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A history of psychology in western civilization / Bruce K. Alexander, Curtis P. Shelton.

  • Alexander, Bruce K.
  • Books

About this work


"This book is a re-introduction to psychology. It focuses on great scholarly thinkers, beginning with Plato, Marcus Aurelius and St Augustine, who gave the field its foundational ideas long before better known 'founders', such as Galton, Fechner, Wundt and Watson appeared on the scene. Psychology can only achieve its full breadth and potential when we fully appreciate its scholarly legacy. Bruce Alexander and Curt Shelton also argue that the fundamental contradictions built into psychology's history have never been resolved, and that a truly pragmatic approach, as defined by William James, can produce a 'layered' psychology that will enable psychologists to face the fearsome challenges of the twenty-first century. A History of Psychology in Western Civilization claims that contemporary psychology has overemphasized the methods of physical science and that psychology will need a broader scientific orientation alongside a scholarly focus in order to fully engage the future"--


Cambridge, United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Physical description

xix, 542 pages ; 24 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Introduction : Two histories of western psychology -- Rationalism: Plato and the 'just' person -- Stoicism: Marcus Aurelius and the sufficient self -- Christianity: St Augustine and the incomplete soul -- Materialism: Thomas Hobbes and the human machine -- Empiricism: John Locke, David Hume, and experience as reality -- Evolution: Charles Darwin and homo sapiens as a work in progress -- Medicine: Sigmund Freud and the world of neurotics -- Re-imagining psychology -- Appendix A. Plato's nature of intelligence and other faculties -- Appendix B. The search for Aunt Lena.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    PQ /ALE
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9781107007291
  • 1107007291
  • 9780521189309
  • 0521189306