Tag Archives: teaching

Publication Announcement: The Wiley Handbook of Theoretical & Philosophical Psychology

1118748336This month saw the publication of a collaborative text on theoretical and philosophical psychology, edited by Jack Martin, Jeff Sugarman, and Kathleen Slaney out of Simon Fraser University.

The volume is comprised of sections on: philosophical/conceptual approaches, historical approaches, narrative and social psychological approaches, and theoretical studies of scientific, professional, and life practices.

Chapters of particular interest to our readership include:

  • Theory for and as Social Practice of Realizing the Future: Implications from a Transformative Activist Stance, by Anna Stetsenko
  • Historical Thinking as a Tool for Theoretical Psychology: On Objectivity by Thomas Teo
  • The History of Psychological Objects by Adrian Brock
  • Historical Ontology, by Jeff Sugarman
  • Historiometry, by Dean Keith Simonton
  • Statistical Thinking in Psychological Research: In Quest of Clarity through Historical Inquiry and Conceptual Analysis, by James T. Lamiell
  • Allies in Interdisciplinary Spaces: Theoretical and Science Studies, by Kareen R. Malone and Lisa M. Osbeck
  • Feminism and Theoretical Psychology, by Alexandra Rutherford, Kate Sheese, and Nora Ruck

The book can be purchased here.

New HoP: The “Lens,” Helmholtz, The Phi Phenomena, & More

The May 2014 issue of History of Psychology is now online. Included in this issue are articles on the interplay of images and concepts in ideas about the “lens” as developed by Fritz Heider and Egon Brunswick, the influence of Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s Ego-doctrine on Helmholtz’s theory of perception, the future of the history of psychology course in Canada, and archives on the history of Chinese psychology. The issue also features a special section devoted to the centenary of Max Wertheimer’s publication of the phi phenomena. Article titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Remembering the “lens”: Visual transformations of a concept from Heider to Brunswik,” by Martin Wieser. The abstract reads,

It is argued that Frederic Bartlett’s views on the social and cultural determinants of remembering and recognition provide a useful background for analyzing the transformations of psychological concepts and images when they are introduced into new academic collectives. An example of a “Bartlettian” view on the history of psychology is given by reconstructing and contextualizing the transformation of the “lens,” a model of human perception that was invented by Fritz Heider in the 1920s and adopted by Egon Brunswik from the 1930s onwards. Heider’s early work suggested a new perspective on the epistemological relation between subject, media, and object that was devised to create a new conceptual foundation for academic psychology. Brunswik, on the other hand, transformed Heider’s “lens” into a clear-cut experimental framework that was based on the physicalist and operationalist demands of logical empiricism, the movement for the “unity of science,” and, after his migration to Berkeley, neobehaviorism. This episode provides many similarities with Bartlett’s theory of the social determinants of knowledge and the shaping power of collective presuppositions, norms, and ideals.

“Voluntarism in early psychology: The case of Hermann von Helmholtz,” by Liesbet De Kock. The abstract reads,

The failure to recognize the programmatic similarity between (post-)Kantian German philosophy and early psychology has impoverished psychology’s historical self-understanding to a great extent. This article aims to contribute to recent efforts to overcome the gaps in the historiography of contemporary psychology, which are the result of an empiricist bias. To this end, we present an analysis of the way in which Hermann von Helmholtz’s theory of perception resonates with Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s Ego-doctrine. It will be argued that this indebtedness is particularly clear when focusing on the foundation of the differential awareness of subject and object in perception. In doing so, the widespread reception of Helmholtz’s work as proto-positivist or strictly empiricist is challenged, in favor of the claim that important elements of his theorizing can only be understood properly against the background of Fichte’s Ego-doctrine.

Special Section: On the occasion of the centenary of Max Wertheimer’s article on the “phi phenomenon”

“Max Wertheimer centennial celebration in Germany,” by Michael Wertheimer. The abstract reads, Continue reading New HoP: The “Lens,” Helmholtz, The Phi Phenomena, & More

Sept 1: Grad student grant deadline for $2,500

THEN/HiER, the first pan-Canadian organization devoted to promoting and improving history teaching and learning, will give up to $2,500 to support a collaborative project bringing together some of the multiple and varied constituencies involved in history education.

Our goal is to stimulate an active, participatory dialogue among these various communities of history educators, a dialogue that explores how best to improve history education in all its forms through more research-informed practice (from kindergarten to graduate school) and more practice-informed research.

Their aim is to fund knowledge mobilization and dissemination, rather than new research. The next deadline is September 1. (And, after that, November 1.)

Details regarding graduate student projects can be found here; regarding open small grants, which require matching funds or in-kind contributions, here.

New History of Medicine Website

The Science Museum, London launched a new website today called “Brought to Life.” The site provides a new history of medicine resource that includes 2,500 images from the Science Museum’s collection as well as descriptions of numerous individuals, technologies, objects, and themes from medicine’s history. According to the announcement made on the H-Net listserv for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, the website is scheduled to receive another 4,000 images over the coming year.

Continue reading New History of Medicine Website

Becoming a Psychologist-Historian

Kelli Vaughn-BlountIn the latest issue of the American Journal of Psychology, 122(1), Kelli Vaughn-Blount (pictured left) answers — with co-authors Alexandra Rutherford, David Baker, and Deborah Johnson — two key questions: Why do history in psychology?  And how do I get started?

More than 40 years ago, psychologist-historian Robert Watson argued that the study of history was of particular salience to psychology. In this article we explore the relationship between psychology and history and argue that the psychologist-­historian plays a vital role in the discipline of psychology. We provide a brief overview of the emergence of the history of psychology as a professional subdiscipline, describe who psychologist­-historians are, explain why they are needed, and detail how to join their ranks. We argue that increasing historical sophistication among psychologists will have beneficial effects on research and teaching, and we invite all psychologists to participate in the making of psychology’s history.

We wrote to Vaughn-Blount and asked to take us behind-the-scenes on her decision to write this article. This is what she said. Continue reading Becoming a Psychologist-Historian