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The Genetic Psychology of James Mark Baldwin

JOHN M. BROUGHTON Teachers College Columbia University

ABSTRACT: The little known psychological theorizing of philosopher-scientist James Mark Baldwin is described and discussed. Emerging from the American tradition of mental philosophy, Baldwin developed one of the earliest evolutionist and genetic psychologies. His instrumental view of the mind was based on the model of intentional action, and he accounted for knowledge in terms of the triangle of "habit," "assimilation," and "accommodation." He proposed a comprehensive genetic epistemology embracing various modes of experience organized into sequential stages of logical, scientific, social, moral, religious, and aesthetic consciousness. Developmental progress through these stages was conceived as a necessarily interpersonal process, a conceptualization related to turn-of-the-century American social history. Despite the broad and innovative nature of such theoretical notions, and their implications for symbolic interactionist and cognitive-developmental approaches, the significance of Baldwin's thought remains unexamined and unappreciated.

In surveying major movements in the American psychology of the last 20 years, one sees not only the consolidation of the information-processing approach but also the emergence of Piagetian or cognitive-developmental psychology. Despite the latter's growing popularity, its history is still obscure. Particularly remarkable is the fact that Americans have so little knowledge of, or appreciation for, their own contribution to this approach via the important work of James Mark Baldwin (1861-1934). It was Baldwin, not Piaget, who first attempted a synthesis of philosophy and the life sciences through a description of progressive stageby-stage intellectual development (Baldwin, 1897/ 1973) and its continuities and discontinuities with biological organization and adaptation (Baldwin, 1902/1976). It was Baldwin (1906-1911/1976) who first proposed developmental sequences in the domains of logical, scientific, social, moral, religious, and aesthetic consciousness and suggested how they all might be related to each other. And it was Baldwin (1894/1966) who first articulated a genetic epistemology founded on the principle 396 APRIL 1981 AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST

of knowledge through processes of cognitive assimilation and accommodation. In addition, Baldwin (1897/1973) was a founder of the "symbolic interactionism" that is currently experiencing a revival in psychology (Ingleby, in press). It is true that as a progenitor of this approach he has always maintained some reputation in American sociology (Becker, 1968). However, he has not remained at all visible in American psychology, despite his publishing 21 books and 150 articles (Broughton, 1981a). For instance, in reviewing 12 introductory psychology textbooks, Mueller (1974) found not a single mention of Baldwin's name. Mueller also analyzed the frequency of Baldwin citations in four major journals and found that a total of 31 citations in the 1920s had sunk to a meager 3 in the 1960s. Some of the more historically minded contemporary psychologists, such as William Kessen, Donald Campbell, Sheldon White, Lawrence Kohlberg, Robert Cairns, and Howard Gardner, have tried to bring our attention back to the significance of Baldwin's work, but without conspicuous success. This situation is all the more surprising given the fact that in his day, Baldwin was a man of considerable eminence and influence. In 1903, a survey of prominent psychologists by Cattell (see 1929) revealed that Baldwin's colleagues ranked him the fifth most eminent contributor to. psychological research, ahead of such notable competitors as Dewey and Titchener. In 1908, he was elected president of the forthcoming International Congress of Psychology. Baldwin was also cofounder and coeditor of the Psychological Review (with Cattell), editor of the Psychological Bulletin, and
Conversations with John Freeman-Moir, Lawrence Kohlberg, Benjamin Lee, Jacques Voneche, Robert Wozniak, and Marta Zahaykevich have been of great help to me in understanding Baldwin's work. Requests for reprints should be sent to John Broughton, Box 33, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027.

Vol. 36, No. 4, 396-407

Copyriglii 1981 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0003-066X/81/3604-039G$00.75

an early president of the American Psychological Association. In addition, at the end of the last century, he was able to summon the world's greatest minds in psychology and philosophy to a collective international task of unprecedented ambition and scope: the publication of the four-volume Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology (Baldwin, 1901-1905/1960). As Mueller (1976) and Russell (1978; Russell, Note 1) have pointed out, Baldwin's failure to maintain visibility can be attributed to a combination of factors. First, Baldwin bucked the positivist approach just at the point at which it was firmly consolidating its hold over psychology. Second, he attempted to reinforce the relations between psychology and philosophy right at the time when G. Stanley Hall and others were vigorously "liberating" psychology from the authority of metaphysics and epistemology. Third, attention was drawn away from Baldwin's kind of symbolic interactionism by Mead's more pragmatist and less Hegelian variety. Fourth, as a way of conceptualizing subjectivity and interpersonal relations, Baldwin's theory suffered in competition with Freud's. Fifth, he failed to develop a cadre of students who would promote and develop his ideas.1 Sixth, in 1908, he suffered severe embarrassment in a scandal, which precipitated his resignation from all academic positions and his voluntary exile to Mexico and Paris. Seventh, the difficult subject matter and cumbersome writing style of his various works certainly did little to assist the dissemination of his ideas. The long-term influence of Baldwin's theorizing is often claimed by reference to its obvious links with Piaget's developmental psychology (Cairns, 1980; Gruber & Voneche, 1977; Lomax, 1978; Phillips, 1977; Ross & Kerst, 1978; Russell, 1978; Cahan, Note 2). It is an interesting fact that late in life Baldwin (1930, p. 28) became familiar with Piaget's early work and was highly complimentary about it, coupling it with that of the Durkheim school as "the most promising" in the social sciences at that time. 2 However, the only historian to have raised the issue of possible links (Woodward, 1979) has quite rightly exercised caution in describing the connections, Even though he too sees parallels (Woodward, Note 3), he emphasizes the other influences on Piaget, such as Claparede and Janet. The differences between Baldwin's and Piaget's work are just as remarkable as the similarities, if not more so (Broughton, Note 4). Piaget (1981) also makes this point in denying that Baldwin had any specific effect on his work and in

arguing that the apparent influences were nothing more than "simple convergences."3 Certainly, Baldwin himself claimed no debt in his approbation of Piaget's work, nor did he give any indication that he perceived a line of descent from his own theory to Piaget's. To be frank, the state of historical reconstruction in developmental psychology is so primitive that we are not yet in a position to make any definite statements about the Baldwinian heritage in modern cognitive-developmental psychology. Documenting the interruption of that heritage may turn out to be as interesting as demonstrating its persistence and continuity. For now, we must resist the temptation to upstage Piaget or, on the other hand, to further dignify his theory by connecting it to an obscure and mystified historical presence. Nevertheless, it is still a constructive endeavor to look at Baldwin's ideas, to appreciate their significance, and to consider their possible contribution to our understanding of development or of psychology in general. The current prevalence of Piaget's ideas can only be of assistance in motivating such an examination.

Mental Philosophy
It is a daunting task indeed to convey the gist of Baldwin's work. It was in the very nature of the task he set for himself to present the most comprehensive framework he could for a general psychology. To Baldwin, this meant embracing epistemology, philosophy of science, intellectual history, ethics, aesthetics, theoretical biology, anthropology, sociology of knowledge, the theory of meaning, phenomenology, and more besides. He passed

1 Critics might be tempted to suppose that this particular failure indicates a lack of substance or validity to Baldwin's position. However, as one will see below, this is not the case. Other great thinkers in the social sciences have been leaders without followers. To borrow a remark of Talcott Parsons, "The fact that a Veblen rather than a Weber gathers a school of ardent disciples around him bears witness to the great importance of factors other than the sheer weight of evidence in favor of schools of social thought" (T. Parsons, 1949, p. 117). 2 Baldwin's praise was not in general liberally applied. In the same passage, for example, he dismissed Freud's psychoanalytic approach as thoroughly untenable. Freud (1953/1975, p. 40) reciprocated by criticizing Baldwin for passing over the erotic life of the child. a However, as Voneche (1981b) cautions, this statement should be interpreted carefully according to Piaget's epistemology. Piaget might readily assent to the suggestion that Baldwin's work was one of the chief things that he "assimilated" to his own thinking. Otherwise, why would he cite Baldwin so frequently and so graciously (e.g., Piaget, 1924, 1926, 1932/ 1965, 1936/1953, 1978)?


with abandon from one discipline to another, eliding them with discomforting ease. Although Baldwin (1926/1976, Vol. 2, p. 151) saw his work as primarily integrating the ideas of Kant, Hegel, Darwin, James, and Royce, like many systematic philosophers after Kant, he also incorporated ideas from Plato, Aristotle, Schleiermacher, Schelling, Spencer, Bergson, Wundt, Herbart, Lotze, Meinong, Peirce, Bradley, Durkheim (but not Weber or Marx), Janet, and Ribot (but not Freud). His synthesis was explicitly directed toward comprehending the manifold of ways of thinking about the universe. To even begin to appreciate this, we need to consider the stages of his own development and the role in his thought of evolutionism, functionalist psychology, genetic logic, and social interactionism. 4 As Wozniak (1981; Wozniak, Note 5) has pointed out, three phases can be distinguished in the course of Baldwin's intellectual development. During the 1880s, he grew into the 19th century "mental philosophy" tradition. From 1890 until the turn of the century, he pursued a kind of Darwinian psychology. Within this second period was imbedded the articulation of a dialogical social psychology that was a species of symbolic interactionism. From the beginning of the present century until 1915, he was preoccupied with what Campbell (1974, 1981) has called "evolutionary epistemology" (cf. Freeman-Moir, 1981a). Baldwin's upbringing, centered on the Presbyterian and Congregational churches, convinced him of the importance of religion (Baldwin, 1926/ 1976, Vol. 1, p. 10). His undergraduate education at Princeton convinced him of the indispensability of both empirical science and philosophy. A degree of convergence of all three was represented in the teacher whom he found most influential (Baldwin, 1926/1976, Vol. 1, chap. 2), McCosh, a Presbyterian minister. McCosh (1875) adhered to the faculty psychology tradition of his native Scottish realism. He was an epistemological intuitionist who encouraged the inductive, empirical study of theoretical and practical intuitions through an introspective phenomenology (see Mueller, 1974). In addition, he was sympathetic to both the new psychology of Wundt and the evolutionism of Lamarck. He prescribed for Baldwin a course of work that the latter was never to relinquish: to refute both crass idealism and crass materialism and to steer a course between the two. A one-year fellowship in Germany, where he studied with Wundt, and contact with Ribot's (1886) experimentalist psychology convinced him further of the importance of wedding the philo398 APRIL 1981 AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST

sophical theory of mind to an experimental methodology broader than McCosh's introspectionism (Baldwin, 1887a). Drawing on Spinoza, Kant, and Herbart, Baldwin (1887b, 1889, 1889-1891/1976, Vol. 1) consciously attempted to accomplish an extension and improvement of McCosh's rationalist philosophy by supplying a fresh metaphysical position on the mind-body relation and a different epistemological position on the validity of knowledge. The fundamental process was still intuition, as in McCosh's philosophy, although "apperception" was also central. This Leibnizian concept, drawn from Herbart (1889, p. 65), served to embrace and unify the processes of perception, conception, judgment, and belief. Intuition then regulated this apperceptive whole (Baldwin, 18891891/1976, Vol. 1, pp. 312-325). At the same time, Baldwin was actively involved in promoting experimental research, founding one of the first psychological laboratories in the British Empire at the University of Toronto in 1890 (Hoff, 1980), starting a laboratory at Princeton three years later, and reviving Hall's old laboratory at Johns Hopkins a decade after that. Baldwin carried out his own experimental investigations into visual illusions, handedness, color perception, and imitation and suggestion (e.g., see Baldwin, 1890, 1892a, 1892b, 1893a). The influence of the German school had also led him to psychophysiological interests in psychophysics, reaction time, temperature sense, memory, and kinesthesis (e.g., see Baldwin, 1895b; Baldwin & Shaw, 1895). But this flirtation with experimentalism waned between 1894 and 1897. Baldwin came to share the skepticism of his colleague James about the future of laboratory psychology, eschewing its fragmentation, its technical fetishism, its failure to inquire after the meaning of behavior, and its general antipathy to theory (1894/1966, p. 37; 1930, p. 4). Eventually, Baldwin (1915/1976) even articulated one of the earliest critiques of positivistic science.

Evolutionist Psychology
As Piaget (1981) has remarked in a recent interview, if one had to point to a single scholar in
4 The following account is intended as a brief descriptive sketch of Baldwin's ideas. The more ambitious task of explaining the origin and form of his oeuvre is not undertaken here. Some relevant work setting Baldwin's work in a broader context is available elsewhere (Becker, 1968; Hoff, 1980; Karpf, 1932; Mueller, 1976; Sewny, 1945; Wozniak, 1981; Woodward, Note 3; Wozniak, Note 5; Silver, Note 6). In addition, Russell (1978) provides an excellent detailed exposition and analysis of some of Baldwin's central concepts.

defining Baldwin's primary allegiance, it would have to be Darwin (cf. Baldwin, 1896a, p. 532; 1909/1976). The new theory of life presented by Darwin led to a broadened conception of mind. No longer was mind merely an instrument of knowledge; it had become an adaptive function, relatively continuous with the other functions of the organism (Young, 1967). The concept of nature expanded to encompass the growth of consciousness (Gruber, 1974, p. 202). Correspondingly, mental growth was incorporated as part of the theory of biological adaptation. With the birth of his two daughters in 1888 and 1891, and his systematic observation of their infancies, Baldwin (1894/1966, p. vii) was provoked into rereading the texts on evolutionary theory. As Wozniak (1981) suggests, this sequence of events was central to Baldwin's rethinking of his position. Although the developmental view had already been foreshadowed in a discussion of space perception in Volume 1 of his Handbook (Baldwin, 1889-1891/1976, cf. p. 122 and pp. 134-135), his observations of infant development and his return to Darwin precipitated an enormous extension and elaboration of this genetic approach. The static, prearranged correspondence of thought and things common to McCosh's nativist realism and some of Baldwin's early versions of it gave way to the notion that such a correspondence arose by a gradual evolving of reason and its objectivity in the course of individual development. The latter was what Baldwin (1897/1973) called his "psychogenetic approach." It was at this point, in the early 1890s, that Baldwin developed empirical observational methods in a new and systematic direction. At the same time, the dialectic of assimilation and imitation (or accommodation) and the notion of stageby-stage genesis came to the fore in his theoretical thought. Though evolutionism was clearly at the root of these ideas, it is important to note that Baldwin emphasized psychological rather than biological genesis. Also, his Darwinian orientation came to be tempered with a Hegelian view of dialectical progress through qualitatively distinct levels of consciousness, a view which was represented most strongly at that time by his colleague Royce (1899). Baldwin's psychology of this period sought to develop a theory of intelligence that would integrate conation with cognition and affect (cf. Woodward, Note 3). He attempted this integration by basing his model of the mind on the acquisition of intentional actions that were both the instruments of adaptation and the basis of a valid relationship between thought and reality (Freeman-

Moir, 1976, 1981b). Like James and Dewey, Baldwin maintained a functional view of mind as process. Mind was a psychophysical system relating organism and environment, but with a structure represented by consciousness. The motoric origins of mind were particularly stressed by Baldwin (1889-1891/1976, Vol. 2, pp. 280-281), who firmly believed that knowledge originated in action upon objects. All mental process was controlled by effortful apperceptive or attentional acts. Furthermore, all sensory awareness was suffused with its motoric implications. Baldwin referred to this latter conception as his "law of mental dynamogenesis" (Baldwin, 1889-1891/1976, Vol. 2, p. 28; 1893b, p. 308). In discussing the affinity between sensory and motor events, however, Baldwin was not espousing an associationism. The sensory and motor elements that associationists typically viewed as initially discrete and then mechanically linked through passively experienced contiguity, Baldwin, like Dewey (1896), saw as artificial abstractions from a natively integrated and spontaneously active sensorimotor whole, which operated at both neurological and psychological levels. This complex sensorimotor system was the instrument of rational adaptation to the world. Central to this adaptation of the individual was the conservation of new and familiar regularities in experience through the formation and maintenance of "habits" (Baldwin, 18891891/1976, Vol. 2, p. 28). Like his colleague Ward (1893), Baldwin (1894/1966, pp. 308-309) explicitly separated himself from the associationist sense of the term habit. In contrast, habits, be they cognitive or affective, were active in the sense of being mental operations, in requiring effort for their establishment (Baldwin, 1901-1905/1960, pp. 8; 435), and in being mental dispositions to act (Baldwin, 1901-1905/1960, pp. 61; 75; cf. Dewey, 1922). These habits served in the active conservation of knowledge, in that new experience was always "assimilated" into (i.e., synthesized and interpreted in terms of) previously structured habits. This epistemological premise of constructive conservation emerged from Baldwin's application pf the concept of a synthetic attentional process of "apperception." The latter was contrasted with the passive and repetitive process of association. "Association has no transforming power," wrote Baldwin (1889-1891/1976, Vol. 1, p. 136). By so saying, he was contrasting association not only to the sensorimotor assimilation that transformed experience but also to a complementary moment in knowledge called "accommodation," the incorporation of new elements that modified mental habits. Habits, once


formed, served in assimilation. However, the creation of habits was due to progressively better accommodation. In this way, a kind of natural selection was exerted at the level of mind, only certain variations in experience being selected and retained within habitual structures. Baldwin was particularly impressed by imitation as a means to the construction of knowledge. He viewed it as the predominant form of accommodation in learning and illustrated this postulate in a study of his daughter's acquisition of graphic skills (Baldwin, 1894/1966). At the heart of this learning process were exploratory repetitions of successful movements, which through sensorimotor loops engendered persistent "circular reactions"5 by virtue of which the imitations were practiced, varied, and refined. Here, as throughout Baldwin's psychology, the model of knowing was one of reaching truth through effortful, intentional action and of serving "to solve problems of further adjustment and control of experience" (Baldwin, 1906-1911/1976, Vol. 1, p. 273). This epistemology echoed the Darwinian theme of adaptive striving. It was an epistemology that Baldwin liked to call "instrumentalism . . . the second great chapter in the historical development of utilitarianism" (p. 274).6 Even the ontogenetic mechanism itself was taken by Baldwin to be an adaptational product of the phylogenetic strivings of the race to function more adequately with respect to the structure of reality. Thus, parallel to individual development, Baldwin envisaged a development of consciousness in the species. Like G. Stanley Hall, he used the "recapitulation" concept, according to which individual growth repeated certain patterns in the evolution of the race. However, and despite Cairns's (1980) suggestion to the contrary, Baldwin's was a rather cautiously qualified version of the concept (Sewny, 1945), quite opposed to Hall's crude maturationist interpretation (later to be imitated by Gesell). Rather than seeing ontogeny as biologically determined by phylogeny, Baldwin stressed the importance of the active and progressive psychological adaptation of the individual to its environment during the course of its life. He developed a sophisticated hypothesis of directed natural selection that used Darwinian principles to account for Lamarckian phenomena of acquired adaptation. This hypothetical mechanism he named "organic selection" (Baldwin, 1896b, 1902/1976, 1909/1976). He argued that individually acquired adaptations could enter into the phylogenetic process by which the species evolved. 400 APRIL 1981 AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST

Instead of being physically inherited, the acquired accommodations made by the individual organism acted to protect and complete congenital variations that were still in inchoate stages. The variations were thus differentially preserved and disseminated thanks to the usefulness of the acquired accommodations "grafted" onto them, giving the species time to build up its stock of variations in certain directions (Voneche, 1981a). Organic selection had the consequence of allowing the species to economize in the subsequent ontogeneses of its individual members. This process, which also came to be known as the "Baldwin effect" (Simpson, 1953), has been, and still is, considered a major contribution to the history of evolutionary thought (Campbell, 1974; Piaget, 1978). It has the power of explaining the nonstochastic directedness of evolution without giving up natural selection as its primary concept.

Social Psychology and Genetic Logic

Toward the end of the period in which Baldwin was elaborating his evolutionist psychology, he wrote what was arguably his most popular book, Social and Ethical Interpretations in Mental Development (1897/1973), which ran to five editions over a 16-year span. As the title suggests, and as Baldwin declares in the preface, this work was intended as a continuation of the studies initiated in the earlier Mental Development in the Child and the Race. Social and Ethical Interpretations was subtitled A Study in Social Psychology, which makes it the earliest text to designate itself with the label social psychology. It is widely considered a classic forerunner of symbolic interactionism by sociologists (Becker, 1968), into whose discipline Baldwin introduced psychology in a new and potent fashion. The connection of this book with Baldwin's general psychology can be found in the application of the model of intentional action to the social sphere. He conceived of a social "give and take"
5 The importance of the notion of "circular reflex" in early psychology would be hard to overestimate (Woodward, Note 3), B Baldwin (1904b, 1906-1911/1976, Vol. 3, Appendix C) was highly critical of the subjectivism and relativism that he saw as necessary consequences of pragmatist thought. Even though observers and commentators were inclined to group him in the pragmatist school, he was always adamant that this was a complete misunderstanding of his theories. As a result, his species of utilitarianism is most unusual. It combines certain deontological features of a formal theory of justice with an otherwise teleological value theory of morality (Kohlberg, 1981).

based on reciprocal acts of attempted suggestion and imitation. Imitationa central concept in Baldwin's explanation of the process of developmenttook a circular form, each repeated effort approximating others' behaviors and resulting in a gradually improving ability to understand the subjective experience of others as well as their objective activity (Wallwork, 1981). This understanding necessarily became constitutive of self-consciousness as well. Thus "self" was formed in tension with the reciprocal construction of "other," and self-consciousness was actively constructed through an interpersonal reflexion (Kohlberg, 1969; Lee, 1981).7 Baldwin called this self involving the other the "socius." He emphasized that according to his conceptualization of the socius, what people think of themselves is largely identical to what they think of others. In the concrete, this implied a direct form of sympathy; 8 in the abstract, it implied a concept of justice in which egoism and altruism could no longer sensibly be opposed to each other (Russell, Note 1). For Baldwin, even social progress was understood on the model of assimilation-accommodation. The understanding or values of any social group provided a "platform" (a structure analogous to a psychological habit) from which more general knowledge or ideals came within reach (Baldwin, 1906-1911/1976, Vol. 2, chap. 6). The scope of a collectivity's assimilating processes thereby became progressively extended. In addition, a kind of "social selection" parallel to organic selection appropriated individual ontogenetic adaptations and preserved them for society through a kind of "social heredity" that guaranteed the conservation and transformation of novel values for the creation of new traditions (Baldwin, 1906, chap. 2). In other words, Baldwin (1906) maintained that "the institutions and sanctions of society are in their origin actually generalizations of the intellectual and ethical knowledges, sentiments and sanctions of individuals, handed down by social heredity" (p. 569). Baldwin saw his sociology as primarily psychological and particularly stressed the dependence of sociality on the self: "Selfthoughts imitatively organized are, I contend, the essence of what is social" (Baldwin, 1902, preface). It is in providing such an interactional foundation to psychology that Baldwin can be distinguished from Piaget (Lee, 1981) and also from his pragmatist contemporaries. Baldwin himself pointed out that the prime feature distinguishing his instrumentalism from pragmatism was its emphasis on "the social character, the 'logical com-

munity' of knowledge" (Baldwin, 1906-1911/1976, Vol. 3, p. 273). Validity was intersubjective truth, value or satisfaction to a potential community, not just to the individual.9 In every step of its genesis, consciousness presupposed its own social constitution, social reference, and social responsibility. Though Baldwin stressed the continuity between Social and Ethical Interpretations and his previous work, the book in fact represented a watershed between two phases in his intellectual biography, the point at which his evolutionist psychology passed over into a full-blown evolutionary epistemology. Central to the latter was a four-volume work on "genetic logic" (Baldwin, 1906-1911/1976, 1915/1976; Broughton, 1981b), the preparation of which preoccupied him for over a decade. Baldwin's genetic logic complemented his account of mental function with an exposition of the progressive qualitative growth of structures of consciousness. This rather Hegelian10 notion was already apparent in the chapters of Social and Ethical Interpretations in which he proposed stages in the development of social, moral, and religious consciousness. Preparatory to his major works on genetic logic, Baldwin (1895a, 1902/1976, 1904a) laid out the specifics of his theory of "genetic modes," a theory that he held to be applicable to intellectual history, cultural transformations, and biological evolution, as well as to psychological
7 As Russell (Note 1) and Lee (1981) have pointed out, Baldwin's account of development through "social interiorization" provides an exciting alternative to Vygotsky's. Vygotsky was not unaware of Baldwin's work (Wozniak, 1981). Since Vygotsky is currently emerging as a major theoretical force in psychology, it might be useful at this time to reconsider both the origins of and the available alternative to his particular social theory of development. 8 The Scottish school of philosophy, including the empirically grounded moral philosophy of Hume, maintained a special role for "sympathy" in social relations. Baldwin's concern for and particular way of dealing with the intersubjective realm of experience may well reflect the influence of this contribution of the Scottish school via his early and formative contact with McCosh (cf. Silver, Note 6). 9 In the notion of "logical community," which postulated the intersubjective nature of even logical or scientific truth, Baldwin's thinking converges in many interesting ways with Peirce's philosophy (cf. Habermas, 1971). 10 The idea of such an endeavor was originally suggested by Hegel in his introduction to the Phenomenology, Baldwin's methodology, with its combination of philosophical analysis, concern for the phenomenological perspective, stepwise system construction, and applicability to history as well as life history, was very much Hegelian in spirit. It lacked only Hegel's concern for progressive demystification of experience at each stage. During the third phase of Baldwin's intellectual biography, he often (e.g., Baldwin 1897/1973, preface) acknowledged his primary indebtedness to the neo-Hegelian Royce.


development. The theory was built on two basic postulatesthe irreversibility of genetic sequences and the emergent qualities of new formswhich replaced the traditional causal principles with laws of developmental form and norm. In a major work, Baldwin (1906-1911/1976) spelled out the way in which the modes comprised stages in the organization of mental life, the interpretation of experience, and the apprehension of different types of existence. Baldwin conceived "logic" broadly, not in terms of a narrow formalism. Thus each stage contained a qualitatively new form of thought, value, volition, self-consciousness, and relation to the other (logical community). Subjective and objective poles of experience were reciprocally advanced in their organization, coherence, and validity at each step. Baldwin described a developmental sequence of nine logical modes (see Table 1). Excepting the Hegelians, philosophers had previously confined their discussion to the "logical" sphere of reflective thought and judgment. For Baldwin, such discussions were unfounded as long as this sphere was not acknowledged to be a developmental outcome. Reflection and judgment were not absolutes to be taken for granted, but were emergent forms whose possible validity was dependent on the specific genetic course of their gradual evolution through prior "prelogical" and "quasi-logical" phases. Only a long and complicated struggle of experimental construction and testing, always mediated by the social dialectic, could give rise to the mature form and character of logical, reflective consciousness." Even then, beyond the realm of factual knowledge were the "extralogical" mode of value concerns and, finally, the "hyperlogical" mode of aesthetic synthesis (Wallwork, 1981). This last stage of unmediated experience, combining features of Kantian, Platonic, Spinozan, and Hegelian aesthetics, was felt by Baldwin (1915/1976) to be a necessary and natural apex to the genetic logic, one that integrated the various oppositions of theoretical and practical, actual and ideal, real and apparent, and returned them to a controlling "self." En route from prelogical consciousness to the self and aesthetic synthesis, there was a successive accretion of new modes of experience: sense, memory, language, imagination, symbolism, play, experiment, understanding, reason, judgment, belief, and feeling (moral, religious, and aesthetic sentiment). These various strands intertwined in a series of dualisms, such as inner versus outer, mind versus body, and self versus not-self. Each fresh form of meaning arose systematically and dialectically out 402 APRIL 1981 AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST

of the failure of previous modes to do justice to concrete everyday experience. New modes did not arise automatically through the internal, formal contradictions of thought. They appeared through the cognitive and social instrumentality of an active, interested, imaginative self that willed its own self-transformation, yet always in relation to the self-transformation of others. Correspondingly, new modes of experience were not simple accretions. They were each in turn integrated into the manifold of consciousness through a struggle for personal coherence. The presence of new modes amid the manifold restructured all existing relationships and transformed the mind and self into a qualitatively different whole, an emergent "species." The ethical was a vertical dimension of growth as well as a stratum dependent on prior completion of the genesis of theoretical thought. Moral development proceeded from an initially objective or heteronomous stage, via a prudential stage of calculating interest, to a final ethical level where morality was rational and based on a projected "ideal self" (Baldwin, 1897/1973; Kohlberg, 1981; Piaget, 1932/1965). Similarly, the hyperlogical level of aesthetic synthesis was foreshadowed by prior stages, which were comprised not of reflective aesthetic judgment, but of "spontaneous," imaginative aesthetic experience (M. Parsons, 1981).

Critical Appreciation: Psychology and Social History

There is much in Baldwin's work that is unfinished and confusing. For example, vis-a-vis the genetic logic, his concern for the structural levels of consciousness is in tension with his functionalist psychology. His hierarchical ordering of modes (see Table 1) conflicts with the accounts he gives elsewhere (e.g., Baldwin, 1897/1973), in which logical, moral, religious, and aesthetic domains appear to each possess their own sequence of stages parallel to the others. In fact, stages of religious development, prominent in his 1897/1973 volume, disappear from his later work on genetic logic. Whereas earlier books place appreciation of God at the terminus of development, later ones put beauty in that role. Baldwin never clearly confronts or answers the question that inevitably faces
11 While Baldwin's approach at the time of this work was consistently philosophical and phenomenological, it also corresponded to empirical realities of development, as illustrated in my own research (Broughton, 1978, 1981b).


Summary of Baldwin's Stages of Genetic Logic

Logical mode and psychic object Dualism (forms of . persistence) Dialectic (to be mediated) Brief description of stage and its psychic organization

Prelogical Sense

"Adualistic" (animistic) Present vs. persisting

Figure and ground

Presentation and its reality not distinguished. Only an incipient perception of persons as different from things. Reality presumed. Factual (persistent) memories of perception, objects of which can be restored to sense.


Person and thing

Quasi-logical Fancy

Inner vs. outer (personal vs. impersonal)

Fancy and reality

First notion of mind as nonpersistent images or as ground. Subjective acts of imitation and play segregate inner and outer worlds, including "private" from "public" body. Inner as shared and thereby accessible even though not to senses. Thus, other person has an "inner" too. Playful experimentation connects fancy objects with sense objects.


Inner vs. outer (personal vs. impersonal) Semblance and memory

Imaginary objects of play "sembling" real world are distinguished from memories of it. Reality assumed, as possible existence. Inner becomes a Mind substance combining all selves. Body is an objective reality common to all selves. Private body moves across to Body side. Real "experimental thought" tries to class things as Mind or Body. Self as unique realm of mind. Both inner and outer are content of experience, reflected on by self.


Mind vs. body

Existent and nonexistent


Self vs. not-self

Knower and known

Logical Judged thought

Truth vs. falsity

Reason and reality

Self as generic reflective function rather than individual knower. Experimental thought becomes logical and general.

Extralogical Moral

Good vs. bad

Fact and value

Development of the ideal in practical reason.

Hyperlogical Aesthetic

Reconciles previous dualisms

Immediacy of feeling restored and combined with scientific and moral. Actual/ideal, theoretical/practical, reconciled.

all genetic orderings (Dilworth & Silverman, 1978): Are the cognitional, volitional, and aesthetic domains to be awarded parity (as in Cassirer's system), or are they to bear relations of subordination and superordination to each other (as in Piaget's system)?

Baldwin also leaves us with several quandaries about psychology. How are experience, understanding, and reason (depending on sense, concept, and judgment, respectively) interconnected in a single mental act? Does the heavy emphasis on the epistemological and psychological role of action AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST APRIL 1981 403

leave sufficient room for explicating the role of perceptual processes? If the positivist principle of value-neutral hypothesis testing is to be a paradigm for all psychic functioning, how is it to account for the range of phenomena associated with noninstrumental personal relationships? What are the specific relations between the "internal" cognitive dualisms of consciousness and the "external" social dialectic? Last but not least, given the welding of biological processes to interpersonal ones in Baldwin's scheme, is psychology to be construed as a natural or a social science? These are questions of major dimensionsstructure/function, perception/action, means/end, public/private, mind/societyraising issues that are still very much alive in contemporary psychology, philosophy, and social science. Arguably, the most contradictory parts of Baldwin's thinking occur in his social theory. Why does a crude opposition between individual and society that was rejected in an earlier work (Baldwin, 1897/1973) return to haunt a later one (Baldwin, 1911/1973) in the form of an individualistic social Darwinism of "rivalry and struggle"? Why does the discussion of social institutions in the latter of these two works mesh so poorly with the emphasis on sociality as face-to-face relations of self and other in the earlier one? Baldwin exhibits a distinct failure to integrate his analyses of civil society with any coherent theory of the state. Contradictoriness, perhaps of a not unrelated kind, is also apparent in his political involvements. For example, whereas he campaigned actively for the protection of European democracy at the start of World War I, three or four years earlier he had been an open and enthusiastic supporter of the "benevolent" dictatorship of Diaz in Mexico and had acted as his advisor on matters of social policy (Baldwin, 1926/1976). The broader social and political dimension to Baldwin's thoughts and actions suggests the possible fruitfulness of examining his work in the context of American social history. Within such a context, Baldwin's theory can in fact be viewed as part of a general movement in the American intellectual world, whose concern it was to articulate, and to frame policy for, pressing societal needs of the time. As sociologist Silver (Note 6) has documented, this movement was implicitly concerned with generating a philosophy and science compatible with the creation and promulgation of new forms of social control. Such a concern emerged in response to rapid and fundamental social changes occurring at the turn of the century. The threat to social order was being posed by the advance of 404 APRIL 1981 AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST

industrial capitalism with its need for expanded consumer markets, the segregation of work from domesticity, and the emergence of the bureaucratic state with its centralization of authority and power (Kovel, in press; van Hoorn & Verhave, 1977). These various forces in the process of modernization resulted directly in the breakdown of community and kinship relations, yielding a general and pervasive depersonalization (Bakan, 1980; Berger, Berger, & Kellner, 1973). Liberal intellectuals responded to this dire situation by a concerted effort to conceptualize ways of restoring human wholeness and relatedness. There was what Nisbet (1953) has aptly called a compensatory "quest for community." It was a search which, as a means to its end, tended implicitly to endorse the restoration of social stability through the homogenization and intensification of socialization procedures that would foster a new form of social control. An important part of the quest comprised the interactionistic social psychologies of theorists like Dewey, Mead, Cooley, and Baldwin. As Silver (Note 6) has demonstrated, it was the function of these social psychologies to describe, analyze, and legitimize a nonhierarchical form of social controlcontrol mediated by the lateral and reciprocal transmission of norms between peers (cf. Riesman, Glaser, & Denney, 1950). This tacit goal was brought about by the development of psychological theories that emphasized interpersonal interactions resulting in reciprocal internalizations as the essential basis of all knowledge, sociality, and morality (Broughton, in press; Gadlin, 1978). As shown by Jacoby (1975), it is no coincidence that social and other psychologies emerged during this period of American history. The changing basis of state organization and the form of production with its proliferation of white-collar workers necessitated new forms of control mediated by social psychological science and technology rather than by religion and work ethics. Baldwin's liberalist quest for community, like that of his fellow social theorists (see Roberts, 1977), expressed and promoted a sincere desire to combat depersonalization and restore social integration. However, as is necessarily the case with all liberal remedies (Unger, 1975), his social psychology actually served to obscure the real causes of the alienation and fragmentation visible in civil society. Baldwin's developmental-dialectical approach drew attention away from the decreasingly visible political sphere of institutions and the state and focused almost exclusively on quotidian interpersonal discourse; society became "social relations." His theory even

made the absence of social integrity seem an inevitable consequence of the nature of the human individual. Baldwin's theory argued that ignorance, separateness, and social injustice could be overcome through the development of consciousness, without any fundamental material alterations in the societal patterning of authority, production, stratification, or distribution (Lichtman, 1970). It argued for the creation of a new, mobile, and modular form of community based on the mutual construction, observation, and regulation of selves. A psychological "sense of community" was perhaps more important than community itself. Rather than restoring traditional forms of community based on kinship, such a theory reinterpreted their breakdown as an evolutionary step forward. The breakdown was seen as both necessary and commendable, since it cleared the decks and made way for the new preferred form of social organization and development.12 A theory of self-generated social development then became particularly necessary, since in the vacuum left by the breakdown of traditional society, sociality could not be absorbed from the milieu or from the experience of existing relations to kin and community. The programmatic statements issued by Baldwin and his interactionist cohorts ushered in the "new morality" of other-directed social relations and the "new religion" of companionship and mutual understanding (Lasch, 1977; Marcuse, 1955). These new secular forms came to comprise a powerful ideology, whose rapid development in the early years of this century "anticipated the needs of a society based not on hard work but on consumption, the search for personal fulfillment, and the management of interpersonal relations" (Lasch, 1977, p. 102). It is an advanced form of that kind of society, with its culture of interpersonal relations, which we inhabit today. And it is those needs about which modern social science speaks, a social science that 'plays an increasingly
12 Social theories of sympathetic mutuality were in many respects secular forms of the 19th century "Free Church" theology that stressed happy family life, neighborly pastoral concern, and the transcendence of material life through a sense of community self-generated over and over again in friendly day-today activity (Silver, Note 6). Such nonconformist Protestant theology has traditionally served the function of easing the transformation of forms of social life, consciousness, and relatedness that is necessary to accommodate new types of production and consumption (Thompson, 1963). Thus, it is interesting to speculate that secular descendents of this theology, such as the psychology of social relations, served in facilitating the later social transformations of work and community in a parallel fashion at the beginning of this century. Baldwin's own roots in Presbyterianism may not be irrelevant here.

vital and powerful part in our society. In contributing a robust and coherent social-developmental psychology that fostered the growth of this new social order, it appears that Baldwin's own theoretical quest for community not only helped in the genesis of social science but also assisted in bringing a new uniformity to sociality such that social science could become the institutional agency through which the new society was regulated. Baldwin thus bequeathed us more than just a transdisciplinary psychology of knowledge, value, and beauty. He contributed to the formation of the very dimensions of the practice of modern social life.
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