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International Library of Psychology 
Philosophy and Scientific Method 


International Library of Psychology 
Philosophy and Scientific Method 


(Magdalene College, Cambridge.) 









SCIENTIFIC METHOD . . . . . . . , by A. D. RITCHIE 

SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT . . . . . . . . by C. D. BROAD, Litt.D. 





SPECULATIONS (Preface by Jacob Epstein) by T. E. HULME 


THE PHILOSOPHY OF Music ......... by W. POLE, F.R.S. 





THE GROWTH OF THE MIND . . . . . . . . . by K. KOFFKA 















THOUGHT AND THE BRAIN . . . . . . . . by H. PIERON 
































Problems of Personality 


Board of Editors 
C. MAcFiE CAMPBELfe MtA.. B.Sc., M.R.C.P., M.D., 

Director Boston Psychopathic Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard 

Medical School 


Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychological Laboratory, 
Princeton University 

WM. McDOUGALL, M.B., D.Sc., F.R.S. 

Professor of Psychology, Harvard University 

A. A. ROBACK, A.M., Pn.D. 

National Research Council and Harvard University 

E. W. TAYLOR, A.M., M.D. 

James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School 




Printed in Great Britain by 




PREFACE ... ... - .. xi 



SMITH, M.A., Lmr.D., M.D., D.Sc., F.R.C.P., 
F.R.S., Professor of Anatomy, University of 
London I 

ERNEST JONES, M.D., President of The 
International Psycho-Analytical Association, 
Editor of the International Journal of Psycho- 
Analysis; formerly Professor of Psychiatry, 
University of Toronto 13 

M.D., Superintendent at St. Elizabeth's 
Hospital, Washington, B.C. ; Co-editor of the 
Psychoanalytic Review and the Nervous and 
Mental Disease Monograph Series; President, 
American Psychiatric Association ; Professor 
of Nervous and Mental Diseases, Georgetown 
University, and George Washington University ; 
and Lecturer on Psychiatry, U.S. Army and 
U.S. Navy Medical Schools ... ... ... 27 





fessor of Psychology at the University of 
Geneva 37 

STRATTON, M.A., PH.D., Professor of Psychology, 
University of California ... ... ... ... 45 

B.Sc., M.R.C.P., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, 
Harvard University ; Director, Boston Psycho- 
pathic Hospital 63 

A.M., PH.D., National Research Council and 
Harvard University 77 


JANET, M.D., Lrrr.D., Professor of Psychology, 
College de France 139 

MILLS, M.D., PH.D., LL.D., Professor 
Emeritus of Neurology, University of Penn- 
sylvania 151 

TAYLOR, A.M., M.D. ; James Jackson 
Putnam Professor of Neurology, Harvard 
Medical School 165 



T. W. MITCHELL, M.D., Editor of The British 
Journal of Medical Psychology ; formerly 
President of the (British) Society for Psychical 
Research 189 

A.M., M.D., LL.D., Professor of Nervous 
Diseases, Cornell University Medical College; 
Consulting Neurologist to Bellevue Hospital, 
The Neurological Institute ; ex-President of 
the New York Academy of Medicine 205 

M.D., Clinical Professor of Neurology, Columbia 
University 217 

Fellow of University College, London ; 
Physician in Psychological Medicine, University 
College Hospital, London ; Lecturer in 
Psychiatry, University College Hospital 
Medical School 229 

Professor of Experimental Psychology, Johns 
Hopkins University 243 

C.B.E., M.A., M.D., D.Sc., F.R.S., Director, 
National Institute of Industrial Psychology ; 
formerly University Reader in Experimental 
Psychology, Cambridge 255 



(Pro and Con) 


McDouGALL, M.B., D.Sc., F.R.S., Professor 
of Psychology, Harvard University 267 


formerly of the University of Zurich 287 

BROWN, M.D., D.Sc., M.R.C.P., Wilde Reader 
in Mental Philosophy in the University of 
Oxford ; Honorary Consulting Psychologist 
and Lecturer on Medical Psychology, Bethlehem 
Royal Hospital, London ; Lecturer on Psycho- 
therapy, King's College Hospital 303 

PH.D., Professor of Abnormal Psychology, 
Ohio State University ; formerly Director of 
Psychological Research, Vineland Training 
School 311 

JELLIFFE, M.D., PH.D., Managing Editor of 
the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease ; 
Co-editor of The Psychoanalytic Review, and 
Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph 
Series 331 

MACCURDY, M.D., M.A., Lecturer in Psycho- 
pathology, Cambridge University ... ... 351 





SIDNEY LANGFELD, Ph.D., Professor of Psy- 
chology and Director of the Psychological 
Laboratory, Princeton University 371 




M.D., Clinical Professor of Neurology, 
Columbia University ... see Paper XIII 

Social Psychology 

MCDOUGALL, M.B., D.Sc., F.R.S., Professor of 
Psychology, Harvard University see Paper XVII 

ERNEST JONES, M.D., President of The 
International Psycho-Analytical Association ; 
Editor of the International Journal of Psycho- 
A nalysis ; formerly Professor of Psychiatry, 
University of Toronto ... see Paper II 

Anthropological Psychology 
SMITH, M.A., Litt.D., M.D., D.Sc., F.R.C.P., 
F.R.S., Professor of Anatomy, University of 
London ... ... ... see Paper I 

INDEX 427 


THE practice of bringing out commemorative volumes is viewed 
with some slight disfavour in this country, though in Germany 
the Festschrift constitutes to this day an expression of deep homage 
to a man who has reached a landmark in life and has attained 
high distinction in his chosen field. National temperamental 
differences are probably at the bottom of this divergence in regard 
to the publication of such books, but the reason which seems 
to carry the greatest weight with dissenters hinges about the 
miscellaneous character of the material almost invariably 
published in a commemorative volume. This disadvantage is 
practically inevitable from the very nature of the case ; for the 
former pupils of a man cannot be expected all to concentrate in 
one field ; and at the same time it would scarcely be desirable 
for a contributor to a Festschrift to deal with a subject in which 
he is no longer adept, even if he has not fully lost interest in it. 

In the case of the present volume, there is a further complication 
in that Dr Prince, as will be seen from a glance at the bibliography 
of his writings, has not maintained any one single intellectual 
interest throughout life. His earlier years he has devoted partly 
to philosophy but mainly to purely medical studies. Thence he 
advanced to neurology and later to psychopathology and abnormal 
psychology, in which field he has acquired his fame, largely in 
connection with his multiple-personality researches. 

It might consequently have been supposed that the present 
publication would suffer from the evil referred to above even to 
a greater extent than is usually the case, inasmuch as the unwitting 
cause of the volume has been keeping up such varied activities, 
even in the sphere of intellectual endeavour. Yet the 
independently-originated collective impulse of the various writers 
who have been invited to participate in this festive occasion has 
made it possible to unite the collection of papers under the title 
of Problems of Personality a subject which well defines the field 
in which Dr Prince has made his deepest mark as an original 
observer. It is only by approaching the problem of personality 
from various angles, from the psychological, the psychiatric, 


the neurological, the anthropological and other aspects, it is 
only by studying it not only per se t but in its variegated 
manifestations : in handwriting, in art, genetically through the 
different stages of evolution, in a social environment, etc., that 
we can hope to catch a glimpse of this ever-elusive entity which 
has become a sort of modern thing-in-itself, with all the distinction 
and limitations of the celebrated Kantian concept. Despite, there- 
fore, the apparent disparity of the studies, especially as gathered 
from the somewhat artificial classification, there is in each one, 
though in varying quantities, some material converging in the 
direction of Dr Prince's chief work. 

It is, perhaps, well to mention the fact that the Morton Prince 
commemorative volume differs from other similar publications 
in that its collaborators and editors are not pupils of his, but 
associates to whom Dr Prince has endeared himself by his scientific 
contributions, as well as by his personal qualities. To point out 
his merit as a pioneer in psychopathology would be quite un- 
necessary here, but since his unique position as a mediator between 
two or more branches of science is, often lost sight of, let it be 
remembered that it was Dr Prince who, at any rate in the United 
States, supplied the bridge between abnormal psychology and 
what is ordinarily called general psychology. Through the 
establishment of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and the 
publication of symposia he was able to bring about an exchange 
of views which otherwise would have remained inarticulate ; 
and, furthermore, through his travels and extra-academic 
accomplishments he has succeeded in promoting the cause of 
psychology in distant countries and of American psychology in 
particular, by effecting a rapprochement, more or less international 
in its scope, among the various workers in psychology, psycho- 
pathology and allied fields. 

This circumstance would at least partially explain the inter- 
national character of this volume, which includes contributions 
from France, Switzerland, and England. That nearly one-half 
of the collaborators should be British is also more than a coinci- 
dence, just as the invitation recently extended to Dr Prince to 
lecture at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, and 
Edinburgh, cannot be regarded as merely fortuitous. As for 
American universities, the following seats of learning are 
represented in contributions to this volume : California, Columbia, 
Cornell, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, and 


There is one other feature to note, viz., that a substantial part 
of Problems of Personality is devoted to a discussion of psycho- 
analysis in one phase or another. Aside from the fact that Part 
Four of this volume may be regarded as a symposium on this 
highly important and widely discussed topic, attention may be 
directed to the size of the psychoanalytic representation in 
Problems of Personality, which suggests several reflections. In 
the first place, considering that Dr Prince is rather critical to the 
new movement in psychopathology, the tribute, coming as it 
does from theoretically hostile quarters, speaks for itself. But 
on the other hand, it may be remarked that psychoanalysis 
must be well situated, if a volume presented to an adversary of 
the doctrine happens to harbour some of its chief exponents. 
From these divergent points of view we should conclude, however, 
that in reality no such hostility exists in intellectual pursuits, 
as some people are willing to believe ; and it is through such very 
media as commemorative volumes, naturally brought out only 
on appropriate occasions and in meritorious cases, that the 
amenities of science can lead to the further understanding and 
ultimate solution of generally bothersome problems. In this 
connection, Dr Prince's merit lies not only in his original contri- 
butions, but in bringing his findings into accord with the body 
of accepted facts, and thus ensuring a clarity of presentation 
which few specialists even care to acquire. It is through such 
a careful orientation that Dr Prince has done much to break down 
the barriers which divided the several schools in his field of science ; 
and by his generous appreciation of the work of others he has 
been instrumental in bringing to a focus, under the purview of 
psychology, a number of divergent views which otherwise might 
have remained detached and scattered. 


Secretary of the Board of Editors, 



G. ELLIOT SMITH, M.A., Lmr.D., M.D., D.Sc.. F.R.C.P., 


Professor of Anatomy, adversity of London 




ALTHOUGH I cannot claim to be either a psychologist or a medical 
practitioner, my work has always been sufficiently near the fringe 
of these fields of activity to have enabled me to appreciate the 
value of Dr Morton Prince's contributions to knowledge and 
practice. Hence I welcome the opportunity of offering my 
tribute. But if I have not cultivated the actual field of psychology, 
I have been able from the immediate hinterland of neurology and 
anthropology, to look into the psychologist's domains, and have 
detected what seem in this distant vision to be untilled patches 
well worth cultivating. In these notes I shall call attention to 
some of these opportunities for useful work. 

The chief aim of my work in biology and physical anthropology 
has been the effort to elucidate the nature of the factors that 
made possible the emergence of those distinctive qualities of mind 
which constitute the fundamental distinction between man and all 
other living creatures ; and on the ethnological or cultural side 
to discover what light the study of custom and belief sheds upon 
the use man makes of the great aptitudes which the acquisition 
of his distinctive type of brain has conferred upon him. In other 
words, I have been trying to integrate the results of the study of 
the evolution of the human brain with those revealed by ancient 
manifestations of human thought and invention, and to use these 
two departments ot historical enquiry to throw some light upon 
the interpretation of the behaviour of mankind at the present time. 

The chief fact that has emerged from this line of investigation 
has been the demonstration of the fundamental importance in 
man's ancestors of the cultivation of visual guidance, and especially 
of the influence of the acquisition of stereoscopic vision, in stimu- 
lating the expansion and the distinctive line of evolution of the 
cerebral cortex, which prepared the way for the emergence of 
human qualities of mind. 

B 3 


I have recently summarised the general results of these 
researches (Nature, September 22nd, 1923) and can repeat the 
statement here. 

The Evolution of the Human Brain 

Intensive research in comparative anatomy and embryology 
and discoveries in palaeontology have made it possible for us to 
reconstruct man's pedigree with a confidence that hitherto would 
not have been justifiable. Using this scheme as a foundation, 
we can determine precisely what structural changes, especially in 
the brain, were effected at each stage of the progress of the 
Primates toward man's estate ; and in the light of the information 
afforded by physiology and clinical medicine we are able in some 
measure to interpret the meaning of each of the stages in the 
attainment of the distinctively human attributes of mind. 

In an address delivered at the Dundee meeting of the British 
Association in 1912, and elsewhere on several occasions since then, 
I have discussed this problem ; but I make no apology for 
returning to its consideration again. For, as I have said already, 
it is the fundamental question in the study of man ; and recent 
research has cleared up many difficult points since I last wrote 
on the subject. 

Even before the beginning of the Tertiary period the trend had 
already been determined for that particular line of brain develop- 
ment, the continuation of which eventually led to the emergence 
of man's distinctive attributes. Moreover, man, as I said in 1912, 
is " the ultimate product of that line of ancestry which was never 
compelled to turn aside and adopt protective specialisations, 
either of structure or mode of life, which would be fatal to its 
plasticity and power of further development." 

Vision the Foundation of Man's Mental Powers 

The first step was taken when in a very primitive and un- 
specialised arboreal mammal, such as the Spectral Tarsier(rmws) 
of Borneo and Java, vision became the dominant sense, by which 
its movements were guided and its behaviour so largely determined. 
One of the immediate results of the enhancement of the importance 
of vision was to awaken the animal's curiosity concerning the 
things it saw around it. Hence it was prompted to handle them, 


and its hands were guided by visual control in doing so. This 
brought about not merely increased skill in movement, but also 
the cultivation of the tactile and kinaesthetic senses, and the 
building up of an empirical knowledge of the world around it by 
a correlation of the information obtained experimentally by vision, 
touch and movement. The acquisition of greater skill affected 
not merely the hands but also the cerebral mechanisms that 
regulate all movements ; and one of the ways in which this was 
expressed was in the attainment of a wider range and an increased 
precision of the conjugate movements of the eyes, and especially 
of a more accurate control of convergence. This did not occur, 
however, until the flattening of the face (reduction of the snout) 
allowed the eyes to come to the front of the head and look forward 
so that the visual fields overlapped. Moreover, a very complicated 
mechanism had to be developed in the brain before these delicate 
associated movements of the eyes could be effected. The building- 
up of the instrument for regulating these eye-movements was the 
fundamental factor in the evolution of man's ancestors, which 
opened the way for the wider vision and the power of looking 
forward that are so pre-eminently distinctive of the human 
intellect. Our common speech is permeated with the symbolism 
that proclaims the influence of vision in our intellectual life. 

The first stage in this process seems to have been the expansion 
of the prefrontal cortex and the acquisition of the power of 
voluntarily extending the range of conjugate movements of the 
eyes and focussing them upon any object. Then came the 
laborious process of building up in the mid-brain the instrument 
for effecting these complex adjustments automatically,* so that 
the animal was then able to fix its gaze upon an object and to 
concentrate its attention upon the thing seen rather than upon the 
muscular act incidental to the process of seeing it. This represents 
the germ of the distinctively human type of attention and of 
mental concentration in general. But the power of automatically 
moving the eyes with such accuracy that the images of an object 
upon the two retinae could be focussed with precision upon exactly 
corresponding spots made possible the acquisition of stereoscopic 
vision, the ability to appreciate the form, size, solidity, and exact 
position in space of objects. It also prepared the way for the 
development in each retina of a particularly sensitive spot, the 
macula lutea, which enabled the animal to appreciate the texture, 

* John I. Hunter, " The Oculomotor Nucleus in Tarsius and Nycticebus." 
Brain, 1923. 


colour, and other details of objects seen with much more precision 
than before. Hence probably for the first time in the history of 
living creatures an animal acquired the power of " seeing/' in the 
sense that we associate with that verb. The attainment of these 
new powers of exact vision further stimulated the animal's 
curiosity to examine and handle the objects around it and provided 
a more efficient control of the hands, so that acts of increasing 
degrees of skill were learned and much more delicate powers of 
tactile discrimination were acquired. Out of these experiments 
also there emerged a fuller appreciation of the nature of the 
objects seen and handled and of the natural forces that influenced 
the course of events. 

With the acquisition of this new power of learning by experi- 
mentation, events in the world around the animal acquired a 
fuller meaning ; and this enriched all its experience not merely 
that which appealed to the senses of sight and touch, but hearing 
also. Thus in the series of Primates there is a sudden expansion 
of the acoustic cortex as soon as stereoscopic vision is acquired, 
and the visual, tactile, motor and prefrontal cortex also feel the 
stimulus and begin rapidly to expand. This increase of the 
auditory territory is expressed not only in a marked increase of 
acoustic discrimination but also by an increase in the power of 
vocal expression. At a much later stage of evolution the fuller 
cultivation of these powers conferred upon their possessors the 
ability to devise an acoustic symbolism capable of a much wider 
range of usefulness than merely conveying from one individual 
to another cries expressive of different emotions. For when true 
articulate speech was acquired it became possible to convey ideas 
and the results of experience from individual to individual, and so 
to accumulate knowledge and transmit it from one generation to 
another. This achievement was probably distinctive of the 
attainment of human rank, for the casts obtained from the most 
primitive brain-cases, such as those of Pithecanthropus and 
Eoanthropus, reveal the significant expansion of the acoustic 
cortex. This new power exerted the most profound influence upon 
human behaviour, for it made it possible for most men to become 
subject to tradition and to acquire knowledge from their fellows 
without the necessity of thinking and devising of their own 
initiative. It is easier to behave in the manner defined by 
convention than to originate action appropriate to special 

Within the limits of the human family itself the progressive 


series of changes that we have witnessed in man's Primate ancestors 
still continue ; and as we compare such a series of endocranial casts 
as those of Pithecanthropus, Eoanthropus, Homo rhodesiensis, 
Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens, we can detect a pro- 
gressive expansion of the parietal, prefrontal, and temporal 
territories, which are associated with the increasing powers of 
manual dexterity and discriminative power, of mental concen- 
tration and of acoustic discrimination. 

The study of such factors of cerebral development will eventually 
enable us to link up the facts of comparative anatomy with 
psychology, and enable us the better to understand human 


At the present time the whole subject of the nature of the 
cerebral mechanisms concerned with speech and the interpretation 
of the significance of disordered speech is receiving a fresh 
illumination from the revolutionary work of Dr Henry Head. 
But as his memoir on the subject is now in the press, and will 
be in the hands of readers before this essay is printed, I need not 
stop to discuss the new doctrine here. I refer to the matter 
merely to call attention to the fact that Head's work enables us 
more fully to appreciate the meaning of the form and proportions 
of the cerebral hemispheres of extinct members of the human 
family. The problem of determining the exact situations of the 
damaged cortical areas in Dr Head's patients has been done in the 
department under my charge by the same investigators (Professors 
John I. Hunter, Raymond A. Dart, and Joseph Shellshear and 
Dr Tudor Jones) who were collaborating with me in the attempt 
to interpret the peculiarities of the endocranial casts of the Ape 
Man of Java (Pithecanthropus), the Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus), 
the Rhodesian Man and Neanderthal Man. The conclusion was 
forced upon us that the localised expansion of the acoustic territory, 
which is revealed in the most primitive members of the human 
family, must imply that the biological significance of hearing was 
suddenly enhanced at the time of the emergence of the human 
family. In fact, it seems a legitimate inference from the facts to 
assume that the acquisition of the power of communicating ideas 
and the fruits of experience from one individual to another by 
means of articulate speech may have been one of the factors, 
if not the fundamental factor, in converting an ape into a human 


being. All creatures endowed with a sense of hearing can 
communicate with their fellows by means of eipotional cries : 
but man alone has the aptitude for acquiring a social heritage, of 
learning from his fellows, not simply by imitating their behaviour 
or following their lead, but by discovering by word of mouth their 
own interpretations of their experience, and transmitting it from 
one generation to another. Man, in fact, is the only living creature 
capable of building up a body of knowledge and tradition. 

But there is an important truth buried in the cynical remark 
that " speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts." It is with 
this association of speech that I am primarily concerned in the 
second part of this essay. 

The Thraldom of Catch-Phrases 

One of the effects of the special trend of Primate development 
which gradually brought about the emergence of distinctively 
human qualities was the attainment of enormously enhanced 
powers of learning to perform an ever-widening range of highly 
complicated skilled movements. The essential result of the 
process of learning is the acquisition of automatic training to 
meet most of the ordinary needs of daily life. Having acquired 
such skill and facility, the performer's attention can be concentrated 
upon effecting subtle modifications of behaviour and quick 
adaptation to rapidly changing circumstances. So also in the 
domain of thought there is an inherent tendency in man to evade 
the exhausting process of mental concentration by devising 
formulae to serve as automatic responses and as substitutes for 
serious investigation. 

In two fields of scientific enquiry the sterilising influence of this 
common human practice has been very deeply impressed upon 
me this term one in comparative neurology and the other in 
cultural anthropology. In the former subject I have been giving 
a course of lectures to students and trying to interpret the functional 
meaning of the evolution of the brain, rather than the mere dry 
bones of morphological doctrine, The difficulty immediately 
arose of recommending some book expounding the subject of my 
lectures and providing the relevant information. There are 
excellent books dealing with animal behaviour, with cerebral 
morphology, and with clinical morphology. For example, thanks 
largely to the investigations of Professor Parker of Harvard, we 


have a series of exact observations upon the behaviour of the 
dogfish. Morphological research has provided us with a vast 
apparatus of anatomical details concerning the dogfish's brain. 
But when one endeavours to explain to students the mechanism 
whereby a hungry dogfish, after scenting an attractive bit of 
crab-meat, becomes thrown into a state of violent emotion and 
begins to circle around in search for the source of the stimulus to 
its olfactory sense, the lacunae in our knowledge become painfully 
apparent. But what I am especially concerned with here is the 
psychological problem of why these, the most vital problems of 
neurology, have been neglected, and how the issues involved have 
been evaded. 

In the domains of comparative neurology and cultural anthro- 
pology at the present moment, while there is an intense zeal for 
the collection of facts there is a singular lack, on the part of most 
investigators, of any real attempt to discover their meaning. 
Most writers, dealing with the dogfish, for example, neglect to 
make any call upon the scientific imagination so as to picture what 
happens in the dogfish's brain when the olfactory nerves are 
stimulated. They are content to speak of certain parts of the 
brain as composed of " correlation tissue " and leave it at that, 
without explaining what it correlates and why certain events 
happen as the outcome of the correlation. The word " correlation" 
has, in fact, become an acquired automatism to evade the need 
for clear thinking and serious interpretation. This is merely one 
illustration of the increasing tendency to use what is little more 
than meaningless jargon and to lose sight of the chief aim of 
scientific study, to discover the real meaning of phenomena and 
truly interpret them. 

But when one turns to the domain of cultural anthropology, 
the investigation of custom, and belief, which is coming to play 
an important part in the interpretation of all human behaviour, 
these vices of method, the abuse of catch-phrases and their 
employment as substitutes for serious argument, is much more 
rampant. In the sixties and seventies of last century the technical 
terms of biology, which were the weapons used in the great conflict 
started by the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, 
were somewhat hastily adopted by the ethnologists, and applied 
in ethnological controversy without any adequate attempt to learn 
the meaning the biologists attached to them. Ever since then 
the ethnologists have been using the term " evolution " for what 
is tantamount to the old claims for " spontaneous generation " ; 


and within recent years " convergence " has become the fashionable 
phrase with which to dispose of all difficulties in interpreting 
identities or similarities of custom and belief. But far more 
insidious are the pseudo-psychological reasons given in attempted 
explanation of similarities of symbolism and incident in myths 
and folk-lore, in the phantasies of dreams and of the waking life, 
and in the beliefs of various' peoples scattered throughout the 
world. The specious doctrine of " psychic unity," " the similarity 
of the working of the human mind," has no meaning unless it 
implies some reference to the instincts. But it is hardly necessary 
to explain to psychological readers that the arbitrary and artificial 
aspects of customs and beliefs to which this doctrine is applied 
are highly specialised features which have nothing whatever in 
common with human instincts. The claim involved in the catch- 
phrase " psychic unity " is as alien to the principles of psychology 
as it is unwarranted by the facts of history. Yet this sort of 
jargon has been used as a substitute for serious argument or real 
examination of the evidence for more than fifty years. And it is 
not only those ignorant of psychological methods that have been 
deceived by it. In his Presidential Address to the Section of 
Anthropology at the meeting of the British Association in 1911 
the late Dr Rivers made a characteristically frank confession of 
his error in having accepted these fallacies, and made a public 
recantation of it. In the book on the Pagan Tribes of Borneo, 
by Dr Charles Hose and Professor William McDougall, attention 
is called to the remarkable survival in Borneo of the custom of 
inspecting the livers of domestic animals for omens, a practice 
which is certainly due to the diffusion of an element of ancient 
Babylonian culture to the East, as it is known also to have spread 
to the West as far as Italy. In their book Hose and McDougall 
suggest the true explanation just mentioned : yet in his book 
Social Psychology (second edition, p. 308, footnote i), which gives 
so lucid an exposition of modern ideas concerning human instincts, 
Professor McDougall refers to the possibility of psychic unity as 
an explanation. I cite this, not to criticise, but merely to remind 
the reader that even the most eminent and advanced psychologists 
are apt to be deceived by such catch-phrases. 

At a time when these false doctrines are beginning to lose their 
hold on ethnologists, Freud and his disciples have intruded into 
the domain of ethnology, and brought a contribution of catch- 
phrases that are fraught with more serious danger. Whatever 
view psychologists take of the doctrine of " typical symbols/' 


I am quite at a loss to discover any consistency between the claim 
for such stereotyped (and wholly fictitious) automatisms of thought 
and the essential part of Freud's teaching, the dominating influence 
of the real instincts and of individual experience. Typical symbols 
come within neither category, and the claims put forward in 
support of their reality seem to me to be frivolous and irrelevant. 
But as an attempt to interpret customs and beliefs, as, for example, 
in Freud's Totem and Taboo, the appeal to this theory of symbolisa- 
tion can be made even moderately plausible only by a gross 
misrepresentation of the ethnological facts, and the omission of all 
reference to the most significant circumstances that require 

Yet the real explanation of how such customs and beliefs 
develop is the most vital problem for mankind. It is the issue 
with which every human being is daily presented when he has 
to interpret the conduct of his fellows and to understand how 
circumstances cause aberrations of behaviour. In neither domain 
of inquiry, biological or cultural, can we hope for any solution of 
the really vital problems until reliance on evasive terms and 
catch-phrases is entirely eliminated from the investigator's 

The custom of using technical terms and phrases for the purpose 
of evading frank and direct examination of the facts has become 
so serious a menace to the acquisition of a sane understanding of 
the behaviour of men, whether we are dealing with the problems 
of psychology, ethnology or psychiatry, that it seemed to me the 
best use I could make of the opportunity of paying my humble 
tribute to a great physician with a rare understanding of the 
ways of men was to attempt to define the chief obstacle that 
interferes with progress at the present time. 




President of The International Psycho- Analytical Association, 
Editor of the "International Journal of Psycho-Analysis", 
formerly Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto 




IN any record of Morton Prince's contributions to psychological 
science the fact will always deserve mention that he was one of 
the first to perceive the intimate connection between social 
psychology and psychology of the abnormal, and to proclaim this 
by issuing a Journal devoted to these two studies. The purpose 
of the present paper is to inquire into the significance of the 
various points of contact between the two. 

The title itself he has proposed for the latter of these branches 
of study does not seem to have been too happily chosen, to judge 
from the reluctance of other workers to adopt it. Apart from 
linguistic objections to it,* it would appear to lay unnecessary 
stress on the difference between the fields of the normal and the 
pathological. Without wishing to attach too much importance 
to the question of nomenclature, which, after all, is largely a matter 
of expediency and opinion, I should myself, for reasons that will 
presently be indicated, have preferred to use the term " clinical 
psychology.'' In England "medical psychology" is the term 
most widely used, but it is possible that professional prejudice may 
have much to do with this preference. In this connection an 
interesting suggestion made some years ago by Wilhelm Specht 
may be recalled. He proposed to restrict the term " psycho- 
pathology " to the study of abnormal mental phenomena carried 
out from a purely medical point of view, i.e., the investigation of 
the causes, pathological significance, and modes of treatment of 
such states ; and to use the term " pathopsychology " for the 
investigation of the same data purely from the point of view of 
general psychology. Certainly this distinction is well worth 
noting, for much of the interest attaching to the intensive study 
of pathological mental states that has been carried out in the past 

* Few workers have been willing to reconcile themselves to the admission 
that their psychology is abnormal, and still less to the risk of being themselves 
designated as abnormal psychologists. 



quarter of a century is clearly due to the startling extent to which 
knowledge gleaned in this field has been illuminating for other 
fields as well. 

The etymological association between the word " clinical " and 
beds has long ceased to operate. The feature of clinical medicine 
that distinguishes it from other forms of medical study is not that 
it is carried out at the bedside, for most often it is not, but that it 
represents a special mental attitude in the investigator. His 
attention is concentrated, that is to say, not so much on the 
elucidation of a particular disorder or the investigation of any 
given system of the body, as on the scrutiny of an individual human 
being considered as a whole. Now it seems to me that this is 
the very feature that most sharply distinguishes the medical 
psychologist from his more academic colleagues and also the one 
to which the fruitfulness of his results may fairly be attributed. 
One of the outstanding conclusions to which this methodological 
mode of approach has compelled assent is that the various forms 
of mental functioning are extraordinarily interrelated and 
mutually dependent, so that justifiable scepticism arises in regard 
to much experimental work which professes to isolate such processes 
as intellectual or memory ones from the rest. This is only one 
of the many respects in which the clinical method has come into 
some degree of conflict with the older methods, though the history 
of science gives every reason to believe that such conflicts can 
only represent a transitional stage in the development of psychology 
as a whole. 

A reconciliation between the results achieved by different 
methods of investigation will only be possible when these methods 
are granted equal recognition and compared side by side. With 
this aim in view it would seem a reasonable extension of the 
term " clinical psychology'' to apply it also in other fields than 
that of pathology. This would, it is suggested, be done when one 
intends to emphasise the special attitude of mind and mode of 
approach that we call " clinical " towards any psychological 
problem. In the present paper the term will be used partly in this 
sense and partly in its original, more restricted sense. 

Before inquiring into the relation of this branch of psychology 
to the other branch called social psychology it will be necessary 
to enter to some extent into its characteristics. In seeking to 
define what are the most distinctive features of clinical psychology 
I shall probably find general agreement up to a certain point and 
then considerable disagreement after. This is inevitable with a 


writer representing the psychoanalytical school, for this school 
has developed the characteristics of the clinical method further 
than any other workers in clinical psychology. 

The first characteristic, already mentioned above, is an aversion 
from, on the one hand, the generalities so common in the older 
psychological writings, and on the other the tendency to consider 
mental problems apart from the life of any actual individual. 
Put in an obverse way, this amounts to a preference for relating 
such problems to the life of the personality as a whole. This in 
itself would stamp clinical psychology as a branch of individual 
psychology, and it certainly is that, though it is also much more 
besides. It may appear odd that the branch of psychology which 
most devotes itself to the study of the individual should come to be 
also the branch which is establishing the closest contact with 
social psychology, but some of the reasons for this will appear 

The decision to make an intensive investigation of a (necessarily 
small) number of individuals proved to be a much more fateful 
one than it must have appeared at first. The motive impelling 
the pioneers to make this decision was the necessity of doing 
something when confronted by the terribly urgent problem of 
suffering, and this motive enabled them to overcome just the 
obstacles that had hitherto been imposed in the way of any 
penetrating investigation of the mind. The history of the investi- 
gation of the body was repeated in the sphere of the mind. To 
examine the inside of the body had, for centuries, been forbidden 
as something taboo, not nice, not proper and not right. But the 
extreme desirability of learning something about what, why or 
when men suffered from disease at last broke down this prohibition. 
Examination of the inside of the mind was still longer held up, 
and mainly by similar obstacles. Even now discretion soon 
imposes a limit of permissibility on any psychologist who may 
seek to explore the mental processes of his subjects. The curious 
result has been that psychologists have, till lately, been compelled 
to study anything rather than human beings. They could 
investigate vision, hearing, speech, but only a careful selection 
of the things seen, heard or said still less what the mind actually 
thought of these things ; what animals do when they are angry 
or starved, but not what human beings do in similar circumstances. 

With this tradition most clinical psychologists have definitely 
broken. Faced with the grim tragedies of neurosis, they have 
had perforce to come to close quarters with the intimacies of 


emotional life, and, much to the horror of their contemporaries, 
including the more conservative members of their own profession, 
they have proceeded to examine dispassionately the facts in this 
way brought under their notice and even to publish the conclusions 
to which their investigations have led them. Their justification 
has been that the relief of suffering, on the one hand, and the 
march of knowledge, on the other, are more weighty considerations 
than excessive regard for wounded susceptibilities. 

When now the study of the mind is approached in this way, 
with a propensity to consider every problem in reference to the 
whole personality and with the resolve not to shrink from explora- 
tion of the inner mental life, however intimate, wherever necessary, 
experience shows that it will result in certain characteristic views 
being taken of mental functioning. These, then, come to be 
rather distinctive attributes of the clinical method. Four of them 
may be selected for special emphasis ; they may each be memorised 
by a single word : genetic, dynamic, unconscious and instinctual, 
respectively. A few words will be said about them in this order. 
It will be noticed that academic psychology gives its assent in 
general terms to three of them, to all except the idea of the un- 
conscious, but they are all taken much more seriously and applied 
much more rigorously in clinical psychology. 

Everyone would, of course, agree with the statement that the 
mind develops, but a great deal more than this is meant when it is 
said that clinical psychology views the mind genetically. Here 
the continuity of the mind at different ages is regarded quite 
literally. It is held that the significance of any given current 
mental process is not completely known unless the full genesis of 
it is also known, unless its predecessors can be traced back in an 
unbroken chain to the beginnings of mental life in the infant. 
It has been found that many of the older elements of the genesis, 
and often the most important of these, are not completely trans- 
formed into or replaced by their successors, so that a certain 
amount of their original significance is still retained. The practical 
effect of this is that many of our impulses, interests, and ideas 
carry with them an extrinsic significance based on their genetic 
history, that they represent more than what they purport to. In 
extreme cases, of which unconscious symbolism is the most striking 
example, the subject is totally unaware of this surplus significance. 
The state of affairs just indicated is most pronounced in pathological 
conditions, the essence of which is that the patient is dominated 
by a still too living past, a past which, though forgotten, refuses 


to fade or to submit to transformation. The most advanced 
school of clinical psychology, following Freud, carries this genetic 
principle to its logical conclusion and maintains that all our later 
reactions in life are really elaborations of simpler ones acquired 
in the nursery. The power to modify the more fundamental 
types of reaction becomes rapidly less as the child grows, and 
some of us even think that no fundamental change in character 
can take place after the fourth year of life. 

In its dynamic view of the mind, clinical psychology comes into 
decided opposition with the old associationist psychology. When 
one mental element occurs after another it is no longer possible 
to think we have explained this by saying that the second element, 
having been attached to the first through temporal contiguity, 
or inherent similarity, was aroused by the presence of the first. 
Dynamic factors such as those designated by the words motive, 
tendency, purpose, impulse, are sought for in every single instance, 
however minute, and no explanation is regarded as adequate unless 
a factor of this kind is demonstrated. This holds even with mental 
events, such as slips of the tongue and the like, that previously 
were supposed to " happen " without any ascertainable reason, 
and certainly without any motivation. Yet the older views die 
hard in some fields of work for instance, in regard to dreams. 
Many psychologists are still satisfied if a dreamer says, " I was 
talking French in the dream, probably because my father, who 
appeared earlier in it, has just returned from France, so that the 
thought of him would make me think of the French language/' 

A thorough-going dynamic conception of mental events as 
essentially the expressions of the interplay of various forces* 
leads to many important consequences. One comes, in this way, 
to realise that a great number of mental processes come about as 
compromise-formations, various conflicting forces having con- 
tributed to the end result. The extent to which conflict between 
opposing tendencies takes place in the mind, and the importance 
of such conflicts, is a matter on which there is not universal 
agreement among clinical psychologists at present, but that 
intrapsychic conflict is of far greater significance than used to be 
thought is becoming very generally recognised. It is particularly 
hard to overlook its significance in neurotic disorder, for the 
manifestations of this are nothing else than the expression of such 

* I am, of course, aware that " force " is one of those words not to be used 
in strict scientific speech, and only write it here as a convenient and easily 
comprehensible shorthand for more cumbrous periphrases. 


conflicts. Freud himself has applied his " wish " theory of the 
mind in a great many different fields and, however much or little 
anyone may agree with the details of those applications, there 
can be little doubt, as Holt has well pointed out, that this line 
of work has given a considerable impetus towards the appreciation 
of the extensive part played by conative trends in regions of mental 
functioning, such as, for instance, dream formation, where their 
existence had been hardly suspected. 

The subject of the unconscious mind is so vast it is quite 
possible that in the future it may be ranked as the most important 
discovery of the past half century that no discussion of it here 
would be in place. One word must suffice in reference to the 
empty objection that, since the word " mental " is equivalent to 
" conscious/' no unconscious mental processes can be allowed to 
go on. a riempeche pas dexister. Its reality is attested by the 
work of many authorities, any one of which would suffice for the 
purpose ; one may mention the observations of Binet and Janet, 
and the experimental work on dissociation by Morton Prince, quite 
apart from the huge literature of psychoanalysis. Apparently 
the critics would have us write such phrases as : " the neural 
dispositions and synaptic changes, all of which are quite unknown, 
with which the corresponding mental processes, if they occurred 
in consciousness, would be expressed by the wish to murder a 
brother-in-law " ; whereas we are content with the less cumbrous 
phrase : " the unconscious wish to murder a brother-in-law." In 
the present state of our knowledge the whole question is a mere 
verbal quibble. When neurologists know enough to describe 
conscious processes in terms of cerebral physiology then they will 
have no difficulty in doing the same for unconscious processes, 
and everyone will be happy ; but the essential point is that the 
two kinds of mental processes are absolutely on the same footing 
in this matter. Nor can I repeat here the respects in which 
Freud's particular conception of the unconscious differs from that 
of other writers, fundamental as I hold them to be. 

As befits a discipline of medical origin, the clinical attitude is close 
to the biological one, and most clinical psychologists feel that one of 
the chief goals of their work is to be able to state their mental data 
in biological terms, i.e., in terms of the instincts. The interest- 
ing contributions that have appeared in the Journal of A bnormal 
Psychology and Social Psychology of late only go to show how 
complicated and obscure are the problems relating to the instincts, 
and it cannot be said that clinical psychology has yet been in 


a position to elucidate finally any of them. But it has advanced 
two steps at least in this direction. It has cleared the ground by 
showing that a number of supposedly inborn instincts with which 
other psychologists had operated are complex products, and so 
are capable of resolution into more primary elements. This 
remark applies, for instance, to many in the list of instincts 
propounded by McDougall in his popular Social Psychology. 
In the second place, the analyses effected by clinical psychologists, 
particularly by Freud, of the conative aspects of the mind have 
revealed much of importance concerning the development, mani- 
fold fate, and products of the instinctual side of mental life, and 
it is reasonable to expect that further research along these lines 
will bring us nearer to the ultimate sources of mental impulse. 

After this sketch, imperfect as it is, of the features characterising 
the clinical approach to psychology, let us turn to social psychology 
and try to ascertain something of the relationship between the 
two. Social psychology itself has evidently been in great part 
developed because of the peculiar straits in which sociologists and 
all serious students of social problems find themselves. It is 
impossible to proceed far in the study of social institutions without 
perceiving that the only work of a non-psychological kind that 
can be done in this field must remain on a purely descriptive or 
classificatory level. The simple reason for this is that no problem 
can be raised concerning the origin, function or significance of 
any one of these institutions that does not immediately involve 
some psychological consideration. 

The sociologists who have recognised this state of affairs have 
naturally turned to psychology for assistance and co-operation. 
They must in the past have been somewhat bewildered at the 
response, for until late years this has been decidedly a negative 
one. The notorious lack of interest of most psychologists in such 
mundane topics as motive and meaning prevented a wide response 
of any kind, and the few who occupied themselves with the socio- 
logical data, such as notably Wundt, confined themselves either 
to the classificatory studies of the kind already familiar to sociolo- 
gists or else to the vaguest generalities. 

Three explanations have been proffered for this curiously 
unresponsive attitude on the part of psychologists. The most 
charitable is that suggested by writers of the class of Le Bon, 
who suppose that the side of man from which light is needed to 
explain sociological phenomena, the side about which psychologists 
have been able to say so little, is perhaps one which is not present 


in the material studied by the psychologist, i.e., in man considered 
as an individual. They have put forward the view that the 
mental tendencies concerned with social institutions are dormant 
in the individual and are stirred to activity only when he comes 
into close contact with a group of his fellows. They thus postulate 
a special class of instincts the herd, gregarious or social instincts 
which are manifest only in the relation of the individual with 
the group. 

Of the many criticisms that can be made of the view just 
enunciated, one only may be mentioned here. The hypothesis 
would seem to attach far too great importance to the mere factor 
of number in human psychology. It would be very remarkable 
if instincts which are supposed to play no part in a man's relations 
to those nearest him friend, enemy, wife and family should 
suddenly emerge the moment he comes into contact with a larger 
number of people. At what point do they appear, and what is 
the magic number that has this effect ? 

The second hypothesis, put forward by Wilfred Trotter, avoids 
this particular difficulty. He supposes that what psychologists 
have not borne sufficiently in mind is the biological history of 
man. He insists that man is throughout a gregarious animal, 
and agrees that we should postulate a special group of instincts, 
which he sums up under the name of " herd instinct/' in accordance 
with this consideration. But he maintains that these instincts 
play an important part also in the simpler and individual relations 
of life, not only where group contact is present. According to 
him, man is at every moment, even in the privacy of his chamber, 
nothing but a gregarious animal, and much of his most individual 
behaviour is dictated by the indirect effects of his social 

The third explanation of the general psychologist's lack of 
helpfulness in the social domain is that proffered by the psycho- 
analytical school of clinical psychology. It would agree with the 
two previously mentioned ones that something essential must 
have been overlooked by the general psychologist, and also with 
the second explanation that this something is, nevertheless, to be 
found in the study of the individual. But its indictment of the 
general psychologist is more far-reaching than either of the others, 
being to the effect that he has extensively ignored highly important 
aspects of his own field. As was already indicated above, we mean 
by this the intimate regions of the mind, those in which the final 
answers to most psychological problems are to be found. 


To many it will seem an overweening pretension to maintain, 
as has been done in this paper, that the branch of psychology 
which is most concentrated on the study of man as an individual, 
and predominantly with the morbid states of the individual, 
should be regarded as the branch which has most to offer the 
student of socio-psychological problems. And yet these two 
grounds for objection are the very reasons why one ventures to 
put forward this pretension. For morbid states have special and 
overwhelming claims to importance as fields of psychological 
investigation. Individual suffering has momentous consequences 
for both the investigator and the subject which are paralleled 
by no other psychological situation. As regards the former, 
experience has shown that no other motive, not even scientific 
curiosity, is strong enough to overcome the various motives 
(largely of personal origin) which compel him to desist from 
intruding into the intimacies of another person's innermost life. 
And, similarly, no other motive than suffering has yet been 
found, except in the rarest cases, to induce a human being to 
submit to any really searching investigation of his own mind. 
The academic psychologist is thus, in regard to his study-material, 
at a permanent and unalterable disadvantage as compared with 
the clinical psychologist. 

The second objection indicated above challenges the right to 
transfer to normal psychology Conclusions arrived at through study 
of the abnormal. Such a critic, however, is being misled by the 
word " abnormal " and is evidently unaware of the real nature of 
neurotic suffering. As is now becoming more widely recognised, 
this is not due to disease in the ordinary sense of the word so much 
as to the adoption of a particular method of dealing with a social 
situation. The idea, which we owe mainly to Freud, that neurosis 
is one of man's ways of meeting various difficulties in his relation 
to his fellow man, i.e., to social difficulties, has revolutionised our 
conception of psychopathology in the past quarter of a century. 

If neurosis represents a solution, however unsatisfactory, of 
various social difficulties, then it is impossible that an exceedingly 
intensive investigation of it, such as is necessary for therapeutic 
purposes, should be undertaken without throwing light also on 
the inner nature and meaning of the social institutions themselves 
in regard to which the difficulties have arisen. And there are 
ample indications in the literature of the past fifteen years that 
this expectation is being fulfilled, though even yet psycho- 
sociological studies proper are only in their infancy. 


It will thus be seen that there are two fundamental points of 
contact between clinical and social psychology. In the first place, 
the study of social relationships and social institutions demands 
that special attention be directed to the questions of meaning, 
motive, significance, and the like ; in short, to the interpretation 
of the dynamic aspects of the mind. Now these are the aspects 
with which clinical psychology is perforce peculiarly concerned, 
certainly more so than any other branch of psychology. Further, 
clinical psychology is not in a position to be content with the 
superficial interpretations of motive that are customary. The 
correctness of its conclusions are constantly being checked by 
results, and to secure these it is necessary to deal with the real 
actual motives operative in a given case, not with the ostensible 
ones. In other words, it has to penetrate to the sources of motive 
in the unconscious, to the fundamental roots of all our impulses, 
emotions and conduct. 

In the second place, as was hinted above, it so happens that 
the subject-matter itself is far more nearly identical in the two 
branches of psychology in question than might at first sight be 
supposed. The social institutions studied by the one discipline 
are the products of the same forces that create the neurotic 
manifestations with which the other is concerned ; they are 
simply alternative modes of expression. Let us consider for 
a moment a few of the chief topics that are the object of socio- 
psychological investigation. One problem is the organisation of 
societies, the inner structure and external relationships of groups, 
clans and nations, with all the concomitant questions of government 
and authority. Another is the vast domain of sex relationships, 
the complicated questions surrounding the marriage and family 
bonds, the accompanying institutions of prostitution and concu- 
binage, and the endless variety of ritual, folk-lore and superstition 
that invest the themes of love and birth. A third is that of 
religion in all its forms and manifestations : theology, ritual, 
ethics and morality, and the conduct of life in general. One can 
safely say that every one of these problems has, at times, to be 
made the subject of a penetrating investigation during the eluci- 
dation of some neurotic manifestation. Many a neurotic symptom 
represents the individual's attempt to deal with the complicated 
relationship between son and father, a problem which, on the other 
side, connects with the great questions of government, leadership, 
authority, submission, and so on. That religion represents 
essentially a mode of appeasing the sense of guilt arising from 


various anti-social tendencies is becoming more and more widely 
recognised, and every clinical psychologist knows that conflict 
over these same anti-social tendencies may lead to neurotic or even 
psychotic disorder, so that his work is very largely taken up with 
the elucidation of them. That many clinical psychologists have 
also shown considerable intrepidity in investigating the manifold 
problems relating to the sexual life is familiar enough to the 
readers of Dr Prince's Journal. 

It is impossible in a short contribution, such as the present one, 
to do more than call attention to some of the main points of contact 
between the two branches of psychology under consideration. The 
preceding remarks on the identity of content in the two cases may 
appear unduly categorical, but it would need a volume even to 
illustrate such an enormous theme. Fortunately, all that has 
been said here can be supported by reference to an already 
extensive literature on the subject, and I may conclude with the 
simple assertion that most of the keys to socio-psychological 
problems will be found in the realm of clinical psychology. 




Superintendent at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Washington, D.C. ; 
Co-editor of "The Psychoanalytic Review" and the "Nervous 
and Mental Disease Monograph Series"; President, American 
Psychiatric Association; former President of the American 
Psychopathological Association and The American Psychoanalytic 
Association; Professor of Nervous and Mental Diseases, George- 
town University, and George Washington University ; and Lecturer 
on Psychiatry, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy Medical Schools 




I HAVE chosen the title of my paper because of the fact that 
Dr Prince has been one of those rare spirits in medicine who have 
departed in their work from the accepted and conventional stan- 
dards of their day and dared to venture forth on their own account 
and to record what they saw. 'Tis true that many adventure on 
their own account, but few indeed are they whose records live or 
who find anything on the journey of value. It occurs to me, there- 
fore, that it might be worth while to comment on the method pur- 
sued and the road travelled, to suggest the worthwhileness of 
examining the means at the disposal of the explorer in medical 
jungles. This, of course, is no new idea of mine. I merely thought 
that perhaps it might be worth while with respect to the specific 
matters mentioned in my title and appropriate because in the 
field wherein Dr Prince has lived in his thoughts these many 

I shall not attempt to discuss exhaustively and thoroughly any 
of the topics mentioned in the title ; that would obviously be 
impossible in the limits of such a paper as this. It is merely my 
purpose to record briefly a few thoughts on these topics that seem 
to me to be of value. The fact that the thoughts are not original 
or that they may have been set forth many times in the past is, 
it seems ^ me, not significant. The significant thing is that, 
although perhaps recognised when attention is directed to them, 
they are rarely in mind and not infrequently quite out of mind at 
moments and on occasions when their presence would be of much 
value. They belong, no doubt, to the category of the obvious, 
but it is the obvious that so often eludes us, that may be right 
there in front of us and yet we do not see it, and even though 
we see it, we see it only too often with eyes that are almost 

The recognition of facts when they are brought to our attention 



is not the important thing. The average man would rate well in 
such a performance test if the facts were well presented. The im- 
portant thing is to assimilate the facts so that they become part 
and parcel of our bone and sinew, the very fibre of our being, avail- 
able always when needed, going into action, as it were, with the 
machine, because part of it. It is only then, when they have be- 
come available for instant use, that we can be said truly to know 
them. And so it must ever be necessary to repeat and to emphasise, 
to re-repeat and to re-emphasise the obvious, however distasteful 
such proceedings may be to those of academic mind. These are 
my excuses, my reasons for what follows. 


In the fields of psychopathology and psychotherapy probably 
few terms have been so persistently and so outrageously abused. 
If one looks back over the literature for, say, the last twenty years 
it would hardly be far-fetched to say that he might conclude that 
suggestion was " the be all and the end all " of psychological ex- 
planations. The most diverse results were brought about by 
suggestion ; the most diverse occurrences were explained by it. 
Suggestion, as it thus paraded through the literature, producing all 
these curious phenomena, seemed possessed of some inscrutable, 
mysterious power which it wielded in quite an arbitrary way. It 
never seemed to occur to anyone to question the source of this 
power nor to undertake to explain or to understand the way it 
worked. To pronounce the word seemed all that was necessary 
to close the subject satisfactorily, to put the final stamp upon it 
of approved explanation. 

It is difficult to account for the slavish and almost mystical use 
of the word suggestion, especially as it came from the most un- 
expected quarters. Men used it who were students of human 
behaviour and the human mind. Probably the explanation is 
after all the really profound ignorance of the nature and mechan- 
isms of the mind, an explanation which is forced upon us in spite 
of the fact that those who used suggestion to explain everything 
made high pretence to profound learning. Their use of the term 
suggestion was to that -end, for often they did not know much 
of what was even then known of the mind. 

Suggestion was used in those days, and still is, for that matter, 
in the sense of the uncritical acceptance of ideas and their realisa- 


tion in action ; and there was practically little improvement in 
the use of this term, despite the work of the French School and its 
followers, which gave some hint as to the nature of the hysterical 
and dissociated states in general. 

The technique of producing the hypnotic state was elaborated, 
the phenomena of suggestion in relation thereto and also to the 
waking state were studied, as were also the phenomena of post- 
hypnotic suggestion, so that a pretty coherent body of facts was 
established, even sufficiently well hung together to make prediction 
possible with a considerable ratio of success under controlled con- 
ditions. Still, there was little effort to explain the " why " of the 
hypnotic state or the reason some ideas were accepted uncritically 
and others were not, and, in fact little appreciation that such 
problems even existed. 

Of course, during this period, there were a few earnest workers 
in this field, but for the most part the state of the average medical 
mind that thought about the subject was about as described. 
Things remained, however, pretty much at a standstill until 
Ferenczi's paper in 1909 on " Introjection and Transference," 
which, for the first time, took up a study of the affective dynamic 
factors that lay back of the phenomena and an understanding of 
which was necessary for any deeper appreciation of the nature of 
those phenomena. 

This paper of Ferenczi received all too scant attention, but it 
nevertheless did receive some notice, was translated into English, 
and has stimulated further studies since. This is not the place for 
a restatement of the results of these studies. I shall indicate the 
sources from which this information can be obtained in the appen- 
ded bibliography. I will only make this comment in closing, namely, 
that the word suggestion can no longer be used in the loose and 
haphazard way of the past ; that even if we are not prepared to 
accept those explanations which have been offered by Ferenczi 
we must nevertheless acknowledge the fact that suggestion or 
suggestibility does not constitute an irreducible,* ultimate com- 
ponent of the psyche, that it is not, so to speak, an unanalysable 
element and that it can therefore be split up into further com- 
ponents. It might be said of psychopathology, in reference to this 
whole matter of the use of suggestion, what Lowie says of ethno- 
logy : " the obstacles to a clear understanding of reality lie in the 
bewitching simplicity of catchwords, "f 

* Freud, Group Psychology and the A nalysis of the Ego* 
f Primitive Society. 



Through all the long years that the so-called "insane" have 
remained outside our ken, it has been sufficient to dismiss their 
comments, ways of thinking, and conduct as simply " crazy," which 
implied that they were altogether alien to us and nothing more 
need be said. In recent years all this has changed, and it has 
changed apparently more or less contemporaneously in several 
fields, namely, the fields of genetic psychology, anthropology, and 
psychopathology. It has come finally into the field of conscious 
awareness, although often none too clearly, that we cannot hope 
to understand the child, the savage, or the psychotic by a process 
of projecting, so to speak, our own methods of thinking upon him 
and then trying to understand him in terms of ourselves. No one 
of these three classes thinks, feels, or acts as we do, and from the 
same motives, in any sense that permits such an identification. 
The child is not just a small adult ; the savage does not possess 
all our potentialities, only needing to be taught ; and the psychotic 
is not just contrary, or mischievous, or vicious, or crazy. Again 
do catchwords intervene between us and reality, and because of 
them our opportunity to grasp the real is indefinitely delayed. 

This method of interpreting others by ourselves is the natural 
one and has to be thought through before it can be improved upon. 
All these classes of individuals, children, savages, and " insane " 
have suffered enormously at the hands of adults, the civilised and 
the normal because of this way of thinking. 

Here as elsewhere to recognise a problem is already to be well 
on the way to its solution. A problem stated is half solved, and 
this problem is now pretty well comprehended, and it is understood 
that because a child takes something that does not belong to it, 
or a savage demands pay from the Christian doctor for being 
treated for pneumonia, or a psychotic patient tears up his clothes, 
that an explanation that attributes such conduct to original sin, 
or ingratitude, or viciousness is of no value, that it will be necessary 
to go behind the returns and find out upon what such results are 
based in order to understand why they take place. 

For a long time it has been pretty generally recognised that 
to an extent it was necessary to put yourself in the other fellow's 
place in order to really understand what was going on inside the 
other fellow. But this way of thinking has generally resulted in a 
sympathetic understanding, a form of sympathy which did much 
to rescue the child and the " insane " and the " criminal " from the 


cruelties that came of misunderstanding but which in the case of 
the anti-vivisectionist, whose form of query " How would you like 
to be cut open and experimented upon if you were a dog ? " was 
reduced to sentimentalism plus ignorance. 

Now by empathy is meant " a process of introjection, since it 
serves to bring the object into an intimate relation with the 
subject."* It is perhaps best understood in the form of a literal 
translation of the German word Einfilhlung ; namely, "feeling 
into." It implies a certain identification of the subject with the 
object. This identification does not necessarily imply sympathy 
nor does it partake of sentimentalism. 

The point I wish to make is that our capacity to understand 
others is a function of the completeness with which we can feel 
ourselves into their ways of thinking and feeling, can introject 
ourselves into their situation, and that this capacity is based upon 
two factors which are dependent the first upon the second. The 
first is our capacity to intellectualise the total situation we are 
seeking to understand, and the second our capacity to recognise 
within ourselves those same components of feeling and tendency 
which are the dynamic factors in the situation we are studying. 
In order to understand the child, the savage, the insane and the 
criminal we must be able to identify the germs of similar motives in 
ourselves. The path to the better understanding of others, then, 
is the path of a developed intelligence plus an honest and clear- 
seeing vision of one's self. 

Bad Thinking in Medicine 

Bad thinking is not confined to medicine, but I suspect that 
errors of the same sort dominate wherever it is found. In medicine, 
of course, the most obvious error that dominates physician and 
patient alike and is largely at the basis of the success of charlatan- 
ism, is the error of wishful-thinking. The physician sees evidences 
of results which he wishes would come to pass : the patient wishes 
to get well and will take the treatment that someone says will 
cure him. This is all very simple, but it goes strangely 
unrecognised ; nevertheless even a casual inquiry will disclose how 
this type of error creeps into our thinking and to what an amazing 
extent it vitiates our results. So true is this that I cannot refrain 
from making the suggestion, although I know full well its practical 
* See Jung, Psychological Types. 


futility at this time, that the medical curriculum should include 
a course in " medical thinking." 

The other error to which I would call attention is even less 
recognised than that of wishful-thinking. It is the error of logical 
thought. Just because a conclusion is contained in the premises 
and follows logically therefrom, is no reason why the conclusion is 
necessarily true. It is essential to separate process and content. 
The fact that the process is flawless does not mean that the content 
is true. The syllogism : 

All white flowers are lilies ; 
This flower is white, 
Therefore this flower is a lily, 

is absolutely correct as to form. The conclusion follows logically 
from the premises, but if the flower that is in question happens to 
be a daisy, the conclusion is wrong, and it is wrong because the 
major premise is not true ; for all white flowers are not lilies. 

Now it very often happens that bad thinking in medicine and 
the arguments and reasoning of the charlatan are quite logical. 
I remember reading a carefully-worked-out explanation of baldness 
that proved with logical rigorousness that it was due to a too tight 
sphincter ani. The contracted sphincter pinched the sympathetic 
nerve filaments. This pinching irritated the sympathetic filaments, 
this irritation was conveyed along the course of the sympathetic 
system up the cord to the head. The sympathetic system controls 
the capillary blood supply to the scalp. The irritation of the 
sympathetic caused a contraction of the capillaries of the scalp. 
The deficient blood supply resulted in baldness. Therefore, the 
cure for baldness is dilatation of the anal sphincter. I submit 
that this is faultless logic. The only trouble about it is that it 
is not true. 

The arguments of the charlatan are made to those who do not 
know and who are seduced by the fine logic to think that when 
conclusion follows upon premise with such certainty there must be 
truth : and to those others whose critical faculty is obscured by 
wishful-thinking, by wanting to believe. 

I shall close with an anecdote. A college graduate had finally 
come to settle down in the country and to lead the life of a farmer. 
A class-mate ran across him and in the course of the conversation 
that followed asked him how much value his college education had 
been to him. To this he replied that he used what he had learned 
in college very little, he planted his crops, improved his land and all 


the rest largely by guesswork, as did his neighbours, but in one 
respect he considered he had the advantage ; when he did not know 
a thing he knew that he did not know it, and the ability to recognise 
when he did not know had been worth all the time and effort he 
had spent in acquiring a college education. Here again knowledge 
is the answer, and in this instance the beginning of knowledge was 
in the recognition of its absence. Such a man would not long 
remain in the magic stage of development of farming. He would 
soon project himself into the experimental stage and be on the 
highway to science. 



1. Ferenczi (S.), " Intro jection und Ubertragung," Jahrbuch fur 

psychoanalytische und psychopathologische Forschungen, Vol. 
I, 1909, abstracted in The Psychoanalytic Review, Vol. 
Ill, No. i, January, 1916 ; translated in Contributions to 
Psycho -Analysis, Chapter II, Introjection and Transference. 

2. Freud (Sigm.), Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, 

Chapter IV : Suggestion and Libido. 

3. Jones (Ernest), Papers on Psycho-Analysis (3rd ed.), Chapter 

XIX : The Action of Suggestion in Psychotherapy and, 
Chapter XX, The Nature of Auto-Suggestion. Chapter 
XIX also appeared as an article in The Journal of Abnormal 
Psychology, Vol. V, and Chapter XX as an article in the 
British Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. Ill, Pt. Ill, 

4. McDougall (W.), " A Note on Suggestion/' The Journal of 

Neurology and Psychopathology , Vol. I, No. i, May, 1920. 


1. White (Wm. A.), Psychoanalytic Parallels, The Psychoanalytic 

Review, Vol. II, No. 2, April, 1915. 

2. White (Wm. A.), Individuality and Introversion, The Psycho- 

analytic Review, Vol. IV, No. i, January, 1916. 

3. White (Wm. A.), Extending the Field of Conscious Control, 

The Psychoanalytic Review, Vol. VII, No. 2, April, 1920. 

4. White (Wm. A.), The Mental Hygiene of Childhood, Boston, 


5. Jung (C. G.), Psychological Types, London and New York, 1923. 

6. Levy-Bruhl, Primitive Mentality, London and New York, 1923. 

7. Brill (A. A.), The Empathic Index, Medical Record, February, 


8. Southard (E. E.), " The Empathic Index in the Diagnosis of 

Mental Disease/' Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. XIII, 

No. 4, October, 1918. 



1. Bleuler (E.), Das Autistisch-Undisziplinierte Denken in der 

Medizin and seine Uberwindung, Berlin, 1919. 

2. Bourget, Quelques erreurs et tromperies de la science medicate 

moderne, 4th ed., Paris, 1915. 

3. White (Wm. A.), " The Meaning of ' Faith Cures ' and Other 

Extra-Professional ' Cures ' in the Search for Mental 
Health," American Journal of Public Health, Vol. II, No. 3. 




Professor of Psychology at the University of Geneva 




THE brief discussion which is to follow is an attempt to show 
that far from expressing the aggregate of personality, as is 
currently received, the will always marks a division of the self. 
It is furthermore a matter much less of introducing a new 
conception of the will than of delimiting the term Will and 
restricting its use in such a way as to set the psychological notion 
of the will in accord with the facts of concrete and real life. 

The chapter on the will is, in fact, remarkably anaemic in the 
modern psychological textbooks not to mention the behaviourists 
who most frequently pass it by in silence. And yet in everyday 
life we have constantly to do with the phenomenon of the will. 
Is not this vital phenomenon in the very fore of the interest of 
educator, industrial leader, physician, etc. ? Developing the will, 
selecting for a given position an individual endowed with will, 
re-educating the will of asthenics these are everyday preoccupa- 
tions. But present-day psychology invests the concept of the 
will with a latitude so wide that it becomes practically useless. 
The practitioner has but very little to draw from the observa- 
tion on the will which the psychological texts offer him. 

Many writers define the will as ''an act consciously directed by 
an idea." But is this really true of the will ? Assuredly not. 
The voluntary act is confused with the act which I call " inten- 
tional " and which is quite different from it. If I want to visit a 
friend, I should consider the most convenient or most expedient 
means of betaking myself to him (whether on foot, by electric car 
or by cab, etc.) and I adjust my behaviour to the result of this 
deliberation. But this is a simple intentional act and has nothing 
voluntary in it, in the sense given to this word in everyday 

We are also told that volition occurs every time a choice is made 
or whenever there is effort or delay (that is to say, the preparation 



for an act which is to be realised only in the future). If it is true 
that these phenomena intervene in every voluntary act, they are 
not adequate for its characterisation. If I am offered the choice 
between a glass of milk and a glass of wine, I am not carrying out 
a voluntary act when I choose the milk, if I prefer it to the wine. 
Similarly, if I try to climb a tree in order to pick some fruit which 
I am fond of, it is again an intentional act with effort, but in no 
wise a voluntary act. Lastly, if, not being able to reach the fruit, 
I go looking for a ladder, I should accomplish an intentional 
delayed act, but no more would this act have anything voluntary 
in it ; for no more than in the preceding illustrations will it 
revive within me this drama, little or big, which every voluntary 
act must represent. 

I say a drama ; that is to say, in reality every voluntary act is 
the expression of a conflict and struggle. If it indicates a con- 
quest, it likewise betokens a submission. It denotes a sacrifice, 
a sacrifice which at times costs little, but a sacrifice just the same. 
Volition, one might say, is to refrain from doing what one has a 
tendency to do, and to do what one has a tendency to refrain from 
or, as William James has so aptly said : it is to go in the line of 
greatest resistance. Every voluntary act then results from a 
conflict of tendencies, and the function of the will is precisely to 
resolve this conflict. 

And it is here that we find the distinction properly speaking 
between the voluntary act and the intelligent act with which it is 
often confused. Both in the one case and the other, the individual 
finds himself in a problematic situation. But in the case of in- 
telligence, the problem is one of means : it is a question of discover- 
ing the means to attain an end which the individual has set himself 
and which is not called into question. In the case of volition, on 
the other hand, the problem is one of ends. To what end must I 
direct my action ? There is no question as to the procedure to 
take in each case in order to attain these various ends, but it is 
in regard to the problem which end to adopt that the dispute 

If there is any dispute as to the various ends, it is due to the 
conflict of tendencies. This conflict evidently marks a division of 
the personality. In the most serious cases this division is mani- 
fest : on the one hand, the whole group of tendencies which popular 
language (borrowed from ethics) designates as " low, coarse, in- 
ferior, egoistic"; on the other hand, the tendencies which are 
denominated " superior, moral, ideal." 


Each of these groups of tendencies is affected by a certain 
co-efficient of selfhood, that is to say, the self partially identifies 
itself with them. For the most part, however, it is the ideal 
tendencies that the " true self " is identified with. Whenever these 
ideal tendencies are overcome by the inferior ones, the self some- 
times gives the impression that it has been overpowered by a 
strange force (demon, etc.) or at least that it has been " carried 
away " by a force which it could not resist. It would be very 
interesting to study the variations of the feeling of self in the 
debates of the will going on internally. 

Every act of the will, then, presents itself as the reaction of a 
part of the personality, of certain tendencies, that is to say, against 
another part of the personality. Considered from the functional 
point of view, it is the part of the will to stop this division of the 
self which impedes action, and to restore to mental activity the 
unity which is indispensable for the coherence of its adaptations. 
This is brought about by giving the upper hand to one of these 
groups of tendencies. If this mode of speaking is found too 
teleological, it may be said that the will is the name given to that 
process which leads to the re-enforcement of a group of tendencies 
and consequently to action. 

In the general run of life, however, the will is referred to only 
when it is the superior tendencies (moral, ideal) which are re- 
enforced to the detriment of the coarse, egoistic tendencies. It is 
necessary, therefore, to indicate this characteristic in the definition 
of the will, at the risk of depriving it of the very thing which dis- 
tinguishes it from the carrying out of a simple desire or the pursuit 
of the lower interests. 

In certain cases the superior tendencies seem so ideal, so extra- 
mundane, that the subject can no longer get himself to regard them 
as belonging to his own ego. This is the reverse of the case which 
I have just indicated. Here, for instance, is an illustration which 
I am taking from an old book from the pen of the celebrated Pro- 
testant thinker of Lausanne, Alexandre Vinet (who, it may be said 
in passing, is a noteworthy forerunner of Pragmatism).* 

In his Essais de Philosophic Morale, published in 1837, I find the 
following very interesting lines as testimony of an intimate psycho- 
logical experience . . . " Man could very well feel that his 
will, far from being able to serve him as a guide, really, in its turn, 

* C/., for example, this passage (p. 15) : " The simplest and most necessary 
truths have had a thousand obstacles to overcome . . . They had to live, 
and prove they are living, by action before being embraced by the intelligence. " 


needed to be itself regulated and rectified; that his will, in a word, 
was not good . . . In an absolute sense, it is not in our power 
to will ; our will is there only to carry out that of another. It is 
in the interest of this latter that we ought to will ; in other words, 
it is God who might be said to be willing in us . . . An 
irresistible impulse has led man to seek a will to which he 
could submit his own. He did not have to look for it very long. 
He has recognised it in God ; or, if you prefer, he has named this 
will God. He has, immediately, conceived God as a regulating 
will . . . Man, then, has sought in religion the ideal, or the 
rule which he did not find in himself." 

We see here that the author allows for two wills, one of which 
is to be subordinated to the other. What does it mean but that, 
in the act of true volition, there are two selves opposing each other, 
and one of which is to yield to the other ? The fact that only 
one of these selves is regarded by the subject who does the willing 
as his true self does not alter anything in the situation. 

It is not necessary for me to examine here the nature or the 
origin of this ideal self with which the subject identifies himself 
or, contrariwise, from which he at times separates himself. I 
simply wish to underscore the extent to which this important fact 
is not recognised in the current conceptions of the will. Indeed, 
open any text in psychology at the chapter dealing with the will, 
and you will read there almost invariably that the will is a reaction 
which expresses the personality in its entirety. Let us give a few 
quotations at random. Fouille"e, in his Idees Forcees (1893) writes : 
"It is my whole self which conditions my act . . . Every 
reason for acting in serious circumstances interests the entire per- 
sonality, which as a whole determines the action." Parmelee 
observes in his Science of Human Behaviour (1913) : " The will or 
volition is usually regarded as an expression of the self." Warren, 
in his Human Psychology (1919) : " The prominent feature of 
voluntary control is that the action is determined by the man's 
whole life, not merely by present situation. Our volitional acts 
are the expression of ourselves ; we control them as personal 
beings." Bergson (Donnies Immediates de la Conscience, 1889) 
maintains that : " We are free when our acts emanate from our 
entire personality." Even Paulhan, who has quite recognised 
the division of tendencies in the will, declares (La Volontt, 1903) 
that : "It is rather, for the action which engages more com- 
pletely the aggregate of personality that we reserve the name of 
'willing'." And Pierre Janet (Brit. J. of Psych ol., Med. Sect., 


1921) says also that the will " depends on the totality of the 

Experimenters like Ach, Michotte and Priim have also observed 
that volition is a phenomenon attached to the feeling of subjective 
activity. But this does not invalidate the thesis of the division of 
personality, for, on the one hand, the subject, as we have seen, 
identifies his ego with the victorious tendencies and on the other 
hand, most of the phenomena studied by these writers constitute 
intentional acts, rather than acts of the will in the full and active 
sense which I have given to this word. 

It is hardly necessary for me to point out the consequence of this 
conception of the will for education and psychotherapy. If the 
awakening of the will is brought about by a split in the aggregate 
of tendencies, it would mean that the education of the will would 
above all render the will useless by avoiding that which would 
provoke this split, by avoiding in the process of education, the 
" abortive repressions," as Freud would say, and especially, by 
trying to sublimate rather than brutally counteract the inferior 

It seems to me that this examination of the will, as a function of 
the personality, is likely to throw some light on what Morton 
Prince has called " This troublesome problem of the nature of the 
will."* If we are still very far naturally from grasping its inner 
mechanism, let us at least begin to perceive its r61e in human 

(Translated by A.A.R.) 
* Morton Prince, The Unconscious, p. 458 (1914). 




Professor of Psychology, University of California 




SINCE Cannon's work upon the physiology of certain emotions 
there has been widely recognised their invigorating effect upon 
the muscles useful in escape, attack, and defence. That 
certain emotions are sthenic, while others are asthenic, had 
long been known ; but it remained for Cannon to reveal 
something of the bodily process by which the sthenic effect was 

In the accounts of emotion which we have from James, Shand, 
McDougall and others, stress likewise had been laid upon the 
motor connection of the emotions, their connection with the 
so-called instincts ; the emotions are by some of these writers 
regarded as ready to be awakened by certain instincts 
and to make use of certain other instincts in order to 
attain the end toward which the emotion may give a general 

It is thus seen that the motor connections of emotion have, 
in recent times, been in the forefront of our attention. And yet, 
if one were to make a wider survey, taking account especially of 
the materials which lie at hand for students of the abnormal, we 
should (it seems to me) be in a position to see more justly the 
office which emotions hold in our mental and bodily life. After 
such a survey I believe we should return convinced that emotion 
has been too narrowly connected with muscular acts, and, indeed, 
that the relation of the emotions even to these muscular acts has 
not been quite satisfactorily stated. 

It will be the purpose of the present paper to suggest what I 
venture to regard as a certain correction or enlargement of such 
accounts as connect the emotions chiefly, if not wholly, with 
motor activity, and more particularly with the mere energising 
of this motor activity* 



Let me offer at once a certain type of evidence which may 
serve as our point of departure. A young man whom I have 
among my students, a highly intelligent person, served during 
the late war as an aviator in the United States Army. In the 
course of his extended service he suffered more than one severe 
accident, and his experiences during these times of especial peril 
were such that I shall draw upon them in some detail. From 
stenographic notes of his free narrative to me, and from my later 
questioning him, I give the following as the substance of his 

" During my service as an aviator I had two accidents which 
were of psychological interest. 

"The first of them was at Dallas, Texas, in June or July of 
1918, while I was doing that part of my training which is known 
as ' stunts/ Before going up on this particular day I, as usual, 
examined carefully my controls, and found that they were working 
right. I then went up to a height of about 5,500 feet, having 
planned the order in which I should go through my stunts, so 
that I should make as good a showing as possible to my instructor 
on the field below. My first stunt was a loop, and this I went 
through all right and straightened out. Then I found that my 
elevator-control was stuck. I went up on the rise for a second 
loop, but instead of letting my ship whip-stall and thus running 
the risk of permanently damaging my controls, I kicked the rudder 
to the right and dropped into a tail-spin. 

" It was at this time that a dual personality came into play. 
I had a rapid survey of my life, not as though I were looking at 
scenes of my past, but as though I were doing and living them 

" Yet I was conscious at the same time of having to manage 
my ship. For as soon as I started down in the tail-spin I realised 
that I had a certain amount of time, and I went carefully over 
the different controls. I tried the rudder and found that it worked 
all right. I then moved ' the stick,' and its movements showed 
that the ailerons were working, but that the elevator was stuck. 
I thought that the elevator-wire might have become entangled 
in the leather slot where the elevator-wire goes through the 
covering to the outside. So I pushed the stick slowly and steadily 
forward to overcome such an obstruction. In shoving forward 
on my stick I felt the tension on my belt, which showed that the 
control was in some way entangled with the belt. So I reached 


around and found there the loose end of a wire used to support 
the triangle of the safety-belt, and which had been left too long 
and had become entangled in the wire which worked the elevator. 
I pulled this loose end out, and my elevator then worked perfectly, 
and I straightened out my ship. I was then at a height of about 
1,500 feet, having fallen about 4,000 feet since the accident 

" During this fall I re-lived more events of my life than I can 
well enumerate. These were in an orderly series, very distinct, 
and I cannot recall that anything was out of its place. 

" (i) One of the first things that I remember was my learning 
my A B Cs. My grandfather was sitting in a tall easy-chair 
with castors attached to a frame upon which the chair rocked. 
I remembered him sitting as I am sitting now ; and I was on the 
floor. That was between the Christmas when I was over two- 
and-a-half years old and the February when I was three. That 
was the first picture I had. 

" (2) Another was when I had to stay home when my mother 
had to leave me and teach school for a while. It was late in the 
fall, and I was looking out of the window and I saw her pass the 
window and go off to school, f 

" (3) Next I was playing under a grape-arbor in the back yard 
at my grandmother's. In throwing things at the little chicks, 
I accidentally killed one of them. Then I buried it, feeling 
very sorry over what I had done.J 

" (4) Another one was during a very cold winter, when I went 
up to my grandmother's and had a long drive with a horse and 
buggy from the station, about seven miles, and there was a great 
family reunion. 

" (5) Another was of a very cold night in Kansas City when 
we were coming home from a play and got stalled on the street 
cars because the snow was so heavy. || 

" (6) Another was of fishing for small cray-fish in a little slough 
in a park in Kansas City. If 

11 (7) Another was when I was on a journey, and my folks told 
me that we were coming to California. I thought we were going 

* My aviator estimates the rate of his fall to have been about 150 feet a 
second, giving a total duration of about 27 seconds for the 4,000 feet. 

t The original of this occurred when he was about three-and-a-half years 

{ When he was about three-and-a-half or four years old. 

When he was about seven years old. 

|| When he was about nine years old. 

Tf At the age of nine. 


from Kansas City to somewhere else in Kansas. It was when 
we were out some distance. I remember the isolated group in the 
station-house when they told me where we were going.* 

" (8) Another was when I was cutting some wood in the back 
yard in El Paso, Texas, after I had left California. It was a very 
clear moonlight night. It happened that at this time I was 
wondering what I was going to do some five or ten years later. 
It was just like I was there again. I cut the wood, and distinctly 
saw the moonlight, the axe, and the block again, f 

" (9) Another was very distinct. It happened just a year 
before I went into the service. I went up here to Lake Tahoe 
with a party. We arrived about twelve o'clock, Sunday night, 
having come over a foot and a half of snow at the summit. There 
was hoar-frost all over the rocks, and ice on the edge of the lake. 
[Then follows in minute detail an account of swimming in the 
icy lake at midnight, as the result of a " dare."] I was doing it 
again ; I felt the cold air, and saw the hoar-frost/' 

On October i8th, of the same year in which he fell 4,000 feet, 
and before " straightening out " had the varied experience just 
described, this aviator had another experience of which we must 
content ourselves with a still briefer description. Upon this 
occasion, while in an area of artillery-fire, his engine stopped 
suddenly, and he, having to descend from an insufficient height 
of about 3,000 feet, and having, at the same time, to avoid the 
fire, set his ship into a flat glide for a particular spot ; but coming 
short of it, levelled his ship off above a field of broom corn where 
the ground was rain-soaked and bad, and landing here " cracked 
up " his ship. To quote his words : 

" I knew I couldn't make anything like a good landing. Well, 
I remember the broom corn hitting the axle of the wheels, but 
from then on, until three or four seconds after we hit, it is a blank. 
I don't know just how the ship acted when we hit. I was not 
badly hurt. My back was badly wrenched. I got out to see 
what damage was done to the ship. 

When I started down I was more or less amused, more or less 
laughing at myself for being foolish enough to get into a predica- 
ment of that kind ; of going over the field without sufficient 

* At the age of nine. 
| At the age of eleven. 


" Meanwhile I saw a view from a notch in the Berkeley Hills 
up here on the other side of Wildcat Canyon, looking through 
toward Tamalpais and the Golden Gate. The notch is just on 
the other side of the canyon reached by crossing the hills after 
going up through Spruce Street. I stood right there at that 
notch and saw the view just as you see it at any sunset. As I 
remember it, the sun was setting north of the Golden Gate. It 
was not an exceptionally beautiful sunset. There were clouds 
up there, much as there are to-day, more or less distinct cloud- 
formations. I could see just a little reflection in the lake over 

" This came to me while I was still gliding down toward the 
corn-field and I saw that I couldn't hold the ship off the 

I asked this aviator to compare the scenes recalled during these 
two accidents with others not recalled then but belonging to his 
childhood and youth, scenes which seemed to him as important 
as those which came back to him in his danger. He thought the 
danger-recollections to be about " twice as vivid " in recollection 
now as the others, vividness including for him, as he said, the 
colours of the scene. Asked whether his recollection during the 
danger came in alternation with attention to his machine, or 
whether the two went on at the same time, he answered that he 
believed them to be " separate but at the same time." 

" There was no discontinuance of attention to the machine 
at all, because that was the first thing. The fact is, I do a great 
deal more flying on the ground than in the air. I figure out certain 
tight places that I may get into, and how to get out of them. 
Then when you get into a tight place, you automatically do the 
thing you figured out. Such was the case when I kicked the rudder 
and fell into the tail-spin. I had thought that out on the ground, 
and the rest was a matter merely of working it out at the 

My aviator informs me that experiences such as he had are 
not exceedingly rare amongst airmen, that his companions in the 
service have repeatedly recounted to him similar experiences 
which they themselves have had. We also have at least one 
published account of such a dissociation during danger in the 

* Hoffman, " Ordeal by Fire," Atlantic Monthly -, March, 1920. 



Now the emotional condition in the experiences just described 
brought with it certain features which might be stated as follows : 

1. It is clear that there was no break-down of the motor 
integrations arrived at earlier both by actual practice in the air 
and by reflection while on the ground. There was no sudden 
incapacity to do the skilled acts which had been learned, but 
these were performed anew with sureness and mastery. The 
delicate motor adjustments, the motor co-ordinations which were 
needed to remove the obstruction to the control and to direct 
the ship before and after special difficulties were encountered 
were not disorganised, but they remained available and were 
actually employed. 

2. Certain acts were selected from a large store of possible 
acts and were applied to the troublesome situation intelligently 
although, so it seemed to the aviator himself, automatically 
while the man took in the situation, analysed it, and put to the 
trial bodily and mentally certain of its possibilities of behaviour. 
From many acts practised beforehand, in fact and in imagination, 
there were chosen those which led to complete success in the first 
of the two accidents described, that in which, after a drop of 
4,000 feet, the ship was straightened out ; and in the second, 
where there was landing on bad ground outside the field of the 
artillery-fire, there were chosen acts which at least led to escape 
from death by shells, although by accepting an alternative which 
involved, so the event proved, some damage to ship and man. 
Under the circumstances, and given the fact that in the second 
accident the man was flying too low, both crises were met, we 
must agree, with intelligently applied skill. 

3. There evidently was a dissociation which approached, if it 
did not attain, that mental condition to which Dr Morton Prince 
has aptly given the name " co -consciousness/' For it seems 
probable that the mental system which controlled the ship did 
not include that other mental system which was merely 
reminiscent. If, however, there was, during the period of dissocia- 
tion, a wider consciousness wherein both of the dissociated systems 
were present, then the condition would not exactly accord with 
Dr Prince's definition of co-consciousness,* but was an approxi- 
mation to it. But in either event, we have here in a normal 
individual an experience somewhere between those minor forms 

* Morton Prince, The Unconscious, 1914, p. 249. 


of dissociation which occur with everyone and in everyday life, 
and those major forms where, as in hysteria, there are relatively 
independent " personalities." 

In the present case the dissociation is revealed in two relatively 
detached and smoothly functioning systems. There was (a) the 
system of ideas and impulses connected with the practical work 
in hand, namely, with those motor acts which directed the 
mechanism of the ship. And there was (b) the system in which 
there was a recollection of certain distant events of the aviator's 

4. The emotional effect was not confined to the muscular field : 
it had its cognitive field as well. There was what we might call 
polarity in the emotional influence, a motor and an intellectual 
pole to its integrations. These two are clearly to be discerned 
in what has just preceded. But they are not equivalent to the 
two systems of the dissociation. One of these systems, namely, 
that of the reminiscences, it is true, was wholly or all but wholly 
cognitive. Images of earlier scenes arose with such astonishing 
detail and vividness that the aviator seemed to himself, not to be 
remembering but to be re-living them. The present situation, 
that of the peril in the air, seemed blotted out. There was 
nothing of that complication of past with present, which gives 
to our usual recollections their character of recollections because 
seen to be in temporal relation to what now is occurring. The 
past scenes were vivid and were without rivals. In sensory 
quality and intensity, in emotional tone, in impulses, the past 
experience returned as though it were a repetition but not 
until later to be recognised as a repetition of the very facts 

But the cognitive effect was not confined to this particular one 
of the two dissociated systems, that of the reminiscences; it 
reappeared also in the system concerned with muscular acts. 
For it is clear that the muscular acts employed during the two 
crises were not the outflow of motor habits so fixed as to be 
strictly mechanical, wholly without mental supervision and 
control. The aviator was meeting a novel situation wherein his 
movements were the outcome of an attentive exploration. He 
understood the needs of his case, and tried now this and now that 
form of action, in order to discover the precise character of the 
mpediment in his airplane's controls. And he made, in the end, 
in accurate diagnosis of the trouble, and was able to effect a cure, 
[n the other experience, when his engine stopped and there was 


danger of shells, he took account of the risks involved in the 
different courses open to his choice ; and having made his decision, 
carried it out in full consciousness of what it involved. 

The two-fold connection of the emotion is here clear : it stirred 
to movement, but it also stirred to thought ; it stirred to recollec- 
tion of the past and to a consideration of the present, and of 
the prospects of success by one and by another course of action. 


We might now inquire whether the features so clearly to be 
seen in the present case are present in emotion generally. Have 
we, indeed, in this extraordinary experience, something like 
a natural demonstration of the true course and function of all 
emotions, or at least of the sthenic phase of all of them ? An 
answer to this question will require a glance at evidence lying 
scattered at many points, while we connect this evidence serially 
with the four features noticed in our aviator's case. 

1. As to the maintenance of motor integrations. Emotion, 
when it is not of extreme violence for of exceedingly violent 
emotion I shall reserve the consideration until a later page 
but moderate emotion, I would say, involves no general disruption 
of even complicated muscular acts. Certain movements, it is 
true, may become difficult or even impossible. A man's golf or 
billiards might be wrecked for the moment by an insult, or by 
news of a mishap to his business. But movements suited to the 
impulse then prevailing movements of running or crouching, if 
fear be there ; or of vocal utterance, of vituperation, perhaps, 
together with the movements of bodily approach and of a deft 
blow with the fist, if there be anger ; or of caresses by hand or 
with tender words, if love ; or of whistling and singing and a 
sprightly step, if there be joy such and many other complicated 
movements are not only possible during emotion, but come forth 
finished, as part of emotion's usual train. 

2. As to there being more acts available for selection. It is 
now well recognised that the movements performed during 
certain emotions are done with uncommon vigour. Closer 
examination, however, will make it clear that this is by no means 
emotion's only effect. It would seem true, rather, that there are 
more acts ready to be performed with vigour ; more acts are at 
the disposal of the impulses which may arise. Thus in the sthenic 


phase of anger, fear, love, joy, sorrow, and mere excitement,* 
there is not only stronger action, but there is a greater variety of 
action, what we might describe as a greater flexibility of connections 
among the various motor units. I shall, of course, not be under- 
stood to hold that units of action, never before used in any connec- 
tion, now come forth for use. But the existent units seem closer 
at hand or a fresh combination of them seems now more easily 
accomplished, so that integrations now occur which were hardly 
possible in calmer moments. Possibly the psycho-physical 
dispositions behind these movements are innervated in lowest 
degree. Or perhaps, without actual innervation, they are in some 
other way made more accessible, as though they were waiting 
nearer to the threshold of overt action. 

This I may perhaps be allowed to illustrate from the behaviour 
of my dog. When I let him out from his confinement early in the 
morning, he may overwhelm me with the expression of his joy : 
he may jump up and upon me, scamper off, caper about and 
charge back upon me. Upon a recent occasion, when he seemed 
unusually glad, he picked up a stick and carried it along for 
a while uselessly, and then dropped it. Now he has not been 
taught to pick up or carry any object, nor is he accustomed to 
do it in any fixed relation to human beings ; so that the emotion 
seems here to have brought into life an act which, although 
practised by him in other connections, was yet unhabitual in this 
particular setting. The emotion led to some increase in the 
variety of things which were just then practically available for 

And to continue with my dog ; in other circumstances which 
are emotional, but which give no great encouragement to running 
and wildly capering about, joy at my presence or attention may 
lead him to sit up and beg this being a trick he has been taught 
in connection with offered food but now performed where there 
is no slightest indication that I have the least of food to give him. 
And when we go into the hills a region of uncommon stir for 

* All these I should regard as either sthenic throughout or as having a 
sthenic phase. And, contrary to tradition, I am venturing to include excite- 
ment among these emotions, as something distinct, while yet it may also be 
present in them all. For excitement appears to me capable of existing as 
much by itself as any of the emotions, it being indeed an undifferentiated emo- 
tion, neither fear, nor anger, nor love, nor joy, nor sorrow, nor any other of 
the well-known and differentiated emotions. Excitement may precede or 
follow one of these, or it may rise and disappear without passing into any one 
of them. And yet there is doubtless some excitement in the sthenic phase 
of each of the differentiated emotions. An explanation and defence of this 
position I shall defer to another occasion. 


him his behaviour illustrates the principle which is now in my 
mind. Out in this wilder region are the signs for him of ground 
squirrels, field mice, raccoons, coyotes, not to speak of the various 
birds which there abound. There I have noticed that some 
not-loud sound made behind him, perhaps by my displacing a small 
stone, or by lightly clapping my hand, startles him as no such sound 
does when he is calm and at home. When he is pointing, let us 
say, at a squirrel hole, the start which my sound gives him does 
not actually draw him off from the act to which he has given 
himself. But it would seem that the threshold for a movement 
different from the one upon which he is already launched has been 
lowered, so that a slighter stimulus is now readier to initiate it. 

Now this which is noticed in an animal's conduct is to be 
noticed also in men. Joy, love, anger, fear, and mere excitement, 
bring variety of action ; the entire motor mechanism seems to 
offer as into the person's hands a fuller store of such abilities as fit 
the instant's need. The lover may find language fluent that 
earlier was pent. Or other movements which might please his 
love are now performed, perhaps awkwardly, because with doubt 
or self-consciousness or with no practice ; but they lie readier for 
the attempt. So, too, a man in rage does not usually do the single 
act of offence which comes first and uppermost, but he gives 
evidence of having at hand a whole arsenal of acts to be thrown 
into the attack : he may advance with clenched fist as if to strike, 
he may gnash his teeth, may stamp upon the floor, and all the 
while be flooding his enemy with invective. It would thus appear 
that more variety of movement, as well as more energy of move- 
ment, is brought nearer to hand. The sthenic phase of the 
emotions thus makes available a greater scope of conduct. And 
out of this fuller offering the selection is made of acts to be 

3. Is there in emotion generally any characteristic tendency to 
dissociation ? There is evidence which hardly can be brushed 
aside. The analgesias of men wounded in battle would be in 
point, as would also be that analgesia which David Livingstone 
experienced when a lion seized him by the shoulder and crushed 
his bones. The shock, he says, produced a sort of dreaminess, 
without pain and without terror, an effect which he compares 
with that of chloroform.* So, in less degree, the lover's 
readiness to absorption in his great theme has as its 
counterpart a proverbial absent-mindedness, a narrowing of 
* Home, David Livingstone, 1913, p. 30. 


the conscious field, and an exclusion of all that will not circle 
around his one idea. Dissociation, at least of a minor kind, must 
be involved in this. And so with the man in joy, in fear, in 
anger : he may later be amazed to find that, beside the occurrences 
which he noticed and the acts of his own which he consciously 
directed, there was much that he saw and upon which he acted 
almost as in somnambulism. Thus a friend who was recently 
in an automobile accident, when he himself was driving, told me 
that the adjustments in his wrecked machine, he found later, had 
been properly changed by him at the very instant of the accident, 
and yet with no recollection that these details had been included 
in the dominant system of his ideas. It would seem that in all 
those emotions which involve specific impulses such as fear and 
anger especially there are almost of necessity two foci, as in an 
ellipse. The self or the object of dread or anger is at the one 
focus ; and at the other is the end to be attained. In fear, these 
may clearly be diverse. With our aviator one of the personal foci 
of his emotion, his self, may have been the substantial meaning 
of his series of reminiscences, in which the aviator looked almost 
as though fondly and with regret at what perhaps was about to be 
lost, at himself as he had known this being from early childhood 
up to his recent years. On the other hand, the impulses to the 
action of the moment were able to bring forth the ideas and 
movements needed to realise the impulses and to organise them 
into an independent system. Here the two systems were straining 
apart, to the very breaking point. 

Now a tension of some less degree would seem to be normal 
in all fear. And in anger also, if the angry man keep a hot attention 
upon the offender and the enormity of his offence, what is to be 
done to him must lie in the charge of some relatively detached 
system of ideas and their integrated impulses. The angry man, 
conscious primarily of his enemy and the wrong, finds himself 
saying and doing things as though automatically. These quasi- 
automatisms, it would seem, are the outcrop of a momentary 

4. As to the existence of an important polarity, a cognitive effect 
in*addition to the muscular, there can be no doubt. The sthenic 
aspect of the emotions not only brings into activity certain 
impulses leading to movement, but also produces a profound 
change in cognition. In an earlier paper an account was given 
of the effect of emotion upon memory, showing that in normal 
persons there was often found, not only the well-known amnesia, 


but also a strange and heightened liveliness of recollection extending 
behind the time when the crisis began.* This is in accord with 
the experience of our aviator, whose revival of parts of his life 
before his accident was with such vividness that he seemed not 
to be recalling but to be re-living them. He has given us but 
a fresh illustration of that retroactive hypermnesia, of which no 
more at present need be said. 

Looking now beyond memory, one finds an emotional effect 
upon attention, perception, and imagination. Not only does 
emotion frequently have its rise in an activity of one of these 
powers, but it reacts upon them, bringing them to still more 
intense and prolonged activity. Fear, anger, love, and sorrow 
have their object ; and this object gains an important place in 
the cognitive system ; it is attended to, perceived, scrutinised ; 
and out of its slightest changes there comes to the mind a multitude 
of fresh interpretations, fresh anticipations. 

But the cognitive stir works farther. In all simple emotions, 
except sorrow, perhaps, it leads to a certain fertility of ideas. 
Thoughts that otherwise would remain dormant, as mere dis- 
positions, now awaken and are actual. Turgeniev, being asked 
why he had ceased to write, replied that he was now too old to be 
in love, and he had found that unless he were a little in love he 
could not write. Similar is the experience of those orators whose 
minds fairly coruscate when upon a great occasion they face a 
great audience, and get past their initial inhibitions. A man of 
eloquence whom I know once said that when he had entered fully 
into his speech, ideas came in such profusion that his task became 
then but to select from the wealth of thought which arose before 
him. In a very different connection, an experimental finding in 
our own laboratory seems to point in a like direction. Different 
groups of workers, equal in intelligence, were given, upon many 
days, carefully graded intellectual problems. It was found that 
those who were asked to assume an attitude of anger toward 
their problems, regarding each of them as an enemy that must be 
downed, had far greater success than did those who were asked 
to assume a merely alert and energetic attitude, f Further, one 
should bear in mind the effect of war-emotions upon the solution 
of intellectual, including scientific, problems connected with war ; 
and also should bear in mind the use which religion and politics 

* " Retroactive Hypermnesia and Other Emotional Effects on Memory/' 
by the present writer : Psychological Review, XXVI (1919), 474. 

| From an investigation by Stella B. McCharles, a full account of which, 
I trust, will in due time be published. 


have from time immemorial made of emotion to influence belief, 
to arouse and give potency to new or newly awakened ideas.* 

From these and other facts which might be cited, I shall venture 
to offer a description of the cognitive effect of the emotions named. 
There is a cognitive disturbance, a commotion marked by some- 
thing like a farther awakening of a mind already awake. In 
particular, and first, there is an increased rate of change within 
the cognitive field, f The intellectual processes move at a more 
rapid tempo than when there is no excitement. Second, there 
is a lowering of the threshold for the entrance of ideas. Thoughts 
come more easily ; they are aroused in greater variety ; there 
are more of them available. The intelligence is thus more fertile 
when under emotional stir. Third, there is an added strength of 
organisation, a more effective integration of certain of the ideas 
present. And fourth, there is with this heightening also some loosen- 
ing of organisation, a disintegration amongst certain other constit- 
uents, so that these are omitted from the active system and are 
either suppressed or are left to form relatively independent and non- 
adaptive systems of their own. In this reorganisation, with its 
correlated association and dissociation, the cognitive activity 
runs a course not wholly different from that noticed by Cannon in 
the sudden reorganisation of the bodily response in the con- 
ditions which he studied. Some of these bodily responses are 
regrouped and intensified, others are uncoupled and weakened 
or repressed. The two contrasted effects observed in memory, 
in the article already cited namely, a heightening and lowering 
of mnemonic power, when under emotion seem, in the light of 
these further facts, more easily understood. In the retroactive 
hypermnesia and amnesia, which often go together in one and the 
same mind and in the one crisis, there is an exclusion of certain 
groups of impressions and the inclusion and vivifying of certain 
others. Such peaks and depressions are but the local manifesta- 
tion of this selective and reorganising influence of the emotion, 
whereby it integrates some ideas and disintegrates and dissociates 
others. The remarkable changes in memory are thus but an 
instance of a wider cognitive consequence of emotion. 

* That elation and depression in the mentally diseased bring disturbances 
of perception and of judgment, bring illusion, hallucination, delusion and 
cognitive disorientation, is so well known that I shall make no attempt to 
elaborate this aspect of emotion's effect upon cognition. 

f This commotion may be of very brief duration, and be followed by a great 
mental calm, as in Livingstone's case already cited. But even this emotional 
calm is the outcome of a preceding turmoil, for which the description I offer 
in the text is perhaps more suited. 



The emotional seizure is thus an intricate and sudden re- 
organisation of all powers, both motor, impulsive, and cognitive, 
in order to meet a situation fateful for our interests. But such 
an account of emotion's office holds true only within certain 
limits of emotional intensity. Excitement may become excessive, 
and then the commotion or disarrangement of our usual mental 
combinations is not succeeded by a rearrangement which is more 
suitable and which helps us to meet the crisis with prospect of 
success. There here follows in the train of that disorganisation 
toward which all emotion tends no beneficent reorganisation. 
Thus we find that in intense fear there may be a paralysis, not 
simply of the muscular system, but of the impulses to movement, 
and probably also a freezing of the stream of ideas. The object 
of our horror here so fascinates us as to preclude all play of attention 
whereby the immediate object is properly related to its sur- 
roundings and to the imagined possibilities of action which fear 
ordinarily will arouse. It is probable that something resembling 
this occurs in moments also of intense anger. The outraged 
person may be incapable not only of motor action, but also of 
any free rise and play of images and ideas and judgments around 
the object of his anger. Nothing clearly suggests itself for him 
either to think or to do. His mind, at the height of its passion, 
is for the moment fixed, as though in stone. So also the excitement 
which some orators experience as a beneficent stimulation, may 
not at all have this character for the timid or unseasoned speaker. 
With him the excitement is merely disorganising, and the operations 
which in calm moments would move into free rearrangements 
are now kept in disorder or are blocked. This exceptional effect 
of excessive emotion is also to be illustrated by the absurdities 
which occur in high excitement. When Morgan's men were 
making their famous raid into the North during our Civil War, 
their conduct at certain moments was that of men beside them- 
selves. They would rush into some country-store and, in a whirl 
of greed, seize anything at hand. They would stuff their pockets 
with horn buttons, start off to southern climes with a string of 
skates, or with a chafing-dish on pommel, encumbrances only to be 
thrown to the roadside after some miles of gallop. They behaved 
it is said, like boys raiding an orchard.* 

Other ridiculous things done in stress or panic would be here 
* See the account in Nicolay and Hay's Abraham Lincoln^ Vol. VIII, pp. 55!. 


in point. During a recent conflagration in Berkeley a young man 
who risked his life to save the property of others, emerged from 
a flaming building with his pockets stuffed with bedroom slippers. 
And I myself noticed, in viewing the next morning the salvage 
that had been carried hurriedly to one of the fire-proof buildings 
of the University, that hard by a costly mahogany clock someone 
had rescued a pan of baked apples. The dissociative effect of 
emotion has in such cases remained as a too enduring effect. The 
explosive violence of the excitement has prevented the free 
functioning of the higher processes. 

Now this exceptional effect is easy to observe, and, looked at 
too narrowly, has led to an entirely mistaken conception of 
emotion's function. Emotion has appeared as merely a break- 
down of organisation. It is as though one were to find the 
characteristics, let us say, of perception, not in its successes but 
in its failures, as when it arrives only at illusion or hallucination. 
The excesses of emotion then need not conceal from us the fact 
that normally there is, instead of a break-down, rather a temporary 
break-up, in preparation for a more effective reorganisation, with 
added resources now freely at our disposal. 

Thus I should incline to answer in the affirmative the query 
whether the features of our aviator's experience are features of 
emotion generally. Emotions in their sthenic phase, it would 
seem to me, are not mere energisers but are also diversifiers, 
leading to a fresh or less usual organisation. Emotions are 
awakeners of dormant functions ; and when awakened, these 
sleeping powers are given a special direction and objective. But 
emotions are also repressive ; and, while some functions are 
awakened, others are rendered dormant or are forced into a 
dissociated action. 

In all this it is clear, I believe, that the function of emotion is 
not confined to the motor region ; it extends far beyond this, 
into the cognitive field. And in this cognitive field the emotions 
serve likewise both as energisers and as reorganisers. As 
energisers ; for where a function properly connected with the 
emotional impulses is already active or becomes active, it becomes 
more vigorously active because of the emotion. But also as 
reorganisers ; for, in the cognitive awakening which emotion 
brings, there is an increased intellectual fertility, with varied and 
novel ideas put at the disposal of the vague impulses. There is, 
however, no mere miscellany of ideas rising up, and in confusion. 


There is, rather, a rise especially of such as promise some use in 
the present crisis. And among them there is a rapid selection 
and rejection, an organisation of some of them about the focus 
of present action, while others are dissociated and either vanish 
or become grouped about some other centre. 

A wide service is thus rendered by emotion. For when so 
stirred, the individual finds himself at a new level of behaviour 
both in body and in mind, being enabled to meet his crisis with 
a more complete array and organisation of his powers, and these 
not of his muscles only, but of his entire psycho -physical 



C. MAcFIE CAMPBELL, M.A., B.Sc., M.R.C.P. (Ed.), M.D. 

Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard University; Director, Boston 

Psychopathic Hospital 




" THE proper study of mankind is man," and of recent years, from 
many sources, this study has gained a new impetus and fresh 
inspiration. In the field of medicine, after almost complete absorp- 
tion in the intricate mechanisms that regulate each constituent 
system, there is a return to the study of the organism as a whole, 
there is renewed interest in the personality of man. 

In this renewed application to the study of personality there is 
a wider and more catholic point of view than in earlier studies ; 
not only is there continued interest in the detailed analysis of the 
subtle interplay of conscious and subconscious forces, in the study 
of which Morton Prince, P. Janet, and S. Freud have done such 
yeoman service, there is a wider interest in man in his diversity, in 
the individual man with his own special endowment, his own 
special needs, his own individual destiny. 

The point of view which has been attained in this field has been 
influenced by the progress of medical thought in general. One 
has in medicine passed from the early stage of attention to symp- 
toms, through periods dominated by structural lesions, pathogenic 
organisms, and biochemical anomalies to a standpoint, from which 
the original endowment of the individual, and the life-experiences 
which have influenced it, are seen to play a considerable r61e. The 
disturbing agent no longer receives all the attention, nor is the 
detailed process of invasion and defence the only subject of investi- 
gation ; much thought is now being given to the wide problem of 
those constitutional factors which determine that, of two women 
grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken and the other left. 

That this is a field for practical research as well as speculation 
is shown by the establishment of a Constitution Clinic in an im- 
portant hospital. Thus in all disorders the liability of the individ- 
ual, as well as the r61e of the special environmental noxa, has 
begun to undergo scrutiny, and in no branch of medicine has this 



tendency been more prominent than in that dealing with mental 
disorders, where, after the period of special interest in morbid 
anatomy and the simple somatic processes, and the period of 
detailed analysis of special psychological mechanisms, the analysis 
of the contribution made by the congenital endowment of the 
individual has come to be the subject of intensive investigation. 

That the study of the personality is important is clear ; it is 
not so simple to make this study in a systematic and profitable way. 
The personality is the individual in action, it is as complex as 
human nature with its traces of racial history and individual experi- 
ences ; the guiding lines of investigation are not at first obvious, 
and are apt to be determined to a disconcerting degree by the 
special interests of the investigator and by the material at his dis- 
posal. The worker who has been absorbed in the study of the 
endocrine glands, realises their influence not only on growth and 
metabolism, but also on the more complex functions of the organ- 
ism ; he may come to the analysis of the personality, eager to see 
how far his simple formulae may contribute to the clarification of 
the total picture. 

" Let me have men about me that are fat, 
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights ; 
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look ; 
He thinks too much ; such men are dangerous." 

The enthusiastic endocrinologist will translate not only the bodily 
traits but the whole personality of Cassius into his endocrine 
formula, and with his glance focussed on the pituitary gland have 
little interest in the organisation of all the other forces which make 
up that sombre personality. He may even simplify his formula into 
chemical terms, and then we find the absence of religious belief in 
Napoleon explained by the absence of the requisite chemical 
component, no hint of the formula for which is given. For this 
worker not Wellington nor Bliicher is the agent of destiny, but 
providence worked out its will by determining an early failure of 
the great man's pituitary gland. 

This point of view is not without interest ; it makes a partial 
contribution to a complex situation. The danger is that the 
worker, absorbed in detailed researches, fail to keep in mind how 
much he has provisionally abstracted from the total problem and 
how partial is the situation with which he is dealing. Still more 
dangerous are such formulations when they are based, not on accurate 
detailed research, but on facile hypothesis and unbridled speculation. 


It is only in a small number of cases that these simple formulae 
throw much light on the complexity of the total personality. In the 
great majority of cases we are left without any clear guide from 
such simple considerations as those referred to above. We face 
the bewildering variety of human nature, and grope hesitatingly 
in the direction of an analysis of its various components. For the 
study of the individual equipment several authors have worked 
out schemata which are of great use in making a systematic survey 
of the personality ; one may refer not only to the broad outlines 
suggested by Morton Prince, but to the detailed inventories pub- 
lished by Hoch and Amsden, and by F. L. Wells. Such schemata 
owe their excellence to the authors' grasp of those functions which 
are of most importance in regard to adaptability. They pay 
particular attention to the overt reactions of the individual. 
They differ according to the individual taste of the author 
and they do not profess to be based upon general biological 

The first steps towards an analysis of the personality more along 
biological lines than the type of analysis above Deferred to have 
been taken, and at the present moment a programme of further 
investigation of bewildering extent is being developed. The 
results already adumbrated are not limited to the clinic but throw 
much light on the destiny of the normal individual. It is interest- 
ing to trace the change in emphasis on this line of investigation 
since Kahlbaum published his monograph on Catalonia. That 
work expressly aimed at delimiting a disease which was to be as 
definite as general paralysis and he denied any intimate relation 
between a special mental endowment and catatonia. It did not, 
however, escape his clinical observation that the personality of 
his catatonic patients was not an irrelevant consideration, and 
that individuals of a certain type seemed to be specially pre- 
disposed to this type of reaction, or to this " disease " as he 
considered it. 

The end of the nineteenth century saw the Kraepelinian psy- 
chiatry in the ascendant, and under this dispensation interest in 
disease processes continued to be dominant, while the personality 
remained a matter of incidental concern. The beginning of the 
twentieth century has seen a change of orientation ; interest in 
the disease process continues and leads to important discoveries, 
but the conception of the disease process no longer monopolises 
the field. German psychiatric literature of the past few years is 
full of discussion of the inadequacy of the conception of mental 


ailments as diseases or nosological entities ; we find emphasised 
the importance of formulating mental disorders in terms of types 
of reaction, and the desirability of carefully attributing their 
respective r61es to reaction-type, environmental stress, psycholo- 
gical mechanisms, disease process. One finds no reference in these 
recent communications to the fact that in America for almost 
twenty years Adolf Meyer had preached this doctrine of emanci- 
pation from a rigid and nosological scheme. One reason for the 
lack of adequate attention given to his view was the tremendous 
development of interest in the new psychoanalytic doctrines. 
These doctrines focussed attention on a much narrower field than 
on that of the personality in general, and the wider problems were 
somewhat lost sight of in the acrimonious discussion which ranged 
round the ever-interesting subject of sex. The wider issues have 
been brought to the fore in the publications of Kretschmer. In 
his monograph Der Sensitive Beziehungswahn (1918) he takes 
certain cases with ideas of reference and resolves the clinical picture 
without any residuum into personality, experience and environ- 
ment ; no necessity is felt for any recourse to a deus ex machina, 
a disease, securely hidden behind the phenomena. The main 
thesis of Kretschmer's book had perhaps been more simply stated 
by Hoch in a paper published in 1912 : " In paranoic states, too, 
the contact with the environment is plain ; these persons are 
sensitive, and markedly concerned about the rest of the world, 
they expect something from it, and, with all their suspiciousness, 
they are not without a certain open attitude in the sense of aggress- 
iveness and a desire to seek contact. Another equally important 
difference between the paranoic state and the condition of dementia 
praecox is to be found in the fact that sometimes the external situa- 
tion is a much more potent factor in the causal constellation of the 
former." In a later work (1921) Kretschmer deals with the 
personality in a more comprehensive way. In this book, Kor- 
perbau und Charakter* he takes up a review of the total consti- 
tution, including both physique and personality, and, starting from 
the extremes met with in the clinic, he carries his analysis over 
into the market-place and the salon. From the physical standpoint 
he divides the community into those who are sleek and of ample 
circumference (pyknic), those who are slight of build (asthenic), 
those of solid bone and muscle (athletic), while in a fourth hetero- 
geneous group he places those who in their physical appearance 

* English Translation, sub tit., Physique and Character, London, Kegan Paul ; 
New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1924. 


show a great variety of deviations from the mean (dysplastic). 
When one takes two extremes of temperament represented in the 
clinic, one finds that the manic-depressive individual is as a rule 
a member of the pyknic group, while very rarely is the schizo- 
phrenic of pyknic type. This is an important biological correla- 
tion, and the introduction of the laws of genetics enables the 
author to deal ingeniously with the frequent mixtures of pyknic, 
asthenic and athletic elements. After laying this solid biological 
foundation for the differentiation of two most important clinical 
groups, Kretschmer proceeds to extend the application of his thesis. 
These two familiar groups of mental disorder include only the 
extreme representatives of two types of personality, of which less 
striking examples are to be seen not only in the borderland between 
menial health and disorder, but also well within the territory of 
the normal. Kretschmer, therefore, sets himself the task of a 
descriptive analysis of these two types, the cycloid and the schizoid, 
with their many mixtures and varieties. 

In the description of the varieties of each type he presents us 
with a series of portraits of considerable literary merit, the enjoy- 
ment of which makes us overlook the fact that we are getting some- 
what far away from the sound biological basis from which we 
started. Especially is this the case in relation to his description of 
various modifications of the cycloid type, where we seem to be 
as little on biological ground as in reviewing the characters of La 
Bruyere. As to the core of the cycloid personality in all its 
varieties, those dynamic and affective qualities which are of its 
very essence, the author insists on the sociable, friendly, amiable 
nature of the cycloid, which remains throughout life and can be 
traced in the exhilarated excitement as well as in the retarded 
depression ; the schizoid personality is more complicated than the 
cycloid, he has unknown depths beneath his enigmatical surface, 
he is a dual nature, with contradictory elements co-existing in 
variable proportions ; the biological determinant of his schizoid 
nature does not seem as in the cycloid to express itself continuously 
from the cradle to the grave, but to have a definite period of onset 
early (even prenatal) or late. 

In discussing the various types of personality on a biological 
basis, Kretschmer naturally has recourse to genetic interpreta- 
tions, which help to solve many difficulties. A personality which 
contains a subtle mixture of the two main types of reaction may be 
explained as due to the inheritance of different components from 
the two parents ; other difficulties may be smoothed over by 


reference to the fact that the overt personality, the phenotype, 
may only be the partial expression of the total congenital endow- 
ment, the genotype. Hence, too, variations in type of reaction 
during the course of the individual lifetime, nay, even during the 
course of a single interview, may be due to the varying fortunes of 
war between rival genotypal factors. Such considerations make 
the investigation of the heredity of the individual a complicated 
matter, infinitely more subtle and fascinating than the recording 
of the usual data with regard to the grosser anomalies of ancestors, 
siblings, collaterals and offspring ; but in a field of such extra- 
ordinary complexity compared with the investigation of Droso- 
phila it is well to be on one's guard against the seductions of 

If the psychiatrist intend to go over into the genetic field, he 
must realise the serious nature of the step and not merely dabble 
with the problem. He will have to accept the rigorous conditions 
of satisfactory genetic work, and will have to use terms in the same 
accurate way as the geneticist. He will have always to keep in 
mind the fact that he is working with phenotypal manifestations, 
and that it is no easy matter to be sure, without careful analysis 
of offspring and ancestors, that the same phenotypal manifestations 
are anchored in the same genotypes. The psychiatrist will have 
to use the term " constitution " less vaguely than is his wont, and 
will probably find it most useful to consider the constitution as the 
totality of the characteristics of the individual, so far as they are 
inherited or heritable, that is, anchored in the structure of the 

This is essentially the formulation of Kahn, who claims that we 
are passing from the period of clinical psychiatry into that of bio- 
logical psychiatry, in which due attention will be paid to the wider 
biological principles emphasised in genetics. Kahn endorses 
Bleuler's view that, while in general one must clearly define the 
clinical conceptions before constructing satisfactory genetic rela- 
tionships, in psychiatry, on the contrary, it is the genetic study of 
the problem which will serve to define the limits of the clinical 
conception. While recognising the great merit of Kraepelin's 
clinical contribution, Kahn doubts whether, in view of the great 
variety of individual constitutions and modifying experiences 
(" Constellation "), one can hope sharply to delimit specific con- 
stitutions or group the functional psychoses into two disease units. 
According to him the usual psychiatric conceptions rest too much 
upon discussions of the phenotype. 


The requirements outlined by Kahn, with the suggestion of a 
programme of severe genetic investigation, should promote clearer 
thinking on a difficult topic and do away with many careless 
references to the rdle played by heredity in regard to the 

It is pleasant, however, for the psychiatrist to let his thoughts 
roam occasionally ; dulce est desipere in loco. The restraint of 
severely directed thought becomes irksome, and even Bleuler has 
allowed his thought to play freely around the problem of the 
personality, its foundations, and the r61e it plays in the psychoses. 
Starting from much the same standpoint as Kretschmer, he does 
not think of opposed types of personality, but of personalities in 
which two definite mechanisms are present with different dynamic 
balance. In each individual these two mechanisms would be 
present ; in extreme cases the domination of one would allow the 
other little possibility of expression. These two mechanisms might 
be called the cyclothymic or the cycloid and the schizoid, but 
Bleuler prefers the term " syntonic " to the term " cycloid. " 
" Syntonic " means well-balanced and harmonious. The affectivity 
of the syntonic blends with the atmosphere of the environment, 
and inside there is a harmony both of the feelings and of the 

The discussion of the special qualities of the manic-depressive, 
or cyclothymic, or cycloid reaction, favoured the isolation of it 
from other aspects of the personality, and the next step has been 
the tendency to make this aspect of the total behaviour of the 
individual into an entity, the syntonic mechanism. We are, there- 
fore, presented with a view of the personality as containing two 
different mechanisms, which are assumed to have a more or less 
independent existence. The degree to which these functions are 
thought of as actually existing mechanisms may be shown by the 
question, " Can the one component by itself become disordered in 
a psychotic way, while the other remains normal, or is one com- 
ponent stimulated to morbid reactions through the abnormal 
stimuli of the other ? ' ' Another question is : "Is the initial melan- 
cholia or mania of the schizophrenic condition a syntonic symptom 
elicited by a schizophrenia, or do such changes of mood form a 
part of the schizophrenic process? " Bleuler is careful to emphasise 
the fact that there are many other biological types among the 
psychopathic, besides those we call the syntonic and the schizoid ; 
there are many changes of mood which are not due to the syntonic 
mechanisms, but which arise, e.g., on the basis of sex repression, 


but the great majority of the affective reactions tend to be referred 
to variations in the syntonic mechanism. 

The other psychopathic types which are met with have not the 
profound biological significance of the schizoid or the syntonic, 
but are teratological or dysplastic anomalies. In the normal 
character of the average individual one can trace a mixture of 
schizoid and syntonic components with their origin in the ancestral 
endowment, and with varying domination of the overt personality 
of the individual at different periods of life. At one period the 
syntonic component may dominate the scene, at another the 
schizoid. Bleuler has rather interesting views on the biological or 
teleological significance of these mechanisms. We are apt to look 
upon the well-balanced syntonic as the normal individual, at peace 
with himself and in harmony with the environment ; while the 
individual dominated by the schizoid mechanism is usually con- 
sidered abnormal or psychopathic. The schizoid individual, 
however, may have the greater social value. While the syntonic 
finds out nothing new and wishes no improvement, and is content 
with his environment, the schizoid maintains his independence and 
follows his own goal. Obstacles may lead to embitterment, but 
also to the finding out of new ways. His lack of respect for reality 
makes him wish to alter it or withdraw from it. His inner unrest 
may lead him to strenuous activity, which may be socially sterile, 
but on the other hand may be singularly fruitful. He is able to 
take a somewhat more detached attitude in regard to his own feel- 
ings than the syntonic ; he is the psychologist and the poet, the 
reformer and philosopher. It is by means of the schizoid mechan- 
ism that the individual rises above the present time and the actual 
environment, imposes his own values on it, contributes to it, sees 
the values behind it. In a way the syntonic mechanism represents 
the spirit of the past and of the race, the schizoid mechanism is the 
essence of individuality ; man is the innovator, woman is conserva- 
tive ; man is more schizoid than woman. As to the relation of 
an actual mental upset to the personality or temperament of the 
individual, we are offered hypotheses couched in genetic terms. 
There may be a gen or gens for the total manifestation of the 
disorder, or there may be a gen for the disordered element per se, 
which needs to be added to the gen or gens determining the tempera- 
ment, before overt or latent disease is constituted. 

One may, in passing, mention that, not content with these genetic 
hypotheses, Bleuler pays homage to the power of the endocrine 
glands. Emotions set in action hormones, and these in their turn 


stimulate emotions, so that perpetual emotion would have been 
achieved were there not counter-hormones, chemical products 
which neutralise the original hormones. Bereavement produces 
grief, but the grief hormones produce such a defence reaction that 
a manic excitement may result. Bleuler talks not only of " grief 
hormones/' but of " schizoid hormones/' 

With all the emphasis laid on the genetic and the hormonic 
aspects of the schizophrenic psychoses, Bleuler minimises the r61e 
of environmental influences or exogenous factors. Mental dis- 
orders after influenza may look like schizophrenic conditions, but 
they are not the true article. The schizophrenic pictures of war- 
time are not to be grouped with genuine schizophrenia with its 
genetic history. While Bleuler clings with great tenacity to the con- 
cept of a congenitally-determined deterioration, in relation to which 
environmental factors are comparatively irrelevant, he makes the 
most important admission that occasionally an environmental 
factor, such as being thwarted in love, may prevent permanently 
the escape from autism. In such a case we would be entitled to 
look upon the actual condition of the patient as completely resolved 
into personality and environmental influences, and the possibility 
that this formulation might be of much wider validity than is 
suggested by Bleuler would have to be kept in mind. 

In a discussion such as the above, we are still kept near to the 
clinic, and feel that it is always possible to refer to documentary 
material to control the hypothesis brought forward. When we 
pass to the advanced formulations of Jung in his book on Psycho- 
logical Types, we spend little time in the narrow confines of the 
clinic, but are soon engaged in grappling with broad problems of 
the evolution of human thought. The problem of the personality 
is dealt with from a different angle than that of the biological 
geneticist or the physiologist ; it is treated from the point of view 
of analytical psychology, but also from an historical and philo- 
sophical standpoint. Should we wish to control the formulations 
by reference to the original documents on which they are based, we 
are somewhat at a loss, for no one probably has a material system- 
atically analysed from this standpoint which can compare with that 
of Jung, while the material on which he bases his conclusions is 
not so far accessible to any adequate extent. The formulations of 
Jung are conditioned, not only by his general philosophical outlook, 
but by his general psychological formulation, in which the collective 
unconsciousness plays so great a r61e. The collective unconscious- 
ness is at the same time the womb of the future and the repository 


of the history of the race. In the analysis of the various psycho- 
logical types presented to us the occurrence of psychoses is a matter 
of incidental reference ; we are dealing with a broader problem, with 
the most striking and typical of the ways in which the human mind 
can grapple with experience. We are too much accustomed to 
think that there is only one correct way of dealing with experience, 
and that the angle, from which we personally come to experience, 
is the only one from which it can be approached. We fail to realise 
the limitations of our experience imposed by our own personality. 
The results and methods of others we are liable to see only as 
mistake and error, instead of merely as another way of dealing with 
experience. We are not always true to our own nature, and some- 
times try to deal with experience according to an unsuitable pattern 
offered by those of another temperament. It is the special value 
of Jung's work that he has emphasised the complemental value of 
many psychologies, and his philosophical outlook is a useful 
corrective of a narrow and exclusive attitude. It is not the psy- 
chology of the clinic or of the laboratory, it is a psychology of 
experience, the psychology of human nature with its infinite com- 
plexity and age-long history, grappling with the problems of 
existence. It is a metapsychology rather than a psychology that 
fits into the framework of the usual scientific type, but the very 
fact that it is too complicated an instrument for the everyday 
needs of the clinic does not detract from its value. It is no psycho- 
logy for a personnel bureau, although there, too, it may be a 
leavening factor and even have its practical value, for human 
nature, after all, is not altogether shut out by the gates of the 

It is a far cry from Munich to Zurich, and to jump from the 
psychological types of Jung to the files of a personnel bureau requires 
a nimble intelligence. It may not be possible for the one worker to 
make a synthesis of the views of Kraepelin and of Jung ; in order 
to get valuable stimulus from both he may have to oscillate from 
one to the other standpoint, and to realise that there is no resting 
point mid-way, from which the whole territory can be surveyed. 
On either peak there is sufficient foothold, but to the individual 
firmly balanced on the one it needs some courage to make the leap 
to the other, and it takes a period of adjustment before he grasps 
the situation with the new perspective. 

The above brief sketch may give a slight indication of certain 
trends of thought during the past twenty years. It is natural that 
the psychiatrist should have been specially prominent in the investi- 


gation of the personality, for his clinical material consists of the 
disorders of the personality, intrinsic or symptomatic. The 
clinician, however, has not been the only one who has shown keen 
interest in this field ; as the clinician may become emancipated 
from his disease concept, and consider the personality in its full- 
ness, so the teacher may take an interest in the real child and forget 
the pedagogic unit, and the manufacturer may see in his workers 
more than the economic units of the text-books. In the school and 
the factory the systematic investigation of the personality begins 
to be recognised as a subject not merely of academic interest, but 
one which has a fundamental bearing on the social value of these 



A. A. ROBACK, A.M., PH.D. 

National Research Council and Harvard University 






" Von einem Menschen schlechthin sagen zu konnen : ' Er hat einen Char- 
acter ' heisst sehr viel von ihm nicht allein gesagt, sondern auch geriihmt : denn 
das 1st eine Seltenheit, die Hochachtung gegenihnund Bewunderung erregt." 

Kant: Anthropologie IV, 3. 

THERE is one department in psychology in which no progress seems 
to have been made for about two thousand years, in spite of the 
fact that it was perhaps the first topic to attract attention. It 
may be surmised that I am here referring to the interlocked subject 
of character and temperament which, though forming the core of 
any study of human nature, has continued to remain in the specu- 
lative stage, while other psychological material was being subjected 
to experimental scrutiny. Only recently have these siblings been 
examined anew under the more comprehensive head of person- 
ality, and in this fresh survey, the place assigned to character 
has been so circumscribed as to portend the eventual eviction 
of this concept from the study of psychology. It is for this 
reason, at least in part, that its claim to consideration should 
be championed. 

Temperament has fared better, because of its falling distinctly 
into the psychological field, but it would be a difficult task to treat 
the one without introducing material properly belonging to the 
other, inasmuch as the concepts even to-day have not been suffi- 
ciently differentiated, as will be evident in the course of this 

The ancients have given evidence of almost uncanny insight in 
many of the scattered observations on both character and tempera- 
ment to be found in the various books of wisdom. In a non-canon- 
ical tract of the Talmud called Derekh-Eretz (comportment) we 
find, for instance, a striking epigram in the form of a pun, the 
purport of which is that the scholar is chiefly recognised by his 


8o A. A. ROBACK 

purse (b' khiso), by his wine-cup (b' khoso) and by his anger 
(b' khaso).* 

These three words, in which only a change of one vowel has taken 
place, need perhaps a bit of interpretation, but it will not be diffi- 
cult to see the connection between the pocket-book and the acquisi- 
tive instinct [and if I were a psychoanalyst, especially of Freud's 
school, I might find room for the sex instinct here too, for the word 
D'3 (kis) not only answers to our word purse, but also represents 
the scrotum ; and Freudians would surely regard this double 
meaning as significant on the basis of a psychoanalytic deter- 
minism]. The second criterion of character, according to the 
obscure Jewish sage of antiquity, refers to the whole situation of 
drinking, and includes doubtless not only the power of control 
and habits of temperance, but the manner of drinking, the quantity 
imbibed and, most important of all probably, the verbal conse- 
quences. The third mark, the anger response, again taps an 
instinctive source. 

In this apparent pun there is revealed then the psychological 
approach to the study of character, and one which forms the 
groundwork of this essay. It matters little that the abstract 
word for character is wanting in the Talmudic dictum. The 
concept of character is implied in the circumlocution " A scholar 
may be recognised " and the scholar in those days was first of 
all a gentleman. 

Possibly there are many other like observations on character 
in the sacred books of the Hindus, in the philosophy of the Chinese 
sages, and the classical literature of the Greeks and Romans. Yet 
the psychology of character seems to have made no advance for 
centuries, and even after experimental psychology was making 
prodigious strides in at least some of its departments ; and, what 
is more noteworthy, after the subject of character had already 
become a central topic in ethics, religion and education. 

But perhaps it is in the latter circumstance that the trouble is 
to be sought. Perhaps character, as some very recent writers 
maintain or at any rate imply, bears no direct contact with psycho- 
logy* and is merely a concept to which are attached the possibilities 
of moral predication, so that it can easily be dispensed with in 
text-books on mind or behaviour. 

Certainly this situation, at least in part, explains the neglect of 

* Since writing the above, I have learnt that the original version of the 
saying so current among educated Jews, appears in a much earlier tract, 
viz., Erubin (fol. 65, col. 2). 


this important subject, but it does not serve to excuse or justify 
it. While we must concede that character is not an introspective 
datum, nor even a subconscious fact, it nevertheless constitutes 
an integral part of personality ; and the study of personality has 
been rather in the ascendant than on the wane. We can just as 
easily dispose of intelligence from a psychological angle as char- 
acter. Even assuming that character possesses primarily an ethical 
denotation, must we not realise that this unity of behaviour or 
uniform response which in most cases permits of prediction and in 
any case serves to illuminate past responses, especially in the legal 
sphere, is psychological subject matter per se and furthermore is 
grounded in psychological causes ? Whatever objections may be 
raised against the psychological treatment of character may also 
be brought against the discussion of intelligence in psychology. 

Those who see in character nothing but a moral concept and a 
psychological fiction are oblivious to the fact that the unity and 
uniformity of certain behaviour forms, even in new situations 
(thus ruling out the mere operation of habit) , cannot be considered 
in anything but a psychological light. Surely there is a definite 
integration, the result of innate dispositions and acquired ten- 
dencies, which corresponds to the concept under discussion. 

I should not find it difficult even to subscribe to the notion that 
we are introspectively, or rather analytically, aware of our 
character, both before and after action. It is not because he is 
regarded as a gentleman that the man of character can readily 
place himself on the scale of social agents, just as the man of 
intellect does not require a series of intelligence tests in order to 
become aware of his mental capacity. 

On the practical side of life the study of character will always 
have its advocates. The plea of Fernald which begins with the 
words " It is herein attempted to indicate that personality studies 
should recognise character as an integral field of inquiry " and 
ends with the conclusion that " character study then is entitled 
to recognition as a categorical entity ; since it is an integral field 
of inquiry having its own locus, mechanisms and event . . . "* 
is encouraging especially in view of the negative attitude taken 
by the more behaviouristically-inclined psychologists. 

It is not to be overlooked, however, that the word character, as 
used by clinicians, social workers, administrators, and others who 
represent the practical sphere of life, have no clear-cut conception 

* G. G. Fernald : Character v. Intelligence in Personality Studies, Journal 
of Abnormal Psychology, 1920. Vol. XV. 

82 A. A. ROBACK 

to work on, but understand by the term a conglomeration of 
numerous traits and qualities. Fernald, for instance, regards 
intelligence as the capacity or degree of personality, and character 
as the quality of personality, and on the strength of this division, he 
makes the rather suggestive remark that " character modifications 
continue to be reflected in behaviour after intelligence development 

The most general use of the word " character " in everyday 
life is invariably coloured with moral predicates. We may think 
of a man as having a poor memory, we may be aware that our 
friend cannot concentrate, that his perception is slow, without his 
incurring our displeasure, but no sooner do we discover some 
weakness about his character than we are led to take an altogether 
different attitude. Not only do we begin to rely less and less 
upon him, but we treat him as if he himself is to blame for the 
particular defect. 

The popular mind has never distinguished more than two kinds 
of characters. It was either good or bad, strong or weak, noble or 
base, of a high or a low type ; and all these predicates are appraisals 
rather than statements of facts. To say that a man has no char- 
acter is a euphemistic equivalent for the expression that he has a 
low type of character, and again, when Pope describes women as 
having no character at all, meaning that they are fickle and 
inconstant, the utterance again occurs in a slightly derogatory 
sense. All such references are calculated to evoke in the listener 
or reader a certain attitude or indicate that the speaker or writer 
has assumed such and such a position. 

It seems to be this very circumstance, however, that proved 
detrimental to the growth of the study of character. Just because 
it was born or bred in an ethical milieu, the psychologist would 
be apt to disown it as spurious, while the moralist, on the other hand, 
after fully adopting it, would be prone to spoil it through sheer 
over-indulgence. Thus we see that between the neglect of a pre- 
judiced parent and the exaggerated attentions of a zealous foster- 
parent, an arrested development has been the lot of our subject. 
And the more strongly moralists emphasised the cardinal import- 
ance of character for ethics, and incidentally in so doing 
encroached on the territory of other people, the more^were experi- 
mental psychologists inclined to dispose of the whole matter 
with a word or two, sometimes barely mentioning such terms as 

* G. G. Fernald : Character as an Integral Mentality Function, Mental 
Hygiene, 1916. Vol. II, p. 452. 


character, temperament and even self and personality, although 
more recently the latter concept has come to swallow up the other 

In this paper only the strictly psychological phase of character 
will be discussed. The ethical and pedagogical aspects that deal 
with character-building and for the most part contain hortatory 
appeals in behalf of the moral life do not enter here. Nor will 
the psychotechnical side of character be gone into at present. It 
is quite obvious that the theoretical examination of character must 
antedate both these inquiries, and more especially the latter. 



The study of character, like many other things that have sprung 
into prominence recently, can be traced back at least to the en- 
lightenment period of the eighteenth century, but it was left for 
the younger Mill to formulate the problem clearly and to pick out 
the difficulties which must beset the investigator. 

In the Sixth Book of his Logic, Mill asks : " Are the laws of 
the formation of character susceptible of a satisfactory investiga- 
tion by the method of experimentation ? " And he answers this 
in the negative. Still less weight does he lay on the method 
of observation in this connection, for, says he, " There is 
hardly any person living concerning some essential part of whose 
character there are not differences of opinion even among his 
intimate acquaintances." 

Yet these various drawbacks do not prevent Mill from outlining 
the plan of his new science of character which he calls " Ethology." 
" The progress of this important but most imperfect science," 
says Mill towards the end of the chapter, " will depend on a double 
process : first, that of deducing theoretically the ethological con- 
sequences of particular circumstances of position and comparing 
them with recognised results of common experience, and secondly, 
the reverse operation : increased study of the various types of 
human nature that are to be found in the world ; conducted by 
persons not only capable of analysing and recording the circumstan- 
ces in which these types prevail, but also sufficiently acquainted 
with psychological laws to be able to explain and account for the 
characteristics of the type, by the peculiarities of the circumstances, 

84 A. A. ROBACK 

the residuum alone, when there proves to be any, being set down to 
the account of congenital dispositions."* 

This passage is cited not merely to give an historical back- 
ground to the paper, but to show in what way the so-called science 
of characterology has sprung up, and how its motive force was 
primarily ethical. 

Mill's advocacy of ethology has, besides influencing such men as 
Bain and Shand, occasioned a number of writers to make enthusi- 
astic claims for the subject. It goes almost without saying that 
not a single one of the writers has advanced the projected science 
beyond the stage where Mill has left it, viz., the embryonic stage. 
T. J. Bailey, to take one instance, under the promising title 
" Ethology: Standpoint, Method, Tentative Results," makes an 
attempt to link certain traits and qualities in a rather complicated 
manner, which is not simplified by the accompanying diagram, and 
finally has to admit that his sketch is " hopelessly incomplete and 
the most valuable technical features of the work have not even been 

It is perhaps the growth of individual and variational psychology 
that has given the final turn to the study as we have it to-day. The 
positivistic tendency of the eighteenth and partly of the nineteenth 
century has been to slur over individual differences either as 
anomalies or as contingent and irrelevant matter. The principles 
of human nature constituted the desideratum of the positivists. 
It was the genus homo with which they were concerned, and not 
particular men. 

But even in its most recent stage the subject has still its draw- 
backs. In the first place, as Mill has observed, it is a field where 
experimentation is footless. Even Ach's conclusions with regard 
to temperament are not derived strictly empirically, and it is only 
by courtesy that that part of his book Denken und Temperament 
can be called experimental. 

In the second place, character and temperament have been so 
interlocked in their ordinary usage and more popular treatment in 
literature that confusion of the two terms is almost invariably 
the result. It is easy to mistake the one for the other, as in either 
case a particular combination of traits is referred to, and sometimes, 
indeed, it is difficult to draw a demarcation line between the one 
and the other. In ordinary life we know what is meant by either 

* J. S. Mill : A System of Logic, Book vi, ch. 5. 

f T. J. Bailey: University Chronicles (University of California Publica- 
tions), 1899. Vol. II, p. 31. 


of the words, but when we come to pick out the principle of the 
difference, we are at a loss. 

In the language of the street, character is often applied when 
speaking of more or less distinguished men, while temperament of 
one sort or another is something everybody is supposed to have 
without exception. Temperament is used in a more democratic 
sense and serves a social purpose, whereas character sets off the 
individual as a force by himself. Possibly the German view of 
associating temperament with the affective side of man and char- 
acter with the volitional aspect will account for the ordinary usage 
of the two terms. We may remember how Kant made the will 
fundamental in ethics when he said " There is nothing in the world 
unconditionally good except a good will." Although the method 
of approaching our problem has changed considerably since 
antiquity, there is but little difference in our conception of what 
really character or temperament is. Many writers still go on 
pointing out that character etymologically means " an engraven 
mark/' and that temperament is merely a technical term for a 
mixture or blend. This suggests, at least, that the general notion 
of character and temperament is the same as it was two thousand 
years ago. Even in the most recent works, the classification of 
temperaments is brought in accord with the time-honoured table 
of Galen, who had conceived his scheme on a metaphysiological 

But let us here confine ourselves to the examination of character. 
It is precisely because character originally meant a distinguishing 
mark that it has been regarded by some writers as synonymous 
with characteristic in the biological sense. Galton in his Inquiries 
into Human Faculty treats of character in this rather miscellaneous 
sense* in a brief and rather superficial essay which concludes with 
the injunction that schoolmasters, since they have a splendid 
opportunity of studying the character of schoolchildren, should not 
neglect making such, observations. Otto Weininger's somewhat 
distorted account of character in his book Sex and Character may 
be cited as an exaggerated form of this tendency. According to 
this book, which both through its sensational claims and the morbid 

* Klages in his Prinzipien der Characterologie (third edition, p. 17) points 
out that there are at least three senses in which the word is used, the broadest 
of which practically coincides with the word " quality or property." He 
supposes that the circumstance is due to an animistic tendency hanging over 
from prehistoric days. It seems, however, just as likely that the concept 
" character " originally connoting a distinguishing mark was deepened in the 
course of time so as to designate the individual stamp of a person. The savage's 
notion of character differs very much from that of an educated person. 

86 A. A. ROBACK 

life and dramatic death of its youthful author has received a wide 
circulation, there are two principles in life, the male and the female, 
or, what is to him practically the same division, the Aryan and the 
Jewish. All characters partake of the two principles in varying 
proportions, there being very few individuals who are entirely 
masculine or entirely Aryan, or who, starting out as ordinary 
mortals, contaminated with the other principle have been able 
to conquer their femininity and rise to the pure stage of masculinity 
and Aryanism. 

The dichotomous division which is the simplest form of classifica- 
tion, serves a useful purpose in science as a starting point. In 
this way it has a heuristic value. 

In our particular instance, it is not difficult to see its origin. 
We are constantly seeing things in light and shade, we think in 
contrasts, and we recognise other people as different from our- 
selves, or what amounts to the same thing, we know ourselves 
through other people. And so we eventually come to learn of the 
two different types of people under various headings. You may 
call them the men of thought and the men of action, or spiritual 
and worldly, or you may talk of them as the intellectual type and 
the red-blood, but all these divisions are only another way of 
observing the fact that there are differences between men, that are 
recognised by the common people as well as by the special students 
along this line. 

In the picturesque language of Jastrow : " The contrast persists : 
aristocrat and philistine, gentleman and vulgarian, Bromide and 
Sulphite, Athenian and Boeotian, are but different portrait titles 
for the same sitters, portrayed by different artists, with distinctive 
expressions and properties."* 

In addition to the cognate categories which Jastrow has brought 
together, we may even accept the further divisions of H. G. Wells 
into poietic and kinetic, of James into tender-minded and tough- 
minded, of Jung into introverted and extra verted, or still further, 
the more technical classification of J. M. Baldwin into sensory and 
motor types, although here we are approaching the intelligence 
range rather than the field of character and temperament. 

Yet in spite of this first clue that we got through experience and 
race intuition we are still at sea as to a satisfactory basis for a 
classification of characters. In the course of this essay we shall 
see how most classifications are either arbitrary or logical, at any 
rate, however, not psychological, and in the opinion of the writer 
* J. Jastrow : Qualities of Men, p. 59. 


the main obstacle seems to be that we have reached no agreement 
as to the essentials of character. 

" It is a disposition of the will," says Wundt ; and this is the 
note struck by the German school in general, with Meumann as one 
of its foremost exponents. " It is the power to keep the selected 
motive dominant throughout life," is the view of Mimsterberg 
(Psychology General and Applied}. " Character is the system of 
directed conative tendencies," says McDougall (Outline of Psycho- 
logy). " Character is life in action," according to Jastrow, which 
is a good metaphor but not a practical guide. 

Shall we accept the statement that " Character is the power to 
keep the selected motive dominant " ? Munsterberg is careful 
enough to add that the motives might be egoistic as well as altruistic 
and that they might serve an ignoble as well as a noble end. But 
does such a view of character tell the whole story, and, above all, 
can it satisfy our inmost and firmest convictions ? We shall 
remember that, in an earlier part of the paper, the plea was to the 
effect that character is a subject that is taken from life and is 
handled in life. In cases of doubt, then, our life attitude must be 
the judge and decide, or else our whole problem will be artificially 
decked out with borrowed ornaments. Is it not, after all, the 
character of our daily social intercourse that we are studying and 
not an abstraction that has no place in the universe of our daily 
conduct ? 

Character and principle must by all means go together, since we 
regard them as inseparable in our everyday judgments. The 
burglar and the mountebank have dominant motives ; yet we should 
not ascribe to them that quality called character. If we do call 
them disreputable characters or if we do say that a certain criminal 
is quite a character in the underworld, it is evident that we are 
using the word in a derived sense. 

Caligula and Nero and, indeed, anybody who is obsessed by 
some idee fixe all through his life, can certainly keep his selected 
motive dominant if he is powerful enough, but we do not as a 
rule think of them as possessing character. A dog may be said to 
have as his dominant motive in life bone-gnawing in much the 
same way, and yet we should be chary of endowing the dog with 
that human property. 

The contention in this presentation is that the predominance of 
a certain motive is inadequate. A substantial modification or 
amendment i$ suggested, viz., that the impulses of the will must be 
controlled and checked by certain inhibitions that are evoked by the 

88 A. A. ROBACK 

intellectual and moral make-up of a man. It thus arises from an 
interplay between the disposition of the will and that of the 

The case of the great Italian statesman Cavour happens to occur 
to us and will furnish us a happy illustration of the view expressed 
here. Although Cavour was no more scrupulous a man than his 
vocation allowed, we do admire the firmness of his character not 
merely because he succeeded in keeping his selected motive upper- 
most, but because he was actually guided by certain principles that 
he never flinched from, though sometimes his resoluteness would 
bring him into sharp conflict with higher authority. The strength 
of such characters lies in the fact that, even though they may 
realise themselves to be on the brink of downfall, they would not 
save the situation for themselves by doing something they thought 
was not in accordance with their sense of dignity. 

That is why the character of a Tartuffe is so repulsive, although 
he of all persons is bent upon carrying out his conceived plans. 
Were it not for the fact that he is capable of causing so much 
mischief, the attitude toward him would be that we take toward 
a jelly-fish. Nor does his whole outlook on life differ essentially 
from that of the lower animals. There is only this difference : the 
purpose of the former is explicit, articulate, while that of the latter 
is implicit, organic. 

Far from the pursuit of one fixed motive, character rather pre- 
supposes the possibility of change as our range of experience grows 
wider and richer. A blind " will/' heedless of a controlling intelli- 
gence, would be as devoid of character as Schopenhauer's universal 

When we begin to examine the implications of such a view, it is 
perhaps possible for objectors to detect a petitio principii in it, 
since it might be said that the occurrence of scruples or inhibitions 
to the agent already presupposes character. In answer to this, it 
may be pointed out that the " pure will " theory fares no better, 
since one can easily urge that a person's will-power will depend to 
some extent on his character, but, as is usually the case in such 
apparent circular proceedures, the influence develops on a mutual 
basis as soon as the first impetus is given, and the same holds true 
of the inhibitions that lead to the establishment of a character, and 
that in their turn are engendered by the reaction of the personality 
to the environment. There are certain facts in life that take shape 
gradually in spite of the " either-or " method in logic, else no one 
should ever have learnt to swim, else instruments should never 


have come into being and the construction of tunnels should have 
been a physical impossibility. 

Friedmann* contends that we must have a scientific definition of 
" character " before we proceed any further, and he proposes the 
following one : " Character is a form-complex of reaction which 
keeps on recurring again and again and cannot be grasped as some- 
thing general or inter-individual, but, nevertheless, appears as 
something typical among the most widely different constitutions." 

Yet, curiously enough, toward the end of the article he tells us 
that we can understand those individuals only whose characters 
bear some quantitative relation to our own, but the question is : 
If character is merely a recurrent reaction, then why need we 
understand the reagent any more than we need understand the 
earthworm ? It seems that there is the confusion here of two points 
of view. Either character is not merely a type of reaction, but is 
something more than that, viz., the outer aspect of personality, 
or else if it is a reaction complex, then it ought to be possible for 
us to study characters without having to live them as Friedmann 
requires. Friedmann is evidently immersed in the same dilemma 
which confronts the behaviourists to-day who eject introspection 
through the front door and take it in stealthily through the rear. 



The British School 

We shall now go on to the classification of characters, about 
which there is much perplexity and disagreement. A classifica- 
tion that has enjoyed some vogue in the second part of the last 
century is that of Bain, who separated the characters according to 
the standard division of intellectual, emotional and voluntary 
constituents. In Bain, however, there is no strict attempt made 
to distinguish between character and temperament, and on the 
whole his position is too much that of the phrenologists in that he 
includes under character the most miscellaneous things, such as 
virtues, abilities, emotions, and general tendencies all mixed 
promiscuously in one grand potpourri. 

* R. Friedmann : Vorwort zur Characterologie, Archiv ftir die Gesamte 
Psychol., 1913. Vol. XXVII, p. 198. 

90 A. A. ROBACK 

One service of Bain's The Study of Character has been, however, 
to emphasise the importance of finding a physiological basis for 
the various differences in character and temperament. The 
physical seat of spontaneous energy is, according to Bain, to be 
sought in the conformation of the muscular system.* Again some 
of that power is also due to cerebral currents flowing toward the 
muscles. f " If, there be any one point of physical conformation," 
says Bain in another place, " that regularly accompanies a copious 
natural activity, it is size of head taken altogether," and still 
further, " If we were to venture, after the manner of phrenology, 
to specify more precisely the locality of the centres of general 
energy, I should say the posterior part of the crown of the head, 
and the lateral part adjoining that is, the region of the organs of 
Self Esteem, Love of Approbation, Cautiousness, Firmness and 
Conscientiousness must be full and ample, if we would expect a 
conspicuous display of this feature of character. "J 

This passage betrays the weakness of that whole school in trying 
to localise faculties rather than describing and explaining processes. 
That the influence of Bain is still felt in Great Britain can be seen 
from the atomistic account of character and temperament given in 
Shand's book which now in its second edition is an elaborate and 
painstaking expansion of an article published in Mind in 1896. 

Shand, who may be regarded as a follower of Bain, also pursues 
an inductive method, though some of his results are not unlike the 
findings of the French school. He tries to build up types of char- 
acter out of the various instincts, sentiments and emotions. A 
character for him is only the development of one affective element 
above the rest. Intelligence and will are totally neglected. He 
decidedly exaggerates the role of the sensibilities of man, and 
attempts to prove his thesis by showing how one over-developed 
tendency will have a marked effect on the whole moral and mental 
constitution of man by giving rise to new tendencies or at least 
giving them larger scope, and on the other hand by checking other 
more normal tendencies which interfere with the dominant one. 
" Every sentiment tends to form a type of character of its own/' 
is one of the numerous so-called laws that Shand formulates in his 

By way of illustration the following paragraph may be quoted 

* A. Bain : The Study of Character, Including an Estimate of Phrenology, 
p. 192. 

| Loc. cit., p. 193. 
t Loc. cit., p. 195. 
A. F. Shand : The Foundations of Character, p. 123 (first edition). 


from the same work : " Thus," says the author, " the miser's 
tyranny over those subjected to him seconds his parsimony, his 
industry, his vigilance, his prudence, his secrecy, his cunning, and 
unsociableness, which are the essential means of his avarice. He 
is secret because he is suspicious, he is suspicious because he pur- 
sues ends to which other men would be opposed, and because he 
has no counteracting trust or affection. He is cunning, because he 
both suspects and tries to outwit others. He makes a pretence 
of poverty that no claims may be made on him and that he may 
justify his economies. He is unsociable because he is secret and 
suspicious, being engaged in pursuing an object of which others 
do not approve and which alienates them from him. 

" The qualities to which we have referred appear to belong to 
avarice in the sense "that its thought, will, and conduct tend to 
acquire them because they are indispensable to the achievement of 
its ends."* 

Now, the only fault about this treatment is that the fiction of our 
poets is erected into the ideal or standard type. Shand goes to 
literature for his illustrations, but, no matter how realistic the 
character of the miser in L'Avare, it is still the creation of Moliere, 
and most miserly people are not nearly so morbid as Moliere' s 
character, so that all the other effects -which extreme avarice brings 
on in its train might not be true of them at all. Now, shall we say 
then, that the true types of character are to be found only among 
neurotics ? 

Shall we, furthermore, deny the possession of any character to 
Kant, Spinoza and Fichte, simply because they did not have this 
or that sentiment abnormally developed ? Unless we settle first 
of all the difference between the complex characters in literature 
and the real characters in life about which we are concerned, we 
should be involved in a hopeless mess. The study of abnormal 
characters portrayed by dramatists and novelists should be rele- 
gated, as Levy has suggested, to psychopathology. We must 
begin with the normal characters first, though the abnormal types 
throw, of course, much light on the subject. 

When we say that Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky's Crime and 
Punishment, or Mishkin in the same author's The Idiot is a remark- 
able character, and that Carlyle had a remarkable character, we 
are certainly not using the term in the same sense. But in spite 
of scrupulous attempts at exact definition of the word, this con- 
fusion goes on unchecked. Definition, like the law, always admits 
* A. F. Shand : The Foundations of Character, p. 124. 

92 A. A. ROBACK 

of some loophole. It is not rigid definition which is indispensable, 
but rather distinguishing the various usages of the term, so that 
we can be put on our guard against misunderstanding. In this 
respect Shand is by no means the only writer to be taken to task. 
Throughout the literature on the subject there are several contra- 
dictory trends. Particularly is this true about the word will, 
which some use as though it were only equivalent to energy, 
while others make out of it some entity, some faculty, which is 
innate and yet can be modified. Still others treat it as a source of 
good and evil. Such promiscuous use of the term has led to further 
confusion in the conception of character. We can only get our 
bearings by first consulting ordinary language, and here we find 
that energy and will are not synonymous, for we often have occasion 
to refer to a man who, though strong-willed, determined and reso- 
lute, is not possessed of a high degree of energy. 

In dealing with the subject which is still in its initial stages, 
common usage should play a more prominent rdle than it has been 
doing in our psychological literature. Even Aristotle condescended 
to start his investigations with the popular notions of the subject 
matter under examination. 

McDougall's Introduction to Social Psychology, which has exer- 
cised a remarkable influence in psychological circles since its 
appearance in 1908, may be regarded perhaps as the first syste- 
matic attempt to study the groundwork of character by examining 
its constituents and relationships. The merit of this work, which 
has much in common with Shand' s, is the emphasis laid on content, 
and on the avoidance of formalism, so prevalent among the French 
characterologists. What McDougall has achieved in this direction 
is to lay stress " upon the systematic organisation of the conative 
dispositions in the moral and self-regarding sentiments . . . 
and to exhibit the continuity of the development of the highest 
types of human will and character from the primary instinctive 
dispositions that we have in common with the animals." 

McDougall is not interested in the classification of characters, but 
in the consolidation of character, which he believes to be dependent 
on the " organisation of the sentiments in some harmonious system 
or hierarchy/' Like Shand, he holds that the predominance of 
some one sentiment is crucial to the whole development of character. 
But, though character in the full sense of the word is not the result 
of a dominant motive or ruling passion alone, such as the love of 
home, the one master-sentiment " which can generate strong 
character in the fullest sense ... is the self-regarding senti- 


ment."* But this needs further to be supplemented in that the 
" strong self -regarding sentiment must be combined with one for 
some ideal of conduct, and it must have risen above dependence 
on the regards of the mass of men ; and the motives supplied by 
this master-sentiment in the service of the ideal must attain an 
habitual predominance."! 

Since my own view bears a general resemblance to the foregoing, I 
might take occasion to indicate at this point that the chief differ- 
ence lies in the method as also in the emphasis which in McDougall's 
treatment is laid on the moral side rather than on the intellectual. 

Belonging to the British school, but without taking into con- 
sideration the much-needed information which other writers can 
supply, is Hugh Elliot's Human Character a collection of essays 
rather than a unitary treatment. Since its chief merit is literary 
rather than scientific, I shall leave it out of account except to 
mention the fact that Elliot's discussion of what he calls " passions " 
and "emotions" is coloured by traditional British psychology 
with a strong tincture of Freudianism. 

The French School 

Turning to the French school, we find a more systematic treat- 
ment of the subject in Perez, one of the earlier investigators. The 
basic principle with Perez is movement or action. As a movement 
may be quick, slow or vehement, we obtain, through a series of 
combinations, six different classes of character. They are the 
active, the slow, the vehement or passionate, the actively intense, 
the slowly intense and, finally, the balanced characters. 

Now, whatever of value there may be in such a simple classifica- 
tion, it is clear that we cannot adopt it, if for the reason alone that 
movement cannot be the pivotal point of personality and a fortiori 
of character. It was evidently the reaction that Perez was 
emphasising as a mark of character. That it is easier to discern 
different kinds, or rather different rates, of movements in people 
than anything else in the way of reaction, is a fact which probably 
nobody will care to dispute, but the crux of the question lies in 
this : whether it is a safeguard whether movement is not after 
all merely an indication, and not the most essential indication, of 
one's inner make-up. 

* Wm. McDougall : Introduction to Social Psychology, p. 267 (sixteenth 

| Loc. cit., p. 261. 

94 A. A. ROBACK 

Are we not frequently baffled at seeming inconsistencies which we 
cannot clear up ? Do we not see people who are constantly in a 
bustle, rushing about from morning till night, and yet accomplish- 
ing very little ; while others who walk with a great deal of poise, 
speak with marked deliberation, and give the impression as if 
they were extremely slow and indolent, yet achieve wonders in 
comparatively brief periods ? In other words, appearances deceive ; 
and a quick external reaction may not be coincident with a quick 
internal reaction. We all know that quick apperception does not 
always go hand in hand with fluent expression. The rapid thinker 
is not always the glib talker, and to resort to the resultant as our 
last appeal is neither psychological nor philosophical. We might 
as well classify character according to noses and jaws, for we may 
assume on general principles that a certain type of nose and jaw 
goes with a certain kind of character. 

In the study of character, more than anywhere else in psychology, 
our aim should be not merely to discover correlations, but to find 
out the causes of the correlations. If we see a man walking very 
quickly, it may be that he is naturally brisk, but there is also the 
possibility that, being slow and dilatory, he neglected something 
important which he is now trying to make up hence his bustle. 
We can never be too sure as to which group a particular person 
fits into, for we do not know how much allowance to make for 
circumstances, and in that respect, therefore, we should never be 
able to compare any two individuals. 

Paulhan in a more recent work, Les Caractfres, approaches the 
subject from a different angle. He attempts to go to the root of 
the matter so as to discover the modus operandi of the apparatus 
which is responsible for differences in character with the result 
that he lands in formalism. 

Deriving his principle from the English Associationist School, 
Paulhan regards the organisation of character as the result of a 
systematic association process among the constituent elements of 
one's mind. These images, ideas, desires, and what not are welded 
together with reference to a certain end that characterises the 
individual. All that makes toward this end is reinforced, all that 
is antagonistic to the general purpose of the individual is inhibited. 
In this way we obtain a sort of metabolism which gives rise to 
various grades of character organisation in accordance with the 
strength with which certain tendencies are welded together and 
others driven apart. In the final analysis, character depends on 
just how well or how poorly the various elements can harmonise 


in the individual under the guidance of one main tendency. 
Thus Paulhan would have it that there are balanced characters 
and unbalanced characters, coherent and unified characters, and 
characters that are incoherent and not unified. 

Fouillee in his Temperament et Caract&re devotes a good deal of 
space in criticism of Paulhan's doctrine ; and the objections may 
be summarised as follows : (i) Paulhan's classification is uninform- 
ing, though it is not difficult to accept it. (2) He puts the cart 
before the horse when he tries to derive difference in character 
from his law of systematic association. It is in virtue of the 
possession of a certain character that such a law would operate in 
an individual in one way and not in another, but to describe the 
reinforcement or inhibition of ideas, images and desires, by merely 
saying that such processes do take place, does not in the least 
explain why the law should operate differently in different minds.* 
Fouillee himself, in an extremely suggestive book, develops a 
theory of character which seems to be based on his pet doctrine of 
idees-forces. The elements of character to him are ideas and will- 
power, with feeling as a mediator. Not unlike Bain, he has his 
three main divisions of intellectual, sensitive and voluntary 
characters, which again he divides into sub-classes : the intellectual 
types into the speculative and imaginative varieties, and again 
from the standpoint of their method of procedure into the intuitive 
and inductive minds ; the sensitive]- class into (a) those who 
possess little intelligence and little will power, (b) those who are 
endowed with an energetic will but with little intelligence, and, 
finally, those who have little will-power but have a great deal of 
intelligence. The adjectives emotive, impulsive and reflective 
respectively may describe the three sensitive types. The same 
method of permutation and combination Fouillee follows in discuss- 
ing the voluntary main divisions. Here we have : (a) those who 
have little sensibility and little intelligence, that is to say, the 
obstinate and perverted ; (b) those who have considerable sensi- 
bility and little intelligence, such as the headstrong and violent 
a class from which criminals are recruited and, finally, the 
" sensitives," who possess a great deal of intellectual power and 
have little sensibility. They are the cold and energetic calculators. 

* A. Fouillee :^ Temperament et Cav active, p. 122 et seq. 

t " Sensitive " perhaps is not so good a rendering as " sentimental " or 
emotional." " The sensitifs, from the physiological point of view," says 
Fouille'e (loc. cit., p. 136), "are those whose nervous system, and especially 
the cerebral part of it, is originally constituted in such a way as to ' play ' 
practically alone with an intensity which is often out of proportion to the 
external excitations." 

96 A. A. ROBACK 

All through the book Fouille emphasises the part played by 
the intellect in shaping and determining a man's character as 
against the views of Schopenhauer and Ribot that intelligence is a 
negligible factor in its relation to character, and that the very 
concept of character presupposes an innate disposition that is fixed 
and immutable. Illustration after illustration is adduced in con- 
firmation of his thesis that intelligence has actually changed the 
behaviour of many notable men ; and there can be no doubt but 
that Fouillee's contention is sound, except that it suggests that 
originally there must have been some disposition in these men 
to want to change. Intelligence acts only as a means, but 
the will takes the initiative. It involves really the hoary issue 
whether or not determinism in the ultimate analysis implies 

The classification of Malapert is along the same line as that of 
Fouillee. For him there are primarily four classes of characters : 
(a) the intellectual, (b) the affective, (c) the active and (d) the 
voluntary. The supplementary classes are the apathetic whose 
sensibility is very small and the perfectly modulated type in whom 
there is no predominance of this or that character element. 

In the four main divisions, there are the following sub-divisions. 
The sensitive may be fickle and vivacious, emotional or passionate. 
The intellectual may be analytic, reflective in a practical sense or 
speculative and engaged in constructive work. As regards activity, 
there are the inactive, active and the reacting types. Lastly, 
among the purely voluntary types, we find the men without will 
power, i.e., those who carry on a routine life or the amorphous and 
unstably impulsive. Again, we have the incomplete ' ' voluntaries, ' ' 
comprising the weak-willed, the wavering and capricious, and, 
finally, the men with great will power who are complete masters of 

Ribot in his treatment of character leaves out of consideration 
the factor of intelligence entirely. The two functions that are 
fundamental for him are feeling and action. In this way he derives 
his two large divisions of character : the sensitive and the active, 
according as feeling or energy predominates in the individual. 
The apathetic class, possessing a low degree of both elements, is 
added by way of supplement. Out of the more comprehensive 
classes he builds a hierarchy of character types. Among the 
sensitive may be enumerated (a) the humble, marked by excessive 
sensibility, shallow or mediocre intelligence, and no energy, (b) 
the contemplative, characterised by a keen sensibility, acute and 


penetrating intellect, and no activity, (c) the emotional type, 
combining the extreme impressionability of the contemplative with 
intellectual subtlety and activity. Two sub-classes belong to 
the active characters comprising the mediocre minds and the 
powerful intellects, technically called the mediocre active type and 
the extremely active. The apathetic class is composed of the 
purely apathetic with little sensibility, little activity and little 
intelligence ; and the calculative type is endowed with little sensi- 
bility and activity but with a practical intellect. More combina- 
tions yield us the sensitive-active kind, the apathetic-active, the 
apathetic-sensitive, and the temperate.* 

It will be seen that, after relegating the intellect in the first place, 
Ribot smuggles it in to make room for new groups and varieties 
that could not have been introduced on the basis of feeling and 
action alone. 

Ribot's scheme is no more psychological nor less logical than 
those of his predecessors, but the notion of a hierarchy that he 
suggests seems to be a valuable innovation which may be used in 
the future after we reach some more satisfactory classification. 

In a book called La Psychologic du Caractere, by Levy, we find 
another basis for classification. He recognises that all attempts 
at classification of character must necessarily remain artificial, 
but, since that is the case, he says, we ought to fit our scheme into 
the three great manifestations of mental life, viz., intelligence, 
feeling and will. The resulting classification would then hinge on 
the amount of blend there is in the individual. To Levy it does 
not matter so much whether it is intelligence or feeling that is 
predominant so long as we recognise the fact that some one faculty 
is more marked than the rest. 

Thus he obtains three classes : (i) the exclusive or unilateral 
types, characterised by the predominance of one of the three so- 
called faculties or functions ; (2) the mixed type where two of 
these faculties are highly developed at the expense of the third, 
and where there is possibly a conflict between the two elements, 
the one having the upper hand at one time, the other at another 
time, with intermittence of vigour and apathy at intervals ; (3) 
the perfectly balanced characters which may be the result of great 

* It would seem that Jastrow is influenced by Ribot in his classification of 
temperaments, when he divides them into (a) the sensitive- ACTIVE, correspond- 
ing to the sanguine type of the original terminology ; (b) the SENsmvE-oc/we, 
representing the melancholic temperament ; (c) the SENSITIVE-ACTIVE, answer- 
ing to the choleric temperament ; and (d) the sensitive-active, familiarly spoken 
of as the phlegmatic kind. (Character and Temperament, pp. 255-256). 

98 A. A. ROBACK 

deficiency of all the three elements or else may indicate a beauti- 
fully harmonious organisation. 

Levy would add under another rubric the morbid characters, 
for, he says, there are diseases of character, such as hypochondria, 
melancholia, hysteria, etc. But these, he concludes, come under 
the head of psychiatry rather than ethology. 

Finally we may mention, among the French character studies, 
the doctoral thesis of Ribery, who follows pretty closely in the 
footsteps of his teacher Ribot, carrying out the idea of a hierarchy 
of characters more consistently perhaps than the latter. At the 
top of the table may be set down the amorphous, i.e., those without 
any definite characteristics. Then come the sensitive, divided 
into two groups : (a) the affective, (b) the apathetic. The passion- 
ate may be either stable or unstable, and the apathetic may be of 
the feeble or the intense sort. A combination of the active and 
the sensitive yields us a new class the sensitive-active with its 
sub-classes ; the affective-passionate, the emotional-passionate and, 
lastly, the perfectly balanced or modulated character. 

Ribery admits that these are only empty forms which the 
innumerable individualities may fill out in a general way only. 
The number of conceivable combinations and permutations is 
legion, but what Ribery endeavours to do is to provide us with a 
formula that we can use to our heart's content. His general classi- 
fication follows the botanical or zoological scheme with its classes 
and sub-classes, orders and sub-orders, its species and varieties. 
The method is deductive, the combinations being derived, accord- 
ing to the author, from general psychological principles. 

The German School 

Passing on to the German characterologists, we notice that they 
have not been so prolific in this field as the French psychologists ; 
and the little that has been done by them has not been taken 
account of in the French works. The Germans laid more stress on 
temperament, perhaps because it affords a more definite scope for 
physiological explanation. Hence we find Julius Bahnsen in an 
elaborate work on Hegelian principles (though his guiding motif 
came from Schopenhauer) attempting to deduce the various types 
of character from the temperaments a procedure at which Meu- 
mann shakes his head in disapproval. 

Wundt has not much to say on the subject of character, except 


in its relation to other qualities, such as temperament.* More 
promising, however, is the account of Meumann in his Tntelligenz 
und Wille, where he expounds a physiological theory of character. 
Meumann, like Wundt, defines character as a disposition of the will, 
and thinks character quite independent of the feelings, f 

After discarding the attempt to derive character from any form 
of affective life, he says, " We should come much nearer the truth 
if we traced back the intensity or energy of the will to an elementary 
strength of the will dispositions themselves. It must then be a 
physical basis that lends its force to the will act. In the last 
instance it is to be sought in the nervous energy of men. He who 
is endowed with great energy for motor innervation and movement 
and in addition possesses an intensive and easily evocable associa- 
tion between the sensory parallel processes of his goal ideas and 
between the external movements has in these qualities the founda- 
tion for energetic physical activity. And the man whose central 
nervous system, especially whose cortex is the seat of numerous 
sensory cells with a large stock of physical energy, whose functional 
sensory dispositions are possessed of great energy, will have thus the 
foundation for mental energy." J The corollary to be drawn from 
this suggests that men with weak nervous constitutions have little 
will energy ; and the flagrant negative instance of Kant is explained 
away by Meumann in assuming that Kant's physical weakness 
stopped at the brain, and that the philosopher's central nervous 
system, but especially the brain and those parts of it in which the 
parallel processes leading to mental activity took place, were en- 
dowed with an enormous amount of energy. 

In the above we have, according to Meumann, the first of 
the fundamental properties of the will, which gives rise to pure 
volitional types of character. 

A second property is the time relation. The " will" activity 
may be transient or lasting. He who can manage to expend a 
relatively equal amount of energy and develop for all tasks a lasting 
intensity possesses an enduring will. Here, too, Meumann, profiting 
by the results of Mosso, Kraepelin and Stern, traces this property 
back to the way in which the stock of nervous energy operates in 
different people, and their aptness to be easily fatigued or not, and 
to the various stages of the work at which fatigue is likely to set in 

A third property is to be found in the degrees of development 

* W. Wundt : Physiol. Psychol. Vol. Ill, p. 637 (fifth edition), 
t E. Meumann : Intelligenz und Wille, Part II, Chapt. III. 
J Loc. cit., p. 237. Loc. cit., p. 243 et seq. 

ioo A. A. ROBACK 

that the will attains in various individuals. The will that is guided 
by one principle or a system of principles to which all other things 
are subordinated will form the consistent character. Sporadic 
outbursts of activity will form the inconsistent character. 

The disposition to act instinctively and impulsively on immediate 
ends and its opposite tendency, viz., acting with reference to more 
ultimate purposes, yield us a fourth property of the will. Aligned 
with that is the attentive type of the will, the root of which is a 
concentrated attention and the perseveration of goal ideas (static, 
as opposed to dynamic, activity).* 

Another type of pure will form is derived from the manner in 
which people will approve or disapprove of a certain course of 
action. Some will be led to behave in a certain way through the 
co-operation of their feelings directly, while others will not act 
until they have considered and turned over in their mind all the 
reasons by which their course might be ratified. In this way we 
obtain the wavering type and the one who quickly makes up his 

Finally, among the pure will forms, may be mentioned the 
habitual or mechanical or routine characters, that is to say, the 
individuals who have a tendency to get into certain grooves of 
conduct. So far we have dealt with pure will forms. 

The second large division of will forms is the affective order, 
and it is here that Meumann finds eight fundamental properties in 
the feelings, (i) With reference to quality, they may be either 
pleasant or unpleasant. (2) As to intensity, they may be of various 
degrees. (3) In respect to time, they can persist in consciousness 
for a longer or shorter period. (4) The feelings may be excited 
with greater or less ease. (5) Their effect may be transitory or 
more lasting and reverberate in consciousness. (6) They may be 
classed as to the manner in which they develop, some feelings having 
a more objective basis than others. Again, the content of the idea 
may influence us, or the particular form in which we experience it 
may excite the feeling. (7) Connection with other contents of 
consciousness or the degree of fusion forms another category. (8) 
Their relations to us may be different. We can objectify our feel- 
ings ; for instance, when we say a " cheerful day," or a " pleasant 
neighbourhood," we read our own feelings into those objects, or 
else we can subjectify the feelings by ascribing them to our own 
inner condition. 

* Loc. cit. t p. 238, 239. 


Through such an analysis, Meumann is able to construct an 
elaborate scheme of the temperaments according to the 
combination of the different attributes of feeling a man 

The third large class of will forms is called "intelligence forms 
of the will," by which Meumann means forms of the will that have 
their origin in the effect of certain fundamental intelligence forms of 
the will ; for, says Meumann, properly speaking, intelligence forms 
of the will are only forms of intelligence that are translated into 
action, just as the affective forms also are to serve the purpose of 
the will or activity. 

In this third class there are three categories : (a) that which is 
responsible for differences in mental productivity, reproductivity 
and unproductive thinking in man, (b) comprising differences in 
intellectual independence and dependence, (c) embracing differ- 
ences between analytic and synthetic thinking and between intuitive 
and discursive thinking. 

It will easily be seen what an immense stock of character types 
can be had out of the manipulation of so many forms in different 

Meumann has perhaps overstepped the limit in the drawing up 
of numerous classes and forms, but he, more than anyone else in 
Germany, has given us a solid foothold for our problem and 
has pointed out the direction in which we are to attain our 

Lucka's view* is somewhat interesting, not only because he takes 
the point of view of the worldly man on the subject, but because 
he has recently been recognised as one of the most prominent fiction 
writers in Germany. Character to him is not so much what differ- 
entiates one man from another as the attitude a man takes toward 
the external world. He sponsors the philosophical aspect of the 
subject. It must be on the ground of worldly experience that he 
divides men into four, or perhaps two, wider classes and two narrower 
sub-classes. We begin with the naive who make no distinction 
between reality and value, who are always on the spot to act 
because they, as a rule, do not realise the import of their acts. 
They make the soldiers, the speculators and the adventurers. 
Then there is, secondly, the mediate class, the reflective people, 
who not only have experiences, but ponder over them. They often 
waver and hesitate, because they see so many relations of which 

* E. Lucka : Das Problem einer Characterologie, Archiv fiir die Gesamte 
Psychologic, 1908. Vol. XI. 

102 A. A. ROBACK 

the naive man has no idea.* The man of the moment is our third 
type. For him there are only incoherent experiences. He lacks 
the continuity of the subject. He is perfectly passive without 
being able to create anything new out of his impressions. He is 
reproductive but not productive. His life is made up of impress- 
ions alone. (4) The productive type, represented by men like 
Goethe, whose very memory is a recasting of experiences, 
constitutes just the opposite. His life is directed outward, 
beginning with his own personality, whereas the reproductive 
type brings the outward world into his own. Spontaneity marks 
the productive individual who never merely learns, but is continually 

Lucka, though he is abreast of the literature on the subject 
more than any other German writer, disregards the psychology of 
character entirely, and trusts to his insight into things alone. His 
view of character belongs to the class of observational accounts, 
approaching in content, though not in form, to the scattered 
brilliant apergus contained in La Bruyere, La Rochefoucauld, 
Jean Paul and Schopenhauer. The newer school to which 
Lucka' s views seem most aligned is the Stniktur movement, and in 
some measure there is an overlapping between Lucka' s types and 
those of Spranger, who will be considered in the next part. To 
Lucka "character " is " the disposition of an individual psychical 
organisation to receive impressions from the world about (in the 
widest sense) in a definite way, and to react to them in a definite 
manner." Character is to be translated as a <f characteristic 
attitude toward the world," in Lucka's vocabulary. 

Though Klages' Prinzipien der Char act erologie might properly 
be brought into relation with the other German treatments of 
character, it would take too much space even to give the merest 
outline of Klages' classification which is marked by a complex 
architectonic. The capacities of men, he believes, form the stuff 
or texture of character, while the strivings or conations constitute 
its quality. Furthermore, the structure of character is determined 
by the organisation of the material. 

When we begin to look into Klages' tables, we are confronted 
by a rather perplexing list of differences which are pigeon-holed 
into various categories, such as differences of quantity (full and 
empty) ; differences of distinctness (warm and cold) ; differences 
of mobility (heavy and light) ; differences of quality (deep and 
shallow). Klages is very careful to find a place for every quality 
* We immediately perceive in these Jung's introverts. 


and trait, but his mode of procedure smacks of Hegelian dialectic, 
and the presentation lacks clarity, so that, with all his discerning 
observations and eagerness to save us from general fallacies, he is 
apt to be confusing. The confidence with which he makes certain 
statements, such as that, though we say " Es reizt mich," we never 
use the same quasi-passive construction in the case of willing, 
would be shaken if he took cognisance of other languages.* Simi- 
larly his tabulation and schemes do not carry conviction. Under 
deficient self-preservation, he lists in the ethical category 
injustice, unreliability, " characterlessness/' and unscrupu- 
lousness. It would seem that the very people who possess 
these negative traits were born with an exaggerated instinct of 

A Dutch Account 

The laborious comparative study of Heymans and Wiersma in 
which the character traits of thousands of persons were treated 
statistically on the basis of both biographical and questionnaire 
material resulted in, or rather began with, the selection of three 
fundamental criteria for the rating of character, viz., activity, 
emotionality and the preponderance of either the primary or the 
secondary function, and the statistical tabulation of numerous 
traits or responses relative to the above criteria. The criteria 
of activity and emotionality need no explanation, but the curious 
designation of " primary functioning " refers to such qualities as 
" easily comforted," " changeable sympathies/' " ever interested 
in new impressions and friends/' " easily reconciled," " apt to 
change occupation or course of study," "often takes up with great 
plans which are never realised," etc. The preponderance of the 
" secondary function," on the other hand, called for such data as 
tenacity, " clinging to old memories/' " hard to reconcile," 
conservatism, " influenced by future prospects rather than by 
immediate gain," etc. 

On the basis of the three divisions according to the fundamental 

* It is well to examine a concept from the point of view of its popular usage 
or etymology, but Klages places too much emphasis on linguistic forms. As 
a matter of fact, the untutored person scarcely uses the verb to will ; and 
willing is most frequently employed by the man in the street in the sense of 
desiring. In Yiddish, the quasi-passive construction with the verb " to will " 
is often used, but in the sense of desiring. " Es vilt zich mir " is the equivalent 
of " I should like," with the implication of the desire being due to organic 

104 A. A. ROBACK 

criteria, Heymans and Wiersma have set up eight types of charac- 
ters after this fashion. 

1. Amorphous the non-emotional non- active with predominant 

primary function.* 

2. Apathetic the non-emotional non-active with predominant 

secondary function. 

3. Nervous the emotional non-active with predominant primary 


4. Sentimental the emotional non-active with predominant 

secondary function. 

5. Sanguine the non-emotional active with predominant 

primary function. 

6. Phlegmatic the non-emotional active with predominant 

secondary function. 

7. Choleric the emotional active with predominant primary 


8. Passionate the emotional active with predominant secondary 


The chief value of this extensive investigation lies in the detailed 
delineation of a given type by affixing numerous qualities to the 
individual in varying degrees. The application of the results of 
the questionnaire to the miser is in itself a very interesting study 
which appears to approach the truth more nearly than a similar 
study by de Fursac. 

What the Dutch authors have done is to supply us with a ready 
chart, which brings to light correlations among the hundreds of 
traits catalogued and at the same time affords a grouping scheme 
according to the basic criteria and correlations. The eight separate 
classes which they obtained fit in well with the results of the French 
school, except that a much more empirical method has been em- 
ployed by the former. 

In other respects, however, we miss a theoretical basis both for 
the concept of character and its categories. We must proceed 
on an arbitrary plan in the first place, and in the last analysis the 
correlations are of statistical value more than of practical applica- 
tion in individual cases. The spendthrift, for instance, is domineer- 
ing in 31% of cases, mercenary in 20% of cases, unselfish in 48% 
of cases, but how about this particular spendthrift under examina- 
tion ? 

* G. Heymans and E. Wiersma : Beitrage zur speziellen Psychologic auf 
Grand einer Massenuntersuchung. Ztft. fur Psychologic, 1906-1909. Vols. 




The Psychoanalytic Approach 

Since 1908, when Freud published his paper, Character und 
Analerotik, a number of his disciples have attempted to show that 
certain traits of character are connected with the sex impulse 
and the excretory functions. Freud started out by relating three 
traits to anal-eroticism, but within a few years of the publication 
of his original article the list had been increased to a score or more. 
The whole problem of motivation which Freud has raised may, of 
course, be considered as a vast contribution to the study of 
character,* treating it from a hitherto unknown angle, but it is 
evident that I must confine myself to the more specific references 
which seem to centre about this peculiarity, so much made of by 

It would not be profitable to review the literature on the subject 
of anal-eroticism, especially as Jones has covered most of the ground 
in his paper, Anal-Erotic Character Traits.] We should, however, 
dwell at greater length on the views of two of Freud's former 
disciples and now leaders of separate schools, viz., Jung and Adler, 
both of whom have been dealing especially with character 

Jung's well-known classification of psychological types into 
introverted and extraverted individuals has received considerable 
recognition not only in educated lay circles, particularly journalistic 
and literary quarters, but even among psychologists. But that 
is as far as the latter will go with him. The breaking up of the 
original dichotomy into eight sub-divisions does not lend itself to 
ready acceptance, and, furthermore, the compensatory principle 
which he introduces to explain the vast majority of cases that elude 
the ordinary classification is plausible in theory but scarcely applic- 
able ; for, granted that there is a primarily conscious introverted 
type with a complementary unconscious trend of extra version, and 
conversely a conscious extraverted type with an unconscious trend 

* The extent to which psychoanalysts are prone to employ a definite term 
in a colourless way can be inferred from the mere title of van der Hoop's account 
of the psychology of Freud and Jung ; for, though the book is called Character 
and the Unconscious, there is hardly a direct reference to the first term of the 
title in the whole presentation. 

f Jones : Papers on Psycho- Analysis (second edition), Chap. XI. 

io6 A. A. ROBACK 

of introversion, our utmost ingenuity will be taxed in discovering 
the criteria in the first place, and secondly in reaching an agreement 
as to which fit whom. Illustrating with instances from literature 
and history, on which the Neo-Platonist of psychoanalysis draws 
so energetically, is not a wholly satisfactory method ; for, as in 
the case of the illustrations to be found in the various books on 
character analysis, they are post ex facto constructions, and out of 
innumerable possibilities one is apt to select just those which best 
suit the particular theory advanced. 

Since Jung's latest utterances on this subject appear in the 
present volume, there is no need of presenting here a detailed 
exposition of his views. The reciprocal interplay between the 
conscious and unconscious elements in one's personality is, to my 
mind, the most interesting feature of the doctrine. In other 
respects, especially in the use it makes of thinking and feeling as 
bases of the sub-divisions, it resembles the classifications of the 
French school. 

Adler's contribution to the study of character, as developed in 
his chief works, The Neurotic Constitution, Organ Inferiority and 
its Psychical Compensation and Individual Psychology, is woven 
around the now famous inferiority complex and its compensatory 
mechanism. The gist of Adler's doctrine is really contained in 
this compact statement, " All manifestations of neuroses and psy- 
cho-neuroses are to be traced back to organ inferiority, to the 
degree and the nature of the central compensation that has not 
yet become successful and to the appearance of compensation 

Knowing, as we do, the tendency of all of Freud's disciples, both 
present and former, to assign to every person a fair share of such 
manifestations at least in some mild form, we may readily see why, 
according to Adler, all the various aberrations in man's conduct, 
from the serious offences down to the mere peculiarities in every- 
day behaviour, would be linked with an hereditary, often latent, 
inferiority of a certain organ and its nervous superstructure. 
Character, then, must be understood in such terms ; but though 
Adler's detailed interpretations and diagnoses are highly ingenious, 
they fail to connect the specific conclusions and inferences with the 
doctrine in general. In Adler's texture we may find threads from 
Nietzche (Will to Power Superiority Goal) and Weininger (Male 
Attitude in Female Neurotics) in addition to the material which 
contains the warp and woof of psychoanalysis at large. 
* A. Adler: Individual Psychology, p. 316. 


White* in this country (U.S.A.) has approached the problem 
through the psychoanalytic avenue more directly, though in a 
highly eclectic way, claiming that character is merely the resultant 
of an interplay of unconscious factors in which conflict plays the 
most important part ; the resolution of this conflict then becomes 
the desideratum of man. And to that end "White places at our 
disposal all the mechanisms of Freud's, Jung's and Adler's schools, 
interwoven with a number of other factors. Van der Hoop's 
exposition of the theories of Freud and Jung, under the somewhat 
misleading title Character and the Unconscious, is based on the same 
presuppositions as those which White has set out with. 

Kempf, both in his Autonomic Functions of the Personality and 
Psychopathology, particularly in the latter work, harps ad libitum 
on the psychoanalytic theme, but his own contribution, viz., the 
linking of the autonomic functions with the affective side of man 
and his temperamental make-up, brings him into position with the 
seekers of character determinants in physiological and especially 
chemical processes ; and though no,t primarily concerned with the 
glands, he suggests a definite location for some of the Freudian and 
Adlerian mechanisms (even if he comes far from making actual 
specific connections). Thus he affords a sort of synthesis between 
the mental approach of the psychoanalysts and the physical ap- 
proach of the endocrinologists. 

A host of Freudian writers may be mentioned as authors of 
observations on this topic. Many of these observations display 
an insight into what is ordinarily called human nature. Some of 
the writers give evidence of penetration in special fields, such as 
Adler and Stekel in their descriptions of various sorts of neurotics 
and Pfister in his accounts of children's peculiarities, but on the 
whole, the psychoanalytic attack consists of sallies. It does not 
represent a carefully worked out plan based on solid foundations, 
and for this reason it may be said that, while the intuitive scintilla- 
tions are appreciated particularly from an artistic viewpoint, the 
scientific groundwork upon which they purport to stand cannot 
provide a foothold for the logically-minded investigator who must 
have his concepts clearly separated before they can be related to 
one another. 

One serious criticism which applies especially to the Freudian 

phase of psychoanalysis is the exaggerated importance attached to 

experience in the formation of character. While admitting that 

no individual is entirely immune to the effect of emotional stimuli, 

* W. A. White : Mechanisms of Character Formation. 

io8 A. A. ROBACK 

I should take occasion to point out that since different people are 
affected differently by apparently similar stimuli, it would be reasonable 
to maintain that character in reality precedes and determines the 
nature of the effect, instead of being the resultant of the multitude of 
experiences to which man is subjected. 

If character is formed in such an utterly mechanical way, there 
is no reason why we should not attribute this quality to a radio 
apparatus or to a steam engine. 

On the surface, Adler's type of doctrine would claim to escape 
this criticism, since his defection from the orthodox camp of 
Freud was due primarily to his hankering after a doctrine that 
would champion the cause of freedom against the extreme deter- 
minism of his master ; but on strict analysis it will be seen that, 
though the organ inferiority itself is held to have an hereditary 
basis, the compensatory reaction is a process developing out of the 
inferiority complex in relation with the environment. 

Suggestions from Psychiatry 

If the difference between the abnormal and the normal is only 
one of degree rather than of kind, we may well hope to obtain 
valuable data from the field of psychiatry to elucidate the more 
obscure regions of psychology, and it is only recently that the 
seemingly regressive method has been adopted. Again, I shall not 
attempt to catalogue all the references showing what psychiatrists 
have to offer to the student of character but will content myself 
with the more direct treatments. 

Offhand it might seem that psychoanalysis and psychiatry could 
go hand in hand in their approach at least, even if their findings 
should turn out to be divergent, but in reality the presuppositions 
and standpoints are different from the very start. The psycho- 
analytic camp is inclined to stress the cause of the disturbance as 
a determinant of the disorder ; the orthodox psychiatrist, though in 
the past seeking the entire cause of the evil in a special incident or 
series of incidents, has at last come to recognise that the same stim- 
uli would react differently on different individuals. Now, if there 
are different types of diatheses in organic as well as in mental 
diseases of a functional nature, it stands to reason that each 
diathesis is correlated with a certain personality type. 

Boven* proceeds from the facts of character to diagnose psychoses 

* W. Boven : Caractere individuel et alienation men tale, Jour, de Psychol., 
1921. Vol. XVIII. 


on the supposition that the diversity of psychoses corresponds 
with the diversity of characters ; allowing, of course, for combina- 
tions of traits and temporal factors, one might, according to the 
French writer, say that the particular type of character an indi- 
vidual possesses will be responsible for the psychoses he develops. 

As Jastrow* expresses it, "A temperament becomes a more or 
less marked liability to a specific type of abnormal complex." 

The same general principle operating, however, in the reverse 
direction leads Rosanofff to deduce a theory of personality in 
conformity with the classification of psychopathic types, which, 
according to him, consists of (a) the anti-social ; (b) the cyclothymic, 
behaving like a swinging pendulum ; (c) the shut-in or autistic, 
and (d) the epileptic personalities. In the normal individuals the 
various personality types are more or less mixed, and it must be 
remembered that not only is the normal individual safeguarded 
because of the low index of the peculiarity or the fortunate com- 
bination producing a more desirable blend, but also on account of 
the inhibitory factors and greater stability of the nervous system. 

The psychiatric treatment of character and temperament is 
not a sporadic attempt. It has a number of representatives and 
seems to be spreading. In a carefully worked out monograph 
which has passed through three editions in two years, and which 
is to appear shortly in an English translation, Ernst Kretschmer 
finds a distinct relationship between what he calls character and 
physique. Taking a large number of clinical cases for material, 
and charting the chief physical characteristics of the patients, 
he establishes the following four types : (a) asthenic, (b) athletic, 
(c) pyknik, or plump, (d) hypoplastic, or regularly undersized for 
the most part, though, as in infantilism, certain parts are apt 
to be especially small. The temperaments are divided into schizo 
thymic, from which the schizophrenic patients are recruited, and 
cyclothymic, which forms the basis of the circular psychoses. Each 
of the two classes is sub-divided into several popular types, such 
as the " gushing jolly people," " the quiet humorists," etc. 

The author apparently does not think that he is invading psycho- 
logical territory with psychiatric methods ; for, says he, " It must 
be pointed out clearly from the very start that the designations 
schizothymic and cyclothymic have nothing to do with the question 
of sanity, but are terms for large general biotypes . . ." 

* J. Jastrow : Character and Temperament, p. 320. 

f A. J. Rosanoff : A Theory of Personality Based Mainly on Psychiatric 
Experience, Psychol. Bulletin, 1920. Vol. XVII. 

no A. A. ROBACK 

" The words, then, do not indicate that the majority of all 
schizothymic persons must be psychically dissociated and that 
the majority of all cyclothymic people are subject to periodic 

Kretschmer's application of his classification to both ordinary 
individuals and men of genius, though teeming with suggestive 
characterisations, suffers from the defect of all books on character 
analysis, viz., the characterisations are made post ex facto, and the 
most solid theoretical observations will be of no avail so long as 
there are no fundamental principles to guide us in making individual 

Before we leave Kretschmer's account, it would be well to repro- 
duce here his definitions of the concepts constitution, character and 
temperament. By constitution he understands the collection of all 
individual qualities which depend on heredity. Character is to 
him the mass of affective and volitional reactive possibilities of an 
individual as they have come about in the course of his life develop- 
ment, and include therefore not only hereditary dispositions but 
also physical and psychical influences derived from the environment 
and experience. 

Naturally, after broadening the concept of character to include 
practically all mental traits, Kretschmer is obliged to reduce the term 
"temperament " to a heuristic concept (" noch kein geschlossener 
Begriff"). In common with other writers he bases temperamental 
differences on chemical reactions in the body, and claims the 
cerebro-glandular apparatus to be the organs of the temperaments. 

As to the two main temperamental divisions, Kretschmer's 
cyclothymic temperament, from his description, would correspond 
to Jung's extra verted type, while the schizothymic person may 
easily be recognised as the introvert. 

Of perhaps equal importance with the preceding book is the 
discussion of character in relation to nervousness by the Hungarian 
psychiatrist Jen Q Kollarits,| which I know only from a meagre 

But we should bear in mind that, after all, personality types are 
not exactly the same as character types, though there is a tendency 
to identify the two orders of facts in most accounts. It is really 
here that we have an opportunity for revealing a significant differ- 
ence between the two. It is this : While much may be inferred 

* E. Kretschmer : Korperbau und Character (third edition), p. 154. 
| J. Kollarits : Character und Nervositat, 


from a patient's psychosis as to his original temperament traits, 
there is little information to be gained as to his character, except 
through a method of extensive reconstruction. It is precisely for 
this reason that the insane are considered irresponsible. In a 
word, the affective pattern of the normal individual has merely 
been thrown into bolder relief when he becomes insane, but his 
character complex has been so twisted that it loses its very essence. 
There is no character to the insane. 

The Endocrinological Attack 

For the last quarter of a century the interesting results obtained 
in experiments with the ductless glands have turned the thoughts 
of many a worker in the borderland territory between physiology 
and psychology to conjectural expectations as to gross mental 
changes in consequence of processes going on in certain glands. 
The astonishing transformation brought about as a result of opera- 
tions on the sex glands and the thyroid as well as the less spectacular 
findings of Crile, Carlson, Cannon and others, in regard to the 
emotions as affecting and being affected by the humoral processes 
in the body have been responsible for many a bold statement which 
scarcely bears examination. 

The thesis of the endocrine enthusiasts, the most articulate of 
whom is Berman, claims that an individual's personality is regulated 
by the glands. According to this writer, " Character, indeed, is 
an alloy of the different standard intravisceral pressures of the 
organism, a fusion created by the resistance or counter-pressure 
of the obstacles in the environment. Character, in short, is the 
gland intravisceral barometer of a personality.* 

Aside from the extreme haziness of such a definition, the essen- 
tial mark of character is missing in it. Manifestly we cannot 
envisage character as a pressure. This were ludicrous. What 
the author, I suppose, means is that character depends on these 
various pressures, etc., but he has not told us what character is. 

The most conservative of us are probably ready to concede that 
our personality would undergo slight changes in consequence of 
alterations in the functioning of the ductless glands. A treatment 
of the subject of character and temperament, such as Jastrow's, 
without the mention of endocrine secretion, must be regarded as 
deficient in that respect ; but to base character entirely on meta- 
* L. Berman : The Glands Regulating Personality, p. 107. 


holism and secretions is, in spite of Bertrand Russell's speculations 
in regard to the possibility of transforming emotional dispositions 
through physiological manipulation,* a mere romance of modern 

The Behaviouristic Detour 

If the problem of character presents so much difficulty to the 
traditional psychologist, the behaviourist, naturally, could not be 
expected to even attempt a solution, and, like the fox in the fable, 
denies the value of the object. At least this is the attitude of Wat- 
son, who may be taken as the spokesman of the behaviourists, and 
who is usually clear and consistent in his views. 

In a footnote he tells us that " Character is generally used when 
viewing the individual from the standpoint of his reactions to the 
more conventionalised and standardised situations (conventions, 
morals, etc.)."f 

Apparently he makes short shrift of this term on the ground 
that it is an ethical and not a psychological concept. Prima facie, 
we might be inclined to apply in support of the behaviouristic 
contention the remark of James in his famous chapter on Habit, 
to the effect that there is, physiologically, no difference between a 
good habit and a bad one. But, as has been said earlier, a char- 
acter is more than a habit. It is a system of tendencies which 
permits a considerable amount of predictability. And certainly 
one system of tendencies is far different from another system, 
while in many cases the tendencies do not hang together so as to 
deserve a unifying mark. 

But it is possible to expose the ratio ignava of Watson's school 
in a more direct manner. The behaviouristic fallacy of giving an 
environmental turn to everything conceivable is apparent here as 
elsewhere. Whoever would say that a person like Herminia Barton 
in The Woman Who Did was without character simply because she 
chose a path which in the eyes of her community and indeed the 
world at large was considered irregular ? On turning from fiction to 
grim reality, would not the very judges who sentenced the Irish 
patriot Roger Casement to the gallows testify to the noble traitor's 

* Bertrand Russell : Icarus, pp. 53-54. Russell's tone in this booklet is 
hardly a serious one. It is rather in the vein of a feuilleton when he writes : 
" Assuming an oligarchic organisation of society, the State could give to the 
children of holders of power the disposition required for obedience. Against 
the injections of the State physicians the most eloquent Socialist oratory would 
be powerless." 

t J. B. Watson : Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviourist, p. 392. 


well-knit character ? Is it necessary to call attention once more 
to the elementary distinction made time and again between reputa- 
tion and character ? 

Character is a relation which holds not between a man and his 
community, but between his reason and his own acts. It is because 
character emanates from one's own self that it transcends the com- 
munity and presents an objective problem. To be sure, in the last 
analysis posterity is the judge, but its criterion is not what Watson 
implies it to be, viz., the conformity to conventionalised situations, 
but the living up to one's own convictions in spite of social pressure. 

A mere acquaintance with the lives of universal heroes will 
convince us that the man of character was usually he who com- 
bated the prevailing notions of his time by word and deed. 
Were the community in which he lived to be asked about his 
character, the consensus would be decidedly condemnatory. When, 
in response to Napoleon's captious remarks about his music, 
Cherubini replied, " Your Majesty knows as much about music as 
I know about battles," thus bringing upon himself the disfavour of 
the redoubtable Emperor, with the consequent humiliation and 
disgrace, it matters little really whether or not Napoleon had an 
ear for music or whether Cherubim's music was not of a high order. 
Still less does it matter what Napoleon's court or his worshipful 
subjects would think of such lese-majeste. The remark of Cherubini 
will have to be considered for all times, even if his operas and masses 
should pass into oblivion, as an indication of the man's character. 

We need not linger on this negative platform, which confuses a 
psychological issue with the ethical judgments surrounding it, 
and were it not for the fact that so many psychologists find it expe- 
dient to dispose of a troublesome subject cavalierly rather than to 
take account of it, we should have passed over the behaviouristic 
denial in silence. 

From the Angle of Struktur and Gestalt Psychology 

Though I am told by a recent American arrival from Germany* 
that the Gestalt school is not to be confused or even too closely 
connected with the Struktur movement, in that the former practi- 
cally ignores personality problems, I see no reason why the two 

* G. W. Allport, who, in an article, The Study of the Undivided Personality, 
which has appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology 
and Social Psychology, suggestively criticises the analytic approach of person- 
ality studies. 


apparently concentric groups cannot be treated together on the 
basis that the difference is more in the selection and concentration 
of the subject-matter rather than one of method or fundamental 
presuppositions. While realising therefore that the objection made 
in this section against the general movement can hardly hold with 
regard to the sub-school, or perhaps companion school, which 
shuts its eyes almost to everything in psychology except the problem 
of perception, we may gather from intimations, such as the allusion 
by Koffka* to some lectures on personality by Wertheimer, one of 
the leaders of the Gestalt school, that not all its representatives 
share the circumscribed views of Koehler. 

The principal feature of the Struktur school, whether it approaches 
the study of perception, after the fashion of the Gestalt group, or 
dwells on the problem of personality, the piece de resistance of the 
movement consists in the emphasis it lays on the complex as a 
totality. The parts or elements receive their proper attention and 
evaluation only in the light of the whole. For our present purpose, 
I think, we need not consider the important difference between the 
Gestalt theory and the allied Struktur doctrines, which, according 
to Koffka, consists in the separation of mind and body in the latter, 
while his own school regards personality as a natural phenomenon, 
not a mental or spiritual fact. 

It is most significant that even the Gestalt psychology, which is a 
strictly experimental movement, must make room for an artistic 
and intuitive current in the treatment of personality. And this 
streak is especially noticeable in the writings of the Struktur 
psychologists. The psychographic methods of William Stern are 
pushed into the background to allow for a life cliche as taught by 
Dilthey and Spranger, whose philosophy concerns itself with the 
pulse of life, not with congealed elements. 

In contrast with the various analytic personality investigators, 
Spranger in his Lebensformen and William Stern in his Die Mensch- 
liche Personlichkeit set out to look for a form of structure which 
would polarise a personality, setting it off as a distinct entity. 
And it is noteworthy that, at the risk of injecting metaphysics or 
even mysticism into psychology, they and others of the school 
tend to recognise the uniqueness attaching to personality in its 
value aspect. As Erich Stern, one of the younger representatives 
of this wider school, states it, " In what a man sees value, especially 
in what he sees the highest value of his life, that value, in fact, 

* K. Koffka : Psychical and Physical Structures, Psyche, 1924. Vol. V 
(n.s.), p. 84, 


which makes life important to him, that is what we must know, if 
we are to be capable of understanding his personality."* 

Spranger sets up six types of personalities on the basis of their 
value tendencies : The economical, the theoretical, the artistic, the 
social, the political and the religious. To place an individual 
somewhere in this scheme is to understand him. Inability to do 
so implies that the person is beyond our comprehension. 

In criticism of this view, I should submit that Spranger is 
judging in terms of interests rather than on the basis of values. 
Value implies linear measurement. But the artistic form of 
personality is certainly on a par with the theoretical or the religious 
type. The forms are not commensurate and one form is just as 
valuable as any other in the scheme. And what affords to value 
its distinctive mark is the possibility of appraisal and contrast 
which it carries with it. In this case then the term value which 
is to serve as the touchstone, if not the dowsing rod, of personality, 
may be regarded as a misnomer. The question then reduces itself 
to this : Can we discover uniqueness by collating a number of 
interests and colligating them under some predominant bent of 
mind ? 

If psychology cannot help us to gain a foothold in these elusive 
regions, it is rather hazardous to turn to philosophy for an entrance 
since, through such an avenue, our very entrance would be an 
illusion, and we should not even know that we were unsuccessful, 
whereupon we might devise other means of gaining access. 

Inhibition as the Basis of Character 

Having devoted considerable space to the historical development 
of our subject, I shall set forth my own views as briefly as possible. 

In the first place, though the discussion necessarily included the 
concepts of temperament and personality, yet since it is not always 
possible to isolate the subject of character from a general treatment 
of personality, which in some presentations is identified with it, 
it is necessary to remind the reader that character is regarded here 
as one aspect of personality, the others being intelligence, tempera- 
ment, physique and other mental and physical qualities. 

* E. Stern : New Ways of Investigating the Problem of Personality, Psyche, 
1923. Vol. Ill (n.s.), p. 364. 


n6 A. A. ROBACK 

If character is a psychological entity we must endeavour to 
examine it by means of psychological methods and place it on a 
psychological basis. 

But there is another condition that must not be lost sight of, 
and that is the cumulative meaning of the word throughout the ages, 
a meaning which psychology cannot supplant without actually 
talking about a different thing. The concept may, of course, be 
grasped in a different setting in order to be invested with authority, 
but its nucleus must remain intact. 

The reason why the tripartite division of mind is inadequate to 
furnish us a classification of characters is primarily the overlapping 
of the divisions with respect to the two allied subjects character 
and temperament as well as the resulting confusion. I think it is 
well to keep the temperaments in reserve for the affective side of 
man. To talk of an affective character is not instructive, and to 
institute further divisions by hybridisation such as " cognitive- 
affective " or " active-sensitive " reveals the weakness of the posi- 
tion, and serves but to escape the necessity of pointing out definite 
categories on which we can put our fingers when we come to apply 
the findings in real life. In the last analysis, instead of psycholo- 
gical types, we see before us verbal categories ; and the core of 
character in its original denotation is missing to boot. 

Nor can we be satisfied with the resort to speed and intensity 
as the foundations of character. Perhaps these criteria would be 
suitable for the classification of temperaments, and it is remark- 
able that, over two thousand years ago, these principles were men- 
tioned in the Talmud to differentiate the four mental types of man, 
as may be seen in the following passage from Pirke Abot : 

" There are four types of mental disposition : (a) He who is 
easily irritated and easily reconciled, thus offsetting his liability 
by the asset ; (b) the one whom it is difficult to anger and difficult 
to appease, thus counterbalancing his gain by his loss ; (c) 
he whom it is difficult to provoke and easy to pacify the saint, 
and (d) the one who is easily provoked but reconciled only with 
difficulty the villain. 

We thus have the speed of the reaction in the time it takes for 
the anger to develop and the intensity in the time it takes for 
this emotion to subside under proper conditions. 

nofin r jrnn*? nw wyaS rra :rojra rvna JDIK 

,yen rmr wpi DIJD*? rra ;TDH rmn 4 ? rrui 



Speed, energy, intensity, perseverance these are all significant 
traits, especially in the matter of engaging employees, but in our 
relationship with friends and in the appraisal of historical person- 
ages they do not loom so large. Character counts for much more ; 
and it is the distinguishing mark of this character that we are in 
quest of. 

Often we are deceived by the use of such terms in that they have 
practical application only when coupled with an objective. The 
indolent scholar may turn out to be an energetic professional base- 
ball player or a hustling politician. The slow eater and awkward 
manual worker may nevertheless be a quick thinker and writer. 
The persons who display most of the article we call character are the 
ones to offer the most contradiction in their make-up. The contra- 
diction, however, lies not in them, but in those who do the judging and 
who are not provided with a key to the objectives. 

But to what psychological entities, then, can we hitch character ? 
The answer is : The Instincts. We shall soon see that through such 
a procedure we can meet the requirement of the man in the street, 
and at the same time move safely on psychological territory without 
taking recourse to hazy categories combined in sets of two or three. 
An instinct, after all, notwithstanding the attempts made in 
certain quarters to evict it from the psychological purview, is a 
definite mechanism which operates visibly enough to convince us 
of its existence.* 

Roughly speaking, one of the major differences between men and 
infra-human beings is that the latter do not inhibit their instinctive 
impulses except after a painful training ; and that is the chief 
reason why character cannot be ascribed to animals. If speed, 
intensity, perseverance and other such traits were to be the basis 
of character division, we should expect animals, since they present 
marked individual differences in regard to such traits, to partake of 
the classes of characters drawn up for man. 

The view proposed here also makes use of the tripartite division 
of mind, not, however, in a way to break it up into strips, eventu- 
ally to be pasted together in various combinations, but in a syn- 
thetic manner, so that each character may be said to consist of 
cognitive (intellectual), affective, and conative elements. 

My definition of character accordingly is as follows : An enduring 

* A reading of McDougall's two papers, one entitled The Use and Abuse of 
Instinct, in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1922, Vol. XVI, the other 
Can Sociology and Social Psychology Dispense with Instinct ? in the American 
Journal of Sociology, 1914, Vol. XXIX, will be sufficient to prove the anti- 
instinct movement utterly hopeless. 

n8 A. A. ROBACK 

psycho-physical disposition to inhibit instinctive impulses in accord- 
ance with a regulative principle. Each of these conditions must be 
fulfilled before character can be attributed to the individual. 
The possession of instinctive urges is of prime importance. The 
inhibition of the urge stamps the agent with character, though of 
varying degrees. Not until we have the regulative principle as a 
clue can we determine to what extent the man or woman we are 
judging possesses character. 

Since every instinct is grounded in both conation and affection 
and since inhibition is wholly a matter of conation, and finally 
since the determining factor of this inhibition is or has been reflec- 
tion of some kind, we perceive that the older categories still have 
a place in our scheme when properly arranged so as to form a 
synthesis, the affective part furnishing the condition, the conative 
supplying the raw content and the cognitive factor colouring it 
with significance, giving it status and suggesting a possibility of 

To the objection that our knowledge about the instincts is limited 
and that controversy is rife as to their number, one might easily 
reply that it is not necessary to have detailed information about 
every instinct before we can work with any of them, any more than 
we have to give up talking about the elements in chemistry until 
we shall have discovered their exact number for all times. 

It is quite sufficient to base our study of character on the more 
palpable instincts, such as self-preservation, sex, acquisitiveness, 
self-aggression or the will to power. We must remember also that 
not all instincts are of equal intensity. Many, if not most of them, 
can be placed on a scale according to their universal intensity. 
Thus it is quite certain that the instinct of self-preservation is more 
potent than the mating impulse or the food drive. The inhibition 
of the latter is therefore not so expressive of character as the 
inhibition of the former, other things being equal. 

As regards the logical principle regulating the inhibition, it must 
be pointed out that inasmuch as different people will be guided by 
various principles or sanctions, there will be different degrees of 
character. Little boots it to say that we all rationalise our actions. 
It is the type of rationalisation which counts. In our everyday life 
we can recognise this especially in our dealings with men (and 
perhaps women, too). Some excuses we accept as reasonable, 
others we reject as chronic alibis. The Freudian over-emphasis of 
rationalisation then is apt to mislead and in fact has misled many 
educated people. In calling attention to the tendency of the 


average man and, we may add, the average woman to rationalise 
their actions, Freud has universalised a truth which was noted in 
the past by acute observers in their own spheres ; but if, on that 
account, the barrier must be broken down between Socrates' reason 
for refusing the opportunity to escape an unnatural death and that 
of a soldier's wife attaching herself to a paramour while her husband 
is at war, if one reason is no more of a libido* manifestation than 
the other, then it is better perhaps that the universalised truth 
should have remained restricted to the unscientific area of indivi- 
dual sages than to appear in such a distorted form. 

Instead of classifying the characters according to affective or 
intellectual predominance or traits, such as quickness, firmness, 
energy, etc., we should on our scheme range them as to kind in 
accordance with what instinctive tendencies are or are not inhibited 
by the individual. As a rule, the man of character in the full sense 
of the word exercises a distributed inhibitory power in keeping with 
a general principle which subsumes under its authority more specialised 
maxims. But we do find irregularities manifesting a weak spot 
in some specific direction, as in the case of Byron, noble in many 
ways, but lax in sex relations, or as exemplified by Beethoven, 
whose character (not his temperamental make-up) seems to have 
been unimpeachable but for his unreliability in the matter of 
adhering to contracts, especially in his dealings with publishers. 
The epigram about the famous actress Adrienne Lecouvreur, who 
was regarded as Voltaire's mistress, that she " had all the virtues 
but virtue," strikingly illustrates the point that the contour of 
character may be broken at some particular spot. 

There is no reason why we should not look for a general character 
factor and specific sub-factors, such as Spearman contends to be 
the case in the sphere of intelligence. Perhaps the strength of a 
single instinct is greater in one individual than in another, but for 
the most part I should ascribe the cause to the relation between 
the impulse in question to the guiding principle. 

We all like comforts and what is vulgarly called " good times," 
and we all know that the acquisition of money is the only road for 
attaining that object; but then, if our ruling principle is not to 
"do" the other man, or, in the more dignified language of Kant, 
to treat every person as an end and not a means, we shall not 
indulge in telling lies, a practice which is condoned in business, or 
what is perhaps even worse, engage in flattery in order to gain 
* Jung's term is more appropriate here than Freud's. 

120 A. A. ROBACK 

advantages with influential people, so as eventually to satisfy our 
material cravings. 

It may be urged that the inhibition of one instinct is only the 
furtherance of another, e.g., in shunning society for the sake of 
accomplishing a cultural piece of work, we are swayed by the will 
to power in downing our gregariousness. That such a reciprocal 
interplay between the instinctive impulses goes on is perhaps 
beyond question, but it hardly touches our problem. For what 
gives the stamp of character to an individual is not the mere fact 
that some instincts have been subordinated to others, but the 
nature of the guiding principle, whether, for instance, the man's 
purpose in life is to add to the sum total of knowledge, to benefit 
humanity in some way, or merely to increase his fame, to become, 
in the slang of the street, an intellectual " go-getter." The differ- 
ence between a Spinoza and a Voltaire with respect to inhibiting 
certain social pleasures for the sake of achievement and even the 
latter was obliged to repress at times his gregariousness, or else his 
output would not have been so vast is an instance of like inhi- 
bitions inspired by different reasons. 

Nor are we to infer that character is attached to the operation 
of the so-called higher, altruistic or other-regarding instincts as 
against the baser, egoistic or self-regarding congenital urges. 
Whether such a division of instincts is at all useful is unimportant 
here. What I should like to emphasise is that characters are 
evaluated from the point of view of such principles as truth and justice 
rather than on the strength of altruistic tendencies. The masses who 
mistake disposition, mood, or what not for character are often 
inclined to make false judgments in this connection, especially as 
their judgments are based on the attitude the person takes towards 
them. A " good " railroad conductor is frequently one who takes 
but a fraction of the fare from passengers, which he keeps for him- 
self, thus cheating the company out of the full fare. A " good 
fellow " in politics is one who cherishes no principles in life and 
whose corruption is shielded from view because of the many 
individual favours he is willing to grant those who assert them- 
selves. On the other hand, many a criminal thinks of the " hard 
boiled " judge who sentences him for a long jail period as a hard 

The truth is, however, that character is not dependent on human 
emotions. Many persons of touching sympathy are devoid of 
character, and, conversely, most of the great characters known have 
been ruthless in dealing with evil. The man of high character (and 


there is just as much reason for talking about high character as 
about a high intelligence quotient) is exemplified by the Roman 
father who sentenced his fiendish son to death, thus inhibiting the 
paternal instinct in deference to the principle of justice. Firmness 
is the quality which typifies character at its best ; and firmness 
goes peculiarly well with inhibition, for the greater the inhibition 
the greater the firmness. 

In this light we can readily conceive the insight contained in 
Goethe's famous couplet 

Es bildet ein Talent sick in der Stille; 
Ein Character im Strome der Welt. 

The man who leads the life of a hermit has fewer opportunities 
to inhibit his instinctive urges. His inhibitions cannot compare 
either in scope or in number with those of the man of affairs in the 
bivouac of life. It is on this account that only statesmen are 
potentially able to realise the highest there is in character, though, 
unfortunately, they nearly all slip before they reach the summit. 
And that is what marks the greatness of Lincoln, and perhaps also 
of Wilson the uncompromising political idealism in the face of a 
force majeure. 

One objection to my conception of character, I fancy, would be 
the apparent negative definition to begin with. It may be said 
that the mere inhibition of an instinctive tendency does not lead 
to action, as is classically exemplified by Hamlet. If this should 
constitute a serious objection, it would of course be possible 
to give a positive twist to the original definition proposed here, 
but we must be mindful of the fact that the material to yield an 
estimate of character consists of both acts and restraints. Now, 
in many cases for instance, in the matter of refraining from being 
dishonest the inhibition is sufficient to warrant the making of a 
notch on behalf of the agent. But even the case where the man is 
called upon to act in the face of death is covered by our definition, 
since naturally the inhibition there centres around the instinct of 
self-preservation, and unless he does act in a manner to renounce 
his life if necessary, there is no evidence of such inhibition. 

We also know that the inhibition of one tendency will lead to 
the expression of the opposite tendency, so that absolute inaction 
as a result of inhibition is restricted almost exclusively to neurotics 
and characters in fiction. Even the waverer par excellence, the 
much ridiculed Prince of Denmark, was throughout his inhibitive 
" pandering to thought " waiting for a better opportunity to undo 

122 A. A. ROBACK 

the villain that slew his father. In justice to the scorned Hamlet, 
it should be mentioned, too, that he was not absolutely certain 
of the crime. 

The Index of Character 

Turning now to the application of the inhibitory view of char- 
acter, we shall be able to test its validity through the instances 
cited. Since the character of an individual is to be described in 
terms of the instinct which offers most trouble to the inhibitory 
mechanism and further evaluated according to the ruling principles 
through which the inhibition of the other instincts has been effected, 
we have two distinct tasks before us. Below, there is the criterion 
of inhibition ; above, there is the analysis or interpretation of the 
inhibition. The one without the other is practically valueless. 

Each particular inhibition of an instinct derives its significance 
only from the logical motive which governs the restraint. The high- 
wayman, especially of the type depicted in the romantic novel, 
certainly inhibits his instinct of self-preservation, as does the circus 
dare-devil in his hazardous stunts. They are not, however, governed 
by a principle but are rather led to their eventual destruction by a 
less important instinct, whether it be acquisitiveness, display, or the 
will to power. Hence, though the most potent instinct has been 
suppressed by the bandit, the estimate of his character is on the 
minus side because of the violation of absolute principles. Simi- 
larly, the North American Indians, though possessing the making 
of character in their self-control and physical discipline, cannot, 
because of their deficiency in principle, be credited with character 
of a high type. 

Again, he who inhibits the prime instinctive tendency as a result 
of military or social pressure must be accorded some measure of 
recognition, but character in the proper sense he has not necessarily 
on this account. Higher in the scale is the religious martyr who 
dies for his belief, yet expecting to reap some benefit in another 
world. But the only perfect evidence of character in connection 
with the self-preservation instinct is that to be found in the thinker 
who gives up his life for a principle which he would not renounce 
merely in order to satisfy authority. 

Let us seek confirmation in another direction. The sex instinct 
is no doubt a powerful congenital tendency. Yet the inhibition 
of this instinct does not evoke so much admiration, nor does the 
expression of this instinct, even in illicit modes, call forth so much 


condemnation ^r se t i.e., without reference to violations of absolute 
principles like justice and truth, as in the case of other instincts. 
Only a Philistine would consider Oscar Wilde, in spite of his unfor- 
tunate practices, low in character and less of a gentleman than an 
officially respectable grafter or fraudulent broker. The reason is not 
far to seek. The sex instinct is not governed by absolute principles. 
The exercise of the sex function in a legal and legitimate manner 
has no bearing on the estimate of character. Nor is the celibate 
who represses his sex life completely credited thereby with a 
superior character, though, of course, the capacity to subdue such a 
potent force, assuming that there is no psychophysical defect in 
that regard, is indubitably a mark of character in the rough. 
When, however, a Roman Catholic priest, vowed to celibacy, in- 
dulges in sex relations even with a woman whom he has secretly 
married, his character is rightly called into question, but not on 
account of his worldly indulgence, as every clear-sighted person 
will admit. 

It is possible to carry a similar analytic course into other instinc- 
tive impulses. The inhibition of the reactions which attend the 
emotion of fear comes under the category of character only if 
effected on logical grounds. But if the tendency to flee has been 
thwarted by a pugnacious impulse or the self-administration of a 
drug, the inhibition loses its force. 

Fanatics and Don Quixotes, in spite of their frequently self- 
denying inhibitions, lack the higher type of character because their 
guiding principle is often stubbornness. We shall see later that 
the highest types of characters can be realised only in the highest 
types of intelligence, and if, as Webb has tried to prove in his disserta- 
tion, there is a character element in intelligence what corres- 
ponds to persistency of motives* the converse of the proposition 
should not be lost sight of, viz., that there is an intelligence factor 
in character. 

The observation made by so many thinkers about the character- 
lessness of women also brings out this conclusion. The typical 
woman in some respects manifests even stronger inhibitions than 
the average or even superior man, but her inhibitions are imposed 
upon her not by the dictates of reason but by public opinion, 
convention, fashion, and instinctive urges. 

The rating of character will always remain a pesky problem, and 
it is idle to deceive ourselves that any quantitative procedure 

* E. Webb : Character and Intelligence, British Journal of Psychol. Mono- 
graph Supp., 1915. Vol. I, part III, p. 58. 

124 A. A. ROBACK 

could ever be devised to approximate the method of testing 
intelligence. Rugg has in a series of articles* shown the magnitude 
of the task and the drawbacks attached to it even when carried on 
under conditions which the rigours of a great war have laid at the 
disposal of the investigators. In one place he observes, " The 
unordered yes, the chaotic character of the judgments appears, 
irrespective of what traits are considered or of what kinds of scales 
are compared." 

Let us note, however, that what may be termed the " discrete " 
character investigations are fraught with disadvantages that do 
not apply in the more restricted treatment of character. The 
" discrete " view assembles a number of traits arbitrarily, or in 
accordance with practical demands, and proceeds to the rating of 
individuals as regards that particular trait. But these single traits 
are often very complex. Leadership includes so many qualities ; 
and besides, the concept of leadership is by no means standardised. 
The Y.M.C.A. notion of leadership, the revivalist's idea of a leader 
and the intellectual's requirements of a leader are vastly different 
things, so that each judge will rate this article according to his 
own temperamental inclinations. 

The interesting scale of tests which Downey has devised for 
constructing a will-profile, though a valuable contribution to the 
subject, suffers from the further limitation that the only general 
criterion to serve as guide is that of motor co-ordination in the form 
of writing under various conditions, which can hardly cover or 
correspond to all the important types of situations by which a man 
would be judged in actual life. Of course, we may hold that as 
in small things, so in great things ; but we must first be certain 
that there is an actual correspondence and not merely work on 
that presupposition. If a high correlation is proved by the 
results, there will be the further question to settle as to 
whether the most important traits have been included in this 

Of a less satisfactory nature is the method of self-questioning, 
unless checked up by others, and even then we have no reliable 
ways of establishing the validity of the ratings. What we think we 
should do on a given occasion and what we actually do on such an 

* H. Rugg : Is the Rating of Human Character Practicable ? Journal of 
Educ. Psychol., 1921 and 1922. Vols. XIII and XIV. 

f Incidentally, the factor of inhibition figures considerably in her tests, and 
the most important traits are judged on the ability of the examinees to over- 
come their original impulses, as shown especially in the motor inhibition test. 
(J. E. Downey : The Will-Temperament and its Testing, pp. 132-134). 


occasion often do not coincide. Light on such hypothetical situa- 
tions can be had with greater reliability in dreams. In the ques- 
tionnaire method there are the following obstacles to guard 
against : (a) the disconnection between a given question and a 
particular trait which the question purports to prove, (b) the 
personal bias, (c) the imaginative bent which is unequal in the 
various examinees. 

By omitting the purely affective and temperamental phase of 
personality from our conception of character, and taking the 
instinctive tendencies as our field of operation, we not only are in 
a position to deal with something definite and traditionally con- 
tinuous, but in addition can treat character as a unitary pattern, 
in which each of the points considered has its position, and 
not as a pincushion where the different traits are stuck helter- 

To be sure, our scheme would not be so useful in rating the 
ordinary man and woman as in judging the outstanding individual 
who, in the first place, would possess a more typical character in 
our sense, and, secondly, whose actions would be better known than 
those of the ordinary mortal. The students of history and bio- 
graphy would be the gamers on such a basis rather than the execu- 
tive and the administrator, but now that the admission of the 
limitation has been made, let us not underrate the importance of a 
restricted but definite guide. 

In charting an individual character we might mark off our scale 
of motivating principles as ordinates, and the instinctive tendencies, 
sufficiently differentiated as to make allowance for the objectives of 
the tendencies, as abscisses. The scale of guiding principles would 
include the well-known sanctions, such as the physical, legal, 
social, religious, aesthetic, ethical, logical ; and the highest type of 
character would be found in that individual whose inhibitions are 
brought about by motives of the ethico-logical class only. It is 
questionable whether the legal sanction is sufficient to prove 
character. Certainly the physical is not ; and it is herein that 
we discover another feature of character, and one which clearly 
differentiates it from a characteristic. While a characteristic is 
immutable, character suggests variability in accordance with a rule 
or principle. The wetness of the water or its tendency to run down- 
hill will forever remain its property in consequence of natural law, 
but a man of character, not only is subject to a lapse, but his con- 
duct will differ according to principle, so that, to the outsider, his 
behaviour may seem at times contradictory. 

126 A. A. ROBACK 

There is one other observation to be made in this connection. 
The higher the sanction which regulates the individual's conduct 
the more integrated, better-knit, and more pronounced is the 
character, though, as already stated, there is no reason why we 
should expect a perfectly unbroken or regular pattern, even in the 
highest type of life. Conflicts unfortunately cannot be avoided, 
and their bearing on the appraisal of character should be clear to 
everyone, but, unlike Holt, who thinks their very occurrence is 
culpable,* or what would amount to the same thing in our dis- 
course, prejudicial in the appraisal of character, I should hold 
that the mental conflict is rather indicative of character, so 
long as the stronger instinctive tendency has eventually been 
overcome in obedience to the higher sanction or maxim of 

But lest it will appear that this essay is written in the interest of 
ethics and is a moral exhortation in disguise, I shall take the 
opportunity to emphasise the fact that we are not concerned with 
ethical acts in the evaluation of character. The mention of ethical 
sanctions is no more than a reference to logical principles in relation 
to behaviour. The mother who is constantly watching over the 
welfare of her child will probably be regarded as an ethical being in 
that respect. But she will not gain an iota from such behaviour 
so far as her character evaluation is concerned. Similarly, the 
benefactor who in a burst of sympathy for a crippled beggar 
creates a fund for him so as to maintain the unfortunate in comfort 
will be hailed as a moral hero, and will by his deed call forth the 
approbation of at any rate by far the majority of people ; but his 
philanthropy has not set him one whit higher as regards his char- 
acter. If anything, it has lowered him, for, instead of inhibiting a 
congenital impulse (though sympathy is not necessarily an instinct) 
he yielded to it without consulting the principle of justice or fair- 
ness, which would dictate a more equitable distribution of his bene- 
ficence. In his case, the individual whim has not been overruled 
by a principle which claims universality. But then, suppose he 
discovered a starving refugee and gave him no aid, let it not be 
inferred that on our view such behaviour would be indicative of 
character ; for the instinct of acquisitiveness is here allowed to 
express itself in the form of miserliness, and this is a more potent 
inborn tendency than that of sympathy. Besides, there is no 
logical principle citable to call forth such conduct, which is in 
direct contravention of the dictates of justice. 

* E. B. Holt : The Freudian Wish. 


Thought and Character 

There is probably enough implied in our presentation to show 
that character is not so much linked up with morality as with 
reason or intelligence, on the one hand, and instinct on the other. 
Webb,* in his interesting study on the relation between intelligence 
and character, has come to the conclusion that there is a volitional 
ingredient in intelligence, what he calls an <*> factor. Now, we are 
apt to overlook the truth of the converse proposition, viz., that 
there is an intelligence factor in character, or, to put it more expli- 
citly, other things being equal, the highest type of character will be 
manifested only in those individuals of the highest type of intelligence, 
or rather intellect ; for it is doubtful whether the mental alertness 
conception of intelligence has anything to do with character. But 
it is not to be gathered that, therefore, a mighty intellect would 
necessarily give evidence of a high type of character, though 
from biographical material it would be possible to construct 
the view that profoundness of mind correlates highly with a 
well-knit character, and the psychographic results of Heymans 
and Wiersma tend to show that the predominance of what 
they call the " secondary function " (comprising such qualities 
as seriousness, persistence, depth, etc.) is an indication of a 
solid character. 

The reason why character in its highest forms is to a certain ex- 
tent dependent on intelligence should be almost obvious. Judg- 
ment is indispensable in the shaping of a character. The mind 
which conforms to the rule of the tribe, it is true, partakes 
of character, but in a lower degree than that mind which sees 
thousands of years ahead and acts in such a way as to set a 
guiding ideal before humanity. The prophets belong in that 
category, in so far as they were the apostles of truth and 
justice. In other respects they might have fallen short of the 
highest standards. 

In every great system of ethics, intelligence took its place as a 
virtue. Socrates made knowledge the basis of all virtue. Plato 
recognised it as a cardinal virtue. Aristotle included judgment in 
his ethical system ; and if we turn to the Chinese code, we shall 
again meet with wisdom as a fundamental. 

Nevertheless, the positive relationship between character and 
intellect is by no means to be taken for granted, and it would be a 
serious omission to ignore the position of Schopenhauer on the 

* Cited earlier. 

128 A. A. ROBACK 

subject, who at times is inclined to agree with Goethe's 

Er nennt's Vernunft, und braucht's allein, 

Nur tierischer als jedes Tier zu sein. 

Schopenhauer's various discussions of the affinity of intellect and 
character, though teeming with pregnant remarks, are not untainted 
by his dominant desire to prove the primacy of the will over the 
intellect. The passages which are to be cited will presumably 
reveal at least the somewhat wavering attitude in this respect of 
the otherwise pertinacious philosopher. 

In his essay On Human Nature the great pessimist writes : " No 
one can live among men without feeling drawn again and again to 
the tempting supposition that moral baseness and intellectual 
incapacity are closely connected as though they both sprang from 
one source. . . That it seems to be so is merely due to the fact 
that both are so often found together and the circumstance is to 
be explained by the very frequent occurrence of each of them, so 
that it may easily happen for both to be compelled to live under 
one roof. At the same time it is not to be denied that they play 
into each other's hands to their mutual benefit ; and it is this that 
produces the very unedifying spectacle which only too many men 
exhibit, and that makes the world to go as it goes. A man who is 
unintelligent is very likely to show his perfidy, villainy and malice ; 
whereas a clever man understands better how to conceal these 

Yet in his Ethical Reflections the same sage allows himself almost 
to contradict the above by claiming that " genius and sanctity 
are akin." " However simple-minded," we read, " a saint may be, 
he will nevertheless have a dash of genius in him ; and however 
many errors of temperament, or of actual character, a genius may 
possess, he will still exhibit a certain nobility of disposition by 
which he shows his kinship with the saint." 

The most explicit statement on the connection between the two 
chief personality factors is contained in the essay entitled Character, 
wherein Schopenhauer furnishes us the key to the situation and in 
reality cedes his point, when he discriminates between " two kinds 
of intellect : between understanding as the apprehension of relation 
in accordance with the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and cognition, 
a faculty akin to genius, which acts more directly, is independent 
of this law, and passes beyond the Principle of Individuation. 
The latter is the faculty which apprehends Ideas, and it is the 


faculty which has to do with morality." The next moment his 
oscillation again becomes apparent, for he fears that " even this 
explanation leaves much to be desired. Fine minds are seldom 
fine souls was the correct observation of Jean Paul, although they 
are never contrary." 

What can account for Schopenhauer's indecision in the matter ? 
To my mind it is the conflict between his insight and his metaphys- 
ical dogma of the omnipotence of the will. It is Schopenhauer, 
the subtle metaphysician, combating Schopenhauer, the keen 
psychologist. The two kinds of intelligence mentioned at the 
beginning of this section tell the whole story, and, recalling what 
has been said there, we are in a position to secure confirmation 
of Schopenhauer's point of view as expressed in his essay on 

The implication is that, while intelligence and character show no 
correlation, intellect and character are far more closely connected 
in that the higher types of intellect involve a character factor and 
vice versa. 

The attempted sharp dichotomy between the will and the 
intellect in Schopenhauer's earlier and crowning work need not 
detain us, except for the quotation of one passage, where the author 
points out that " it is not the really great minds that make historical 
characters, because they are [not ?] capable of bridling and ruling 
the mass of men and carrying out the affairs of the world ; but for 
this persons of much less capacity of mind are qualified when they 
have great firmness, decision, and persistence of will, such as is 
quite inconsistent with very high intelligence. Accordingly, where 
this very high intelligence exists, we actually have a case in which 
the intellect directly restricts the will."* 

The issue which Schopenhauer has raised here is too ponderous 
for examination at present. But it is needful to guard against the 
insidious identification of certain concepts, like character and will ; 
and it is in illustration of such possible confusion that the argument 
used by Schopenhauer has been adduced. In reply to Schopen- 
hauer's observation it must be urged that the man of will-power 
and energy is not necessarily the man of character in the sense 
described in the present treatment, and, furthermore, it is just 
because the man of affairs possesses more will than character that he 
can get into the position of ruling the masses ; and, conversely, it is 
for the reason that the man of character who may at the same time be 

* A. Schopenhauer : The World as Witt and Idea, Second Book, Chapter XIX, 
Sect. 5. 

130 A. A. ROBACK 

an intellectual giant is not prone to waste his time and lower his 
principles on the follies and vices of man that he chooses not to rule 
the destiny of the masses directly, but indirectly, yet with greater 
permanence. Let us not be misled by the notion that the ability 
to forge ahead or, as Miinsterberg put it, that the power to keep the 
selected motive dominant is the essence of character. 

Psychological Source of the Regulative Principles 

I am aware, of course, that the problem of character is not 
pre-empted by making it hinge on the instincts on the one hand 
and rational principles on the other. One might ask whether the 
possibility of a certain instinct being much stronger in one person 
than in another might not call for a greater amount of inhibition 
and, therefore, warrant a higher rating, if such an instinct has 
been successfully modified. 

Another question bears on the genesis of the inhibitory force. 
What explains the different capacities to inhibit instinctive ten- 
dencies in different individuals ? If a congenital affair, then ar| 
we not claiming ex hypothesi that character is an instinctive ten- 
dency dominating other instinctive tendencies ? And if, again, we 
are born with this disposition, then is not Schopenhauer justified in 
denying the possibility of modification in a person's character, 
contending, as he does, that we are but the tools of Fate ? And if 
such is the case, are we not bound to reduce the proportions of the 
dignity and greatness attached to character ? 

It would take us too far afield for our present purpose to 
examine each of these questions at length. Yet a word is 
necessary to show the psychological origins of character, and 
particularly that element of it which has been referred to as 
regulative principles. 

In the first place, as regards the varying strength of the instincts 
in different individuals, there is reason to believe that even the 
miser can under certain conditions curb his stinginess. Most 
prisoners, no matter how refractory and intractable they are in 
ordinary life, are, as is known, held in check by the jail wardens. 
We have also the testimony of some of the noblest characters in 
history, such as Moses Mendelssohn, to the strength of their 
passions, which, however, they were able to rule with perfect ease. 
Furthermore, the biographies of great men have in a number of 
cases revealed the subjects to have been given to profligacy in 


youth, though in later life devoting themselves to the loftiest 
purposes. (St. Augustine, Tolstoi).* 

Any instinct, then, no matter how intense, can be overcome ; and 
it is in this regard that character is so disparate from intelligence, 
for no amount of effort would turn a moron into a superior intelli- 
gence, but the most defective character can be changed at least 
for a short time, provided its possessor makes up his mind to take 
a firm stand, that is to say, provided sufficient inhibitory force is 
exerted. But then, what about those whose inhibitions are feeble 
compared with those of others ? 

That some persons are capable of controlling themselves better 
than others goes without saying, but it is not so generally known 
that even children at a tender age may be differentiated according 
to the seriousness with which they take instructions. The influence 
of the environment, tradition and customs cannot be invoked to 
account for the perceptible germs of character displayed by three- 
year-old children. We may reasonably assume that some persons 
are born with greater nervous plasticity than others, and plasticity 
in this sense does not mean merely resiliency of the tissues or elasticity , 
but organisation in such a way as to allow the nerve currents to take 
different paths without serious disturbance. Naturally the psycho- 
analytic schools would eagerly point to the many neuroses and psy- 
choses as evidence of the impossibility of such an organisation ; 
and I do not feel it incumbent to dispute their doctrines. All that 
is set forth in this connection is the fact that with our apparently 
fixed instinctive mechanisms,! we inherit also an element of modi- 
fiability, not in the form of a lever or a muscle, like, say, the tensor 
tympani on the tympanic membrane, but in the actual concatena- 
tion of the instinctive steps. Mechanically, the greater inhibit- 
ability would call for greater slowness in the instinct to run its 
course. J Brakes and gears could be put on at more points and with 
greater effectiveness in the more inhibitive individual than in the less 

So far, then, we have seen there is no necessity to posit an inhibi- 

* C/. also H. Begbie's Twice-Born Men. 

f The word " mechanism," as employed here, merely represents the physical 
basis of the disposition and is not meant to indicate that instincts are merely 
mechanical forces devoid of purposiveness and adaptability. A mechanism 
is the enduring arrangement which engenders a particular disposition and is 
invested with the potentiality of modifying the given disposition in accord- 
ance with various circumstances. It is clearly not a machine. 

J The " all-or-none " principle which Rivers has taken over from physiology 
(Symposium on " Instinct and the Unconscious ? " British Journal of 
Psychology, 1919, Vol. X), applying it to the course of an instinct, is of little 
service even if it were proven to hold true of instincts in general. 

132 A. A. ROBACK 

tory mechanism as such. The variability of the instinct is to be 
looked for in the instinct itself. But, besides the facility of inhibi- 
tion, there must be a something to bring about the inhibition. 
Now, this agency may be another instinctive urge operating in an 
opposite direction. Anger may be turned aside through fear. The 
threatening finger of the law is sufficient to inhibit the acquisitive 
impulses of many people within certain limits. Such inhibitions, 
arising out of purely instinctive sources, cannot be considered as 
revealing the earmarks of character. It is doubtful whether even 
the social inhibitions can be claimed as a criterion, but since in most 
cases it is scarcely possible to discover the real motives of conduct, 
we can afford to be charitable and give the benefit of the doubt to 
all whose actions do not betray evidence of merely seeking social 
approbation. Similarly, the religious and aesthetic sentiments 
exercise their inhibitory power over the primitive instincts, but it 
is only the ethico-logical principles which count in full measure 
toward according to character its proper value. 

Certainly these principles are not implanted upon us by some 
mysterious force. They may be regarded as sentiments, that is 
to say, affective complexes, deriving their nourishment out of the 
individual's social milieu, but I think it is worth while emphasising 
the universality and absoluteness of these principles, which are 
more logical than psychological, inasmuch as they attach to cogni- 
tion rather than to affection or instinct. 

Lest, however, the impression be gained that these principles 
represent a sort of deus ex machina device which has no psycholo- 
gical basis, I should remind the reader that even striving in the 
cause of truth and the religious exercise of justice are not beyond 
the possibility of inheritance. But, as McDougall has observed, 
" The innate structure of the human mind comprises much more 
than the instincts alone . . . There are many facts which 
compel us to go further in the recognition of innate mental structure, 
such facts as the special facilities shown by individuals in music, in 
mathematics, in language and other aesthetic, moral and intellectual 
endowments."* These principles differ from instinctive drives 
particularly in this respect, that, while an instinctive expression is 
no more than a particular is ation of an act involving one's own self, 
the guiding principles which are under discussion represent universa- 
lisations, involving naturally also the individual who is acting, 
but directed toward humanity in general, of which this or that 

* Wm. McDougall: "Instinct and the Unconscious?" British Journal 
of Psychol., 1919. Vol. X, p. 37. 


person appears as a case. Anger, too, is directed against somebody 
else, but no universalisation takes place in expressing this emotion. 
It must be remembered that justice has been distinguished from 
sympathy in another section, and the difference holds here, too, and 
consists in the fact that sympathy, though, as Adam Smith taught, 
it may be the root of all our moral sentiments, is primarily a particular- 
ised act, immediately generated by an impulse suffused with feeling, 
while a just act is more impersonal, less immediately generated and 
mediated through reflection, momentary as it may be. 

It will have been noticed by this time that the use of 
the words "principles" and "sanctions" is not clearly demar- 
cated, the former being employed sometimes to cover only 
the purely ethical determinants, such as truth and justice, 
and at other times with reference to the standards of 
action. The reason for this apparent looseness in language is 
that all recognised standards of action are merely popularised 
versions of the ethical standards diluted with the appeal to 
fear and the incentive of reward so as to gain a hold on the 
average man and woman. Even though the social sanction often 
encourages flattery and hypocrisy, it without question originally 
took rise in the community desire to safeguard the interests of its 
members, which could not be realised without invoking, the primary 
ethical principles as a sine qua non. In spirit, then, all approved 
standards of action are the same, though they sadly differ in appli- 
cation. The purely ethical appeal may, therefore, be looked upon 
as containing the various other sanctions in their ideal form, while 
these other standards may be considered as a graded stratification 
of the ethical principles governing action. 

But even these ethical principles have two sides to them. It is 
one thing to recognise that fairness should be the mark of all 
dealings, but quite another to observe this rule in practice ; and 
character value depends on the observance, not the mere observa- 
tion of the maxim, because it is in the practice that the crucial 
test lies. That all normal people, that is to say, all, excluding the 
aments and the demented, possess a sense of justice, can be readily 
seen from the fact that they seize on every opportunity to set forth 
their claims when they believe themselves to have been unfairly 
dealt with. The next to receive such consideration is their kin, 
then their affiliated groups, etc., but what must appear so puzzling 
to a logical mind is the disinclination of the vast majority of human 
beings to apply the same measures to themselves and to others. 

Now there are two paths open to us in explanation of the two 

134 A. A. ROBACK 

divergent approaches. One alternative is to assume that the 
recognition of right and wrong is not sufficiently potent to actuate 
most people in the cause of others. But then, if the notion is 
dynamic in one's self-interest, something else must be sought to 
account for its inertia, otherwise. It is within reason, I think, as 
our other alternative, to postulate a consistency urge as the basis 
of all conduct typifying the person of character. Like other con- 
nate tendencies, this urge requires sufficient time for maturation. 
Young children seldom give indications of this tendency, yet it is 
possible to detect significant differences in reactions to others on 
the part of even five-year-old youngsters, and that in spite of their 
being brought up in the same environment. 

To attribute the differences to education is to put the cart before 
the horse ; for the fact that some children will benefit by the strict 
injunctions and others will not ought to convince us that there is 
something in the child which accepts the consequences, rather 
than that it is the nature of the injunctions, which brings results. 
In some, the argument : How would you like me to take that toy 
away from you, as you did from that little boy ? produces a ready 
and desirable response, while others, though they seem to under- 
stand the injustice of their act, make no effort to mend their con- 
duct, and still others find some either wholly fictitious or else 
totally irrelevant excuse to justify their budding rapacity. Women 
too, are, as many great novelists and essayists have remarked, 
incapable of acting with consistency, and, unless moved by pity, 
are prone to commit many unfair acts on various pretexts, chief 
among which is that, being the weaker sex, or the weaker of two of 
their own sex, or having " gone through " more than their rival or 
expecting to enjoy life less than someone else, they ought not to 
lose at least this opportunity of making up for the hardship either 
already endured or in store for them. 

We hear it said and repeated almost ad nauseam that women are 
prompted by their feelings rather than by their reason. But such 
a hollow statement possesses no scientific value. Many women 
reason well enough at the very time they are supposed to be guided 
by their feelings. Their reasoning, however, lacks consideration 
for others. It is the element of consistency alone which is lacking 
a gap which is sometimes filled by the substitute of pity. If the 
above time-honoured and apparently universal belief about the 
mainsprings of women's conduct is to be invested with any psycho- 
logical meaning, we should necessarily hold to one or the other of 
these alternatives ; either that women, on the whole, are born with 


stronger instinctive tendencies, or else the consistency urge is 
weaker in them than in man. The former alternative does not 
seem plausible, more especially as the maxim of parsimony would 
lead us to explain the phenomenon through some weakness in the 
one factor rather than in the many. It is, therefore, not in the 
relative strength of the instinct that we shall find the reason for 
the lack of objectivity in female conduct, but in the relative weak- 
ness of the fundamental principle of conduct which has its root 
psychologically in some mechanism making for consistency. In 
fine, then, consistency in action, which is one of the chief determi- 
nants of character, can be traced to original connate tendencies ; 
and if this smacks too much of Descartes' innate ideas doctrine, I 
might point out that there are vast differences between the two 
classes of concepts. Men differ as to the relative strength of instinc- 
tive tendencies granted ; but they also differ as to their nervous 
constitution in respect of inhibitability, application to others of 
what they consider to be fair for themselves, and above all in the 
strict adherence to an abstract principle, like liberty, for instance, 
in the face of great danger to the acting individual. It is in 
connection with the recognition of the issues to be championed that 
intellect is of service, so that it becomes indispensable in the make- 
up of the most typical specimens of character. 


Although this paper has grown far lengthier than originally 
intended, I cannot represent it as anything but an attempt to 
indicate the direction in which the study of character is to be under- 
taken if we wish to retain its original core and at the same time set 
it down on the solid ground of psychology. It is easy to dispose of 
character entirely, as the behaviourists are inclined to do, and it 
is almost as easy to treat it from an exhortative point of view, as 
religious teachers and moralists are wont to do. But, in making 
character the function of (a) instinctive tendencies, (b) certain 
properties of the nervous organisation which facilitate inhibition, 
and (c) principles which claim as their psychological basis a mechan- 
ism yet to be investigated, I realise that there will be no end of 
protests on the ground that antiquated doctrines are being appealed 

I am aware, too, that the description of the rating method on the 
scheme here outlined has been left in its initial stages. It is to be 

136 A. A. ROBACK 

hoped that someone, with a leaning toward quantitative treatment 
and a knack for the manipulation of charts, will work out on a far 
more elaborate scale the evaluation of some well-known historical 
characters in accordance with the definition of character as the 
psychophysical disposition to inhibit instinctive tendencies in 
keeping with fundamental principles of action. The stratification 
of the various characters in an hierarchical system, so as to make 
allowance for the different levels of principles (legal, social, religious, 
aesthetic, ethico-logical) would further have to be undertaken at 
the behest of the conservative critic. Once, however, the method 
is clear, we should find little difficulty in removing obstacles. 

Lest some readers still misunderstand my position in the belief 
that I regard instincts as something to be repressed, as containing 
the germ of sin and wickedness, I must remind them of what has 
already been stated before, namely, that we have nothing to do 
with the ascetic doctrine. The machinery of character involves 
the inhibition of original or inborn tendencies, just as musical 
composition necessitates the mastery of a certain technique ; but 
the inhibition in itself, just as the technique as such, possesses very 
little value. It is the direction which the inhibition or the tech- 
nique takes that is all important. Both man and beast work along 
the lines of least resistance,* but it is for man to change high resist- 
ance into low resistance by adhering to a rational guiding principle 
a purpose. The courageous man's very difficult course is to 
him a course of least resistance, once he has firmly espoused his 
cause. If time-binding may be considered, according to Korzybski, 
the chief characteristic of man, we must not neglect the character- 
istic of resistance-reducing. In fact, it might be claimed that man 
is a time-binder only by virtue of his capacity to reduce resistance. 
Consider how much inhibition was necessary in order to assume 
permanently an erect posture on the part of our primitive ancestors. 
Now, the original tendency to walk on all fours is neither base nor 
immoral, but the subsequent change through a process of inhibition, 
until the new habit became fixed, may well be considered a mark of 

As for the rest, the position taken in this paper is based on a view 
of instincts like the one described by McDougall, but calling for a 
more detailed differentiation and specification in relation to the 
stimuli evoking them. The perceptual determination of the instinct 
I should emphasise even to a greater extent than does McDougall. 

* Cf. A. A. Roback : Interference of Will Impulses (Psycholog. Review 
Monograph Supplements, Vol. XXV). 


And if the numerous " anti-instinctivists " in the United States 
were to direct their energies toward the goal of discovering what 
tendencies develop in early childhood, without the aid of education, 
instead of spending all their efforts in explaining away theoretically 
and by means of non sequitur arguments manifestly instinctive 
behaviour, we should now be in a more enlightened state regarding 
one of the most important subjects in a whole group of sciences. 

Ordinarily we do not credit young children with the slightest 
germs of character, but no one who has watched them at play can 
deny that they exhibit signs not only of the knowledge of right and 
wrong, but even of the observance of certain rules. The prophets 
of Israel, and probably those to whom they preached, seem to have 
evinced a greater interest in that subject than we in the twentieth 
century, for many are the passages in which an event is prophesied 
to take place before a symbolic child grows up to know the differ- 
ence between right and wrong. 

Character and behaviour pertaining to the moral sphere can and 
should be studied genetically and comparatively as in the case of 
other capacities and behaviour. The sociological researches of 
men like Westermarck, Levy-Bruhl, Boas, McDougall and Hose in 
this regard are valuable indeed, but they cannot take the place of 
ontogenetic investigations, for the chief reason perhaps that the 
primitive impulses of the savage tribes are coloured by tradition 
and custom. 

It is only by pursuing an analytic method that we can avoid the 
nihilistic tendency so current to-day and drawing illegitimate 
support from modern logistic development of employing a term 
in a sense for which it was never intended, and thereby breaking 
entirely away from the past. The most clear-headed thinker of 
antiquity, if not of all times, admonishes us in his Nicomachean 
Ethics to consider first the popular notion of a concept before we 
attempt to define it ; and his suggestion should serve as a methodo- 
logical beacon-light for all times. 

By preserving the unitary and essentially unique mark of char- 
acter instead of breaking it up into a number of unrelated qualities 
we enjoy the advantage of attaching it to some body of scientific 
facts and subsuming it under rules and principles, without which 
even the technical arts are under a serious handicap. The unitary 
basis of our conception does not prevent us from seeking after 
elements, factors and determinants, but saves us rather from the 
fruitless effort of beginning our search blindly or, as in the exuberant 
mood of some psychologists, contenting ourselves with the feeling 

138 A. A. ROBACK 

that we are looking for what we are looking for an attitude which 
may be recommended only for Alice in Wonderland. 

There is probably not a single one of the various approaches to 
the study of character which is without at least a grain of value for 
the clarification of so complex a subject. The recent experimental 
methods are particularly hopeful signs. Each point of view may be 
regarded not only as a contribution per se, but should serve as a 
touchstone for the others. In this way the particles of gold in each 
finding may be sifted out, but it is necessary to be provided with 
a field of operation in the form of a general method before the 
particles can be assembled and properly arranged so as to cohere 
into a tangible substance. 




Member of the French Institute ; Professor of Psychology 
at the College de France 




THE feelings of reality and unreality which often attach to certain 
psychological phenomena are of great importance ; for they 
indicate the more or less considerable degree of activity which 
accompanies these phenomena. A feeling of unreality is often 
observed in connection with the perception of objects among 
patients who might be called psychasthenic doubters. In several 
places I have had occasion to point out that this feeling does not 
depend on a disorder in sensation but on the waning of the tendency 
to act in response to these perceptions. The same evidence has 
occurred to me in even a simpler form while studying the unreal 
memories of these very patients at the J. J. Rousseau Institute at 
Geneva, * and the same problem might be examined in a somewhat 
inverse manner in trying to understand the exaggerations of the 
feeling of reality which in every case accompanies the memories. 
A rather striking observation suggests to us these reflections on 
the degree of reality which we attribute more or less correctly to 
our representations. 

A young man, thirty years old, Le*on, whose parents were very 
psychoneurotic, and who (himself a twin) had been subject 
since his twenty-second year to fits of depression, preceded by a 
more or less lengthy period of excitement and euphoria, which 
seemed to be better designated by the English word elation than 
by the French word excitation. These spells appeared wholly in 
connection with exhaustions caused by excesses in work or emotion. 
The patient had already had a very serious and interesting crisis 
of this type at the age of twenty-two ; but we shall study here only 
the last spell, which began at the age of thirty-five. 

During the war L6on had been entrusted with a commission in a 
foreign country ; although he had already been worn out by a 

* " Les souvenirs irr6els," Archives de Psychologic, 1924, Vol. xix. 



serious attack of the grip and overcome by the death of his brother, 
he had given himself up to his work with incredible zeal. His 
health had been excellent, and he felt full of energy, courage, and 
self-confidence ; and in his patriotic ardour he thought " that he 
could never work hard enough for his country " ; but at the same 
time he was taking an interest in everything walked in the 
country, frequented museums, admired landscapes and works of 
art, was studying foreign literature as well as historical and political 
questions, etc. At the same time he took for a mistress a woman 
" whose beauty had produced on him a tremendous effect/' and 
his love for his mistress was just as much exaggerated as his 
passion for work ; although he vaguely felt that all this was exces- 
sive and abnormal, " he was enjoying to the full this superhuman 
life," and he was in a state of continual joy. 

After six months he was beginning to feel as if he were giving 
way, and he realised that for a number of reasons it would be wise to 
part with this woman. As he was recalled to France, " he had the 
courage to break away, or rather to flee," but " this last effort 
shattered him " and he rapidly fell into a state of depression very 
different from his previous elation. If I am not mistaken, this 
breaking away and departure would not be considered as a " huge 
effort on the part of his moral will/ 1 but as the first effect of the 
growing depression which had already inspired him with feelings 
of dread of action. 

In this new state his health and appearance become trans- 
formed, and there appear such things as lack of desire (inapp&ence) , 
digestive and circulatory disorders, insomnia, buzzing in the ear, 
etc. Let us only recall this rigidity of the face, this fixed counten- 
ance so frequently seen in depression, which suggests some inter- 
esting correspondences with diseases determined by lesion in the 
corpus striatum. Our patient begins to feel his face annoyed by 
continual irritations, and this annoyance impels him continually to 
look into the mirror. He also feels a stiffness in all his movements. 

The feelings are entirely transformed : L6on takes no pleasure 
in anything, joy is no longer his ; he has no artistic enjoyment ; 
" nothing is good or pleasant, and he never feels at ease " ; he no 
longer has any interest : "I could not listen to a play at the 
theatre or look at a flower ; the one interests me no more than the 
other. I desire nothing ; I need nothing." Previous to that, he 
had a keen desire to see his mother again ; he found her without 
feeling anything, and could not enjoy her company. In spite of 
his efforts, he did not succeed in becoming interested in a young 


girl who had been his fiancee. He was otherwise indifferent to all 
women which surprised him : " I who had been so curious about 
things and people/' Persons and objects had not become so unreal 
as we have seen in the case of other observations of the same -kind ; 
but they had lost all charm and all interest. 

The feelings which persist belong to a category of feelings of fear 
of action which I discussed at the Congress of Psychiatry in Atlan- 
tic City.* He shows fear and disgust in regard to every action, 
which gives rise to fear of the future and distressing thoughts : 
" Ah ! If I could only regard the future calmly, but the life before 
me frightens me." He explains this feeling by saying that he no 
longer feels good for anything, that he is no longer capable of doing 
simple addition, that he is bewildered by the fear of errors, that he 
is clumsy and ridiculous even in saying " How do you do ? " to 
anyone, " he is only afraid of making blunders, or paying out too 
much money, or losing his umbrella/' It is this collection of 
sentiments, constituted by secondary actions, flight of action, inhibi- 
tion of action and economy of action, which forms essentially the 
state of grief into which he is constantly plunged. 

These feelings, although exaggerated, are accurate enough : 
his activity is really very much reduced ; Leon is evidently in- 
capable of continuing his ordinary work ; he no longer has any 
system or initiative ; he remains undecided in regard to the most 
trivial question ; and he experiences a constant need of assistance 
from others ; " I no longer have any method/' he repeats with a 
groan, " I can't tell the place of things, I no longer have any real 
life ; I should like to remain with you all the time. I am bullied 
for everything, and I can no longer do anything about it. The 
slightest bit of a letter to write is too much for me and I used to be 
very keen about it at one time/' Let us note further, that he can 
hardly retain in his mind events of the present. He does not recall 
anything that is of consequence ; and, above all, he no longer has 
any visual representation of objects which he has just seen. 

Parallel with these same negative characteristics there are also 
some features which consist in superadded behaviour. He has 
numerous tics, a mania for tearing the skin of his fingers or brushing 
his clothes. He repeats sotto voce some verses. He relates incess- 
antly some memories of his childhood or youth, and he cannot get 
rid of them. But above all, he presents a remarkable symptom 
which lends a special characteristic to this fit of depression. He is 

* " The Fear of Action," Journal of Abnormal Psychology, June-September, 
1921, Vol. XVI, p. 190. 


continually tormented by an obsession which presents itself in the 
form of a visual image with an almost hallucinatory intensity. 

At every instant he stops absorbed by an obsessive contempla- 
tion. He sees rising before him the apartment in which he had 
been living during his stay abroad the apartment where he had 
been so active and so happy with his beautiful woman : " Ah ! 
This sacred apartment ... I am in the hall. I see an open 
door, and through there the main room where I would keep myself 
I feel that the woman is there. I could tell where she is to be 
found . . ." Sometimes he would see one room, at other times 
another ; sometimes from one point of view, at other times from 
another. The woman would appear variously dressed, or in various 
positions or hidden in the bed . . . the images change without 
being extremely varied. They always represent the principal 
aspects of the apartment, and the woman in various attitudes ; 
and the scenes which keep coming up always centre about the 
previous happy period. 

The memories to which these images are attached are not 
forgotten memories which reappear. He can call them forth 
perfectly at will, but he never does so unless I ask him ; for spon- 
taneously he would not do so. The reappearance of these memories 
is painful: "That is a happy period and I can only experience 
suffering while thinking of it." When the image is called forth 
voluntarily in this manner, it has some special characteristics to 
which I shall return ; but more often the image appears without 
his having searched for it, suddenly, for no reason, just like a picture 
which you find is before you and which you must endure. The 
memories then are all of an extraordinary and ridiculous precision : 
"I see myself again in this room, and such persons and all the 
details of the evening pass before my eyes again." These images 
are always excessively impressionistic. From the very moment 
that they begin to appear they are accompanied by a sort of surge 
and temptation : he desires to enter the apartment, to see the 
woman, to speak to her. He feels his mouth muttering some 
phrases he used to say formerly on entering the hall : "I am 
going to fix up my things in the wardrobe, to put my coat here 
. . . ." But these initial acts would stop immediately as soon 
as he would give himself up to these memories of the past, just as 
he would apply to these memories of the past his present fear of 
action. He never continues the scene ; he doesn't hear the woman 
speak to him ; he doesn't hear the sequel of the interview ; 
by an effort he turns back ; " again this good woman who has 


come back ! " and he tries to think of something else ; but several 
moments afterwards the spectacle reappears under another aspect. 
This inhibition of action probably prevents the vision from becom- 
ing altogether hallucinatory. Never do these images mix with the 
actual perceptions ; they confine themselves to momentarily 
obliterating them. These images are never taken completely for 
present realities. The patient feels that he is no longer capable of 
resuming this life, that he no longer has the strength for it, nor has 
he the power to repulse it. He could not begin it over again, even 
if he wished to accept it. The image also is always recognised as 
a memory. But it is a very special memory which, though a mem- 
ory of the past, has attached to it a peculiar mark of the present. 
" To be sure I almost always know that it is only a memory of the 
past, but it is a past which is so close to me ... Of course, I 
know that these things have taken place more than a year ago, but 
when the image appears, it seems to me that it was yesterday, that 
only a month before I have been in this apartment, and that I 
spoke to the woman." In a word, these memories are extremely 


These too real memories contrast in a curious manner with the 
unreal memories which I have described as occurring among many 
other patients. In the minds of the latter there are only empty 
reports, with no imagery or attitudes surrounding them, calling 
forth no feeling of joy or of sadness ; and arousing no interest or 
desire for action, in the way of either drawing them out or cutting 
them short. Sometimes these unreal reports are not even accom- 
panied by belief, and the patient cannot affirm that these visions 
have had a real existence in the past. 

An important feature of these unreal memories is the fact that 
they always refer back to a very distant past. A patient, who had 
come out of a sanatorium only a week before, said that he had come 
out of it 25 years ago, and similarly referred the birth of his last 
child, two months old, back to 25 years ago. In my opinion, the 
unreal character of these memories depends precisely on this 
absence of reverberation or echo ; on the suppression of all the 
processes which ordinarily surround and complete our perceptions 
and reports. In all our behaviour there is a primary act which is 
the reaction to external stimulation. To these exteroceptive re- 
flexes, as M. Sherrington would say, there are attached some intero- 


ceptive reactions determined by the primary act itself. Reactions 
which prolong the act reinforce it, establish it and transform it into 
belief or else inhibit it, avoid it or transform it into its opposite, 
etc. These are the secondary acts which give to the report its 
particular flavour, and its degree of reality. The largest portion 
of these secondary acts disappears with exhausted and asthenic 
patients through a sort of shrinking of the report which reduces it 
to its core. 

If that is the case, we ought to allow for the too real memories 
an explanation which is the converse of the previous one. These 
memories are accompanied by many affirmations, many images, 
and very powerful feelings. That is just what we have seen in the 
observation of L6on, who is certain to the most minute exactitude 
of his obsessive memories, who images them vividly and experiences 
in connection with them very keen interests and sentiments. These 
memories then should represent a great psychological force capable 
of surrounding them with a very large number of these secondary 
acts. But right here arises a difficulty which puzzles us : L6on 
presents these memories during a period of great asthenic depression. 
His whole present behaviour, as we have seen, is enormously 
reduced. How then could the memories alone preserve such a force 
amidst the exhaustion of all the other functions ? 

Let us note in the first place that the wealth and power of 
these memories are very relative, in reality. L6on has never gone 
far enough with the acts called forth by these memories. He has 
only taken very few steps in regard to them, confining himself 
to some gestures of protestation. If this memory appeared so 
rich, it is apparently as a result of the comparison with the poverty- 
stricken acts of his present life. It is, moreover, on account of 
this poverty of his present behaviour that these visions did not 
develop into hallucinations and delirium. 

Notwithstanding, i.e. in spite of this observation, the strength of 
his visions is much greater than that of the other memories, and 
we should be astonished at this disproportion. The solution ought 
probably to be drawn from the strength of the state during which 
these memories have been organised. All these obsessive memories 
have been registered during a period which was not normal, nor 
was it a period of depression, but rather one of elation. It is 
probable that there had been at this stage a state of hypersthenia 
in contrast with a state of asthenia of the depressive period, and 
that a great quantity of force had been employed in all these 
actions. The formation of a memory is analogous to the forma^ 


tion of a tendency, although we are dealing with an altogether 
special tendency. This form of tendency does not only consist in 
organising series of movements in response to a certain stimula- 
tion, but its function is also to invest this tendency with a certain 
quantity of reserve force which will permit it to become activated 
later on when the occasion should arise. This hypothesis of 
force deposited in the tendencies at the time of their formation 
allows for an explanation of the reservation of force and the recourse 
to the reserves, which play such a large part in the excitations, as 
William James has so well presented it in his little book Energies 
of Men.* Our observation confirms this hypothesis, and shows 
us that the memory tendencies organised during the period of 
hypersthenia are powerfully endowed with reserve energy. It is 
on account of this original force that they form a contrast with the 
acts organised in the present period of asthenia. It is probable 
that facts of the same sort might be observed in connection with 
all the memories and tendencies organised during life epochs when 
the psychological force is superabundant. The habits acquired in 
infancy when the force is great are preserved and often survive 
almost alone in periods of depression. L6on himself remarks that 
his obsessive memories could sometimes reproduce episodes of his 
infancy and youth. This force of memories acquired during 
hypersthenia might be considered as a counterpart of the curious 
phenomenon which I have described elsewhere under the name of 
psychological scars, f where we see tendencies formed during psy- 
chological illness or depression preserving a certain weakness 
throughout life. 

Finally, as a concluding reflection, this force of the tendencies 
acquired during the periods of hypersthenia does not manifest 
itself in the asthenic period and does not show any contrast to the 
other tendencies except in one respect, viz., that these strong 
tendencies function alone without their becoming related to or 
combined with the other tendencies in the behaviour adapted to 
the present moment. I have noted toward the beginning of the 
paper that one might ask L6on to call forth of his own accord the 
memories of the woman in answer to our questions by adapting 
these memories to the present moment. He could do so, although 
it would be disagreeable to him, but itis curious to note that under 
these conditions the memories have lost their peculiar character. 
They are reduced, faded, and the subject readily refers them to the 

* Cf. Les medications psychologiques, 1920, III, pp. 219, 220. 
f Cf. loc. cit., Vol. 2, p. 289. 



past. He finds himself then in the same state as our other asthenic 
patients who have weak recollections because they call them forth 
voluntarily. The memories of the woman only assume their 
abnormal strength with L6on when they appear beyond the actual 
volition of the patient, without any connection with the present, 
that is to say, when they function in a dissociated manner. 

Many conditions then are necessary for the realisation of this 
curious syndrome of super-real memories : (i) it is necessary that 
they should be acquired in a state of psychological hypersthenia. 

(2) that they should be called forth in a period of asthenia. 

(3) that this evocation should be automatic, dissociated from 
the general activity of the personality at the time. 


In my lectures on the feeling of reality, I have tried to set up a 
general scheme in which might be arranged the various aspects 
assumed by the psychological phenomena and in particular the 
verbal forms, the reports according to which the feeling of reality, 
and in consequence the wealth of secondary phenomena, are more or 
less accentuated in them. At the beginning I should place the 
psychological phenomena which present in the very highest degree 
the character of reality ; below these come the phenomena which 
present it in a less degree. Descending the scale, I should arrive 
at the phenomena which no longer contain the affirmation of 
reality, which, in other words, begin to seem unreal to us, and from 
there take gradual steps downward until the vague and fleeting 
thought without any reality is reached. This, in brief, is the scheme 
at which we should arrive : 

1. The present reality which applies to material as well as to 

mental entities and events. 

2. The immediate future which interests us almost as much as the 

present, though with somewhat less vividness. 

3. The recent past, to which is attached the affective memory 

with the happy and unhappy recollections, illusions 
(deceptions) and regrets. 

4. The ideal which we do not recognise as real, but which we wish 

to see realised. 

5. The distant future which we hope to see realised, but which 

is too remote to greatly interest us. 

6. The dead or distant past which is lost in affective character, 

but whose reality we still maintain as having occurred 
in time. 


7. The imaginary unreality in regard to which we take the pre- 

caution of denying its reality. The dream, when it is 
recognised as such, is one variety of that type. 

8. The idea, a verbal form whose reality we neither affirm nor 


9. The thought, a verbal form in regard to which we do not even 

ask the question of reality or unreality. 

The reports are associated with one or the other of these groups 
in accordance with the strength of the feeling of reality which 
accompanies them, that is to say, in the last analysis, in accordance 
with the potency and wealth of the secondary acts which surround 
them. A report sounds correct to us when it is placed by the 
narrator in the proper place, that is to say, where the majority of 
men would ordinarily be disposed to place it. On the other hand, 
a report sounds incorrect when it is placed by the narrator at an 
unusual place, thus causing surprise. A very large number of 
mental troubles are nothing but a poor localisation of events 
within the compass of this schema. A certain number of patients 
are characterised by a peculiar tendency to drop their accounts, 
to place them lower than we should have done ourselves under 
the same circumstances. Some asthenics doubtless regard certain 
events which we should connect with the recent past as having 
their place in the distant past, or as imaginary. They present 
unreal memories. Some go even farther and transform the 
present into a dream or a fancy. Others again resemble the 
patient L6on whom we have just discussed and raise their 
accounts on the schema : they make out of the bygone past 
a recent past, an immediate future or even a present. The 
study of these patients is helpful in understanding delirium 
and hallucination. It is important to take account of the fact 
that these errors in the evaluation of ourselves depend on 
complex conditions, the chief feature of which we have tried to 

These different evaluations of events altogether transform the 
conduct of individuals and give birth to different forms and phases 
of personality. An individual at a period when he raises his 
accounts will be altogether different from what he was during 
the period when he would lower them ; and I have seen 
patients who in this regard would establish a veritable split of 
personality. The subconscious, certain varieties of amnesia, 
multiple personality, are often only the results of these modifica- 


Dr Morton Prince, who has made some excellent contributions to 
the study of these variations of personality, will, I hope, be some- 
what interested in this short report which it gives me pleasure to 
add to the more important studies assembled in this volume for 
the purpose of celebrating his jubilee. 

(Translated by A.A.R.). 



Professor Emeritus of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania 




How Verdicts are Obtained in Insanity Cases 

MANY years ago I was a medical witness in a trial in which the 
question of insanity was the main issue. A man, the scion of a 
distinguished family, after certification, had also been found to be 
insane by an inquisition in lunacy. After consultations with his 
attorneys, he had decided to traverse this inquisition. Traverse 
is a legal procedure by which the findings of an inquisition can be 
tried again in a probate or other court before a jury of twelve. 
The possibility of resorting to a traverse in such cases is one of the 
evidences of the jealous care with which the rights of the insane 
are guarded under our Anglo-Saxon system of jurisprudence. 

The appellant or traverser had engaged, as his counsels, two of 
the most eminent attorneys of Philadelphia, one of whom at that 
time was reputed to be the most eloquent advocate at the Phila- 
delphia bar, and the other was unequalled in his power of making 
" jury points." The side opposing the traverser had also retained 
two eminent attorneys. 

In addition to lay testimony, five or six well-known physicians 
testified that the appellant was insane ; that he was the victim of 
hallucinations of hearing and delusions of suspicion and persecu- 
tion ; that at times he was dangerous or might become so, and 
that in his own interest and in that of society it would be best for 
him to be placed under the restraint of an institution. 

Some of the scenes during the trial were highly dramatic, as when, 
for instance, the oratorical advocate denounced the doctors and 
others, or when he read extensive citations from the skilful pamph- 
let which the traverser had written in his own defence. It contain- 
ed several excellent illustrations of pseudo-logic, especially adduced 
in explanation of the hostile voices which he said he heard and 

* Read before The Philadelphia Psychiatric Society, November gth, 1923. 



which he supposed were the voices of one or more of a band of 
conspirators against him. He summoned, in defence of his idea 
that the hostile voices were real, not only the phenomena of the 
telephone, but an old text-book statement that a ship's sails had 
been known to convey such sounds or voices one hundred miles 
across the sea. 

At one time during the reading of the traverser's pamphlet, the 
oratorical advocate, the jury, and even the dignified judge, were 
all in tears. 

The judge's charge was made and proved to be a learned docu- 
ment, whose effect on those in the audience and the jury box was 
probably much like that sometimes produced by the Delphic oracle 
on the minds of those who appealed to the mystic shrine. The 
trial ended by the jury, in a few minutes, rendering a verdict in 
favour of the traverser, the practical result being that the man was 
declared to be sane. 

After the unfortunate man had been given his legal certificate 
of perfect sanity, he apparently did not know exactly what to do 
with himself. One of his counsel, however, as was right and proper, 
secured for his client an entrance into a well-known boarding house 
on a thoroughfare somewhat famed for dignified establishments of 
this kind. In a short time the boarders generally sought other 
quarters, and our friend the traverser, of his own motion, went 
back to the hospital from which he had sought release. During 
the balance of his life he remained voluntarily in an institution 
for the insane. 

I have never forgotten the lessons of this trial, one of which is 
that it is not wise to gamble beforehand on the verdict in a case 
in which insanity is the issue. Another lesson is that emotion 
often plays a large if not the largest part in the decisions of insanity 

Thg Writ of Habeas Corpus in Insanity Cases 

Under the law a person alleged to be insane and confined in an 
institution has the right to appeal to the court through a writ of 
habeas corpus. Occasionally direful results follow the use of this 
constitutional right. 

About a quarter of a century ago I had an instructive experience 
of this kind. As it was considered that the man alleged to be insane 
might be dangerous even to those who might examine him, he was 
placed under arrest and was taken to a magistrate's office, where I 


made as thorough an examination as was possible, the same 
process having been gone through by another physician. 

Not only his wife, but many others who, through business or 
place of residence, came in contact with the man had reported their 
belief that he was dangerously insane. His insanity was of the 
persecutory sort so often seen. He believed that his neighbours, 
that those with whom he was concerned in business, and others, 
were engaged in some sort of a conspiracy to injure or destroy him. 
He also believed that he was acted on by some unseen agency, 
probably electricity ; that holes were made in the ceilings of rooms 
in order that he might be spied upon and that his life was sometimes 
endangered by his enemies. He was not quite clear about the 
manner in which his wife entered into the conspiracy, but believed 
that directly or indirectly she had had something to do with it, 
and at one time he had told her that he felt he would have to kill 
her and then commit suicide himself. 

At the time of my examination in the magistrate's office, the 
man was excited and somewhat incoherent in his statements. He 
was certified to a well-known institution for the insane. 

A lawyer asked for and obtained a writ of habeas corpus. At 
this procedure, after hearing considerable testimony, lay and 
medical, the Court remanded the appellant to the institution for 
further observation. At the end of two months he was again 
brought into court. 

During his stay in the institution, especially after the hearing 
of the first writ, he suppressed his delusions, stolidly refusing to 
talk about matters relating to them, even when hard pressed by 
those attempting to establish his true mental state. Several well- 
known alienists who examined him testified that they were not 
able to find evidence of his delusions, and the judge ordered his 
discharge. It is difficult to see how he could have done otherwise 
unless he had taken more fully into consideration the entire history 
of the case from the beginning. 

Very soon after his discharge the man again showed positive 
signs of alienation of a dangerous character. He was arrested, and 
it was somewhat difficult to get physicians to certify him because 
of the action taken by the Court. Eventually, however, he was 
re-examined and re-certified and sent to a state hospital for the 
insane. His subsequent history I do not know, except that I 
believe he continued an inmate of this institution for a long 

My only comment is that the Court should not only take par- 


ticular care to inform itself in similar cases of what is apparently 
the man's immediate condition, but should also review with much 
thoroughness all known facts. The Court should also be informed 
that patients can sometimes suppress their delusions for a long 
time, or may sometimes have remissions or intermissions in their 
symptoms. A patient is not only able at times to suppress his 
delusions, but he can for a purpose simulate sanity, although he 
may not be able to continue this procedure for a long time under 
the pressure of a skilful examination. 

As bearing upon the point here discussed, a curious incident 
occurred recently at the psychopathic wards of the Philadelphia 
General Hospital. The physicians of the department were holding 
a conference to determine the status of some of the patients. A 
case was brought in from the waiting room and was questioned 
regarding his delusions, hallucinations and other facts relating to 
his insanity, which were well known to members of the staff. He 
simply denied that he had any such notions or that he heard voices, 
etc., and nothing would move him from this position. Another 
and still another patient was brought in, who made similar denials. 
On going to the waiting room, it was found that a young woman 
who belonged to the dementia praecox group was passing from one 
patient to another, instructing them to deny everything that was 
asked them relating to their delusions and hallucinations, encourag- 
ing them to do this with the suggestion that in this way they 
could probably obtain their discharge from the institution. 

Not only may an insane man succeed in getting his discharge 
by suppression of what he has learned to know are regarded as the 
symptoms of his insanity, but occasionally some strange decisions 
are given in response to some cleverly presented pleas for discharge 
under habeas corpus proceedings. 

A curiosity in this respect was the decision given by a learned 
judge that a man should be committed to an institution for the 
insane from six o'clock in the evening until eight o'clock in the 
morning, and from eight in the morning until six in the evening 
should be permitted to go where he chose. Practically the result 
of the decision was that the man was considered sane by day and 
insane by night. 

Mostly in the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia a medical 
witness is allowed to hear the sworn testimony of the trial and give 
an opinion on this as well as on the results of his examination. 
For the most part also hypothetical questions are permitted, that 
is a hypothetical case may be presented to the witness for an 


opinion. To one familiar with the subject it would seem that a 
witness should have access to all the information possible ; and yet, 
in one of the Courts, it was ruled that a medical witness, like an 
ordinary witness to facts, was only permitted to express an opinion 
based upon the results of his own personal examination. This 
would seem to defeat the very idea of expert testimony in insanity 
cases. A medical witness called to express an opinion with 
regard to a given case should be permitted to have presented to 
him all facts relating to such a case which have been included in 
the sworn testimony. 

An Admiralty Case, and the Question of Allowing a Medical Witness 
to Hear all the Testimony in a Trial 

I have had one experience in an Admiralty case. The Surgeon- 
General of the Army came to see me, bringing with him an enor- 
mous mass of typewritten testimony, which had been taken at 
different hearings before the Court. After wading through this 
mass, I agreed to go to Washington to be a witness. 

In those days, and probably at present, although I do not keep 
myself posted on matters naval and military, a witness before 
such a Court was not allowed to hear the testimony and follow the 
course of the trial. When the proper time arrived he was simply 
ushered into the dazzling presence of the uniformed members of 
the Court and his examination proceeded. 

I remember how I patiently waited in the ante-room of the Court, 
where I fortunately met two or three naval medical officers, with 
whom the time was passed agreeably. After some time, I was 
ushered into the presence of the Court. Presiding at the head of 
the table was a Rear- Admiral whose fame was nation-wide. To 
the right and left of the presiding Admiral and along both sides of 
the table sat men, most of them noted in the naval history of the 
Civil War. 

I was properly questioned and jolted by the judge-advocate and 
others of the Court, but on the whole was treated with much 
courtesy, and was bowed out of the room when my testimony was 

One object in introducing this brief and unusual personal experi- 
ence is to refer to the question of a witness hearing the testimony 
of other witnesses and personally following the course of a case. 
In many instances this is a most desirable thing. In one noted 


case I sat in the court-room, day after day, for seventeen days ; 
in another for eleven days, although in both instances the court- 
room atmosphere, both emotional and material, was far from being 
sanitary, let alone enjoyable. My object was to get clear light on 
every feature of the case before testifying, and I reserved the right 
to withdraw as a witness after hearing all the testimony. 

In no way can one's mind be enlightened better with regard to 
some doubtful question in medicine or law or in both than by 
hearing the conflict of facts in a trial before a jury. 

For the Prestige of the Office 

In one of the recently published books about " Tutt and 
Mr Tutt," a revolting picture is painted of an alleged assistant 
district attorney, familiarly known as " Billy the Bloodhound/' 
The prosecutor made violent and deceitful efforts to convict an 
innocent man, apparently to maintain his own reputation as a 
successful bloodhound and, incidentally, to uphold the prestige 
of the office in which he was an instrument. As the story goes, 
the astute and philanthropic Mr Tutt defeated his efforts. 

Be it remembered that what is stated in this story relates to 
the office of the New York city prosecutor, not to that of the 
Philadelphia office of similar official status. I have had the 
pleasure to know several members of the staff of the present 
district attorney, and I do not recall any of the " bloodhound " 
type. This story, however, seems to me to have some value in 
recalling the next case of my series in the present paper. 

More than thirty-five years ago occurred a trial for homicide 
famed in the annals of medical jurisprudence in Philadelphia. The 
accused, some months previously, without provocation, had killed 
an inoffensive jeweller. 

The father of the man on trial was insane and one of his sisters 
was an epileptic. Together with Dr James Hendrie Lloyd, I 
examined the prisoner for the attorneys who had been appointed 
by the Court to defend him, visiting him five times in all. I became 
thoroughly convinced that he was a delusional lunatic. At the 
trial a considerable number of witnesses, both medical and lay, 
including Dr Lloyd and myself, testified to his delusions and insane 
acts. He believed that his wife was unfaithful to him and wished 
to drug him to get him out of the way ; that his children were 
illegitimate ; that he was the victim of the persecution of his 


friends, relatives, and fellow workmen, and even those with whom 
he came in contact only occasionally. 

No medical evidence was offered in rebuttal. It is fair to infer 
that the prison doctors and outside physicians who are known to 
have examined the accused before the trial had reported to the 
district attorney their belief in his insanity, as they were not called 
as witnesses by the prosecution. 

The insane man was prosecuted relentlessly to a conviction and 
later was sentenced to death. Evidently, however, some force 
was at work which withheld the hand of the law in the final act. 
The sentence of death was never executed and the man remained 
in prison until he died, becoming more and more delusional and 

A member of the bar, with whom I discussed this case, said : 
" The district attorney evidently knew that this man was insane, 
but was determined to convict him, probably for what is sometimes 
spoken of as the prestige of his office." 

I believe that it is a man's right, whether he is a prosecuting 
attorney, a counsel for the defence, or a medical witness, to work 
either for prestige or money or both, if he can do this honestly. 
It is in this way that livings are made and reputations are built 
into very strenuous professions. No man, however, either for 
prestige or money, should pursue a man to his doom or should use 
unfair means to save him from the consequences of his just 
deserts unless he is convinced of the justice of the cause which 
he is espousing. 

The Mental Attitude of Judges in Trials in which Insanity is the 


I am not one of those who believe that a judge should sit behind 
his rostrum like a stuffed image, allowing attorneys and witnesses 
largely to have their own way. He is there, not only to weigh the 
evidence and to charge the jury thereon, but to guide the trial 
through its often tortuous course. 

I have been told of one judge that he always placed in easy view 
a card on which was written " Do not talk. 1 ' Someone suggested 
regarding another judge that a card might be placed similarly on 
which should be written " Do not talk too much/' 

An incident occurred at the beginning of one of the trials, the 
details of which I have given, which may be worthy of recall in 


this connection. When on several occasions during the examina- 
tion of the accused in prison he was asked to make some statement, 
he invariably indicated, although sometimes in a half coherent 
way, that he would tell all about it when he got into Court. 

After the trial opened, at an early stage in the proceedings, the 
prisoner was asked if he had anything to say. He at once arose in 
the dock and in a jabbering way began to say something about 
what he had done. The judge, in a loud and somewhat angry 
voice, shouted to the Court officer who had immediate charge of 
the dock : " Make that man sit down. We will have no Guiteau 
business here. 1 ' 

How much this attitude influenced the jury's final decision, I do 
not know. If the man had been allowed to go on, both his delusions 
and dementia would have become apparent to every thinking person 
in the court-room. 

The trial of this case had been postponed again and again over 
a period of weeks and months, and on making inquiry of a member 
of the bar as to why this was done, he said the prosecutor was 
waiting until he could get a " hanging judge " to try the case. An 
attorney for either the prosecution or the defence may prefer to 
have a certain judge with whose psychology he is familiar, or thinks 
he is, preside at a case in which he is deeply interested. 

Trial to Determine a Man's Mental Condition Before he is Tried 

for Homicide 

When a man who has committed homicide shows marked evi- 
dences of insanity as reported by competent investigators, why 
should he not first be put on trial to determine whether he is sane 
or insane ? A provision of the law permits this course to be taken. 
In one of the cases to which I have given much attention in this 
paper, the counsel for the defence made a vigorous effort when the 
accused was brought to trial to have a stay of proceedings in order 
that he first should be tried to determine the question of his sanity 
or insanity. 

The effort was resisted by the district attorney, and the Court 
decided that the trial for homicide should go on in the usual manner. 
Although the law allowing the question of insanity to be deter- 
mined first would appear to be one calculated to further the ends 
of both mercy and justice, it is unfortunately seldom invoked in 
the defence of those accused of homicide and alleged to be insane. 


False Criteria of Sanity 

The question of the criteria of insanity is an old. and often 
discussed subject, but will not be taken up in this paper. It is 
pretty well covered, as regards homicide, by Sir James Fitz James 
Stephen's dictum, the " homicide is not criminal if the person by 
whom it is committed is at the time when he commits it prevented 
by a disease affecting his mind 

(a) From knowing the nature of the act done by him, 

(b) From knowing that it is forbidden by law, 

(c) From knowing that it is morally wrong, 

(d) From controlling his own conduct/' 

Often the criteria made use of to demonstrate the sanity of an 
individual under investigation are of the most foolish sort. In the 
effort to prove that a woman was not insane, for instance, I have 
seen clever use made of the fact that she could sign her name to 
cheques and understand what the cheques were for. When one 
considers that a man (and the argument is equally true for a woman), 
clearly the victim of insane delusions and hallucinations, cannot 
only sign cheques and in a general way take care of his estate, but 
can write entire pamphlets of considerable merit, the folly of the 
criterion alluded to is quite evident. Besides the case with which 
I began my series, I might easily produce various instances of men, 
not only insane, but dangerously insane, who have written not only 
pamphlets or poems, but books of considerable size and not without 
literary merit. In certain forms of insanity, the patient may be 
not only capable of such mental effort, but at least for a time, may 
be brilliant in his literary output. The ability to write or talk or to 
conduct business is by no means always an indication of perfect 
sanity. This is especially true in paranoia and in the manic stage 
of manic-depressive insanity. 

Partial Responsibility in Insanity Cases 

The question of the partial responsibility of the insane for 
criminal acts is one worthy of attention from a body of psychiatrists 
and medical jurists. The letter of the law seems to recognise no 
midway position between insanity and sanity in homicide cases, 
for instance. " Was the individual insane at the time of the 
commission of the homicide/ 1 and " Is he insane now ? " are the 


questions to which the attention of a jury is necessarily attracted 
under the statutes and decisions to which attorneys for the defence 
and for the prosecution are forced to limit their attention. Some 
uphold the view that it would further the interests of justice to 
acknowledge the partial responsibility of the insane or some of 
them for their offences. It is a fact, well known to every alienist, 
that the insane sometimes are apparently or really conscious of 
their wrongdoing. 

This question of partial responsibility is not one as easily settled 
as might at first sight appear, and representatives of the law tend 
to evade the issue. Several instances have come under my observa- 
tion in which the prosecuting attorney in a homicide case, while 
knowing that the accused was clearly guilty of premeditated crime, 
has permitted a verdict of second degree murder, when insanity 
was adduced as the defence. In a case in which I was consulted 
but declined to testify, a woman had shot and killed a man 
whom she declared to have injured her. Unless the woman was 
insane, the case was clearly one of murder in the first degree. Never- 
theless, the district attorney pressed only for murder in the second 
degree, and the woman was given a long term of imprisonment. 
In another case, a woman, who was clearly a case of such mental 
inferiority as to be properly ranked among high-grade imbeciles, 
was pursued to conviction and hanged. 

The Guiteau case has some interest in connection with this 
question of partial responsibility. I was not a witness during the 
trial of Guiteau, but received an invitation to be present at his 
execution and to take part in the post-mortem examination of 
his brain, owing to the fact that I had written a paper on criminal 
lunacy in which I had given my views as to the insanity of Guiteau. 
I have never wavered from my opinion that he was insane, believ- 
ing that he suffered from a form of constitutional paranoia and 
that he also acquired syphilis as a result of which he was in an early 
stage of general paresis. Microscopical examination of blocks taken 
from his brain and given to three pathologists in different cities, 
each of whom had no knowedge of the work or views of the others, 
resulted in reports which indicated that he was a paretic, while the 
gross examination of his brain showed that its fissural and gyral 
arrangements were such as are often found in paranoiacs and others 
exhibiting mental inferiority. 

Many of those who believed in the insanity of Guiteau also be- 
lieved that he should be held accountable for his crime, arguing 
that he knew exactly what he was doing, and overlooking such 


criteria of insanity as the knowledge that his crime was morally 
wrong and that he had not the power to control the act. 

The possibility of the occurrence of temporary insanity comes up 
in connection with this question of partial responsibility. Few 
alienists will deny that an individual may be guilty of temporary 
homicidal impulsive or compulsive insanity, but because this very 
just view is capable of great abuse, others would refuse to acknow- 
ledge that temporary insanity is ever a just defence. 

The Delusion of Marital Infidelity 

The delusion of marital infidelity is one of the most dangerous 
of all insane delusions and not infrequently results in homicide. 
Almost the first case of medico-legal importance with which I was 
connected was based on the existence of a delusion of this ch aracter. 
The man, before the development of his delusion apparently in good 
physical and mental health, became possessed by the idea that his 
wife was unfaithful to him, and, strangely enough, believed that 
one of her paramours was a man highly distinguished in business 
and in philanthropy. This insane man seriously wounded his wife 
and killed his mother-in-law. 

The victim of the delusion of marital infidelity is usually a man. 
Great are the difficulties surrounding the demonstration of the 
existence of this delusion. It often happens that one suffering 
from it is able largely to carry on his business or profession. One 
of the most marked cases that I recall was that of a clergyman ; 
another victim was a prominent physician ; a third was a man in a 
high place in the judiciary, and the fourth was a writer and editor. 
When a case of this kind comes into court, the attorney repre- 
senting the man who was asserted to have this delusion often resorts 
to two lines of questioning, one of which is designed to raise a 
doubt as to whether or not the person declared to be unfaithful may 
not be really so, and the other to show that the individual alleged 
to have this dangerous delusion has not for a long time exhibited 
any dangerous symptoms has not, for instance, threatened to kill 
his wife by shooting or otherwise. Both of these forms of investiga- 
tion are inadequate and even at times foolish. 

The most important point for an alienist or neurologist to keep 
in mind is that a delusion is not dependent upon a state of facts 
but upon a state of mind. In the first place, a woman may be 
entirely faithful to her husband ; secondly , she may be unfaithful, 


and thirdly, strange as it may appear, she may be unfaithful, 
having as her paramours one or more of the individuals suspected 
by her husband, and yet the husband may be the victim of the 
delusion of marital infidelity. 

Recently I examined the transcript of a hearing in a case in 
which the individual under investigation was accused of having 
the delusion of marital infidelity. A distinguished physician of this 
city testified, presumably in support of the idea, that the man accused 
was really a delusional lunatic. One of the questions asked him 
was to the effect that if the man's suspicions were well founded 
would that have made any difference in the conclusions drawn 
regarding his mental condition. The physician answered that he 
thought so, if his suspicions had been well founded, but he added 
very properly that he (the physician) thought that the method by 
which the man reached his deductions as to marital infidelity 
showed mental perversion. 

A case of real delusional insanity will usually show that a man's 
mental life exhibits evidences of other delusions than the one in 
the foreground. If the marital delusional suspects and threatens 
his wife, it will often be found that he is also insanely suspicious of 

To prove the existence of the state of mind which is at the basis 
of a delusion is by no means an easy task. When, however, an 
alienist or neurologist cannot do this, he is not equal to his job. 
His lack of knowledge is like that of William Jennings Bryan on 
the subject of evolution, or of David Lloyd George on the true 
psychology of the German nation. 



E. W. TAYLOR, A.M., M.D. 

James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neutology, Harvard Medical 






As in other matters which have become topics of popular 
discussion, the term " Witchcraft " has assumed in the lay mind a 
narrow significance, out of keeping with what it actually represents 
in human thought. Hysteria, in the field of medicine, has occupied 
a very similar position. To the man in the street, it still signifies 
a trifling emotional disturbance, chiefly confined to women, as 
implied in its name, whereas the modern student finds it quite 
hopeless to delimit its boundaries or give it adequate definition. 
The tendency of late years has been to search at a deeper level for 
causes of disordered function, whether in the physical or mental 
sphere, with results, which are already showing themselves in 
broader generalisations and more comprehensive conceptions of 
both normal and pathological activities. The discovery of a 
definite etiological factor, such for example, as the tubercle bacillus 
of Koch, or the spirochaeta pallida of Schaudinn, not only throws 
light on the individual forms of disease, but, much more important, 
gives us a clear conception of interrelationships. Bone disease 
and lung disease are brought into a common category, or brain 
disease (e.g., dementia paralytica) and certain alterations in the 
skin, into a like unity, through the acceptance of a common 
principle, which exerts its influence in outwardly devious ways, 
depending upon the type of tissue attacked. This principle, 
though naturally with less precision, may be applied to 
the strange phenomena which have been rather loosely 
classified as "witchcraft." Until some such basic etiologic 
factor is supplied, any adequate understanding of the mani- 
fold vagaries of the mind in the realm of the supernatural, 
whether under the name of witchcraft or not, is beyond our 

The manifestations of so-called witchcraft, at various periods of 
the world's history, have varied naturally with the religious feeling 


i68 E. W. TAYLOR 

of the time, the degree of enlightenment of the people, the social 
organisation of the country or community involved, and, in fact, 
with all the factors which make up the complex aggregate which 
we call society. The common factor of the apparently sporadic 
outbursts which led to the persecution of witches in Europe and 
to the tragedy of 1692 in Salem village in this country, and to the 
minor persecutions under varying names, which have always 
accompanied civilisation in its halting progress, must lie deep 
in the constitution of the human mind. This it will be 
the task of future students of the psychology of history to 
determine. For the present, and for the purposes of this 
paper, some light may be thrown on the subject by a 
necessarily cursory survey of the probable origin and develop- 
ment of the later narrow and opprobrious term, witchcraft, 
evidently very different in its connotation from the earlier 

We may suppose, without too great a strain upon the imagina- 
tion, that the dawn of self- and later of race-consciousness saw 
the first workings of the principle which later, largely through the 
influence of the Church, became identified with witchcraft. This 
idea was the conviction that there were inimical as well as beneficent 
forces at play in the world, which were capable of influencing 
directly human beings, and other sentient creatures. The notion 
of good as opposed to evil, not in a moral sense, but simply as an 
expression of personal or community welfare, must have been 
contemporaneous with the earliest dawn of intelligence. The 
development of magic in its more primitive forms, with the some- 
what ominous appearance of the worker of magic the magician, 
the conjuror, the necromancer, the soothsayer, and others of like 
profession led to an elaborate system of charms and rites and 
supposedly successful efforts to influence weather, crops, fertility 
in its various aspects, and all the conditions of life, whether for 
good or evil. The step to animism was a short one, and the 
subsequent confusion of religious practices with pure magic and 
the development of the priestcraft brought about a complexity 
and confusion in the relations of man to his surroundings through 
which it is often difficult to trace the connection with the more 
primitive forms of thought. With the further elaboration of 
religious conceptions and the consequent withdrawal of the gods 
from immediate and direct concern in the affairs of man, together 
with the growth of monotheism, the scene is shifted to a more 
abstract plane, and the idea of demoniacal possession, conspicuous 


in the Bible stories,* and actual compact with the evil spirit came 
into the foregound as the predominant phase of the later develop- 
ments of the witchcraft conception in its religious setting. 

Although our attention will be given especially to some of the 
more recent and spectacular manifestations of the witchcraft 
principle,! it should not be forgotten that acceptance of the 
doctrine in some of its forms has been universal among all peoples 
of whatsoever grade of culture, and that any proper understanding 
of its vagaries and excesses must take into account the most 
fundamental activities of the human mind. 

The passage from magic to witchcraft and from priestcraft through 
kingship to the idea of incarnate gods form a chapter of absorbing 
interest and importance in the final development of the special 
offshoot of witchcraft, with which we are now concerned. The 
point of significance is that what we speak of as witchcraft is merely 
a transformation of conceptions, which are as old as human thought, 
and are still in active operation among many of the more primitive 
races at the present time, particularly in Central Australia and in 
parts of Africa. Among the enlightened peoples, the increasing 
abstractness of the conceptions surrounding the gods (or later the 
single god), served to remove them further and further from 
immediate relation with human affairs, with the result that 
magical rites with their accompaniments were relegated to a sub- 
ordinate place, and the original cleavage between science, repre- 
sented by magic, and religion, represented first by god-men 
(incarnations) and later by incorporeal gods, was inaugurated. 

Frazer J states the matter clearly and, on the whole, convincingly 
in his emphasis on the essential similarity in principle between 
" primitive magic " and the later development of what we call 
" science." As nature and its laws, as then crudely understood, 
was the object of the magician's study, so, in these later days, the 
man of science, armed with the accumulated knowledge of the 
past, is dealing with the same problem and is using the same 
material. From this point of view the magician, as a man of 

* The story of the Gadarene swine (Luke, VIII, 27-35, Matthew, VIII, 28-33) 
and many other passages in the New Testament, which have occasioned much 
theological and lay discussion. 

f For an account of the distinction between " witchcraft " and " magic," 
see G. L. Burr, " New England's Place in the History of Witchcraft " (Proc. 
Am. Antiquarian Soc. t Oct., 1911). No sharp distinction is attempted in 
this paper. 

t Frazer, J. G., The Golden Bough. This study of Magic and Religion, 
republished in one volume, Macmillan, 1922, covers exhaustively the relation- 
ship of primitive thought to later development in science as well as in 

170 E. W. TAYLOR 

exceptional ability and sagacity beyond his fellows, stands side by 
side with the modern investigator in the field of knowledge, whom 
we call by the honourable name of "scientist." The one worked by 
observation and a process of reasoning which makes small appeal 
to our modern conception of clear thinking, the other through 
the formulation and application of what we regard, in our present 
stage of development, as unchangeable laws. The methods are 
is widely diverse as the centuries which intervened. The funda- 
mental effort of the mind toward wider knowledge and correct 
formulation has remained unchanged in principle, whatever the 
vagaries of its practice in the early centuries of recorded history 
nay have been. 

" Thus the analogy between the magical and the scientific 
conceptions of the world is close. In both of them the succession 
)f events is assumed to be perfectly regular and certain, being 
ietermined by immutable laws, the operation of which can be 
breseen and calculated precisely ; the elements of caprice, of 
:hance, and of accident are banished from the course of nature. 
Both of them open up a seemingly boundless vista of possibilities 
o him who knows the causes of things and can touch the secret 
iprings that set in motion the vast and intricate mechanism of the 
vorld. Hence the strong attraction which magic and science 
dike have exercised on the human mind ; hence the powerful 
timulus that both have given to the pursuit of knowledge/'* 

No doubt the practices of magic, as developed in the later 
)izarre conceptions of witchcraft, would have died a natural death 
lad it not been for the development of religion, with the bitter and 
>ersistent antagonism which was its inevitable consequence. 
/Vhen the early magicians and sorcerers found their predictions 
alse and the conclusion was forced upon them that their rites 
vere often unavailing, it was natural, first, that they should resort 
o subterfuge and mystery to maintain their prestige and, secondly, 
hat for the accomplishment of this end they should assume priestly 
md medical functions, which should give to their incantations a 
luperhuman authority. Hence the early association of priest 
tnd magician and priest and medicine man j in the same individual. 
The gradual emergence of religious conceptions from those of a 
>urely magical character and the identification of magic with evil 
vas an entirely natural consequence, and in this may be seen the 
tntagonism between the Church, as later understood, and all 

* Frazer, The Golden Bough, p. 49. 

f This combination, for example, was and doubtless still is found among 
lie American Indians. 


magical practices, which was to have so disastrous an effect in the 
witchcraft persecutions. The counterpart of this antagonism has 
been amply demonstrated in very recent times by the acrimonious 
and futile discussion of the so-called conflict between science and 
revealed religion. It is difficult to realise that Huxley's* masterly 
essays, published about thirty years ago, met with a storm of 
criticism and abuse, and that he suffered what in another age 
would have been actual persecution, and still more astonishing is 
it that even to-day a vigorous propaganda is on foot to prohibit 
the teaching of evolution in the schools. 

An understanding of the more specific problem about to be 
discussed demands a liberal interpretation of the background of 
thought upon which it rests, and a clear recognition of the fact, too 
often overlooked, that, although methods may change, the springs 
of action and the search for knowledge are subject to the same pit- 
falls, now as heretofore. 

" If then we consider, on the one hand, the essential similarity 
of man's chief wants everywhere and at all times, and on the other 
hand, the wide difference betwen the means he has adopted to 
satisfy them in different ages, we shall perhaps be disposed to con- 
clude that the movement of the higher thought, so far as we can 
trace it, has on the whole been from magic through religion to 
science/ *| 

What broader reaches of thought may be destined to result from 
present-day conflict of opinion, it is not my purpose to discuss. It 
is sufficient for our present object to visualise in some degree the 
phase of knowledge through which we have passed for the purpose 
of comprehending the concrete topic with which this paper is 

Quite apart from the advent of Christianity, the world was 
filled with religions, as it still is, having elaborately formulated 
doctrines and practices. Among these was a cult, which Murray} 
has called the Dianic cult, a form of ritual witchcraft, presumably 
pre-Christian in origin, embracing the religious observances of 
persons known in later mediaeval times as witches. She emphasises 
the fact that this " was a definite religion with beliefs, ritual, and 
organisation as highly developed as that of any other cult in the 
world. " The god was incarnate in a human being, male or female, 

* See especially the volume, Science and Christian Tradition, 1893. 
t Frazer, The Golden Bough, p. 711. 

J Murray, Margaret A., The Witch-cult in Western Europe, a Study in Anthro- 
pology. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1921. 
Murray, loc. cit. t Introduction, p. 12. 

172 E. W. TAYLOR 

or in an animal. It is Murray's belief that the witchcraft of Wes- 
tern Europe had its inception in this cult, rather than in a less 
systematised form, as commonly thought. Its votaries were 
widespread and many of them influential in the history of the 
time. For example, Joan of Arc and her commander Gilles de 
Rais, both executed after the manner of witches, were presumably, 
according to Murray, members of the Dianic cult, and there is 
reason to believe that Joan was regarded as the god incarnate.* 
The Church of Rome instituted stringent measures for the sup- 
pression of the witches as for other heretics, culminating in the 
bull of Pope Innocent VIII, in 1484, which appears to be an 
ordinance directed essentially against the supposed power of the 
witches to influence and prevent fertility, both human and agri- 
cultural. With the dawn of Protestantism, the same intolerance 
towards the witch was shown, and thus by degrees witchcraft 
and all that it implied came to be regarded as associated only 
with the power of evil, whose representative was the devil with his 
cohorts. It therefore became imperative that all who might be 
in league with the powers of evil should be exterminated as a plain 
act of Christian piety, f The names of those who escaped the 
delusion are few and insignificant J as compared with those who 
blindly accepted it and, with it, the obligation for its suppression 
and final extermination. To name its staunch adherents would 
be simply to detail the leaders of thought throughout Europe and 
later in America, a solid phalanx of intellect, for centuries without 
organised opposition. The explanation lies essentially in the 
incalculable power of an accepted religious belief. The devil 
was a very present reality, vouched for by scriptural writing as 
then interpreted ; he was the personification of evil and its only 
instigator ; the witches were his agents, and therefore they 
must die. Accepting the premise, the conclusion was justified, 
and we must therefore regard the judges and the populace behind 
them with charity, and even with some degree of sympathy. 
With such a background, the belief in witchcraft was naturally 
transplanted to the American colonies. It was by no means 

* Murray, The Witch-cult in Western Europe, Appendix IV, p. 270. 

f According to the biblical injunction : If any person be a witch, he or she 
shall be put to death. " Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," Exod. t XXII, 
1 8 ; "A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard 
shall surely be put to death," Levit., XX, 27 ; also Deut. t XVIII, 10, u. 

J Johann Wier, a physician, Reginald Scot, John Webster, Joseph Glanvil, 
and Balthazer Bekker are some of those who opposed the prevailing beliefs, 
but with little consistency. See G. L. Kittredge, " Notes on Witchcraft," 
Proc. Am. Antiquarian Soc., 1907, Vol. XVIII. In this country, Joseph Green, 
Francis Dane, and Robert Calef may be mentioned. 


confined to Salem* as has been at times suggested, but permeated 
the minds of the leaders of thought everywhere in America, as it 
had in Europe. 


It is a somewhat remarkable fact that in the voluminous litera- 
ture that has grown up about the general subject, little has been 
written regarding the critical interpretation of the phenomena 
observed from a medical standpoint. It is my purpose therefore 
to attempt a tentative formulation on the basis of the well-reported 
cases which occurred in Salem village (now Danvers). It is not 
altogether to the credit of the medical profession that it failed 
utterly to recognise the pathological significance of the disorders 
observed in the bewitched persons and was unable to make a diag- 
nosis on the basis of what medical knowledge it had. It was in 
keeping with the accepted doctrine of the time that witchcraft must 
be in play, and therefore the doctors joined with the ministers and 
other respected citizens and did their part in propagating the false 
ideas. The gifted author of Religio Medici was instrumental in 
the execution of the English witches, Amy Dunny and Rose 
Cullender, when the learned judge, Sir Matthew Hale, was disposed 
to leniency, and the activities of Cotton Mather f, who was versed 
in the medical knowledge of his time, had much to do with the 
tragic affairs at Salem. Independence of thought had shown itself 
in many other fields, but not in this ; in fact, it is only within the 

* The unenviable notoriety of Salem, with the charges made against its 
citizens for the executions of 1692, has been widely discussed, and with con- 
siderable vehemence. During the lyth century, twenty-eight persons were 
put to death in Massachusetts, of whom twenty were in Salem in a period of 
one year, nineteen hanged, and one, the redoubtable Giles Corey, " pressed to 
death," according to the English law, for refusal to plead. Kittredge is an 
eloquent apologist for the Puritans and for New England in general (see A otes 
on Witchcraft, and especially the conclusions), whereas in a polemical paper 
Burr (loc. cit.) takes sharp issue with this viewpoint, and incriminates the 
Calvinists and the Puritans for the later developments in New England. The 
whole matter has aroused much difference of opinion, often approaching 
animosity not only in regard to the general situation, but also in respect to its 
main actors, among whom the Mathers have been a chief storm-centre. See 
Calef, Salem Witchcraft, Boston, 1828. Excellent bibliographical summar- 
ies of the literature pertaining to witchcraft in Massachusetts and New England 
are given by G. H. Moore, Am. Antiquarian Soc., April, 25th 1888, and Justin 
Winsor, Proc. idem, October, 1896. 

t Among more recent writers John Fiske, Witchcraft in Salem Village 
(Reprint, Houghton Mifflin and Co., Boston, 1923) finds little to censure in 
the conduct of Cotton Mather, in contrast to many historians, who see in him 
an arch-conspirator. It is certain, at least, that he was not in advance of his 
time, as might have been expected from one who advocated inoculation for 
smallpox in those medically benighted times. 

174 E. W. TAYLOR 

last fifty years that a candid discussion of mental phenomena has 
not been regarded as a species of heterodoxy within the medical 
profession. It is of some interest in this connection that the first 
witch executed in this country, Margaret Jones, of Charlestown, 
was reputed to be a physician, whose sole fault appears to have 
been that she believed in her own medicines to the exclusion of 
those of the regular practitioners. She was hanged in Boston and, 
in justification of the sentence and as proof of her guilt, John 
Winthrop, then Governor of Massachusetts, writes that at the hour 
of her execution " a great gale in Connecticut blew down many 
trees," a damning coincidence. 

The conditions of life in the Puritanical settlement at Salem and 
its neighbourhood towards the close of the I7th century had been 
graphically described by Upham.* It was a colony of highly 
intelligent people, struggling for existence, given to many petty 
quarrels, honest and hard-working, in a state of political unrest, 
doubtful of their relations with England, and, above all, living in 
the fear of God and equally of the devil. It is difficult for us to 
realise their intolerance and the depths of their superstition. The 
difficulties of their life reached a climax when Samuel Parris was 
installed as minister of the church at Salem village in 1689. The 
financial situation was troublesome, controversies arose, bitter 
animosity broke out with Parris and the church over which he 
presided as the storm centre. Parris had brought with him from 
the West Indies, where he had formerly lived, two servants, a man 
known as John Indian and a half-breed, Indian and negro, Tituba, 
who purported to be John's wife. To these ignorant and super- 
stitious persons is to be attributed the exciting cause of the tragedy 
which followed. It came about in the following way : Versed as 
they were in the folklore and mysteries of the benighted regions 
from which they had come, they found willing listeners in the 
children all girls of their master and others in the town. These 
children ranged from nine to twenty. Among them, those who 
later acquired special notoriety were Ann Putnam, aged twelve, 
daughter of a solid citizen, Sergeant Thomas Putnam, and a mother 
of unstable mentality, and Mercy Lewis, a servant of seventeen, 
in the family of Sergeant Putnam. f This group of girls has 

* Upham (C. W.) : History of Witchcraft and Salem Village, Boston, Wiggin 
and Lunt, 1867. 

f The others were Elizabeth Parris, aged 9, Abigail Williams, u, Mary 
Wolcott and Elizabeth Hubbard, 17, Elizabeth Booth and Susannah Sheldon, 
1 8, Mary Warren and Sarah Churchill, 20. The ages of most of these so-called 
" children " are worthy of note : their intelligence was doubtless at a much 
lower level than their years would indicate. 


passed into history as " The afflicted children/' Under the tute- 
lage of the Indian servants they learned much of trances, magic, 
fortune-telling, incantations and the like and apparently were apt 
pupils. They soon developed remarkable capacities in these 
directions, and came to be regarded as having supernatural powers. 
They were visited by the imaginative people of the village and 
surrounding towns and naturally came to be the object of a some- 
what flattering attention, which must have led to a growing sense 
of their own importance and power, both psychological factors of 
importance in their later development, and in a measure explana- 
tory of many of their actions. It was a wholly new experience to 
the children, and certainly not less so to their wondering and 
puzzled elders. Considering the prevailing attitude of the time 
toward all things which transcended ordinary observation, it was 
inevitable that the idea of some malign external influence should be 
accepted as an explanation of the uncanny actions of the children, 
and the step was a short one to the assumption that they were 
bewitched by certain persons as yet unknown. To this explanation 
the children were ready accessories, and the persecutions were 
forthwith inaugurated. Accepting the idea that they were 
bewitched, they were not slow in announcing by whom this had 
been brought about, and named (" cried out upon ") their former 
mentor, Tituba, and two harmless and inconspicuous women of 
the village, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn. What followed during 
the fateful year of 1692 has been recorded in detail, notably by 
Upham.* Our interest lies in the important part taken by the 
" afflicted children " in the persecutions and trial of the persons 
whom they were chiefly instrumental in condemning to death. 
Their responsibility in the matter has been variously interpreted 
by commentators and historians. The disorder from which the 
children suffered cannot be understood without a constant realisa- 
tion of the conditions under which they lived and by which they 
were surrounded and influenced. To this, general allusion has been 
made in the preceding pages. More specifically stated, the main 
factors appear to have been as follows : i. The universal 
acceptance of the fact of witchcraft as an integral part of the 
religious belief of the time. 2. The character of the community 
in which the children were reared. 3. The ignorance of the 
children (only two of whom, it is stated by Drake, were able to write 
their names), and their consequent increased susceptibility to 
external influences. 

* Upham, History of Witchcraft and Salem Village, Vol. II. 

176 E. W. TAYLOR 

For upwards of fifty years before the Salem outbreak, witchcraft 
had been a most serious problem in the lives of the American 
colonists and definite prosecutions began before the middle of the 
century. It is to be inferred that the subject was widely discussed 
as one of the most vital issues of the time, and that sermons* and 
other church observances did much toward influencing the popular 
mind. With an avidity only now beginning to be understood the 
children doubtless absorbed a vast amount of knowledge of the 
black art, distorted by their youth and ignorance into an even more 
grotesque conception than that held by their elders. Under what 
we regard as the enlightened attitude of our own time, the suscep- 
tibility of children to belief in fairies, in Santa Claus and the doings 
of the inhabitants of an unseen world, is not only recognised, but 
at times encouraged as a stimulus to the imagination. The situa- 
tion was not different with the Salem children, except that, unfor- 
tunately for them and their victims, the objects of their imagina- 
tion were evil spirits capable of inflicting injury upon normal and 
harmless people. The difference between the fairy and the witch 
was presumably not so wide in mediaeval times as it later came to 
appear, f It is difficult to picture a more fertile soil for the develop- 
ment of the neurotic disturbance with which the Salem children 
were affected, with its background of superstition and religious 
fanaticism, its atmosphere of suspicion, and above all with its 
abysmal ignorance of natural law. In modern parlance, such 
children would be exposed and susceptible to suggestion in the 
highest degree, and if as Coriat { has recently suggested, suggestion 
is a form of medical magic, the stage was prepared for the astonish- 
ing performance which was to follow. 

Under the tutelage of Tituba and John Indian it is not re- 
markable that the " afflicted children " should first have been deeply 
interested and therefore quick to learn the various devices and 
tricks of hand and mind which they were taught. They doubtless 
became highly skilful in much that savoured to them of super- 
natural agency, and with the natural pleasure of children in such 
acquisition, there was no doubt quickly associated a sense of 
their growing importance, and their possible relation to the spirits 
of darkness, in which they implicitly believed. This was the 

* An example is the discourse of Rev. Deodat Lawson in March, 1692, which 
doubtless did much to inflame the populace and hasten the trials which shortly 
followed. Upham, loc. cit. t Vol. II, p. 77. 

t Murray, The Witch-cult in Western Europe. Introduct., p. 14, and 
Appendix I, p. 238. 

t Coriat, I. H., " Suggestion as a Form of Medical Magic," Jour, of Abn. 
Psychology and Soc. Psychology, XVIII, No. 3, 1923. 


danger point. It is probable that, had the proper sobering 
influences been brought to bear upon them, of course impossible 
at that time, they might have been restored to some degree of 
sanity. On the contrary, everything was done to precipitate the 
crisis, and to bring about an hysterical reaction, which removed 
the children, in part at least, from personal responsibility in the 
events which were to follow. Inasmuch as the doctors of the 
time were in profound ignorance of matters relating to the mind, 
and shared the prevailing belief in witchcraft, it was quite im- 
possible that help should come from that source. The tendency 
since has been to attribute a diabolical capacity for malicious acts 
to the unfortunate children, leaving small room for a more 
charitable interpretation. Hutchinson, writing seventy years 
after, summarised the matter in these words : 

" A little attention must force conviction that the whole was 
a scene of fraud and imposture begun by young girls who at first 
perhaps thought of nothing more than being pitied and indulged, 
and continued by adult persons, who were afraid of being accused 
themselves. The one and the other, rather than confess their fraud, 
suffered the lives of so many innocents to be taken away, through 
the credulity of judges and juries."* 

Upham writes as follows : 

" Those girls, by long practice in ' the circle/ and day by day, 
before astonished and wondering neighbours gathered to witness 
their distresses, and especially on the more public occasions of the 
examinations, had acquired consummate boldness and tact. In 
simulation of passions, sufferings, and physical affections, in 
sleight of hand, and in the management of voice and feature and 
attitude, no necromancers have surpassed them. There has 
seldom been better acting in a theatre than they displayed in the 
presence of the astonished and horror-stricken rulers, magistrates, 
ministers, judges, jurors, spectators, and prisoners. No one 
seems to have dreamed that their actings and sufferings could have 
been the result of cunning or imposture." f 

Drake finds the wickedness of the children almost beyond his 
power of expression. He says : 

" All things considered, it is one of the most surprising events in 
history. The smallness of the number of those engaged in it, in 
its beginning, their youth and position in society, their ability to 
deceive everybody for so long a time ! In any view that has yet 
been taken of it, its narrator has found himself baffled to a degree 

* Quoted by Winsor, Proc. Am. Antiqu. Soc., p. 21. 

t Upham, History of Witchcraft and Salem Village, Vol. II, p. 112. 

178 E. W. TAYLOR 

beyond that of any other event in the whole range of history, to 
account satisfactorily for the conduct of the young females through 
whose instrumentality it was carried on. It required more 
devilish ability to deceive, adroitness to blind the understanding 
and to keep up a consciousness of that ability among themselves/ 
than ever fell to the lot of a like number of imposters in any 
age of which the writer has ever read ; and he can only say, 
if there are parallel cases they have not fallen under his 

John Fiskef has discussed the matter judicially and with much 
fairness in his volume " New France and New England/' He 
discountenances the idea of conspiracy and very properly calls 
attention to the important fact that the children, like everyone 
else, believed implicitly in the reality of witchcraft. " It will 
not do," he says, " to invest those poor girls with a nineteenth- 
century consciousness. The same delusion that conquered 
hardened magistrates led them also astray." 

Certainly at this late day one need not hesitate to consider malicious 
conspiracy as a wholly inadequate explanation of the conduct of 
the " afflicted girls." Collusion there no doubt was, a certain 
esprit de corps which Mistress Ann Putnam and Samuel Parris did 
much to foster. Doubtless, also, the situation gave ample oppor- 
tunity for airing and developing trivial and contemptible private 
animosities. It was natural that retaliation and revenge found 
therein a ready tool, and that certain of the persons hanged as 
witches were, primarily at least, the victims of a concerted plan 
of persecution, with nothing more at its foundation than the 
fancied satisfaction of a personal grudge. As the trials went on, 
however, and persons of higher estate than the early victims, for 
example, Rebecca Nurse and John Burroughs, " were cried out 
upon," it became apparent that mere retaliation could no longer 
be considered the compelling motive of the accusing girls or of 
those with whom they were immediately associated. The patho- 
logical aspect of the whole strange spectacle in its later develop- 
ment is apparent, even though it be not capable of complete 

The generally accepted view, therefore, that the girls were the 
willing tools in the hands of designing persons, among whom were 
Mistress Putnam, the mother of Ann, and Samuel Parris, whose 
primary object was to gratify personal or community animosity, 
is too preposterous an assumption to be considered seriously. 

* Drake, Witchcraft in New England, Boston, 1869, p. 187. 
f Fiske, Witchcraft in Salem Village, p. 56 (Reprint). 


That it should have gained such wide currency is doubtless due to 
the fact that up to within a very recent period the phenomena of 
the disorder, physical and mental, which we now designate hysteria, 
were so little understood that it was a less strain on the intelligence 
to conceive a plot of really fiendish ingenuity and completeness 
than to accept an emotional upheaval of a definitely neurotic 
character as the explanation of the performances of the accusing 
children. It is true that, even at the time of the trials, there was 
some slight recognition of the neurotic element, but then the 
explanation was unquestioned, that through the machinations of 
the devil the children were bewitched, which satisfied all the 
requirements of the situation. In general, the much-discussed 
" afflicted children " have passed through these general phases in 
popular estimation first, they were regarded as " bewitched " ; 
second, by many of the commentators of the last century 
(e.g., Drake, Upham) as malicious and crafty mischief-makers ; 
and third, as the victims of an hysterical disorder, carrying in its 
later development no stigma of responsibility, which owed its 
peculiar character to the conditions under which it was fostered 
and elaborated. 

Leaving out of consideration the first alternative, which does 
little more than state the question it is sought to answer, the 
second and third alternatives are of more present interest, and 
cannot be sharply separated in reviewing the evidence. It is not 
difficult to visualise what took place in " the circle " of impression- 
able children and young girls, who made up the group at Samuel 
Parris' house, under the instruction of Tituba and her husband. 
Like children at any period of time, they delighted in mystery and 
in extravagant play of the imagination, doubtless gratified to the 
fullest extent by their increasing proficiency in the apparently 
occult and supernatural arts, which they were rapidly acquiring. 
The sombre background of witchcraft, in which the children believed 
as implicitly as their elders, must have added intensity to the 
interest of the play which they were more or less unconsciously 
acting. The attention which they began to excite and the specu- 
lation which their apparently unprovoked and strange acts aroused, 
inevitably had its effect. Their sense of importance grew, and 
with it their feeling of dominance a principle, no doubt, of much 
psychological importance in this as in other settings. It was 
flattering that they should be looked upon as worthy of the 
inspection of ministers and doctors, and made the objects of study 
and speculation. Under such circumstances it was inevitable 

i8o E. W. TAYLOR 

call it suggestion or not that their gyrations and antics would be 
intensified and increasingly mystifying to the superstitious, 
ignorant and bigoted persons who were attempting to determine 
their basis. It should be borne in mind, at this point, as a matter 
of no little importance that, with the gratification of exciting 
attention and its accompanying publicity, there must also have 
developed a certain fear on the part of the " afflicted children,'' 
as they were now called, that possibly they might themselves be 
regarded as witches and be made to suffer accordingly. If they 
were not themselves " bewitched," they might well be considered 
as witches. The matter was determined by the decision in which 
the doctors, unable to arrive at a diagnosis of so strange a malady, 
agreed that the children were the victims of the malice of unknown 
persons by whom they were being afflicted. The children, being 
asked, gave the names of their supposed tormentors. During the 
year 1692, the " afflicted children " occupied a position of unique 
distinction. They were repeatedly called upon to fix guilt upon 
suspected persons, and they were the chief witnesses in nearly all 
the trials. Their evidence consisting of fits, convulsive seizures, 
claims of personal injury, bites and blows, strange attacks of 
vomiting, and, in fact, the whole category of hysterical mani- 
festations, was accepted as incontrovertible. To the intelligence 
of the judges of that day such inexplicable occurrences could be 
due to witchcraft alone. There is a certain similarity in all the 
trials in that the accused was not allowed to defend himself, the 
character of the accusations varied little, and the hysterical 
outbursts of the " afflicted children," constituted proof of 

Among many examples (for the trials have been carefully 
reported) the following scene at the prosecution of William Hobbs, 
will suffice by way of illustration : 

" The magistrate commenced proceedings by inquiring of the 
girls, pointing to the prisoner, ' Hath this man hurt you ? ' Several 
of them answered ' Yes.' The magistrate, addressing the prisoner, 
' What say you ? Are you guilty or not ? ' Answer : ' I can speak 
in the presence of God safely, as I must look to give account another 
day, that I am as clear as a new-born babe.' ' Clear of what ? ' 
' Of Witchcraft.' ' Have you never hurt these ? ' ' No.' Abigail 
Williams cried out that he ' was going to Mercy Lewis ! ' Where- 
upon Mercy was seized with a fit. Then Abigail cried out again, 
' He is come to Mary Walcott/ and Mary went into her fit. The 
magistrate, in consternation, appealed to him, ' How can you be 
clear, when your appearance is thus seen producing such effects 
before our eyes ? ' Then the children went into fits all together, 


and ' hallooed ' at the top of their voices, and ' shouted greatly.' 
The magistrate then brought up the confession of his wife against 
him, and expostulated with him for not confessing ; the afflicted, 
in the meanwhile, bringing the whole machinery of their con- 
vulsions, shrieks, and uproar to bear against him : but he calmly, 
and in brief terms, denied it."* 

Further hysterical reactions in great number are reported, rolling 
of the eyes, rigidities, muscular movements corresponding to those 
made by the accused, and the frequent and immediate relief of 
violent fits and torments on the part of the girls, through being 
touched by the accused, on the theory that the " bewitching 
influence " thereby passed back into the body of the witch. There 
are many references to these phenomena in the story of the trials. 
Their interpretation is the matter of interest. To the learned 
men of the day they were proof-positive of witchcraft and led 
directly to the condemnation of the victims ; to later sceptics of 
the reality of witchcraft who, however, were still influenced by 
ideas of unseen evil forces, they were in part mysteries un- 
explained, but chiefly clever malingering and imposture on the 
part of the accusing girls and others. From being regarded as 
totally irresponsible, by reason of demoniac possession, they came 
to be regarded as wholly responsible, and have been anathematised 

To us the matter presents itself essentially as a medical or a 
medico-social problem of the utmost complexity, involving for its 
proper comprehension a study of the background upon which 
witchcraft itself rests, its relations, broadly considered, to the 
development of scientific thought and to the growth of philosophic 
and religious ideals. The special dramatic outburst which, 
through a series of apparently fortuitous circumstances, developed 
at Salem, serves as an example merely of what, under different 
conditions, has occurred in every part of the world, and will 
continue to occur, modified only by what we call the progress of 
civilisation and of liberal thought. To us the scenes at Salem in 
1692, especially the mental condition of the " afflicted children," 
bear the stamp of " group hysteria," in which suggestion, self- 
protection, a feeling of domination, in an atmosphere of profound 
belief in the actuality of witchcraft, played a predominant r61e. 
The spirit of mischief and maliciousness was certainly subordinate. 
The elements entering into the composition of so complex a neurosis 
under conditions so extraordinary are naturally elusive and quite 

* Upham, History of Witchcraft and Salem Village, Vol. II, p. 131. 

182 E. W. TAYLOR 

beyond the scope of this paper to discuss except in barest outline. 
The evidence, even somewhat superficially presented, suffices at 
least to advance our knowledge to a point from which a new 
attack may be made on the more fundamental problem, and this 
must evidently be the task of the future. It is somewhat surprising 
that commentators and historical writers should have so definitely 
avoided a frank discussion of the obvious medical problems 
involved, in view especially of the minute analysis of the actual 
events. Certain allusions are made to hypnotism, to mental 
disorder of uncertain character, to hysteria in the popular sense, 
and to various hallucinatory conditions,* but on the whole, those 
who have been interested in the history and literature of witchcraft 
have not, with equal zeal, analysed the important medical bearings 
of the subject. Kittredge finds such discussion out of his province 
as indicated by his statement : "As to occult or supernormal 
powers and practices, we may leave their discussion to the psycholo- 
gists." And yet just here lies one of the most important questions 
to be faced and solved if possible. Thanks to men like Charcot, 
Janet, Freud and Prince, a body of exact knowledge has been 
accumulated, and has been available for many years, which should 
throw much light into the dark places of the witchcraft problem. 
We are, therefore, altogether justified in assuming that the 
descriptions given of the performances of those bewitched, of the 
sights seen and the sounds heard and the damage done, will find 
explanation on the basis of demonstrated laws of mental life, 
discounting always the perverted imaginations of the chief actors 
in the play. The appearances of imps and familiars so often 
described were doubtless actual animals or persons, transformed 

* Sec Wendell, B., Were the Salem Witches Guileless ? (Hist. Collec- 
tions Essex Institute, XXIX, 1892). An ingenious attempt, coloured by 
personal feeling, to place some of the blame on the witches themselves, on the 
ground that they had given themselves up to what Wendell regards as the 
pernicious practice of trance-mediumship. The article is further interesting 
as showing the lay prejudice existing thirty years ago against hypnotism 
and all that it was supposed to entail. The possibility of the baleful use of 
hypnotic methods by certain of the executed witches leads him to make the 
astonishing query " whether some of the witches may not, after all, in spite of 
the weakness and falseness of the evidence that hanged them, have deserved 
their hanging." This, so far as I am aware, is the only modern attempt to 
place the blame on the victims themselves, a reversion to the attitude of 1692. 

Also, Beard (G. M.), The Psychology of the Salem Witchcraft Excitement 
0/1692, and its Practical Application to our own Time, Putnam, New York, 1882. 
Beard finds a ready explanation for the persecutions in the conditions of 
" insanity, trance and hysteria/' but he fails to get beneath the words to the 
ideas which they symbolise. His discussion is vehement but uncritical. The 
comparison of the state of public feeling which prevailed in the witchcraft 
trials and in that of Guiteau, the assassin of President Garfield, may be read 
with much interest in the perspective of the intervening fifty years. 


at times into satanic forms to satisfy the fear or fancy of the 
observer, an entirely analogous experience to the effect of fear 
under ordinary conditions, but naturally exaggerated through 
the emotional abnormality of the time. The children, ignorant 
suggestible, important in their own eyes as they were in others, 
no doubt often fearful lest their disclosures should lead to their 
own undoing, provided a perfectly normal soil for what appeared 
to be abnormal reactions. Their acts were purposive in the 
highest degree and yet involuntarily and often unconsciously 
performed, call it a splitting of consciousness, or dissociation, 
subconscious or co-conscious activity, or what one will. Herein 
lies the secret of the hysterical state, as manifested in the 
" afflicted children." The defence mechanism naturally lay in 
the possibility through the fits and other unconventional behaviour 
of diverting attention from themselves and fixing it upon the 
convenient person of the accused witch. That this was involun- 
tary, as the paralysis or convulsion of a soldier under the stress 
of war is involuntary, in the sense of having no conscious relation 
to the waking intelligence, must be accepted if we are to gain 
any insight into the workings of the " bewitched " mind. The 
children, forced into a position in which they were the arbiters of 
life and death, were consciously aware of the enormity of the 
crime of witchcraft, and had an ever-present dread, of which they 
were largely unaware, of being drawn into the fatal net.* The 
self-preservative instinct was in conflict with a social situation in 
which they found themselves chief actors, and the result was the 
production of symptoms, which effected the usual compromise of 
saving them from being accusers of innocent persons, and at the 
same time protected them from their own imminent danger of 
being regarded as witches themselves. This in no way differs in 
principle from the hysterical reaction of the neurotic soldier, 

* It has been generally supposed that, as the excitement grew, many adults 
in the community, not knowing where the next blow might fall, became accus- 
ers as a simple means of self-protection. This presumably was done in many 
instances with conscious intent, and consequently was not accompanied by 
hysterical symptoms. The children, on the other hand, according to this view, 
protected themselves unconsciously from the same danger, through the ordin- 
ary mental mechanism of defence, namely, hysterical symptoms, which served 
to divert suspicion from themselves, at the same time fixing the guilt on 
another person. Only in this way may be explained the outstanding fact that 
the elder accusers, with minor exceptions, spread rumours with no manifesta- 
tions in themselves of violent hysterical symptoms, whereas the children, more 
impressionable, escaped through the now well recognised unconscious and 
involuntary defence brought about through hysterical compromise reactions. 
The elders described events of supposed supernatural character ; the 
children had fits. 

i4 E. W. TAYLOR 

who faces death on the one hand and disgrace on the other, and, 
unbearable as both situations are, an hysterical compromise 
without volition on his part is effected which saves him from both 
alternatives, but at the expense of pronounced neurotic symptoms. 
The principle is one of wide application. 

It requires no effort of the imagination to picture the scene at 
a Salem witch trial, the judges, the ministers, and people of all 
degrees crowding into a room much too small to accommodate all 
who sought admission, the morbidly curious who thronged outside, 
the usually mystified victim, trying to protest her own innocence 
while believing whole-heartedly in the existence of witchcraft in 
others, and finally the " afflicted children " upon whom the final 
judgment rested, in a state of intense nervous excitement, prepared, 
at a word or a sign, to pass into an hysterical state. It is, indeed, 
difficult to imagine a more fitting setting for the development of 
hysterical reactions, and for this reason it is the more imperative 
to regard soberly and in the light of recently acquired knowledge, 
the apparently malicious acts of the children, who are not the 
least to be pitied among the various actors in the grim tragedy. 
The worst that may with justice be said of them is that they were 
ignorant, at the outset perhaps mischievous, like other children, 
and in the end deluded and overwhelmed by the situation in which 
they found themselves. The only escape from this dilemma was 
through hysterical reactions, for which they were in no way 
responsible. It will be remembered that in 1706, fourteen years 
later, Ann Putnam, one of the chief actors in 1692, acknowledged 
that what she supposed true then she had since come to regard 
as false, and that the devil was her tempter.* Shifting the onus 
of the proceedings from the accused witches to the devil was 
apparently to many, at that time and for the succeeding century, 
a satisfactory explanation, though to our minds a small improve- 
ment on the original conception. The devil had lost little of his 
capacity for evil deeds, but his methods had become more indirect 
and less concerned with immediate human agents. In this belief 
intelligent people continued to live, and, we may surmise, many 
are still doing so in no small measure. 

A psychological analysis of the conduct of those actually 
responsible, if, in fact, they were responsible for the prosecutions, 

* " . . . though what was said or done by me against any person, I can 
truly say before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill-will 
to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them, but what I did 
was ignorantly, being deluded of Satan." Nevins, Witchcraft in Salem 
Village, Lee and Shepard, Boston, 1892, p. 250. 


as conducted in Salem and elsewhere, is a matter as absorbing in 
interest as that of the " afflicted children." When the reaction 
came in 1693 it was rather an awakening to the unavailability 
and fruitlessness of methods employed to suppress witchcraft than 
a disbelief in its reality. Cotton Mather's half-hearted recantation, 
and even Judge Sewall's public acknowledgment of his error, was 
not and could not have been a complete renunciation of their 
beliefs, since the devil for them was an ever-present reality, 
after, as before, the year 1692. Chief Justice Stoughton remained 
obdurate to the end of his life in 1702, and doubtless many 

It would take us far beyond the scope of this paper to discuss 
many matters of psychological and medical importance connected 
with the events which led up to and reached a climax in the 
persecutions at Salem. Some of these may be alluded to, merely 
to indicate that a fruitful field of study lies in an adequate survey, 
from a medical standpoint, of many hitherto only partially 
explained subjects. 

The attitude of the victims themselves is a curious commentary 
on the general state of mind of the period. Probably, without 
exception, those who were executed believed in the existence of 
witchcraft. At least, none denied it even at the supreme moments 
immediately before their violent deaths. They equally believed 
themselves wholly innocent of the crimes with which they were 
charged. It is a remarkable and most noteworthy fact, 
confirmatory of the incredible belief of the time, that not one 
among them repudiated the doctrine in its entirety, but died 
apparently with a sense of the deep justice of the cause for which 
they were dying, but with natural and vehement protestations 
of personal innocence. Such a strange conflict may hardly be seen 
in any other type of persecution. They were not martyrs in the 
ordinary sense, since they personally died for no moral cause, and 
they had not the slightest conviction that by this sacrifice they 
were even remotely helping toward the extermination of a 
pernicious belief. 

The attitude of the judges and others mainly concerned in the 
prosecutions also offers a problem of speculative interest. The 
natural sense of justice which these persons presumably had in 
other affairs of life was for the time wholly submerged. Evidence 
was accepted at the trials which marked them as the most flagrant 
travesties on the doctrine of individual rights. No defence was 
allowed. The accused was prejudged and the outcome was 

i86 E. W. TAYLOR 

assured. The presumption of innocence until guilt be proved 
beyond reasonable doubt found no place in the procedure. All 
this, it would have seemed, must have outraged the sense of fairness 
of men of recognised integrity of character, but such was not 
the case. That even so powerful a motive as religious fanaticism 
should have misled men like the Mathers, one of them the President 
of Harvard College, Judges Sewall, Stoughton, Richards, Winthrop, 
Danforth, Governor Phips, and Rev. John Hale, when it conflicted 
so obviously with the recognised rights of men, in an ordered 
community, must remain one of the perennial riddles, until 
perchance some medical philosopher of broad vision may find the 
solution. One must go far below the surface of ethical or religious 
theory to reach a proper understanding of this strange psycho- 
logical phenomenon, no less pathological than the performance of 
the " afflicted children." 

We are on somewhat surer ground when we consider the more 
specific phenomena which witchcraft, at all periods of history, 
has brought into prominence. It is not difficult to explain most 
of them on the basis of present-day knowledge. The imagination, 
the limits of which are beyond accurate computation, is un- 
doubtedly responsible for a very large number of the appearances 
and facts described apparently in good faith by many observers, 
such, for example, as animals of strange character, sundry un- 
explained noises and supposed apparitions. The animated 
controversy and discussion regarding spectral evidence is not 
difficult of explanation on the basis of our understanding of 
hallucinosis under normal and pathological conditions. The often- 
repeated details of levitation and strange blows delivered by 
unseen agents are no doubt partly the result of an imagination 
excited to such a degree as to be no longer controlled, and 
partly in the case of apparent personal violence, bites and 
the like, to self-imposed injury, of which the afflicted person 
may have had no conscious memory.* In any event, we 
may safely assume that the various acts of witchcraft are 
ultimately susceptible of natural explanation, however impossible 
such explanation may be in individual cases, with the facts now 

The so-called witches' marks are easier of satisfactory under- 
standing. Admitting, as we do, the power of suggestion to 
produce anaesthetic areas, the tests of pricking without pain or 

* The possibility of an explanation of certain cases of urticaria factitia on 
the basis of hysterical amnesia is of interest in this connection. 


bleeding* find a ready explanation, constantly observable in any 
modern neurological clinic. Skin excrescences, small epithelial 
tumors and other localised affections and particularly the not 
infrequent supernumerary nipples both in men and women, f 
which the devil or the familiars were supposed to suck, serve to 
explain the " little teats," which were unequivocal evidence of 
the guilt of the person on whom they were found. The trial by 
water which looms large in the various prosecutions need be 
mentioned merely as a strange vagary, a form of torture, without 
medical significance. The often reported vomiting of nails, pins, 
usually crooked, and various other objects, and the methods by 
which they were brought to those afflicted is illustrated, for 
example, in such a statement as the following : "A thing like a 
bee flew at the face of the younger child ; the child fell into a fit ; 
and at last vomited up a two-prong nail with a broad head ; 
affirming that the bee brought this nail and forced it into her 
mouth. "J Of course, such statements were implicitly believed 
and have been reported as facts. How far there was collusion 
with older and designing persons, how far the victims of these 
incidents were themselves malingerers, or the dupes of their own 
imaginations, cannot now be determined. About this it is fruitless 
to speculate in detail. In general, however, it may be assumed 
that superstition, trickery, self-deception, and, above all, compli- 
cated hysterical reactions, all played a part in the structure of the 
astonishing product which has descended to us as the intervention 
of the devil in the affairs of men. 

When the whole subject of witchcraft in its medical aspects has 
been rationalised to the extent of our present ability, there will 
still remain the foundation-mystery upon which it is built, namely, 

* Tertullian says, " It is the Devil's custom to mark his, and note that this 
mark is Insensible, and being prick'd it will not Bleed. Sometimes, its like 
a Teate ; sometimes but a blewish spot ; sometimes a Red one ; and some- 
times the flesh Sunk ; but the Witches do sometimes cover them." " There 
was a notorious Witchfinder in Scotland (no doubt, Matthew Hopkins), that 
undertook by a Pin, to make an infallible Discovery of suspected persons, 
whether they were Witches or not, if when the Pin was run an Inch or two into 
the Body of the accused Party no Blood appeared, nor any sense of Pain, 
then he declared them to be Witches ; by means hereof my Author tells me no 
less than 300 persons were Condemned for Witches in that Kingdom." Cotton 
Mather, Wonders of the Invisible World, pp. 35 and 248, London, 1693 (Reprint, 

f Murray (The Witch-cult in Western Europe, p. 90) quotes Bruce as stating 
that in 315 of both sexes, taken indiscriminately, 7*6 per cent, had super- 
numerary nipples, and that this abnormality is about twice as frequent in 
men as in women. The occasional possibility of milk being excreted through 
such nipples probably accounts for the idea of giving suck to familiars. 

t Mather, he. cit. t p. 115. 

188 E. W. TAYLOR 

what lies beyond the reach of the senses, and what is our relation 
to the " invisible world/' a belief in which persists in a large 
portion of the human race. Whatever our personal belief in this 
matter may be, we cannot refuse to consider the conviction of 
many thinking persons, who see no reason to doubt the existence 
of disembodied spirits having relations with those still living and 
capable of communication with them. [The story of the Witch 
of Endor has a strangely modern flavour, (Samuel I, 18).] In this 
we clearly see a continuation of the method of thought and belief 
which now, in more sublimated form, is replacing the enormity of the 
witchcraft persecutions of the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. 
Upham, writing in 1869, finds little to choose between the days and 
methods of active witchcraft and the spiritualism of his time. 

" Now it is affirmed by those calling themselves spiritualists 
that by certain rappings, or other incantations, they can summon 
into immediate but invisible presence the spirits of the departed, 
hold conferences with them and draw from them information not 
derivable from any sources of human knowledge. There is no 
essential distinction between the old and the new belief and 
practice. The consequences that resulted from the former would 
be likely to result from the latter, if it should obtain universal or 
general credence, be allowed to mix with judicial proceedings, or to 
any extent affect the rights of person, property or character."* 

Kittredge writes : 

" Besides, spiritualism and kindred delusions have taken over, 
under changed names, many of the phenomena, real and pretended, 
which would have been explained as due to witchcraft in days 
gone by."t 

Witchcraft, including the earlier magic, as before indicated, 
cannot be dissociated from the fundamental cravings of the 
human mind, variously manifested in different periods of history, 
if the subject is to be studied in a wholly liberal spirit. Tolerance, 
still far from complete, has replaced gross intolerance, but the 
fundamental craving remains unchanged. The pursuit of the 
unknown and mysterious is still the most absorbing occupation 
of the human mind ; it is well for us in all modesty to be charitable 
in our estimate of the past that we may escape in a measure the 
harsh criticism of the future, which must inevitably be our lot. 
There is no lack of evidence that beliefs widely held to-day will 
be no less abhorrent to our descendants than the fanaticism of 
witchcraft is to us. 

* Upham, History of Witchcraft and Salem Village, Vol. II, p. 428. 
t Kittredge, Notes on Witchcraft, p. 63. See also Wendell, he. cit. 




Editor of " The British Journal of Medical Psychology " ; formerly 
President of the (British) Society for Psychical Research 




OUR knowledge of mental structure and process has been attained 
mainly through examination of the experience and behaviour of 
normal human beings ; and we find that the mind of the normal 
man presents a semblance of unity and coherence which is lacking 
in many of those who, for one reason or another, are considered 
abnormal. The structure of the mind seems liable to disintegra- 
tion, such unity as has been attained may be broken, and mental 
process may display aberrancy in various directions. 

This disintegration of the mind reveals itself as disorders of the 
self, as an abrogation of certain faculties or powers which the self 
ordinarily possesses ; sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, 
which in mental health form part of normal experience, may no 
longer enter into consciousness, although their disqualification is 
not due to any structural defect in the nervous system. Such 
disintegration of the mind has been commonly referred to as 
" splitting of consciousness " or " mental dissociation," and in its 
extreme forms as " double consciousness," " double or multiple 
personality " or " division of the self." 

These disintegrations include all varieties of falling short of the 
relative unity and continuity which characterise normal experience. 
They range from the gaps in the field of consciousness discovered 
in the experience of hysterics to those profound discontinuities 
in the stream of consciousness known as multiple personalities. 

Our knowledge of these states has been obtained mainly from 
the study of hysteria and hypnotism, and in these days, when the 
use of hypnotism in therapeutics is discouraged and decried, there 
is some danger not only that investigation along these lines may 
come to an end, but that the results so far obtained and the 
problems which they present may be misunderstood or forgotten. 
Within recent years new methods of approach to the problems 
of psychopathology have cut across the old well-worn tracks and 
have tended to obliterate both the landmarks by which we used 



to guide ourselves and the clearings we had made in a previously 
unexplored country. It may be useful, therefore, at the present 
time, to recall some of the conclusions come to, and some of the 
problems left unsolved, at the end of what we may call the 
"hypnotic period." 

When Pierre Janet and Morton Prince were carrying on their 
remarkable investigations on the nature of dissociated states, they 
had at their command the technique of hypnotic experiment and 
the knowledge of the phenomena of hypnosis derived from their 
personal experience and from the labours of many workers in this 
field from the days of Mesmer down to their own time. In the 
course of their investigations some novel conceptions of the way 
the mind works were formulated and used with effect in the inter- 
pretation of the astonishing facts revealed in the observation of 
hypnotised persons and of the spontaneous somnambulisms of 
hysteria. Both of these investigators were fortunate in encounter- 
ing persons in whom the peculiarities of behaviour, brought about 
by hypnotic suggestion, or observed in the so-called automatisms 
of hysterical somnambulisms, were paralleled or reproduced as 
relatively permanent phases of their everyday life. These were 
cases of more or less well-marked double or multiple personality. 
This form of mental dissociation has been studied at first hand by a 
comparatively small number of observers, for it is of rare occurrence, 
and all the records in recent years bear the mark of the influence of 
the work of Janet and Morton Prince in respect of the phenomena 
towards which attention has been directed and in the interpretation 
of the facts which have been observed. 

The most far-reaching result of researches in the field of hypno- 
tism, hysteria and multiple personality is the conviction that in 
these states there is a sort of division or splitting of the mind 
whereby the existence of a " subconscious " of some kind becomes 
manifest. This conviction does not necessitate or support the 
belief that a subconsciousness of the same kind exists in every 
human being, although this has been very widely held. Perhaps 
the most noteworthy presentation of this view is that set forth in 
Frederic Myers's doctrine of the subliminal self a doctrine based 
largely, though not exclusively, on data provided by work done in 
the field of abnormal psychology. But even if we accepted, in 
whole or in part, Myers's view of the subliminal, we should have to 
recognise that the subconscious of Janet or the co-conscious of 
Morton Prince is only a special manifestation of subliminal activity 
and, so far as the evidence goes, a product of abnormal or psycho* 


pathic states. For the subconsciousness of hysteria and of hypno- 
tic experiment has this peculiarity, that it is capable of manifesting 
as a form of awareness concurrent, though not compresent, with 
the supraliminal awareness of ordinary waking life ; and this is 
not a necessary or demonstrable accompaniment of other kinds 
of subliminal activity. 

As has been already indicated, mental dissociation presents 
itself to us in a great variety of forms, but we may here disregard 
all the common symptoms of hysteria, such as anaesthesia and 
paralysis, and confine our attention to those divisions of the self 
which we meet with in double or multiple personality. All the 
time, however, we shall have in mind the parallel conditions of 
hypnotic and hysterical somnambulisms and the incipient forms of 
secondary personality displayed in fugues or ambulatory automa- 

We have to consider, then, the opinions most commonly held 
concerning the nature of secondary personalities and the causes 
which bring them into being. We speak almost indifferently of 
double personality, multiple personality, or secondary personality. 
Sometimes there are only two personalities, the " primary " and the 
" secondary." Sometimes the division of the self is of such a nature 
that more than two personalities appear, and these are the cases 
to which the term " multiple personality " is most appropriately 
applied. Any one of the new selves, however many there may be, 
is conveniently referred to as a secondary personality or secondary 

The most noticeable feature of such divisions of the self is the 
break in the continuity of memory, for it is on the continuity of 
memory that the feeling of personal identity is based. When there 
is no amnesia of one phase by the other, we may hesitate to speak 
of double personality, notwithstanding the differences of character 
and conduct which the alternating phases may reveal. Yet from 
one point of view the change of character is the more important ; 
and, when there is no amnesia, it is perhaps only because we have 
no doubt that the " subject of experience " is one and the same 
throughout the alternating phases that we do not think of the 
secondary phase as being in any true sense a secondary self. When 
there is amnesia of one phase by the other, such a doubt may arise, 
but it is only in those forms of secondary personality which claim 
co-consciousness that this doubt becomes serious. 

The presence or absence of amnesia between the two phases is 
closely related to the presence or absence of co-consciousness, and 


all cases of double personality may be divided into two great groups 
or types, the amnesic and the co-conscious. In the amnesic type 
one phase, A, alternates with another phase, B, and each phase is 
amnesic of the other ; A does not know B, and B does not know A. 
In the co-conscious type, A and B alternate, just as in the amnesic 
type ; but, although A does not know B, B knows A and remembers 
all that A has thought or done during its emergent period. 

This peculiarity of the memory relations of the two phases in 
the co-conscious group is due to the secondary phase being a co- 
conscious personality. When A is " out/' in possession of the body, 
B is co-consciously aware of A's experiences, while, at the same 
time, it has other and different experiences of its own which are not 
shared by A. Therefore, when B comes "out," it has no amnesia, 
for it can recall all the experiences of A. But when A again appears, 
it has knowledge only of its own former periods of emergence and 
has no knowledge of those of B. There is amnesia, but it is a 
one-sided amnesia ; it acts in one direction only. 

This is, of course, the ordinary memory relation observed in 
hypnotic experiment. The hypnotised person has memory of his 
whole life, including the periods of previous hypnoses ; in the 
waking state he remembers only his waking life. The hypnotic 
phase corresponds, in its memory relations at least, to a co-conscious 
secondary personality. The importance of the distinction between 
the two types of secondary personality becomes more apparent 
when we consider the nature and origin of these alternating 
phases of conscious life. 

The common view of the nature of secondary personalities is 
that they are split-off fragments of the normal self fragments 
in the sense of being systems of cognitive dispositions and of 
emotional and conative tendencies, broken off or dissociated from 
the " personal consciousness/' This view is supported by the 
records of those cases in which the normal self has been restored by 
a synthesis of two or more secondary selves. Indeed, everything 
we know of this type of double personality points to the correctness 
of this interpretation. 

The explanation of co-conscious personalities in terms of dissocia- 
tion is not so easy and is not so satisfactory. It is not justifiable 
to speak of a thing being split-off or dissociated from another unless 
the two things have at some time been joined or associated together. 
But evidence that co-conscious personalities have, at any time, been 
integral parts of the normal or primary personality is hard to find ; 
and it is equally difficult to find records of " cure " in which a 


co-conscious personality has become assimilated by, or incorporated 
in, the primary or "personal consciousness/' The synthesis which 
brings about the restoration of the normal self in amnesic cases is 
a linking-up of memories and an assimilation of tendencies which 
have been privately owned and separately experienced by each of 
the secondary selves ; but a co-conscious personality already knows, 
if it cannot be said to share, the experiences and memories of the 
primary personality and, in this respect at least, cannot be said to 
be split-off or dissociated from it. If a mere synthesis of memories 
were all that is necessary, a co-conscious personality might be 
considered to be the normal self ! 

In this connection, however, it must be remembered that, 
although B knows A's experiences, it knows them as belonging to 
A. Known by B apparently directly, they yet lack the warmth 
and intimacy which distinguish all experiences that we call " our 
own." We seem here to have not merely a dissociation of the 
contents of the mind, but the appearance of two distinct subjects 
of experience. Whatever the basis of selfhood may be, we have 
here a manifestation of two selves in one individual organism, each 
of which may have, at the same time, a distinct and separate 
experience an experience, it may be, of the same object. A may 
look at an orange and have thoughts and feelings about it. At 
the same time B co-consciously sees the orange and has thoughts 
and feelings about it which may be different from those of A. 
Further, B is aware that A looks at the orange, and aware also of 
A's thoughts and feelings. How B becomes aware of A's experi- 
ences is a problem distinct from the essential problem of co- 
consciousness, namely, the seeming existence of two subjects of 
experience related to one bodily organism. 

The difficulties inherent in the conception of co-consciousness 
are so great that many psychologists are prone to deny that true 
co-consciousness ever occurs. They say either that B's " experi- 
ence " is not a conscious one or that, if it is, it is not concurrent with 
A's. Yet this matter ought to be beyond dispute. No one who 
has made personal observations or experimented with a co-conscious 
personality can doubt the concomitance of the secondary mental 
activity, nor can he find any good grounds for believing that it is 
not a " conscious " activity in the full sense of the word. As 
Dr Morton Prince has well said, "the evidence for co-consciousness 
. . . is of precisely the same character as that for the occurrence 
of consciousness in any other individual but oneself."* 

* Morton Prince, The Unconscious, p. 158. 


But we believe this consciousness to be of the same nature as 
our own, namely, the "experience" of a "subject." It is difficult, 
therefore, to understand the position taken up by Dr Morton Prince 
on this very topic which in other respects he has done so much to 
illuminate. He makes a distinction between " awareness " or " self- 
awareness " and the mere quality of " consciousness." By " self- 
awareness " he seems to mean an awareness by a self, and he main- 
tains that " consciousness is not synonymous, co-extensive, or 
identical with self -awareness." He believes that any of the 
diversified types of conscious processes may become segregated 
from the main dominant consciousness and function co-consciously, 
but by functioning co-consciously he means functioning " without 
the self or ' I ' or anything being aware of the co-conscious process ; 
and without the co-conscious process having any self or self-aware- 
ness, or anything, such as an ' experiencer ' that is aware."* 

Such a view is only possible if we adopt the epiphenomenalist 
standpoint and regard consciousness as a mere by-product of neural 
activity, a sort of phosphorescent glow which may or may not 
contribute to the experience of some subject, may or may not join 
up with the more widespread phosphorescence presumably con- 
stituting or accompanying the feeling of selfhood. But if the 
consciousness manifested in co-conscious experiences were of this 
nature, we should never have known anything about such 
experiences. We know of them only because they are the 
experiences of a subject, some self or ego, which can tell us 
about them. All evidence of co-consciousness is evidence of 
awareness by a self. 

Dr Morton Prince was, no doubt, referring more particularly to 
data derived from the study of abnormal and artificially induced 
states other than multiple personality, such as hysterical anaes- 
thesia and suggested contractures ; and, presumably, he would not 
deny the " self-awareness " of such a co-consciousness as that 
exhibited by " Sally." But it seems to me that the whole problem 
of co-consciousness is bound up with the continuity or gradation 
of the co-conscious phenomena observed in passing from hysterical 
anaesthesia to full-blown secondary personality. If the pin- 
prick on the anaesthetic arm of a hysteric is felt and there is 
good evidence that it is then it is felt by some self ; yet it is not 
felt by the self that is the "conscious personality" at the moment. 

What, then, is this self that is aware in co-conscious experience ? 

* Proceedings and Papers of the 7th International Congress of Psychology, 
p. 126. 


Is there here a ''subject' 1 distinct from that which has the experi- 
ence of the primary personality ? Some years ago* I endeavoured 
to reconcile the phenomena of co-consciousness with belief in the 
unitary nature of man's being, and to show that it may be possible 
to understand how one and the same "soul" or psyche or subject 
may be concerned in all states of consciousness occurring in one 
individual organism, whether these be successive or simultaneous. 
If, however, this belief is untenable when two streams of conscious- 
ness manifest simultaneously, some other hypothesis is necessary 
if we are not to deny altogether the actuality of co-conscious 

Professor McDougall is one of the few psychologists who have 
fairly faced the difficulties inherent in the conception of co-con- 
sciousness. In a study of Dr Morton Prince's record of the Beau- 
champ case he set forth the problems presented by the Sally per- 
sonality, t In his book Body and Mind and, later, more explicitly 
in his presidential address to the Society for Psychical Research 
in 1920, he maintained that a co-conscious personality must be 
regarded as a manifestation of a psychic being normally subordi- 
nated to the dominant one which forms the conscious self of each 
of us. He believes we are compelled to recognise that not infre- 
quently a single human organism or person is the seat of more than 
one stream of conscious knowing, feeling and striving, and that 
each of such distinct streams is the activity of a unitary self or 
ego. He put the consequences of this view quite plainly when he 
said{ : "I who consciously address you am only one among 
several selves or egos which my organism, my person, comprises. 
I am only the dominant member of a society, an association of 
similar members . . . But I and my associates are all members 
of one body ; and, so long as the organism is healthy, we work 
harmoniously together ... If I am weak and irresolute . . 
. . one or more of my subordinates gets out of hand, I lose my 
control, and division of the personality into conflicting systems 
replaces the normal and harmonious co-operation of all members 
in one system. And in such extreme cases a revolted subordinate, 
escaped from the control of the dominant member or monad, may 
continue his career of insubordination indefinitely, acquiring 
increased influence over the other members of the society and 
becoming a serious rival to the normal ruler or dominant. Such 

* " Some Types of Multiple Personality." Proceedings, S.P.R., 1912; and 
Medical Psychology and Psychical Research, 1923. 
f Proceedings, S.P.R., Vol. XIX, p. 410. 
t Ibid. Vol. XXXI, pp. in, 112. 


a rebellious member was the. famous Sally Beauchamp, and such 
was, I suggest, the childish phase of the Doris Fischer case/' 

When Dr McDougall first put forward his views on the nature 
of co-conscious personalities he believed that " abnormal con- 
ditions of two distinct types are commonly confused together 
under the head of co-consciousness or subconscious activity,* and 
that a second soul or psyche is necessary in the one type and not 
in the other. In the one type we cannot refuse to recognise the 
co-conscious activities " as the activities of an independent syn- 
thetic centre, a numerically distinct psychic being ... In 
the other type we have to do with a mere insufficiency of synthetic 
energy of the one centre, from which results a temporary narrowing 
of the field of attentive consciousness, and the automatic or semi- 
mechanical functioning of parts of the psycho-physical organisa- 
tion, "f 

This view seems open to the criticism that although at the 
extremes of the series of co-conscious phenomena the conditions 
do, indeed, seem to be very different, it is impossible to say at what 
point secondary psychic beings must be assumed. His more 
recent exposition of his views takes away the point of this criticism ; 
for he now makes a thorough-going application of the metaphysical 
doctrine of Leibnitz and Lotze, that " the body is in its real nature 
an organised system of beings of like nature with the soul " ; and 
he finds in this conception the most satisfactory solution not only 
of the facts of co-conscious personality, but also of the automatisms 
of sleep and hypnosis. Dream images][and dream thoughts are 
for him the reflection, in the passive self of the dreamer, of the 
thoughts of subordinate members of the psychic hierarchy. In 
hypnosis, also, the dominant monad is passive and all the pheno- 
mena of hypnotic and post-hypnotic suggestion are due to the 
activity of subordinate psychic beings. 

A similar view of the nature of multiple personality has been 
put forward by Mr Gerald Balfour. In his opinion every distinct 
stream of consciousness implies a distinct centre of psychical 
activity or mind, and " a plurality of distinct streams of conscious- 
ness in man implies a plurality of minds associated in the human 
organism."t He upholds the Leibnitzian doctrine " that the 
living creature is a kind of hierarchy of monads arranged in 
orderly and systematic relations with each other, each reflecting 

* Body and Mind, p. 368. 

f Ibid, pp. 368-9. 

} Proceedings, S.P.R., Vol. XIX, p, 392. 


in its own way the states of consciousness of all the rest."* The 
rapport that is necessary for the harmonious co-operation of all 
the members of the system is, in Mr Balfour's opinion, of the 
nature of telepathy a view which Dr McDougall also accepts. 

Thus we have three possible ways of interpreting the facts of 
co-consciousness, none of which is altogether satisfying. We may 
try to believe with Dr Morton Prince (and much of Janet's writing 
carries the same implications) that co-consciousness may exist in 
the void, " without any self or self-awareness, or anything, such 
as an ' experiencer ' that is aware." Or we may try to understand 
how the subject of the co-conscious experience may be the same as 
that of the supraliminal one. Or, lastly, we may feel compelled 
to fall back on a belief in a multiplicity of psychic beings, connected 
with one bodily organism and brought into intimate rapport with 
each other telepathically. Strictly speaking, a fourth possibility 
ought to be referred to. If a separate psychic being is necessary 
to account for co-consciousness, it may be suggested that this 
psychic being is an invasion from outside and not a normals 
constituent of the psycho-physical organism. This is the spiritistic 
explanation of the secondary personalities of trance-mediumship 
the old hypothesis of " spirit possession." 

As has been already indicated, the facts of co-conscious person- 
ality raise another problem besides those concerning the subject 
that has the co-conscious experience. It raises the problem of 
dissociation in so far as this is held to be a splitting-off of some part 
of the mind which at one time entered into the formation of the 
" personal consciousness " or " conscious personality." We must 
distinguish between the use of the term " dissociated " as a descrip- 
tion implying merely not-associated-with and as a description imply- 
ing split-off -from. We may, if we speak loosely, call Sally a disso- 
ciated personality, because she was a separate personality distinct 
from Miss Beauchamp ; but, as Dr McDougall has pointed out, there 
is hardly a scrap of evidence to warrant her being described as a 
split-off personality. At least, there is no evidence that she formed 
part of the adult Miss Beauchamp before her illness, and there is 
little evidence that she contributed much to the personality of the 
Miss Beauchamp restored by Dr Prince's treatment. 

The assumption that all secondary personalities are due to 
fragmentation of an originally whole self has coloured all the 
hypotheses that have been put forward to account for their forma- 
tion. The hypothesis for a long time most widely accepted as 
* Proceedings, S.P.R., Vol. XIX, p. 392. 


satisfactorily explaining the occurrence of mental dissociation is 
that put forward by Janet. He ascribed to it a lowering of mental 
tension, a lack of synthetic energy and a localisation of the mental 
insufficiency on one or more functions which in consequence drop 
out of consciousness. Secondary personalities and their alterna- 
tions are, in Janet's opinion, due to a kind of oscillation of the 
mental level which falls and rises suddenly. When the nervous 
tension falls, some whole state of mental activity becomes disso- 
ciated : when the mental level rises again, the normal personality 
is restored. 

In recent years there has been an increasing readiness to abandon 
this somewhat mechanical explanation and to apply the psycho- 
analytical conception of mental conflict and repression in explana- 
tion of the occurrence of mental dissociation. And this hypothesis 
is made use of by many who are chary of accepting any other 
part of Freudian doctrine. But it is only in a very general way 
that the conception of repression has been applied to the dissocia- 
tions of multiple personality. Neither Freud himself nor any one 
of his immediate followers seems to have had the good fortune to 
study a case of double or multiple personality by the method of 
psychoanalysis. Moreover, psychoanalysis as a method of 
psychological investigation is ill-suited to bring into prominence 
the characteristic features of this condition. It would, we may 
suppose, rather tend to blur or obliterate them; whereas the 
" hypnotic method " not only reveals but tends to accentuate them, 
sometimes indeed appearing to make more complete the dissocia- 
tion already existing, and thus give precision of outline to states 
originally vaguely defined. 

The pictures resulting from these two modes of investigating 
multiple personality may be compared to those represented res- 
pectively by cross-sections and longitudinal sections of an object, 
such as some animal or vegetable tissue under a microscope ; 
or, to vary the metaphor, the hypnotic method brings into clear 
relief and preserves the stratification of the mind constituted by 
the various personalities, while the psychoanalytical method is 
that of the excavator who digs through the strata and brings to the 
surface variously-coloured earths which tell him of the existence of a 
stratification which he cannot directly see. 

But, although psychoanalysis has not, up to the present, added 
much directly to our knowledge of the nature of multiple person- 
ality, it has provided us with some valuable conceptions which are 
applicable here as in all psychopathic states, and it has not been 


lacking in interesting speculations concerning the mental mechan- 
ism underlying some of the observed phenomena. 

In so far as the theory of the libido is applicable to all hysterical 
manifestations, it is, of course, applicable to multiple personality, 
if this is to be regarded as an outcome of hysterical dissociation. 
So, also, in the conception of mental conflict and repression as a 
determinant of mental dissociation we have a hypothesis which 
bears much fruit in the investigation of cases of this kind. But, 
although repression may be accepted as an adequate explanation 
of the occurrence of dissociation when some unbearable idea or 
wish becomes split-off from the conscious self, it does not seem so 
easy to account for the formation of a fully-developed secondary 
personality out of the mental material that may thus be dissociated. 
This has been sometimes accounted for by saying that here, unlike 
what happens in the minor dissociations underlying ordinary 
psycho-neurotic states, we have a dissociation of a whole 
" side of one's character " or of some system of complexes 
which has been formed in the course of the conscious life of 
the individual. 

Dr Morton Prince has described three such systems which may 
form the basis of more or less well marked divisions of the self. 
There are, he says, (i) Subject Systems depending on the various 
distinct subjects of knowledge or fields of activity which ordinarily 
form our main interests ; (2) Chronological Systems embracing 
the experiences of certain periods of our lives ; (3) Disposition or 
Mood Systems, " sides to one's character," tendencies to which we 
are prone and to which we may sometimes give way. Of these 
systems the last is perhaps the most important in relation to divisions 
of the self. Hardly ever do we meet with pathological dissociation 
that can be ascribed to a conflict between subject systems or in 
which the secondary self shows a special predilection for any of the 
vocational activities or avocational interests of the previously 
normal self. Chronological systems do not ordinarily appear to 
play an important part in the structure of the self. The sharply- 
defined limits of the amnesia sometimes encountered in multiple 
personality would seem to depend upon affective factors or to be 
related to traumatic experiences rather than to be evidence of a 
pre-existing chronological systematisation. Indications of the 
presence of Disposition or Mood Systems, however, are so commonly 
seen in everyday life that we must regard this form of systematisa- 
tion as a normal occurrence ; and the alterations of character which 
accompany divisions of the self would seem to find their most 


likely explanation in a morbid exaggeration of dispositions or moods 
which are in some degree common to all of us. 

All recent psychological investigations teach us that we must 
look to the unconscious for an explanation of these moods. When, 
then, a secondary personality appears which seems to be an exaggera- 
tion of a mood to which the individual was previously liable, we 
are not justified in saying that the secondary personality has been 
formed by a splitting-off from consciousness of the mood system ; 
for the mood itself can be explained only by reference to what has 
been hitherto unconscious. It is rather as if the occurrence of 
the mood in the everyday conscious life were but a temporary 
uprush from the unconscious of the activity of a complex there 
existing. A " mood " personality cannot be explained as being a 
split-off portion of the normal self ; it is rather the efflorescence 
of a " personality " already existing in the unconscious. 

We are thus led to suppose that when a true change of person- 
ality occurs, we are witnessing a " side to one's character " which 
has been present in its fullness in the unconscious only ; and it 
has there the attributes, not merely of a mood, but of a secondary 

How then has such a secondary self come into being ? If we 
adopt the psychoanalytical view that all unconscious states and 
tendencies are a result of repression, it is not easy to see how the 
repression to which the developmental life of everyone is subjected 
can account for the existence in the unconscious of what may later 
reveal itself as a secondary personality ; nor is it easy to imagine, 
even when development has been abnormal and repression presum- 
ably abnormal also, that anything corresponding to the secondary 
personality which may manifest later has ever been assumed in its 
totality by the " conscious self " and become repressed in mass into 
the unconscious. We must rather suppose that it has originated 
and grown in the unconscious and has been kept there by the 
repressing forces. When, in the unconscious conflict which its 
presence there engenders, the repressing forces prove too weak, it 
displaces the normal personality and takes possession of the 

So far as can be ascertained from introspection or from observa- 
tion of the developmental life of others, none of the experiences of 
life would seem adequate to account for the presence in the uncon- 
scious of anything that could give rise to the phenomenon of double 
personality. Nor, until recently, has psychoanalysis helped us 
much in our efforts to understand this matter. Freud, however, 


in one of his latest writings, has thrown out a very interesting 
suggestion concerning the nature and origin of secondary personal- 
ities. In discussing some points connected with the psycho- 
analytical doctrine of Identification, he says : "If these identifica- 
tions gain ground and become too numerous, too strong and mutu- 
ally incompatible, we may expect a pathological result. It may 
end in a disintegration of the ego, the separate identifications 
shutting themselves off on account of their resistances against one 
another. Possibly the secret of so-called Multiple Personality 
is that the separate identifications usurp consciousness one after 
another. Even when it does not reach this point there is the 
setting-up of conflicts between the different identifications which 
are causing the disintegration of the ego, conflicts which, after all, 
cannot be described as wholly pathological."* 

Jung, also, lays stress on the part played by identification in 
causing divisions of the self. He saysj- : " Identification is an 
estrangement of the subject from himself in favour of an object 
in which the subject is to a certain extent disguised. . . . 
Identification is distinguished from imitation by the fact that 
identification is an unconscious imitation, whereas imitation is a 
conscious copying/' He further says that, just as imitation is an 
indispensable expedient for the developing personality of youth, 
so identification may be progressive in so far as " the individual 
way " is not yet available. "But, whenever a better individual 
possibility presents itself, identification manifests its pathological 
character . . . For now it has a dissociating influence, divid- 
ing the subject into two mutually estranged personalities." 

It is hardly possible to test the value of this hypothesis by 
examining the records of cases of multiple personality investigated 
by the " hypnotic method." Observers in the future will have an 
opportunity of judging whether the conclusions of the analysts are 
well founded ; and, if they are so, whether identification can be 
regarded as a constant factor in the genesis of secondary personal- 
ities, or one that only sometimes plays a part. 

* Das Ich und das Es, p. 35. 
t Psychological Types, p. 551. 




Professor of Nervous Diseases, Cornell University Medical 
College ; Consulting Neurologist to Bellevue Hospital, The Neuro- 
logical Institute; ex-President of The New York Academy of 





THE object of my studies of handwriting, the results of which are 
presented here, was to see whether any of the chronic diseases or 
established toxicities of the nervous system were shown specifically 
in the handwriting, excluding altogether the mental element 
both direct and indirect. 

Some studies along this line were made by Erlenmeyer in his 
monograph Die Schrift (1905), by Rogner de Fursac, in Les Merits 
et les Dessins dans les Maladies Nerveuses et Mentales (Paris, 1905), 
by Bucard, in La Graphologie et Medecine (These de Paris, 1905) ; 
but none of these followed the matter along just the lines that I 
have done. 

One of the things which stimulated this investigation was an 
interest in the curious and concededly abnormal handwriting of 
William Shakespeare and my findings are applied to his 

In carrying out my work I have for fifteen years made patients 
suffering from paralysis agitans, multiple sclerosis, writer's cramp, 
chronic alcoholism, paresis, tabes, epilepsy, senile deterioration, 
and various forms of tremor, write their signatures. In many 
cases, for the special reason suggested above, I made them write 
also an unfamiliar name, e.g., that of William Shakespeare, and 
often a long name like Constantinople. My interest sometimes 
flagged and I have lost some of my material, which consisted of 
over 200 specimens. Many of these were obtained in the alcoholic 
and psychiatric wards of Bellevue Hospital, but most of them were 
from private patients, the signatures being made in my office. My 
particular collection of " William Shakespeare " signatures was 
obtained for the purpose of seeing how closely a neuro-psychotic 
person could approximate some of the characteristics of the 
dramatist's signature. 



I obtained and studied the signatures and specimens of writing 
in the following cases : 

Paralysis agitans and encephalitis ... 60 

Chronic and convalescent alcoholism ... 14 

Paresis 29 

Writer's cramp 19 

Tabes 5 

Multiple sclerosis 5 

Petit mal and various types of senility and 

of organic brain disease (hemiplegia) ... 14 

Total 146 

In analysing the abnormalities of handwriting due to neural 
disorders and not to mental states, one finds that there are two 
quite dominant variants from ordinary script : an ataxia or dis- 
order of form, and a tremor. The former is seen normally in 
children and in persons who are learning to write or who have been 
imperfectly educated ; and some of this quality is seen in senility. 
Tremor, however, does not occur in normal neural conditions. 
There are several other handwriting variants which I have had to 
consider. Thus the letters of the script may be very large or very 
small, and may change in size as the signature is being finished. 
The letters may be crowded or overspaced or not run together ; 
the signature may slope up or down and the end of the signature 
may be blurred. The lines may show unevenness of pressure 
with blotting and exaggeration of the shaded parts of the 

I arranged these variants in the following order : 

Ataxia, including waviness and angularities of line 

Macro- or micrographia, constant or progressive 
Crowding and fusing of letters 

Spacing and disuniting of letters (painting the letters) 
Sloping of the level 

Terminal blurring ; this applying especially to auto- 

These are not the only things possible to find in bad handwriting, 
but they furnish definite factors for comparative study. 

The quality of co-ordinate and orderly movement necessary to 
normal script can be modified by lesions of the sensory-motor 
cortex and pyramids which may cause tremor, ataxia, paresis, or 
rigidities ; by lesions of the caudo-lenticulo-rubral region causing 


hypertension, tremor, disorder of automatic associated move- 
ments ; by cerebellar rubral lesions and by lesions of the afferent 
nerves, as in tabes. 

FIG. i. Paralysis Agitans. 

FIG. 2. Encephalitis lethargica. 

Thus we may expect a different handwriting in cortical lesions 
(paresis), in lenticulo-rubral regions (Parkinson's disease), in the 
spinocerebellar rubral lesions (writer's cramp, multiple sclerosis), 
and in the afferent nerves giving deep sensation, as in tabes. 


There is a form of bad and formless handwriting, which is largely 
mental and due partly to carelessness, to vanity, or to a congenital 
lack of manual dexterity. This is easily recognised as different 
from the ataxias of a child's signature and those of the graphically 

After going over my signatures and scripts, I conclude that 
there are very few nervous diseases or conditions which can be 
diagnosed by the handwriting alone ; among these, paralysis agitans 
in its somewhat advanced stage stands first ; the Parkinsonian 
types of encephalitis can also be recognised. Tremulousness, lack 
of terminal finish of the signature, painted lettering and progressive 
micrographia are the characteristic traits of these conditions ; 
tremor and micrography being especially important (see my 
Textbook of Nervous Diseases, p. 593). 

FIG. 3, Handwriting in paresis. 

Paresis can often be recognised by the character of the hand- 
writing plus the nature of what is written. In this disease one sees 
ataxia, tremor, irregular level, blots, omission of letters, erasures, 
etc. It is the character of the written material, however, and not 
the script that counts most. One thing I rarely observed in paresis, 
and that was a confusion of the terminal letters. The patient 
always finished his signature well, as might be expected from a 
condition in which self-confidence dominates. 


The most prevalent element of my signatures in writer's cramp 
was tremor. It could be observed in almost every case. The 
tremor is fine, not jerky, and sometimes difficult to note without 
close study. In writer's cramp, the patient often knows that it 
is going to be hard to write his signature and so takes special pains 
to do his best. While writer's cramp cannot be recognised by the 
signature alone, the study of several lines in which the writing 
becomes worse and finally breaks down may indicate the disease. 


FIG. 4. Senile tremor. 

FIG. 5. Tabes dorsalis. Arm type. 

After 3 weeks' drinking. 

On discharge. 
FIG, 6. Alcoholism. 

In multiple sclerosis, the patient's signature is good until the 
disease definitely involves the arms. Then there is shown some 
ataxia, but more especially a jerky tremor. In tabes, involving 
the arms, one gets the worst and most formless of all signatures, 
due to neural lesion alone. 

It is possible to make a diagnosis of epilepsy or petit mal, by 

the handwriting. This occurred to me with a patient, a man of 

40, who had curious motor seizures resembling hysterical attacks. 

I told him to write his name on the blackboard, and this is what 



happened. He took the chalk and wrote a tremulous F, then 
stopped and laid down his chalk ; two or three seconds later he 
took up the chalk and wrote his name freely and readily. He 
said he did not know why he made the first tremulous F, or why 
he did not go on. There was no doubt that it was written in a 
moment of petit mal. It cleared up the diagnosis about which we 
had been in doubt. 

FIG. 7. Signature started during an attack of 

ff C/f 


FIG. 8. Writer's cramp. 

Having made these special studies of handwriting, I proceeded 
to apply them to the signatures of William Shakespeare. I had 
to be convinced first, and naturally, that Shakespeare's signatures 
do indicate abnormality. 

The problems connected with Shakespeare are hardly less inter- 
esting than his dramas, and his handwriting is one of the problems. 
There are only six veritable signatures of Shakespeare, and no 
handwriting of his other than these is in existence. These signatures 

1 f''f'\ \- L> ['!;'' " ,~ ,;, "ft-' )|1: 'I 

r"f ^ulii^'ijJn/ i'; , p ^!?<'"t~JiJr'r ',r- 

Apf" ,*^^,"ff < ^fp^^:-:<. 
.^'' vi^^>ffi^HMS?f '*!fe 

FIG. 9 

[/ p. 255 


are presented here. There are three other signatures* that are 
possibly Shakespeare's, and some high authorities hold that three 
pages of a certain manuscript play of Sir Thomas More are in 
Shakespeare's handwriting, f 

On the other hand, Sir G. G. Greenwood has written (in 1920) 
a booklet J in which he argues that none of the signatures are those 
of the great dramatist. 

I am not expressing an opinion myself, but there is a general 
agreement prevailing that the six signatures at least are genuine. 
The first three were made in connection with the purchase and 
mortgage of a building about three years before his death. The 
last three were the signatures of his will which was drafted in 
January, 1616, and signed in March. He died in April, 1616, 
about a month after he signed the will. 

One of his three signatures made on his will has become partially 
effaced or marred. But, in 1776, Geo. Stevens traced all the three 
signatures on the will and they were engraved in 1788. They were 
traced and engraved in J. G. Nichol's Book of Autographs. We 
have now photographic replicas of them all. 

The handwriting of Shakespeare's time was a modified inherit- 
ance from Anglo-Saxon ancestors and was essentially Gothic, or, 
as some say, " Old English/' This was the handwriting taught in 
schools and used by Shakespeare. Scholars and university-trained 
men used the cursive Italian script. The ordinary handwriting 
of the day was quite good and as legible as is that of to-day (E. 
Maunde Thompson). 

Shakespeare's signatures do not seem to be those of a person 
with normal control of his handwriting. The things that can be 
noted are unequal pressure of the pen, irregularities in the loops 
and curves, an evidence of a jerky tremor, and a running together 
and confusion of the letters at the end. These defects are present 
in his latest autographs, even if we allow that Shakespeare made 
contractions in writing his name, as was the custom in those days. 

* Signatures : 

1. Will, March, 1616. 

2. ,, ,, ,, 

4. Upon a deposition in a lawsuit, May nth, 1612. 

5. On a deed and on a mortgage in purchase of Blackfriar's house, March 

loth and nth. 1613. 

6. Florio's translation of Montaigne in British Museum. 

7. Alden's edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses. 

8. Plutarch's Lives. 

f Shakespeare's Hand in Sir Thomas More, by A. W. Pollard and others. 
(Cambridge University Press, 1923.) 

J The Handwriting of Shakespeare (Lane, 1920). 


A study of the abnormalities has been made by Sir E. Maunde 
Thompson (Shakespeare's Hand in the Play of Sir Thomas More, 
p. 57) in great detail and his figures show an apparent progressive 

This is seen perhaps best in a selection and reproduction of the 
capital S in five autographs, the first three made 3 years before 
death, the last two about a month before death, as shown here : 

FIG. TO. The capital letter S of the five Shakespeare signatures. 

The book referred to, Shakespeare s Hand in the Play of Sir 
Thomas More, as already stated, presents arguments to show that 
three pages in the above play are in Shakespeare's handwriting. 
The arguments are interesting and are made by eminent Shakes- 
pearean scholars and palaeontologists. Whether their view is 
correct or not, does not affect my particular study or point of view, 
for, if Shakespeare did write the three pages, he did it when he was 
only twenty-five years old and certainly had no manual neurosis 
at that time. 

One of the contributors to the above work is Sir E. Maunde 
Thompson, a Shakespearean scholar and palaeontologist. He 
considers that the six Shakespearean signatures made in the last 
three years of his life are abnormal, and he suggests that Shakes- 
peare had writer's cramp. An ingenious presentation of this view 
has been made also by Dr R. W. Leftwich (British Medical Journal, 
1918, p. 542). 

After Shakespeare gave up active dramatic work, he lived in 
Stratford most of the time. He was apparently not suffering from 
any serious or crippling disease, for he took an active part in local 
affairs and went occasionally to London ; but in January, 1616, 
he had a will drawn up, which means that he probably was not 
well. He did not sign the will, however, until March, and he 
died a month later. 

The question arises, what illness could he have had which affected 
him for at least three years, which incidentally interfered with his 
handwriting, and perhaps led to his death ? 

The possible diseases which may gradually and later rather 
seriously affect a man of 50, are Parkinson's disease, which kills 


in from 8 to 12 years, cerebral arterio-sclerosis with perhaps a 
moderate degree of right hemiplegia or monoplegia ; tabo-paresis ; 
chronic alcoholism, complicating arterial sclerosis ; multiple 
sclerosis ; and pre-senility with tremor. 

I was at first most inclined to think of paralysis agitans ; but 
a study of the handwriting excludes it. From my studies of abnor- 
mal handwriting, I should also exclude paresis, tabes and alcoholism. 
Alcoholism, as we see it, was comparatively rare in England in 
Elizabethan days. One can also exclude writer's cramp as a 
cause of his abnormal writing, in spite of the arguments of Dr 
Leftwich and Sir E. Maunde Thompson. Writer's cramp is a 
disease of the nineteenth century and came in with steel pens. It 
is a disease of clerks and not of brain workers or authors, and 
develops generally at about the age of 30, very rarely as late as 
47. Among 24 private cases, all but four began in the 20 's or 
SG'S. Among all the signatures that I have seen or collected, 
there was none remotely suggesting that of Shakespeare. 

I am not able to make a diagnosis of Shakespeare's neural con- 
dition. The signatures show a terminal blurring, which indicates 
fatigue of the automatic mechanism called into play in writing, 
but one can certainly exclude presumptive troubles like paralysis 
agitans, alcoholism and writer's cramp. It is a fair supposition, 
however, that a man who dies at fifty-two and has some trouble 
with his handwriting, had vascular disease. A thrombotic condi- 
tion affecting his left mid-brain and disturbing the automatic 
association mechanisms of that region would explain his defective 



Clinical Professor of Neurology, Columbia University 




DURING the past few years I have given especial attention to the 
problem of motility in health and disease and to the neural 
mechanisms governing its various manifestations. On the basis 
of these investigations I have formulated a new conception of the 
efferent nervous system, founded on the existence of separate 
mechanisms subserving respectively the functions of motion and 
posture [see Bibliography (i)]. 

The present study concerns the static and kinetic representations 
of the efferent system in the psychic sphere, and the psychomotor 
disturbances resulting from disorders of cortical function. This 
is the realm of purposive acts and movements and includes such 
disorders of higher motility as apraxia, perseveration and stereo- 
typed movements and attitudes. Before passing to this subject, 
however, I will give a brief outline of my views on the dual nature 
of the efferent system and its bearing on the general question 
of motility. 

According to my theory, the kinetic mechanism consists of a 
series of systems which are concerned with the production and 
co-ordination of movement, the static system representing 
a co-extensive series of neural systems which are concerned with 
the maintenance and co-ordination of posture. All of the compli- 
cated phenomena of motility are dependent upon these twin 
mechanisms, which function together in harmonious co-operation. 

The conception of a static and a kinetic mechanism, functioning 
together in the interest of motion and posture, finds confirmation 
in many different fields of research. There is also evidence 
showing that these two components of motility present a parallelism 
of structure and function at various levels of the efferent 

That there is mutual co-operation and harmony in the activity 



of these two systems is shown by reciprocal innervation, which is 
represented in the muscular activities of both the vegetative and 
cerebro-spinal nervous systems. Indeed, reciprocal innervation, 
as I conceive it, is essentially a harmonious interplay of innerva- 
tion and denervation between these mutually antagonistic 
physiological systems. 

Not only in the nervous system, but in the muscle fibre itself, 
there is evidence of a duality of structure and function. Movement 
is dependent on the fibrillary structure of the muscle fibre and 
postural fixation on its sarcoplasm and the differentiation of these 
two substances may be followed through the various stages of 
muscle development in the evolution of the striated from the 
nonstriated muscle fibre. 

The neural systems of motility, therefore, like those of sensibility, 
may be resolved into more than one component, subserving 
different modalities of function, which result from the adaptation 
of the organism to surrounding physical forces. For the animal 
body, in its relation to the outer world, is either at rest or in a 
state of motion, and these two functions, so different in character, 
are both under the control of separate components of the efferent 
nervous system and its effector organs. 

The cerebellum is, I believe, the essential integrating and 
correlating mechanism for the control of static function. All of 
the posture systems pass to the cerebellum for final integration 
and co-ordination, which is in accord with the nature of the 
posturing mechanism and its secondary and unconscious r61e in 
motility. For, while the higher forms of movement are initiated 
as conscious and voluntary processes, the corresponding postures 
are secondary, and follow automatically in the path of movement. 

In striking contrast to this function, the kinetic mechanism is 
concerned with the transmission and co-ordination of impulses 
underlying movement, and represented in the arch&okinetic, 
pcdaokinetic, and neokinetic systems [see Bibliography (2)]. These 
various physiological levels are in control of reflex, automatic- 
associated and isolated-synergic types of movement. 

In harmony with the duality of function in the central nervous 
system the striated muscle fibre is also composed of two distinct 
substances, one subserving a contractile, the other a postural 
function. The sarcostyle is the contractile portion of the muscle 
fibre and represents the myokinetic mechanism ; the sarcoplasm 
is a more homogeneous substance and represents the postural or 
myostatic mechanism. 


In the disorders of motility, as in normal motility, both the 
kinetic and static systems participate, although it is possible to 
indicate one or the other as essentially involved. 

Chorea, paramyoclonus multiplex, myokymia and the tremor 
of paralysis agitans are of kinetic origin. Myotonia, on the 
other hand, is referable to the static system. 

The characteristic symptoms of cerebellar disease, dyssynergia, 
dysmetria, dysdiadokokinesis and intention tremor indicate a 
disturbance of posture synergy and are referable to the static 
system. This subject I have discussed more fully in a special 
study of cerebellar function [see Bibliography (3)]. 

The principle of duality of function is also applicable to the 
vegetative mechanism, which represents the lowest phylogenetic 
level of the nervous system, the parasympathetic subserving a 
kinetic and the sympathetic outflow a static function. Here, the 
unstriped contractile fibre, like the striped variety, is composed 
of two distinct substances, the fibrillae and the sarcoplasm, which 
subserve respectively primitive types of motion and primitive 
types of posture. 

Therefore, in the realm of the vegetative as in the cerebro-spinal 
system it may be stated, as a general principle, that a disorder of 
the myostatic component affects postural tone, and a disturbance 
of the myokinetic system is characterised by a disorder of move- 
ment itself. 

From this outline of my theory it will appear that the whole 
efferent nervous system presents a duality of function and structure, 
each of the great functional levels being characterised by a special 
type of movement and of posture. Each level is under the control 
of the higher level so that the efferent system is made up of a series 
of superimposed mechanisms, which represent a recapitulation 
of the phylogenetic history of motility. 

Psychostatic and Psychoklnetic Systems 

I will now pass to a consideration of the representations of 
these two systems in the psychic sphere, for even in this complex 
realm evidences of a dual function are manifested in the morbid 
physiology of disease. 

In the higher motor activities of the cerebral cortex the simpler 
elements of motility, both palaeokinetic and neokinetic, undergo 
various combinations and are expressed as purposive acts and 


postures. This is the field of acquired motility, and one which 
may be indefinitely expanded with experience and the increasing 
demands of civilisation. Purposive acts are the natural expression 
of motility at the psychic level and present every conceivable 
variation, according to the habits and education of the individual. 
They represent ideas which are transformed and expressed in 

In symptomatology a loss of this function is called apraxia, a 
term signifying an incapacity to execute purposive movements 
notwithstanding the preservation of muscular power, sensibility 
and co-ordination. In this disorder the defect is situated in those 
areas of the cerebral cortex where ideas are formed and expressed 
as purposive movements and postures. 

Among the psychomotor activities of this description may be 
mentioned such simple acts as lighting a cigarette, closing a door, 
use of the knife and fork, and indeed all of those arts and crafts 
which are acquired by training and experience, the imprint of which 
remains fixed in memory and may be recalled and transformed 
into their corresponding actions and attitudes. In this sense the 
idea of an action or of an attitude is dependent for its expression 
upon a psychokinctic or psychostatic representation, in the same 
manner that a rellex movement or a synergic movement is depen- 
dent upon its corresponding kinetic mechanism. 

Two great clinical types of apraxia may be recognised. One is 
due to a loss of the memories of objects, with a resulting -amnesic 
apraxia. The other is dependent upon a loss of the ability to 
perform the act, the necessary content being undisturbed. This 
constitutes the motor apraxia, and in this sense certain motor 
disorders of speech and writing may be mentioned as apraxias of 
a higher order. Motor apraxia is therefore a paralysis of pur- 
posive movements and is the analogue in the psychomotor sphere 
of the other cardinal types of motor paralysis. 

Kinetic and Static Perseveration 

In apraxia a peculiar manifestation has been described by some 
writers as perseveration, which appears to have a direct bearing 
on the question of psychostatic and psychokinetic representa- 

Perseveration in motor apraxia may be defined as the continued 


repetition of a given movement-complex when another act is 
intended. The repetition does not occur spontaneously but only 
when some new act is intended and in place of that act. This is 
a not uncommon symptom and has been termed by Liepmann [see 
Bibliography (4)] intentional perseveration. Another form of 
perseveration is that in which the patient continues making a 
particular movement or movement-complex, showing an inability 
to inhibit the movement once it has been initiated. Both of these 
types are well recognised in the symptomatology of nervous and 
mental disease. 

It is interesting to note that perseveration may also occur in 
the sphere of speech and writing. 

In addition to the types which are characterised by a disorder 
of movement there is another form of perseveration which is related 
to the posture sphere, and is characterised by a cessation or 
fixation of movement. In this form the patient comes to a stand- 
still during or at the close of the performance of a given act. This 
may appear as a local or general manifestation, but in either case 
there is a fixation in a particular attitude which is maintained 
almost indefinitely. Cases presenting this symptom have been 
described by Pick [see Bibliography (5)], Kroll [see Bibliography 
((>)] and Coriat [see Bibliography (7)]. 

According to Wilson and Walsh e [see Bibliography (8)] the 
repetition of a given movement in place of another, and the 
continued repetition of a given movement, when in a normal 
individual it would cease, should be known as active perseveration, 
whereas the cessation of action which results in the maintenance 
of an attitude, either in the middle or at the end of a given move- 
ment-complex should be known as passive perseveration. These 
terms they suggest in preference to clonic and tonic which were 
used by Liepmann in his description of the same type. 

The terms kinetic and static perseveration may also be used 
in this connection and are even more descriptive as referring 
to the specific type of motor representation involved in the 

In Pick's [see Bibliography (5)] study of motor apraxia cases are 
described which have a special bearing on this problem. One of 
his patients, asked to take a drink out of a jug on the table, put 
his lips and face into the mouth of the jug and remained so prac- 
tically without moving. Another patient, asked to light a candle, 
held the match alight in her right hand, in the neighbourhood of 
the wick, quite immobile, until the match burned her fingers. These 


are examples of static perseveration. There is a premature pos- 
tural fixation of a purposive movement before the purpose of the 
movement has been carried out. 

In kinetic perseveration the patient continues uninterruptedly 
making a particular movement or movement-complex. Liep- 
mann's patient, for instance, having begun to write certain words 
was unable to stop, and continued scribbling in senseless repetition. 
Campbell's [see Bibliography (9)] patient " continued to shake 
hands for an unusual length of time." A patient observed by 
Wilson, writing her name " Winnie," wrote Winninninninn . . 
indefinitely. A patient of Breukink, peeling potatoes, went on 
peeling indefinitely, apparently unable to cease. 

Both of these forms therefore represent a cortical disorder of 
motility and are dependent on the release of static and kinetic 
representations at this level of the nervous system. One is a 
kinetic perseveration and the other a static perseveration, and 
both are referable to an organic disorder of the efferent system in 
the psychic sphere. 

Psychokinetic and Psychostatic Manifestations of Hysteria 

Among the various paroxysmal crises of major hysteria 
psychostatic and psychokinetic types of reaction may be 

The classical types of hysterical disorders of motility : con- 
vulsions, chorea, myoclonus, and tremor are all examples of the 
release of kinetic representations. These motor phenomena are 
all of psychogenic origin and are initiated by unconscious mental 
mechanisms or dissociations of cortical function. They often 
simulate very closely other kinetic manifestations which originate 
in lower motor mechanisms. 

Disorders of the posture mechanism may also occur in major 
hysteria, an important example of which is catalepsy ; this may be 
partial or general and is characterised by a peculiar stiffness of the 
musculature and a waxy resistance on making passive movements. 
This is the flexibilitas cerea which fixes the limb in posture 
as soon as movement ceases and which may persist for a long 
period of time. A certain resemblance between myotonia and 
catalepsy may be mentioned and is of special interest, as 
both of these symptoms, I believe, are referable to the static 


Stereotyped Movements and Attitudes in Dementia Preecox 

In other disorders of cortical function, the occurrence of kinetic 
and static types of reaction are also evident in the symptomato- 

In dementia praecox, with its widespread disorder of psychic 
functions many peculiar disturbances of motility are described. 
Where there is a disturbance of the static mechanism, there is 
permanent fixation of certain muscles in various postures or 
attitudes, which may persist for weeks, months or even years. 
In the kinetic sphere there occur the various stereotyped move- 
ments which are so common in the catatonic form of this disorder. 
These movements may be repeated countless times over long 

According to Kraepelin [see Bibliography (n)] "stereotypy is a 
persistent fixation of certain muscle groups or a repetition of the 
same movement ; in the first case the patients, in spite of all external 
influences, may retain the same attitude for weeks, months or years, 
with scarcely any change. They may stand in the same posture, 
often a very uncomfortable one, or kneel on a certain spot. The 
facial expression is stiff and mask-like, and the winking reflex 
diminished or obliterated. 

" Stereotyped movements are naturally much more varied in 
character. Among these may be mentioned the somersault, 
rhythmical clapping, making the sign of the cross, jumping, falling, 
rolling and creeping on the ground. Bizarre arm movements, 
pulling the clothing and hair, bowing, balancing, rocking 
movements and grinding of the teeth. These movements 
may be repeated numberless times for weeks and months. It 
is almost impossible to stop them and they sometimes cause 

" In the terminal stage of catatonia one encounters occasionally 
a form of stereotypy which only faintly resembles those just 
described. This form is characterised by regular rhythmical 
movements, especially balancing and swinging of the body, biting 
and nodding movements of the head/' According to Kraepelin, 
such symptoms are always the sign of a serious loss of volitional 
power and one is reminded of the rhythmical movements of certain 
animals, and it is possible that such movements are the expression 
of lower representations in our nervous system, which by the 
destruction of higher activities attain an independent expression 
in the sphere of motility. 


Concluding Remarks 

In the foregoing pages I have considered briefly the posture 
and motion components of the efferent system, their underlying 
neural mechanisms and their relation to symptomatology. 

In the central nervous system of man, four great physiological 
divisions of the efferent mechanism may be recognised, which 
correspond to the evolutionary epochs in the development of 
motility. These are represented by reflex, the automatic- 
associated, isolated-synergic and purposive types of movements. 

In the psychic sphere, as at the other levels, there are evidences 
of the dual nature of the efferent system. In this realm mental 
processes and movements are associated in innumerable combina- 
tions. This is a vast domain where motility ranges with intellect 
in the manifold activities presented by the life of man, and where 
purposive movements are but the functional homologues of reflex 
and synergic movements of lower levels. 


(1) Hunt (Ramsay) : 

a. The Dual Nature of the Efferent Nervous System. A 
Further Study of the Static and Kinetic Systems, their 
Function and Symptomatology. Archives of N enrol, 
and Psych., July, 1923, Vol. x, p. 37 

b. The Static and Kinetic Systems of Motility. Archives 
of N enrol, and Psych., October, 1920, Vol. IV, p. 353 

c. The Static or Posture System and its Relation to Postural 
Hypertonic States of the Skeletal Muscles, Spasticity, 
Rigidity and Tonic Spasm. Neurological Bulletin, June, 
1921, Vol. Ill, No. 6, p. 207 

(2) Hunt (Ramsay) : 

a. Progressive Atrophy of the Globus Pallidus (Primary 
Atrophy of the Pallidal System) : a System Disease of 
the Paralysis Agitans Type, Characterised by Atrophy 
of the Motor Cells of the Corpus Striatum. Brain, 
1917, Vol. XL, Part i, p. 58 

b. Primary Atrophy of the Pallidal System : a Contribution 
to the Nature and Pathology of Paralysis Agitans. 
Archives of Intern. Med. f November, 1918, Vol. XXII, 
p. 647 

(3) Hunt (Ramsay) : 

Dyssynergia Cerebellaris Myoclonica (Primary Atrophy of 
the Dentate System) : a Contribution to the Pathology 
and Symptomatology of the Cerebellum. Brain, 1921, 
Vol. XLIV, p. 490 


(4) Liepmann : 

Ueber Storungen des Handelns bei Gehirn-Kranken, Berlin, 

Studien iiber motorische Ataxie, Leipzig and Wien, 1905 

(6) Kroll: 

Beitrage zum Studium der Apraxie. Zeitsch. f. d. ges. 
Neur. u. Psych., 1910, Bd. II, S. 315 

(7) Coriat : 

The Psychopathology of Apraxia. Amer. Journ. of Psych. , 
1911, XXII, p. 65 

(8) Wilson and Walshe : 

The Phenomena of Tonic Innervation and its Relation to 
Motor Apraxia. Brain, 1914, XXXVII, p. 199 

(9) Campbell (MacFie) : 

Agraphia in a Case of Frontal Tumor. Review of Neur. 
and Psych., 1911, IX, p. 289 

(10) Breukink : 

Ueber Patienten mit Perseveration und asymbolischen und 
aphasischen. Erscheinungen. Journ. f. Psych, u. Neur., 
1907, IX, p. 113 

(n) Kraepelin : 

Stereotypie : Psychiatrie, Vol. i, 1909, p. 389 




Fellow of University College, London; Physician in Psycho- 
logical Medicine, University College Hospital, London ; Lecturer 
in Psychiatry, University College Hospital Medical School 




THE aim of this paper is to describe, in summary fashion, the 
history of psychopathology as a branch of science, and to con- 
sider how far it has succeeded in establishing its claim to an assured 
position within the fold of science. 

The extent and boundaries of the path we desire to traverse 
will be made clearer if some preliminary words are devoted to 
the precise meaning of the terms in which the subject of inquiry 
has been defined. Psychopathology is to be understood, not as 
a mere description of mental symptoms, but as an endeavour 
to explain disorder or certain disorders in terms of psychological 
processes. Its difference from a mere description of mental 
symptoms is of the same order as that which exists between 
clinical medicine on the one hand, and on the other hand 
that explanation of the phenomena of clinical medicine in 
terms of causal processes which constitutes pathology. 
" Explain " is used here in the sense in which it constitutes 
the goal of the method of science. Science is not a compila- 
tion of facts, but a method of dealing with our experience. 
It consists in (i) the recording and classification of phenomenal 
experience, (2) the finding of formulae which will serve to resume 
that experience. This latter part involves the construction of 
concepts or " laws " which will embrace the phenomena we have 
observed, and enable us to predict the occurrence of further 
phenomena, the validity of the " law " being tested by its capacity 
to fulfil these two conditions. The function of the scientific law 
and its relationship to the phenomena with which it is concerned 
may be exemplified by chemical phenomena and the atomic 
theory, physical phenomena and the law of gravitation, the 
phenomena of light and heat and the ether theory. It should 
be observed that these laws are not found or observed by the 
investigator, they are constructed by him to explain what he has 



found or observed. The aim of science is to understand and control 
our phenomenal experience, and the validity of the concepts it 
constructs is determined by the extent to which they satisfy this 
aim. Each branch of science claims the right to construct its 
own concepts, provided that they are constructed according to 
the rules of scientific method. 

That portion of our experience which is constituted by the 
behaviour of living organisms has been attacked by several 
branches of science, each regarding the phenomena from its 
own standpoint, and interpreting them in terms of its own concepts. 
Biology, for example, interprets the phenomena of living organ- 
isms in terms of life process and biological laws, physiology in 
terms of nervous energy, reflex action and so forth, chemistry in 
terms of the interaction of chemical compounds. Some of the 
phenomena are capable of explanation by the concepts of more 
than one branch of science, some can be more intelligibly and 
usefully explained by the concepts of one branch than by those 
of another, some are at present capable of explanation by the 
concepts of one branch only. The hope is always before us that 
the concepts of one branch may ultimately be reduced to the 
concepts of another, especially when the latter are concepts of a 
wider validity. There is a reasonable hope, for example, that 
the concepts of nervous energy and reflex action may ultimately 
be reduced to the wider concepts of chemistry and physics. But 
to a large extent such a reduction is a goal of the future, and 
for the present each branch must be content to explain whatever 
phenomena it can in terms of its own concepts, having always in 
view the essential aim of all science, the understanding and control 
of our experience by the fashioning of scientifically constructed 
" laws." 

Can psychology claim a place as one of the branches of science 
capable of usefully explaining the phenomena of living organisms ? 
For a long time this claim was denied, and psychology was treated 
as an alien with no right of entry into the fold of science, because 
it dealt with non-material and non-spatial objects which the 
crude philosophy of the nineteenth-century scientist regarded as 
necessarily incapable of scientific treatment, and even as 
" epiphenomenal " and unreal. So soon as it was realised, 
however, that science is not defined by the nature of the objects 
with which it deals, but by the method of investigation applied 
to those objects, and that its field comprises the whole field of 
our experience, then the right of psychology to contribute its 


quota to the explanation of the phenomena presented by living 
organisms could no longer be gainsaid. Moreover, psychology 
could claim the right to interpret the phenomena in psychological 
terms, and to construct psychological concepts in order to explain 
those phenomena. The only condition, but one rigidly to be 
observed, was that the concepts must be constructed according to 
the method .of science, that is to say, they must be based on 
carefully observed experience, they must serve to resume that 
experience, and they must be verifiable by an appeal to experience. 

How far psychology has attempted to carry out this task in 
the elucidation of certain disorders of the human organism, how 
far it has succeeded, and what limitations have been found to 
beset its path, these are the problems which form the subject 
of this paper. 

There are certain disorders in which the clinical phenomena 
have a dominantly psychological character, and are only capable 
of being adequately described in psychological terms. These are 
the psychoses, comprising the various types of insanity. This 
sphere would seem to be the most obvious one to attack by a 
psychological method, and it might have been thought that 
psychopathology would have found here its most suitable material 
and its best chance of successful results. Actually, however, the 
historical development of psychopathology has taken a different 
road. The first great advances were made in a field where the 
most prominent phenomena were not mental at all, the field of 
hysteria with its anaesthesias, paralyses, and other disturbances 
of an apparently physical kind. Physiology had previously 
attempted to explain hysteria by its conception of " functional 
nervous disorder," but this conception failed to satisfy the canons 
by which every scientific conception must stand or fall. It was 
not based on observed experience, but merely on a theoretical 
assumption designed to bring hysteria into line with organic 
diseases. It did not enable the investigator to understand the 
phenomena with which he had to deal, it did not enable him to 
predict their course and occurrence nor to control their course 
and occurrence, and it could not be verified by any appeal to 
experience. It was, in fact, useless, in the sense that a scientific 
conception, being a weapon with which we hope to achieve our 
end, is useless if it does not help us towards that end. The way 
was clear, therefore, for a fresh attempt to explain hysteria, and 
the foundation of a psychopathological conception was laid by 
Charcot when he proposed the view that certain hysterical 


phenomena were due to " ideas." The avenue thus opened was 
explored by one of Charcot's pupils, Pierre Janet. He investigated 
the various phenomena of hysteria and found that they were 
capable of being interpreted in precise psychological terms, and 
finally he succeeded in formulating a conception which served to 
explain, in part at any rate, the nature of those phenomena. 
This conception will be best understood by describing the steps 
of Janet's researches with regard to one group of hysterical 
phenomena, functional anaesthesia, and we shall do this in some 
detail because it provides an excellent example of the employment 
by psychopathology of a method which conforms strictly to the 
method of science. In the first place, it was found that the 
anaesthesias, although they did not correspond in their distribution 
to the distribution of any section of the nervous system, did 
have a distribution which corresponded to something. The 
familiar glove anaesthesias, for example, ending in sharp lines at 
the level of the wrist, had a distribution inexplicable by any 
lesion of the nervous system, but their distribution corresponded 
precisely to the patient's idea of his own hand. That is to say, 
the incidence of the symptom was plainly determined by a factor 
of a psychological order, and it would therefore be profitable to 
seek for a psychological conception in order to explain it. 
Secondly, these anaesthesias exhibited a curious paradoxical 
character. Patients suffering from extensive anaesthesias in- 
volving a whole limb or half the body rarely appeared to sustain 
any accidental injury to the anaesthetic part, whereas in patients 
with relatively far smaller organic anaesthesias, syringo-myelics 
for example, such injuries frequently occurred. It would seem, 
indeed, that the hysterical patient must be able to feel with his 
anaesthetic limb in order to evade the accidents which would 
otherwise inevitably befall it. Similarly, patients with hysterical 
amblyopia of such a degree that the field of vision was reduced 
to a single point were able to play at ball, a performance obviously 
impossible unless the greater part of the retina were capable of 
receiving visual impressions. This paradoxical character was, 
perhaps, exemplified most clearly by the case of a boy who, after 
being in a fire, developed hysterical phenomena consisting, on the 
one hand, in the occurrence of hysterical fits whenever the patient 
saw a flame, and, on the other hand, in an amblyopia whereby^the 
visual field was restricted to 30. If the boy were tested with 
a perimeter he was unable to see the paper disc until it had 
travelled along the perimeter arm to the 30 radius. If, however, 


a lighted match were substituted for the disc of paper, then 
immediately it reached the limits of normal vision a fit occurred. 
Quite clearly, therefore, the patient was able to see over the 
whole field of normal vision, and equally clearly, he was blind 
to everything outside 30. 

The conception which Janet constructed to explain these 
phenomena was the conception of " dissociation of consciousness." 
He presumed that consciousness, instead of pursuing its course 
as a single homogeneous stream, was capable of being split into 
two or more independent currents, so that the consciousness 
belonging to one current would be unaware of, and unable to 
control, that belonging to another contemporaneous current. 
Hysterical anaesthesia was then explicable as the result of such 
a dissociation, the sensations from the anaesthetic area not being 
non-existent, but diverted into a current separated from the main 
stream of consciousness. Although thus cut off and therefore 
incapable of being perceived by the main stream, they could 
influence the motor apparatus, and thereby produce just those 
phenomena which had been observed, the avoidance of injury by 
the hemi-ansesthetic and the fits in the blind boy. The conception 
of dissociation therefore served to explain the observed phenomena, 
and it could, moreover, be experimentally verified. The patient 
could be hypnotised, for example, and access being thereby 
obtained to the dissociated portion, the actual existence of the 
sensations belonging to the anaesthetic area could be conclusively 

Functional paralyses could be similarly explained, and the 
conception of dissociation was found to be applicable to a wide 
range of hysterical phenomena, including amnesias, somnambu- 
lisms, and double personality. Janet's work was confirmed and 
amplified by a number of subsequent investigators, in particular 
by the extensive and important researches of Dr Morton Prince, 
and the value of dissociation as an explanatory concept has now 
been established beyond question. Certain difficulties appear in 
applying it to some of the phenomena with which we have to deal, 
but these are due rather to misapprehension of the nature of the 
concept than to defects in the concept itself. For example, in 
many cases of hypnotic somnambulism the hypnotic consciousness 
is aware of the whole range of the patient's experience, whereas 
the personal consciousness has no knowledge of the experience 
belonging to the hypnotic consciousness. This one-sided and 
non-reciprocal lack of awareness may seem difficult to explain 


by dissociation, which would appear necessarily to involve a break 
between the two streams of consciousness, equally untraversable 
in whichever direction it might be attempted, whereas in the 
example we have cited the break is impassable when viewed 
from the side of the personal consciousness, and traversable with 
ease when viewed from the side of the hypnotic consciousness. 
The difficulty is, however, dependent upon a misconception of 
the nature of dissociation, and an abuse of the spatial metaphor 
in which it has been defined. Dissociation, of course, does not 
imply an actual separation in space, and from the nature of the 
phenomena with which it is concerned it obviously can have no 
real spatial significance whatever. The dissociation is a functional 
dissociation, an " out of gear " relationship, and if this is understood 
the existence of a non-reciprocal dissociation ceases to be inex- 
plicable. The spatial metaphor, in which psychological concepts 
are often expressed, is valid and useful so long as its real nature 
is carefully kept in mind, but it leads easily to abuse and 
untrustworthy deductions.* 

Dissociation may be regarded as the first-fruit of psycho- 
pathology. It was a conception built up by a strictly scientific 
method, it illuminated a vast field of phenomena which had 
hitherto baffled every attempt at explanation, and it opened up 
the way to therapeutic possibilities in which that control of 
phenomenal experience which is the ultimate goal of science was 
abundantly satisfied. Dissociation, however, only takes us a 
certain distance in the understanding of the phenomena with 
which we are dealing, and a further step is clearly required to 
answer the question, " Why does dissociation take place ? " This 
further step was attempted by Freud, but before considering the 
immensely important concepts which he has introduced, it will 
be desirable briefly to trace out a path of development in psycho- 
pathology parallel to that traversed by Janet. 

Psychopathology had approached the problem of hysteria with 
the aid of another conception, that of " suggestion/' This 
conception had had a long historical development including in 
its course the observation of certain phenomena by Mesmer, 
ascribed by him to " animal magnetism," the observation and 
induction of similar phenomena by the hypnotists, and the 
ascription of these phenomena by Bernheim to " suggestion." 

* This danger, for example, has particularly to be kept in mind in estimat- 
ing the value of the Freudian psychology with its extensive use of a complicated, 
spatial terminology in the conceptions of the conscious, pre-conscious, and 


Suggestion has since been investigated from many aspects, down 
to the work of Cou6 at the present time, and it has been invoked 
by Babinski as the essential and finally sufficient explanation 
of the phenomena of hysteria. The conception involved may be 
crudely described as the principle that the introduction of an 
idea, or, more properly, a conviction, into the mind of an individual, 
will tend to produce certain definite results in that individual. 
These results may be pathological, as in the production of hysterical 
symptoms, indifferent as in the countless examples of suggestion 
which we see in everyday life, or remedial as in the practice of 
suggestion as a therapeutic measure. The conception is clearly 
a psychological conception, and it has proved its value beyond all 
question as a weapon in the hands of the practising physician. 
It is, moreover, a valid conception when examined by the test 
of its conformity to the rules of scientific method. But it is a 
conception so vague, and so general in its application to mental 
processes, that it does not help us far in an understanding of the 
particular problems presented by disease. Babinski's use of it 
as a sufficient explanation of hysteria is clearly inadequate, and 
does not constitute more than a first step in the understanding 
of that disorder. We want to know why suggestion is so potent in 
this individual patient, and why certain suggestions are im- 
mediately effective in him, while others fail entirely. 

We find, indeed, that in this case, as in the conception of dissocia- 
tion, we have been helped to travel a certain distance, but that 
the need of a further advance is imperatively felt. The stage in 
the development of psychopathology to which these conceptions 
belong is comparable to that existing in the history of astronomy 
at the time of Kepler. Kepler had shown that the planets move 
in ellipses round the sun, but he could not explain why they 
did so. This latter achievement was the work of Newton with 
his formulation of the law of gravity. Newton's step was based 
on the conception that the phenomena observed were the result 
of certain hypothetical forces, interacting in accordance with 
certain precisely definable laws. It thus added a dynamic con- 
ception as a means of understanding the observed sequence of 
phenomena. * The corresponding step in the construction of 
a psychological conception capable of taking us beyond the level 
reached by dissociation and suggestion clearly required a similar 
advance to a dynamic point of view, and this was, as a matter 
of fact, the advance which was actually attempted at the stage 
of the history of psychopathology which we are now describing. 


This advance was made by Freud, and it constitutes a landmark 
of the first importance in the development of psychopathology. 
It marks the essential point of transition from the arid days of 
the academic psychology with its meticulous introspective descrip- 
tion of mental processes, to the vigorous conceptual and dynamic 
method of attack which characterises all growing science. Space 
does not permit of a detailed description of the growth of this 
dynamic conception, and the general lines of Freud's teaching 
are now so well known that it is unnecessary to recapitulate them 
here. It will be profitable, however, to emphasise those broad 
features which mark the place of Freud's work in the line of 
historical development which we are considering, and from this 
point of view the essential principles underlying Freud's concep- 
tions may be sketched as follows. The series of phenomena which 
constitute conscious life and behaviour are the result of the inter- 
action of a number of psychological " forces," acting according 
to precise psychological " laws."* Two or more forces may work 
harmoniously together or they may conflict with one another. 
In the latter case an attempt at adjustment occurs, and certain 
of these attempted adjustments are of such a kind that morbid 
phenomena are produced, these morbid phenomena constituting 
the symptoms observed in certain forms of disorder. 

Freud has built upon these basic principles a very elaborate 
structure, and in it are incorporated many further concepts, 
amongst which two may be selected for special mention. These 
are the conception of the Unconscious, and the Sex Theories. 
Both have been subjected to vigorous attack, partly on grounds 
which are inadequate and misleading, and it is necessary to deal 
with these inadequate criticisms before passing on to the problem 
which is our immediate concern here, the conformity of Freud's 
teachings to the canons of scientific method. 

The conception of the unconscious, formulated by Freud in 
order to explain the facts of consciousness and behaviour, has 
been attacked on the ground that it is philosophically untenable 
and intrinsically absurd. It has been held that mental phenomena 
must be conscious or non-existent, and that the notion of un- 
conscious mental processes therefore involves an inherent contra- 
diction. This objection rests upon a confusion between phenomena 
and concepts, and a misapprehension of the function of a scientific 

* A parallel, and in many essential respects identical dynamic principle 
has been reached by other psychologists, in particular by McDougall in his 
Introduction to Social Psychology. 


concept. The conception of the unconscious has been formulated 
to explain the observed phenomena, and its validity is no more 
dependent on its existence as a phenomenal fact, than the validity 
of a weightless, frictionless ether as a weapon of scientific 
explanation is dependent upon its phenomenal existence. In both 
cases the validity of the concept is measured by its utility in 
resuming, explaining, and enabling us to control the observed 

Freud's sex theories have been attacked, sometimes explicitly, 
but more often implicitly, on ethical grounds. Objections of this 
kind have, of course, no place or relevancy in positive science, 
and only need to be mentioned in order that they may be at once 

Freud claims that his doctrines have been built up entirely on 
an empirical basis, by the observation of the facts of consciousness 
and behaviour, and the legitimate formulation of concepts to 
explain those observed facts. There seems good reason to accept, 
moreover, the frequently made statement that most observers 
who have investigated these facts by Freud's method have arrived 
at similar results and have confirmed Freud's teaching. It would 
seem, also, that Freud's concepts are constructed in a form which 
is unimpeachable according to the canons of the method of science, 
and that, if they are based upon observed facts, they satisfy all 
the requirements of those canons. It is, however, precisely the 
relation of psychoanalytic doctrine to the observed facts which 
requires careful investigation and consideration, and there is some 
reason to question whether the claim that the doctrines are 
directly based on facts of observation is legitimate. It is true that 
the doctrines are based on " facts," but these facts are not directly 
observed they are reached by the employment of a peculiar 
method, the method of psychoanalysis. This method intervenes, 
as it were, between the actual facts of observation and the prepared 
facts upon which the concepts are based, and it is of such a 
character that the possibility of distortion cannot with certainty 
be excluded. The preconceptions of the analyst and of the 
patient, the deductions made by either or both from the material 
which rises into consciousness, the stage at which a series of 
associations is taken to have reached a significant point, all these 
may be influenced by disturbing factors, and unfortunately the 
influences at work are, at any rate so far as our present knowledge 
goes, of an incalculable character. It is at least clear that the 
"facts" of observation, upon which the Freudian conceptions 


are based, are of a very different type to those to which we are 
accustomed in other branches of science. An essential rule of 
scientific method is that in the construction of concepts and 
theories a frequent appeal to experience or experiment must be 
possible, and when made should yield results consonant with 
the concept or theory in question. In other words, our course 
in the regions of conceptual thinking, where it is possible to 
wander unconstrainedly in almost every direction, must be 
constantly guided and checked by stepping frequently on to the 
solid ground of phenomenal experience. We have seen that, in 
the evaluation of Freudian psychology, this appeal is not available 
in the sense in which it is available in other branches of science. 
There is an appeal to experience, but this experience is a specially 
" prepared " experience. 

It is necessary to point out, however, that the defect which has 
been described is not peculiar to the Freudian methods, but is to 
some extent inherent in all psychological research. It constitutes, 
indeed, as Drever has shown, the essential weakness of all psycho- 
logical method. In psychology the only objective facts are 
behaviour facts, and in order to deal with them by the psycho- 
logical method we require to go behind these facts to the subjective 
experience underlying them, and thereby to find a new series 
of facts on which the concepts are ultimately to be constructed. 
For this reason psychology seems doomed always to occupy an 
invidious position in the scientific hierarchy, and hence explanation 
of a particular series of phenomena by the concepts of another 
branch of science is always likely to be accepted in preference 
to a psychological explanation if both are available.* Neverthe- 
less, the defect under consideration is more glaringly apparent 
in the Freudian theories than in other instances of psychological 
method, in that the process of " going behind " the facts to 
establish a second series of facts is more extensive and complicated, 
and takes one further and further from an appeal to phenomenal 
experience as we are led into the depths of the " unconscious." 
In such relatively simple conceptions as Janet's " dissociation," 
on the other hand, the amount of inferential deduction beyond 
objectively ascertainable facts is very slight ; an appeal to 
phenomenal experience can be made at almost every step, and 
the objections on the score of scientific method are therefore 
correspondingly small. 

* J. Drever Instinct in Man. Cambridge University Press. 2nd 
edition, 1921. Chap. I. 


Confirmation of the criticism just put forward is furnished by 
comparing the widely divergent conceptions reached by different 
investigators in the analytic field, those, for example, put forward 
by Freud, Jung and Rivers. In all these different schools of 
thought the weapons of research are forged of much the same 
metal, and in not very dissimilar patterns, and yet the results 
obtained by their use are extraordinarily divergent. Moreover, 
in face of this divergence we can make no confident decision 
between the conflicting claims, because the test of appeal to 
phenomenal experience, the test by which a similar situation in 
other branches of science is generally speedily resolved, cannot be 
adequately and satisfactorily applied. 

An attempt may now be made to summarise the position reached 
by our review of the development of psychopathology. Psychology 
has clearly established its right to deal with the phenomena of 
human behaviour, and to formulate psychological concepts which 
will serve to explain those phenomena, provided that they are 
constructed according to the rule of scientific method. It has to be 
recognised that psychology is at a disadvantage in that its method 
is of a character which presents inherent difficulties to the complete 
satisfaction of those rules, and this disadvantage is equally 
apparent in the section of psychology constituted by psycho- 
pathology. Nevertheless, many of the simpler conceptions of 
psychopathology, such as dissociation, fail to satisfy the canons 
of science by so small a margin that it can safely be neglected. 
In other conceptions, however, particularly those of the analytic 
schools, the margin is so large that the doctrines of these schools 
cannot be said to have yet attained the standard which science 
demands. Yet the islands of rock which dot the sea of analytic 
speculation are so fertile and so suggestive of further solid ground 
extending far around them, that we cannot but feel that ultimately 
much of that sea will one day be turned into cultivated ground, 
and that the weapons of analytic research will be shown to be 
worthy of admission into the accredited armoury of science. 
The opinion may be ventured that the real need of the moment 
is the careful examination, testing, and perfecting of those 
weapons, rather than the fashioning of further structures by 
their aid. 



Professor of Experimental Psychology, Johns Hopkins University 




THE concept of subconscious processes has been developed in the 
theories and interpretations of many psychologists. The doctrine 
of " the unconscious " or the " unconscious mind " (the two terms 
have not always the same meaning) came into psychology through 
the philosophers, and has been taken up by Freud and his disciples 
as the foundation of the " new psychology." The conception of 
" co-consciousness," although vaguely involved in many of the 
theories concerning the " subconscious" and the " unconscious," 
we owe primarily to Morton Prince, and it has been an exceedingly 
valuable contribution towards the clearing up of a much confused 

The three terms subconscious, unconscious, and co-conscious 
are used interchangeably by loose writers. Especially are the first 
two frequently interchanged. Hence it is necessary to insist at 
this point that concepts are important primarily, and that names 
are of secondary importance. We shall apply these three names to 
the three distinct concepts, and what we shall say about each 
concept must not be confused with what might be said about 
another concept called by the same name. 

While these concepts might be discussed without reference to 
any general theory of psychology, it is much clearer to conduct 
the discussion in terms of a definite theory. We shall adopt, 
therefore, the reaction-hypothesis, which is rapidly coming to be 
the accepted basis for psychology. Further, we shall employ the 
distinction between the process of being conscious, or aware, on the 
one hand, and the content, or that of which one is aware, on the other, 
a distinction for which the author has been contending for some 
years, and which is well emphasised by Ginsberg,* as a means of 
avoiding needless confusion. 

The concept of subconscious processes is nothing more than 
the admission that the consciousness involved in our reactions 

* The Psychology of Society, p. 53. 


varies in degree, from the " focal " or highly " attentive " on the 
one hand, to the " marginal " or " fringe " consciousness on the 
other. Difference in respect to degree (vividness) may obtain 
between the consciousness at one moment and the consciousness 
at the next ; and also, in any given moment, between the conscious- 
ness of different details in the content. We need not enter into 
the discussion whether the gradation in degree is of a continuous 
sort, or whether there are three, five, or more distinct " grades " 
between " focus " and " margin. " The occurrence of the " mar- 
ginal" degree of subconsciousness, in other words, is tacitly 
or explicitly admitted by modern psychology. 

That subconscious processes are important, not only as modifying 
the total conscious pattern of the moment, but also as profoundly 
influencing succeeding processes, both conscious and non-conscious, 
is also generally admitted. The detail of the reaction-hypothesis 
which ascribes consciousness and its degrees to the integration of 
the total nervous system, and the variations in completeness of 
integration, is of high importance in the explanation of the efficacy 
of subconscious process, but it is not necessary to enter into the 
discussion of that explanation. The admission of the facts is 

The adoption of the conception of subconscious processes does 
not commit us to any of the various doctrines of the " unconscious 
mind " or of " co-consciousness," unless we commit an obvious 
logical fallacy and assume that, since the names of two concepts 
are confused, the concepts are the same. Both of these other 
concepts must be analysed, and their relations to fundamental 
facts and theories of psychology shown. 

If we may use the term " personality " for the system of conscious 
Processes in an organism, rather than for the outward expression of 
such processes, the " behaviour," as observable by another indivi- 
dual (both usages being, of course, permissible, if not confused), 
we may say that there are cases in which it appears as if two (or 
perhaps more) " personalities " are involved in one and the same 
total organism. Such cases are those which Dr Prince has investi- 

Now, from the point of view of the reaction-hypothesis, there 
is no reason to doubt, a priori, that such cases of " double person- 
ality " may occur, and Dr Prince's observations certainly establish 
a probability, even if some psychologists may deny that it is more 
than probability. But we must distinguish here between various 
possible forms of double personality. 


Over and above the specific integrations of the nervous system, 
and hence of specific phases of personality, we are forced to recog- 
nise that there are systematic tendencies to integration in each 
individual, and that these tendencies are not only emotional, but 
ideational. The individual tends to fall into certain emotional 
states upon certain stimulation : he also tends to think of certain 
things, and to remember certain types of things, under certain 
circumstances. And these integrative tendencies vary from day 
to day, and even over shorter periods. 

The interrelation of "instinct" and "habit" in these ten- 
dencies need not concern us here. Both " instinct " and " habit " 
are " tendencies " in the sense in which we here use the term, and 
are, according to our general psychological hypothesis, determined 
by the actual status of the nervous system at given moments. 
Changes in the nervous status, and hence in the " tendencies," are 
assumed to be brought about by nutritional processes to some 
extent, but to a greater extent by the successive operations of the 
nervous system under various stimulation. The status of the ner- 
vous system at a given moment is the basis of the tendency to react 
in this or that way upon a given stimulus pattern : but in so react- 
ing it may modify its own status, and hence modify its reaction 

Between some of the cases of alternating personality (such as 
the classic case of Ansel Bourne) and the modifications of person- 
ality which are constantly occurring in all of us, there seems to be 
no essential difference except in the degrees of modification suffered. 
In no such case is it necessary to assume that .there are two person- 
alities co-existing : that the integrations of the nervous mechanism 
form two simultaneous systems, but rather, that the two " per- 
sonalities " depend upon systematically different integrations of 
the mechanism at different times. So far as we know, the whole 
nervous system may be acting in both cases, and acting as integra- 
tedly in one as in the other ; but the system acts differently in the 
two cases, and in the most normal man the system, however well 
integrated, is acting differently at different moments. 

Yet, on the other hand, it may be true, as I understand Dr Prince 
to hold, that in some cases there are actually two personalities co- 
existing in the same organism, and, therefore, the nervous mechan- 
ism, instead of being integrated into a single system, is integrated 
into two systems, between which the connections are less close than 
the connections within them. 

Now, this conception offers no theoretical difficulties to our 


modern psychobiological theories. That a few million nerve cells 
might be able to combine into two systems, instead of one, our 
theories certainly do not deny ! Further, that these integrations 
may vary from time to time, one now including elements (such as 
the cells controlling the speech mechanism), which at another 
time are included by the other, is not excluded by our fundamental 
hypothesis. Nor can we see any reasons why both of these systems 
might not be " conscious " at the same time : that is, might give 
rise to highly integrated complex reactions therefore, conscious 
reactions. We accept, therefore, the hypothesis of co-conscious- 
ness as an important one, to be held distinctly in view in the inter- 
pretation of the phenomenon of personality, and to be accepted 
whenever it shall be experimentally demonstrated, or when we find 
phenomena which cannot be explained without it. 

There are, however, several points which must regulate our use 
of this hypothesis at the present time. 

1. If shown to apply to certain pathological cases, it would not 
necessarily be shown to be applicable to normal cases. The general 
tendency of the nervous system seems to be to integrate into a 
single system, and our general psychological interpretation of learn- 
ing and habit formation is based on this assumption. We 
would, therefore, unless we abandon much of our present psycho- 
logy, be forced to conclude that co-consciousness is an exception, 
pathological like Siamese twins, due to a failure of normal pro- 
cesses and tendencies. The existence of cases of co-consciousness 
would then be no proof of the assumption of a secondary " mind " 
or " consciousness " in normal individuals. 

2. Proceeding on the general principles essential to science, we 
should not adopt this hypothesis as explaining any cases, unless 
the ordinary hypotheses of psychology are obviously incompetent 
to explain them. And without wishing to be dogmatic on the 
point, I must confess that it seems to me that the same prosaic 
principles which explain the average individual's manifold person- 
ality change, and the change of Ansel Bourne, explain also the 
change in other cases just as well as the hypothesis of co-conscious- 
ness does. But, of course, I speak here only from second-hand 
acquaintance with the case, and should not wish to set my opinion 
against that of first-hand experts of such recognised scientific 
ability as Dr Prince. 

3. We must remember that our general psychobiological hypo- 
thesis includes no details as to the exact quantitative relation 
between conscious vividness and neural integration. We assume 


that with more complete integration, there is higher vividness. 
But what level of integration must be attained before any conscious- 
ness occurs ? In particular, is it necessary, in order to have con- 
scious reaction, that certain specific neural tracts must always 
participate in the reaction ? Or is it necessary to have in every 
case so large a part of the mechanism involved that the remaining 
parts, however well integrated into a nervous system, would be 
" below the threshold " of conscious activity? We do not know 
the answers to these questions yet : but it is not impossible that 
we shall some day find out. 

There need be no confusion between the concept of the sub- 
conscious and that of the co-conscious. It is obvious that, if we 
accept the former, it applies to the latter also : each of two co- 
conscious personalities might have subconscious processes, just 
as might a single personality. 

When we turn from the scientific hypotheses of the subcon- 
scious and the co-conscious to the theories of " unconscious mind," 
we enter a region strikingly like that which, on some of the 
theories, the " unconscious mind " itself is supposed to be. A realm 
of shadows, dim lights, and confusion : a realm in which statements 
are vague, and meanings difficult to locate. A realm, in short, in 
which more importance is given to the vague suggestion of words 
and phrases than to their exact meaning. Professor James has 
summed this up by calling the alleged psychology of the uncon- 
scious a " tumbling ground for whimsies." 

There seem to be several types of psychological phenomena 
which have suggested to various philosophers doctrines of " un- 
conscious mind," and it is well to take these up in turn. 

i. Psychology is obliged to take into consideration more than 
conscious (or than conscious and subconscious) reactions. Assum- 
ing for the moment that there actually are now-conscious reactions, 
that is, reactions not involving consciousness, our fundamental 
psychobiological hypothesis includes the assumption that all 
reactions, both conscious and non-conscious, are causally connec- 
ted; that conscious reactions influence not only other conscious 
reactions, but non-conscious reactions as well ; and that the 
reverse is true. For we assume that all reactions are dependent 
upon the same general mechanism, under the same general laws. 

Now, if we define " mind " in terms of conscious reaction, it 
is obvious that psychology is vitally interested in more than mind. 
We might (and should, perhaps) extend the definition of mind to 
include this farther region. But what we do, actually, is to call 


it the domain of merely physiological reaction : or more briefly, the 
physiological. There would be no real objection to calling it 
" unconscious mind/' if the word unconscious were always under- 
stood as exactly equivalent to not conscious. Unfortunately, few, 
if any, of the partisans of " unconscious mind " are willing to make 
the identification. 

2. The individual may carry on certain conscious activities at 
one time : then desist from them for a shorter or longer period, 
and then again carry on these activities in much the same form. 
Thus, I learn to play billiards : then, a year later, I may again be 
able to play nearly as well, without relearning the game. Again, 
I think of some problem : perhaps worry about it, for a time. Then 
I forget it, but a long time afterwards I again think about it. 

Furthermore, the activities which I have ceased to carry on 
affect other activities carried on in the meantime. Having played 
billiards, I control my hand movements in some other ways better. 
Having thought out a problem, I may solve other problems more 
efficiently. Having worried over something, I may be thereafter 
in a state of emotional excitation or depression which affects all my 

Now, such causal relations are well known, and are fully in 
accord with the fundamental principles of psychology. We find 
that they are provided for in our general psychobiological reaction- 
theory. In all of these phenomena the same laws of activity of 
the nervous system are involved. The differing details under 
differing circumstances are, of course, matters for experimental 

To persons who observe some of these phenomena without 
noticing the others, and who are ignorant of psychology, the causal 
sequences are as marvellous as are the causal sequences of lightning 
and thunder to the savage. And as the savage constructs mystic 
powers to explain the phenomena of nature, the metaphysician 
constructs a mystic principle to explain these phenomena of mind. 
And the " unconscious mind " is nowadays seized upon by these 
theorists as the mystic explanation. 

In some theories, developed on this simple basis, the " uncon- 
scious mind" remains as vague as the nature-divinities of the 
savage. It is just " something " which somehow explains. The 
phenomena appear mysterious : and the name " unconscious 
mind " is sufficiently paradoxical and mysterious to satisfy. The 
old showman's term " the what-is-it ? " would do as well, but 
perhaps it does not sound " scientific " enough. 


Other adherents to the doctrine of " unconscious mind " as the 
explanation of the (to them) mysterious sequences of mind, 
attempt to analyse the mystery somewhat by resorting to the old 
confusion between conscious activity and the content of conscious- 
ness. Selecting only certain conscious activities, such as remem- 
bering, or worrying, and ignoring the vast range of co-ordinated 
reactions, they confuse these activities, under the terms " ideas/' 
" thoughts," " wishes," etc., with the objects of which the idea, 
thought or wish is, because the same terms are applied to both. 
These conscious processes are then conceived not as activities, 
but as things, and what is really the reoccurrence of an activity 
is treated as if it were the reappearance of a thing. 

You " have a thought " to-day, and again to-morrow : it is 
" in your mind " at those two times, but where was it in the mean- 
time ? Why, in the " unconscious mind, of course." You have 
been worrying about a certain matter, and still your activities 
show the results of the worry : you are not really worrying about 
it now ; therefore you must be worrying about it in your " uncon- 
scious mind " ! 

It is obvious that of the two types of theorists, the first, who 
make the " unconscious mind " a mysterious force, and let it go 
at that, are nearer to scientific method than are those of the second 
type. For science has its beginning in the recognition of something 
needing to be explained. And there would be no objection to the 
labelling of this hiatus in explanation " the unconscious mind " or 
" the what-is-it ? " if the application of these names did not lead 
the applier to ignore the fact that psychology has already found 
explanatory principles for these phenomena. There is no 
objection to the explanation of lightning and thunder as the work 
of Jove, if the explanation does not shut one's eyes to the explana- 
tion which physics has supplied : and there would be no objection 
to the designating of the causal relation in the mind as " the 
unconscious mind," or " the daemon," if one understood that the 
names explained nothing, and did not let them stand in the way 
of the actual explanations. 

This second basis of the " unconscious mind " theory, it is clear, 
is not the mere distinction between conscious reaction and non- 
conscious (physiological) reaction which constitutes the basis first 
discussed, but is relatively independent of that distinction. It is 
the fact that there are causal relations in mind : that the activities 
of to-day are modified by those of yesterday and last year. This, 
of course, is well known to, and explained by, the psychologist, to 


whom it is amusing to see these relations subsumed under the term 
" unconscious mind," and the mere phrase offered as if it were an 

3. Another psychological fact which has apparently impressed 
some of the " unconscious " theorisers, is the fact that connections 
between conscious processes are not themselves conscious. Here 
again the non-psychologist has been impressed because he has 
noticed only a few striking cases of the rule, and has not made 
extensive observations. 

Two successive ideas, for example, may be connected by " associ- 
ation." This connection, however, is not " conscious " in any sense 
of the term, but is a matter primarily of causal sequence, which 
psychology explains by the principle of activity of the nervous 
system. It is true that subsequently we may reflect upon the 
sequence, and make it a content for further conscious activity, but 
it is the activities which are conscious, not the causal connections. 
This uniform fact, that the direct connections between conscious 
activities are not themselves conscious, has seemed mysterious 
to those who are not versed in psychology, and has been to them 
another seeming indication of an occult " unconscious mind " 
which makes the connection. Here again the term really should be 
" nervous system." 

4. Very frequently the fact that the consciousness involved in a 
reaction is often not conscious " of " the object or occurrence which 
stimulates the reactor has been confusedly described as " uncon- 
scious perception " or in some other terms has been drawn into the 
concepts of " unconscious mind." Thus, we are told, the individual 
" unconsciously " perceives the disparity of the two pictures in a 
stereoscope, and therefore " consciously" perceives depth. This 
form of confused explanation has been in vogue for several hundred 
years, but makes no appeal to the psychologist. The actual facts 
are that, in such cases, certain details of the stimulating object 
are not perceived at all : but they are effective, along with other 
details, in the stimulus pattern, in causing conscious activity in 
which something else is perceived. And psychology has no difficulty 
in explaining how this condition is brought about by the usual 
principle of habit and integrative action. The introduction of 
the term " unconscious " here adds nothing to the explanation, 
except confusion. 

From a consideration of these four sources of the " unconscious 
mind" doctrine, it is obvious that the concept of "unconscious 
mind " is superfluous in psychology and that, although it may not 


mislead the psychologist, it very much misleads the non-psycholo- 
gist who constructs large psychological theories, and helps to 
keep him and his readers in ignorance of the actual psychological 
explanations. The psychologist sees that " unconscious mind " 
is, in some cases, merely another term for activity of the nervous 
system : for causal connections between conscious reactions in 
others ; and in still other cases a mere term of negation, as when 
" unconscious perception " means merely " no perception." But 
the person without knowledge of the psychological principle of 
explanation, of course, does not know what principles his term 
" unconscious mind " really obscures, and fancies that it is an 
" explanation." 

The doctrine of. the "unconscious mind" is obviously one of 
the modern types of a very old system : the " faculty " psychology. 
It must not be confused with the hypotheses of subconscious or 
co-conscious, which really belong to modern psychology. 



CHARLES S. MYERS, C.B.E., M.A., M.D., D.Sc., F.R.S. 

Director, National Institute of Industrial Psychology; formerly 
University Reader in Experimental Psychology, Cambridge. 




IN this paper I wish to present an account of two school children 
which have come under my observation during the past five 
years, in which mental defect was associated with psycho-neurotic 
symptoms. For much of the information which I am able to 
give I have been dependent on, and wish to express my gratitude 
to, Miss Peyton, the Head Mistress of the School for Mental 
Defectives in which the boys were being educated, and 
Miss L. G. Fildes, who carried out the tests described in the paper. 

The first case, A.B., was admitted to the School in January, 1915, 
then aged 8 years 2 months. When tested four years later, in 
May, 1919, by the Stanford-Binet tests, his intelligence quotient 
proved to be 52, his mental age being 6 years 6 months ; i.e., there 
was a retardation of about six years. He had an apparently 
normal brother at work. A fatal accident befell his father, 
a heavy drinker, two months before the boy's birth. His 
mother, a cook in service, stated that until two years 
old he was boarded out with an aunt, that he began to talk 
normally while he was with his aunt, but that afterwards he was 
transferred to another woman's care, where he " lost his speech " 
after being shut up in a dark cupboard. 

When admitted to the School for Mental Defectives, his speech 
was very imperfect ; and although he had previously attended 
school he could do no school work. He left this School shortly 
after I saw him, by which time his speech had improved enor- 
mously and he had learnt to carry out some coarse handwork. 
He could also read and write the alphabet and many small words. 
His behaviour and speech were marked by complete absence of 
continuous attention. He was always restless and anxious to do 
something, but was perpetually distracted by any passing 
occurrence. Through such inattention he was wholly incapable of 
learning at school, except under individual instruction. In his 



talk, which was incessant, he repeated himself constantly and 
showed little restraint or selection in the words he used. He could 
sing extremely well and was distinctly musical. He was mis- 
chievous, cheerful, happy, excitable and suggestible, clever at 
mimicking others, but he readily lost control over bodily move- 
ments, speech and laughter. He explained his wild behaviour by 
the words " me happy." He exhibited no distrust of strangers. 

In the absence of external excitement, however, he showed 
certain dominant interests. Some of them had reference to recent 
passing events, e.g., his birthday, Christmas, etc. ; these controlled 
much of his speech and conduct. One interest, however, was 
permanent. Almost any topic, if pursued, would lead to the 
subject of death, birth, God, Satan and angels. Thus, when Miss 
Fildes asked him in an experiment to give an association in 
response to the word " goat," he replied : " Can milk him get 
milk out of him only butt you like a cow. Oh ! when a cow toss 
you you come down bang and are dead. God knows, don't He ? 
I know how God looks [shows this with foot stretching out, hand 
over eyes]. Satan God's best angel naughty if Satan made 
you naughty he put you in the burning fire. No good ought to be 
in fire himself." 

Again, in the middle of solving a jig-saw puzzle, he remarked : 
" How did God get you down here when He made you ? Funny 
how He got you down. Come down small. Mr S.'s baby not 
growed to boy yet. Been here long time I think. Do you come 
down hole ? I seen them at funeral put box into hole. Make 
hole deep this big oh ! deeper than this floor. Man put cord 
round box and put it down slow not fast might break it. How 
do God get box up ? I think it go along and He pull it up by cord 
angels carry it to heaven. How do He make you ? Do you be 
an angel when you get to God ? I seen Him when He make me 
ugh ! great big man. Do you remember when He make you ? 
Funny how He get you to earth," etc. 

These instances are typical of a constant form of speech, when- 
ever free speech was allowed ; and there is evidence that the 
same topic was a favourite one when he talked to other boys. 
A dream of his recorded is one o'f " black things sitting on the end 
of the bed, which had come to take him." 

We were able to get from him his distinct recollection of being 
taken one day, when he was about three years old, by the woman 
with whom he had been boarded, to a funeral. He saw the coffin 
put into the ground and he was told that the coffin lid was screwed 


down over the body, and that if the body happened to be too 
large it was squeezed and forced into the coffin. Unfortunately, 
as I have said, the boy left the School shortly after we began to 
observe him, since a certain educational Body desired to transfer 
him to its own School. But from the facts here described the 
psycho-neurotic condition of the boy is obvious. 

The second case I am able to record in fuller detail. C.D. is 
now in his eighteenth year and has been in the School for eight 
years. When first admitted, he refused to speak to anyone and 
nothing would induce him to smile. He repelled all advances 
towards friendliness and remained in this state for about three 
months. Shortly after admission he began to show great interest 
in the bedrooms belonging to the staff of the school, expressing a 
wish to " help clean them " ; and late one night he was discovered 
peeping through the keyhole of the cook's bedroom while she was 
undressing. When asked why he was doing this, he replied, 
" I wanted to see what clothes she wore." He was overheard 
telling another boy the nature -and names of women's underwear. 

C.D. lived at home until he was admitted to the School. His 
father, when he visits the boy, is generally under the influence of 
drink. The father's version of his son's early childhood is that 
the mother treated him very cruelly, throwing him downstairs and 
often injuring him. The mother died (or went away) when the 
boy was about three years old and another woman took her place 
who left before the boy was admitted to the School. 

The boy is reported by the Head Mistress of the School to be 
now much less anti-social than before, but to be still morose and 
reticent. He is selfish and hoards everything on which he can lay 
his hands. He works in the garden and kitchen now and is 
generally amenable to reason under good management. He is 
a good worker and gives valuable service when not " upset." 

The following determinations of his intelligence were made by 
Miss Fildes : 

Date of 


Mental Age 


8. 10. 20 

27. 4. 21 
25. 10. 21 

14 yrs. 10 mos. 
15 Y r s. 4 mos. 
15 yrs. 10 mos. 

7 yrs. 8 mos. 
7 yrs. 8 mos. 
7 yrs. 10 mos. 



In 1922 our attention became more closely directed to him 




chiefly because of the results of some 400 free associations to which 
Miss Fildes had subjected him, 50 words at a time, on four different 
occasions, during November and December of the previous year. 
Each different series of fifty words was repeated a second time at 
each sitting. His average reaction time was about five seconds, 
therein agreeing with those of 18 other boys tested at the school 
during the same months. But the number of his " senseless " 
associations was more than three times as great. The 
striking feature of his senseless replies was that a large 
number of them, about 20 per cent, of the total number of 
associations returned, referred to women's articles of clothing, 
or to objects connected therewith, as may be seen from the 

The sequences drawers, petticoat, bloomers ; frock, skirt, 
coat ; drawers, windows, bodice, bloomers, drawers, blouse, frock, 
stockings, shoes are noticeable. Likewise such sequences as 
nose, eyes ; teeth, mouth ; teeth, eyes, nose, hair, occur among 
his replies. It will also be observed that the reaction times for 
these words are not different from those for " sensible " replies. 

Classification of the above 400 Associations 

Type of 

Co-ordination . . . 
Causal Dependence 
Co -existence 


Motor Speech ... 




ist response 

2nd response 


Aver, time 


Aver, time 


























5' I 






The average percentage of senseless responses among eighteen 
other mentally defective boys tested with the same associations is 
20 per cent., as against about 67 per cent, in this case. Much the 
commonest form of senseless response, in the majority of cases, 
is the name of an object present. Normal children above the age 
of seven years seldom give senseless responses. 

*EDITORIAL NOTE. For technical reasons it was found necessary to omit 
the tables which illustrate very well the point made here, viz., the recurrence 
of response words dealing with objects of female attire. 


Taking the results of the same eighteen boys : 

1. The average reaction time is about as long and is very 

variable. (Average time=5'6o seconds.) 

2. Only 48 per cent, of the whole number of reactions are 

repeated on the second response. 

3. There is a great deal of repetition in the responses. On the 

average, each boy uses only seventy different words for 
each hundred responses. 

I saw him first on March ist, 1922. He then appeared a dull, 
loutish youth, somewhat shy and reticent. His general conduct 
was otherwise not abnormal, save for an occasional jerkiness of 
the head. He appeared to remember nothing of his mother, save 
by hearsay that she beat him and starved him. He recalled an 
occasion when two men living in an adjoining room terrified him 
by letting a collie dog into his bedroom which climbed on to his 
bed. He admitted that thoughts of women's clothes often 
intruded into his daily work. The word " petticoat " proved to 
evoke in him an image of a certain lady who frequently visited the 
School (he revealed her name after great pressure had been put 
upon him) going to the lavatory and lifting up a white petticoat. 
He said that " stockings " evoked an image of one of the members 
of the school staff (her name was also revealed only after per- 
suasion) putting on her black stockings. These were incidents, 
no doubt, he had actually witnessed by surreptitious peeping. 

He proved to be quite ignorant of the nature of sexual connection, 
believing that babies were brought into the world by angels who 
carried them under their wings. 

After some difficulty he was induced to pass into a dreamy 
hypnoidal state, in which I succeeded in reviving memories of his 
mother. He recalled seeing her pass urine. " It was nice/' he 
observed. The word " stockings " now revived an occasion of 
being in bed with his mother and seeing her get up, sit on the bed 
and put on her stockings. He spontaneously recalled seeing his 
father being " on top of his mother and playing about." 

On waking, he recalled all that he had just said, and he observed 
that he had never been able to recall these scenes before. He said 
that he dreamed occasionally of seeing " a woman's number one," 
but that it was of no particular woman. 

Thereupon I attempted to explain to him the reasons for the 
intrusion into his thoughts of ideas of women's underwear, and 



he was given some notion of the nature of sexual differences and 

A few days afterwards the Head Mistress asked what we had 
been doing with the boy, as he was showing so much improvement 
in general demeanour and behaviour and was now so much more 
tractable. She wrote recently, " his mental attitude was wonder- 
fully improved after you had talked to him." Miss Fildes noted, 
in July last, " his general attitude and response certainly improved, 
and I think the improvement is, on the whole, maintained." 

When I saw him again in May, 1922, he said that the intrusion 
of the thoughts of women's underwear, etc., had entirely ceased, 
that he had no dreams of a woman's private parts and that he felt, 
as he expressed it, " more sensible." He appeared far brighter 
and more responsive. 

Two months later nearly five months after the psychoanalytic 
interview with the boy the Stanford-Brnet tests were re-applied. 
The results of this and the two previous tests are as follow : 

Date of 


Mental Age 


27. 4. 21 
25. 10. 21 

27. 6. 22 

15 yrs. 4 mos. 
15 yrs. 10 mos. 
16 yrs. 6 mos. 

7 yrs. 8 mos. 
7 yrs. 10 mos. 
8 yrs. 7 mos. 



The improvement indicated in the last examination is especially 
well-marked, comparing it with the earlier ones. In the course of 
eight months his mental age advanced nine months a somewhat 
unusual occurrence in a defective of his age, the more ordinary 
condition being a gradual lowering of the intelligence quotient. 
It is, perhaps, more unusual in his case, seeing that he advanced 
only two months in mental age during the preceding year. There 
was no indication in the results of the tests that this improvement 
in intelligence had taken place along any particular line. But 
the boy was unquestionably improving. For on three occasions 
in May, 1923, repetition of the association tests evoked reaction 
words or responses which might be normally expected of a boy 
of his mental age. They were obtained by the same experimenter. 
Nothing had been said to him about the type of response so 
commonly returned by him on the previous occasions. 

The sitting on May I2th took place in the morning before work, 
that on May i6th in the afternoon after he had been working 
from 7 a.m. and when he might be presumed to be tired. The 


sitting on May 25th was at 9 a.m., when the boy had been upset 
by some household disturbance and had been crying for some time. 
Despite these circumstances, favourable to loss of higher control, 
there is not a single reference in his 300 replies to women's articles 
of clothing ; indeed, there is not a single instance even of a 
" senseless " response. The reaction time has also fallen to about 
2 f seconds. The associations may be thus classified : 

Classification of the above 150 Associations (first responses only) 


4' I 

3' I 



No mention has yet been made of the experiments in free 
continuous, or serial, association which were carried out on the 
boy in November, 1921, and in January, 1923. Here is a list of 
70 successive words returned by him in ten minutes on 
November 8th, 1921 : 

Bloomers, petticoat, drawers, night-gown, skirt, frock, shoes, 
stockings, eyes, nose, teeth, smell, glasses, fire, coal, flowers, hat, 
coat, clothes, books, hands, legs, feet, stockings, shoes, bloomers, 
coal, chair, hair, comb, dog, cat, rat, picture-frame, book-stand, 
pen, ink, coal, wood, stone, glass, stand, handkerchief, lavatory, 
watch, bed, chamber, paper, coat, petticoat, drawers, bloomers, 
skirt, frock, stockings, legs, hair, eyes, teeth, nose, trees, glass, 
stone, house, number two, paper, table, laughing, leaving the 
room, fire, cardboard. 

It will be observed that nearly 40 per cent, of these words refer 
to articles of women's clothing, excretions, etc. This test was 
repeated on May 25th, 1923, with the following result : 

Hair, eyes, teeth, nose, coat, skirt, frock, petticoat, drawers, 
bloomers, stockings, feet, shoes, chamber, lavatory, dog, rat, trees, 
field, books, glasses, combs, stays, chair, paper, chemise, rubber, 

May 12, 1923 


Type of Association. 







2- 3 






Causal Dependence 



Co -existence 






Motor Speech 
















May 25, 1923 





















rule, cup, tale, knife, pen, ink, water, bed, nightgown, watch, 
window, chair, bedroom, cup, skirt, legs, coat, drawers, bloomers, 
petticoat, stockings, shoes, feet, petticoat, stays, chemise, hair, 
comb, spectacles, eyes, teeth, nose, water, boat, ink, chamber, 
lavatory, match, glass, coat, book, rule, rubber, money, pin, coat, 
fire, coal, bucket, wood, skirt, petticoat, shoes, stockings, bloomers, 
case, chamber, bedroom, lavatory, table, chair, house, curtain, 
carpet, cardboard, box, can, puzzle, matches, pictures, window, 
skirt, petticoat. 

These words were returned more speedily than before ; but their 
character is unchanged, despite the fact that the ordinary 
association test applied on the same day failed to reveal even a 
single instance of reference to articles of female clothing, or the 
like. The following series of responses were then obtained from 
him : 

Series i : Serial association 2$th May, 1923 

Horse, cow, skirt, petticoat, drawers, bloomers, stockings, shoes, 
coat, frock, hair, eyes, teeth, nose, glasses, stays, chemise, table, 
paper, bedroom, nightgown, watch, pictures, stove, carpet, chair, 
puzzle, picture, house, looking-glass. (Time 2 min. 8 sec.) 

Series 2 : Told to give any words which " dog " made him think of 

Dog, cat, horse, cow, pigs, chickens, rat, mouse, peacock, 
pheasant, duck, gander, geese, turkeys, frogs, toads, pigeon, 
rabbit, hares, mole, birds, eagle, stag, dog, snake, stoat, weasel, 
cat, butterfly, worm. (Time 3 min. 28 sec.) 

Series 3 : To give words suggested by " motor " 

Motor-car, bike, motor-car, motor-bike, motor-lorry, train, 
railway, trucks, motor-scooter, bus, charabanc, trams, steam- 
roller, cart. (Time =3 min.) 

Series 4 : To give names of objects in the room 

Fire, chimney, stove, coalbucket, shovel, table, papers, books, 
matches, box, typewriter, case, jug, pictures, cupboard, drawers, 
vases, bookcase, books, poker, oilcan, glass, windows, looking-glass, 
curtain, chair, coat, box, watch, pen, carpet, floor, door, electric 
light, paper clip, pencil, ink, walls, ceiling. (Time =3 min. 30 sec.) 

Series 5 : Serial association 

Trees, skirt, coat, petticoat, bloomers, drawers, stockings, shoes, 
hair, eyes, teeth, nose, chemise, stays, bedroom, nightgown, chamber, 
lavatory, trees, house, table, jump, grass, window, drawers, ink, 
pen, watch, glasses, stove, pencil, paper, wire, books, motor, skirt, 
shoes, chair, electric light, post-office, comb, brush, carpet, ceiling, 


frock, skirt, coat, drawers, bloomers, petticoat, shoes, stockings, 
stays, chemise, case, typewriter, table, vase, chair, lamp, garden, 
trees, shed, pen, ink, fire, glass, window, paper, pencil, box, 
garden, plants, comb, brush, box, motor, oilcan, puzzle, matches, 
coat, cap, act, rain, field, town, country, walk, play, shops, wheel- 
barrow, table, books, typewriter, bookcase, chair, trees, shop, 
sweets. (Time =8 min. 39 sec. ) 

Throughout these tests of May, 1923, he showed remarkable 
improvement in his attitude towards the experiments and his 
general behaviour has continued to improve, although he is still 
always easily " upset," whereupon he becomes difficult to manage. 

[Since this was written, however, he has left the School, as he was 
getting too old for it and had, on one occasion, attempted to 
embrace one of the matrons.] 


In these two cases we see the influence (a) of the emotion of 
fear; (b) of infantile "sexual" feeling; (c) of interest and curiosity, 
associated with thoughts (i) on the before- and after-life, and 
(ii) on sexual differences and women's underwear. In the first 
case the original experience the funeral was not repressed ; 
in the second seeing his mother in her bedroom it was readily 
recoverable in the hypnoidal state. In the first case it was 
associated with a defective development of attention, flight of 
ideas, loquacity, openness to strangers, cheerfulness and mis- 
chievousness ; in the other it was associated with taciturnity, 
moroseness, selfishness and hoarding. In the latter, removal of 
the repression and brief " re-education " induced an appreciable 
improvement in intelligence and especially in his ability to make 
the best use of his mental powers. 

In both cases the all-distracting " complex " was practically 
undisguised. Its affect led in both cases to constant intrusion of 
the theme into the current of everyday thought ; in the first case 
to constant inquiry, and in the second case to peeping through 
keyholes in order, apparently, to gratify curiosity. 

Psycho-therapeutic treatment was attempted in the second case, 
and led to very definite intellectual and moral improvement. 

In normal children such themes would most likely have been 
repressed or disguised, and the associated impulses more or less 
controlled. But in the mentally defective child, criticism and 
control must prove far less potent. Thus, in her instruction of 


such children in reading, Miss Fildes has reached the conclusion 
that their inability to read is often due to their uncritical, un- 
controlled acceptance of the idea that they are unable to read. 

It is suggested that not only is the mentally defective state thus 
responsible for the development and persistence of the psycho- 
neurotic condition, but that the latter reacts in turn on the slowly- 
developing mind of the mentally defective child, aggravating his 
mental deficiency, and responsible perhaps for the often continued 
childishness of his later behaviour. It seems unlikely that mental 
deficiency is ever directly and solely due to a psycho-neurosis ; 
but I fed convinced that certain cases of mental deficiency, and 
especially that many cases of mental backwardness, can be 
enormously improved above all, in early life by attention being 
paid to any concomitant psycho-neurotic disturbance, thereby 
permitting of the full development of such intelligence as lies 
dormant. The undesirable surroundings in which many such 
children spend the first years of their life are only too favourable 
for the later appearance of psycho-neurotic symptoms. 



Professor of Psychology, Harvard University 




IT is matter for rejoicing that the great leader of the psycho- 
analytic movement has of late years turned his attention to some 
of the deepest problems of social psychology. In so doing he brings 
his theories of human nature, built up through the study of individ- 
uals, to the test of their usefulness in wider fields, fields in which 
students who cannot claim to be psychoanalysts by profession 
may hope to weigh and to criticise them on a footing of equality. 
We are grateful to Professor Freud because, in thus coming out 
into the open, he grants us a taste of 

" That stern joy which warriors feel 
In foemen worthy of their steel." 

In an earlier article I have examined one of Professor Freud's 
contributions to Social Psychology.* In this place I propose to 
examine a more recent contribution, one which aims to go to the 
very roots of Group Psychology, namely, " Group Psychology and 
the Analysis of the Ego."f 

Professor Freud begins by pointing out that many writers on 
Social Psychology have been content to found much of their con- 
struction on the postulate of a " social .instinct " in man. 

" But we may perhaps venture to object that it seems difficult 
to attribute to the factor of number a significance so great as to 
make it capable by itself of arousing in our mental life a new instinct 
that is otherwise not brought into play. Our expectation is, 
therefore, directed toward two other possibilities ; that the social 
instinct may not be a primitive one and insusceptible of dissection, 
and that it may be possible to discover the beginnings of its 
development in a narrower circle, such as that of the family/' 

Having thus defined his goal, Professor Freud proceeds to 

* A Review of Totem and Taboo in Mind, 1920. 

f A translation of Massenpsychologie und Ich-Analyse, published by The 
International Psychoanalytical Press, 1922. 



examine the views of some other writers on the fundamentals of 
Group Psychology, more especially those of M.leBon and of myself. 
He accepts le Bon's assertion that participation in the life of a 
"psychological group" profoundly modifies the thinking, feeling, 
and acting of the individual ; and he asks : 

" What, then, is a group ? How does it acquire the capacity 
for exercising such a decisive influence over the mental life of the 
individual ? And what is the nature of the mental change which 
it forces upon the individual ? It is the task of a theoretical Group 
Psychology to answer these three questions." 

Freud finds himself in substantial agreement with le Bon in 
respect of the peculiarities of the individual in the group. 

" When individuals come together in a group, all their individual 
inhibitions fall away and all the cruel, brutal and destructive 
instincts, which lie dormant in individuals as relics of a primitive 
epoch, are stirred up to find free gratification." 


" The apparently new characteristics which he [the individual] 
then displays are, in fact, the manifestations of this unconscious, 
in which all that is evil in the human mind is contained as a pre- 
disposition. We can find no difficulty in understanding the dis- 
appearance of conscience or of a sense of responsibility in these 
circumstances. It has long been our contention that ' dread of 
society (Sociale A ngst) ' is the essence of what is called con- 

The captious critic might here interpose to ask Why should 
conscience, if it is simply dread of society, disappear or cease to 
function just when a man is most thickly surrounded by the 
fellow members of society ? 

Also, without captiousness, we may fairly ask for more definition 
of " all the cruel, brutal and destructive instincts " which con- 
stitute the predisposition of all that is evil in the human mind. 

In his later writings Professor Freud no longer has been content 
to postulate a single instinct, the sexual, but makes reference to a 
considerable array of instincts. These references excite in me the 
liveliest curiosity ; a curiosity which seems doomed to remain 
unsatisfied. For my part, although since childhood I have been 
familiar with references, in sermons and popular addresses, to 
" cruel, brutal and destructive instincts, which lie dormant in 
individuals as relics of a primitive epoch," I have always been 
sceptical as to the existence of such instincts in the human species ; 


and the more I have studied the problems of instinct, the more has 
this scepticism hardened toward flat disbelief. 

Perhaps it is unreasonable to demand consistency from so great a 
pioneer as Professor Freud : yet I will venture to point out that in 
another recent work (Reflections on War and Death) Freud has 
asserted what I believe to be a truer doctrine : 

" Psychological or, strictly speaking, psycho-analytical investi- 
gation, proves that . . . the deepest character of man con- 
sists of impulses of an elemental kind which are similar in all human 
beings, the aim of which is the gratification of certain primitive 
needs. These impulses are in themselves neither good nor evil." 

Freud accepts le Bon's assertion of Increased suggestibility of 
the crowd-member, rightly points out that le Bon leaves this fact 
entirely unexplained, and marks it down as a fundamental problem 
to be dealt with. He notes also, as two other important problems 
brought out by le Bon's descriptive account of crowds, the con- 
tagion of emotions and the prestige of leaders. 

Freud (unlike le Bon, Sighele, Schallmeyer, Trotter, Martin, and 
most of the other writers who have dwelt upon the defects and 
ferocities of the crowd) is not blind to the fundamental paradox 
of group psychology, the paradox on which I have insisted in my 
Group Mind, namely, that, while immersion in the crowd com- 
monly degrades the individual below his normal level, yet it is only 
by participation in group life that any man achieves his humanity 
and rises above the level of animal life : for, passing on to give in 
Chapter III an excellent, though incomplete and brief, resume of 
my views, he recognises this paradox as another fundamental 
problem. In my Group^Mind I maintained that the solution 
of this problem is to be found in the organisation of the group; that, 
in proportion as a group becomes organised, it gets rid of the 
peculiar defects and weaknesses of the crowd and becomes capable 
of higher modes of functioning and, under the better forms of 
organisation, capable of raising its members rather than degrading 
them. But Freud seems to reject my explanation by organisation, 
for he writes : 

" It seems to us that the condition which McDougalJ designates 
as the ' organisation ' of a group can with more justification be 
described in another way. The problem consists in how to procure 
for the group precisely those features which were characteristic 
of the individual and which are extinguished in him by the forma- 
tion of the group. For the individual, outside the primitive group, 
possessed his own continuity, his self-consciousness, his traditions 


and customs, his own particular functions and position, and kept 
apart from his rivals. Owing to his entry into an ' unorganised ' 
group, he had lost this distinctiveness for a time." 

But this is merely a restatement of the problem ; it suggests no 
alternative solution of it. Curiously enough, Freud, having recog- 
nised this problem and having implied that he has some alternative 
solution for it, passes on and does not, in the course of this book, 
return to it. He closes his reference to it with the following 
cryptic comment : 

" If we thus recognise that the aim of the group is to equip 
the group with the attributes of the individual, we shall be reminded 
of a valuable remark of Trotter to the effect that the tendency 
towards the formation of groups is biologically a continuation of 
the mult ice! lular character of all the higher organisations." 

In this chapter Freud mentions also the principle I have invoked 
for the explanation of the intensified emotional reactions of 
crowds. He writes : 

" The manner in which individuals are thus carried away by a 
common impulse is explained by McDougall by means of what he 
calls the ' principle of direct induction of emotion by way of the 
primitive sympathetic response,' that is, by means of the emotional 
contagion with whicii we are already familiar/' 

Now, le Bon, fully recognising the fact and the importance of emo- 
tional contagion in crowds, had treated it as one manifestation of 
suggestion. I, on the other hand, had treated it as a fundamental 
phenomenon, distinct from all the phenomena of suggestion and re- 
quiring a different explanation or theory. That explanation I had 
supplied in the theory of primitive passive sympathy or direct induc- 
tion of emotion. In this I had been anticipated in some measure 
by Malebranche, as Dr Drever has pointed out, but by no other 
writer. The theory is bound up with my view of the relation of 
the primary emotions to the instincts, and stands or falls with that 
view. The theory is based on a large array of facts of behaviour 
of the gregarious animals ; namely, that among such animals the 
display of any instinctive emotional reaction by one member 
of the species is apt to provoke similar instinctive emotional 
reactions in all other members of the species that perceive these 
reactions ; as when the behaviour of fear in one member of a flock 
provokes fear behaviour in other members. For the explanation 
of these facts, my theory assumes that each of the major instincts 
is so organised on its perceptual side that the expressions of the 


same instinct in other individuals of the species are effective provo- 
catives of the instinct in the perceiving animal. And it postulates 
a similar special perceptual organisation of the major instincts 
of the species Homo sapiens. Freud, in saying of my theory, 
" that is, by means of the emotional contagion with which we 
are already familiar," reduces my explanation to a mere restate- 
ment of the facts in generalised form. 

It is true that we are all familiar with the facts of emotional 
contagion. The question is have we any theory adequate 
to the explanation of them ? The fact or phenomenon is one 
of the most fundamental with which a theoretical Group Psy- 
chology has to grapple. I have endeavoured to progress from the 
purely descriptive stage, represented by le Bon, to a theoretical 
explanation of the fact. Freud entirely overlooks my theory, 
in saying that I explain the fact " by means of the emotional 
contagion with which we are already familiar." I protest that I 
do not suffer from any such delusion as is here attributed to me by 
Professor Freud ; the delusion, namely, that, in describing a large 
array of phenomena in general terms, I in any sense explain them. 
My theory of primitive passive sympathy is a perfectly definite 
and plausible theory for the explanation of the facts of emotional 
contagion ; it is not a mere restatement of the facts in general 
terms. Let me illustrate the point by reference to laughter. 
Laughter is notoriously contagious. But why and how ? We do 
not explain the fact by saying that it is a case of the emotional 
contagion with which we are already familiar. In saying that, we 
merely classify it with a wider group of similar phenomena. My 
theory is that the laughter instinct* (like most of the major 
instincts of man) is so innately organised on its receptive or 
perceptual side that the auditory and the visual perception of 
laughter excite the laughter instinct. If we seek any deeper or 
further explanation, we may plausibly suppose that these special 
perceptual adaptations of the instincts of the gregarious species 
have been produced in the course of evolution, because they secure, 
among the members of any group, that emotional and impulsive 
congruity which is a principal foundation-stone of all group-life, 
animal and human. There is no rival theory in the field, so far as 
I know. Freud does not further deal with the problem, beyond 
implying that he agrees with le Bon in regarding emotional con- 
tagion as one of the manifestations " so often covered by the 
enigmatic word ' suggestion '." And he proceeds in the following 

* Cf. my theory of laughter in Outline of Psychology, p. 165. 


chapter to deal with the enigma of suggestion. In fact, the rest 
of the book is devoted to the elaboration of a theory of suggestion. 
He begins by insisting again on 

" the fundamental fact of Group Psychology the two theses 
as to the intensification of the emotions and the inhibition of the 
intellect in primitive groups. Our interest is now directed to 
discovering the psychological explanation of this mental change 
which is experienced by the individual in a group." 

" It is clear," says Freud, " that rational factors ... do 
not cover the observable phenomena. Beyond this, what we are 
offered as an explanation by authorities upon Sociology and Group 
Psychology is always the same, even though it is given various 
names, and that is the magic word ' suggestion/ Tarde calls it 
' imitation ' ; but we cannot help agreeing with a writer who 
protests that imitation comes under the concept of suggestion, and 
is in fact one of its results. Le Bon traces back all the puzzling 
features of social phenomena to two factors : the mutual suggestion 
of individuals and the prestige of leaders. But prestige, again, 
is only recognisable by its capacity for evoking suggestion. 
McDougall for a moment gives us an impression that his principle 
of ' primitive induction of emotion ' might enable us to do without 
the assumption of suggestion. But on further consideration we 
are forced to perceive that this principle says no more than the 
familiar assertions about ' imitation ' or ' contagion/ except for a 
decided stress upon the emotional factor." 

Now, if Professor Freud had done me the honour to read my 
Introduction to Social Psychology (a thing which, so far as I can judge, 
neither he nor any one of his many disciples has ever done), instead 
of reading only my Group Mind (which is explicitly founded upon 
the other book and is essentially an attempt to apply to the pro- 
blems of group psychology the principles arrived at in the earlier 
work), he would have seen that I distinguish clearly between 
suggestion and emotional contagion, and, further, that I have 
there propounded, not only a theory of emotional contagion, but 
also a distinct theory of suggestion. He would then not have 
committed the error of saying that there has been, during thirty 
years, no change in the situation as regards suggestion and that 

" there has been no explanation of the nature of suggestion, 
that is, of the conditions under which influence without adequate 
logical foundation takes place." 

Since Freud has thus entirely overlooked my theory of suggestion, 
I beg leave to restate it here, in order that the reader may compare 
it with the very complicated theory which is the main substance of 
Freud's book. My theory sets out from the fact of observation 


that, among animals of gregarious species, we commonly find rela- 
tions of dominance and submission ; we see some members of a 
herd or flock submitting tamely and quietly to the dominance, the 
leadership, the self-assertion of other members. This submission 
does not always or commonly seem to imply fear. Yet it is un- 
questionably instinctive. I have argued, therefore, that such 
behaviour is the expression of a distinct and specific instinct of 
submission : an instinct which is apt to be evoked by the aggressive 
or self-assertive behaviour of other, especially larger and older, 
members of the group, and whose goal or function it is to secure 
harmony within the group by prompting the junior and weaker 
members of it to submit to the leadership of others, to follow them, 
to "knuckle under to them" without protest, to accept their 
slightest word as law, to feel humble or lowly in their presence and 
to adopt lowly or " crestfallen" attitudes before them. My theory 
maintains that the human species also is endowed with this instinct 
of submission ; and that, with the development of language and 
intellect, verbal indications of the attitudes of the strong become 
very important means of evoking and directing this submissive 
impulse ; that this impulse, the emotional conative tendency of 
this instinct, is the main conative factor at work in all instances of 
true suggestion, whether waking or hypnotic. Further, that, in 
human societies, reputation for power of any sort becomes a very 
important factor in evoking this impulse, supplementing and, in 
fact, largely supplanting, the bodily evidences of superior powers 
which, on the animal plane, are the principal excitants of this 
impulse ; such reputation constituting the essence of all that we 
call prestige, the power of using suggestion, of compelling bodily 
and mental obedience or docility, without evoking fear. My 
theory maintains that, if the human species were not gregarious, 
and if its native constitution did not comprise also this special sub- 
missive instinct, human beings would not be suggestible ; and, there- 
fore, the social life of man would be profoundly other than it is.* 

* I say that this instinct of submission is evidenced by the animals of many 
gregarious species. But I maintain that it is distinct from the gregarious 
instinct itself ; that there are species of animals which have the gregarious 
instinct, but lack the submissive instinct ; just as there are men who are 
strongly gregarious, but in whom the submissive instinct operates very little, 
if at all ; that is to say, I maintain that the gregarious and the submissive 
tendencies are independent variables and, therefore, cannot be properly 
ascribed to the same instinct. In this I dissent strongly from the teaching of 
Mr Wilfred Trotter, who, throughout his famous little book on Instincts of 
the Herd in Peace and War, assumes without question that all the phenomena 
commonly classed under the head of suggestion are sufficiently explained by 
invoking the " herd instinct." 


Freud and his disciples make frequent reference to ego-instincts ; 
but they have never, so far as I know, attempted to define these 
postulated ego-instincts. I imagine that, if they would undertake 
to attempt to define them, it would appear that these ego-instincts 
are identical with what I have attempted to distinguish and define 
as two distinct instincts, the instincts of self-assertion and of 
submission. But Freud does not seek in the ego-instincts the 
explanation of suggestion. Rather his theory of suggestion is 
very much more complex. I will try to sketch it briefly and 

Freud's theory of suggestion derives all the phenomena of sug- 
gestion from his " libido." " ' Libido ' is an expression taken from 
the theory of the emotions. We call by that name the energy 
(regarded as a quantitative magnitude, though not at present 
actually measurable) of those instincts which have to do with all 
that may be comprised under the word ' love V 

Then comes a passage, in which Freud seeks to justify once more 
his acceptance of the popular usage of the word " love" as evidence 
of the essential unity of all manifestations to which the word 
" love " can with any propriety be applied, including, besides sexual 
attraction or lust, " on the one hand, self-love, and on the other 
love for parents and children, friendship and love for humanity 
in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract 
ideas." He goes on to say : " We will try our fortune, then, with 
the supposition that love relationships (or, to use a more neutral 
expression, emotional ties) also constitute the essence of the 
group mind." He adds : " Let us remember that the authorities 
made no mention of any such relations. What would correspond 
to them is evidently concealed behind the shelter, the screen, of 

Freud then proceeds to the study of highly-organised groups 
and especially churches and armies ; for, as he says, " the 
most interesting examples of such structures are churches com- 
munities of believers and armies." He finds common to them one 
essential feature, namely, "the same illusion holds good of there 
being a head in the Catholic Church, Christ ; in any army its 
Commander-in-Chief who loves all the individuals in the group 
with an equal love. Everything depends upon this illusion ; if 
it were to be dropped, then both Church and army would dissolve, 
so far as external force permitted them to." To all the members of 
the Church, Christ is " their father surrogate " ; and to all the 
members of an army, the Commander-in-Chief is their father 


surrogate. In the latter case the relation is multiplied by the 
official hierarchy : 

" Every Captain is, as it were, the Commander-in-Chief and the 
father of his company, and so is every non-commissioned officer 
of his section. 

"It is to be noticed that in these two artificial groups each 
individual is bound by libidirial ties on the one hand to the leader 
. . . and on the other hand to the other members of the group 
. . . It would appear as though we were on the right road 
toward an explanation of the principal phenomenon of Group 
Psychology the individual's lack of freedom in the group. If 
each individual is bound in two directions by such an intense 
emotional tie, we shall find no difficulty in attributing to that 
circumstance the alteration and limitation which have been 
observed in his personality." 

Precisely ! // the individual is so bound, and, given the protean 
nature of the libido, anything may follow, any phenomena of group 
life may with a little ingenuity be attributed to these alleged 
libidinous ties. But the question remains Are these ties really 
there in all groups ? Are they really the fundamental factors of 
all group life ? Or are they merely asserted to be there by Professor 
Freud, in order to make Group Psychology a mere annex of his 
psychoanalytic system ? 

Freud finds in the panic evidence of the truth of his view. He 
would distinguish between collective fear and true panic. He 
writes : 

" The contention that dread in a group is increased to enormous 
proportions by means of induction (contagion) is not in the least 
contradicted by these remarks. McDougall's view meets the case 
entirely when the danger is a really great one and when the group 
has no strong emotional ties conditions which are fulfilled, for 
instance, when a fire breaks out in a theatre or a place of amuse- 

But he contends that in a body of troops panic may break out 
under conditions no more threatening than others which they 

* Freud's theory compels him to make this distinction between collective 
fear and the true panic ; for he can hardly ask us to believe that all the 
members of every theatre audience are bound together by strong libidinous 
ties, nor can he hope to persuade us that all the members of every such 
audience are dominated by a common father surrogate special to the occasion. 
Yet every such assembly is liable to collective fear. It is, perhaps, worth 
while to point out that Freud makes no attempt to show that there is any 
difference between the phenomena of the collective fear and of the panic ; as 
there surely should be, if these are two distinct and differently conditioned 


have encountered without disorder ; and that in these cases the 
essential condition of this, the true, panic, as distinguished from 
mere collective fear, is the death of the leader. 

Now, if this new theory of the panic is true, there must have 
occurred during the late war a multitude of such panics ; and we 
might fairly demand that Freud should support his theory by the 
citation of one or two authentic accounts of such panics induced 
by the death of leaders. But we find no such citations. In place 
of them we are offered in evidence only a scene from a play ; or 
rather not even from a play, but from a parody of a play. 

" The typical occasion of the outbreak of a panic is very much 
as it is represented in Nestroy's parody of Hebbel's play about 
Judith and Holofernes a soldier cries out : ' The General has lost 
his head ! ' and thereupon all the Assyrians take to flight." 

Freud adds : 

" Anyone who, like McDougall, describes a panic as one of the 
plainest functions of the ' group mind/ arrives at the paradoxical 
position that this group mind does away with itself in one of its 
most striking manifestations." 

In answer to this, I would point out that 1 do not ascribe a group 
mind to a crowd, nor do I regard a panic as a function of the 
group mind ; the panic is rather a function of an instinct operating 
in an unorganised group. I admit that the death of a leader may 
contribute to bring about a panic ; but I submit that the grounds 
of this are sufficiently obvious, that it requires no far-fetched 
theories for its explanation. The reasoning of Freud's paragraphs, 
following those in which he treats of panic, shows that his theory 
requires that, on the death of the leader, the group shall break out, 
not into panic, but into an orgy of mutual murder. For, he tells 
us, it is only the libidinous ties between the leader and the members 
and those between the members (which latter somehow are deriva- 
tive from the former) which keep in check our narcissism ; and 
narcissism is ruthless murderous self-seeking. That this, rather 
than panic, is the consequence of the death of the leader logically 
demanded by Freud's theory is clearly shown by his next section, 
which deals with the religious group. 

" The dissolution of a religious group is not so easy to observe " 
(italics mine). And so here also Freud turns to literature and finds 
his evidence in a story which, if not a parody of a story, is little 
more, namely, the notorious sensational novel When It Was Dark. 


This novel, which achieved a great popular success, is offered us as 
evidence, because it was recommended by the Bishop of London, 
and because " it gave a clever and, as it seems to me, a convincing 
picture of such a possibility and its consequences." The whole 
passage deserves citation : 

" The novel, which is supposed to relate to the present day, 
tells how a conspiracy of enemies to the figure of Christ and of the 
Christian faith succeeds in arranging for a sepulchre to be discovered 
in Jerusalem. In this sepulchre is an inscription, in which Joseph 
of Arimathea confesses that for reasons of piety he secretly removed 
the body of Christ from its grave on the third day after its entomb- 
ment and buried it in this spot. The resurrection of Christ and his 
divine nature are by this means disposed of, and the result of this 
archaeological discovery is a convulsion in Pluropean civilisation 
and an extraordinary increase in all crimes and acts of violence, 
which only ceases when the forgers' plot has been revealed. The 
phenomenon which accompanies the dissolution that is here sup- 
posed to overtake a religious group is not dread, for which the 
occasion is wanting. Instead of it, ruthless and hostile impulses 
toward other people make their appearance, which, owing to the 
equal love of Christ, they had previously been unable to do."* 

In the next chapter Freud briefly recognises the existence of 
leaderless groups. These, which might be supposed to offer some 
serious difficulty to a theory which makes the leader the centre of all 
group-ties, he brushes lightly aside with the suggestion that an 
idea, an abstraction, or even a common wish, may serve as a 
substitute for a leader, as an object or centre for our libidinous 

Having arrived at the view that libidinous ties are constitutive 
of every group, Freud very properly turns to being-in-love in the 
ordinary sense of the words, in order to study the phenomena more 
intimately; and here he finds " identification " to be the centre 
of interest. " Identification is the earliest and original form of 
emotional tie." It culminates in the cannibal, who, 

" as we know, has remained at this standpoint ; he has a devour- 
ing affection for his enemies and only devours people of whom he is 

There follows an intricate discussion of love, in the course of which 
the ego and the ego-ideal and other entities spring back and forth be- 

* It happens that I have some slight acquaintance with the author of this 
precious story, and I venture to think that he would be immensely tickled to 
know that his successful effort to boil the domestic pot is now seriously cited 
as evidence in support of a scientific theory. 


tween the self and the object, theobject becoming the self and the self 
the object, in a manner so puzzling to any but a hardened believer 
that I can make out of it only the following : Freud recognises, 
as I have done, two principal factors in normal sexual love, sensual- 
ity or lust on the one hand, tenderness on the other : but, whereas 
I have identified these two factors of sexual love with the impulse 
of the sex instinct and the impulse of the parental or protective 
instinct, respectively, Freud feels himself bound to derive both of 
them from the sexual libido. He describes the tender factor as a 
part of the sexual impulse inhibited in its aim. By what 
influence this part is supposed to be inhibited is not very 
clear. Nor is it clear why, being inhibited, its nature should 
be transformed into its opposite. The natural result of obstruc- 
tion to the sexual instinct would seem to be, as in all other 
cases, anger, as we see in animals. However, granting this trans- 
formation into tenderness of one-half of the libido, we then have 
sexual love consisting essentially in one-half of the sexual libido 
working toward its sexual goal, but restrained by the other half, 
which, by inhibition, has been transformed into its opposite, 
tenderness. How much simpler to recognise that parental love is 
primarily the expression of a special instinct independent of and 
quite different from the sexual instinct ; and to see in sexual love 
the play of these two impulses reciprocally modifying one another, 
and modified still further in most cases by other equally indepen- 
dent tendencies ! 

Freud socks further light on love from hypnosis : 

" From being in love to hypnosis is evidently only a short step 
the hypnotic relation is the devotion of someone in love to an 
unlimited degree, but with sexual satisfaction excluded . . . 
But, on the other hand, we may also say that the hypnotic relation 
is (if the expression is permissible) a group formation with two 
members . . . Hypnosis is distinguished from a group 
formation by this limitation of number, just as it is distin- 
guished from being in love by the absence of directly sexual 
tendencies. In this respect it occupies a middle position between 
the two/' 

I Hypnosis contains, then, the key to the crowd. The reader at this 
point in the book begins to think he is near the end of his journey. A 
group is a crowd hypnotised by its leader ; and to be hypnotised 
is to be in love, to have one's sexual libido fixated upon the hypno- 
tiser in two halves, one half inhibited, the other half uninhibited. 
The group is a crowd in love with its leader ; and suggestibility 


is a consequence of being in love. But the explanation of sugges- 
tion is not vSo simple. 

" There is still a great deal in it which we must recognise as 
unexplained and mystical. It contains an additional element of 
paralysis derived from the relation between someone with superior 
power and someone who is without power and helpless/' 

So the indefatigable Freud sets off on another tack to find the grounds 
of this further unexplained and mystical element in suggestion. He 
begins by examining Mr Trotter's view, which finds the explanation 
of all suggestion in the herd instinct. He rejects this view on the 
grounds, first, that "it can be made at all events probable that the 
herd instinct is not irreducible, that it is not primary in the same 
sense as the instinct of self-preservation and the sexual instinct." 
Secondly, on the ground that it explains the group, without assigning 
an essential place or function to a leader ; and Freud has already 
asserted that the leader is the essential key to the group. Freud 
then makes the following astonishing tour de force, and brings 
us back to the original position from which he set out. 

" Gemeingeist, esprit de corps, ' group spirit/ etc., does not 
belie its derivation from what was originally envy . . . Social 
justice means that we deny ourselves many things so that others 
may have to do without them as well, or, what is the same thing, 
may not be able to ask for them. This demand for equality is the 
root of social conscience and the sense of duty/'* 

But what then is envy, which is thus identified with a demand 
for equality and as the root of all the social virtues ? Is envy the 
expression of some special instinct ? No, its explanation is to be 
found in the fact that man is not, as Trotter asserts, a herd animal, 
but " rather a horde animal, an individual creature in a horde led 
by a chief." Now, the characteristics of a crowd imply regression 
of its members " to a primitive mental activity, of just such a sort 
as we should be inclined to ascribe to the primal horde. Thus the 
group appears to us as a revival of the primal horde. Just as 
primitive man virtually survives in every individual, so the primal 
horde may arise once more out of any random crowd/' 

* The reader should notice here that, according to this strange doctrine, 
the group spirit and social justice alike are founded in, or are expressions of, 
an attitude considerably meaner and more despicable than that of the dog in 
the manger ! The dog in the manger says " You shall not eat, because I 
cannot eat!" According to Freud, the socially just man's attitude essentially 
is " I will not eat, in order that I may have the pleasure of preventing you 
from eating." 


Thus the long trail leads back to " Totem and Taboo " and the 
horde father. This primal superman " had prevented his sons 
from satisfying their directly sexual tendencies ; he forced them 
into abstinence and consequently into the emotional ties with him 
and with one another which could arise out of those of their ten- 
dencies that were inhibited in their sexual aim. He forced them, 
so to speak, into group psychology. His sexual jealousy and in- 
tolerance became in the last resort the causes of group psychology." 
Now we see why, in the opening chapter, Freud wrote of the illusion 
that is the prime condition of all group-life, the illusion on the 
part of the members that they are equally loved by the leader. 
For the primal horde father does not love his sons ; he is merely 
consumed and motivated by sexual jealousy against them. " The 
illusion that the leader loves all of the individuals equally and 
justly ... is simply an idealistic remodelling of the state of 
affairs in the primal horde, where all of the sons knew that they 
were equally persecuted by the primal father, and feared him 
equally" ; and where the primal father, by forbidding them all 
sexual gratification, forced them to love him and to love one 
another. This is described as a process of " recasting upon which 
all social duties are built up." 

This same recasting process explains " what is still incompre- 
hensible and mysterious in group formations all that lies hidden 
behind the enigmatic words 'hypnosis' and ' suggestion.' " 

" Let us recall that hypnosis has something positively uncanny 
about it ; but the characteristic of uncanniness suggests something 
old and familiar that has undergone repression. Let us consider 
how hypnosis is induced. The hypnotist asserts that he is in pos- 
session of a mysterious power which robs the subject of his own 
will, or, which is the same thing, the subject believes it of him. 
This mysterious power . . . must be the same that is looked 
upon by primitive people as the source of taboo, the same that 
emanates from kings and chieftains, and makes it dangerous to 
approach them (mana). The hypnotist, then, is supposed to be 
in possession of this power ; and how does he manifest it ? By 
telling the subject to look him in the eyes ; his most typical method 
of hypnotising is by his look. But it is precisely the sight of the 
chieftain that is dangerous and unbearable for primitive people, 
just as later that of the Godhead is for mortals." 

" By the measures that he takes, then, the hypnotist awakens 
in the subject a portion of his archaic inheritance which had also 
made him compliant toward his parents . . . What is thus 
awakened is the idea of a paramount and dangerous personality, 
toward whom only a passive-masochistic attitude is possible, 
toward whom one's will has to be surrendered . . . the 


uncanny and coercive characteristics of group formations, which 
are shown in their suggestion phenomena, may therefore with 
justice be traced back to the fact of their origin from the primal 
horde. The leader of the group is still the dreaded primal father ; 
the group still wishes to be governed by unrestricted force ; it has 
an extreme passion for authority ; in le Bon's phrase, it has a 
thirst for obedience.* The primal father is the group ideal, which 
governs the ego in the place of the ego-ideal. Hypnotism has a 
good claim to being described as a group of two ; there remains 
as a definition for suggestion ... a conviction which is not 
based upon perception and reasoning but upon an erotic tie." 

Further : 

" we have come to the conclusion that suggestion is a partial 
manifestation of the state of hypnosis, and that hypnosis is solidly 
founded upon a predisposition which has survived in the uncon- 
scious from the early history of the human family." 

Here we have come to the end of the long and tortuous trail, 
and have found as the root of all social psychology an ancient 
predisposition impressed upon the race (or rather upon the male 
half of it) by its experiences during the period of life in the 
primal horde under the dominance of a brutal horde father ; this 
predisposition makes men desire to be persecuted, makes them 
love those that persecute them and at the same time love their 
fellow victims of persecution. The remainder of the book 
restates some of the positions reached and deals with some other 
hardly related problems. 

Let me try to summarise the complex theory as fairly as possible 
in a few lines. The main factor in group life is suggestion. The 
fundamental problem of Group Psychology, therefore, is the nature 
of suggestion. Suggestion is always of the same nature as the 
suggestion of hypnosis ; and the study of hypnosis shows that 
suggestion depends upon a peculiar emotional attitude of the 
patient to the hypnotiser. This attitude results from the re- 
animation (by regression) of an atavistic survival, an attitude 
acquired by the race during the long period in which men lived in 
the primal horde, a horde dominated by a brutal horde-leader 
fiercely jealous of his sexual rights over all the women. This 

* How or why the persecuted sons of the primal horde father acquire a 
passion for being persecuted is nowhere explained. Even if we accept Freud's 
dictum that to " persecute a man and to force him to deny himself all sexual 
gratification is the surest way to earn his love," it is not obvious that the 
victim will at the same time develop a passionate desire to be persecuted, or 
that he will transmit this desire to his remote descendants. 


horde-leader forced all his fellow-males to repress their sexual 
urgings ; their repressed libido then became fixated on him, so 
that they loved him, and falsely believed that he loved them, at 
the same time that they feared him for his brutal domination and 
plotted to slay him. When any man lives as a member of a group 
and is subject to group influences, when he accepts the traditional 
morality and develops the virtues of the good and patriotic 
citizen, it is because some leader throws him back from his hard- 
won individuality, forces upon him an atavistic regression to the 
complex attitude proper toward the leader of the primitive horde, 
so that he becomes suggestible toward him ; but the part of the 
leader may be played by an abstract idea, or even by a wish or 
aspiration held in common by a number of individuals. 

What verdict shall be given upon this theory ? First, it may be 
said, if there were no other explanations of the facts of group life, 
we should have to entertain it seriously. But, as I have endea- 
voured to show, other simpler, less extravagant, explanations are 
possible and are at least as adequate. 

Secondly, the theory, if accepted with all the peculiar Freudian 
assumptions upon which it is based, leaves or rather raises many 
obscure problems. For example, it leaves the leaderless group 
unexplained ; for we can hardly take seriously the assertion that 
an abstract idea or a wish may play the r61e assigned to the leader 
in forcing regression to the atavistic attitude. It leaves untouched 
the fact that women are at least as suggestible as men, and probably 
on the whole more so ; we shall have to invent some other story 
to account for their suggestibility. It leaves very obscure the 
suggestibility of the members of a group toward one another. Here 
I would especially cite such instances as the famous spread of the 
rumour of Russian troops passing through England in the autumn 
of 1914. It is impossible to point in such instances to a leader. 
We must be content to suppose this to be an instance where a wish 
played the r61e of leader. But is not this equivalent to rejecting 
the theory in toto ? Further, it does not explain the primary fact 
of contagion of emotion, so fundamental to all group-life. And 
it does not explain how a leader attains leadership ; how he 
manages to force regression upon his followers and to constitute 
himself a leader. 

Finally, it reduces all the social life of men, including all team- 
work, all patriotism, all moral self-control and discipline, all self- 
sacrifice for the good of the community, to the working of an 
atavistic regression, to a return to the behaviour proper to the 


(very hypothetical) remote age in which the violence of a bully, 
armed with a club and prompted by sexual jealousy, was the 
only controlling force in human society. It makes sexual jealousy 
and envy the roots of all the nobler manifestations of human 
life. Yet it leaves these roots themselves unexplained. Why 
jealousy ? Why envy ? If the sexual impulse, the fear of death, 
and the urge for food, were the whole of the instinctive endow- 
ment of primitive man, why should not the primal horde have 
enjoyed a delightful promiscuity ? On that plane one woman can 
serve many men. We should expect sexual jealousy, if anywhere, 
only among the women. 

My verdict is " not proven and wildly improbable." If we posi- 
tively knew, if by any supernatural unchallengeable authority we 
were assured, that all the phenomena of human life, all the modes of 
human activity, had been derived from sexuality, and must be 
explained as manifestations of the sexual libido, we might be in- 
duced to say that Professor Freud's theory of suggestion and his 
theory of social phenomena in general was a most ingenious and 
praiseworthy effort to solve an insoluble problem. 

But we have no such guarantee. The only authority we have 
for accepting this as the necessary and sole permissible line of 
speculation, for regarding our explanations of social phenomena as 
necessarily confined within the limits of the sexual libido, is the 
authority of Professor Freud and of his devoted disciples. I, for 
one, shall continue to try to avoid the spell of the primal horde 
father and to use what intellect I have, untrammelled by arbitrary 


C. G. JUNG, M.D., LL.D. 
Formerly of the University of Zurich 




OF ancient origin, indeed, are the attempts to solve the problem 
of types. It has been sought, on the one hand, to bring together 
into definite categories the manifold differences of human 
individuals, and on the other to break through the apparent 
uniformity of all men by a sharper characterisation of certain 
typical differences. Without caring to go too deeply into the 
history of the development of such attempts, I would like to 
call attention to the fact that the oldest categories known to us 
have originated with physicians, most especially with Claudius 
Galen, the Greek physician who lived in the second century after 
Christ. He distinguished four fundamental temperaments, the 
sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic. But the basic 
idea of this differentiation harks back to the fifth century before 
Christ, to the teachings of Hippocrates, who described the human 
body as composed of the four elements, air, water, fire and earth. 
Corresponding to the elements there were to be found in the living 
body, blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile ; and it was Galen's 
idea that by reason of the unequal admixture of these four factors, 
men could be separated into four different classes. Those in 
whom blood predominated were sanguine ; those having relatively 
more phlegm were designated as phlegmatic ; when yellow bile 
prevailed the temperament was choleric ; and those under the 
sway of black bile were melancholic. As our modern speech 
attests, these differentiations of temperament have become 
immortal, although their naivete" as psychological theory has long 
since been apparent. 

Without a doubt Galen deserves the credit of having created 
a psychological classification of human individuals which has 
endured for two thousand years, a classification which rests upon 
perceptible differences of emotionality or affectivity. It is 
interesting to note that the first effort toward a classification of 

* Paper read at the International Congress of Education. 

290 C. G. JUNG 

types concerns itself with the emotional behaviour of men, mani- 
festly because it is the play of emotion involved which forms the 
most frequent and obviously striking feature of any behaviour. 

But it is not in the least to be supposed that affect is the only 
thing characteristic of mankind ; one can expect characteristic 
data from other functions as well, it being only necessary for us 
to perceive and observe the other functions with the same clearness 
we lend to affect. In the earlier centuries, when the concept 
" psychology " as we employ it to-day was, so to speak, entirely 
lacking, the other psychological functions were veiled in darkness, 
just as to-day they appear to the great majority of people as 
scarcely discernible subtleties. Affects reveal themselves readily 
to superficial observation and the unpsychological man, that is, 
he to whom his neighbour's psyche is not a problem, contents himself 
with such an observation. It suffices him to observe affects in 
others, but if he sees none, then the other person becomes invisible 
to him, because, aside from affects, it is impossible for him to read 
anything in another's consciousness. In one word, he is blind 
to the other functions. 

The primary condition which permits us to discover in our 
fellow-men functions other than affects, is obtained when we 
ourselves pass from an unproblematical into a problematical 
condition of consciousness. By " unproblematical," as I use it 
here, I mean the instinctive attitude toward life, as exemplified by 
the primitive, while by " problematical " I understand a state of 
mind in which the easy, " taking-things-for-granted " attitude has 
passed over into one in which a certain amount of psychological 
tension exists. In this latter state our neighbour steps out of his 
invisibility and becomes a factor with which we have to grapple 
consciously. Resuming the thread of the argument, in so far as 
we judge others only by affects, we show that our chief and perhaps 
only criterion is affect. That means, then, that this criterion is 
valid also for our own psychology, which is equivalent to saying 
that our psychological judgment altogether has no objectivity nor 
independence, but is a slave to affect. This is, in fact, a truth which 
holds good for the majority of people, and upon this fact rests 
the psychological possibility of a murderous war and its ever- 
probable recurrence, optimistic blindness to the contrary not- 
withstanding. It must be so as long as a man judges those on 
the " other side " by his own affect or emotion. I call such a state 
of consciousness unproblematical because manifestly it itself has 
never been looked upon as a problem ; there is no sense of in- 


adequacy or maladaptation to the facts involved. It only becomes 
a problem when doubt arises as to whether the affect, that is, one's 
own affect, offers a satisfactory basis for forming psychological 
judgments. We cannot deny the fact that we ourselves are 
always inclined to justify ourselves to anyone who wishes to hold 
us responsible for an emotional act, by saying that we acted only 
on the spur of feeling, and that we are not generally nor always 
as we were in that moment. When it concerns ourselves we are 
glad to explain affect as an exceptional condition of lessened 
accountability, but we are loathe to make this allowance for 
others. But even if it is only an effort not altogether admirable, 
perhaps, towards exculpating the beloved ego, still, in the feeling 
of justification that such an excuse brings, there lies a positive 
element, namely, the attempt to separate oneself from one's own 
affect, and thereby also to distinguish one's fellow-man from his 
affect condition. And even if my excuse is only a subterfuge, 
still, it is an effort to cast a doubt on the validity of affect as the 
sole index of personality, and an effort furthermore, to make 
myself aware of other psychological functions which are just as 
characteristic of the self as the affect, if not, indeed, even more so, 
Whoever judges us by our affect is readily accused by us of lack 
of understanding, or, worse still, of being unjust. But that puts 
us under the obligation of not judging others by affect. 

The primitive, unpsychological man, looking upon affect in 
himself and others as the only essential criterion, in order to avoid 
the act of false judgment, must develop in himself a problematical 
condition of consciousness, that is to say, he must reach a condition 
in which, together with the affect, yet other factors are recognised 
as valid. In this problematical condition a paradoxical judgment 
is formed, that is, one says, " I am this affect, and I am not that 
affect." This antithesis forces a splitting of the ego, or rather, 
a splitting of the psychological material which makes up the ego. 
In that I recognise myself just as much in my affect as in something 
else that is not my affect. I differentiate between an affect factor 
and other psychological factors, and in doing this I force the 
affect to descend from its original heights of unlimited power and 
make it take its place as one psychological function among 

Only after having gone through such a process and after acquiring 

thereby the power to discriminate between various psychological 

factors in himself, is a man placed in a position to summon other 

criteria than affect in his psychological judgment of others. In 


292 C. G. JUNG 

this way only can there develop a really objective psychological 

That which we call " psychology " to-day is a science which is 
possible only on the basis of certain historical and moral con- 
ditions, conditions which have been created by Christian educa- 
tion covering nearly two thousand years. A saying such, for 
example, as " Judge not that ye be not judged," has through its 
religious connotation created the possibility of a volition which, 
in the last resort, strives toward a simple objectivity of judgment. 
And this objectivity not being merely an attitude of disinterested- 
ness toward others, but resting as it does on the fact that we wish 
others to benefit by the fundamental principles by which we excuse 
ourselves, this objectivity then is the basic condition leading us 
to a just evaluation of our fellow men. You wonder, perhaps, why 
I dwell so emphatically on the point of objectivity, but you will 
cease to wonder if ever you seek to classify people in practice. A 
man of outspoken sanguine temperament will tell you that taken 
fundamentally he is deeply melancholic ; " a choleric," that his 
only fault consists in his having always been too " phlegmatic." 
But a division of people in whose validity I alone believe is about 
as helpful as a universal church in which I am the sole member. 
We must, therefore, find criteria which are accepted as binding not 
only by the judging subject but also by the judged object. 

Quite in contrast to the old classification according to tempera- 
ments, the problem of a new division of types begins with the 
express convention, neither to allow oneself to be judged by 
affect, nor so to judge others, for no one can or will finally declare 
himself identical with his affect. Using affect as the point of 
departure, therefore, there can never be brought about a general 
reciprocal understanding such as science represents. We must 
then look about us for those factors which we call upon when we 
excuse ourselves because of an emotional act. We say perhaps 
" Granted that I have said this or that in a state of affect, naturally 
that was an exaggeration and I had no evil intentions. As a matter 
of fact, what I really think is thus and so, etc." A very naughty 
child, having caused his mother painful anxiety, may say, " I didn't 
intend to do it. I didn't intend to hurt you, I love you very much.' ' 
Such explanations bespeak the existence of a personality other 
than that appearing in affect. In both cases the affect personality 
appears as something inferior which has spread over and clouded 
the real ego. However, the personality revealed in such an affect 
is often a higher and a better one, whose heights unfortunately 


one cannot attain. There are well-known instances of generosity, 
altruism, sacrifice and similar " beautiful gestures," for which, as 
an ironical observer might spitefully remark, one does not care to 
be held responsible perhaps a reason why so many people do so 
little good. 

But in both cases the affect obtains as an exceptional condition 
whose qualities are either presented as invalid for the " real " 
personality, or else not convincingly connected with it as lasting 
attributes. What is this " real " personality then ? Manifestly 
it is partly that which one distinguishes in oneself as separate from 
affect, and partly that of which one is stripped by the judgment of 
others as non-essential. Since it is impossible to deny that the 
condition of affect belongs to the ego, it follows that the ego is 
the same in affect as in the so-called " real " condition, although 
in a different attitude toward the existing psychological facts. 
In affect the ego is unfree, driven, in a state of compulsion. Over 
against this, the normal state is understood as a condition of free 
choice, of disposability of one's physical forces ; in other words, 
the condition of affect is unproblematical while the normal condi- 
tion is problematical, recognising as it does the existence of a 
problem to be resolved and, at the same time, containing the 
possibility of a free choice of action in regard to the problem. In 
this latter condition an understanding can be effected because in 
this condition, and in it alone, is to be found the possibility of the 
recognition of motives and self-knowledge. Discrimination is 
indispensable to knowledge. But discrimination means the 
splitting up of the content of consciousness into distinguishable 
factors. Therefore, if we wish to define the individuality of a 
man in terms that will satisfy not only our judgment but also that 
of the judged object, then we must make our point of departure 
that condition or that attitude, which is felt by the object to be a 
conscious, normal state of mind. Therefore also, we must concern 
ourselves chiefly with conscious motives while we abstract from 
the situation our own arbitrary interpretations. 

If we proceed in such a way we shall discover after a time that, 
in spite of a great variety of motives and tendencies, certain groups 
of individuals, characterised by an obvious conformity in their 
manner of motivation, can be separated from one another. For 
example, we shall come upon individuals who find themselves 
actuated in all their conclusions, apperceptions, feelings, affects 
and actions, chiefly through external factors, or at least the em- 
phasis is laid on the latter whether causal or final motives are in 

294 C. G. JUNG 

question. I shall give some illustrations of what I mean. St. 
Augustine says, " I would not believe in the Evangels if the author- 
ity of the Church did not compel me." A daughter says, " I could 
not think something that would be displeasing to my father." A 
certain person finds a modern piece of music beautiful because 
everybody else professes to find it beautiful. Cases are not infre- 
quent in which a man has married in a way pleasing to his parents, 
but very much against his own interests. There are people who 
can make themselves absurd in order to amuse others, in fact they 
may even prefer to make butts of themselves rather than remain 
unnoticed. Many people have in all their reactions but one con- 
sideration in mind, namely, what others think of them. Someone 
has said, " One need not be ashamed of something nobody knows 
about." There are those who can only realise happiness when it 
excites the envy of others ; there are individuals who wish for 
troubles and even make them for themselves in order to enjoy the 
sympathy of their fellow men. 

Such examples could easily be multiplied indefinitely. They 
point to a psychological peculiarity which is to be sharply dis- 
tinguished from another attitude determined, in contradistinction 
to the former, chiefly by inner or subjective factors. Such a person 
says, " I know I could give my father the greatest pleasure if I 
did such and such, but none the less I have a different idea about 
it " ; or, " I see that the weather is vile but none the less I shall 
carry out the plan I made yesterday." Such a man does not travel 
for pleasure, but in order to carry into action a preconceived idea. 
A man may say, " Apparently my book is incomprehensible, but 
it is perfectly clear to me." One can also hear it declared, as a 
man once actually did say, " The whole world believes I could do 
something, but I know absolutely that I can do nothing." Such 
a man can be so ashamed of himself as not to dare to mix with 
people. Among persons such as these are to be found those 
individuals who can only experience happiness when they are sure 
that no one knows anything about it, and to these people, a thing 
is disagreeable just because it is pleasing to everybody else. Good 
is sought as far as possible where no one would think it could be 
found. At every step the agreement of the subject must be obtained 
and without it nothing can be undertaken or carried out. Such 
a one would say to Augustine, " I would believe in the Evangels if 
the authority of the Church did not coerce me to it." His con- 
stant effort is toward showing that everything he does is on his 
own decision and from his own conviction, never because influenced 


by anyone, nor for the purpose of catering to any person or opinion. 
This attitude then characterises a second group of individuals who 
derive their motives almost exclusively from the subject, from the 
inner necessities. 

Finally, there is a third group in which one can hardly say 
whether the motivation is derived from within or without. This 
group is the most numerous, and embraces the less differentiated 
normal man who is normal partly because he brings to focus no 
exaggerations, and partly because he is not under the necessity of ex- 
aggerating. The normal man, according to definition, is influenced 
in equal measure from within and without. He makes up, as has 
been said, the widely inclusive middle group, on the one side of 
which appear those individuals who are chiefly determined in their 
motivation by their outer object and, on the other, those who 
respond in the majority of cases to the demands of the subject. I 
have designated the first group as extraverts, the latter as introverts. 
These terms scarcely need special elucidation, since, from what 
has been said, they are self-explanatory. 

Although there are without a doubt individuals in whom one 
can recognise the type at a first glance, for the most part this is 
by no means the case. As a rule only careful observation and a 
weighing of the evidence permits a sure classification. Clear and 
simple though the fundamental principle of the two opposing 
attitudes may be, nevertheless their concrete reality is complicated 
and obscure, for every individual is an exception to the rule. 
Therefore, one can never give a description of a type, no matter 
how complete, which applies to more than one individual despite the 
fact that thousands might, in a certain sense, be strikingly described 
thereby. Conformity is one side of a man, uniqueness is the other. 
The individual soul is not explained by classification, yet at the 
same time, through the understanding of the psychological types, 
a way is opened to a better understanding of human psychology 
in general. The differentiation of the types begins often very early, 
so early that in certain cases one must speak of it as being innate. 
The earliest mark of extraversion in a child is his quick adaptation 
to the environment, and the extraordinary attention he gives to 
objects and especially to his impress upon them. Shyness of ob- 
jects is slight ; the child moves and lives in and with them. He 
makes quick perceptions, but in a haphazard way. Apparently 
he develops more quickly than an introverted child, since he has 
less inhibition and, as a rule, no fear. Apparently, too, he feels no 
barrier between himself and objects and therefore can play with 

296 C. G. JUNG 

them freely and learn through them. He gladly pushes his 
undertakings to an extreme and risks himself in the endeavour. 
Whatever is unknown appears alluring. 

Reversing the picture, one of the earliest marks of introversion 
in a child is a reflective, thoughtful manner, a pronounced shyness, 
even anxiety toward unknown objects. Very early there appears 
also a tendency toward self-assertion in relation to the object, and 
efforts to master the latter. Whatever is unknown is regarded 
with mistrust. Outside influence is, in the main, met with empha- 
tic resistance. The child wants his own way and under no circum- 
stances does he wish to submit to at strange rule which he cannot 
understand. When he asks questions, it is not so much out of 
curiosity or desire for sensation, but because he wants names, 
meanings and explanations that offer him a subjective assurance 
over against the object. I have seen an introverted child who 
made her first efforts to walk only after she was familiar with all 
the things in the room with which she might come in contact. 
Thus very early in an introverted child can be noted the character- 
istic defensive attitude which the adult introvert shows toward the 
object, just as in the case of the extra verted child one can observe 
very early a marked assurance and enterprise, and a blissful 
trustfulness in his relations with objects. This then is the basic 
characteristic of the extraverted attitude : the psychic life is 
displayed, so to speak, outside the individual in objects and 
relationships to objects. In especially marked cases there occurs 
a sort of blindness for one's own individuality. In contrast with 
this, the introvert always conducts himself toward the object as 
if the latter possessed a superior power over him against which he 
had to steady himself. 

It is a sad but none the less uncommonly frequent fact that the 
two types are constantly conflicting with one another. This is a 
fact which will immediately come to the notice of anyone who 
investigates the problem. It originates from the circumstance 
that the psychic values are localised diagonally opposite each 
other. The introvert sees everything which is of any value to 
him in the subject ; the extravert, on the other hand, sees it in the 
object, but this dependence upon the object seems to the introvert 
a state of great inferiority, while to the extravert the inferiority 
condition lies in an unmitigated subjectivity, and he is able to see 
nothing in such an attitude save infantile autoerotism. 

There is small wonder then, that the two types combat one 
another, a fact, however, which in the majority of cases does not 


prevent a man from marrying a woman of the opposite type. 
Such marriages are very valuable as psychological symbioses so 
long as the partners do not seek to be " psychologically " under- 
stood by one another. But such a phase belongs to the normal, 
developmental phenomena of every marriage in which the couple 
has either the necessary leisure or the necessary urge to develop- 
ment, or both indeed, together with the needful amount of courage 
to risk breaking up the marital peace. If, as was said, circum- 
stances favour it, this phase enters quite automatically into the 
lives of both types, and for the following reasons : the type is a 
one-sidedness of development ; the one develops only his outer, and 
neglects his inner relationship, while the other grows subjectively 
only and remains at a standstill with respect to external factors. 
But in time there arises a necessity for the individual to develop 
that which previously he has neglected. The development occurs 
in the form of a differentiation of certain functions, and because 
of their importance for the type problem, I must now take up the 
question of these functions. 

The conscious psyche is an adaptation or orientation 
apparatus, consisting of a number of psychic functions. As such 
fundamental functions one can designate sensation, thinking, 
feeling and intuition. Under the heading sensation, I wish to 
include all apperception by means of sense organs ; by thinking 
I understand the function of intellectual cognition and the forming 
of logical conclusions ; feeling is a function of subjective evalua- 
tion, and intuition I hold to be apperception by an unconscious 
method, or the perception of an unconscious content. 

These four fundamental functions appear to me, as far as my 
experience reaches, to be sufficient to express and represent the 
ways and means of conscious orientation. For a complete orienta- 
tion of consciousness all the functions should co-operate equally ; 
thinking should make cognition and the forming of judgments 
possible ; feeling should say to us how and in what way a thing is 
important or unimportant for us ; sensation by means of sight, 
hearing, taste, etc., should enable us to perceive concrete reality ; 
and finally intuition should permit us to guess the more or less 
hidden possibilities and backgrounds of a situation, because these 
hidden factors also belong to a complete picture of a given moment. 
But in reality it is, seldom or never that these fundamental func- 
tions are uniformly developed and correspondingly under voluntary 
control. As a rule one or the other function is in the foreground, 
while the others remain in the background quite undifferentiated. 

298 C. G. JUNG 

Thus there are many people who restrict themselves chiefly to a 
simple perception of concrete reality, without reflecting much about 
it or taking into account the feeling values involved. They bother 
themselves little about the possibilities which lie hidden in a situa- 
tion. Such people I describe as "sensation" types. Others are 
exclusively influenced by what they think and simply cannot adapt 
themselves to a situation which they cannot comprehend intellect- 
ually. I designate such people "thinking" types. Again, there 
are others who are guided in everything wholly by their feelings. 
They merely ask themselves if something is pleasant or the reverse, 
and orientate themselves by their feeling impressions. These are the 
' ' feeling ' ' types. Finally, ' ' intuitives ' ' concern themselves neither 
with ideas nor with feeling reactions, nor yet with the reality of 
things, but give themselves up wholly to the lure of possibilities 
and abandon every situation where no further possibilities are 

These types then present a different kind of one-sidedness, but 
one which is complicated in a peculiar way with the generally 
extraverted and introverted attitudes. Just on account of this 
complication I was forced to mention the existence of these func- 
tion types, and bearing it in mind, let us return to the question 
outlined above, viz., the one-sidedness of the extraverted and 
introverted attitudes. This one-sidedness would indeed lead to a 
complete loss of balance if it were not psychically compensated 
by an unconscious counterposition. The investigation of the 
unconscious has revealed the fact, for example, that in the case of 
an introvert, together with his conscious attitude, there is an 
unconscious extraverted attitude which automatically compen- 
sates his conscious one-sidedness. 

Confronted with a given individual, one can, of course, surmise 
intuitively the existence of an introverted or an extraverted atti- 
tude in general, but an exact scientific investigation cannot content 
itself with an intuition, but must turn to the actual material 
presented. It is then revealed that no person is simply extraverted 
or introverted, but that he is so in the form of certain functions. 
Let us take, for example, an intellectual type ; most of the con- 
scious material which he offers for observation consists of thoughts, 
conclusions, deliberations, as well as actions, affects, feelings and 
perceptions of an intellectual nature, or at least directly dependent 
on intellectual premises. We must interpret the essence of his 
general attitude from the peculiarity of this material. The 
material offered by a feeling type will be of a different kind, that 


is, feelings and emotional contents of all sorts, thoughts, delibera- 
tions and perceptions dependent upon emotional premises. There- 
fore, only by reason of the peculiar nature of his feelings shall we 
be in a position to say whether this individual belongs to this or 
that general type. For this reason I must again mention the 
function types, because in individual cases, the extraverted and 
introverted attitudes can never be demonstrated as existing per se, 
but appear as the characteristics of the dominating conscious 
functions. Similarly, there is no attitude per se of the unconscious, 
but only typically modified forms of unconscious functions, and 
only through the investigation of the unconscious functions and 
their peculiarities can the unconscious attitude be scientifically 

One can scarcely speak of typical unconscious functions, although 
in the economics of the psyche one should attribute a function to 
the unconscious. I think it is wise to express oneself cautiously 
in this respect, and therefore I would rather not assert more than 
this, namely that the unconscious, as far as we can now see, has a 
compensatory function in relation to the conscious. As to what 
the unconscious is, in and for itself, it is idle to speculate. It is 
according to its nature, beyond our knowing. We merely postulate 
its existence on the basis of its so-called products such as dreams 
and the like. It is an assured finding of scientific experience that 
dreams, for example, almost invariably have a content which can 
act as an essential corrective of the conscious attitude. From this 
comes the justification of speaking of a compensatory function of 
the unconscious. 

Together with this general function in relation to the conscious, 
the unconscious contains also functions which under other circum- 
stances can become conscious as well. The thinking type, for 
example, must necessarily always suppress and exclude feeling, 
since nothing disturbs thinking so much as feeling, and conversely, 
the emotional man must avoid thinking as far as possible, since 
nothing is more disastrous to feeling than thinking. Suppressed 
functions fall to the unconscious. Just as among the four sons 
of Horus only one had a human head, so with the four fundamental 
functions, only one, as a rule, is fully conscious and so differentiated 
that it is free and subject to the direction of the will, while the 
remaining three functions are partly or wholly unconscious. By 
this "unconsciousness " I do not in the least mean that an intellect- 
ual, for example, would be unconscious of feeling. He knows his 
feelings very well in so far as he has any power of introspection, but 

300 C. G. JUNG 

he gives them no value and allows them no influence. They mani- 
fest themselves against his intention ; they are spontaneous, 
finally taking to themselves the validity consciousness denies. 
They are activated by unconscious stimulation, forming, indeed, 
something like a counter-personality whose existence can only be 
divined through the analysis of the products of the unconscious. 

If a function is in no sense under control, if it is felt as a dis- 
turbance of the conscious function, if now it comes forward whim- 
sically, now disappears, if it possesses an obsessive character, or 
remains obstinately hidden when most wanted to appear, then it 
has the quality of a function rooted in the unconscious. 

But such a function has still other noteworthy qualities ; there 
is something unindividual about it, that is, it contains elements 
which do not necessarily belong to it. Thus, for example, the 
unconscious feeling of the intellectual is peculiarly phantastic, 
often in grotesque contrast to an exaggerated, rationalistic in- 
tellectualism of the conscious. In contrast to the purposefulness 
and controlled character of conscious thinking, the feeling is 
impulsive, uncontrolled, moody, irrational, primitive, archaic 
indeed, like the feeling of a savage. 

The same thing is true of every function that is repressed into 
the unconscious. It stays there undeveloped, fused with other 
elements not proper to it and remains in a certain primordial 
condition, for the unconscious is the psychical residue of undomesti- 
cated nature in us, just as it is also the matrix of our uncreated 
future. Thus the unevolved functions are always the fruitful 
ones, and so it is no wonder that in the course of life the necessity 
comes about for a completion and change of the conscious attitude. 

Together with the above-mentioned qualities, the unevolved 
functions possess yet another peculiarity, that is, when the attitude 
of the conscious is introverted, they are extraverted in character, 
and vice versa ; in other words, together they compensate the 
conscious attitude. One could expect, therefore, to discover in an 
introverted intellectual extraverted feelings, and the idea was 
wittily expressed by such a type when he said : " Before dinner 
I am a Kantian, after dinner a Nietzscheian." In his habitual 
attitude that is, he is intellectual, but under the stimulus of a good 
meal a Dionysian wave breaks through his conscious attitude. 

Just here we meet a great difficulty in the diagnosis of the types. 
The outside observer sees both the manifestations of the conscious 
attitude, as well as the autonomous phenomena of the unconscious, 
and he is embarrassed as to which to ascribe to the conscious and 


which to the unconscious. Under such circumstances the differ- 
ential diagnosis can only be founded on a careful study of the 
material, that is to say, it must be discovered which phenomena 
proceed from consciously chosen motives and which are spontane- 
ous ; and it must also be determined which manifestations possess 
an adapted and which an unadapted archaic character. 

It is now quite clear that the qualities of the conscious dominant 
function, that is, the qualities of the general conscious attitude, 
stand in strict contrast to the qualities of the unconscious attitude. 
Expressed in other words, it can be said that between the conscious 
and the unconscious there is normally an opposition. This contrast 
is not noted as a conflict, however, as long as the conscious attitude 
is not too remote from the unconscious attitude. But if the latter 
is the case, then the Kantian is unpleasantly surprised by his 
Dionysianism because it begins to develop impulses that are far 
too unsuitable. The unconscious, in fact, if once brought into active 
opposition to the conscious, simply will not permit itself to be 
repressed. The conscious attitude then sees itself called upon to 
suppress the autonomous manifestations of the unconscious and 
thereby the conflict is staged. It is true that it is not particularly 
difficult to suppress those manifestations against which the con- 
scious especially directs itself, but then the unconscious impulses 
simply seek other less easily recognisable exits. 

Whenever such indirect safety valves are opened, the way of 
the neurosis has already been entered upon. By analysis one can 
indeed make each one of these false ways again accessible to the 
understanding, and so subject to conscious repression, but their 
determining power is not thereby extinguished ; it is merely 
pushed back further into a corner, unless, together with the under- 
standing of the indirect way taken by the suppressions, there comes 
an equally clear realisation of the one-sidedness of the attitude. 
In other words, along with the understanding of the unconscious 
impulses there must come a change of the conscious attitude, 
because the activation of the unconscious opposition has grown out 
of this one-sidedness, and the recognition of the unconscious 
impulses is of use only when through it the one-sidedness of the 
conscious is effectually compensated. 

But the changing of the conscious attitude is no small matter, 
for the sum-total of a general attitude is always more or less of a 
conscious ideal sanctified by custom and historical tradition ; 
solidly founded on the rock-bottom of innate temperament. The 
conscious attitude is always in the nature of a philosophy of life 

302 C. G. JUNG 

when it is not definitely a religion. It is this fact which makes the 
problem of the types so important. The opposition between the 
types is not only an external conflict between men, but also the 
source of endless inner conflicts ; not only the cause of external 
disagreements and antagonism, but also the inner instigation to 
nervous illness and psychic disorders. It is this fact also that 
forces us as physicians to widen progressively what was originally 
our purely medico-psychological horizon, to include within its 
limits not only general psychological viewpoints, but also questions 
of a more general philosophical nature. 

Within the necessary limits of a lecture, I am unable, of course, 
to present to you the extent of these problems in a thoroughly 
exhaustive way. I must perforce content myself with sketching 
out for you in general terms the main facts merely, and the implica- 
tions of the problems involved. For all further particulars I must 
refer you to the detailed presentation in my book Psychological 

As a rtsumt, I would like to call to your notice the fact that 
each of the two attitudes of introversion and extraversion appears 
in the individual in accordance with the predominance, in a special 
way, of one of the four fundamental functions. Strictly speaking, 
in reality there are no outright extraverts nor introverts, but 
extra verted and introverted function-types, such as thinking types, 
sensation types, etc. Thus there arises a minimum of eight clearly 
distinguishable types. Obviously, one may increase this number 
at will, if each of the function-types is split into three sub-groups, 
which, empirically speaking, would be far from impossible. One 
could, for example, easily divide the intellect into its three well- 
known forms : first, the intuitive, speculative form ; second, the 
logical, mathematical form ; third, the empirical form, which rests 
chiefly on sense perception. Similar divisions could be carried 
out with the other functions, as, for instance, in the case of intui- 
tion, which has an intellectual as well as a feeling side. With 
such a splitting up into component parts, a large number of types 
could be established, each separate division being of increasing 

For the sake of completeness, I must also mention the fact that 
classification of types according to extraversion and introversion 
must by no means be looked upon as the only possible method. 
Any other psychological criterion could be equally well employed ; 
it only appears to me that no other possesses so great a practical 




Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy in the University of 
Oxford; Honorary Consulting Psychologist and Lecturer on 
Medical Psychology, Bethlehem Royal Hospital, London ; Lecturer 
on Psychotherapy, King's College Hospital 




HISTORICALLY, the problem of suggestion has been approached 
along two distinct paths. Up to quite recent times our knowledge 
of it has been a secondary result of the study of hypnosis : during 
the last few years the line of investigation has been that of mental 
analysis. There can be no doubt that the latter form of inquiry 
is likely to be the more fruitful of the two. In the work of 
Morton Prince we have both lines of investigation developed 
in a very successful way. 

The problem of the relationship of suggestion to hypnosis is 
brought to a point in two distinct classical definitions that we have 
of the hypnotic state. According to the Salptrire School 
(Charcot, Janet, etc.), hypnosis is an artificial hysteria or mental 
dissociation. According to the Nancy School (Bernheim, Cou6, 
Baudouin) hypnosis is a state of artificially-increased suggestibility. 
According to the former of these two definitions, we should expect 
suggestibility to be increased in hypnosis, because mental dissocia- 
tion would tend to carry with it diminished self-knowledge and 
self-control, with the result that ideas elicited in the subject's 
mind would tend to realise themselves by their own momentum, 
as it were, unchecked by more far-reaching thoughts and higher 
forms of mental control. The difference between the two schools 
of thought would then seem to be this that, whereas the Sal- 
ptrire school puts mental dissociation as a cause of any increased 
suggestibility that may occur, the Nancy school makes no definite 
statement as to the cause of this increased suggestibility. 

The problem of deciding between the merits of these two 
definitions can be dealt with by an appeal to experience. During the 
European War a great spontaneous natural experiment was carried 
out through the agency of the actual conditions of fighting. Soldiers 
suffered by the hundred from crude mental dissociation, showing 
itself by amnesia or loss of memory for definite terrifying events 
and experiences, together with loss of psycho-physical functions, 



such as the power of speaking, of hearing, of walking, the power of 
controlling tremors, etc. Investigation of these patients immedi- 
ately after their injury showed that they were readily hypnotisable. 
Moreover, that the ease with which they could be hypnotised was 
in direct proportion to the degree of their mental dissociation. 
In other words, one discovered a definite correlation between degree 
of dissociation and ease of hypnotisability. Such a finding har- 
monises with the Salptriere definition of hypnosis, as an artificial 
dissociation. On the other hand, in these cases it was found that 
the suggestibility, though certainly increased in milder degrees of 
dissociation, was often conspicuous by its absence in more pro- 
nounced degrees of dissociation 

It is clear that we must here call to mind a fundamental distinc- 
tion in the matter of suggestion. If we define suggestion, as, e.g., 
McDougall does, as the acceptance of an idea or proposition 
independently of logically adequate grounds for such acceptance, 
the further question arises Whence comes this idea that is accep- 
ted ? If it is elicited by the patient's outer environment, the 
people around him, the general physical and mental situation, the 
process may be called that of hetero-suggestion. If, on the other 
hand, the idea arises spontaneously in the patient's own mind or is 
deliberately presented to him by himself, the process may be called 
that of auto-suggestion. In cases of deep hypnosis, such as we 
have just referred to, where a patient's suggestibility seems some- 
times to be diminished rather than increased, it may well be that 
it is merely a diminution of hetero-suggestibility auto-suggest- 
ibility may be intensified. 

Before passing on to a more detailed consideration of the nature 
of suggestibility, we must emphasise the fact that on the one hand 
crude mental dissociation facilitates hypnotism, and further, that 
this mental dissociation, although sometimes caused by mental 
conflict and repression, may often be caused by pronounced physical 
means, such as physical shock to the brain, and in a small propo- 
tion of individuals appears to be an inborn characteristic. That 
is, in certain cases of physical shock to the nervous system, and in 
certain other cases, the state of hypnosis can be produced with 
exceptional ease, without any obvious psychological reasons. 

If we remain in thought on the level of suggestion and suggest- 
ibility in our consideration of the causation and cure of psycho- 
neurotic symptons, we have some such crude view as that of 
Babinski, who holds that hysterical symptons are produced by 
suggestion, and therefore are curable by persuasion. In other 


words, the patient falls ill under the influence of pathogenic auto- 
suggestion, and recovers from his illness if these are neutralised 
by therapeutic suggestion, either given by a physician or others, 
i.e., hetero-suggestion, or by himself, i.e., auto-suggestion. So far 
as it goes, this explanation is not incorrect. In simple cases of 
hysteria, such as those seen almost in process of formation during 
the war, hysterical symptoms, such as loss of the power of walking, 
loss of voice, etc., were demonstrably the result of the patient's 
belief that he had become paralysed, or that he had lost his voice 
permanently, and the symptoms disappeared at once if the patient 
was informed that this was not the case, and was strongly assured 
that the power of walking, talking, etc., would forthwith return to 

But even in so simple a case as this, the further question 
arises "Why was the patient so susceptible to the pathogenic 
auto-suggestion, the suggestion of illness ? " The answer can only 
be found in terms of desires in the patient's mind. Sometimes 
these desires are fully conscious, but, in the majority of cases, their 
true nature is not realised by the patient. In war neurosis, the 
desire for personal safety, to get away from the firing line, was a 
pronounced factor in the causation of these symptoms. The 
patient desired to get away at all costs from the firing line, and it 
was because he did not fully realise the nature and significance of 
this desire that he could become self-deceived and fall a victim to 
hysterical symptoms. He did, indeed, consciously desire to get 
away from the firing line, but with honour, without disgracing 
himself or betraying his comrades ; but at the back of his mind 
there was a more vigorous desire to get away at all costs. This 
desire welcomed the experience (say) of his being struck with 
fragments of earth thrown up by a bursting shell. The thought 
passed through his mind that he was paralysed, and this thought 
became a fixed idea because of the intense desire. It is sometimes 
said, as, e.g., by Baudouin, that emotion is an auxiliary factor in 
suggestion ; in other words, that a patient succumbs more readily 
to suggestion when under the influence of some emotion or other. 
The truth is this : emotion is the subjective side of some instinctive 
tendency, such as the instinct to escape, the gregarious instinct, 
the sex instinct, etc., and these are not so much auxiliary factors 
in suggestion, as the essential factors. Suggestion only works in 
relation to the activity of some instinct or other. When in full 
consciousness, instinctive processes are controlled or directed by 
reference to the entire conscious self, and in such cases suggestion 


has little or no scope. It is where, through conflict and repression, 
certain instinctive desires, associated often with definite sets of 
memories of the past, are dissociated from the main stream of 
consciousness that they can realise suggestions which would be 
unacceptable to the fully-conscious personality if their meanings 
were thoroughly understood. 

One might provisionally harmonise the suggestion theory of 
causation and cure of symptoms and the analytic theory as follows : 
mental conflict and repression may produce hysterical symptoms as 
compromise formations which simultaneously satisfy repressed 
desires in the unconscious, and desires of another nature in the 
conscious mind, but the nature of the symptoms themselves is also 
partly determined by auto-suggestions arising as the result of 
diminished unity of the self chance thoughts, they may be, 
which otherwise would have no influence over the patient's mental 
state, and to which he would not succumb. He is in a state of 
mind divided against itself : he is afraid for himself, afraid of ill- 
health, afraid that he may fall sick, and yet may desire sickness, 
for reasons that can be discovered by deeper analysis, (e.g., as a 
self-punishment, or to tyrannise over relatives, etc.). So the 
idea gains a hold upon him. In this way the dissociation we have 
previously emphasised does favour the acceptance of auto- 
suggestion. On the other hand, what particular auto-suggestions, 
from among all the different possible suggestions, are accepted, is 
determined by the wishes, desires, etc., of the patient's mind. In 
order, therefore, to understand fully the realisation of suggestion, 
we must analyse the patient's mind and learn as much as we can 
about these mental factors. 

One analytic view of the nature of suggestion and suggestibility 
is the well-known Freudian view that suggestion is a form of 
" transference " in which the patient reacts to the physician as he 
reacted in early life towards his own father, or towards others 
closely connected with him in childhood. In other words, the 
reaction is an erotic one, using the word " erotic " in the widest sense. 
The tie is an erotic tie. At first sight such a theory as this seems 
to be extremely improbable, since, besides the sex instinct, there 
are many other instincts which may be plausibly appealed to for 
an explanation of suggestibility in special cases. The. instinct of 
escape, with its emotion of fear, the gregarious instinct with its 
own peculiar emotion, and the instinct of self-abasement, with its 
emotion of negative self-feeling, may be specially singled out in 
this connection. So much suggestibility seems, on the surface, to 


be the result either of fear, or of a standing desire to be in harmony 
with one's fellows. We must, however, remember that Freud 
has a definite theory of group psychology and of the gregarious 
instinct in terms of libidinal relationship of the individuals of a 
crowd or other group towards the leader of that group the leader 
corresponding to the father of the horde in more primitive times. 
Such a theory brings the concept once more within the circle of 
Freudian doctrine, and recently Freudians have explained auto- 
suggestion in terms of narcissism. Indeed, Dr Ernest Jones ex- 
plains all suggestion in terms of narcissism. He writes : "If the 
primary narcissism has been released and re-animated directly, by 
concentration upon the idea of self, the process may be termed 
* auto-suggestion ' ; if it has been preceded by a stage in which the 
ego ideal is resolved into the earlier father ideal, the process may 
be termed 'hetero-suggestion'." ("The Nature of Auto-sugges- 
tion," Brit. Jour, of Med. Psychology, 1923, Vol. Ill, p. 209). 

This is an original and important theory, and deserves careful 
testing by further psychoanalysis of patients, especially of patients 
who have previously practised auto-suggestion with success. 

It is clear, then, that the problem of suggestion and suggestibility 
is far from being a question of the past, now superseded by analy- 
tical theory. It still remains one of the central problems of modern 
psychotherapy. Whether suggestion is always a libidinal relation- 
ship, is not entirely free from doubt. Instead of saying, with 
Freud, that all suggestion is transference, we are probably on safer 
ground in holding that the transference situation is, indeed, one of 
the conditions under which suggestion may occur, but that sugges- 
tion may also occur in psychological situations when there is no 
transference. But the question can only be finally decided by 
" deep " analysis. 

In conclusion, a word may be said on the relation of suggestion 
and auto-suggestion to the will. It has been noted by many 
observers that over-anxiety counteracts the effects of therapeutic 
suggestion. If one feels anxious to get to sleep at night, one may 
become wider and wider awake. Similarly, in the attempt to 
re1!Wl a forgotten name, anxious effort to remember generally 
brings failure. Cou6 has summed up these and other similar 
observations in his so-called Law of Reversed Effort. " When the 
will and the imagination are in conflict, the imagination always 
wins." Such a formulation is only true of states of incomplete 
will, where fear of failure has prevented the full development of 
volition, and the word " will " should be replaced by " wish." 


The completed state of will or volition is incompatible with any 
such fear or doubt. One of the best definitions of volition is that 
given by Professor G. F. Stout : " Volition is a desire qualified and 
defined by the judgment, that, so far as in us lies, we shall bring 
about the desired end because we desire it." The " judgment " 
in this definition comprises, of course, belief, and if completed, it 
is superior to " imagination " (suggestion) acting alone. 

The advice given to patients, to avoid effort in the practice of 
suggestion, is a sound one, since effort tends to arouse the idea of 
possible failure and the fear of failure. If these do arise, they gain 
the mastery over the original suggestion. Most cases of successful 
auto-suggestion are characterised by avoidance of thoughts and 
fears of failure, and may, therefore, be considered as instances of 
supplementation and completion of the volitional process through 
adequate control of the imagination. To call the method one of 
auto-suggestion is really somewhat inappropriate and it might be 
more accurately described as a method of training the will. In 
practice the passivity of mere suggestion and auto-suggestion is 
quickly superseded by the activity of faith and calm determination 
to succeed. 

What is acquired is a new mental attitude which protects the 
patient from suggestion of ill-health and incapacity. To make this 
protection complete, or as nearly complete as possible, the patient 
also requires a course of psychoanalysis or autognosis, to rid him 
of complexes and other dissociations and thus enable him to face 
the world with a unified personality. 





Professor of Abnormal Psychology, Ohio State University ; formerly 
Director of Psychological Research, Vineland Training School 




IT is fourteen years since Dr Prince published, in his Journal of 
Abnormal Psychology, the famous symposium on the Subconscious, 
and ten years since he wrote his illuminating book on the Uncon- 
scious, which, however, he says, is intended as an introduction to 
abnormal psychology. In the meantime, the literature of the 
subject has increased enormously, largely through the work of the 
psychoanalysts and the increasing interest in psycho-therapeutics. 

The first plan of the present writer had been to summarise the 
various concepts of the unconscious, in the hope that out of the 
different views one could arrive at some sort of harmony by 
translating them all into a common terminology, which might 
be at least provisionally acceptable to each one, or which would 
not do violence to any one view. 

This, however, has proved an impossible task. It is impossible 
from the standpoint of space, because each man's view is coloured 
by his whole philosophy to such an extent that it could not be 
expressed without giving something of the history of the concept 
in his own mind, as evidenced in his writings. And secondly, even 
when so reduced, the concepts are made up of such divergent ele- 
ments that it seems impossible to bring them together into one 
general view. For example : we have the philosophical use of 
the term ; we have a usage that is frankly mystical ; we have 
discussions of the concept that, while ostensibly scientific, yet 
savour of mysticism to such a degree that they cannot by any 
means be considered exact and scientific. Then, we have a con- 
siderable number of writers who seem to use the term as a magic 
formula with which to explain natural phenomena (or imagined 
facts) that cannot be readily explained by known and accepted 
scientific concepts. The mere reference to Leibniz, Kant, Schell- 
ing, Herbart, Hartmann, Janet, Freud, Jung, Miinsterberg, and 



Jastrow, is enough to remind the reader of the truth of the foregoing 
statement. I have not included in this list the name of Dr Prince, 
because he, of all the writers, has come the nearest to a truly 
scientific treatment of the subject. 

Under such conditions, the only procedure that seems likely to 
bring this article within reading distance of those who may be 
interested is to attempt to develop the concept of the unconscious 
in terms that will at least not be offensive to the scientific man, 
and will constantly reveal the intent and effort, on the part of the 
writer, to apply rigidly scientific criteria to the problem. 

In order to achieve any satisfactory result, certain definite 
principles must be followed. First there must be a body of 
accepted facts. Second there must be theories or hypotheses 
put forward to explain the facts, which theories or hypotheses 
must not be contradicted by facts of other sciences, or be too much 
in conflict with other more fundamental and generally accepted 
theories. Third due regard must be had to the meaning of terms 
already established in the language. Fourth one must be con- 
stantly on his guard against the psychological tendency to make 
entities out of what in fact are pure negations of such entities. 
It seems to the writer that this last is the serious error of most 
of those who have discussed the unconscious. For example, Freud's 
fundamental concept is, that complexes have been forced " into 
the unconscious," " suppressed " or " repressed/' and that they 
are kept in the unconscious by a " censor " who constantly guards 
the exit. The unconscious is thus a room, a safe, a prison, a place 
where ideas are kept when they are not wanted, a storehouse, a 
transfer file. Others assert that the unconscious is dynamic. It 
is a material or an immaterial substance which has stored up energy. 
Still others would give one the impression that the unconscious 
has personality, that it thinks, plans, contrives, struggles, and 
achieves. These concepts are, to say the least, hopelessly antagon- 
istic, while to writers like Dunlap they are so ridiculous as to be 
almost nauseating. The only explanation the present writer can 
think of for such language is that it is " figurative." Even so it 
is unjustifiable because it leads to confusion rather than to clarity. 

With these principles before us, let us proceed. 

First, for the facts. We shall not, at this point, attempt to 
enumerate the facts. They will appear as we proceed. If anyone 
can satisfy himself that there are no facts of mental life except 
such as can be explained by the activity of consciousness, such a 
person is probably not reading this article, because he has no use 


whatever for the concept of the unconscious, and the very title of 
this article was enough to drive him on to the next articles to see if 
perchance he can find something there worth reading. We have 
already proceeded far enough to discover that we must define our 
terms. Etymology is always interesting, but not always a safe 
guide to an understanding of the concept connoted by the word 
used. In this case, however, the term ' ^mconscious ' can mean 
nothing but not conscious, without a distinct perversion of language. 
We come, then, to the question: "What is consciousness?" 
Here we easily avoid the temptation to consider all, or any, of the 
philosophical discussions of what consciousness is. Everybody 
knows the state or condition of consciousness and, therefore, the 
state of unconsciousness, whether it be absolute or relative . Granted 
that we cannot define or explain consciousness, we are no worse 
off than the physicist who cannot define or explain electricity. 
That does not prevent him from using the term intelligently, and 
calling certain phenomena electrical, without confusing the issue. 
The physicist can, however, tell us the conditions under which 
electricity is produced. Likewise, the psychologist knows the 
conditions under which consciousness arises, and some of the laws 
governing its appearance, activity, and disappearance. Psychology 
has been defined as the science of consciousness, which is equivalent 
to saying that we know enough about its manifestations to more 
or less satisfactorily systematise them and build up a body of 
classified knowledge. Now, the fundamental and indisputable fact 
about consciousness is, that it is connected invariably with a par- 
ticular kind of action in a particular type of brain cell. Neither 
the psychologists nor the neurologists are entirely agreed as to 
either the exact kind of activity, or the exact type of brain cells, 
$hich give rise to consciousness. It is common to say that the seat 
of consciousness is in the cortical cells of the cerebrum. It is 
probably safer and more accurate to say that cortical brain cells 
must be included in any mechanism, the activity of which gives 
rise to consciousness. This distinction is like the distinction 
between the statement that " our food is our life " and the state- 
ment that " food is essential to life." It is not demonstrated that 
consciousness resides in the cortex, or is always produced when 
cortical cells are activated, but we may accept it as proved that no 
activity of nerve cells in the body results in consciousness unless 
some cortical brain cells are included in the mechanism. This, 
then, gives us our starting point for some definite understanding 
of consciousness and unconsciousness. 


That there is brain and nerve activity without consciousness is 
an accepted fact which no one questions. The question whether 
such nerve action, which does not result in consciousness, has any 
influence either at the time or later upon that phase of existence 
which we usually designate as mental is the question which at once 
arises. Apparently some writers would not only maintain that 
it does have an influence, but even that it is of the most vital 
importance. When Freud, for example, maintains that the intra- 
uterine experiences of the unborn child may be the starting point 
for the neuroses of adult life, we seem to have an extreme example 
of such a concept. It may be maintained that we have no proof 
that such nerve activity is without the co-operation of the cortex, 
and therefore, of the type that we are discussing. However, in view 
of the known immaturity of the cortex, and the fact demonstrated 
by Flechsig, that even at birth, there are few, if any, medullated by 
neurones in the cortex, and that such medullation is necessary 
for consciousness, if not for any kind of function (in the case of 
cortical cells), we would seem to be driven to the conclusion that 
nerve activity under such conditions was for all practical purposes 
without cortical interference or connection. 

For the sake of simplicity, let us take the simplest spinal 
cord reflex, and ask ourselves if there is any indication, 
or any possibility, that the nerve activity involved in such 
a reflex has any influence upon the mind. The importance 
of this question lies in the fact that, if our answer is negative, 
then a large part of what many writers include under the 
term " the unconscious " has nothing whatever to do with 
psychology, and no more to do with psychiatry than facts as to 
whether digestion is normal or abnormal. It is probably as hard 
to conceive that the nerve activity involved in the knee-jerk has 
any influence upon the mind, as it is to believe that it makes any 
difference to a man's future success in life, whether as a child he 
goes upstairs three steps at a time or two. But perhaps we are 
prejudicing the case by taking an illustration where the effect is 
so minute as to be impossible of appreciation. We have no better 
success, however, when we take large activities. We may even 
go into the vegetative system and consider those nerve activities 
which take care of digestion, respiration, and other processes, both 
those that make for health and those that are essential to life. And 
it is hard to discover that even the derangement of these conditions 
has any permanent effect upon the mind, unless they are of such 
a character that they overflow into the central system, reach the 


cortex, and produce more or less of consciousness. It would seem 
then, that the unconscious, in the sense of the not conscious, is of no 
more significance when we are speaking of unconscious nerve action 
than when we are speaking of any other tissue whose growth or 
activity is never thought of as having anything to do with mental 
processes. So far, then, we seem forced to conclude that the term 
" unconscious/' in its literal sense, is simply the not conscious, and 
as such is of no further interest or significance. 

If, now, we take into account the functioning cerebrum, we at 
once find ourselves facing a new set of facts. Here we find what 
Carpenter called years ago " Unconscious Cerebration," which 
expression, if it means anything, conveys the concept that there 
may be nerve action involving the cortex of the brain, which never- 
theless does not produce consciousness. Here we have the group 
of phenomena which used to be called " Subliminal/' and it was 
said that certain stimuli are too weak to produce nerve action that 
gets above the threshold of consciousness. There are sounds too 
faint to be heard ; there are colours not bright enough to be seen ; 
there are solutions too dilute to be tasted, and so on. In these 
cases, however, it is possible to maintain that the phenomena are 
the result, not of nerve action that does not reach consciousness, 
but of a stimulus that does not overcome the inertia of the receiving 
organ, so that, as a matter of fact, no nerve action at all takes place. 

But these are not the only phenomena that we have to deal 
with. Sounds that are loud enough to be heard are not heard, 
because, as we say, something else holds the field of consciousness. 
That there was nerve action, and that it was of a kind very akin 
to that which produces consciousness, is evident by the fact that 
it does influence our actions later on. As, for example, when we 
do not hear the clock strike, but later know the hour. This is 
typical of a large mass of experiences, which may properly be 
described as unconscious. These processes may be very elaborate, 
as is shown by what takes place in dreams and delirium, and still 
more striking, the solution of problems, the composing of poetry 
and prose in a state of sound sleep. It is conceivable that such 
phenomena are the result of the nerve energy finding its way among 
neurones that have been previously activated, but in a different 
arrangement, and which are now integrated into a more consistent 
system. It is further conceivable that such a neurone pattern, or 
neurogram, as Dr Prince has called it, having been worked out 
even without the accompanying consciousness, may retain its 
identity as a pattern, and if later aroused under conditions in which 


it gets into consciousness, it reproduces the state which would have 
been produced on the previous occasion, had not other neurones 
been more active. We need not dwell longer on these phenomena ; 
they are too well known to be denied or to need further elaboration 
for our present purpose. 

We come now to another phase of unconsciousness. Conscious- 
ness has been defined as " mind now." According to this con- 
ception, mind yesterday, or even a moment ago, is unconscious, 
(or as some would prefer to say, " in the unconscious "). Appar- 
ently some people uncritically think of the ideas and feelings of the 
past as being stored up somewhere. Indeed, some writers use that 
very expression. They say, " the mind stores up ideas " as though 
ideas were commodities and the mind a storehouse. Here we 
seem to run into the question of what is mind, and what are ideas. 
And it would be easy to enter into a philosophical discussion of 
this perennial problem. But, for us, mind is a certain type of 
nerve activity, and an idea is a more or less complicated group of 
neurone activities. When those neurones cease to be active, the 
consciousness, or the idea which was that activity, ceases also. But 
the neurones are there, and if they can be set into activity in the 
same order as before, the same idea, or the bit of consciousness 
which we call an idea will reappear. As long as that particular 
group of neurones is inactive, so long are we unconscious of the 
idea which is the activity of those neurones. We have thus arrived 
at a point of view thoroughly consistent with our first definition, 
that ^^consciousness is the absence of consciousness, and that 
what we mean, when we say an idea has passed into the uncon- 
scious, is that the neurones have ceased to be active. 

Illustration : The ideas of the preceding paragraph were ex- 
pressed by the writer in audible words, and were spoken into a 
dictating machine. The sounds from that set of words have now 
ceased (gone into the unconscious), but there is on the wax cylinder 
a series of impressions. Those impressions are neither words nor 
thoughts. They are merely minute spacial variations in the 
surface of the cylinder. This cylinder may be laid aside and kept 
for a lifetime. Whenever the proper apparatus is applied, and the 
record set in motion, those words are again produced. In a similar 
manner an idea can be brought back into consciousness, because 
an impression has been made on a group of neurones, and their 
activity at any time will bring back the same consciousness as when 
they were first produced. 

The experiences of life are constantly producing these neurone 


patterns in the cortex, which thus does indeed become a store- 
house, not of ideas, but of neurones whose structure has been modi- 
fied by activity in such a way that a renewal of the activity gives 
life to the same consciousness that occurred with the first activity. 
And since consciousness is the activity of a group of neurones, 
there is, of course, no consciousness connected with those neurones 
that are inactive. If it is desirable, as it seems to be, to have a 
term to express the fact that there are these stored-up nerve 
impressions which have resulted from all one's past experiences, it 
may be proper to call them the unconscious mind, though, in so 
doing, we must cease to identify mind with consciousness. If 
there is objection to this, one might introduce the concept of 
potential mind ; the idea being that all these neurone patterns 
have the potentiality of becoming active and, therefore, producing 
consciousness. The objection to this might be that the term poten- 
tial might equally well be applied to the unstimulated cortex, which, 
because of the nature of its neurones, has the potentiality of being 
stimulated and thus giving rise to consciousness. Thus the infant, 
whose brain has never been stimulated by many experiences, has 
a potential mind just as surely as the man of great experience, of 
most of which experiences he is now unconscious. 

Up to this point, we have reached the conclusion that the term 
unconscious has no meaning and no use when applied to any activ- 
ity of the nervous system, except such as involves cortical cells of 
the cerebrum and either actually produces a definite consciousness, 
or would have done so, had not the activity in the particular case 
been surpassed by the activity of other groups of cortical cells. 
These latter produced by their greater activity what we may call 
a stronger consciousness, with the result that we were not aware 
of the lesser activity. 

The question may be raised : is there not nerve action that 
never has and never can involve the cortex and yet is of profound 
significance for the mental life of the individual, e.g., the instincts ? 
Disregarding the possibility of success of those who would prove 
that there are no instincts, we surely recognise that there are inborn 
neurograms ready to be activated by the proper stimulus and 
produce specific action of great importance to the individual. But 
so are we born with blood of a definite composition, the circulation 
of which is of great importance. Is the one of any more significance 
for mind than the other ? The tendency of a muscle- or bone-cell 
to grow and divide is an unconscious activity of great significance 
and in the long run surely influences consciousness itself. But one 


would hardly include this in the concept of the unconscious. Why 
then include nerve cells just because they are nerve cells, when 
they bear no relation to consciousness past, present or future? 
May we not designate this cell activity this activity of non-cortical 
neurones by some term which will not confuse it with consciousness 
in any way ? To make the unconscious cover this seems to intro- 
duce troublesome confusion. 

Our problem is thus enormously simplified, and a surer founda- 
tion is laid for an understanding of those facts which need to be 
explained. The term "unconscious" may be accepted to express the 
fact that the great mass of nerve cells that were once active in con- 
sciousness are now inactive, but may at any time be reactivated, 
thus giving rise to the consciousness which belongs to them. The 
use of the term "unconsciousness" in any other sense is not only 
unjustified by what we know of the functions of cortical and other 
cells but savours of the mystical and unscientific ; and, moreover, 
has proved decidedly misleading. All usages of the term " uncon- 
scious" that imply that it is an entity, such as saying that ideas are 
in the unconscious, or that the unconscious is dynamic, show a 
thoughtless or uncritical attitude or ignorance. In any case it 
adds to confusion. 

If our position is accepted it follows that all phenomena, especi- 
ally those of so-called psycho-therapeutics, must either be explained 
in terms of cortical cell activity of a type that does or does not 
produce consciousness, or must be relegated to the limbo of imagin- 
ary science, along with magnetism, mesmerism, Perkin's tractors, 
drugs in hermetically sealed bottles, and the like. To many, doubt- 
less, the latter explanation will be the accepted one, and there is 
no need for further discussion. To many others, however, among 
whom is the writer, this is not possible. While the proverbial 
credulity of the untutored mind makes it possible for us to discard 
many of the reported instances, as not even warranting investiga- 
tion, we have, on the other hand, too many instances, as well 
authenticated as any in medicine, to permit us to ignore them. 
Therefore, if they cannot be explained by reference to a reasonable 
hypothesis of nerve activity, conscious or unconscious, they must 
remain unexplained until such time as science shall have advanced 
far enough to enable us to formulate a new hypothesis. 

The method and principles of psychoanalysis probably represent 
the best attempt at a scientific use and explanation of the concept of 
unconsciousness. Psychoanalysis may, therefore, properly be taken 
as a source for facts to be explained, and as an illustration of the ap- 


plication of science to the problem of the unconscious, and also, 
unfortunately, of the careless use, as it seems to the writer, of un- 
warranted mystical concepts. The argumentum ad hominem is 
often fallacious, but, rightly used, has a certain value. The methods 
and principles of psychoanalysis are upheld and expounded, not 
by charlatans and ignoramuses although the movement is not 
unmarred by the usual quota of these parasites but, on the 
contrary, it is sponsored by some of the best minds of the age, men 
highly trained, of broad experience, conscientious and devoted 
to the welfare of humanity and the cause of science. It is neither 
just, scientific, nor wise to ignore the opinions of such men. More- 
over, the principles and facts are recognised as true to life in too 
many cases to be ignored. Witness the modified disapproval of 
most of the opponents, or those who do not approve the movement. 
Moreover, the worst that the bitterest opponent can say of some 
of the principles, is that they are not new. It is true that many 
of them are not new, but it is equally true that the psychoanalysts 
have put many of the old familiar facts into a new and more useful 
light. It is the explanation and the terminology that jar us. 
For the most part, the facts are uncontroverted. 

It is true that the analysts have given us very little, if any, 
evidence that their cures are radical and permanent, and it might 
be asserted with some show of plausibility that, since their field 
of operation is mainly the hysteric and the neurotic, the reported 
confirmations which the patients give them of their diagnoses 
are merely the accepted suggestions which the physicians them- 
selves have implanted in the minds of these unstables, that the 
cures are temporary and the patients subject to relapse ; and thus 
the method has little or no advantage over the countless other 
methods that have had temporary results with this class of cases. 
It would be a satisfaction to many a questioner of the method to 
have presented a group of cases, each one of which showed the 
history and the results, more or less completely, to the effect that 
this individual has been hysteric or neurotic, useless to society 
and to herself for so many years, and, following the treatment by 
psychoanalysis, has been transformed into a useful and efficient 
member of society, which condition she has maintained uninter- 
ruptedly for a term of years. Bjerre gives us a history of a case 
in which he does just about that thing ; but we need a great many 
more. Furthermore, Bjerre's case is peculiar in that he says noth- 
ing about having used the technical methods of the psychoanalyst. 
There is no mention of dream analysis, and interpretation ; no 


mention of the association method ; no reference to the uncon- 
scious, in any other than the popular sense. His whole procedure, 
while probably suggested to him by his psychoanalytic studies, 
nevertheless was a perfectly natural, simple, logical method. It 
might have been used by anyone who understood the elementary 
principles of the human mind. 

However, while we would like testimony of the kind suggested, 
we may nevertheless do what the analysts have evidently expected 
us to do, to accept their word for it, that great beneficial results 
have been obtained. Indeed, as already stated, many points in 
the method are recognised as only a slight extension of principles 
that are well known. For example : to start with the first case 
of Breuer and Freud, which gave rise to the term, " the talking 
cure," or to Freud's own term " the cathartic method." This is 
only a somewhat new application of the well-known principle 
that it is a great relief to tell our troubles to some other person, 
or again, the proverbial phrase that " murder will out." The 
murderer cannot keep his secret. Or the still more universal 
experience of the difficulty that everybody has to keep a secret. 
Or, again, we say that suppressed grief is dangerous. It is better 
for the individual to mourn and cry and otherwise give expression 
to the emotion. All this is accepted even by the folk mind. It is 
only when Freud tells us that the original experience was repressed, 
thrown into the unconscious, a censor placed at the door, and 
that this complex in the unconscious keeps struggling to rise to the 
surface, that we are compelled to say, the explanation is nonsense, 
and because the explanation is nonsense, we ourselves illustrate 
another Freudian concept, and transfer the nonsense from the 
explanation to the fact itself, and say the cure is ridiculous. 

But if we cannot accept Freud's explanation, let us try, as we 
have already suggested, to explain the fact in terms of acceptable 
psychology and neurology. In the first place, we have denied 
that there is any unconscious into which ideas are repressed. 
What then shall we substitute for this concept ? Let us take a 
typical Freudian case, so that we may discuss the matter con- 
cretely. A young girl (Freud says that unless the experience occurs 
before the eighth year of age it never leads to a neurosis), of good 
breeding and healthy-minded, allows herself or is forced to submit 
to some action of a sexual nature, which shocks her modesty and 
violates her ideals and her upbringing. She cannot tell anybody 
and so has to keep her own secret, and in the Freudian terminology, 
represses it into the unconscious, where it continually struggles 


to rise into consciousness, being constantly opposed by the censor, 
until sometime in adult life she has a serious breakdown and 
becomes a neurotic or hysteric. She comes to a psychoanalyst 
for help. It should be remembered that not all the psycho- 
analysts agree with Freud in his explanation, and one might very 
well raise the question as to whether the inability to adjust the 
matter at the time was not itself a symptom of an abnormal mind, 
rather than the cause of the later abnormality. However, passing 
that, let us see what we have. As we have reiterated, there is no 
unconscious into which this memory is forced. If the child becomes 
unconscious of it, it is forgotten, and that is the end of it. There 
is no evidence that the neurone pattern, thus impressed upon her 
cortical neurones is in a state which can, by any stress of the 
imagination, be described as struggling to get conscious struggling 
for activity, to use our own terminology. As we have said, if it is 
unconscious, it is forgotten. If it has made such a strong im- 
pression upon the nerve centres, or, as we more commonly express 
it, such an impression upon the mind that it cannot be forgotten, 
then it is not unconscious. It continually conies to mind, and, 
because it is unpleasant, the child tries to forget it. What is the 
process of trying to forget an unpleasant experience ? There is 
no evidence that there is any other process, or any other method, 
than to " think of something else." Everyone has tried it, and 
has been more or less successful in forgetting unpleasant experiences. 
But, as long as we must keep trying to forget it, we are not uncon- 
scious of it. Whenever we succeed in turning our attention to 
something else, we are, for the time being, unconscious of the 
experience. If we finally get to the point, which usually happens 
in the course of time, that we seldom or never think of it, then we 
are totally unconscious of it. If this is what Freud means by its 
being in the unconscious, we say again, it is an unfortunate use of 
language. It is not in the unconscious ; we are simply uncon- 
scious of the experience because the neurone pattern that underlies 
it is no longer easily activated. That such a conscious (not un- 
conscious) struggle is unhealthy may readily be admitted and 
explained by reference to another system of the organism of which 
we know little, but of which what little we do know seems to 
warrant us in assuming that a satisfactory explanation may here 
be sought whenever our knowledge is adequate. I refer to the 
endocrine glands, and their relation to emotions on the one hand, 
and bodily welfare on the other. An unhappy experience constantly 
arising into consciousness may, through the unpleasant emotions 


attached to it, cause a derangement in the secretion of these 
glands that is in the long run quite serious, and possibly quite 
sufficient to produce all the symptoms of hysteria, or the neurotic 
constitution. The unconscious then, in this case, is nothing else 
than the more or less permanent forgetting. The repression is 
nothing else than the thinking of something else. And lastly, the 
censor is merely the idea already attained by the child, that her 
act was wicked, unbecoming, disgraceful, that people would not 
like her if they knew it, that she can never again be pure, etc. 

There is another point that must be mentioned. We have said 
that if the child succeeds in forgetting the incident, she becomes 
unconscious of it and that is the end of it. The analyst tells us 
that is not the end of it, that his methods prove conclusively 
not only that the experience has been repressed into the uncon- 
sciousness, but that his methods of dream interpretation or associa- 
tion bring it into consciousness, and then, when the situation is 
gone over, and the individual goes through the same emotional 
experience as when the incident occurred, that this is the relief 
and the cure. But some of the analysts have themselves broken 
the chain. Even Freud admits that his patients frequently 
" resist " his efforts to get at the facts. They say they can't think 
of anything else, and he admits that that probably means that 
they don't want to think of it, and sometimes when they finally 
come out with it and he says " why didn't you te]l me that before? " 
they say that they did not think it was important. Now, it seems 
not only probable on general principles, but the only explanation 
consistent with what we know of memory and other mental pro- 
cesses, and what we know of life and human ways, to conclude 
that the matter was not unconscious at all, and that the analyst's 
only task was to get the patient willing to give expression to what 
was already in mind. 

There are several facts here that must be brought to our atten- 
tion. In the first place, there are many people who can hardly 
bring themselves to speak to anyone of any of the bodily functions 
that are considered private. The reader who has been brought 
up in or who has acquired the habit of frankness in regard to such 
matters, will find it difficult to believe the following incidents. 
Nevertheless, they are not exceptional but rather common. A 
girl, sixteen years old, intelligent, and normal in every way, was 
ill and the physician was called. After he had gone she showed 
marked disturbance and excitement and finally explained to her 
girl friend that he had insulted her by asking her if she was con- 


stipated. A graduate student, some years ago, was making a 
study of the sex life of men, and sent a questionnaire to the graduate 
students of a distant university asking for data on certain facts of 
sex life. The answers were to be sent sealed, without name or 
other indication that might lead to identification. On some 
phases of this study the results were useless, because these men had 
refused to answer. The resistance of men and women to revealing 
such matters even to their physician, or to any one else, is not 
appreciated by very many people. Still more surprising would it 
be to many readers to know the extent to which patients refuse 
or think it unimportant to tell their physician their own symptoms, 
even those which do not relate to sex, and can have no mortifying 
association. Many a physician will testify, as many have done 
to the writer, that patients persistently " lie " about their 
symptoms even when their own health is at stake. 

In view of the facts of which the foregoing items are mere illus- 
trations, it would seem that the analyst is too easy when he assumes 
that, because his patient does not tell him these things, he has 
absolutely forgotten them. It is not necessary to assume that the 
patient wilfully lies about the matter. He always has a perfectly 
rational alibi that he " did not think that the repressed facts had 
anything to do with the case." To put the matter from the 
psychological standpoint, it is unthinkable that an experience of 
such a character as to have endured for years, and caused a serious 
mental disturbance, can yet be completely in that imaginary 
realm which Freud calls " the unconscious," and cannot by any 
possibility be voluntarily recalled. On the other hand, the reader 
will realise that this is not an argument against the method of 
psychoanalysis. The dream interpretation, the association of 
ideas, is all the more necessary in order to enable the patient, 
either to unintentionally give himself away, or to find an excuse 
for revealing, possibly in symbolical language, the facts that he 
does not want to speak of plainly. In other words, these methods 
are a somewhat refined kind of third degree, such as is practised by 
the police. Moreover, it should be remembered that in a certain 
type of cases the situation causing an emotional disturbance is 
forgotten while the emotion itself remains. The analytic 
method is useful to recall the original circumstance long since 

Perhaps no part of the Freudian theory has aroused so much 
opposition or had so much to do with preventing the general accept- 
ance of Freud's views, as his theory of dream analysis, embodying, 


as it does, the symbolism. That, together with the fact that it 
all centres around sex, has caused many people to reject the whole 
system as utterly untenable, ridiculous, and all but disgraceful. 
It is no part of our purpose to defend the Freudian doctrine, 
although we could point out that, here also, Freud has at least 
called our attention to many very evident truths ; such as 
the fact that, for children, these dreams are frequently wish 
fulfilments and that, at least in many cases, the same is true of 
adults. But what we are particularly concerned with just now is 
the Freudian view that the dream is the expression of the complex 
that has been repressed into the unconscious, and because the 
censor watches so sharply the only way it can get into conscious- 
ness at all is by disguising itself by means of symbols and appearing 
in the dream. It would be unnecessary to emphasise that such a 
statement is as ridiculous to the neurologist and psychologist as 
it can possibly be to the most violent opponent of the Freudian 
theory, if it were not for the fact that there are many laymen 
with a tendency toward mysticism, and ignorance of neurological 
facts, who would see in this statement a wonderful mechanism for 
explaining a marvellous phenomenon. In place of this mystical 
theory, let us see if we can substitute one more in accordance with 
known facts of neurology. 

It is supposed by neurologists that there are, in round numbers, 
approximately 10,000 million brain cells. Experiences of life are 
grouping these brain cells into what we have called neurone 
patterns or, as Dr Prince designates them, neurograms. When a 
neurogram is strongly activated, we have the consciousness that 
belongs to that particular grouping of neurones, while all those 
patterns that are inactive represent the ideas or experiences of 
which we are unconscious. In deep sleep all neurones are quiet. 
In a fully waking condition, every stimulus tends to arouse a pattern 
to activity and thus to produce consciousness. There is reason to 
believe that between these two extremes we have all gradations. 
From which it is easy to see that toward the sleep end of the scale 
we may conceive the brain as being in a condition that we, per- 
haps, for want of a better term, may call "dormant." Ordinary 
stimuli do not arouse any neurone patterns to activity. An 
excessive stimulus will arouse a small pattern which in turn may 
arouse a few cells that have been intimately connected with it, 
and these may arouse another group, and so on. The two situa- 
tions may perhaps be likened to a surface covered with gun powder. 
When the powder is dry, a spark applied to any one grain explodes 


the whole mass. If, however, the powder has been wet, the spark 
will have no effect. But, if it has partly dried out and is drier in 
some spots than in others, there will be a slow burning, following 
irregular lines, the flame creeping along from particle to particle, 
until, perhaps, it reaches a little mass that is drier than cne resi. 
There will be a flash, followed again by a slow creeping along of 
the combustion. This represents the dream. Now, our problem is, 
what determines the course of events. In our illustration, the 
determinant is the more or less completely dried-out part of areas 
or lines. In the dream, it is the groups of neurones scattered here 
and there through the cortex which, for some reason, are in a con- 
dition to be activated, either because the stimuli at these points 
are excessively strong, or because these patterns are all ready to 
explode, possibly because they have recently been active. The 
recency is shown in the accepted fact that a part of the dream at 
least relates to the events of the previous day, what Freud calls 
" the dream day/' and it is quite possible that the dream in its 
entirety relates to the thought of the dream day not necessarily 
the thoughts that have been at any time in the focus of conscious- 
ness, but perhaps largely thoughts that have been in the margin. 
And there may be neurone patterns whose activity did not even 
produce any awareness, because, as we have already explained, 
some other group of neurones was more violently active, and so 
monopolised the field of consciousness, so to speak. Moreover, it 
seems equally possible that the activity of cells that have been 
concerned with consciousness in the "dream day " may activate 
nerve patterns that have not been active for many days or perhaps 
for years. Thus we dream of things that we have not thought of 
for a long period, or that we cannot remember ever having thought 
of. These are the things that the analysts tell us are not what they 
pretend to be, but are symbols of other things. And thus we come 
face to face with the problem of symbolism. 

For the psychologist, the fact that we dream in symbols can 
only mean one thing, and that is that we have some time thought 
in symbols. That we think in symbols, there can be no question. 
One has only to turn his attention to this aspect of our speech, or 
our thought, to realise that it is well nigh universal. Nor can it 
be denied, objectionable as it may be to us, that sex in some form 
or other constitutes a considerable portion of our thinking, and the 
more our conscience tells us that we should not think about such 
things, the more we tend to disguise it by symbolical language or 
thought. A perfect illustration of this is found in a recent volume 


entitled A Young Girl's Diary, where a child confides to her 
diary that she has discovered that certain words of common use 
sometimes are used to symbolise various sexual functions, activities, 
and organs. She finally confesses that she is almost in a state where 
she is afraid to talk at all, for fear her language will have some such 
significance, and therefore would become a source of embarrass- 
ment. Not only do we thus have a symbol for everything of the 
kind, but as fast as a symbol becomes accepted, well known and 
understood, it so fully and completely stands for the thing it 
symbolises, that it becomes just as objectionable as the thing itself. 
Then we seek another symbol, and try to forget the plainer term. 
The same thing is seen in the use of slang, or profanity. The indi- 
vidual who feels that his social position, or his religious ideas, or 
early training, or any influence whatever, makes it objectionable 
for him to express himself in a slang phrase, or a profane word, will 
invariably soften it to something simpler, which thus becomes a 
symbol for the real term itself. Such being the case, what is more 
natural or to be expected than that in the dream the word, or the 
idea, or the picture, will appear. And whereas in our waking 
moments, we have the thing symbolised more or less definitely 
in the same field of consciousness, in the dream that may not 
appear. The symbol stands alone or perhaps associated with 
something else which has been freely connected with it in waking 
life, and so leads us away from the thing symbolised rather than 
toward it. For example, suppose I avoid the word " damn " by 
using the term " darn, which in turn is generally (in all cases 
except where one is expressing strong feeling) connected with the 
idea of mending. Thus the neurone pattern connected with con- 
sciousness of a hole in a garment which has been mended would 
be quite as likely to become active as any other. An illustration 
or two from the writer's own observation may help to make this 
clear. On one occasion, the writer was introduced to a lady by 
the name of Franklin, and shortly afterwards proceeded to intro- 
duce her to some one else as Mrs Marshall. The mistake seemed 
very strange until after some thought (analogous to the analyst's 
free association method) he realised that Franklin and Marshall 
College had been at one time much in his consciousness, that the 
connection between the two names had become fixed. A pre- 
cisely similar experience was had, when a gentleman by the name 
of "Morris" was referred to as "Mr Phillips," the explanation 
being that some years previous a name constantly heard and 
frequently spoken was " Morris Phillips." Without going into this 


matter, the reader may be reminded of the well-known principle 
of the conditioned reflex. 

If we have succeeded in making our point, it will be clear that 
from this angle also, the analyst's notion of the unconscious, as 
used in dream analysis, is an appeal to mysticism, and as such is a 
dangerous concept for scientific psychology, the danger lying in the 
fact that it allows and even encourages us to accept the false with 
the true, and thus in the long run to confuse our problem instead 
of clarifying it. 

Resume. In this paper we have tried to show that for the most 
part the unconscious, as conceived by the psychoanalyst, does not 
exist, and consequently cannot be used to explain in the naive way, 
common to their discussion, the phenomena which they describe. 
Every experience that has at one time aroused the activity of corti- 
cal brain cells is recorded in those same cells, and the reactivating 
of these cells in whole or in part will at any time produce the same 
consciousness, either in whole or in part. Moreover, part of these 
neurone patterns may be recombined into new neurograms giving 
rise to thoughts or ideas, consciousness, which seem fully new to us 
because we have never made that combination before. Moreover, 
such new combinations may go on during sleep either in a frag- 
mentary way, giving rise to the well-known incongruities and frag- 
mentariness of the dream. On the other hand, parts may fit 
together more logically as when one solves in sleep a definite pro- 
blem which he was unable to work out in his waking hours, because 
too many irrelevant ideas came into consciousness, through associa- 
tion with those elements of consciousness which were important 
for the problem. The term "unconscious " may have justification if 
it can be used in the right way. It may also be useful to designate 
that part of the so-called unconscious which is more easily recalled 
as the fore-conscious or co-conscious. When the psychoanalysts 
will thus translate their explanations into neural terms, or terms 
consistent with the known facts of brain physiology, much of the 
objection to it and many of the difficulties now encountered will 
disappear, and we will be on the road to a true science of psycho- 
analysis and the unconscious. 




Managing Editor of the "Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease "; 
Co-editor of "The Psychoanalytic Review," and "Nervous and 
Mental Disease Monograph Scries " 




DR MORTON PRINCE has contributed so widely to our knowledge of 
mental mechanisms and their importance in behaviour, that I 
have thought it not without some interest to carry these ideas per- 
haps somewhat deeper and endeavour to show that even what may 
be called organic disease may essentially be concerned with what 
Prince would designate as co-conscious activities, but which the 
Freudian concepts deal with behind the hypothesis of the uncon- 

In contemporary pathology a great upheaval has taken place. 
Bacteriology came as a blessing and as a curse -the former in 
that it fastened very definitely some etiological factors beyond 
cavil, the latter because of a too facile displacement of its ideas to 
cover causality beyond its logical limits. The disposition or con- 
stitutional background which permitted infections to act or toxins 
to poison was forgotten and only in recent times has pathology 
resolutely turned its face back to dynamic ideas early taught by 
the Greeks. 

Man is a social animal ; he is one of a herd. He is not just a 
collection of organs. He is an entity, an evolutionary product 
with an enormous ancestry. 

That ancestry began with cosmic physical and chemical forces. 
These still remain participants in aftercoming reactions : when 
life first insinuated itself into dead matter ; when crystalline laws 
were surpassed, because they were too rigid to allow for newer 
adaptations, a type of superchemistry arose, the behaviour of which 

* See New York Medical Journal, April 5th, 1922, where some of these 
formulations were presented as a lecture given to post-graduate physicians, 
during the winter session of the New York Post-Graduate Medical School and 
Hospital, 1911-1912, and now revised. 



science has symbolised under the term vital and which became 
condensed in structure. Vital structures in their turn threatened 
to limit the development of life's accumulations. The inexorable 
fact of duration (Bergson), that " piling up of the past upon the 
past/' with its inevitable necessity for hanging on to the entire 
past, forced a supervitalism which finally in man was met by the 
masterly invention of the Symbol, by which this mighty Atlas of 
the past might be compressed, in tablet form as it were, to be used 
in the social machinery. Its most highly intellectualised form is 
language, although that is not by any means its only product, 
particularly for lower races and for earlier ontogenetic phases of 
the human animal. 

Then, when as psychopatho legists we speak of the psyche, we 
mean Unit function of man which operates by means of and through 
symbols. Psychical mechanisms are chiefly symbolic mechanisms. 
Their study is the study of symbology with its enormous phyletic 
past which is just being unravelled. By many who are mostly 
dealing with classroom problems, this study is more often called 
psychology. The average classroom psychology, however, only 
commences to fringe on the actualities of life. The psychology that 
is of any service is that which has this enormously rich past, of 
which the previously emphasised evolutionary hypothesis takes 
cognisance. It is the psychology which is tucked away, 
condensed, compacted in the symbol. It is best termed the 
psychology of the unconscious, or, as Bleuler (i) has termed it, 
deep psychology. 

Through such a concept we can get into sympathetic touch with 
the past. Animal behaviour in its phyletic advancing stages 
becomes more and more comprehensible in that degree with which 
we discard categories and get in touch with the behaviour of 

The unconscious contains all of the chemistry, the vitalism, and 
the symbolism. It has everything from the beginning. The 
psychology of the conscious is but a momentary flash of what the 
hundred million years of life have tucked away in the living human 
being. The conscious expresses the numerator of a fraction 
which represents life. The immensely more important part of 
life, which is hidden, is the denominator. Thus this idea may be 
put in the form of a proportion ; as the numerator, from minute 
to minute, is to the denominator, one hundred million years, so 
is our Conscious Knowledge of what is going on, to the Unconscious 
Dynamics which really makes it happen. 


In his inimitable phrase Bergson has said, "What are we? 
What is our character if not the condensation of the history we 
have lived from our birth, nay even before our birth, since we bring 
with us prenatal dispositions ? Doubtless we think with only a 
small part of our past, but it is with our entire past, including the 
original bent of our soul, that we desire, will, and act. Our past, 
then, as a whole, is made manifest to us in its impulse ; it is felt 
in the form of tendency, although a small part of it only is known 
in the form of idea." 

It is, then, as readily may be seen, a Jong jump from the idea, 
the symbol, back to the beginning of that integration in man, 
the vegetative nervous system by which the physical and chemical 
forces were handled for the purposes of human behaviour. 

This evolutionary attitude thus regards the vegetative or visceral 
(sympathetic) nervous system as regulating the metabolism of the 
human body ; hence its function is related to the earliest part of the 
past in the unconscious denominator. The phyletically oldest part 
of the vegetative nervous system, and that part which still main- 
tains structural relationships, the exact anatomical integers of 
which as yet are but imperfectly analysed (Kiippers) is the endocrin- 
ous gland system. Some of these glands have manifest morpho- 
logical resemblances to nervous structures, such as the pineal, the 
hypophysis, and the parasympathetic ganglia, while others, such 
as the prostate, pancreas, and thymus, have no obvious neurological 
structuralisations. A distinctly advancing series, however, may 
be hypotheticated in which the resemblances increase. Such a 
series, from the least to the most obvious nervous similarities, would 
be prostate, testicles, ovary, thymus, pancreas, suprarenals, 
thyroid, parathyroid, choroid plexus, neuroglia, sympathetic 
paraganglia, pineal, and hypophysis. 

It has been assumed by many physiologists that each of these 
structures elaborates some specific substance to which the name 
hormone (energy carrier) has been applied. Although only one 
of these hormones has thus far been definitely isolated, epinephrine 
(adrenaline), yet it seems fairly well demonstrated that substances, 
specific in some sense at least, exist within each of the structures 
mentioned. Kendall's thyroxin is possibly another and insulin a 
possible third. 

Intracellular metabolism in simple cellular organisms is a 
physico-chemical affair. The colloidal state of the protoplasm 
permits this. But with succeeding complexities, channelings and 
bindings became essential ; these, foreshadowed in the fibro vascular 


bundles of the plant, slowly progressed into the vascular, 
muscular, neuro muscular, and nervous structures of the verte- 
brate animal. 

In these higher animals the chief hormones are now carried 
through the body chiefly by means of the blood current, and there 
occurs an amazingly complex interplay between the vascularly 
brought hormone supply and the behaviourist craving, in which 
the receptor end of the nervous arc touches the hormone stimulus 
and the effector end, after connector integrations, brings about 
the appropriate and adequate response in trophic, secretory or 
motor action which equilibrates the craving and adjusts the 

It is not too extreme a hypothesis that designates carbon dioxide 
as the original and phyletically the oldest of the hormones, parhor- 
mones (Gley). The phylogenesis of its successors has not yet 
been traced. Physiology is looking for a Mendelieff to trace out 
the hormone evolutionary products. A better knowledge of the 
chemical evolution of our present hormones is still lacking. No 
reference can be quoted on this subject, but such must exist. 

Nevertheless, while dealing with carbon dioxide, let us stop a 
moment here and point out a relationship between it and respira- 
tion and the further function which man has developed as an 
accessory to his carbon dioxide hormone need, namely, aspiration, 
which has developed into that chief distinguishing attribute of 
human animals, speech. 

Lung function is closely related to the psychical function of 
social integration through symbolic language. I hope to raise 
several concepts for consideration relative to the psyche and to 
the vegetative nervous integration of the lung structures, which 
are, I believe, very pertinent in human pathology (Guth, E.). 
For, just as man cannot live simply to eat, so the man who utilises 
his lungs only to breathe will surely suffer some form of the lex 
talionis (retributive justice). He must do something more with 
them. They form a part of the mechanism for the delivery of his 
creative energy, and through the expression of new ideas he alone 
lives. In terms of the Parable of the Talents, if he simply wraps 
up his respiratory gifts in a napkin and does not put them out to 
usury, i.e., to create and exchange ideas with his fellow man, i.e., 
sublimates his respiratory libido (Starcke) he will be in the position 
of the one who " hath not and shall have taken away from him 
even that which he hath." I beg of my readers not to get ultra- 
scientific criticism not infrequently being thought of as pseudo- 


science by many and remind me that deaf-mutes can live healthy 
useful lives (see Menninger). 

Should the expression of a conviction be hazarded that the 
problem of the conquest of the chief enemy of the respiratory 
organs, the tubercle bacillus, is taking place through a better and 
better distribution of respiratory psychical energy libido I trust 
it may be taken as something to think about and study in your 
individual cases along lines which it is the general purpose of this 
lecture to outline. If one were able to trace, step by step, the 
psychology of the unconscious so far as respiratory needs were 
concerned, the pathology of tuberculosis and of many respiratory 
affections would be seen with an enlarged vision. The old truths 
are still true, but inadequate. This has been done for certain 
asthmas, for enough is known of these cases to be able to show some 
of the unconscious mechanisms which probably interfere with 
harmonious (hormone ; suprarenal) activity, and thus bring on 
the asthmatic spasms. 

An extremely important topic for human pathology is here 
broached. It has been approached through a respiratory pathway, 
but it could have been approached by a number of different avenues, 
that is, similar questions can be brought for many other diseased 
organ patterns. Shall we say, as I have preferred to phrase it, 
that unconscious mental mechanisms induced a modification of 
the suprarenal glands or other hormone-producing bodies, which 
in their turn so changed the vegetative nervous system control of 
the respiratory organs unstriped musculature, as to induce an 
asthmatic attack, or shall it be phrased, as it most frequently is 
in present-day orthodox pathology, that a disorder of the suprarenal 
gland alone or with other related endocrinous glands has brought 
about the altered action of the vegetative nervous system, and thus 
caused the asthmatic attacks, leaving the psychical situation out 
entirely ? 

Here the importance of the title to this paper may be emphasised. 
In the first place, there is not the slightest doubt that there are 
asthmatic attacks in which neither the psychical system nor the 
hormone systems are involved. Such attacks are due to direct 
involvement of the sensori-motor structures themselves, from 
tumours, caseous nodules, or syphilitic processes within the pos- 
terior mediastinum pressing upon the main nerve trunks. Then 
again there are other endocrinous neurological disturbances, asthma 
being only one in which the involvement is primarily of endocrinous 
origin. These are due to acute inflammations or other direct 


somatic implication of an endocrinous gland. But, and here is 
the chief point in our discussion, there are also certain other 
affections of the vegetative nervous system which are pre-eminently 
or even solely psychogenic in their origin. Surgery or pharmaco- 
therapy is essential for the first group and other therapies are 
illusory. Psychotherapy is hocus-pocus for the second group and 
opotherapy or X-ray therapy is indicated, while for the last group 
psychotherapy is alone rational and other therapies are usually 
" hokum." 

To which group, or rather to what preponderance of action, a 
given disturbance belongs can be determined only after a most 
painstaking neurological analysis, with special methods devised 
to determine the specific vegetative nervous system anomalies, 
as well as a thorough acquaintance with the conscious and uncon- 
scious life of the patient. It is of no avail to speak of neurasthenia, 
or psychasthenia, or hysteria, or dementia praecox, or autointoxica- 
tion ; these are not terms which explain anything. They may 
make interesting discussions relative to etymologies Galen said 
this apropos of hysteria but of the " behaviour of things " such 
word designations lead to sterility. Above all, let us not be thrown 
off the track by the cheap trick of the superficial dogmatist, for 
there are medical demagogic slogans as well as political ones, that 
pooh-pooh that which makes man what he is, his psychical as 
well as his metaphysical subtleties. 

In the past ten years certain methods of investigating the vege- 
tative nervous system have come into use which promise great 
assistance in sizing up a large group of patients who have been much 
neglected because of the inconstancy and bizarreness of their 
symptoms. Few will be in doubt concerning a diagnosis of 
cretinism or myx oedema, of exophthalmic goitre, Addison's disease, 
diabetes, acromegaly, dwarfism, achondroplasia, Raynaud's disease, 
scleroderma, or psoriasis. Yet it must be emphasised that for 
every single evident and well-marked vegetative disturbance there 
are one hundred atypical, irregular, incomplete or mixed cases. 

It may be said that approximately fifty per cent, of the cases 
which now are frequently looked upon as abortive or mild cases of 
hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, ten years ago were diagnosed 
by the self -same physicians as neurasthenia. I have done so myself 
in many instances, and with each periodical revision of my histories, 
following out the later histories, I find many important things 
which were entirely overlooked. Ten or twenty years in the future 
there will be a different way of grouping the accumulated facts, 


each new generalisation, symbolised by a diagnosis, helping " more 
of the patients more of the time " than the preceding ones. 

In order that our considerations may not be too diffuse, a clinical 
case is offered as a contribution to this discussion. It is to be 
thought of, not as an isolated situation, but as a paradigm, i.e., a 
general example of scores of related occurrences. These are to be 
found in all branches of medicine. Here is taken up an endocrino- 
pathy, but related reflections refer to some diseases of the skin, of 
the bones, of joints, of the blood-making organs, of diabetes, of 
tuberculosis, of the cardiorenal system and of others. 

Case History* 

Case. A woman, thirty-five years of age, of Scandinavian 
parentage. She had been married about fourteen years and had 
one child, a girl four years of age. Her husband had a good retail 
business, was moderately prosperous, a hard worker, and because 
of his greater interest in money-getting than in making a " home " 
for himself and his wife and child neglected her and made her shift 
for herself for her own development. About five years ago she had 
her first upset, which came to the surface in the form of a mild 
exophthalmic goitre . This quieted down because she had a humane 
and good common-sense doctor, an obstetrician, by the by, who 
did not insist on " operation." During the whole time she was 
nervous, easily fatigued, and during the time she was under treat- 
ment, a period of three or four months, she showed retrospectively 
interpreted a typical vagotonic reaction. She had a slight 

* This case history has had to be somewhat distorted, i.e., disguised, a 
familiar device well known in Russian literature (see Stragnell, Psychoanalytic 
Review). Since the days of Hippocrates, medical ethics has wisely (?) insisted 
upon the " medical secret." If doctors (or priests) told the truth (from the 
housetops) which dramatists since the days of ;schylus have done and are 
doing symbolically (and are paid for it), they would be " burned at the 
stake." In 1923-1924, see on the New York stage : The Spook Sonata, by 
Strindberg ; Rain, by Somerset Maugham ; Roseanne, by B. Stevins ; Out- 
ward Bound, by Sutton Vane ; Spring Cleaning, by Frederick Lonsdale ; and 
Tarnish, by Gilbert Emery, and others, all satirising the hypocrisies of 
wickedness in high places. Socrates was one of the earlier victims of this 
mass psychological response to unwelcome knowledge of what man fears and 
hates concerning the devil within himself. This fact renders it very easy to use 
demagogic slogans, political, medical, economic or ecclesiastical. (See Walsh, J . , 
in his recent humorously-deceptive propaganda, Cures, Appleton and 
Co.) Also consult Martin, E. D., " Some Mechanisms which distinguish the 
Crowd from other forms of Social Behaviour," Journal of Abnormal Psychology , 
18, 1923, 187203, which shows how " prejudice " as a form of repressed self 
knowledge may be used to defeat honourable public servants and elect " tools " 
of dishonest politicians. 


struma, somewhat larger on the right side, which became worse, 
following an attack of tonsillitis, to which disorder, she stated, she 
had not been subject. 

She was slightly agitated, had a very fine tremor, her face was 
slightly flushed, and there were reddish patches on the skin. The 
eyes were not markedly protruding, the palpebral fissures were 
slightly unequal, the left somewhat larger than the right, the pupils 
were unequal, and her eyes glistened. As she looked down, the 
eyelids followed slowly. There was no tachycardia. She said she 
had some respiratory hunger and felt oppressed at times. There 
was a sense of globus hystericus, and the history (kindly furnished 
by the said obstetrician) showed some visceroptosis (X-rays). 
She had lost fifteen or twenty pounds in weight and had attacks of 
looseness of the bowels without diarrhoea. Her blood pressure 
was fairly high. She was vivacious in her manner, lively, and 
inclined to laugh and be happy. She said she slept poorly and 
dreamed little. Internists, called in consultation, had told her 
she was suffering from autointoxication. Eosinophilia was five 
per cent., but gastrointestinal therapy had been inefficacious. 
Rest in bed had not been of particular service. 

Attention might be directed to the fact that she had an increased 
suprarenal reaction, a mild hyperadrenalemia, also a mild hyper- 
thyroidism. If statistics were being collected from the adrenal 
point of view, she would be the former ; if from the thyroid, the 
latter. If one had just been reading Cannon's work on the reci- 
procal relation between the adrenals and the thyroid, it might be 
assumed that these glands were overfunctioning. From the 
knowledge that the patient had had tonsillitis which was followed 
by an exacerbation of her symptoms, one might assume the pre- 
sence of an infectious thyroiditis of a mild grade. Any and all of 
these points of view would be perfectly valid. At all events, her 
tonsils should be cleared up and possibly X-ray applications might 
help a possible infection. The patient might be given a rest cure 
or a surgical operation, but I hazard the opinion that, if one went 
no further, the woman would not be helped very materially. She 
would probably move into another hospital or go to another 

If, as was learned after many hours of careful investigation, her 
psychical situation was known, she was in a sorry mess which on 
no logical ground could be excluded in the chain of causality. If 
this were neglected, one would really know nothing essential about 
the dynamics involved in this endocrine behaviour. 


Our patient married, not for love, as she expressed it, but because 
her family thought it was a good match. She was almost shoved 
into it. She " carried on," however. The sexual adaptation was 
only so-so. She was excitable and her husband precipitate, and 
always too busy to be with her much. She was mostly unsatisfied. 
" He did not marry her for that" he would say as an unconscious 
defence against his relative impotency (money preoccupation). 
She managed to get along, however, presenting only mild anxiety 
neurosis symptoms for which she was " bromided " for about ten 
years by numerous physicians, who called her hysterical. She 
remained sterile throughout this period, at no time taking any 
precautions or preventives. Much could be said about her creative 
wishes unconscious all this time. Of course, there were curet- 
tages. As if the uterus did not know its job better, after millions 
of years of experience, than we medical blunderers ! The only 
really interesting thing was that for a time she menstruated every 
fourteen days. This I correlate, with apologies to my gynecological 
confreres, with the conflict between an organic uterine craving for 
doing its work, and the unconscious component that knew that 
this was no love situation (Ego Ideal, Freud) . 

After all these years of frustration she found someone who, she 
thought, really was interested in her, and letting down the con- 
ventional barriers, under most conflicting and stirring situations, 
that month became pregnant. She had had intercourse with her 
semi-impotent husband and her lover the same week. It was then 
she commenced to worry as to whose child it was. Which parent 
would it resemble when it grew up ? "What would her husband 
think ? Would he throw her out ? And a host of other extremely 
disturbing doubts and inquiries. It was just then that the first 
attack of hyperthyroidism (and tonsillitis) came on. She was in 
an extremely agitated state for some time. 

Whether it was the thyroid that produced the agitation or the 
agitation that produced the hyperthyroid activity, I leave the 
reader to decide, according to his prejudices and his honesty. 

She was perturbed for some time during the pregnancy. Luckily 
all of the triangle were blue-eyed and light-haired, and as our 
patient was not disturbed by any knowledge of Mendelian recessive 
factors, she finally came to a moderate state of adjustment. The 
hyperthyroidism slowly disappeared and she " carried on." For 
a time, during the nursing, she was better. Her husband was much 
more attentive and, although he was still far from being satisfied, 
she managed to get along, presenting only some anxiety neurosis 


symptoms. Later, however, the husband became very busy. He 
had to get up very early in the morning ; he had to go to bed early 
in the afternoon or evening. Little by little he left her more and 
more alone. He was exhausted from his day's work and would go 
months without intercourse, and when he did attempt it, it was 
finished in a second. She either masturbated or anxiety symptoms 
came on and she developed a rich phantasy life. 

Some years later (and, now for the first time, the present writer 
enters directly into the situation) we faced a new and severe flare-up. 
Just what determined this flare-up, I do not think the ordinary 
methods of inquiry would give us any dynamic clue. The Goetsch 
test might be interesting, study of her basal metabolism might tell 
something, but we suspect these are has-beens rather than causes. 
The reader may be assured that these and similar " tests " were not 
thrown out of court on a priori prejudices. That such " tests," 
used in all situations of pathological inquiry are not depreciated, 
must be emphasised, but far and above these statistical after- 
resultants, we would here emphasise the more dynamic situation : 
"What is the patient striving to accomplish ? What are her 
cravings ? What is the Freudian wish ? (Holt) . Here we stand 
firmly on an empirical basis of actual findings and turn to the 
" royal road " into the unconscious and ask what does the dream 
life contribute to our understanding of this behaviour ? 

This is the formulation : The individual as a whole is the subject 
of our inquiry at this or any particular time ; we are not interested 
in any of its parts, save indirectly. As a whole, the human being 
functions in his wish capacity ; he is constantly forming plans to 
carry out desires and cravings. In a specific way this formulation 
states there are two chief modes of expression for these human 
instinctive cravings. They follow two broad roads, as it were, 
which run parallel toward a goal which, for lack of a better term, 
let us call happiness. One might change the metaphor and say 
that this stream of wishes could be compared to a twisted strand 
of rope made up of innumerable intertwined smaller strands in 
which two larger groups of strands could be distinguished. These 
roads, these strands, following the German poet Schiller's example, 
we roughly call hunger and love. They constitute the great wish 
forces of life. Self-preservation and race-propagation are their 
ancestral and present-day patterns. Do we eat to live, or do we 
live to eat ? An answer to this question tells us that whereas 
life's energy flows more strongly now through one, now through 
the other, yet, if one could put a pressure gauge upon these two 


forces, the highest pressure would be found on the race-propagation 
side, and the old dictum that self-preservation is the first law of 
Nature will be found to be false. It is but a weak-kneed concession 
to what human beings have attempted to repress since Adam and 
Eve ate of the tree of knowledge. The phylum, the race, is more 
important than the individual. In the swing of Nature's pendulum 
which oscillates alternately but never just equally for Nature does 
not relish being caught on a dead centre the push is greater on the 
race-propagation side. The fly-wheel of the race-propagation side 
is loaded. Creative evolution is thus made possible and the game 
goes on. It has come from protozoon to man, a lively contest of 
new models for anywhere from one hundred to a thousand million 
years. During all this slow ascent organic memory (the Mneme 
of Semon) has been laying down useful bits of biological structure, 
building them finally into a fabric which we call man. These old 
bits of structuralised function for this is what the organs of the 
body can advantageously be conceived of as being contain much 
that is not available to conscious control. They function auto- 
matically, yet are not out of actual contact with the rest of the 

The body as a whole is an organisation of all of these, a synthesis 
made possible by the nervous system. Not at the receptor sur- 
faces, not in the spinal cord, not in the midbrain, not in the motor 
or sensory cortical projection fields, but only finally in the frontal 
cortex is this ultimate synthesis made effective. Here intuition 
or instinct meets with intelligence. Control of the bodily move- 
ments to satisfy its cravings has an arbiter. This control factor, 
however, has been building itself up just as long as any organisa- 
tion was found to be an advantageous scheme of things. When 
there were no conflicts, intuitive action went straight to its goal and 
satisfaction was implicit. When obstacles arose, however, then a 
new scheme of things arose. We call it consciousness. It was a 
by-product of faulty intuitive action. It was only needed because 
intuition became clouded. The unconscious for such can be 
named this vast series of intuitive, instinctive syntheses tended to 
be blocked by as yet ill-assimilated conscious contacts. The 
Individual and the Crowd are in conflict. Man's intelligence and 
his instinctive reactions are in conflict, and his vaunted intelli- 
gence is wrong. When we say that " conscience doth make cowards 
of us all," are we not only saying that the unconscious is wiser 
really than our intelligence ? (See Samuel Butler.) 

" Beyond Good and Evil " is the title of a study by Nietzsche. 


He has seen that force, neither good nor evil, is present within our 
unconscious. How shall we utilise that force ? For good or for 
evil ? That determines health or illness ! Then our unconscious 
is very badly maligned. Yes, it is. It is the source of both good 
and evil, yet is it neither. 

What then is good or evil ? Everyone has asked the question. 
So long as mankind dealt with conscious psychology, anybody could 
make his own definitions, and everybody did. " What is one 
man's meat is another's poison," and we have every possible brand 
of good and evil, according to climate, to race, to custom, and to 
fashion. From this point of view my " doxy " is orthodoxy and 
your " doxy " is heterodoxy. Everybody who thinks differently 
from me will be damned. So has mankind come up, getting freer 
and freer from certain dogmas, and yet chaining himself tighter 
and tighter to other dogmas. 

In the unconscious, however, will be found truth in simple form. 
Here we can see what we are after without all the currents and 
counter-currents of camouflage and hypocrisy. The dream is the 
royal road to the unconscious. Such is Freud's well-known and 
well-tried-out suggestion. We shall, therefore, look to the dream. 

The first day I saw the patient I obtained a full history of her 
family, her father, mother, brothers and sisters. Her mother had 
always kept an eye on her. As to her dreams she told me she rarely 
dreamed. A great many people say the same, but everybody 
dreams just as everybody breathes, secretes bile or urine, but not 
all people remember their dreams. As to nightmares, she said she 
had had one recently. It was as follows : 

She was going to a party. She had a lovely time. She was glad 
to see a stranger. (She awoke with palpitation.) 

I did not attempt an analysis of this nightmare and shall not 
now, only remarking that the word " party " may have a double 
significance, a " double entendre," as our Latin races express it. 
She saw a stranger and woke up. Waking up = conflict. Whether 
the wish was to have a party with a stranger and that gave her 
nightmare for it will be recalled how a similar "party" gave her 
a " baby " will be left for the moment and the next dream will 
be considered ; for we must be interested in the specific rather 
than the general problem. 

At the next visit she recalled with some difficulty the rambling 
dream she had had the night before. She dreamed as follows : 

/ met a man on an elevated station. It was at Street, 

where there was a shuttle train (going backward and forward). He 


did not recognise me. Then there was a lady there whom he seemed 
to know. I was with someone then, and as I watched them I said 
to this someone (a woman), " Oh, if Mrs P. (the wife of the man) 
should know this." I decided it was the best policy to say nothing 
about it. (She had anxiety and some palpitations when she 

Notes on the Dream 

Question : " Mr P. ? " " Oh, he was her husband. He spoke 
several languages. He had kept a hotel. He ran around with 
many women. His hotel was foreclosed. She was a hard-working 
woman. She had had some business with Mrs X.'s (the patient's) 
husband. Her husband, Mr X. , was greatly worried about business. 
He might be foreclosed. He was thinking of moving or changing 
his business somewhat, had thought of supplying (things) to 

Question : " What comes to your mind about shuttle ? " "He 

got out at Street. I was going to take the downtown 


Question : " The woman Mr P. seemed to know ? " " Oh, she 
seemed to be someone I knew. A fast woman. She was a fly 
person. She laughed and giggled. She was short and stout." 
(Patient was tall and thin disguise of censor fair patient was 

Question : " What comes to your mind ? " " I've lots of friends, 
I know lots of people. I know no friends like her. Mrs D. V., 
she's a little suspicious. But I'm broadminded, I don't believe in 
being narrow-minded. Of course, people like that, they must live 
what sort of a life ? How much nicer and how much worse it 
must be. She is beautiful (patient was a handsome blonde). 
People have different ways of living, after all. Terrible, in a way, 
but then they can love one another. A mistress, sometimes, may 
be possible. Companions, they can get away from each other when 
they get on each other's nerves. Still a married woman is the best. 
It is safer." 

This then leads to a long discussion as to her young womanhood 
and her girl friends, and the " fellows " that called. She liked life 
and wanted a good time, but with X., "he was all for business." 
" He never liked to be gay." " He was tired all the time/' She 
wanted to go out, play cards, dance, see the shows. But my 
mother, she had her heart set on my marrying a steady fellow. I 


respected him highly. He was always very serious. He never 
flirted at. all. He is very kind, but is not my real mate. At first 
everything was terribly painful (dyspareunia) . After a few months 
it was all right, but he never seemed to care much for " that." 
" Had not married me for that." Practically always unsatisfied. 

The chief features in the dream have been presented and some 
of the free associations of the dream are recorded. As this material 
is reviewed, it will be quite clear that the patient was seriously 
disturbed over the temptation of being some man's mistress. She 
was resisting it, as the free associations tended to show " A 
married woman is safer," etc. I did not disturb the patient too 
unduly, and I did not attempt to bring into consciousness whose 
mistress she wanted to be, but let her tell all about her troubles 
with her mother, about her husband and the hard work she had to 
go through on account of the baby, the difficulty with maids, with 
the cook, her husband's irritability, etc. 

For a few days she had no dreams. Then a few about the child. 
In one dream, her girl had peculiar white and green stools which 
worried her. These were also left only partly analysed. Speaking 
from the standpoint of psychoanalysis it may be of very little 
service in a beginning of an analysis to try to bring into the con- 
sciousness of a woman that her child, especially a girl child, may 
be a nuisance to her, from certain aspects of her personality. Such 
truths can only be discussed rationally when a patient knows 
much more about the selfishness of her ego and its conflict with her 
better self, i.e., her love for her child. 

Then she had a dream of ' ' having triplets, two blondes and one 
with black hair and brown eyes." This brought out a great deal 
about whether the child she had had was her husband's child or 
the lover's child. If her lover had brown eyes and black hair, 
what would have happened ? There was much material, but I 
waited, feeling certain that I would soon find the " man with the 
brown eyes and the black hair." For two weeks the resistances 
prevented any advance. 

One of the dreams in the interim contained material which dealt 
with a doctor who curetted her and who had been very friendly. 
Her transference to him was very strong and the dream discussed 
whether I should be entitled to as close a place in her confidence 
as Dr Z. Two or three neurologists who had been consulted also 
appeared in the dreams. (Who they were, and what they did and 
said, contains much material why jealousies exist between members 
of the profession.) 


In about six weeks after I had begun to see her she presented 
the specific situation. She dreamed : 

There were two gray automobiles standing in *... Street (the 

street where she lived) , between and (parallel streets 

i.e., parallel wishes). One was adorned with draperies, with bright 
colours on the body. There were red bandannas in it. " I don't 
like this car. Like a fortune-teller' s wagon." Out of each one came 
a Mr L. with a woman. She ivas a fast woman. There was another 
woman and another man I knew. Both go to Mr L.'s house. Then 
I say, " if Mrs L. were alive, what would she say ? " Then in another 
dream the same night : I visited Mrs L. She was alive and the place 
was very upset. " It looks as if you were going to move" and she 
picks up some artificial hair, puts it on her head. It was black in 
colour, and she said : "Is it not awful the way my husband abuses 

At this point it seemed not injudicious to bring the issue up on 
this situation, and from the dream associations it soon developed 
that Mr L. was the " dark-haired, brown-eyed man " who was 
trying to persuade her to be his mistress. He was a widower, a 
lawyer, wealthy. (He told her so, but she had her suspicions. He 
was not so generous.) There was some doubt about his gener- 
osity, as a previous dream about rings and jewellery had partially 
revealed ; he was rather stingy with his money (took a street-car 
and not a taxi), and also, possibly, as a lawyer, he would get out of 
the divorce possibility with her husband, and leave her " stranded " 
after all. 

It would be nice to exchange her situation (comparative poverty) 
with an automobile situation (wealth and comfort) but (red ban- 
dannas) was he only a slick fortune-teller, after all, and where 
would she land in the interchange when she went to Mr L.'s house 
as mistress (urged) or as wife of wealthy man (promised), and 
concerning which the office, his clothes, his niggardly attitudes, etc., 
made her doubtful ? 

Of course, for ordinary mortals without such temptations (for, 
remember she had a husband who neglected her) there is little 
need to be agitated and disturbed, but for her, as she used to 
go to the lawyer's office to " discuss the possibilities of divorce," 
and he would make passionate love to her " on his very ample 
sofa," it does not take a wizard (fortune-teller, myself) to see her 

* Omitted, because of the " medical secret " situation already alluded to, 
as being a matter of discretion, 


This complicated story could be elaborated into a three volume 
novel, and novelists deal with just such realistic (human) material, 
and we sit up into the small hours of the morning reading them. 
Why ? Because, as novelists, they put it all into intelligible (and 
fantasy) terms, while we, doctors, as scientists, deal with the 
impulses that need all this long-drawn-out terminology to render 
them intelligible to mankind. As a scientist, one deals chiefly 
with the bare framework of the forces which are pulling this woman. 
Her cravings and her fears, money, comfort, automobiles, sexual 
satisfaction on the one hand ; a secure home, her daughter, her 
marriage security, meaning social support, on the other. 

Why should the hyperthryoid activities be considered as a 
mediating mechanism ? I do not altogether know. If I did know, 
possibly I would know as much as God knows, and, with all my 
pretensions to knowledge, I have not yet gone so far as to approach 
the Omnipotent. As physicians, all that can be said is that there 
is a definite series of wish components on the one hand, and an 
equally definite series of bodily reactions on the other. If Pavlov's 
dogs show gastric juice reactions to conditioned stimuli, and 
Cannon's cats show physical reactions to other types of stimuli, 
can it not be said that the " prostitution-mistress-money-comfort " 
stimuli have something to do with the hyperthyroid physical re- 
actions ? I seriously ask you to consider the possibilities, yes, the 
probabilities of this connection. It is a specific stage of the 
parental complex. The future may help us as scientists to build 
up the relations between structure and function.* 

And here we must leave it, but before I leave it I cannot refrain 
from alluding to an important reflection. The situation, on the 
outside, and partly from the inside, is very widespread. Many 
human beings are caught in just this kind of a dilemma, yet hyper- 
thyroid reactions do not develop in all. I can only say : So be it. 
I agree with you absolutely in all your doubts and conservatisms. 
There must be a definite chain of events which lead to a definite 

Is this hyperthyroidism (or other organic situation) alone con- 
ditioned by the factors which I have all too hurriedly sketched ? 
I do not think so. There are complex constitutional factors 
which are a part of the structure. These are to be resolved as 

* Since this initial presentation, in 1911, these anatomical structural 
correlations have advanced very materially. But this is a subject of another 
presentation. See References. 


In the meantime, while we are busy with the biochemical and 
hereditary and hidden structural parts of this integration, we are 
faced with the present real situation. The patient wants, and yet 
does not want, to run away with the dark-haired, brown-eyed man, 
sacrifice the husband and the daughter, and get even with the 
mother who had always bossed her, and who had thrust this worthy 
husband upon her. Can she stand it ? She cannot ! Her physical 
disease is her reaction to the conflict. It is a compromise between 
her conscience (God's Law, Ego Ideal) and her craving (Individual 
wish). It is the symbol of her sacrifice. 

We, as physicians, must first straighten out her ethical conflict. 
Removing her thyroid does not do this, even if we admit that she 
has gotten her body into such a mess that she would rather die 
than renounce the wish. For this happens, and only surgery may 
prevent the unconsciously arrived at physical suicide. 

What happens afterward, even if the thyroid be removed ? 
Will it be morphine, alcohol ? Will it be " bridge " and a round 
of hideous attempts at forgetting ? Will she go to the devil or 
will she be an exile, shut up in her apartment, devoted to the only 
resource left, to see that the daughter does not get into the mess 
that she got into ? Will she sacrifice the daughter, as many do, 
or will she triumph and come through ? Quien sabe : Who 
knows ? 


Kiippers (E.), " Der Grundplan des Nervensystems und die 
Lokafisation des Psychischen," Zeitschr. f. d. g. Neur. u. P., 75, 
1922, 1-46. 

Kiippers (E.), " Weiteres zur Lokalisation des Psychischen," 
Ibid., 83, 1923, 247-76. 

Kiippers (E.), " Ueber den Sitz der Grundstorung bei der Schizo- 
phrenic," Ibid., 78, 1922, 546-52. 

Guth (E.), " Lungentuberkulose und vegetativesNervensystem." 
I, II, III, IV : Beitrdge zur Klinik der Tuberkulose, Vols. 53, 54, 

55, 1922-3. 

Miihl (A. M.), " Tuberculosis," Psychoanalytic Review, 1923. 

Starcke, " The Apnceic Phase of the Pregenital Libido Pattern," 
The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1923. 

Menninger (K. M.), " Deafness and the Psyche," Kansas Medical 
Journal, 1923. 

Laignel-Lavastine, Pathology of the Vegetative Nervous System. 
(Here the chief results of the past ten years are collected). Paris, 


Kappers (Aligns), Comparative Anatomy of the Nervous System 
of Vertebrates, 1920. 

Winkler, Anatomy of the Nervous Ssytem, 1919, 1920. 

Jelliffe (S. E.), " Paleopsychology," Psychoanalytic Review, 
April, 1923. 

Jelliffe (S. E.) and White (W. A.), Diseases of the Nervous System. 
4th Edition, 1923. 

Jelliffe (S. E.), " Psychopathology and Organic Disease/' 
Am. Archives of Neurol. and Psych., December, 1922. 



Lecturer in Psychopathology, Cambridge University 




IT is a scientific misfortune that so much psychoanalytic work is 
therapeutic in its aim rather than primarily investigative. This 
is, of course, inevitable : few people can be found ready to sacrifice 
time, money and personal comfort in the interest of psychology. 
Naturally, then, the vast bulk of dream analysis is carried on with 
the definite object of unearthing the hidden tendencies, which are 
causing the patient's symptoms, not with the hope of discovering 
laws concerning the structure of dreams. Every analyst has daily 
opportunity to verify the fundamental claims of Freud as to dream 
mechanisms the " dream work " ; but he is forced by considera- 
tion of the patient's need to forgo the pleasure of reconstructing 
the dream after it has been analysed, since this is largely of academic 
interest. Again, we have all of us the constant experience of 
confining ourselves to one chapter, one act of the dream, or one 
dream of a number presented in one night. If we should attempt 
to run to earth every detail in a long panoramic dream, we would 
find ourselves spending days, even weeks, with the productions 
of one night, and taking little account of the progress of the 
patient's nocturnal autistic life. 

We feel comfortable enough in directing our attention mainly 
to the latent content of a dream because we know that this is of 
more importance to the patient than any prolonged consideration 
of the manifest content, or any discussion of the nature of the sym- 
bols employed to express the underlying thought. We are con- 
fident that some opponents of psychoanalysis have made a great 
mistake in seeking to explain the dream in its obvious form as a 
distorted echo of the experience of tfie previous day. A repetition 
of events of the " dream day " in a dream is to us an indication of a 
hidden significance in those experiences. Perhaps it is a fear of 
this meticulous superficiality which has kept psychoanalysis from 

* This paper was read at the Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Psycho- 
analytic Association in Washington, May, 1916. 



any serious study of the dream as it is actually remembered. An 
example may make this plainer. The patient may dream of a 
Cathedral spire, a maypole, a sword or a snake. The opponent 
finds a recent experience to determine each picture and is satisfied 
with that. The psychoanalyst applies his technique, finds a 
phallic significance in each and says that all are the same, regarding 
the manifest difference as largely or entirely accidental. 

Now in the investigations which Dr Hoch and I have made of 
the manic-depressive psychoses we have come to have some 
respect for the manifest content. We find the same latent content 
with almost dreary iteration, no matter what the clinical picture 
may be. There is in this, then, ample evidence that the same 
dynamic factor is responsible for all these dissimilar states. When 
we come to examine what is constant in any one type of disorder, 
however, we discover that the mood corresponds to the form in 
which the underlying thought reaches conscious expression. In 
other words, the patient is anxious, guilty, elated or depressed in 
consequence of unconscious tendencies coming to expression in 
rather specific form. Another phenomenon is of no less interest : 
the idea may be in consciousness but for a fleeting moment, while 
the abnormal mood may persist apparently independent of it. 

When one considers how closely analogous dreams are to delu- 
sions or hallucinations it is natural to ask how far these principles 
may apply to dreams. I may say that the application of these 
psychiatric laws to dreams has enabled me with few exceptions to 
predict the emotional state of the patient during the day following 
a dream when once that dream has been revealed. It is, therefore, 
immediately evident that the manifest content of the dream has a 
profound significance for the patient. In fact, one might even 
claim that it determines his waking health and happiness. 

There is another problem bound up with this. As has been 
stated, much attention has been given to the waking thoughts that 
determine the content of a subsequent dream, but little has been 
written dbout the fate of these fantastic ideas. Not a few neurotic 
symptoms have been traced to dreams, it is true, and Jones has 
given us an example of " The Influence of Dreams on Waking Life," 
but no attempt has been made, as far as I know, to trace the 
mechanism by which our dream thoughts pass over into our 
waking activities. It is the object of this paper to present a few 
suggestions on this topic. 

It is necessarily a rather speculative subject of discussion for 
reasons which will be immediately obvious. We have to rely 


almost entirely on subjective, introspective data, and it is a 
peculiarity of such material that it is almost necessarily in- 
complete. We dream, of course, infinitely more than we remem- 
ber ; the censorship sees to it that we forget our nocturnal adven- 
tures with all possible speed ; in fact, the instantaneousness with 
which an elaborate memory of dream experiences can be wiped 
out of consciousness is one of the most astounding phenomena in 
all psychology. As a rule our attention is fixed with sufficient 
intensity to register in waking consciousness only one or a small 
group of many dreams which we have had. This applies to true 
dreams. There is also a drowsy state of half sleep when dreams 
seem partly true and the real environment is also grasped in part. 
For this period we also tend to be amnesic. If we attend to this, 
then the previous incidents the real dreams are lost to conscious- 
ness. Now, for our present problem we need to have succinct 
memories not only of our dreams proper, of our thoughts in the 
twilight state, but also of what we think and do when fully awake. 
Naturally, we cannot hope to obtain this full sequence frequently. 
More often we can get fragments that enable us to reconstruct 
the gradual transition from sleeping to waking thoughts which our 
amnesia has made to seem abrupt. 

It has long been a commonplace of psychoanalysis that the same 
theme tends to run through all the dreams of any given night. 
Sometimes a careful noting of all details immediately on waking 
may enable one to demonstrate the latent content in such a 
sequence by the mere principle of equivalents. That is, details 
may vary so little from one act to another of the drama that the 
patient can see for himself the meaning of the symbols. A con- 
densed example may make this plainer. A young woman has three 
dreams, of which these are the central incidents : First, she sees 
a bull and a cow mating in a barn yard she is disgusted but mor- 
bidly attracted to the spectacle ; second, she spies on a boy and 
girl cousin who are flirting ; third, she watches her father with 
much interest pouring gasoline into a motor. In all three curiosity 
is expressed. The transition from the crude to the innocent 
sexuality and from that to the pure symbol is evident. This 
much the patient can see for herself. The analysis showed by 
definite associations a specific curiosity which was the common 
latent content of all three dreams. The important point for us to 
note here is that the manifest content is changing as she comes 
nearer to waking so that the reaction to it is more comfortable. 
In the first dream she is highly uncomfortable ; in the second (she 



complained) she felt de trop ; in the third she is comfortably 
interested. It could never disturb her peace of mind to see her 
father put gasoline in a car in waking life. This familiar type of 
sequence is still in the pure dream stage. 

The next example gives us the birth of the dream into waking 
thoughts and actions. The patient is a physician whose father 
died of a lingering illness while the patient was still a young boy. 
He has specialised in the treatment of tuberculosis and is head of 
a hospital where many incipient cases are successfully treated. He 
appeared for analysis one day very depressed, apparently as a 
result of a dream where the latent content of eliminating his father 
from the family was not sufficiently distorted to be comfortable. 
(This is typical of the depressive idea or dream. An anti-social 
tendency comes to consciousness in a form which represents 
something repugnant to the patient's normal standards of conduct.) 
The analysis obliterated the depression. The next day he appeared 
elated and reported an extremely active, successful day's work. 
His first thought on waking was the problem of telling an older 
married man that he had a serious tubercular infection. Next he 
recalled that he had to examine several cases which were suspected 
of early tuberculosis. He looked forward to this and when the 
time came made extraordinarily good examinations and was able 
to satisfy himself that his suspicions were correct. This buoyant 
efficiency lasted through the day. When asked for his dream, 
however, he had to make a confession. On rising, he had jotted 
down a few headings, but on looking at them later in the day they 
were meaningless to him. The dream was gone. Fortunately 
a few associations from his notes led to the recovery of it. His 
room mate at college had died from tuberculosis after some years 
of unhygienic life during which he had been in ignorance of his 
disease. The patient had felt that if only a diagnosis had been 
made earlier he would never have succumbed. The dream ful- 
filled this wish. In it he was back at a house party where they had 
been fellow guests some years before (at the time when the friend's 
symptoms first developed, only to be disregarded). The patient 
examined his chest, discovered the lesion and turned him over to 
the head nurse of his hospital for treatment. A brief analysis 
made the whole sequence transparent. His father dying of a 
wasting disease had created the patient's interest in tuberculosis. 
It was a sublimation of the idea of death in connection with his 
father. His friend and the old married man who was doomed 
were father-surrogates. What had been the night before a depress- 


ing theme was changed to a sublimation it gave an outlet in the 
underlying wish in a form that met the approval of the patient's 
every standard. 

The fact that this dream was forgotten deserves some comment. 
It was not of an unpleasant nature ; in fact, it passed the censor long 
enough to allow the patient to make notes of it. Moreover, it 
returned to consciousness after a short analysis. For this amnesia 
one probably does not need to presume such a desire to forget as 
is necessary in most cases. Entirely apart from dynamic reasons 
we tend to remember best what is connected with our daily life, 
simply because it is more in our waking consciousness more 
associated to our waking activities. This probably is one factor 
accounting for the topical memory of stages leading from pure 
dream thoughts to pure waking ones. One object of the process 
is to give a form to the latent thought that is adaptive to our 
waking needs. Each one is a substitute for the last and so there is 
always a tendency to remember only the last. This accounts 
merely for such amnesia as is here described ; the effectual hyster- 
ical type of amnesia is obviously not adaptive and can be explained 
only on dynamic grounds. 

The next example from the same patient shows a less extended 
sequence, but again illustrates the transition from dream to waking 
life. He was a man of 36 years, superficially normal, but suffering 
from enough inhibition to have adopted the belief that he was not 
" a marrying sort." He had resigned himself comfortably to the 
idea of celibacy until suddenly an ejaculation while examining a 
boy patient startled and depressed him. He recognised at once a 
homosexual tendency previously totally unconscious. The result- 
ing depression impaired his efficiency seriously and finally he applied 
for psychoanalytic treatment. The results were rapid and before 
long hopes of marriage filled his mind. There were two not 
unimportant difficulties in the way : there was no one in whom he 
felt sufficient interest to begin a courtship and his income was 
hardly large enough to support a family in the same comfort that 
he enjoyed as a bachelor. In a more or less conscious effort to 
surmount the first obstacle he began to indulge much more in 
social activities than had been his wont, which caused considerable 
comment among gossips. It was at this period that he awoke one 
morning with the thought which he could not identify with cer- 
tainty as either a dream or an actual experience at a dance the 
previous night. It was this : He was watching one of his patients 
dancing with his fiancee and wondering how they could get married, 


as the man had little money. This was all he could recall till on 
his way to the analysis, when he remembered a real dream : "I 
was in a doorway of the ballroom. Toward me came a patient who 
has owed me money for some years. He and his wife began talking 
to me about this bill, which embarrassed me very much, as all the 
other guests were looking at us. He shouted at me that he would 
pay it soon next month." In his associations, the embarrass- 
ment led to his sensitiveness to the gossip about him, as it was said 
he was looking for a wife. The public promise to pay led to the 
idea of his demanding the money, which he needed for 
marriage. This shows at once the significance of his drowsy 
thought. The problem was transferred from his own to 
another's shoulders ; it was then a real situation, not a dream 
imagination, and moreover its contemplation gave him no 

Part of the following dream sequence was reported by me two 
years ago* to exemplify the mechanism by which a day-dream 
experience precipitates a dream. At that time I spoke of the wak- 
ing distortion as an example of what Freud has termed " secondary 
elaboration," but on more mature consideration I feel that Freud 
does not intend to include such complete metamorphoses under 
that term. The following account is quoted, in part, from this 
previous article. 

This dream was produced on the seventh day of the analysis 
of a woman suffering from morbid anxiety. From the very 
beginning a strong " transference " to the physician was evident 
from her dreams, which had been readily understood by her as an 
expression of confidence, reliance and gratitude. Then came, as 
soon as the analysis began to touch her vitally, the opposite feelings 
of hate and distrust, coming to consciousness during associations 
as an expression of the fear that the analyser would abuse his 
privilege as a physician, a feeling that he was exposing her life 
history for his own gratification, that he was " outraging her 
innocence." These ideas came relentlessly to expression, and for 
several days were regularly accompanied by harrowing attacks of 
anxiety that interfered temporarily with the analysis. The under- 
lying wish for erotic satisfaction an idea repugnant and foreign 
to her conscious personality remained unconscious, however, till 
she read in the newspaper about some deal that J. P. Morgan had 
put through by unfair means, she thought. The following night 

* " A Psychological Feature of the Precipitating Causes in the Psychoses, 
etc.," Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1914, Vol. ix. 


she had this dream, which I quote from her written record 
of it: 

" This dream is really too vague to tell. / feel it has changed 
its form at least three times before I finally got it into my mind. This 
is it : There was a financial deal to be put through. Several 
people were going to do it, but at the last they were afraid, and 
Morgan went in alone and managed the thing. An element of 
indignation and scorn on Morgan's part. Before the dream changed 
to Morgan, it was something about the wheat pit, with a feeling that 
I was connected with it. Before that it was something about myself. 
[My italics.] 

" I awoke with the impression that someone was knocking at 
my door. Somehow a vague thought in my mind of something 
the word ' modesty.' There was no connection between the 
knocking and the thought in my mind. I seemed to pick up this 
vague thought when I realised that no one was knocking." 

Associations showed, with multiple overdetermination, that 
Morgan represented the physician, who scorned her " virtue," and 
who would abuse his medical privilege to seduce her. The scorn was, 
of course, in turn a projection of her hatred of the analysis, con- 
sciously, and unconsciously, her opposition to seduction. 

Now, how did this dream come into being ? Reading of the 
financial operations of Morgan, who " betrayed a confidence," 
touched off the unconscious wish to be betrayed. She said that, 
while waking, she had the feeling that she must record the dream, 
and knew that it concerned herself ; but, while thinking of it, it 
turned, like the Old Man of the Sea, into the dream of the wheat 
pit, with which she was somehow identified. To the wheat pit 
she associated directly the " lambs " who are ruined, and her own 
innocence. Already there is here the staging of the financial 
world, but the wish was not sufficiently distorted to be acceptable 
to the waking consciousness, so it again underwent a complete 
metamorphosis and became the final Morgan dream. The loath- 
some caterpillar had changed into the butterfly and she was witness 
of the change. 

The same latent idea is carried over into the semi-waking stage 
of consciousness with the hallucination of someone knocking on 
her door (attempting entrance to her bedroom) and the apparently 
irrelevant word " modesty." The truly unusual feature of the 
sequence is, of course, that the patient was herself conscious that 
the three dream formulations were somehow all one. 

I have recently had an opportunity to confirm this theory experi- 


mentally. The patient is an unusually competent nurse whose 
psychosis has been as puzzling clinically as it has been baffling 
therapeutically. Anything like an adequate description of the 
case would require a fair-sized volume, but the features essential 
for our present purpose may be given briefly. She is now 36. In 
her late teens she began having attacks of depression, a number of 
which were severe enough to demand confinement in institutions 
for the insane. The attacks increased in frequency, so that for 
the past few years she has never had more than a month or six 
weeks of continuous mental comfort. What the earlier attacks 
were like, it is impossible to state, but all the later ones have been 
characterised by a gradual onset with irritability towards women 
in her environment followed by compulsive thoughts that she must 
kill or otherwise injure different people, often her fellow nurses, 
often a child or all the children where she had been working in a 
children's hospital. With these compulsive ideas there begins a 
certain amount of clouding of consciousness. As this last increases, 
the compulsive ideas become delusions she has killed these people, 
is the wickedest criminal living, and so on. Sooner or later there 
is an insistent demand to go away or to kill herself. If she can't 
do one of these things, she will lose all control of herself. In this 
state she usually packs a bag and leaves her hospital or her case, 
is absent for a week or several weeks and finally returns, much 
better, but able to give only a meagre account of where she has 
been. Ordinary psychoanalytic methods have failed for this 
reason : She has had a rich dream life to report, and these dreams 
have led to the recovery of many important childish memories 
plainly related to her symptoms, but, unfortunately, significant 
associations have always been produced in a sort of twilight state 
for which she is largely amnesic afterwards. As a result she has 
never been able to bring her unconscious ideas into the limelight 
of her fully waking and critical consciousness. Nevertheless, much 
has been accomplished in aborting attacks, although no permanent 
health has yet been obtained. 

A few months ago, however, when in an attack, she was trying 
to recall some ideas at my request, and became dizzy and nauseated. 
Persisting in her effort, she suddenly went fast asleep, " as though 
I had fainted," she said later. This sleep was evidently a deep 
somnambulic condition, for she answered all questions put to her in 
a dreamy, almost emotionless, far-away voice. Since then the same 
state has been produced artificially by suggestion, with ease when 
she has been partially clouded already, and only with great difn- 


culty when her mind has been clear. Her productions in these 
somnambulisms are unique. It is apparently a condition where 
all resistance is removed and the unconscious speaks unimpeded. 
She has given with ease detailed memories of significant events ; 
and her thoughts at the age of two and three, with as much 
directness, explain the meaning of contemporary symptoms in 
unconscious terms. In these seances she has explained that her 
father found her little brother (two years younger than herself) 
in a hollow tree and brought him home to her mother. He should 
have given him to her, however ; her brother is really the child 
of her father and herself, as she often insists, " He is my baby ! " 
Both her parents died when she was three years old, but she speaks 
of them in the present tense when questions are asked referring to 
the period in her life when they were alive. 

In a recent attack she had come to the point where she felt an 
ungovernable impulse to go away. Before doing so she came to 
see me. She was too upset for ordinary advice to affect her, so 
an attempt was made to hypnotise her. This produced only a 
mildly dreamy state where she told of a dream the night before of 
going with somebody who had a baby carriage ; that she had had 
compulsions to steal children on the street ; that she had been 
thinking of asking her brother (who is now married) to give her one 
of his children. Finally she said : " If I could only find a baby of 
my own! " At this point she was told she would go to sleep if 
she continued to think of the baby. A minute later she was asked : 
" What else about the baby? " Immediately came the reply, in 
her typical somnambulic voice : " The baby 1 My father gave me 
my own baby ! " She then gave explanations of her symptoms. 
She had wanted to go away to find this baby. It must be lost. 
She must have her own child, she did not want to nurse some other 
mother's child. After more questions, not relevant to our present 
purpose, she was asked to say what she was dreaming. Her 
reply was : 

" Crossing Queensbo rough bridge sky and clouds cherubs ; 
there are children in the clouds, playing. I cross the bridge and 
I look at the children in this cloud. Beautiful day. I look in the 
shops and buy presents for my brother's baby." (" Is that all ? ") 
"Going to the home in the hospital babies ; their mothers have 
gone away and left them. They are my children ! The king comes 
to see the children." (" Is that all? ") " Yes." 

She was next asked if she would not be able to wait till next 
summer, when she could take a position as head nurse in a hospital 


for children, where she had previously been ; if that would not 
be better than going away now. She agreed to this. Then she 
was awakened by counting five. I asked her at once what she 
had been dreaming. Her reply was : 

" Queensborough bridge blue and white clouds walking home 
on Queensborough bridge something about a hospital or home 
about children some little boys and girls nice place belonged 
to somebody somebody had charge of it. Seemed like they said 
it was the king but we don't have a king. A nice man he came 
to see it he stays there most of the time he had charge of it." 
(" Was he the superintendent ? ") " Yes, I think so." (" What 
had you to do ? ") "I had charge of it took care of the children 
part of it. Had nice things for the children." (" Presents ? ") 
" They had toys they belonged to the place." (" You gave 
them any? ") " Yes, I bought them, but not with my money, 
but with the money of the place ; it was a nice place. They had 
lots of money and took good care of the children. I took care of 
it and looked after them." 

On waking, her symptoms had totally disappeared. 

We have, then, this sequence : A dream of going with somebody 
who has a baby carriage. The next day compulsion to go away 
and to steal children ; in a somnambulic state these are both 
explained as the unconscious desires to gain possession of her 
brother as her child. Still in this sleep she has a dream representing 
proprietorship of children. On waking she recalls the essence of 
this dream with elaboration and distortion, both of which adapt 
it to reality, making a sublimation of this wish her professional 
activity and, with this, her symptoms disappear. 

With this evidence before us it is plain that the normal sequence 
of dream thoughts is their gradual metamorphosis into a setting 
which is adapted to reality and to the patient's adult ambitions 
rather than his infantile cravings. A failure of this process can 
be remedied only by complete amnesia for the dream or analysis 
of it. If neither occurs, there is an abnormal mood during the 
following day, usually elation or depression. It seems to be a 
peculiarity of depression that it coincides with the presence of an 
idea, ethically unwelcome, on the fringe of consciousness. That 
is, depression corresponds to an unsuccessful effort at repression. 
The repressing forces having failed specifically seem to become 
diffuse and inhibit all interest, making the patient inert and all 
activity unattractive. Forel seems to have glimpsed the gaseous 
tail of this idea in his book on Hypnotism and Psychotherapy, 


where he speaks of curing depressions by suggestions of amnesia 
for unpleasant dreams. 

These principles are well shown in the following dream. It may 
be well to remind you that a frequent idea of the anxious depress- 
ions in the puerperal psychosis is that of the death or injury of the 
child. This is a particularly painful idea because it is the last 
thing the mother consciously wishes. The determination of the 
unconscious wish to destroy the child need not be discussed here ; 
it is necessary, however, to mention that this unconscious wish is 
responsible for many symptoms of pregnancy with which there is 
a ready somatisches Entgegenkommen. The patient in this case 
was a young married woman, six months pregnant, She came to 
see me late one afternoon, complaining of considerable depression, 
which she felt was somehow connected with a dream of the night 
before. She confessed that, although she suspected the association 
of her mood and the dream, she had not been able to bring herself 
to think of it. The dream was omitting unessential details 
that there was some trouble on the inside of her left thigh that 
demanded surgical attention. When asked what the trouble was, 
she first claimed it was a sore, but then remembered it was a tumor. 
Associations to " tumor " led almost immediately to the idea of 
pregnancy another form of " new growth." When asked for a 
further description of the tumor, she said there was a pain in it 
and that the pain was like that she felt in an old appendix scar 
consequent on the abdominal distention of her pregnancy. When 
she had said this, the depression instantaneously disappeared and 
she remarked : " If I had only thought of that pain I would have 
seen the meaning of the dream immediately ! " It was obviously 
a thinly disguised wish for an abortion a wish that had been 
neither recognised nor completely repressed. 

Another example of a depression dream may be cited which is 
also interesting as a part of a cycle of settings for the same basic 
idea. The patient is a Swede, aged 39, who had suffered much from 
an unconscious antagonism to his father, which led to unnecessary 
rebellion against authority and friction with superiors. It is also 
necessary to state that he has a fierce antagonism to the paternal- 
istic institutions of the Vaterland where he spent a number of years 
studying, and then practising, engineering. He appeared one 
day depressed and stated that the one bright spot of the day had 
been when he had heard one Italian labourer address his com- 
panion as " Pig of a German/' The dream of the previous night 
was this : He was in a boat sailing out of the harbour of Stockholm 


for Finland with three companions of his rather riotous youth. 
The captain and owner of the boat had been left behind, and some 
discussion took place as to whether they should proceed or put 
back for him. The dreamer urged that they keep on their course, 
and his argument prevailed. In this dream a crime stealing the 
boat is all but directly expressed, and the patient is the chief of 
the thieves. Analysis revealed that the captain stood for his 
father, the dream, as a whole, representing his leaving home and 
using his father's money in activities, largely sexual, of which his 
father disapproved. The next day he was distinctly elated. He 
awoke amnesic for his dream, but with a picture in his mind of a 
painting of a Swedish artist representing two eagles sweeping regally 
over the surface of the sea. A few associations brought his dream 
to consciousness. He had been flying the night before in an aero- 
plane over the Western Front, dropping steel bolts on the German 
lines. Analysis was not necessary. He recognised at once a 
sublimation of the wish to destroy his father, now represented by 
the " Fatherland." The flying of the dream had been transformed 
into something real on awakening, but the elation of the sublima- 
tion had persisted. 

So much for case material. One cannot resist the temptation of a 
little theorising, which, though admittedly speculative, is still 
perhaps justified by the material. 

The sequences described above are not to be observed every day, 
but this does not mean that they are not regular phenomena. As 
has been pointed out, we remember the barest fraction of our total 
dream productions and the tendency to find a setting for the under- 
lying theme which is adaptive to reality is a tentative one which 
seems to eliminate the unfit settings. This means, of course, an 
amnesia that follows close upon the constructive process, wiping 
from memory each stage, each formulation, as it is given up. 
Not unnaturally, a prime characteristic of this embryology is that 
it is unknown to introspection. 

If we assume, however, that this is a normal and constant 
process, a number of interesting conclusions may be reached. The 
first of these is that there is no sharp line dividing sleeping from 
waking thought. One type is nearer the unconscious, less adaptive 
to reality, that is all. It is because the dream thought is cruder 
and more primitive that we choose it for analysis. There is no 
theoretic reason why we should not analyse waking thoughts 
instead of dreams. In fact, we are sometimes forced to. I have 
had two patients who produced almost always nothing but dreams 


which seemed to be excerpts from their daily lives. They were 
naturally difficult of analysis, as the distortion and elaboration from 
the primitive initial thought was so extreme. In fact, the telling 
analyses were almost entirely those made of occasional nightmares 
or other unpleasant dreams. If our hypothesis be correct, we have 
no reason to suppose that there is any conscious thought which 
has not its root in the unconscious. When this statement is put 
in another way it may appear less startling. It is undoubtedly 
true that we can have no thought, no interest, which has not a 
history back of it. My simplest action is a product of the develop- 
ment of my total personality. If this history be traced back far 
enough it leads to the period of primitive tendencies where the roots 
of what are later sex impulses are inextricably intertwined with 
the roots of other impulses whose conscious fruition is far from 
sexual. To claim, then, that every dream has a sex basis is equiva- 
lent to claiming that every waking thought is similarly determined. 
This is ridiculous, if by that we mean that there are no other 
factors ; but, taken in a more liberal sense, that the analysis may 
demonstrate factors potentially sexual and therefore subjected 
to the same developmental influences as are plainly sex impulses, 
in this sense it is reasonable. An example may make this clearer. 
A chemist may dream of, or actually make researches with, some 
chemical compound. The analysis of this leads back to the 
development of his interest in chemistry, which is shown historic- 
ally to have grown out of a curiosity as to the construction of 
things, with which is mingled a sex curiosity whose repression 
resulted, as compromise or compensation, in a stimulus to all other 
curiosity. The superficial psychologists who reconstruct a dream 
out of recent experiences are not wrong ; they simply say the house 
is made of bricks and eliminate the architect and contractor. The 
question for them to answer is, " Why the interest in these experi- 
ences ? " 

The next point is : May this hypothesis explain the problem of 
the mechanism by which a person reaches a solution of some diffi- 
culty by sleeping over it ? As we have seen, there is good reason 
to believe that every conscious thought has unconscious roots ; in 
fact, it is likely that the ideas present in consciousness represent 
only a few of the many concepts which tend to come up from the 
limbo of the unconscious only those which are adaptive to reality 
in the broadest sense of that term. Now, if such be the case, a man 
confronted with a problem is, presumably, offered many solutions 
by his unconscious. Many of these are fantastic and so imaginative 


that he represses them. In this repression he inhibits himself 
from imaginative thinking, and so no solution of his difficulty 
" comes into his mind." Now, if this man goes to sleep, however, 
his inhibitions are lifted, the unconscious roots of the problem bear 
fruit in numerous dreams, fantastic, perhaps, and crude, but still 
good building blocks for practical thoughts. The new idea is 
warped gradually into a form compatible with reality, and in the 
morning he wakes with the desired solution in his mind, amnesic 
probably for any dream. 

In this connection there are some phenomena worth mentioning. 
It is a commonplace that when we first begin to wake we exhibit 
some symptoms of typical depression lethargy, lack of initiative 
and retardation. The reason for this is now clear. At this time 
we are repressing our crude dreams and elaborating (unconsciously) 
the themes of these dreams into settings adaptive to reality. 
When this process is complete we are " awake/' This phase in 
the dream metamorphosis is also responsible for the phenomenon 
so many of us exhibit, that, unless we get our half hour from 7.30 
to 8 (or whatever it may be), we are tired all day. We seem more 
dependent on being allowed to have even fifteen minutes to wake 
up in than we do on being given a definite total number of hours 
of sleep. We must be allowed time to change our dream thoughts 
to waking thoughts. The first sign of a developing neurosis or 
psychosis is not infrequently an extension of this period. As we 
all know, a certain type of invalid makes this waking state last 
all day. I have had one patient who complained that in the pro- 
dromal periods of his mental attacks he would be depressed till 
noon, unable to apply himself to any work and never sure whether 
the environment or his dreams were real. 

My next claim, is, perhaps, a little more speculative. Dreams 
are, as we all know, more allied symptomatically to the psychoses 
than the neuroses. They consist of hallucinations, delusions and 
abnormal mood reactions. In both unconscious tendencies are the 
dynamic factors. May there be a clinical parallel? We know 
that in dementia praecox we get open expression of infantile sex 
wishes ; in the benign manic-depressive group these tendencies 
are in evidence, but never with the same directness; here they are 
" adultified." AS in real life the infantile object is represented by a 
substitute, or, if it be present as such, the outlet does not appear 
in its crude form. On the other hand, in epilepsy we have a con- 
dition that leads to a state where there is no content at all, apparently 
a regression to a period before ideas of any sort are well developed . 


It may be possible that in sleep we reproduce each night these 
different types of insanity. The depression and elation dreams I 
have cited are certainly closely analogous to the content of the 
manic-depressive psychoses. But we know that people do have 
cruder dreams than these. As far back as Sophocles, there are 
reports of actual incest dreams. May not these correspond to a 
dementia praecox level in sleep ? I have had one patient who 
could distinguish in a vague way different " levels " in his dreams. 
One which he said was very " deep " was of his mother coming 
into his bed. Other dreams of the same night which had not this 
" deep " feeling were adultified versions of the same theme. If 
we go still deeper, we would come to a level corresponding to epilepsy, 
where the content is extremely vague and impalpable or where 
there is no content at all, as in physiological unconsciousness, which 
may perhaps exist in deepest sleep.* Dreams of this level would 
be formless, consisting of vague feeling, hard to put into words. 
A typical example is the dream with which De Quincy closes his 
Confessions. It consists almost entirely of metaphors, word 
pictures, not real incidents. Its content (if we judge by the 
metaphor and the free associations which follow) is a birth experi- 
ence. From this standpoint, we could describe the metamorphosis 
of the mentation in sleep as proceeding from waking thoughts, to 
fantasy allied to reality, to a manic-depressive phase, then a 
dementia praecox level and finally an epileptic stage. On waking 
the reverse process would take place. It is possible that the 
physiological repair goes on only in the epileptic period, although 
great mental relief may be obtained from a brief flight into fantasy 
such as takes place in a light nap. This, however, pending rigorous 
investigation, is mere conjecture. 

From all that has been said, it is obvious that mental health is 
secured by a completion of this development before waking. To 
employ the obstetric parallel, the foetus must come to full term. 
Our final problem is, what may produce an abortion ? A complete 
answer would, of course, be equivalent to a final settlement of all 
psychopathological problems, which is an absurd demand. Never- 

* The mere fact that experiments of waking people at different times have 
always revealed a dream is no proof of dreams being constantly present. That 
a dream can be manufactured instantaneously is notorious. (I have known 
one case where a man fell asleep between two words in a sentence and had a long 
dream, although his hearer noted no pause.) Now, if a person comes to life 
out of a deep sleep, that waking process involves some time, long enough for 
some dream thoughts to be elaborated. In fact, it is hard to imagine an 
absolutely instantaneous orientation, and, if we admit any delay in these 
perceptions, we have admitted the conditions necessary for the fabrication of 
a dream. 


theless, a formulation may be given which relates this problem to 
others. All psychotic and psychoneurotic conditions are depend- 
ent on a lack of balance between the regressive and progressive 
forces. The same cause which forces regression would undoubtedly 
prevent elaboration of a dream thought from a crude to an adaptive 
setting. But there are in this case specific disturbing influences 
as well. I refer to waking stimuli. These have received large 
attention from non-psychoanalytic investigators, but have been 
deemed less important by psychoanalysts with good reason. 
Jones has given the excellent formulation that, when a dream bears 
an obvious relationship to the waking stimulus, the latter operates 
as does the day-dream experience in providing a setting for a 
latent theme. With this I agree heartily. In the light of " dream 
metamorphosis," however, one may see a wider importance to this 
factor than has been granted it. If waking is accomplished before 
the development of the idea is complete, the subject faces the 
world with non-adaptive thoughts which always cause trouble. 
Moreover, as the setting of the dream corresponds to the stimulus, 
development is apt to proceed to that point and no further. For 
example, a painful stimulus may inhibit development further 
than a painful setting for the dream thought. The ethical censor- 
ship may be satisfied, but a comfortable, " normal " setting has 
not yet been reached. It may be this mechanism which accounts 
for a great difference between the dreams of men and women. 
The former frequently remember frank unvarnished sex experiences 
in their sleep, the latter rarely do. In the light of this theory, a 
satisfactory explanation can be given. The male genitalia react 
to sex thoughts by erections and emissions which cause much more 
physical disturbance than do any analogous reactions of the 
female. In other words, the erection or emission of the male wakes 
him up while the dream thoughts are still at a crude sex level of 
development. It is astonishing to find how " praecox " so many 
emission dreams are, when note is taken of them ; they are not 
merely sexual, but infantile sexual. In quite a similar way we 
can explain the nightmare after the proverbial Welsh rarebit. 
The gastric distress wakes the subject and provides a painful 
setting for an imperfectly elaborated dream thought. 

To sum up : There is evidence to show that our dream life shows 
not only regression but progression. That there is a tendency for 
crude ideas to be completely metamorphosed as far as the manifest 
content is concerned until a point is reached where a thought is 
present in the subject's consciousness that is fully adaptive to his 


diurnal life. At this point the individual is awake. The sequence 
of settings for expression of the latent content is analogous to the 
types of ideas seen in different types of psychoses. Mental health 
is dependent on the continuity and completeness of this process. 
If, to use the obstetric parallel, the thought is born before coming 
to full term, the abortion disturbs the subject and produces an 
abnormal mood during the day, at least until it can be repressed 
and a new formulation found. In this way the waking period is 
the crux of the whole day ; if it be disturbed, the psychic processes 
proper to that time are carried on through the day with disastrous 
results. In our sleep the strain of adaptation is relieved and we 
regress to the primitive type and content of infantile thinking, 
but if we are to be normal and efficient this process must be reversed, 
we must have developed an adult type and content of thought 
before fully waking to face the world. 




Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychological 
Laboratory, Princeton University 




ALTHOUGH there is much divergence of opinion and confusion 
about the nature and purpose of art, cestheticians have always 
agreed that art is sought for its own sake. This opinion is so 
universally held that it has become a platitude. We find it 
appearing in various forms, such as "Art is self-contained." " It is 
without any purpose beyond itself." "It is detached from the 
practical world of affairs and holds a uniquely isolated position." 
" The artist works without any idea of use or gain and we behold 
the results in a state of entire disinterestedness." One or more of 
these phrases may be found in almost any treatise on beauty. 
At first glance their truth seems obvious and yet they contain a 
paradox which demands a solution. 

It is beyond dispute that art is considered to be one of the most 
valuable of human possessions. It has been desired and fostered 
in one or more of its forms by races in almost every stage of cul- 
tural development. No matter how indifferent a nation may be 
to ethical values, it will cherish its art treasures. They are a possess- 
ion of rich and poor alike ; even a criminal will pause to listen to 
a song. A drive as universal and persistent as that which induces 
artistic production and appreciation leads us to conclude not only 
that it is a fundamental factor of human behaviour, but that it 
plays an important r61e in the struggle of the organism to overcome 
the difficulties with which it is constantly confronted by the ever- 
changing conditions of its environment. Art then, although in a 
narrow and specific sense falling under the category of the non- 
practical, becomes through a wider and more generalised view of 
its functions intrinsically practical. The purpose of artistic 
activity extends beyond the creation of beauty merely for its own 
sake, even though we may admit and perhaps demand that the 
artist, qua artist, should be unconscious of this wider purpose. In 
like manner we must interpret the terms "disinterestedness" and 
" detachment," which only vaguely describe an attitude intrinsic 
to the appreciation of art. 



It is my aim in this paper, therefore, to seek the ultimate function 
of art. I shall attempt to describe the nature of the drive which 
results in art and to show that artistic activity both in the sense of 
creation and appreciation plays a fundamental and, therefore, 
invaluable part in the adequate adjustment of the human organism. 
I am aware that there are many persons who think of the purpose 
of art in terms of the ideals and sentiments which objects of beauty 
inspire and of the so-called spiritual harmony which results from 
aesthetic contemplation. No one can well deny the value of such 
an approach, but ideals and sentiments must lead to action, and 
spiritual harmony, if it means more than a mere emotional state, 
must indicate a unification of impulses. We thus come in the last 
analysis to human behaviour and it is on this level that we must 
conduct the inquiry in order to discover the fundamental facts. 

If we start with the phylogenetic origin of the art impulse, we 
find many theories at hand. They embrace sex attraction with 
the related impulse of self-display, self-exhibition and the desire 
to attract by pleasing, imitation, play, self-defence, utility, and 
the like. These theories are too well known to require further 
description. Undoubtedly there is some truth in all of them, in 
that they enumerate factors or describe situations which contribute 
to the development of art in general or one or more of its forms in 

A treatise which deals more specifically with the development of 
the form in art, especially that of the drama, than with the origin 
of the impulse, but which contains implicitly a hint of the nature 
of the latter, is the exposition by J. E. Harrison in Ancient Art and 
Ritual. She shows that the origin of primitive ritual is to be found 
in the seasonal rites connected with the harvest and she, therefore, 
correctly concludes that the drive underlying this more or less 
formal activity is hunger or at least the desire for food. The 
ritual always had a practical end. It was an integral part of the 
life of the people, and even when it developed by gradual stages 
into the Greek drama or appeared in static form in sculpture, it 
still reflected the original human motive that gave it birth. 
Whether ritual is the only source of art is difficult to decide. 
Harrison herself avoids a dogmatic assertion ; " . . . ritual 
is, we believe, a frequent and perhaps universal transition stage 
between actual life and that peculiar contemplation of or emotion 
toward life which we call art."* What seems to me to be one of the 
most important contributions to this theory is the emphasis upon 
* Jane E. Harrison, Ancient Art and Ritual, p. 205. (Italics are mine.) 


human longings and needs. As Miss Harrison has expressed it, 
" All our long examination of beast-dances, May-day festivals, and 
even of Greek drama has had just this for its objectto make clear 
that art, save perhaps in a few especially gifted natures, did not 
arise straight out of life, but out of that collective emphasis of the 
needs and desires of life which we have agreed to call ritual.* 
That these needs and desires are related primarily to food-getting 
makes the theory none the less plausible. In fact, it is very 
refreshing, for there has been so much importance given to the sex 
drive during the last decade that it has become for some psycholo- 
gists the only source of action. One sees, of course, how the 
Freudians can reduce in some fantastic manner the food-drive 
ultimately to sex as they have every other action, but such simpli- 
fication by the breaking down of essential differences obscures 
rather than clarifies the issue. f No one would deny that the 
various drives, as we find them in actual experience, differ in essen- 
tial qualities and that they must all be taken into account in 
explaining the details of the structure of mankind. Whether any 
one drive is fundamental to the rest, and which it is, seems irrelevant 
to our present problem. 

It is the longing, the vaguely defined seeking and restlessness 
common to all drives that is the starting point of our discussion. 
Such inner states are indicative of a wish or desire which is un- 
satisfied because of an inner conflict that must be resolved, or, as 
in the case of food, an external deficiency that must be overcome 
by new adjustments. They are accompanied by the feeling of 
unpleasantness or pain, which persists until satisfaction is obtained. 
It is this restless, unsatisfied state of the organism which forms the 
basis of action and the drive towards increasing synthesis of 
impulses and therefore of progress. As has been frequently pointed 
out by psychologists, the condition of the organism which is accom- 
panied by pleasure is one of tranquillity. Only restlessness with 
its uncomfortable feeling tone produces change. Nor is it the idea 
of future pain any more than future happiness that is the driving 
and guiding force of our actions, { but the present discomfort which 
we may speak of as a state of dissatisfaction. An illustration of 
the frequent mistake of confusing cause and effect may be taken 

* Jane E. Harrison, Ancient Art and Ritual, pp. 205-6. 

f It is interesting to note in this connection that in one of the most recent 
and authoritative entomological studies it has been shown how the hunger 
drive is the determining factor in the social organisation of insects. Social 
Life among the Insects, by W. M. Wheeler. 

"t See W. McDougall, Outline of Psychology , p. 188. 


from Gregor Paulsson's otherwise admirable treatise on " The 
Creative Elements in Art/' "Joy/' he writes, "is the origin of play," 
and he further explains that " the aim of joy is simply to preserve 
an unchanged relation to an object,"* and when the child experi- 
ences an opposite emotion he ceases to play. I would say rather 
that when the child finds the play adequate for a synthesis of his 
present impulses he will continue to play and that he will cease 
as soon as a change occurs that is in conflict with his determining 
set. The joy which he will probably feel during the play period 
is a conscious indication of successful adjustment. When this 
adjustment alters, he will experience discomfort or some other 
unpleasant emotion such as anger or fear, and on account of the 
maladjustment, and not because of the unpleasantness, he will 
either turn from play to some other situation to which he will be 
better able to adjust himself, or he will alter the form of the play 
to suit the present requirements of his organism. 

We have in this revised interpretation, it seems to me, a de- 
scription of the essential mechanism of behaviour, which always 
begins with the random restless movements of the infant resulting 
in better co-ordination and which continues through the long series 
of habits forming the more or less successful development of the 
individual. The environment presents an infinite number of 
situations to which the individual may become adjusted. The 
difficulty of the adjustment obviously depends both upon the 
degree of integration which the individual organism possesses at 
the time and upon the complexity of the situation. Any new 
situation to which the individual is not yet adjusted will cause a 
conflict of impulses which will be experienced as more or less 
unpleasant. These new situations have a tendency to be avoided 
by many individuals and thus arises that conservatism which is a 
barrier to progress. There are persons one suspects that they 
form a large part of the world's population who are satisfied with 
the minimum amount of co-ordination necessary to live contentedly 
in the small bit of the environment in which at an early age they 
have found themselves. Their action patterns are soon fixed and 
they become almost as stereotyped as a series of phonograph 
records. Either they remain safely in their circumscribed world 
or, if they choose rather to wander afield, they frequently meet 
with disaster, in which case they are apt to refer to their " bad 
luck." Persons with a greater amount of nervous energy are 
constantly seeking new situations to which their impulses must 
* Scandinavian Scientific Review, 1923, Vol. II, p. 19. 


conform. They are the type of the scientist, the discoverer of new 
relations. I use the term " scientist " here in the broad sense of 
having the characteristic dispositional pattern, although the per- 
sons so described may never figure as scientific to their companions, 
inasmuch as they may seldom put their experiences into com- 
municable form. They are well organised to respond to the com- 
plex situation of reality and their emotional life finds an easy 
outlet in conventional behaviour. The conflict of their ideas is 
resolved in either chance experience or systematic observation and 
experimentation, and their imagination is accompanied by the 
constant hope of eventual verifications. Finally there is the 
individual who finds reality as he experiences it inadequate. His 
conflicts seldom find complete relief in ordinary experiences and 
his imagination, therefore, shapes life not always perhaps as he 
would wish it, but at least as he finds it must be shaped if it is to 
offer a satisfactory means for his own inner adjustment.* 

This last type is that of the artist. It is also the same type 
that we recognise in the young child at play. Whether, however, 
the play attitude is the origin of the art impulse seems to me a 
purely academic question. The form of play may surely be viewed 
at times as one views a work of art, and wherever we draw the 
line between art and play the decision remains an arbitrary one. 
Both attitudes, that of the artist and of the child, have essential 
points in common a conflict and a resolution in a situation of 
their own making. All children, we may well say, are artists. 
The demands of the world, however, will not allow them all to 
remain artists. 

We may see the close relation of play to art in Paulsson's de- 
scription of experiments which he made upon the progress of 
drawing in young children. f He has shown how the child's 
earliest scribbling in the form of random movements, which one 
might be inclined to call play, soon goes over into a form so 
definite that the child will repeat it and seem to take refuge in it 
as an agreeable co-ordination at intervals in its random scribbling. 
The result is an embryonic bit of art, indicative of a well-organised 
series of movements which, through lack of strength and experi- 
ence, the child probably could not have attained in the manipula- 

* The above types are, of course, abstractions. The scientist can be and often 
is an artist, and as to the first type even the most satisfied and least imagina- 
tive individual has some small trace of the artist in him. Nor do I intend the 
description to cover all existing types. There are obviously many transi- 
tional stages. 

| Scandinavian Scientific Review, pp. 36 ff. 


tion of more cumbersome material. It might be asked why the 
child could not as well have swung its pencil or merely moved its 
hand about in some co-ordinated way. In the first place the 
random scratches on the paper were helpful visual clues for the 
formation of the unified figure and, secondly, the completed form 
was on record, so that the child's interest was more likely to be 
revived than it would have been if the child had merely waved its 
pencil in the air. Permanency, while theoretically perhaps not 
an essential characteristic of art, has been as practical a necessity 
for its development as language has been for thought. 

The attribute of permanency is also essential for that social 
quality which so many writers on aesthetics have rightly insisted 
belongs to art and which most likely distinguishes it from play. 
As Hirn has stated : "The work of art presents itself as the most 
effective means by which the individual is enabled to convey to 
wider and wider circles of sympathisers an emotional state similar 
to that by which he is himself dominated."* The point that I 
desire to make clear, however, is that the communication of emo- 
tional states as such is not the important function of art any more 
than is the communication of ideas. It is not the social quality 
that has made the function of art one of the most valuable assets 
of the race, but rather the characteristic of unification which indi- 
cates that the artist through the medium of his art has been able 
at least in part to integrate his own impulses into an effective form 
of behaviour. It has not only been possible for him " to express 
his inner life in outer form," but also to give balance and pro- 
portion to his ideas and emotions and thus to overcome his inhibi- 
tions to a degree which he has probably found impossible in the 
practical situations of his life. As the form is permanent, he has 
the opportunity of returning to his former experience at will. He 
thereby also offers to his fellow-men a means by which they, too, 
may find relief in conflicting motives and forms of action and in 
addition may learn more varied and more highly organised habits 
of response. It is in this aspect of art that we find its social r61e. 
To the extent to which the artist has been successful in his own 
integration will his works be considered beautiful ; to that extent 
also will he give pleasure and satisfaction to others. And the more 
the conflicts of the artist resemble those which are common to the 
race, the greater will be the influence of his works and the wider 
will be their appeal. Individualism in art is necessary in so far 
as the artist must express the answer to his own inner problems. 
* The Origins of Art, p. 85. 


The roots of his motives must be in his own personality and not 
in the convention of a " school," but these motives must have a 
functional meaning beyond himself if his art is to live. 

In order to explain the relation of art to action patterns of the 
nervous system and more especially the function of art to the 
organisation of these patterns one must assume the theory of 
dynamogenesis, which in its most general form may be said to imply 
that all afferent nerve impulses and, therefore, all ideas eventually 
find an outlet through the efferent system to striped and smooth 
muscles. The action may either be overt or implicit. In either 
case every new sensory pattern is the cause of a new synthesis of 
motor paths. What particular motor paths are stimulated de- 
pends upon the state of the organism at the time. There is not 
necessarily any one-to-one correspondence between stimulus and 
response. The visual perception of a wavy line, for example, 
need not be followed by eye-movements and if it is, these 
movements cannot possibly be identical in form with that of a 
wavy line, for it is well known that the eye can only move in the 
form of jerks.* It may quite well be that the visual perception 
will go over into weak efferent impulses toward the limbs or some 
other part of the body. It is also possible that there will be an 
effect on glandular secretions, which in turn will intensify the 
response of striped muscles, f 

When the motion, either implicit or explicit, becomes identified 
with the objects of perception and imagination, we are accustomed 
to speak of empathy. I realise that this is a revision of the theory 
as formulated by Lipps, inasmuch as he denied motor response 
and remained in his description on a purely " mental " level, but 
I believe it is the form in which the theory is at the present time 
generally understood, if it is accepted at all. This projection of our 
own experience forms the basis of our apprehension and apprecia-. 
tion of beauty. Empathy, however, is not a sine qua non of our 
adaptive processes. When the sculptor, for example, is in the act 

* Bullough is one of the latest writers to use this ancient argument in 
regard to the restricted movements of the eyes in order to discredit a " func- 
tional theory " of art. He makes the assertion that " the same fate [definite 
disposition of the eye-movement theory] may be anticipated for various other 
theories which make the easy functioning of muscular or organic action in the 
apprehension of beautiful objects the basis of aesthetic values." (" Recent 
Work in Experimental Esthetics," British Journal of Psychology, 1921, Vol. 
XII, p. 91.) It is evident that this is a personally biased prophecy as yet 
unwarranted by the facts. 

f With t\\yfGestaU theory as represented principally by Koehler, Koffka and 
Wertheimer in mind, it should further be stated that the integrated impulses 
are in themselves a form of structure at what Koehler would name the psycho- 
physiological level. 


of modelling, there may be no projection of his impulses into the 
object, nor can we rightly speak of projection and, therefore, of 
empathy when the painter is conscious of the brush stroke. In 
other words, when we are conscious of our movements as such there 
is no empathy. Further, when I stated that empathy is the basis 
of the apprehension of beauty I did not mean to imply that it is a 
factor of the aesthetic appreciation which distinguishes that appre- 
ciation from our other activities, since it is obvious that empathy 
occurs in many situations that could in no way be termed 

I have given this brief sketch of the nature of responses as an 
explanation of the possible mechanism by which the inner conflicts 
of the individual find expression, although I am aware that those 
persons who consistently avoid behaviouristic terms will prefer to 
remain on the mental level of ideas and motives and of meaning 
as a content of consciousness. Irrespective, however, of the ter- 
minology in which it may be expressed, most persons will probably 
accept the theory of conflict and release through art, which is 
generally traced to Aristotle's doctrine of katharsis. The inter- 
pretation of this famous theory has been a subject of historic 
discussion and the meaning of the original statement is prone to 
be coloured by the psychological knowledge of the interpreter, so 
that to-day one usually understands it to imply a freeing or purging 
of the individual from unpleasant emotions through his reaction 
to tragedy. The question naturally arises whether the mere ex- 
pression of emotions will purge the individual of them, unless the 
underlying cause is removed ; that is to say, whether the expression 
of emotion for emotion's sake, as we find it, for example, among 
the frequenters of motion-picture performances, is of any particular 
benefit ; whether, in fact, such expression is not rather more harm- 
ful than beneficial, even when it is aroused by the unreal situations 
of a tragedy. Certainly we get no intimation from Aristotle that 

* I have attempted to explain in The /Esthetic A ttitude what I believe to be 
the distinguishing feature of our reaction towards objects which we call beauti- 
ful and ugly. As it is the purpose of this paper to describe the function of 
art and not the nature of beauty, I may refer the reader to Chap. Ill, especially 
pp. 59 ff. of that book. In Chap. V, I have tried to define the term " empathy " 
as it seemed to me it should be employed, since there is an unfortunate tendency 
to use the term to denote any situation which has the characteristic of inner 
mimicry, irrespective of whether there is present the element of projection or 
identification of the subjective state with the external object. For instance, 
Southard's " empathic index " is frequently taken to mean that mechanism by 
which we judge another person on the basis of an imitation of his behaviour. 
Our own state will under such circumstances be one of introjection rather than 
projection and it is therefore hardly correct in fact, it is misleading to call 
it empathic. 


internal conflicts are reconciled by means of the technique of 
tragedy, nor is there any hint as to their roles in art production. 

Freud and his followers have most clearly emphasised the funda- 
mental importance of conflict in the genesis of art, although they 
have not given much attention to the technique and practice of 
art itself in its relation to the resolution of the conflict. One may 
not always desire to follow them in their insistent search for a 
sex motive we have previously referred to the fact that there are 
other fundamental drives such as the food drive yet one 
can agree with them that art, which is not merely the imitation of 
an established form, does not spring " from a tranquil soul." The 
lives of the great artists have given us sufficient examples of a 
nature at war with itself to make the theory an almost obvious 

A number of analyses of artistic production which have been 
made by Freud, Jones, Abraham and others, although not always 
convincing in all their details, are extremely suggestive in that they 
indicate the intrinsic function of conflict in the construction of well- 
known works of art. The article by Ernest Jones on Andrea del 
Sarto is particularly illuminating in that it shows that Andrea's 
art never reached the highest perfection, because circumstances 
prevented his expressing his innermost conflicts in his work. As 
Jones has stated it, " How could Andrea sink himself into his art 
(flight into work) when there was Lucrezia in the body with him 
at every moment?" and further on " . . . she forced the 
internal battle, which is necessary for all artistic creation, to be 
fought out in the current details of everyday life,* and so allowed 
him no opportunity to gather strength and inspiration that could be 
applied to higher aims."f With sufficient freedom from his wife's 
influence he would have gained complete freedom for himself in 
his art and the world might have had greater masterpieces from his 

Where I should disagree with the Freudians is in their belief 
that conflicts must always have their origin in unconscious repres- 
sions and that the artist is unaware of their real nature. Not that 
inspiration does not spring from the unconscious. Such a state- 

* But was never completely resolved in his everyday life any more than in 
his art. 

f " The Influence of Andrea del Sarto 's Wife on his Art," Essays in Applied 
Psychoanalysis, p. 242. The following is a characteristic reference to con- 
flict in its relation to art, such as one finds in the Freudian literature : " It is 
also possible, at any rate in many cases, to show how these images [in poetry] 
are symbolic expressions of some conflict which is raging in the mind of the 
poet." Conflict and Dream, by W. H. R. Rivers, p. 148. 


ment would contradict the obviously intuitive nature of that state, 
nor can it be denied that the artist is frequently a dual personality. 
His characters often seem to play their parts in what Morton Prince 
terms the co-conscious, in seeming independence of the control of 
foveal consciousness, as the statements of such writers as Steven- 
son, Hearn, and Barrie bear witness, but the meaning of the 
artist's restlessness and urge towards expression may at times be 
completely known to himself. We have a typical instance of this 
self-knowledge in the life of St. John Ervine : " The starting- 
point for The Magnanimous Lover was the abrupt souring of his 
own narrow and bigoted Protestantism within him. The fierce 
intolerance of his native city, Belfast, against Roman Catholics 
infected him as a child. One day he awoke and shook off the 
incubus of Presbyterian self-righteousness. A sudden revulsion 
of feeling ensued. Repressive hatred cried out for some adequate 
redress or conversion into expansive liberation from prejudice. 
The shock of self-recognition, as is customary in such cases, fought 
for an outlet and in Ervine's experience it took the form of a one- 
act play whose sole object, in his own words, was ' to hit that 
prejudice and hit it hard.' "* There seems no necessity in this 
instance to seek further by means of the psychoanalytical method 
for any deeper motives. 

As has been previously stated, man is not freed from his conflict- 
ing impulses, whether conscious or unconscious, merely by giving 
them voice. This is only the first step to which must be added 
some form of reconciliation and resolution. Generally he is able 
to make an adjustment to life directly either through his own 
efforts or those of a physician. If his impulses are too much at 
variance with life as he finds it, he resorts to the intermediate stage 
of fantasy, which may at times have the strength of hallucination, 
but as such imagery is of a transitory nature and not necessarily 
well integrated, it may not be permanently satisfying. If the 
individual has artistic talent, he has the means at hand of adjusting 
his conflicts in the permanent form of his art. He finds a certain 
peace in the balance of lines, colours and tones and in the resolu- 
tion of opposing motives. This balance is the essence of beauty. 
And, further, by giving to the world the solution of his problems he 
presents a situation in which his fellow-men may find a similar 
adjustment and become more capable because of the better in- 
tegration of their own actions. 

* " St John Ervine's Method," by Pierre Loving, The Drama, January, 


The objection may be made that, if the function of art is to offer 
a way for adjustment which cannot otherwise be made, why is it 
that artists are so often unhappy and discontented ? In the first 
place it must be remembered that an artist is a man of unusually 
intense and conflicting motives. His art is, therefore, at times 
inadequate for the relief of all of his inhibitory tendencies. He is 
not maladjusted or abnormal as some would say, because he is an 
artist, but he is an artist because of his maladjustments. The 
fact that he is " awkward " and " out of place " in real life, is the 
reason for his living as much as possible in a world of his own 
creation. That this world is not always large enough for him is 
due either to his own limitations of creativeness or to objective 
circumstances as in the case of Andrea del Sarto. Secondly, a 
work of art may not always be a permanent release even for those 
conflicts which were the cause of its inception. And, finally, art 
cannot be, except in very rare natures, a complete substitute for 
life. The function of art is not to displace life, but to supplement 
it. Art can only have a meaning beyond itself if we return from 
our excursion into the realm of fantasy better equipped to meet 
the prosaic currents of existence. 







SOME YEARS before the publication of "The Unconscious" (1914) 
by Morton Prince, I had occasion to attend, very sedulously, a 
certain seminar at one of our large universities, at the conference 
table of which Memory and the Association of Ideas was the topic 
of study. We gave due credit to Ebbinghaus and ran the gamut of 
his nonsense syllables and paid our respects to all the great authors 
who have dealt with the subject of How We Think, albeit most of 
them have agitated it at a distance, as it were, with a ten-foot pole. 

Toward the end of the sessions, the professor in charge of the 
seminar made a summing up. With his usual detachment and per- 
spicacity and clarity, he reviewed all that had impressed us as out- 
standing conceptions of the mental associating machine. In de- 
liberate fashion, and fumbling somewhat for the right words, he 
averred that a great deal of work remained to be done; that it was 
not altogether clear how far the conceptions he had reviewed were 
really final or could be regarded as representing the essence of the 
thinking process. He weaved back and forth a good deal in an 
endeavor not to underestimate the contributions of the various 
schools we had discussed. 

Finally, realizing his scientific humility and his fear of approach- 

*"Whatever may be the exact nature of the theoretical alterations left in the 
brain by life's experiences they have received various generic terms; more com- 
monly orain residua,' and 'brain dispositions.' I have been in the habit of using the 
term neurograms to characterize these brain records. Just as telegram, Marconi- 
gram, and phonogram precisely characterize the form in which the physical phenom- 
ena which correspond to our (verbally or scripturally expressed) thoughts, are 
recorded and conserved, so neurogram precisely characterizes my conception of the 
form in which a system of brain processes corresponding to thoughts and other men- 
tal experiences is recorded and conserved." ( 'The Unconscious" page 131.) 


ing anything like scientific arrogance, I ventured to risk, on my own 
account, a distinct violation of the scientific amenities: 

"Professor/* I said, "is it not a fair statement, seeing all that we 
have been through together at this table, to say that, to all intents 
and purposes, the knowledge of the mechanism of Memory 
amounts practically to nothing at the present time that we really 
have not got anywhere?" 

This remark did not shock him as I had feared; it seemed to fit 
into the current of his thoughts, for it hardly disturbed the semi- 
revery into which his effort to take a wide view of our subject had 
plunged him. 

"Well yes," he began, as if with reluctance, but then with ap- 
parent relief, he went on meditatively to agree that the statement 
was, on the whole, a fair one. 

Naturally, in this seminar, there was no question of emphasizing 
the three-sided aspect of Memory as registration, conservation^ and 
reproduction of experiential records. For this would have been 
adopting de parti pris the angles of approach that are characteris- 
tic of the Principian psychology, with its trenchant subordination 
of recognition as only a more perfect kind of reproduction with con- 
sciousness. Yet it was not long before the professor in charge be- 
came attracted to the theory of neurographic records by the pub- 
lication of Prince's lecture-course on "The Unconscious."* But 
this did not stimulate the professor to revise his mode of presenting 
"association" to his classes; rather, it aroused in him an unex- 
pected interest in the formulation of the Coconscious. Because 
this feature of the book became a sort of entering wedge in a mind 
thoroughly versed in all the other kinds of discussions relating to 
the association of ideas, it is worth while here to quote some rele- 
vant passages. 

Concerning the Conservation of Memories 

Although not touching the essential feature of the neurographic 
theory, the following shows Prince's mode of approach toward the 
general problem of memory. 

"// is hypothetically possible that our thoughts and other mental 
experiences after they have passed out of mind> out of our awareness 
of the moment^ may continue their psychological existence as such 
although we are not aware of them. Such an hypothesis derives sup- 
port from the fact that researches of recent years in abnormal psychology 

* These were delivered 1908-10, one of the earliest courses in Abnormal Psy- 
chology. Published by MacMillan, 1914; enlarged edition 1923. 


have given convincing evidence that an idea, under certain conditions , 
after it has passed out of our awareness ', may still from time to time 
take on another sort of existence, one in which it still remains an idea, 
although our personal consciousness of the moment is not aware of 
it. A coconscious idea, it may be called" ('Conservation considered 
as psychological residua" "The Unconscious" page //0.) 

However interesting the developing of the Coconscious may be, 
and whatever may be the acceptance that it is finding, it is impor- 
tant here only as leading up to the conception of the nature of the 
conservation of ideas. It brings into view that parting of the ways 
between the extreme behaviorist who takes the somato-centric 
view that modifiability of thought and action are merely reflex and 
the other extremist, who falls in with the psycho-centric doctrine 
of the Subliminal Mind of F. W. H. Myers. The distinction is im- 
portant; it is relevant to the fact that Prince affirms an inter- 
mediate position He says: 

"So far then as coconscious ideas can be discovered by our methods 
of investigation, they are inadequate to account for the whole of the 
conservation of Life's experiences/* (The Unconscious," page II 2.) 

In other words, we have to pass on to the physiological forms of 
"conservation/* Prince regards as unthinkable the hypothesis 
(implied by Myers) that "The great mass of mental experiences of our 
lives which we have at our command . . . from which we consciously 
borrow from time to time, would still have persisting conscious exist- 
ence in their original concrete psychological form/' 

"Such an hypothesis, to my mind, is hardly thinkable . . . " 
("The Unconscious," page ///.) 

In this way, Prince indicates his independence of those theories 
of the subconscious mind which teach the doctrine that our per- 
sonal consciousness is but a small portion of the sum total of our 
actual consciousness; and that personal consciousness is but a 
"sort of uprushes from this great sum of conscious states which have 
been called the subliminal mind, the subliminal self, the subcon- 
scious self " ("The Unconscious," page 7/5.) 

Here, at once, we have the Principian independence and diver- 
gence from certain prevalent views that lean toward what I may 
call the grab-bag theory of memory and recall. Prince says: 

"The facts to be explained do not require such a metaphysical hypo- 
thesis. All that is required is that our continuously occurring experi- 
ences should be conserved in a farmland by an arrangement, which will 
allow the concrete ideas belonging to them to reappear in consciousness 
whenever the conserved arrangement is again stimulated" 


This requirement, Prince points out, is fully met by the theory 
of "conservation" (of physiological dispositions) which harmonizes 
particularly with psycho-physiological studies. ("The Uncon- 
scious," page 115). 

"We have . . . in the concept of brain residual neurograms the 
fundamental meaning of the Unconscious . . . the great storehouse 
of neurograms which are the physiological records of our mental lives. 
("The Unconscious" page 149} 

Neurographic Records as Archives of Consciousness 

Prince develops the concept of the neurogram as contrasting 
with alleged psychological i. e., non-physical dispositions. Here 
we reach a field of vagueness in which, ostensibly, Freud and Jung 
have made their habitat, assuming on their part a standpoint 
which fits with what I have called the grab-bag theory of Mind; 
in this view almost any sort of mental mechanism may be looked 
for without much reference to any concrete physiological form of 
conservation. Prince, accordingly, would like to know whether 
Freud or Jung view the unconscious as psychological or as 

Prince's position in the matter is much clearer, although he 
avoids exaggerated definiteness, in view of our lack of knowledge, 
as shown below: 

"In other words, without binding ourselves down to absolute preci- 
sion of language, it is sufficiently accurate to say that every mental ex- 
perience leaves behind a residue, or a trace, of the physical brain 
process in the chain of brain neurons. This residue is the physical 
register of the mental experience. This physical register may be con- 
served or not. If it is conserved, we have the requisite condition of 
memory; the form in which our mental experiences are conserved. 
But it is not until these physical registers are stimulated and the 
original brain experience is reproduced that we have memory. If this 
occurs, the reproduction of the brain experience reproduces the con- 
scious experience, ;. e. y conscious memory (according to whatever 
theory of parallelism is maintained}. Thus in all ideation, in every 
process of thought, the record of the conscious stream may be registered 
and conserved in the correlated neural process. Consequently, the 
neurons in retaining residua of the original process become, to a 
greater or less degree, organized into a functioning system corre- 
sponding to the system of ideas of the original mental process and 
capable of reproducing it. When we reproduce the original ideas, in (he 


form of memories it is because there is a reproduction of the physio- 
logical neural process." ("The Unconscious" page 120.) 

In contrast to the trend of Behaviorism, it is characteristic of 
Prince's development of the neurographic concept that it does not 
militate against his interest in such features of Memory as 
may be ascribed to "psychic stuff/ 1 That is, I see in Prince's 
message no warrant for the view that his insistence upon the 
definiteness of neurograms is, in any way, of the old style icono- 
clastic and materialistic type which aims at excluding the concept 
of "psychic stuff" or at bolstering such pleas as "thought is a secre- 
tion of the brain!" In last analysis, he says, everything can be 
reduced to psychic forces as the actuality of the physical forces. 

Futility of Psychology without Neurology 

Prince's unfolding of the neurographic picture expresses his own 
intensive clinical familiarity with the detailed and copious manner 
in which specific memories are conserved. His application of the 
neurogram concept permits him to move at ease through a gamut 
of mental phenomena that is scarcely touched in the laboratory- 
man's approach to the problem of Memory. At the same time, he 
makes us comprehend the immensity of physical detail involved in 
the conservation of any single experience. For both range and detail 
have to be dealt with in any effective study of human personality. 
Therefore, he conceives something very much more definitely 
brain-traced than the alleged "faculties" of the soul, or than any- 
thing else contemplated by the ordinary workers in the field of 
Association. For, until recently, psychologists were mainly con- 
cerned with refining their observations within the limited range of 
mental phenomena originally made noteworthy by Aristotle, but 
coupled by him with suggestions leading away from physical 
correlations. To be sure, we may honor Aristotle, the reputed 
father of Association, as having been a great thinker of antiquity 
and a contributor to psychology, but we should not forget his 
inevitable ignorance of the natural history of the organism only 
lately revealed by modern biology. Accordingly, it is a fact that the 
Aristotelian tradition has been, and still is in many quarters, a 
wet-blanket on practical studies of the mental life, in spite of 
Cardinal Mercier's attempt to liberalize it. 1 

"In most universities today" exclaims Prince^ "Psychology is 
classed as a department of Philosophy! How long is this attitude to 
be continued?" (Footnote , "The Unconscious " page 5J0.) 

1 Mercier, "Les Origines de la Psychologic Contemporaine." 


In many seminars, problems of body and mind are being dis- 
cussed seriously and earnestly with entire forgetfulness of the fact 
that thinking is in a large part of its course an operation of nerve 
filaments acting as specifically in their way as telephone wires, 
instrumenting or mediating long-distance telephone conversations, 
but much more intricately. We owe a debt to Morton Prince as a 
writer on extensive problems of psycho-pathology in that he has 
never lost sight of these mechanistic bases of memory and that he 
has always written into his papers safe reservations against the 
day when the neuro-mechanism of thought should become experi- 
mentally more manifest. May we not dismiss the semblance of a 
materialistic trend arising from some of his work, and think of him 
as exclaiming with Emerson: 

"I believe in the material world as the expression of the Spiritual 
or the Real; and in the impenetrable mystery which hides the 
mental nature (and hides through absolute transparency), I await 
the insight which our advancing knowledge of material laws shall 
furnish." ' (From Natural History of Intellect?) 

The knowledge of material laws necessary to comprehend the 
mental machine was scarcely dawning when Emerson wrote. But 
the progress of the last hundred years has opened our eyes to the 
ethereal structure of matter, thus cutting the ground from under 
the feet of Nineteenth Century materialism. 

It is not, however, my intention to suggest that writers like 
Aristotle, DesCartes and Hobbes, did not, considering their times, 
take a remarkably vivid interest in reaching precision about the 
material side of the mind's working. What concerns us is the fact 
that most of them did not get far with it and that, until very 
recently, philosophers and psychologists were content to follow 
rather unclear scholastic and a priori reasoning on mental associa- 

Crude Mechanistic Views of Earlier Ages 

Take Hobbes, for instance; he veered strongly to the calculating 
machine view. Association was nothing but a system of accounts: 

"When a man 'reaspneth,' he does nothing else but conceive a 
sum total, from 'addition* of parcels; or conceive a remainder from 
'subtraction* of one sum from another; which, if it be done by words, 
is conceiving of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to 
the name of the whole; or from the names' of the whole and one 
part, to the name of the other part. And though in some things, as 
in numbers, besides adding and subtracting, men name other 


operations, as 'multiplying* and 'dividing/ yet they are the same; 
for multiplication is but adding together of things equal; and 
division but subtracting of one thing, as often as we can. These 
operations are not incident to numbers only, but to all manner of 
things that can be added together, and taken one out of another." 

This is interesting even if hopelessly schematic; it was useful 
because it was a scientifically-minded effort to take the mystery 
out of the working of the machinery of the mind. 

While we are dwelling on the history of the topic, it would be 
unfair not to note how early the striving for mechanism made itself 
felt. Aristotle is strikingly mechanistic in certain passages of 
De Motu Animalium: 

"When beings endeavor to do something. . . . The case is exactly 
like that of automata, which are started by the slightest movement 
as soon as the springs are let go, because the springs can proceed to 
act the one upon the other; for example, the little chariot which 
moves by itself. At first you push it in a straight line; thereupon 
its movement becomes circular, because of its wheels being unequal, 
and that the smaller wheel on one side acts as a pivot, as we see in 
cylinders. It is absolutely thus that animals do move. The instru- 
ments of this motion are, both the apparatus of the neurons 
[muscles and tendons] and that of the bones. The bones are in 
some way the timber and the iron of the automata; the neurons 
are like the springs which, once released, stretch themselves and 
move the machine. 

"At the same time, in the automata and in these little chariots, 
there is no internal modification. ... In the animal, on the con- 
trary, the form can change, when the different parts expand under 
the influence of heat or shrink later under the influence of cold; 
and also, when they suffer from internal alteration. These altera- 
tions can be caused by the imagination, by sensation and by 
thought. That is, the sensations are indeed a sort of alteration 
that one experiences directly. As to imagination and active thought, 
they have the same power that objects possess. For example, the 
species the idea of heat and of cold, of pleasure or of pain which 
is formed in thought, is approximately what is each of these things. 
It is enough to think of certain things to be chilled or to tremble 
with fear." 2 

This hodge-podge of mechanism, idealism and physiology may 
sound very much out-of-date, but on the whole it represents the 

translated from Barthlemy St. Hilaire's version of "Des Mouvements des 


sort of interpretations that were still running as an undercurrent 
in psychology when Prince began to write. They aimed at a pre- 
mature simplification of the facts of organic life and disregarded 
what I may call the bee-hive or ant-hill feature of the brain, which 
operates busily through a hierarchy of cooperating systems. A 
similar insufficiency of thought still prevails wherever psychology 
follows the old Aristotelian tradition and where philosophizing is 
an intellectual sport pursued for its own sake. Indeed, as Bacon 
says: " Knowledge derived from Aristotle can rise no higher than 

While Aristotle made a very important distinction between 
Memory and Reminiscence, he was too deeply occupied with the 
empirical and terminal stage of memory, as recall, to give due 
attention to all the phases of the process as a whole. The regis- 
tration and the conservation of memory in the nerve mass, which 
occupy Prince and a few of his contemporaries, were subjects too 
big and too infinitely perplexing for a man who, however precocious 
as an historical figure, did not know the difference between a nerve 
and a tendon. And, following Aristotle, nerves were long over- 
looked as merely a kind of tendon. Let us not forget that this sort 
of confusion is at the bottom of much of the mystic philosophy that 
Prince has so long protested against for being an interference with 
psychological progress, and for delaying the recognition of the 
detailed functioning of the neurone web as the substrate of memory. 

Vicissitudes of Locke's Famous Essay 

As a sidelight on the curiously inconsistent way in which the 
psychology of thought-linkages has developed, we learn that "John 
Locke had, meanwhile (that is, before Hume raised express ques- 
tions as to what are the distinct principles of association) intro- 
duced the phrase: Association of Ideas* as a title of a supplemen- 
tary chapter incorporated with the fourth edition of his ESSAY 
meaning it, however, only as the name of a principle accounting for 
the mental peculiarities of individuals, with little or no suggestion 
of its general psychological import." 3 

Anyone reading this chapter, after digesting the ESSAY, must 
recognize that Locked remarks were a sort of an unwitting "crawl" 
back into the fold of the Cartesian School from which he had early 
severed himself by denouncing their theory of unconscious mental 
activity. What Prince properly called, in 1891, "Association 

8 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Article on "Association." 


neuroses/* and explained in terms of the Unconscious, are precisely 
the phenomena of semi-automatism that Locke sought to under- 
stand. This is pathological association, and therefore Locke was 
studying what has since been called "the morbid laws of the asso- 
ciation of ideas" rather than the normal ones. 

This departure of the meaning of "Association of Ideas" from 
the original morbid implication intended by its author, is only one 
of several historic blunderings that Morton Prince has had to 
reckon with in his attempts to gain medical recognition for psy- 
chology. For Locke's thesis, with all its hints to education and 
psychotherapy was lost sight of in the vaguer use of his term. 

It is still germane to note that Locke made an egregious error 
when he attempted to refute the Unconscious as conceived by the 
Cartesian School. Sarcastically he says: "This is something beyond 
Philosophy; and it cannot be less than Revelation, that discovers 
to another, Thoughts in my Mind, when I can find none there 
myself." 4 

Locke's animus in this controversial writing touching the 
Cartesians was such that he could not recognize the thread of 
identity that stretched from the Cartesian Automatism to his own 
theory of habitual "Connexions of Ideas." Even after he has pro- 
pounded as puzzling those unreasonable "antipathies" that are not 
natural but acquired, he fails to see that his explanation that they 
are "Trains of Motion in the Animal Spirits" should imply not 
only, on the one hand, reflex action but on the other should open 
the possibility of trains of thought below the threshold of awareness. 
Yet the chapter "Of the Association of Ideas" contains in germ all 
the questions that the concept of the neurogram tends to answer. 
Not until the Nineteenth Century do we see a glimmer of light 
upon Locke's puzzle. Sir William Hamilton's "latent thought" and 
Dr. Carpenter's "unconscious cerebration" are phrases heralding 
the slow recovery from the psychological confusion left in legacy 
by Locke. 

Later Conceptions of Automatism and Subconsciousness 

When Huxley revived Cartesian Automatism (1874) it was 
without any specific reference to "the unconscious," which notion 
was still a matter of philosophical conjecture. 

"The epoch-making researches of "Janet on hysterics and almost 
coincidently with him of Edmund Gurney on hypnotics very clearly 

4 The Essay, Book II, Chap. I, 19. 


established the fact that these phenomena are the manifestations of 
dissociated processes outside of and independent of the personal con- 
sciousness. Among the phenomena, for example > are motor activities 
of various kinds such as ordinarily are or may be induced by con- 
scious intelligence. As the individual, owing to anesthesia, may be 
entirely unaware even that he has performed any such act, the process 
that performed it must be one that is subconscious!' ("The Un- 
conscious," page 757.) 

"The phenomenon of subconscious perception of sensory stimula- 
tions applied to anesthetic areas tactile, visual, etc., in hysterics, 
first demonstrated by Janet, is of the same order, but has been so often 
described that only a reference to it is necessary. I mention examples 
here merely that the different kinds of phenomena that may be brought 
within the sphere of memory shall be mentioned." ("The Uncon- 
scious," page 56.) 

We shall find in the work of Morton Prince, as early as 1885, a 
constant drive to correlate conscious and unconscious mentation 
with the principle of reflex action. Among writers on psychopath- 
ology, he was to be one of the first to make the reflex arc a common 
denominator in terms of which all levels of mental functioning 
might be expressed, compared and accounted for. In the mean- 
time, Charcot's studies in hysteria had lifted hypnotic experiments 
out of the muck of mere charlatanism; and Janet, by his clinical 
demonstrations, had liberated the notion of sub-consciousness 
from the domain of speculation. 5 The neurogram concept was not 
to be developed till later. In Prince's hands it turns out to be a 
sort of algebraic equivalent for the underlying nerve-process, that 
furnishes a convenient formulation for mapping specific complexes 
of mental functions, normal and abnormal, in the play of tempera- 
ment, in the growth of experience, in recovery from split personality 
and in such usually untouched things as sudden religious conver- 
sions. He has also extended the neurogram concept to the sub- 
conscious fabrication of dreams, both natural and induced. 

Prince's View of Subconscious Fabrication 

"Residual processes underlying dreams When citing the evidence 
of dreams for the conservation of forgotten experiences I spoke of 
one type of dream as a symbolical memory. I may now add it is 
more than this; it is a fabrication. The original experience or thought 

'Pierre Janet : "L'automatisme psychologique," Paris, 1889, and numerous other 


may appear in the dream after being worked over into a fantasy, al- 
legory, symbolism, or other product of imagination. Such a dream is 
not a recurrent phase of consciousness, but a newly fabricated phase. 
Further, analytical and experimental researches go to show that the 
fabrication is performed by the original phase without the latter recur- 
ring in the content of the personal consciousness. The original phase 
must therefore have been conserved in some form capable of such in- 
dependent and specific functioning, i.e., fabrication below the threshold 
of consciousness" ("The Unconscious," page 98?) 

Much yet remains to be garnered concerning that mysterious 
weaving which can only be called now by the name of subconscious 
fabrication or subconscious maturing of thought (Jastrow 6 ). It is 
the fullness and the facility of such processes, as revealed in the 
experimental reactors of Gurney and Janet and Prince and others, 
that has required a sharper defining of the subliminal mind. It is 
no wonder that Prince, in the present almost hopeless confusion 
of the 'sciousness family of words, has essayed tabulating cocon- 
scious and unconscious mentation as divisions of subconscious 
phenomena; and we must not forget to credit him with having 
done so in the hope of paving the way for a clearer description in 
neurographic terms. Now so well authenticated, this re-arranging 
of the neurographic web by an invisible spider transports our scien- 
tific imagination far beyond the formal categories imposed by cer- 
tain writers who, since Locke, found the denial of unconscious 
cerebration a dogma too formidable to upset offhand. For, as regu- 
lar philosophers, they could not afford the amateurish daring of an 
Emerson calling for "bold experiments with the mind." The Con- 
cord Sage, little impressed by Phrenology as he was, appears to 
have been still less awed by alleged principles of association: 
"There is no book like the memory, none with such a good index, 
and that of every kind, alphabetic, systematic, arranged by names 
of persons, by colors, tastes, smells, shapes, likeness, unlikeness, 
by all sorts of mysterious hooks and eyes to catch and hold, and 
contrivances for giving a hint." 7 

Inadequacy of Cut-and-Dried Principles 

To finish with classical psychology, we need not re-echo the 
encyclopedia by discussing Hume's Principles of Association, as 
resemblance, contiguity in time and place, cause and effect; nor 

* Jastrow, Joseph; Chapter VIII of "The Subconscious," Houghton, Mifflin & 
Co., 1906. 
7 Emerson, R. W. Works, Vol. XII., p. 66. "Memory." 


Dugald Stewart's resemblance, contrariety and vicinity in time 
and place; nor the somewhat sophomoric views of Reid. They fall 
under the reproach of attempting to logicalize the mental processes 
on the Aristotelian model, in a rigid way that William James 
effectively set aside by his discussion of Redintegration. 8 

Now, out of all these attempts to reduce the mental process to 
the formulas of logic or to the principles of a calculating or logical 
machine or to a group of "faculties" and association types, very 
little has eventuated except the spurious method of approach and 
the habit of trying to win the attention of the reader by professing 
to exhaust the mystery of thought linkages. 

In the last two decades of the Nineteenth Century, much had 
happened in the field of the Association of Ideas that would seem 
to penetrate that mystery. It has been approached from the stand- 
point of Galton's "psychometric experiments," and we have a 
right to be much impressed by the knowledge won in the field of 
learning technique, not to mention in detail the enlargement of the 
field by Cattell, Yerkes, Thorndike and others, through mental 
tests and animal experiments. Yet any candid student of the 
history of Association Psychology cannot but see that, a decade or 
so back at least, even the most advanced students were taking a 
very naVve view of the mechanism of thought. It would seem that 
their situation was that of being willing to tolerate a considerable 
amount of mystery, which, until recent years, fully obscured such 
subjects as Sleep, Dreams and the Mechanism of Thinking. For 
this, as Morton Prince has very definitely indicated, the philosophic 
attitude of a traditional type is largely to blame. It is precisely 
because Morton Prince has had no feeling of indulgency towards 
this situation that it seems important not to overlook the historical 
development since 1885 f his neurographic theory, the theory 
that treats of the registration, conservation and reproduction of 
experiences. Itself, this tripartite division, with its significant 
omission of recognition or recollection as a separate rubric, indicates 
the freshness of his view of the mental mechanism. 

Pragmatic Treatment of Recall 

Intent upon an inclusive theory that will help the psychology of 
association to find its feet on a basis different from the old philo- 
sophical psychology, Morton Prince has not concerned himself 
very much with "recall" through such alleged "fundamental" 

8 James, William, "Principles of Psychology," pp. 579-581. 


principles as contiguity, similarity and contrast, which, as Sir 
William Hamilton has shown, were pretty clearly anticipated by 
Aristotle. It is well to note that in his lack of preoccupation over 
these categories of association, and by his placing his emphasis 
elsewhere, Morton Prince is doing for psychology what logicians 
like Alfred Sidgwick are doing for dialectics by showing up the 
needlessness of cut-and-dried principles, and, like William James 
by indicating that the old principles of distinction are not funda- 
mental but merely schematic. For instance, the formal aspect of 
logic is being set aside in favor of a pragmatic study of what under- 
lies logical thought. 9 We are being waked up to the idea that logic 
is a sort of device for winning an argument, instead of constituting 
a law of nature! 

Similarly, Prince does not stress classifying the content of recall, 
but rather his first care is to dispose the mind of his pupils and 
readers to study the natural history of the subject. His own 
tendency is to trace the dynamic motives underlying the registra- 
tion, conservation and reproduction of experiences and thus to 
reach a biological conception. Prince seems to have guessed that 
Association is a trick of the individual to make his nerve-records 
help him along the way to a goal. He detects the influence of 
enduring, though secret, thoughts and motives even in disordered 
mentalities, in a manner that makes him join with Cannon and 
McDougall in their findings of physiological purposiveness and of 
social "drives." 

"In the survey of life's experiences which we have studied we have, 
for the most party considered those which have had objective relation 
and have been subject to confirmation by collateral testimony. But we 
should not overlook the fact that among mental experiences are those 
of the inner as well as outer life. To the former belong the hopes and 
aspirations, the regrets, the fears, the doubts, the self-communings and 
wrestlings with self, the wishes, the loves, the hates, all that we are not 
willing to give out to the world, and all that we would forget and would 
strive not to admit to ourselves. All this inner life belongs to our experi- 
ence and is subject to the same law of conservation" (Page Sj y 
"The Unconscious.") 

Value of the Cell Theory 

On the objective aspect of conservation there is a peculiar mes- 
sage of Biology to Psychology that Prince is passing along through 
his neurographic concept. 

'Alfred Sidgwick: "The Application of Logic," MacMillan, London, 1910, 


Modern biological research, casting its net into the ocean of 
possibilities, announces that it has dragged to the surface a great 
simplifying fact in the study of all life. It is that, in any living 
body, the function and the structure alike reflect definitely and 
necessarily the life-activities or behavior of its individual cells, 
which make of the animal a composite of cell colonies. The nervous 
system is made up of billions of "elongated amoebas" with pseudo- 
podia ranging from a fraction of an inch to a yard in length. They 
are the threads which, being tied together in the throes of growth 
by experience, make up a neurogram. 

Prince finds it conceivable that we may some day understand 
how groups of these filaments become chemically sensitized so that 
they conserve the power to combine again and again into a char- 
acteristic pattern, bearing the stamp of some particular life experi- 
ence. For this we are prepared by the knowledge of sensitization in 
other cells and in their surrounding fluids. 

As biologists have advanced in the study of the various cells, 
and in the examination of their nucleus, they have brought us to 
the threshold of a new world, almost transcending the material. 
As seen in the discovery of immunity and of anaphylaxis, cell life 
is complicated by the "humours'* of the blood: "humoural 
memory" for particular poisons seems to rival or surpass that 
memory which we ascribe to the colony of filamentous cells called 
the nervous system. It is too early to say what lies behind such 
recent discoveries, fraught as they are with intimations of colloid 
mechanisms as complex as any astronomical system. Perhaps, as 
Prince would appear to believe, the substrate of both mind and 
matter is coming within scientific ken. 

The kind of memory that is taken to be mediated by the nerv- 
ous system alone is a very old problem, and has long been pressing 
for solution. If the solution has been delayed, it is due to the habits 
of authors in clinging to Locke's type of thought, when studying 
memory, without taking into account what I have called, for 
picturesqueness, the beehive or ant-hill nature of the nerve mass 
and the phenomena resulting therefrom. These require open- 
minded attention to the vast hinterland of automatic mentation 
that lies outside of consciousness. Unquestionably, the a priori 
attitude tends to shut out the kind of subject-matter that Prince 
has majored in. In psychology, Prince's neurographic theory is an 
eye-opener comparable to colloid study in chemo-physics not 
because he is unique in averring a belief in definite traces or graphs 
in the lattice-work of nerves, bujt essentially because he performs 


the rare service of carry ing the neurogram theory into his practice. 
There has been a failure to form a picture of personality based 
upon a due recognition of the immense number of permutations 
and combinations of connections among those cell-filaments which 
compose the nervous system, as a substrate for experiential regis- 
tration, conservation and reproduction. Thus, few people have 
conceived the variegated organization of neurographic complexes. 
And it would seem that Morton Prince has served quietly but 
insistently a good turn to philosophy and psychology and psycho- 
pathology (not to mention the psychiatry which is so demode} by 
warning visitors to the mental realm that they should not go on 
counting without their host, the nervous system. From the begin- 
ning, he has held to the reflex picture, as shown by the following 
passage from "The Nature of Mind/' published in 1885: 

"/ think it is possible to show, by reference to the facts of physiology 
and pathology, that from the simplest muscular act, such as the winking 
of the eyelid, to the most complex muscular actions and trains of 
thought, there is never a difference in kind, only one of degree, that we 
can pass from one to the other by a series of gradations, step by step, 
and find them all of the same nature, reflex in character.'' (Page 96.) 

Yet the fact that he never fully accepted the seductive teaching 
of Huxley along this same line witnesses the independent spirit in 
which Prince has held himself free from entanglement with more 
recent doctrines. He rejects "epiphenomenalism," the idea that 
makes consciousness a mere steam-whistle in the mental power- 

Consciousness as Interacting with Reflexes 

Further, in his "Nature of Mind," by his striking analysis of Dr. 
Mesnet's case of human automatism (cited so forcefully by Huxley) 
and by his remarkable plea for consciousness as a link in that very 
chain of automatic behavior, Prince proves himself restless to 
unify Body and Mind. He synthesizes into one picture the nature 
of mind-beyond-matter with that which is reducible to neurone 
patterns, these being viewed as a hierarchy of physiological dis- 
positions. Scarcely a writer on practical neurology in recent times, 
unless actually inspired by Prince, has had such a determination to 
bring the sphere of consciousness and the sphere of automatism 
into a synthetic view, and that without slighting the one for the 
other, as most authors are wont to do. 


It is this fact, working its way into his writings and reflecting 
itself in the practical examples he adduces, that gives a peculiar 
tang to his neurographic formulas, and invites delicate apprecia- 


IT is NOT customary, in estimating scientific progress, to judge an 
author's contribution from the standpoint of taste, unless it be 
merely literary taste as an ornament of scientific writing. Yet, in 
judging of any work that goes beyond scientific routine into the 
subtler things of the mind, one may perhaps make free to ask 
oneself whether good taste may not have played a deciding part at 
many junctures. That the reflection is not utterly senseless may be 
suggested by the experience of Charles Darwin who, in the later 
years of his life, found reason to bewail his voluntary misfortune 
in having excluded himself from the domain of taste in Art and 
Literature by having dwelt too exclusively on dry details. Such 
exclusiveness forms no part of Prince's fate; and there is every 
reason to speak of a certain "guardianship of taste" that has pre- 
sided over his scientific work as a factor in his avoidance of ugly 
pitfalls. Now, taste involves implicit aversions as well as positive 
selections. And, among the things that Prince has almost intui- 
tively (by that I mean implicitly) avoided, are those overloaded and 
encumbered concepts that still block the way to psychological 
discussion. In particular, I will take, for example, his view of the 
still undefined term "intelligence," as characterizing his striving to 
avoid obscurantist views. 

"7 cannot help thinking that 'intelligence is a pragmatic question, 
not a biological or psychological one. It would be much more conducive 
to a clear understanding of biological problems to use intelligence 
only as a convenient and useful expression, like sanity or insanity, 
to designate certain behavior which conforms to a type which, without 
strictly defining its limits, popular language has defined as intelligent. 
Sanity and insanity have ceased to be terms of scientific value because 
they cannot be defined in terms of specific mental conditions and much 
less in terms of mental processes. So intelligence cannot be defined 
in terms of conscious and unconscious processes. Any attempt to do so 
meets with insuperable difficulties and becomes 'confusion worse 
confounded'" ("The Unconscious," page 240?) 

This instances the rejection of an outworn tool of thought in the 
form of a term "intelligence" which has been overloaded with 


denotations and connotations until it ceases to make any sharp 
effect upon discussion. Recent debates among psychologists indi- 
cate that Prince's distaste for the abuse of the term has been fully 
validated. Other examples here and there show the up-to-dateness 
of his anticipations of the trend of modern psychological discoveries; 
but it would be tedious to cite instances at length. One has only 
to note the significant omissions in his work to realize that he is not 
wandering in a maze of by-paths and blind alleys, and that the 
neurographic conception leads into a region free from pitfalls and 
opening a visualization of mental phenomena of which psychologists 
have not yet taken sufficient advantage. 

Doctrinal Confusion Regarding Mind 

To appreciate the historical position of Prince's neurographic 
concept is to come nearer to appreciating the struggles of those 
who have wrestled with the problem of human personality. It 
should be remembered that Prince is distinctive among modern or 
recent writers in regard to the kind of a hold that he has taken on 
the problem as a means of grasping its fundamentals and preventing 
the subtleties from slipping out of ken. This is another way of 
saying that Prince's uniqueness is marked by the level of explanation 
which he has adopted as a basis for thinking about the mechanism 
of so-called Mind. This basis has long been so distinctive that his 
outlook on the subject has tended to make the word "Mind" itself 
appear curiously meaningless. 10 To my notion, Prince's discovery 
that this term is almost hopelessly overloaded with .denotations 
and connotations, and thus not scientifically useful, points to the 
fact that he has sought and found, at least, a refreshing viewpoint. 
It is one that cannot commend itself immediately to the popular 
demand nor to the ultra-simple outlook that students are required 
to assume in experimental psychology. As time goes on, it will 
be seen that the visualization presented in Prince's theory is related 
to a more helpful level of explanation than the ones commonly 
resorted to. 

For, among contemporary writers on Personality, there are few 
who maintain their standpoint and who do not confuse their levels 
of explanation and present us, as it were, with mixed metaphors 
drawn from different levels. There are at least three distinct levels. 
Today, we see the behaviorists descending austerely to the reflex 
and reflex-conditioning level; and again, we discern an important 

10 "Nature of Mind," page 148. Pub. by J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1885. 


contingent of workers who are making themselves at home on a high 
plateau where a vast horizon is filled in with instincts and instinc- 
tive dispositions in a varied panorama. Again, there are those who 
dwell, by preference, on the mountain tops where behavior appears 
as emerging peaks jutting from a sea of clouds that hide the illimit- 
able possibilities of the subliminal mind. Prince's neurographic 
conception is not out of keeping with the phenomena contemplated 
by any of the theorists on these various levels, which range all the 
way from extreme materialism to extreme idealism. Prince can fit 
these explanations into his formulation, exactly as a food expert can 
take into one consistent picture the views of the chemist, physiolo- 
gist and culinary artist. 

Pan-Psychism Admits of Neurone Organization 

If Prince has ever seemed to be losing himself either in material- 
ism or in idealism, his book "Nature of Mind and Human Auto- 
matism," of 1885, should set us right as to the path he has followed. 
The essence of this exploration has not been omitted from "The 
Unconscious" where neural dispositions are spread so large upon 
the page: 

"In the last analysis, matter and mind probably are to be identified 
as different manifestations of one and the same principle the doctrine 
of monism call it psychical, spiritual, or material, or energy, as you 
like, according to yoiir fondness for names. For our purpose it is not 
necessary to touch this philosophical problem as we are dealing only 
with specific biological experiences" (Footnote, page /-/<?.) 

With this warning that there is something ultimate in reserve, 
Prince, the neurologist, makes the most of his observations of 
human personality in explaining memory in its proximate sense, as 
based upon the physiological residua of past experiences, and still 
without excluding the participation of inherited dispositions. It is 
as if he intended to make us understand that when dealing with 
neurograms, he is after all dealing with proximate units and not 
ultimate psychical elements. Is he not somewhat in the position of 
the food expert, maintaining a well-poised interest as between the 
two main aspects of food, which are the proximate food elements 
such as protein and carbohydrates and the ultimate chemical ele- 
ments? As a consequence of this position, conditioned reflexes and 
instincts (even sentiments) are regarded by Prince as so many 
"complexes" in the broad medical and architectonic sense in which 
he employed the word currently many years ago. (N. ofM.,p.fj8.) 


In explaining these complexes in 'The Unconscious/' Prince has 
not attempted the definiteness of H. R. Marshall, with his patient 
and ingenious parallel between neururgic and noetic emphases. 11 
Nor has he occasion to develop the neurographic conception, like 
Max Meyer 12 to the point of diagramming an apparatus for what 
I may call the machine-switching of nerve impulses. Such pictures 
are merely complementary to Prince's exposition. He docs not 
elaborate upon them beyond the scope of his own purpose, which is 
to call attention to the signs of organized working of neurographic 
records in their every-day manifestations. 

Neurographic Combinations as a Key 

Prince has a restless drive to find a better hierarchy of the sen- 
timents. I shall not forget sitting on the porch at Nahant and 
watching Dr Prince and Professor McDougall marking a piece of 
bright yellow paper with such apparently light-hearted legends as 
"I love Nellie." "Here," said Dr. Prince, "is a sentiment. Nellie is 
the object; love is the emotion with its instinctive dispositions; 
where shall we place the 'settings'?" Then he went on to discuss 
the alternative ways in which the union might be conceived of 
those different dispositions of experience and of instinct that go 
to make the unity of a sentiment which contains within itself a 
striving for its own ends. To be sure, in all this, Prince gives much 
credit to McDougall and Shand; but the "drive" to go ahead 
straight on the road to explaining personal experience in terms of 
interconnected and elaborately organized dispositions (regardless 
of the exaggerated simplicity of behaviorism and regardless of the 
mythological entities of psychoanalysis) is distinctly the Principian 
trend. He stresses the fact of organization as such rather than the 
details of the neurographic substrate. 

Is not this entirely in keeping with the latest disclosures of 
physiology and psychology? Does not Sir Charles Sherrington 
allow that recent work shows an unexpected simplicity underlying 
the process of mental activity, in other words, that nerve centers 
may not possess their own special kinds of mechanisms, but may 
have simply the properties of nerve impulses in combination? 13 
The combination is the thing. Does not this justify Prince's alge- 
braic method in working up the concept of neurograms without 

11 "Consciousness," MacMillan Company, New York, 1909, Chap. II & III. 

12 "The Fundamental Laws of Human Behavior," R. G. Badger, Boston, 1911. 

13 Sherrington, C. S., Presidential Address, British Association for Advancement 
of Science, Sept. 22, 1922. Reprinted in "Mental Hygiene," quarterly, 1923. 


undue attention to the specific neural picture? The way expe- 
riences are stitched together is what counts. Carrying this idea in 
the back of our minds when reading Prince's formulation of neu- 
rographic mechanisms, we shall not encounter in it anything in- 
consistent with the recent progress of physiologists toward 
Sherringtonian insight into "nerve impulses in combination." 
Perhaps this is the long-sought formula which has hidden the 
mental nature by its "absolute transparency*' to echo Emerson. 

Adherence to the Canalization Concept 

Surely modern neurology has been ready for this simplification 
for some time, witness the prevalence among neurologists and 
physiological psychologists of the teaching that, potentially, every 
neurone has access to every other neurone. It is just as well that 
Prince should not have obscured this potentiality by any too am- 
bitious scheme for neuro-canalizations, considering the use that he 
makes of the concept. Let us be thankful he has found it unneces- 
sary to deny "the stuff the soul is made of" in order to make room 
for neurograms, and that he has refused to populate the brain re- 
gions with a "censor" or other entity of the psychoanalytic type, in 
order to hold the fort for consciousness. Nor has he in any other 
way planned a premature simplification of the field of investigation; 
but he did accept in advance "nerve impulses in combination" as 
the unit of investigation. Both his cautious restraint and his in- 
sight were fed and sustained by his having saturated himself with 
observations of conduct and of character-phenomena on every 
plane of mental life, even at a long distance from the laboratory 
and the clinic. The result was that the peculiarities of his neuro- 
graphic substrate, hypothetical though it might seem, were im- 
pressed upon him with the definiteness with which the housewife 
comes to know and count on the action of yeast in bread-making, 
even though she may not form a definite cell picture of the yeast 
enzyme. Under the circumstances, the neurographic conception 
could be safely carried only far enough for Prince to steer clear of 
the formalized thinking into which his predecessors had fallen. He 
kept to the path of realism. 

May I, in this connection, submit it as my personal opinion that 
if Freud, Jung and Stekel had been thinking along these lines since 
young manhood, as Prince's record shows he did, they would have 
been better prepared to interpret their own rich and even unpre- 
cedented collections of material of the psychic life, without sue- 


cumbing to that fever of extreme theorizing from which they are 
but slowly recovering as yet. 

To make a long story short, Prince has not stumbled into the 
pitfalls set for unwary theorizers. Specifically, after 1909, he was 
one of the few who did not go to extremes of denunciation of or 
adherence to the newly circulated views of psychoanalysts con- 
cerning the Unconscious. The result is that his neurographic con- 
ception has steadily developed and stands today in perfect har- 
mony with what we may call the canalization concept of neuro- 

Inconclusive Views of Various Schools 

A practical contribution to the immediate situation in the 
psychology of Personality has been that he filled the office of a 
snowplow: keeping the channels of intellectual progress open to all 
sorts of traffic of opinion and never allowing the school of Freud or 
of Jung or of Behaviorism, or any other school, to snow under any 
avenue of discussion. Indeed, he was cricitized by some for open- 
ing his Journal of Abnormal Psychology so widely to the most 
divergent opinions. Its pages, be it said, are the proof of the 
variety and confusion among levels of explanation while, at the 
same time, they exhibit Prince's personal striving for a simplified 
and unified level to which all honest thinkers might repair. 

With the advent of the Gestalt theory in America, we sense the 
upsetting of the preconceived notions of Learning and Association, 
against which I have inveighed in the first part of this paper. I 
regret, however, that Prince's modest way of writing makes it 
hard to show in his actual language how long he has felt that the 
old Associationism was dead anyway. In their attack on Associa- 
tionism, the Gestalt School will be killing a moribund idea, not to 
say a dead dog. They have, however, the signal advantage of in- 
troducing a captivatingly clever formulation into the field of 
Memory at a time when this is still beset by obscurantism and 
hopelessly conflicting viewpoints. 14 

Increasingly in recent years, Prince has striven to remove any- 
thing like obscurantism from his formulations. Difficulties of 
language and of physiological statement are enough to explain 

14 Koehler.,W."Zur Psychologic derSchimpansen/'PsychoIogische Forshung, 1921. 

Kafka, G., "Tierpsychologie," Leipzig, 1914. See McDougalFs comment on 
Formreizen, page 69 of the "Outline of Psychology," 1922.^ 

Koffka, K., "Grundlagen der Psychischen Entwicklung," 1921. 

See translations in International Library of Psychology: Kegan Paul, Trench, 
Trubner & Co,- London; Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York, 1924. 


whatever remains of unclearness in the neurographic conception. 
Still there are those who say Prince has not yet "put over" his 
theory. Such critics now greet the recent onrush of the Gestalt 
School. These exponents of "configurational dispositions" seem to 
have located a weak spot somewhere between the animal psychology 
of Thorndike and the behaviorism of Watson. 

As it happens, the milk in the coconut of the Gestalt theory, is a 
juice that has been running in other fruits of research. For Yerkes 
long ago had made it clear that trial and error was in a sense sus- 
pended as a principle of learning-behavior in certain chimpanzees. 
He still speaks of ideation in chimpanzees. What Koehler and 
Koffka see at work in "configurational dispositions" and matura- 
tion" are processes that often trespass upon what Prince and 
Jastrow call subconscious fabrication and subconscious maturing. 
Also, not new is the hint that some of the configurational disposi- 
tions of the chimpanzee may be associated with a reflective 
consciousness similar to our own. 

To take the liberty of citing my own papers, I have intimated as 
clearly as I could what was suggested by my own studies of 
natural dreams: that subconscious trials and errors fill in the 
gaps that are observed in problem-solution whenever it reaches 
resolution without externalized trial and error. The abrogation of 
external trial and error does not imply the non-continuance of the 
process neurographically: i. e. in conscious or subconscious pro- 
cedures. 16 

Can the configurational dispositions of the Gestalt School bring 
more clarity to the things of the Mind than Prince's neurographic 
dispositions? To answer this point one does not need to detract 
from the excellence and suggestiveness of the Gestalt School's ex- 
perimentally simplified observations upon quasi-human chim- 
panzees. Like our American comparative psychologists, they find 
it an excellent thing for one's study of behavior and learning 
technique to train one's observational powers by keeping chim- 
panzee pets under vivarium conditions. Already, Professor Yerkes 
tells us that the protocols of his actual experiments can hardly give 
an adequate idea of how much more the observer sees in the be- 
havior of the chimpanzee than can ever be set down. The sense 
of tlit familiar touching observed animal behavior and the accom- 
panying emotion of conviction are thus coming into the field of 

M See Resolution of the Unadjusted in paper by L. H. Horton: "Scientific Method 
in the Interpretation of Dreams," p. 388, Journ, of Afcn, Psychology, Feb.-March. 


scientific statement, whereas, a few years ago, it was not correct 
experimental form to advert to such elusive things! Yet, during 
many years, Prince and a few others were studying human beings 
under conditions of virtual vivarium existence which (considering 
that humans were studied, and not chimpanzees) could properly be 
regarded as "experimental" because sufficiently controlled to 
ward off error and to carry conviction. Nevertheless, it is a fact 
that Prince's conception of Association Neuroses was not given 
full credit by his contemporaries. He spoke with "the voice of one 
crying in the wilderness/* Today, after the exuberant agitation 
of the psycho-analytic movement and after the shock of experience 
with war neuroses, the pendulum of medical belief has finally 
swung in Prince's direction; and the idea is now seriously enter- 
tained by advanced diagnosticians that neurographic idiosyn- 
crasies may be functioning to produce this or that symptom for- 
merly attributed without question to purely bodily causes. 

Possible Fallacy in Comparison of Man and Chimpanzee 

Undoubtedly the psychology of learning will greatly profit by 
the simplified studies of chimpanzee life. They may clear the 
ground of old lumber. But the results cannot illuminate such 
human behavior as flows from social sentiments and 3 avoir fair e 
nor from other higher mental processes. Therefore, the experi- 
mental queries put to the chimpanzee should not be overestimated 
like the famous quest for the philosopher's stone, nor yet as a hope- 
ful hunt for the pot of gold at the end of the psychic rainbow. 
When all is said and done, we shall only have reached the end of a 
chimpanzee's rainbow of intellectual promise. As we come nearer 
to human goals in the problems of comparative psychology, we 
experience a paradoxical slowing-up in the yield of information 
from animal experiments. To paraphrase Bacon, we may say that 
knowledge derived from chimpanzees can rise no higher than chim- 
panzees. The proper unit of investigation of humanity is man! 
Chimpanzee study will bring mostly knowledge of chimpanzees 
and not insight as hoped for into some new open-sesame to 
unlock the secret of mentality. For, to re-echo the Sherringtonian 
formula, the behavior of the nerve-mass (including, I think, the 
higher learning process of the chimpanzee) should still be reducible 
to the strategy of nerve impulses in combination. We are not, I 
say, to expect the discovery of nerve centers possessing particular 
kinds of intelligence of their own, or differing radically from reflex 


action. That such breaks in the chain are absent, is quite consistent 
with what Prince has assumed right along in his neurographic 
formulation. When the experiments with chimpanzees are as 
finished as a squeezed orange, there will still be left out of account 
the especially human potentialities of nerve impulses in combina- 
tion. For human mind will not have been disclosed to be a mere 
multiple of chimpanzee mind-units, however alike may be the 
behavior of child and chimpanzee, and however similar may appear 
certain brain zones possessed by man andchimpanzee in common, 
as it were. The hierarchic and architectonic features of the human 
integrations of purpose, of learning and of sentiment will still 
require the system of accurate notation afforded only by a truly 
neurographic formulation. 


IT is NOT very long since science first took up the Trial-Error- 
Success formulation of animal behavior. Its mainstay has been the 
observation of some imprisoned animal trying to get out of a "trick" 
cage, and its extension has been contrived with more or less fruitful 
results, by studying animals running in a maze. 16 

As a result, we have a wilderness of single instances which has 
grown up around the experimental psychologists, who are now try- 
ing to find their own way out so that they may not "fail to see the 
forest for the trees." I submit that what they need is a visualiza- 
tion conforming to the neurographic concept, in order to coordi- 
nate the observations upon animal behavior indeed, upon all 

Trial-and-Error in Visualization 

Jacques Loeb, in the Yale Review of July 1915, has argued more 
brilliantly than I can for the sort of visualization here alluded to. 
According to his notion, the value of visualization can sometimes 
transcend that of experiment itself. But, curiously enough, Loeb 
begs one of the questions at issue by setting the goal of biological 
research in the direction of pure mechanism, as if it were something 
necessarily apart from trial and error. He even cites the auto- 
maton or selenium-eyed "dog" of John Hays Hammond, Jr., as 
behaving in a manner that does "not support the theory of 'trial 
and error/ " Loeb's pre-conceived idea of mechanism, far from 

16 A piquant departure has been Professor McDougall's discovery at Harvard 
of the advantages of the water maze for studying the behavior of rats in learning 
tp swim their way to food at the end of the maze, 


weakening my appreciation of his argument in favor of visualiza- 
tion, tends, on the contrary, to strengthen it. For Jacques Loeb 
would not be regarded today as having overshot the mark and 
become ultra-mechanistic if he had himself practised what he 
preached and had relied more on visualization and less upon 
jumping at conclusions from too narrow experiments. In failing to 
make sufficient use of visualization, he was, as it turns out from a 
study of his biography, stringently limited by an ingrained preju- 
dice against the abuse of religious conceptions and all allied ob- 
scurantist notions, to which he likened the Trial and Error Theory. 
Had he known what was going on in his own mind, from the 
neurographic standpoint of Prince, he would have corrected his own 
bias, and his own process of "trial and error" would probably have 
reached "success" in explaining human behavior! 

At this stage, I may as well admit that I am intent on spanning 
the alleged gap that exists between the concept of mechanism and 
the concept of trial and error. My proposition is that we need to 
visualize the nerve system as a biological mechanism contrived to 
afford a facility for "learning" by trial and error and success. This 
brings me back to defining Prince's neurographic concept as useful 
to that end. In this sense, I shall review the registration, conserva- 
tion, and reproduction of experiences in order to make clearer how 
much Prince's formulation already affords to the would-be vis- 
ualizer. In preamble, however, I should again recall the fact men- 
tioned earlier in this paper, that mechanistic visualizations of 
memory processes have played a prominent part since the earliest 
days of ancient psychology. 

On Visualizing the Neurographic Mechanism 

The idea of some pattern impressed upon the memory is not a 
modern idea. Plato had his conception of wax tablets as receiving 
the impress of experiential stimuli, like the cachet of a signet ring. 
(This is a registration analogy.) Aristotle paid attention to traces 
left in the memory, in the form of ruts along definite retraceable 
paths. (This is a conservation analogy.) And, more recently, 
Thomas Hobbes sought to express the train of ideas by the simile 
of drops of water following the finger on the window pane. (This 
is a reproduction analogy.) DesCartes, who was the first to 
schematize a consistent picture of registration, conservation and 
reproduction, came nearest to modern knowledge by his "water- 
works" supposition, to wit; that the nerves were little canals which, 


irrigated by the first effect of experience, would retain a disposition 
to conduct the "animal spirits" more easily a second time. It was 
admitted by Huxley that very little improvement over this 
canalization theory of DesCartes had ever been developed. 17 

The difficulty seems to have been that no one could carry in his 
mind the picture of the conservation of canalization-forms. And 
even Prince has felt somewhat the effect of this discouraged atti- 
tude on the part of thinkers. For, to the average student, the jungle 
of nerve connections is an inextricable mass and there are very few 
who have carried out, in one personal experience, what Wm. 
McDougall has advocated, namely: an intensive analysis of nerve 
processes and of mental processes in parallel. Thus, few thinkers 
can "get it into their head." Yet practical neurology, especially in 
brain localization and in the kinetics of nerves, is sufficiently 
advanced today to meet halfway the students who would under- 
take such analyses of mental function. It is really an Emersonian 
"chalk line of imbecility" that keeps the neural and the psycho- 
logical conceptions so far apart. To be sure, the rapprochement had 
been made, as far as possible at the time, by William McDougall in 
his highly valued "Physiological Psychology" (London, 1905). 
But the lesson has not been generally assimilated, as a context for 
psychological thought, to the degree that Prince's work demands. 

Those who are technically equipped to understand psychological 
language should read between the lines of Prince's message and 
not be lazily expecting the nature of mind to be formulated for 
them with the simplicity of street cries "Behaviorism!" "Libido!" 
"Reflex-action!" "Gestalt!" 

I trust it may not seem presumptuous if I try to summarize the 
immediate requirements of "psycho-neurology" as I see them. 

Neuro-Dynamic Patterns 

It is time that we should cease to overlook the absolute trans- 
parency of the principle of neurographic registration. It has 
remained obscure because we lack terms to describe its simplicity. 
The unquestionable truth is that the brain and nervous system 

17 The canalization concept has a long history and an honorable one dating es- 
sentially from the time of DesCartes who constructed, for human automatism, a 
scheme in analogy to the waterworks of French chateaux and their parks: Claparede 
has recently reminded us that this is still the most descriptive plan of how the 
nervous system acts as a combining mechanism for coordinating nervous impulses, 
and even a physiologist like Sir Michael Foster took the same view. 

McDougaH's theory of inhibition by drainage is a noteworthy extension of the 
canalization concept. 


are burdened with the neurographic record in the same definite 
manner as a half-tone plate is burdened with its photographic 
record. In the printing press, the half-tone plate transfers the 
picture into ink-impulses. In a similar sense, the neurogram trans- 
mits an impression upon the pattern of muscle-behavior and upon 
the quality of gland-behavior and upon the course (not to say 
behavior) of consciousness. There is a patterned transfer of neuro- 
dynamic impulses from the neurogrammic web to these three 
effectors (if I may be allowed to so call them) and the question that 
remains is : ''How shall we depict the nerve-tactics back of all this ?" 

The value of any analogy is that it makes it possible to think of 
something that is not yet clear, in terms of something that is 
already clear. Now, any printer will tell you that the half-tone 
plate is a photographic impression carried on a system of dots of 
different sizes and shapes and of correspondingly different capaci- 
ties to convey flecks of ink to a sheet of paper. Similarly, we may 
say that the neurogram is an impress or picture of experience 
originally received onto and carried upon a system of meshes having 
the nature of a net. It is especially like a distorted hair-net with 
streamers, possessing varied connections with the effector termini 
in spider-web fashion. All the strands, although connected, have 
differing capacities of conduction, both in amount and direction, 
so that they have a different permeability for conducting neuro- 
dynamic impulses to effector terminals like muscle and gland. 
These correspond, in final analysis, to the printed sheet where the 
end-result shows itself as the effector-pattern. 

Unless psychologists are willing to make themselves familiar 
with the operation of this time-space mechanism of neurones to the 
degree that printers, in their daily labors, make themselves familiar 
with the mechanism of the half-tone imprint, we can hardly hope 
for a group of men to spring up who will be at home with the 
neurographic conception. New technical developments require, as 
William James points out, the creation of new terms; and from this 
standpoint, Prince's terminology is still somewhat difficult in view 
of the demonstrated need of familiarity with his views. Therefore, 
I take the liberty of somewhat overloading his conception with 
terms needed to do justice to its nuances. 

Necessary Distinctions in Neurographic Concept 

In the first place, is it not well to remember that registration, 
conservation and reproduction are viewed by Prince as distinct 


processes, however much they may intermingle? Why should not 
this be capable of sharper denotation in neurographic terms? 

Let us call the network that carries the neurogram by the name 
neurarkus 1 * meaning, in Greek roots, a hair-net made of neu- 
rones. This analogy is exactly what the neurogram must conform 
to in its spatial aspect, with the proviso that the netting is under- 
neath the brain coverings and that elongated meshes, extending for 
considerable distances, go into other parts of the nervous system. 
This neurarkus is the system of nerve-meshes that bears the neuro- 
gram. But in what phase is it registered, conserved or repro- 
duced? The answer is: "We cannot say unless we use distinctive 
terms." Let us grant that the neurarkus is a foundation for special 
dispositions affecting behavior and memory, provisionally viewing 
it as nothing more than the blank plate, or unmodified physical 
substrate. But let us broadly call the organized pattern or system 
of traces upon the neurarkus by the name of neurarchy. This 
means the portions of the nerve-net (neurarkus) that are so situated 
or so impressed or so charged that they govern or lead or control 
the way that stimuli travel. This must imply a form of neuro- 
electric conduction from receptor terminals to centers and again 
outwardly to effectors. Such is the principle of neurarchy, or of 
"governing disposition" in the neurarkus, regardless of the phase 
whether of registered, conserved or reproduced neurarchic disposi- 
tions. These dispositions, at one time or another, must represent 
channels for re-conduction or at least for momentary reception of 

"// would be a gross exaggeration to say, on the basis of the evidence 
at our disposal^ that all life's experiences persist as potential memories, 
or even that this is true of the greater number. It is, however, un- 
doubtedly true that of the great mass of experiences which have passed 
out of all voluntary recollection , an almost incredible, even if relatively 
small, number still lie dormant, and, under favoring conditions, many 
can be brought within the field of conscious memory'' ("The Uncon- 
scious" page </.) 

Now, according to Prince, some neurarchic dispositions may fail 
to be conserved. This must mean that dispositions are sometimes 
registered although not conserved. We need a name, then, for that 
particular process which is only registration. What is more natural 
than to speak of an outline or graph ? A neurograph, then, is a 
neurarchic disposition laid as it were magnetically upon a neurarkus 

18 This term is not euphonious but is employed here to give precision to the 
anatomical picture of brain-paths, 


in such a manner that it composes some actual pattern, however 
temporary and however ready to be effaced or marred. While it 
lasts, it will lead or govern the propagation of impulses through 
some particular portion of a neurarkus. Elementary neurology will 
provide us with innumerable models of such patterns. Such neuro- 
graphs can be diagrammed in three dimensions, provided we take 
heed of known localizations of brain functions and spend a few 
minutes bending wires to represent the canalizations involved in, 
say, a coordinated reflex. Now, how about the neurarchic disposi- 
tions that are conserved? It is obvious that they are best described 
by the term neuroglyph which implies a more deep-seated trace, or 
carved channel. It is understandable that it may take several 
neurographs passing over a neurarkus to effect that permanency 
that is implied by conservation, and thus carve a neuroglyph in the 
sense of a reliable neurodynamic track or web. But I ought not to 
overlook the fact here that there must be a great many neuroglyphs 
composed of channels which have never been "graphed," but which 
are deep tracks provided by organic inherited form. The original 
growth-tendency of the neurones, not registration, is responsible 
for such conservation. For instance, it requires no neurographic 
process to develop an eye-winking reflex path. That is a fixed 
neuroglyph which represents what is fancifully called ancestral 
memory or race memory. Consequently, it is well not to overlook 
the fact that probably very few neurographs are impressed upon 
any really blank neurarkus. That is, if there are any blank neu- 
rarkuses, they are probably extensions into the forebrain of net- 
works already well-started as innate conduction channels in other 
parts of the neurarchic system. In fact, it is this situation which 
justifies McDougall's insistence upon the tremendous concatena- 
tion of purposive influences in organisms. 

Neural Side of Purpose and Meaning 

This brings us to the fact that Prince, McDougall and possibly 
Janet and Shand, have been ahead of their colleagues in insisting 
that the phase of reproduction of experience is not a mere copy of 
some experience, not a mere echo, but tinged, colored or tinctured 
with an instinctive or organic self-interest that brings into promi- 
nence the Law of the Whole Organism in the simplest of acts. 19 For 
my part, I have great sympathy with this view, although I have 
registered a middle position between Woodworth and McDougall 

19 "The Unconscious," page 118; see italics in footnote. 


as regards the question of the origin of "drives." 20 This is relevant 
to the phase of reproduction of experiential records or, in other 
words, to the neurogram. 

This hint of the "neurogrammic use of experiential traces'* 
should, of course, point to the fact that I wish to speak of neuro- 
grams as the neurarchic disposition in its phase of reproduction. 
Grammic is the proper word to distinguish the reproduction from 
the master record which begins as a neurograph and continues as a 
neuroglyph. These three terms (neurograph, neuroglyph and 
neurogram) give us resourcefulness in explaining what really goes 
on in memory as a process, and the distinction permits me, at least 
for the present, to make clear what I think is the great contribution 
of the neurographic conception. The contribution lies in the pos- 
sibility that it opens up of improving the art of graphing memories, 
of following the laws of conservation (cf. neuroglyphs) and of un- 
covering the rules of the neurogrammic process. The study of 
purpose or teleology is made more approachable. To what extent 
are acts insignificant and mere echoes; and to what extent can 
psychologists and educators and parents follow the MEANING back 
of neurogrammic operations? 

In most discussions, meaning is thought of vaguely as essentially 
conscious; but Prince has indicated his position that consciousness 
of meaning is but a small part of the total state of mentality. Like 
an iceberg, a large portion of its bulk is beneath the surface. 
Under Prince's neurographic scheme, as I see it, meaning is a 
highly organized complex, in the formation and reproduction of 
which neurarchic dispositions in all three phases are compounded 
with a variable degree of consciousness. In other words, avoiding 
the term "complex" now popularly accepted in its narrow sense, 
we may say that meaning is a neurarchic matrix or mould-of- 
associations which has been built up in a manner to determine the 
cast of thought that shall form around the idea or stimulus called 
meaningful. In this matrix, many built-up canalizations guide the 
conduction of stimuli to their eventual outcome in muscular, 
glandular or conscious patterns of action. 

On my own responsibility, I have come to regard consciousness 
(or, at any rate, its hypothetical substrate once called "psycho- 
plasm") as a sort of third effector entitled to rank with the already 
accepted ones muscle and gland substances. 21 

20 "What Drives the Dream Mechanism?", Jour. Abn. Psych., October, 1920. 
81 See W. James, "Principles. . ." Vol. I, top of page 581. 


As a corrective to the neglect of the "meaning of meaning" so 
marked up to 1914, Prince has made use of the analogy of a clock, 
the hands of which represent conscious equivalents; while mean- 
ing is represented by quite different "wheels within wheels" that 
remain out of sight. Prince's idea of Association Neuroses, cover- 
ing the phenomena called Association of Ideas by Locke, imply a 
vast inter-relation of cogs and wheels that determine how emo- 
tions and other drives shall eventuate, with the distinctness of a 
watch-escapement. It is this definiteness and delicacy that I have 
attempted to translate into appropriate "neuro" language. 

Need of Technique in Complex-Building 

Lest I should seem to be speaking in the air, let me say that the 
principal inspiration for my work, for many years, in studying 
psychology in America has been the appalling realization that the 
large proportion of American parents and educators have not an 
adequate conception of the significance of the motions and the 
gestures and the acts of young people. It is this situation that 
inspired Henry James in many passages of "Daisy Miller." This 
story reveals by subtle characterization the fact that American 
behavior is apt to be denuded of an infinite variety of expressions, 
of modes, moods and modulations needed for effective social contact. 
In French-speaking countries generally, and in England among 
some classes, it is a custom that children, from their earliest years, 
should be implicitly instructed in the interpretation of slight 
changes of behavior as an index of character and motive, and as 
deeply significant of courtesy, or the reverse, in the daily affairs of 
life. It is, therefore, not surprising that, for many years before 
psychotherapy penetrated into America, the French vocabulary 
was stocked with terms that implied psychological understanding. 
It is an understanding which, in fact, probably accounts for many 
of the qualities of the French nation. This understanding is hardly 
dawning in America; hence, it has to be introduced to us now 
clumsily by the medium of "applied psychology" of the sub- 
conscious, of the unconscious and the like. Since it is not possible, 
in this melting pot of America, to gain the needed knowledge of 
behavior by the tuition of folk-ways and manners as developed 
through the racial consolidation that has gone on in France, is it 
not important that we should be reminded at this point, of the 
educational promise in the contribution of Morton Prince? His 
own words describe the goal of his work when he says: 


' l And y above ally the formation of complexes is the foundation stone 
of psycho-therapeutics/' 

" The methods of education and therapeutic suggestion are 
variants of this mode of organizing mental processes. Bothy in prin- 
ciple y are substantially the same, differing only in detail. They depend 
for their effect upon the implantation in the mind of ideational com- 
plexes organized by repetition , or by the impulsive force of their affective 
tones y or both. Every form of education necessarily involves the artificial 
formation of such complexes y whether in a pedagogical yreligiouSyethicaly 
scientific y social y or professional field. So in psychotherapy by artfully 
directed suggestion, or education in the narrower sense, complexes 
may be similarly formed and organized. New points of view and 
"sentiments" may be inculcated, useful emotions and feelings excited, 
and the personality correspondingly modified. Roughly speaking, this 
is accomplished by suggesting ideas that will form settings (associa- 
tions) that give new and desired meanings to previously harmful 
ideas; and these ideas y as well as any others we desire to implant in the 
mind,are organized by suggestion with emotions (instincts) of a useful, 
pleasurabky and exalting kind to form desirable sentiments y and to 
carry the ideas to fulfilment. Thus sentiments of right y or of ambition y 
or of sympathy, or of altruism, or of disinterestedness in self are 
awakened; and, with all thisy opposing emotions are aroused to conflict 
with and repress the distressing ones, and the whole welded into a com- 
plex which becomes conserved neurographically and thereby a part of 
the personality. 

" Under ordinary conditions of every-day mental life social suggestion 
acts like therapeutic suggestion. But the suggestions of every-day life 
are so subtle and insidious that they are scarcely consciously recog- 
nized'' ("The Unconscious y" page 288!) 

Prince has been "neurographically" interested in certain views 
of Shand and McDougall to the effect that a sentiment is a highly 
involved organization of neurarchic dispositions, and especially 
that it functions integratedly as a whole striving to fulfill its own 
end. We are now reminded of Aristotle and his concept of entelechyy 
this self-contained program within a system which works "in the 
direction of the goal." But couched in Aristotle's terms, man's 
endeavor was not understandable, whereas in neurographic terms, 
it can be understood by psychologists, parents and educators; 
what is more, strivings can be traced back to the experiential 
sources of good and bad social adjustment and neurarchic 
patterns can be visualized in a way to show us how to modify 



accurately and, as the French say, en connaissance de cause, those 
experiential records which have been badly made. 

Now let me again keep my feet on the ground by stamping a heel 
into the fact that, all over America, there is going on a most insidi- 
ously false inculcation of impressions upon children by their 
parents, teachers and casual acquaintances; all of which can be 
diagrammed convincingly as bad complex-building technique. This 
is going on constantly among well-meaning people without arousing 
any notice or intelligent insight upon the part of those who are 
making the mistakes. Nor is there any scientific propaganda ade- 
quate for the training of parents in "better complex-building." It 
is for this reason that I have been interested in the historical posi- 
tion of Prince's neurographic theory; and not because it merely 
gratifies the scientific craving to visualize the neurarkus as a 
repository for the registration, conservation, and reproduction of 

A Contribution to Mind-Training 

What then, is the ultimate contribution of the neurogram? You 
can find it actually in Prince's own words and you will see in read- 
ing them that Prince has enriched by his canalization theory of 
complex-building the same program of mind-training and emotion- 
study that was placed on the agenda of the Cartesian System, back 
in 1637. Since then, it has been neglected by all but a few thinkers. 
At present, the existing non-neurographic formulations only touch 
the surface and are liable to unwise application because the 
mechanistic background is not understood witness the abuse of 
laissezfaire under the Play School method. The Principian psy- 
chology compels our interest because of its tendency to organize 
definitely the work of psychology for education and for social life 
by affording the nearest thing to a fool-proof explanation and 
visualization of what we are doing when we train the mind. 

Of that sort, it seems to me, is the contribution of Morton Prince. 
It offers to the generation of psychologists who will make use of it, 
the "thread of Ariadne" long needed for a successful penetration 
into the secrets of the labyrinth we call Mind. 




Nature of Mind and Human Automatism. 1885. 

The Dissociation of a Personality. 1906. 

The Unconscious. 1913. Second Edition, 1919. 

The Psychology of the Kaiser. 1915. 

The Creed of Deutschtum. 1918. 


Wood's Reference Handbook to the Medical Sciences. 1882 

International System of Electro-Therapeutics. 1894 

Diseases of the Nervous System. By American Authors, 1895 

American System of Practical Medicine. 1898 

Psychotherapeutics. 1913 

Subconscious Phenomena. 1915 

Harrard's " H" Book (History of Football.) 1923 


Date of 
Publication Article 

1882 Is Acute Follicular Tonsillitis a 

Constitutional Disease ? 
, , Pancreatic Apoplexy ; With a 
Report of Two Cases. 


Unusual or Accidental Results 
of Vaccination. 

The Dangers from the Domestic 
Use of Polluted Waters 

Some Typhoid Epidemics of the 
Past Decade and the Necess- 
ity of Compulsory Disinfec- 

The Occurrence and Mechanism 
of Physiological Heart Mur- 
murs (Endocardial) in 
Healthy Individuals 

Electrolysis : Proper and Im- 
proper Methods of Using it in 
Removal of Hair and other 
Kindred Operations 



Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CVI, No. 5. 
Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CVII, 
Nos. 2 & 3. 
Boston Med. < Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CVI, No. 17. 
City of Boston San. 
Records, Vol. X, p. 308. 
Boston Med. <$ Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CVIII, 
No. 9. 

Medical Record, Vol. 35, 
No. 16. 

Amer . Jour, of the Med. 
Sciences, May, 1889. 


Date of 
Publication Article 

1890 The True Position of Electricity 
as a Therapeutic Agent in 

1892 An Improved Method of Remov- 
ing Vascular Growths of the 
Skin by Electrolysis 

1895 What Number of Cases is neces- 
sary to Eliminate the Effect 
of Chance in Mortality Statis- 
tics, Especially those of Typh- 
oid Fever : a Statistical Study 
,, Hay Fever, Due to Nervous In- 
fluences, occurring in Five 
Members of the Same Family 

1898 Health Board as a Part of the 
Army Medical Corps, distinct 
from the Hospital Service 

1901 Physiological Dilatation and the 

Mitral Sphincter as Factors in 
Functional and Organic Dis- 
turbances of the Heart 

1902 Osteitis Deformans and Hyper- 

ostosis Cranii ; a Contribution 
to their Pathology, with a 
Report of Cases 


Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXXIII, 
No. 14 

Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXXVII, 
No. 4. 

Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Jour., Oct., 1895. 

Annals of Gynaecology 
and Pcediatry, 1895 

Medical Record, Sept. 3, 

American Jour, of the 
Medical Sciences, Feb., 

American Jour, of the 
Medical Sciences, Nov., 


1887 A Case of Chronic Arsenical Boston Med. 
Poisoning of Supposed Crimi- Jour., Vol. 
nal Nature, with Especial No. 18 
References to the Medico- 
Legal Aspect 

1890 The Present Method of Giving Boston Med. 
Expert Testimony in Medico- Jour., Vol. 
Legal Cases, as Illustrated by No. 4 
one in which Large Damages 
were Awarded : Based on Con- 
tradictory Medical Evidence 

1907 The Criminal Responsibility of 
Insane Persons 

6* Surg. 

6* Surg. 

Jour, of the A.M. A., 
Nov. 16, 1907, Vol. 


1885 How a Lesion of the Brain Re- 
sults in that Disturbance of 
Consciousness known as Sen- 
sory Aphasia 

Jour, of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, Vol. 
XII, No. 3 



Date of 
Publication Article 

1886 Tenderness of the Spine in 
Health and Disease, and the 
Therapeutic Effects of Blister- 
ing over the Fourth and Fifth 
Dorsal Vertebrae 
Four Cases of " Westphal's 
Paradoxical Contraction " ; 
with Remarks on Its Mechan- 

Two Cases of Pseudo-Locomotor 
Ataxia Following Diphtheria 
Traumatic Neuroses 

The somewhat Frequent Occur- 
rence of Degenerative Disease 
of the Nervous System (Tabes 
Dorsalis and Disseminated 
Sclerosis) in Persons Suffer- 
ing from Malaria 

Association Neuroses : a Study 
of the Pathology of Hyster- 
ical Joint Affections, Neuras- 
thenia and Allied Forms of 

A Case of Functional Mono- 
plegia in a Man due to Trau- 
matism : Recovery 

Two Fatal Cases of Cerebral 
Diseases (one of Confusional 
Insanity, the other of Doubt- 
ful Nature) following Grippe 

Post-Hemiplegic Tumor of Para- 
lysis Agitans 






A Case of Cerebellar Tumor with 

Three Cases of Traumatic Hys- 
terical Paralysis, of Twenty- 
nine, Twenty-eight and 
Twenty-nine Years' Duration 
respectively, in Males 

Neuroses Mode of Action of 
Electricity in Neuroses 

Traumatism as a Cause of Loco- 
motor Ataxia 

Diseases of the Spinal Cord 


Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXV, 
No. 15 

Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXX, 
No. 17 

Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXX, No. 22 

Journal of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, Oct., 

Journal of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, May, 

Boston Med. & Surg. 

Jour., Vol. CXXVI, 
No. i 

Boston Med. 6* Surg. 

Jour., Vol. CXXVI, 
No. 10 

Boston Med. & Surg. 

Jour., Vol. CXXVI, 

No. 14 

Boston Med. & Surg. 

Jour., Vol. CXXVI, 

No. 21 

American Journal of 

the Medical Sciences, 

July, 1892 

International System of 
Jour.ofNerv. & Ment. 
Diseases, Feb., 1895 
Diseases of the Nervous 
System. By American 


Date of 
Publication Article 

1896 Remarks on the Probable Effect 

of Expert Testimony in Pro- 
longing the Duration of Trau- 
matic Neuroses 

,, A Case of Ideational Sadism 
(Sexual Perversion) 

1897 Hysterical Monocular Amply- 

opia Co-existing with Normal 
Binocular Vision 

Idiopathic Internal Hydroceph- 
alus (Serous Meningitis) in 
the Adult ; with Reports 
of Three Cases (two with 

1898 Accident Neuroses and Football 


,, The Pathology, Genesis, and 
Development of some of the 
More Important Symptoms in 
Traumatic Hysteria and Neur- 

,, Habit-Neuroses as True Func- 
tional Diseases 

,, Fear-Neurosis 

The Educational Treatment of 
Neurasthenia and Certain 
Hysterical States 

Hysterical Neurasthenia 

Traumatic Neuroses 

1901 Section of the Posterior Spinal 
Roots for the Relief of Pain 
in a Case of Neuritis of the 
Branchial Plexus ; Cessation 
of Pain in the Affected Area ; 
Later Development of Brown- 
Sequard's Paralysis as a Result 
of Laminectomy ; Unusual 
Distribution of Root Anaes- 
thesia ; Later Partial Return 
of Sensibility 


Boston Med. < Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXXXIV, 
No. 18 

Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXXXV, 
No. 8 

Amer. Jour, of Med. 
Sciences, Feb., 1897 

Jour.ofNerv. & Ment. 
Diseases, Aug., 1897 

Boston Med. 6* 


No. 17 

Boston Med. & Surg. 


NOS. 22, 23, 24 

Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXXXIX, 
No. 24 

Boston Med. 6- Surg. 
Jour., Dec. 22, 1898 
Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Jour., Oct., 1898 

Boston Med. & Surg. 

Jour., Dec. 29, 1898 

American System of 

Practical Medicine, 


Brain, Part XCIII, 

Spring Number, 1901 


Date of 
Publication Article 

1901 The Great Toe (Babinski) Phe- 
nomenon: a Contribution to 
the Study of the Normal Plan- 
tar Reflex Based on the Ob- 
servation of One Hundred and 
Fifty-six Healthy Individuals 
1905 The Course of the Sensory Fibres 
in the Spinal Cord and some 
Points in Spinal Localisation : 
Based on a Case of Section of 
the Cord 

1907 A Study in Tactual Localisation 

in a Case Presenting Asterio- 
gnosis and Asymbolia due to 
injury to the Cortex of the 

1908 Tactile Stereognosis and Sym- 

bolia : Have they Localisa- 
tion in the Cerebral Cortex ? 

1910 Cerebral Localisation from the 
Point of View of Function 
and Symptoms 

1917 The Prevention of so-called 
" Shell-Shock " 

1919 Babinski's Theory of Hysteria 


Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Jan. 24, 1901 

Jour, of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, Feb., 

Jour, of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, Vol. 
XXXV, No. I 

Jour, of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, Vol. 
XXXV, No. I 
Jour, of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, June, 

Jour, of the American 
Med. Assn., Sept. I 
Jour. Abnormal Psy- 
chology, Vol. XIV, 
No. V 





Thought Transference or Tele- 

Thought Transference : a Resume 
of the Evidence 

Some of the Revelations of 
Hypnotism, Post- Hypnotic 
Suggestion, Automatic Writ- 
ing, and Double Personality 

Remarks on Hypnotism as a 
Therapeutic Agent in Medi- 

A Case of " Imperative Idea " 
or " Homicidal Impulse " in a 
Neurasthenic without Here- 
ditary Taint 

Sexual Perversion or Vice ? : a 
Pathological and Therapeutic 

Wood's Reference 
Handbook of the Med- 
ical Sciences 
Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Feb., 1887 
Boston Med. & Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXXII, 
Nos. 20 and 21 

Boston Med. < Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CXXII, 
No. 14 

Boston Med. & Surg, 
Jour., Vol. CXXXVI, 
No. 3 

Jour, of Nervous and 
Mental Diseases, April, 


Date of 







Contribution to the Study of 
Hysteria and Hypnosis ; being 
some Experiments on Two 
Cases of Hysteria and Physio- 
logico-Anatomical Theory of 
the Nature of these Neuroses 

An Experimental Study of 

Sexual Psychoses 

The Development and Genea- 
logy of the Misses Beauchamp 

Some of the Present Problems 
of Abnormal Psychology 

Do Subconscious States Habitu- 
ally Exist Normally, or are 
they always either Artifacts or 
Abnormal Phenomena ? 

The Psychology of Sudden Re- 
ligious Conversion 

Hysteria from the Point of View 
of Dissociated Personality 

Cases Illustrating the Educa- 
tional Treatment of the Psy- 

A Symposium on the Subcon- 
scious (Janet and Prince) 

The Desirability of Instruction 
in Psychopathology in Our 
Medical Schools and its Intro- 
duction at Tufts 

Experiments in Psycho-Galvanic 
Reactions from Co -conscious 
(Subconscious) Ideas in a Case 
of Multiple Personality (Mor- 
ton Prince and Frederick 

Experiments to Determine Co- 
conscious (Subconscious) 

The Unconscious 


Proceedings of Society 
for Psychical Research, 
Part XXXIV, Dec., 

Brain, Part LXXXIV, 
Winter Number, 1898 
American System of 
Practical Medicine 
Proceedings of Society 
for Psychical Research, 
Part XL, Feb., 1901 
Congress of Arts and 
Sciences (St Louis), 
1904, Vol. V, p. 754 ; 
also Psychological Re- 
view, Vol. XII, Nos. 

2 ~3 

Psychological Review, 

March-May, 1905 

Jour, of Abnormal Psy- 
chology, Vol I, No. i 
Boston Med. 6* Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CLV, Nos. 
12 and 14 

Jour, of Abnormal 
Psychology, Oct.-Nov., 

Jour, of Abnormal Psy- 
chology, Vol. II, No. I 
Boston Med. < Surg. 
Jour., Vol. CLIX, No. 

Jour. Abnormal Psy- 
chology, Vol. Ill, No. 2 

Jour. Abnormal Psy- 
chology, Vol. Ill, No. i 

Jour. Abnormal Psy- 
chology, Vol. Ill, Nos. 4, 
5, 6 ; Vol. IV, No. i 


Date of 
Publication Article Publication 

1909 The Psychological Principles Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

and Field of Psychotherapy chology, Vol. IV, No. 2 ; 

also Psychotherapeu- 
tics. Badger, Boston 

- The Subconscious Comples Rendus ; Inter- 

national Congress of 
Psychologists, Geneva 

1910 The Mechanism and Interpreta- Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

tion of Dreams chology, Vol. V, 

No. 2 

The Mechanism and Interpreta- Jour. Abnormal Psy- 
tion of Dreams : a Reply to chology, Vol. V, No. 5 
Dr Ernest Jones 

1911 The Mechanism of Recurrent Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

Psychopathic States with chology, Vol. VI, No. 2 
Special Reference to Anxiety 
States Presidential Address 

1912 The Meaning of Ideas as Deter- Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

mined by Unconscious Set- chology, Vol. VII, No. 4 

A Clinical Study of a Case of Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

Phobia A Symposium (Prince chology, Vol. VII, No. 4 
& Putnam) 

1913 The Psychopathology of a Case Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

of Phobia chology, Vol. VIII, No. 4 

1916 The Subconscious Setting of Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

Ideas in Relation to the chology, Vol. XI, No. I 
Pathology of the Psycho- 

A World Consciousness and Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

Future Peace chology, Vol. XI, No. 4 

1917 Co-conscious Images Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

chology, Vol. XII, 
No. 5 

IQ IQ Babinski's Theory of Hysteria Jour. of Abnormal 

Psychology, Vol. XIV, 
No. 5 

1919 The Psychogenesis of Multiple Jour. Abnormal Psy- 

Personality chology, Vol. XIV, 

No. 4 

1920 Miss Beauchamp : the Theory of Jour, of Abnormal Psy- 

the Psychogenesis of Multiple chology, Vol. XVI, No. 
Personality I, 1920 

1921 The Structure and Dynamic Jour, of Abnormal Psy~ 

Elements of Human Per- chology, Vol. XVI, No. 
sonality 6, 1920-21 

1921 A Critique of Psychoanalysis Archives of Neurology 

and Psychiatry ', Vol. 
VI, p. 610 


Date of 
Publication Article 

1922 An Experimental Study of the 

Mechanism of Hallucinations 

1923 A Case of Complete Loss of 

all Sensory Functions, &c. 

1923 Awareness, Consciousness, Co- 

consciousness and Animal 
Intelligence from the point of 
view of the Data of Abnor- 
mal Psychology A Biological 
Theory of Consciousness 

1924 The Problem of Human Per- 



British Jour, of Psycho- 
logy, Medical Section, 
Vol. II, Part 3 
Jour, of Abnormal Psy- 
chology, 1923, Vol. 

Proceedirgs : Interna- 
tional Congress of 
Psychologists, Oxford 

Read at Meeting of 
British Association for 
the Advancement of 
Science, Toronto (to 
be published) 


1885 The Question of a Vital Prin- 
ciple. A Reply to Professor 
D wight 

1891 Hughlings- Jackson on the Con- 
nection between the Mind and 
the Brain 

1903 Professor Strong on the Rela- 

tion between the Mind and 
the Body 

1904 The Identification of Mind and 


1908 Discussion of Professor Pierce's 
Version of the late " Sym- 
posium on the Subconscious " 

Boston Med. 6* Surg. 

Brain, Summer Num- 
ber, 1891 

Psychological Review, 
Vol. X, No. 6 

Philosophical Review, 
Vol. XIII, No. 4 
Psychology and Scien- 
tific Methods, Vol. V, 
No. 3 


Abraham, 269 
Ach, 299, 309 
Adler, A., 330, 331 
Amblyopia : 

Hysterical, 80 
Amnesia, 81, 101, 103, 137, 211, 212, 


Amnesic apraxia, 18 
Amsden, 367 
Anaesthesia : 

Functional, 80 
Analgesia, 100 
Anger, 100, 101, 102, 104, 286, 356, 


Emotional movements in, 98, 99 
Animal magnetism, 82 
Animism, 28 
Apraxia, 15, 18, 19 

Perseveration in, 18 
Aristotle, 390-2 
Army, 282 

Conflict and adjustment in, 261-271 

Ultimate function of, 262 
Auto-suggestion, 381, 382, 383, 384 


Babinski, 83, 380 

Bahnsen, Julius, 322 

Bailey, T. /., 308 

Bain, A., 308, 313, 314, 319 

Balfour, Gerald, 216, 217 

Baudouin, 379, 381 

Beard, G. M., 42 

Bergson, 191, 298 

Berman, L., 335 

Bernheim, 82, 379 

Binet, 56 

Bjerre, 163 

Bleuler, E., 190, 370, 371, 372, 373 

Boas, 361 

Boven, 332 

Brain : 

Development of, 5 

Human, evolution of, 4 
Breuer, 164 
Brown, William : 

"Suggestion and Personality, 9 

Bucard, 249 
Bullough, 267 
Burr, G. L., 33 

Calef, 33 

Campbell, C. Mac fie: 

"On Recent Contributions to the 
Study of the Personality," 3 6 3- 


Cannon, 91, 103, 196, 335 
Carlson, 335 
Carpenter, 159 
Catalepsy, 20 
Catch-phrases : 

Thraldom of, 8-1 1 
Cerebellar disease, 17 
Character : 

and inhibition, 303-362 

Classification of, 313-329 

Concept of, 334 

connection with sex impulses, 329 

Consolidation of, 316 

Definition of, 315 

from the angle of Struktur and 
Gestalt psychology, 337 

Historical, 307 

in children, 309, 361 

Index of, 346 

Inhibition as basis of, 339-46 

Investigation of, 329 

Moral, 306 

Psychological source of the regu- 
lative principles, 354 

Relation of intellect to, 351 

suggestions from psychiatry, 332 

Thought and, 351 
Characterlessness of women, 347 
Char cot, 79, 379 
Chieftains : 

Mana in, 288 
Children : 

Association of psycho- neurosis with 
mental deficiency in, 65-74 

Character in, 309, 361 

Curiosity of, 67, 69 

Fear in, 73 

" Sexual " feeling in, 73 
Chorea, 17, 20 
Christ, 282 

Equal love of, 282 
Church, 282 

and witchcraft, 28 

Antagonism to magic of, 30 
Claparede, Ed. : 

" Does the Will Express the Entire 
Personality?" 293-299 

Clear thinking : 
Evasion of, 9 




Clinical psychology, 51-61 

Characteristics of, 52 

Relation to social psychology of, 57 
Co -conscious personality, 212, 213, 

Co-consciousness, 96, 171, 189, 209- 

Conscience, 276 
Conscious thought, 147 
Consciousness, 199, 214 

Dissociation of, 81, 82, 83 

Double, 209 

Splitting of, 209 

What is, 157 
Constitution : 

Concept of, 334 
Convulsions, 20 
Coviat, I. H., 19, 36 
Cout, 83, 379, 383 
Crile, 335 
Crowd, 199, 276, 284, 286 

Defects and ferocities of, 277 

Emotional contagion in, 278, 279, 

283, 290 
Curiosity : 

Children's, 67, 69 


Dana, Charles L. : 

"The Handwriting in Nervous 
Diseases, with Special Reference 
to the Signatures of William 
Shakespeare ," 247-257 
Danger : 

Dissociation during, 92, 95 

Emotional condition during, 96 

Experience during, 91-95 

Recollections of, 92 
Dart, Raymond A., 7 
Delusion of marital infidelity, 185 
Dementia praecox, 148, 149, 178, 194, 

Stereotyped movements in, 21 
Depression, 237, 238, 239, 243 

dreams, 137-146 
Devotion, 282 
Dianic cult, 31, 32 
Downey, J. E., 348 
Drake, 38 
Dread : 

in group, 283, 285 

of society, 276 
Dream (s), 167, 200 

Analogy of delusions to, 136 

Analysis, Freud's theory, 167 

Day, 169 

Depression, 137-146, 149 

Elation, 149 

Explanation of, 135 

images, 216 

Dream (s) (cont.) : 

Infantile sexual, 150 

Memory of, 137 

Metamorphosis of , 135-151 

Relation to waking stimulus, 150 

Sexual, 150 

Symbolism of, 137, 168, 169 

thoughts, 216 

thoughts, change to waking 
thoughts, 148 

thoughts, mechanism by which they 

pass into waking activities, 136 
Drever, J., 86 
Dunlap, Knight, 156 

" Subconscious, the Unconscious 

and the Co-conscious," 223-233 
Dysdiadoko kinesis, 17 
Dysmetria, 17 
Dyssynergia, 17 


Ego, in, 112, 113, 214, 215, 285, 289, 


Analysis of, 275 

Disintegration of, 221 
Ego-ideal, 285, 289, 383 
Ego-instincts, 282 
Elation dreams, 149 
Elliot, Hugh, 317 
Emotion (s) : 

Asthenic, 91 

Cognitive effect of, 103 

connection with instincts, 91 

contagion in groups, 278, 279, 283, 

Effect on memory, 101 

Function of, 105 

Motor connection of, 91 

Primary, relation to instincts, 278 

Relation of endocrine glands to, 165 

Sthenic, 91, 98, 100, 105 

Wider functions of, 91 
Emotional : 

movements, 98 

ties, 282, 283, 285, 288 
Empathy, 128-129, 267, 268, 379 

Bibliography of, 131 
Encephalitis lethargica : 

Effect on handwriting of, 251 
Endocrine glands : 

derangement in secretion produced 
by hysteria, 1 66 

relation to emotions, 165 
Envy, 287, 291 
Erlenmeyer, 249 
Ethology, 307, 308 
Excitement, 100, 104 

Emotional movements in, 99 
Extra verts, 115, 116, 118 
Extraversion, 122 



Father : 

Christ, 282 

Equal love of, 288 

Primal, 288, 289, 291 

Surrogate, 282 
Fear, 100, 101, 102, 104, 239 

Collective, 283 

Emotional movements in, 98, 99 
Feeling, 117, 118 
Ferenczi, S., 127 
Fernald, G. G., 305, 306 
Fiske, John, 33, 38 
Flechsig, 158 
Foreconscious, 171 
For el, 144 

FouilUe, A., 298, 319, 320 
Fraser, J. G. t 29 

Freud, S., 10, n, 55, 56, 57, 59, 82, 
84, 85, 87, 127, 135, 140, 155, 156, 
158, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 

200, 2l8, 220, 225, 263, 269, 

275-291, 299, 343, 365, 381, 390 
Friedmann, R., 313 
Friendship, 282 

Gallon, 309 

Gestalt school, 406-7 

Ginsberg, 225 

God, 298 

Goddard, Henry Herbert: 

"The Unconscious in Psycho- 
analysis. A Criticism," 153-171 
Gregarious instinct, 58 
Group, 286 

Dread in, 283, 285 

Emotional contagion in, 278, 279 
283, 290 

ideal, 289 

leader, 282, 283, 286 

Leaderless, 285, 290 

mind, 277, 284 

Organisation in, 277 

Organised, 282 

Primitive, 277 

psychology, 275-291 

Religious, 284 

spirit, 287 
Guiteau case, 182, 184 


Habit, 227 
Handwriting in nervous diseases, 

Hart, Bernard: 

"The Development of Psycho- 
pathology as a Branch of 
Science," 75-88 
Hartmann, 155 
Head, Henry, 7 
Herbart, 155 
Herd instinct, 58, 281, 287 

Hetero-suggestion, 381, 383 
Heymans, G., 327 
Hock, 136, 367 
Holt, E. B., 56, 350 
Homosexuality, 139 
Hoop, van der, 331 
Horde Primal, 287, 288, 289, 291 
Father of the, 288, 291 
Leader of the, 290 
H or ton, L.H.: 

Prince's " Neurogram " Concept, 
Hose, 10, 361 
Hunt, J. Ramsay : 

" The Static and Kinetic Represen- 
tations of the Efferent Nervous 
System in the Psycho-motor 
Sphere," 13-23 
Hunter, John I., 5, 7 
Hutchinson, 37 

Hypermnesia, retroactive, 102, 103 
Hypnosis, 286, 288, 379 
Deep, 380 
Definition of, 380 
Relation of suggestion to, 379 
Hypnotic somnambulism, 81, 211 
Hypnotic state, relation of suggestion, 


Hypnotism, 210, 212, 218, 289, 380 
Hypnotist, 288 

Hysteria, 27, 79, 82, 83, 194, 210, 381 
Derangement in secretion of endo- 
crine glands by, 166 
Psychokinetic and psychostatic 

manifestations of, 20 
Psychopathological conception of, 


Hysterical amblyopia, 80 
Hysterical somnambulisms, 2 10 , 2 1 1 

Ideas, 231 

Identification, 221, 285 
Imitation, 280 
Inhibition, 241, 286 

as basis of character, 339, 346 

Character and, 303-362 

of instinctive tendencies, 354 

of sexual instinct, 346 
Insanity : 

Criteria of, 183 

Delusion of marital infidelity in, 185 
Insanity cases : 

How verdicts are obtained in, 175 

Mental attitude of judges in, 181 

Partial responsibility for criminal 
acts in, 183 

Question of allowing medical wit- 
nesses to hear all testimony in 
(U.S.) Admiralty, 179 

trial to determine mental condition 
before trial for homicide, 1 82 

Writ of habeas corpus in, 176 


Instinct(s), 56, 58, 227, 341, 342, 360, 

Connection of emotions with, 91 

Ego-, 282 

Gregarious, 58 

Herd, 58, 281,287 

Inhibition, 355 

Laughter, 279 

Love, 282 

Parental, 286 

Relation of primary emotions to, 

Self -preservative, 287 

Sexual, 276, 286, 287, 304, 347 

Sexual, inhibition, 346 

Sexual, obstruction, 286 

Social, 58, 275 

Unconscious, 161 
Intelligence, evolution of, 3-8 
Intention tremor, 17 
Intro jection, 129 
Introverts, 115, 116, 118, 120 
Introversion, 122 
Intuition, 117, 118 


James, William, 91, 229, 243, 296, 336 

Janet, Pierre, 56, 80, 81, 82, 86, 155, 

210, 217, 218, 298, 365, 379, 


" Memories Which are Too Real," 


Jastrow, /., 156, 310, 311, 321, 333 
Jelliffe, Smith Ely : 

"Unconscious Dynamics and 
Human Behaviour : a Glimpse at 
Some Inter-Relationships of 
Structure and Function," 187- 

Jones, Ernest, 136, 150, 269, 329, 383 
' ' Abnormal Psychology and Social 

Psychology," 49-61 
Jones, Tudor, 7 
Jove, 231 
Joy, loo 

Emotional movements in, 98, 99 
Jung, C. G., 87, 155, 221, 329, 330, 

373, 374, 390, 406-7 
' ' Psychological Types, " 109-122 

Kraepelin, 21, 370, 374 

Kretschmer, Ernst, 333, 334, 368,369, 


Kroll, 19 
Kuppers, E., 191 

Lang f eld, Herbert Sidney ; 

" Conflict and Adjustment in Art," 

Laughter, 279 
Laughter instinct, 279 
Leader, 282, 283, 286, 287, 290, 348 

Death of, 284 

Equal love of, 282, 285, 288 

Prestige of, 280 

Le Bon, 57, 276, 277, 279, 280, 289 
Leftwich, R. W., 256 
Leibnitz, 216 
L6vy, 321 
Levy-Bruhl, 361 
Libidinai ties, 283-285 
Libido, 192, 219, 282, 283, 290, 343 

Sexual, 286, 291 
Liepmann, 19 
Lipps, 267 
Locke, 394-5. 399 
Lotze, 216 
Love, 100, 102, 282, 285, 286 

Being in, 285, 286 

Christ's, 282, 285 

Emotional movements in, 98, 99 

Equal, 282, 285, 288 

for humanity, 282 

Parental, 282, 286 

Self-, see Narcissism 

Sexual, 286 
Lucka, E., 325, 326 
Lunacy : 

Criminal, 182 

Criminal, partial responsibility, 183 

trials, how verdicts are obtained, 

trials, mental attitude of judges, 

trials, question of allowing medical 

witnesses to hear all testimony 

in (U.S.) Admiralty cases, 179 
trials, writ of habeas corpus, 176 


Kahlbaum, 367 

Kahn, 370, 371 

Kant, 309 

Kempf, 331 

Kings, Mana in, 288 

Kittredge, G. L., 33, 42, 48 

Klages, 326 

Koehler, 338, 407-8 

Koffka, K., 338, 408 

Kollarits, Jeno, 334 


McCharles, Stella B., 102 

MacCurdy, John T. : 

" The Metamorphosis of Dreams," 

McDougall, William, 10, 57, 91, 215, 
216, 217, 277, 280, 283, 284, 311, 
3i6, 317, 34L 356, 361, 380, 412 
" Professor Freud's Group Psy- 
chology and his Theory of 
Suggestion," 273-291 



Magic, Antagonism of Church to, 30 

Malapert, 320 

Malebranche, 278 

Mana, 288 

Martin, 277 

Medicine : 

Bad thinking in, 129 

Bad thinking in, bibliography, 132 
Medico-legal experiences, 175-186 
Memory : 

Effect of emotion on, 101 

Too real, 237-246 

Unreal, 241 
Mental deficiency, association with 

psycho -neurosis, 65-74 
Mental dissociation, 209-211 
Mesmer, 82 

Meumann, E., 322, 323, 324, 325 
Meyer, Adolf, 368 
Michotte, 299 
Mill, J. S., 307, 308 
M ills, Charles K. : 

"Some Medico-Legal Experiences, 
with Comments and Reflections," 
Mitchell, T. W. : 

"The Self and Co-consciousness/' 


Moore, G. H., 33 
Motility, 15, 1 6, 17 

Hysterical disorders of, 20 
Motor apraxia, 18, 19 

Perse veration in, 18 

Purposive, 15, 18 

Stereotyped, 15 

Stereotyped, in dementia praecox, 


Munsterberg, 155, 311 
Murray, Margaret A., 31, 36, 47 
Myers, Charles S. : 

"The Association of Psycho- 
Neurosis with Mental Deficiency," 
6 3-74 

Myers, Frederic, 210, 389 
Myoclonus, 20 
Myotonia, 17, 20 


Narcissism, 282, 284, 383 
Nervous system : 

Efferent, new conception, 15 
Efferent, static and kinetic repre- 
sentations in psycho-motor 
sphere, 13-23 

Neurogram concept, 387-419 
Neurosis, 59, 381 

Panic, 104, 283, 284 
Parker, 8 
Parmelee, 298 

Paralysis : 

Functional, 81 
Paralysis agitans, 17 

Effect on handwriting of, 251 
Paramyoclonus multiplex, 17 
Paresis, Effect on handwriting of, 252 
Pathopsychology, 51 
Paulhan, 298, 318, 319 
Paulsson, 265, 376 
Perez, 317 
Perse veration, 15 

Intentional, 19 

Kinetic and static, 18-20 
Personality : 

Co-conscious, 212, 213, 216 

Double, 81, 92, 95, 209, 210, 212, 
218, 270 

Multiple, 209, 210, 211, 216, 218, 

Secondary, 211, 212, 220 

Secondary, of trance mediumship, 

Study of, recent contributions, 


Suggestion and, 379-384 
Petit mal, Effect on handwriting of, 


Pfister, 331 
Pick, 19 
Prestige, 280 

Prince, Morton, 3, 51, 56, 81, 96, 125, 
155, 156, 159, 168, 189, 210, 213, 
214, 215, 217, 219, 225, 226, 227, 
228, 246, 270, 299, 3 6 5.3 6 7379, 

bibliography of writings, 420 -27 
Priim, 299 
Psychic unity, 10 

Psychoanalysis, 58, 85, 135, 137-144, 
162, 163, 166, 167, 200-204, 218, 
220, 221 

Unconscious in, 155-171 
Psychological scars, 243 
Psychological types, 109-222 
Psychology : 

Abnormal, 49-61 
Clinical, 51-61 
Clinical, characteristics, 52 
Clinical, relation to social psy- 
chology, 57 

Concepts of, construction, 77-88 
Faulty reasoning in, 130 
Group, 275-291 
Plea for elimination of evasive terms 

and phrases in, n 
Social, 49-61 

Social, relation to clinical psy- 
chology, 57 
Psycho -neurosis : 
association with mental deficiency, 

Psychopathology, 51, 59 

development as branch of science, 

Use of catchwords in, 127 



Psychoses, 79 
Psycho-therapeutics, 162 


Reciprocal innervation, 16 
Regression, 148, 150, 290 
Religion, 60 
Repression, 164, 166, 218, 219, 220, 

299, 3?i 
Ribery, 322 
Ribot, 321 
Rivers, 10, 87 
Roback, A. A. : 

"Character and Inhibition," 


Rosanoff, A. J., 333 
Rugg, H., 348 

Saltpttritre, 380 
Sanity : 

False criteria of, 183 
Schallmeyer, 277 
Schopenhauer, A., 352, 353 
Self : 

Divisions of, 209 

love, see Narcissism 

preservation, 287 

sacrifice, 290 
Senile tremor : 

Effect on handwriting of, 253 
Sensation, 117, 118 
Sense : 

of sight, 4 

of touch, 5 
Sensuality, 282, 286 
Sex theories, 84 
Sexual : 

attraction, 282 

dreams, 150 

dreams, infantile, 150 

impulses, 147, 291 

impulses, connection with 

character, 329 

impulses, inhibited, 286, 288 

instinct, 276, 286, 287, 304, 347 

instinct, inhibition, 346 

instinct, obstruction, 286 

jealousy, 288, 291 

libido, 2 86, 291 

love, 286 

lust, 282, 286 

relationships, 60 

repression, 371 

tendencies, 286, 288 
Shand, A. F., 91, 308, 314, 316, 415 
Shellshear, Joseph, 7 
Sighele, 277 
Sight : 

Sense of, 4 

Smith, G. Elliot: 

" The Evolution of Intelligence and 
the Thraldom of Catch-Phrases," 

Social : 

instinct, 58, 275 

psychology, 49-61 

psychology, relation to clinical 

psychology, 57 
Society : 

Dread of, 276 
Somnambulism, 81 

Hypnotic, 81, 211 

Hysterical, 210, 211 
Sorrow, 102 

Emotional movements in, 99 
Specht, Wilhelm, 51 
Speech, 7 

Spranger, 338, 339 
Star eke, 192 
Stekel, 331 
Stern, Erich, 338 
Stern, William, 338 
Stout, G. F., 384 
Stratton, George M. : 

"An Experience daring Danger 
and the Wider Functions of 
Emotion," 89-106 

Subconscious, 155, 210, 225-233, 245 
Suggestion, 82, 83, 126-127, 279, 280, 

abuse of term, 126, 127 

and personality, 379-384 

Auto-, 381, 382, 383, 384 

Bibliography of, 131 

Hetero-, 381, 383 

Hypnotic, 210 

Mutual, 280 

Post-hypnotic, 127 

relation to hypnosis, 127, 379 

relation to waking state, 127 

Theory of, 280, 282, 291 

Theory of, Freud's, 275-291 
Superman, 288 
Symbols : 

Typical, 10 
Sympathy, 357 
Syringo-myelics, 80 

Tabes dorsalis, effect on handwriting, 


Taboo, 288 
Tarde, 280 
Taylor, E. W. : 

" Some Medical Aspects of Witch- 
craft," 25-48 
Temperament, 112, 308, 309, 313, 

314, 322-334 
Concept of, 334 
Differentiation of, 109 
Tenderness, 286 



Tertullian, 47 

Thinking, 117, 118 

Thought and character, 351 

Thoughts, 231 

Totemism, 288 

Touch, Sense of, 5 

Tremor, 20 

Trotter, Wilfred, 58, 277, 278, 281, 

Types, 109-122 


Unconscious, 84, 86, 147, 155, 189, 
190, 193, 199, 220, 225-233 

cerebration, 159 

Concepts of, 155 

dynamics and human behaviour, 

in psychoanalysis, 155-171 

instinct, 161 

Term, 157 
Upham, C. W. t 34, 35, 37, 48 

Van der Hoop : 

see Hoop, van der 
Vision, foundation of man's mental 

powers, 4 
Volition, 295, 296, 298, 299, 384 

and desire, 296 


Waking state, Relation of suggestion 

to, 127 

Waking thoughts, 136 
Walshe, 19 
Warren, 298 
Webb, E., 347 
Weininger, Otto, 309 
Wells, F. L., 367 
Wendell, B., 42 
Wertheimer, 338 
Westermarck, 361 
White, William A., 331 

"Notes on Suggestion, Empathy, 
and Bad Thinking in Medicine," 

Wiersma, .,327 
Will, 316 

Definition of, 295 

does it express the entire person- 
ality ? 295-299 
Wilson, 19 
Winsor, Justin, 33 
Wishes, 231 
Witchcraft : 

in America, 33-48 

Medical aspects of, 25-48 

Salem cases, 28, 33-48 

Suppression of, 32 

Term, origin and development, 28 
Women, Characterlessness, 347 
Wundt, W. t 57, 311, 322, 323