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IRVING ELGAR MILLER, Ph.D.
Departments of Psychology and Pedagogy and
State Normal School
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
All rights reserved
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped. Published April, 1909. Reprinted
Berwick & Smith Co., Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
ALBERT C. HILL, PH.D.
Department of Public Instruction, Albany, for many
REVEREND SPENCER FISHER
Montour Falls, N. Y., both Lovers of Boys, Character Builders, Men who have Considered it more worth while to be Makers of Men than Makers of Money.
The theme of this book has its origin in the fact that the writer was once a teacher of mathematics in a New England Academy. In mathematics, perhaps more than in some other subjects, the teacher who would succeed is forced to get into very close touch with the actual mental processes involved in thinking as it goes on in specific concrete cases. It was the clinical interest in the thinking process, sharpened and further developed by the teaching of mathematics, which led the writer ultimately to specialize in the study of Psychology and Logic. This original clinical interest in the mental processes, I hope, has not been lost as the result of the greater perfection of theory incident to the university
The reader may find the mathematical interest protruding itself at times, particularly in the choice of illustrative material; but I hope that he will not find the references to mathematics offensively frequent as compared with the references to other subjects. Indeed, many of the illustrations have been drawn directly from the most common experiences of life, entirely apart from any reference to the school.
The dominant point of view for the discussion of thinking within these covers is frankly biological. But it is biological in the broad sense. Life is not thought of as reduced to its lowest physical terms, but as inclusive of everything that makes life worth living. The life process is thought of in terms of the satisfaction of needs in the case of man as we know him at his present level of evolution and civilization. The concrete life of the individual includes all that we regard as of value, or worth while, in the complex life of the highly evolved, socialized, and civilized human being. The