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Victorian Psychology and British Culture 1850–1880$
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Rick Rylance

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198122838

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122838.001.0001

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The Discourse of the Soul

The Discourse of the Soul

(p.21) Chater 1 The Discourse of the Soul
Victorian Psychology and British Culture 1850–1880

Rick Rylance

Oxford University Press

Four strands of psychological argument can be identified in the period 1850–80 that display the different discursive fields in which Victorian psychologists operated. The four strands are: the discourse of the soul, the discourse of philosophy, the discourse of physiology in general biology, and the discourse of medicine. This chapter focuses on the discourse of the soul. The word psychology is derived from the Greek for ‘soul discourse’. If the discourse of the soul had been faculty psychology's only sustenance, it would have perished much earlier as scientific naturalism started to take the ground from beneath it. But it had a more intellectually robust constitution and diverse feeding habits, which kept it going.

Keywords:   soul discourse, physiology, Victorian psychologists, faculty psychology, philosophy

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