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The Compromised Scientist: William James in the Development of American Psychology (1983)

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A compelling, insightful, and intimate portrait of William James as artist, philosopher, and psychologist, The Compromised Scientist explains James's emergence as a founding father of American experimental psychology. Unlike most books about James, this one emphasizes the fact that he had found a career as a painter and was not really a "buried" philosopher or psychologist. He was, in fact, an artist who was forced to compromise his urge to paint by developing a unique psychological language--the language of the "stream of consciousness." Daniel W. Bjork offers an entirely new perspective on James by analyzing his famous diary as a record of his brilliant flight from art to psychology.

In addition, Bjork explores the ways in which James's artistic orientation inevitably brought him into conflict with such other major psychological pioneers as Hugo Münsterberg, Edward Bradford Titchener, and James McKeen Cattell, all of whom dissented from James's psychological and professional outlook and, in particular, his enthusiastic crusade for the unconscious and psychic research. For them too, James was a "compromised scientist"--A man who had abandoned scientific standards.

This indispensable study, complete with ample diary notations and illustrations, brings into new perspective the leading figure in American experimental psychology.