Ability and Knowledge

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    Abstract

    THE number and character of contending schools of psychology were well brought out a few years ago in a large volume issued in America under the title “Psychologies of 1930”. No fewer than eleven schools came under review, one of them being the “Factor School”, created by Prof. C. Spearman, and described by him as a school to end schools. That the other schools still flourish?for there is no one of them which does not contain some portion of the truth?does not prove that Prof. Spearman's expectation, or at least his hope, is entirely disappointed. On the contrary it is probably true to say that his theory of a general factor (the now rather famous g) and of a variety of specific factors in ability holds the field more securely than ever; and it is equally true to say that his analysis of the birth and growth of knowledge places the psychological study of ?cognition on a more scientific footing than has ever existed before. After reading Spearman, one can scarcely resist the conclusion that the time has come when William James's lament that psychology was no science, but only the hope of a science, is no longer justifiable.

    Ability and Knowledge:

    the Standpoint of the London School. By Frank C. Thomas. Pp. xx + 338. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1935.) 15s. net.

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