Pierre Janet


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(1859–1947). Pierre Janet must rank with the handful of thinkers, including William James and Wilhelm Wundt, who established psychology as a discipline. Yet nowadays in Britain and America he is acknowledged merely as a contributor to early psychiatric studies of hysteria. Remarkably little is known of his ideas, although many of them have passed into common usage. His systematic theorizing is ignored, and none of the current standard English-language textbooks in experimental, clinical, cognitive, or personality psychology makes more than a passing reference to his work. Even histories of psychology and medicine refer to him only as a ‘pupil’ of J. M. Charcot who studied hypnotism in relation to hysterical phenomena (see hypnosis). Such accounts fail to recognize Janet's work in many other fields, his encyclopedic scholarship, his meticulous and subtle clinical observations, his intellectual stature, and the originality of his theorizing.


From The Oxford Companion to the Mind in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Psychology.

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