Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
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]
Person:
Baldwin, James Mark
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29445/500/
HERBARTIANISM 
The necessary and sufficient condition of 
union is co-presentation—the simultaneous 
existence of presentative activities above the 
threshold. Not only disparate and qualita¬ 
tively identical, but also contrary presentations 
unite with each other. 
The union of disparate presentations is 
called complication, that of contrary or qualita¬ 
tively identical presentations is called fusion. 
Fusion takes place between the presentation 
residua which remain after the partial arrest 
of presentative activities. It also takes place 
while the process of ai'rest is still going on. 
It is important for the Herbartian theory 
of reproduction that complications and fusions 
are formed between presentative activities 
only in so far as they are simultaneously above 
the threshold. If a has entered into union 
with b, and both a and b afterwards sink below 
the threshold, the subsequent emergence of 
a into consciousness will tend to raise b also 
into consciousness, but only in that degree of 
conscious intensity which 6 possessed at the 
moment of its original co-presentation with a. 
When b has reached this degree of intensity 
it ceases to receive further support from a. 
On the other hand, the conscious intensity of 
a when the union was formed determines the 
strength of the support which it gives to b. 
Herbart explains from this point of view the 
fact that 4 in a series of associated presenta¬ 
tions, A,B,G,B,E, such as the movements made 
in writing the words of a poem learned by 
heart, or the simple letters of the alphabet 
themselves, we find that each member recalls 
its successor, but not its predecessor ’ (Ward, 
Encyc. Brit.,&vt. 61). The Herbartian explana¬ 
tion is as follows : in the original experiences 
A first rises into full conscious intensity, and 
it is then gradually arrested by the occurrence 
of B. When B has risen to its full height 
above the threshold, A has sunk towards it; 
similarly, when C has attained its maximum 
of conscious intensity, B has become obscured, 
and A has become still more obscured ; the 
same holds for D and E. Now, suppose the 
whole series to have passed from consciousness, 
and that on a subsequent occasion G recurs. 
The fusion of G with A and B took place 
when G itself was at its maximum intensity ; 
and its tendency to revive A and B will be 
proportionate in strength to this intensity : 
on the other hand, A and B were both on the 
wane at the time of co-presentation, A being- 
nearer the threshold than B. G will therefore 
reproduce A and A in a state of obscuration, 
and the revived A will be more obscured than 
the revived B. On the other hand, since G 
was co-presented in its maximum intensity 
both with A and B, it will reinstate these 
simultaneously and rapidly. Thus there will 
be no successive emergence of B and A into 
full distinctness, but only a simultaneous 
reproduction of them in different degrees of 
obscurity. D and E, on the contrary, will 
emerge successively into full conscious intensity. 
For D had reached its maximum when it 
fused with A, A, and G, and A, A, and G will 
therefore tend to reinstate it in full intensity. 
But since A, A, and G were waning at the 
time of co-presentation, they will reinstate 
D slowly and gradually, and for a similar 
reason they will tend to reinstate E still more 
slowly. 
This is a good example of the way in which 
Herbart applies his abstract principles to the 
elucidation of psychological matter of fact. In 
this instance his own ingenuity is perhaps 
more conspicuous than any actual service¬ 
rendering to psychological theory. But at 
other points his explanations are more felicitous, 
and have, in fact, proved epoch-making. In 
particular we may refer to his account of the 
genesis of spatial and temporal presentation 
as distinctive forms of serial order due to 
different modes of fusion, to the doctrine of 
presentation masses and of AppEKCEPTiON(q.v.), 
and to his classical investigation of the nature 
and development of Self - consciousness 
The doctrine of apperception variously 
modified and improved has become the common 
property of modern psychologists ; and all 
modern accounts of the stages in the growth 
of the consciousness of self are under a deep 
debt, recognized or unrecognized, to Herbart. 
His theories of the origin of temporal and 
spatial presentations are in manyrespects highly 
suggestive ; and though on the whole they 
must be regarded as failures, it ought to be 
remembered that they are the first systematic 
attempts to solve these problems. 
The most noteworthy among those who 
can be called in the strict sense disciples 
of Herbart in psychology are T. Waitz, 
M. Drobisch, W. Volkmann (v. Volkmar). The 
Zeitschrift für exacte Philosophie was, until 
recently, the recognized organ of the school. 
It has now given place to the Zeitschrift für 
philosophie und Pädagogik. Steinthal and 
Lazarus have applied the Herbartian doctrine 
of apperception to the psychology of language 
and of primitive thought. (g.f.s.) 
With Herbart’s name is also associated one 
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