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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 9. June 25, 1947

Psychology Too

Psychology Too

Psychology naturally is included under philosophy. Our historian could make his studies more relevant with a little dash of psychological insight; likewise the economists and political scientists. In actual fact, some of the best recent studies in these fields have come from the hands of psychologists who by happy accident, happened also to have the specialist knowledge.

If the sociologist, psychologists and philosophers protest, the recent history of their own subjects is the best evidence against them. Sociology began with the grandiose claims of Comte and Spencer, has degenerated under the formalistic leanings of such as Tonnies and Simmell, and been completely absorbed by a host of new studies that have grown up round delinquency, leisure the family, and so on. The traditional speculations of philosophy have been vitiated by the advance of modern science and it has retreated—like the bad women of Timothy Shy—into syntax. From there it may as well he taken over by the English Department. Psychology, after plaguing all the other social sciences by popping in and out of the instinct theory, is still largely a body of confusion rather than knowledge (though I hear that "molar behaviourism" is just the latest word). What is valuable in it can best be used by departments such as economics, in the light of whose practical concerns it takes on relevant meaning—in this case industrial psychology.