Leary, David. (1979) Wundt and After: Psychology's Shifting Relations with the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Philosophy. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 15, 232-241.
|Title||Wundt and After: Psychology's Shifting Relations with the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Philosophy|
|Resource Type||journal article|
|Journal||Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences|
Over the past one hundred years psychology has evolved into a major scientific discipline. Nonetheless, psychology is presently in a state of considerable turmoil regarding its proper subject matter and method. Is psychology a natural science, a social science, or a hybrid of the two? What relation should psychology maintain with philosophy? These general questions, currently under debate, were addressed by Wilhelm Wundt, one of the founders of modern experimental psychology. This article is an attempt to specify Wundt’s conceptualization of psychology and to place it in its historical context. Secondarily it also traces certain major developments since the time of Wundt. The conclusion that is reached is that the apparent contemporary "crisis" in psychology is really nothing new and that, in fact, the present condition of psychology does not necessarily constitute a crisis. In its broad outline at least, present-day psychology reflects the program which Wundt espoused one hundred years ago.