Mary Whiton Calkins

American philosopher and psychologist

Mary Whiton Calkins (30 March 1863 – 26 February 1930) was an American philosopher and psychologist. She pioneered equal educational and career opportunities for women psychologists. She was the first woman to become president of the American Psychological Association.

Quotes Edit

  • The phenomenon of dreaming has rarely been discussed or investigated in a thorough and in an experimental manner; of description, of theory, of discussion, of poetic analogy and illustration there has been no end; of accurate observation almost nothing. ... The most scientific books—those of Maury and of Tissié—have been wholly or chiefly the result of the observations of abnormal subjects and in the interest, more or less distinctly, of pathology. The fullest discussion of the subject—the works of Radestock and of Spitta—are largely compilations of the recorded dreams of other people.
    • (1893). "Statistics of Dreams". The American Journal of Psychology 5 (3): 311–343. DOI:10.2307/1410996.
  • All psychologists would agree to define their subject, at least in an introductory way, as the science of consciousness. But this definition is not enlightening unless its terms are thoroughly understood, and we must at once, therefore, proceed to discuss the nature of a science.
  • Any serious attempt to define and to classify forms of consciousness will act as a "red flag" waved in the face of many critics. The effort to define accurately and to classify in any detail is bound, they will urge, to result in a conservative clinging to conclusions once reached and in a love of schedules and schemes for their own sake. The system maker, they will insist, is likely to subordinate the facts to his classification and to cut down the truth to the measure of his framework.
    • (1907). "Psychology: What is it About?". The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 4 (25): 673–683. DOI:10.2307/2011639.
  • Psychology has most often been defined as science of consciousness, but this definition does not go far enough. For consciousness does not occur impersonally. Consciousness, on the contrary, always is a somebody-being-conscious. There is never perception without a somebody who perceives, and there never is thinking unless some one thinks. And this somebody is not an isolated self but a self which is affected from without and which expresses itself in its behavior. In view of these facts psychology is more exactly defined as science of the self in relation to, or conscious of, its environment.

External links Edit

  Encyclopedic article on Mary Whiton Calkins on Wikipedia