Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. II: Quantitative Experiments, part 2: Instructor's Manual
Person:
Titchener, Edward B.
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit11940/109/
§ 4- Criticism 
ciii 
the fact that it is a ‘tree’ and not a bundle of sticks. " Reasoning at 
every step he treads, Man yet mistakes the way : ” the lines might have 
been written of Fechner. 
But did Fechner acknowledge the circle, when it was pointed out? 
Naturally not. The R. is concerned only to meet Müller’s objections, to 
offer in its turn objectipns to Müller's positive views, and to repeat, in 
fuller and more precise form, the exposition of the Elemente.1 The soli¬ 
darity of his system blinds Fechner here, as it blinded him before. Let us 
take a single instance. Müller had remarked that, on Fechner’s theory of 
the seat of mind, a ganglion which regulates, say, the peristaltic move¬ 
ments of the intestine would, if the excitation transcended a certain 
liminal value, form part of the “engeren Seelensitz ’’ just as truly as a 
region of the pons or of the cortex. Fechner replies, a little indignantly, 
that he has already stated “ dass Reize, die durch den weiteren Seelen¬ 
sitz (d. h. den Körper ausser den engeren) verlaufen, nicht eher Empfind¬ 
ung, Bewusstsein erwecken, als bis sie zum engeren Seelensitz gelangt 
sind.”2 * This is quite true ; but it does not meet Müller’s objection. 
For what is the “engere Seelensitz?” Fechner, however, continues. 
“ Mag in einem Darmganglion die psychophysische Erregung über der 
Schwelle sein, so bleibt sie uns unbewusst, so lange nicht der ganze 
Tract von Erregungen, der sie mit dem Gehirn verbindet, mit über der 
Schwelle ist : " and Müller ought to have known this, since it is to be 
found in the chapter on Psychophysische Continuität und Discontinuität.8 
But we find in that chapter that a principal wave (individual conscious¬ 
ness), which runs its course continuously above the principal limen, may 
carry surface waves, which are discontinuous above and continuous only 
below their own limen. The discontinuity means simply that the cor¬ 
responding mental processes are discriminable within one and the same 
individual consciousness.4 Flow, then, is Müller answered ? Indeed, 
the reader who, checked by Fechner’s reproachful words, returns to the 
inner psychophysics of the Elemente with the idea that Müller has done 
the psychophysical theory injustice, will lay the book down with the 
renewed conviction that Müller is right. The fact seems to be that 
Fechner, in 1882, is inclining to draw the limits of the " engeren Seelen¬ 
sitz ” more narrowly then he had done in i860,—while he steadily refuses 
to admit any change in his general attitude to the question. 
The Limens in the Massprincipien.—It remains now to consider the 
treatment of the two limens in the essay of 1887, Ueber die psychischen 
1 See 242 ff., 269 ff., 284 ff. ; cf. 218, 266 ff. The I. S. has little to say on these 
matters : see 26 f., 70 f., 85 ff., 97 f., 218 f. 
2 R., 243, note; El., ii., 391. 
8 El., ii., 526 ff. 4 Ibid., 540.
        

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