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The Outlines of Educational Psychology

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Pages: 184

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: William Henry Pyle

Excerpt from book: Chapteb II. BODY AND MIND. The background of psychology is biology, and although our interest here is strictly psychological, certain biological presuppositions and considerations, as well as certain psychophysical relations, are necessary to make our treatment of mental development fully intelligible. The evolution of the body.—"The doctrine of evolution merely states that the animal world as it exists is naturally developed out of the animal world as it existed yesterday." It is only a statement of the fact that the temporal relations of phenomena are causal: the events of today grew out of the events of yesterday, those of yesterday out of those of the day before, and so on back. The animals of today are the natural descendants of the animals of the past, the plants of today of the plants of the past: in fact, the inorganic, as well as the organic, world is believed to proceed causally from one phenomenon to another. Gravitation and evolution are twin conceptions that bring order out of chaos, put meaning into otherwise meaningless facts. The law of gravity merely states the fact of the orderly arrangement and relation of things in space, and the law of evolution states the fact of the orderly arrangement of phenomena in time. They might very well be called the laws of the orderly arrangement of phenomena in time andspace. We must, of course, bear in mind that a law for natural science is no more than a shorthand statement of the relationships and uniformities that exist in a body of facts. The old view of the world was static. Events were looked upon as more or less independent and the result of chance. Few men even dreamed of the great, underlying, interpenetrating relationship existing among all things. History was largely the chronicling of unrelated events: scien...  

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