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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 11. July 30, 1947

Maths Graduate Says His Must Be Compulsory Subject

Maths Graduate Says His Must Be Compulsory Subject

Dear Sir,—

I do not care if philosophers and psychologists consider abolishing their department. I am concerned when they suggest the addition of these subjects as compulsory stage one subjects.

Psychology is an immature science. Freud's and other theories must be regarded as opinions. It would seem that much more statistical data must be collected before these theories can carry much weight The subject has a certain success in practical psychiatry but the principles followed in allied penology are the same as 1,000 years ago.

Traditionally the English are indifferent to philosophy and no cogent reasons for altering this attitude have been advanced.

Besides, from the point of view of a serious student of philosophy it would be unsatisfactory, as inevitably a more "popular" stage one would result. Of course in every subject the selection of subjects both for mention in lectures and as examination questions is unsatisfactory. Of more interest is how each subject should be improved.

Again why make only philosophy and psychology compulsory? In secondary schools no more than the most elementary calculation is taught. Many advanced science graduates find their lack of mathematical knowledge a handicap. Too few psychologists can appreciate statistics. [unclear: Aa] mathematical training is valuable to a philosopher, for instance, Descartes, Boole and Pythagaras.

J. R. Jackson.