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English Psychology


SEEING that the doctrines of the English school of Experimental Psychology are “unknown, or very nearly unknown, in France,” M. Ribot has certainly done a very useful work in giving to the French people an analysis of the conclusions in mental science arrived at by Hartley, James Mill, Herbert Spencer, A. Bain, G. H. Lewes, Samuel Bailey, John Stuart Mill. The most substantial objection that could be urged against such an undertaking is the difficulty of doing satisfactorily the thing attempted. In no department of knowledge claiming the name of Science is there so little settled doctrine; indeed, Mr. Lewes has just told us in his “Problems of Life and Mind “that there is still wanting the materials for its construction as a science; nor is there in any science so little agreement among the authorities, or so great probability that honest application may be rewarded with an entire misapprehension of their meaning. The book before us is of course M. Ribot's answer to this objection; and we are bound to say that, considering the special difficulty of the task, and remembering the object he had in view, it is a very worthy and valuable performance. While there is probably not one of the writers whom he has undertaken to expound who would not object to his rendering of one or other of their opinions, all must, we think, agree in regarding M. Ribot as a highly appreciative student, and must feel grateful to him for this attempt to spread their opinions. Indeed to us M. Ribot seems rather to err in the direction of wishing to present in the most favourable light, and to make the most of, the views of each writer in turn.

English Psychology.

Translated from the French of Th. Ribot. (Henry S. King and Co.)

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SPALDING, D. English Psychology . Nature 10, 82–83 (1874).

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