Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

there long before elsewhere. It was not until the 
beginning of the present century that it occurred in 
Germany. Then it happened as a revulsion from the 
widely spread speculative philosophy. The attack on 
the speculative method was successfully made by 
Herbart. In place of speculation the material of 
psychology was to be found by “internal observation, 
association with persons of various degrees of culture, 
the observations of the educator and the statesman, 
the expositions of travellers, historians, and moralists : 
finally, experiences with the insane, the sick, and 
with animals.” Herbart was followed by a school of 
brilliant disciples who excelled in sharp observations 
and wide-reaching deductions. 
Thus both in England and Germany a scientific 
treatment of psychological questions was made possible 
by the victory of observation over speculation. 
We must turn again to Galilei for the development 
of still another method, that of experiment. The 
step taken by Galilei was a simple but mighty one. 
It is difficult for us of the present day to understand 
the state of mind at the time of Galilei. The works 
of Aristotle were considered as the final authorities 
for all matters of fact, and no one ever dreamed of 
looking for facts except by reading books. Aristotle 
had said, among other things, that bodies fell at rates 
depending on their weight. 
“ Why he said so nobody knows. He cannot have tried. He 
was not above trying experiments, like his smaller disciples ; but 
probably it never occurred to him to doubt the fact. It seems so 
natural that a heavy body should fall quicker than a light one, and 
perhaps he thought of a stone and a feather and was satisfied. 
“ Galilei, however, asserted that the weight did not matter a bit> 
that everything fell at the same rate (even a stone and a feather, 
but for the resistance of the air), and would reach the ground in the r 
same time.


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