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ogy and psychophysics somewhere along the axis linking psychology to
the biological sciences, and others, such as social psychology and parts
of clinical psychology, along the axis linking psychology to the social
sciences.
Neither psychology as a discipline nor mind-laden individuals as the
subject matter of that discipline are givens. The discipline has not always
existed, and there is a history or a genealogy to the formation of the disci-
pline that has involved construing individuals and minds in different ways
at different times. This chapter takes the historical contingency of psy-
chology seriously, and attempts to draw several genealogical lines from its
early history to current presumptions about the boundaries of the mind.
I begin in the next section with some brief, general comments about the
disciplining of psychology before moving on in the following sections to
Disciplining the Individual and the Mind
30

discuss how individuals and the mind were construed as psychology was
disciplined.


2 the disciplining of psychology
In The Order of Things, Michel Foucault provided a sweeping analysis of the
emergence of the disciplines of biology, economics, and philology in the
eighteenth century. Foucault™s analysis was aimed, in part, at illustrating
how both subject areas and individuals were disciplined in what I am call-
ing the fragile sciences. This theme of the way in which the formation of
areas of discourse and knowledge is intertwined with the construction of
particular types or kinds of individuals became central to his more widely
read works, such as Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality.1
Disciplines have a contingent rather than necessary existence. They
come into existence through a complex process with conceptual, social,
political, technical, and methodological aspects, and construct, rather
than simply discover, their subject area in the process. When their sub-
ject area concerns the individual, as it does for the most part in the fragile
sciences, that means constructing individuals in certain ways: identifying
some of their properties rather than others as important for this particu-
lar discipline, emphasizing some categories and kinds and not others as
those needed to classify individuals. Not just discourse and knowledge is
disciplined; so too are individuals.
Thus, the disciplining of psychology is intimately connected to the
disciplining of the individuals it studies. In part, this is because both pro-
cesses are subject to the same historical contingencies, but also because
the individual and what lies inside it has become central to the very con-
ception of the psychological. Certain construals of the individual, and
ways of studying the mind of the individual, are entrenched within the
discipline of psychology, and those construals are good for extracting
some types of knowledge, and bad for others.
Ebbinghaus™s famous remark that psychology has a short history but
a long past, made as the distinct disciplinary pathways of psychology and
philosophy were being sculptured in the late nineteenth century, has a
certain charm to it. Philosophers and psychologists alike regard it with
some fondness “ in my view, with too much fondness. Although philoso-
phers have offered various accounts of the mind and its place in nature
since at least the Greeks over 2,400 years ago, it was only in the nineteenth
century that the conceptual, methodological, and institutional prerequi-
sites for a distinct science of psychology coalesced and the disciplining
Individuals, Psychology, and the Mind 31

of psychology began. No point in time, of course, demarcates the begin-
ning of the scienti¬c discipline of psychology from either prescienti¬c
psychological thought or scienti¬c nonpsychological investigation. Yet
two landmark events have been claimed as marking the beginning of psy-
chology in the origin myths that contemporary psychologists often tell
themselves, a myth that I will rely on in what follows.2
The ¬rst is Wilhelm Wundt™s foundation of the ¬rst experimental lab-
oratory devoted to the study of psychological phenomena in Leipzig in
1879. Wundt™s designation of his laboratory space as “psychological” was
preceded by a number of signi¬cant steps down the path to the formation
of a discipline. Included here are several decades of experimental work in
perceptual physiology and what Gustav Fechner had called psychophysics,
work headed by Hermann von Helmholtz, Eward Hering, and Fechner, as
well as Wundt™s own publication of the widely used and cited Foundations of
Physiological Psychology in 1874. The second is the publication of William
James™s Principles of Psychology in 1890, the book that James began by
identifying psychology as the “science of mental life, both of its phenom-
ena and their conditions.” James™s Principles sought to integrate the rich,
philosophical tradition of work on the mind that ascribed a central place
to inward re¬‚ection on one™s conscious mental life with the developing
physiology of the nervous system. While both Wundt and James recog-
nized the debt that psychology, conceived as a distinct science, owed to
physiology and psychophysics, both also characterized its distinctiveness
in terms of the nature of the phenomena that it investigated. These were
distinctly mental, and such phenomena could not be exhaustively under-
stood in terms of existing physiological and psychophysical theory and
practice.3
As the origin myth implies, Wundt and James clearly did play important
roles in the disciplining of psychology from physiology and philosophy. In
the next section I shall spell out these roles more precisely before turning
to the question of the disciplining of psychology from the social sciences.
Individuals come to be conceptualized differently in different parts of
the fragile sciences, and this has left a legacy concerning how psychol-
ogists conceptualize individuals, minds, and the relationships between
them.


3 from physiology and philosophy: wundt and james
Physiology is the science that studies the structure and function of bodily
systems, including the nervous system. Like psychology, it did not always
Disciplining the Individual and the Mind
32

exist. It was disciplined and emerged from anatomy as a distinctly experi-
mental science in the ¬rst half of the nineteenth century, both in Germany
under Johannes Muller and more particularly his students, such as Emil
¨
Du Bois-Reymond and Helmholtz in the 1840s, and in France initially
under Fran¸ ois Margendie and then later Claude Bernard in the 1850s.
c
Previous to this period, physiology had been secondary to anatomy, and as
such had focused on the identi¬cation and operation of physically local-
ized biological structures, paradigmatically bones, muscles, and organs.
Physiology then was concerned principally with the internal organization
of the organism, rather than its dynamic functioning. As a systematic at-
tempt to explain not just biological structures but also biological func-
tions in physical terms, the beginnings of experimental physiology were
instrumental for those of psychology in an indirect and in a direct way.
Indirectly, the focus on function itself allowed physiologists to abstract
from particular, observable structures and explore the putative systems
performing those functions of which those structures formed a part. By
experimentally intervening in the operation of these systems, they could
reveal some of the complexity to the dynamics of physiological systems
without antecedently having to identify and characterize all of the compo-
nent parts of those systems. Or, to put it in terms that will feature centrally
in my discussion of realization in Part Two, experimental physiology con-
stituted a form of integrative synthesis. Here anatomically identi¬ed organs
were located within some broader, functional system, with integration
replacing localization as the corresponding technique of investigation.
Thus, experimental physiology carried with it the general idea that there
could be a properly scienti¬c investigation of an organism that was, in a
certain sense, autonomous of detailed anatomy and further decomposi-
tional analysis.4
More directly, since some of the functions had a mental aspect to them
in that they involved the reactions and registrations of conscious beings,
experimental physiology could be directly applied to understanding the
mind, or at least parts of it. This was not least because the mind itself was
increasingly conceived as being realized in the brain and nervous system,
and this system was subject to increasing functional analysis throughout
the nineteenth century, beginning with the positing of distinct mental
functions in different parts of the brain by phrenologists in the early part
of the century. The ¬rst widely accepted evidence for the localization of
a speci¬c mental ability “ that of speech “ in the cerebral cortex was Paul
Broca™s description of patients with damage in their left frontal lobes in
1861, patients who suffered from what is now known as “Broca™s aphasia.”
Individuals, Psychology, and the Mind 33

I have said that both Wundt and James viewed psychology in terms of its
concern with a distinctly mental life. This characterization of psychology
not only distinguished it from physiology, as I noted there, but also allied
it with traditional philosophical discussions of the mind that can be found
throughout the history of Western philosophy. This is one sense in which
psychology emerged between physiology and philosophy, between the
empirical and experimental exploration of the material world and the
a priori investigation of the mental world. It is perhaps worth re¬‚ecting
further on the gulf that existed between these two worlds, and so on
what sort of bridgework was done in the formation of psychology as a
discipline.
The dichotomy between mind and body has pervaded both common
sense and scienti¬c thinking for the last 400 years. The study of the
mind was traditionally the province of philosophers, either as that branch
of “metaphysics” concerned with nonmaterial (but earthly) reality, the
mind, or as a branch of “morals” concerned with human nature and the
aptitudes contained within human agents. As the material world became
the subject of various disciplinary projects through the scienti¬c revolu-
tion in the seventeenth century, questions concerning the nonmaterial
part of reality became more pressing. What was the reach of the corpuscu-
larian, mechanical philosophy? Where did the immaterial parts of reality
¬t into this worldview? How did these two worlds, that of the mind and
that of matter, connect?
Body and mind, and the relationship between them, constituted the
most obvious locus for the discussion of such questions. Bodies were
material. Individual human bodies became the subject of scienti¬c inves-
tigation not only through the development of the practice of medical dis-
section, but also with corpuscular theory as an overarching metaphysics
for all material things, including bodies. Everything material, including
bodies, was made up, ultimately, of corpuscles, and could be understood
in principle in terms of their properties. If such a view pointed to the
way in which bodily activity could be understood, then the question of
whether this form of materialism could be extended to the mind itself
became a real one. Ren´ Descartes took his mechanical view of the world
e
to extend partly to what we might think of as the mind “ to sensation and
re¬‚exive movements, for example “ but claimed that the most important
aspects of mind, typically rei¬ed as Reason and the Will, could not be un-
derstood through this kind of science. This general view remained widely
shared in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by both rationalists
and empiricists, both within and beyond the corpuscularian framework.
Disciplining the Individual and the Mind
34

This was a legacy in part of dualism about mind and body, and in part of
a concern with how far the knowledge new in the seventeenth century
could extend.
In Chapter 1, I claimed that this corpuscularian metaphysics has un-
derwritten a quite general, pervasive attitude in the fragile sciences in the
twentieth century “ that of smallism, discrimination in favor of the small
and so against the not-so-small. The application of corpuscular thinking
to the body constituted a way to extend a smallist metaphysics into the
realm of individuals, as did the positing of the “mental atoms” of sen-
sation in the hands of British empiricists and their nineteenth-century
positivist successors. If dualism about mind and body preserved at least
aspects of the mind as exceptions to the reach of corpuscularianism, the
physiological basis to psychology whittled away this exceptionalism. Ex-
perimental psychology emerged in the nineteenth century in the grip of
the smallist visions that corpuscularianism had inspired.
Here, then, is the picture of the late nineteenth-century emergence of
the discipline of psychology that I am sketching. As physiology consoli-
dated as a distinctive science, systematic accounts of sensory phenomena,
such as haptic and auditory discrimination, were developed, and seem-
ingly more and more of the mind admitted of a physiological or physical
explanation. Combining the general point from physiology “ that an
organism™s functions could be experimentally investigated independent
of a detailed knowledge of that organism™s physical anatomy “ with the
legacy of dualism “ that not all of the mind could be understood via the
dominant scienti¬c paradigms “ created space for an autonomous exper-
imental science of the mind that went beyond “mere” philosophy. This
was the science of psychology.
The method of this new science was, like that of physiology, exper-
imental. Complementary to the idea that psychology was the science
of mental life was the development of an experimental methodology
that was also introspective in nature. The combination of introspection
and the experimental method was the crux of Wundt™s contribution
to the emergence of psychology. Wundt was critical of the reliance on
what we might think of as unconstrained (that is, nonexperimental) in-
trospection in studying the mind (what he called innere Wahrnehmung
[inner perception]), distinguishing this from the objective, controlled
self-observation (Selbstbeobachtung) around which he built his concep-
tion of psychology. Both the emergence of the discipline of psychology
from those of physiology and philosophy and its continuing connections
with those disciplines, and thus the ¬‚uidity of disciplinary boundaries at
Individuals, Psychology, and the Mind 35

the founding of psychology, are re¬‚ected in the careers of Wundt and
James.5
Wundt began teaching physiology at Heidelberg in the late 1850s after
having taken a doctorate there in medicine. He held professorships in
both anthropology and medical psychology at Heidelberg in the mid-
1860s, and then in the mid-1870s moved to Leipzig where he held
the position of professor of philosophy. Wundt remained in¬‚uenced by
the philosophical work of Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer
throughout his life, and published more purely philosophical works in
logic and ethics as well as those for which he is better remembered. Al-
though Wundt™s Foundations was the best known and the most widely read
of his works during his lifetime, his conception of psychology is better
represented by the earlier publication of a pair of books: his Contributions
to the Theory of Sensory Perception in 1862, which concentrated on percep-
tual phenomena, and Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology in 1863,
a more wide-ranging and longer work that encompassed culture, soci-
ety, emotion, and aesthetics. As both of these works indicate, Wundt™s
publication of his ten-volume “folk psychology” between 1900 and 1920
did not represent a shift from his earlier conception of psychology as a
methodologically introspective, experimental discipline, as is sometimes
claimed, but, rather, re¬‚ects Wundt™s initial conception of a discipline
with two faces: one experimental and concerned with in-the-head mental
processes, the other observational and focused on complicated mental
processes that involved external cultural representations.6
James had taken a medical degree at Harvard in 1869 and began his
teaching career there in the early 1870s in anatomy and physiology, mov-
ing on to teach physiological psychology in 1875, and ¬nally giving his
¬rst lectures in philosophy in 1879. In conjunction with the course in
physiological psychology, James had established a minor psychology lab-
oratory prior to Wundt in the late-1870s, but unlike Wundt, James did
not use it as a base for recruiting and training graduate students. ( James
disliked doing laboratory work.) James™s professorial appointments at
Harvard were in physiology in 1876, philosophy in 1885, and then in psy-
chology in 1889, shortly before the publication of his Principles in 1890.
Like Wundt, James formed part of a philosophical tradition, in James™s
case, the relatively recent and still developing tradition of American prag-
matism, whose best known exponents, apart from James himself, were
Charles Sanders Pierce and John Dewey. And again like Wundt, after
forging a connection between physiology and psychology, James further

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