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Approaching Babel: Psychology as a \'new science\' in 1905



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Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
05100009

Abstract

At the turn of the century, numerous figures were attempting to form a new unitary science of psychology, modelled on how they imagined sciences like physics and chemistry functioned, with the discovery of universal laws and discoverers who would be proclaimed to be on the scale of Copernicus and Newton. It was intended that the formation of this new science would be nothing less than the completion of the scientific revolution, and that as a consequence, it would transform psychiatry, psychotherapy, the human sciences and indeed, all walks of life. Already by 1905, this dream was receding in an endless proliferation of competing and incompatible practices and conceptions - and one which has not ceased till this day. This talk reconstructs some of the multiple intersecting trajectories in one year of this would be science. Sonu Shamdansani, unitary science, psychology, psychoanalysis, mind and body, consciousness, 20th century, experimental, pathological, psychiatry, history