The present collection of essays is intended to provide the broader conceptual framework within which four of the nineteenth century's most influential writers on psychology developed their views. It has not been my purpose to join their specific notions to some issue of contemporary favor. Writers of the previous century had no way of knowing what would engage today's scholars, and the latter have consistently displayed an often heroic indifference to the older views. My aim, therefore, has not been to make twentieth-century Psychology more intelligible or inevitable, but to examine how the last century understood the issues and the mission of the discipline, at least as this understanding emerges from the works of J. S. Mill, G. W. F. Hegel, Wilhelm Wundt, and William James.
In choosing four luminaries about whom so much has been written by philosophers and historians of Psychology, I have assumed the burden of saying something different, if not original, regarding the psychological dimensions of their published works. This, of course, is a burden an author accepts only when persuaded that the available literature is incomplete or defective. Without going too deeply into the matter, I should say something about what I find lacking in the more accessible treatments of the four.
J. S. Mill, as he is generally known to students of Psychology, is the great patron of inductive science, the modern "father" of experimental method, the formidable
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Publication information: Book title: Toward a Science of Human Nature:Essays on the Psychologies of Mill, Hegel, Wundt, and James. Contributors: Daniel N. Robinson - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1982. Page number: ix.
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