Reflections on the Principles of Psychology
This important volume looks back to 1890 and -- 100 years later -- asks some of the same questions William James was asking in his Principles of Psychology. In so doing, it reviews our progress toward their solutions. Among the contemporary concerns of 1990 that the editors consider are: the nature of the self and the will, conscious experience, associationism, the basic acts of cognition, and the nature of perception. Their findings: Although the developments in each of these areas during the last 100 years have been monumental, James' views as presented in the Principles still remain viable and provocative. To provide a context for understanding James, some chapters are devoted primarily to recent scholarship about James himself -- focusing on the time the Principles was written, relevant intellectual influences, and considerations of his understanding of this "new" science of psychology. The balance of this volume is devoted to specific topics of particular interest to James. One critical theme woven into almost every chapter is the tension between the role of experience (or phenomenological data) within a scientific psychology, and the viability of a materialistic (or biologically reductive) account of mental life. Written for professionals, practitioners, and students of psychology -- in all disciplines.