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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > William McDougall Quotes

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William McDougall
(22 Jun 1871 - 28 Nov 1938)

English-American psychologist who developed a 'hormic' theory of psychology ('horme' = drive), as opposed to current mechanistic and behavioristic theories. In 1920, he moved from Oxford to Harvard. He wrote several books, including Body and Mind (1911).


Science Quotes by William McDougall (3 quotes)

Psychologists must cease to be content with the sterile and narrow conception of their science as the science of consciousness, and must boldly assert its claim to be the positive science of mind in all its aspects and modes of functining, or, as I would prefer to say, the positive science of conduct or behavior.
— William McDougall
An Introduction to Social Psychology (1928), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Assert (66)  |  Behavior (86)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Cease (79)  |  Claim (146)  |  Conception (154)  |  Conduct (69)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Must (1526)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Positive (94)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3880)  |  Sterile (21)

Take away these instinctive dispositions with their powerful impulses, and the organism would become incapable of activity of any kind; it would lie inert and motionless like a wonderful clockwork whose mainspring had been removed or a steam-engine whose fires had been withdrawn.
— William McDougall
An Introduction to Social Psychology (1928), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (210)  |  Become (815)  |  Disposition (42)  |  Engine (98)  |  Fire (189)  |  Impulse (48)  |  Incapable (40)  |  Inert (14)  |  Instinct (88)  |  Kind (557)  |  Lie (364)  |  Mainspring (2)  |  Organism (220)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Steam (80)  |  Wonderful (149)

The striving to achieve an end is the mark of behaviour; and behaviour is the characteristic of living things.
— William McDougall
Psychology (1912), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  End (590)  |  Living (491)  |  Thing (1915)


See also:
  • 22 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of McDougall's birth.
  • Booklist for William McDougall.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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