From Soul to Mind - Reed, Edward S. - Yale University Press

From Soul to Mind

The Emergence of Psychology, from Erasmus Darwin to William James

  • Edward S. Reed
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Out of Print.

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.

Edward S. Reed is associate professor of psychology at Franklin and Marshall College. He is the author of The Necessity of Experience and James J. Gibson and the Psychology of Perception, both published by Yale University Press.