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How Psychology Repressed Its Founding Father Wilhelm Wundt

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to shed light on the misrepresented and repressed agenda of Wundt’s psychology—and to pay an overdue tribute to Wundt. Wundt will be analyzed within the history of psychology, i.e., how his views on psychology are represented in textbooks on the history of psychology (Boring, Fancher, Heidbreder, Woodworth and Sheehan) in comparison with his views as expressed in his published works. In the next step, the first attempts to question the traditional historiographic accounts of Wundt will be examined (Blumenthal, Danziger, Greenwood, Woodward). The textual analysis will be embedded in a broader cultural context in order to understand sources of different forms of epistemic injustices committed against Wundt (repression of his ideas, misrecognition, partial reception, even conversion into the opposite of his own views). At the end, some general hermeneutic questions on conditions of understanding and misunderstandings of human subjects and their symbolic products will be addressed, accompanied by a moral appeal to contribute to an academic culture of a just remembrance.

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Correspondence to Gordana Jovanović.

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Jovanović, G. How Psychology Repressed Its Founding Father Wilhelm Wundt. Hu Arenas 4, 32–47 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42087-021-00186-2

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Keywords

  • Wilhelm Wundt
  • History of psychology
  • Associationism
  • Individualism
  • Epistemic injustice