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An Intellectual History of Psychology
Third Edition
Daniel N. Robinson



"Robinson does not follow the usual conventions of celebrating one great man after another in chronological order but instead follows the development of ideas as they provide alternative perspectives on the nature of mind. Hence, the reader is carried along on a genuine intellectual adventure." —Ernest R. Hilgard, professor emeritus of psychology, Stanford University

An Intellectual History of Psychology, already a classic in its field, is now available in a concise third edition. It presents psychological ideas as part of a greater web of thinking throughout history about the essentials of human nature, interwoven with ideas from philosophy, science, religion, art, literature, and politics.

Daniel N. Robinson demonstrates that from the dawn of rigorous and self-critical inquiry in ancient Greece, reflections about human nature have been inextricably linked to the cultures from which they arose, and each definable historical age has added its own character and tone to this long tradition. An Intellectual History of Psychology not only explores the most significant ideas about human nature from ancient to modern times, but also examines the broader social and scientific contexts in which these concepts were articulated and defended. Robinson treats each epoch, whether ancient Greece or Renaissance Florence or Enlightenment France, in its own terms, revealing the problems that dominated the age and engaged the energies of leading thinkers.

Robinson also explores the abiding tension between humanistic and scientific perspectives, assessing the most convincing positions on each side of the debate. Invaluable as a text for students and as a stimulating and insightful overview for scholars and practicing psychologists, this volume can be read either as a history of psychology in both its philosophical and aspiring scientific periods or as a concise history of Western philosophy's concepts of human nature.


Daniel N. Robinson is a member of the philosophy faculty at Oxford University and professor emeritus of psychology at Georgetown University. His many books include Toward a Science of Human Nature: Essays on the Psychologies of Hegel, Mill, Wundt, and James; Philosophy of Psychology; and Aristotle's Psychology. He was chief consultant for the PBS television series The Brain and The Mind.

For more information about Daniel Robinson, visit his Wikipedia page here.


Inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu or (608) 263-0734.




September 1995

LC: 95-005697 BF
392 pp.   6 x 9
3 line drawings

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Paper $24.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-14844-7
E-book logo e-book $19.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-14843-0
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