A new chapter on “Ethnography, History and Philosophy of Experimental Psychology” may be of interest to AHP readers. Written by anthropologist Emily Martin, the chapter is included in the newly released volume Finite but Unbounded: New Approaches in Philosophical Anthropology (edited by Kevin M. Cahill, Martin Gustafsson, and Thomas Schwarz Wentzer). The abstract for the chapter reads:
Historians of psychology have described how the ‘introspection’ of early Wundtian psychology largely came to be ruled out of experimental psychology settings by the mid 20th century. In this paper I take a fresh look at the years before this process was complete – from the vantage point of early ethnographic and psychological field expeditions. Beginning with the psychological research conducted during and after the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits Islands (CAETS) in 1898, I will discuss the importance of the CAETS in the history of anthropology and psychology and explore some possible ways of approaching experimental cognitive psychology ethnographically. I describe the experience of Ludwig Wittgenstein in the Cambridge experimental psychology lab founded after the CAETS by C.S. Myers, focusing on its implications for Wittgenstein’s later thought and for contemporary ‘affect theory’.
The Winter 2013 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online. Included in this issue are articles on French psychologist Théodule Ribot’s (right) founding of the Revue Philosophique de la France et de l’Étranger and the founding of the German Gesellschaft für psychologische Forschung” (“Society for Psychological Research”), which was intended to be an outlet for non-Wundtian psychologies from France and Britain. Other articles in this issue look at the history of ethnographic research and Bayesian rationality in economics. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.
“‘A Big Piece of News’: Théodule Ribot and the Founding of the Revue Philosophique de la France et de l’Etranger,” by Serge Nicolas. The abstract reads,
This paper describes the founding of the Revue Philosophique de la France et de l’Étranger by Théodule Ribot (1839–1916) in 1876. Like the English journal Mind, which was launched the same year, this journal introduced the new scientific psychology to France. Its founding increased Ribot’s scientific credibility in psychology and led him to be regarded as the most distinguished French specialist in the field. First, we review the state of French philosophy at the time of the journal’s founding, focusing on the three main French schools of thought in philosophy and on their relations with psychology. Second, after analyzing the preface written by Ribot in the first issue of the Revue Philosophique, we examine how the journal was received in French philosophical circles. Finally, we discuss its subsequent history, highlighting its founder’s promotion of new ideas in psychology.
“Normalizing the Supernormal: The Formation of the “Gesellschaft Für Psychologische Forschung” (“Society for Psychological Research”), c. 1886–1890,” by Andreas Sommer. The abstract reads, Continue reading New JHBS: Ribot, German psych, & More!