Classics in the History of Psychology

An internet resource developed by
Christopher D. Green
York University, Toronto, Ontario
ISSN 1492-3173

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Contributions of Psychology to Morality and Religion

James Gibson Hume (1898)
University of Toronto

First published in Psychological Review, 5, 162-163.
[Abstract of paper presented at the sixth annual meeting of the
American Psychological Association,
Ithaca, New York, December, 1897.].

Posted October 2001

An appreciative statement of the chief results of recent advances in psychology and an endeavor to justify a still wider application of thorough psychological analysis, experiment and theoretical reconstruction

Former objections to experimental psychology from introspective psychologists and natural scientists were due to a misunderstanding and to an abstract dualistic theory.

The psychologist is not merely entitled to a scientific field beside others, he should claim all psychical facts directly accessible to his inquiries, and should contribute toward the reconstruction of other sciences.

He should assist the natural scientist in guarding him against the misconceptions of materialism. A psychology that takes its stand upon the actual, concrete, active self is the most positive refutation of the abstractions of materialism and pantheism. This self-revealing active self enables us to meet the old difficulties of ethics with new insight. Theory must not be separated from practice. Neither should morality be separated from religion nor religion from morality. Religion includes and transforms morality. The Divine Being is personal and in social cooperation with the struggling finite moral self.