Science in Christian Perspective
The New Copernican Revolution*
WILLIS W. HARMAN
Department of Engineering-Economies Systems Stanford University,
Stanford, California 94305
Responses: Gary R. Collins and C. Eugene Walker
From: JASA 23 (June 1971): 42-47.
There are many signs that men may be undertaking a systematic exploration of the vast, imperfectly known universe of his own being, a step as epochal as his construction of a science of the galaxies.
The Most Significant Event
As future historians look back on our times what will they conclude to have been the most significant event of the present decade in terms of its impact on the future? The riots in the cities? The Vietnam War? The Great Society programs? The hippie movement? Student protest? Technological and scientific advances? Man to the moon?
None of these, I would make bold to guess. Nor any of the events or trend discontinuities which the invogue forecasters are picking out with their current methodologies. I will suggest below that it will he something quite different from any of these, an event perhaps well symbolized by an obscure scientific conference held in Council Grove, Kansas, in April 1969.
What follows is a report on research in process. It does not pretend to present demonstrated conclusions. Bather, it raises questions and advances possible interpretations which are so momentous in their possible implications for the future that the fullest possible amount of responsible dialogue is called for.
The Copernican Revolution
Let us suppose for a moment that we are back in the year 1600, concerned with forecasting probable future trends. In retrospect it is clear that one of the most significant events in progress was what came later to be called the Copernican revolution. Would our futurist researchers have picked this up? They might have, if we were looking at the right things. What was the essence of this remarkable transformation that started with the brash suggestions of Nicholas Copernicus and Giordano Bruno and led to consequences as diverse as a tremendous acceleration in physical science and a decline in the political power of the Church? One useful interpretation is that a group of questions relating to the position of the Earth in the universe, and the nature and significance of the heavenly bodies passed out of the realm of the theological and philosophical and into the realm of empirical inquiry. No longer were these questions to be settled by referring to this or that ecclesiastical or scholarly authority; rather they were to be subjected to illumination by systematic observation and experiments. The consequences of such a shift are manifold. New research activities are started; familiar phenomena are given new interpretations; educational approaches are altered; power structures in society undergo change; new bases for consensus are applied to conflicts between belief systems.
The Darwinian Revolution
A later similar event occurred with the work of the geologists, paleontologists, and biologists of the nineteenth century culminating in the controversial evolutionary hypotheses. Questions relating to the origin of the earth and of man were relabeled "empirical" instead of "theological." Again the consequences reverberated throughout the worlds of research, education, and polities.
I believe there is good reason to suspect that we are in the midst of another such saltation today. Much evidence suggests that a group of questions relating to the commonality of and interpretation of man's subjective experience, especially of the "transcendental," and hence to the bases of human values, are shifting from the realm of the "philosophical" to the "empirical." If so, the consequences may be even more far-reaching than those which emerged from the Copernican, Darwinian, and Freudian revolutions.
Evidence for the New Revolution
The evidence is of various sorts. The most obvious kind, of course, is simply the indications that scientists -that is, persons with recognized scientific training, on the staffs of research organizations and universities
ith high standards, and holding membership in good standing in recognized scientific associations-are manifesting more and more interest in developing an adequate science of ordinary and extraordinary subjective experience. This is not completely new, of course.
The phenomena of hypnosis have been studied in a scientific way, off and on, for at least a century and a half. Phenomenology has been a sometime influence in psychology. Freud's psychoanalysis and its offshoots have attempted to probe the unconscious processes. Pioneering books in the exploration of supraconscious processes include F.W.H. Myers' Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death, Richard Bueke's Cosmic Consciousness, William James' Varieties of Religious Experience, and Pitirim Sorokin's The Ways and Power of Love, the first three being approximately two-thirds of a century old. Early in 1969 the first issue appeared of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, dedicated to the systematic exploration of "transpersonal experience." The April 1969 Council Grove (Kansas) conference on "voluntary control of inner states," cosponsored by the Menninger Foundation and the American Association of Humanistic Psychology, represented an unprecedented assemblage of scientists working with altered states of consciousness through such techniques as autohypnosis, aural feedback of alphawave signals, and psychedelic drugs.
In the field of clinical psychology several scientists are proposing to formulate through their researches "a natural value system, a court of ultimate appeal for the determination of good and bad, of right and wrong" (A. H. Maslow), "universal human value directions emerging from the experiencing of the human organism" (Carl Rogers).
An ever-increasing number of students, now in the millions at least, are involved with "awareness-expanding" activities in free-university courses and elsewhere. This concern is intimately related to student demands for a person-centered, rather than scholarship-centered, education.
Predictions for the New Science
The science of man's subjective experience is in its infancy. Even so, some of its foreshadowings are evident. With the classification of these questions into the realm of empirical inquiry, we can anticipate an acceleration of research in this area. As a consequence there is new hope of consensus on issues which have been at the root of conflict for centuries (just as earlier there came about consensus on the place of the Earth in the universe, and on the origin of man). The new science will incorporate the most penetrating insights of psychology, the humanities and religion. These developments will have profound impacts on goal priorities in society, on our concepts of education, on the further development and use of technology, and perhaps (as in the case of the Copernican revolution) on the distribution of power among social institutions and interest groups.
Young and incomplete as the science of subjective experience is, it nevertheless already contains what may very well be extremely significant precursors of tomorrow's image of man's potentialities. Space does not permit documenting them here; however, the following three propositions have accumulated an impressive amount of substantiating evidence:
The potentialities of the individual human being are fai g ,eater, in extent and diversity, than we ordinarily imagine them to he, and far greater than currently in vogue models of man would lead us to think possible.
A far greater portion of significant human experience than we ordinarily feel or assume to he so is comprised of unconscious processes. This includes not only the sort of repressed memories and messages familiar to us through psychotherapy. It includes also "the wisdom of the body" and those mysterious realms of ex-
The science of man's subjective experience is in its infancy .... The new science will incorporate the most penetrating insights of psychology, the humanities, and religion.
perience we refer to with such words as "intuition" and "creativity." Access to these unconscious processes is apparently facilitated by a wide variety of factors, including attention to feelings and emotions, inner attention, "free association," hypnosis, sensory deprivation, hallucinogenic and psychedelic drugs, and others.
Included in these partly or largely unconscious processes are self-expectations, internalized expectations of others, images of the self and limitations of the self. and images of the future, which play a predominant role in limiting or enhancing actualization of one's capacities. These tend to be self-fulfilling. Much recent research has focused on the role of self-expectations and expectations of others in affecting performance, and on the improvement of performance level through enhancing self-image. On the social level research findings are buttressing the intuitive wisdom that one ot the most important characteristics of any society is its vision of itself and its future, what Bnnlding calls "organizing images." The validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy and the self-realizing image appears to grow steadily in confirmation.
Assuming that the evidence
propositions continues to mount, they have the most profound implications for
the future, For they say most powerfully that we have undersold man,
his possibilities, and misunderstood what is needed for what Boulding
great transition," They imply that the most profound revolution of the
educational system would not be the cybernation of knowledge transmission, but
the infusion of an exalted image of what man can be and the cultivation of an
enhanced self-image in each individual child. They imply that the solution to
the alienation and widespread disaffection in our society is not alone in vast
social programs, but will come about through widespread adoption of a new image
of *our fellow man and our relationship to him. They suggest that the pervasive
illness of our nation is loss of the guiding vision, and the cure is
to he found
in a nobler image of man and of a society in which his growth may be
They reassure that an image of fully-human man and of a new social order need
not be built of the gossamer of wishful thinking, but can have a
in the research findings of the most daring explorers of the nature of man and
It is perhaps not too early to predict some of the characteristics of the new science. Preliminary indications suggest at least the following:
Although we have been speaking of it as a science of subjective experience, one of its dominant characteristics will be a relaxing of the subjective-objective dichotomy. The range between perceptions shared by all or practically all, and those which are unique to one individual, will be assumed to be much more of a continuum than a sharp division between "the world out there" and what goes on "in my head."
Related to this will be the incorporation, in some form, of the age-old yet radical doctrine that we perceive the world and ourselves in it as we have been culturally "hypnotized" to perceive it. The typical commonsense scientific view of reality will be considered to be a valid but partial view-a particular metaphor, so to speak. Others, such as certain religions or metaphysical views, will be considered also, and even equally, valid but more appropriate for certain areas of human experience.
The new science will incorporate some way of referring to the subjective experiencing of a unity in all things (the "More" of William James, the "All" of Bogcntal, the "divine Ground" of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy).
It will include some sort of mapping or ordering of states of consciousness transcending the usual conscious awareness (Bocke's "Cosmic Consciousness," the "enlightenment" of Zen, and similar concepts).
It will take account of the subjective experiencing of a "higher self" and will view favorably the development of a self-image congruent with this experience (Bogeotal's "I-process," Emerson's "Over-soul," Assagiols's "True Self," Brunton's "Over-self," the Atman of Vedanta, and so on).
It will allow for a much more unified view of human experiences now categorized under such diverse headings as creativity, hypnosis, mystical experience, psychedelic drugs, extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, and related phenomena.
It will include a much more unified view of the processes of personal change and emergence which take place within the contexts of psychotherapy, education (in the sense of "know thyself"), and religion (as spiritual growth). This view will possibly center around the concept that personality and behavior patterns change consequent upon a change in self-image, a modification of the person's emotionally felt perception of himself and his relationship to his environment.
The New Man
John Bader Platt has argued in The Step to Mars as have Kenneth Boulding and Teilhard de Chardin before him-that the present point in the history of man may well, when viewed in retrospect by some future generation, appear as a relatively sudden cultural step. The portentous impact of the new technology is the heady yet sobering realization that we have the future in our hands, that man recognizes his role as, to use Julian Huxley's phrase, "a trustee of evolution on this earth," The new man, "homo progressivus" in Teilhard de Chardin's words, is described by Lancelot Law Whyte as "unitary man," by Lewis Mumford as the "new person," and by Henry A. Murray as an "ally of the future," The challenge of our time is whether we make "the step to man" or our Faustian powers prove our undoing and the whole vast machine goes off the track through the strains of internecine conflict and degradation of the environment.
To become the new man and to construct the new moral order require a guiding image which is worthy of the task. Man's highest learning has seemed to compromise, in C. P. Snow's terms, not one culture but two. And the noblest of the images of man to be found in the culture of the humanities appeared somehow alien to the culture of the sciences. The preceding arguments suggest this state of affairs is probably a temporary one. For example, Ernest Becker proposes that the two cultures can be joined in a true science of man through admission of the universal value statement that that which estranges man from himself is unwholesome. Whether this or something else becomes the unifying principle, the reconciliation may soon take place. On the one hand, we will come to use comfortably many pluralistic images of aspects of man-one for his biochemical functioning, another perhaps for dealing with pathologies, still another for encompassing his most fully human actions and proclivities. But on the other hand we will find an overarching image of what man can be, or perhaps more accurately, can come to realize that he is already.
The social significance of our dominant basic assumptions regarding the interpretation of subjective experience can be made more specific. At the surface level, so to speak, the nation is beset by numerous social problems which we point to with the terms poverty, crime, racial discrimination, civil disorder, unemployment, pollution, and the like. Experience with attempts to deal straightforwardly with these problems -to tackle discrimination with civil rights legislation, to alleviate the ills of poverty with minimum-wage laws and welfare payments, to eliminate ghettos with urban renewal programs, to deal with civil disorders by increasing police power-indicates that such direct measures typically have unexpected and unintended outcomes. It is as though an "ecology of situations" were upset by a piecemeal approach.
The reason appears to be intrinsic. It seems that these manifest problems are in a sense symptoms of underlying conditions that are more pervasive and less easy to objectify. At another level these problems reside in the institutions of the society, in built-in power distributions, in the traditional roles to which persons are trained, in the time-hallowed structures and processes. At a still deeper level they involve the most basic assumptions, attitudes, and felt values held by the individual and promoted by the culture. The most carefully designed social measures will not achieve their desired goals unless they involve not only rationally designed programs and structures, but also changes in deeply-rooted beliefs, values, attitudes, and behavior patterns, both of the individuals who constitute "the problem populations" and of the self-righteous others who assume that they are not implicated.
An analogy with the process of psychotherapy may reassure that in attending to these underlying conditions we are dealing with that which is more, not less, real and relevant. In the end the neurotic discovers that he was divided against himself, and in a sense lying to himself to conceal that condition. So it may he with our social problems that the significant constructive change is first of all an inner one rather than outer, and in the direction of recognizing the hidden lies and resolving the hidden divisions. To put it in somewhat different terms, just as it is possible for a person to have a pathological set of beliefs about himself, so it may be possible for our society to possess a dysfunctional belief and value system.
In fact, much of today's student unrest centers around the accusation that the society's operative assumptions about man's deepest desires are indeed not consistent with individual inner experience nor in the long-term interest of man or society. A dominant theme among disaffected students is that the American corporate capitalist system manipulates and oppresses the individual.
Thus it is not solely in an idealistic vein that the new science of subjective experience is hailed as having profound significance. It has survival value as well.
Several recent scholars of the future such as Robert Heilhroner, Kenneth Boulding, and Fred Polak have
theoretical and methodological problems which beset a potential investigator in this area. I suspect that the
made much of the concept that it is the image of the future which is the key to that future coming into realization. "Every society has an image of the future which is its real dynamic." As previously noted, much evidence has been accumulated to indicate that the power of the image may be far greater than we have heretofore suspected.
To whatever extent the science of the past may have contributed to a
and economic image of man and a technocratic image of the good society, the new
science of subjective experience may provide a counteracting force toward the
ennobling of the image of the individual's possibilities, of the
socializing processes, and of the future. And since we have come to understand
that science is not a description of "reality" but a
of experience, the new science does not impugn the old. It is not a question of
which view is "true" in some ultimate sense. Rather, it is a matter
of which picture is more useful in guiding human affairs. Among the
that are reasonably in accord with accumulated human experience,
since the image
held is most likely to come into being, it is prudent to choose the
It is strange to observe that at this point in history when we literally have the knowledge and material resources to do almost anything we can imagine-from putting a man on the moon, to exploring the depths of the oceans, to providing an adequate measure of life's goods to every person on earth-we also seem the most confused about what is worth doing. The great problems facing us are a sort where we need belief in ourselves
We have undersold man, underestimated his possibilities, and misunderstood what is needed for "the great transition."
and will to act even more than we need new technologies, creative social
program concepts, and program budgeting. At a time when the nation may well be
in its gravest peril in over a century, and Western civilization may
bang in the
balance, it could even come to pass that a new "Copernican
might provide a missing balance in some four-century-old trends started by the
Assagioli, Roberto, Psychosynthesis: A Manual of Principles and Techniques (Hobbs, Dorman, 1965)
Becker, Ernest, Beyond Alienation (George Brasiller, 1967)
Boulding, Kenneth, The Meaning of the Twentieth Century Harper and Row, 1964)
Bronton, Paul, In Quest of the Oversell (Dotton, 1938) Bneke, Richard M., Cosmic Consciousness (Dutton, 1923)
Bogental, James F. T., The Search for Authenticity (Holt, Binehart & Winston, 1965)
Fromm, Erich The Revolution of Hope (Harper and Row, 19681
Harman, W. W., "Old Wine in New Wineskins" in Challenges
of Humanistic Psychology, J.F.T. Bogental, ed. (McGrawHill, 1967)
Huxley, Aldons, The Perennial Philosophy (Harper and Brothers, 1945)
Maslow, A. H., Toward a Psychology of Being (Van Nostrand, 1962)
Platt, John R., The Step to Man (John Wiley and Sons, 1966)
Teilhard do Chardin, P., The Future of Man (Harper and Row, 1964)
*Reprinted from Stanford Today, Winter 1969, Series II, No. 1, with the permission of the publisher, Stanford University. © 1969 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Jr. University. *Reprinted from Stanford Today, Winter 1969, Series II, No. 1, with the permission of the publisher, Stanford University. © 1969 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.
NOTHING REALLY NEW
Gary R. Collins
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Deerfield, Illinois
History, they say, has a way of repeating itself.
As I read Dr. Harman's interesting article, my mind went back, not to the age of Copernicus, but to a time less than a hundred years ago when psychology was just beginning as a science. In 1879 a German named Wilhelm Wundt set up the world's first psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig and established his place in history as "the founder of modern experimental psychology." Wundt defined psychology as "the science of experience" (Boring, 1950, p. 331). He concluded that the psychological method should be introspection and his studies investigated such topics as perception, feeling, attention, consciousness, and immediate experience. Many of the pioneers in American psychology were Wundt's students who brought the introspective study of conscious experience back across the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, in Vienna, Sigmund Freud was developing his theory of psychoanalysis. After a period of infatuation with hypnosis, Freud stumbled upon the method of free association. Later he developed an interest in dream interpretation and studied slips of the tongue, all in an attempt to understand how the unconscious influences behavior.
Although they gave birth to very different psychological approaches, both Wundt and Freud looked within
man to understand his behavior.
Then came John B. Watson with the theory of behaviorism! According to this view, the psychology of introspection and any attempt to analyze unconscious forces are not scientific. If psychology is to he a real science, the behaviorists suggested, it must forget subjective experience and study observable behavior instead. This view caught on quickly and gave rise to an avalanche of experimental studies, as did the Stimulus-Response psychology which followed.
But many modern psychologists are unhappy with what has happened to their discipline. "Psychology is really in the doldrums right now," wrote Sanford a few years ago.
Actually, the study of man's subjective experience is very old. Its current popularity is, I suspect, a reaction against the disappointing fruits of experimental and clinical psychology and a return to the study of man, not as a responding organism, but as a person.
It is fragmented, overspecialized, method centered, and doll. I can rarely find in the journals anything that I am tempted to read....
The psychologists who are filling up the journals today just do not have sensitivity to human experience, and the fault lies in their training-which is an expression of what academic psychology has become.
We have produced a whole generation of research psychologists who never had occasion so look closely at any one person . . . who, indeed, have long since lost sight of the fact that their experimental subjects are, after all, people (1965, p. 192).
As a protest against a psychology which is method centered rather
than peon centered,
a new force has arisen. Known as humanistic psychology, this approach
the attempt to describe or account for sums wholly on the basis of
and animal behavior" (Severin, 1965, p. xvii). The humanistic
(a group of whom co-sponsored the Council Grove conference about which Harman
writes) seek, instead, to study man's values, feelings , aspirations,
and potentials. In short, psychologists are once again looking within
man to discover
what makes him uniquely human.
This is nothing really new. I was surprised, therefore, to discover that Harman believes we have a "new" science which is "in its infancy." Actually, the study of man's subjective experience is very old. Its current popularity is, I suspect, a reaction against the disappointing fruits of experimental and clinical psychology and a return to the study of man, not as a responding organism, but as a person.
That history has gone in a circle like this is not without significance, however. Social and behavorial scientists (and apparently some physical scientists such as Dr. Harman) are coming to recognize that the objective study of observable behavior has failed to teach us very much about the real reasons for man's actions. In looking for another approach to the study of man, it is now becoming scientifically respectable to study "deeply-rooted beliefs, values, attitudes" and subjective experience.
But where do we go from here? Harman is very optimistic that the science of subjective experience will make great strides in significantly furthering our understanding of "the vast, imperfectly known universe" of man's own being. I sincerely hope that he is right, but I am less optimistic. There are three reasons for this. 1. The scientific study of subjective experience has already been shown to be unproductive. Behaviorism was partially a reaction against the introspection of Wundt and the internal probings of the Freudians. Of course, the fact that we failed before is certainly no guarantee that we will fail again. Much has been learned about human behavior in the past fifty years and a fresh look at inner man might be very profitable. If I can he permitted to use a cliché, however, it is still true that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. 2. The "new" science really has no methodology. Humanistic psychology, for example, has been described by one of its leading spokesmen as being
...in the paradoxical position of having at once a tremendous range of available methods for its work and yet a serious methodological problem. The result is that there is a very chaotic condition in the whole field.
Humanistic psychology has a tremendous range of available methods. - . - Philosophy, religion, history, literature, art ... prayer, meditation, mystical insight, magic, contemplation, naturalistic observation, introspection, interviews, experiments, surveys-all these and more are possible tools to the task.
Yet, it is evident, where there is such profusion there must be-and indeed there is-much confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity. Therein lies the paradox ical position of humanistic psychology, and thus there is its methodological problem. (Bogeotal, 1967, p. 79).
In spite of these difficulties, the "new" scientists are very aggressive and enthusiastic. Sometimes people like this with a strong will eventually find a way.
My main criticism is that the "new" science has ignored the Biblical view of man as a sinner in need of salvation.
3. The presuppositions about man and the suggested solutions to his problems
are contrary to divine revelation. The "new" science comes close to
deifying mail. "We have undersold man," writes Harman.
of the individual human being are far greater, in extent and diversity, than we
ordinarily imagine them to he." Our educational system, therefore, must be
concerned with "the infusion of an exalted image of what man can be."
The cure for national problems "is to he found in a nobler image
With such a optimistic view of human potential, it is not surprising that the
"new" science looks within man to find a solution to his problems. An
understanding of our inner experience, the development of our
in ourselves,' and a "will to act" are seen as important
steps in dealing
with the great issues facing our Western civilization.
In contrast, the Bible paints a very different picture of man. He is a creature whose "heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Man is not good and noble. He is, instead, a sinful creature in rebellion against God. The solution to his problems begins' not by looking to human potentialities within, but by looking to a Savior without. When we confess our sin and acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we become new creatures. Then, as the Holy Spirit works through us, we can develop the potentialities about which Harman writes.
I have no quarrel with the goals of the "new" science. On the contrary, I am delighted to see a renewed and broader interest in man's inner potential and problems. Many of the writings of humanistic psychologists interest and excite me. My main criticism is that the "new" science has ignored the Biblical view of man as a sinner in need of salvation. Like the introspectionists of Wundt's day, the "new" science is unlikely to make much progress until the divine revelation about mats is acknowledged.
Clearly, this is a potentially rewarding "new" field for committed Christians who are also competent scientists.
Boring, E. C. A history of experimental psychology (2nd. ed.) New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1950.
Bogeotal, J. F. T. (Ed.) Challenger of humanistic psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.
Severn, F. T. (Ed.) Humanistic viewpoints its psychology: A book of readings. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965.
Sanford, N. Will psychologists study human problems? Amenicn Psychologist, 1965, 20, 192-202.
AN EMBARRASSING QUESTION FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS
C. Eugene Walker
Department of Psychology
Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Harman's article appears to me to be rather vague at many points. He seems to throw a number of things together in hodge-podge fashion rather than articulate a clear position. It is also worth pointing out that many of the problem areas which he discusses have already yielded considerably to traditional approaches and analysis without the necessity of a "new revolution."
However, if I understand him correctly, Harman raises a somewhat problematical and perhaps even embarrassing question for most psychologists. As I understand him, his basic point is that we need to know much more about "inner" space now that the secrets of outer space are within our grasp. This is a point being made by many people and one which is well taken. It is true that we are solving more and more problems in more and more scientific realms. The field of psychology and the understanding of human behavior, while not without its progress and achievements, does not seem to be keeping pace with the other sciences. Perhaps if we spent billions on the study of human behavior, as we do in other areas, we might see rapid progress and striking breakthroughs. However, it may be that the field is still sufficiently puerile and unenlightened that simply dumping billions of dollars into the effort would not begin to solve the theoretical and methodological problems which beset a potential investigator in this field. I suspect that the latter is the case.
Is it possible that with the methodological progress and the improved conceptualization of psychological research that has accrued through the years, we may now fruitfully return to a study of the inner events?
Historically psychology was for many centuries exclusively the study of inner
events and thoughts. Originally most of the work of psychology was
done by philosophers
using the introspective method and developing theories of mind, soul,
the work of the philosophers, some psychologists, though still
interested in inner
events, attempted to objectify and refine their procedures. Thus was born the
school of structuralism in psychology. The structuralists attempted to analyze
the mental processes in terms of their basic psychological components and the
rules by which these components operated on one another. This has been likened
to a type of "mental chemistry." The sum total of all of the effort
along this line historically in the field of psychology turned out to
At about the turn of the century, a number of psychologists became convinced that focus on inner events, components, and thoughts via introspection was inherently and methodologically an inadvisable method. They, therefore, developed a new approach to psychology, called behaviorism. The battle cry of this school was that psychology must be reduced to observable behavior which can be studied externally and understood in terms of objective scientific laws and principles. This point of view is the predominant one in the field of psychology today. However, there are many groups of psychologists who subscribe to different positions. Behaviorists, themselves, come in all different degrees. Some adopt behaviorism as a philosophy of life and as a world view. These psychologists tend to adopt completely the position of logical positivism, determinism, and a psychology of objectively observable behavior, thereby declaring anything not amenable to study by these approaches arid techniques as irrelevant and nonexistent. Others take a somewhat different orientation toward these problems in stating that the positivistic-deterministic-behavioristic approach is more useful as a strategy and as a way of getting on with the work of psychology than as a satisfying world view. These psychologists feel that there are ways other than the scientific method to achieve knowledge and information and also there may be many significant things about human beings that cannot be discovered by scientific methods. However, they feel that at the present time, the behavioristic and scientific strategy appears to be the most fruitful.
I fall in the latter category. I regard the framework of behaviorism, determinism, and positivism as a useful strategy for studying human behavior at this time. I do not, in any sense, feel that what can be studied by these techniques exhausts the complete realm of human behavior. For psychologists who think of themselves as behaviorists of this type, the article and suggestions by Harman are extremely enticing. Is it possible that now is the time to return to a study of inner events? Is it possible that with the methodological progress and the improved conceptualization of psychological research that has accrued through the years, we may now fruitfully return to these problems? Is it possible that we will have more success in this area now than we have had in the past? It seems entirely possible that this is and will be the ease. However, psychologists familiar with the history of psychology in which the "wilderness wanderings" took place when this was attempted previously, will understandably feel somewhat uncomfortable and reluctant.
If Harman's thesis is broadened somewhat, I think all psychologists would readily agree. If we were to state simply that we must find out immediately much more about human behavior in general (without specifying that inner events be the focus) and that we must increase the progress in this area to be more concordant with the progress that we are making in other areas, most psychologists would agree. Many have pointed out that it is dangerous to produce a technology that gives man unlimited power without creating a situation in which man can he counted upon to behave rationally and productively without destroying himself. This does seem to be the problem.