Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The impact of Scotland on psychology was expressed before the discipline was notionally founded in the late 19th century. Scottish medicine and philosophy provided ideas that were to have widespread currency within the emerging psychology. On the one hand, the practice and teaching of medicine in the 18th century placed emphasis on the nervous system and its operations in determining normal and abnormal behavior. The links between brain and behavior were strengthened by medical research in the 19th century. On the other hand, the common sense approach to the philosophy of mind focused attention on the special senses and their relation to behavior. Alexander Bain (1818–1903) adopted the physiological tradition but rejected the dominant Scottish faculty psychology in favor of associationism. Despite these early yearnings, psychology was slow to develop institutionally in the 20th century. The features that distinguished Scottish medicine and philosophy have long since disappeared, but those features have influenced the ways in which contemporary psychology is practiced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Perspectives
EditorsDavid B. Baker
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940424
ISBN (Print)9780195366556
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2012

Publication series

NameOxford Library of Psychology


  • Senses
  • medicine
  • optics
  • common sense philosophy
  • phrenology


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