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The Group Mind

The Group Mind

1920 . William McDougall



The Group Mind
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About the book

"In this book I have sketched the principles of the mental life of groups, and have made a rough attempt to apply these principles to the understanding of the life of nations. It may seem to some minds astonishing that I should now admit that the substance of this book was committed to writing before the Great War; for that war is supposed by some to have revolutionised all our ideas of human nature and of national life. But the war has given me little reason to add to or to change what I had written. This may be either because I am too old to learn, or because what I had written was in the main true; and I am naturally disposed to accept the second explanation. I wish to make it clear to any would-be reader of this volume that it is a sequel to my Introduction to Social Psychology, that it builds upon that book and assumes that the reader is acquainted with it. I have striven to make this a strictly scientific work, rather than a philosophical one; that is to say, I have tried to ascertain and state the facts and principles of social life as it is and has been, without expressing my opinion as to what it should be. But, in order further to guard myself against the implications attached by German "idealism" to the notion of a collective mind, I wish to state that politically my sympathies are with individualism and internationalism, although I have, I think, fully recognised the great and necessary part played in human life by the Group Spirit, and by that special form of it which we now call 'Nationalism'."






G.P. Putnam's Sons



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