Victorian Psychology and British Culture 1850-1880

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This book offers a history of the interdisciplinary development of Victorian psychology alongside detailed studies of three leading writers: Alexander Bain, Herbert Spencer, and G. H. Lewes. Examining work in several different fields, including evolutionary theory, philosophy, literature, and the bio-medical sciences, it sets the development of psychology in the context of the social and intellectual pressures of the time. The book includes detailed analyses of the work of George Eliot, whose writing is saturated with ideas developed alongside those of the great psychologists who formed her circle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198122838
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge
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Table of Contents

Prelude 1
Introduction: Looking Round Corners 5
Pt. 1 Generalities: A Discrimination of Types of Psychological Theory
1 The Discourse of the Soul 21
2 The Discourse of Philosophy 40
3 The Discourse of Physiology in General Biology 70
4 The Discourse of Medicine 110
Pt. 2 Particulars: Three Writers in their Times and Contexts
5 Alexander Bain and the New Psychology of the Higher Faculties 147
Bain, Mill, and the Politics of Psychological Theory in the Mid-Century 150
Bain and the Development of Physiological Associationism 167
Bain's Theory of the Will 194
6 Herbert Spencer and the Beginnings of Evolutionary Psychology 203
Changes in Models of the Mind in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century 203
Spencer's Psychology: From Associationism to Evolutionary Theory 212
Spencer and the Religious Mind: The Changing Response to Psychological Theory 228
Epistemology, Evolutionary Psychology, and the Idealist Critique 240
7 G. H. Lewes: History, Mind, and Language 251
Problems of Text and Context 251
Mind, Metaphor, Biology, and Man 271
Epistemology and Ontology in Problems of Life and Mind 290
Lewes, Darwin, and Lamarck 299
Problems of Mind and Conceptual Organization 305
Ideal Futures: Lewes's Convictions and Appropriations 311
Bibliography 331
Index 351
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