A central problem with the notion of ‘‘faculties’’ is that it is fundamentally tautological. Boring (1929/1950) criticized Dugald Stewart, who popularized Reid’s doctrine of faculties, arguing that ‘‘imitation is explained by referring to an instinct of imitation, or a good memory depends on having a good faculty of memory. Such naming is word magic’’ (p. 207). Similarly, Baldwin states in his dictionary of psychology, to treat faculties as if they were causes, or real conditions, of the states or processes in which they are manifested, and to speak of them as positive agencies interacting with each other… This model of pretended explanation has received the name of Faculty Psychology. (Baldwin, 1901/1960, p. 369) Baldwin reminds us of a stinging criticism of faculties by John Locke: ‘‘We may as properly say that the singing faculty sings, and the dancing faculty dances, as that the will chooses, or that the understanding conceives; or, as is usual, that the will directs the understanding…’’ (1901/1960, p. 369)

A central problem with the notion of ‘‘faculties’’ is that it is fundamentally tautological. Boring (1929/1950) criticized Dugald Stewart, who popularized Reid’s doctrine of faculties, arguing that ‘‘imitation is explained by referring to an instinct of imitation, or a good memory depends on having a good faculty of memory. Such naming is word magic’’ (p. 207). Similarly, Baldwin states in his dictionary of psychology,
to treat faculties as if they were causes, or real conditions, of the states or processes in which they are manifested, and to speak of them as positive agencies interacting with each other… This model of pretended explanation has received the name of Faculty Psychology. (Baldwin, 1901/1960, p. 369)
Baldwin reminds us of a stinging criticism of faculties by John Locke: ‘‘We may as properly say that the singing faculty sings, and the dancing faculty dances, as that the will chooses, or that the understanding conceives; or, as is usual, that the will directs the understanding…’’ (1901/1960, p. 369)

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