faculty psychology

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An obsolete school of psychology based on arbitrarily posited powers or capacities (called faculties) into which the mind was divided, such as will, reason, and instinct, through whose interaction all mental functions and phenomena were supposed to occur. The most influential figure in the development of this approach was the German philosopher and mathematician Christian Wolff (1679–1754), whose Psychologia Empirica (1732) and Psychologia Rationalis (1734) popularized a version of faculty psychology that formed the foundation for the later development of phrenology. [From Latin facultas a capacity]

Subjects: Psychology — Philosophy.

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