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Continuity Of The Mental Life

( Originally Published 1916 )



WE have now seen that instinctive tendencies persist. According to the illustrations we have just considered, they are a sort of connecting-thread running through life's activities. Alike in the pursuit of knowledge, in imitation, in the forming of habits, instinctive tendencies are always blending with new experience, helping to make each experience what it is. The primary tendencies persist ; and we have now to see that persistence is the underlying law of the whole mental process, and to view the unfolding of personality, whether spontaneously or at the hands of our educators, in this aspect.

(1) In our use of the terms " I" or " me " we always mean something more than a momentary consciousness of existing now. The "I " or a me " is, to the mind that interrogates itself, a something which was, as well as is, and a something which we expect to continue to be after the present experience is passed. The consciousness of going on is given to us in and with the fact of our mental activity. Of mental activity itself many psychologists believe we are not aware. But of the touch of the past upon the present, and an outlook from the present towards a future, we seem to be so fully conscious that we may find in it our first direct hint of the continuity of the mental process. Especially if we add the contribution that comes from the side of feeling—" Richard loves Richard ; that is, I am I "—the intuition appears immediate and undeniable. The common-sense belief in the continuity of the mental process and of personality underlies all educational procedure. The schoolmaster believes that the self-same scholar whom he was teaching or exhorting yesterday is present in propria persona in school to-day ; that the boy he teaches to-day will be one and the same boy to-morrow. Hence he expects the/ boy to remember yesterday's lesson, and to realise obligations or to receive instructions as to to-morrow's performance. Education could not proceed far were it not that the scholar retains and is expected to carry forward a specially intimate personal interest in his own experiences. The schoolboy, who was questioned with regard to a certain episode in his school life, would not have replied in the words of Virgil : "Infandum, regina, tubes me renovare dolorem," were it not that school experiences have a persistent personal flavour. The very first essentials of an educable self are that it persists, and that it cares.

(2) Taking up the question in more detail, we note, first, a distinct continuity between one moment of consciousness and the next. Each moment's experience has in it some colouring from the immediately preceding experience, and contains also some anticipation of an experience which is expected to immediately follow. Using the figure of a wave, the crests of which represent the successive phases of consciousness, the crests, as in the case of actual waves, always have relation to the parts of the wave pre-ceding and succeeding. The meaning of a sentence, for example, and our comprehension of it depend upon the reference or each word to what has preceded and to what is to follow. Thinking is a continuous process of glancing back and looking forward.

(3) Again, if we take the field of consciousness at any moment and compare it with the fields preceding and succeeding it, we find that part of the field is relatively permanent, whilst other parts are rapidly changing. In this relative persistence of parts of the field there is a distinct bond of continuity between the successive experiences. " At any given moment we have a certain whole of presentations, a ' field of consciousness' psychologically one and continuous ; at the next we have not an entirely new field, but a partial change within this field."

(d.) New experiences are always interpreted in terms of past experience. This law of apperception, whereby the mind "attends with " ideas it already possesses to ideas newly presented, is but another way of saying that continuity between past and present experience is absolutely necessary for the purposes of knowledge.

(5) Simple memory experiments can be made which show that experiences maintain themselves in memory in the groupings in which they actually occurred, and that they hold together and pass on as elements in our accumulating experience in this form.

Following the lead of Professor Cattell and Dr. Sophie Bryant, a number of experiments have year by year been tried by the writer with classes of students, the method being to read out a word and ask the students to write down the first thing suggested by it, thus

Word Read. Idea Suggested.
Snow White.
Late Punishment.
Time Flies.
Sheep Wool.

In one class "Registrar" suggested office (in two cases), registers (in three cases) marriage, man (two cases), university (two cases), dean, entrance (the registrar's office being till recently near the main entrance to the University), absence (absences being reported to the registrar), pen (the student remembering writing the letter in which he applied to the registrar for admission), room in corridor (the registrar's room), Mr. (the registrar's name). "Card " suggested membership, white (2), whist or playing (2), game (2), address (2), paper (associated with card as contiguous writing materials), admission to class, printing, Christmas. In only one case, namely, " paper " as suggested by " card," is there any appearance of suggestion through similarity, and that was explained by the student himself as above.

Professor Stout, who was one of those who took part in Professor Cattell's and Mrs. Bryant's experiments, ex-pressed the view that there might be disturbing conditions attaching to effort of this kind through the necessity of finding a verbal expression for the revived idea on the spur of the moment. It would be quite easy to collect less artificial instances. Class-work affords ample opportunities for this. The following is from the writer's own experience. One of our red-letter experiences as children in the old home was in summer-time to have tea in the summer-house, especially on Saturday when paterfamilias could be of the party. New bread and butter (the bread freshly brought in from the baker's) was permitted on these occasions, and fruit was frequently gathered from the trees in the garden and eaten with it. On a summer evening some nine or ten years after, I was walking past a cottage which stood back in a garden on the outskirts of the Forest of Dean, and happened to hear the clatter of cups and saucers from the open door as I went by. Suddenly the somewhat distinctive flavour of red currants with new bread and butter came back, and so vividly that I seemed to have the taste in my mouth. It took some little time to puzzle out the explanation. Using symbols, what actually had taken place might be represented very simply. S (summer), E (evening), O (out of doors), CS (sound of cups and saucers), F (flavour spoken of), were the items in the original experience. The traces left in the mind would be—using, as is customary, small letters for mental images or ideas left by experiences—s, e, o, cs, f. Nine years after S, E, 0, CS recurred in actual experience in a way which revived, through their practical identity with the earlier experiences, the mental images s, e, o, cs left by those experiences. But with the ideas left in the mind by that experience, that of the distinctive flavour, f, was inseparably bound up ; and now it came vividly back, recalled by the force of contiguous association. Through all these years the grouping of the early deeply impressed experiences had been maintained in its integrity. That is to say, elements which had been contiguous in actual occurrence remained contiguous in idea, and had continuously maintained themselves in this definite grouping till an appropriate stimulus, reviving certain of them, served to effect the complete recall. The continuity of our mental life could scarcely be more clearly proved. Mill confessed to finding an indication of permanence in the phenomena of memory and expectation, which no explanation based solely upon the weaving together of the elements of experience through the association of ideas could account for.

(6) Then, to recall what was said in the second chapter, the whole upbuilding of mind is conceived of as accompanied step by step by certain modifications of the nervous organism. No single conscious experience leaves our nerve and brain structure as it found it. This is the neural or physiological basis of memory and of habit. Such modifications tend to be permanent. And in the permanence of the physiological modifications on which memory and habit to so great an extent depend, we have a suggestion, if not a guarantee, of the permanence of the psychical elements which are associated with these modifications. For what has happened on the mental side is that past experiences have grown together, and the mind has passed on by continuous stages from a lower or simpler to a higher or more complex development.

(7) Doubless, if it were asked : In virtue of what is the mind a unity ; in virtue of thinking, or feeling, or willing ? the answer would be : In virtue of all three. But it is the third of these which, in a special way, plays the part of a nexus within the mental life, and helps to bind all together into a unity. Some would account for this mainly through the setting up of nerve-modifications. Without emphasising either the physical or the psychical, it is certainly due to the fundamental law of the psycho-physical organism—however the law itself is accounted for :—" No impression without expression." Thoughts as thoughts would have no inherent capacity for cohesion—so far, at least, as human experience goes—apart from their relation to an organism of which responsive behaviour is the primary characteristic. In so far as Hume was right in saying that when he looked inward he always stumbled upon some particular sensation, he was right in adding that he was unable to find continuity and that he could trace no principle of identity whereby the mind is able to"run the several perceptions into one." For, apart from the responses within the organism to which they give rise, impressions would probably never fuse. They would be now this, now that ; a series, not a unity. If, as it seemed to Hume, mind consists wholly of successive impressions, he was fully justified in denying to mind or to the self any realisable continuity of existence. His view of mind may, as one of its critics has said, have been comparable to "a string of beads without the string," but it must also be admitted that impressions as such do not bring their own string with them. As Hume saw, his view yielded blank scepticism ; no real self was discoverable. But, as Hume did not see, the faculty of reacting or responding makes all the difference. We are, if only indirectly, indebted to him for showing that, apart from doing and learning to do, the self would fall to pieces. There would be no self ; no persistence ; but only perceptions " different and distinguishable and separable from every other perception."

Moreover, the continuity of feeling, no less than that of thinking, depends upon connective and expressive behaviour. There is an obvious connection between organic activities and the persistence of physical pain or pleasure. And, with regard to our emotional life, there is a large amount of truth in the view of James and Lange that expression alone sustains it. "Faithfulness can feed on suffering," as the heroine of George Eliot's " Spanish Gipsy" says, because it is in actively bracing oneself to endure that faithfulness finds its most real expression. It is action in the line of our emotions which gives them permanence ; connects them up, so to say, with the rest of our experience.

(8) It is an extension of this same argument, but capable of being asserted with scarcely less confidence, that consciousness itself is essentially a form of activity. There are many direct indications of this. In trying to remember, we seem to be aware that the mind " begins to move in certain directions "—towards, say, a forgotten name. Desire also is a movement of the mind towards an object. And we often speak of a man's constructive thinking as "striking out a line for himself." Again, whether or not I am aware of an "object," which is physically within the range of hearing or of vision, say, a tree in a garden, depends upon the direction in which my mind is moving, rather than upon the presence of the object. From this point of view, as Stout says, "we can bring under conation all that is covered by the word attention. Attention is simply conation in so far as it finds satisfaction in the fuller presentation of its object, without actual change in the object" Truly, an external event can exert itself momentarily in such a way as to compel attention to it. (The supply of those who are prone to go off into fits of abstraction, and not to be aware of what is happening around them, is probably quite adequate to the world's demands.) But even so, both the amount of attention and the time given to an externally arresting occurrence depend less upon it than upon the mind itself. If we were previously engaged upon some task, we can soon pick up the thread and work on along the old lines. This power of resuming the direction of our mental activity points to a very real continuity. Our apperceptive activity also lends itself to a similar interpretation. The term "apperception " is ambiguous and some psychologists are ceasing to use it ; but it has a value in educational theory which makes it worth retaining. But if we retain it we must regard it as naming a process which is concerned with something more than ideas. It is the moving on from one whole experience to another, and the interpreting of the new experience as a whole in terms of the old. Ideas, that is to say, do not interact or co-operate independently. Impression and expression, idea and response, together with the core of feeling or interest which directly refers the whole experience to the self, are inseparably bound together in the process. With much genial humour Professor Adams describes in his " Herbartian Psychology " the view of apperception which relates it merely to the coalescing and growing together of ideas. In almost athletic phrase he pictures the struggle of ideas for the top place in the mind. " An idea's first visit to the dome seldom lasts very long. He has few friends and many enemies. He soon sinks to the threshold and passes out into a longer or shorter exile." For Herbart, whose theory Mr. Adams is discussing, apperception was nothing but a relationship between ideas. He was under the necessity of imagining a kind of place-seeking, a dependence upon introductions and alliances in order to picture the growing together of groups of knowledge in the mind. Herbart was compelled by his view of an inactive mind or soul to invest ideas with a self-activity which they do not possess. But, as a matter of fact, we are not driven to imagine such impossible combat and intrigue. The alliances which Herbart saw were established, and which he sought to explain, are not merely between ideas and ideas ; for ideas are but phases, the cognitive aspects, of experience. The apperceptive alliances exist between experiences as wholes.

Regarding experiences in their entirety, the truth thus seems to be that, however justifiable it may be to regard each mood or mode of mind as some sort of awareness (a cognition), charged with a certain warmth of feeling due to its intimate association with the self; it is at the heart of it an activity (a conation). This view of consciousness as an activity is more fully worked out and illustrated by Professor Alexander in a paper published in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (19o7-8). " My mental activity," he there says, "is always qualified by what, on the analogy of local signs, I must call signs of direction." Our very consciousness is a matter of the directing of the mind this way or that. Ideas and feelings would yield us but a confused blur but for this selective or directive activity. This interpretation of mental process harmonises with the familiar metaphor, the stream of consciousness. It is of the essence of a stream to have direction. No direction, no stream. In a somewhat similar way, the directive activity we are speaking of is of the essence of the mental life. We move on to our experiences. The thinking subject, as Dr. James Ward says, must be credited with the power of variously distributing the attention upon which the intensity of a presentation in part depends.' In other words, consciousness is an activity in this completer sense also, that we largely contribute by the direction of our attention to the course which our mental activity takes.

(9) Even at the risk of minuteness, there is one other aspect of our mental life which must be brought forward in illustration of the real continuity of experience. A forward-looking tendency, which has been spoken of in an earlier connection, is present in all our consciousness. Knowledge is not merely a possession ; it is a quest. Action is more than mere doing ; it is a striving. Interest is more than passing pleasure-pain ; it has in it a self-sustaining quality as attraction or aversion. Before considering separately the presence of this forward-looking element in active self-determination, there are one or two other forms in which it appears which may be referred to. There is what might be called rational anticipation, or anticipation of the natural consequences of a present experience. There is imagination, in the more constructivesense of the term. There is attention, which is usually more than a mere focussing of consciousness upon what is immediately before it—because the selection which this implies is purposive, i.e., has a forward-looking aspect. And there is curiosity, which scrutinises what is presented usually with some sort of business intent. Such facts form an important part of our general idea of mental activity. They mean, as in its fullest interpretation mental activity itself means, that the mind has in it a something, which is of its essence, which impels it to project itself and its experiences forward.

With regard to rational expectation, there is obviously a difference between an experience merely had and done with, and an experience from which some thought of what is to follow it, and to follow from it, cannot be disentangled. The latter is what we normally find. It appears to be inseparable from the notion of mind, that we think of it as in some way working forward from its own experiences. It is part of the very a conception of there being an order of things," as Green says. It is only as governed by " the forecast of there being a related whole" that the processes of sensuous experience can yield a growing knowledge of what the whole is.

As to constructive imagination, it is evidently more than a mere re-assorting of the elements of past experience. Only two such processes of re-assortment would seem to be assignable. Either, we have to conceive mainly of a mingling of ideas, the sorting process having much the same character as the competing between ideas in Herbart's theory ; or, the re-assortment is due to the activity of the entire mind and to the necessity, which the environment throws upon it, of casting its materials into new forms to meet changing conditions.' But in the former case, the right of a certain group of ideas to top position and to the controlling of the constructive plan is striven for for some further and more practical reason than mere pride of place. The ideas that get to the top and fix the plan do so because the mind, th "hidden knower," has in view the actions which are to follow. And in the latter case, we have even more obviously a re-assortment that is adaptive or purposive in character. Materials already in the mind are used, but the glance of the mind is forward towards some new adaptation or adjustment. The venturesome guess of the schoolboy indicates a forward-going activity of the mind in the hope of rising to new conditions. So, too, when the scientist experiments, he makes use of knowledge already gained with a forward intent.

Curiosity, again, is but an instinctive phase of this deep-seated tendency of the mind to push forward, and, by probing the new or the unknown, to fashion for itself new experiences.

The same may be said of attention. Even primitive spontaneous attention involves tendency towards an end.

In volition, as in all forms of conative consciousness—wishing, longing, aspiring, and the like—there is also a distinct reference to the future, a looking forward towards satisfaction or fulfilment.

In a variety of ways the continuity of consciousness, especially as a process or an activity, has now been illustrated. It is true that we often hear of the dis-continuity of consciousness. But even if consciousness could be proved to be discontinuous, which is very doubtful, there would still be a sense in which we could speak of the continuity of our mental experience.

Discontinuity, as commonly spoken of, is of one or two kinds. It refers either to a supposed suspension of consciousness, as in sleep, swooning, the hypnotic trance : or to a development of the mental life at critical points by leaps, rather than by gradual stages each of which can be shown to be causally connected with its immediately antecedent stage. But to take the supposition of suspended consciousness : even were it so, the mental life still goes on. A certain continuity must be postulated for it, or we should not find the mind, after these supposed lapses, capable of picking up the threads of its experience. The portions of our experience "are not separated from one another by something which is not mind." There is still a continuity of experience.' Again, taking the suggestion of progression by leaps, for which the results of recent researches into plant-life and into the development of new species pre-sent an analogy, there is still the carrying forward of the earlier in all later development. Elements from the past get across, even if we cannot point clearly to the bridge that carries them. "Between the highest development of a mind and its first dim awakening . . . there is no point at which we can say, here a new quality appears entirely unconnected with anything that has gone before." l

We certainly meet with cases of people who surprise us by contradicting themselves in matters in which in a general sense they are well versed. This would go to support the main contention of the present chapter, and to show that thoughts and feelings have no permanence of their own. It points to the danger of having more ideas than we can carry; "carrying" in this connection implying "carrying out" into some sort of action. The real thread of continuity in the mental life is activity. Hence, an idea which its possessor either forgets having had, or which is crowded out by the rush of other ideas before it is acted upon, makes for mental discontinuity of the kind described. " An idea," as Ribot well says, " which is only an idea, a simple fact of knowledge, produces nothing and does nothing ; it only acts if it is felt, if it is accompanied by an affective state, if it awakes tendencies, that is so say, motor elements."

From the educational point of view, one thing is clear, namely, that the mere receiving by the child of a number of impressions is not synonymous with the building up of personality. In the first place, it is an essential of a right education, that the hand should have its chance within school hours of definite educative occupation, taking the lead for the while and bringing the child away from the din of words into wholesome active contact with things. But a real education will do far more than this. It will invest all school studies with purposiveness and even with some amount of practical urgency. The child is not merely learning to live. He is learning by living. He is not so much learning to behave, as learning by behaving. His learning is part of his sum-total of behaving. The poet, Browning, has put into two lines in one of his poems the foundation-principle of the teacher's attitude, the scholar's attitude, and their implied co-operation :

"To be by him themselves made act, Not watch Sordello acting each of them."

There is no truer principle of method than this. Why should we teach the history of Brutus and of the Gracchi, the political struggles in ancient Rome, the character of Socrates as patriot, soldier, and sage, the Olympian contests, the endurances of Spartan braves, save to quicken the pulse of individuality and to awaken the instincts of achievement ? Why study language, except that we may arrive through it at man's meanings ; study his expression of them; acquire the art of expressing ourselves ? Why teach geography, if not because it is in the main the story of the interplay of natural environment and human industry? It appeals to the child's practical instincts in that it pictures the hand and the mind of man as forces turning nature's bounty to use and over-coming her oppositions.

Again, is not the study of science essentially the study of our environment, of life and force, and of the conditions which make the earth a home for man as well as for count-less other living things, both plants and animals ? It is a study of our environment in terms of forces and phenomena; of nature's manifold interactions; and of uses. " The life, the fortune, and the happiness of every one of us," as Huxley says, "depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess. The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. . . . Education is learning the rules of this mighty game."

Arithmetic, again, is a very different subject when taught from the standpoint of its uses and with a prevailingly practical reference. A boy has been known to turn with fresh zest to his mathematics and to succeed where previously he had far more nearly failed when he. found that he could apply it in his engineering.

These are casual examples of the great truth that behaviour, the activity of the self, is at once the clue to method in education and education's supreme aim.

Details of educational method are not in place here. Spirit is more than methods, and right aims are not long in giving rise to suitable devices. It is the bare truth to say that all that has been hinted at above is actually being done in one school or another. School-routine becomes year by year less artificial ; more all-round in its reference, more complete in its response to the needs and nature of youth and childhood. Much as yet remains to be done, much is already actually being done to turn the edge of Bernard Shaw's epigram, "My education was interrupted by my schooling." The English-speaking world owes a great debt to the keenness with which American educational leaders have tackled the real problem. To name but a few of these. Since Horace Mann, there have been Francis Parker, W. T. Harris, Stanley Hall, Mark Baldwin, John Dewey, N. M. Butler, with a host of State and city superintendents and individual teachers; and in Canada, J. L. Hughes, and others. Even though the pendulum may in places—for a time, indeed, almost universally—have swung out rather far in the direction of a "new" education, the net result is well expressed in the words of an English writer : " We are rapidly coming to realise that it is action towards an end to which the child himself is a conscious party that is educative." Not that the child is, or ought to be, conscious of the whole of the teacher's aim. The child busies himself about an immediate end. The teacher so devises and co-ordinates these immédiate ends that they shall be subservient to the aim and purpose of school life as a whole. The difference to the child or youth is real enough between the bare "going-through-the-mill" idea, the doing everything because teachers and school prescribe it, and a school experience in which he freely and consciously lives out a large part of his own life. Arnold, of Rugby, had this great way of occupying the thought and will of the scholar in immediate ends with an ulterior end in view. The influence of a right education upon the developing personality of the child or youth is both immediate and permanent. It satisfies an immediate end ; and it goes to the making of powers of " head, heart, hand " which shall be the best asset of his later life.

The main outcome of this chapter has been to emphasise behaviour or activity as the true basis of personal continuity. "The will is the man, psychologically speaking." Sustained and systematised behaviour is the spinal centre of personality. This is in perfect harmony with the conception from which we started of an original nucleus of tendencies, manifesting themselves in part (under the sway of a long evolutionary history and selective adjustment) as instinctive tendencies. It agrees well with the fact we have noted that man's onward progress is through a blending of instinctive tendency with experience, whereby tendency or behaviour remains as an essential condition. It agrees with the view of man as a psycho-physical organism; and with the reconcilement of permanence and change in the idea of growth. It fits in, too, with the phrase which probably better than any other sums up the results, and suggests the pedagogical applications, of Child-Study, namely, that the child is essentially a " behaving organism."

SUGGESTIONS AND ILLUSTRATIONS

1. "Not the entirely new, not the perfectly familiar, but both in combination are essential. The old in a new setting, or the new in an old setting is the arrangement that ensures interest" (Adams).

z. "The first thing the teacher has to do in seeking to rouse interest in a new idea is to prepare a place for that idea. By talking to the pupil, or by showing him pictures" (or, of course, by getting him to talk to us), " we must call up in his mind . . . ideas he has previously acquired that are likely to come into relationship with the new ideas we wish to introduce. There is no greater charm for any one than to find that a certain fact known in one connection suddenly comes to be of use in an entirely new way. To maintain interest, each new lesson should be impressed upon the background formed by all that has gone before" (Adams). The girl who said that she would as willingly believe people who told her that coal was once cheese as that it was once forest was logical enough. She had no more data to work from in the one case than in the other.

3. " Unless the pupil does his share of the work, nothing can really interest him. . . . Thackeray tells us that one way of being dull is to say all that can be said on any given subject" (Ib.).

4. There is, over and above association and assimilation and the apperceptive activity described in the first of the above suggestions, the vital energy which associates, assimilates, and apperceives. The continuity is not in the processes, but in the mental life which makes the processes possible.

5. "Apart from action the thought of self is unimportant " (Dewey).

6. The whole study of arrested development comes in as a corollary from the general fact of mental continuity. Miss Dorothea Beale, in a paper read before the Child-Study Society at Cheltenham (published in The School World for January, 1899) brought this out with great clearness. The normal child should "grow up," taking in from his environment "food for body, mind, and soul—gradually, constantly developing, with no breach of continuity, ever higher forms of life. The process of development must be continuous and the instruction adapted to age and capacity. . . . First the child learns empirically. How wonderful is the power of acquisition of the little child ! See the multitude of objects that he comes to recognise during the first three years of life. But this empirical knowledge is not lasting, unless it is taken up into the thought-world.... It is a great mistake, therefore, to teach elder children as one would teach an infant. The so-called methods which keep the learner at the childish stage instead of leading him on, or which teach the adult as if he were an infant, may seem to be successful, but they are not so in the long run." (Miss Beale illustrated by reference to language-methods but the principle applies universally. See, also, in this connection, Mr. Keatinge's criticism of the school methods of Comenius in his edition of the "Great Didactic," pp. 14.9—50.)

"There are three principal ways in which we may arrest development. (1) We may give to the young child the teaching for which it is not ready, which it cannot assimilate ; try to make it conceive and reason, when its perceptive powers and imagination should be in the ascendant. We all know how inconveniently active is the observing faculty in young children, how `meddlesome and mischievous' they are considered by ignorant people. It is the want of a knowledge of mental science which leads so many to press upon the teachers of infants that they should give instruction inappropriate to their stage of development. (2) On the other hand, we may feed on a poor and insufficiently stimulating diet those who need not milk but meat; by giving food ready prepared we may arrest the development of the digestive power. Work should be difficult enough to call forth the powers." (3) Arrested development may occur, as Miss Beale shows, by the attempt to assimilate too much new food at once. This is the one most marked defect in the American High School (somewhat comparable to our Municipal Secondary Schools and County Intermediate Schools, but entered at fourteen, at the close of the Primary School period). The assault upon too many fresh subjects leads to nervous damage and to arrest of mental growth. One hears of a child beginning three languages at once," says Miss Beale, evidently quoting from English experience, and continues : " And I venture to think that the amount of reading prescribed by our Universities is sometimes a real hindrance. If a student is compelled, in order to finish his set books, to read some hundreds of pages daily, he may get into the habit of merely acquiring instead of digesting ; accepting instead of questioning and reflecting; receiving instead of forming opinions. . . . As there may be arrest of development by feeding with improper food, so there may be through an exclusive mental dietary. Dogs have been starved on an exclusive dietary of white bread. I have seen unhappy tadpoles, who could never grow legs—they had not the complete dietary needed for the development of the frog—and I have known some girls and boys whose mental and moral life was atrophied through the same cause. We have all heard of Darwin's lament over his loss of power to care for music and poetry. With girls the one subject is apt to be music ; the young girl is required to practise an excessive number of hours, or sent abroad away from all the home influences which should build up her character, with the result that she can never become the best type even of musician." Miss Beale commends Mr. Barnett's remarks in " Work and Play in Girls' Schools" to her readers.

7. "Child-study will perhaps find its most profitable field of investigation in this matter of arrested development. If it can tell the teacher how far to push thoroughness to the borders of mechanical perfection, and where to stop just before induration and arrest set in, it will reform all our methods of teaching " (Dr. W. T. Harris in a valuable paper published in the American journal Education, on "The Study of Arrested Development in Children as produced by injudicious School Methods").

8. Mr. Bompas Smith, in his book on "Boys and their Management in School," has three very helpful chapters on boys at the ages of 8 to 13, 13 to 16, and 16 to 19, respectively.

9. There is, of course, a large literature on the general subject of this chapter. On the Ethical and practical side there are such works as the following : MacCunn's "Making of Character" ; Mackenzie's "Manual of Ethics" ; Muir-head's "Elements of Ethics" ; James's " The Will to Believe"; Bosanquet's "Psychology of the Moral Self." From the standpoint of the applications of logic and psychology to educational theory, reference should be made to Findlay's "Principles of Class Teaching"; Welton's Logical Bases of Education "; Adams's " Herbartian Psychology"; Barnett's "Common Sense in Education " ; James's " Talks to Teachers on Psychology."



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