Why I identify with the ideas of the “father” of Psychology in the United States, William James

If you have read some of my science related writings you might understand that I believe that all “hidden” systems and processes relating to “reality” are implicit. I also suggest in my writings that metaphysical [ontological] science like the laws of nature are implicit.

In the various William James quotations cited below you will see how James talks about the problems of metaphysical science as it relates to the Discipline of Psychology. You will note in the final paragraph of this series of quotations of James’ ideas that he suggests that at some time into the future the Discipline of Psychology will need to come to terms with the metaphysical variables [I say implicit] of everyday life and the wider universe. He also seems to be saying that the science of Psychology will remain “deficient” until such time as this occurs.

Quotes: [I emboldened]

Preface V1

” I have kept close to the point of view of natural science throughout the book. Every natural science assumes certain data uncritically, and declines to challenge the elements between which its own laws obtain, and from which its own deductions are carried on. Psychology, the science of finite individual minds, assumes as its data (1) thoughts and feelings, and (2) a physical world in time and space with which they coexist and which (3) they know. Of course these data themselves are discussable, but the discussion of them (as of other elements) is called metaphysics and falls outside the province of this book…”. (I say that this is the case because it is implicit).

“…This book, assuming that thoughts and feelings exist and are vehicles of knowledge (I say information), thereupon contends that psychology when she has ascertained the empirical correlation of the various sorts of thought or feeling with definite conditions of the brain (I say explicit), can go no farther can go no farther, that is, as a natural science. If she goes farther she becomes metaphysical. All attempts to explain our phenomenally given thoughts as products of deeper-lying entities (whether the latter be named Soul, Transcendental Ego, Ideas, or Elementary Units of Consciousness ) are metaphysical. (I say all elements of the preceding sentence are implicit)…”

This book consequently rejects both the associationist and the spiritualist theories; and in this strictly positivistic point of view consists the only feature of it for which I feel tempted to claim originality. Of course this point of view is anything but ultimate. Men must keep thinking ; and the data assumed by psychology, just like those assumed by physics and the other natural sciences, must some time be overhauled. The effort to overhaul them clearly and thoroughly is metaphysics ; but metaphysics can only perform her task well when distinctly conscious of its great extent…” (I say that the universe is implicit and it is aware of itself as well as what is going on within itself).

“…Metaphysics fragmentary, irresponsible, and half-awake, and unconscious that she is metaphysical, spoils two good things when she injects herself into a natural science. And it seems to me that the theories both of a spiritual agent and of associated * ideas are, as they figure in the psychology-books, just such metaphysics as this. Even if their results be true (I say that they must be and that this shortcoming is a significant failing of psychology as a discipline of mental health medicine),…”

“…it would be as well to keep them, as thus presented, out of psychology as it is to keep the results of idealism out of physics…”


“I have therefore treated our passing thoughts as integers, and regarded tlie mere laws of their co-existence with brain-states as the ultimate laws for our science. The reader will in vain seek for any closed system in the book. It is mainly a mass of descriptive details, running out into queries which only a metaphysics (I say all that is implicit)…”

“…alive to the weight of her task can hope successfully to deal with…”

“…(I suggest what James is saying is that his psychology model is incomplete and will continue to be so until such time as psychologists can find a way of including all that is metaphysical [implicit] in their theoretical psychology models)…”

That will perhaps be centuries hence; and meanwhile the best mark of health that a science can show is this unfinished-seeming front…”