction, both obviously involving the experience of contrasting selves; Amen’s because her undefined term meaning conceals an implicit reference to consciousness of self.
b) In the face of these considerations candid critics of personalistic psychology must certainly abandon the charge that serious experimental introspections include no observations of the self. They will, however, recur to their more general position. If, they repeat, the self is, as the personalists claim, immediately experienced, then it should be observed and reported by everybody and this notoriously is not the case. (1) To this, as self-psychologist, I make the following reply: It is, of course, impossible categorically to deny the outcome of anybody’s introspection. I cannot accordingly directly dispute the statement of the psychologist who asserts that he never finds a self. I can, however, convict him of naïve inconsistency in his emphatic assertion, I find no self. For who, I ask, is this I which denies that it observes an I? In a word, I accuse my critic of assuming, in almost every paragraph, the existence of the very self whom he disbars. (a) In reply, the objector, if he runs true to form, will insist that his use of the pronoun ‘I’ is a mere language habit. By [p. 59] the phrases, “I remember,” “I accept,” “I sympathize,” so he says, he means simply that “a memory,” “an acceptance,” “a sympathy,” occurs. In a word, he is merely adopting the personalistic convention of language. And he contends that I have no more right to attribute to him a latent self-psychology than I have a right to foist on any one who “sees the sun rise” a Ptolemaic conception of the physical universe. (b) My critic cannot, however, hope by this facile retort to win for himself the privilege of hunting with impersonalistic hounds while he runs with personalistic hares. For the truth is that critics of self-psychology do not confine themselves to the casual use of expressions such as “I perceive,” “I attend,” “I feel.” Rather, they employ the technical distinctions of the self-psychologist in analyzing and classifying psychological phenomena. To state this more definitely: the unequivocal opponents of self-psychology habitually define or describe psychological phenomena not merely in terms of sensations, complexes, patterns, and what-not, but in terms also of the conscious self. The pages which follow abundantly substantiate this statement and I know no treatise on psychology which does not illustrate it. My initial argument for self-psychology is, accordingly, simply this: that even its opponents persistently invoke the self in systematic exposition and description, whereas it is contrary to all canons of science at once to employ and to outlaw a given conception. Either all references to any self should be eschewed or the self should be given a standing in psychology.
(3) The serious critic of self-psychology, if I understand him rightly, proposes to accept this conclusion. Indeed, he urges, as has already appeared, that the self, if admitted to psychology, would be of small value or, in the words of one of these critics, make “very little return.” This rejoinder leads directly to my final argument for the self in psychology. I have just urged that critics of self-psychology constantly describe psychic phenomena in personalistic terms. I claim now that they inevitably use these terms. To state this differently: I assert unhesitatingly that there are certain experiences, admitted by every introspectionist and by most behaviorists to be subject-matter of psychology, which simply cannot adequately be described save in terms of the characters and attitudes of the self; that the self is consequently neither an avoidable nor an empty concept in psychology. Recognition is a classic instance. Everybody is [p. 60] familiar with J. S. Mill’s annotation on the associationist teaching of James Mill. “Memory,” he says, “is having (an) idea recalled along with the belief that the fact, which it is idea of, really happened…. and…. to myself…. who formerly experienced the facts remembered, and who was the same ego then as now.” Less familiar is a similar statement by Titchener, uncompromising critic of self-psychology. Arguing against the notions of a memory-idea as copy of past experience, he says: “A verbal-motor image…. may mean for A some visual object that he perceived so many years since.” The phrase “for A” is, of course, no more nor less than a thinly veiled reference to a self.
Other examples of these experiences which must be described in terms of self-psychology are sympathy, vanity, and trust. It is plainly impossible to distinguish sympathetic from unsympathetic joy or grief by enumeration of organic sensations and affective elements, for these are or may be precisely similar in the two cases. What, for example, distinguishes my sympathy in your loss of a fifty-dollar bill and my regret at my loss, while in your company, of a similar bill? From the impersonalistic point of view, there occur in each case, first, visual images of a bill, a purse, your figure, and places in which the loss might have occurred; secondly, visceral sensations, diaphragm pressure and the like; thirdly, sensations due to changes in the circulatory and vascular systems; fourthly, affective unpleasantness. But these factors are not significantly different in the two cases: in the end, one has to distinguish the two experiences on the ground that in one and not in the other of them I feel myself to be sharing the consciousness of someone else. In similar fashion, one falls short of the distinction between trust and imperiousness if one fails to contrast the self-subordinating with the dominating attitude; and one slurs the difference between vanity and pride if one ignores the reference in vanity, and not in pride, to the shared estimate of one’s self by admiring fellow-selves.
The psychology of the social situation teems with similar instances. Instructive examples are found in the efforts of impersonalistic psychologists to deal with the relation of observer to experimenter. Titchener, for instance, quotes an observer’s report: “act of acceptance of essentially kinaesthetic character felt as belonging to the self-side [p. 61] of experience,” and interprets ‘<the latter phrase" as meaning that "the reactor felt himself in the attitude of acceptance, irrespectively of the actual physical attitude of the body." Such an attitude of acceptance, expressly contrasted with a bodily attitude, is of course personal. Imitation and initiation, leadership and docility, fundamental categories of social psychology, offer other examples of experiences meaningless unless conceived as relations of selves to each other. And by selves, I may venture to reiterate, are meant conscious beings, unique and complex totalities, identical yet changing, related to their environment-the distinctive beings, indicated by such expressions as "I am disappointed in myself," "I envy you," "I admire him."
I come back accordingly, enriched I hope by the intellectual spoils of all these years, to the position long ago attained. The most important present task of systematic psychology seems to me to demand the acceptance of personalistic psychology in one of its forms; and to include the establishment, by experimentally controlled investigations and by seriously undertaken non-experimental observations, of the basal categories of psychology thus conceived. The decisive reason for this conclusion consists simply in the intellectual necessity of fitting the basal concepts of psychology to the basal facts of introspection; and a second significant, though subsidiary, reason is to be found in the present-day prominence of the social and of the therapeutic sciences. Sociology and political science, mental hygiene and psychotherapy, are fundamentally psychological disciplines; and the psychology which lies at the root of them is indubitably social psychology. But social psychology obviously is self-psychology, for it presupposes the existence of selves in relation to each other and indeed consists precisely in the study of these selves as variously related. To substantiate this claim it is necessary only to cast a glance at the intrepid but wholly unsuccessful efforts of behaviorists to deal with social phenomena. Impersonalistic introspectionists, conceiving their science as the study of successive psychic events, for the most part ignore the concrete problems of social psychology. Behaviorists, on the other hand, have much to say of social behavior, "the reactions to language, gestures, and other movements of our fellow-men," as opposed to non-social behavior, namely, <'our reaction toward non- [p. 62] social objects such as plants, minerals, tools." Weiss, for example, who maintains that "all human conduct….reduces to nothing but different kinds of electron-proton groupings" and "the motions that occur when one….form changes into another," none the less stresses the distinction between 'me' and 'my fellow-man'; and Watson, though he "can get along without consciousness," urges the following questions (among many others) "as indicatory of… factors which we should have information about whenever there is practical or scientific need for a personality judgment…. Is [the subject] loyal to his friends?…. Does he sacrifice his work and responsibility to his supporting tendencies?…. Is he affectionate and kind or jealous?…. Is he domineering or submissive?…. Is he truthful, faithful to his word?…. Is he easily shocked?…." With superb inconsistency these behaviorists overlook the fact that loyalty and responsibility, jealousy and kindness, domination and submission, truthfulness and being shocked, are not the qualities of bodily processes nor of electron-proton aggregates. To state this criticism more generally: on the behavioristic theory, no distinction is possible between social and non-social behavior and its objects. For the behaviorist conceives psychology as the study of reacting bodies, that is, of moving physical objects, and from this point of view there can be no basal difference between a human being and a plant or a tool; all are alike moving bodies. In a word, the behaviorist has no right to the conception of "the individual and his fellows," for by 'fellow' he must mean precisely a being conscious, like himself, with whom he is in realized relation. I am brought back in this fashion to my initial assertion that social psychology is inevitably personalistic psychology. And this drives home the conviction that a scientific pursuit of personalistic psychology is imperatively needed today for the grounding and the upbuilding of the still unsystematized and eclectic disciplines roughly grouped as the social sciences.
[*]·Died February 26, 1930.
 Principles of Psychology, Vol. I, pp. vi, 196, 1852.
 Op. cit., I, pp. 345 ff.
 Op. cit., I, pp. 225 ff.
 "Statistics of dreams," Amer. J. Psychol., 1893, 5,334, 3323.
 Cf. Brill, A. A. "Fundamental conceptions of psychoanalysis"; "Everybody dreams" (p. 140). Other agreements are the following: (1) "The mind takes a problem and works it into a dream" (Brill, op. cit., p. 148) — a suggestion of the reasoning dream discussed in my "Statistics of dreams" (op. cit., p. 325); (2) "it is invariably something of the day before the dream that starts the trends of the associations" (Brill, op. cit., p. 2412) — a statement closely resembling my conclusion that "the dream is connected…. in the experience of these observers….with the recent life" (op. cit., p. 3313); (3) "a quotation in the dream is always based on something seen or read but it is usually modified to fit the situation in the dream" (Brill, op.·cit., p. 2443) — an accurate description of more than one of what I called my verbal dreams (op. cit., pp. 322 f.)
 Amer. J. Psychol., 1893, 5, 439 ff.; 1895, 7, 90 ff.
 "Theorien über die Empfindung farbiger und farbloser Lichter." Arch. f. Anat. u. Physiol. (Physiolog. Abtheilung. Supplement), 1902.
 "The limits of genetic and of comparative psychology." (A paper read at the International Congress of Arts and Science, St. Louis, 1904.) Brit. J. Psychol., 1905, 1, 262-285.
 Ibid., pp. 207 ff. Cf. An Introduction to Psychology, 1901, pp. 114 ff.
 A First Book in Psychology, 1910, 1914, Appendix, Section IV., pp. 336 ff.
 "Elements of conscious complexes." Psychol. Rev., 1900, 2, p. 479.
 Cited in the preceding note.
 Cf. my paper, "Attributes of sensation." Psychol. Rev., 1899, 8, 506-514.
 Zsch. f. Psychol. u. Physiol., 1903, 92, 177-199; 33, 161-170.
 "A suggested classification of cases of association." Phil. Rev., 1892, 1, p. 3921.
 "Association." Psychol. Rev., Monog. Suppl., 1896, 2, 4-5.
 "Statistics of dreams." Amer. J. Psychol., 1893, 5, 3353-336.
 Phil. Rev., 1900, 9, pp. 4913f.
 Ibid., p. 501.
 Ibid., pp. 489-499.
 Cf. Münsterberg's paper on "Psychology and history" in the volume, Psychology and Life, 1899. For "history" he later substituted the term 'purposive psychology.' Cf. Psychology, General and Applied, 1915, chapters II and XI-XV. For my comment, cf. the paper, already cited, "Psychology as science of selves." and a review, Psychol. Bull., 1914, 22, 38 ff.
 Psychol. Rev., 1906, 13, 76.
 Cf. 4, pp. 673-683, and 5, pp. 12-20, 64-68, 113-122.
 First edition, 1910; fourth and latest revised edition, 1914.
 Amer. J. Psychol., Washburn Commemorative Volume, 1927, 39, 7-22.
 "The case of self against soul." Psychol. Rev., 1917, 24, 78-300.
 Cf. "The self in scientific psychology. Amer. J. Psychol, 1915, 26, 495-524. "Fact and inference in Wheeler's doctrine of will and self-activity." Psychol. Rev., 1921, 28, 356-373.
 "The truly psychological behaviorism." Psychol. Rev., 1921, 28, 1-18.
 "McDougall's treatment of experience." Brit. J. Psychol., 1923, 13, 337-343.
 "Critical comments on the Gestalt-Theorie." Psychol. Rev., 1926, 33, 135-158.
 "The self-psychology of the psychoanalysts." Proceedings and Papers of the Ninth International Congress of Psychology, pp. 110 f.
 "Converging lines in contemporary psychology." Brit. J. Psychol. (Gen. Sec.), 1926, 16, 171-179.
 Cf. My "Is the self body or has it a body?" J. Phil., 1908, 5, 12-20.
 Angell, J. R. "The province of functional psychology." Psychol. Rev., 1907, 14, p. 82 and Note.
 Elements of Scientific Psychology, pp. 22-24.
 An Outline of Psychology, p. 2211. Cf. p. 40.
 For the account which follows, I am responsible, though for the most part in accord with my colleague, Professor Eleanor Gamble. But though the specific analyses and much of the terminology are my own, I find that personalistic psychologists agree with me not only in essentials but, implicitly if not explicitly, in many details. Cf. my "Converging lines in contemporary psychology." Brit. J. Psychol., 1926, 175 f.
 Cf. my A First Book in Psychology, Chapters XII and XIII, especially pp. 226 f., 244 f.
 The preceding paragraph embodies several additions to my earlier teaching. The first of these is the treatment of the so-called structural elements, sensational, affective, and relational experience, as forms of receptivity. The second is the broadening of the conception of activity to include wishing. The recognition of the feeling of being compelled as mere receptivity and from assertiveness I also for the propose. It is virtually the distinction made, years ago, by Michotte. (Cf. Arch. d. Psychol., 1911, 10, 1953.) The experience is constantly reported by introspecters in an as yet unpublished study of choice, made at Wellesley College.
 Cf. for detail the relevant chapters of my A First Book in Psychology.
 Die Psychologie und der Personalismus, p. 154.
 Outline of Psychology, p. 402.
 Das Gefühls- und Willensleben, p. 151.
 Cf. Stout, in "Mind, objectivity, and fact," Aristotelian Society. Supplementary Vol. VII, 1927, The nature of introspection, p. 852.
 Cf. Stern, Die Psychologie und der Personalismus, pp. 425, 354.
 For a more detailed discussion of this issue, cf. J. Phil., 1908, 5, 13 f.
I may refer also to my criticism of the doctrine common to most if not all of these psychosomatic personalists, that the self is always, consciously or unconsciously, purposive. In opposition to this, I have pointed out, first, that unconscious purpose is a contradiction in terms and, secondly, that the self though often, is not invariably, purposive. (For statement of this doctrine, cf. Stern, Die Menschliche Persönlichkeit, pp. 19, 134, 142; McDougall, W. Outline of Psychology, pp. 47, 53 and passim. For my criticism, cf. my "Converging lines of contemporary psychology," op. cit., pp. 176f., with footnote 3, p. 177.
 Die Psychologie und der Personalismus, pp. 63 et al.
 "In jeder einzelnen Empfindung, in jeder einzelnen Willenshandlung wirkt das ganze Ich mit, und nur von dieser Ganzheit des Ich aus sind die augeblichen konstitutive Elemente zu verstehen." Op. cit.. p. 182.
 Die Psychologie und der Personalismus, pp. 72, 422.
 Die Menschliche Persönlichkeit, p. 95.
 Cf. Stern, Die Menschliche Persönlichkeit, Chap. III, p. 95; McDougall W., Outline of Psychology, Chapters II-IV.
 Die Menschliche Persönlichkeit, p. 115.
 Müller-Freienfels, Das Gefühls- und Willensleben, pp. 2394, 42; Stern, Die menschliche Persönlichkeit, pp. 19, 23 f.
 Op. cit., pp. 151 ff.
 The exception is Koffka. For his doctrine of the conscious organism cf. his paper on "Introspection." Brit. J. Psychol., 1924, 15, 153.
 "Description vs. statement of meaning." Amer. J. Psychol., 1912, 23, 167.
 The Foundations of Psychology, p. 152
 I am not denying the validity of these inferences, but am merely concerned to brand them as non-psychological.
 To claim as Roback does that "to speak of a permanent self is to commit oneself to a purely idealistic conception of psychology" is to ignore the fact that personalistic psychology is compatible with any save a genuinely materialistic metaphysics. In confirmation of this conclusion I may appeal to John Laird, unequivocal realist, who none the less says that "desiring, willing, and knowing do not float around loosely. They always unite in a personality" (cf. "A study in realism," p. 173).
 The General Problems of Psychology, p. 1862
 The term choice is used in the sense in the sense of experience antecedent to a reaction to one of several alternative objects.
 On all this cf. Ach, N. Über den Willensakt und das Temperament, Chap. III.
 Cf. Michotte, A., & Prüm, E. Étude expérimentale sur la choix voluntaire et ces antecedents immediats." Arch. d. Psychol., 1911, 10, pp. 113 ff. Barrett, E.B. Motive force and motivation tracks, 1911. Wells, H. M. "The phenomenology of acts of choice." Brit. J. Psychol. Monog., 1927; No. 11. (It should be noted that Dr. Wells expressly recognizes the consciousness of self in experiences other than choice.)
 "An experimental study of the factors and types of voluntary choice." Arch. Psychol., 1922, No. 51, p. 58.
 "An experimental investigation of the process of choosing." Univ. Ore. Publ., 1920, 1.
 "An experimental study of the self in psychology." Psychol. Rev., Monog. Suppl., 1926, No. 165.
 For more adequate consideration of these investigations, cf. my "Fact and inference in Raymond Wheeler's doctrine of will and self-activity. Psychol. Rec., 1921, 28, 356-373, and my "Self awareness and meaning." Amer. J. Psychol., 1927, 38, 441-448.
 Amen, op. cit., p. 49 (Observer M).
 Amen, op. cit., p. 48 (Observer F).
[70 Wheeler, op. cit., p. 123·(Observer. J).
 Cf. Wheeler, op. cit., pp. 29, 51; Amen, op. cit., p. 72.
 Cf. Gamble, E. A. McC. "A defense of psychology as science of selves." Psychol. Bull., 1915, 12, 196.
 Roback, A. Behaviorism and Psychology, 1923, p. 264.
 Note 33 to Vol. II., Chapter XIV, Section 7 of James Mill's Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind.
 A Beginner's Psychology, 1915, §40, p. 186.
 Textbook of Psychology, Part II, 1911, p. 467. Note.
 Allport, F. H., Social Psychology, p. 3· It is unnecessary to add that Allport includes within social psychology the study of consciousness accompanying social behavior.
 A Theoretical Thesis of Human Belraoior, 1925, p. 501.
 Op. cit., p. 288 and passim.
 Op. cit., p. VIII.