Nature, material and mental, knows no values. Yet it is evident that this alone does not mean that there are no values in reality, for it would be absurd to think that the system of objects which we call nature is the whole world of our life-experience. The fact that in physics and psychology a deliberate description and explanation of nature is going on,-does this not in itself involve the existence of an acting personality which, as such, can find no place in the system of nature?
-from Science and Idealism
As a psychologist and an innovator of experimental psychology, Hugo Münsterberg was a powerful influence on thinking in both the medical and social arenas at the turn of the 20th century, developing practical applications of psychology to industry, medicine, education, the arts, and criminal investigation. Here, though, in this intriguing volume, Münsterberg discusses anxieties and misapprehensions that still afflict the scientific disciplines today.
Münsterberg-in a transcription of an address given at Yale University in 1906-examines how a system that is "valueless" and orderly, like the methods of science, nevertheless does not negate the "chaos of experience" and feeling that characterizes human existence. No reliance upon science and technology, Münsterberg reassures us, can ever deny or lessen those qualities of our lives-morals, emotions, senses of beauty and justice-that we esteem most.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Münsterberg's The Eternal Life, Psychology and Life, Psychology and Social Sanity, The War and America, American Traits, and Psychotherapy
OF INTEREST TO: readers of the philosophy of science, students of the culture wars