History Lessons for Psychologists

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(1), 62–63. Reviews the book, Reinterpreting the Legacy of William James edited by Margaret E. Donnelly (1992). The character of this book suits William James. It is eclectic, full of compelling ideas, and not integrated tightly around a specific theme. It is a collection of essays, in the full sense of that phrase. Organized by Donnelly to honor the centenary of the publication of The Principles of Psychology (James, 1890), the chapters were originally papers delivered at the American Psychological Association's Division 1 (General Psychology) during the 1990 meeting. The contributors to this book are all psychologists or, in a few cases, are associated with parts of other disciplines closely related to psychology. They mine “the rich mother lode of Jamesian psychology” by (a) asking how James might have revised his work in light of his own development and discoveries made since his lifetime, (b) showing how contemporary psychologists can use James's insights, (c) extending the meaning and applications of his theories, and (d) crediting him with important but often underused perspectives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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