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Between Mind and Nature

A History of Psychology

From William James to Ivan Pavlov, John Dewey to Sigmund Freud, the Würzburg School to the Chicago School, psychology has spanned centuries and continents. Today, the word is an all-encompassing name for a bewildering range of beliefs about what psychologists know and do, and this intrinsic interest in knowing how our own and other’s minds work has a story as fascinating and complex as humankind itself. In Between Mind and Nature, Roger Smith explores the history of psychology and its relation to religion, politics, the arts, social life, the natural sciences, and technology.
Considering the big questions bound up in the history of psychology, Smith investigates what human nature is, whether psychology can provide answers to human problems, and whether the notion of being an individual depends on social and historical conditions. He also asks whether a method of rational thinking exists outside the realm of natural science. Posing important questions about the value and direction of psychology today, Between Mind and Nature is a cogently written book for those wishing to know more about the quest for knowledge of the mind.

304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2013

History of Science

Psychology: General Psychology

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“Smith has managed to achieve what the reviewer took to be an almost impossible task: to write a single comprehensive volume on the history of psychology while at the same time acknowledging that (a) there are many histories of psychology, (b) there is no single coherent discipline of psychology, and (c) there were multiple developments in the formation of this discipline across the globe. . . . Deserves a place among the very best of our general histories of the discipline.”


Between Mind and Nature has clarity and a dry sparkle of humour. Smith’s rattling pace . . . consistently raises questions and invites discussion. It is the same story that any psychology student has heard before, with the same cast of characters and same scenery, but rendered a more interesting and vital drama by inclusion of all the meanderings and ends other histories choose to omit.”

Fortean Times

Table of Contents


1. Early Strands of Mind
2. The Mind’s Place in Nature
3. Shaping Psychology
4. Psychological Society
5. Varieties of Science
6. Unconscious Mind
7. Individuals and Societies
8. Where is It All Going?

References for Quotations

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