This is a source book unique in its scope, clarity, and general interest. Its 116 excerpts range in time from Epicurus (ca. 300 B.C.) to the turn of the twentieth century and sometimes, when continuity requires, a little beyond (as to K. S. Lashley, 1929). It includes excerpts from Kepler (1604) on the inverted retinal image, Descartes (1650) on the soul's interaction with the machine of the body, Newton (1675) on the seven colors of the spectrum, Locke (1700) on association of ideas, Whytt (1751) on the spinal reflex, Weber (1834) on Weber's law, Darwin (1859) on evolution, Sechenov (1863) on reflexology, Hughlings Jackson (1884) on nervous dissolution, William James (1890) on associationism, Thorndike, Pavlov, Wertheimer, Watson, and 70 other great figures in the history of psychology.
Arranged by topic rather than in the usual strict chronological order, each of the first fourteen chapters traces the development of one important subject in experimental and quantitative psychology. The final chapter discusses the history of thinking about the nature of psychology itself. The editors provide an introduction to each chapter and each excerpt, indicating the significance of the content to follow and establishing historical continuity.
More than a quarter of the articles are translated into English for the first time. A fine, well-balanced contribution to the history of psychology.
This is without any question the best, and perhaps the only really good, selection of primary material relevant to the history of experimental psychology… The principal translators, Mollie D. Boring and Don Cantor, should share with the editors the credit for an important job very well done.
The history of psychology contains magic names. Important passages from many of them are reprinted in this book, which is really a compendium of ideas for research; for one has the uncomfortable feeling when reading it that there are hints whose import one does not yet recognize.
An excellent job of judicious compression has been practised without losing the meaning and the flavour of the original… In each case the passage quoted has had a formative influence on the history of the subject… This is a fascinating book.
This is an exceptional compilation… Not only does it provide students with selections from important sources which they almost certainly would not otherwise read, but it whets the appetite to search further in the early literature of many topics of contemporary psychological interest… This book is an admirable collection which does great credit to the judgment of its editors…this book embodies intellectual standards not always upheld in the subject today.
- 658 pages
- 6 x 9 inches
- Harvard University Press
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