E. G. Boring’s History of Experimental Psychology continues to dominate the historiography of psychology (with some revisions). This article challenges the revised standard account on several points. It shows (1) that psychology has variously been considered a part of natural science from antiquity; (2) that Wundt considered psychology to be an autonomous discipline, distinct from philosophy; (3) that Wundt and Boring overemphasized the theoretical discontinuity between the “old” and “new” psychologies; and (4) that several major figures in the expansion of psychology in America were not antimetaphysical. What is called the “founding” of psychology as a science in the late nineteenth century was really the initial stages in the transformation of an existing scientific discipline through expanded application of experimental techniques, a transformation that took more than a half-century to complete.
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September 03 1997
Wundt and Psychology as Science: Disciplinary Transformations
University of Pennsylvania
Online ISSN: 1530-9274
Print ISSN: 1063-6145
©1997 by The University of Chicago. All reserved.
The University of Chicago. All reserved.
Perspectives on Science (1997) 5 (3): 349–382.
Gary Hatfield; Wundt and Psychology as Science: Disciplinary Transformations. Perspectives on Science 1997; 5 (3): 349–382. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/posc_a_00531
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