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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 10. July 16, 1947

Abandon Hope . .

Abandon Hope . . .

Mr. Sutton-Smith's selection of subjects for abolition seems to be purely arbitrary. He would abandon psychology to economics, but so many subjects have their economic aspect that perhaps we could abandon economics as well. And why not history also? Of course all these subjects involve a knowledge of English composition. Written material should be a method of developing good style and communication of ideas, so the English department becomes unnecessary. (Literature could become absorbed into social history or some other subject.) If this business of dropping subjects because they overlap is taken seriously, what principle is to decide where it will end?

My contention is that in order to achieve Mr. Sutton-Smith's aims, philosophy and psychology should be made compulsory subjects, to be taken in the first year of the university course. No attempt would be made to traverse wide fields of knowledge, but each subject would be limited to fundamental ideas inherent in its subject-matter, and intended as a basis on which to build specialist knowledge according to the interests of the student. Then, and only then, with all students grounded in the fundamental problems of philosophy and psychology (and sociology if Mr. Sutton-Smith desires) each subject can be examined for its contribution to the solution of contemporary problems in relation to the other social sciences.

A. A. Congalton.