The Philosophical Background and Scientific Legacy of E. B. Titchener's Psychology

Part of the series SpringerBriefs in Philosophy pp 3-13


Early British Associationism

  • Christian BeenfeldtAffiliated withDepartment of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen Email author 

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


We begin our analysis by considering the philosophical school of empiricism in early modern thought. In a sentence, a central feature of this philosophical approach was the epistemological contention that all knowledge has its origin in simple sensory experience. This claim raises the following psychological question: given that complex mental phenomena (such as an abstract train of thought) obviously are not direct and simple deliverances of sense, what is their nature and where do they come from? Associationism was the name given to the increasingly elaborate account developed to answer this query.