New JHBS! James, Mead, & Peace Psych

The Spring 2012 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online. Included in this issue are articles on the history of peace psychology, the importance of mind cure for William James, and George Herbert Mead’s (left) development of his social psychology. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Finding Patrons for Peace Psychology: The Foundations of the Conflict Resolution Movement at the University of Michigan, 1951–1971,” by Teresa Tomás Rangil. No abstract provided.

“Interpreting “Mind-Cure”: William James and the ‘Chief Task…of the Science of Human Nature’,” by Emma Kate Sutton. The abstract reads,

The private papers of the philosopher-psychologist, William James, indicate that he frequented several mental healers during his life, undertaking 100–200 therapeutic sessions concerning a range of symptoms from angina to insomnia. The success of the mind-cure movement constituted for James both a corroboration, and an extension, of the new research into the subconscious self and the psychogenesis of disease. Epistemologically, the experiences of those converts to the “mind-cure religion” exemplified his conviction that positivistic scientific enquiry can only reveal only one part of a wider reality. Metaphysically their reports comprised a powerful body of support for the existence of a “higher consciousness,” a supernatural world of some description. The positing of such a source of “supernormal” healing power was, for James, the best way to reconcile the accounts of those who had been regenerated, via their faith, despite having exhausted all natural reserves of energy and will.

“The Construction of Mind, Self, and Society: The Social Process Behind G. H. Mead’s Social Psychology” by Daniel R. Heubner. The abstract reads,

Mind, Self, and Society, the posthumously published volume by which George Herbert Mead is primarily known, poses acute problems of interpretation so long as scholarship does not consider the actual process of its construction. This paper utilizes extensive archival correspondence and notes in order to analyze this process in depth. The analysis demonstrates that the published form of the book is the result of a consequential interpretive process in which social actors manipulated textual documents within given practical constraints over a course of time. The paper contributes to scholarship on Mead by indicating how this process made possible certain understandings of his social psychology and by relocating the materials that make up the single published text within the disparate contexts from which they were originally drawn.

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About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a doctoral student in the History and Theory of Psychology program at York University. Her dissertation explores the early history of questionnaires in American psychology.

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