From Soul to Mind: The Emergence of Psychology, from Erasmus Darwin to William James

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9780300075816: From Soul to Mind: The Emergence of Psychology, from Erasmus Darwin to William James
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Early in the nineteenth century, psychology was considered a science of the soul; by the end of the century, it had abandoned the soul to become a science of the mind, says Edward Reed. In this lively and original account of psychology's formative years, Reed tells the story of the failures and successes of the attempts of nineteenth-century thinkers and practitioners—including philosophers, theologians, medical workers, mesmerists, and even poets—to make psychology into a science. He also situates psychological developments within the social, religious, and literary contexts of the times, taking into account the effects of such significant historical changes as rising nationalism, industrialization, urbanization, and changes in communication.

From Soul to Mind introduces a cast that includes not only well-known psychologists and philosophers (Kant, Reid, Darwin, James) but also figures important in their time who are largely forgotten today (R. H. Lotze in Germany, G. H. Lewes in Britain) and literary notables (Mary Shelley, E. T. A. Hoffman, Edgar Allan Poe). Countering the widespread belief that psychology is the offspring of philosophy, Reed contends that modern philosophy arose when academic philosophers sought to distinguish themselves from psychologists. He places the histories of philosophy and psychology within a broad intellectual and social framework and offers a new perspective on the roots of the New Psychology.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Reed (Psychology/Franklin and Marshall Coll.) traces the gradual, contentious evolution of the discipline of psychology in the 19th century. The origins of psychoanalysis are quite clear: It emerged at the end of the last century largely as the result of the efforts of one man, Sigmund Freud. But the larger discipline of psychology was shaped by a number of remarkable figures. In the early decades of the 19th century, Reed notes, psychology was viewed as a part of metaphysics: It was a science of the soul. It was Erasmus Darwin (Charles's grandfather) who repositioned psychology in the sciences, driven in part by his materialist view that (as Reed paraphrases it) ``all mental states derive from the motion of particles in the brain.'' During the course of the century psychology and philosophy slowly became disentangled, with psychology gradually acquiring the status of an academic discipline. By century's end, psychology's intellectual reach (and influence) had broadened considerably, for it now included an experimental dimension developed predominantly by German thinkers, touching on such matters as the nature of will and of perception, and a fascination with a concept until then largely limited to the literary romantics: the unconscious. Reed's demanding work relates the story of the competing theories and debates with a fair amount of detail, drawing on such emerging fields as modern metaphysics and epistemology, neurology, physiology, and perceptual theory to make his points. He presupposes that his reader has at least a basic knowledge of modern philosophy, and sometimes more; his sentences can be dense and packed with theory. Clearly, this is a work targeted at academics rather than at lay readers. The former will find it intellectually challenging and perhaps a bit exhausting--there is a fast parade of thinkers and concepts, which occasionally receive too cursory an exploration- -though ultimately informative and rewarding. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Here Reed (psychology, Franklin and Marshall Coll.) follows up his recent Encountering the World: Toward an Ecological Psychology (Oxford Univ., 1996) and The Necessity of Experience: A Philosophy of the Postmodern World (LJ 11/1/96), in which he had suggested "how modern psychology might overcome its legacy of narrowness." With this trailblazing history, he looks at how the field first developed its restrictive, scientific view. E.T.A Hoffman and the Shelleys figure in his discussion as examplars of how "thought police" kept the more challenging psychological ideas under wraps. After presenting a brilliant kaleidoscope of 18th- and 19th-century writings, Reed concludes that philosophy broke away from psychology, not the reverse, and that psychology is the poorer for it. J.S. Mill, Schopenhauer, Charles Darwin, G.H. Lewes, Douglas Spalding, William James, and many others come to life in a dramatic retelling of the complicated story of our imperfect self-understanding. Reed uncovers and makes accessible an intellectual treasure-trove that will change the way we think about the last 250 years. Essential for most libraries.?E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Trailblazing history. . . . After presenting a brilliant kaleidoscope of 18th- and 19th-century writings, Reed concludes that philosophy broke away from psychology, not the reverse, and that psychology is the poorer for it. . . . Reed uncovers and makes accessible an intellectual treasure-trove that will change the way we think about the last 250 years. -Library Journal Intellectually challenging . . . informative and rewarding. -Kirkus Reviews Reed is a person who thinks in an uncluttered way as well as writes so. His history is a splendid achievement beautifully crafted, sensibly and wisely thought through. -William Kessen In this lively and original account of psychology s formative years, the late Edward S. Reed describes the attempts of nineteenth-century thinkers and practitioners to make psychology into a science. Setting psychological developments within the social, religious, and literary contexts of the time, Reed counters the widespread belief that psychology emerged from philosophy and shows that the reverse is true. Seller Inventory # AAV9780300075816

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Early in the nineteenth century, psychology was considered a science of the soul; by the end of the century, it had abandoned the soul to become a science of the mind, says Edward Reed. In this lively and original account of psychology s formative years, Reed tells the story of the failures and successes of the attempts of nineteenth-century thinkers and practitioners-including philosophers, theologians, medical workers, mesmerists, and even poets-to make psychology into a science. He also situates psychological developments within the social, religious, and literary contexts of the times, taking into account the effects of such significant historical changes as rising nationalism, industrialization, urbanization, and changes in communication. From Soul to Mind introduces a cast that includes not only well-known psychologists and philosophers (Kant, Reid, Darwin, James) but also figures important in their time who are largely forgotten today (R. H. Lotze in Germany, G. H. Lewes in Britain) and literary notables (Mary Shelley, E. T. A. Hoffman, Edgar Allan Poe).Countering the widespread belief that psychology is the offspring of philosophy, Reed contends that modern philosophy arose when academic philosophers sought to distinguish themselves from psychologists. He places the histories of philosophy and psychology within a broad intellectual and social framework and offers a new perspective on the roots of the New Psychology. Seller Inventory # AAV9780300075816

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