Philosophy and History of Psychology: Selected works of Elizabeth Valentine, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Philosophy and History of Psychology

Selected works of Elizabeth Valentine, 1st Edition

By Elizabeth R. Valentine

Psychology Press

262 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781848722743
pub: 2013-11-25
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In the World Library of Psychologists series, international experts themselves present career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces – extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, and their major practical theoretical contributions.

Elizabeth Valentine has an international reputation as an eminent scholar and pioneer in the field of philosophy and history of psychology. This selection brings together some of her best work over the last thirty years.

A specially written introduction gives an overview of her career and contextualises the selection in relation to changes in the field during this time. The first section on ‘Philosophy’ covers work on different theoretical approaches to psychology, introspection and the study of consciousness, the mind-body problem, and different types of explanation in psychology including reductionism. The second section, ‘From Philosophy to History’, includes work on the philosophical psychologists G. F. Stout and James Sully, among others. The third section on ‘History’ covers Valentine’s more recent historical work on the development of psychology in London – both institutional and biographical – and includes accounts of both Bedford College and University College, and the role of pioneer women psychologists.

The book enables the reader to trace developments in the philosophy and history of psychology over the last thirty years. It will appeal to anyone with interests in these areas as well as being an invaluable resource for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in conceptual and historical issues.


At first glance the volume Philosophy and History of Psychology by Elizabeth Valentine may look like just another collection of papers by a recently retired academic. In fact it is much more. It is a well-chosen selection from the work of someone who, against the pressures of her time, worked to keep open the bridge between philosophy and psychology by her research and by founding the History and Philosophy of Psychology section of the British Psychological Society and its journal. She was able to do so by being unusually well read in the recent history of both philosophy and psychology, as well as being able to contribute significantly to contemporary research in both subjects. Moreover these essays reflect her passion to make known the neglected work of early women psychologists in Britain such as Beatrice Edgell, Nellie Carey and Jessie Murray. Thus this volume is also a portrait of a person of wide intellectual sympathies and generous academic impulses who deserves to be much better known. - William Lyons, Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Ireland

Liz Valentine has been at the centre of activities in Philosophy and History of Psychology in Britain for over 30 years, and it is great boon to see so many of her key papers gathered together in this book. They show the remarkable range of her interests, from scholarly accounts of individual psychologists to lucid and provocative chapters on consciousness and the philosophy of cognitive science. - Arthur Still, Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Edinburgh, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1 Philosophy 1. Philosophy and psychology 2. Psychology as science 3. Folk psychology and its implications for cognitive science 4. Introspection 5. The possibility of a science of experience: An examination of some conceptual problems facing the study of consciousness 6. Dissociation and the delimitation of consciousness: Implications of neuropsychological phenomena for philosophical conceptions of consciousness 7. Perception and action in East and West 8. Metaphysics 9. Distinguishing the soluble from the insoluble 10. Explanation 11. Reduction Part 2 From philosophy to history 12. Neural nets: From Hartley and Hebb to Hinton 13. G. F. Stout’s philosophical psychology 14. Biographical introduction to James Sully’s Studies of childhood Part 3 History 15. Psychology at Bedford College London 1849–1985 16. Measuring the mind: Beatrice Edgell, pioneer woman psychologist of Bedford College 17. The founding of the psychological laboratory, University College London: ‘Dear Galton… Yours truly, J Sully’ 18. Spooks and spoofs: Relations between psychical research and academic psychology in Britain in the inter-war period 19. To care or to understand? Women members of the British Psychological Society 1901–1918 20. The other woman 21. "A brilliant and many-sided personality": Jessie Margaret Murray, founder of the Medico-Psychological Clinic

About the Author

Elizabeth R. Valentine is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London and Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London, UK. Best known as the author of Conceptual Issues in Psychology, she has published many papers on theoretical psychology and experimental psychology. She is a founder member and former chair of the History and Philosophy of Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society, and the founding editor of its periodical, History & Philosophy of Psychology.

About the Series

World Library of Psychologists

The World Library of Psychologists celebrates the important contributions to psychology made by leading experts in their individual fields of study. Each scholar has compiled a career-long collection of what they consider to be their finest pieces: extracts from books, journals, articles, major theoretical and practical contributions, and salient research findings.

For the first time ever the work of each contributor is presented in a single volume so readers can follow the themes and progress of their work and identify the contributions made to, and the development of, the fields themselves.

The distinguished careers of the selected experts span at least two decades and include Barbara Wilson, Elizabeth Valentine, Leo Hendry, Jonathan St. B.T. Evans and Mark Griffiths.

Each book in the series features a specially written introduction by the contributor giving an overview of his career, contextualizing his selection within the development of the field, and showing how his own thinking developed over time.

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