By Darryl B. Hill, Michael J. Kral

A serious and historic evaluate of psychology on the crossroads.

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Social conservatives tended to romanticize the past as such, while those who put their faith in science and progress, being skeptical of such adumbrations, were more likely to emphasize the difference between the past as it really was and memory for the past that was prone to error. This fostered a special interest in memory as an object of medical-scientific inquiry. The biologizing of memory had placed it within the province of science, and henceforth it could be deployed in the campaign that those on the side of science and progress waged against the defenders of tradition (Hacking, 1995b).

Danziger, K. (1990). Constructing the subject: Historical origins of psychological research. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Danziger, K. (1993). Psychological objects, practice, and history. Annals of Theoretical Psychology, 8, 15–47. Danziger, K. (1994). Does the history of psychology have a future? Theory & Psychology, 4, 467–484. Danziger, K. (1997). Naming the mind: How psychology found its language. London, UK: Sage. Danziger, K. (2001). Sealing off the discipline: Wundt and the psychology of memory.

A highly visible step in this transformation was an address by Hering, the eminent physiologist, to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna on the topic of Memory As a Universal Function of Organized Matter (Hering, 1870/1902). Essentially, what Hering proposed was an enormous expansion in the meaning of “memory,” so that it could cover everything from visual recall to the inheritance of acquired characteristics, instinct, habit, and even the effects of exercising a muscle. This was not some strange, idiosyncratic notion without effect on the biography of memory.

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