Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 1 [a-laws]
Baldwin, James Mark
the opposite hemisphere via the callosum and 
precommissure. For a diagram of the latter 
relation see Spinal Coed (Fig. 4). For illus¬ 
tration of the course of the more definite 
association tracts cf. the figure on p. 79. 
The association fibres apparently develop late 
in the ontogeny, and the perfection with which 
the higher processes of perception, conception, 
judgment, &c., are performed may reasonably 
be supposed to be conditioned on the com¬ 
pleteness with which the neural associations 
are provided for. Senile return to the sim¬ 
pler range of associations may result from the 
atrophy of the more remote connections. 
Literature : Meynebt, Neue Studien über 
die Associationsbündel des Hirnmantels, 
Sitzber. d. hais. Akad. d. Wiss. Wien, ci. 
(1892), 361-79; Bechteeew, Zur Frage ü. 
d. äusseren Associationsfasern der Hirnrinde, 
Neurol. Centralbl. (1891); Flechsig, Zur 
Entwickelungsgeschichte des Associations¬ 
systems im menschlichen Gehirn, Berichte u. 
Yerh. d. kgl. sächs. Gesell, d. Wiss. (1894); 
Flechsig, Gehirn u. Seele, Rede (2nd ed., 
1896); Baekee, The Sense-areas and Asso¬ 
ciation-centres in the Brain as described by 
Flechsig, J. of Nerv, and Ment. Dis., xxiv. 
6, 326-56 (1897); Souby, Le Syst. nerv. 
centr. (1900), ii. See also Bbain, and Nee- 
vous System. (h.h.) 
Associationism : Ger. Associationspsycho¬ 
logie ; Fr. associationisme ; Ital. dottrina 
psicologica dell’ associazione. The theory 
which, starting with certain simple and ulti¬ 
mate constituents of consciousness, makes 
mental development consist solely or mainly 
in the combination of these elements accord¬ 
ing to certain laws of Association (q. v.). 
According to this theory, rigidly carried 
out, all genesis of new products is due to 
the combination of pre-existing elements. 
Cf. Composition Theoey, and Mind-stuff 
ThEOEY. (G.F.S.-J.M.B.) 
We may quote from Hartley (Observations 
on Alan, 1749) as at once the founder and, 
together with James Mill, the most typical 
representative of modern associationism : 
‘ Sensations may be said to be associated to¬ 
gether when their impressions are either made 
precisely at the same instant of time or in the 
contiguous successive instants. . .. Any sensa¬ 
tions, A, B, C, &c., by being associated with 
one another a sufficient number of times, get 
such a power over the corresponding ideas a, 
b, c, &c., that any one of the sensations A, 
when impressed alone, shall be able to excite 
in the mind b, c, &c., the ideas of the rest ’ 
(Pt. I, prop. 10). By frequent repetition of 
this reproductive process ‘ the simple ideas of 
sensation run into clusters and combinations ; 
and each of these will at last coalesce into one 
complex idea, by the approach and commixture 
of the several compounding parts. ... If the 
number of simple ideas which compose the 
complex one be very great, it may happen 
that the complex idea shall not appear to bear 
any relation to these its component parts. . . . 
The reason of this is that each single idea is 
overpowered by the sum of all the rest, . . .’ 
as ‘in very compound medicines the several 
tastes and flavours of the separate ingredients 
are lost and overpowered by the complex one 
of the whole mass. . . . One may hope, there¬ 
fore, that by pursuing and perfecting the 
doctrine of association, we may some time or 
other be enabled to analyse all that vast 
variety of complex ideas, which pass under 
the name of ideas of reflection and intellectual 
ideas, into their simple compounding parts, 
i. e. into the simple ideas of sensation, of 
which they consist’ (prop. 12). ‘Admitting 
the powers of leaving traces and of association, 
compounds of mental changes will arise from 
simple bodily ones by means of words, symbols, 
and associated circumstances’ (prop. 33). ‘ The 
passions must be aggregates of the ideas, or 
traces of the sensible pleasures or pains ; which 
ideas make up, by their number and mutual 
influence upon one another, for the faintness 
and transitory nature of each singly taken’ 
(prop. 89). Hume, whose Treatise on Human 
Nature was first published ten years before 
Hartley’s Observations, is the first among 
English writers clearly to distinguish between 
association by contiguity and association by 
similarity. He adds to these causality, and 
considers himself to have given a complete list 
of the conditions of association. The chief 
interest of his work, however, lies in his 
attempt to give an explanation on the lines 
of associationism of the psychological origin 
of the categories of causality and individual 
identity. James Mill (1773-1836) works in 
an original manner on the lines of Hartley. 
In him associationism culminates. Its later 
representatives, J. S. Mill and A. Bain, are by 
no means pure associationists. J. S. Mill 
breaks away from the old tradition in his 
doctrine of ‘mental chemistry,’ and Bain 
does the same in a different way by laying 
stress on the importance of subjective selec¬ 
tion as determining motor activity and 
attention. (g.f.s.) 
Literature : see Association. 


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