© 2016

Centrality of History for Theory Construction in Psychology

  • Sven Hroar Klempe
  • Roger Smith

Part of the Annals of Theoretical Psychology book series (AOTP, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Theory and Practice

  3. History at Work

  4. Commentary

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 227-227
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 241-248

About this book


This book offers a comprehensive overview of the purpose of history for psychology. Its purpose is to ask why history should be of concern to psychologists in teaching and research, and in theory and in practice. The future position of humanities subjects is currently highly debated on all fronts. Chapters focus on the arguments from psychologists, upgrade the precision and quality of discussion, and thus, provide a base for affirming the place of history of psychology in the broad field of psychological activity.

A fundamental question dominates the discussion. Is the purpose of the history of psychology to serve current psychology, rather than to contribute to historical knowledge – and to enter large debates about what historical knowledge means for being human? If the answer is yes, as most psychologists who come to the issues will presume, in what ways? Are these ways philosophically grounded, or do the social and political conditions of power and funding in universities dominate the arguments? In this volume, the contributors demonstrate the relation between historical investigations and current practice.

Featured topics include:

  • The history of psychology and its relation to feminism.
  • The history of psychology and its relation to current research assessment and curriculum.
  • The history of science and its relation to psychology.
  • The metalanguage for psychology.
  • Case studies of history in theory construction.

Centrality of History for Theory Construction in Psychology will be of interest to psychologists, professors, graduate psychology students, and scholars in the human sciences.


Psychology History of psychology History of science Historical psychology Cultural psychology Indigenous psychology Psychology and the Humanities Variables in psychology Teaching history of psychology Research assessment in psychology Feminism and psychology Work psychology in Finland Frederic Bartlett Early German psychology Subjectivity in psychology Historical knowledge

Editors and affiliations

  • Sven Hroar Klempe
    • 1
  • Roger Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Institute of PhilosophyMoscowRussia

About the editors

Sven Hroar Klempe is Associate Professor in Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. His background includes time as full Professor in Musicology, Associate Professor in Media Studies, teacher, and journalist. His research is cross disciplinary, with an emphasis on the history of psychology, culture and psychology, theory of science, communication, and music psychology. His recent book is Kierkegaard and the Rise of Modern Psychology (Transaction, 2014).

Roger Smith is Reader Emeritus in History of Science, Lancaster University, UK, associate of the Institute of Philosophy, Moscow, Russia, and independent scholar. He is a past President of the European Society for the History of the Human Sciences. His Fontana/Norton History of the Human Sciences is online at: His recent books are Between Mind and Nature: A History of Psychology (Reaktion Books, 2013) and Free Will and the Human Sciences in Britain, 1870-1910 (Pickering & Chatto, 2013). He is currently working on the history of kinaesthesia, the sense of reality, and cultures of movement.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Centrality of History for Theory Construction in Psychology
  • Editors Sven Hroar Klempe
    Roger Smith
  • Series Title Annals of Theoretical Psychology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Annals of Theoret.Psychol.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science and Psychology Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-42759-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-82657-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-42760-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 248
  • Number of Illustrations 4 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Cognitive Psychology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site