Passage Questions
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Now I want to return to the phenomena about which, partly
by chance and partly through Mayo, I had become curious
and with which, partly by reinforcement and partly by choice
I decided to stick. I call this episode my discovery of life space.
When I was in philosophy, I was more interested in the "true"
than in the "real," the "good," or the "beautiful." To use
traditional subdivisions of philosophy, I was more interested
in epistemology (what makes knowledge knowledge) than in
metaphysics (what makes the real real), or ethics (what
makes the good good), or aesthetics (what makes the
beautiful beautiful). These sixty-four dollar questions I
decided to consider no longer - at least not until I retired.
Mayo told me that philosophy was a good subject to engage in
at the beginning and end of one's life. In the middle years, he
said, one should live it.


One epistemological distinction still meant a great deal to me.
This was the one David Hume made between two kinds of
knowledge: one that referred to "relations of ideas" and the
other to "matters of fact". Analytical propositions, as they
were called in philosophy, such as "The sage is wise,"
belonged to the first kind. In such propositions, the predicate
(wise) was contained in the subject (sage), so that nothing
new had been added; they were true apart from experience
and thus constituted a priori knowledge. Synthetic propositions,
on the other hand, such as "The rose is red" belonged
to the second kind of knowledge. In such propositions the
predicate (red) was not contained in the subject (rose). Their
truth was contingent upon experience and could not be
known apart from experience; they constituted a posteriori
knowledge.


Although it was this distinction that had led to Hume's
scepticism about knowledge and Kant's resolution of it, I felt
it was important to maintain this distinction without having
to accept wholly either Hume's or Kant's epistemological
conclusions. The distinction, it seemed to me, neither cast a
giant shadow on the status of a posteriori synthetic
propositions, as Hume thought, nor did it require the
possibility of a priori propositions in order to get out of this
dilemma, as Kant thought. Hence, in the best fashion of the
day, that is, in terms of the newly emerging analytic
philosophy of Whitehead and Russell, I put the propositions
of both logic and mathematics in the class of a priori analytic
knowledge and the proposition of common sense and science
in the class of a posteriori synthetic knowledge. The criterion
for the truth of propositions in, the first class was logical
consistency; the criterion for the truth of propositions in the
second class was some correspondence with the phenomena,
a matter, which could not be settled apart from verification
by observation.


However, I did not keep these two kinds of propositionsanalytical
and synthetic-totally unrelated. It seemed to methat the development of scientific knowledge required both kinds of propositions so long as they were differentiated from and related to each other. At the time, I was not too clear
what this relationship was. It seemed to me that the question
was going to be settled by experience, not philosophical
dogma. In this case, experience seemed to me to mean having
something to do with convenience and utility as well as
observation. Thus, I had three different notions of the truth in
the back of my mind: (1) the notion of consistency, (2) the
notion of correspondence to the phenomena, and (3) the
notion of convenience and utility. In matters about truth I
was a bit of a logician, a bit of a positivist, and a bit of a
pragmatist, and so I have remained for the rest of my life. For
to me now the question no longer was which one of these
truths was absolute; it was how these different notions about
truth worked together to produce knowledge. As the search
for an answer to this question lurked behind the scenes
throughout my career, I want to describe how it began in my
counselling activities with students. When I started
interviewing students, I conceived of my mission partly as a
research project and partly as a counselling service to them.
Helping them was important to me but not my sole objective.
I was also interested in the preoccupations of the students
and the uniformities I felt I saw in them. These became the
phenomena about which I became curious and which I
wanted to understand.


The readings that I have previously mentioned helped me.
Both Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud had influenced Mayo. In
talking about obsession or compulsion neurosis (Mayo,
following Janet, used the word obsession) Mayo contrasted
and related the two men's approaches to psychopathology.
He felt that Janet described the phenomena better, whereas
Freud showed their historical determination. That is to say,
Freud was more concerned with how the obsessive's thinking
got that way, whereas Janet was concerned with its present
form. The researches of Janet on mental illness are of course
much less well known than those of Freud. Janet's most
important books (1909, 1919, and 1921) have not been
translated into English, although Psychological Healing
(1925) has been. Mayo wrote a book in 1948 about Janet's
work.


As a result, I was somewhat of a maverick in interviewing
students; that is, I used the most general ideas underlying the
conceptual schemes of both Janet and Freud. I concentrated
first on the nature of a student's preoccupations here and
now; only if I thought it necessary did I explore his personal
history to see what may have influenced him in his present
direction. This seemed to me the natural course that most
interviews took anyway. Many times I would state the form of
the student's preoccupations in Janet's terms; I hardly ever
stated the dynamics in Freudian terms. Here I felt I was
following the principle of doing the least harm-a principle
upon which, as Mayo and Henderson told me again and again,
the practice of medicine was based.

I also found Janet's concepts more congenial than Freud's,
because during this period I was anti-metaphysical. Freud's
way of thinking seemed to me to have too many metaphysical
entities circling around in it. I felt that I could study a person's
preoccupations and concerns without having to posit an
unconscious. Moreover, much of the "wild" psychoanalytical
talk that certain circles indulged in at that time I found
distasteful. I was going to stay as close to the phenomena as I
could and become well acquainted with them before seeking
too quickly for any explanation of them. In constantly comparing
Janet and Freud, Mayo performed an inestimable
service for me. Although annoying at times- because of course
I was still bothered about who was right- the comparison
prevented me from going off half-cocked. I had to try to make
sense out of both positions. It could be said that I
experimented with Freud's ideas more upon myself than
upon my students. I underwent psychoanalysis for a period of
six months after which my analyst died; he had been analysed
by both Freud and Jung (and at this period in Boston they
were tops). I did not continue with anyone else.

1. Which of the following is not a true statement?
(A) The author of the passage was analysed neither by Freud nor by Jung
(B) The author of the passage did not compare Mayo and Freud
(C) Janet and Freud were compared by Mayo
(D) The author constantly compared Janet and Freud
(E) ---

2. According to the passage, which of the following subdivision of philosophy deals with knowledge?
(A) Ontology
(B) Aesthetics
(C) Epistemology
(D) None of these
(E) ---

3. Which of the following is not a true statement?
(A) "Analytical propositions" refer to the
(B) "Analytical propositions" constitute
(C) "Synthetic propositions" refer to the
(D) "Synthetic propositions" constitute
(E) ---

4. According to the passage,
(A) Mayo was influenced by Russell and Whitehead
(B) The author was not influenced by Janet and Freud
(C) The author was influenced by Janet and Freud
(D) Mayo was influenced neither by Janet nor by Freud
(E) ---

5. According to the author,
(A) The same person can be a positivist, a logician and a pragmatist at the same time.
(B) The same person can never be a positivist, a logician and a pragmatist at the same time.
(C) Few people can be a positivist, a logician and a pragmatist at the same time.
(D) Some people do not want to be a positivist, a logician and a pragmatist at the same time.
(E) ---

6. The author of the passage is
(A) a follower of Kant
(B) a follower of Hume
(C) a critique of Hume and Kant
(D) neither a critique nor a follower of Kant or Hume
(E) ---