a primer of psychology

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: as the chair It is a little difficult at first to understand this use of the a, not has. ' i , ut it i important that the use should be seat and ' ' back, etc. understood. To make it clearer we will take an illustration. Suppose we were asked to describe a chair. We might say : " A chair is a piece of furniture that has a seat, and four legs, and bars, and a back, and sometimes arms and rockers." That seems true enough. But if we look at the description closely we find a difficulty. Does the chair ' have' these parts? Is there any chair there if you take the legs and back and seat and arms away ? It is more nearly true to say that the chair is all these things than that it has them. When we speak of the ' legs of a chair,' we do not mean that the chair is complete without its legs ; we ought really to say ' the legs of the rest of a chair' or' the legs of back and seat and arms.' Now it is precisely the same with mind. We must not say that the mind ' has' thoughts and feelings; but that the mind is thoughts and feelings. Take away the thoughts and feelings and you take away the mind. " But we are constantly losing thoughts ; we forget things. Yet the mind remains." So may the chair-seat lose straws or bits of cloth or parts of its hair-padding; yet the chair remains. And the mind is renewed as the chair is; we learn new things, to make up for what we have forgotten. Take away a great group of thoughts, and the mind is an ' insane' mind, a fragment that is of little use, — like the chair without .its legs. Take away thoughts and feelings altogether, and you take away the whole mind. § 4. Thing and Process. — Mind, then, is the sum of thoughts, feelings, etc. They are the material, the stuff, so to speak, of which mind is made; and they are accordingly the matters with ...
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