Sunday, March 30, 2008

CFP: "The Early Twentieth-Century Crisis in Psychology: Causes, Contexts, and Consequences," Max Planck Institute, October 10-12, 2008.

Since Franz Brentano in 1874 complained that psychology had split into many divergent approaches, the state of psychology has been often characterized as a crisis. These concerns were particularly strongly expressed around 1910-1930 by psychologists who were building new research paradigms that have determined the course of psychology ever since. Many researchers and thinkers-such as Karl Bühler, Hans Driesch, Kurt Koffka,William Stern, Lev Vygotsky, Nikolai Kostyleff, Mary Whiton Calkins, N. N.Lange, S. L. Frank, Edmund Husserl, and a group of Marxist psychologists in Berlin-directly wrote on the crisis in psychology and in related disciplines. This debate involved a reaction against the high expectations connected to the new, experimental research practices established since the 1870s, and it centrally concerned the disciplinary constitution of psychology in relation to the humanities and the natural sciences. The goal of this conference is to reconstruct the debate between competing schools and paradigms in psychology (and neighboring disciplines) from the late nineteenth century to the 1930s, to analyze historical contexts in which particular positions evolved, and to explore the current relevance of the debate. We invite the submission of papers on these and related topics. Preference will be given to papers that address the connection between methodological issues in the history of psychology and social context. We particularly welcome contributions that relate to William James, Karl Bühler, Kurt Koffka, Rudolf Willy, Hans Driesch, and Otto Rühle. The conference will be held in English. Please send papers or abstracts (800-1,000 words) by 1 July 2008 to thefollowing address: For further information, please contact: Ludmila Hyman Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte Boltzmannstraße 2214195 Berlin Telefon (+4930) 22667-138 Telefax (+4930) 22667-248 Email: Thomas Sturm Research Fellow Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Boltzmannstr. 22D-14195 Berlin, Germany Fon: 030/22667-144 Fax: 030/22667-293 Email:

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