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November 13, 1921 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1921-11-13

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Strength Of Personality, Factor
In 'Reasoning Power Says Sellars

(By Delbert Clark)
"An expression of an individual's
whole personality," is the way Prof.
Roy W. Sellars, of the philosophy de-
partment characterizes the process of
reasoning. There is too apt to be a
wrong conception of reasoning as a.
function, according to the professor.
One is too prone to think of it as a
separate faculty, occupying distinct
portions of the mind, and operating
semi-independently, like the various
physical senses. Such is palpably not
the case, the strength or weakness of
the individual in his reasoning facul-
ties lying in the strength of his per-~
Passive Mind Not Effective
"Three things are agent in determ-
ining one's reasoning power," said
Professor Sellars. They are the three
components of personality; namely,
life experience, interest, and moral
character. The logical process is es-
sentially an activity. The passive mind,
which simply receives, absorbs, but
does not analyze, cannot reason ef-
fectively. There is too strong a tend-
ency on the part of students in general
to sit with minds at rest while the in-
structor 'does the work. This is es-
pecially true in lecture courses, and
as a consequence, in many cases where
the student is not forced by teaching
methods to mental action, he derives
only a small portion of the actual bene-
fit which is his due.
. Want Entertaining Subjects
"Students want to be entertained,"
said Professor Sellars. "If they en-
roll in a section and the subject is
not presented in. the most interesting
way, due perhaps to its involved char-
acter, they are sorely disappointed.
This tendency in itself is opposed to
a logical state of mind."
Professor Sellars contrasts reason-
ing with association and with memory.
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"It is," he says, "an entirely distinct
process, depending upon a different set
of causes.
"There are five factors involved in
the reasoning process. The first is
G experience, which may be described as
a funding of past knowledge. The see-
ond is interest. These two are inter-
twined, in that the width and variety
of an individual's experience vary dir-
ectly as the breadth of his interest. Out
of interest grows activity; without it
the student will stagnate, as many do.
Students in this connection are prone
to be too narrow. They are suspicious
of anything offered them which does
not show the possibility of immediate
results. There is too much desire to
make a living, and not enough desire
to be a-living interspersed with it."
* Think As They Want
The third factor which goes to make
up the reasoning process, according to
Professor Sellars, is objectivity or
freedom from emotion. The several
interests of students too often inter-
fere with their ability to reason clear-
ly. They think what they want to
think, and not necessarily what is
correct. Analysis, or discrimination is
a potent factor: the ability to analyze
a subject dispassionately and reach a
conclusion is most essential. Fifth of
the points which are involved in the
makeup of a logical mind is sagacity,
without which the whole system bids
fair to collapse.
"Mental activity, response, co-opera-
tion," summarized Professor Sellars,
"are essential if one is to reason well.
There is a distinct character element
in reasoning. It consists in trained
persistence, and may be transferred
from one field to another. As regards
the student mind, it is impossible to
generalize, as no proof is available to
support either the contention that it
is logical or that the reverse is true. It
depends entirely upon the individual.
Within my experience, the allegation
that women are illogical has not prov-.
ed true. What may make them seem
illogical to men is the fact that they
have a different field of interest, and
the male mind may seem as illogical
to them as theirs do to us.'
Groesbeck Calls Education Meeting
Lansing, Nov. 11.-Invitations were
sent Thursday by Gov. Groesbeck to
the governors of 27 states having
compulsory physical education laws,
to send representatives to a confer-
ence to be held in Battle Creek Dec.
The meeting called is the first of its
Says Anarchy Was Found In Haiti
Washington, Nov. 11.-The United
States Marines found anarchy prevail-
Ing in Haiti when they first landed,
said Brig. Gen. Eli K. Cole, U. S. M. C.,
who appeared, Thursday before the
Senate committee investigating the ad-
ministration of the island by the Am-
erican forces of occupation.

REPAIR SHIPS AID pensable "mother" ships do much more
BUSY NAVY YA RDS than was formerly required of them.
- YA ISo henceforth they will spend long
periods in the navy yards and, it is
New York, Nov. 12.-Naval retrench work.
ment is being put into practice with
the utilization of naval repair ships SLEEP ANYWHERE, BUT R
In the salvage of old battleships and EAT AT REX'S -
otherwise materially assisting in the TIE CLUB LUNCH Fed B and Min
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