THE BIRTH OF MODERN SCIENTIFIC PSYCHOLOGY is generally placed in Germany around 1850. This birth is credited by the standard historiography to the dual parentage of the empirical school of philosophy and the experimental study of sensory physiology. There is also a tradition of giving a nod toward Kant and Herbart as predecessors, for varying reasons, of the rise of scientific psychology.1 Almost completely overlooked in the literature is the influence of post-Kantian German idealism upon the development of the concepts, subject matter, and methods of psychology. This is somewhat surprising since idealism was the dominant philosophical movement in Germany in the first half of the nineteenth century. The purpose of this article will be to present a general survey of the relationship between German idealism and the development of psychology in the nineteenth century. The article will be divided into three sections: (1) the idealistic conception of the science of psychology; (2) a survey of idealistic psychology; and (3) the contributions of idealistic psychology.
Copyright © 1980 University of Pennsylvania Press. This article first appeared in Journal of the History of Philosophy 18:3 (1980), 299-317.
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Leary, David E. "German Idealism and the Development of Psychology in the Nineteenth Century." Journal of the History of Ideas 18, no. 3 (1980): 299-317. doi:10.1353/hph.2008.0003.