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methods put into practice, but furnishes nó principle to determine what they shall be. To make the science of Psychology the basis of the art of methods is like making the science of Botany the basis of the art of farming. There must be a science of agriculture apart from the science of vegetable growths, or systematic farming is impossible. In the second place, the same subjects and methods of study apply equally well to the exercise of different faculties, so that the classifications of Psychology do not furnish fundamental distinctions for methods. Methods must be subject to the test of developing all the faculties, but do not necessarily vary to correspond with them.
3. When the author of this work was compelled by his position as teacher of Didactics about twenty years ago to give critical attention to the foundation principles of the teacher's profession, the above difficulties presented themselves to him, and he asked if there was not a science of the process of mental development, apart from the science of Psychology; a science of mental growth, on which the art of methods might be founded. Much had been done by educational writers in the discussion of the important principles of their profession, but there was no systematic treatise that was recognized as setting forth the processes of mental growth in scientific form. The greatest want seemed to be a starting-point, a general law that would unify and harmonize all the principles that had been developed into a consistent whole. To find such a law was the first effort. In his search the author first began to study the steps of his own mental advancement. He had always considered it the most helpful thing ever done for his own education that as soon as he had learned to read he was set to fearn the classification of letters and the analysis of words, as laid down in the first part of his spellingbook. A habit of analytic thinking was thus established, which from that time made analysis as easy and natural as reading a story. Two years later, a winter's work in trying to master Arithmetic to the Rule of Three made exercise in combining numbers equally easy and natural. Habits of analytic and of synthetic reasoning seemed firmly established, and on these two processes depend all thought. But whatever might be involved in these processes, as yet there seemed to be no unifying principle between them to use as the foundation of a science, and they had not been made to cover the ground of perception and the other lower faculties of the mind.
4. Beginning next with perception, the lowest act of consciousness, it was not far to the conclusion that the consciousness of difference, or discrimination, is the first distinct mental act. This act seemed to correspond to analysis in the higher faculties. But discrimination is not merely the perception of different things,- it is the perception of things as different. This implies com. parison, and comparison implies a class to which the things compared belong. To make a discrimination, the mind must develop a sense of unity. The possibility of discrimination implies a capacity for unification. Objects that differ are what they are without reference to each other. They are put together only in thought, and this can come only from a natural tendency in the mind itself to unify. But unification is essentially synthesis, and we are thus brought to a view of all mental development as a discrimination of objects under such unities as the mind is capable of developing from the tendencies involved in its own constitution. This thought was somewhat elaborated in a short paper read at a teachers' association, and the essay is presented here, with a few omissions for
brevity, because the work which follows takes its start from this point.
Analysis and Synthesis in the Exercise of the Understanding.
5. It is the natural effort of the mind to seek to unify thought. This is its bent, so to speak. As a young shoot, bent from its upright position, ever seeks to bend back to its normal direction, upward towards the sun, so the mind, when drawn to distinguish between this and that, ever struggles to build up this and that into a unity together and into a unity with itself. Whether. we able to explain this tendency or not, it manifests itself as a fact in all the operations of the mind.
6. In perception, we classify objects into larger and larger groups, always seeking for a common thought that is bound up in each individual, by which we may think them all together as one. In memory, all conscious experiences are associated together into such a consolidated unit that when one of these experiences is brought back into conscious remembrance, that will bring another, and another will follow in the train, and the mind will go on and on, seeking, as it were, to complete in conscious memory a unity of all past experiences. All the laws of memory have for their basis the common principle of an underlying unity in the association of thoughts. In imagination the mind makes pictures, more or less harmonious, always as units. In the act of comparison,which is the basis of judgment and reasoning, - things are unified; while in judgment and reasoning, the conclusion is nothing but an identification. In the first place, then, we must say that synthesis is a natural impulse of the mind, spontaneously following the apprehension of things that are different.
7. The unification spoken of is a unification of thought and not of things. The sun and his attendant planets are held in mind as one, and we call them the solar system. But they are not seen as one in the same way by the shepherd lad who looks upon them only as he looks upon the other specks in space. To him they are only stars. The planets do not of themselves form a unit, but the relations between them, which the mind alone sees, is the bond by which they are unit-ed; or, as we say, united. In these relations they exist as in a medium every where identical, which belongs neither to one nor to another, and which comprehends all in a common unit of thought.
8. These relations can only be thought, — they can not be represented by objects. But if they can not be represented by objects, there can be no association of words with objects to make it possible for them to be represented in language to a mind that has not first thought them for itself.
The parts or elements that go to make up a unit may be arranged in ways to make the proper unification easier, but each person must go through the process of uniting them himself. No one can unify for another. To pronounce words, and think they will help the process, is folly, for they only distract. No vicarious thinking done by one will build up intellectual structures in the mind of another. We must give as our second conclusion, then, that all construction, or synthesis of thought, must be sought in the selfenergy of the mind.
9. But, although the mind has a natural tendency to build, the process requires pre-eminently time and attention. In the first place, it requires time. The units and parts or elements that constitute it are simply to be held in mind until, by the spontaneity of thought, the parts or
elements are built into the unit. If the mind does not build as fast as the material is presented, we can only wait.
10. The second thing named as required for synthesis is attention. The result obtained in unifying must be definite and distinct from every thing else, or as a unit it is valueless. When an object or thought is presented for analysis, it is presumably obscurely understood in some of its aspects or it would not require analysis. It is analyzed to make it clearer. But the unit of synthesis is nothing if obscure, — the elements are not fully unified.
II. The elements which we build into wholes are of two kinds,-fixed and variable. The elements of Mathematics have the same value alone and in combination. The mind is capable of building them together, and it may know the exact value of its product. But the elements of speech are of a different nature. The letters of a word have their power determined largely by their combination with each other. An elemental sound has no meaning for us, and it becomes expressive only in connection with other sounds. Any word is ambiguous in sense unless united with other words.
The mind possesses the subtle power of building wholes from these elements, but the process is different from that in the case before spoken of. In this case, the whole is no more what the elements make it than the elements are what the whole determines they must be.
We must seek such values for the elements as will make the whole consistent. This requires that we have the whole in mind, though it may be obscurely, and examine at the same time the elements in relation to it and to each other. This is analysis. The complete process requires, it is true, both analysis and synthesis, but the main energy is spent on separating and discriminating.