Western Psychology: From the Greeks to William James

Western Psychology: From the Greeks to William James

Western Psychology: From the Greeks to William James

Western Psychology: From the Greeks to William James

Excerpt

Man's perennial desire to understand himself has been intensified through the general growth of science since the time of Galileo. This was partly because of the increasing insistency of questions about evolution and the relation of man to his animal ancestry; partly by virtue of the development of experimental research skills which treat man as a natural object; partly a reflection of the new clinical evaluations of human difficulties; and partly an expression of the increasing awareness of the nature of culture and personality. We are seeking to make available to the Western reader representative selections from the seminal thinkers about human nature, its origin and development, introducing and interpreting several dozen new insightful contributions scattered through the history of psychology, and creating as much integration as possible. But we are allowing disparate authors to speak in their own idioms. In the first volume of this series, Asian Psychology, we dealt specifically with the psychology of India, China, and Japan, which for most of us has been poorly articulated with the psychology of the West. The present volume is concerned with the great procession of Western thought from the pre-Socratics through the Greek classical period, through the Roman and patristic eras, through the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment, up to and including the first great formulations of an evolutionary psychology. We believe that William James is an appropriate exponent of the last great phase in this development.

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