The German Tradition of Psychology in Literature and Thought, 1700-1840

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Juli 2005



The beginnings of psychology are usually dated from experimental psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis in the late nineteenth century. Yet the period from 1700 to 1840 produced some highly sophisticated psychological theorizing that became central to German intellectual and cultural life, well in advance of similar developments in the English-speaking world. Matthew Bell explores how this happened, by analysing the expressions of psychological theory in Goethe's Faust, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and in the works of Lessing, Schiller, Kleist, and E. T. A. Hoffmann. This study pays special attention to the role of the German literary renaissance of the last third of the eighteenth century in bringing psychological theory into popular consciousness and shaping its transmission to the nineteenth century. All German texts are translated into English, making this fascinating area of European thought fully accessible to English readers for the first time.


Introduction; 1. The 'long past': psychology before 1700; 2. The Enlightenment: rationalism and sensibility; 3. Melancholy Titans and suffering women in Storm and Stress drama; 4. Weimar classicism and empirical psychology; 5. Idealism's campaign against psychology; 6. Romanticism and animal magnetism; 7. After Romanticism: the physiological unconscious; Bibliography; Index.


Matthew Bell is Senior Lecturer in German and Director of the Comparative Literature Programme at King's College London.


'Bell does an excellent job of charting the German psychology of his chosen period, exploring the expression of psychological theories ... He succeeds admirably in one of his stated goals, which is to show that theoretical developments in psychology had a significant impact upon the literature and thought of the period. ... As an illumination of an important part of psychology's 'long past', this work is masterful ... students of literature and comparative literature will celebrate Bell's exploration of the rich vein of psychological ideas to be found in the German literature and thought of the period covered.' Times Literary Supplement
EAN: 9780521846264
ISBN: 0521846269
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in German'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2005
Seitenanzahl: 300 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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