Psychology Against Culture
In the introduction to this book I quoted from J. M. Roberts's History that `The message men took from Freud ... called in question the very foundation of liberal civilization itself, the idea of the rational, responsible, consciously-motivated individual.' `Freud's importance beyond science lay in providing a new mythology', Roberts writes, and he adds `It was to prove highly corrosive.' On behaviourism, the mechanistic psychology that was founded on Pavlov's `conditioning', Roberts says that `the diffused effect . . . seems curiously parallel to that of Freudianism, in that its bias is towards the demolition of the sense of responsibility and individualism which is the heart of the European and Christian tradition'. This cultural tradition is based above all things on the idea of truth, that is on correspondence with the facts. This is in strong contrast with most Eastern philosophies. Anybody who has travelled in the East knows how the most respectable Asiatic will, if disposed to please, answer a question, not primarily on the basis of fact, but rather on what he hopes will please the questioner. Science, based on the idea of theories which correspond with the facts, is essentially a Western invention. It never could have arisen in the East. Now, paradoxically, two Western psychologies have undermined the concept of truth with their own science, the one with a general blurring of distinctions and the other by reducing truth to the answer we are programmed to give. They have knocked away their own foundation.
However if either were to stand up to attempts to refute it we should have to accept it as provisionally established no matter what its effect. But I shall maintain that both are myths. While the Freudian theories are unfalsifiable and a therefore metaphysical, I shall attempt to show in the next chapter that conditioning can be logically disproved.
I shall devote most of this chapter to the `corrosive' effect, particularly of the Freudian outlook, although, as Roberts has implied, much that can be said against one applies also to the other. First I shall show how psychology as a subject, independently of its authorship, has tended to assume an exaggerated importance (a) because of the omission of World 3 (under whatever name) from the scheme of things and (b) because of the false doctrine of `psychologism'.
We have been too much concerned with unconscious motivation rather than with conscious intentions, purposes, and interests; too much concerned with what we have in common with other animals rather than with what makes us unique. And even those who are concerned exclusively with human studies seem often to miss the point. Here, for example, is an excerpt from the introduction to a book called Human Behaviour by Claire and W. M. S. Russell. `What makes us human', they say, `is our capacity for furthering each other's explorations by a process of creative communication between us. Our enquiry will therefore have two closely related phases or departments, the study of individual behaviour, and that of the relations between individuals - the study of social relations.' This hardly exhausts the range of human life, in fact it does not seem to make us very different from bees - just that our communications are capable of greater precision. It virtually excludes from consideration the world of abstractions. Popper's World 3, the world of the products of the human mind, theories, myths, designs, etc., which exist independently of their creators but react on us all.
A very large part of our waking lives is spent in such `behaviour' as talking about non-material things, ideas, intentions etc., reading, writing, calculating, making things to a design, cooking to a recipe, operating machinery, following a map, time-table, or other technical reference, looking at pictures; and we even think about and are influenced by what happened before we were born, and we make plans for or dream dreams about a far off future. Although all this could be called `individual behaviour' it is very different from what is called animal behaviour and nothing to do with social relations.
What makes us human is our capacity to interact not only with each other but with the world of abstractions and ideas, with World 3. This is what is absolutely unique about us. It depends upon human language and it leads, as Popper has pointed out, to a greater importance in our lives of control from above, of conscious intention over unconscious `animal' motivation. An entry in an engagement diary may be the prime cause of the movement of the physical body of a man across the Atlantic ('Compton's problem') and that engagement may be kept in spite of an unconscious reluctance to keep it. An attitude of aggressive hostility can be transformed at once into one of cooperation when, for example, one grasps a new explanation of someone else's behaviour.
It is important to note that this interaction with World 3 is not confined to intellectuals or even to literates. All who use human language are constantly interacting with objective ideas such as age, death, good value, fairness, next year, laws and rules, and with theories even if they are false, mere superstitions, or old wives' tales. Popper's example, quoted in Chapter 2, about the practical difference between thinking today is Saturday and saying today is Saturday, makes the point. The second can be criticised, the first cannot.
The capacity for interaction between individual minds and the products both of our own minds and those of others (living or dead) is the exclusively human achievement. Its existence and its central importance in our lives must make us profoundly suspicious of any attempts to deduce norms of human society from the behaviour of apes.
The exaggerated importance given in our time to psychology depends also on a doctrine which formed a central part of the philosophy of John Stuart Mill. Mill recognised that human behaviour is a consequence not only of human psychology but also of material and social institutions. We do what we do very largely because of material constraints imposed by our houses, roads, clothes etc., and also because of customs and laws and the institutions of family, commerce, employment and so on. But, Mill maintained, since all these things were human inventions, they were themselves ultimately reducible to human psychology. This reduction is what Popper calls `psychologism' and he shows it to be false.
Much of what is written tends to play down even the part played by social institutions, whatever their origin, and assumes that psychology is the only factor. It is worth emphasising the importance of institutions and the comparative unimportance, in some situations, of psychology. The brief summary of the causes of the outbreak of the first world war at the beginning of Chapter 7 is a good example of this - how the war would most probably not have started, whatever the psychology of the statesmen concerned, had the war plans of the various great powers not existed, or had they been more flexible.
Popper's technique in demolishing psychologism, the doctrine that social laws must ultimately be reducible to psychological laws, is the same as with historicism: to make the best possible case for this view - better perhaps than most people who uncritically assume the truth of it could make - and then to refute it. In making the case for psychologism, one has first to admit that no action is ever explained by motives or any other psychological or behavioural concept alone. There is always the environment, the general situation, ranging from laws and customs to all kinds of physical restraints. (One walks along the road or footpath although the direct way to one's destination may be through someone else's house or garden.) But the case, then, for psychologism is, admitting the influence and restraint of the environment, that the social environment is man-made. Institutions, the market for example, are derived from human psychology which disposes towards the pursuit of wealth: and the fact that human life is so much a matter of institutions is itself due to a peculiarity of human psychology. Furthermore the origins of all the institutions that now govern human society must be explicable in terms of human psychology since at some stage in history they have been introduced for some human purpose. Thus, to quote Mill: `All phenomena of society are phenomena of human nature and the laws of the phenomena of society are, and can be, nothing but the laws of the actions and passions of human beings, that is to say, the laws of individual human nature.'
This is an impressive argument; but more impressive to me is the way in which Popper demolishes it.
"If all regularities in social life, the laws of our social environment, of all institutions etc., are ultimately explained by, and reduced to, the `actions and passions of human beings' then such an approach forces upon us not only the idea of historico-causal development, but also the idea of the first steps of such a development. For the stress on the psychological origin of social rules or institutions can only mean that they can be traced back to a state when their introduction was dependent solely upon psychological factors, or more precisely, when it was independent of any established social institutions."
Psychologism was thus forced, whether it liked it or not, Popper showed, to operate with the idea of a beginning of society and with the idea of a human nature and a human psychology as they existed prior to society:
"It is a desperate position ... This theory of a pre- social human nature which explains the foundation of society is not only an historical myth, but also, as it were, a methodological myth. (O. S. 92-3)"
As Popper says, it can hardly be seriously discussed because we have every reason to believe that man's immediate ancestors were social. Thus social institutions and sociological laws must have existed before `what some people are pleased to call "human nature" and before human psychology. Thus sociology is prior to psychology and if a reduction is to be made at all, it would be more hopeful to attempt a reduction of psychology to sociology than the other way round.
As usual Popper has several arguments to pile on top of this one; but this is the most easily understood and is sufficient by itself. It always reminds me, in its elegance, of the proof, also a reductio ad absurdum, attributed to Pythagoras of the irrationality of the square root of two. (Nothing to do, of course with unreasonableness. An irrational number is one that cannot be expressed as the ratio of two whole numbers.) Another way of saying the same thing is to say that it is impossible to measure the diagonal of a square whose side is one unit. At first sight, as in the present case, one would not imagine it possible to prove such a proposition by mere logic applied to undisputed facts. The importance of proving the (psychologism) case is directly related to the fact that the opposite is widely assumed. Freud, for example, according to his biographer Ernest Jones, said that sociology `can be nothing other than applied psychology'.
Popper uses competition as an example of a social phenomenon which cannot be attributed to psychology. It is after all usually undesired by the competitors themselves and `must be explained as a (usually inevitable) unintended consequence of (conscious and planned) actions of the competitors'. Competition to purchase a house, used in Chapter 1 as an example against the conspiracy theory, is a case in point. `Thus', says Popper, `even though we may be able to explain psychologically some of the actions of the competitors, the social phenomenon of competition is a psychologically inexplicable consequence of these actions.' ('The logic of the Social Sciences'.) The popularity of such assumptions as the conspiracy theory underlines the importance of the refutation of psychologism. Conspiracy theory irrationally explains adverse events psychologically in terms of individual motives, thus encouraging groundless enmity and disaffection. It is like blaming the government for the weather.
I return now to the cultural impact of modern psychology. `Psychologists say', we read frequently in the newspapers by way of introduction to some highly questionable piece of dogma; but, in fact, as David Cohen's interesting collection of interviews shows, his selection of the world's best-known psychologists are agreed on practically nothing. Nevertheless, however much they disagree in detail, the diffused effect, to use Roberts's expression, of their studies is an atmosphere of determinism and therefore of irresponsibility. However successful the Freudian and behaviourist theories have been within, so to speak, their own terms of reference, their cultural influence, pervasive, excessive, has been on the whole vicious and tending to run counter to all that I have subsumed under the term rationalism, as well as being very largely against common sense. It is necessary to qualify this statement with the phrase' `on the whole' because one cannot deny that, for example, the amelioration of the often harsh conditions for children in institutions of all sorts owes a lot to Freud's interest in children's mental processes. And there have been other benefits - a relaxation of puritanical standards, but these of course have been relaxed at other times in history without the aid of this particular psychology.
In a recent four-page article on Freud, covering the various revisions and heresies of Freudianism and its offshoots and sects, Laurie Taylor, a professor of sociology, did not once pose the question to what extent any of the theories he mentioned was true; and he ended it by quoting from another journal: `with Copernicus the earth moved from its position of centrality in the universe, with Darwin man moved from his position of centrality in the eye of the creator, with Marx the individual human subject moved from its position of centrality in history, and with Freud consciousness moved from its position of centrality in the structure of the psyche.' The professor's comment was that this provides an explanation of Freud's enduring significance for social scientists. But there is another way of looking at the significance of these great thinkers.
Popper and his co-author Sir John Eccles gave as one of the reasons for writing their new book The Self and its Brain that `the debunking of man has gone far enough - even too far'. They refer to this same decentralising argument and then say `but since Copernicus we have learnt to appreciate how wonderful and rare, perhaps even unique, our little earth is in this big universe; and since Darwin we have learned more about the incredible organisation of all living things on earth and also about the unique position of man among his fellow creatures' (S.B., VII). They might have added that since Freud began his decentralising of consciousness, and therefore of reason, the practical achievements of reason have been greater than in the whole of previous history. Computers, television, space travel, atomic energy, the incredibly detailed recent knowledge about, for example, ultra-microscopic biological structures and processes - you don't have to like all these things, but it cannot be denied that even if their inventors did labour under unresolved complexes and even if they were motivated by unconscious infantile fantasies, they achieved all this by science and reason.
An analytical theory, by postulating underlying elements in a whole, may help to explain observations; but it cannot alter them. What seems to me to be the mistake in analytical psychology can be illustrated by an analogy from physics. I know that the accepted theory is that this table I am writing on consists mostly of space in which electrons are revolving around nuclei. The theory explains the observed fact that the table can be sawn in half or converted into smoke and ashes; but it in no way detracts from the solidity of the table. I may lean on it as hard as if I had never heard of atoms. Psychoanalysis has tended to imply, in the terms of this analogy, `It is not really solid. Do not treat it as a table, always remember it is really an assemblage of particles'. And in its own field what it is saying is `People are not really people. They are assemblages of instincts and complexes masquerading as people'. Because it has analysed such qualities as loyalty, patriotism, public-spiritedness, and integrity, and found them to be derived from certain infantile impulses, it tends to imply that these qualities are therefore not what they seem. Its tendency is thus to disparage if not to discount all that we most value and admire in each other. It is a kind of not-seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees, a form of induction. It is a mistake that physics has never made.
The revolution that Freud initiated was a revolution against a two thousand-year-old European tradition that virtue was something to be inculcated, a morality to be taught directly or by example, and superimposed on an animal nature. Freudian analysis in contrast consisted of a systematic unpeeling of the encrustration of the culturally-acquired `super-ego' to free the natural `id' from which all goodness flowed. (I am referring here to the early, pre-first world war, phase of Freud's theorising, which was the source of Roberts's `diffused effect', before the clarity was blurred by second thoughts, for example in Civilization and Its Discontents.) Modern biology has, I think, vindicated the traditional view. Nature is, in Tennyson's phrase, red in tooth and claw. This is the importance of Dawkins's The Selfish Gene from which I have already quoted. Dawkins exposes the error in the view, assumed by many distinguished biologists - Konrad Lorenz among them - that natural selection works to secure the interests of the species or some other group. Dawkins demonstrates that it must work at a lower level even than that of the individual. It works at the level of the gene. The self-sacrifice, apparently in the interests of the group, demonstrated for example by some members of insect colonies is in fact part of this blind process of short-term self-interest of the gene. (The self-sacrificing members are always the sterile ones. The genes in their bodies will not survive whatever they do.)
This self-interest of the gene is inherent in all living things; but it does not preclude a conscious far-seeing 'conspiracy of doves' (page 30). He coins the term meme to describe the elements in the uniquely human process of cultural evolution, elements of World 3 - ideas, snatches of a tune, slogans, etc., - which replicate themselves in a manner analogous to the self-replicating segments of DNA, the genes. 'We have at least the mental equipment', Dawkins says, 'to foster our long term selfish interests.... We can see the long-term benefits of participating in a "conspiracy of doves", and we can sit down together to discuss ways of making the conspiracy work. We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth and, if necessary, the selfish memes of our indoctrination . . . We have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of selfish replicators.'
Freudian theory has developed over the eighty years of its existence in so many directions that it is hard to crystallise it into a form that could be disproved. This is one reason for its influence. It was also this characteristic which, in its comparatively early years, led Popper to realise that such a theory which defied refutation, which every observation seemed to confirm, could not be regarded as science. I must repeat that this is not the same as saying it is nonsense. On the contrary it is a fruitful source of ideas; but its predictions tend to be ambiguous and its interpretations cannot be relied upon in the way that reliance was placed on the theories of physics in order to guide man to the moon. Nor does the dismissal of Freudianism as science imply that the psychoanalytic treatment of patients is no good. There is a vital difference between applying Freudian theories in the man-to-man situation of psychoanalytic therapy and applying them to human behaviour at large or-to. historical characters. In the treatment situation the patient is there to disagree, if he thinks fit, with the analyst's interpretation of his behaviour. In other words the interpretation is subject to criticism, and in that situation the truth may well emerge. In the broader field there is no objective criticism, and conclusions derived from psychoanalytic theory in these circumstances are no more than speculations. The trouble is that, as I shall indicate below, we do rely in the broader field on psychoanalytic speculations, even if not explicitly.
In a paper to the British Association in 1976 Dr William Belson blamed television violence for violent behaviour in real life. The same allegation is now being contested in a case in the American courts. Much emphasis is placed on the fact that Dr Belson and those who agree with him have not been able to prove their thesis. Of course they have not. As we have seen, it is theoretically impossible for them to do so. And not only does this seem to be a failing on their part, it seems to be generally regarded as being up to them to try to do so, rather than for the defenders of television violence to defend their case that it does no harm. Why should it be generally accepted that it does no harm? After all it is a matter of experience that examples are followed. Children imitate their parents and peers, and, even more relevant, sensibilities are blunted by familiarity. Most people feel queasy and many actually faint when present for the first time at a surgical operation on a live human being. But everybody whose job it is to be present gets accustomed to it. Most people are upset when for the first time they see a dead body, but those whose work involves them frequently with dead bodies take them as a matter of course. Hitler's butchers were recruited from the slaughterers of animals, and many of those who had become used to bashing in the skulls of incurable lunatics soon became able to do the same for healthy Jews and political prisoners. So why should it need to be proved that the repeated sight on television of people being brutally assaulted makes one more able to tolerate brutal assault in real life? I think the blame can fairly be put on psychoanalytic theory which has got the better over other theories, probably because of its romantic appeal and the lack of a firm contrary theory.
The psychoanalytic view in this matter is (or was) broadly that we all have a certain amount of innate aggression, just as we all have a certain amount of available physical energy, and this aggression will out. Some believe in the possibility of `sublimating' into creative channels this aggression, which tends to be thought of rather like steam under pressure, so that it will, as it were, drive an engine rather than merely burst the boilers. Others think that the aggression can be got rid of vicariously; and this is the theory, unlikely as it appears on the face of it, which has caught on. Watching violence on television gets rid of the violence which would otherwise come out in direct action. (This may be unfair to psychoanalysts who may protest that they no longer believe this. But Roberts's view is, I think, right. What matters is what people believe psychoanalysts believe. And, of course, it is even more absurd if we are in a sense governed by a theory that nobody any longer believes.) Throughout the ages humanitarians have considered that violent spectacles - gladiator fights, bull fights, public executions, cock fights - especially when presented as entertainment have had a brutalising effect on the public rather than the opposite; and this is why at various times they have all been made illegal in this country. Is there any reason for thinking that repeated television portrayals of these things might have the opposite effect? At the bottom of our acceptance of this illogical position is the attractiveness of romantic, non-scientific theories such as the Freudian steam-pressure theory of the mind compared with a hard rational scepticism, and the failure of our thinkers to face the public, and especially the students, with this scepticism. Very largely on the strength of an irrefutable theory, we are allowing the future generation to grow up in an atmosphere of sustained portrayed violence after reformers had, for the previous three hundred years, succeeded in slowly reducing the amount of public violence permitted.
Because Freudian ideas go very largely against common sense, their influence has tended to give a kind of boost to other ideas which, in the ordinary course of events would have been destroyed by common sense. The influence has thus been extraordinarily pervasive and difficult to pin down. Among such ideas which have persisted and can in some way be attributed to the `diffused effect' of Freud are what might be called the infantilising of teaching and the medicalising of morality.
Teaching methods, developed quite properly on psychoanalytic lines to overcome the resistance to learning of backward children of various sorts, have been extended in many schools to the children who are perfectly willing to learn, in the spirit of `a dose of medicine will do them all good'. In effect all children are being treated as backward. That play is the best way for children to learn is another widely assumed idea that owes its popularity to the Freudians. Peter Smith (1978) casts doubt on it. The same goes for the 'disproportionate and irreversible' effect of the early environment on the developing child, criticised by the Clarkes (1976).
Freudian ideas have combined in a curious way with a bogus egalitarianism to produce the current dogma that competition of any sort in academic performance (but not in sport or music or art) is to be condemned. An aspect of this is the cloud under which 'streaming' in secondary schools is regarded in some quarters. It has resulted in (a) the same thing being done under another name, e.g. 'banding' and (b) in a great outburst of extra-curricular academic competition, especially on radio and television: University Challenge, Ask the Family, etc. A similar tendency to evade such a doctrinaire reversal of tradition is demonstrated by studies of persistent truants from school. They have been found sometimes to organise themselves into gangs where the discipline and punishments are far harsher than in any school.
There has been an attempt to make every misfortune, disability, crime, or eccentricity into a kind of illness subject to diagnosis, treatment, and cure. I am not saying that Freud started the idea, merely that his 'diffused effects' gave it a great fillip. Its absurdity is best illustrated by an extreme example, the psychiatric 'illness' given the name drapetomania by Samuel A. Cartwright MD who first described it, in all seriousness, in the May 1851, issue of the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal. The symptoms occurred in slaves and manifested themselves as an unexplained tendency to run away. Before the full development of the symptoms, the patient was likely to become sulky and dissatisfied. Treatment by whipping was sometimes effective; but the condition could best be prevented by keeping the patient firmly in the state willed by the Creator, namely that of a 'submissive knee-bender'. The condition was practically confined to the negro race.
Freud cited Hamlet as a kind of archetype of the neurotic; but undoubtedly many so-called neurotics are better typified by Lady Macbeth, and this example shows the dangers of the `medical model'. Lady Macbeth's obsessional hand-washing was the consequence of her own guilt, not just what Freudians tend to dismiss as guilt-feelings, but real guilt about her dominant part in cold-blooded murder. Her doctor's own comment was entirely apt: 'More needs she the divine than the physician' (Act V. Sc. 1) . A successful relief of her guilt might enable her to murder again without feeling guilty, in other words convert her from a woman of sensibility into a psychopath. This is why the pharmaceutical firms' dream of the perfect tranquillizer is not something that doctors await with unequivocal enthusiasm. It could appear to signify the ultimate reduction of morals to chemistry.
The confusion of guilt (for which one can at best make some atonement) with `guilt-feelings' (which one can be cured of) is part of the blurring of distinctions that I have mentioned which leads to an undermining of truth. Apropos of Rolf Hochhuth's play which seemed to accuse Churchill of having contrived General Sikorski's fatal air crash, a Freudian was heard to say that he was inclined to believe the charge because Churchill was the sort of person who could have done it. In one sentence he dismissed centuries of history, of the laborious working up to fair trial in the light of evidence, of being not guilty unless proved guilty. What did it matter, Churchill being the sort of man who might have done it, whether he actually did it or not?
The concept of intelligence
I cannot leave discussion of the anti-cultural influence of modern psychology without mentioning a matter which has nothing to do with Freud and little with Pavlov, the concept of the intelligence quotient, the I.Q. The idea that human mental capacity could be measured by a single number can probably be attributed to Francis Galton, a Victorian pioneer psychologist of immense ability who according to George Miller, `was never satisfied with a problem until he had discovered something he could count'. To Galton it was so obvious as to be not worth questioning that intellectual capacity is related to the physical dimensions of the brain. Nowadays the idea smacks of Bertie Wooster and makes us smile. (Wodehouse enthusiasts will remember how Bertie was convinced that the explanation for Jeeves's omniscience and amazing competence lay in the way his head bulged out at the back.) It is not a silly idea. It just happens to be wrong, except in the case of brains markedly smaller than average (microcephalic) which always do denote mental defect. Although Galton's attempts to correlate intelligence with brain size were unsuccessful, they led, Miller shows, via Alfred Binet to the I.Q. of today based on standardised tests. `It seems likely', says Popper, `that there are innate differences of intelligence. But it seems almost impossible that a matter so many-sided and complex as human inborn knowledge and intelligence (quickness of grasp, depth of understanding, creativity, clarity of exposition, etc.) can be measured by a one-dimensional function like "Intelligence Quotient"' (SB 123). Again, as with brain size, a very low I.Q. does denote mental defect; but Medawar, for one, has suggested that the amount by which the score exceeds a certain amount may be as insignificant as small variations in brain size. We do not know, for example that Einstein or Bertrand Russell had very high I.Q.s. In agreement with this idea, Popper has commented that probably the most difficult intellectual task that any of us ever faces is the learning of his native language. Yet we all achieve it.
The alleged connection between I.Q. and race is a subject on which people have literally come to blows. But the critics of the comparative racial results seem to criticise more the application than the actual concept of the I.Q. which Professor D. H. Stott has described as `biologically preposterous'. Furious discussions go on under the misapprehension that what are argued about are matters of fact and of science, rather than of metaphysics (see page 20). The I.Q. is, I think one can safely say, a wrong idea which has had the power, as Stott quotes to `dig the educational graves of many racially and/or economically deprived children for too long'. It has been kept alive by the failure to recognize white-swanning as invalid. Although it is not strictly analogous, the following example does illustrate the white-swanning fallacy. Asked about a friend's new car, the average wife will describe it in terms of colour and perhaps size. To the automobile connoisseur, what are interesting and important are the power and design of the engine, the system of suspension, and other technical details. Nevertheless it can be `proved' that colour is relevant to performance. The theory that white cars are faster than black can be verified. The tests that have been used to show that black people have on average a lower I.Q. than whites would also show that black cars are on average slower than white ones. Among the explanatory facts of course, which do not emerge from a statistical comparison, are that the police who need fast cars tend to favour white, while undertakers who need slow ones invariably opt for black. Another observation on the same lines is the finding that short-sighted people get higher-paid jobs!
As with I.Q., so with some of the other labels that are pinned on children by psychiatrists and psychologists. They treat poor performances as though they were hereditary diseases. In effect a child who loses at chess lacks the chess-playing ability. Nobody bothers to inquire whether he understands the rules (see also page 132).
In conclusion I must make this point quite clear. To categorise Freudianism or any other theory as metaphysics rather than science is not to deny the truth or even the relevance of observations made by psychoanalysts or anybody else. What must be denied is their power to deduce a general theory of `human nature' and thereby to make predictions on the score of their observations. For no theory can be deduced from any set of facts. Popper has shown, most ingeniously and by purely logical means, that even so well-tested a theory as Newton's laws of motion could not have been deduced from observation (C.R. 190). Observations can of course suggest an hypothesis; but they cannot prove or confirm a theory. Conclusions from Freudian theory are thus strictly limited in their scope and so, as I shall show in the next chapter, are those from stimulus-response psychology. These theories do not of themselves undermine `the very foundation of liberal civilisation', and `the ideal of the rational, responsible, consciously-motivated individual' remains a noble one.