Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals by William James


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Page 2

VII. WHAT THE NATIVE REACTIONS ARE

Fear and love,--Curiosity,--Imitation,--Emulation,--Forbidden by
Rousseau,--His error,--Ambition, pugnacity, and pride. Soft
pedagogics and the fighting impulse,--Ownership,--Its educational
uses,--Constructiveness,--Manual teaching,--Transitoriness in
instincts,--Their order of succession.

VIII. THE LAWS OF HABIT

Good and bad habits,--Habit due to plasticity of organic tissues,--The
aim of education is to make useful habits automatic,--Maxims relative to
habit-forming: 1. Strong initiative,--2. No exception,--3. Seize first
opportunity to act,--4. Don't preach,--Darwin and poetry: without
exercise our capacities decay,--The habit of mental and muscular
relaxation,--Fifth maxim, keep the faculty of effort trained,--Sudden
conversions compatible with laws of habit,--Momentous influence of
habits on character.

IX. THE ASSOCIATION OF IDEAS

A case of habit,--The two laws, contiguity and similarity,--The teacher
has to build up useful systems of association,--Habitual associations
determine character,--Indeterminateness of our trains of
association,--We can trace them backward, but not foretell
them,--Interest deflects,--Prepotent parts of the field,--In teaching,
multiply cues.

X. INTEREST

The child's native interests,--How uninteresting things acquire an
interest,--Rules for the teacher,--'Preparation' of the mind for the
lesson: the pupil must have something to attend with,--All later
interests are borrowed from original ones.

XI. ATTENTION

Interest and attention are two aspects of one fact,--Voluntary attention
comes in beats,--Genius and attention,--The subject must change to win
attention,--Mechanical aids,--The physiological process,--The new in
the old is what excites interest,--Interest and effort are
compatible,--Mind-wandering,--Not fatal to mental efficiency.

XII. MEMORY

Due to association,--No recall without a cue,--Memory is due to
brain-plasticity,--Native retentiveness,--Number of associations may
practically be its equivalent,--Retentiveness is a fixed property of the
individual,--Memory _versus_ memories,--Scientific system as help to
memory,--Technical memories,--Cramming,--Elementary memory
unimprovable,--Utility of verbal memorizing,--Measurements of immediate
memory,--They throw little light,--Passion is the important factor in
human efficiency,--Eye-memory, ear-memory, etc.,--The rate of
forgetting, Ebbinghaus's results,--Influence of the unreproducible,--To
remember, one must think and connect.

XIII. THE ACQUISITION OF IDEAS

Education gives a stock of conceptions,--The order of their
acquisition,--Value of verbal material,--Abstractions of different
orders: when are they assimilable,--False conceptions of children.

XIV. APPERCEPTION

Often a mystifying idea,--The process defined,--The law of
economy,--Old-fogyism,--How many types of apperception?--New
heads of classification must continually be invented,--Alteration of
the apperceiving mass,--Class names are what we work by,--Few
new fundamental conceptions acquired after twenty-five.

XV. THE WILL

The word defined,--All consciousness tends to action,--Ideo-motor
action,--Inhibition,--The process of deliberation,--Why so few of our
ideas result in acts,--The associationist account of the will,--A
balance of impulses and inhibitions,--The over-impulsive and the
over-obstructed type,--The perfect type,--The balky will,--What
character building consists in,--Right action depends on right
apperception of the case,--Effort of will is effort of attention: the
drunkard's dilemma,--Vital importance of voluntary attention,--Its
amount may be indeterminate,--Affirmation of free-will,--Two types of
inhibition,--Spinoza on inhibition by a higher good,--Conclusion.

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