Psychology: The Briefer Course [NOOK Book]


Condensed and reworked from James's monumental Principles of Psychology, this classic text examines habit; stream of consciousness; self and the sense of personal identity; discrimination and association; the sense of time; memory; perception; imagination; reasoning; emotions, instincts; the will and voluntary acts; and much more. This edition omits the outdated first nine chapters.

"James's work written in 1892 illustrates to the modern mind how far we have come ...

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Psychology: The Briefer Course

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Condensed and reworked from James's monumental Principles of Psychology, this classic text examines habit; stream of consciousness; self and the sense of personal identity; discrimination and association; the sense of time; memory; perception; imagination; reasoning; emotions, instincts; the will and voluntary acts; and much more. This edition omits the outdated first nine chapters.

"James's work written in 1892 illustrates to the modern mind how far we have come in returning to some of James's insights."--Studies in Formative Spirituality.

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Editorial Reviews

American psychologist and philosopher James (1842-1910) examines a wide range of topics such as the importance and physical basis of habit, stream of consciousness, self and the sense of personal identity, discrimination and association, the sense of time, memory, perception, imagination, reasoning, emotions compared to instincts, the will and voluntary acts, and other subjects. This brief version omits the long-outdated first nine chapters of his original two-volume treatise. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486120959
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 2/8/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 300,450
  • File size: 2 MB

Table of Contents

"Its importance, and its physical basis"
Due to pathways formed in the centres
Its practical uses
Concatenated acts
Necessity for guiding sensations in secondarily automatic performances
Pedagogical maxims concerning the formation of habits
Analytic order of our study
Every state of mind forms part of a personal consciousness
The same state of mind is never had twice
Permanently recurring ideas are a fiction
Every personal consciousness is continuous
Substantive and transitive states
Every object appears with a 'fringe' of relations
The 'topic' of the thought
Thought may be rational in any sort of imagery
Consciousness is always especially interested in some one part of its object
The Me and the I
The material Me
The social Me
The spiritual Me
"Self-seeking, bodily, social and spiritual"
Rivalry of the Mes
Their hierarchy
Teleology of self-interest
"The I, or 'pure ego'"
Thoughts are not compounded of 'fused' sensations
The 'soul' as a combining medium
The sense of personal identity
Explained by identity of function in successive passing thoughts
Mutations of the self
Insane delusions
Alternating personalities
Mediumships or possessions
Who is the Thinker
The narrowness of the field of consciousness
Dispersed attention
To how much can we attend at once?
The varieties of attention
"Voluntary attention, its momentary character"
"To keep our attention, an object must change"
Genius and attention
Attention's physiological conditions
The sense-organ must be adapted
The idea of the object must be aroused
Pedagogic remarks
Attention and free-will
Different states of mind can mean the same
"Conceptions of abstract, of universal, and of problematic objects"
The thought of 'the same' is not the same thought over again
Discrimination and association; definition of discrimination
Conditions which favor it
The sensation of difference
Differences inferred
That analysis of compound objects
"To be easily singled out, a quality should already be separately known"
Dissociation by varying concomitants
Practice improves discrimination
To order of our ideas
It is determined by cerebral laws
The ultimate cause of association is habit
The elementary law in association
Indeterminates of its results
Total recall
"Partial recall, and the law of interest"
"Frequency, recency, vividness, and emotional congruity tend to determine the object recalled"
"Focalized recall, or 'association by similarity'"
Voluntary trains of thought
The solution of problems
Similarity no elementary law; summary and conclusion
The sensible present has duration
We have no sense for absolutely empty time
We measure duration by the events which succeed in it
The feeling of past time is a present feeling
Due to a constant cerebral condition
What it is
It involves both retention and recall
Both elements explained by paths formed by habit in the brain
"Two conditions of a good memory, persistence and numerousness of paths"
One's native retentiveness is unchangeable
Improvement of memory
Pathological conditions
What it is
Imaginations differ from man to man; Galton's statistics of visual imagery
Images of sounds
Images of movement
Images of touch
Loss of images in aphasia
The neural process in imagination
Perception and sensation compared
The perceptive state of mind is not a compound
Perception is of definite things
First type: inference of the more usual object
Second type: inference of the object of which our mind is full
Genius and old-fogyism
The physiological process in perception
The attribute of extensity belongs to all objects of sensation
The construction of real space
The processes which it involves:
1) Subdivision
2) Coalescence of different sensible data into one 'thing'
3) Location in an environment
4) Place in a series of positions
5) Measurement
"Objects which are signs, and objects which are realities"
"The 'third dimension,' Berkeley's theory of distance"
The part played by the intellect in space-perception
What it is
It involves the use of abstract characters
What it is meant by an 'essential' character
The 'essence' varies with the subjective interest
"The two great points in reasoning, 'sagacity' and 'wisdom'"
The help given by association by similarity
The reasoning powers of brutes
All consciousness is motor
Three classes of movement to which it leads
Emotions compared with instincts
The varieties of emotion are innumerable
The cause of their varieties
"The feeling, in the coarser emotions, results from the bodily expression"
This view explains the great variability of emotion
A corollary verified
An objection replied to
The subtler emotions
Description of fear
Genesis of the emotional reactions
Its definition
Every instinct is an impulse
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