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The Sciences of the Soul
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The Sciences of the Soul: The Early Modern Origins of Psychology

Fernando Vidal


This book attempts to explain the development of the disciplinary conception of psychology from its appearance in the late sixteenth century to its redefinition at the end of the seventeenth and its emergence as an institutionalized field in the eighteenth. It traces this development through university courses and textbooks, encyclopedias, and nonacademic books, as well as through various histories of psychology. The author reveals that psychology existed before the eighteenth century essentially as a “physics of the soul,” and belonged as much to natural philosophy as to Christian anthropolog ... More

Keywords: psychology, natural philosophy, Christian anthropology, Enlightenment, soul, empirical science, Christian faith, institutionalization

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780226855868
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226855882.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Fernando Vidal, author