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Making Spirit MatterNeurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France$
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Larry Sommer McGrath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226699790

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226699967.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 July 2021

Measuring the Machinery of the Brain

Measuring the Machinery of the Brain

(p.47) Chapter 2 Measuring the Machinery of the Brain
Making Spirit Matter

Larry Sommer McGrath

University of Chicago Press

Chronometry, psychometrics, and psychophysics made psychology into a modern, experimental science by measuring sensations and perceptions. These fields also prompted a materialist moment in French ideas of spirit. Henri Bergson, Émile Boutroux, Alfred Fouillée, and Jules Tannery advanced qualitative data of consciousness that were distinct from yet complementary with the quantitative data of experimental psychology. Through closely studying mathematical psychology studies, these thinkers showed how human volition exhibited a conceptual and affective logic that made effort, agency, and creativity into sources of rigorous psychological information.

Keywords:   Henri Bergson, Théodule Ribot, psychophysics, experimental psychology

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