Add Wundt to Dewey and James

[from Gary Cziko 960930.2350 GMT]

PCTists often like to quote from John Dewey (as Bruce Abbott recently did
on CSGnet) and Williams James to show that they had some good PCT-like
ideas at the turn of the century.

Well, it looks like we can now add Wilhelm Wundt, the grandaddy of
experimental psychology, to this bunch, at least according to Blumenthal
(1988) from whom I provide an excerpt below.

The original Wundt source (1900-1920) is his mammoth 10-volume
_Völkerpsychologie_ (page references from Blumenthal would have been real
nice). Perhaps one of our German subscribers can dig into this and find
some original Wundt quotes showing his understanding of the centrality of
purpose in explaining behavior.

Wundt was a psychophysical dualist, as the excerpt below suggests. Too bad
Wundt didn't know what we know today--that purposive behavior can be
accounted for by a physical, mechanistic system.--Gary

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"Wundt acknowledged the principle of the conservation of energy and,
consequently, the theoretical possibility of reducing psychological
observations to physiologial or physical descriptions. Still, he argued,
these physical sciences would then describe the act of greeting a friend,
eating an apple, or writing a poem in terms of the laws of mechanics or in
terms of physiology. And no matter how fine-grained and complicated we
make such descriptions, they are not useful as descriptions of
psychological events. Those events need be described in terms of
intentiosn and goals, according to Wundt, because the actions, or physical
forces, for a given psychological event may take an infinite variety of
physical forms. In one notable example he argued that human language
cannot be described adequately in terms of its physical shape or of the
segmentation of utterances, but rather must be described as well in terms
of the rules and intentions underlying speech. For the ways of expressing
a thought in language are infinitely variable, and language is governed by
creative rules rather than fixed laws (Wundt, 1900-1920)."

Blumenthal, Arthur L. (1988). A reappraisal of Wilhelm Wundt. In Ludy T.
Benjamin, Jr. (Ed.), _A history of psychology: Original sources and
contemporary research_. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 198

[Avery Andrews 960701]

(Gary Cziko 960930.2350 GMT)

>of the rules and intentions underlying speech. For the ways of expressing
>a thought in language are infinitely variable, and language is governed by
>creative rules rather than fixed laws (Wundt, 1900-1920)."

Seems reminiscent of Humboldt, who Chomsky often alludes to. The
search for antecedents can always be driven further back....