Braunschweig, F. Vieweg und Sohn, 1881. 8vo. Orig. printed wrappers, uncut. Back board loose, lightly browspotted. (4),324 pp.
First German edition (Autorisirte deutsche Ausgabe).
The first major work by Théodule Ribot (1839-1916), 'La Phychologie anglaise contemporaine (Ècole expérimentale)' was already, with perfect precision, determining the path the author would follow in the rest of his philosophical and psychological career. In the preface to the book Ribot was manifesting, for the first time in France, a whole new school of psychology. Here the author made it clear that after the establishment of the positive sciences, it was now time for the psychology to break free of the spell of philosophy, bound up as it was in metaphysical assumption, and to constitute itself in its own right by renouncing all speculation about origin, nature and ends. Instead the psychology should be science about facts, manifesting itself in two inseparable aspects: the internal aspect of mind and the physiological aspect. The method of introspection, essentially individual and limited by a small number of correctly perceived facts, should therefore be supplemented by a method of externalism: observation and evaluation of the nervous phenomena, children, races, animals, etc. In Ribot's second book, 'La psychologie allemande contemporaine (Ècole expérimenrale), in this copy translated into German, he continues to follow this path by introducing German psychologist that also was working form the same experimental standpoint.