Classics in the History of Psychology

An internet resource developed by
Christopher D. Green
York University, Toronto, Ontario

ISSN 1492-3713

(Return to Institutions Collection index)


E. F. Buchner (1905)
First published in Psychological Bulletin, 2, 72-80.

Posted August 2001




The first annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology comprised two sessions  The first session was held in the Philosophical Seminary room of McCoy Hall at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., on Tuesday, December 27, at which the papers by the members, mentioned below, were read before the Society.  The second session was held in College Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., on Wednesday, December 28, in connection with the American Philosophical Association, the occasion being in commemoration of Immanuel Kant.  About fifteen members were present.

The Society was organized to stimulate interest in philosophy and psychology in the academic institutions in the southern portion of the United States, which have for the most part hitherto lain outside the field of the active influence of the two older American associations.

Special features of the Baltimore session were the entertainment of the Society at luncheon by Professor and Mrs. J. Mark Baldwin, and the cordial welcome on behalf of the Johns Hopkins University by President Ira Remsen,

At the business meeting, held on December 27, the constitution was adopted, the membership elections made by the organizing Council ratified, and the officers for 1905 elected as follows: President, Professor J. Mark Baldwin, Johns Hopkins University; Vice-Preident, Professor Edward A. Pace, Catholic University of America; Secretary-Treasurer, Professor Edward Eranklin Buchner, University of Alabama; Members of Council: to serve one year, Professor J. A. Quarles, Washington and Lee University, and Mr. Reuben Post Halleck, Louisville, Ky.; to serve two years, Professor J. MacB. Sterrett, George Washington University, and Professor A. C. Ellis, University of Texas; to serve three years, Dr. William T. Harris, Washington, D.C., and President D. B. Purinton, West Virginia University. [p. 73]

The president and the vice-president were appointed a committee to determine in consultation with similar committees of the American Philosophical Association and the American Psychological Association the conditions of common membership on the part of those who belong to two or more of these organizations, and to consider the matter of affiliation in general.

The Society adopted an arrangement with the PSYCIOLOGICAL REVIEW, whereby subscription to this journal was offered to members in consideration of the payment of the annual dues of three dollars, except in the case of those who already subscribe to the journal, for whom the membership fee is to be one dollar.  The Society, in accepting this plan, agreed not to misuse this privilege to the to the impairment the present subscription list to the journal.




Baltimore Session.


The Poggendorf Illusion.  By W. M. STEELE.  (Read by title.)


Influence of Secondary Stimuli in Certain Complex Perceptions.


This paper dealt with the results of some experiments recently conducted in the psychological laboratory of Brenau College.  It was shown that if a single line (8, 10 or 12 centimeters in length) be taken as primary stimulus and other lines varying ii, length from 2 cm. to 18.0 cm. be taken as secondary stimuli, the presence of the secondary stimulus in the complex perception causes an apparent increase in the length of the primary stimulus so long as the secondary lines are shorter than the primary.  The maximum effect is produced when the secondary is one half the length of the primary, and there is no apparent change in the length of the primary when it is equal to the secondary.  When the secondary becomes longer than the primary the latter is made to appear shorter than it does when not accompanied by secondary stimuli.

The second group of experiments showed the effect upon the position in the visual field of a dot, 2 mm. in diameter, produced by the presence of a second dot, 5 mm. in diameter, and at varying distances. It was shown that the first dot or primary stimulus was displaced in the direction of the second or secondary stimulus.

In all of these experiments the author found evidence to corroborate the results of experiments previously reported[1], and in harmony [p. 74] with the hypothesis that the effect of the secondary upon the primary stimulus varies directly as the product of their masses or lengths, and inversely as the square of the distance between the two.

The author cited references to experiments made by himself upon tactual space perception, and, in general, the phenomena of illusion, visual and tactual, as the basis for the following generalization:

Whenever consciousness becomes spatial in character the laws which operate between bodies in space as a whole also operate between the elements of that portion of space which is represented n consciousness.  When any portion of space is isolated in consciousness as conscious phenomenon there must take place a readjustment of the elements of this ideal space world or in microcosmos.  In the process of readjustment the laws of the microcosmos prevail.

The author does not attempt, for the present, to decide whether the interaction between primary and secondary stimuli is a direct one or whether it is indirect and mediated by the attention.


Some Oddities of Sensory Discrimination and Memory. By G. M. STRATTON.

The experiments here reported were made for the purpose of gathering material for a comparison of the different senses with respect to their retention of intensities.  With this idea in mind, two sorts of determinations were made for each person experimented upon, namely  (1) The person's power of discrimination when but a brief interval (2 seconds) elapsed between two impressions to be compared, and (2) the change which occurs in his power of discrimination when the interval is lengthened many times (120 seconds).  Experiments were made in passive pressure, active strain, hearing and sight; and, to make the comparison just, identical methods were employed in all these fields.

The main result obtained is that the rank of the senses in their ability to retain a given intensity is about the reverse of their rank for the general purposes of knowledge.  The best of the senses as regards intensive memory is active strain, next comes passive pressure, and lowest in order come the 'higher' senses, hearing and sight -- sight being poorest of all.  But though this ranking is quite a departure from what common sense would have given beforehand, yet upon reflection it is seen to be in keeping with the different degrees of usefulness which the retention of intensity possesses in these different sensory fields.

In addition to the answer thus obtained to the main problem of [p. 75] the investigation, it is interesting to note that very many of the observers in certain of their senses made considerably finer discriminations with the longer interval of time than with the shorter.  And, finally, the curious fact comes out that the intensity which after an interval is subjectively identified with the intensity originally given, takes such different courses in the different senses, and in the same sense according as the interval is long or short.  Distortion is apparently a universal trait of memory.  And in general the 'higher' senses of hearing and sight are those in which this tendency to distortion is most strong.


The Meaning of Analysis in Psychology.  By EDWARD A. PACE. (Read by title.)


Dualism.  By JAS. A. QUARLES.

The monistic instinct has shown itself in the speculations of the philosophers of all ages.  Dualism, the rival, is seen in all the sciences; throughout every realm of thought and thing we see it more or less absolute and irreducible.  Moreover, the dualistic principle has been generally recognized in all the philosophic theories of ancient and modern times.

These dualisms are not all of the same kind or degree; some may be bridged by continuity, others are cases of correlation; but some are of kind, and are irreducible.

There are three fields where we find this last class.  In ethics we have the antithesis of right and wrong.  In theology a similar distinction of the radically and eternally good gods and evil gods has been held; but here there is a more important dualism of opinion as to the simplicity or complexity of the Divine Nature.  In ontology we have its most contested sphere.

In the world of being, complexity is confessedly apparent, but is it real?  So the unsophisticated mind persistently believes.  The apparent diversity must be accounted for; if not in the noumenon, how did it come in the phenomenon?  The dualism of the infinite and finite can neither be bridged nor denied.  Materialism and idealism refute each other, and by their positive teachings confirm dualism. The absolute monisms agree only in denying the reality of the apparently dual, while they antagonize each other as to what the primary monad is.

But are monism and dualism irreconcilable?  May it not be that God is the primitive, unitary being, the single, complex source of all existence, by whose omnipotent fiat the diversified universe has come [p. 76] to be?  A God of infinite power can have produced any kind of a universe: all matter, all mind, both, or neither, or merely phenomenal. Has He made a dual, plural, complex world?  The ablest and most extreme monists have not been able to rid their theories of the dualism of mind and matter.

Moreover, facts show the reality of this dualism.  Matter and mind are forces which have distinct modes of action,  Matter always acts under the law of unreasoning necessity, while mind as regularly moves with the freedom of reasoning liberty.  Again, matter, in all its forms and in all its forces, is divisible and exclusively appropriable while mind, in its truths, thoughts, feelings, and purposes, is neither divisable[sic] nor exclusively appropriable.  Only one person can eat any one apple in its entirety ; but unnumbered millions can at the same moment possess the same truth in its integrity.

So mind and matter are a differentiated duad.  Matter is extension divisible, limited, exclusively appropriable, forced. Mind is thought indivisible, infinite, the common property of all, free.  The law of continuity does not bridge the chasm.  The true ontology is a primary, original monism -- variously styled Substance, the Absolute, the Logos, the intelligent and moral Will, but preferably God, the cause of all complexity -- and, along with this primary monism, a secondary, derivative dualism of infinite and finite, creator and creature, right and wrong, matter and mind.


The Introspective Method. By J. W. Baird.


A Comparative Study of Religious Systems.  By D. B. PURINTON.

Religion is universal,  It is the human differential, found wher­ever man is, Its developments are Protean in variety, from the simplest to the most complex forms.  Such students of religious Systems as Max Müller, Brinton, Clark, Fairbairn, Renan, Whitney and others have offered divergent methods of classifying them.  Among these suggested classes are the following: true and false religions, revealed and natural, individual and national,  Biblical and non-Biblical, monotheistic, ditheistic and polytheistic.  Perhaps the best division is, tribal, ethnic and catholic religions.

All these faiths, even the lowest type, called fetichism[sic] or animism, have certain important spiritual doctrines in common.  Witness the following : (1) Belief in a superior spirit; (2) conviction of the right and duty of worship; (3) belief in the independent existence of the human soul; (4) conviction of sin, and of consequent guilt ; (5) belief in immortality ; (6) expectation that righteousness shall be rewarded [p. 77] and wickedness punished after death ; besides this common ground each great religion has an area of useful truth peculiar to itself.  In Egypt the immanence of God in nature was emphasized.  And particularly in the 'human form divine.'  This is the secret of pyramid, sarcophagus, hieroglyph and embalming.  Every mummy is 'on a Pilgrim's Progress to Paradise.'  Brahminism is a spiritual religion, all for the next world, nothing for this.  Buddhism is altruistic, brotherly, virtuous, but unfortunately atheistic.  Confucius taught purity of life, but did not know much about God.  The ancient Persian faith is a persistent dualism between good and evil.  Ormuzd and Ahriman are everlastingly striving for supremacy.  In the Pantheon of Scandinavia there are two similar gods, Odin and Loki.  The Elysian fields of Valhalla are reserved for the brave, the damps of Nifelheim for the cowards.  The ancient Greek was esthetic, humanitarian.  He loved beauty and pleasure, and never took his religion very seriously.  The Roman was a man of affairs.  He put the state first, respected military might, worshiped the emperor.  Mohammed taught a pure monotheism, but deified omnipotent will and degraded love.  A survey of all religions discovers something good and true in each of them.

Christianity includes all the good in other faiths, and much more peculiar to itself. And this latter element is incomparably most vital of all.  Witness the following beliefs found nowhere outside the Christian faith: (1) Holiness of God, (2) love of God, (3) spiritual helplessness of man, (4) divine redeemer of men, (5) union of faith and reason in religion, (6) union of masculine and feminine virtues in human character and life.  Christianity is immeasurably superior to all other religions in that it leads to holiness of heart and virtue of life, unites the deepest thought of the mind with the loftiest aspiration of the soul and lays upon both the enduring blessing of heaven.


Philosophy as Developed according to the Tendencies of the American Mind. By GEORGE L. RAYMOND.


Professor Raymond noted certain characteristics in art, politics and religion, of the English mind from which, through lineage or literature, our countrymen mainly derive their tendencies, in connection with which he spoke of insight and invention as those which we had chiefly developed.  lie contrasted the representation of stories in an English picture with the French conception that they should not be represented, also the representation of principles in English political parties with that of classes in French parties, and the agitation of [p. 78] religious reform in England through dissenting churches with the adherence of the French, notwithstanding much skepticism, to a Single church.  He recalled also how the American's neglect of form, even when apparently necessary, had given rise to the term 'shirt-sleeve diplomacy,' and how the opposite trait in the Frenchman had caused him to be caricatured on the stage as always dancing attendance upon trivial surroundings.  From such data he drew the conclusion that the American had a natural tendency to be interested in what was underneath the form, which, in philosophy, would mean idealism.  He pointed out, too, that a philosopher, to have permanent influence in a country, ought to have a system in harmony with the mental bias his countrymen.  He thought it pertinent, therefore, to ask in what way the physiological investigations of the day, with their undoubted tendency toward materialism, might, with no detriment to their legitimate influence, be accommodated to idealistic requirements.  He thought that this might be done in the recognition of the duality of consciousness. The body, he argued, was part of the non-self, by being conscious of which, through using memory and reasoning, exercised in experience and experiment, we attained to what in science is termed knowledge.  But, he said, we are besides this conscious of a self which, while connected with the body, differs from it.  As the consciousness of the non-self leads, through reasoning, to a conception of the environment of the non-self; so a consciousness of the self, through the same process of reasoning, leads to a conception of the environment of the self.  The first conceptions that we get through the non-self are of space and time; the first conceptions that we get through the self are of infinity and eternity, and so on.  From the testimony of the non-self we advance, through processes of memory, reasoning and experiment toward what is termed knowledge; from the testimony of the self we advance, in the same way, toward what is termed faith. As men are as much governed by faith is by knowledge, we have here not a theory but a fact, which philosophy should explain.  Faith, though of supreme importance in religion only, is as necessary to science as knowledge, though of supreme importance in science only, is to religion.  In conclusion, the philosophic relation of this subject to psychic research was pointed out.  The interest of the philosopher in this is connected with the question whether, in certain hypnotic or trance states, an intelligent self can leave or enter a body, or whether all the phenomena can be attributed to telepathic or subconscious influence. [p. 79]


Address of the President: Sketch of the History of Psychology.  By J. MARK BALDWIN.

An interpretation based on the development of self-consciousness in the individual.  (The address is to appear in full in the March-May issue of tile PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW.)


Philadelphia Session.


The program commemorative of Immanuel Kant, in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association, at which the Society was represented by Professor Edward Franklin Bucliner, is reported in full in the Proceedings of that Association, see pp. 65-67.




Arnett, Professor L. D., Epworth University, Oklahoma, Okla.

Baird, Dr. J. W., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

Baldwin, Professor J. Mark, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

Bierly, Professor H. E., Grant University, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Buchner, Professor E. F., University of Ala., University, Ala.

Cranford, Professor W. I., Trinity College, Durham, N. C.

Davis, Professor N. K., University of Va., Charlottesville, Va.

Denny, Professor C., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Ellis, Professor A. C., University of Texas, Austin, Tex.

Farrar, Dr. C. B., Sheppard-Pratt Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Flinn, Professor J. W., South Carolina College, Columbia, S.C.

Franklin, Mrs. C. Ladd, 220 W. Monument St., Baltimore, Md.

Furry, Mr. W. D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

Griffin, Professor E. H., Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md.

Halleck, Mr. Reuben Post, Boys' High School, Louisville, Ky.

Harris, Dr. W. T., 1360 Yale St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

Lane, Professor W. B., Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, Va.

Laws, Dr. S. S., 1733 Q St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

Lefevre, Professor A., Tulane University, New Orleans, La.

Lodge, President L. D., Limestone College, Gaffney, S.C.

Meyer, Professor Max, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

Pace, Professor E. A., Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Parrish, Miss S. C., State Normal School, Athens, Ga.

Pearce, Professor H. J., Brenau College, Gainesville, Ga. [p. 80]

Purinton, President D. B., West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.

Quarles, Professor J. A., Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.

Raymond, Dr. G. L., 1810 N St., Washington, D.C.

Roark, Professor R. N., Kentucky State College, Lexington, Ky.

Rose, Professor W., Peabody Normal College, Nashville, Tenn.

Steele, Professor W. M., Furman University, Greenville, S.C.

Sterrett, Professor J. MacB., George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Stratton, Professor G. M., Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md.

Swift, Professor E. J., Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

Weir, Professor E. E., Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn.

Williams, Professor H. H., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Williams, Mr. R. D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.




[1] The method of conducting these experiments as well as the arrangements of primary and secondary stimulus was described in the PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW, Vol. XI., No.3.