3 MAY 1924, Page 26

THEORIES OF MEMORY. By Beatrice Edgell. (Oxford : Clarendon Press.

7s. 6d. net.)


• W. L. Northridge. With an Introduction by ProL J. Laird. (London Kogan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co. 8s. 6d. net.) Miss Edgell,of Bedford College, London, is a sound psycholo- gist, who believes in functional- psychology - based- -upon introspection, and is not carried away by fashionable fads, but sets herself to point out their foolishness. She discusses in this volume the accounts of memory which may be found in Samuel Butler, E. Hering, R. Semon, H. S. Jennings, Lloyd Morgan, the Behaviourists, the New Realists (Alexander, Russell and Holt), and M. Bergson, giving also a rapid sketch of the history of the subject in. British psychology - from Hobbes to Spencer, and a final chapter in which she develops her own conclusions. Throughout she shows herself a skilful narrator, and a competent and urbane critic, who can turn a deft phrase, and does not shrink from criticizing even the most _formidable of her own friends (e.g., Professors Ward and Stout) when occasion arises. The result is a good dis- cussion of the psychological status of the memory-image- which is not, of course, anything like the whole of the problems telescoped together under the name " memory." Mr. Northridge is among those who think that " the new psychology " is really new, though not quite -so new as his friends do, whom therefore he undertakes to enlighten about the history of the unconscious. As a historian he is neither very accurate nor very critical. Still less can be be trusted to criticize Freud, of whom he is a great admirer. Y4 he accounts himself a moderate Freudian, who thinks the master has been much maligned. So he can hardly be expected to discuss the lagical crux involved, viz., what percentage of clinical successes go how far to substantiate the theory which leads to them ? But he writes simply and with simple- minded enthusiasm. Also, Professor Laird says a good word for him, and cuts it commendably short.