This theory of specificity has its roots deep in the experimental tradition, and its priori improbability should not prevent us from glancing at the main sources from which it draws its strength. The first of these sources is the Thorndikian type of learning theory prevalent around the first decades of this century. Learning is conceived in terms of S-R (stimulus-response) bonds after the manner of the reflex or the conditioned reflex, and these bonds are, of course, conceived to be entirely specific. If the organization of personality is mainly a matter of learning and here the huge preponderance of writers have favoured an anti-hereditarianism sight, without though basing themselves on any persuasive experimental evidence then the specificity of the learning procedure ought to be mirrored in the last product of learning, i.e. the mature personality. And as S-R theories in the field of learning have been confront by S-S theories which uphold that learning is part of a better difficulty of organization, chiefly perceptual organization, these non-specific theories came into the field additional lately, have been somewhat less important historically, and have not carried over into the field of personality account to the similar extent as the specificity theories.
Human perfectibility" has been the theme of many enthusiasts; and many utopian schemes of society have been and still are suggested, which postulate in the men and women of the future an increase in moral and physical health and vigour. And it is plain that in a broad and general way natural selection, sexual selection, and the advance of science are working together towards improvements of these kinds. But it is plain also that these onward tendencies, at least in comparison with our desires and ideals, are slow and uncertain; and it is possible to argue that the apparent advance in our race is due merely to the improvement which science has effected in its material environment, and not to any real development, during the historical period, in the character or faculties of man himself.
Regarding sleep as an alternating phase of personality, we must consider what are its special characteristics and faculties. Regarding it as an integral factor in our earthly existence, and on an equal footing with the waking state, we must consider how the faculties of sleep, as of waking, can be enhanced and intense in the course of the bodily and psychical development of man. Such development or concentration, though, presupposes a understanding of the true nature of sleep which we are by no means at liberty to take for granted.
Disintegrations Of Personality
Many disturbances and disintegrations of the personality must presently fall to be described. But the reader who may follow me must remember the point of view from which I am writing. The aim of my study is not to destroy but to complete; or say, rather, my hope is that observation of the ways in which