One Aim is to help toward some agreement in terminology, and possibly in interpretation. Six writers, in as many chapters, discuss what facts are to be included under the term "subconscious," and what their interpretation should he. Main discussion turns on whether our subconscious life is physiologic or psychologic. The contributors are Hugo ...
One Aim is to help toward some agreement in terminology, and possibly in interpretation. Six writers, in as many chapters, discuss what facts are to be included under the term "subconscious," and what their interpretation should he. Main discussion turns on whether our subconscious life is physiologic or psychologic. The contributors are Hugo Munsterberg, Theodore Ribot, Pierre Janet, Joseph Jastrow, Bernard Hart and Morton Prince. * * * * * For the purpose of arriving at some unanimity, if possible, on subjects regarding which there exists a certain amount of diversity of opinion it has recently become the fashion among psychologists to write a symposium in which each contributor gives expression to his views. The present work, produced under the editorship of Dr. Morton Prince, is of this nature and from it we learn what Munsterberg, Ribot, Jastrow, Prince, Janet and Bernard Hart mean by the subconscious. That such a work serves a useful purpose may be gathered from the fact that, as the master of the symposium states in his introduction, there are six recognized meanings of "the subconscious" - (1) That portion of consciousness which for the moment is outside the field of attention. (2) Split-off or dissociated ideas, such as automatic writing. (3) A subliminal, secondary, subconscious "self" constituted and elaborated from such dissociated ideas. (4) A combination of dissociated and forgotten ideas. (5) The subliminal reservoir of consciousness from which ideas are drawn into phenomenal consciousness. (6) Certain neural processes unaccompanied by any mentation whatsoever. Most of the writers take the view that subconscious phenomena are physiological and not psychical processes, the underlying reason in all being that they are not memories, ideas or anything else of which mentation is composed. Janet, of course, limits the subconscious to such abnormal states as are encountered in hysteria and psychasthenia, and Bernard Hart considers that the marginal elements of phenomenal consciousness (the "subconscious" of Stout), dissociated portions of phenomenal consciousness (the "co-conscious" of Morton Prince and the subconscious of Janet) and the non-phenomenal conceptual unconscious of Freud all form part of the material of psychology and not of physiology. It need scarcely be said that a symposium by such writers is above criticism; they criticise each other. -"Nature," Volume 86 "
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