James Mark Baldwin

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James Mark Baldwin (January 12, 1861 – November 8, 1934)[1][2] was an American philosopher and psychologist who was educated at Princeton under the supervision of Scottish philosopher James McCosh and who was one of the founders of the Department of Psychology at the university. He made important contributions to early psychology, psychiatry, and to the theory of evolution.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Using the opportunity offered by the Green Fellowship in Mental Science awarded to him at Princeton he went to study in Germany with Wilhelm Wundt at Leipzig and with Friedrich Paulsen at Berlin. (1884–1934).

In 1885 he became Instructor in French and German at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He translated Théodule-Armand Ribot's "German Psychology of Today" and wrote his first paper "The Postulates of a Physiological Psychology". Ribot's work traced the origins of psychology from Immanuel Kant through Johann Friedrich Herbart, Gustav Theodor Fechner, Hermann Lotze to Wundt.

In 1887,while working as a professor of philosophy at Lake Forest College he married Helen Hayes Green, the daughter of the President of the Seminary. At Lake Forest he published the first part of his "Handbook of Psychology (Senses and Intellect)" in which he directed the attention to the new experimental psychology of Ernst Heinrich Weber, Fechner and Wundt.

In 1889 he went to the University of Toronto as the Chair of Logic and Metaphysics. His creation of a laboratory of experimental psychology at Toronto (a first in North America) coincided with the birth of his daughters Helen (1889) and Elizabeth (1891) which inspired the quantitative and experimental research on infant development that was to make such a vivid impression on Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg through Baldwin's "Mental Development in the Child and the Race. Methods and Processes" (1894) dedicated to the subject. A second part of "Handbook of Psychology (Feeling and Will)" appeared in 1891.

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